The Ritual of Lunar Turmoil (Part 1 and 2)

SibattiSibatti Mamba dur NayaAmidst vibrant flora and trees
edited August 7 in Roleplay Logs
Context, and directly after the events in the following log: https://forums.aetolia.com/discussion/4486/a-prayer-answered-varian-comes-to-duiran#latest




A verdant portal of green fire ignites suddenly in the corner, rising up to become a modestly sized opening.

You step through a rippling curtain of verdant green fire.
Beginning of an open field.
Many of the stars are disguised behind looming clouds, tracing their slow paths across the sphere of the heavens. The field here stretches half a league in all directions, except in that of the hut. Circling the clearing are rows and rows of trees, some still alive after centuries of growth, and others barely creeping into infancy. Waves of greenery waft in the breeze, flowers and plants and grass all moving as the air whipping through this clearing tugs on them incessantly. A mixture of weathered stones and mossy stumps create a ring of seating around the recessed hollow. A silver tray is set on the ground, several teacups placed upon it. A sunken firepit has been dug into the earth here, its interior cold and absent flame. Haern rests upon the remnants of a mossy stump, hands held easily upon His knees.
You see exits leading southwest and west.

You have emoted: Sibatti is tightly dressed with no visible skin, and only his eyes available behind the Yeleni skull he's wearing as a mask. He bears an even tighter stance.

Haern watches as you move through the portal, arriving opposite the cold pit to His position.
"You did well with My orders," He informs you. "The Council is nigh impenetrable at this point." His hands tighten at their position upon His knees, jagged nails lost in the bristling, black hairs that swathe His entire body. "I have met with the Guardians."

You have emoted: The nature of Sibatti's apparel is to reveal little in terms of outward, visible body language. Even his tail has been vanished into the heavy robe. He listens, waiting until Haern is done speaking, and then asks, "To puzzle out the logistics of the moon?" Gradually, taking unhurried steps, he moves around the lip of the firepit to approach Haern.

Haern just thought:
Omens and portents still churn upon the forefront of His mind, every scrap of information given but another riddle that needs deciphering.

"Aye, lad, to puzzle out the moon." There's still not-so-subtle disbelief tacked onto His usual grate, though not as prominent now as it was last week. He makes a motion with His head to the smaller boulder situated beside Him. "Cryptic as ever," Haern adds with a touch of wry amusement. "But through that, a path has begun to form."

You have emoted: The boulder presents more than a struggle than if Sibatti had been less burdened, but he manages to sit upon it. He folds his hands in his lap like a man pondering a great puzzle. ".. Will it work?" Is his first, most pressing, ask.

Haern's head follows your movements and that attention remains as the question is leveled. His lips press tight around the protruding tusks of His jaw for a moment, brow furrowing in sync as if the Immortal is divining the answer for you, here and now.


Slowly, Haern, the Hunter says, "It has to work."

You have emoted: Sibatti stares forward in silence after this, his shoulders slumped forward and one of his legs beginning to twitch from where it hangs off the boulder.

Haern just thought:
An intrusive thought bubbles along the surface of His thoughts: what to call this newly formed Lirathyar?

Haern just thought:
He shoves it away; a concern for another moment.

"Will you lead the ritual?" Haern asks you.

Haern just thought:
He has known this man for centuries, and yet, He can't help but wonder if they will be able to do what must be done.

Haern just thought:
Of all the things He has asked - no, demanded - this will overshadow everything else.

You have emoted: Sibatti's hand flies to the brow bone of the skull concealing his features, whipping it up so that it's away from and reveals his face. "Me? What.. what needs to be done?" His face goes through rapid emotions: horror, curiosity, trepidation.

"You," the Hunter emphasizes. His expression offers only grim boding, while the fel green of His stare seems to pin you to that very place with the weight of His reckoning. Haern licks His lips, making an unconscious show of wetting them before He continues, "I will give you directions today that you can set the Council on. In the next week, as I finish making My preparations, I will provide you with an outline of the ritual."

Haern just thought:
He won't know what the weight of his duty will entail until the very moment it is required of him. They were very specific.

You have emoted: If there is anything Sibatti seems to weather well, it's the weight of Haern's gaze. His own stare is not quite so heavy, though there is always a certain broodiness about them in this form. "They didn't tell You their price, then," he concludes.

"I know what it will cost Me," Haern corrects you. "My thoughts were of you."

"Will you do this?" Haern poses once again.

You have emoted: "My price, then." Something about this summons the tiniest smile on Sibatti's face. "What's it costing You?"

Haern just thought:
No tricks. He might very well sacrifice the world to make this a reality, but He won't stoop to tricks and treachery. Especially upon this man.

