Love's Cradle

edited February 2021 in Roleplay Logs
I don't usually post logs, but when I do, they mean a lot to me. I hope you guys have fun reading this one! This very lengthy and full of meaty writing, so I will be breaking it up into multiple spoilers.

TW: Mild pyschological horror, some mild gore, and distress.

Summary: Sekeres comes to the temple, intending to show Iesid her offering for a ritual. Diantha, a lunar nymph comes to speak with both of them. Sekeres tries to teach her about the simplest question of all: What is love?

Things to note:

- Big thanks to @Omei for this wonderful scene, and a huge thank you to @Iesid
- This log simply isn't the same without the colors and beauty of the actual game text platform. It had magnificent pastels and ombres of every color tucked inside of it. Sadly, I can't convey that.

- Sekeres' thoughts are redacted and some other items are too, because they are very sensitive material that gives more insight than most other characters have. Sorry!

The involved:
Diantha, the lunar nymph of Omei's Court.
Iesid, the old , seasoned Azudim who is the Imago's Seer.
Sekeres, the stormy, mind-bendingly curious Yeleni who is Singer to the Imago.
Omei's Wood, the breathing, living center of waking dreams.

Where it takes place: Before a roaring of purple flames.

There is finally a break in the forest, the dirt floor melding seamlessly into stone before a great wall rises. Molded within the stone, and seemingly molded by it without crushing or breaking, is a forge that when lit bears flames of a purple hue that create an impressive, ethereal glow to the space. Around the forge, and likewise seemingly pulled from the stone itself, is an anvil, a bench, and a divet filled with quenching oil, seeming to clear itself from time to time. An alloyed forge of chromatic hues stands here. A battlemistress fae statue of quicksilver watches the area keenly, piercing violet eyes illuminated from the flickering fires of the forge.

[Iesid is here doing something, who's to know what he's doing. But Sekeres is on a mission to show him something special.]

You purse your lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as you carefully gather your thoughts.

You say to Iesid, "I thought I'd drop by and show you what I'll be offering."

You say, "If you want to see!"

Iesid tilts his head and listens intently.

[Sekeres shows her sketch to him, and she awaits his judgment.]

A small, silver-haired nymph darts in from the south.

"The sketch on someone's finger showing it worn... it looks a little funny," Iesid assesses bluntly, a slender finger rising to indicate the thinness of the accessory. "Other than that, it looks like a beautiful work. A complete project. Suitable for this purpose, I hope."

Iesid's eyes dart over towards Diantha, a lunar nymph. He flashes a welcoming smile.

Diantha, a lunar nymph creeps closer, her coralline hand held before her in an initially defensive posture. Soon, though, it drops, at spotting the Seer and Singer more closely. She attempts to approximate a smile of her own, but it looks more like bared, awkward teeth, devoid of the necessary impetus. Her lips seal shut a moment later, and she stares in silence, her singular, still, acknowledgment serving for a greeting.

Sekeres nods understandably to him, though she grows distracted by the approach of Diantha, a lunar nymph. Her thin lips smile fondly, her eyes a soft plum shade. "My greetings Diantha," she intones sunnily as she folds the sketch in her hands carefully.

SEKERES THINKS: "She has a name now, I wonder what she thinks of me...Now that she has not come just from my offering what seems as if years ago."

Diantha, a lunar nymph is immobile, almost as though she, herself, were some pale and pastel statue of silver. Her flesh is a hazy swim as she stares between Iesid and you, arms poised awkwardly and unnaturally before she remembers to let them hang at her side. "Your thoughts are noisy," she says. "Should I go?"

Sekeres shakes her head gently as she sets aside the paper in a pouch along her hip. "No, you are welcome, and my thoughts calm when you are near," she utters with a small smile as she turns to Diantha, a lunar nymph. "It's been a long time since we've spoken. How are you?" Her asking comes on the heels of her idly scratching about her abdomen, an unconscious gesture.

"Nonsense, there is no such need," Iesid replies as he shakes his head to clear whatever fog had led
him astray into a daze. "No. I am merely waiting here and might be... boring."

