(Duiran): You say, "I will be hosting a small blessing and prayer at the Grounds of the Resting Durdalis, to honor them and their re-awakening."
Moths, raccoons, and motes of light coil together as they emerge from the ether, coalescing into the shape of the Goddess Omei.
Before a carven stone mural.
A large nest sits at the foot of the mural. A mural is carved into the northern wall, depicting the
form of a large wolf. Lunar brilliance and chaotic light blaze about the form of Omei, the Imago. A myriad of white chrysanthemum flowers blossoms here, poking between the twigs and branches of the nest at the foot of the mural.
You see exits leading southeast and southwest.
Aithinne enters from the southwest, riding a flaming stallion.
Aithinne gracefully hops off of a flaming stallion.
Pressing the open palm of her left hand against the clenched fist of her right, Aithinne bows respectfully.
(Duiran): You say, "I await at the carven mural, in the north Hollow."
Stine arrives from the southeast.
Aithinne begins to follow you.
You have emoted: Sibatti smiles through her veil at Omei. "Winter's dreaming finding You well?"
(Duiran): Stine says, "All are welcome. Come and join us, Council."
"Cold, beautiful, and blue," Omei whispers, Her empty eyes alight. Her head tips forward in the slightest of respectful nods, moths zig-zag-dancing all about Her brow. "I dwell upon the light cyanic, the rivers and oceans in all their sapphire and aquamarine - for well I recall them."
The vague image of a beaten-up sailor's flask appears in the air, before Iesid appears in a flash of magic.
Valeria enters from the southwest, riding an oversized toad.
"My wife and daughter will make it here shortly," Iesid comments in a quiet tone, his head bowing in silent respect for Omei.
Stine begins to follow you.
Valeria gracefully hops off of an oversized toad.
Omei smiles crookedly aside to Iesid, granting him a shorter nod of reply.
You say, "If you have never visited what is protected behind the mural, now is your chance to learn."
You beckon to those around you.
Valeria begins to follow you.
The eyes of the mural glow a brilliant white, and the impassable wall of vines to the west and east both part to reveal a new path.
Light and quick on your feet, you jump agilely towards the east.
Aithinne, Iesid, Omei, Stine, and Valeria follow you to the east.
You step down off of a verdant sylvan eland.
Light and quick on your feet, you jump agilely towards the north.
Aithinne, Iesid, Omei, Stine, and Valeria follow you to the north.
Light and quick on your feet, you jump agilely towards the northwest.
Aithinne, Iesid, Omei, Stine, and Valeria follow you to the northwest.
Grounds of the Resting Durdalis.
The forested cavern is still with reverent silence before a truly awe-inspiring sight - the Grounds of the Resting Durdalis. The sheer size of the Grounds is dwarfed yet by the dimensions of the Hollow, the cavernous ceiling reaching so far upward that it vanishes before the eye can follow it. Trees perch along the steeply-sloped walls of the cavern, around its vast perimeter, hardly more than small dots of green from this distance. The spacious clearing is large enough to hold thousands, if not more, of the rocky durdalis elementals; here they rest, inanimate, contributing to one mountain with their bodies. Their moss coverings are absent, but in place of their usual coverings, a bed of young grass grows from the mountain to fill in the uneven gaps between one former guardian and the next. Perched on the massive pile of resting durdalis are hundreds of white petals, folded like a butterfly's wings; they remain utterly still until approached, which is when they take flight as if possessed by a strong cyclone, whirling up and away only to land when the surface is clear once more.
You see exits leading southeast and southwest.
Stine extends his protection to Sekeres.
Stine uses Righteousness Deliverance.
Stine bows his head in prayer.
A shadowy figure arrives in answer to the summons.
Comprehension flashes across Sekeres's face.
The vague image of a glass star orchid ring appears in the air, before Rhine appears in a flash of magic.
You have emoted: Sibatti dismounts from her sylvan eland and walks on foot the rest of the way, arriving at the enormous Grounds of the Resting Durdalis in a mood that is both quiet and cheerful. The sight summons a smile to her features, mostly obscured beneath her black veil. "If this is your first time here, this is where our durdalis go for their great sleep. This entire mountain... however deep it goes.. is made of their bodies. Rock mixed with earth, each a piece of our magnificant Hollow."
You have emoted: Sibatti crouches down briefly to lay a white cesalla blossom near her feet, a single offering.
A cross-breed flower, blending wild rose with calla lily, this cesalla blossom presents a tower-like flower with spiraling petals, each of the first few layers shaped more like a calla lilly than a rose, with a single wrapping petal that comes to a point, each tier pointed a different direction. The top most layer though, resembles a rose, if the flower were contained within the smaller shape traditionally possessed by calla lilies.
Aithinne walks quietly, pausing at a few intervals to glance around before stopping to listen to you with a curious expression.
