Holy first log posted here in quite a while! Lemme set the stage a bit for you:@Xenia
is undergoing in the Carnifex what's called the Purge. There are logs floating around here of when I did mine, but essentially it's a process for people that had left the guild as tainted knights and then returned.
Aldric proposed to @Moirean
an idea of taking the second-in-command spot in the guild in wake of Toz's absence, and she declared he'd have to prove himself: coordinating the second phase in Xenia's purge would act as the test.
This is from Moirean's PoV since my logger decided to not work for whatever reason. Enjoy!
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Ya think Xenia's ready for the chains?"
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "Yes. Want to lead that?"
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Absolutely."
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "Excellent."
Plateau of Mount Gallows. (Tarea Mountains.)
The stars twinkle in the clear night sky. Dripping black ichor, a heaping skeleton of bone creates a construct from the earth here. An imposing monument of iron depicts two warriors engaged in a fierce battle. Scattered sparsely, a few pine trees grow tenaciously amongst the snow. An oversized stone battleaxe juts out of the ground. Dominating the western plateau is a large, menacing fortress of black steel.
You see exits leading north and in.
Clinking and clacking, the portcullis slowly rolls up and locks into place. You walk through, the portcullis crashing back down behind you.
Between the portcullises.
Medeya, the Carnifex gatewarden stands here tall and imposing. A weapons rack of metal hounds is here, blades held firmly in iron snarls. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Medeya, the gatewarden is a tutor you can learn your skills from, view HELP LEARNING for more information. A murky darkness has settled in here.
You see exits leading north, east, south, west, and up.
(Carnifex): Aldric says, "Carnifex. It's time for a meeting in the Courtyard of the Keep."
(Carnifex): Aldric says, "The star of the show's arrived, the rest'a you lot planning on comin' too? Gimme a vocal head count."
(Carnifex): Zeksagmek says, "I am on my way, Ser."
Courtyard of the Shadow Keep. (Shadow Keep.)
A set of maple stocks stand here. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Leather and steel, a suit of scale mail is here. A large snow leopard stands here, its long fur coat shifting as it moves. Aldric is here. He is riding on a spindly giant spider. He wields a long-hafted Carnifex battlehammer in his hands. Xenia is here. She wields a resilient braced-handle warhammer in her hands. A murky darkness has settled in here.
You see exits leading north, east, southeast, south (open pine door), southwest (open pine door), and west.
Aldric leaves to the east, riding a spindly giant spider.
From somewhere high above, the deep, rumbling call of a warhorn reverberates across the mountains.
(Carnifex): Medeya, the gatewarden says, "Carnifex, the warhorn has been blown! You are needed at the Keep!"
Aldric enters from the east, riding a spindly giant spider.
Xenia nods her head, immediately, a mask of neutrality entering her visage. "Alright," she replies, folding both hands at her back, assuming a stance of attention.
Straightening into rigid, militant attention, Zeksagmek squares his shoulders and crisply salutes Aldric.
"Looks like it's just us," Aldric remarks, nose wrinkling ever-so-slightly as he clasps his hands behind his back. A narrowed gaze shifts from you to Xenia, one that slowly flickers over her form in silent appraisal. "Why do you think you're here, Xenia?" he regards with an arch of a brow.
Aldric nods his head at Zeksagmek.
Almost offhandedly, Aldric says to Zeksagmek, "At ease."
Zeksagmek nods in response to Aldric and relaxes from his salute.
"Because I have been severed, and must be tested," Xenia answers after a moment of silence. "My loyalty is in question, and no doubt you want to test this."
You have emoted: Moirean steps a bit closer, drawing back to leave Aldric standing alone, clearly leading the ceremony.
"We can have your head for a betrayal of loyalty," Aldric coolly remarks, lips twitching upwards into a grin that reveals pointed canines still marked with crimson at their tips. "Loyalty is far from what we wish to test." The Azudim's hands pluck at the air like a puppeteer at the strings of a marionette, and your surroundings chill abruptly in direct response to this motion. A low moan pierces the silence as between his fingers ethereal energy begins to weave itself into existence, curling and writhing about itself as it solidifies into a heavy-looking set of chains.
Giving the chains a light, ominous shuffle, Aldric says, "It's called the Purging because we're gonna purge out'a you every single habit, every bad notion an' thought you picked up, purge it far, far away - weakness, in this case. Carnifex are strong. We will take you and make you strong once more, because that is what we do."
