Blairjay

Augural Ritual for the Hallowed Night

May 6th, 2021 (edited)
43
Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. As if remembering, Olethea reaches up to touch a gem-laden half veil of black silk, making sure it's still in place.
  2.  
  3. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  4.  
  5. [movement]
  6.  
  7. Beside many mature blackthorns.
  8. A dark mist hovers lazily above the ground, heralding a shield shrine of Nocht nearby. The shadows have been gathered here. Oil-black nests of shadow and bloodied wood crown the twisted ravenwood here as it casts unnaturally long shadows upon the landscape. A copse of blackthorns in every stage of growth and flower proliferates in this corner of the woods. Low-lying young shrubs sprawl over the ground, their thorned sprays tangling into a near-impassable thicket. Slim and spindly elder trees lace their dark branches into an intricate bower, faintly outlined against the night sky. White blossoms froth upon the boughs, diaphanous petals shadowy and tinted purple by the Wyrden glow emanating from soil and tree trunks alike. A few boughs hang heavy with sloe fruit, hard round lumps with velvety blue skin. Interspersed among the delicate flowers, wicked dark thorns bristle cruelly. A blackthorn sapling clings tenaciously to the ground here. Umbral Evoker Gael, Proselyte of the Awakening is here. He wields a grotesque mandolin in his left hand. Spinner Afollia Ebonrose, the Wyrden Haruspex is here. She wields a glowing powerstone in her left hand. Proselyte Illyria, Listener of the Silent Knell is here. She wields a glittering black rose in her right hand. Proselyte Olethea, Euphony of the Dark Heart is here. She wields a richly decorated ravenwood viola in her left hand.
  9.  
  10. You give Afollia a respectful bow, one hand clasped over your heart.
  11.  
  12. The caw of a reclusive crow draws your attention toward Afollia, who whispers a barely audible prayer. She lays a palm on her heart, invoking an intoxicating scent of roses that suffuses your surroundings.
  13.  
  14. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  15.  
  16. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  17.  
  18. Spinner Afollia Ebonrose, the Wyrden Haruspex says, "Mor'k'al k'les'lom, il'a'lah kn'al."
  19.  
  20. Afollia gazes pleasantly towards all gathered.
  21.  
  22. Illyria curtseys gracefully before Afollia.
  23.  
  24. Gael dips his head solemnly towards Afollia in response.
  25.  
  26. Afollia dips towards her widow and whispers beside at her prosoma, gesturing in the distance.
  27.  
  28. Afollia's mouth turns up as her face breaks into a smile.
  29.  
  30. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  31.  
  32. Illyria offers Gael a quiet smile.
  33.  
  34. Glancing quietly in Gael's direction, Olethea's face briefly warms behind her veil.
  35.  
  36. Gael slowly removes a high-crowned, broad rimmed hat of pale beige, and a red wildewood scarf, leaving them in a little bundle off to the side before dropping a vibrant sunflower on top of the pile. Finally, he tugs a sweeping, knotwork onyx dagger free and tucks it into a fold in an ethereal mantle of the Fae.
  37.  
  38. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  39.  
  40. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  41.  
  42. With an ethereal, smoky lilt, you whisper, "Are we ready?"
  43.  
  44. Afollia inclines her head towards the wyrden auspice, a feral smile on her black lips.
  45.  
  46. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  47.  
  48. Olethea nods her head at you.
  49.  
  50. You have emoted: Holding a bowl and a hollowed talisman, Esei steps forward, moving counterclockwise as they dash dark river water across a large circle, before stepping inward. They set the water and talisman aside, taking a bundle of herbs and setting them alight, letting the bundle smolder.
  51.  
  52. You have emoted: Wafting the smoke through the air, Esei steps around the circle in a clockwise fashion, before setting out the smoldering herbs and discarding them. Finally, they step into the smallest circle within the first two, setting seven candles in a circle and lighting each. In the very center, they place a stone basin decorated with wyrden symbols.