Haern's features twist into a mirrored smile of your own. "Nothing I will not gladly pay," the Hunter rumbles right back.

You think:
[ Something sinks in his gut ].

You have emoted: It's gradual, the way Sibatti's face shifts through emotions, that it would be hard to notice the exact moment his smile faded. He keeps his eyes locked on the great beast of a God next to him, lips slightly parted for an extended moment. Then, "I'd do anything, too. It will be done."

"It will be done," Haern echoes a moment later. He exhales a mighty breath, settling Himself once again with a grim focus. "The Council will need ceremonial garb for the ritual," He informs you, all business back in His words. "Ideally, what they choose to wear will reflect something of themselves -of the beast they find most kindred."

You have emoted: "Any other specifics?" Sibatti wonders.

"Aye," Haern replies firmly. "Whether you use your gut or beg the spirits for answer with divination, each member of the ritual will need to know what animal bests suits them. Give them their answer, then have them hunt it and give it to Raest."

Haern, the Hunter says, "He knows to expect them, and he will begin making up the outfits."


Haern runs an appraising eye over you. "I'll leave matters of your dress to your own devices," He decides.

You nod your head at Haern.


"Drums," Haern declares next. "Something to echo the heartbeat of the Rhythm. They will need to be made, and someone chosen to man them throughout the ritual."

You have emoted: "One beat, or many?" Sibatti clarifies.

"One. But Esry, I need 'em big." Haern lowers Himself a fraction, leaning in towards you. "You remember that great wolf out on the western tundra?"

You have emoted: Sibatti's brow furrows, concentrating real hard on something. "I... I don't, actually."

You think:
[ He knows someone who might, though ].

Haern just thought:
That massive, apex predator. He reckons its hide will serve nicely.

Comprehension flashes across your face.

"Ask around," Haern replies, unbothered. "One of you will have to see to the making of the drum, though. Raest will be too busy." Folded up tightly and tucked into the waist of His loincloth, the Hunter produces a thin square of parchment before passing it to you. "Everyone that comes will need to bring an offering for each of the Guardians."

You read what is written on an elegant white letter:
[Written in the messy, barely legible handwriting of the Hunter]:
Srahda: Offerings of bright colours, such as small jewels or handmade trinkets.
Vo'acha: Offerings of flesh.
Kree-sa: Offerings of bloodied weapons.
Rhulvok: Offerings of bone.
Griash: Offerings of obsidian or organs.
Takaros: Offerings of teeth, fangs, claws and so on.

Insistently, Haern, the Hunter says, "That is six offerings per Councilor, aye? And you'll be the arbiter. It'll be on you to decide if they're worthy offerings, or if they'll pay the price in their blood instead."

You have emoted: Sibatti glances over the letter briefly, finding its contents unsurprising. "Anyone who doesn't bring an offering should stay away, then," he remarks, glancing up from it to Haern.

Haern's nails seem to dig into the flesh of His knees then as His features grow suddenly more severe.
"I can only hope that everyone that seeks to attend gives our purpose the respect - the reverence - it deserves."

Haern just thought:
He won't let the sacrifices to come be made in vain, or all the sacrifices that have come before this moment.

Haern just thought:
Lleis...

You have emoted: Sibatti folds and vanishes away the slip of paper, disappearing somewhere in his stygian robes. "They will, or they will pay their own way in with their life," he vows grimly.

You think:
[ A far-off memory not unlike this. He is sharing with Esrytesh the plan to destroy the Sky-Darkener ].

Haern dips His head in acknowledgement even as the unconscious snarl threatens to creep forth from the edges of His lips. "You know what you have to do, Esrytesh."

Haern just thought:
For now, at least.

You think:
[ The same memory, afterwards. The corrupted raven is defeated, but there are no feelings of triumph. A broken spear is dropped in his family's home ].

You have emoted: Sibatti slides off of the boulder with less grace than usual, turning around to stare up at Haern. He wears something neutral on his mien, but his eyes are sharp and his jaw set. "As You will, Boss."

Shifting on the stump, Haern, the Hunter says, "One last thing-.."


Haern just thought:
How does He ask this before the thing is done?

You have emoted: Sibatti touches the fingertips of his gloves together, steepling them. A touch of nervousness keeps the gesture from looking entirely natural."What is it...?"

Haern meets your resolution with a rare moment of indecision creeping across His countenance. "What will we call it, after it is grown?"

Haern just thought:
It will be Dendara no longer, but something new entirely.

Haern just thought:
Every attempt at a name falls woefully lacking in His mind. How do you name Life?