Xenia's jaw clenches into a rigid square, her head dipping into a nod. "I am steel that needs tempering," she merely states, eyes locking upon the graves in Aldric's hands.
You have emoted: Moirean shifts her weight, watching in silence. Her expression is implacable, eyes narrowed and jaw tense.
Zeksagmek studies the chains in Aldric's hands, nodding slightly to himself as he continues to observe silently.
"Throw your weapon to the ground," Aldric commands forth with a sideways jerk of his head. He releases his grasp on the chains, causing them to plummet quickly towards the ground to land with a muffled thud and a discordant clashing of high-pitched tones as the links come into contact with each other.
(Spinesreach): Tsvanni says, "Hail."
(Carnifex): You say, "We are binding Xenia, as part of her Purging, in the Keep."
(Carnifex): Tsvanni says, "I'm coming."
You have emoted: Moirean crosses her arms over her chest, chin lifting as she studies Xenia. Cold and unexpressive, she merely watches, quiet and letting Aldric take the lead.
Xenia's eyes widen, falling directly upon a resilient braced-handle warhammer, face contorting into something of disgust, her only outward objection to the command. Despite this, there is no hesitation in her actions, as both arms jerk forward, tossing the warhammer from her hands with such force that it lands with a loud -CLANG- upon the groud, its handle cracking with a fracture. Slowly her eyes drift upwards to regard Aldric, an anger flashing in her eyes.
Tsvanni pads in silently from the east, her fur white as snow.
Xenia blinks, a sneer forming in her lips.
In a blur of limbs, Aldric finds himself upon the warhammer in a matter of half a second. "When a weapon's broken," he starts as he bends down to scoop up the bludgeon with an appraising glance. A loud, splintering snap fills the air as he cracks it in half at the handle precisely where the smaller crack existed only moments ago. "We fix it." With that, he nonchalantly tosses both pieces aside.
His eyes narrowing, Aldric says to Xenia, "Like a broken weapon, a broken soldier is useless to us."
Tsvanni stalks over to the weapon, giving it a cursory glance, before walking closer and sitting down, her eyes fixed on Xenia silently.
Lines form along Xenia's brow, her expression hovering somewhere between something of anger and guilt. Slowly she nods her head, showing an acceptance to Aldric's words, her eyes falling to reside on the chains left upon the ground.
Tsvanni's fur bristles a bit, and she licks her muzzle.
You have emoted: A faint tenseness enters Moirean's expression as she studies Xenia, the muscles of her face tightening into an impassive mask. At her side, her hands ball into fists, nails digging into her palms. Still, she remains silent, but slight hints betray a trace of agitation.
"Let's see about fixing you then, yeah?" Aldric asks with a tilt of his head. With a sweeping gesture, he urges the ethereal chains into sinuous action. They skitter and grind upon the ground like a heavy serpent, first finding solace wrapped tightly around each of Xenia's feet. Relentlessly they trudge upwards, circling tightly about her torso before snaking down each arm, crossing, and wrapping once, twice, thrice around each other. As the free end makes its final rotation, a low hiss splits forth as it melds seamlessly into the rest of the chain.
Tsvanni licks her nose.
Matter-of-factly as he circles Xenia in an assessing fashion, Aldric says, "You will bear these chains for two months. Two long, hard months that you'll struggle with even the easiest stuff. It'll get easier at the end, but just think about it - if you can manage to get your unicorns together even restrained like this, imagine just how strong you'll be after without 'em."
Satomi arrives from the east.
Xenia watches the snake like approach of the chains, making no movements of retreat. Her entire body tenses with a sudden jerk that ripples down her spine, the chains winding up along her legs, body and arms. Where before there was anger, she takes on an expression of cold neutral acceptance. With the final binding of the chains, her arms spread, testing the restraints, finding her reach to be no wider than her body. Her expression falters, for just a moment doubt showing in her eyes, though as Aldric begins to speak, the shift is visible, she stands taller and resolute, punctuating this with a stiff nod.
"I've got one last question for you, Severed," Aldric notes as he stops in his stride before Xenia, an index finger raising. Silence pervades for a long series of moments before he narrows his eyes. "What are you gonna allow these chains to stop you from doin'?"
Xenia shakes her head, "Nothing," she bluntly states. "I will continue as I have been."
"Damn right," Aldric reaffirms with a crisp nod of his head, approval showing itself upon his countenance for the briefest of moments. "You're dismissed then, unless the Commander says otherwise," the Azudim declares. "Good luck."
