Way overdue. One sabre dance ritual, two sermons, one duel lost, and a knighting. Irrelevant (org) tells and arrivals, etc., are omitted. Long, so split into parts.
She is an athletic Idreth vampire of Tsol'aa heritage whose alabaster skin is clear enough to seem almost translucent. Coolly elegant facial features are complemented by a pear-shaped, leanly muscled physique befitting her status - the Consanguine's six-foot-tall frame is held with a proud bearing that is only reinforced by the arch in her thin brows. Her deep-set, long-lashed eyes are darker than smoky topaz; her voice is low and velvety, and always seems to brush against the ivory fangs peeking from beneath a plush lip. Her wavy black hair is cropped short, highlighting the graceful shape of her skull and neck and showcasing her pretty, pointed ears. The dusky violet shimmering across her locks strikes a contrast against the rosiness of her auricles, a hallmark of the warm and living blood that all her kind still possess. Around her shoulders and upper back a cloud of bloody mist hangs, faintly glistening in the light and waiting - always waiting - for a moment.(Tells): On tendrils of air, you let your velvety voice reach Qelres's mind: "A question." Preoccupied. Faintly worried. "Can Archivists set up some sort of wards to keep away rain?"It is now dawn on Kinsday, the 4th of Severin, year 497 of the Midnight Age.An ethereal butterfly of translucent jade blooms into existence, and the fluttering of its wings wafts a sickening wave of fear at you.(Tells): Qelres tells you, "I do not think so? But I am a sorry excuse for an Archivist."(Tells): On tendrils of air, you let your velvety voice reach Qelres's mind: "Very well."(Tells): Qelres tells you, "Do you dance, this week?"(Tells): On tendrils of air, you let your velvety voice reach Qelres's mind: "Yes. I will be announcing where and when."-You have emoted: Galilei grips her glass. "I've prepared reasonably enough." She remains where she is, at the bar, form tense.You say, "I've never met the Warlord. Never really even spoken to Him until yesterweek, for scheduling."
a strapless charcoal linen chemise, wrapping about the torso
billowing trousers of charcoal silk, deliciously cool to the touch
a blood red ceremonial sash, looped around the shoulder
sheer black robes of the sabre dancer, airy and regal
Modest and practical, this chemise is without particular decorations and is tailored close to the body. Neither does it have sleeves or straps to speak of, and the lacing down the back is dyed charcoal to match the chemise. The material is linen, breathable and crisp.
This pair of dark silken trousers is wide-legged and smooth as water, designed for convenience of movement and to befit a dancer's grace. The billowing material is tied off with black ribbons about halfway up the calves, and is fastened right at the hips with simple charcoal cloth buttons.
One of the most noticeable things about this sash would be its length; as wide as the wearer's handspan, one might think it almost rivaled their height. Certainly there is enough satin to loop securely from one shoulder to the other hip, and the rest of it simply trails halfway down the calves. The sash is hardly heavy enough to physically weigh an ensemble down despite the striking, bloodlike crimson of its dye.
Naturally cool to the touch when newly worn and smooth enough to invite strokes, these layered robes are sewn of crisp, gauzy black silk and are loose enough to serve any gender attractively with the proper accoutrements. A crossing of silk forms the loose V-shaped collar, unadorned and secured at the right rib; how high or low it might sit is easily adjustable through the row of small buttons where the garment would close. Five thigh-length slits down the robes' skirts form wide panels that billow gracefully with each stride, the effect at once regal and conducive to a sabre dancer's steps.
Taking a needless breath, you say, "And now I... let's just say this is new."
