Avaris

Clarity

Apr 9th, 2021 (edited)
28
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  1. -look aeldra
  2. She is a nimble faeling empyreal demigoddess. She's framed by a pair of delicate, ethereal butterfly
  3. wings of dark sapphire blue. She's moderately petite even for her race, with a slender figure of
  4. upright bearing. Her head is crowned by a cascade of auburn coloured ringlets, the hair falling
  5. freely down her back and framing a face of visibly elven heritage, with high cheekbones and and
  6. slightly pointed, small ears. Her bright, emerald eyes rest like dark pools inset freckled with
  7. spots of sapphire blue, watching her surroundings with curiosity and contrasting with her smooth
  8. ivory skin. A pair of small, twisted antlers protrude from her forehead, just above a tattoo of a
  9. stylized, sapphire blue chalice upon her forehead. Woven into her hair are several beautiful
  10. violets, their sweet and subtle fragrance surrounding Aeldra. A faint, almost ethereal mist surround
  11. her at all time, following her as she moves. Soothing mists of water and light weave about her in a
  12. sparkling white veil, marking the truefavour of Lantra, the Empyreal.
  13.  
  14. Her hair is worn in long, neat ringlets, a lush, beautiful auburn in hue. Tightly-wound curls fall
  15. artfully down her back, while a slender, single ring uncurls at her forehead, glossy and bespeaking
  16. both style and grace.
  17. She is wearing:
  18. a pair of thin spectacles, resting on the tip of her nose
  19. the Mantle of Starlight glittering behind her, secured in place by a simple brooch
  20. Immaculate Prayer Beads of the Empyreal Goddess wrapped around her left arm
  21. a glass ampoule of bottled starlight dangling from a thin chain around her neck
  22. an elegant bracelet of white roses clipped to her left wrist
  23. a silver chain bracelet set with sapphires around her right wrist
  24. a strapless sea-blue gown of tidal waves
  25. a black silk scarf woven with moonstone constellations worn loosely around her shoulders
  26. a pair of black velvet shoes
  27. black silk elbow-length gloves adorned with golden threads.
  28.  
  29. -look me
  30. An exceptionally tall example of his race, he is a compound-eyed kephera and carries himself with an
  31. upright and dignified bearing that lends him a noble air. Long, feathered antennae of magenta-tinged
  32. red sweep elegantly up and out from the smooth, glossy surface of his brow. Between them is the sole
  33. marking on an otherwise uninterrupted span of porcelain white; A single dot framed by two thick,
  34. flowing lines of deep red, strikingly evocative of a staring eye. Large and glowing, his
  35. multifaceted eyes of pure, bright azure encapsulate much of his face, shaped like gently curving,
  36. inverted teardrops. His elliptic head nestles in a richly voluminous mane of thick, lustrous fluff,
  37. the furred ruff spreading from his lower abdomen to swallow the entirety of his upper torso, with
  38. the majestic tufts rising behind his head in a great halo of gently drifting, nearly luminous white.
  39. When outspread, his wings are truly immense in span, the white expanse of each of the four sections
  40. broad and gently curving. Each one is heavily ornamented with a dizzying array of the same eye
  41. marking located upon his head, the dark red striking against the alabaster wings. A single, massive
  42. eye dominates the central portion of each wing, surrounded by a nearly endless series of smaller
  43. markings that flow in a variety of angles and sizes. When deprived of external sources of light,
  44. these markings burn with a sullen red of their own bioluminescence. He is exceptionally broad of
  45. shoulder, a fact which is exaggerated by the narrowness of his waist. Each of his four arms are long
  46. and thickly constructed of dense, gleaming chitin of alabaster white, save for the same red eye
  47. marking that adorns the upper swell of each. His hands are lengthy, with thin, sharply jointed and
  48. plated fingers that end in deadly points. The considerable span of his armoured thighs descends from
  49. the slight flare of his waist, his digitigrade legs ending in large feet. Three cruelly sharp claws
  50. arc out from the front of each, while the heels are graced with two equally wicked talons.
  51.  