  53.  
  54. You have emoted: Esei folds their dark hands behind their back, turning to those who have gathered. "Welcome, augurs," they say, voice solemn and soft. "This ritual is in order to beseech the Hallowed Ones, seeking Their power and guidance on the Betrayer. Ultimately, we will seek out Mother Night's guidance, if She is willing. May this Betrayer be delivered swiftly to Lady Viravain."
  55.  
  56. You have emoted: Turning to take their place within the circle, Esei gives a short nod to Olethea.
  57.  
  58. Dark purple veins throb along the roots of nearby trees, casting out a dingy violet light.
  59.  
  60. Kneeling immediately, Olethea approaches the basin on her knees and bends over it, placing each of her hands on the vessel's rim as she does so. She begins, her voice a susurrant whisper, to speak. "Hallowed ones," She says, the words dripping from her lips like smoke from a brazier, "Dark Spirits of those who came before, we seek your guidance and protection in honouring our living Covenant to these Wyrden Woods."
  61.  
  62. Reaching up to lift a gem-laden half veil of black silk from her face, Olethea bites sharply into the heel of her palm, her fangs drawing a molten red-orange fluid from her flesh. She holds her bleeding hand out over the basin and squeezes, talons digging into and aggravating the wound. "Hallowed ones, Dark Spirits of those who came before, we ask of you," She continues, as she allows her veil to fall back into place, "Honour your oaths unto the Glomdoring. Honour the pacts of ages past - help us to uncover the Truth, to excise lies from Her Glomdoring."
  63.  
  64. Shadows grow longer in anticipation for the return of their dark mistress as Father Sun's chase brings him closer to the world's edge.
  65.  
  66. The trees around creak and groan, leaning over crookedly as wind drags through their branches.
  67.  
  68. Shaking out her bleeding hand, Olethea runs her taloned claws through the swiftly-cooling blood in the basin, the molten fluid beginning to dry into a layer of smoky black glass. "Hallowed ones, Dark Spirits of Glomdoring, we honour our tah'vrai and beg you do the same." She murmurs, as she slips backwards through the outer circles once more, to her place in line. "Lend us your wisdom, and watch over us, as we act now for Her Glomdoring as you have for generations." As these last prayers drift from out a gem-laden half veil of black silk, a foreboding ring of shadowed spirits upon her finger begins to softly glow.
  69.  
  70. Shadows swirl silently around the base of nearby trunks.
  71.  
  72. Afollia's finger bearing the twin to Olethea's ring glows in response to words spoken.
  73.  
  74. You have emoted: Esei glides forward, hands extending out towards the basin as they murmur a soft, near-unintelligible phrase of greeting. They pull a handful of fresh spider corpses from within a fold of their robe, carefully laying them out on the west side of the basin. "Lady Spider," they whisper, fingers poised carefully over the arachnids. "We ask You lend us Your creativity, Your ease of contemplation as we seek to root out this Betrayer. May Your weaving be strong as the time approaches."
  75.  
  76. Olethea stretches her wings forward, bringing them within reach of her hands, and begins to smooth and arrange her wingfeathers.
  77.  
  78. Dark purple veins throb along the roots of nearby trees, casting out a dingy violet light.
  79.  
  80. You have emoted: Black eyes flicking toward the north side, Esei unfurls a wrinkled cloth to display a preserved bat, positioning it at the northern end of the basin. "Lord Bat," they whisper, hands flattening over the space above the corpse. "We ask You lend Your discretion and Your ruthlessness to us in this time, so that we may be a knife in the dark, as You are."
  81.  
  82. You have emoted: Esei turns toward the western end, placing a handful of wasp corpses and whole wasp wings against the ground there. "Lady Wasp," they continue, their voice still but a whisper. "We ask You lend Your decisiveness, Your peerless resolve - may we never be idle, may we move ever forward in this quest."
  83.  