"No need to worry." Bulrok says assuredly. "If He likes it, you'll be fine. And if He doesn't.." The Minotaur is smiling very brightly now as his hand rises towards his chest. "Spear through the chest isn't so bad, really."You have emoted: Galilei rubs her temple with the palm of her hand. Almost beseechingly she turns toward Bulrok. "Sit with me."Bulrok nods, his smiling turning a little softer as he pulls out a chair for you while making a beckoning motion towards you.You have emoted: Galilei lowers herself into the proffered chair, finally breaking free from her tension - to a degree. Bulrok should be familiar. Is, again to a degree. She is very cautious when she holds out a hand, gaze roving over what she herself had sewn for him.[It is comfort she seeks, and she will seek for more, seek inside herself too for what had been buried. Her thoughts come slow and almost methodical, looking over what was made with methodical hands... and softness:] There is the jade. There is the charcoal. All colours I picked.Bulrok carefully reaches back and draws himself a chair, to sit next towards you. He doesn't reach for your hand, but moves carefully as he sits so that he doesn't break the touch as you feels along the threads. "Are you ok?"You have emoted: The moment must end, all too soon, at least for now. Galilei is on her feet again on a whisper of silks. Fingers gently curl beneath the back of Bulrok's hands as she makes to draw him up. "I will be. There will be time, after..." she trails off. "I did not want to be alone before the ritual. But now - I must go, if... you will come with me."[A comforting whisper:] Slowly. There will be time."Of course." Bulrok says, rising as he allows you to guide him.-A tranquil grove within the ruins.Glimmering hints of grayish daylight are all that pierce through the darkening clouds above. The ferns lining this trail unfold here into a small hidden grove, its tall grasses peppered with fiery color. Ringed by the remains of the ancient tree a serene and peaceful place amongst the charred landscape. Through this tiny grove, lights blink and swirl, twisting and twining in a dazzling display - a colony of fireflies has taken up residence here, their ethereal light casting the clearing in a gentle, shifting glow. Small, glowing fireflies are scattered across the area. Several pieces of the fallen wood of Yggdrasil have been constructed into a massive pyre here. A ghostly white warhound stands here, silently watching. There are 2 white warhounds here. Mjoll is here. She is riding on a hulking, black-haired boar. She wields the war-blessed bardiche, Onslaught in her hands. Feirenz is here, shrouded. Alela is here, shrouded. She is riding on a midnight black stallion. She wields a chipped bone dagger in her left hand and a gem-lined banded shield in her right. Bulrok is here, shrouded. He is riding on a war-painted orel. Pietre lounges here, relaxedly sipping his drink. He wields an iron sickle in his left hand and a buckler in his right.You see exits leading northeast, southeast, and northwest (closed pine door).Bulrok smiles at you.
Pietre inclines his head politely to you."Uh," says Alela with little discernible meaning.Deciding it's better not to think about it too hard, Alela says, "Alright."You cease to wield a bardiche.
You give a bardiche to Bulrok.Slithering into your mind unbidden, an uneasy sense of... something lingers, and as a sinking pit begins to manifest in your stomach, the sickly sweet stench of death makes your nose twitch.Azarae tilts her head upward, inhaling deep and licks her lips with her forked tongue.You have emoted: Galilei steps back once the weapon is returned. Her tone is brisk. "A brief hunt. Thirst does tend to do that."Pietre carefully pours some of the contents from rich, honeyed, and potent kawhe into an Archivist's porcelain tea cup.(Tells): "Does it entail a sermon along with it?" Mileta tells you.You say to Mjoll, "A sermon afterward, Commander?"
Alela says to you, "She's already forgotted she's even here."
Mjoll says, "Absolutely."Mjoll peers at Alela suspiciously.The ghost of a smirk passes fleetingly over your lips.
(Market): You say, "A ritual to the Warlord and Sky Dreaming will be held around Howling, followed by a sermon to Him. Come to 57768."Alela sticks out her tongue and says to Mjoll, "There was a decent chance it was true."
"Speaking of the Warlord." Bulrok says with a grin, turning towards Mjoll. "Do you know what holiday just passed, Commander?"Alela ponders Bulrok's profile, deep in consideration."Time is an enigma best left to the sober and less brain damaged," Mjoll replies coolly.
Didi drinks the last drops from a tall, white cup with traces of rich, spiced, and potent kawhe.
Bulrok doesn't respond, smiling still as he turns back towards you. He does, though, rub a spot on his chest vigorously, as if in pain.
Mjoll blinks one eye slowly, followed by the other soon after.-Irennan strolls in with a hound at his heels. He looks around the grove and ruins with some interest. The man comes to a stand near-ish Mjoll with a smile at you. He fixes his hair.Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Almol squares his shoulders and crisply salutes his fellow soldiers.
Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Seirsha squares her shoulders and crisply salutes her fellow soldiers.
Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Irennan squares his shoulders and crisply salutes his fellow soldiers.Almol nods his head emphatically.Almol says, "At ease."
Alela says, "At ease, all of you. Pitssake."Seirsha releases herself from her tensed posture, lowering her shoulders to a more relaxed position.
Almol releases himself from his tensed posture, lowering his shoulders to a more relaxed position.Mjoll says, "At - thank you LT."Irennan releases himself from his tensed posture, lowering his shoulders to a more relaxed position.
Almol snickers softly, eyeing Alela.
Maeve turns to you and delivers a fleeting smile, fangs gleaming.
Ayastia arrives from the northeast.
She is preceded by a juicy and sweet citrus smell that is complemented by a faintly tropical scent.
Marin rolls a crackling red focus from hand to hand as she waits, humming a near silent song.
Noctis inclines his head politely to those around him.
Didi inclines her head politely to those around her.
Didi doffs a cheerful floral crown cordially.
Maeve turns to Noctis and delivers a fleeting smile, fangs gleaming.You have emoted: Whatever Galilei may feel, her feet are steady and her pose is impassive. Dark eyes look over the grove, searching for a few faces still missing.The ancient, silver runes etched into Mjoll's flesh give off a sudden, sharp pulse of light before receding back into a slow, rhythmic beat.Alela ponders Marin's profile, deep in consideration.(Tells): On tendrils of air, you let your velvety voice reach Mjoll's mind: "Should the Warlord be notified?" She cannot quite conceal her tension. "Or... shall I simply begin on time?"Alela ponders a crackling red focus's profile, deep in consideration.
Alela ponders Marin's profile, deep in consideration.
Qelres smiles to see the gathered crowd, revealing enormous, etched silver teeth.Alela says to Marin, "Come home. You've been away long enough."-(Tells): The authoritative, commanding voice of Mjoll reaches your consciousness, "Revel in the Strife of the moment, the question of if Bamathis will show up. The tension of not knowing; begin on time."A distant keening howl seizes your attention, and you stop to listen. It is the sound of some creature, somewhere, experiencing inutterable sorrow. A chill ripples down your spine as the sound trails off, but you remember...-You have emoted: All the better for scattered fireflies and a great pyre of purified wood, both thrown into sharper relief for the darkness. Galilei briefly turns to Callidora, offering a nod to something unheard.Alela narrows her eyes at Marin.As noon arrives, the sun hangs high and bright in the sky, its ascent complete.It is now noon on Kinsday, the 4th of Severin, year 497 of the Midnight Age.(Bloodloch): A humble bellman says, "Noon is upon us - get to the shadows."Qelres passes a smile up at Lenoriel and winks one carnation colored eye. "Good to see you," they murmur to the leopard rider.Maeve releases a comfortable sigh as darkness settles fully, her eyes gleaming briefly as she scans both the entirety of the grove with easier eyesight and those within it. Eventually, her gold-laced gaze returns dutifully to the hostess of the event, you.You have emoted: Slight sounds, a few rustles. You are not alone in the grove. By the roaring pyre a lone drum waits, ornamental upon its painted, scabbard-strapped stand. Galilei keeps vigil, back turned, waiting for the crowd to settle. Like the flickers of fireflies the presence of musicians soon gives itself away from among the ruins; four clacks from unseen drumsticks ring out over the glade.
You have emoted: Galilei raises her own, now, strikes a single beat against the raised drum. A soulstone gleams at her hip, and a single sprig of lavender is worn in her robes.
You have emoted: Almost immediately Galilei's signal is taken up by the rest of the musicians, and the signal settles into a steady, swaying rhythm. Two blades glint silently in the pyre's light and in a moment rest in each of her hands; silver and dangerous and red-tasselled for the Warlord, swift upon shadow-wreathed crossguard for the Sun drinker.
Sarran skulks at the far fringes of the gathering, watching curiously but at distance enough to dart away should he feel undue attention.
The corners of Callidora's mouth twitch faintly, her lashes fluttering as her dark gaze befalls you.
