Immovable Object, meet Unstoppable Force

Mar 19th, 2021
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  1. Rhalkyr lifts his hand and tilts it from side to side. "Some. Do not, think, have much, time." He shifts his hand in the direction Khasur departed in. "Lady, grows impatient, likely."
  3. You shake your head.
  5. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "Do not underestimate Her, Rhalkyr."
  7. Rhalkyr stares at you as if you had suddenly sprouted seven heads. "Why, everyone, think Rhalkyr, underestimate Her, always? Is not, Lady, is wanting." He raps the craggy knuckles of his hand against his sternum, eliciting a muted thump. "Is, Rhalkyr. Should, be quicker. Smarter. Sharper. Asked, bad questions." Abruptly, he falls back onto his rump,legs stretching out before him. "Elders, should have had, questions. Not, Rhalkyr."
  9. Mildly, you say, "Perhaps. But it -is- your task."
  11. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "And I ask you not to underestimate Her, because... Divine often do not work on the same time scale as we mortals do."
  13. Rhalkyr lowers his masked brow to thunk against his upraised knees, lifting his hands to clasp them amidst the messy, dark gold quills of his hair. "/Why/, is Rhalkyr's?" Faintly muffled, as he speaks into the ragged folds of his trousers, he says, "Could mean, less time, or, more. Should not, be lax."
  15. You have emoted: Esei tilts their head, eyes narrowed. "Clearly, She thinks you can complete that task. That you are willing, and able, to do so, even if it seems impossible," they exhale sharply. "It may be years until it comes to fruition. But search -anyway-."
  17. Stubbornly, Rhalkyr grumbles, "Will not, give up. Butting head, against door, will not, work. Need, key, to open." The thick, brutish fingers grind slowly back and forth upon the back of his head. Eventually, in a small voice, he asks, "What, happens...If, fail?"
  19. You have emoted: Esei's fingers brush lightly over Rhalkyr's. "Then you fail. After that, you pick yourself back up, learn from why and how you failed, and -try again-," they say. "Failure is not condemnation unless you make it so."
  21. Rhalkyr's fingers grow still at the contact, though he makes no move to shift his position. At length, he whispers, "Would rather, anything - /anything/, than, disappoint, Her." Quieter still, in a voice twisted and writhing with anguish, "What, if She stops, loving, Rhalkyr?"
  23. Softly, you say, "Never. Her love for us is... immense, and unfathomable."
  25. Rhalkyr hunches in on himself, seeming small, despite his immense bulk. "No love, for bad, children. Not, deserving."
  27. You have emoted: Esei frowns, worming their hand in to pull Rhalkyr's face up to face theirs. "Do you think I am undeserving of Her love, Rhalkyr?"
  29. Rhalkyr offers only momentary resistance, before he relents, though with obvious reluctance. His eyes flick to your, the touch of his gaze as fleeting as a spark in a rainstorm, before it drops down and away. The proximity affords you a modestly greater view of the eyes within the mask, and the minute portion of the face the they are nestled within - currently drawn down, contracted in a frown of displeasure. "Of course, not. Beloved, Warden, deserves, love, from all."
  31. Mildly, you say, "You are biased."
  33. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "But yes, I do. Why?"
  35. The look in Rhalkyr's eyes grows obstinate, though still he refuses to look at you. "Many, reasons."
  37. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "Perhaps. But there is only one, here."
  39. You have emoted: Esei looks down at Rhalkyr, eyes unfathomably dark in the shadow of night. "Why does the Lady Viravain love me?"
  41. You think to yourself: And you, and Xenthos, and Evette, and Afollia, and everyone else?
  43. Rhalkyr remains stubbornly silent for a long time, the fingers of both hands curling and uncurling in slow, flexing motions. At great length, he mutters, "Beloved, Warden, is good, child."
  45. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "No."
  47. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "I am wyrden."
  49. Brow raised, brooking no argument, you ask Rhalkyr, "As are you, unless you are doubting that of yourself as well?"
  51. Rhalkyr flinches, shrinking away as if caught in the act of committing some grave wrong, gaze flitting about everywhere but to you.