  84. Midnight shadows coalesce around a new day, and Mother Night embraces the land in utter darkness.
  85. It is now the 12th of Roarkian, 588 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  86.  
  87. You have emoted: Wings sending a cascading spiral of shadow-and-silver motes with the movement, Esei turns finally to the southern edge, placing dead beetles at the final place. "Lord Beetle," they whisper. "We ask that You lend Your endurance, for You are the watcher of the dead, the eater of the discarded - may we, too, root out this weakness and hubris found in the Glomdoring's shadows, so that rebirth may come."
  88.  
  89. You have emoted: "Grandmother Scorpion," Esei finally says, clasping their hands over the basin. "We ask for Your help, to combine these other traits, to better see the secreted imperfections as we come across them." They slice into their palm with their Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree, their blood so dark it is nigh black, pouring into the basin below as the faeling murmurs a soft thanksgiving. The blood seeps across a petrified wooden ring of dark idols, which begins to faintly glow as they return to their place in the circle.
  90.  
  91. Afollia raises her hand gently as the twin upon her finger alights once more, glowing symbol of the dark spirits as spoken words vanish in the mists.
  92.  
  93. Purplish leaves blow along in a chill wind, tearing as they catch on the gnarled fingers of upturned roots.
  94.  
  95. Stepping forward into outermost ring, Gael swings a grotesque mandolin forward solemnly, eyes fixed on the ring of candles before him. His eyes shut slowly, his right hand moving to rest on his chest before he stands waiting silently. Listening.
  96.  
  97. Steadily, Gael's foot begins to tap a slow tempo, and his eyes flick open as his hand lowers down to the strings, where he strums a slow, bassy rhythm of notes, slipping up and down a few minor intervals as he sings out in a low chanting voice, "There is no beauty like Glomdoring's dark, Where crows take wing, and shadows hark. We come beseeching the Shadowbeat, To guide our way to what we seek."
  98.  
  99. Shadows swirl silently around the base of nearby trunks.
  100.  
  101. Irulan arrives from the southwest.
  102. Afollia flashes Irulan a joyous smile.
  103. Irulan enters silently, picking her way to an unassuming place.
  104.  
  105. The song increasing slightly in tempo, Gael lifts his chin as he sings again, voice rising, "We have been tasked by Viravain, To seek the truth, shed blood again, To oust the betrayer from our midst, Who hides within, obscured as mist." He steps slowly closer to the inner circle containing the basin, slowly crossing the threshold.
  106.  
  107. The trees around creak and groan, leaning over crookedly as wind drags through their branches.
  108.  
  109. Gael stops just beside the basin, his right hand plucking notes faster and faster as he sings out, higher and clearer than the start, "So join us now, Mahalla's Voice, Protect us with your power, We offer blood to summon Night, Here in Her darkest hour." Ending his song on a low note, he lets the sound ring out, left hand clamping the chord in place as his right hand reaches to pull a sweeping, knotwork onyx dagger free of robes of the dark forest. Finally releasing the neck of a grotesque mandolin, he extends his left arm over the basin and presses the sharp tip of the dagger into the flesh of his forearm, a smooth spot between two thick lines of scar tissue, and after several moment a thin trickle of blood trails down the blade of a sweeping, knotwork onyx dagger, to spill down into the basin below. No sooner does the blood fall, a ravenwood ring of haunting melodies pulses with a faint glimmering that seems to radiate around Gael's hand and out into the air. Letting out a long exhalation, he steps backwards out of the inner ring of candles before turning and stepping slowly back to his place among the outer.
  110.  
  111. Afollia raises her hand a third time, the ring upon her finger glowing with ethereal light, an ancient symbol of Mahalla flickering for a brief moment before vanishing once more.
  112.  
  113. Afollia steps forth from beneath the white blossoms, each a pale comparison of the majestic black rose throning upon her maae, and halts her footsteps at the edge of the circle of smoke. Six cerulean eyes gaze in the obscurity beyond as she says in a clear and resounding voice, "B'hal, T'z'ia oari A'Kare'Niar Viravain." Her robes brush against the sacred grounds as she extends her left hand above the stone bowl and entwines her own words once more " Q'we'liar n'achta oari tzya kal'ka."