You have emoted: Sibatti takes on this question with a fang-filled and feral grin, instantly lighting up his mien from its somber tendency. "I'll tell You when it comes to me."

Haern's laugh comes out a grunt that boom loudly from the monstrous Immortal's throat. "Make sure you do." Pushing Himself up to His full height, the Hunter makes a shooing gesture aimed in your direction. "Off with you, lad. You've work to do."

Haern just thought:
He has work to do as well.

You have emoted: Sibatti doesn't need to be told twice. He bounds away ungracefully.


Not included in this log - Esrytesh only needed a short time to think on an answer, and gave his recommendation not long after.
EakuIesidLegynValorieMaeveTeaniIllikaal

Comments

  • SibattiSibatti Mamba dur Naya Amidst vibrant flora and trees
    edited August 7
    The following week...........


    An open-air kitchen.
    A blistering oven stands here, emanating waves of scalding heat. There are 4 sloe-blue leather-padded stools here. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Mounted to the ceiling is a heavy, hand-carved cabinet. A curved island counter of marbled stone is here, a snow white star orchid and a striped orchid atop it. Placed on the counter, there are 5 remaining strawberries left on the platter. A fairly large toad sits quietly here. Valeria is here. She wields a cavalry shield in her left hand and a throwing axe in her right. Haern looms here, His hulking form dominating the area.
    You see exits leading northeast, out (open door), and southeast.
    Lush plantlife sprouts beneath your feet, blanketing the vicinity in quick motion.

    "I uh," Valeria's eyes flick to the a blistering oven in the corner. "I just wanted to use the oven over there.. I was not expecting anyone to be in here! I will, find another oven!"

    You have emoted: Sibatti comes into the kitchen looking vaguely queasy, her eyes on the lookout for something. Still, she doesn't quite seem prepared to see both Valeria and Haern here. "Oh---".

    You think:
    Tea will be good.

    You take a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup from an ornate silver tray.

    Valeria just thought:
    Should I leave? I.. I assume Haern and the Voice need to talk!

    Haern looks up at your arrival, the obvious shock upon finding Him there not mirrored at all in the Hunter's mien. "Tea will be good," He confirms aloud. His attention moving back to Valeria the Immortal reaches out with a massive, paw-like hand to briefly muss the top of the woman's head. "Best you do, lass - Esrytesh and I have things need discussing."

    Valeria leaves to the southeast.
    She is followed by an oversized toad.

    You brew green willow tea within a cast-iron cooking pot.

    You have emoted: The familiar hominess of Sibatti's kitchen is comforting enough to her that she does not appear to struggle with her ailment for very much longer. By the time the tea is ready to be served, there is no remaining trace to be found. "People are working very hard," she updates Haern. "I am pleased at the amount of care they are giving their selections, their offerings..."

    You place a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup on a curved island counter of marbled stone.

    You start to wield a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup in your left hand.

    "If there was ever a time to be serious, this would be it," Haern replies, a hint of acerbity sneaking into His tone. As the Hunter reaches for the cup, His hand first deposits a rolled piece of parchment beside the porcelain before claiming the steaming drink. "Your part in this," is the only thing He offers you before lifting the cup to His lips.
    Haern places a worn yellowed parchment on a curved island counter of marbled stone.

    Haern picks up a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup.

    Haern sips from a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup full of green willow tea.

    You sip from a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup full of green willow tea, the tea woody and medicinal and leaving your mouth feeling a little numb. There is a hint of wintergreen and a pure bitterness behind it.

    Haern just thought:
    For flexibility, He thinks quietly. Amusement alights within Him.

    Haern settles back to watch you then, lowering His cup with a oddly out-of-place patience as He waits for you to read.

    You have emoted: The tea brings even greater comfort to Sibatti, and she is taking a continuous sip from her cup once the parchment lands on the counter. She takes a step closer to Haern, beginning to read over it in silence. There are a lot of words to read, this time, so the bout of silence is lengthy.

    You think:
    None may approach the altar until they are called. [ She begins noting what she extrapolates as the most important details ].

    Haern sips from a painted bone-ash porcelain tea-cup of green willow tea.

    You think:
    .. unwilling sacrifice.

    You think:
    [ She wonders if the order of the Guardians listed is significant ].

    You think:
    [ She muses over need to find a particularly large rabbit, for one particular task.... ].

    You think:
    The eidolon will assist me, it will be fine.

    You think:
    [ An eidetic memory floats to the top. Plunging a knife into the chest of a weaker Consanguine, while he was still alive. ].

    Haern speaks suddenly, the boom of His voice breaking the silence between you. "If you have questions, best we clear them now. Won't be much time for it when once we begin."

    You say, "One willing, and one unwilling, then."

