Wisdom and Subtlety

Apr 19th, 2021 (edited)
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  1. Caressing your ear, the voice of Aeldra whispers, "I do have the distinct impression that there are
  2. a few things we should speak about, Avaris. In particular in regards to the Glomdoring, perhaps?"
  4. You tell Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters, "Ah. I see that the rumour mill is in full tilt."
  6. Caressing your ear, the voice of Aeldra whispers, "If you wish to call our Lady's concerns rumours,
  7. dear Avaris?"
  9. You tell Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters, "Oh. I was not aware that She had conveyed Her
  10. concerns to you - I had thought it one of the citizens. I would, of course, never diminish the
  11. Lady's words by referring to them as such."
  13. Caressing your ear, the voice of Aeldra whispers, "She has left me a short thought, asking me to
  14. offer my guidance to you in the matter, as Her attention will be short on the realm for the coming
  15. months."
  17. With an audible "baa", Yvai, the battle sheep trots from the southwest.
  19. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "Maybe something better spoken in person."
  21. Aeldra begins to follow you.
  23. You bow respectfully to Aeldra.
  25. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you ask Aeldra, "Where would you prefer to speak?"
  27. Aeldra shrugs softly, "Wherever you would feel comfortable to speak of such matters."
  29. You nod your head emphatically.
  31. Beneath a weeping willow tree.
  32. The rippling sound of flowing celestial waters echoes distantly from a healing shrine of Lantra
  33. nearby. This location is flooded with shallow, crystal clear water. A peaceful gurgling sound rises
  34. from a small stream, which meanders from the west and flows into a well-maintained pond, adding to
  35. the tranquil quality in the air. A rounded island of wet grass sits within the pond, connected to
  36. the bank by a narrow wooden footbridge which seems to have borne countless travelers to the little
  37. isle. The island itself is home to a large weeping willow tree, which struggles to stay upright as
  38. the myriad of branches and leaves droop down into the pond below. Small, brightly colored fish flit
  39. around the island, playfully nipping at the small drops of water which fall from the willow. Fresh
  40. breezes stir the branches of the ancient tree like soft sighs and whispers that pervade the island,
  41. making it an ideal spot to meditate. Yvai, the battle sheep dwells here, antler-bearing head raised
  42. proudly.
  43. You see exits leading southeast, southwest, and west.
  45. Aeldra looks around herself, "You seem to be drawn to the old Tahtetso guildhall a lot, are you
  46. not?" she asks you.
  48. Avaris's steps are unhurried as he crosses to the edge of the pond, though there is
  49. a certain set to his shoulders that conveys a sense of bracing for a blow. He nods, the motion
  50. slight, as he gazes into the waters. "So it would seem. It reminds me of our Lady. I enjoy coming
  51. here, as I feel close to Her, without intruding upon Her Realm."
  53. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "As for the matter at hand, She communicated that Her
  54. attentions would be brief in the coming year or so, yes, and that She would speak to me on it at a
  55. later time. She bade me be...Subtler, I believe, and patient."
  57. You think to yourself: A pang of ill feeling - a sharp admixture of regret, guilt, and self
  58. -recrimination, all spurred by the coiling dread that he has disappointed Her already.
  60. Aeldra flutters across the pond, hovering next to you, "Yes, She's specifically expressed Her
  61. concerns of how hard a path you may have set yourself upon alone and with the strength and force
  62. that is your own, Avaris." she smiles softly, "I'm but an incomplete and shallow replacement for Her
  63. Wisdom, but I will gladly offer what advise I may give you."
  65. Avaris does not turn to face Aeldra as he listens, though the feathered curve of
  66. his right antenna bends towards her. The teardrop-shaped pools of his eyes are of a subdued hue,
  67. dimmed far deeper than their usual bright azure. "I would be humbled, and most grateful, to hear any
  68. wisdom you seek to gift me with, Aeldra." He lifts his hands up, turning their palms towards himself
  69. as he studies them quietly for a long moment. "I know that I am...Young. I have much to learn, and
  70. need to improve in many ways. I am not strong." Curling his fingers into fists, he lowers them to
  71. his sides, where they slacken once more. The harmony of his voice is a lament of tightly restrained
  72. shame that nonetheless bleeds through, tinging his words with a faint sorrow. "I am sorry if I have
  73. disappointed Her, or failed Her - and so soon."
