To get started I would like to thank @Omei
for giving us a great prompt to go off of, and @Iesid
for being so cool when a carefree monkey walked up and started talking about his
was incredible and she showed up at JUST the right time to keep everything flowing smoothly. 10/10 scene, and if you have any chance to talk to these folks I would absolutely, 100% recommend it. Unfortunately, I only got the main part of the log, so I missed the portion that directly followed this, where Tai painted his dream and Iesid and Sekeres got the chance to realise he was dreaming, and asking, about EXACTLY who they thought he was. To make up for it, I'm absolutely going to have the landscape in a comment below.
He is a powerful Idreth of Human heritage with a bright shock of wavy hair in a messy, yet endearing, tangle on his head; coloured in ash blonde roots that brighten tremendously towards a golden yellow at their tips. Brilliantly green eyes gaze around with an air somewhere between mischief and excitement from above a slightly upturned nose. Thin lips seem pressed easily into a grin or a kind smile, with no hint of facial hair to be found anywhere near them. A very light tan, his skin is defined and sculpted with a layer of muscle that can be seen pressed into easy definition along his bare torso, from pectorals to his abdomen and especially along his thin arms, while a pair of forest-green trouseres that are cut off at the knee cover his legs. Setting him apart from the crowd is a long tail poking out of the seat of his pants from a small hole inexpertly cut into them just above his rear, the prehensile yellow-gold appendage often flicking around in his excitement or wrapping around a leg to avoid any unfortunate accidents. His bare feet drum against the ground in a restless, happy, and somewhat hyper tic, the rhythmic scuffling just at home for someone of his diminutive four feet and ten inches of height. The clean scent of a refreshing sea breeze lingers around him - the aroma marking the blessing of the Maelstrom. Eldritch violet light surrounds him - a blessing of chaos and dreaming.
(coiled around the forearm) : a silver star tattoo
(cut off at the knee) : a pair of forest-green trousers
(carefully wrapped to prevent blistering) : brown leather hand wraps
He is an athletic Azudim of Tsol'aa heritage with black hair that juts out in an unruly mess, giving him the appearance of one that has just awakened. A few locks stray toward his eyes, their striking, coal-like shade standing out in contrast against the pale tone of his flesh. The Azudim stands lithe and tall, at about six feet and half another, and his shoulders are hunched just slightly in a display of poor posture. There is a small amount of muscle evident in his gaunt form, and his frame overall looks hardened by the result of aggressive training. A small scratch sullies his left cheek, its slim size suggestive of the thin, wickedly sharp implement that might have delivered it. The man's nose could only be described as straight-edged, ending in a tiny 'button' to round out its shape. Peeking out from beneath the mess of his hair are two slightly pointed ears that betray his heritage. His eyes are an arresting shade of violet, and their sharp shape and luminous glow are uncannily similar to that of the eyes of a predatory feline. Framing those hungry eyes are mottled scars, a sign of some prior hasty healing around the sockets themselves. A spray of bright crimson slashes run across his face in the shape of predatory swipe, with darker, black paint ringing both eyes. Otherworldly eyes of violet shine forth from his face, luminous with fey and eldritch light.
I'm sure he was wearing clothes, but I was a dummy and forgot to look at him!
She is an athletic Yeleni of Tsol'aa heritage and stands on slender legs, swiftly moving on bare feet. From her back spread forewings and hindwings of iridescent colors which fading into one and many. Her flesh pulses with life, as if the moon's surrounding night and beams had never left with the dawn. Mirroring the spheres of the skies, so too does her skin rise with the bronzed sun. Sections of black feathers and claw-like stripes peek through here and there across her collarbone and wiry shoulders, slinking down to a taut, powerful musculature. On her collarbone is a freshly inked crescent moon on her right shoulder, with three notches around its crudely tapered points. She has a long scar from her inner forearm to elbow joint, white and fresh like quicksilver. Boughs of oak burst in a v-shaped apex at the crown of her head that blossom and wither at will with the seasons. The features of her pastoral face are sharp, from the two dark slashes of her eyebrows to her thin cheeks. Like the sparks of two fireflies or chunks of fools gold lost in a stormy river, her sorrel irises gaze through upswept lashes. Flecks of emerald and lavender swirl oddly in them, appearing most times in shades of grey or even turquoise when lit. Outshining her puckish nose rests a chapped mouth of dark, sun-bleached wine below. Serpentine braids and raven-haired dreadlocks cascade down to her waist and entwined by bronze bangles and turquoise beads. Some braids weave around the crown of her head and over her pointed ears while others are teased into ringed forms like those of trees and vipers. A spray of bright crimson slashes run across her face in the shape of predatory swipe, with darker, black paint ringing both eyes. Eldritch violet light surrounds her - a blessing of chaos and dreaming.