Satomi sniffs Xenia, trying to decipher just what that smell emanating from her is.
Tsvanni says, in a feral tongue, "Mostly smells like Duirani."
Tsvanni bares her teeth at Satomi in a feral grin.
You have emoted: Moirean remains silent for a long span, simply eying Xenia, before she also nods once, curtly. "Dismissed," she quietly echoes.
Xenia's eyes shift towards you, her arms remaining still at her side. At the sound of Tsvanni's words, her head jerks acutely towards her, eyes narrowing in a glare. "Aye, Commander," she states, bringing both arms, chained, up offer salute to the gathered Carnifex.
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "How'd I do? Gotta tell you Moi, unicorns's harder to do with a straight face without feelin' bad than I would'a thought. Ain't got a damn clue how you did it to me close as we are."
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "You learn to separate the you from the role."
Aldric locks eyes with Xenia for a fleeting moment, as if to communicate something not entirely spoken.
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "'s important though. I mean, this process changed my life."
Xenia's eyes flicker towards Aldric, her head dipping, the smallest hint of a twitch entering into the corner of her mouth.
You have emoted: Moirean turns away from Xenia, looking instead towards Aldric. Her chin lifts sharply in a single upnod - a clear order to follow.
Aldric releases a slow exhalation of breath before dutifully falling in line behind you with a mirrored nod.
Aldric begins to follow you.
You unlock the north door.
You open the door to the north.
Aldric follows you to the north.
The Commander's study. (Shadow Keep.)
A soft, black velvet couch sits here in west of the room. A weathered wooden desk dominates the northern half of the room. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. A stately ebonwood armchair is here, padded with leather. A massive stone fireplace dominates the room's northern wall. A halberd is fixed to a stand in a menacing perch for some small creature. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. A murky darkness has settled in here.
You see exits leading south (open pine door) and out (open pine door).
You close the door to the south.
You lock the south door.
You have emoted: Moirean leads you into her office, turning away to face the fireplace at the far end of the room. She leans against the mantle, frowning thoughtfully, and then asks, "...Tell me how that was."
Aldric raises a hand to scratch at the back of his head as he releases a breath. His pupils dilate slightly when his gaze travels towards the fireplace, a reaction that quickly causes him to avert his gaze. "Xenia an' I have gotten real close since I've gotten back," he comments as his eyebrows draw inwards slightly. "I ain't gonna tell you it was easy - 'cause it wasn't." With this, his hands slip into the pockets with his thumbs hooked on their edges. "But it had to be done, an' guild comes first there."
You have emoted: Moirean glances over her shoulder, back at you. Her features are cast into shadow by the smouldering fire, leaving her expression unreadable, merely statuesque darkness framed by dark crimson hair. "And how did you do it," she presses, voice quiet and cold and stern. "How did you find yourself able to?"
"Honestly?" Aldric queries with a tilt of his head and an arch of his brows. "I put myself back in her shoes." His hands lift upwards from his pockets, held parallel to each other as he pantomimes the action of shackled hands. "I remember the feelin' of them shackles, how much I hated it." While the words themselves sound somber enough without context, the almost disbelieving half-smile that slowly begins to slip upon his lips speaks more than the words alone. "I remember how strong I was after too. I remember after the test of Slaughter how good it felt to be back, and how appreciative of the whole ordeal I was."
You have emoted: Moirean's next question is a simple one, tone sharp and direct and cutting: "Why?" She does not elaborate - she, instead, leaves all the permutations and connotations of the question unsaid, open for you to answer.
"Because it made me, and by extension the guild, all that much more stronger," Aldric answers with little to no hesitation. His posture now is a strange mix of attentive and casual altogether, his feet are squared together, but his shoulders slouch slightly. "Strength in slaughter, right?" he queries forth. "Stronger the guild is, the easier it is for us to make an impact on this Pithole of a place we live."
You have emoted: "And why do we need this strength?" Moirean asks, turning to face you fully. Backlit by the fire, there's almost a tired sort of casual majesty to her form, a hint of the dramatic in her shadowed silhouette. "Why do we fight? Why do we slaughter?"
