Backstory: I've been sitting on these logs for a loooong time, this arc actually spans over a few months due to scheduling etc but now it's time to finally share! Aisling and Pilar have a son whom they love but he only came to be because a minor serpent spirit approached Pilar in Dendara to help her conceive....for a price.
As their son grew, Pilar performed rituals and gave blood sacrifices in secret to keep the spirit at bay. Now that he is grown, the contract with the serpent has been fulfilled but it has grown large and greedy from her efforts to appease it. Pilar can no longer keep her secret from her son or husband any longer.
One night, after her sister's housewarming party, Pilar and Aisling make up from a fight beforehand. She attempts to come clean with him about what's happening after they promise to be more honest with one another but the spirit has its own plans.
She is an agile Yeleni, a petite vision of a female faun with all the wildness and odd beauty of her kin. From the waist up she has the golden brown frame of a human female matured to the height of womanhood. Her cheekbones and jawline are sharp, her brown eyes like slivers of ripe almonds, and her nose sits straight above a cupid's bow mouth. Twin ebon horns emerge from the top of her head, ribbed and ending in sharp points at their tips, they add a few inches of height to her otherwise diminutive stature. A doe's ear peeks out from her black tresses, flicking back and forth at the slightest sound. The other side of her skull has been shaved neatly to the scalp, revealing the other ear cleanly severed in some ritual or accident. Sable hair, thick and glossy, tumbles over her shoulders and down her back freely, often shrouding her face. Bands of crimson have been tattooed around her neck, right shoulder, right wrist, and where her waist is smallest, a flush pattern of thick and thin loops against her chestnut skin. At her back between the shoulder blades, a frostbrand has been seared into her flesh in an elegant geometric pattern of a blooming flower. Her tiny waist and flat belly give way to ample hips that meld seamlessly with a doe's hindquarters. Swathed in velvety brown fur, it fades to a creamy white, a direct contrast with her dainty black cloven hooves. The clean scent of a refreshing sea breeze lingers around her - the aroma marking the blessing of the Maelstrom.
(painted neatly on the brow) : a magenta-inked dath of an eye
(oversized and draping the body) : crimson robes beset with leaping does
(tied at the wrist) : a charm of tattered feather and bone
(resting against the breast) : a heavy quartz pendant on a gold chain
(low around the hips) : a belt of tattered waist beads
(pinned to her robes) : a delicate charm of dark looped hair
(stacked halfway up both arms) : many bangles of bone and gold
He is a powerful Azudim of Atavian heritage, one of monstrous height, built like an Orgyuk, from the broad shoulders and thick limbs to the dense white fur that covers nearly all of him. His large hands bear scars both earned in battle and carved intentionally, the latter like spiraling suns along his palms, the matching constellations sprawled over his forearms. His features are stern to say the least, a strong jawline, a sharp nose, long, pointed ears - though one is torn, a chunk of the tip lost in combat - and two white tusks, peeking from under his lower lip. The Azudim's left eye has been removed, replaced by a glowing gem that smolders with wisps of frost from the man's own naturally low temperature, unpleasant and reminiscent of the Tundra. His one remaining eye is white, bearing only the black outline of his iris and the simple point at the center. His skin is a deep, near-violet color, contrasting sharply with white hair, the latter soft and untamed. It grows like fur, starting at the top of his head, short and messy, and trailing down, thinning to a thick line over his stomach and spine as it descends. Eldritch violet light surrounds him - a blessing of chaos and dreaming. Suffused with a pale glow, he walks with the boon of the Unbound.
(worn on the hands) : black buckled leather gloves
(hanging from a leather cord) : an entwined band carved from a wintry icecrystal
(wrapped around the left arm) : a heavy chain of white kav
(securely buckled) : a soldier's knee-length black boots
(painted over his back) : a floral-scented wolf skull dath
(worn on the legs) : some black linen trousers lined with wool
(neatly laced) : a loose, front-laced white shirt
(worn on the back) : a burdensome tower shield of pahpanvel
Within a chilly den - the neighborhoods of Enorian
Rather spacious, this bedroom bears large, rectangular windows on the walls, though no candles, sconces or torches line them, casting the entire place in dark during the night. The ceiling bears glass instead of marble, allowing a view of the sky directly above the nest that rests in the center of the room, sunken into the floor by at least three or four feet, filled with soft cushions, thick, plush rugs, blankets of fur in dark, earthen hues, pleasant to the eye. The floor that lines the nest bears some personal belongings, a dresser, a small cabinet with bottles, small trinkets. This high up, and without the warmth of fire, this room is rather chilly, though not quite uncomfortable for it. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Aisling is here.