(over one shoulder) : a single-ring leather belt
(pulsing rhythmically at her collarbone) : a cracked hematite medallion of the Pride
(dancing in a havocked arm sleeve) : a red flower tattoo
(toggled closed) : a tooled belt pouch
(covered in bloody handprints) : a suit of ranger's stealthy chainmail
(strapped to a thigh) : a hunter's quiver
(swaying in mists) : an alizarin loincloth of tatters and beads
(strapped over the chest) : a havoc-worn alizarin bandeau top of wild eyes
===The actual log now!===
Message #420 Sent By: Omei Received On: 12/15/2020/9:13
"[As you rest, you dream that you are sitting in meditative repose upon the stem of the seven-petaled flower, all the Seer's Wood spread forth below you. Beside you, a girl you don't quite recognize sits - orange-furred, violet-eyed, having assumed a similar position to your own. "Oh," she says, as though realizing. She gives an awkward smile as she stands and retreats. "I didn't realize. You must be in the future..."]."
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "Seer! Seer!"
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "Yes, enthusiastic one?"
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "I had a dream! A very weirdly one, because I remember the whole thing and I wasn't on the island!"
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "I was dreaming that I was meditating in the Wood again, just underneath Miss Omei's throne, and then there was this girl who was very nicely looking, with orange fur and BIG purple eyes, who said something about me being in the future. She was sitting JUST like me, which is very weirdly because I haven't seen many people holding their hands like I do, and it's even WEIRDER because I've never seen that girl before in my life!"
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "What a fascinating dream! Perhaps you should render it in landscape or statue somehow so that others might discuss it with you? I believe some others have experienced similar visitations in the last few weeks. Perhaps you are all connected somehow, mm?"
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "I should like to meet this orange furred girl one day. Or perhaps I already have? She sounds so familiar."
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "I wish I could remember what her voice sounded like...but no matter how hard I try, it is almost like I am hearing my own voice."
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "Yes, I think I will see if I can find a blank landscape, and if I can not then I will just use a statue instead!"
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "Hmm. I will find you one."
Climbing the stem of the seven-petaled flower.
------------------ -16:0:3 ------------------
Only the occasional, fleeting star is visible past the dark clouds blanketing the sky above. Though replete with solid leaves and all manner of handholds and outcroppings, this stem is nevertheless a long and winding climb upward toward the seven-petaled flower above. Set triumphantly the pyramidal temple below, its roots sink seamlessly into the quicksand, and faint, dreamlike glimmers course through its veined capillaries, ever upward toward the distant, multifarious bloom which crowns the sky as some distant speck overhead. All about the stem, the Seer's Wood is spread in full panoply, from its rainbow canopies to all its ethereal strangeness below. Where the stem does not provide further passage upward, violet light has gathered instead, forming impossible substance which offers solid footing regardless of the weight which it's asked to bear. Colour dances and pulses along the scales of a striking qilin that floats off the ground here.
You see exits leading up and down.
Iesid has entered the area.
You have emoted: Taiyang pauses on his traipse upwards on the stem, his tail flicking behind him as he investigates a particular spot, comfortable and somewhat flat and out of the way of passersby. Kneeling, he looks around, squinting his eyes and looking for any hint of orange that could possibly be there as he puffs his cheeks out.
(Tells): Vivid colours fill your mind as Iesid communicates to you, "This one, mate."
"Who are you, strange nice girl?"
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Iesid, "Oh, I will...I will be right there! I am looking around where I dreamed I saw her, to see if maybe...there is something here?"
You tilt your head back and deeply inhale any scents from the air.
You pick up the faint scent of Iesid at Northeastern staircase.
--- Northeastern staircase ------ -31:2:1 ---
A landscape of quicksilver hangs upon the wall, framed in glimmering magewood. Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer is here. Flickering braziers cast their light upwards and into the staircase before you.