  52. He is wearing:
  53. a white imperial scabbard
  54. a black scabbard with a gold horn.
  55.  
  56. Aeldra pauses as she flits in, "Oh, I hope am not intruding, Avaris?" she asks, hovering in the air.
  57.  
  58. Avaris stirs from his gazing up at the sky, antennae flicking sharply in Aeldra's
  59. direction before his head follows, whereupon they flit smoothly upwards. "Ah! My apologies, Lady - I
  60. was deep in thought, on that which I mentioned. You are not intruding at all, please, be welcome."
  61.  
  62. Aeldra smiles and flits closer, before perching herself on top of Yvai, the battle sheep's head,
  63. nestling upon the flowers. "I wanted to check in on you. Cheliyi mentioned that you had a rather ...
  64. interesting trip to the Wryded Forest, shall we say?" She adjusts her spectacles before adding, "And
  65. please, do drop the titles, I'm Aeldra."
  66.  
  67. Avaris inclines his head in acquiescence, the varied pitches of his voice uniting
  68. in a thrumming chorus as he replies, "As you wish, then, Aeldra." The sharp sound of chitin being
  69. dragged slowly across more of the same emanates from beneath his wings, where his four wrists rests
  70. beneath. "I appreciate your concern." He lapses into silence for a time, the inverted teardrops of
  71. blue that make up his compound eyes dulling visibly. "May I speak freely?"
  72.  
  73. Aeldra frowns softly, her attention focused on you, "Please, always do. Speaking the truth is a
  74. value I greatly appreciate. There's enough people mincing their words out there as it is."
  75.  
  76. Avaris nods decisively, his broad shoulders set as he looks directly upon Aeldra.
  77. The pitches and tones that his words are composed of are more complex, this time, a cool hardness
  78. woven through with a hissing, seething heat. "That place is an abomination. It should be scourged
  79. from the world."
  80.  
  81. The corners of Aeldra's lips twitch into a thin smile. "Oh, you are not alone in that point of
  82. view." she states, as she looks up at you, "How some of us could consider that this is an Alliance
  83. worth having, is forever beyond me." She shrugs, her stature relaxing slightly. "But, I still have
  84. hope for change. And then... I would prefer to cleanse it then to burn it, personally."
  85.  
  86. The crimson plumes that sweep up from Avaris's smooth head lose a notable degree of
  87. their stiffness, smoothing into upwardly flowing lines of soft feathers. A single hand - his lower
  88. right - disengages from the small of his back, lifting to run the pointed ends of his gleaming
  89. fingers through his antennae, smoothing and cleaning them as he speaks once more, his voice losing
  90. much of its prior edge. "That was to be my first question, yes. I cannot comprehend why we are
  91. allied with such a place. How did that come about? Why does it remain?" A pause, and then he dips
  92. his head aside, very slightly, allowing the point, but makes no comment.
  93.  
  94. Aeldra taps her nose thoughtfully, "Two questions in one." she states softly. With a gesture of her
  95. left hand she begins, "It trails back to a time when I dwelled in Serenwilde. Back there, a man
  96. stepped out of the portal, chose the name Minkahmet. A very busy sort of person, very martial in his
  97. behaviour, sometimes a little erratic. He and the Seren did not mix well." She pauses for a moment,
  98. readjusting her spectacles. Looking back up at you, she continues, "Over some minor disagreement
  99. that I do not remember, he left the Seren in a huff, became a citizen of Celest... and decided that
  100. he had a bone to pick with Serenwilde. He tore apart the alliance, forged an Alliance with Gaudiguch
  101. and Glomdoring, convincing those two to betray their alliance with the tainted city in turn..." she
  102. trails off for a moment.
  103.  
  104. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "As to why we're still allied with them... I've given up
  105. on trying to understand it and settled for reminding people regularly just how bad a choice that
  106. is."
  107.  
  108. Done, evidently, with the grooming of his antennae, Avaris lowers his hand to rests
  109. it upon the midpoint of one of the four scabbards that depend from his waist - one of the right, the
  110. white set. He simply nods, antennae leaning forward to Aeldra as he listens intently.
  111.  
