Spending decades huddling in caves with feral vampires has left Lin in a dire mental state. Even after being cured, Aisling and Pilar have often come into conflict with Lin's tendency to let her instincts control her. Things came to a head when she terrorized Sen, and enough became enough.
Aisling and Pilar delved inside Lin's head (read: her haven), where they manufactured then parleyed with a manifestation of her aggression and feral hostility. Learning that they planned to put the creature under Lin's control, it retaliated by withdrawing from her entirely, leaving Lin like a timid kitten.
Now Pilar concludes the ritual that will restore Lin to control.
She is an intelligent Azudim of Human heritage, though her humanity is very much at question. Eight feet tall and clad in muscle, she is a lissome-bodied huntress, dark skin like burnt umber, carrying herself with unthinking predatory grace. Shot through with cracks, overlapping plates of bone sheath her arms and legs, up to shoulder and mid-thigh, exaggerating and weaponizing her musculature. Here and there, between the seams, sprouts tufts of tough, glossy black fur. Her elongated hands and feet are like those of a demon, ending in long, calcified claws. Her head is weighed down by a pair of stout, curling horns, much like a ram's, encased in a filigree cage of barbed mithril. Thick and glossy black hair tumbles in a drift down her back, rawhide thongs used to partition it off into fat rat-tail braids, the sides of her head shaved short. The ears are tapering and elongated, elfin in appearance, capable of moving expressively. Her facial features are lean and feminine, those of an ingenue, with pale, golden eyes and the archetypal El'jaziran eyebrows and nose. A long and finely-segmented tail helps correct her balance. It extrudes from her body at the base of the spine, as long as she is tall, and ends in a thick barb, much like a scorpion's. All about her neck and shoulders are a motley assorment of scars: claw markings and bites in varying sizes. She walks with the boon of Haern.
warped and twisted filigree horn ornamentations : (twisted around her horns)
a linkable obsidian ring piercing : (chained along her left ear)
a linkable obsidian ring piercing : (linking points of her right ear)
a shadowy ring : (cinched around a boneclad claw)
a heavy quartz pendant on a gold chain : (dangling from her neck)
a brushed, white direwolf pelt : (bundled around her for warmth)
a pair of hardy brown leather trousers : (torn at the knees)
a circular mark, half darkened : (burnt into her foreshead)
a thick septum nose ring of tarnished silver : (hanging from her nose)
a jade bangle of the Praadi : (secure around her wrist)
a durable, white sleeveless training tunic : (roughened; form-fitting)
a horned, bestial mask of scorched wood : (hanging from her hip)
a draping laburnum vine : (a flourish of color over her ear)
She is an agile Yeleni, a petite vision of a female faun with all the wildness and odd beauty of her kin. From the waist up she has the golden brown frame of a human female matured to the height of womanhood. Her cheekbones and jawline are sharp, her brown eyes like slivers of ripe almonds, and her nose sits straight above a cupids bow mouth. Ebon hair falls over her shoulders to cover her small breasts while the rest is drawn into a high ponytail that tumbles to the small of her back. The underside of her ponytail has been shaved nearly to the scalp, exposing the shape of her skull and the nape of her slender neck. Twin ebon horns emerge from the top of her head, ribbed and ending in sharp points at their tips, they add a few inches of height to her otherwise diminutive stature. A doe's ear peeks out from her black tresses, flicking back and forth at the slightest sound. Its twin is obviously absent, severed in some ritual or accident. Bands of crimson have been tattooed around her neck, right shoulder, right wrist, and where her waist is smallest, a flush pattern of thick and thin loops against her chestnut skin. Her tiny waist and flat belly give way to ample hips that meld seamlessly with a does hindquarters. Her legs are swathed in velvety brown fur that fades into a creamy white, creating a direct contrast with dainty black cloven hooves. She walks with the boon of Haern.