You see exits leading northeast, south, west, and up.
-What's that landscape?-
Quicksilver landscape depicting night and day.
An expanse of turquoise-blue water spans through the area, its liquid soul babbling and burbling in infantile glee as it dances along the horizon. Off in the distance, an immensely lush tree rises forth from the rich soil of the earth, its branches licking at the sky like an artist's paintbrush to a canvas. Chaotic shaping and turning of the quicksilver base causes the scenery to shift, the visage becoming literal night and day. The expansive tree has shifted in appearance, the sun and moon caught in the background as a single and unified whole whose halves are demarcated by the tree. To the right, warm rays of sunshine peek through the lush green leaves of the tree causing a slightly fractured look to the ground beneath, their shadows dancing merrily on the ground beneath with the subtlest amount of wind. Chords of golden light bathe the surface of the swirling cerulean waters, the slow-moving current reflecting the beams glinting with little reflective sparkles. An array of vibrant colored flowers sprout from the verdant earth beneath the boughs, covering the upsprouted mossy, knotted roots of the flourishing tree. Vivacious plantlife sprout to life to line the water's edge, particularly with wheat-colored sea oats swaying in unison in the warm breeze. Splitting off to the left, the once lively branches have fallen barren and lifeless with bowed twigs slumping downward towards the ground as if weeping from life long gone. Once healthy bark has begun to peel and fall away from the thick trunk, littering the ground around it like small corpses awaiting reclamation as decreed by the Cycle. The full moon hangs full and hazy beneath an alien eclipse of blazing stars, each looking as if they were individually placed within a perfect sky of midnight velvet. In the gathering gloom, the infringing shadows have been swallowed up, leaving only the moon and stars to shine bright. Slivers of silver moonlight shine down on the water's surface with a diffusing glow, illuminating each ripple.
The liberator's oneiric signature pervades this landscape, silver stars glimmering in the air.
This landscape has been perceived by She Most Chromatic, Straid, the alcove keeper, the artisan, the questioner, the singer, and the violinist.
It is possible for you to oneirically ADJUST this landscape.
You have emoted: Somewhat distracted, Taiyang walks down the stairs with a small frown on his face,nearly bumping into Iesid and only just jumping back in time to avoid the collision. An apologetic, sheepish grin flashes across his face, and he looks towards the nearby landscape, "This one, Seer?"
"Yes. As price for taking it over, however, you must find the liberator and show her whatever it is you make in its place," Iesid explains in a gentle tone. The Seer is situated by the landscape, his face so close that he might be able to press his nose into the quicksilver surface. The Azudim does not cut his examination short, however rude it might be to converse with so little visual attention. "I often make people play games to find the previous artist's identity. This liberator, she is of your Beacon home and she is not of our order or congregation. Those are my hints."
In a quiet addition, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "And... you will be the last to tell her what you think of her work here and now that you shall rearrange to your own suiting. That shall be part of the price as well."
You have emoted: Taiyang crosses his arms over his chest, turning to look at the landscape with a thoughtful expression as Iesid's instructions are spoken, pursing his lips as his tail flicks this-a-way and that behind him.
You have emoted: As his eyes scan the painting meticulously, sweeping left to right, up and down, right and left, and even diagonally, Taiyang suddenly asks, "Am I allowed to ask for help? Or is that against the rules?"
"There are few rules and help is allowed. And you may pay after you render your own work," Iesid clarifies as he finally takes a few steps away from the landscape. A smudge of quicksilver and its multifarious chromatic properties glimmers at the tip of his button nose, though he doesn't seem to notice.
You have emoted: Taiyang's eyes do not stray from the landscape, having not blinked even once since he was given the instruction, and he asks, "How come do you think so many people are getting dreams that are like the same?" His concentration lapses for a moment, his eyes cross, and he blinks hard before attempting again, "Er...do you think there is a reason that so many people are having dreams that are so like each other?"
"She has gained more focus with Her aspects and power, perhaps," Iesid posits to you. The Seer seems skeptical of his own guess, the tip of his tongue touching the corner of his mouth as he ponders the question. Another idea comes soon: "Perhaps the tattoos have developed again. I am unsure. Her Realm is growing stronger, though, that I can say for sure. I can feel it in Her presence and cohesion."
