Blairjay

a painting of ailustris

Jul 6th, 2021 (edited)
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  1. As the light fades from the skies above soft whispers fill the air telling of the return of Nocht, the Silent to mortal perception.
  2.  
  3. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  4.  
  5. [various greetings and activities, waiting a bit, and then]
  6.  
  7. You take a painting of Ailustris from a simple silver easel with latticing.
  8.  
  9. You chew on your lip thoughtfully.
  10.  
  11. [probe painting]
  12. This painting is an expanse of starry mist, swirling faintly with shades
  13. of silver and subtle azure. Dark shapes, vague and distant and starry,
  14. linger in the mist, identities shrouded in the mist itself. Above
  15. glitters a single star, its shape lost in the fog that swallows the rest
  16. of the painting. The painting seems to attempt to portray some alien
  17. beauty, as though unable to be fully realized by the artist's hand.
  18. It has 253 months of usefulness left.
  19. It weighs about 37 pounds.
  20. It bears the distinctive mark of Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk.
  21. It has the following aliases: painting.
  22.  
  23. You chew on your lip thoughtfully.
  24.  
  25. You think to yourself: Do not be a wilting flower...
  26.  
  27. Caressing an Idol of Nocht gently in your hands, you focus your thoughts on Nocht, seeking out His Master Shrine and fulcrux.
  28.  
  29. You find yourself engulfed in a swirl of scintillating lights, drawn to your Patron's Master Shrine.
  30. The Fulcrux of Nocht.
  31. 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. Reverently laid before the shrine in a sheath of starlight and shadow, the Sidereal Mantle of Ailustris emanates Divine power here. Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera is here, sniffing curiously at things in the vicinity. The shadowy form of a Daughter of the Night stands here, exuding wyrden power from within swirling black robes.
  32. You see a single exit leading through an image of the night sky.
  33.  
  34. Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera perks all of four his ears alertly as you enter. With a smug look, he rubs up against your legs affectionately, then attempts to lie directly on top of your feet, despite his own size.
  35.  
  36. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  37.  
  38. Softly, you say, "Ah, apologies if I interrupt."
  39.  
  40. 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.
  41.  
  42. Beneath glimmering veins of amethyst.
  43. The shadowy outline of a twisted forest casts a dark gloom here. 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.
  44. You see exits leading north, northeast, east, and through a delicate veil of shadows.
  45.  
  46. You have emoted: Esei settles into place, head slightly bowed with reverence and patience.
  47.  
  48. Tau tells you, "Not at all."
  49. Tau tells you, "He had to depart, you should return."
  50.  
  51. [entering the fulcrux again]
  52.  
  53. Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera abruptly looks up as Sun and Night trade places. He sticks his tongues forward and his face splits open like some abstract horror, revealing an endless pit of pointy teeth. A loud, grating warble escapes his throat as he yawns, then snaps his mouth shut as if nothing ever happened.
  54.  
  55. You have emoted: Esei pats Jridndowa awkwardly on the head in greeting.
  56.  
  57. The surrounding shadows convulse, writhing within pinpricks of emerald light as Nocht, the Silent materializes from the aether.
  58.  
  59. You give Nocht a respectful bow, one hand clasped over your heart.
  60.  
  61. Nocht, the Silent whispers, "My apologies, little one."
  62.  
  63. With a slow nod to Nocht, Tau shows her understanding.
  64.  
  65. Nocht turns His gaze upon you. "Ah. Hello, little one."
  66.  
  67. Quietly, you say, "Hello, my Lord."
  68.  
  69. You have emoted: Holding a painting in their hands, close to their chest so that its image is not revealed, Esei says, "I had a gift for You, but... I was unsure if You would like it, especially if it brings up painful memories." They glance towards the Sidereal Mantle of Ailustris, a claw worrying lightly against the wood of the canvas's frame.
  70.  
  71. Nocht steps softly around the edges of the fulcrux, His whispering voice drifting after Him, "It has been a year for questions, it seems. I heard yours as well, Esei..." At your comment He pauses. "What gift do you bring that you think may cause Me distress?"
