Blairjay

Poison

Apr 21st, 2021 (edited)
38
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  1. You find yourself engulfed in a swirl of scintillating lights, drawn to your Patron's Master Shrine.
  2. The Fulcrux of Nocht.
  3. 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.
  4. You see a single exit leading through an image of the night sky.
  5.  
  6. You give the master shrine of Nocht a respectful bow, one hand clasped over your heart.
  7.  
  8. You drop a blackthorn blossom origami.
  9.  
  10. You have emoted: Esei settles under the blackthorn tree, resting on their knees with their fists loosely closed on top of their thighs.
  11.  
  12. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  13.  
  14. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  15.  
  16. You think to yourself: ** ice snapping over cold waters, attempting to freeze, but being unable to do so before the water churns, breaking the ice. **.
  17.  
  18. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  19.  
  20. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  21.  
  22. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  23.  
  24. You have emoted: Esei's eyes open, sliding to observe the master shrine of Nocht briefly.
  25.  
  26. You think to yourself: ...I hope we find this... traitor. This Betrayer. Sooner, rather than later.
  27.  
  28. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  29.  
  30. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  31.  
  32. The magicked image above ripples and churns as a soft voice fills the fulcrux, "Do you think you draw close to an answer, little one?"
  33.  
  34. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  35.  
  36. You have emoted: "...perhaps. Everything feels... clouded. Uncertain," Esei says, voice quiet.
  37.  
  38. Nearby shadows coalesce into the caliginous leopard sauntering into view.
  39. Ilistala emerges from the shadows, curiously looking around.
  40. Dusan, the coruscant rumbles excitedly at Xenthos, bumping his head against him in greeting.
  41.  
  42. You blink.
  43.  
  44. Xenthos purses his lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as he carefully gathers his thoughts.
  45.  
  46. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "Greetings."
  47.  
  48. You tilt your head back and look up at the sky.
  49.  
  50. The blackthorn shudders suddenly, a storm of bone-white petals swirling around the fulcrux, "Quite the gathering... Greetings, little ones."
  51.  
  52. A caliginous leopard blinks.
  53.  
  54. Ilistala, an enormous leopard paces around the Fulcrux, then stops as a voice speaks, her ears perking up.
  55.  
  56. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "Greetings, my Lord."
  57.  
  58. As the petals float to the ground, a soft, hollow voice whispers, "Greetings, little one. It is rare for you to visit. Perhaps you became lost on your way to Dearest Shikari's fulcrux."
  59.  
  60. Xenthos shakes his head in negation. "It is quite intentional, my Lord. Our recent discussion with the Lady has led my feet here."
  61.  
  62. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "I do not wish to assume what You may or may not know. But I have some observations, some things we may have learned about old happenings involving Your daughter, and it seems more prudent to air them in Your hearing and perhaps see what guidance You might be willing to provide."
  63.  
  64. You have emoted: Esei presses their back against the blackthorn tree, humming under their breath.
  65.  
  66. Soft murmurs circle the fulcrux, their whispers tinged with anger, predatory. "I see... Do you harbor suspicions of My Night? I will hear what you have to say, little one, but do not forget when you speak of her that you are not Our Dearest Viravain..."
  67.  
  68. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "No, my Lord, I bear no suspicions of Her. And that is why I am here, instead of speaking to the Lady directly. I fear that what I have to say, spoken from mortal lips, would be taken amiss."
  69.  
  70. Evette glances upwards towards Xenthos, a faint glimmer of shadowfire apparent within her eyes.
  71.  
  72. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  73.  
  74. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "While my own bent has been far more towards Her Crow, we who were of the Ebonguard were every bit as fervent in our admiration of Mother Night, and that has not changed."
  75.  
  76. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "But the same cannot be said for one who claims to be Your Daughter's Chosen."
  77.  
  78. Shadows swirl around your arm as the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree digs itself more painfully into your finger.
  79.  
  80. The whispers stir, unheard questions creeping across the fulcrux as the voice whispers softly, "Do explain, little one."
  81.  
  82. The pointed tips of your ears twitch to hear an errant sound.
  83.  