"We've got to be the ones to fight back the threats thrown at the realm," Aldric more seriously notes, demeanor shifting into one serious as the words escape his lips. His shoulders lift in a display that manages to make the burly Azudim appear more confident, though you can tell by the expression he wears that the gesture is far from superficial. "We learn to slaughter so that we're always ready for that next threat. When the Luminaries, the Templar - when they all go cryin' and give up in front'a whatever's about to ruin them and this place we call home, we step up without so much as a damn flinch, because we're ready. This is what we've trained for. This is -what we do-."
You have emoted: Her features are still obscured, but Moirean's chin lifts upwards, casting a gleam of light across one cheek - in that moment, in that glimpse, you catch a flash of a clear expression of pride. And then, it's gone, her face lost in shadows again as she nods. "Yes," she agrees. She pauses. You see an odd sort of glint in the darkness, a heatlit glow, muted and muffled, as if cast through a heavy layer of cloth - the remnants of the Shadowplague, darkening her eyes - as she slowly blinks.
You have emoted: The silence stretches on. Finally, Moirean asks, "...And how far are you willing to go?"
As if directly synchronized with your own flare, Aldric's veins pulsate, bulging beneath the skin as a turgid miasma wreathes their way through the weaving network beneath the flesh. "How far?" he echoes, an eyebrow arching as he issues forth a grunt, as if to challenge the very nature of the question itself. "Moi, I'll go until I'm physically an' mentally incapable of goin'," he proudly admits, voice lowering as the statement is formed. "An' more even after that."
Your protege, Ser Toz the Hammer, has arrived in the realm.
You suddenly feel a tugging from a miniature, mischievous wedding band, as its paired item pulls towards it.
The vague image of an invigorating hardy entwined grisly necklace of fanged skulls appears in the air, before Toz appears in a flash of magic.
Toz says, "Voltda."
A sulfurous portal opens in the ground before Toz and he quickly jumps into it before it snaps shut behind him.
You have emoted: Moirean abruptly glances away, eyes narrowing as she stares after Toz. "Later," she curtly tells Aldric.
(Tells|Xenia): You tell Xenia, "Come."
Aldric raises an eyebrow at you.
The Bloodline Registry. (Putoran Hills.)
A pile of volcanic ash has accumulated here, gritty and coarse underfoot.
You see a single exit leading northwest.
You suddenly feel a tugging from a miniature, mischievous wedding band, as its paired item pulls towards it.
The vague image of an invigorating hardy entwined grisly necklace of fanged skulls appears in the air, before Toz appears in a flash of magic.
His eyebrows drawing inwards, Aldric says, "What's uh... you want me to disappear now?"
You draw a circle in the air with a wand of portals, and a fiery outline appears.
A fiery portal opens in the air before you.
Xenia steps in through a fiery portal.
Toz asks Xenia to add her signature to the registry, signifying that she is his daughter.
You ask Xenia to add her signature to the registry, signifying that she is your daughter.
You are now officially registered as the parent of Xenia.
Toz closes his eyes and begins to focus.
Reaching for Toz, you look at him and endearingly say, "I love you."
Toz grows still and his lips begin to move silently.
A look of rapture fills Toz's face as a white nimbus encompasses his body. When the light fades Toz can no longer be found.
Toz leaves to the ether.
You nod your head at Xenia.
An almost sort of fond smile seems to meander its way onto Aldric's countenance.
You grunt noncommittally.
You have emoted: Moirean's stern expression melts for a brief, fleeting moment, as she steps close towards Xenia, giving her a brief, rough hug.
In a soft whisper, you say to Xenia, "Endure. We believe in you."
"Damn. 's like I'm seein' somethin' for the second time," Aldric mumbles quietly beneath his breath as he watches the exchange.
Xenia's arm winds about you, albeit limited by the restraints of the chain and she nods. "I will, I know I will".
You have emoted: Moirean merely nods in silence, her hand finding Xenia's to give it a quick squeeze.
Placing a bone stepladder on the ground, you quickly scramble up it - upon reaching the top, a cloud of smoke erupts and you find yourself, for once, taller than everyone. (mywings)
Aldric follows you to the ether.
Perched above the world. (Edge of Reality.)
You see exits leading north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, up, down, in, and out.
You have emoted: Moirean says nothing for a long span. She stares at you suspiciously, before she finally clears her throat, stating, "Leading is not just about doing the hard things." She swallows, an eyebrow raising, and her tone is almost challenging as she continues, "It's also about seeing the good moments, the weaknesses and celebrations - to lead is to find the fears and flaws, the joys and happiness in everyone."
Simply, you say, "Can you do that?"