  114.  
  115. Afollia closes her six eyes with disquieting symmetry as a swarm of Her children slips from the nest upon her nape covering her left hand. The last traces of her golden-brown skin vanish beneath Her children as she intones " N'h glor, z'yi t'z'lia k'wam eya."
  116.  
  117. Afollia's blackened left hand begins to drip as the swarm tears and breaks through her skin, droplets of black blood slipping down into the bowl. Each red bead accompanying her chant she continues to the rhythm of Gael's song. "L'arn'ah K'lian'lom il'a'lahiy tzya Mor oari k'wam" ...another drop of blood... "Z'yi Mor tz dace'iat n'acht n'h tzya d'wal oari tzya A'Kare'Niar." and one last time... "Kal'ka q'wa'lis n'h z'yi il'a'lahiyat tz, m'lahyit K'liane Delmoir."
  118.  
  119. [Kreon arrives]
  120.  
  121. Afollia lowers herself in respect towards the center of the circles as she takes a step back, her arm still black with the hungering multitude. Her shadowed lips speak as the ill wind would, "K'ian Doim, q'wl Eya dace'iat tz'il'a'lahiyat m'kai." The blood ceases to drip. Her movements slow and her intonation begins to fade "K'wal d'iom, as tz d'wal tzya Mor oari K'lian'lom." Her skin unblemished, she withdraws her golden-brown hand and lowers her head towards the center of the circle, taking a step back as her voice disappears in the gloom, "I'mos d'iom, fi tz il'a'laht kal'ka q'wl K'wam."
  122.  
  123. Afollia raises her hand a fourth time and her index finger glows, four spirits shimmering as one for a flicker of an instant. She fades away beneath the blossoms once more.
  124.  
  125. As Illyria steps forward, she glances over at Gael with a soft, quiet smile, dipping her chin in a nod for him to begin as she carefully adjusts the bindings of her gown.
  126.  
  127. With a brief nod to Illyria, Gael slowly moves to sit cross legged on the ground, pulling free a small ravenwood drum and placing it in the crook of his knee. With his other hand he pulls free small rattler. Taking a long breath, he looks up to Illyria and begins to pound a low, constant beat with one hand on the drum, supplementing it with a slightly faster rhythm from the rattler.
  128.  
  129. Illyria exhales, reaching up unconsciously to touch her shroud, then begins to move.
  130.  
  131. With a wistful look on her face, Illyria touches a phantasmal shroud of shadows.
  132. As Illyria's fingers brush against a phantasmal shroud of shadows, it shifts subtly as faint whispers echo in the air.
  133.  
  134. Illyria steps forward in slow, measured steps to the beat of Gael's drum, one step for each two thumps, swaying gently as the silken shadows of shroud, silk, and essence swirl around her body in softly scintillating wisps. Serenely, she stops midway into the circle, holding her arms out open to either side of her, fingers half-curled, a deep bowl in one of them. With a delicate flick of a wrist, a gleaming athame appears in her right hand. Still swaying lightly, rhythmically, the narrow dagger approaches her slender wrist implacably, not slowing until the blade parts the skin over the tanned skin there. Immediately, the blood begins to flow, a steady stream of dark blood that trails thickly down her hand and into the ready bowl. The athame disappears back into the sleeve from whence it appeared, and the tall faeling begins to dance.
  135.  
  136. Across the heavens, the stars and moon challenge night's dark reign, revealing familiar constellations that tell the tales of myth and legend.
  137.  
  138. Shadows swirl silently around the base of nearby trunks.
  139.  