  84. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "Back when the Glomdoring was born, through the Lady's hands, She came to us. She demanded to know why the undead creatures plagued Her creation. And the primary target of Her ire was the one known as Rowena. Rowena wished to cling to her life, and hatched a plan to prove that she was not 'barren.' She brought forth two children, to lead the new guilds of the Glomdoring..."
  85.  
  86. Xenthos pauses briefly. "Or so she claimed."
  87.  
  88. The boughs of the large blackthorn moan loudly as they shake, sending a new shower of petals cascading across the fulcrux.
  89.  
  90. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "It is becoming apparent that there is much more to this story than we know, and that what we do not know of it appears to be the crux of the Lady's wrath."
  91.  
  92. You think to yourself: ...dear Blackthorn, I wonder what you make of this, if you do so at all.
  93.  
  94. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "If the culprit is not Rowena herself, it is clear that whomever it is has the ability to traverse the Veil of Mother Night, for they were able to acquire items found only beyond that Veil. And in order to root them out, we will need to find a way to do so ourselves... or to convince Your Daughter to release what is in the Glomdoring from Her veil."
  95.  
  96. Xenthos closes his eyes and inhales deeply, absorbing the scent of his surroundings.
  97.  
  98. The murmurs die down and a hush falls over the fulcrux, a sensation of patient contemplation.
  99.  
  100. Xenthos nods once. "And that is the gist of it, my Lord. This is what Khasur knew, and when even she fears to convey this to the Lady Herself..."
  101.  
  102. The unsettling silence remains, pierced only by the whispering voice in its hollow tone, "As do you, little one?"
  103.  
  104. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "She fears for Mother Night, my Lord. And so... yes, as do I. The Lady's wrath is great. She has been greatly betrayed. We seek to root out the cause ourselves, before Her scythe's wide sweep descends."
  105.  
  106. You have emoted: Closing their eyes, Esei inhales and exhales slowly, as though centering themself.
  107.  
  108. Evette idly runs her fingers through a tenebrous leopard's fur, absorbing the conversation silently.
  109.  
  110. Shadows swirl around Evette's arm as the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree shifts and turns around her hand.
  111.  
  112. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  113.  
  114. Xenthos bows his head in acknowlegement of Lord Silence's words. "Yes, my Lord."
  115.  
  116. A chill breeze begins to pick up, sweeping through the blackthorn whose branches creak, and down towards those gathered. "Do not fear for My Night, little one. Fear her, certainly. Be in awe. Revere her. Worship her. Adore her..." The frigid breeze picks up as the voice whispers, now whipping violently around you, a stinging snowstorm of blackthorn petals. The whispers reach your ears all the same, the voice never rising, "My Night is strong. But you are correct, Xenthos. If a lie has taken root within the Glomdoring, it must be ripped out."
  117.  
  118. "And My little ones..." the voice whispers through the blizzard of blackthorn petals.
  119.  
  120. Xenthos lifts his head back up, listening.
  121.  
  122. The pointed tips of your ears twitch to hear an errant sound.
  123.  
  124. Evette's ears perk up with a sudden interest.
  125.  
  126. It is now the 5th of Juliary, 587 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  127. There are 23 days until the New Moon
  128.  
  129. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  130.  
  131. "I cannot be truly healed until it is excised. A betrayal of the Glomdoring is like a poison, and I would not use the great power of the Wyrd in any magic if We suspect that poison lingers..."
  132.  
  133. You have emoted: Esei's fingers curl into loose fists, resting on their knees.
  134.  
  135. Evette purses her lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as she carefully gathers her thoughts.
  136.  
  137. Xenthos's lips turn down slightly in the barest of frowns, considering that. His hand lifts to brush across the talisman buried deeply in his chest, and he nods, once, in understanding.
  138.  
  139. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "Then how, my Lord, might we convince Her to release some of what She claims from Her Veil? It is only there that we can find the answers we seek."
  140.  
  141. The wind dies down as the petals fall gently to the ground, the floor of the fulcrux now a carpet of white in stark contrast with the magicked image above. "And I know you will find the answer, My Wyrden ones. And though I know you wish for Me to whisper of her secrets, it must be you. If a lie has been planted by mortal hands, then it must be ripped out by them as well."
  142.  
