Luxie

Marinelle - The Shadow's Promise A GemStoneIV Weapon's Song

Feb 22nd, 2018
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  1. a bone-hilted rolaren coustille
  2.  
  3. Matte black and sleek, the blade of the coustille tapers to a fine point and is bisected by a narrow fuller. Bronze is wedded to bone to form the small circle of the rain-guard, while a narrow crossguard is joined to leather-wrapped grip. A disfigured skull, probably of a small monkey, is fitted into the pommel as a counterweight, the skull's brow marred by a ragged crack. You see nothing unusual, except for a small enchanter's glyph.
  4. There appears to be something written on it.
  5. >read cous
  6. In the Common language, it reads:
  7. ~^~ Marinelle ~^~
  8. The Shadow's Promise
  9.  
  10.  
  11. Crimson light slashes across your vision as your voice touches upon the coustille for a brief moment. Slowly, like paint dripping down the side of a fence, the light falls away, and you find yourself standing in a one room cottage, a fire roaring in the background. A high-backed chair sits in one corner and houses a dark-haired young man with his face displaying the growth of a few days' stubble and his eyes ringed in circles.
  12.  
  13. Cradled in his arms is the bundled form of a sleeping child, the soft face round and new. The young man seems to barely breathe as he gazes down at the small child, and it is as if nothing in this man's world exists but the child in his arms.
  14.  
  15. Briefly, the infant stirs, and he holds his breath until she settles. The fire's flames flicker high, and your vision is obscured.
  16.  
  17.  
  18. Sudden and violent, the coustille responds to your voice and sounds burst into your mind with the harsh sound of glass breaking and furniture being broken. Crimson light skews your vision, and in the blurred moments before it clears, you hear the soft sobs of a small child, the sound ragged and filled with hiccups.
  19.  
  20. The cottage of before is in shambles around you, and two men dressed in crimson and black lay upon the floor, their throats filled with open wounds that paint the floor sanguine.
  21.  
  22. Panting as he stands over them, the young man from before interposes his body between the child and the expired assailants. Standing behind him, trying to stifle her cries with her own fist, is a small child of about five or six. The hem of her night dress draws your attention as its brilliant white seams slowly absorb the carnage that spreads across the floor. Gradually, your vision fades.
  23.  
  24. Suddenly, ebon lines slice across your vision as the coustille responds to your voice and merges its song with your own. Though older now, you recognize both the man and the child as they rush down an alley. Behind them, the shadows of the night give pursuit, and you feel the urgency of their movement in every furtive glance and whispered instruction. The streets twist and turn as they attempt to lead the hunters away from their prey, and the night wears on marked by the passage of Lornon through the sky.
  25.  
  26. Eventually, the shadows no longer follow, and the man resumes a pace that is more suited for that of a small child. A look of resignation and resolve darkens his own weary features as he spies a door up ahead. Kneeling before the child, he begins to speak, but your vision of the moment seems to fade.
  27.  
  28. A man's voice rises to meet your song, and you realize that the world is dark, though cast in a strange crimson light.
  29.  
  30. "You have your bear?" asks the male voice.
  31.  
  32. "Yes, da'," replies a child's timbre.
  33.  
  34. "You have your mother's ribbon?" he continues.
  35.  
  36. "Do I have to go, Da'?"
  37.  
  38. "Do you have your mother's ribbon?" he asks again, though his voice seems ragged with a barely suppressed emotion.
  39.  
  40. "Yes, Da'," is the resigned reply.
  41.  
  42. "And my blade, you have my blade?"
  43.  
  44. "I have it, Da'," but the last vowels are said through tears. "Please don't make me go, please. I want to stay with you."
  45.  
  46. "One day, you will understand. One day, you will find me again."The child's sobs are stifled, muffled by something though it is hard to tell what. Three insistent raps upon wood herald the sound of a door opening.
  47.  
  48. "Take care of her. She's all of Marin I have left."
  49.  
  50. Silence falls upon you and the coustille.
  51.  
  52.  