"I. Don't know," Diantha, a lunar nymph admits. Her voice trails off. She's staring at your feet, frozen - the flux of her floral hues and all - for want of words. She wavers, wobbly, worry winding across her frowning face. "I know I'm supposed to know but I don't know."

Sekeres purses thin lips, her charcoal brows winging much more tenderly. She blinks slowly to Diantha, a lunar nymph. "You don't need to know right now," she comforts in a low voice as she glances aside to him (Iesid) and back. Quiet is felt for a short time, and her toes curl as she looks more keenly to the nymph's face. "What have you been doing about the Wood?" The wondering comes without pressure, or consequence.

SEKERES THINKS: She keeps her thoughts quiet, mouse-like. A feeling of motherly stability and nothing more.

"...becoming." This much, Diantha, a lunar nymph is able to volunteer with certainty after taking a few moments to collect her thoughts. The effort of standing overwhelms her as she sinks against the forge wall, sitting, knees drawn near as a silver-dotted palisade against the copper wood. She peers forth, iridescent eyes trained on you. If nothing else, she seems to find some stability in the sight of you. "Hunting. Eating. Drinking."

A final, shy admission, Diantha, a lunar nymph says, "Thinking."

Sekeres nods her pointed chin, dreadlocks swaying about her shoulders as she enfolds her tanned calves done to sit opposite of Diantha, a lunar nymph. The motion slow and idly popping at her kneecaps. A cradle of the back of her hands meets her chin as she slouches, gazing aside - not looking directly to her. "All good things," she smiles. Then a pause as she frees one hand, and pulls the curtain of her hair over one shoulder, an excuse to gaze to Diantha, a lunar nymph and back again. "What sort of things have you thought?"

THE NYMPH: There's a shimmer of tumultuous pastel at this question from the Singer, painting the slate grey of the forge in a wash of colorful hues. Diantha's glow soon subsides, but not before she's averted her gaze again, stumbling - a gulf of silence standing between her and whatever reply might seem fitting. Her clawed, coralline hand trembles and clenches tight, beads of blood dripping forth at the unbidden gesture. Not quicksilver blood, though.

Instead, it's red. Red, mortal, shining like dulled rubies shot through by starry silver.

Diantha, a lunar nymph says, "Sometimes I miss before now. I keep becoming more like mortals. More
like you."

Sekeres' skin is bathed in the tempest of those luminous, muted hues and it lingers as imprints on her skin. Like a leopard's camouflaging spots before dissipating, sudden and entire - leaving her pale and ashen. Her breath comes in a slow stream, and the fey of her visage is still. Watching Diantha, a lunar nymph with silvery-turquoise eyes with a flare of her nostrils.

Slowly, you say to Diantha, a lunar nymph, "Why do you miss it?"

SEKERES THINKS: Her heart begins to race. The smell of the nymph's blood. In each pound, grappling with understanding and unsure joy.

"Have you ever felt stretched and dry?" Diantha, a lunar nymph asks softly, lifting her pale palm. There, nesting in pale orange, pools the starlit blood, reflecting her drawn features. "Stiff like any move will make you crack?" She stares upward, flinging the blood against herself. Rivulets draw down her nude frame, soon melting to silver mist and fading once lost from her.

Diantha, a lunar nymph says, "That's what becoming one of you is like. Less dimensions. Less possibilities. Just the order of a single, rarely-changing body."

Sekeres is suddenly up on her knees, her palms scooting her an inch forward near the coppery wall of the forge. Nearer to Diantha, a lunar nymph. She settles on her haunches as they curl in transition to splay along the ground. Her hands clasp, talons enfolded.

"Sometimes, I feel this way. Drained, and tired. Our bodies have bones, and structure that you have not experienced. Some would call it order..." She affirms to Diantha, a lunar nymph as her head bows, though her eyes level with the moonlit face. "But, I disagree. It is just a form. Though we do not have as many dimensions, we try to be dimensionless. Like you, before. I know...That I do."

