Carnifex end of year ritual 1.0 (and an ascension)

GalileiGalilei Member Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
edited August 22 in Roleplay Logs
Beware, colors. Galilei hosts a ritual to offer to the master soulstone, with unexpected side effects. Many many thank yous to everyone who managed to attend!

A cavernous martial hall.

You have emoted: A deep breath for the Consanguine, a moment to close her eyes and think, and Galilei straightens, fingers curling about her own soulstone.

You have emoted:
"Life holds inevitabilities." Galilei's voice, cool and dark, carries through the hall from her place before the master soulstone. "Death finds us all." One hand emerges from behind her back, bearing one tenebrous shard from the mass floating behind her. "Time stops for none." One soul she wrests from her stone, claiming it; her expression is placid even as the formless being's cry spreads like fine mist over the room.

Taking hold of your soulstone you plunge it into your chest, eliciting a howl of rage as a soul is violently ripped from it, embedding itself within your breast. Wrenching the stone free, you close your hand over your chest, silencing the soul as it wraps itself around your own, preparing to take the place of yours should you be felled.

You have emoted: "Another year draws to a close," Galilei continues, a telltale red haze passing over her unblinking eyes. "For another year, death shall be our weapon. We keep to our ways and set forth to slaughter, we are the plague that strengthens the world." The Consanguine's soulstone is held aloft before her, level with her heart.

You have emoted:
"For what is a beginning without an end? What is renewal without death?" The questions echo in the cavernous hall, and beneath them stirs intent. Anticipation. Galilei gazes levelly around those gathered, argent eyes resting briefly upon each of you in turn. "What is victory without the toil of blood?"

You have emoted: Movement quicker than the eye can catch, a muted slash of claws on skin: the Consanguine's forearm is left bleeding, and copiously, as she paints a swathe of crimson across her left cheekbone. Galilei's soulstone is still in her hand; what life that she still holds in her body falls steadily to the stones underfoot.

You have emoted: Galilei's soulstone flares with motes of ghostly light, and the great mass of crystal directly behind her seems almost to thrum, to come alive as the first stone had. From the promise of offerings? From the allure of blood, of that symbol of life, that the souls within the imprisoning stone must feel? That the stone itself might feel? The energy echoes and reflects off the soulstone within each soldiers possession - pushing and expanding within you.

You have emoted: "To this stone we have given ourselves," Galilei declares, steel in her words. The trickle from her pale arm fades away as she heals herself. "And to the stone we shall offer, at the closing of another year."

Oration transitioning into instruction, you say, "Let us go forth and procure at least two corpses for each of us, that we have slain with our own hands. One to offer to the soulstone, the others for us to harvest."

You say, "Pair or group as you will, or hunt alone, and meet me at the Keep where our master soulstone resides. I will call over the aethers when it is time."


Naos puts on a sulfurous amulet.
Naos says, "Voltda."
A sulfurous portal opens in the ground before Naos and he quickly jumps into it before it snaps shut behind him.

Eldritch glyphs coruscate in flickering patterns of crimson across the surface of a soulstone as you press it against your forehead. Melding seamlessly with your skin, a dark sheen of red ripples over your body as it hardens against all weapons.

Swara leaves to the northeast.

Mjoll sucks thoughtfully on her teeth.


You have emoted: Galilei bows her head and lets the stone meet her brow, enter, and be bound once more; from the belt over her shoulders she draws forth an azure and dawncrystal Dragon wing halberd and plants it soundly upon the floor, the flash of metal almost like lightning in the gloom of the halls. "No souls are to be harvested during the hunt. By the presence of the stone itself we will reap the benefits of it together."

Iazamat nods curtly.

Ayastia nods her head emphatically.


Ayastia says, "Voltda."
A sulfurous portal opens in the ground before Ayastia and she quickly jumps into it before it snaps shut behind her.

A gentle humming fills the area for a moment as Mjoll concentrates, fading away again as Mjoll blinks out of sight.
She is followed by a ghostly warhound, a hulking, black-haired boar, a white warhound, and a white warhound.


You have emoted: With a final "Strength in Slaughter," Galilei strides forth from where she had stood, making her own exit for her own hunt.

...

A shadowy training yard.

A wooden pyramid silently shimmers into view.

You have emoted: Despite her former deposit, Galilei does not move forward right away, choosing to linger by a shadowed area near the training yard's walls.

Iazamat appears suddenly, bearing the corpse of a serpentine gorgon.

You think: Thank the Gods.

Ayastia enters from the south, riding a hulking, black-haired boar.
She is followed by a black and tan warhound, a war-painted orel, and a white warhound.