"I'm confident I can do damn well whatever's required of me," Aldric responds with a crisp nod as his hands again find refuge within his pockets. "I've been watchin' one of the best for years upon years," he more quietly seems to note, his gaze not once leaving your form as the words escape his lips.
You have emoted: Moirean grunts at the obvious flattery, but a faint smile slips onto her lips nonetheless.
With an echoing grunt, Aldric says, "Hey, don't you grunt at me like that. You know damn well I call 'em as I see 'em."
You have emoted: Moirean shakes her head, then, and clears her throat. "Toz will always be my second," she cautions. "But...he cannot serve that role right now - and, you are right, I need someone at my side to help me."
guild appoint aldric secretary
You appoint Aldric to the position of guild secretary.
"There're few times I've ever not been by your side Moi," Aldric more so murmurs than says with an adamant nod of his head. He takes in a deep breath before releasing it and appending his previous statement, "Title or not."
Aldric will now be known as Lieutenant Aldric Adariel.
You have emoted: "I will hold you to that," Moirean responds. "There are things I've let slide, lately - I've been busy, and the Keep needs attention."
"Such as?" Aldric regards with a tilt of his head and an arch of a brow. While he holds no notepad or means of writing whatsoever, it's quite evident that the Azudim is attentive and ready to take note of that which you speak.
You have emoted: Moirean inhales slowly - and there's an almost tangible transformation at your question, at her indrawn breath. Her shoulders square and her jaw sets. "Our skill changes have necessitated a sweeping overhaul of our scrolls. We need to tighten up the Legionare paths. We need activity, in general. The tournament of Souls will start soon." She glances over at you, flashing a quick, crooked smile. "There's a lot to do...Lieutenant."
"Activity's one'a my strong points," Aldric almost wryly seems to note with a quick nod following. "We'll see some stuff comin' to stir that up, you can count on that." Fingers strum at his thigh thoughtfully as he considers something, but doesn't speak upon it yet.
CARNIFEX NEWS #2180
Date: 10/18/2014 at 6:49
From: Moirean Seirath
To : Everyone
I have appointed Ser Aldric Adariel as my new Lieutenant, due to Ser Toz's extended absence. Ser Aldric has demonstrated insight, determination and hard work over many years - and I will be putting him through his paces in this new role. Contact him with any questions if I am busy, or if you need assistance with minor issues.
- The Commander
Penned by my hand on the 20th of Chakros, in the year 432 MA.
You have emoted: Moirean raises an eyebrow. "Hold nothing back," she commands. "That's the bane and blessing of this new role - you are my sounding board, and my confidant. You have access to me in a way that no others do - but it only works if you exercise that." Her chin lifts. "Speak."
"I was gonna say that I've seen you stir up enough activity in my days to have some thoughts brewin'," Aldric comments now as a sly grin snakes its way across his lips. "But the last time I said somethin' flattering I got a grunt back." He takes a single, simple step forward as he cocks his head towards you, gaze narrowing in what appears to be another thoughtful display. "But it's good to know what sorta... access I'll have," he amends.
You have emoted: Moirean raises an eyebrow, questioningly. "What do you mean?" she asks, clearly cautious.
Aldric opens his mouth as if to speak, but the gesture ultimately winds up being little more than a quick attempt to clean one of his pointed fangs of the blood that lingers upon its apex with his tongue. "Don't think I've forgotten our talk about the Blood," he finally muses.
You have emoted: Moirean's brow furrows, and she gives a quick, firm nod. It's clear she hasn't forgotten. "I'm not here for snacking," she sternly retorts, although a faint curve to her mouth makes is clear her words are jesting.
Aldric leans casually against one piked head, his lips pursing as he seems to consider you from head to toe in a once-over of silent appraisal. Rank and recognition seem to be far gone now as evidenced by the way he holds himself. "Snacking? Don't word it like that, there's more to it, way more to it," he comments with an almost dismissive wave of his hand before it falls once more to his thigh, his elongated nails tapping thoughtfully against the cloth that hides his flesh from sight. "But I guess you wouldn't know that yet, eh?" the Azudim almost teasingly remarks.
You have emoted: Moirean's eyes narrow and her lips draw tight, before she suddenly steps closer, chin lifting in a defiant gesture. Almost challengingly, she presents her neck to you, smooth, soft skin exposed and vulnerable - at this angle, her jugular is starkly on display, pulsing tensely with her clearly-rapid heartbeat. Her eyelids drop, eyes narrow pensively, and she quietly responds, "You are a....friend." She draws in a quick breath - and, here, she seems even more exposed in those few simple words than she is in her body language, something hitching in her voice, something revealed by her tone. She's quiet, vulnerable, and honest, as she admits, "...Probably my only one."