  140. "Inscrutable, secrets.." Illyria whispers, her voice barely audible over wind and drum. "Secrets humming..." As she speaks, the words a little louder, she begins to pace the circumference of the circle of protection in the same measured pace, but the swaying of her hips grows stronger until she lightly twists from side to side as each leg extends out to take the next step. As she circles, the hand not holding the bowl extends up and over her head, her hand twirling subtly at the wrist as the other hand keeps the slowly filling bowl steady. Suddenly, her voice picks up, half-singing and half-chanting in a loud, bell-like soprano, confident and clear. "Secrets humming, buzzing, thrumming- burning, bleeding, not receding," she calls out, her voice rising and falling along with the pounding of the ritual drum. The lithe dancer stops here, reaching her arm up beseechingly as she gazes up to the sky, her shoulders dipping and twisting as her carefully blank face turns upward. "Mother Night, inscrutable, secret keeper. We beg of you to share one with us." she sings, then drops arm and chin and moves on.
  141.  
  142. A delicate shiver makes its way down Illyria's arms, lightly trembling the bowl of deep crimson blood. "Implacable, coldness.." the faeling whispers, her steps lightening as her wings begin to flutter, lifting her just the barest fraction of space above the ground, so that her tip toes touch and nothing more. She turns in a graceful spin, the shadows swirling with her, the bowl perfectly still as she circles around it. "Coldness growing.." The faeling's motions grow more elaborate now, dipping to trail her fingers across the ground here, twisting back up in a sinuous ripple there. "Coldness growing, seeping, flowing- freezing, creeping, slowly seizing," she calls out again, loud once again, her chin lifted as she projects the words outward and upward. "Mother Night, merciless and unceasing in pursuit of Your goals. We pray that you turn that purpose to align with ours- finding the Betrayer." Here, she stops once more, but this time only long enough to address the words upward and into Night's face.
  143.  
  144. The faeling's ritualistic movements dwindle now, the drums pounding twice for every one step she makes. Subtle, delicate, nearly furtive, she makes careful flirts of her hips, flicks of her free hand, and rolls of back and shoulder and she moves in a tiny circle. As Illyria whispers, "Subtlety, patience.." the floaty, responsive wisps of shadow and cloth tell the tale of her movements. Bit by circling bit, she lowers farther into a swaying crouch. "Patience dwelling.." Her hand circles above her head, moving at the wrist in tiny whirls as the arm descends downward. This time, her voice is only just loud enough to be heard by all. "Patience dwelling, lurking, swelling- hiding, stalking, ever biding," she chants in a lilting tone, going fully still as she beseeches, "Subtle Mother Night, this hope is twofold: that you have patience with our seeking, and show us how to work toward our goal without giving up our purpose too early." In a smooth, fluid motion that barely stirs the half-full blood of the bowl, she continues onward.
  145.  
  146. In a resumption of the sinuous, flowing dance, Illyria proceeds in a more inward path around the circumference, still moving smoothly. The blood flows still, though more slowly, the dark liquid burbling out over a crust of dried gore coating wrist and hand. A slight tremble in her legs when she lifts up into each pirouette around the bowl betrays the creeping effects of blood lost, but she persists undeterred, as graceful still as a doe. "Manipulation, weaving.." she whispers, her unbloodied arm sweeping up and above her head, her hips circling her into a full turn. "Weaving tightly.." she continues, her leg rotating out behind her as she changes directions and sidles along in a rippling flow. "Weaving tightly, closely, rightly- twisting, drawing, past resisting," she chants, the sing-song soprano carrying clear once more. Again, she stops and beseeches. "Darkest Mother Night, master of manipulation. Come to us, and show us how we may weave a web to trap the Betrayer." Moving notably slower now, the slender woman moves on.
  147.  
