Sep 27th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Reluctantly, Kind Nepenthe says to you, "What do you like most about yourself and what do you like most about the person you like the most?"
  3. You stare blankly into space.
  5. You think to yourself: ** ....static. **.
  7. Nepenthe gives you a puzzled look, clearly not understanding the difficulty here.
  9. "Uhh..." you stall.
  11. You open your mouth to say something, but speech fails you.
  13. With a small sigh, Kind Nepenthe says, "No wrong answers except dishonest ones, so if you ~really~ don't know, just say that again."
  15. You ask, "I don't... like... myself?"
  17. Nepenthe turns to look at you, his whiskers drooping as a soft, disconcerted growl rumbles in his chest.
  19. You suddenly feel the intense gaze of the Silent Lord upon you.
  21. You shrug helplessly.
  23. ---
  25. You find yourself engulfed in a swirl of scintillating lights, drawn to your Patron's Master Shrine.
  26. The Fulcrux of Nocht.
  27. 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. Nocht, the Silent stands here, completely obscured beneath a cloak as dark as the night.
  28. You see a single exit leading through an image of the night sky.
  30. You blink.
  32. You bow respectfully to Nocht.
  34. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Hello, little one."
  36. Softly, you ask, "I felt Your gaze, Lord. Was there something You wished of me?"
  38. Nocht stands there, unmoving and unconcerned with the protracted silence. Only his ethereal-blue eyes move, contemplating you before finally speaking, "Did you speak truth to that city child?"
  40. You say, "Yes."
  42. The boughs of the large blackthorn moan loudly as they shake, sending a new shower of petals cascading across the fulcrux.
  44. Nocht tilts His head at your reply, His voice echoing through the fulcrux though it remains ever a whisper, "And why do you not like yourself?"
  46. The boughs of the large blackthorn moan loudly as they shake, sending a new shower of petals cascading across the fulcrux.
  48. You have emoted: Esei suddenly glances aside, folding their hands behind their back. "It is not that I... hate myself. There is just... nothing there to like or dislike. Or, at least, nothing I can see or feel."
  50. It is now the 17th of Dioni, 571 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  51. There are 1 days until the New Moon
  53. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  55. Nocht exhales softly, a chill wind suddenly rushing through the fulcrux.
  57. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "There is still much work to do it seems, little one. But I suppose that is what makes mortals interesting..."
  59. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "However, you are one of My favoured."
  61. Fixing His gaze upon you, Nocht, the Silent whispers, "And to say you see nothing notable about yourself is to question My judgement, no?"
  63. You have emoted: Esei seems to take an unwitting half-step back, shaking their head quickly.
  65. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "A swift response. I am pleased..."
  67. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "You bear My favour. You serve the Wyrd. That is already enough, but if you see nothing else then we shall Awaken you to what you are with time... Until then, little one. Be well."
  69. Nocht makes a dismissive gesture as He turns, indicating you may leave at your leisure as His diminished form evaporates into wisps of shadowy smoke that disappear into the magicked image above.
  71. You have emoted: Esei blinks slowly.
  73. You bow respectfully to the master shrine of Nocht.
  75. You stand before the wavering image of the night sky, your arms spread wide. In an instant, shadowy tendrils shoot out and wrap around as they forcibly drag you into the image. All fades to black before you are suddenly hurled into a dark cavern.
  76. Beneath glimmering veins of amethyst.
  77. The cavernous floor comes to an enclosed space here as it narrows towards a delicate veil of shadows. Dim light filters in from outside, barely piercing the shadows that cling to the cavern walls. Dark stones covers the walls, and the walls are lined with veins of shimmering amethyst. The violet gems wind along the walls in circuitous patterns, reflecting what little light there is in the area. Billowing like a cloth in a gentle breeze, a veil of shadows covers a wall of the cavern here.
  78. You see exits leading north, northeast, east, and through a delicate veil of shadows.
  80. The shadows that cling to you murmur as they writhe about you, whispers of admonishment and encouragement.
  82. You have emoted: Esei curls their fingers near one of the shadows, tears forming in their eyes.
  84. You think to yourself: ...I try so hard to see what everyone else does... what am I missing?
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