  112. Aeldra sighs softly, her wings twitching on her back. "The problem is, that nothing is as simple as
  113. it seems. Even if we were to divorce ourselves of the Glomdoring, we would still find ourselves
  114. severely weakened. And my prior home, there Seren, at has equally mixed feelings with their alliance
  115. with the tainted city. Whichever course is chosen in this matter, it has to be well thought out."
  116. she tilts her head slightly, "Does that at least, on the surface, answer your question, Avaris?"
  117.  
  118. Avaris lets out a slow, faintly tremulous breath as the explanation finishes, and
  119. he nods, his chin delving into the white froth of his ruff. "It does. I thank you for the answer,
  120. Aeldra." A sharp, armoured finger taps thoughtfully upon the smooth, lacquered white of the scabbard
  121. he holds loosely in his grip, as he contemplates the matter. "It is disheartening that the
  122. bitterness of one individual can have such dire, and lasting, consequences - but that is the way of
  123. the world. It seems a simple goal - To return to the alliance with Serenwilde, and dispense with any
  124. tie, to any form of taint. But, I assume the political nature of the issue complicates even the
  125. clearest of routes into a tangled mess - Yes?"
  126.  
  127. Aeldra lets out a short, melodic laugh, "Oh, yes. I would just say it like this: If politics are
  128. involved, everything gets muddled." She shakes her her head, the bemusement vanishing from her
  129. expression again, as she gently ruffles Yvai, the battle sheep's wool. "You see, even if there were
  130. no politics, changing alliances and regaining trust in people is hard. From the Seren's point of
  131. view, the current mess is our fault... and they're not wrong. We elected Minkahmet as King and let
  132. him do what he wanted with the alliance. I wasn't here myself at the time and realizing what had
  133. happened, being torn from picking enemyship with one of my two homes I slumbered instead for a
  134. while." She shrugs, her butterfly wings beating idly "I sadly don't know what happened in the first
  135. years after the change because of that, but am sure it wasn't pleasant."
  136.  
  137. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "When I woke back up and realized things were still...
  138. as they were, I left Serenwilde and returned to celest. While I detest the Glomdoring, I have sworn
  139. myself to never ally myself with the tainted City and that oath I intend on keeping. Plus, I am
  140. originally from this city and my family is here... the Ladyn reach back to the old empire."
  141.  
  142. Avaris's plumes curl upwards as a faint ripple of light spreads across the facets
  143. of his brilliant blue eyes. "That is a fair statement, yes. I have no taste for that field of
  144. battle." The glimmering light fades, leaving a more sober hue in their wake, the sweep of his
  145. crimson antennae straightening as amusement bleeds from him. "If only we could hold such oaths for
  146. all forms of corruption. I mislike this alliance deeply, Aeldra - It endangers the purity of the
  147. Light, and the heart of its citizenry, simply by proximity to such insidious vileness." A soft,
  148. vibrating sigh, his wings shuffling slightly, a light susurration emanating from the motion. "That
  149. is a fine lineage, indeed. It speaks highly of your bloodline, that is cleaves strongly to the
  150. Light, even still." Loosing his grip upon the scabbard, he gestures to Aeldra, palm turned upwards
  151. in invitation. "But enough of such matters, for now. Will you tell me of your Lady? Alarin spoke
  152. very highly of you, and of your place in Her esteem."
  153.  
  154. Aeldra's eyes visibly brighten at the mention of her Lady, nodding vigorously, "Of course, I will.
  155. As one of Her Immaculate, that's firmly in my line of duty and, after all, something I enjoy
  156. immensely. The Lady Empyreal is a joy to serve and be part of Her order after all. Though we should
  157. speak of Her in Her realm, I feel. If you would follow me?"
  158.  
  159. You think to yourself: A warm pulse of appreciation for such visible enthusiasm for one's Divine -
  160. It behooves both the Lady and Her followers, that they so readily display such fine regard for Her.
  161.  
  162. Avaris dips his head in a slight nod, gesturing for Aeldra to precede him. "Of
  163. course, please, do lead on."
  164.  