  75. Aeldra hovers closer, her sapphire wings beating idly to keep her afloat. Resting a hand on you
  76. shoulder, she says, "Oh, dear, you've done no such thing. Our Lady isn't disappointed at all in you.
  77. On the contrary, She feels worry for you, hoping to not see your light quenched before it had its
  78. chance to shine. If She were disappointed, you would've felt it and then She would've not send that
  79. which she sent my way." She grasp her hand briefly around a glass ampoule of bottled starlight,
  80. looking into the glittering starlight within. "But for me to aid you, maybe it would be best if you
  81. would remind me what has transpired in my absence?"
  83. Finally, Avaris does turn to face Aeldra at the weight of Aeldra's hand upon the
  84. glossy white carapace of his shoulder. Faint motes of light flicker across his eyes, though they are
  85. weak and fitful things, and he lowers his gaze to the pond once more, staring at his reflection.
  86. "That is...Kind of you to say, Aeldra. I cannot help but feel as if I am a child that has been told
  87. to weed the garden, and has made a mess in the doing of it. Not...Wrong, precisely, but overly
  88. brash, and clumsy." A short, soft laugh, faintly derisive. "I can almost hear an exasperated sigh."
  89. Lifting his upper right hand, he runs it through the thick, downy fluff that rings his neck. "I will
  90. do my best. Will you remind me of what you are aware of occurring, most recently?"
  92. Aeldra's expression changes into a frown, "You have very high expectations of yourself, dear Avaris.
  93. That is not a bad thing, but it can be difficult if you are unaware that you set up yourself for the
  94. impossible. None of us mortals can know everything, we can only aspire to do the best, but we all
  95. need to recognize that we're fallible. To accept that you will mistakes will allow you to use those
  96. experiences to grow stronger, better... a beacon that will follow the path the Saints of Celestia
  97. have set for us." With a slightly crooked smile, she adds "none of us are perfect, or do I need
  98. remind you of my own personal shortcomings of late?". More serious, she looks out to the lake, her
  99. eyes slightly unfocused, "I'm not aware of anything occuring aside of the two of us sharing our
  100. discontent with the current alliance and the nature of the Wyrd."
  102. Avaris accepts the words with grace, nodding slowly as the words come to an end. "I
  103. know. I do not seek to be perfect - Far from it. I only wish to shield those of the Light from harm,
  104. and corruption. To be worthy of Her regard." He glances over at Aeldra, his tone softening. "I
  105. apologise that you must deal with this, when you have burdens of your own. Has that situation
  106. improved?" Returning his focus to the waters, he utters a low, thoughtful sound as he gathers his
  107. thoughts. "The two instances that I am aware of are the situation with Caleb, and my brief
  108. discussion with the Consort Qoivhae."
  110. Avaris flicks an antennae towards Aeldra, asking, "Are you aware that Caleb walks
  111. with the favour of the Mistress of the Glomdoring?"
  113. Aeldra blinks and shakes her head slightly, "I uh... no, I was not." she pauses, looking at you,
  114. "Assuming that you bring this up, this was not a case of accidently offering to the wrong shrine?"
  115. She smiles sheepishly, "I might know someone who's drawn attention from the divine for doing that
  116. before." Returning seriousness in her voice, she returns to look at you, beating her wings to lift
  117. her on level head with the kephera. "I have yet to successfully contact the divine we spoke of a
  118. while ago, but I hope to draw Their attention soon. As for... Caleb and Qoivhae, maybe start with
  119. Caleb and tell me what happened?"
  121. The slow back and forth of Avaris's head is a serious one, his manner growing so
  122. much so that it verges on the grim. A red light courses through the markings that fill his wings, so
  123. faint as to be barely perceptible, even in the dark. When he speaks, his voice is tight, and cool.