You have emoted: When the reedy notes of a flute joins the drumbeat, so does Galilei glide into movement proper; flourishes of the wrists bring both weapons to her side, and she traces a wide circle counterclockwise on bare soles while the music flows on. The melody is a thing like smoke, flowing any way the wind blows and yet contained within one key. It is a music of the wait before the true hunt, and serenely the flute blows on even as the ritualist returns to view and lifts her stiletto high.
Sensing the skulker, Maeve glances briefly at Sarran, a look of amusement flitting across her face, though her attention is inevitably drawn back to the scene unfolding dramatically before the pyre.
A deafening roar fills your head and momentarily drowns out all other noise as you harness your powers to sacrifice your own soul.
You have emoted: Blood flowers before the pyre, crimson upon ferns and soil. As soon as Galilei's offering falls, the air of the clearing almost seems to change. Hunger, fury, sorrow, a collective and morphless 'WHY?' echoes within even the blunter of the minds gathered - especially within who bear a twin to a pulsing soulstone. Without a sound, silver streams forth; souls, enraged and lost, with indistinct faces of Teshen and long-deceased priests and ogres mad with bloodlust, and many more. First only one, then another, then another and still more as the ritual would progress.
You have emoted: And it is with them, and her blades, that Galilei dances.
Sarran starts slightly, eyes widening a little as he steps quietly behind the half-cover of some nearby ruin. He peers out from his would-be hiding spot.
Ayastia's color drains from her features, the redhead looking as if she is to become suddenly ill. Without a word, she staggers from the clearing.
Ayastia leaves to the northeast.
The juicy and sweet citrus smell that is complemented by a faintly tropical scent lingers momentarily after her departure.
Qelres stands, shoulders tensed, spine straight, fingers clenched to fists, in the manner of the breathless. The smile they wear is a senseless thing, lost to what is taking place before them.
You have emoted: The ritual is a study in flow and control, in take and in give. Galilei's robes whirl and her feet carry her in sweeps and spins, circling the great pyre of the glade as her blood-slick weapon flashes temptation to released souls. It is as a battle must be fought; led with purpose, responding as the other responds, and performed as it *should* be - the sweep of sabre and stiletto is swift and clean, and it is graceful enough to conceal her directing hand in the movements. Electricity, ice-blue and sudden against the pyre's persistent glow, wreathe the ritualist's form throughout, and the music of the dance swells and subsides as the souls will drive her - as she will drive the souls.
One of Mileta's feline tails seems to flail wildly as the chimera seems to be unaffected before soon she gives the tail a thwack with another feline tail setting it back to control.
Maeve's eyes sparkle with amusement as she gazes upon Sarran.
You have emoted: A dance for a Dragon and a dance for War, and so what is offered must be a dance of guile and purpose both. Flame and lightning are nearly one in how close she moves around the pyre, but not enough to pull the dancer in, immolate the priest along with the prey. And then she is back where she started before the sheathe-bearing drum, the musicians' drumsticks will clash like swords from the glade's unseen nooks, and their following roll is a violent prelude to the second draw of blood by Galilei's stiletto.
Squeezing your fingertips about your soulstone, you summon forth a shivering wail of tortured screams from the soul entrapped within.
Noctis tilts his head curiously at Sarran.
Sarran shivers faintly as he watches, his restless gaze as much for the crowd as for the ritual itself, skipping around the grove.
You have emoted: The drum rattles on like so many bones; the souls' fury ever mounts. Galilei swoops down low, sabre drawing a silver crescent through the air, and for a moment it seems as though she means to give herself up to the flames. But then, her feet push against the earth, the bloodied blade sails forth, never leaving her grasp even as it is near licked by the pyre's light. She leaps back while her quarry of souls is delivered onto its flagrant altar, dark eyes gleaming red as her hand clasps sabre and soulstone both.
A disinterested tug at the corner of Marin's lips is the only indication of thoughtfulness as she watches on. Languidly, she turns heel and strides away from the grove, leaving the music and ritual behind.
A delighted smile curving her lips, Maeve follows the dancer's movement now, tracking the passing of the bloodied blade you throw and catch in this deadly, fire-lit tryst.