  165. Aeldra closes her eyes and bows her head, chanting softly. White light blossoms around her in answer
  166. to her words, drawing the faint outline of a sparkling star lotus in her palm.
  167.  
  168. A sense of grace and power radiates from Aeldra as her eyes flutter open, calm as she beckons to the
  169. aether in the name of the Lady of Everlasting Remedy. In answer, the star lotus in her palm unfurls
  170. to fill her world with bracing, beautiful white light, enveloping her completely as she dissolves in
  171. a flurry of immaculate petals.
  172. You follow Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters to where a lone magnolia tree blooms.
  173. Bracing, beautiful light suffuses the alabaster altar of Everlasting Remedy in motes of white. The
  174. faint outline of a star lotus briefly manifests before the altar as Aeldra materializes in a flurry
  175. of immaculate petals.
  176.  
  177.  
  178. Where a lone magnolia tree blooms.
  179. Among countless willow trees, a single tree laden with magnolia blossoms stands separate and apart,
  180. flourishing in isolation. Unintentionally given prominence due to its distance from the other trees,
  181. the lone magnolia tree stands with a solitary grace in this clearing, each white flower illuminated
  182. in pale rays of starlight. The ivory flowers unfurl their soft petals to emit a fresh, floral scent
  183. from their slender boughs, attracting nearby butterflies to its sweet flowers. As they flit through
  184. the leaves, the gentle sound of an unfamiliar woman's laughter filters through the forest, though
  185. its source never appears. The path curves abruptly away from this beautiful tree, though two wooden
  186. benches are placed beside it, overgrown with ivy as if left alone for some years. Draped in white
  187. flowers and empyreal silks, the alabaster altar of Everlasting Remedy resides here in the shade of
  188. the magnolia tree. Yvai, the battle sheep dwells here, antler-bearing head raised proudly. Head
  189. bowed, an anointed urn-bearer of water and light holds aloft the blessed vessel here with a
  190. reverent, stoic grace.
  191. You see exits leading northeast and south.
  192.  
  193. Aeldra dips her head slightly, flitting briefly over to touch the alabaster altar of Everlasting
  194. Remedy with her left hand, before settling down on the ground in the shade of the magnolia tree.
  195. With an inviting gesture to you, she says, "Welcome to the Vanishing Isles, Avaris, Realm of the
  196. Lady Empyreal."
  197.  
  198. Songbirds flit among the forest trees, their white wings reflecting rays of starlight.
  199.  
  200. Running the soft edges of his antennae across the facets of his eyes, as if to
  201. clear them, Avaris turns in a slow circle, posture erect as he surveys the immediate area. His
  202. gradual revolution returns him, inevitably, to face Aeldra once again, to whom he offers a
  203. courteous, elegant bow - His right set of hands pressed to his chest, while the left folds behind
  204. his back. "You have my gratitude and appreciation both, for conveying me here, and for permitting
  205. me, Aeldra. I shall conduct myself with the reverence such a Realm deserves, as before."
  206. Straightening, his antennae sweep up into a loose, upward bow, his eyes glimmering with inner motes
  207. of light. "This is my second time visiting - But still, it fills me with a deep sense of awe."
  208.  
  209. Aeldra smiles softly at you, "Am sure you will." she taps her nose thoughtfully, considering "Did
  210. you have specific questions about my Lady? I believe Alarin already gave you an overview over Her
  211. tenets?"
  212.  
  213. Leaves and flower petals gracefully descend from the nearby branches, now caught in a tender breeze.
  214.  
  215. The distant clanking of metal on metal is heard as a giant silverback gorilla clad in a shimmering
  216. suit of golden armour strides in from the ether.
  217. Bracing, beautiful light suffuses the alabaster altar of Everlasting Remedy in motes of white. The
  218. faint outline of a star lotus briefly manifests before the altar as Alarin materializes in a flurry
  219. of immaculate petals.
  220.  
  221. Alarin stands at attention and gives a crisp salute with their furry right paw.
  222.  
  223. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White gives the world a smart salute.
  224.  
  225. Alarin hugs Aeldra compassionately.
  226.  