  53. Another voice echoes the words in your mind, "You are wyrden."
  55. The pointed tips of your ears twitch to hear an errant sound.
  57. Softly, you say, "-Look- at me, Rhalkyr."
  59. Deeply uncomfortable, Rhalkyr shoulders squirm as he strives to somehow escape from his predicament, and fails. With all the reluctance of a man dragging his feet to the gallows, he hauls his eyes up towards your, one painful inch at a time - lingering on the precipice of direct contact, as one might sway upon the edge of a cliff.
  61. With smoky, sotto tones, you say to Rhalkyr, "I am wyrden. So are you, so is Illyria, and Afollia, and Evette, and -everyone else- who calls the Glomdoring home. -That- is why She loves us, not whether or not we are 'good' or fulfill some arbitrary standard."
  63. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  65. Rhalkyr's initial response is a grunt, the sentiment of which is as murky as muddied water. At length, in a bitter voice, he rasps, "Some, live, in the Glomdoring, and are not, wyrden. Gurashi. Cheliyi. Thought, belonged. Did not."
  67. Softly, you say, "No. They were wyrden, once. A long time ago; but that is the past."
  69. A shiver runs through Rhalkyr's hulking, powerful form, that leaves him trembling almost imperceptibly. In a hoarse whisper, so faint as to be barely audible, "Bad children, leave, the garden. Do not, stay, in Her heart. Cast, out."
  71. You let out a soft sigh.
  73. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "That was their own choice."
  75. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "Not the Lady's, not Her Garden's. Their follies, their mistakes, their -choices-."
  77. You have emoted: Esei's thumb gently swipes against Rhalkyr's cheekbone through his mask.
  79. Softly, you say, "I am trying to make you -understand-, but I sense as though my words alone will not work."
  81. Rhalkyr's fingers coil about his biceps, and begin to squeeze, applying slow, torturously intense force upon the stripes flesh. "Is what, afraid of. Task, is Rhalkyr's. Follies. Mistakes. /Choices/. All, Rhalkyr's." He leans, reflexively, against your touch, despite the wooden barrier between the contact.
  83. Voice harsh, you whisper, "I know. But it was their choice to -leave-, Rhalkyr."
  85. With smoky, sotto tones, you say to Rhalkyr, "They could have stayed. Could have shed their doubts and ties that weakened them. But they chose otherwise, and left us."
  87. Rhalkyr utters a non-committal grunt. "Lady, has never, cast children, out?"
  89. Softly, you say, "Not to my knowledge."
  91. You have emoted: Esei's thumb moves to Rhalkyr's chin, cupping it with the rest of their fingers. They needle the point gently against his chin, expression rather placid. "She loves you, Rhalkyr. Do not dismiss Her love as something that must be earned."
  93. Rhalkyr's gaze slides down your face as slowly as chilled honey, until he stares, eyes unfocused, upon your chin. "What, happens, to disappointments?"
  95. You raise a slender brow.
  97. With smoky, sotto tones, you say, "Presumably, they learn from their mistakes, and do better."
  99. With smoky, sotto tones, you ask, "Would you like to go ask Her?"
  101. Rhalkyr's eyes abruptly go wide with sudden panic as he jerks his head wildly from side to side, shrinking back. In a horrified rasp, he blurts, "No!"
  103. You have emoted: Esei crosses their arms, a stubborn glint in their eye.
  105. Mildly, you ask, "Do you want -me- to ask Her?"
  107. Rhalkyr's side to side shaking of his head grows more frantic still, a wild, hunted look in his eyes. More aghast still, he croacks, "/No./".
  109. With smoky, sotto tones, you ask, "Why?"
  111. Rhalkyr's frenetic, jerking denial slows to a gradual halt, though the harried look remains. "Beloved, Blackpetal, is busy. Better, things, to do. Would not, take, time, attention, for, nonsense." More stubbornly, now, "Will not, bother, until, have answer."
  113. Flatly, you say, "Her children are not nonsense."
  115. You have emoted: Esei flicks Rhalkyr's temple with their claws - only hard enough to sting.
  117. Rhalkyr flinches back from the contact, hunching so that his chin is tucked against his throat. He says nothing, but makes only a small, contrite gesture with his hands, a peculiar, oddly elegant motion that encapsulates his heart, and then mimes handing it over to you.