You have emoted: A brief glimmer of disappointment crosses Taiyang's face, and though his face hides it fairly well, there is no hiding the drooping of his tail and its stilling. "Has...has She been hurting? Or in a badly way?" His voice is full of genuine concern, eyebrows knitting together as he looks intensely towards Iesid.
Swiftly, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "She has never been better."
You have emoted: Clear relief is visible throughout Taiyang's body as his shoulders slump and a gentle smile comes to his face, tail flicking behind him once more.
"She was once... not so. But now," Iesid continues proudly, fiercely. He raises the back of his hand to scuff away the liqueous stuff upon his nose, his violet eyes gleaming with conviction. "Now She is the Queen."
You have emoted: Taiyang tilts his head to the side, "The Queen of...Dreams?" His voice is full of awe and wonder, eyes glittering with much the same as the eldritch light that pulses around him blazes a brilliant, honeyed gold.
"Of Dreams. Of Nightmares," Iesid lists as his gaze rounds upon you - gold and violet intermingle like a royal banner, the fierce blaze brightening further as he showers accolades upon the Divine owner of the feline gaze thrust within his skull. "Of Beasts. Passion. Instinct. The true and rightful Queen of Chaos."
You have emoted: "W-wasn't she before?" The intensity of Iesid's words takes Taiyang by surprise, and he recoils slightly, if only out of fear of a sudden exclamation or shout. "I thought that was one of Her things She had control over, like the Dreaming."
"Another staked Her claim. The Jaded Lady," Iesid explains in a hurried, hushed tone. Despite his energy, the Seer does not raise his voice - it quivers like a stringed instrument plucked at frightful pace, the tension of that final note hanging there in the air. "She has and will always be a Queen, our Lady Omei. A wild and passionate one, Who gives benevolently and takes wisely. It is
merely nice to reaffirm it."
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "When She was possessed entirely of Her Nightmarish aspect, enthusiastic one, She was cruel. She was prone to..."
Iesid pauses, his lips parting. No sound comes. The energy in his voice vanishes, snuffed out like a candle in a stormswept keep.
You have emoted: Taiyang's eyes widen as he listens, nodding along as he hangs on each and every word and begins slowly leaning forward at their absence. "Do mean things?"
Iesid just thought:
"My Nightmare. My lovely Lady," the Seer softly mourns. A tiny part of him is still boyish, a longing for Her long since set aside and reasoned away but always remembered in fondness and bitterness alike.
"Incredibly, unimaginably mean," Iesid confirms, his voice breaking at this admission. Tears develop at the corners of the Seer's eyes, rolling down his pale face like tiny trickles from a leaky ceiling.
Try as he might, for several long minutes in fact, there is no way that the boy can even begin to conceptualise Omei in an act of meanness, save only one perceived through a misunderstanding. "But...it must have happened. Because the Gods, they are like us, and are not all Goodly and all Perfect, they are just Very Goodly."
You have emoted: Goose pimples visibly prickle Taiyang's flesh as his eyes widen even moreso at the sight of the trickled tears, and he says, "D-do you not want to talk about the Nightmares, Seer? We do not have to, if you do not want. I am just...still learning everything, but it can wait."
Iesid does not speak for a time. Instead, he weeps openly and silently while shaking his head vehemently. His mane of dark hair whips to and fro, its shaggy length accentuated by the lashing motions.
As his composure steadily reforms, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "No. It is just... it saddens me to remember Her pain. She was beautiful always, even in the torture She inflicted upon Herself."
His voice quiet and tense, you ask, "She...She hurt Herself when She would do the nightmares?"
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says to you, "In a way. When She was the Nightmare and the Nightmare only, She would do such cruel things to mortals. Things She would come to hate or resent Herself for."
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says to you, "She used Her power upon those smaller than Her so that She, in turn, would not feel so small."
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says to you, "She tortured those that deserved it, yes, but out of proportion. She protected Her moths, but in ways that hurt them or hurt those around them."
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says to you, "And She deeply, deeply resented Her previous shell."
You have emoted: "Nightmares and Dreams are the same thing, but they are so different," Taiyang muses quietly to himself, crossing his arms over his chest once more. "I mean...they are all just bigly thoughts in your head and stuff of your heart when you are sleeping, but fears and hopes do not like each other. So..." He nods slowly in understanding, once he has talked it out to himself, and asks, "Who was She? Before She was the Miss Omei that I know?"