  124. "It was no accident. We were at a domoth, when a member of that forest noticed the favour that Caleb
  125. possessed." A thread of contempt slides into his voice, as he continues, "He reeks of Her pleasure.
  126. Like roses sprouting from a rotting corpse. Vile." He exhales softly, placing his hands together at
  127. the small of his back. "He said that his heart lay with the Glomdoring, which...I did not
  128. appreciate."
  130. "I told him that his heart should lie with the Lady. That I did not think She would
  131. be pleased to have that stench within Her Realm, upon one of Hers." Avaris Avaris shrugs, a minute
  132. rise and fall of his shoulders.
  134. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "He strove to admonish me, to suggest that one of our tenets
  135. was Knowledge, and that I should make the effort to listen, and learn."
  137. The chorus of Avaris's words grows bitter, and dry. "I corrected him that the tenet
  138. was /Wisdom/, and that the search for knowledge without the wisdom to temper it was perilous."
  140. ((We emoted this at the same time, lol))
  142. Aeldra rises an eyebrow slightly, "There is no tenet of Knowledge within Her teachings. There is
  143. Wisdom however." she nods quietly, listening "But please continue."
  145. Aeldra nods her head at you, showing her acceptance.
  147. Avaris nods to Aeldra. "Precisely. He did not seem to appreciate my correction, and
  148. went on to say that the Glomdoring is not tainted." He turns to Aeldra, disbelief ringing in his
  149. voice. "Can you believe that, Aeldra? /Not tainted/. When he was there in the heart of that place,
  150. and spoke to its Mistress. I told him that he was blind, if he could not see it, but let the matter
  151. drop."
  153. Aeldra taps her nose thoughtfully, "There has been this always ongoing debate about this, where a
  154. section of the populace does not wish to accept that Glomdoring is born out of the ashes of Gloriana
  155. forest, which was destroyed by Kethuru's miasma when the City of Hallifax turned their machinations
  156. to drive it away from them. For many many years it lay dormant and rotten." she shakes her head
  157. softly, "Then, the Lady of Thorns returned to the basin, seeing the poor state of Her beloved forest
  158. and how Magnificent Raven was turned into... that rotten thing, She attempted to fix it, together
  159. with the Lady Aesthete, whom I served for a while." She shakes her head slightly again, as if to
  160. shake bad memories, "Uh, well... they were tricked and the Lady of Thorns was possessed by the vile
  161. Kethuru himself and thats how we got the wyrd. A different blend of taint, yes, but in essence it
  162. should not matter to us."
  164. Avaris absorbs the information with a quiet intensity, shifting his gaze back to
  165. the rippling waters. "Frankly, I do not see how there is anything to debate over. It is appallingly
  166. clear that it is an aberration. One simply has to go there, and look, listen. It is warped far
  167. beyond what is natural, or good. The people, I feel, are a reflection of their environment, and
  168. their Divine." His antennae curled down, and bend forward, his words growing troubled. "Yet everyone
  169. seems to think it a fine place, populated with good and trustworthy people. Even those that have
  170. left it, to come into the Light, still have not fully cleansed its ichor from their hearts."
  172. Aeldra nods softly at you "Yes, at least those that leave there have realized, to some extend, the
  173. darkness that has festered in their heart. Sadly, and this is a gripe my wife and I share for many
  174. years, as well as our daughter: The City of Light does at times, lack a lot of in Virtue that should
  175. define it." She straightens her shoulder, lifting her hand from your, "But then, we are also not one
  176. to give up. Celest will, within time, embrace what it means to be the Resurgence of the Light, to be
  177. the embodiment of Light and water, the shining beacon and its Tides will sweep across the basin,
  178. cleansing the taint from the world." She exhales, "I do spend every waking moment in focus to that
  179. task and so does our Lady, for the Cult She formed with me embodies exactly that, Avaris."