You see a single exit leading northeast (open pine door).
[This is sort of an awkward place to start but it's the day after the party, they basically worked out their argument and have promised to be more honest and open with each other.]
Pilar begins to laugh softly with you as well, disbelieving herself of the situation and what transpired. Shaking her head again, she lowers her eyes and lifts your hand to her lips, gently kissing the knuckles and your calloused palm, "I want everything to do with you, husband. Everything."
Aisling always allows the touch, the pull, fingers curled slightly over the faun's hold. "I'll remember that, and track you next we have a fight, hm?" He teases, amused.
Yes, and we will-" Pilar begins earnestly, pulls back her excitement, then continues, "we will be more honest." Biting her bottom lip, she pauses for a moment and says, "Volk'in, there is something else I feel that I must do with you, give to you, but I am not sure how."
Aisling blinks, eyebrows rising. He waits, expectant.
Pilar swallows and lowers your hand to her lap, squeezing it for support, "When I was a little Grecht, being raised by my sisters, they had powerful minds even then. They could read my every thought and feeling before I had them. I felt that I had no privacy even in my own head." The small woman averts her eyes nervously as if she were being admonished by an authority figure, "And so for many years, I practiced learning to close it and keep my inner self well hidden. As Praadi, that discipline only strengthened with the constant practice of ritual."
Aisling tilts his head, listening on. He nods slowly, "... What is there for me to do, my faun?" He asks, quietly, "That I can safeguard your thoughts, somehow?"
"I've begun to think that if it were opened, if you could see me better inside then we could avoid these things," Pilar says, her voice lowering, "like you are with sister. Lin."
You say to Aisling, in Grecht, "I have closed it so tight but I am not sure how to open it to you..."
Aisling's eyebrows shoot up, and he clears his throat, "... My faun, that is a lot of trust." He rumbles, "You are sure? We can-- look into rituals, I suppose, or telepathy." He says, though another pause follows. "Is this something you truly want?"
Pilar nods eagerly but she frowns, her brow furrowing, "It is something I want but it is not something I can do a ritual for. I do not want...I do not want the Praadi to know, the spirits to know. I do not want them involved, they will make demands, they will want a piece. I want this to be between us."
"I'll... I'll look into telepathic methods." Aisling mutters, gaze drifting as he considers for a longer moment. "It may be a two-way matter, but you've seen much of me, so it is fine."
"And you've seen so little of me and I-" Pilar cuts herself off suddenly and stiffens, her eyes widening briefly in alarm as her ear twists around to some unknown sound. She doesn't wait for you to speak, she simply puts a finger to your lips and stares up at the glass ceiling as if expecting something to appear. And indeed it does, a faint shape begins to coalesce above the two of you in a fel-green mist characterized by the sibilant hiss of serpent raspily demanding, "Priiiiiiiccceee...."
Aisling frowns, about to speak before you silence him. His attention follows yours, his fur bristling at the sight, and the faun can feel his lips twist, the instinctual urge to bare teeth at the spirit.
Pilar is quick to clap her hand over your mouth in a bid not only to keep you still but perhaps muffle any snarls or growls that may come. She keeps her eyes fixed on the mist above and whispers, "I have recently paid but I did not think she would come again so soon, I...I am sorry for you to learn this way, husband." There is some fear in the little faun's voice and she swallows as the serpent spirit begins to take form, its many coils writhing as its neverending body takes its final shape and its glowing amber eyes open with a slow and listless reptilian blink.
The length of this rather large serpent spirit is indeterminate, so looped and twisted are its coils, and it shines with a
fey, fitful light. Parts of its long, slender body are translucent, while others are sheathed in shining silver scales, and its eyes flare with an amber glow.
A serpent spirit says, "Priiiiice..."
A serpent spirit says, "...Priiiiiiceeee..."