many bangles of bone and gold : (stacked up both arms)
a simple, fang-accented anklet : (encircling an ankle)
a ring carved from a golden sun crystal : (on her right ring finger)
an entwined rustic, onyx raven hairpin : (clipped above her missing ear)
a charm of tattered feather and bone : (tied at the wrist)
a loincloth of diaphanous ivory silk : (low on the hips)
a belt of tattered waist beads : (loose around wide hips)
a heavy quartz pendant on a gold chain : (resting against her heart)
twilight robes cast with a bevy of fireflies : (oversized and left open)
a moccasin hatchling : (coiled around her neck)
She is a muscular Azudim of Atavian heritage of a tall, willowy stature at seven feet. Feminine traits are visible in the modest curves of her toned, taut form, with skin of a deep, near-violet color. Her wavy, off-white hair has been braided, reaching her lower back, a few curls framing her features. Her eyes are white, the black outline of her irises standing out, gaze always carrying a predatory glint. From the mass of hair stick out a pair of ears, one long and pointed, lending to an air of elegance, while the other seems to have been cut in battle, a chunk missing. She bears traces of a feral nature, with scarred hands tipped with claws, and sharp fangs, upper and lower, sometimes peeking between her lips. Standing out amidst the blue of her skin, a triangle, inked in black, reaches from her neck, to clavicle, to shoulder-blade. Crimson like blood, thick paint has been used to mark a thumbprint in the center of her forehead, and claw-like streaks upon their chest. She walks with the boon of Haern. She walks with the blessing of Dhar.
a woven, triangular tattoo : (at the back of the neck)
an entwined band carved from a wintry icecrystal : (dangling at the neck)
a set of hunter's tools : (resting at their hip)
a black-inked tattoo of a feral eye : (shrouded beneath their sleeve)
an intricately-tied feral bone mask : (shrouding their features)
a pair of polished, knee-high black boots : (securely laced)
a high-collared, sleeveless shirt : (buttoned to the throat)
a cracked hematite medallion of the Pride : (looped at their belt)
a knotted, crimson silk belt : (wound about their waist)
a pair of black, fitted hide breeches : (tucked into their boots)
Pilar arrives from the southwest.
Serrice pushes up off her seat and moves to join you on the floor, sitting besides the hookah. She's about to make some remark when the sound of Pilar's hooves catches her attention, and her head turns to flash the new dur Naya a wide smile. "Pilar."
You have emoted: Lin's head turns too, rather sharply at that. The den's ceiling is thick with smoke; it roils around in slow motion, spilling into the rest of Sibatti's home. "Sister," she says, her voice rising at the end, turning it into a question.
Pilar appears in the doorway flushed and freshly bathed, a moccasin hatchling fat and near grown around her neck. She glances between Serrice and you with a sharp nod, "Fox. Shavora." Her eyes fall on you and she clicks her tongue, "Your time has come."
Serrice gently nudges your side, smiling. "Will be looking forward to seeing you after you're done," she tells you. Her eyes slide next back over to Pilar and she watches, expectant.
You have emoted: Swiftly, Lin rises to her feet; it's as if she has been waiting to hear those words, waiting for them with infinite patience. "I am ready, sister," she says, her voice abruptly small, thrumming with a moment's sudden tension.
Pilar sucks in a breath when she catches sight of Sibatti and bows somewhat stiffly. She then looks to you once more, "I will send you to my garden in Enorian. Be still."
Sibatti glances around, looking surprised at becoming conscious in the surrounding of so many. "Uh...."
As Pilar begins to sing a song of journey to you, you feel inexplicably compelled to undertake a voyage to the neighborhoods of Enorian.
You find yourself standing elsewhere, compelled by the woven song.
Cairn stone within a garden left to nature. (neighborhoods of Enorian) [Garden] (v49883)
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Glimmering hints of grayish daylight are all that pierce through the darkening clouds above.
You see exits leading north and south (open pine door).
Pilar's form flickers into view as she strolls in, the last of a song passing her lips.
Pilar takes a long drag from a lit transparent cone-shaped cigarette.
Pilar exhales a pale green cloud of smoke, redolent with invigorating scents.
The vague image of an entwined band carved from a wintry icecrystal appears in the air, before Aisling appears in a flash of magic.
With everyone here, Pilar gestures quickly from Aisling to you with a simple command, "Tie her." Her gaze remains on you as she lifts a lit transparent cone-shaped cigarette to her mouth, taking a short puff and then blowing out the smoke.