  72.  
  73. The image of the night sky grows terrifyingly dark as an icy breeze cuts across the lonely hill, spiralling patterns dancing across the tall grass.
  74.  
  75. Softly, you say, "My depiction of what the Mantle shows to me, my Lord."
  76.  
  77. Nocht says nothing, but simply extends His hand.
  78.  
  79. You give a painting of Ailustris to Nocht, the Silent.
  80.  
  81. You have emoted: Esei folds their hands behind their back, eyes respectfully downcast.
  82.  
  83. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  84.  
  85. Nocht holds a painting of Ailustris in His hands as He regards it for several quiet moments. "I do not seek to avoid pain, little one. I learned long ago to flee from it is foolish. I enjoy your perspective, My little one, of a place you have only sensed in such a limited way - it is not a poor rendition."
  86.  
  87. With a wistful look on His face, Nocht touches the Sidereal Mantle of Ailustris.
  88.  
  89. You have emoted: Esei gives a short, solemn nod in response.
  90.  
  91. The fulcrux grows noticeably colder, the bracing breeze twisting the long grass along as Nocht whispers, "The mantle belong to Our First, and Ailustris was Our creche. A place of starlit mists and trees bathed in perpetual twilight. Much has changed since then."
  92.  
  93. Eyes widening in recognition, Tau, the Twilit says, "A place, not One of You."
  94.  
  95. The boughs of the large blackthorn moan loudly as they shake, sending a new shower of petals cascading across the fulcrux.
  96.  
  97. You have emoted: Esei listens raptly to Nocht, lips slightly twitching with Tau's words.
  98.  
  99. Nocht nods as He adds, softly, "Indeed. A very ancient one. It means starlight in Ae."
  100.  
  101. Tau, the Twilit says to Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera, "Perpetual twilight. Meaning, nothing for you to be noisy about."
  102.  
  103. You think to yourself: ** soft stirring of the waters, whispers of curiosity, prodding gently after the First - does He have a name...? does He want to share? **.
  104.  
  105. A long silence follows and nothing fills the fulcrux save for the icy breeze that occasionally causes the blackthorn petals to swirl around those gathered. As more time passes it seems that Nocht has nothing more to say before He finally whispers a name so softly that it almost cannot be heard. "Zarhalt." He whispers. "To answer your wonderings, little one." He adds with a small nod towards you.
  106.  
  107. Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera abruptly looks up as Sun and Night trade places. He sticks his tongues forward and his face splits open like some abstract horror, revealing an endless pit of pointy teeth. A loud, grating warble escapes his throat as he yawns, then snaps his mouth shut as if nothing ever happened.
  108.  
  109. You have emoted: Esei gives a single nod, carefully pulling one of the blackthorn petals from the air to gently hold between their index finger and thumb.
  110.  
  111. Nocht turns away suddenly, His form coming undone as it turns to wisps of shadow that fade away. "Be well, little ones. I am always watching..."
  112.  
  113. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  114.  
  115. Tau tilts her head back and looks up at the sky.
  116.  
  117. Tau, the Twilit says to you, "Always I leave with more to think about than that with which I entered."
  118.  
  119. A wry smile spreads across your face.
  120.  
  121. Tau inclines her head politely to those around her.
  122.  
  123. Tau, the Twilit says to Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera, "Come on, you. You're lucky He didn't seem to mind your constant howling."
  124.  
  125. Tau stands before the image of the night sky, arms spread wide. Dark tendrils shoot forth from the apparition, wrapping around Tau and forcibly sucking her in.
  126. Jridndowa, an eldritch chimaera, chases something interesting and unseen to the ether, followed by the squelch of little suckers.
  127.  
  128. You have emoted: In lieu of a figure to bow to, Esei turns instead to the shrine and bows deeply, hand over heart.
  129.  
  130. You think to yourself: ...thank You, again.
  131.  
  132. 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.
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