The young Rajamalan girl is there in an instant, in his mind's eye, smiling and chattering as treats are shared and stories exchanged.
As Iesid speaks, he raises a coat-covered arm to dab away at his tears. The Seer issues an ugly sound of snot marshalling, his nostrils flaring as they clear.
[[Iesid very briefly disconnected here, so I took a moment to work on the job he gave me]]
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Aisling, "Mister aisling, do you know who the liberator is?" The voice is somewhat distracted, but eager, and deeply curious, "Apparently she is not a person who is one of Miss Omei's moths, but lives in Enorian with us."
(Tells): Knight Aisling dur Naya tells you, "You'll have to be more specific."
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Aisling, "Well, it's someone who made a landscape for Miss Omei, but the Seer wants me to figure out who she is without him telling me. But I'm allowed to ask for help, so I thought I'd see if you maybe knew who she was."
(Tells): Knight Aisling dur Naya tells you, "Then I am not supposed to answer, am I?"
(Tells): Your voice like the wind itself, you tell Aisling, "You can, though! Because I am allowed to ask for help, I even asked mister Iesid if I COULD and he said that was allowed."
(Tells): Knight Aisling dur Naya tells you, "I'd start by asking who has the tattoo, but isn't part of Her chosen."
"She was the Nightmare. She once inhabited the mortal shell of Eiger Sindele; prophesy surrounded Her in dark, devious webs - and darker thoughts and words yet still floated through the air like powdered ink in Her presence," Iesid illustrates, the memory giving him strength - a different kind, it seems, than the conviction that burnt moments before as he showered his goddess with titles and accolades. The Seer draws himself to his full height as he narrates on, his jaw set in a stoic grimace that exacerbates the mottled scars that ring his eyes like a raccoon's mask of banditry. "She meddled and tested, pried and tried to break mortals. Those with history with Her oft spoke ill of Her. Those that knew Her intimately told tale of Her cruelty. She was obsessed with the artistry of violence and the primacy of terror itself; even then, though, She was wise. She..."
Softly, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "She saved me."
"But...how can you save someone by being so meanly?"
Softer yet still, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "She loved us, in Her own way. It was often a broken love or a love full of so many expectations - but it was still love and I saw the light underneath the murky surface."
Iesid's nose twitches. He pauses in consideration. "You are confused about something I said, perhaps?" the man murmurs in inquiry.
You have emoted: "How?" The question in Taiyang's voice is not unpleasant, nor is it filled with any tone beyond raw curiosity. Of course, it is immediately followed by more as they are thought, springing to his lips like water falling through the river below. "How did She save you? Who is Eiger Sindele? What did they look like? Why was She so taken over about Nightmares? How come She isn't now? What changed? Why?"
"I was once wrapped up in a very..." Iesid begins, the brief pause accompanied by a twist in his expression; clearly, the Seer seems at war with himself as he retells this tale. He bites his lip as he considers his next steps in solemn silence, his gaze never leaving you now that the tears have finally stopped. In a careful tone, he finally presses on: "A very sick love. Someone was taking advantage of me. The Nightmare first opened my eyes to it with Her callous assessment of my behavior. She called me spineless. Then She tested my understanding by coming to me when I was arguing with that someone. She pointed out their lies and the way they treated me like an object..."
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "And so the Nightmare was cruel to them, too, for She resented being made to argue for one of Her own followers - Her Brute, in fact! She resented it greatly and She spared no words or kindnesses for this person in the way She gave me the courage to become independent."
You have emoted: Taiyang nods slowly in understanding, slowly crouching down onto his haunches and resting his arms on his knees as he listens to and watches Iesid with rapt attention.
Crouched low, Taiyang listens with rapt attention here.
Sekeres has entered the area.
The shadows stir as a concealed figure slips in from the south.
Iesid wanders nearer to a quicksilver landscape, one hand lashing out to press palm first upon its mutable surface. In a ripple that gradually grows into a frenzied seethe, the portraiture changes and shifts to the Azudim's will. As he does, he speaks more: "Eiger was... before my time, so to speak. The Queen exerted the will that gods are wont to do when it comes to Their shells; for a long time, I thought that Her shell was rajamalan like the others. Eiger was, in fact, human. She was an explorer of some sort that delved into the Cradle, if I recall correctly; the Queen had need for a shell and inhabited her."