  119. You furrow your brow in thought.
  121. With smoky, sotto tones, you ask Rhalkyr, "...what...?"
  123. Rhalkyr returns his hands to curling them about his upper arms, and remains silent.
  125. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  127. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  129. Gently miming their hands around the space Rhalkyr left behind, you say, "You know of Brother Crow's teachings, yes?"
  131. Rhalkyr utters a faint, rumbling sound of affirmation.
  133. With smoky, sotto tones, you say to Rhalkyr, "Remember Black Sorrow."
  135. With smoky, sotto tones, you say to Rhalkyr, "Remember the Refinement."
  137. With smoky, sotto tones, you say to Rhalkyr, "Feeling upset is -not- failure. But understand that you do not require suffering in order to succeed."
  139. [Kosuke the Long visits.]
  141. Rhalkyr ignores the long entirely, not even bothering to glance at the platter that it leaves in its wake. "Will, try. Just...Do not, know, if, will succeed. Or, can."
  143. Softly, with all the weight of knowing, you say, "You will."
  145. You think to yourself: ** Unfurling, like a flower in their chest - yes, you will succeed. Knowing, like the Othersight, like the Ole'noc Caihel. Not feeling, but Feeling. **.
  147. The shadows about Rhalkyr's eyes deepen as his brows, hidden by the mask, draw down into steep furrows. "How, know this?"
  149. Simply, you say, "I just do."
  151. Rhalkyr remains silent, curled about himself in a knot of ill feeling.
  153. With smoky, sotto tones, you ask, "Rhalkyr?"
  155. Rather than look up at his name, Rhalkyr responds with a faint, interrogative grunt.
  157. You have emoted: Esei places their hand gently atop Rhalkyr's head.
  159. Softly, you ask, "Come with me?"
  161. lowly, Rhalkyr uncoils from his hunched position, until he stands, shoulders drawn in on himself, huge hands fretting at the blanket that is wrapped about his waist.
  163. Rhalkyr stares at the offered hand for a long moment, before he separates his right from where it twists at the violet fabric. With some reluctance, he slips his massive paw about your, the calloused, leathery fingers curling gently.
  165. You have emoted: Esei's eyes crinkle with a not-unkind smile.
  167. Caressing an Idol of Nocht gently in your hands, you focus your thoughts on Nocht, seeking out His Master Shrine and fulcrux.
  169. You find yourself engulfed in a swirl of scintillating lights, drawn to your Patron's Master Shrine.
  171. The Fulcrux of Nocht.
  172. The image of a beautiful nighttime sky has been stretched across the fulcrux. Dim stars struggle futilely to compete with the terrifying beauty of Mother Night. The ethereal image wavers on occasion, the sky rippling like water in a pond. A lonely hill covered in tall grass leads up to a single shrine. Behind the shrine stands a large blackthorn tree. The tree is taller than most of its kind, extending upwards rather than outwards. Delicate blossoms shower down from its branches, creating a flurry of white petals and filling the air with the pungent scent of wyrden foliage. A complex series of stones orbit around a stygian orb here. A rippling image of a beautiful night sky has been magically wrapped around the fulcrux here. A painting of Home Safe has been thrown on the ground here. Fumbling about on stumpy, half-developed wings, a headstrong young manticore snarls at his surroundings.
  174. You have emoted: Esei makes a beeline towards the tree, sitting down beneath its boughs. They gesture for Rhalkyr to join them.
  176. Rhalkyr balks for a moment, eyes flitting about the Fulcrux like a trapped animal's before, eventually, he slinks down to huddle against the tree, once more wrapping his arms about his knees, which pressed tight against his chest.
  178. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  180. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  182. You tell Initiate to the Tah'vrai, Rhalkyr, "** A slow, tugging tide, drawing you closer... a soft wave of emotion - Esei's feelings of the fulcrux. Warm-safe-peace. **."
  184. You tell Initiate to the Tah'vrai, Rhalkyr, "** Home. **."
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