Context: many decades before, Aymah drowned herself in the corrupted waters of the Kalydian forest. Since then, corruption has been fermenting until this moment.
, and special thanks to @Rasani
for being a good sport, and the star of the log @Serrice
, for some awesome use of telepathy.
An ancient way station (55815) - Space Realm (346)
This chamber would be an archaeologist's dream, showcasing several centuries of
Salurian history and culture. Beautiful crimson tapestries hang from the wall,
framing narrow arrow-slit windows. The light comes chiefly from skylights,
housed deep within recesses in the ceiling, painting the interior in garish sun
or moonlight. The amenities necessary to comfort a traveler's weary bones are
all present: ample seating, places to relax, read, or smoke, and what even
appears to be a self-serve bar of sorts in the corner. A collection of seats and
couches dots the floorspace, a place to rest never too far away. A grandiose
still of bronze occupies nearly a fifth of the chamber. Emelle Tsai'len, the
Seer is here. Executor Aisling Morrog is here. She is riding on a three-headed
You see a single exit leading out (open bronze door).
Aisling taps her beast, the creature lowering onto its belly before the Knight
shifts, holding you in her arms and slowly climbing off.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes open briefly, her head rolling against Aisling
before her alertness is gone again. She is shivering, but there is a heat rising
from every inch of her body - a fever.
Emelle makes her way to a plush couch near the middle of the room and gestures
to Aisling before she picks up a few pillows, arranging and rearranging them on
Aisling steps over, glancing to you as she feels the woman stir. "Poor thing."
She murmurs, mustering a smile at Emelle as she carefully lies you onto the
bench, comfortably set against the pillows.
"Mm," Emelle intones, nodding some. "A wonder she has managed it for this long."
Leaning over you, she lays the back of a hand against your forehead. "Fever,"
Aisling takes a step back, allowing the pair some space, "It used to start like
this, but, Lady Chakrasul would temper us."
You have emoted: One of Aymah's arms unfolds, hanging slackly, off the edge of
the couch. Her head moves, this way and that, uneasy, her eyes darting behind
the eyelids, and her lips continue murmuring soundless words, hardly noises.
Aisling steps back as to allow the pair some space, "I do not know how it goes.
Lady Chakrasul tempered those She infected." The woman murmurs, "Aymah is not
Emelle frowns. Carefully taking your dangling arm, she guides it back up onto
the couch and lays it across the feverish woman. "I have called out to Her. I
will keep doing so. If another of Them wakes," she shrugs, "I will ask Them."
After a brief pause, she looks over at Aisling and admits, "Waiting concerns me.
Aisling reaches as to rub at her neck, a small frown on her features, "I don't
know, she's been with it for fifty years or so." The Knight murmurs, "She can
handle a while longer."
Executor Aisling Morrog says, "It... Hurts, aye, deep within, makes you see
things, feel things, but..."
Rebellious surges of intrusive emotion run amok in your head.
Aisling glances aside, "Doesn't kill you."
You have emoted: Even amidst the shivering, and the sweating, Aymah's pain comes
through, causing her to arch and bend, her lips parting with a cry. "Acabe--"
She whispers, "No-- Sha--" Her hands make blind grabs in front of her. "Shach-"
She exhales raggedly.
A thin trail of fire follows Rasani as she enters from the out.
Rasani gracefully hops off of a bronze-horned ina'a plated with blue armor.
Rasani slaps a bronze-horned ina'a plated with blue armor on the rump and sends
it cantering off.
Rasani walks in a bit awkwardly, holding a bowl of soup in one massive hand.
Glancing down at you, Emelle draws a gentle hand over your forehead, brushing
off straggling hair and sweat. "Should we call her?" she wonders of Aisling.
Aisling grunts, "Claims she's too angry to come." The Knight says.
Simply, Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer asks, "Why?"
Executor Aisling Morrog says, "Because Aymah hid this from her."
Emelle grunts noncommittally.
Rasani growls. "Then she does not work for the Light as she claims."
In this still, near-dead place, you feel strangely peaceful.
Aisling steps around the bench, resting her hip against it, "This is what this
does." The Knight comments, "Many do not see how this is what turns you. Being
isolated, alone, fearful and cruel until you despair, and then, She comes for
Rasani walks over, kneeling before you and holding the bowl before her. "I, uh,
didn't know if this would help." She looks to Emelle and Aisling.
Emelle sinks down to kneel next to Rasani. Taking your head in her hand, she
tilts it up and tries to keep it still. "Try," she bids Rasani, nodding once.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes open again, her head turns as she catches glimpses
of the place and the people. "Shach--" she searches, slipping away once more,
thrashing with a near-howl of pain.
Rasani gives a coastal soup of noodles and herbs to you.
Rasani frowns. "I tried to thinner one, Orcish soup is too thick, too heavy I
think. I... don't know how to handle this sort of sickness, though."
Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost
dissipating with a wintry chill.
Aisling crosses her arms, ear twitching at the howl, the cries of pain. She
remains silent, a frown on her features.
Emelle continues to stroke her fingers over your forehead, seeming at a loss to
do much else. An audible sigh slides out of her lungs.
You have emoted: Aymah is shivering again, trails of sweat on her neck and face.
She twists as if she were wrestling, struggling with something unseen. A groan
leaves her lips, and for a moment she stills, opening her eyes. "Huwald Seluno
met Griana in a cold, harsh winter--" She is reciting now, her lost eyes fixed
somewhere above her. "Huwald Seluno met Griana in a cold, harsh winter... He--".
Rasani raises a brow. She looks to Aisling.
Emelle's hand leaves your forehead in favor of searching through several pockets
of a simple, brown jacket, first outside, then inside. After a moment of
searching, she comes up with a wad of cloth that looks more or less clean, and
begins to dab it over your damp face and neck, mopping up the sweat.