Though with the weight of his (Iesid) presence here, her eyes drift up then back to Diantha, a lunar nymph. There is vulnerability. "I am afraid, that I'll get stuck forever, feeling one way, stiff, and cracked." The wildling splays her palms over her knees. "That I cannot be one way again, one color, one motion that I had loved in the moment. Sometimes, I am afraid that if I change enough, that I'll forget what made Someone love."

Then she swallows, "But I do not think the possibilities are less. They are different. Different and scary. But just as numerous, with some limitations that you do not know yet."


Diantha, a lunar nymph receives all of this from you in silence, staring. There is an attempt, in
those still and worried eyes of silver, to parse all that you is - all that you said. Silvery lines crease her alien brow. Her lips part to speak, but words fail her in her moment of need. Instead, falling back upon what passes for instinct, legs splaying in self-same fashion to you, hand and claw settling upon her knees - mirroring you. Moment by moment, silent thought passes, until some measure of comprehension emerges in her features. It's difficult to say whether her fear has been fully allayed, but it's clear that it has, at the very least, been somewhat assuaged.

Questingly, Diantha, a lunar nymph says, " you know what makes Her love?"


  • All of that silence weighs, but Sekeres weathers it. Her throat bobs a moment, as if any of the pendants she wears were too tight. Or like a fishbone caught. She manages to clear it as she rubs her forehead for a few strokes of her callused fingers. Her eyes are rimmed and glossy. The Singer's answer comes rather impulsively then, her hands clammy as she pulls at her knees, "It's not just Her, but all of us. We cannot help but love. It just happens. Love is instinct. Love is..." Her fingers gesture to where the nymph's hands once bled out, "Life."

    SEKERES THINKS: "Love. How I love you. Forever. Without anything to stop me."

    Once more, a lack of comprehension reigns on Diantha, a lunar nymph's features. She stares, full and silver-eyed, on you. Then her brow creases with a tremble, and she shakes her head, growling with clear frustration. "That isn't an answer!" she spits against her knees, driving her forehead flush to them with an audible thud of bone on bone. This noise, too, seems fully unnatural to her, such that she flinches from herself, face frozen in utter disgust at her solidity. Absinthian green stains her cheeks, further emphasizing her utter nausea, draining slowly to dull grey as she continues speaking. Bit by bit, her palm has begun to knit back together, the puncture marks mere tiny red dots devoid of further bleeding.

    At last, Diantha, a lunar nymph says, "...I just don't understand. Love. Life. Or instincts. Any of the things mortals do."

    Sekeres chews on her lip, her teeth needling it as that exclamation is voiced. Her own blood seeping through chapped flesh. A momentary bite was all it took to set it free. She nods peaceably to Diantha, a lunar nymph, her gaze one of focus and thought. "All of these things are hard to explain, to understand, you are right to -feel- as you do," she utters in near saintly patience, a rock through the tempest of frustration.

    "They are big things for mortals. And we don't even understand them fully, and we are -not- all-knowing. Not even the Seer. And there are more smaller things before that to know, even then. It is complex, there are a lot of possibilities of knowing, feeling, sensing." Her palms remain open as the friction of the nymph drives her to make herself open, even if to retaliate physically. The wildling woman unfolds her wings slowly, blinking them out in soothing patterns. "Just now, you had a feeling. A mortal would look at you and see that you -feel- a certain way."

    SEKERES THINKS: There is a method to her unwinding of what she's trying to get at. She remembers what it is like to be this way.

    Diantha, a lunar nymph rocks back to an upright seat, flattened against the forge's wall. She regards herself, from the rush of her agitated breath to the unsteady flicker of her fingers. Looking to you with widening eyes, she, too, seems to comprehend your own meaning. Down her hands fall again, down to tremble and grasp at fallen leaves. They break asunder, crumbling to naught but dust upon the forest floor. Midnight falls, muting her silvery panoply to low grey. Murmurs of starry light travel trapped within her veins, coursing in the dim. "I understand," she admits to this last point - and perhaps, at least to some degree, the words which preceded it. A growing light spreads in her eyes, and she gasps, a second, deeper insight occurring to her.