  148. Now, Illyria's movements come more slowly, taking on distinctively seductive overtones. The sway of her hips ends now in teasing upward flicks, her shoulders rolling as a soft smile curves and lights her face. Under the moon, swathed in shadow and coated lightly from the showers of ghostly blackthorn petals, she is radiant. "Beauty.. And seduction.." she whispers, her whisper sultry now. She meets each set of eyes in turn as she smoothly flips rosy hair from her face with a toss of her head and parted, upward-curved lips. The transformation from shy flower to blossomed rose is subtle at first, noted in the new boldness of her lifted chin, teasing glimpses of skin, a confident smile. "Catch and lure..." she says huskily as her fingers curl in beckoning. She sings out in a honeyed soprano, "Catch and lure, kindle, stir- draw and stoke, passion evoke," before coming to a stop, her eyes bright as a lover's as she directs upward not another plea, but admiration. "Mother Night, most beautiful of the Spirits, thank you for hearing us, for gracing us with your loveliness." With a hint of a stagger, the faeling dances again, slower still, losing a great deal of the seductive, subtle sparkle as the blood loss begins to take its toll. Still, the bowl remains steady, nearly full now.
  149.  
  150. The dance is measured again, a slow pacing around the perimeter of candles in gliding steps, turning in slow, swaying circles every several steps. "Wisdom," Illyria whispers, sounding strained now. Onward she swirls, nonetheless, stately in her delicate gestures and carefully placed feet as she slowly works her way inward toward the urn. "Wisdom guiding.." she continues, the bowl finally shaking in her hand. Propping it up to her hip, she glides smoothly along. "Wisdom guiding, warning, chiding- sealing, nudging, then revealing," she chants steadfastly, her cheeks tinged with ash. "Mother Night," she says, finally standing before the center urn with its collected offerings. "Above all, guide our hands and questions, and give us Your wisdom in pursuing this course. We beseech You to come to us now, and help discover They Whom Betrayed Her." Tilting the bowl forward, the crimson flows into the larger vessel as an azure-limned triquetra ring of the eternal Night flashes with shadowed light.
  151.  
  152. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  153.  
  154. Afollia's hand rises a fifth and last time, the fifth ring upon her hand alight with a single shadowflame. She steps forth from the shadows and four beams of darkness culminate upon her as her eyes flutter open, swirling with wyrden energies. Chevelure snaking about the ground in hunger, she awaits the oppressive darkness Her power awakened within for now...
  155.  
  156. Illyria swiftly secures the bowl to her belt and produces a long, ink-black bandage, wrapping her wrist tightly as she returns to her place beside Gael, giving him a shaky smile of thanks.
  157.  
  158. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  159.  
  160. Olethea tilts her head back and looks up at the sky.
  161.  
  162. Ending his beat with a final sharp slap, Gael nods his head solemnly to Illyria, with just the faintest hint of a smile, as he places the drum and rattler to the side and rises to his feet once more, dark blood still trickling slowly down his left forearm.
  163.  
  164. Afollia's eyes sparkle with amusement.
  165.  
  166. Spinner Afollia Ebonrose, the Wyrden Haruspex says, "Let us wait until Her cloak spreads across the sky."
  167.  
  168. Olethea nods her head at Afollia.
  169.  
  170. You have emoted: Wings flickering open and closed, Esei tilts their head back to observe the sky above.
  171.  
  172. Olethea closes her eyes, and focuses quietly on her breathing.
  173.  
  174. Illyria sways lightly where she stands, staring intently at the urn.
  175.  
  176. Afollia shares a small smile towards Illyria.
  177.  
  178. Wafting her wings gently, an act that stirs up small eddies of smoke and sparks, Olethea stares intently, unblinkingly at the basin, her brow furrowed.
  179.  
  180. Purplish leaves blow along in a chill wind, tearing as they catch on the gnarled fingers of upturned roots.
  181.  
  182. Afollia gently chants under her breath in rhythm as the day goes by.
  183.  
  184. Hefting her axe over her left shoulder, Kreon lifts off the ground and perches on the nearest branch.
  185.  
  186. Gael turns his head up slowly to stare at the tops of the nearby blackthorns, watching as small plumes of petals are pulled free in the wind. He occasionally lets his eyes drift off, listening to the ambient sounds of the copse.