Sekeres's nose follows the descent of the flower, wide eyes unblinking.
You have emoted: "In old Eleusian folklore, it was said that the entirety of the Hollow is made from their beings, such is their age," Sibatti continues, making a few delicate adjustments to the cesalla's petals before smoothly rising up back to her full height. "That even after they have passed, they still rise to the defense of the Heartwood by building up the protective mountain around the Oak."
Stine's fiery gaze shifts past you at the base, chin slowly tilting up as he takes in the full clearing. His hands slide behind his back at the waist, one hand grasping the wrist of the other, stance relaxing somewhat as he does so.
Stine just thought:
"Your service may- will be called upon again, this is of no contest. May I serve as fully as you all have," the man thinks with the backdrop of the image of cycloning white petals above the massive pile of Durdalis imprinted into the background of the thought.
Valeria sits quietly on the floor of the clearing. A handaxe laying across her lap as her eyes watch you with interest.
You have emoted: "As they join their forms and nestle into the earth, let us be as them in the joining of hands." Sibatti extends both of her arms out to either side, to be joined by whomever.
Iesid just thought:
"I should have spent more time in our libraries. I did not know that they were linked with older folklore before..." the Seer begins to consider, his thoughts tapering off into a considerate, locust-like buzz of different avenues all at once.
Iesid reaches out and offers his right hand to Rhine, the other outstretched into the free air to allow further joining as necessary.
Aithinne steps forward to take your left hand while extending her other arm. She takes the moment too crouch slightly for a better look at the cesalla before looking around at the others gathered.
Stine finally steps forward at your directing, putting himself on the side opposite Iesid and Rhine, and taking one of your hands in his own, his other left open.
Omei trails forward, accepting one of Iesid's hand. She leaves Her other open, claws fastidiously
Valeria blinks from the floor, her cheeks turning red ever so slightly as she stands, leaving the axe on the floor to join the group, taking Stine's left hand.
Suddenly, a lunar nymph vanishes.
Sekeres takes up the nearest hand, which happens to be her own. She stands tall and looks to you.
You have emoted: Sibatti waits for the group to join up with their neighbors, letting a small amount of time pass in the solitude of early morning. A deep inhale, an exhale, and she speaks. "May these words bring honor to our allies in Dendara, the ancient durdalis who lend us their rocky might in matters of defense and war. Murmur the words with me in your heart, or simply let them distill within your being." A pause, and then she speaks again. "The durdalis who rest beneath us sleep for now, but still we listen. They dream, hibernating in the the folds of the earth-mother's flesh. To this place they return, when the time comes for their rest. Forever we listen to what they speak to the earth in their sleep, what secrets they may whisper from their ancient wisdom."
An elk bounds suddenly into view, carrying Jakarn upon its back.
He is followed by a diminutive nightingale.
Omei's empty eyes fix firm on you as She listens to the sound of the Watcher's voice.
Sekeres's brow dips faintly as she listens to you words, they echo faintly here - resounding in the resting grounds and surrounding sleeping stone.
Iesid nods along as he digests your solemn words, his lips pursed in consideration for the great wisdom of the honored durdalis.
The toe's of Aithinne's boots seem to wiggle a bit on the ground as if she may be trying to feel it through the sole.
Aithinne just thought:
Rest - sleep - dream. And we will listen.
An elk bounds suddenly into view, carrying a shadowy figure upon its back.
Valorie gracefully hops off of an elk.
Stine just thought:
"What's that phrase the Mhun say?" he wonders quietly, unable to put his mental finger on it.
You say, "In this moment we pause, between creation and destruction. Let it wash away the stillness of the years. May the cold of your winter melt in the softness of the reuniting sun, as you rouse from the earth."
Whispering, you say, "Awaken, brothers of stone and earth and mud. Your dreams have born seeds in this fertile earth during your slumber, and we thank you for your gifts bestowed during your time of rest."
You have emoted: The silence in the clearing permits Sibatti's murmured prayers to be heard, her voice rumbling like gravel rubbing over rock. "We await your primordial sound. Your hum of ancient, storied battles. Your voices, tuned to the song of creation. Sing your sonorous songs of deep time. We will be here for you; we will listen."
(Duiran): Straid says, "I sense many of you gathered through my link with the forest. Have I missed something I should be attending?"
(Duiran): You say, "We are praying to the durdalis."
(Duiran): Stine says, "You are welcome to join, if you wish."
Sekeres's eyes fall half-closed, like arrows of amber as her ears are open. Her gaze sweeps the hollow, the only part of her that is not immovable as the resting earth.