You have emoted: The bewilderment of shamanic travel takes a moment to wear off. Lin totters, her balance uncertain moment, her eyes lolling about until she can right herself, physically and mentally. She has just enough time to acknowledge both of you - seeming especially surprised by Aisling's presence - before Pilar's edict gives her fright. "Wh- what," she stammers, backing away a step.
Aisling blinks as she fades into view. The woman pauses - not quite hesitation, more confusion than anything else, and then, grunts, reaching for her pouch and a length of rope within it. The Ranger steps to you, pausing before her, close, "Your hands." She requests, softly.
Cigarette hanging between her lips, Pilar shrugs off her robes to reveal her nude upper body freshly washed and glistening with oil perfumed with lotus blossoms. "It is for your own safety, Shavora. We will need you to kneel," she says, cig wagging as she glances briefly to Aisling, "Make sure to tie her hands and feet securely."
You have emoted: Rarely does Lin wear her fear so nakedly. Anxiousness, sure; worry, rather frequently. She freezes in place, fixated upon Aisling with a rabbit's unthinking expression, in the face of a predator. But wordlessly, she proffers her hands, already balled into fists, the wrists touching.
Aisling manages only a nod, trying to keep her gaze away from your own as she proceeds, the expression therein sure to make her give. The woman works quick, practiced ease behind the knots - never too tight, but sure to harm should you fight against it too violently. First the wrists, up the forearms, then, easing you on her knees before tying the woman's ankles.
Pilar continues to undress, her back to both you and Aisling as she hooks her thumbs into her loincloth and slips it down over her doe's legs. Wearing only her beaded jewelry and trinkets, the faun can be heard muttering under her breath as she rolls a heavy quartz pendant on a gold chain between her fingers. Head bowed, she continues to pray, the natural roof overhead growing dark to blot out the sun as the verdant canopy thickens.
You have emoted: Lin's leather clothing creaks as she is made to kneel, her head ducked defensively, as if constantly expecting a dealt blow. There is no fight in her whatsoever - none of the struggling you could expect, not even her pervasive and intrinsic resistance, those all- too-frequent grasps at independence. She obeys with her body, and starts to whimper as Aisling lashes her ankles together. Her fists touching in her lap, she chances a glance at Pilar, her breathing gone noisy.
Aisling rests a hand at your back, a careful, slow touch, lacking pressure, and rubs slow circles. Otherwise, she remains silent, waiting for instructions, her knots secure as ever, as most Sentinel's ought to be.
For quite a long moment, Pilar remains still as a hush falls over the verdant cloister. Her ear flicks and she bends slowly, a hand moving deftly through the pile of silk on the floor to produce a curved, deeply grooved bone knife, colored twine, and various herbs. "There is apart of you, shavora, that has grown so hateful it must be cleansed before it can be returned to you," the small woman explains, her voice calm as she begins to bundle the incense together, "this will help you let go of that anger. That burden. She will see as we see, as you have seen, all the love that she has kept from you. Are you ready for this, Lin?"
The moccasin hatchling around Pilar's neck begins to stir and slide around the Yeleni's neck protectively.
You have emoted: With even such a small, comforting gesture from Aisling, Lin gives in to it needily, leaning back into her caressing hand, desperately seeking comfort. She comports herself with what dignity she can scrape together, and does not succumb to hysterics at the sight of Pilar's knife (though her eyes track it as surely as prey). "I'm ready, sister. I'm afraid."
Aisling rumbles, watching on in eerie silence. She does not move, does not speak, beyond the steadying hand at your back. She behaves as a sentry might, offering no input.
Pilar mixes together a thick paste using some oil, and coats a slender length of wood in the substance. She waves it through the air a few times to dry it, and ends up with a circular bundle of incense marked "Strength".
With little difficulty, Pilar pulls together a circular bundle of incense marked "Strength" from the handful of herbs and cuts the twine with her knife. Nodding at your words, she looks up to Aisling and then to the cairn stone in the middle of the darkened alcove. Pointing to small monolith, she murmurs to her mate, "Bring her before the stone. Remain on your knees, Lin," before she begins to walk to it herself. Eyes downturned, she begins to hum a low, sonorous song beneath her breath as she takes measured steps toward the cairn stone with the bundle of incense touching her forehead.