Aisling glances back to Rasani, rolling her shoulders in a shrug.
You have emoted: Aymah abruptly raises her hands to grab at her ears, shrieking
and contorting this way and that. "Xenia!" She bursts, her eyes wild. "Xenia!"
Rasani leans back. "The Commander isn't here, Aymah."
Aisling grunts, reaching over the bench and pressing a hand to your stomach,
pinning the woman to the surface, "Easy!"
You have emoted: Aymah's back arches, and she is taking deep breaths, pushing
against Aisling's restraining hand. "XENIA!" She bursts, before her body goes
limp once more, succumbing to her sickened state.
Aisling focuses intently as she is enveloped in a nearly invisible aura.
You feel the effects of Aisling's aura of purity extending to envelop you.
Small signs of frustration begin to break the placid surface of Emelle's
demeanor: the set of her jaw, the tightening of skin at the outer corner of her
eye. But she remains where she is, kneeling beside the couch, pressing her rag
to your skin in between outbursts.
Aisling looks over your limp form for a long moment before seeming to reach a
decision. The Knight closes her eyes, frowning in concentration as a faint,
nearly invisible glow surrounds her. She presses her hand more firmly against
the woman, as if urging the aura through.
Rasani looks to Aisling. "Should I help?"
Curiously, Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer asks Executor Aisling Morrog, "What are you
"Purity. Worked with another." Aisling answers vaguely, glancing up at Rasani
with a sharp nod.
With a slight nod, Emelle demonstrates her understanding.
You have emoted: Aymah only seems to thrash with more violence now, flailing her
arms and legs around, swatting at the hand, at Aisling, threatening to rise with
a crazed look in her eyes.
Emelle reflexively ducks out of the way of your flailing, shielding her face
with an arm.
Rasani nods, focusing her aura and placing her large hand beside Aisling's, willing her
aura to join.
Aisling reaches with her other hand, holding Aymah down by the shoulder, gripping tightly.
She snarls, tense.
You have emoted: Aymah is forced down, somewhat contained, and bares her teeth
out at the women holding her, growling. After some struggle however, she winces,
and starts sobbing, apparently the intervention having some manner of effect on
her. "NO-" She cries, unable to hold back the tears welling in her eyes. Her
hands drop, clinging to the sofa and the cushions, and within seconds, she is
Rasani looks to Aisling, then back to you. "Emelle, get more water, if you can."
Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer asks Pentarch Rasani Morrog, "Blessed?"
Rasani nods her head emphatically.
Nodding decisively, Emelle pushes to her hooves and quickly disappears out the
door into the darkness beyond.
Emelle leaves to the out.
Aisling eases her grip, but hesitates to cease, her aura still permeating you,
the Knight watching with clear concern.
It is now noon on Falsday, the 21st of Midsummer, year 459 of the Midnight Age.
You have emoted: Aymah lowers her hands, and one of her arms drops heavy off the
edge of the couch where she lies. She stares vacantly upward, the hue of her
mismatched eyes unchanged, although the feel of her skin is cooler than before.
She merely cries in silence now. "Where is she?" She queries in a hushed voice.
Rasani raises a brow. "Who, Miss Aymah?"
You have emoted: Aymah's lips barely move with the answer. The name is whispered,
almost lost to the rustling of its syllables. "Shachalai--".
"She will come around." Aisling murmurs, squeezing your shoulders, "We need to
fix this first."
Rasani nods, jaw tense. "Aye, she will."
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes are still blank as they gaze above. "Tell--" She
utters, a wisp of a voice, "Tell Rashar my core is rotten--" There is a brief,
almost imperceptible tremor in her hands, her eyes shutting with exhaustion.
"The Nightmare can cleanse you." Aisling says, firm as ever, "Don't say that
sort of thing."
Rasani nods. "Nobody is beyond redemption, nobody is too far gone."
You have emoted: "Tell'im--" Aymah whispers, her head rolling tiredly to one
side, eyes struggling to open again. "Maybe he'll know--".
Executor Aisling Morrog says, "Know what?"
You have emoted: Aymah doesn't respond any further, overwhelmed by sleep. Her
breathing is soft, though occasionally her form stirs for something unknown.
Emelle arrives from the out.
Emelle lifts her palms skyward in a gesture of helplessness. "I did not find
Aisling steps back from your sleeping form, sighing softly, "She calls for
Shachalai, Rashar, and Xenia, all people I imagine she feels care for her." The
Executor Aisling Morrog says to Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer, "The Nightmare can
likely cleanse her, one way or another. She seems to be better now, at least by
Emelle nods slightly at Aisling, demonstrating her understanding.
Rasani tenses her jaw again, nodding. "I'm sorry, I've not proven to be of much
help, Miss Emelle."
"You have helped," Emelle counters, mustering a wan smile for Rasani. "Thank you.
" She rubs at her forehead with a knuckle.
Aisling glances aside, "There is another calling for me." The Knight says, "Will
you be okay, miss Emelle?"
Crossing the room, Emelle claims an armchair near where you is sprawled and
drops into it, one leg slung over the armrest. "I will stay with her," she tells
Aisling and Rasani, nodding once. "Thank you."
Executor Aisling Morrog says, "Feel free to call for us if there is the need."
Emelle nods her head at Aisling.
Aisling leaves to the out, riding a three-headed direwolf.
Rasani frowns. "I... haven't helped, not really, but I want to. I'm just not as..
. versed in this, I suppose."
"Neither am I," Emelle admits to Rasani with a wry smile. She looks more weary
by the moment as she sinks into the plush depths of the chair. "But if this was
a thing we could do, we would have seen a change in her, aye?"
Rasani chuckles. "She seems to think Rashar will know what to do. Maybe he will,
I don't know."
Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer asks, "Did you call him here?"
Rasani shakes her head. "She didn't tell me what she wanted him here for. I
can't tell if she thinks the solution is with him or his blade."