    Haern just thought:
    She'll be able to do this. She has to, He notes.

    "Aye." Haern lifts His cup one final time and drains what dregs remain swirling within. "What about them?"

    You have emoted: Sibatti's voice is still at a murmur as she continues reading. "How are they chosen?"

    You think:
    [ The ritual is very ancient, in its practices. It will be uncomfortable, for some ].

    Haern stoops just so, leaning forward to replace his cup back onto the counter. "I will provide the unwilling." The space around the Hunter grows momentarily taut and suddenly stifling with tension as a glint of predation paints the Immortal in a feral light.

    Haern just thought:
    He already knows who it will be. He knows exactly Who it will hurt.

    You say, "And the willing will step forward at that time? Just... anyone who jumps for it?"

    As quickly as it comes, the tension dissipates. Haern tips His head forward in a slow nod.

    You have emoted: A quick nod. Perhaps unconsciously, Sibatti had been carrying her own tension, which begins to slacken. Her questions now come with less of that crisp edge marking them, matter-of-fact. "The Guardians are to be offered to in that order, precisely? Raest will give them the hearts of their beasts when they obtain their garb?"

    You think:
    [ She is making a mental shopping list: reishi, madder, cactus weed, red wine, a rabbit, an entire family of boar...].

    "Only the unwilling offering will matter in its order," Haern explains to you. "And that only because the blade you use will at last will be given to the Broodmother. The rest-.." His shoulders rise and fall in demonstration. "As you feel appropriate."

    Haern, the Hunter says to you, "Raest will be present within the ritual room after he's handed out the garb, and will provide the hearts to be used for all."

    You say, "The blade I use. Should I prepare something special for Her, or did You have something in mind?"

    You think:
    [ She only ever carries three blades on her, each of them with sentimental value ].

    Haern's lips crack with the smile that pulls from corner of his mouth. "Do as you see fit, Esrytesh. This ritual was not meant for My hands - for any God's hands - but for a mortal's. Follow the spirit of what is required, but do not be afraid to make it your own."

    You have emoted: Sibatti nods again, understanding, and now picks up the parchment to examine a few lines more closely, squinting her eyes. "Speak some words of their own choosing about the unwilling sacrifice....." She glances back at Haern quickly, still squinting. "I'm going to know them. That's what this means."

    You pick up a worn yellowed parchment.

    Haern's suddenly blank features regard you for an extended moment before He finally responds, "Only by reputation, perhaps."

    You think:
    [ Her thoughts are going over the concept of carving a corpse into an offering for each Guardian. There is a lot to consider, there, she will need to plan... ].

    Without preamble, Haern, the Hunter says, "Their eyes for Srahda, a pound of flesh for Vo'acha, bone for Rhulvok, liver to Griash, teeth for Takaros and finally, the knife to Kree-sa."

    You have emoted: Sibatti sends a significant look to Haern over the paper in hand. "Our educational outreach will pay off well, when they see how much the little details matter." She gives the paper a third and final parsing before folding it and tucking it into her medicinal pouch, going so far as to hide it in a semi-hidden compartment. "I don't have any more questions, Boss. If you've got any final words of advice for me, I'll hear them."

    You put a worn yellowed parchment into a medicinal pouch for ritual offerings.

    Haern just thought:
    Don't muck it up comes immediately to His mind.

    Haern grazes His lower lip with a row of broken teeth as He considers the question. "Once it begins, you have to stay the course. Everyone must."

    Haern, the Hunter says to you, "Ensure they take the time to find their offerings, and do not intend to rely on the strength of their veins."

    Haern, the Hunter says to you, "And if they have not given Raest their animal, and are then without garb, they will not be allowed entry."


    Haern just thought:
    He will be particularly fierce with anyone that attempts to break the sanctity of the ritual. Unpleasantly so.

    You have emoted: "We must," Sibatti agrees, voice firm. To Haern's follow-up comments, she promises, "I will.... and yes. I have asked Your Claw to be my enforcer." Her lips purse, and she stares forward into the wall for a period. After this extended moment, her face parses through several emotions, going from serious thoughtfulness, to astonishment, and then suddenly relaxed humor. "All right. Let's go get a damn moon."

    "Let's go get get a damned moon," Haern replies with rumbling amusement. The Hunter looms over the counter - over even you - and leans in plant a rough kiss just above the pale, otherworldly eye set into your forehead. "We'll speak soon."


    A flickering gateway of fell green fire blossoms in the air before you, wavering outwards as the Hunter lumbers through it with a guttural chant.
    EakuIesidLegynValorieMaeveTeaniIllikaalcinnamaeHolbrook
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