A palpitating tremor resonates from the leylines as a lesser focal point is tapped for its energy.
You have emoted: The traces of sacrifice lingers in the glade. Agony, fraying at the edges. Despair, flickering to the heavens upon the pyre's smoke. The flute is gone, now, no reedy tune to mourn or celebrate. Instead, the drum pounds on like a heartbeat from beneath the earth. Galilei stands before the fire, back turned and blades lowered. The arm that had bled lifts, holds up a sprig of lavender high.
Contralto fervent and hoarse, you snarl, "She Who Hungers, Lord of Strife, Star of Midwinter and deliverer of Sapience, hear our call!"
Contralto fervent and hoarse, you snarl, "We beseech wisdom!"
Contralto fervent and hoarse, you snarl, "We beseech strength!"
Contralto fervent and hoarse, you snarl, "May we live and die with a warrior's honour! Look upon this sacrifice from Your faithful and guide us evermore!"
Maeve wets her lips and glances skyward as if expecting an answer to the fervent prayer.
You have emoted: The thrill of a hunt hangs in the air like a chill that will not withdraw. Galilei steps forth, parting the ferns, and kneels before the waiting flames.
This pyre has been built out of dry, smooth wood from the remnants of Yggdrasil, the pieces of which stick out all along the relatively rectangular shape of it. The natural scent of wood and a hint of lavender surround the pyre, which flickers with a fierce illumination.
You put a bunch of lavender into a great pyre of purified wood.
The great pyre claims the offering, the embers illuminate brightly eliciting the strengthening of the flames which consume and purge any taint leaving a bunch of lavender pure.
A massive pyre surges with fiery passion as a bunch of lavender smolders within, the purifying flames consuming and unforgiving. As the strength of the flames finally lay their claim unto a bunch of lavender they leave naught but ashes as remnants.
You have emoted: The last of the offering the pyre accepts; Galilei bows her head where she is knelt. One final drumbeat, as decisive as the strike that slices a vein, and the ritual has ended.
Mjoll's head dips reverently, eyes closed for the moment.
Alela stands solemn and silent a few moments before delivering a single appreciative nod to you.
(Tells): Seirsha tells you, "That was most impressive, Palatine, and a fitting tribute. I thank you for letting me witness."
Pietre takes in a deep breath, and lets it out slowly.
Callidora flutters her eyelashes at Alela.
Inkh, still and silent as statuary, finally moves as the ritual ends. He offers you the hint of something that resembles a smile, and a nod.
Qelres drags their fingers across their mouth, stretching the waxy skin of their face. They can only bow their head, hiding their wondering smile, and exhale long and low.
Sarran watches from his lurking post partially concealed by some tumbled ruin, scanning the crowd and ready to dart off should it look like the others might be poised to disperse. His roving gaze keeps finding its way back to the pyre, though, despite his wary efforts.
Callidora clasps her hands together lightly before her, offering a polite nod towards you.
Bobbing his head slowly, Feirenz giving a great pyre of purified wood a long look before glancing to you and smiling.
Noctis's eyes sparkle with amusement as he gazes upon Sarran.
Pietre smiles warmly, lips curling deep into his cheeks, eyes crinkling fondly at the edges.
You have emoted: Galilei rises to her feet as the last of the souls' wailing dies away into her mind. The blades are returned to their place, and at last she turns to look back at those gathered. "Commander Seirath will host a sermon to the Warlord, and after, if enough are willing, I shall host one for Sky Dreaming. Follow her, and when all are grouped, we may move to His shrine."
You begin to follow Mjoll.
Fangs absent for once, Maeve gives you a tight-lipped, but appreciative smile and a nod, her gleaming gaze sliding to the prey that lurks like a frightened field mouse on the fringe of the crowd only briefly.
Irennan seems to have gone fire-blind by the way he stares. Unfocused but directed. His expression is a mix of wonder and indecision. Confusion, intense and scattered like the embers. Hearing you speak snaps him out of it. Eventually.
Mjoll recovers from her reverie as you speak, toothy grin sliding back in place, "Yep, fall in line, just a quick trek to the other side of the Yggdrasil."