Aldric takes in a deep inhalation through his nostrils in a gesture that causes him to flare as the tender flesh is exposed fully to the air. The Azudim takes the action as an invitation to take another small step closer, but he pauses mid-stride before leveling a somber gaze upon you. "Somethin' mutual," he agreeably comments. "But are you sure you wanna do this?" His gray eyes smolder with a feral sort of temptation that he seems to just barely be holding back as the question is posed.
You have emoted: "I'm not asking you to turn me," Moirean snaps back - her posture remains the same, however, head still tilted, neck still exposed. "You showed me, once, a glimpse. You say there is more." Her eyebrows raise, and - despite the almost subservient posture - there's a clear expression of command and control on her face. "Show me." Her words are curt and demanding, leaving little room for question.
Aldric's expression hardens almost hesitantly, begrudgingly as he produces his soulstone, clenched tightly within his palm. Slowly he finally closes the distance between you and him as one hand presses the soulstone to your chest, and the other almost delicately seems to sweep aside any hair that lies in the way of the pulsating vein. His mouth opens wide, the gleaming fangs revealed as he lowers his head towards the tender flesh, his breath hot upon the skin his mouth so precariously hovers over top of.
You have emoted: Moirean instinctively rises up to meet your touch - instead of shrinking away, she presses closer, one hand lifting to lightly lay against your own neck, coaxing your head down closer to her exposed skin. Her eyes close and she slowly exhales, lightly bracing for the pain, and she gives a faint, tenuous nod. "Show me," she repeats, voice faint and distant.
The very moment the words escape your lips, Aldric's head slides fluidly downwards, pointed fangs parting flesh so efficiently as predatory instinct takes over the Azudim's actions. The soulstone he clutches to your chest flares vibrantly, bathing your immediate surroundings in a haunting shade of blue as a plethora of scintillating emotions and thoughts rush through your mind and body alike. Life, first and foremost, life overwhelmingly pulses through you in a way that's both as uplifting as it is pulling. It tugs so tightly at your core, establishing within yourself a want - no, a need for more as the man slurps heartily from the pierced skin. A taste almost metallic, yet altogether savory and sweet lightly traces the tip of your tongue and lingers pervasively.
You have emoted: Moirean pulls herself even closer to your, her body pressing against yours as you feed and she shares in the sensations. She's clearly lost in the link, intoxicated by her own lifeforce, that she nearly stumbles, gripping you tighter for balance as you drain her. Her eyelids flutter, and a soft moan slips from her lips, the hand on your neck tensing, fingers digging into your skin. Her other arm, the forged one, slides down to find your hand, soulstone seeking soulstone - and a brilliant flare of cold blue light erupts as the liquid stone touches the surface of your own gem. Everything sharpens and intensifies and the weak link between the two of you suddenly flares into an almost painful concourse, thoughts, emotions and memories ripped open to channel back and forth.
As the soulstones come together, the sensations amplify tenfold as Aldric slurps greedily from the blood that flows forth from your neck. Pleasure and pain twist together in an almost euphoric dance as the taste of blood becomes so much more than blood alone. Fire and sunlight in its purest incarnation floods the senses, mirrored by a grim flash of slaughter within the back of your mind as you see the man before you violently lay waste to a series of opponents in a gory display of his warhammer. Crisp air, if it had a discernible taste, flits tantalizingly across your tongue as just another facet of the complex sensation makes itself evident to you. Though it's safe to say your mind is somewhere entirely detached at this precise moment, the feeling of the man's burly arm wrapping around the small of your back makes itself slowly known, the physical action one of the very few reminders that you stand yet on this plane whatsoever.
You have emoted: "Pit," is all Moirean can say, words entirely lost in the experience as her physical strength slowly saps away. You feel her leaning more heavily against you, her body held almost limp in your arms, as her eyes flutter, while the blood-forged link spins on, fueled by your feeding: you, through the years - weak and struggling, a cursing nothing in Enorian. Your knighting. Fireworks. A chewout she proudly endured. A stab of loss, finding you gone. A surge of relief, finding you back. Shared fears at the Shadowplague. A flare of inspiration, as she reads over a letter from you about religion for the guild. Trust, through it all, more than anything. Tenuous, illogical, mad trust, in you, just as she is investing now, in your arms, her body's life force in your hands, trust that does not falter.