  181. The sharp dip of Avaris's chin is decisive, his manner firm as he says, "We are in
  182. full agreement. I feel that those of us that share such an opinion - You, myself, and the Lady,
  183. thusfar that I am aware of - are very much in the minority. We are in dire need of you and the Cult
  184. you have formed." His tone grows drier, a touch of ruefulness weaving its way into the chords of his
  185. voice. "Which brings me neatly to the matter with Qoivhae. He came to me, having heard rumours of my
  186. dislike for the Wyrd, and I was...Forthright, for I know no other way to be, in truth."
  188. Aeldra nods softly, "What did the Consort have to say on the matter?"
  190. Aeldra tilts her head and listens intently to you.
  192. A surge of furious crimson suffuses the glaring eyes of Avaris's wings, shoulders
  193. and the center of his brow, flaring with a baleful light that seeps into his voice. "A politician's
  194. answer. Weak. Lacking in conviction, in fire, in spine. Empty words about politics, and the Star
  195. Council." Scorn rings in his voice, bright and sharp as a struck bell. "He had the gall to say that
  196. the Magisterium policed the morality of the Holy Church, and was vigilant in checking for that which
  197. causes corruption - yet is content to allow the Glomdoring to do as they wish, to be our allies.
  198. When I brought up the matter of their supporting the nereids, he barely batted an eye - and asked
  199. for /proof/." The last word is nearly spat, such is his vehemence, his fingers curling into
  200. quivering fists, the pristine white of his form lit by the sullen coals of his anger.
  202. Aeldra blinks her eyes rapidly for a few moments, "There are moments when I consider to apply my axe
  203. to his face, though that is not a response that I should have." She heaves a barely contained sigh,
  204. "Qoivhae has, in his heart, well meaning, but he has been involved in shifty politics for too long
  205. and is too easily trying to defend himself when there's no need." She pauses for a moment, lips
  206. curled slightly, "On either case I do think the main problem here, Avaris, is, as I have learned,
  207. most people do not react well to have their stance questioned openly. It is a sad truth that this is
  208. also part of our City, where I would think honesty would be an appreciated virtue."
  210. You think to yourself: A roiling storm of intense, radiant light, born of frustration and
  211. disappointment in supposed champions of the Light.
  213. The effulgent eyes surge with a last, throbbing strobe of sanguine light, before
  214. dimming to an ashen glow as Avaris sighs. "It breaks my heart, Aeldra. We are supposed to be good,
  215. and pure, and true. Above petty politics. Clear of sight, of mind, of heart. If truth and honesty
  216. cannot flourish here, of all places, then where?" He shakes his head slowly from side to side, the
  217. gesture sorrowful. "I know the Lady has cautioned me against this path, for it will be a hard and
  218. lonely one, but..." He turns suddenly, shoulders straightening as he looks upon Aeldra directly. "If
  219. I must be alone in bearing the Light, then I will carry it into the dark places of the world without
  220. faltering. If they have lost sight of what the Light truly is, I will show them. By example alone,
  221. if I must, for words are unlikely to be enough."
  223. You think to yourself: The boiling mass of light does not subside - not precisely. It condenses,
  224. draws in on itself, and grows more solid, sharper, to reflect the firming of purpose, even against
  225. the misguided.
  227. Aeldra gently perches on your shoulder, smiling softly, "You'll never be alone, Avaris, for while
  228. your current stance is not the one that is favoured by the majority of the city, it is one that will
  229. never be unimportant. But, might I suggest a somewhat more subtle path, which, in time... will lead
  230. you to greater success I suspect?"
  232. Avaris does not turn his head to regard Aeldra, though there is the distinct sense
  233. that he is looking upon her, given the compound nature of his eyes, which glitter with small motes
  234. of light. The thick, fur-like fluff of his mane sways gently in the breeze, brushing up against
  235. Aeldra as he nods. "Of course. I am...Not suited to subtlety, I fear, but I will listen, and do what
  236. I can."
  238. Aeldra rises an eyebrow slightly, looking at you, "Uh, I... I don't think I am either. But
  239. sometimes, we have to be to deal with those who don't see things as clearly as you do." she folds
  240. her hands together in front of herself, "Uh, have you ever heard of the concept of Sermons within
  241. the city, Avaris?"