Aisling reaches for your wrist, easing her hand away. He grunts, "Paid?" The man asks, brow furrowed as he glances between the two, and even in his confusion, he inches forward, one thick arm coming around the faun, as he curls defensively, "What did you ask for? What's the trade?"
"Hush! Don't let her hear you!" Pilar says sharply in her native dialect, trying to cover your mouth once more. However, it appears to be too late, the long neck of the serpent spirit lowers and its amber eyes glow brightly as it stares at the faun with an almost sly and knowing smile. Without breaking its unblinking gaze, it hisses, "Your promise wassss to sssssate our thirrrrssst, little bat...we hungerrrrrr...."
A serpent spirit says, "...What blood have you brought usssssss...your own or something more sssssacred and delicioussssss and BOUND..."
Aisling pulls the faun sharply against his chest, leaning forward as to face the spirit. He's grown warmer at the chest, something only you can realize, pressed to him as she is. He doesn't bare teeth, but he speaks with an underlying snarl, that of something else speaking, "What has my faun requested, Spirit?"
"...The requesssst, the exxxxchhhaaaaange, the sssscrumptioussss DEAL...." The serpent replies to you with glee but it gets in Pilar's face, the faun growing tense and defiant under its stare, neither Praadi nor spirit willing to look away first. The silvery reptile hisses loudly, slowly opening its maw and unhinging its jaw to reveal fangs glistening with amber venom, revealing a gullet large enough to swallow the small Yeleni whole. Save for clutching your shirt a little tighter, she stands her ground and her defiant frown only deepens as she growls, "Tell him since you would not let me do it myself."
Aisling's fur bristles, claws digging gently into your skin as he holds, ready, tense, for an attack. He snarls still, deep in his throat, what bestial traits he holds all the more aware before a spirit of Dendara.
A serpent spirit says, "...The prayer for a barren womb to be warmed, to be fiiiilllled, a quickening with a blood-sssssoaked arrangement, a SON...."
Pilar bites her bottom lip as the serpent snaps its jaws shut before the faun's face, causing her to flinch only slightly but she still refuses to look away. Trembling in Aisling's arms, she grips the man, and growls, "And I PAID it, many times over!"
A serpent spirit says, "...AND STILL WE THIRST FOR MORE..."
Aisling falters, momentarily. He swallows, gathers you closer to his chest. He offers his other arm, the one not keeping you secure against him - and by now, he is a being of heat, starting deep in his chest. "I am bound to her." He snarls, loud, a bark, "Take mine - and leave us be."
Pilar gasps at the man's arm outstretched and she grasps at it, snarling at you, "Don't be an idiot, you do not know what she is asking for when she is being a GREEDY SNAKE!" The moment her eye contact is broken the serpent hisses delightedly and its coils drop, wrapping around the both of you and constricting both Yeleni and Azudim in its silver scales. Squeezing tightly, it bares its fangs and hisses with its sibilant voice in amusement, "...The blood of the BOUNDin place of the blood of the PREY, aaalllll for the SSSSON...." The enormous head of the serpent rubs against yours before facing the faun once more with glee, "...If we were so greedy, so HUNGRYand thirrsssssty, we could ssssssimply take your preccciooous ssssson back..."
Gasping, you say to a serpent spirit, in Grecht, "You promised you would NEVER!"
Aisling does his very best to keep the serpent from constricting around them too harshly, arm trembling around you as he tries to keep it at bay. He bares teeth back, large tusks, nose pinched, fur bristling against the faun's cheek. He snarls low, and waits - if you will not allow him, he can only defer to her.
"...and you promised me SSSSSSSATIATION...." The serpent replies raspily, droplets of amber venom leaving speckles on Pilar's face. She blinks her eyes shut and bows her head, panting and seeming to give in to the position the spirit has put her in. When she looks up at you finally beneath her shroud of hair, the faun's cheeks are now not only streaked with poison but also tears. Swallowing, she says to the serpent without looking away from her mate, "We...we love our son. We will do anything for him, die for him if need be, we will pay it. Your belly will be filled as you helped me to fill mine."
Aisling's hand rises, to ease the faun's cheek to his chest, against his shirt. He breathes, looking to the spirit, "Take mine." The man says, not quite a demand, but the snarl remains in his throat, that of challenge.