Pentarch Rasani Morrog says, "She seemed... hopeless."
Nodding her understanding, Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer says, "Mm."
Emelle Tsai'len, the Seer says, "I will tell him."
Rasani nods. "As you will."
Emelle succumbs to a long, wide yawn.
The vague image of an elaborately carved wolf and woman pipe appears in the air,
before Rashar appears in a flash of magic.
"I am going to sleep," Emelle tells Rashar, as though he had been here the whole
You have emoted: Aymah stirs in uneasy sleep, rolling with visible discomfort
within the sofa, mumbling incomprehensible things.
Rashar seems to step out of nowhere, glancing around. Though it seems clear that
you is the injured one, his gaze finds Emelle first and his blue eyes narrow.
The Idreth takes a single step towards her before catching himself, rocking up
onto his toes. And his eyes narrow even more, as the man studies hers slumped
form. Satisfied that she is unharmed, he rolls his shoulders and nods once in
agreement with words within his mind. "Mm," he confirms, turning to you. "What
has happened to her?"
"She drowned herself in the Kalydian forest, years ago. In corrupted water,"
Emelle relates. Her words are laced with drowsiness, her eye already closed.
"She has...kept it at bay, somehow, since then."
Emelle's breathing slows into the deep, steady rhythm of sleep.
Emelle grows still and her lips begin to move silently.
Rashar crosses over to you, squatting down next to the sleeping woman and
placing his hand across her brow. His eyes are heavy, lids drooping almost as if
in fatigue, but his gaze is fixed upon your face. "What has been done?" he asks
aloud, not looking to Rasani.
Rasani stares at you. "Blessed water twice and Aisling and I used our Purity
aura's on her. She's... also been slain. Retribution with an aura of redemption.
You have emoted: Aymah's brow is damp and warm to the touch, and beneath
Rashar's hand she continues to stir, lips moving with unintelligible
vocalizations. Her legs thrash briefly, back arching, but she settles once more,
abruptly opening her eyes to gaze above.
Rashar's brow furrows, as if some part of that were displeasing, but he makes no
comment immediately. As your eyes open, he studies them intensely - looking deep,
far deeper than the blue and green of the surface. Almost absently, he flicks a
hand and casts the area in brilliant light. "If that were successful, I would
have half of Bloodloch converted already." There is no venom in his words, no
insult. Instead, he clinically begins to assess you in the thorough manner.
Eyelids pulled back despite being open, lumps rolled. Ears, throat. His hand
settles over your heart, feeling the rhythm of it.
Rashar is pretty sure he typed lips instead of lumps. Sabotage.
Rasani shakes her head. "It wasn't an attempt as much as a last choice. She was
not herself, I did what needed to be done."
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes turn to Rashar, but they appear out of focus
amidst a tear-streaked face. "It's rotten-" She tells him in a hushed voice,
resisting none of the handling, limp instead, almost like some kind of rag doll.
"The core..." she trails off, her head rolling to one side.
Rashar grunts in half-hearted acknowledgment of Rasani's words, but he's
occupied enough by you already. His hand settles on your belly, and the other
finds your forehead. "Speak," he says, looking into your eyes. "Tell me what is
You have emoted: "The core is rotten," Aymah utters, a shiver shooting up her
body, causing her to fleetingly shrink. "It's out now-- all the wrong..." Her
tongue darts out to moisten dry lips. "I didn't mean to," she says in as much of
an assuring voice she can manage, her jade eye flashing momentarily, as if a
green fire burned within.
Rashar uses Artifact Light.
Rashar chants a brief spell and a flash of brilliant light floods the room.
Brilliant rays of light cascade through the area, bringing an unnatural
brightness to the surroundings and chasing away the shadows.
You are halted by a sudden shock of nervousness and the reluctance to continue
Rashar Del'baeth says, "Tulahuar."
Rashar is momentarily surrounded by a deep red nimbus.
The brilliant light illuminating this location fades away.
Rashar scowls down at you, attempting to decipher the words. "There's a rotten
bit inside each of us," he mutters down at you. "You just have to beat it, yeah?
Drown it out with something else until it hides, if you can't make it go away."
You have emoted: Aymah's hand moves shakily to grab at her chest, fingertips
digging into flesh and feathers there. She grimaces, biting back a noise of pain,
and her legs recoil, folding toward her chest. "I can't--" She exhales, looking
worn out, her gaze wavers upon Rashar. "Not anymore-- it's won--" There is a
struggling of furious jade and fading blue in both her eyes now, the colors
repelling each other. "Underbrush--" She makes a grab for Rashar with her other
hand, her fingertips merely scraping him.
"Stop that," Rashar says absently, taking your much smaller hands in his own and
pressing them against your chest. "It hasn't won. It cannot win, if you do not
let it. That is fact, yeah? Corruption is not a thing that is placed in us, lady.
It is a thing that is cultivated. It is all you, and only you can defeat it."
Rasani remains silent, watching from afar.
You have emoted: "It was planted decades ago," Aymah's lips quiver with the
words, and her head moves slowly in a negative. "I did it to myself-- I let it
take root... grow, spread--" She slowly blinks her eyes, glancing down into the
space between herself and Rashar. "I didn't... tell anyone," her voice cracks,
and she sobs, an unrestrained cry. "It's my fault!"
"It is what corruption does, it is how it grows." Rasani murmurs, finally
looking back over to the two of you. "Fear is part of it, is it not? You fear
the rejection, the scorn, the hate. So you hide it away."
Rashar's scowl deepens, and he snarls wide enough to reveal a pair of subdued,
gleaming white fangs at you. "If it is," he hisses quietly, "Then it also falls
upon you to fix it, yeah? Do you think you are the only one to have ever hidden
a thing, Aymah? To spend years of your life seething and angry and -broken-?"