Aldric bears the brunt of your weight with only the one arm curled behind you as he takes one final, deep inhalation of the warm lifeblood through his lips. This act of finality sets everything around you into a sensory explosion, every facet of life so joyously present. A vibrant aura surrounds the flora that pulsates such a verdant green, and even the last vestiges of life present amongst some of the fresher piked heads become jarringly apparent. With a shaky inhalation the Azudim wrenches his fangs from your neck, his chin, and chest where not covered by his thin undershirt bathed a macabre crimson hue.
You have emoted: Moirean shakes her head, eyes fluttering open to fix on you. "More," she demands.
"No," Aldric adamantly declares as he lifts a forearm to wipe the blood from his lips in a gruesome display that only manages to savagely smear it more. The fire that previously lit his eyes is nothing in comparison to what lies within them now - pupils dilated to their full extent in such a way that smothers the brilliant gray so typically seen within roar to life with an almost primal appearance.
Shaking his head, Aldric says, "It'd kill you, I ain't gonna do that. No."
You have emoted: "Yes!" Moirean insists, her own eyes widening. She wraps her fingers in your shirt, pulling herself closer to you as she demands, "I want MORE. Of THIS. This VITALITY. This LIFE." Her head shakes, crimson curls bouncing erratically, and she presses, "I'm strong. I don't want to DIE." A pause, and then, on a soft exhalation: "I want to live forever."
"You ain't got the slightest idea of what you're gettin' yourself into Moi," Aldric warns, and for a moment there's legitimate worry and concern evident amidst his tone. He's hesitant altogether, every movement, every gesture laced with trepidation as he mulls over the concept. "Yeah, it's real ironic that the way to experience life's strongest by givin' it up, but you're gettin' a burden back in response," he blurts forth, his own words a painted picture of the inward battle he struggles with.
You have emoted: Moirean's hands tighten in your shirt as she gives you a rough shake. "Don't you try to lecture me about difficulty," she bitterly laughs. "I've carried more burdens than you could ever know - and that is why you follow me." Her gaze lifts to fix on you accusingly. "And you know that. Why are you making excuses?"
"Because this ain't like any other struggle you've dealt with," Aldric more so hisses than states. His lip lifts in a sneer that seems all too content to push him away from the notion, but already his movements begin to betray this reasoning of his. A hand lifts to take a haughty bite from the tender flesh of his wrist, which he promptly spits towards the ground in a nearly dismissive display. Dark blood flows forth from the wound that pristine skin covered only moments ago, and nevertheless he holds it aloft by means of offering. "If you want it, take it," he finally concludes.
You have emoted: Moirean takes a single step forward, towards what you are offering - and then she halts, studying you. Almost hungrily she stares at what you are offering - the blood, and, beyond that, the new life it promises. But, in an uncharacteristically display of self-control, she instead blinks, slowly, and draws in a long breath. Her eyes close. "As your first task," she then mandates, voice faint and questioning. "My Lieutenant-" She sounds lost, as if repeating your title will help ground her. "...I want you to advise me." She swallows heavily. "I want strength, and success, and skill for the Keep - and I want power." Her chin lifts and her eyes narrow, and she repeats, "....I want power. What you have, what you won't offer....there is power there..."
"I ain't your Lieutenant in this matter," Aldric almost immediately retorts, head tilting as he observes you. His fist clenches in a way that only manages to produce more blood from the wound, which drips in an almost beckoning manner down his forearm ever-so-slowly in a trail of red. "Don't take me as a liar, you'll get all of that, but it'll come with a price you ain't yet paid in your life," the Azudim almost direly seems to warn. "Your power, your fate, all of it put into somebody else's hands."
Almost as if an extension of the warning, Aldric says, "I'll know your thoughts, your movements. I'll be in your head, able to make you see and feel what I want you to see and feel at any given time. If I want you to move, you're gonna move because'a my blood."
You have emoted: Moirean wrenches her stare away from the blood, focusing instead on your face. Her lips purse together and slowly nods. "I know what siring means...and I know who you are." There is a long, heavy pause here, before she quietly admits, "...and I trust you, Aldric. There isn't anyone else I'd let do this-"
You have emoted: Moirean coldly tacks on, "...And if you abuse that....well. You know ME."
