The Temple belfry (short)

EmelleEmelle DreamshaperTecpatl's CradleMember Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 2016 in Roleplay Logs
In which Emelle shows a young monk the Gods' bells, and remembers the war.

A balcony overlook in the Temple.
The rain pours down beneath the darkness of night, the clouds blotting out the heaven and stars. This marble balcony opens out from the staircase to the north and extends a short distance away and around the smooth curve of the Temple's construction. Its railing is built high and ornate from blackened wrought iron, and overlooks the Temple gardens, the docks, the harbor, and the sea that all lie south and beyond. Orbs of fire sit ensconced within alcoves at either side of the archway back in, casting their firm, steady glow across the entirety of the balcony. They are nonetheless dwarfed by the all-consuming light of the Grand Flame, which sits not far above at the very top of the Temple.
You see a single exit leading north.

Another day ends, the darkness of midnight reigning unchallenged across the land.
It is now midnight on Tisday, the 1st of Lleian, year 457 of the Midnight Age.

The Gods' bells toll out the midnight hour across the City - the Underking's leads the chorus with its high but doleful warning.

The tones of the Gods' bells fade away, leaving the night silent.

Smiling briefly, Emelle nods. "Aye, I understand. I belonged to Duiran for many years." As the bells ring out, her eye closes and a blissful smile softens her features, if only for a moment.

Karmik falls silent himself, though the look on his face is placid and unreadable as he allows Emelle her memories.

Emelle says to Karmik, "My favorite thing. Would you like to see them?"

Simply, Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "I would."

Nodding once, Emelle steps back into the temple.

The Temple belfry.
This room is an amalgamation of the Temple's classical marble, obsidian, and jasper ornamentation and metallic apparatus - pipes, gears, and chains span the entirety of the wide, towering space. Divided into several segments, these each contain their own, massive bell, the chamber curved such that it not only reflects the sound outward, but uses the entirety of the Temple itself to further augment and project it throughout the City. The bells are pulled by great chains, in turn hitched to turning wheels that extend from the maze of machinery. Tall glass windows overlook the gardens that stretch out below, and the northern part of the City. The hissing of steam and the clanking of shifting gears constantly fills the air, unceasing. A chain hangs here, bound to Ethne's bell and the machinery supporting it. A long iron chain hangs here, bound into the clockwork controlling Damariel's bell. An anaxagorite chain hangs here, bound to Dhar's bell. A long chain of steel hangs here, bound to the bell of Slyphe. A long iron chain hangs here, connected to the bell of Omei. A chain hanging from the ceiling leads upward to the bell of Haern. Six bells hang here, each wider and taller than even the most gargantuan of mortals.
You see a single exit leading south.

Emelle steps further into the noisy belfry, weaving through the chains that hang from the ceiling. For a long moment she just stands in the center of the room, consumed by its sounds. Then she reaches up.

Emelle reaches up, pulling hard upon a chain bound to the bell of Omei.

Machinery creaks and strains, preparing to shift one of the mighty bells.

The Beast Queen's bell swings into motion, beginning to toll out.

The bell of Omei, the Beast Queen rings out raucously, crying alarm across the city.

The bell comes to a halt, singing out no more.

Karmik tightens the corners of his eyes just before the astoundingly loud toll of the Beast Queen's bell, relaxing only once the noise lowers to a less deafening level.

Emelle walks back toward Karmik, stopping just a few paces opposite him. "Is it too loud for you?" she asks, her head tilting a fraction.

Emelle takes a long drag from a lit transparent cone-shaped cigarette and exhales a pale green cloud of smoke, redolent with invigorating scents.

Karmik is silent for a stretch of seconds as he visibly gathers his thoughts, continuing to rest one hand on the frame of the door.

Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "When I chant the songs of battle, and all voices rise around me."

Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "They are lowest at times of battle and great blood. Violence, they call. Violence and pain. Roar your fury at what was, to scare it from the path ahead."