His fingers, thick and strong, wrap around your jaw almost roughly and he turns
your head so that you must face him. "No one here can help you but you," he
verifies, voice intense. "Yesterday matters to no one. Only what happens from
this point until forever."A traveller stalks in the halls of your mind, alone, a guttering torch held
They are searching. The shadows are long and dark. Whispers flit at the edge of
sensation, at the edge of awareness.
You have emoted: Aymah's hand rises to wind around Rashar's wrist, and she
shakes, head to toe, out of fear perhaps, or maybe her fever rising again. Her
eyes are already bloodshot as she stares into his own, and thick droplets slip
from her lashes. "This is my nightmare--" She says in a choked voice, her eyes
flashing with the struggling color. "You--" She hisses, "I can't--".The traveler pauses. A prayer is recited, a mantra chanted. The torch's
guttering light flares, and the traveler moves on.
Endlessly, the traveler walks, through the infinite corridors of your mind. Here
and there they stop. Here and there they look.
Rashar tilts his head back, listening to the words echoing across the firmament.
"Gods," he mutters quietly. He glances over to Rasani, lifting his shoulders
minutely. "I am not capable of curing madness, Rasani. And that is what this is,
yeah? If it were not, she would crawl out of it or succumb already. That is.."
His head shakes. "That is all there is to it. Corruption takes root or it does
not. I have rarely seen it cause.. this."The traveler halts, and above their heads they raise the torch. They stand still
for a long, long time.
Rasani's jaw has tensed at the shouting and she looks to Rashar. "She asked for
you, I assume this is why Emelle called you here. I do not know what she
intended, but I do not hold it against you if there's nothing to be done."
Rashar shakes his head slowly. "I don't know why she asked for me," he answers,
glancing back down at you. "Maybe it is just a name that floats at the surface
of her thoughts, yeah? We spoke, not long ago."
Pentarch Rasani Morrog says, "She also sought out Xenia. And Shachalai."
Pentarch Rasani Morrog says, "For different reasons, I'm sure."
You have emoted: Some time elapses before Aymah begins to resist Rashar's gaze,
scooting backward where she is perched, pushing his hand away with her own. She
trembles, and glances between Rashar and Rasani wild-eyed. "Get out of my head!"
She bursts, clearly frightened. Her eyes settling like they were before - one
furious jade, the other dull blue.Something else lurks here within.
Rashar's brow furrows. "Lovers," he muses. "Though I do not share the same title.
" He stands, taking a step back away from you and sliding his hands into his
pockets. "What a unicorns situation," he mutters.
Rasani walks to you. "Is there anything we can do? There has to be something. I
think Emelle reached out to Omei, but..."The traveler waits. The traveler watches. The traveler listens. In the dark.
Rashar blinks slowly, watching Rasani. "Tie her to a bed," he says with honesty.
"So that she cannot thrash about and hurt herself, or hurt someone else. And
wait for the Goddess, I would say."
The dread sense of danger creeps at your mind.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes widen, and she backs away into the couch, sinking,
shrinking, grabbing at a cushion, as if the soft thing might protect her. Her
eyes move wildly, one way, then another. "GET OUT OF MY HEAD-" Her voice is loud,
frightened and bold, all at the same time, chaotic like the mixed emotions that
fly through her expression.
Rasani moves to kneel beside the couch you sits on, holding her hands up. "Miss
Aymah." She murmurs it, soft and slow. "Nobody's going to hurt you."
Slowly shaking his head, Rashar takes a step back and then turns, departing in
Rashar leaves to the out.
You have emoted: Aymah glances around, to one side, another, past Rasani, and
she shrinks, like a child might, folding her legs against her chest.
Your pose is now set as:
Aymah is shrinking in the back of a couch, as if she might hide behind the
cushions.Your name rings out in the halls of your mind, loud and clear.
You have emoted: Aymah perks up again, wild-eyed, looking for the source of
something. "Who are you!"
Rebellious surges of intrusive emotion run amok in your head.
Rasani holds her hand out. "Miss Aymah... I know you do not know me well, and I
do not know what you are dealing with." She swallows. "But I want you to know
I'm going to help, aye?"The traveler calls out your name again. Their voice is quieter, this time.
You have emoted: Aymah breathes hurriedly, looking completely out of herself.
Her eyes focus briefly upon Rasani. "Are you in my head?!" She barks at the
woman, before once more shifting, clinging to the cushion like one might a
shield, and searching the place. "WHO ARE YOU!" She springs to her feet,
standing atop the sofa. "WHO!" She yells now, looking desperately for a source.
Rasani shakes her head, standing. "I do not know who is in your head, or if
anyone is." She continues to hold her hand out. "If someone is, I can block them.
You just need to let me."It's IT, it's coming for me-- it's won, it's won-- WHY DIDN'T HE PUT ME OUT.
It is now midnight on Quensday, the 22nd of Midsummer, year 459 of the Midnight
You have emoted: "Someone's calling me--" Aymah utters in a hushed voice, making
a motion to Rasani as if to quiet herself. For few moments she appears calm,
still, hardly her eyes blink. And then she is stomping the length of the sofa.
"Get out of my head!"
Rasani moves toward you, grabbing your hand, an aura of disruption entering you.
"If a spellcaster is in your head, this will block them." She grunts. "And if I
have to, I'll get an Illumination user in here, to see if someone feeds you lies
and corruption through telepathy."Who are you-- are you it? Coming to take over?
You have emoted: Aymah's head swivels this way and that, her searching
undisturbed by Rasani's action. "I'd rather die than let you take over!" She
bursts once more.
Rasani seems hesitant, before she shifts her approach, a look of focus on her
face before she grips you again, bright orange eyes meeting yours. Tentative and
unpracticed, she attempts a mindlock.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes widen and she fights Rasani's grip, pulling and
twisting to free her arm. "No!" She bursts, "Stop!"