You have emoted: Lin doesn't move, of course - what can she do? At glacial pace she begins to relax. The fear never leaves her face, but she allows herself to slump, allows herself to surrender to her predicament. Tests are made against her bonds, simple tugging affairs, investigating the slack of the rope, seemingly without intent to break loose. Though she utters soft and afraid mewling sounds, Lin awaits whatever comes next.
Aisling rumbles, a low, comforting thing, a familiar sound. The woman moves slow, muttering a quiet 'excuse me', a habit, before passing an arm under your knees, the other around the woman's shoulders as to rise with you in her arms. There's a grunt of effort, but she manages, stepping towards the stone before carefully, gently placing you back on her knees.
Cigarette still between her lips, a veil of fragrant smoke begins to follow Pilar, becoming thicker and thicker as she grows near the stone. The stone itself begins to thrum in response, emitting the faint sound of a heartbeat as all three women grow closer. Soon the cigarette grows short and the faun spits it outside of the circle, still humming her low song as she reaches for the cairn with one hand and comes around the back of it. Standing before Aisling and you, she keeps her eyes downturned as she whispers quietly to a circular bundle of incense marked "Strength", inciting its wick to light before placing it as an offering atop the stone. "Look at me Lin, I make this offering of strength for you. Strength tempered, balanced, and always in your control," the faun inhales the smoke through her nose as it rises and exhales it into your face, "Ase."
Pilar raises a circular bundle of incense marked "Strength" slightly as she lights it, allowing it to smolder for a moment before puffing the flame out in a short breath.
Pilar drops a lit circular bundle of incense marked "Strength".
Dried sap crackling as the bundle of incense burns, black smoke rises lazily, spreading a starkly spicy aroma.
Pilar crumbles a bloodroot leaf and roughly chops it, forming the base for her blend.
Carefully shaving strips from a lady's slipper root, Pilar mixes it with her blend.
You have emoted: An undercurrent seems to dwell beneath Lin's skin, noticeable when Aisling hauls her over. She's shivering as if cold. Kneeling once more, her nostrils flare, an unpredictable gallimaufry of scents vying for dominance of her sense of smell. Cigarette smoke, cloying incense, the woodsy perfume of flowers. Lifting her head, she gazes into Pilar's eyes - she is wordless, either scared speechless or finding her own vocabulary too mean and coarse for the moment. And although she flinches when Pilar blows into her face, she opens up and takes a deep lungful of smoke, trying her best to hold it in.
Pilar sets about rolling a fat black blunt banded with gold resin, packing the small cylinder with a packet of Three-Eyed Raven and pinching it off with a flourish.
Aisling remains behind, silent and still, watching Pilar, waiting for instruction or need, as a loyal hound might.
"Look into my eyes, spirit," Pilar says calmly, plucking a fat black blunt banded with gold resin from within her neat ponytail and blowing into it to light it, "you have been waiting for this chance. Speak." Though she bids the entity to look into her eyes, the faun keeps them downturned - black lashes hiding their color. She takes a long drag from the blunt and leans over the cairn stone and through the rising black smoke to blow the acrid blend in your face.
You have emoted: From Lin's end, the ritual carries on in monotony for some time. With eyes shut she breathes deeply of smoke, tremulous grunting in her throat as she wills herself not to cough. In time she stills and grows quiet - as if she's fallen asleep. Then her eyes snap open. They are wide, hateful, her golden irises infected with halos of red. Instantly she starts to rise, seeming to forget her ropes. They hold tight, straining against her legs and arms as in gentle panic, she thrashes, falling over onto her side, growling under her breath. "I - see- you," she growls. The voice isn't hers - it's too deep, layered with the suggestions of others. A malevolent chorus speaking in unison. "We've come to this, then? My chains."
Aisling reaches out to stop your fall, an arm wrapping around the larger woman, steady, strong. She says nothing, and watches Pilar, her body suddenly tense, as if ready for a fight.
The moment the entity within you speaks, is the same moment the maze like pattern in the tilled ground sparks to life with an amber and fel
green glow. The circle around the three women is made apparent and the crowded flora seem to lean forward, drawn by the light. Pilar smirks when the entity speaks and whispers calmly, "Look into my eyes spirit..." though her two eyes remained downturned, a third made of amber light opens slowly on her brow as if coming awake. The black incense continues to billow around her thickly and acrid smoke pours from her mouth from the cigarette between her lips.