Mjoll's mouth lifts slightly at the corners as she gives Iazamat a small grin.

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Swara squares her shoulders and crisply salutes her fellow soldiers.

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Cameryn squares his shoulders and crisply salutes his fellow soldiers.

Cameryn takes a long drag from a lit slender white cigarette.

Cameryn exhales a white cloud of smoke, redolent with pungent scents.


You have emoted: Galilei's silvery eyes watch the last of the Carnifex return. The heartbeats pass as the group settles, and she at last emerges from a shadowed wall of a nearby building. Her attire, hands, and weapon are stained with the proof of her own hunt, and she wears it openly as she makes her procession to the master soulstone. In one hand she bears a brimming bowl, and in the other a single flickering candle.

You have emoted:
"So we have brought our tribute." Galilei directs her words to those gathered; she yet stands facing you, before the unearthly, crystalline prison. "The stone hungers. Slaughter hungers; Soul hungers."

You say, "Look around you, at the world - name for yourselves an ally or enemy who have risen to greatness without a single drop of blood spilled."

Grimness now seeping into her visage, you say, "Now, name in your mind the people you have seen on the battlefield, ally or enemy, and ask yourself: Have any of the mortals you have known stopped their bloodshed to spare the opposition?"


You have emoted: Galilei shakes her head, the smile on her lips quiet. "Death is inevitable, as the flow of time is inexorable. Yet even in the face of what cannot change - " The Consanguine lifts the bowl higher, the barely-visible mush of ectoplasm swirling sickeningly within. "Every single one of us has the freedom, the choice, to take the inevitable and make it our victory and our resource."

You have emoted: "We who have chosen freedom stand here, in Fealty; to survive and to thrive is to walk in Fealty." Galilei lifts her voice, shoulders pushing back and pale fingers renewing their grip upon her candle. "Yet another year we have walked and fought and bled together; even through dissent, we are Carnifex still, and the Code that binds us transcends mortal conflict."

You have emoted: Galilei bows her head for a brief moment after the statement. "We who have chosen power gather here to mark the close of a year, to empower the Carnifex' heart and soul. To vow before its presence, with our tribute, to walk as siblings-in-arms and in Strength, as long as the realms remain."

You have emoted: The words fall slower, now. "Let the first tribute be offered." Slowly Galilei turns; her tall frame gracefully folds, one knee placed against the ground, back unbent, before the master soulstone. Having set the candle down, both hands take the bowl now as she gently tips its contents into the master soulstone's basin.

You have emoted: The formless remains of the corpse of a misty apparition and the corpse of a gnarled spirit, and many more of their kind, swirl with the motion, mingling one moment and separating the next with sickening, oil-like smoothness as they fall. Spectral matter fills the container in a thin circular sheet, and the soulstone before Galilei once again sends a wave of dancing, ravenous motes just beneath its surface.

You have emoted: "To the Carnifex we have given ourselves!" Galilei's call splits the quiet; the air is already alive and charged, crawling with a thirst, a need too real to be seen. Pure white motes rise from the spectral sludge, torrents of them rushing into the master soulstone, seeping through each crack as eldritch light flares - Galilei's kneeling form is outlined in a wintry, seething glow.

You have emoted:
"For Strength we slaughter and bleed, for Strength we give our souls unto stone!" Bronze holder once again in hand, Galilei slashes the candle's flame along the contents of the corpses, by the basin's rim, in one steady half-circle. She does not need to complete it; tongues of fire lick along the husks of spirits the master soulstone feasts upon, the entire basin alight with both the candle's flame and the stone's otherworldly glow, which overshadows any light one might bear.

You think: [The Consanguine's consciousness shakes with each thudding beat of her heart.]

You think: [It won't stop.]


You have emoted: Galilei is silent as she rises, as the courtyard fills with near-maddening hunger and impossibly sweet satiation. Primal emotions come alive, all too real, amplified by each of your soulstones, threatening to devour those unprepared. Fire and light shadowing the face she finally turns toward all of you, the Consanguine spreads her arms wide, and calls.

Her contralto voice all the more chilling for its unusual harshness, you exclaim, "Come you forward, one by one, with a single corpse from among your kills - lay it in the basin, offer to the Carnifex's soul!"

You exclaim, "Give your tithe to the stone; lay the fattest of your flock in this flame, for not even light can wrest from Shadow its rightful prey!"


Mjoll roughly tosses the corpse of a Spellshaper Adept at the base of the massive soulstone, a silvery specter giving rise from the body, a soul being beckoned by the stone.