Rasani grunts, unpracticed as she is, and is unable to enter a mind so unwilling.
"Miss Aymah... please, let me help you."
You have emoted: Aymah laughs wildly, staring at Rasani with crazed eyes. "I've
got enough in my head!" She roars at her.
Rasani grunts running a hand through her hair. "Then what do I do?!" She barks
it, desperate. "I can't... I can't just leave you to -suffer- Miss Aymah!"
You have emoted: "GET OUT!" Aymah utters now, gone her self-control and any hint
of her usual sanity as she reaches for cushions, hurling them straight at Rasani.
"OUT. OF. MY. HEAD!" Another pillow flies, and she is stomping, storming and
skipping - erratic, moving around the chamber.
Serrice intercepts one of the pillows and sets it down after fluffing it. "A
wise man knows when to act, and when to stay their hand."
Rasani holds her hands up. "I'm -not- in your head!" She looks, surprised, to
Serrice. "Need to put a unicorns bell on you or something..."
You have emoted: Apparently satisfied by her most recent demonstration, Aymah
collapses back into a sofa, backing into a corner and shielding herself with a
Satisfied with how the cushion is placed, Serrice moves away from Rasani and
around to the back of the couch, behind but to the side of you. She slumps
forwards, letting her chin rest against the back while her arms drape over it.
She peers sidelong at you.
You have emoted: Aymah is breathing agitatedly, glancing this way and that
almost with a twitch. "What-" She demands, only briefly her eyes alighting upon
Rasani shakes her head, air around her rising in temperature.
"Nothing," Serrice replies. "Hello. And I don't think you know me intimately
enough for me to permit you to do such, Pentarch."
You have emoted: "Hello-" Aymah blurts out only, hugging the cushion closer to
her body and shrinking, and sinking as much as she can in the corner of the sofa,
keeping her legs folded close to her form.
Rasani shakes her head. "Should I just leave this to you? I'm clearly
ineffectual. If anything I'm scaring her -more-."
"If you'd like," Serrice replies, shrugging to Rasani. "I don't intend to fix or
repair or do whatever it is you're attempting. I'm just here because she's my
protegee, and I her mentor, and it seems appropriate."
Pentarch Rasani Morrog says, "Help. I'm only trying to -help-, but all I seem to
be doing is making it worse."
You have emoted: Aymah's gaze at last finally settles, but she remains
entrenched between a cushion and the sofa, staring down at something uncertain.
"Serrice," she says only.
"Well, knowing the right thing to do comes with experience. It was certainly a
valiant effort, and you can't fault yourself --yes?" Serrice cocks her head over
towards you, interrupted from her remarks towards Rasani. She reaches up and
brushes from hair that hangs over her eyes, only to have it fall right back down.
Rasani rubs her neck. "You've... more experience with this I'll assume. I'll...
leave you to it."
Rasani bows her head to you. "I'm sorry I couldn't help you, Miss Aymah."
Rasani leaves to the out.
You have emoted: Aymah blinks her eyes awkwardly. "Where is Shachalai?" She
queries of Serrice, not making the slightest motion otherwise.
Serrice's eyes glaze and grow distant a moment. "In the Eastern Itzatl, on the
Teo'ltien river," she replies, as her eyes focus back on you. "I would hazard a
guess that she's fishing."
You have emoted: Aymah inhales slowly, before exhaling sharply into the cushion.
"Why won't she come?" She queries, her voice muffled.
"I don't know," Serrice admits to you. "Would you like me to ask her?"
You have emoted: Aymah quickly nods her head against the cushion, looking
Your pose is now set as:
Aymah is here, entrenched precariously between a cushion and the corner of a
"There," Serrice replies after a moment of silence. "I've sent her an inquiry.
And... she says she's too angry to be any good to you. Her words." She looks at
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes well up with tears. "Why?" She queries, hardly a
squeak of a voice.
"Why what?" Serrice asks, bemused. "That's not a reasonable question to my
answer, Aymah. Do you want me to ask why she's angry?"
You have emoted: Teardrops roll down Aymah's cheeks, dampening the cushion she
holds close to herself. "I need her-" She utters.
"I don't know if she's coming," Serrice admits reluctantly. "I don't know why
You have emoted: Aymah draws the back of her hand over one eye, then the other.
"She hates me--" She utters, shakily, and sniffles.
"Do you think she does? Do you truly think she does?" Serrice asks. The Azudim
scoots a little closer to you, until she's right behind the Idreth -- her arms
lie limply on either side of you.
You have emoted: "The way she looked at me--" Aymah says in a hushed voice, "she
wouldn't let me go home with her--" She halts, breathing in, and slowly shaking
her head. "She hates me. I am wrong-".
"Oh, I think there might've been a more violent reaction if she /hated/ you,
darling," Serrice replies with an idle lift of a shoulder. "Anger and
unhappiness are certainly possible even within the bounds of romance and love,
Aymah. Let's not jump to conclusions, hm?"
Serrice, the Black Fox asks you, "Why is your eye green, anyways?"
You have emoted: "I NEED HER!" Aymah bursts violently, turning sharply to regard
Serrice with an unhinged expression, her eyes wide, one swirling a violent jade,
while the other appears to dull in color.
The dread sense of danger creeps at your mind.
Serrice peers back at you with a slight arch of her brow. Languidly, she lifts a
hand, finger extended and slowly tracing out a small circle as it nears your
nose. "What do you need her for?" asks, her red-irised eyes gleaming.
You have emoted: Aymah's lips slowly pull back, until most of her teeth are
showing, and she breaks, sobbing desperately. "I need her!" She reiterates,
though it is rather despair in her voice now, and not the sheer madness of
before. "I'm going to fall apart, Serr--" She winces, hooking her fingers on the
haltering of her bra. "Make her come!" Her voice is strident again, demanding.
The dread sense of danger creeps at your mind.