  227. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White hugs Aeldra compassionately.
  228.  
  229. Aeldra hugs you compassionately.
  230.  
  231. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I see you've met the young kephera I mentioned, my dear."
  232.  
  233. Alarin's eyes sparkle with amusement at Aeldra.
  234.  
  235. Absently, Avaris's uppermost right hand drifts up to finger the gently swaying
  236. tufts of dense fluff that rings much of his torso. "I have some, though if you will permit it, I
  237. shall keep them in reserve until after. Alarin did, indeed, speak to me of Her tenets, via the
  238. Fonts." Releasing the thick tuft of fur-like fluff, he turns his hand to gesture at Aeldra with a
  239. small rotation of his hand. "Would you mind telling me your general impression of Her? I would value
  240. the opinion of one so close to Her, most highly." At Alarin's entrance, he turns, and salutes both
  241. new entrants, his voice warming as he greets them with, "Alarin, Thaldorn. A pleasure to see you
  242. both."
  243.  
  244. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Likewise, young Avaris."
  245.  
  246. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "...greetings, kiddo."
  247.  
  248. Aeldra nods at Alarin, "We had a rather interesting conversation and now moved here as we are now
  249. talking about matters pertaining the Lady Empyreal." She turns back to you, smiling "Of course, I
  250. shall tell you my impression of Her." She taps her nose thoughtfully, lips curled slightly, "Where
  251. to begin. The Lady Empyreal is the first of the Hamadhi, the healers amongst the third circle of the
  252. Divine. She is a very caring goddess, intend on leading those under Her guidance to embracing Her
  253. tenets, helping those in Her order order to help the city and the basin." She pauses another moment,
  254. her wings beating gently on the ground.
  255.  
  256. Aeldra points towards the alabaster altar of Everlasting Remedy, "One of Her aspects is the Lady of
  257. Everlasting Remedy, the promise to one day heal the basin through our combine efforts, be it in
  258. spiritual or... physical affliction."
  259.  
  260. Alarin listens quietly.
  261.  
  262. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "Whenever I speak with Her, I feel that She is
  263. one of the few who genuinely wishes to seek the Basin restored to the glory it was before the
  264. Soulless happened and it is a goal I happily dedicate my life to."
  265.  
  266. Avaris's attention is briefly drawn to the tendrils of glimmering vapour, evidenced
  267. by the manner in which his antennae sweep down to them, and then flow in the direction of the
  268. forest, before they reluctantly shift back to focus upon Aeldra, and he turns back to listen.
  269. Clasping his hands behind his back, he stands with an upright, dignified bearing, the mane that
  270. rings his upper torso drifting gently in the breeze. "I was not aware that She had aspects. Does She
  271. possess many?" A nod, a slight inclination of the head. "A most worthy goal. She seems a very fine
  272. entity indeed. I understand why you would dedicate yourself to Her."
  273.  
  274. Aeldra smiles softly at you, "All of them often have aspects, that gradually are revealed as They
  275. form cults with Their Avatars to venerate these specific aspects."
  276.  
  277. Avaris tilts his head aside, curious. "Fascinating. I admit, I know next to nothing
  278. of the nature of Avatars, or cults."
  279.  
  280. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "I have been Her avatar for several years now and
  281. I still struggle to explain the sensation."
  282.  
  283. Alarin chuckles softly.
  284.  
  285. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "I have been Her avatar for several years now and
  286. I still struggle to explain the sensation."
  287.  
  288. Alarin chuckles softly.
  289.  
  290. Aeldra shrugs softly, "In general, any of the Elders, at any point, may form such a connection with
  291. any Demigod of Their choosing, though they generally only do that with those in Their orders."
  292.  
  293. Alarin nods their head emphatically.
  294.  
  295. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "In essence, it is a tight bond between the Elder
  296. God and the demigod in question, granting the demigod a small fraction of the Elder's immeasurable
  297. power."
  298.  
  299. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say to Aeldra, "I take it that this is an exceedingly rare event?
  300. It sounds like a matter that no Elder would entertain lightly."
  301.  