    THE NYMPH: The pastel hues flux forth from Diantha again. This time, more measured, controlled, a deliberate recollection of that pale, lunar spectrum which flows across her ever-solidifying flesh. The pinkish hues of embarrassment - bellicose coral - thoughtful lavender - and all others, recalled anew and placed into some semblance of order. The chaos of chromaticism, constrained and understood to her as it was not prior. Soon your awareness of the fleeting emotions fades, leaving alien whispers dwindling away at the edges of your thoughts.

    Sekeres nods slowly in a small, pendulous sway as her eyes shutter and open every so often to the stars studded above. Under the highest point of the moon, there are only echoes of color there in her eyes. "Yes," she murmurs gently to Diantha, a lunar nymph, her smile just budding on her lips in the shadows of the evening - proud of her.

    "Love is many feelings. All together, to make a bigger feeling," she imparts in a paced way as if reeling from something when she stretches out her hand to Diantha, a lunar nymph. "Love is not always good, not always bad. It is like you, before, big and dimensionless."

    SEKERES THINKS: All of what is love only awaits Diantha's desire to take a look in her mind. If she so wished. But she holds back, not wanting to have it consume and overwhelm the moment.

    "...What I." Diantha, a lunar nymph pauses. By fleeting moments, her own coralline hand falls to a clasp around your own. Her flesh is soft, silken and hale, mossy to the touch. The rush of new perceptions from the gesture stifles her for several moments. Her obsidian claws melt to rounded nubs in order to avoid scoring your digits. In her eyes, colors dance, combine, and dwindle away once more, as if ascertaining the reality of multiplicitous feeling for herself. Then they're twin, turquoise mirrors, reflecting the full glory of your gaze, a psionic hum gathering about her frame. "What I..."

    THE NYMPH: The nymph reads your thoughts, undimmed by silvery brilliance. Chaotic color spills inward, rife and autumnal, a range of known hues that seek to ascertain your full meaning at long last. Hesitance in the gesture - an icy thrill of fear - but, nevertheless, she permits the link to grow second by second, forming a chromatic bridge between her own mind and yours.

    "Everyone's -love- is different," Sekeres manages to speak, though the words are broken as her fingers come into contact with the nymph's own hand, where talons meet talons. She gazes deeply into those eyes, those same pupils that reflect back into her being as her last act is to subtly caress her thumb across the back of the silvery pastels of alien flesh.

    And she falls inward as her eyes flicker closed in surrender as her breath tumbles out in a rapid sigh, with it carrying crimsons, yellows, and emeralds all traversing into smoke-like shapes. They chase along like galloping antelope as the Singer's features begin to warp and blend through in a many-faced expression where emotion is music that is not silent to the eyes.

  • SEKERES THINKS: It is as she says, love is too beyond any singular emotion as it reels by animated through her memories. Firstly as a child, her young-face beaming behind the embrace of a wrinkled, greying woman with pointed ears; the sound of her giggle, the joy as she is swung about. Someone has praised her, welcomed her home. A place that is safe, and where love is supposed to be.

    Another flicker - The way her huge turquoise eyes admire the roots of trees, leaves, how she climbs high to try to fall as an assassin to unwitting playmates. How they collapse and tussle with one another, one of her oldest memories dug out by the psionic strength of the nymph's seeking.

    THE NYMPH: The response you perceive in turn to these first images is, at first, uncomprehending in the fullest extremes. It takes Diantha some time to understand the memories she's unearthed, much less the notion of a childhood - of safety. Each revelation of ignorance elicits responses from her. Some are deep, aching, longing. Others are angry, dismissive. The surge of envy and jealousy she feels shock her to her core, almost, *almost* make her pull away rather than bear more. You can feel the way her very comprehension trembles, faced by such mortal experiences. You can feel how he strives, nevertheless, to continue perceiving that which you offer her.