A shimmer of verdant light pierces through the air, and a quicksilver landscape transforms.
---lookie look at the landscape---
Like a boiling pot of soup, the quicksilver of this landscape bubbles and churns. Seen beneath that turbulent surface is the view of an open sky - moonlit and speckled with strange stars that possess an eldritch glow. Despite the fact that it is simply a vast void of space and dark clouds, it feels distinctly alien - as if you had never visited or set eyes upon such a section of sky in your entire life.
The Seer's oneiric signature pervades this landscape, green stars glimmering in the air.
It is possible for you to oneirically ADJUST this landscape.
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "The story is longer than that, but I do not tell it as well as honored Clovis or the Old Moth Pazradym."
Though Sekeres has arrived already once through this discussion, the wildling now strides from behind you to sit in a crouch to match you, balanced with flat feet and a snaking back.
As he cants his head curiously, not even watching the shifting landscape, you say, "So...how come She stopped being the Nightmare, and Her old shell? Why is She who She is now? Who was Her shell before She was her?"
This question, of all questions, coaxes the most vulnerable of reactions from the Seer. Once again, Iesid's tears begin to flow freely. Instead of struggling to compose himself, however, he exults in this time. His voice quivers with emotion as he answers you, his gaze flitting over your shoulder to rest upon Sekeres for just a moment. "She became more than the Nightmare when She rediscovered Her true purpose of Instinct. She became more than the Nightmare when Her shell decided that she wanted to be a better Omei. Hioma is enshrined within Her as part of the bargain of becoming our Queen's shell and, due to this, she is unforgotten. What my dau--..."
Iesid falls into silence. The tears come a little faster now. A shaky breath rattles the Seer's lungs, the rasp filling the quiet air of the temple. "... what Hioma wanted was for Her to have purpose again - and clarity. For Her to heal and know love - true, healthy love. For Her to know the severity of Her power," he finally clarifies.
Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "Hioma lived a life that walked Her fivefold aspects and, in becoming Her shell, she helped the Queen unify them into the whole and beautiful goddess we now have as our own."
Sekeres's mouth parts for a moment, before standing to be aside Iesid in the brush of a tanned shoulder. "Hioma was a passionate boy, and girl, who loved joyful things, who loved the light and the beauty of nature. She was a soul that could not be tamed, and helped the Queen see that She could be healed, that She could find peace and seek new things, beginnings of things that She had wanted but could not reach in Her struggle," the wildling adds in a silken, husky voice. Something stings in her eyes as she utters to you in a gentle, chiming tone. "Hioma was Most Beloved."
"Always my daughter," Iesid insists firmly through his tears; despite whatever emotion has seemed to clip his words short, the man has enough sense and clarity to make this firm correction.
You have emoted: "Did you love her?" Taiyang asks plainly, a soft, and somewhat sad smile on his face. Sekeres' words answer his question, and he nods just as plainly, his smile growing just a little bit larger. "I do not think I have ever heard anyone talk about another person with so much love, and I am very happy that you were able to know her. What did she look like?"
As if with a sudden thought, you ask, "Wait! Just like Miss Omei does now?"
Sekeres's head bows a moment, her eyes slipping aside to Iesid as she slips her long, clawed fingers into his. "Always, your daughter, always my sister, my love," she echoes as your questions continue. Then she looks to the crouching one, with absolute truth. "We loved her as our own, she had a mother, and a father." There is a beat there before the woman continues. "She had friends, she played with us, hunted with us."
Quietly, Ranger Sekeres Dark-Wing, Singer in Smoke says to you, "As She is now, so She is."
"'Did' implies I ever stopped loving her," Iesid whispers in response. He falls back into quiet as he finally takes the time to regain his stoic facade; judging by the trails of tears and the redness around his ocular area, it might be a long process. The Seer's slender digits offer a squeeze to Sekeres' own and remain there in a white knuckled deathgrip.
Iesid just thought:
"I never want to lose another one of you ever again," the Seer whispers to himself fiercely, heatedly. Shakily.