"Tsk, tsk. I'm not a Scout, Aymah, you certainly can't demand of me anything and
expect me to oblige." Serrice's finger edges forwards and she prods you in the
center of the chest. "She wants you to speak with her, if you want her. That's
the best I can do."
You have emoted: Aymah retreats to her refuge in the corner of the sofa, pulling
the cushion once more to herself. She nods her head slowly, and brushes some
fingers over her eyes, swiping at tears.
You tell Shachalai, "Come... please?"
Serrice gives you a look over for a couple more seconds before shifting her
attention, spending the next moments rooting about in her satchel before
producing a burnt-range ceramic jug, capped tightly with a seal. "Here," she
says, setting the thing by your feet. "Something to replace all the water you
lost from those tears."
Serrice drops a burnt-orange ceramic jug.
You have emoted: Aymah nods her head again, her eyes shifting between a burnt-
orange ceramic jug of richly-aromatic golden rum and Serrice. "Hrmp--" She
grunts only, tightly hugging the cushion to herself.
Shachalai enters from the out, riding a donkey clad in Mhun barding.
She is followed by a fiery efreeti and a water sprite.
Shachalai steps down off of a donkey clad in Mhun barding.
Serrice's gaze grows distant for a moment again, and she peers aside at her
forearm. "Oh, there she is. As expected. See?"
Serrice, the Black Fox says to you, "What dividends action paid."
You have emoted: Aymah swipes at her eyes again, smearing tears along her cheek
as she folds her legs closer in, erratically nodding her head against the
cushion she holds near for presumed protection.
Shachalai stands a fair distance away, hands tight around a fiery aetherstaff of
swirling spatial motes. Her lips are set firm, and she stares across at you,
eyes narrowed. A glance of assessment - then another, directed to Serrice.
Her voice sharp-edged and frosty, Aisling whispers to you, "Aymah."
You have emoted: Aymah sniffles, her eyes - one jade, and one blue - focusing on
Shachalai. "I'm sorry--" she whispers in a choked voice, her fingers wringing
the fabric of the cushion she has been squishing.
Serrice peers at you for a moment, then sends her gaze Shachalai's way -- she
meets the one returned with an idle, lazy smile, and flicks her fingers towards
the Idreth in greetings.
Shachalai gives Serrice a short nod. She looks back at you. Breath trails from
her, eyes glowing brighter for a shred of an instant. "So. For the last..." She
counts on her fingers, "Three or so days, the better part of a week if we're
counting the first I ran into you- you've been corrupt, people have been
watching you, you've been making them beg me to come visit you." Her voice is
quiet, but icy. "And it takes me telling one of the people you worked into
asking your questions for you that I'm not fond of that before you have the guts
to ask me yourself." She pauses. Her hand flings outward.
Quietly, a note of bemusement in her voice, Shachalai asks, "Who the unicorns are
"My name is Serrice," Serrice replies to Shachalai with a roll of her head, so
that her cheek comes to rest against the back of a hand she lays against the
back of the couch.
Serrice, the Black Fox says to Shachalai, "We've met."
Nodding, her gaze snapping aside, Shachalai says to Serrice, the Black Fox,
"Yeah, I know, we have met. I was talking to her. Sorry."
Shachalai points accusingly at you.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes widen as she gazes over Shachalai, tears further
burdening her lashes. She seems frozen in place, barely her breathing stirring
her into motion. Her mouth moves, it curls, it opens, it shuts - nothing comes
out for an uncertain length of time. She continues to stare - disbelief, fright
and confusion all splashed chaotically across her features. Her jade eye flashes,
the blue one, it dulls, and with the next blink, there is a struggle of color
within them. "I'm--" She manages at last.
"You let that corruption win," Shachalai says, her head canting to one side, "I
am going to actually kill you again. I'll do it with fire." She strides closer,
a chorus of tones echoing around her, a pyramid crystal levitating beside her
belt and spinning in a slow, lazy circle. She leans down, looking you in the
eyes. "Because I think there's some confusion here about what's going on. Okay?"
Her lips set. "I'm not here to save you. That's not my job. I never signed up
for someone I had to save from themselves. That's my job. That's not what I want
in a lover." Her eyes - purple, fierce - narrow to thin slits. "So you can save
yourself, or you can let this win, because enough different people have been
trying and failing to help you. You know I'm real, right? You know what I'm
saying is for real?" Her head cants upward, a bit, and she emphasizes, quietly:
It is now noon on Quensday, the 22nd of Midsummer, year 459 of the Midnight Age.
Serrice watches with plain interest from where she lies draped, her perspective
skewed horizontal by how she lays her head.
You have emoted: Aymah's eyes rise vacantly toward Shachalai's face, and still
they are wide, disbelieving, and frightened. A hand reaches, extending dubiously
beyond the scarce protection the cushion she has been clinging to provides her,
and her fingers curl around Shachalai's clothing, small and desperate. There is
a plea in her struggling eyes as she tugs on the small bunch of fabric, and for
a time she seems like she might not say anything, but at last, her lips are
You shall now speak in Mhun.
You murmur to Shachalai in Mhun, "I'm falling-- apart..."
Impatiently, Shachalai jerks her head forward, grabbing on your hand.
Shachalai says to you, in Mhun, "Yeah. So was I, the other month. That's not a
good enough excuse. I know for a damn fact you're stronger than this, and if
you're not, I've seriously, seriously misjudged you."
With a tremor to her voice, you exclaim to Shachalai, in Mhun, "I-I-- I didn't
mean to free it!"
Shachalai's hand rises. Her head cranes to one side, and she lets it hang there,
the other around your wrist.
There's a subtle change of expression in Serrice's face, though overall, her
demeanor remains outwardsly one of detached interest.
Shachalai asks you, in Mhun, "And I didn't mean to not tell anyone you'd gone
bonkers, but that's what happened, and I took responsibility for it, because I
should have. And now it's time for you to do the same thing. You've got a job.