    Diantha, a lunar nymph is captured, stolen up, in your grasp and eyes. She cannot help mirroring the slow, closing fold of your eyes, nor the way her taloned thumb trails across the back of your hand. Now, seated, her sight shuttered and coral fingers interwoven, her chin bows forward, and her own all-too-mortal breathing begins to steady but for a wash of crimson glimmering through her moonlit aura. She has nothing to say upon the subject of love. Not aloud, anyhow.

    Sekeres remains intertwined with Diantha, a lunar nymph, as still as a statue as she conveys in the silence as things flow free from her for now. But it is like there is a dam in her eyes as rivers of dampness slowly begin to form as she holds herself there and transmits in her breath. There is a reflection of colors welded along the air as she sighs, soundless. Her chest constricts as she sightlessly plucks upon her own heartstrings. The indigo dath begins to smear along the planes of her cheeks as if it were true color projected there on her skin.

    SEKERES THINKS: All of the experiences now play more slowly as if time held them as seasons. As a young girl. A black-haired man with cat-like green eyes slumbers in the sun as she creeps to him. She begs him to play hide-and-seek, her favorite game. She is tossed high in the air, and caught by his strength, uplifted by his presence as he lazily clambers up to look for her, one, more, time. He laughs, the sound full of love. Not even begrudging, knowing this is how it is meant to be. Love.

    Then, being taught to hunt, in streaks of emerald light in some deep forest - Where her arrow has struck a fallen doe. Someone calls out that it was her that had snared it, and they run to embrace her. But she is there, kneeling on the ground, tears full in her eyes as she holds the doe's pulseless neck and trembles. Grieving that she had done something to what she loved to see run free so that they could eat. Love.

    Diantha, a lunar nymph quivers - and then sinks forward, bent at the waist, as if some supporting rope to hold her spine taut has been cut. Her breath is trembling, audible, as whatever she wordlessly experiences wracks her. Pale, silvery tears pierce her own sunken eyelids, washing through the drying blood upon her cheeks and staining it to pinkish panoply. "Hu- hunting," comes her voice, a low husky growl of a thing, revealing only a throat sense with ill-expressed emotion. Dawn stains her trembling frame, but still she does not release you, still retains her soft, inquisitive grip on your hand.

    THE NYMPH: Love. Love. Love? All of this, love? Bound up and bleeding into so many other things? Her understanding of color continues to change, transform, in a tumultuous rush of bright and dark, dawn and midnight, starry and ecliptic. She has only *begun* to understand, she knows, but already she sees your meaning, sees the possibilities she could scarce have comprehended prior to assuming this form, this beautiful and imperfect mortal facsimile. Love. Love. Love?

    An after-echo of a growl peels apart Sekeres's lips as she flinches and her lower body coils into the ground as if it could yield. But it does not. More is to be offered. The whole of the wildling's body begins to clam up and sweat away as if she could melt along the cracks of -the forge and its heat so near. A ragged sob flutters at her chest, the barest reply to what Diantha, a lunar nymph has uttered and more. Her skin ever remains a pale and ashen canvas, elsewhere there is something that paints on the inside.

    SEKERES THINKS: [REDACTED]...And so, to love, she lets [something] free. She rages with bitter tears, she beats her breast to the sky. Yet, still. It is love. There are other faces who come and go, but they do not love like her. Love, is to have a vulnerable, passionate heart and receive nothing in return. [REDACTED] Love, to be as primal as the quicksilver sea. But to not drown in it.

    Diantha, a lunar nymph's hand on your own shakes, and so does she - all the more, fully consumed by an unseen, unspoken world of emotions. She cannot form words, now, only tears that spill careless from beneath her shuttered eyes. They glow with all manner of rosy light, some deep mulberry in tone and others bright, intense, like shattered razor blades wept free from soft eyes. Quaking, shaking, her head and feet and free hand, bouncing where she sits against the forge wall, her audible sounds mostly grunts and groans of dismay, of confusion, of longing.

    THE NYMPH: What is hunger? Why is hunger?! Here? Now? Hunger, but not for food, just something raw and longing and unsatisfied, and this is love? This is *love*? The bitter taste of it wounds her, the anger, the confusion, the *unfairness*, why does one not simply *eat* them, eat them and take what's useful from them and have done? It makes *no* sense, and yet *more* sense than she's capable of putting into words, even into thoughts. The spectacle of it is obscene, is senseless, is *disgusting*, and yet... hunger. Hunger? Love...?