You have emoted: Taiyang's smile softens and he nods, letting his gaze fall until it comes to rest for a moment on the hands holding each other. His tail pauses mid-flick before continuing, and his smile broadens just a touch, "Do you still think of Her like you did Hioma? Or since She is now Miss Omei, does it make it different? Or harder?"
Quietly, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "It is different and it is not. The two are one, but our goddess is not my daughter; it would be... unseemly."
The sight of the held hands sparks a deep memory, buried underneath multitudinous layers of fog - the physical sensation of a thumb tenderly brushing against the soft span of space near where his thumb and forefinger connect. A low, murmured voice that laughs, and then the memory is gone without full recollection. There is naught but a bittersweet joy at the sign of affection. "Why...do I feel so sad? This is so happy. Love is so beautiful!"
Iesid just thought:
A memory, then: the girl's last moments and her becoming before his very eyes into the quicksilver nameless girl. The suffering. The realization and tearful goodbye. A pang of upset lances through the Seer's heart, though it heals after a moment - acceptance, it seems, is an effective balm for such aches.
Sekeres's too-angular features visibly wince as for a moment, Iesid and her attributes align in a familiar look; what binds them by chaos may bind them by blood too. Her lips press together thinly, and her chin turns towards Iesid while she gazes to you. She listens.
You have emoted: "Whatever the slavers did, it made me forget lots of things, and sometimes I feel very silly for asking but..." Taiyang looks up and asks, "W-what if Miss Omei decides that She needs another shell for some reason? Would you have your Hioma back, just like she was? Or...well, maybe a little different because of some stuff Miss Omei did, but..." He trails off, seeming to realise he is about to begin rambling and cutting it off in what must be a monumental force of will.
A light dotting of Sekeres's claws press just at Iesid's wrist.
"We will never get Hioma 'back'," Iesid admits. His voice is low, almost a whisper - it quivers there on the brink of some greater sorrow, though Sekeres' digging digits keep him firmly grounded on the solid side of that cliff. The admission takes all of the fire out of the man's expression: his jaw slackens, his eyes downturn to the stony floor of the temple, and his shoulders sag in what can only be described as defeat. "She is already here - in Her. Unforgotten. Even if the Queen needs a new shell..."
Iesid's lip quivers.
Sekeres just thought:
"He is just curious, just curious..." Sekeres' mind whispers out like a moth's wings, reassurance for herself to chant.
Iesid just thought:
Memories, again: the formation of the Warlord and how Lobyl, even in death, suffered such an unmaking and brutal assumption of that new argent essence. Other memories: stories long past of different assumptions of new shells.
Bitterly, Iesid Mulariad, the Imago's Seer says, "The Gods are never kind to the vessels They leave behind and They are equally unkind to the ones that They assume. All of it is in blood and essence and brutality."
Sekeres's jaw grinds together in a groaning of teeth, though her bright green eyes just peek beyond her nose to Iesid.
You have emoted: "I am sorry," Taiyang utters, low and respectfully. He looks towards the floor and squeezes at his knees, wrinkling his nose. "I...I cannot imagine what it must feel like, to lose someone you love so much. But at least you have your memories of her." His voice is sad, still, but the upward inflection he forces shows his attempt to liven the conversation. "And your dreams, of her love, and your hunts, and playing. Some people do not get even half as much love in their whole life, and it is something to be very thanking for."
"She is Hioma and She is more. We have not lost her," Iesid murmurs in reminder - though, to which party in this conversation remains a mystery. He nods along in numb agreement to your words.
"I should stop asking," the mental voice is low and repentant, unreasonably harsh as his thoughts reflect shame and stupidity back towards him. He should know better than to ask personal questions after all. "I will only make him hurt more if he has to think about her."
Iesid's nose twitches again.
Iesid just thought:
Iesid just thought:
"I have forgotten myself and my composure," the man reminds himself.
"It is true, we are thankful, more than thankful to have Hioma and Her together, she remains ever unforgotten," Sekeres speaks as she wets her lips and looks to you. "Nothing is ever truly gone, or forgotten. Some things hide for a very long time, their fire dim and struggling..." Her eyes crease together blankly, "And she made Them remember Everything." Though it is not certain what she speaks on, she presses her cheek to his shoulder and falls quiet.