Cameryn steps forward with the corpse of a victimised intruder and kneels down, laying the corpse over the basin letting it join the gathered sludge, an odd smile crossing his face before he steps back as its soul is beckoned by the stone.

With a deep breath, Ayastia looks to the others before stepping forward, taking her turn to kneel before the flame. Into the basin, into the flame, goes the corpse of Taskmaster Grollum, kneeling for a moment longer before standing and stepping away, letting the soul of the creature join with the others.

Tina steps into the flame herself. As the fire licks her form, her body splits open like a shell, and the outer layers of her body fall off into the flames as she leaps back to to her former location in the room.

Tina concentrates hard, willing a patch of her skin to loosen and wiggle off of her body.

Naos drops one of his corpses down as indicated before stepping back into position.

Swara steps forward to drop the corpse of a savage rojalli into the basin. Her expression is cold and distant as she steps away again.

Iazamat strides forward, the corpse of a serpentine gorgon sprawled across his outheld arms and his jaw clenched. As he reaches an immense, multi-faceted soulstone, he kneels, both of his knees digging into the earth of the training yard as he ceremoniously places the carcass into the basin and the flame. Within moments, the soul of the gorgon separates from its fleshly prison and he presses himself to his feet, snatching it by what would have been the back of the creature's neck while alive. Unlike the others, he raises his voice in a cry of
"STRENGTH!" before slamming the soul up against the soulstone, lingering until it is fully absorbed before returning to his previous position.

You have emoted: Hunger. Rising, resonating. Tina's offering sends a spark of ghostly-white and eldritch blue leaping from the basin behind Galilei before more corpses join, more souls drawn into the hovering stone. Iazamat's call seems to shake the air, sending the already powerful currents in the air to stirring.

You have emoted: "We are the Carnifex, and ever shall we march ahead!" Galilei's cry rises into the skies along with the twisting column of smoke, along with the ghostly motes the stone feasts upon. Her eyes are wide, wide open. "The stone is empowered - now, to empower ourselves!" An almost spidery hand she outstretches, as though in benediction, and her words are snarling, tense, foreboding. "Harvest your kills now, lay claim to every soul that lies in them, and let your stones feast!"

You have emoted: It trembles, that same hand, and Galilei quickly masks the gaze of her pale eyes - holding her position as she, too, begins to harvest.

Raising your hand, you snarl a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within your palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a gnarled spirit and you snatch it from the air.

- The rest of the Carnifex follow in their harvest, corpse upon corpse drained without stopping. And it's taking a toll on the ritualist.


You think: [Nothing visible. Not a memory. Merely a feeling of standing on a ship's deck, storm full swing, only without the nausea.]

Raising her hand, Ayastia snarls a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within her palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a shrieking grimshrill and she snatches it from the air.

You have emoted: The air veritably shakes with the harvesting of so many souls by so many stones. The souls of the slain, and with them, their memories, flow into each, including Galilei's. Some strong, some feeble. Terror, pain, despair, anger, a desperate thirst for life. And beneath it all hums the strangeness of the soulstones, almost like a crimson hunger.

Raising her hand, Swara snarls a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within her palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a savage rojalli and she snatches it from the air.

Raising his hand, Cameryn snarls a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within his palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a Nazetu crossbowman and he snatches it from the air.


You think: [Finches' wings, bright and sudden, sudden like an assault. A crimson flower, carelessly beheaded. Her mind has grasped a presence, an anchor. Yet the onslaught of souls, of so many souls, is one she could not have fully prepared herself for. Memory upon howling memory is piled onto her mind, before one slices through the rest.]

Iazamat retrieves his personal soulstone from a dark bandolier bearing a bone-armoured sleeve and faces a crocodile-headed golem, several corpses of Teshen adorning its stone body. With a delicate touch unlike his treatment of the gorgon's soul, he presses his soulstone against each carcass, pausing only long enough to fully extract their souls.

You think: ["Perhaps... I have misjudged you... and your kind." Her voice is at once wispy as river reeds and more alive than her withered, illness-ravaged body could warrant. Ice-blue eyes widen, the evening light glinting softly off the edges of his fangs. "I can still see my Paulus' last smile. Galilei smiles, when you come to tend to us... and stay." In her eyes: the long-awaited thank you. Relief. You are no monster. You could not be, after all this.]

Raising your hand, you snarl a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within your palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a gnarled spirit and you snatch it from the air.

You think: [Thud. Thud. Thud. Something is very wrong.]

