Vanshi's Rite of Nascency

Jan 4th, 2020
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  1. Location: Enshrouded courtyard within an ancient temple.
  2. A strong gale has developed here. A heavy aura of foreboding hangs over this vast, half-ruined courtyard, shadows looming amidst the veritable sea of wyrden flora that has overgrown the centre of this ancient temple. The heady smell of wyrden roses and incense pervades the senses, and a fine, umbral mist undulates across the ground, caressing broken stones fallen from the lofty, semi-collapsed roof. The firmament is clearly visible through the enormous breach, though both an ethereal veil of darkness and the thick forest canopy above prevents an unreasonable intrusion of light. A rectangular colonnade of cracked stone pillars surrounds the courtyard on all sides, thorned vines and moss nearly obscuring the weathered, now-indecipherable carvings that adorn their surfaces, whilst ravenous ivy and climbing roses cascade from the entablature in which a number of crows perch, strangely quiet in the sanctity of the temple's core. Beyond the pillars, the silhouettes of great statues loom, some shrouded in complete darkness, jewelled, glinting eyes eerily watching from others. The centre of the courtyard is dominated by a sizeable ring of pitch-stained stones, their matte surfaces bestrewn with lichen and mauve mosses; constrained within the ring is a phantasmal, stygian pool of liquid shadow, its still surface as smooth as polished glass.
  4. Date: 6th of Estar, 550 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  6. Esei draws a large rhombus in the dirt with their athame, the points facing outwards to each cardinal direction.
  8. Esei pulls out a bundle of sage and wormwood, a ritual bowl, and a tinderbox, setting the bowl in the middle of the shape. They light the bundle until it is smoking nicely, then throw it into the bowl. They quickly waft the smoke around the room, creating a somewhat hazy atmosphere.
  10. Turning to face Vanshi, Esei says, "With her Visions witnessed and rewarded, Nascent Vanshi stands before us, ready to embark unto her Awakening. As such, we shall call upon the Hallowed, for their guidance upon her path."
  12. Esei gestures for Vanshi to join them within the shape.
  14. Vanshi nods slowly as she steps within the shape to join Esei.
  16. Esei takes the bowl from the ground, sprinkling the smoldering ashes around Vanshi's feet, lips moving with inaudible words before they inhale deeply and begin to speak aloud, raising their ash-touched fingers to Vanshi's face.
  18. Marking Vanshi's left cheek with the ashes, Esei says, "Mother Night, She Who Reigns Eternal, another child of the Wyrd seeks the embrace of Your shadow and beauty."
  20. Marking Vanshi's right cheek, Esei says, "Brother Crow, Wyrd-Given-Wings, another child of the Wyrd seeks to know the ways of Your trickery, seeks the safety of the Black Nest."
  22. Marking Vanshi's chin in a smooth, downward motion, Esei says, "Black Idols, another child of the Wyrd asks after Your wisdom, hoping to learn more of You."
  24. Smearing Vanshi's lips, Esei says, "Shadowbeat, Voice, another child of the Wyrd cries out for Your rhythm, Your omnipresence in her life."
  26. Marking Vanshi's forehead with their thumb, Esei says, "Black Spirits, another child of the Wyrd seeks out Your teachings. May her tah'vrai follow her after death, as Yours have."
  28. Esei overturns the ashes over Vanshi's head, returning the bowl to the center of the ritual space and stepping back, out of the shape.
  30. Esei's eyes flutter closed, head tilting away as if to listen to something. Before Vanshi's eyes, the bowl begins to fill with shadowy mist until it overflows. It pools around Vanshi's feet, crawling up and around her body, enveloping her entirely. After a short time of observation, it comes to an observer's understanding that most of her body is visible through thin, shimmering shadow, clinging to the edges of Vanshi's body.
  32. Opening their eyes, Esei approaches, appraising Vanshi and the shadows that cling to her. Giving a solemn nod, they watch as the shadows drain from Vanshi's body and back into the bowl, returning to ash. "The Hallowed have spoken and name you the Shadow-Edged. Would you accept this title on your path within the Auguries?"
  34. Vanshi nods her head, hands folding at her waist. "Mm, yes, I accept this title, to join upon my name."
  36. Esei nods to Vanshi. "And now, Proselyte, thank the Hallowed in whatever way you see fit." They step back quietly.
  38. Vanshi bows her head, taking a deep breath before lifting her chin upright. "Mother Night, I thank You for the beauty of Your gaze, the embrace of Your eternal shadow. Brother Crow, I thank You for Your guile and the sanctuary of Your nest. Black Idols, I am humbled by Your wisdom and the chance to understand... Shadowbeat, I thank You for the beat of Your presence falling upon me... Black Spirits, I will learn of Your teachings and will seek to resonate them within me."
  40. Esei nods solemnly to Vanshi.
  42. Esei says to Vanshi, "Welcome to your Awakening, Proselyte. May you serve the Wyrd, and the Covenant, well."
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