You have emoted: "You brimstone -whores-," Lin spits, her voice made sickly with outrage. She jerks her arms about, trying feebly to fight her way out of Aisling's grasp. The knotwork is strong, it holds tight. "No matter how sweet this weak unicorns is on you, part of her will always... h- hate..." Her voice dies, not with an angry snarl and not in simple silence, but with a whimper, every bit as fearful as the real Lin, hidden deep down. Smoke fingers its way into her nose, passing in and out as she breathes. She is spellbound, her mouth ajar, affixed by hypnosis. The control is not absolute - sometimes she'll give a jerk, and snarl with some perceived triumph, only to lock down again.
Aisling's gaze finds Pilar, and it seems she barely hears you at the sight the faun provides. The Ranger is stiff, hold strong as ever, almost painful, and the added benefit of the rope only makes it harder to move. She doesn't dare speak, doesn't dare interrupt - it is clear why Pilar brought her here, simple, sheer strength and nothing else.
It doesn't matter, your attention is what Pilar wants and once she has it, the third golden eye flies open and black smoke spreads quickly outwards in a gust to fill the garden. Like ink in water, it swirls about, penetrated only by searing golden light shining from the faun's third eye. It is soon joined by two more and the sound of flapping wings flying overhead. From the darkness, the faun speaks, her oginal three eyes now surrounded by many more amber shapes that stare down at you. A voice, the Hand's accompanied by many others and the cawing of many ravens booms, "YOU LIE, SPIRIT. YOU ARE WEAK. A COWARD. OUR EYES CAN SEE YOU, SHRINKING AND HOLDING DESPERATELY." The spicy smell grows stronger and the air thick with a harshly bitter taste that can be felt on the tongue, "LOOK INTO MY EYES, LIN."
You have emoted: Lin shrinks back, as much as Aisling's stony grip will allow. At this point it seems to make no difference who she is; whichever part of her is in control has no bearing on the sheer terror with which she comports herself. Her ears folding back against her temples, she lets out a loud wail, trembling there on her knees. Front and center, her eyes focus unmovingly on the golden portal in Pilar's brow. "MAKE IT STOP," she says, or the thing in her says. In a motley assortment of voices, a twisted female choir, its origins can't be clear. "We will-- we- we will heed you... make it STOP!"
Aisling has been scared into silence. Something only seen a few rare times before, in great wars, in the face of great Divine. She does not budge, her solid hold ever present, steadying you, only there by virtue of some unspoken duty to keep the woman in place. Her ears are low, the torn one quivering now and then, the woman attempting to make herself as small as she can, instinctively.
The many eyes draw fluidly back into six, those that belong to Pilar quite large while three smaller ones rest atop them in the darkness. Those three bear a faintly green glow mixed with their ethereal amber light and the hiss and loud caw of a single raven fills the air. A voice, very much unlike the faun's but equally serene calls from the smoke, "Look into my eyes, Lin, and know peace. What use is hanging onto anger when you have such a powerful and loving sister at your side?" The crackle of the burning incense is the only natural sound in the hushed glade, "When you have firm hand of a friend to guide you? Look into my eyes, Lin. Take hold of yourself, your confidence, your teeth, your talons. I can -see- she cannot control you. You are not weak."
You have emoted: Lost to the host of shocking and otherworldly visions, Lin's eyes threaten to roll back into their head. Through sheer force of will, and a steep fear of Pilar that brings obedience, she gazes dead ahead, moaning fretfully. She speaks softly, her voice nearly swallowed in a percussion line of flapping and squawks. "... please, don't... don't lose us..." She chokes - or approximates its noise, gagging awfully. Her whole body spasms, giving Aisling's arms a jerk. The second time she speaks, it's in one voice, the one she was born with. The fiery red has begun to die in her eyes. "I am not weak."
Aisling grunts, snapping out of her fearful trance at your pull. She pulls the woman's back against her front, both arms wrapped around your midsection as she keeps a firm hold. She is cold, her touch close to burning your skin, but not quite, and she watches on.