  302. Alarin Stormcrow says, "It is... quite the sight to bear witness to, I must say."
  303.  
  304. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you ask Alarin, "I should imagine so. You have done so?"
  305.  
  306. Alarin shakes their head.
  307.  
  308. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I am not an aspect of Hers just yet. Simply one of Her Chosen to teach
  309. others of Her ways."
  310.  
  311. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "Alarin witnessed when She forged that very bond
  312. with me. And yes, there are seldom more then a few in any given order who have received that
  313. blessing. my Lady's order has two, Faragan and myself."
  314.  
  315. Avaris seems about to speak to Alarin, then nods at Aeldra, lifting a finger aside
  316. in Aeldra's direction. "That was my query, yes. Are there many members of Her order? What would you
  317. say the general follower of the Lady is like, broadly speaking - the both of you?"
  318.  
  319. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "All in all there are fifteen faithful in the order
  320. right now and am at loss, how I would describe a general member of the order, though I believe in
  321. our Lady's Tenets and Her teachings unite us."
  322.  
  323. Alarin purses their lips in thought, considering their response.
  324.  
  325. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye. Our membership is quite diverse, honestly. Combatants, artists, those
  326. skilled with words, both written and verbal..."
  327.  
  328. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "...insane hunters who spend four days on the Astral Plane..."
  329.  
  330. Alarin laughs out loud.
  331.  
  332. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye, that too."
  333.  
  334. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters laughingly says to Thaldorn Thornfist, the White, "You realize
  335. that you're meaning me as much with that, dont' you?"
  336.  
  337. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "I think our love and interest in healing and mending
  338. the world, does unite us as well, though."
  339.  
  340. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "Of course... I am still correct, no?"
  341.  
  342. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White shifts his eyes suspiciously from side to side.
  343.  
  344. Alarin Stormcrow says, "...I have no rebuttal."
  345.  
  346. Avaris nods along, lifting his upper right hand to run his smooth, glossy white
  347. fingers through the deep red feathers that flow from his antennae, the gesture distracted. "I see.
  348. Would you say that you are all give more to..." His hand lowers a span, grasping at the air as if
  349. searching for the right words. "A gentleness of nature? Benign tolerance? I apologise, words are not
  350. my strong suit."
  351.  
  352. Aeldra taps her nose thoughtfully, considering you question.
  353.  
  354. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "Some of us, definitely, but not all of us
  355. though. I think."
  356.  
  357. You think to yourself: "So there may be a place for a sharp instrument such as myself, after all."
  358.  
  359. Avaris's smooth head turns to Alarin, and Thaldorn Thornfist, the White, a
  360. questioning tilt to his regard. "What of you both?"
  361.  
  362. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "And do forgive me if I nod off - It seems I am more tired
  363. than I had expected."
  364.  
  365. Aeldra taps her nose thoughtfully, "I can say that am certainly a rather gentle person, well... uh,
  366. outside of the tainted ones."
  367.  
  368. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye. Actually, it's a good idea to rest."
  369.  
  370. Alarin Stormcrow says, "We'll still be here!"
  371.  
  372. Avaris looks between Aeldra and Alarin, somewhat discomfited. "I would not dare to
  373. sprawl out in Her Realm. Surely such would be disrespectful?"
  374.  
  375. Heaving a heavy sigh, Thaldorn Thornfist, the White sprawls his massive form across the ground and
  376. contentedly starts to snooze.
  377.  
  378. Alarin stares blankly at Thaldorn Thornfist, the White.
  379.  
  380. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "You certainly make take a rest if you wish."
  381.  
  382. Looking uncertain, Alarin nudges Thaldorn Thornfist, the White with their foot.
  383.  
  384. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White emits an obnoxiously loud, rumbling snore.
  385.  
  386. Alarin Stormcrow says, "...well, Thaldorn manages to get away with it, so you should be fine."
  387.  
  388. Alarin glances askance at Thaldorn Thornfist, the White.
  389.  
  390. Aeldra's eyes sparkle with amusement.
  391.  