    Sekeres' grip becomes iron, her flesh melding against the mossiness of Diantha, a lunar nymph. There are tethers there that snap, cords of earthly communion to what is the wildling that ends up floating somewhere along with the air as she breaks with it entirely. The sound of her sobbing is but a buzz of a bumblebee in the background, the whistle of an arrow constantly sliding and striving away to some endpoint that is beyond her. Her whole form vibrates without her recognition as she is now utterly blind to how Diantha, a lunar nymph reacts. Only does her breath slow her down, like a wheezing accordion, the strain of so much emotion nearly becoming too much...Too...

    SEKERES THINKS: [A completely REDACTED memory of Hioma, Omei's mortal shell.] To love is to remember. To love is to remember. To love is to...

    Diantha, a lunar nymph's voice has turned ugly, a wavering, warbling pour of a thing with no care for who or what hears. She sobs unabashedly, silver tears pooling across her cheeks and in the gathered recess of her curved legs. Where you is all solidity and steadfastness, she shows something of her quicksilver origins from the way she slumps and melts against the stone, only her grip maintaining cohesion amidst the ungainly, ill-organized mess her body has become. Each time she tries to speak, to explain, she only sobs even louder, an enormity of sentiment surging past the unstoppered dam of her lips. In between these, quivering, wheezing breaths - her thin chest swelling comically as she swallows lungfuls of breath.

    THE NYMPH: Her. *Her.* At last the nymph begins to understand, if only because She is an object of equal fascination. Everything about Her - the way of Her singularity and Her maniness, the way of Her Primeness and Chaos, like something otherworldly regardless of the world from one which hails. Of course she had known of the Girl, who couldn't live through Ecdysis and not know about the Girl, but there's knowing about the Girl, reading about the Girl, and *seeing* the Girl. Seeing, understanding, as you have done. Loving as you have done. Watching her go, and Her arrive. It robs the very breath and sense from her, threatens to shatter her fae mind anew. Her. Love.

    In a lanky, tin-soldier motion, Sekeres knows her bones once again, jolted out of the great, bottomless sea which had been unleashed by Diantha, a lunar nymph's desire to learn and know. But it comes back in a horrid, harpy-like wail of breath as if she had been smacked awake from a night terror. Or a babe's first entrance into the world. All over again.

    It is messy and full of havoc as weakness electrifies her every sense. Yes, it was too much. The woman's whole essence unwound despite her collection of muscles, veins, and organs as her spine kowtows forward to wash away in hysteria. Fully out of control. Tears drip-drop slowly across the pastel skin of the nymph as her head rests along silvery legs. A few heaving intakes of air stopper herself up, as she tries, "Dian..tha.."

    Diantha, a lunar nymph's face is twisted and ugly, unmistakably bent around the same bone which disgusted her prior. Tears further stain it, a silvery mask which seems to lay bare those chaotic aspects of her otherwise ill-hidden. Washes of Golgothan crimson, of long teeth more suited to a hound than the womanly maw within which they now find themselves.

    She gulps for air as though she has never before tasted it, crying forth a drowning wellspring of tears. She's curled in on herself, fetal, but not pulling her legs from you. Nor does she relinquish your hand, gripping fast to it for such comfort as can be had by mortals, at once unfamiliar and necessary. The raw, fiery shimmer which pulses beneath her skin emphasizes its gossamer thinness, its own silken tension.

    THE NYMPH: The nymph does not speak. What you have shown her - *shown* her, without recourse to such trades as she's made in the past - has already begun to transform her, much as the rest of the time in the Wood has. She does not know what to say, cannot describe this becoming. Cannot describe much of the rest of it. Cannot describe love, not yet. Cannot... but desires to, someplace past exhaustion.