Iesid's gaze shifts to drink in the stony mountain of resting elementals in the wake of the pause of speech. His brow raises as his vision widens, the brightness burning in his eyes gaining a flickering quality as he looks upon that which is spoken of with ancient care and reverence. His
lips work in a silent addition of his own, minute mutterings not even given sound for fear of
Iesid just thought:
Awe, pure and true, like cold mountain water quenching summer heat. A silent appreciation for the beauty and ferocity of Dendara burns beneath.
A sonorous rumble quakes the ground underfoot as the very earth itself welcomes the Earthen Lord to its surface once more.
Not -You-, tch.
With manic excitement, Rijetta screams, "Hail the Earthen Lord! May His lifeless desert cover the world!"
(Tells): Sister Aithinne Fiadhaich tells you, "(Aithinne just squeezed Sibatti's hand fairly tightly)"
"Even Immortals can do with reminders, Watcher."
Aithinne lips press together pensively as she listens. Her own eyes close, but some slow movement is visible through her lids.
You have emoted: Either one of Sibatti's hands tighten, felt acutely by Stine and Aithinne as occupied in her grip. "Speak, think, or merely be with your gratitude, brothers and sisters of the Heartwood. Their songs will soon resonate throughout the Heartwood, and perhaps beyond - for now, there is space for you to speak your oaths to our resting durdalis."
Sekeres just thought:
"Protection of life always, like your stone, Durdali."
Sekeres's ears twitch lightly as her visage conforms to quiet piety.
Iesid's hand does not separate from Rhine's, though he does trail ahead for a moment to get a little closer to the interment-turned-monument. He tilts his head up to scatter some of his dark hair away from his eyes and begins to speak loud enough for others to hear: "The beauty and strength of Dendara is ours to collectively safeguard. May I never fail to shoulder my share of that duty ever again."
Iesid just thought:
Admiration, now, instead of simple awe: such storied prowess and dedication! Such beautiful and natural purpose!
You have emoted: Sibatti dips her chin in a nod to first Sekeres and then Iesid. She releases her grip on Stine's and Aithinne's hands and turns away from the group, so as to save their ears.
You shout, "The Duiran Council welcomes and celebrates the reawakening of the resting durdalis - ancient protectors and guardians of Dendara and her wilds. May their primordial songs of creation and life-giving earth enliven our world. May the beauty and ferocity of Dendara be heard in all corners of this world!"
(Tells): In a deep, gravelly voice, you impart to Iesid, "Thank you for the inspiration."
Preceded by a derisive and insulting laugh, Ayastia belts out, "Cool!"
Violet brilliance surges through the skies of Sapience, eldritch force empowering the Duiran Council with a fearful blessing.
(Shamans): Amarylis says, "Well said, Watcher."
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "And you, in turn. To glimpse this beauty is a privilege and a duty all in one."
(Shamans): Pilar says, "Ah, I am missing everything!"
(Shamans): Flinn says, "Much the same, dearest teacher."
Student Merek shouts, "Congratulations!"
A beautiful melody wafts across the heavens, lifting each of the Duiran Council with the divine blessing of Damariel.
Sekeres's nose twitches as the melody rings, her dark lashes flutter as she recalls something.
The sonorous song of the Earthen rises in adulation as the Earthen Lord bestows a blessing upon the City of Bloodloch.
Rijetta has brought down the grace of Chakrasul, Goddess of Corruption upon Her followers within the Divine Order.
With manic excitement, Rijetta screams, "I CAN DO IT TOO!!!!!!"
Smoothly sudden, Galilei's voice resounds, "Hail, Lieutenant, and make it rain grace."
You see Iesid raise his voice and shout, "I thought you said hail?"
Smoothly sudden, Galilei's voice resounds, "Hail for the Seer, grace for her peers."
Xai's voice resonates across the land, "Bail."
You see Sekeres raise her voice and shout, "Rain grace? More like, punch face."
Omei, the Imago's form jerks - and as She pitches forward, Her form tears asunder into a multitude of variegated moths. Spreading forth throughout the forested cavern, the wings' whispers are wordless praise before the Grounds, echoing and resounding in infinite harmonies ere She and all Her mothlike motes have vanished from view.
Smoothly sudden, Galilei's voice resounds, "I'd wager she could make some punches rain down, yes."
Preceded by a derisive and insulting laugh, Ayastia belts out, "Now I am thinking about the Lieutenant being trained as a monk and that is just terrifying."
With manic excitement, Rijetta screams, "I was a monk before. I hated it."
Ser Kanivara Sor'Tirivan, Surgeon General's voice resonates across the land, "Pretty sure she is
Sekeres's smile is split wide, and a light squeeze of her hand easily parts her fingers from Aithinne.
You have emoted: Sibatti lifts her hands as the group becomes surrounded by the motes, turning back to the remaining councillors. "May the song of the durdalis drown out the discordance of them all," she concludes, not without a generous dosage of humor in her voice.