Blairjay

twofold

May 31st, 2020
60
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  1. An icy pool before menacing trees.
  2. The shadowy outline of a twisted forest casts a dark gloom here. Suspended above the bleak abyss, this copse of trees is dense and towering. The platform is fully overgrown with twisting ferns and bushes. If any stone remains it is long since buried under the rich, spongy loam underfoot. The mixed wood seems in competition with itself, with thick vines clinging to tree limbs in a strangle hold and parasitic fronds drooping from the lowest branches. Bubbling up from centre of the floating wood is a broad pool. Icy black water springs fourth, and pushes out over the edges of the platform in a strange, silent waterfall, the overflow finding no pool to crash into as it disappears in the emptiness below. Crisscrossing over each other, a maze of wyrden branches have taken hold here. Gazing upon the realm with unseen eyes, a muted slaugh stands regally here.
  3. You see exits leading southwest, northwest, and through a maze of wyrden branches.
  4.  
  5. You have emoted: Standing on the loamy ground, Esei leans over the pool, gazing into the water.
  6.  
  7. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  8.  
  9. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  10.  
  11. Sunlight dances across the icy waters as they pour over the edge of the platform into the dark expanse below.
  12.  
  13. You have emoted: Esei kneels next to the pool, dipping his fingers into the dark, icy water.
  14.  
  15. For the briefest of moments, you feel something tug at your fingers from within the icy, black waters.
  16.  
  17. You blink.
  18.  
  19. You have emoted: Esei carefully sinks his arm further into the water, trying not to stir it with his movements.
  20.  
  21. The water ripples and churns briefly with the movement, breaking the glass-like surface. As you grow still once more, you see your reflection once more with the diminished form of Nocht, the Silent now standing behind you.
  22.  
  23. As the sun passes below the horizon's edge, Mother Night unveils her terrible, shadowy beauty, spreading darkness across the land.
  24.  
  25. An icy pool before menacing trees.
  26. The shadowy outline of a twisted forest casts a dark gloom here. Suspended above the bleak abyss, this copse of trees is dense and towering. The platform is fully overgrown with twisting ferns and bushes. If any stone remains it is long since buried under the rich, spongy loam underfoot. The mixed wood seems in competition with itself, with thick vines clinging to tree limbs in a strangle hold and parasitic fronds drooping from the lowest branches. Bubbling up from centre of the floating wood is a broad pool. Icy black water springs fourth, and pushes out over the edges of the platform in a strange, silent waterfall, the overflow finding no pool to crash into as it disappears in the emptiness below. Crisscrossing over each other, a maze of wyrden branches have taken hold here. Gazing upon the realm with unseen eyes, a muted slaugh stands regally here. Nocht, the Silent stands here, completely obscured beneath a cloak as dark as the night.
  27. You see exits leading southwest, northwest, and through a maze of wyrden branches.
  28.  
  29. You blink.
  30.  
  31. You bow respectfully to Nocht.
  32.  
  33. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Hello, My little one."
  34.  
  35. [look nocht]
  36. Were it not for the way darkness itself trails after Him, it would not be immediately obvious that He is a radiant immortal. His skin is a cracked and sickly gray colour that looks as if it could crumble away at a touch. Long white hair clings to the sides of His face as it spills down His back. All along His form - from the aristocratic contours of His face to the slender, musician's hands - are seeking vines of vibrant emerald which carry a cascade of orange and crimson snapdragon blooms. The growth reaches up the right side of His face, leaving His eyes untouched - a clear, ethereal blue, each pupil rimmed in a golden starburst which makes His silent, thoughtful gaze appear to pierce to the very soul.
  37.  
  38. He is wearing:
  39. a faded cloak of once-darkest black
  40. a fractured gem suspended from a thin, metal chain
  41. boots of shifting shadow
  42. a frigid, aphotic crystal ring emblazoned with the script of fae.
  43.  
  44. The icy waters churn in the inky darkness of night, spilling over the edge of the platform into the gaping abyss.
  45.  
  46. You have emoted: Esei hurriedly stands and bows properly to Nocht, mindful of his wet arm.
  47.  
  48. Nocht tilts His head, several snapdragon petals fluttering down to land on the surface of the water. "Seeking out secrets in the waters, little one?"
  49.  
  50. The icy waters churn in the inky darkness of night, spilling over the edge of the platform into the gaping abyss.
  51.  
  52. You have emoted: Esei casts a glance at the water, a thoughtful look on his face. "Mm, maybe?" He replies, voice hushed. "I was... curious."
  53.  
  54. Across the heavens, the stars and moon challenge night's dark reign, revealing familiar constellations that tell the tales of myth and legend.
  55.  
  56. Nocht makes a quiet clicking noise with His tongue, as He makes a slight nod of His head. "The defining trait of mortals, I think, little one. One of My favored, certainly." He turns, walking through the waters without causing even a ripple to stir. His cloak floats on the surface as He watches the water's path into the abyss. "I am curious as well. How fares Mine and the Glomdoring?"
  57.  
  58. You murmur, "I think... the order fares well, though it is... quiet of late, in activity." He pauses briefly, looking thoughtful. "I believe that the Glomdoring has been... somewhat rattled by recent events, but we still stand strong... though evidently, not entirely united."
  59.  
  60. Midnight shadows coalesce around a new day, and Mother Night embraces the land in utter darkness.
  61. It is now the 15th of Juliary, 561 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  62.  
  63. Gaze still fixed on the abyss below, Nocht, the Silent whispers, "There is discord in the Glomdoring?"
  64.  
  65. Quietly, you say, "A few months past, we were tasked by the Lord Avenger to deceive some of the dragons who wished to merge with the Seal of Time. Someone... told the emissary of the plan, and it burned the Forest."
  66.  
  67. Nocht remains silent at the news, staring downwards for several moments before speaking once more, "Hmm... And now you all will undertake the trials of Ascension once more."
  68.  
  69. Her covered face held high, a muted slaugh continues off to the northwest.
  70.  
  71. You nod solemnly.
  72.  
  73. Glancing at you, Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Do you have thoughts of claiming the staff, little one? Of Ascending?"
  74.  
  75. You blink.
  76.  
  77. Softly, looking over at the water, you say, "Not... particularly. I do not think I may be the best suited for such."
  78.  
  79. You murmur, "Though, if I was given the chance, I would do my very best to achieve it."
  80.  
  81. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Hm... Tau said something similar. When did Mine become so modest, I wonder?"
  82.  
  83. You chew on your lip thoughtfully.
  84.  
  85. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Tell Me, little one. Which Seal do you find resonates with your spirit the greatest?"
  86.  
  87. You ponder the situation.
  88.  
  89. Quietly, you say, "The Seal of Knowledge, perhaps, or Beauty."
  90.  
  91. Nocht turns and closes the distance between the two of you with a single, graceful step. "Then hear My task for you, Esei. It is twofold..." He leans down, His cracked face close to your own as He holds up one finger. "You will endeavor to [redacted]." Holding up a second finger, He continues, "Secondly, you will [redacted]. Will you accept these tasks?"
  92.  
  93. You whisper, "I will."
  94.  
  95. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Your answer is swift and certain. I approve, little one."
  96.  
  97. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "Then if you need nothing of Me, I shall return to My own preparations."
  98.  
  99. You nod solemnly.
  100.  
  101. Nocht nods His head. "I will be watching, Esei", He says before winking out of view, leaving only a few fluttering snapdragon petals behind to float off into the abyss below.
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