Raising her hand, Ayastia snarls a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within her palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a shrieking grimshrill and she snatches it from the air.

You have emoted: Galilei is no longer cognizant of her surroundings, her face strangely not as pale as it should be above the colours she dresses her body with, and the same body stands as still as a statue of marble. Up to the moment it does not.

Swara harvests the corpses one by one, taking her time between them and letting the souls writhe in the air a minute before absorbing them into her stone. Her gaze is fixated on them, something delightfully macabre in her gleeful expression as she harvests.

You think: [The memories find her unbidden, burning themselves into the Consanguine's brain, terror and long-repressed doubt and the high of the empowered master soulstone - of all the stones around it, engorging, strengthening - mixing as the spirits had mixed in the offering basin. Her heart beats on, steady, unending, insistent.]

Cameryn harvests the souls from his assorted corpses with a faint nod to himself after each one, shifting a bit with each soul harvested. The smile on his face from the first offering twisting up in a gruesome fashion as his eyes seem to glaze over before his attention appears to settle upon you, waiting for the next moment as it's called.

You have emoted: The ritual only persists as long as those who harvest still have more to extract - Galilei stands sentinel still, watching - or perhaps not - the proceedings as the courtyard whirls with the souls' despair and rage.

Ayastia licks her lips.

Raising her hand, Swara snarls a guttural chant that causes a smoke-grey glyph to appear within her palm. Moments later, an ethereal stream of silver-white motes flows up from the corpse of a savage rojalli and she snatches it from the air.

As Ayastia finishes drawing the souls from her victims, her eyes turn warily to you, watching you carefully as she leaves the corpses lying on the ground.

You think: [Her eyes have locked onto another pair among those gathered, impossibly wide, the minute movements of her irises reflected in the tremor of her mind. Yet - the din of all the souls only shakes her further, burdening. Pulling down.] I'm slipping - no - I can't...

You think: [A fragment from a sermon: *Seize power.* The words echo endlessly in her mind, and with them the emptiness of the Tekal suddenly rears its once-dormant head. Tasting the air, flooding her mind with energies she cannot identify.]


Iazamat completes his task and, soulstone still gripped tightly in hand, shifts his focus to you.

You have emoted: She is struggling, with things only she can see. Galilei's entire body barely shivers with the sudden tension that has seized her - this is no rapture, neither is bliss anywhere close to describing the subconscious awakening that is both mute and explosive.

You think: [Her pulse pushes at thoughts without form or one colour, pushing at what has become noise at this point. Underlying it, piercing it - the thoughts, they gravitate toward it against her conscious will, pulled and sucked in as shadow slowly gives way to blinding light. Terror. Escape - I am not a MONSTER - ]

You think: Stop.

You think: This - is NOT me.


Swara falls quiet as she carefully watches you, her harvesting done for the moment.

You have emoted: They dilate, those pupils, so black against luminous irises. And they won't stop. Galilei stands like a sycamore in a storm, surrounded by the unseen currents emanating from the master soulstone. Slowly the alabaster hand turns over, palm up, drawing back into herself. It curls, tight, as though drawing upon something unseen; black bleeds into silver, engulfing, overcoming; her face is cold, unreadable, and one would have called it empty had they not sensed - not felt - the resolve rolling off the ichor-drenched Consanguine's being.

You think: [Words of iron, emerging cold and impersonal even amidst the storm of emotion that is, and have been, Galilei's mind. In one moment her thoughts turn opaque, the change sudden and surging, bringing to mind a hand that has clawed its way out from a waiting chasm. A choice has been made, a blade's edge about to split a knot - that is all you understand before everything grows silent.]

Resolved, you still your thoughts and bend your mind to the task of completing your hollow form. The essence within you roils as you ineptly attempt to manipulate it. Then, with horrifying suddenness, you feel the constraints on your soul unravel, allowing the very essence of your being to spill away and evaporate, taking swathes of your material form with it. Your fraying psyche begins to collapse beneath its own weight, and as darkness laps at the edges of your vision, understanding finally blossoms within you. In a fevered instant, you grasp what must be done, and from the rapidly disintegrating remnants of your body you weave a new form, an echo of your imperfect self; a cage of flesh and bone to contain your wild, unfettered mind. Your spirit once again settles uneasily within your transformed flesh, and with bone-deep certainty you know you have become an Idreth.
A shiver runs through Creation, rapidly swelling into a thunderous, echoing tone that heralds the rebirth of the Idreth, Galilei.


Iazamat glances sidelong at the gathered Carnifex, his golden eyes flitting from one to another. His hand, soulstone enclosed by it, now rests at his side as he watches events unfold, a certain unease radiating from his features.