  392. Avaris glances at Thaldorn Thornfist, the White, fairly radiating dubiety, but
  393. relents, inclining his head to those present before stepping over to one of the willow trees, where
  394. he promptly settles down into a cross-legged position, resting his four palms upon his knees.
  395. Covering his eyes with his antennae, he allows his chin to drift down into the thick ruff of his
  396. mane, and promptly falls asleep.
  397.  
  398. You have cured asleep.
  399.  
  400. Alarin nods their head emphatically.
  401.  
  402. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Sleep well?"
  403.  
  404. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White opens one eye. "Alarin can answer your question," he says before
  405. promptly falling asleep once more.
  406.  
  407. Alarin gives Thaldorn Thornfist, the White the once-over, eyeing him suspiciously.
  408.  
  409. Snapping awake, the blood red feathers covering Avaris's eyes flick upright as he
  410. jerks his head up, hands flitting immediately to rest upon the four hilts that protrude from his
  411. hips. Upon realising where he is, he visibly relaxes, releasing his weapons, and rises. Stepping
  412. smoothly over to rejoin the others, he dips his head. "Indeed. Apologies for that."
  413.  
  414. Alarin Stormcrow says, "No need for apologies. We've all been in the same position."
  415.  
  416. Aeldra nods seriously, "Sleep is important till you've passed your 80th circle."
  417.  
  418. Avaris tilts his head curiously at Aeldra. "Forgive me, but what happens once that
  419. is attained?"
  420.  
  421. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye. Then you will no longer require it."
  422.  
  423. Alarin's mouth turns up as their face breaks into a smile.
  424.  
  425. Avaris utters a low, vibrating sound of interest at the answer, but does not pursue
  426. the topic further, turning his attention to Alarin fully.
  427.  
  428. Alarin ponders the situation.
  429.  
  430. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White opens an eye again. "He forgot the question."
  431.  
  432. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to you, "Indeed, on your road to fanning your spark, food
  433. and water will become no longer neccessary for survival and eventually you'll also not require sleep
  434. anymore."
  435.  
  436. Alarin Stormcrow says, "...I did not forget. I was distra-- go to sleep, you grouch."
  437.  
  438. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White closes his eyes again, snickering.
  439.  
  440. Avaris's laugh is a rich, mellifluous harmony of interweaving pitches and hums,
  441. accompanied by a gentle, pulsing ripple of radiance across his eyes. "I was asking if the order, as
  442. a whole, could be describe as possessing a more...Gentle aspect, in their view of the world. A
  443. benign tolerance, of a sort."
  444.  
  445. Alarin Stormcrow says, "...oh, that is a great question."
  446.  
  447. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say to Aeldra, "Thank you for the information, Aeldra. I look
  448. forward to that immensely."
  449.  
  450. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Gentle, definitely. Understanding, even more so."
  451.  
  452. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Benign tolerance... perhaps most of us can be."
  453.  
  454. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I always viewed the Order as the definition of one word."
  455.  
  456. You think to yourself: A flicker of regret, an uncertainty. "...Ah. Perhaps not, then."
  457.  
  458. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Devoted."
  459.  
  460. Aeldra nods at Alarin, "Devout is certain something you can apply to the order."
  461.  
  462. Alarin nods their head emphatically.
  463.  
  464. Avaris's antenna flicks towards Alarin at this, his lower left hand lifting in an
  465. encouraging gesture. "Please, expound that."
  466.  
  467. You think to yourself: "I am not a gentle being. I try to be, Light knows, but it is not of my
  468. inherent makeup, as it is for so many others. I am all hard angles and sharp edges. I would, I fear,
  469. be a poor fit among these fair people."
  470.  
  471. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Every one of our members, for the most part, have one goal in mind: learning
  472. Her ways and drawing closer to Her."
  473.  
  474. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "And, I suppose, bettering ourselves through what we
  475. learn."
  476.  
  477. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says, "Sadly I need to bid you both farewell for now. I hope
  478. I'll see both of you again soon."
  479.  
  480. Alarin hugs Aeldra compassionately.
  481.  
  482. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White hugs Aeldra compassionately.
  483.  