Pilar shakes her head against your shirt, staining it with venom and pleads, "Husband, please-" But she is cut off by the giant serpent finally turning its amber eyes on you with a sharp hiss, the spirit blinking slowly as if in recognition before speaking again, "...And yyooouuuuu, so BOUNDto this one's blood we can TASTEit with every drink..." It leans in, eyes blazing as its tongue peaks out to taste the air and your skin, the ethereal appendage somehow both solid and translucent, "....From you, we will drink DEEEPLY..."
A serpent spirit says, "...Praaaddiiiiii, your tribute is accepted. Bring the sssson...."
With that, the coils of the spirit lightens as it dissipates and its constriction eases. Like the mist it came from it stills and fades away, leaving nothing behind but a weeping Pilar in your arms.
Voice muffled by your shirt as she buries her face in it, you say to Aisling, in Grecht, "I held this secret for so long and held her off for so long, I am so sorry! I am so sorry...I am so sorry, husband..."
Aisling swallows harshly, staring out yet, into the darkness of the room, searching for a hidden enemy, almost. He shakes his head, strokes the faun's hair, tense - and so protective yet. "Faun, why?" He asks, quietly, "Why not tell me?"
"We were so happy and you were so happy when I told you, I-" Pilar hesitates, gripping your shirt harder, "I thought that I would tell you later. Then we had our boy and we raised him together and again I thought...I thought I would tell you later..."
You say, in Grecht, "I wanted to show you when you looked into my mind...what it was like, how I felt, why I accepted..."
"I trust you." Aisling reassures, glancing out yet. He breathes, "I-- I don't know, it's been so long since I've handled telepathy, my faun, you'll..." The man seems just a tad overwhelmed, still overly alert.
Pilar keeps her head bowed, her sniffling beginning to calm at those words and she nods, "...I am sorry that I did it but I am not sorry for the birth of our precious boy."
Aisling says in a shrill chatter, "Please, breathe. It's- it's okay. What am I giving? Simple blood?"
Pilar pulls back a bit and does as she's told, taking a deep breath before speaking again, "She will appear, we will pour our blood directly down her throat and hope that her jaws do not close...."
Aisling's head bobs in a faint nod, "Okay." He rumbles, leaning close to press a kiss to the faun's brow, "That's fine."
Pilar sniffles and looks up at you with pleading eyes, "Really?" She looks a mess with her robes drooping around her shoulders, red-eyed from crying, and her hair uncombed from sleep. Dabbing at her tear-streaked face with the sleeves of her robes, she murmurs, "I wanted us to have a child and I wanted to be a good wife and I...you are too good, putting up with me."
"Do not speak as if it was only a wish of yours, my faun." Aisling murmurs, his voice ever accompanied by a throat-deep growl. He cups your cheek, using his thumb to carefully wipe away her tears, "You blessed me with a child, with the love of a loyal, darling wife, and you've bore the weight of my anxieties. I am not putting up with you. We are together."
Aisling says in a shrill chatter, "I'll gladly give blood, for our son."
Pilar trembles and swallows, "I am afraid she will drink from you until you are dead..."
"Then my wolf's spirit will wander Dendara and see you, and watch over our son proper." Aisling says, leaning close, lips brushing against the faun's cheek. "But I am strong. What is there to be done, to sate it once and for all?"
"She only wanted my blood at first, for our son to remain in Dendara," Pilar murmurs, closing her eyes at the kiss, "but in my blood she tasted yours and she tasted our son's once he was born. I told her that was not part of our deal but she would not stop whispering to me and following me and demanding from me...I think after this. This will be done."
You say, in Grecht, "Spirits thirst but only the corrupted of them consume."
Aisling says in a shrill chatter, "... you've requested of a corrupt spirit, then?"
Pilar blinks as if she had not considered this, "I...I do not think so. If her jaws should close, should she attempt to swallow any of us then we will know."
Aisling's head bobs, a faint nod. He stays close yet, a small comfort, "Then, I will do so." He rumbles.
Expression hardening, you say, in Grecht, "And I will exorcise her..."
Aisling says in a shrill chatter, "How, my faun?"
"Praadi have been taught, husband," Pilar murmurs, keeping her voice low, "and I am one of the best of them."
He told me I was so small...
I told him, "Water me."Affirm Pilar!