  187.  
  188. Illyria's eyes finally drift free from the urn, seeking and subsequently finding you across the circle, and offers a weary ghost of a smile.
  189.  
  190. You have emoted: Esei's dark gaze flickers briefly to Illyria, giving her a short nod before watching the sky once more.
  191.  
  192. Olethea's long ears twitch at every errant sound.
  193.  
  194. Illyria tilts her head up and stares at the sky.
  195.  
  196. Afollia nods gently towards Illyria, her six wyrd imbued eyes following her gaze.
  197.  
  198. Olethea's gaze keeps flicking between an umbral pocket watch and the basin of blood at the circle's center.
  199.  
  200. Olethea quietly inhales, holding her breath.
  201.  
  202. Afollia sighs softly, gazing at the dark sky high above. Power and circles holding strong.
  203.  
  204. Olethea lazily draws her wings to and fro through the air, fanning them and stirring up a haze of smoke and stray cinders.
  205.  
  206. Illyria straightens herself up as Night unfolds above, her eyes brightening with hope.. and touched with anxiousness.
  207.  
  208. Proselyte Olethea, Euphony of the Dark Heart whispers, "Soon...."
  209.  
  210. Afollia nods her head emphatically.
  211.  
  212. Olethea's eyes raise to the heavens as a look of hope flashes across her face.
  213.  
  214. Nodding his head slowly, Gael keeps his eyes shut, chin lifted up to the sky as the breeze drifting through the copse elicits a slight rustling of leaves from an ethereal mantle of the Fae.
  215.  
  216. Olethea's claws tap restlessly against an umbral pocket watch.
  217.  
  218. Midnight shadows coalesce around a new day, and Mother Night embraces the land in utter darkness.
  219. It is now the 14th of Roarkian, 588 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  220.  
  221. You have emoted: Esei inhales sharply, pulling the basin of blood from off the ground.
  222.  
  223. With an ethereal, smoky lilt, you whisper, "Could all here follow me?"
  224.  
  225. Illyria exhales slowly, allowing a long fluid breath to creep from her lungs.
  226.  
  227. Olethea rises, silently.
  228.  
  229. Gael gives a brief nod to you, reaching down to scoop up his things and placing them back on.
  230.  
  231. Shoulders sagging, Illyria turns and follows you.
  232.  
  233. Kreon hops down effortless off her perch.
  234.  
  235. [follow + movement spam]
  236.  
  237. Beside a stone ring.
  238. Thick-trunked trees push upwards from the heavily wyrden soil at the centre of this epic forest of tangled branches and crooked, intertwining bushes. A ring of crimson-stained stones form a ghastly circle, and darkness churns within its boundaries, never seeping over the edge, yet continually churning with a subtly malevolent presence. Small weeds and miniscule, stunted plants drag their starved, wyrden limbs through the soil, their tips stained to a deep purple. A bitter, chillingly reserved silence holds prominence in this central intersection, and the plantlife leans in overhead as if leering down on the ground beneath its gaze. Lingering in a continual darkness, Ikrae, the Shadow Priestess floats here. Shadowy mists and blackthorn blossoms obscure a shrine of dark black crystal that stands here. Floating eerily within the darkness rises the Shadow Glass, its reflective surface glistening with a stygian shade. A hemlock sapling clings tenaciously to the ground here.
  239. You see exits leading north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest.
  240.  
  241. You have emoted: Esei's dark eyes sweeps briefly over the stone ring before they hand the wyrden-carved stone basin, still full of blood, to Ikrae, the Shadow Priestess.
  242.  
  243. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  244.  
  245. You reach out and touch the Shadow Glass and are whisked away in an oily blanket of darkness.
  246.  
  247. Olethea exhales slowly, allowing a long fluid breath to creep from her lungs.
  248.  
  249. Afollia shakes herself and the power fades from her presence once more, leaving her as she was prior to the ritual.
RAW Paste Data