Looking solemnly past her toward the bells that hang from their mechanical contraption, Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "I feel hardness and lack of regret in these. Masks with sharp edges and no warmth, love or hate."

A slow, thoughtful frown begins to slide over Emelle's features: first forehead, then the corner of her eye, then her mouth. She turns away from Karmik and walks across the belfry to stand in front of a tall window, and beckons for him to join her.

Karmik lifts his hand from the doorframe and steps slowly into the room. Moving like an adventurous mouse in a house full of cats, the long-haired monk slinks past the machinery to take up position beside Emelle.

"Look," Emelle requests, touching the tip of an ash-tinged finger to the glass. Below, the city of Enorian sprawls: a shopping district to the west; just north of it, a sprawling palace; a string of colorful gardens stretching north; and to the east, a residential district.

Emelle asks Karmik, "You know of the War of Night, aye?"

Karmik gazes solemnly out through the window from Emelle's side, yellow eyes bright but unreadable in his dark face.

Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "I do not."

"Mm." Emelle's eye falls closed, and her fingers splay as her hand flattens against the glass. "The sky tore open and the Shadows came down day and night. We fought them, and the Gods fought them, until there was no more day, because the Firegoddess died and the sun was gone. Then the Nazedha came by ships, destroying every thing around them as they came from Delos, on their way here."

Karmik sees: You could almost see it in your mind's eye somehow, despite your knowledge that you have no memory of it.

Karmik blinks his yellow eyes once, hands clasping either forearm as he relaxes into stance behind Emelle's left elbow. He says nothing, only listens.

"Many, many died. The Nazetu took this city from us, and they began a ritual to call on one of their Gods, while we died and died trying to stop them. We did, aye, but they had already stirred it, and it struck down," Emelle continues, her voice just audible over the backdrop of hisses and clanks.

Karmik sees: You can just hear the clanking of weapons over chants of "Lanu Du!" The acrid smell of smoke and blood fills your nostrils.

Karmik continues to hold his peace, standing silent and watchful behind Emelle. Slowly his eyes shift from the open window to study her in profile.

"Everything was destroyed." Emelle turns her head to look at Karmik, her eye on his face. "And then," she peels her hand off the glass and gestures up, toward the bells, "my Goddess came to raise this temple from the ash. And these bells were the first sound we heard after months of screams." Her voice cracks with latent emotion. "You were only a child, then. I do not expect you to hear what I hear. But maybe you can understand better."

A perceptive observer might notice Emelle's hand quiver as she lifts the cigarette to her lips.

Emelle takes a long drag from a lit transparent cone-shaped cigarette and exhales a pale green cloud of smoke, redolent with invigorating scents.

Quietly, Emelle says to Karmik, "There is love in them. And loss. And hope."

Karmik considers Emelle for a moment, arms unfolding as he watches the raising of her cigarette. Lifting his tattooed right hand he moves as if to try and clasp her on the shoulder, but aborts halfway through and instead moves abruptly forward to try and give her a tight embrace. he does not say anything.

Emelle's frame is stiff in Karmik's arms, but she does not move away.

Karmik holds Emelle tightly, an unusual amount of warmth radiating from the young monk as the handful of seconds tick by. However, after a time he steps back and rests both hands on her shoulders, meeting her eye calmly.

Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "We are our world. All that is seen is us. So much of you is here, and it gives you hope. I will cling to this myself. It is very powerful."

Solemnly, Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "Thank you."

Slipping her free hand into the pocket of her coat, Emelle meets Karmik's gaze steadily. She says nothing, only inclines her head to him for a long moment.

At length, Emelle says to Karmik, "You listen well."

His tattooed face remaining somber, though he does remove his hands from her shoulders and steps back to give her space, Novitiate Karmik says to Emelle, "Memory is the soul of the world. It must be kept, and shared. To listen is to receive the soul into your care. It is sacred."

"Aye," Emelle agrees, nodding once. She lingers by the window for another moment, then crosses the belfry on her way back toward the landing.
Post edited by Emelle on


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