    Enough has been felt, enough has been done as Sekeres wraps and attempts to scoop up Diantha, a lunar nymph into her arms to hold her draped over her lap as if to shield and give her reprieve. It is how a mother holds her child, without judgment, nor fear.

    Even if it fails, it does not change how she holds the being's hand as she moves to press a knuckle above glittering, tear-stained teeth to wipe at iridescent eyes. More comfort she offers, in a multitude of uncertainty, though the anchor she bears in her body sways and threatens to collapse. With her own tears cleansed and made salt, she murmurs out wordless things, hopeful, quiet, soothing things.

    SEKERES THINKS: The oncoming wave of blackness, her body giving way to weariness and things relived dapples her vision in spots and sparing blinks of onyx. She must hold on, for Diantha.

    The same bone tiredness is descending on Diantha, a lunar nymph- she's gripping to you, an instinct she didn't know she had prior. Perhaps she hadn't, before she knew that this was how children held to mothers, but now she clasps you fast, leaning against you and trembling away into an exhausted stillness.

    Bit by bit her overful sentiments ebb away, leaving only empty space in place, her own stance curled-in and childish. The pastel tears dry bit by bit, but so too does her breathing, slowing first to normalcy and then into something deeper, deeper. Unmistakably, worn out by whatever trial of thought she's just endured, she falls into a fae sleep, glimmering in the light of the nearby forge.

    INSIGHT: This much, however, you sense. As childish as the nymph now feels, as hopelessly and foreignly childish as any creature of chaos might, you sense a hunger for She Most Chromatic. A hunger for the self-same crown, the self-same power, that self-same smile and arms bequeathed unto her as though she were simply another mortal. More than another mortal, more by far. Beloved as a child, daughter, might be. Beloved as a princess. It's a thought that embarrasses her, now, in light of all you've revealed. Embarrasses her, knowing now how little she knows of love, of children, of motherhood, of... anything. Even so, the Queen fills her dreams, holds her as a mother might as she sinks deeper and deeper into that sleeping world of Her rule.

    One last tear is squeezed from the stone of Sekeres's left eye as she cradles away, the rock of the sea to her noodled arms. There is a small echo of the shuddering of a penultimate sob, drawn away into some other understood tenderness as the elfish face contorts with her age, then is young again with peace.

    The wildling strokes through Diantha's hair as breathing becomes an easy rhythm to them both. Her skin is gooseflesh, prickling, and numb as the soft squirm and womb-like curl of Diantha, a lunar nymph falls into slumber, watching the descent of sleep take Diantha, a lunar nymph down and up into the swirling miasma of Dreams. Those eyes remain the same hue all the while, knowing terror and truth in the quiet face of the nymph's fae-ness in bright, vigilant plum.

    SEKERES THINKS: From the insight gleaned in that singular moment, Sekeres' threads are maddened to the edges of chaotic insanity with a strange velocity the winds through her consciousness.

    Is this how it is to Become from nothing?

    Is this how She became? Is this a moment of memory, of the ancient wall of Everything that Sekeres had asked of Her many times?

    Nothing is a balm, nothing is soothed, as the nymph sinks down into the treasures of unwaking dreams as her mind spins in gears.

    Only then does her heart unweave, Diantha, Her Princess. Diantha, Her royal child. Love. Love! Then darkness.

    Even after exhaustion claims Diantha, a lunar nymph it's a time longer than that before quiescence does and she softens against you. Her face, no more a rigid mask of grief, has melted to something gentle and expressionless instead, only a few lingering tearstains showing any sign of the enormity of the emotion which exhausted her.

    Far from its usual timelessness, there's a childish quality in the way she lies, breathes, her silvery hair shimmering unsteadily beneath your hand. It, too, seems indecisive upon its color, ranging through manifold possibilities at the brush of your hand alone. For a time, at least, the beast - the girl - is safe from terror, safe from enormity, able to merely rest amidst safety.

    Exhaustion. Distance. ...and yet, despite that. Love.

    Sekeres' head falls down to chest, unable to deny her own slumber. Traveling into the other realm. Traveling to the guardian Who Dreams beyond the veil.
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