  53. Bright and red, the glow of the Lornon moon rises out of the coustille as you sing to it and obscures your vision for several moments. Slowly, the sound of steel upon steel fills your ears, and you find yourself turning from the window-framed lunar body to the practice mats, where a pair of young teens move in the age-old dance of sparing. A particularly apt student, lithe of body and raven of hair, catches your eye as she parries a blow and speedily ripostes with the second blade in her off-hand.
  54.  
  55. Noticing your eye upon the girl, an instructor approaches you.
  56.  
  57. "This is the one I was telling you about. She shows great promise, but is a bit naive for all that talent," he says to you.
  58.  
  59. "An orphan?" you find yourself asking.
  60.  
  61. "Oh, yes," he hastily replies. "Abandoned by her father nearly nine years ago."
  62.  
  63. Your gaze never leaves the student's face, even as your vision begins to fade.
  64.  
  65.  
  66. Harsh and unyielding, the coustille's song falls upon your ears and resolves itself into two distinct voices -- that of a male and a female.
  67.  
  68. "And why do we fight, little shadow?"
  69.  
  70. "So that others do not have to, master."
  71.  
  72. "And who do we fight, little shadow?"
  73.  
  74. "Those that would take our hearts and steal what is ours, master."
  75.  
  76. "Do we simply pick our fights, little shadow?"
  77.  
  78. "No, master, our fights are picked for us by the Hands of Destiny, and we must but hope that we are strong enough to fulfill their contracts."
  79.  
  80. The litany continues, the words rhetoric that seem to have been repeated over and over through time. More questions are asked, all answered with a blind faith that the student has placed in the master. One last question fills the air, its response an echo that lingers on your ears before falling into silence.
  81.  
  82. "What is the purpose of this fight, little shadow?"
  83.  
  84. "It is for the greater good, master."
  85.  
  86.  
  87. Crimson and obsidian steal your vision as your voice touches upon the coustille. Twisting and turning, a shadow dances across the rooftops silent as a cat and just as nimble, and it slips inside an open window. Darkness greets the shadow, though faint outlines can be discerned from the coals that are banked in a nearby fire. Something large collides with the dark form, and for a brief moment, the glow of the coals illuminates the raven-haired girl's face. She tumbles and sprawls, but quickly regains her feet. The larger darkness looms over her.
  88.  
  89. "I must be strong enough to take the mark," she whispers and lunges, but she is not fast enough, and the other tosses her into the windowsill.
  90.  
  91. Moonlight slants across a man's face, his beard new in growth, as a blade comes slicing down at her. She does not move, her features slack with shock, and a single syllable slips from her lips, "Da?"
  92.  
  93. The vision fades to sanguine and ebon mists.
  94.  
  95.  
  96. As your voice collides with the coustille, your vision blurs, and darkness paints the world in silver and black. Two figures race across the rooftops, one lithe and long, while the other is lean and strong. Like felines prowling in the night, they move silently and unobtrusively through the city with nary a sound, the wind their only companion. They slow before the windows of a warehouse, and the smaller of the pair slips inside.
  97.  
  98. A terse conversation ensues, but quickly dissolves into a litany of questions and answers, their cadence and rhythm familiar.
  99.  
  100. The man on the roof tenses and dashes into the window, his movement followed by a resounding scuffle and then silence. Slowly, the wind moves the clouds across the moonlight, and your vision fades.
  101.  
  102.  
  103. Darkness spills across your vision, and you feel the weight of night lay upon you. A soft, female voice begins to speak, "Marin was my mother, wasn't she?"
  104.  
  105. There is a heavy pause, but no one answers.
  106.  
  107. "And she fought for you against the tide of the greater good."
  108.  
  109. Again, there is a pause, but no answer follows.
  110.  
  111. "I have your knife, Da, and Marin's ribbon."
  112.  
  113. The silence is almost deafening.
  114.  
  115. "And I will find the Hands of Destiny to teach them about the true greater good."
  116.  
  117. Movement of some kind, faint but there nonetheless, disturbs the air.
  118.  
  119. "One day, Da, you'll find me again."
  120.  
  121. Silence remains the only answer.
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