  243. Avaris tilts his head slightly, though he faces ever forward, his antennae leaning
  244. towards Aeldra. "I have not. Elucidate the matter, if you would be so kind."
  246. Aeldra nods in assent, "Well, the concept was that any citizen could, whenever they wished, gather
  247. people to speak a sermon to them in the Blue Cathedral, to preach about a topic regarding to the
  248. light of their chosing and then, if so desired, have a discussion about it afterwards." She smiles,
  249. her eyes sparkling brightly, "Now, imagine if someone would speak upon the issues with the
  250. corruption spreading within the city without targetting a specific person and then would open a
  251. discussion upon it?"
  253. You think to yourself: He does so, conjuring an image of an auditorium of immaculate white marble,
  254. curving benches and fluted columns, populated by an indistinct mass of mortals. He envisions
  255. himself, standing before them, delivering some impassioned speech on the perils of allowing the Wyrd
  256. close to their hearts, of the corruptive influence that slithers its way insidiously within the
  257. Light, darkening it.
  259. You think to yourself: He imagines them laughing, or scoffing - or simply being indifferent.
  261. Avaris lifts his upper left hand to coil a tuft of dense, white fluff about his
  262. finger, toying with it thoughtfully. "Hm. Perhaps, but I cannot help but expect that any attempts
  263. will go unheard, or be ignored as overly zealous youth. Do you truly think that it would shift their
  264. opinion, even a small amount?"
  266. Aeldra cups her hands together in offering. Motes of light unfurl to reveal a single star lotus in
  267. her palm, lingering there with radiant beauty.
  269. Aeldra gazes at the lotus in her hands, answering "mayhaps, Avaris. But you can't have a full grown
  270. tree without planting and nurturing the sapling. As long as it is easy for people to ignore and
  271. close their eyes upon the truth, the chances that things change are zero." She sighs, "Also, we can
  272. not let the political aspect of this go unexplored, as much as I dislike politics."
  274. Avaris lowers his head to regard the lotus fondly, the blue pools of his eyes
  275. brightening in hue. "You speak wisely, Aeldra. I do not know if I am the best suited to this
  276. particular arena. This requires a delicate touch, and a deftness with words that I do not possess. I
  277. am a mailed fist. There is nothing of silk about my manner." His antenna twitches towards Aeldra, a
  278. touch of hope colouring his words. "Are there any in the Order that are eloquent speakers?"
  280. Aeldra taps her nose thoughtfully, "Alarin comes to mind, on this, though they may not appreciate me
  281. suggesting such." She laughs, "I am not completely sure where they stand on the matter, but they
  282. would lend their ear. Maybe something to discuss with them."
  284. Avaris nods along with the words, pensive. "Perhaps so. We can certainly bring the
  285. matter to them, when they return - and perhaps gently suggest sending Thaldorn off on some errand
  286. for the duration."
  288. Aeldra gives a trillingly melodic laugh.
  290. A great thrumming shudders through all creation, blurring as if within an all-encompassing heat
  291. haze. The soothing sounds of water and light music ripple past as an Impending Timequake manifests.
  293. Aeldra creases her brow in a frown.
  295. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "I have to sadly attend battles now. Let us speak more
  296. on this later."
  298. Aeldra takes a radiant battle axe of the paragon in her hands and prays fervently, beseeching the
  299. Holy Supernals to consecrate it with the Glory of Celestia. With a pulse of light, a sphere of Holy
  300. Light rushes out from Aeldra's chest and down her arms, infusing a radiant battle axe of the paragon
  301. with a righteous and blessed radiance.
  302. -
  303. Gently pressing three fingers to her brow, then drawing them to rest upon her heart, Aeldra smiles
  304. at you and intones, "As above, so below." As the words leave her lips, a bright aura suffuses you
  305. both with a calm, soothing white light that fills you with a sense of inner peace.
  307. Avaris nods slightly. "Of course. I wish you well. Thank you for your perspective,
  308. and your patience, Aeldra."
  310. Falling into a light trot, Yvai, the battle sheep trots out to the ether.
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