"Then drink," Aldric so easily states, as if the decision were so simple as that. The latter threat seems to push through the man, and it does very little to change the look of determination that now crosses his features.
You have emoted: Moirean closes the gap between the two of you in a single, sudden, swift stride, her lips pressing against your wrist. She shudders, at first, but soon finds her taste for your blood, pulling your arm more insistently towards your mouth. In a low hiss, she demands a simple, single, "...More..."
Gently, Aldric tilts you backward, supporting your weight with his powerful arms. He lifts your chin and softly brings his lips to your neck, pausing briefly. Then quickly, almost brutally, he slices a gash in the vein and drinks deeply, slurping your blood greedily. As you grow pale, though, Aldric stops abruptly and pulls back. Your eyes flutter weakly as your life energy fades, death inexorably overtaking you. Aldric brings his wrist to his mouth and bites down hard, drawing his own blood forth. he presses his gushing wrist to your blue lips and allows his blood to flow into your mouth. Within seconds, you revive and begin suckling vigorously on his wrist, greedily drawing the blood from his veins. Aldric soon appears to grow lightheaded and yanks his wrist back, but the process is complete.
Panicked, you realize your heart has stopped beating. Your skin goes cold and your lungs cease exchanging air. After a moment you realize with a dull calm that you are not dying... nor will you ever die. You are undead.
Aldric's jaw clenches as you drink from his arm, his fist clenching even tighter in an attempt to push more blood from the wound as his knuckles grow white with the exertion. With every droplet that pushes down your throat, your body seems to undergo a change that's far from subtle. At first your skin grows cold as your body temperature begins to rapidly plummet. Next comes the notion of just how acutely aware of your functioning lungs you are as they greedily take in their last vestiges of breath - only moments later, they cease. Your senses flare in a burst of sensations that's overwhelming at first, every scent around you amplified, every touch, every noise, all of it so much louder and more pervasive than it's ever been as the discordant cacophony strikes. The last, and final thing you feel is the steady staccato of your heartbeat drifting into nothingness, its rhythmic pulse left dulled as it slows to a grinding halt.
You have emoted: Moirean gasps, choking, as her lungs collapse, and her muscles seize beneath the strain of the transformation, body visibly shaking - and then her head lifts, eyes narrowing in a grim note of triumph as the painful spasms abruptly still. Her cheeks flush, skin smoothing into an impossible, unblemished perfection and then she quietly asks, "...What now?"
"Now you go an' get corpses to feed on before the bloodrage sets in," Aldric declares as he releases an exhalation with a flick of his wrist that seems to knit the flesh there together, banishing any and all evidence that a wound was even there to begin with. "You're gonna feel real hungry any moment now," he narrates with an assessing gaze. "First time feeding's always a little weird, but you'll come to enjoy it soon."
You have emoted: "I want power," Moirean stubbornly objects to your practical commands. "I want strength, and a House-" Her eyebrows raise. "A House..." she repeats.
As if perfectly-timed, a roaring hunger begins to blossom into existence within the pit of your stomach. Your gaze grows hazy, a red tinge beginning to creep its way into the corners of your eyes.
Waving a dismissive hand, Aldric says, "Easy enough, but don't go stirring up trouble quite yet, yeah? An' you've gotta go feed soon, or else. The hunger ain't something to toy around with."
Lieutenant Aldric Adariel has offered you membership in the House Ve'kahi, and awaits a response.
AGREE if you wish to join the house.
You accept Aldric's offer of membership and join the House Ve'kahi.
Unconvincingly, you say, "Sure."
A surge of pain laces itself through your very veins, as if the blood that courses through them jarringly revolts against your will.
--- At this point, the bloodbath (haha irony) starts, so I go to grab cures ---
"I'm gonna have to go," comes Aldric's voice from within the back of your mind, though his tone seems to discordantly reverberate forth through your body as a whole. "We'll take up some of the basics when I get back, yeah?"
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "...oh!"
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "...yes."
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Listen, first, don't overdo it right away. Try samplin' different races, because each is gonna taste different and you'll need to find a favorite, go-to."
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Also, mind the sun. Fire's a unicorns that way, but you'll get used to burning, grim as it sounds."
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Got it?"
(Tells|Aldric): You tell Aldric, "Maybe."
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "Ngh."
(Tells|Aldric): Aldric tells you, "We'll talk when I'm back. Don't coup the house while I'm gone."
You sense Aldric has left the realm.