As Mjoll begins to speak, the shrine glows with argent light and brings forth illusory imagery to the surroundings, a hazy fog presents itself amidst a sea of celestial bodies. As it takes formation, a familiarity with the figures sets in and they begin to speak openly with intent to the assembled crowd, "When formed the lands of Sapience, it was then that Creation was brought forth by His will, and the Children of His Pantheon were given form to govern it."
The voice echoes within your mind, "When the Father, Varian stepped from the heavens, immediately He was met with false Deities from the recesses of existence, the False Deities wrought forth with unclean intent." The imagery wavers and darkness and light shift in a chaotic sea of divinity. The figures take form in what can only amount to eldritch abomination, series of eyes, tentacles and horrid nightmarish forms assemble, clashing against the very will of the Creator. The sound of Mjoll's voice bellows forth, "No one had the strength to subdue the Creator or His Children. Night and day amongst the planes and beyond the astral seas His creation was assaulted by external sources, set to undermine His will." The imagery shifts, series of battles are struck violently before you, bringing forth awe in its divine performance.
Bulrok clasps his hands behind his back as he turns his attention to Mjoll, listening to the sermon quietly.
Dreww tilts their head and listens intently to Mjoll.
As the battles end, silence, a long painful silence takes precedent, and a shrouded image of Varian, Himself eventually strides forth, peering down upon the assembly, His immense proportions awe-inspiring before the forms of mortality. The voice continues in heavy absolution, "The Father gazed upon His children from afar, acknowledging the increase in threats against His creation." Forward He strode with confidence, "Join Me, My Children amongst the Creation we seek to preserve." A flash of argent light overtakes the surroundings, and by the Fathers will, Bamathis, Warlord of Creation came to be, before you now the Pantheon's imagery stands prominent. Varian stood this moment before the Warlord, and with this He adjured Him by His will, "Conquer and Decimate that of the usurpers, purge Their unclean spirit from My Creation!" and in this the Warlord asked him, "What is the name by which I shall serve Your will?" Varian replied, "The name shall be the Argent Legion, for we are many."
(Tells): Qelres tells you, "Gods." That is all they have to say, breathless, the sound crashing in your ear. "..."
The image shifts, presenting more and more of a story. Stepping forth one by one, Divine and mortal alike, before the Warlord, having seen the taint of the usurpers upon that of the Father's Creation. Bamathis, the one to head the Argent Legion, armored and in his right mind. His Presence spoke Chaos Lords, against that of the false Albedi Deities, and it was in this opportunity for declaration the Warlord Spoke, the voice not the one of the orator, but of Divine will and power fills your senses with oppressive weight, "Go home to your friends and tell them what the Warlord has done for you, in Strife we shall persevere, in the Argent Legion you shall see purpose." With this declaration He vanished into Argent light and proclaimed his place in service to the Pantheon. The final words echo to your very core, encouraging yours to follow, "...For Sapience!"
You feel blessed to hear the glory of Bamathis, the Warlord.
(Tells): On tendrils of air, you let your velvety voice reach Qelres's mind: "..." Still recovering, still reeling. In her mind blooms a pinprick of warmth, only growing. "I did it."
Maeve inclines her head politely to Seirsha.
With a flirtatious look over their shoulder, Maeve steps out to the east, hips swaying.
The feminine and indulgent smell that is complemented by a subtly spicy scent lingers momentarily after her departure.
Dreww strides away to the east, their colossal form sending tremors through the ground.
The Azudim is followed by a glimmering, jazara golem.
You shout, "For sapience!"
Lenoriel gives Sarran a thoughtful, sidelong look.
You see Mjoll raise her voice and shout, "FOR SAPIENCE!"
Legyn thanks Mjoll sincerely.
Dreww's voice resonates across the land, "For Sapience!"
You see Alela raise her voice and shout, "For Sapience!"
(Tells): Wafting, as if on the air, Maeve's velvety voice reaches your ear: "Thank you for the invitation, a striking ritual."
Seirsha inclines her head politely to those around her.
You see Nebula raise her voice and shout, "For Sapience!"