Though the six eyes look on, it is the smaller ones that tilt as if questioning you. At the same time that Aisling pulls you into a firm hold, so does Pilar appear at the side of the two women, her body flushed from exertion and coated with sweat. She wields a curved, deeply grooved bone knife in one hand and pants audibly, looking down at her sister with a penetrating stare. Behind her, the larger eyes continue to pulse and glow in a hypnotizing manner, while the smaller three hop down to perch above where the cairn sat.
The dark smoke surrounding Pilar and the pair of Azudim clear, revealing a raven spirit sitting atop the marked cairn stone.
A raven spirit says, "We do not think you are weak, Lin. I can see you are strong. I can see you let your fear take you. I can see your anger can twist you. It clouds your path. Clouds your judgement. Own your strengths, learn them, appreciate those around you. Do not be afraid."
You have emoted: Lacking Pilar's many-eyed gaze as a focal point, Lin gazes at the spirit instead. Beneath her leathers she is sweating profusely, yet being in Aisling's grasp for so long has left her shivering with violence. In short, she looks like a wreck, but it's all beneath the eyes; worldly matters such as her comfort are not on her mind. "I am not afraid," she says aloud. The voice that comes from her sounds like some thing dragged through a mile of gravel, yet it conveys a rare confidence. "... I am not alone. I have love. I am not afraid. "
The moccasin slithers from around Pilar's neck to curl around her arm that she holds out as if in a daze. Without a word, hardly even a hiss, she slides the end of a curved, deeply grooved bone knife across her palm. The scent and sight of blood springs up immediately and she drops the dagger before staggering wearily to you and Aisling's side. Reaching over, she holds your jaw with her free hand while she squeezes the quartz crystal around her bloodied hand and draws it in a line down the Azudim's forehead then over her nose, lips, and chin. Afterwards she lifts the woman's head up further, forcing her to look only at a raven spirit.
Pilar murmurs to you in Jaziri, "When I pray for your safety and your love and your goals and your body. I hold that crystal and put all my loving feelings and strength into it. Through touch and blood, I want you to feel my love for my sister. I will never leave you." You have emoted: "I am not afraid, I am not afraid..." Lin repeats, softly, a mantra that is quickly becoming catechism. Her sights remain front and center, but she senses the flicker of the blade nearby, and gasps aloud, perhaps anticipating pain. Like putty in Pilar's hands, she proffers no resistance, does not fight her head being turned. her blood stands out a stark crimson, laid over her dark flesh. The ropes creak as she clenches her fists. "I am not afraid," she whispers, gazing endlessly at the raven.
Both Pilar and the raven spirit speak in tandem in response to you, chanting, "Look into my eyes, Lin, and be cleansed. Look into my eyes, Lin, and be cleansed. Look into my eyes, Lin-" The faun shudders and leans slightly against Aisling as she smears her bloodied hand in a circular motion, making sure to stain the woman's face completely. Once the circle is complete, she whispers, "Look into my eyes, Lin, and be cleansed."
A raven spirit says, "Look into my eyes, Lin, and be cleansed."
Aisling can only watch on, bearing the weight of the pair, keeping a firm hold on you. It is no longer restraining, but something of a source of comfort for the Ranger, as if letting go of you might bring about some great danger.
You have emoted: Lin's head snaps back and forth, first to Pilar, then the raven, then back to Pilar. Back and forth, over and over, answering each call with mindless obedience, enslaved to the spoken word. Her eyes are not quite here - fitfully they dart within tight confines, as if she is trying to track whirling motes of dust in a storm. Her panting grows louder, until one exhalation comes out in a soft and worried "Hahhh," then the rest follow suit. Tears begin to pour from her eyes, cutting twin paths through Pilar's blood.
Blood pours from Pilar's wound in a steady stream over your face, laying her head tiredly on the crown of her sister's head, she continues to whisper the chant into you dark hair. Though her body continues to slump even more heavily against Aisling and her eyes lid, the faun won't give up her chant. Not until she is sure. "Look....be cleansed, Lin...."
A raven spirit says, "Look into my eyes, Lin, and be cleansed..."
You have emoted: Onward Lin gazes, her eyes unsettled and always looking at something not quite here. Even through her clothes, Aisling's embrace has begun to chill her to the bone, and her skin has taken on a cold pall. There comes a point where her head shakes spastically, as if shaking something out of her hair, and then with renewed clarity, one of her eyes gummed shut by blood, Lin turns her head and stares into Pilar's eyes, lucid, seemingly awake. "Pilar," she whispers. "Pilar... stop, you're bleeding."