  143. Xenthos bows his head once more. "Thank You, my Lord. It shall be done."
  144.  
  145. "I have no doubt of that for it must be."
  146.  
  147. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  148.  
  149. A tenebrous leopard disappears into her surroundings as she silently prowls away.
  150. Ilistala melds into the shadows, quickly disappearing from view.
  151.  
  152. The boughs of the large blackthorn moan loudly as they shake, sending a new shower of petals cascading across the fulcrux.
  153.  
  154. You have emoted: Esei rolls their shoulders back, carefully observing the blanket of petals over the fulcrux.
  155.  
  156. You think to yourself: ** swirling, heavy fog, flickering between light and dark, light and dark as the sea of their mind toils with thought. **.
  157.  
  158. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  159.  
  160. You think to yourself: ...enlightening. Somewhat.
  161.  
  162. 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.
  163.  
  164. You think to yourself: ...and frustrating, too.
  165.  
  166. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  167.  
  168. The image above wavers and ripples gently as a cold breeze howls through the fulcrux.
  169.  
  170. You let out a soft sigh.
  171.  
  172. You think to yourself: ...well, I suppose I will not get anything done if I simply -sit- here.
  173.  
  174. You have emoted: Esei rises, brushing a few petals from their shoulder.
  175.  
  176. You give the master shrine of Nocht a respectful bow, one hand clasped over your heart.
  177.  
  178. You think to yourself: Thank You.
  179.  
  180. 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.
  181.  
  182. You draw the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree across the inside of your wrist, causing a line of blood to well up. You then lift the blade into the air, as shadows spill out of the wet crimson tip, swarming around you and taking you to the Realm of Shadows.
  183.  
  184. Before the Master Ravenwood Tree.
  185. The dark heart of Glomdoring Forest is almost audibly beating in this, its shadowy centre. Tall, blackened trees surround this clearing, pressing together into an imposing barrier of rotten vegetation. Moulds and fungi are smeared across the plants, their pungent stench suffusing the forest. The branches are coated in dark slime, slick tendrils that hang downwards. Although a variety of trees might actually grow here, the black tar that coats them renders them indistinguishable. A thin black mist creeps between the trees, hanging low across the ground. The floor of the clearing itself is simply bare earth, cracked and dry. Overshadowing all is the Master Ravenwood Tree itself, jutting into the sky like a twisted fist. The sound of laughing crows echoes down from the treetops, a harsh sound for the ears below. The atmosphere vibrates with a palpable power. Lovely coltsfoot carpets the forest floor. A marjoram bush flourishes here, spreading its delicate scent. Sprays of chervil cover the forest floor. A sedge of galingale is firmly planted in the forest floor. The Master Ravenwood Tree towers over everything here, pulsing with an immeasurable yet dark power. Casting darkness all around, a shadow totem thrusts up from the ground, chilling the air. There are 2 armoured bats here. A crudely crafted shrine of harsh black crystal stands here, thrumming powerfully. Splintered from the Master Ravenwood, a massive branch lies here, spiders crawling along its rotting wood. A giant bat hangs here, wings folded about its body and one beady eye open. There are 10 shadowlord widowriders here. There are 10 dark nighthags here. In the shape of an open palm, a metallic sigil lies here. An animated skeleton stands here with a ghostly outline of a wasp around its skull. An animated skeleton stands here with a ghostly outline of a bat around its skull. An animated skeleton stands here with a ghostly outline of a spider around its skull. An animated skeleton stands here with a ghostly outline of a beetle around its skull. A mature rowan tree stands proudly here. There are 10 illithoid scourges here. Brennan Stormcrow paces here, his cadaverous body twitching with sudden jerks. A leopard lurks in the shadows, curiously watching anything that moves. A caliginous leopard is languidly grooming herself here, her tail idly flicking back and forth. Drenched in blood, a midnight-eyed savage lingers here appraising her surroundings. A baleful crow perches here, crimson eyes piercing in their glare.
  186. You see a single exit leading north.
  187.  
  188. You give a short, respectful bow, one hand clasped over your heart.
  189.  
  190. Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says to you, "Welcome home."
  191.  
  192. You nod your head at Xenthos.
  193.  
  194. You think to yourself: ...I never really left.
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