You have emoted: The final traces of silver twist within Galilei's irises in the manner of drifting smoke, soon swallowed by the darkness seemingly bleeding out from her pupils; her face is somehow rosier beneath its pallor.

You shout, "Strength in Soul! Glory to the legacy of Roan!"

You see Swara raise her voice and shout, "Strength in slaughter!"


Cameryn keeps his gaze settled upon you, the smirk softening at the sudden transformation as a faint nod seems to come without a conscious effort.

Mjoll's fist meets her breastplate in a raucous drumming as her voice rises.


You see Mjoll raise her voice and shout, "STRENGTH!"

You see Iazamat raise his voice and shout, "Strength in Fealty!"


You have emoted: Galilei does not stagger; she lifts her head, hands uncurling from her sides as the seconds pass and her form stabilizes. One fist comes up to rest against her heart, another "Strength," echoed heavily upon the air of the courtyard.

Quietly, the ritual clearly at its end, you say, "It is an honour to walk with you all. May our Fealty carry us through for the coming year."

Swara raises a fist to the sky and roars out a vicious shout, drumming upon a suit of polished field plate armour with her free hand.

Mjoll raises a fist to the sky and roars out a vicious shout, drumming upon a dark breastplate with an inlaid silver Yggdrasil with her free hand.

Ayastia raises a fist to the sky and roars out a vicious shout, drumming upon a blackened, matte fieldplate of the Shadowed Keep with her free hand.

You raise a fist to the sky and roar out a vicious shout, drumming upon a set of feathery scalemail with your free hand.

Cameryn raises a fist to the sky and roars out a vicious shout, drumming upon a suit of polished field plate armour with his free hand.


"Strength," Iazamat echoes, slamming his soulstone-laden fist into his chest.

Naos breaks his quiet assessment by pushing himself forward, the heavy thud of armoured boots heralding his forward momentum towards you. He wears a grimace of sorts, something between a smirk and a sneer, as he stops directly before you. He remains quiet still, running an assessing eye over you - his features providing no insight to what he finds there.


You have emoted: Galilei's eyes seem about to narrow at the man's approach. An inaudible breath taken, and she straightens her shoulders, lifts her chin.

You think: It didn't help, after all. [The concession is without venom.] Malice.

"You'll fuckin' do-" Emory finally utters. The words come out dry, almost lazily - as if the concession means nothing to the man one way or another. Then Naos slugs you, one clenched fist pulling back before it's sent slamming into your shoulder. It isn't meant to cause too much harm, merely rock the woman. "-Squire."

Ayastia smirks.

Iazamat exhales in amusement, a smile finding his face.

With one firm nod, a simple and quick gesture, Mjoll expresses her approval.
"Good work, Squire."

You have emoted: Physics dictate she must stagger, but not that she back away or lose footing. With the quickness of her race - and perhaps more than that - Galilei's hand shoots forward, clamping down upon Naos' own shoulder, where she had clawed out a tear weeks ago. This time there is no puncturing, merely the weight of her hand.

Cameryn shifts his stance offering a nod towards Emory. A faint smile twists his lips at the grab from you and he nods a time or two again before rolling his neck.

Naos glances down at the offending appendage, wearing what could only be called amusement now. He half-shrugs, half-swats the hand off of him, smile widening.
"unicorns off me, Squire. Don't you got work to do?" He pushes past you with a rough shoulder-check before he turns to face Mjoll near the exit to the place. "Commander."

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Naos squares his shoulders and crisply salutes Mjoll.

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Mjoll squares her shoulders and crisply salutes Naos.


You have emoted: "By your leave, Commander." Galilei's face, when she turns to face the rest of the Carnifex, is still as smooth as ever it has been before the ritual. "I'd like to request a position on the Deacons nonetheless."

Mjoll sucks at her teeth with an obnoxious noise, "Pit yeah." she decides.

You have emoted: Galilei inclines her head. "Thank you. And thank you all for attending."

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, you square your shoulders and crisply salute your
fellow soldiers.


Cameryn inclines his head to the gathered Carnifex before turning to you. "Hell of a ritual. Glad I was part of it." A quick salute to Mjoll and he's off and away.

Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Iazamat squares his shoulders and crisply salutes his
fellow soldiers.
NaosEleneArdentIazamatQelresTaiyangAyastiaStigandr

Comments

  • AyastiaAyastia Member Posts: 41 ✭✭
    I loved getting to be a part of that, a minor cog in the machine! Thank you!
    Galilei
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