The raven spirit caws loudly once before flapping its wings and dissipating like smoke into thin air. The larger eyes wink out. The light amongst the maze of tilled soil fades. Then lastly the marked cairn stone thrums once more with power, emitting a low vibration that makes even the ground shake. Overhead, the canopy lightens and the grove seems to come back to life. As evidence of the ritual fade in the sacred space, Pilar falls to the ground, weakened, bleeding, her body pouring with sweat.
Aisling is quick to act once the ritual seems to be done, a rough, painful tug to your arms rips through the rope, and she leaves the larger woman to handle the bindings on her ankles by herself, turning to tend to Pilar's fallen form. She is focused, no trembling to her hands despite the previous fear as she moves, first and foremost, to apply mending to the wounds.
The ghostly form of a raven spirit fades from view.
You have emoted: "Pilar--!" Even caked with blood, the shock can be read clear as day on Lin's face. She lets out an uncontrollable moan of relief when Aisling frees her arms - and she makes effortless work of the ropes about her ankles. She turns on her knees to address her sister, though Aisling seems to have it under control. Instead, she takes hold of Pilar's hand, cradling it delicately. She's shaking badly, made deathly cold, but treats it like nothing more than an irksome headache, frowning through it. "Pilar... stay with us, sister. Please."
Pilar shudders in Aisling's arms, her fingertips turning blue though the heavy bleeding begins to slow with her mate's care. Dark hair sticks to her forehead as another outbreak of sweat crawls over her skin and the woman struggles to sit up but fails. Laying her head to rest on the ground, she chuckles and clenches her fist, sending another gush of blood to seep into the soil. "unicorns unicorns," she sputters, voice weak, "she took all my strength but for you, sister. It is worth it."
Aisling rumbles, a near snarl leaving her, "Don't move." She warns, a tad too harshly, brow furrowed. The woman pauses, feeling cold, clammy skin under her touch, and pauses as to breath - sparks of fire, Illumination, making themselves known about her fingertips, and soon her form begins to grow warm. She rests a hand at Pilar's throat, allowing the mending salve to do its job as she settles for warming the tiny faun.
You have emoted: Lin doesn't seem to know what to say. Frowning in concern, acting in astonishing calm for someone in her state, she takes Pilar's shoulders and applies her weight, pinning her to the floor, lest she try to rise again. "Be still, shavora. Let her work. I can come later."
Pilar is too weak to fight either of you if she wanted to, she simply lays there and rests with her eyes closed. Smiling, she whispers again and again, "Worth it. Worth it. All worth it." Soon she is interrupted by a cough that grows so strong, she soon wretches off to the side, emptying her stomach of purple bile along with a mix of seeds and pale petals.
Aisling curses quietly, hand moving to rub circles along Pilar's back. "Maybe I should take you back to the Heartwood.." The woman murmurs, and looks to you, ".. how do you feel?"
You have emoted: Lin screws up her face, averting her eyes from the sight. While Aisling massages Pilar's back, she caresses her hair, her claws comfortably razing along her scalp. "Horrible," she says, laughter chasing her voice. In spite of the response, in spite of her trembling, there is a quiet triumph lurking within her bloodsoaked face.
Pilar finishes and leans against Aisling, panting and clinging to the indigo woman, "I...I need a bed. Tea." Sweat pours from her and she shudders, clutching the heavy quartz around her neck.
Aisling nods sharply at Pilar's request, "Of course, my faun." She rumbles, and again, addresses you, "Come closer. I'll take us there. Hold onto me." As she speaks, the Ranger reaches to take Pilar in her arms, a secure, careful hold.
You have emoted: Lin reaches across Pilar and clutches Aisling's shoulder, her grip tight, her shivering intense. Ducking her head, she helps envelop Pilar in limbs.
The telltale whisper of frost precedes the sudden, sharp crack of fracturing ice as shards of cold thrust out from Aisling's shoulders. The ice spreads and grows, the sturdy veins crystalline and dominant, the frost-brindled feathers elegant as they grow into place.
Aisling Morrog fluidly says with airy inflection, "Duanathar."