"You sought to learn. You reek of shame like a child caught filching fruity treats; even your bad feelings have good smells, I am discovering," Iesid points out to you as he hunches down to eye level with you. The Seer's arm dangles in refusal to relinquish his connection with Sekeres. "It is nobody's fault that curious minds exist and nobody's fault that some knowledge hurts to share - but I will always do the sharing if you ask," the Seer promises.
Sekeres's lips twinkle only just as she confides to you, "And so will I. There is nothing that would be hidden from you, as long as you do the asking."
You have emoted: "You know, it is funny. Dreaming, I am remembering so many things from my life that I had forgotten...and not all of it makes--" Taiyang's voice dies off at Iesid's words, and tears form in his eyes like a watery veil for a moment that are quickly whisked away as he jams his eyes shut and looks down, laughing lightly and shaking his head, "I-I am sorry! Mister Aisling says that I am feeling very too muchly, and I forget that sometimes other people can feel my feelings." Despite your words, he still attempts to make himself look smaller, his tail wrapping around his ankles as he takes a few moments to breathe before quietly saying, "I am sorry, that it hurts so much. I wish I could help."
An unbidden memory, of a heavily moustached man leering at him. Stomping down and bruising the very tip of his tail, nearly breaking the bone. It is gone moments later, washed away in a sea of fog that numbs the sensation, and subsequently every other feeling in an effort to ease the roiling sorrow and hate that piqued for just a moment. A brief struggle to remember, but only the last few moments of conversation arise. "Pay attention, Tai. Otherwise, you will look silly."
"You can help by learning of Hioma and the way that she has integrated herself into the Queen - and in doing so, I think you will learn much about Her and yourself both," Iesid explains; the Seer's composure has come back, locked back into place like furniture that has been bolted down to prevent thieves from walking off with it. His nose wriggles again, though this time he leaves the cause of its motion undiscussed. "Sometimes, healing requires great pain. In being the father to someone young enough to still need parents, I conquered demons I had no clue still lurked in my heart. Sometimes, conquering that pain means unearthing it so that you can feel it to its very greatest and most dire of extents. You will be stronger for it in doing so, for your victory will make other pains even less noticeable in their inability to compare."
Sekeres grunts softly and huffs out with a touch of something burnished and sweet. "Tailed one," she croons, with a building smile. "Why would another stop you from feeling how you were meant to? If you feel something, then it is how it is. It is the why, that's important. Measuring yourself and wondering why it is that you feel it. Don't let 'too much' or 'too little stop you' from passing judgment on your insides." The wildling woman nods in a gentle way, dreadlocks spilling down her shoulders as she leans by Iesid - her nose sniffing all the while. She pauses at length for him to speak of his understanding, before she contributes,"It hurts because it is real, because it is true, and knowing that it is - We're better for it. You are a kind, lad. And to ask of Hioma shows that you have interests beyond those things that merely happen now, you seek things." She concludes with a burgeoning smile, "it is good."
You have emoted: When Taiyang's face rises, it is as though no tears had ever existed in his eyes, a brilliant grin on his face as he nods and smacks a fist into his opposite palm, saying, "Well then as soon as I remember what those awful slavers looked like, I'm gonna be so much better once I make sure they can't do that to anyone else!" He pauses and considers Sekeres'' words, and his smile falters a bit before he rubs the back of his head and says, "Th-thank you. I just...know that when other people are hurting, it makes me hurt. So I do not want to have too much feeling, if it might make another person feel badly." His grin returns, somewhat apologetically, and he assures, "But I can try to work on it. Another thing to be seeking."
Iesid straightens up as well, a tiny pop or two filling the air as the Seer becomes preoccupied with the act of rising. He finally disentangles his fingers from Sekeres' own, his head turned to favor her with a rare and tender smile. The now freed hand runs through his mane in an effort to straighten it back to at least its usual unkempt state. "We will find those slavers one day," the man confirms, a hardened edge adopted in his tone as he speaks that identifying word - 'slavers' - as if it had a foul taste to even utter. "Remember to find the liberator, enthusiastic one. You may utilize this landscape all you like before you do, though."
Iesid just thought:
Anger burns, deep down, at having to use that word. A hundred years of liberation and warfare flash by in a blink - broken chains, spilled blood, the pyres of war dead. One single set of eyes and their dying light, framed by crimson curtains of beautiful hair.
Iesid just thought:
"Aesani..." he recalls. "You'd be proud, I think. I'm the father you told me I could be."