You've got work. Your guild, your commune, the world? It doesn't care. It just
wants to know if you can do what you're supposed to do, and that's the same
question I'm asking you. Can you deal with this? Can you get yourself together?"
The dread sense of danger creeps at your mind.
You have emoted: Aymah's teeth bare, clattering together. "I don't want to tame
this anymore!" She bursts, grabbing for Shachalai now with both hands. "I need
it out of me!" She squeaks, "She is wrong, she is bad!" She continues, her voice
rising, until it breaks, with laughter. A soft laughter at first, but then it
rises, raucous, dark. Slowly she rises to her feet, releasing Shachalai
completely. "I'm afraid Aymah Adesso is seeing the last of her days," there is a
definite change in her voice, it nearly sounds like someone else's, and she
daintily steps off the couch, walking past the women. "You see, she can't do it
anymore, I'm stronger." She turns, bearing a malignant grin. "I am Nisha, by the
way," her brow wrinkles as she fixes Shachalai. "-You- are an obstacle."
"Oh. I think I'm going to need another telepath," Serrice murmurs, the relative
joviality of her expression finally fading away from her. Her lips press
together into a thin line, and she regards you (still horizontally) with
Looking aside, Shachalai says to Serrice, the Black Fox, "Yeah. I can do a lot
of things, but exorcism isn't one of them. Get someone good with minds."
Shachalai's gaze flits back to you. She pulls a grimace, her eyes rolling upward
a bit. "Yeah," she finally answers. "I think we get it. You're evil." She holds
out her aetherstaff. "I think I might be a bit more scared of you if you weren't
in her body, though. Kind of stupid, showing your hand like this. You have to
know there's no winning outcome here."
You have emoted: "Just when I thought darling Aymah Adesso was at the end of her
rope," Aymah paces slowly, a pronounced sway to her hips, away from the others.
"You had to come..." she makes a derisive gestures with her hand, wiggling her
fingers as if small, moving feet, "scampering into the picture." She turns
sharply, and raises a nonchalant hand to comb back through her hair. "I won't be
going anywhere, you see. You may kill this body, again and again, and still I
will be lingering around in the next dark corner of her little head."
The traveler returns, grabbed in shadow and wielding a blazing star of emberite,
diving into the dark depths of your mind.
Serrice remains silent, but her eyes narrow as they fix on you, red slits
peering between two dark lids.No-no--no!
QUIET. It's my turn now, Aymah Adesso.
"Yeah, well..." Shachalai trails off, glancing to Serrice. "Not much I can do
about minds. But here's the thing. You live in a commune full of monks who
specialize in minds." Her chin jerks upward, and she tilts her head to one side.
"And even if your commune is kind of a mess, I feel like one thing they could
agree on is that corrupt possession? Not great."Where caution guided the traveler's step previously, haste is the rule now --
with swiftiness they fly into the deep crevices of your mind, guided by light
and cloaked in darkness.
You have emoted: Aymah laughs with this observation. "Duiran is no better than
the planthoppers they're infested with," she hisses, her visage shifting
suddenly. "What are you doing!" She bursts to Serrice, taking two steps forward."WHAT IS THIS INTRUSION" A dark voice booms in Aymah's mind, coming from all
Glancing aside, Shachalai says to Serrice, the Black Fox, "There's nothing I can
do here right now."
Matter-of-factly, Shachalai moves forward, attempting to shove past you.
You have emoted: Looking ready to lurch forward, Aymah collides instead with
Shachalai. "STOP THIS!" She yells to Serrice, scrambling about, swatting and
flailing as she encounters Shachalai's form.You will not undo my work in this place, you little monk!It scouts. It tracks. It hunts. Small in the vastness of the sepulcheral dark,
it illuminates in turn, mote by mote, the crevices and creases of your mind,
examining, exploring."Help me--" A whisper breaks through the darkness.
Raising her staff, Shachalai brings it down, aiming a sharp swing for your head.
You have emoted: Aymah only manages half a duck, taking the blunt of the strike
to the side of her head and the arm she raises futilely to shield from the blow.
She falls heavy to the ground with a groan, looking stunned.Italic">"Help me!" the whispering is louder and louder, "HELP ME!"
An unfamiliar song creeps into the darkness of Aymah's mind. "Moth beat your
wings, into the fire--"Thunder roars through the mindscape, winds with the force of a gale and vicious
shockwaves buffeting the little mote of the traveler all about.
They struggle to maintain their course, latching on to the distant cry and
speeding off in its direction.
Serrice sets a hand to her temper as Shachalai's blow connects, teeth gritting
and eyes falling shut entirely. Her brow furrows.The song continues to sound throughout the void and darkness, the words
incomprehensible, and just as it began, it stops.
Slowly a darker presence tiptoes back in like an agile cat. "Get out!" the voice
booms. "This is Nisha's dominion now!" The darkness roils, and moves forward,
seeping through every crevice in chase of the intrusive traveler.The star, the seed, the soul. They find it as a tide of shadow surges behind
them, like a colossal wave, miles high.
Circling your fallen form, Shachalai moves to a point near the bronze door,
taking a seat, her staff folded over her knees."HELP!" The whisper has grown, there is light, somewhere, ahead. A spark, it
shoots one way, and another, and grows, shining brighter, guiding the traveler's
"YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED!" Is the booming voice behind, and then, the darkness
collides with the light with a roaring cacophony of sound, leaving everything
silent.The traveler races ahead, after the spark, searching for its source, its
progenitor, while the citadel of light they have erect holds back the tides of
darkness -- for now.
You have emoted: On the ground, Aymah's form stirs as if in the middle of a bad
dream. She twists and shakes, whimpering, her eyes moving behind heavy lashes.
"Thank you," Serrice murmurs, the rustle of Shachalai's clothing reaching her
ears. She palms a bit of a moss between her fingers and quickly imbibes, chewing
briskly and swallowing in a smooth, practiced manner.The spark settles at the end of what feels like an endless tunnel, glinting,
flickering. At last, it is visible - a dark cage, its bars ethereal strands of
black and jade. Within, it appears all the color that was once free, all the
light - the memories, the places, they are contained, locked away.
Serrice's breathing subtly quickens, and she tenses up, lips twisting into frown.There is a rumble in the darkness, everything shakes and creaks like an old
tunnel below ground about to yield. In a corner is the spark, shiny and small.
It's Aymah - she is five years old, perhaps, and is holding a turnip as she
cowers in a dark corner. "Who are you?" She asks as the traveler approaches.One blow. Two. Three. The question is answered by shattering blasts of sound and
fury. All around, the walls of the citadel of light and glass are approaching
the entire edifice shrinking to solely encompass just what's here.The little girl approaches, turnip cradled in one hand, and she points at the
cage. "She couldn't let them go," she says, trying her best to pry one of the
dark strands from the horrid construction. "When Acabe died-" She says, tugging
the dark coil out to stomp it on the ground with her little foot. With that, she
vanishes.Break. Break. Break!
At length, Shachalai just grunts softly. She grabs the pyramid crystal hovering
at her side and stows it away.Everything shakes again, and the cage glows a malignant green, feeding off the
instability. Another spark appears, glinting before materializing into Aymah
once more - this time, she is eighteen. She is holding a dead gopher in one hand.
"Acabe died-" She whispers, hurling the gopher at the cage, and then, she is
grabbing the bars, tugging and tugging. "Help me!" She cries.
It is now dusk on Quensday, the 22nd of Midsummer, year 459 of the Midnight Age.The traveler sweeps the gopher away before gathering their strength and hurling
a tremendous blow at the cage, a surge of power that strikes with the fury of a
lightning bolt. The very air of your mindscape ripples with force.
There is a sharp, uncomfortable creak coming from the construction as the girl
wrests a bar free, the coils of jade and black scattering. She ducks with the
blow. "Yes!" She utters, vanishing too.Break. Break. Break!
You have emoted: Aymah arches violently on the ground, her lips opening with a
muted cry.Shatter and sunder, reave and ruin! Let these fetters come undone!Everything trembles. The dark voice booms. "STOP!"Certainly not.And with that, the traveler smites the cage one last time.A third, brighter spark materializes. It's Aymah, she has a dhurive - she is
quite older, perhaps in her eighties. Xenia has left her, her engagement ring
hangs from her neck. "This is enough!" She yells, ambushing the cage with her
dhurive. The strands of jade and black scatter, they are material, palpable
memories, frustrations, losses, all holding back the good.
There is a bright explosion - color, light, energy, everything is freed. Aymah
approaches the traveler, she hugs it tightly, and vanishes too along with the
last motes of darkness and jade. "NO!" The voice rises again, dark, but weakened.
"NO!"The traveler turns. Around them, the shadows writhe and rage, kept at bay by a
sphere of gleaming, tesselating light. They take a moment to look, to watch, to
reflect, and then they to are gone.
You have emoted: It starts with a twitch in Aymah's hand. A slow contraction of
the muscles - it quickens, and spreads, and then she is convulsing,
incontrollable, foaming through clenched teeth.
"Wake her up," Serrice murmurs, her eyes suddenly fluttering open. She pushes
herself upright and gives her head a rub, briskly plucking a vial from the
satchel at her side and imbibing it.
A few crystals leap from Shachalai's cache - she spins them out, and a complex
harmony sounds, sharp and elucidating, projecting a wave of energy toward you.
"Reverse lullaby," she murmurs. "Hope that works."
You have emoted: Slowly the motions subside, and Aymah's spent body lies still
on the ground. She regains consciousness with a choked gasp, her eyes opening,
both bright blue.
"I found her mind-self, and I broke it free from the restraints this... entity
had placed on it," Serrice explains to Shachalai, leaning forwards and bracing
herself against the back of the couch. "And I've raised safeguards to keep it
away from her."
Nodding, muting the crystals with a wave of her hand, Shachalai says to Serrice,
the Black Fox, "Okay."
As she watches the other Idreth awaken, Serrice, the Black Fox says to Shachalai,
"Surely she now struggles with the entity, and she might retreat behind the
walls I've raised as long as I am there to man them. But does she have the
strength to defeat it? I do not know."
Serrice, the Black Fox says to Shachalai, "/I/ would certainly need the aid of
other telepaths before contemplating killing such a creature."
In this still, near-dead place, you feel strangely peaceful.
You have emoted: Aymah slowly raises a hand to draw back over her face. "What
color are my eyes?" She queries, otherwise unmoving.
Craning forward from her sitting position, Shachalai says to you - "Blue.
They're blue, right now. You're more or less okay."
Serrice imbibes a second vial before circling around the couch and taking a seat,
expelling a breath. After a moment, she reaches for the jug resting there,
cracks it open, and takes a swig of its contents.
Serrice drinks from a burnt-orange ceramic jug of richly-aromatic golden rum.
You have emoted: Aymah exhales, looking relieved. The moment doesn't last long
however, and she turns sharply on her side, retching violently. This time, there
is a vile, bilious substance dripping from her lips as she braces the ground,
Shachalai averts her gaze, grimacing faintly - only hesitantly does she return
her eyes to you, hands drawing along her aetherstaff.
Gathering inks from her cache, Shachalai sets about laying a tattoo upon her
Shachalai frowns in concentration, and the ink begins to shape itself into a
"That's disgusting," Serrice mentions, taking another gulp from the jug before
setting it aside.
You have emoted: It takes Aymah some time to rise, coughing dryly and choking.
She forces her hands off the ground, and lands back on the ground, on her rump,
looking pale and nauseated.