  484. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Rest well, my dear. We will see you soon."
  485.  
  486. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White exclaims, "Tell kiddo to wake up more!"
  487.  
  488. Alarin utters a deep, rumbling laugh.
  489.  
  490. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters smiles and says, "Oh, most definitely, you are very welcome,
  491. Avaris."
  492.  
  493. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I miss her too, Thaldorn."
  494.  
  495. Lady Aeldra Ladyn, of Cerulean Waters says to Thaldorn Thornfist, the White, "As do I."
  496.  
  497. Aeldra waves goodbye.
  498.  
  499. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I told her about you when she woke after our initial meeting."
  500.  
  501. Alarin's eyes sparkle with amusement.
  502.  
  503. Avaris's hands lower to clasp together in a complex interlocking of glossy white
  504. chitin, wrists and fingers weaving together in a complicated working of hard, smooth alabaster. "Ah.
  505. I hope that neither of you are offended by my being so insistent, or that you feel bothered."
  506.  
  507. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Not at all!"
  508.  
  509. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "...if Aeldra were offended, you will definitely know."
  510.  
  511. Avaris tilts his head at Thaldorn Thornfist, the White. "How so?"
  512.  
  513. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye. As sweet as she can be, she also will not hesitate to speak up when
  514. something bothers or offends her."
  515.  
  516. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "Aye, that."
  517.  
  518. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White nods his head emphatically.
  519.  
  520. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "As is only right. None should suffer offense or discomfort
  521. in silence."
  522.  
  523. Alarin nods their head emphatically.
  524.  
  525. Alarin nods their head emphatically.
  526.  
  527. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye. I agree. I've been known to give a talking to when I am annoyed or
  528. irritated at someone."
  529.  
  530. Avaris is quiet for a time, nodding slowly, before he asks, "Would the Lady find it
  531. acceptable, do you think, if I were to pray to Her?"
  532.  
  533. You think to yourself: "If only I were so mild when angered."
  534.  
  535. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Oh definitely!"
  536.  
  537. Alarin Stormcrow says, "As long as one is respectful, I doubt any Elder Divine would mind it."
  538.  
  539. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Especially Lady Lantra."
  540.  
  541. Avaris makes a chirring, noncommittal sound. "Then I shall do so. She has a
  542. Fulcrux, I take it?"
  543.  
  544. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Aye, She does!"
  545.  
  546. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I can show you where it is if you like?"
  547.  
  548. Avaris nods decisively. "If you would not mind, that would be appreciated."
  549.  
  550. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I'm happy to help!"
  551.  
  552. Alarin makes a beckoning motion to no-one in particular.
  553.  
  554. Alarin makes a beckoning motion to no-one in particular.
  555.  
  556. Alarin coughs softly.
  557.  
  558. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "...a little excited there, eh?"
  559.  
  560. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "Only natural, when speaking of one's Divine, I am sure."
  561.  
  562. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "...a fair point."
  563.  
  564. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Her Fulcrux is on the very bottom level from here."
  565.  
  566. Before a secluded mountain spring.
  567. Immaculate white marble glistens with a faint sparkle of mist as the narrow path opens up to reveal
  568. a shallow mountain spring, filled with the gentle sound of trickling water. Marbled shades of
  569. celadon blue dance across the smooth surface of the polished stone, resembling the way starlight
  570. dapples across the open sea as it emanates with a constant thrum of cool, luminous energy. A
  571. soothing breeze whispers throughout the hollow cavern, resounding within the alabaster walls with a
  572. lingering, watery echo. Shimmering over with water and light, a sparkling veil of white mist draws a
  573. starry curtain here. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White towers silently here, a stern gaze on his face.
  574. Perpetually in a dramatic pose, the inflated silken form of Avechna the Avenger towers here, ebony
  575. muscles gleaming.
  576. You see a single exit leading north.
  577.  
  578. Alarin Stormcrow says, "And here we are!"
  579.  
  580. Avaris claps both his right fists to his chest in a salute. "Thank you both, once
  581. again. I appreciate it greatly."
  582.  
  583. Alarin Stormcrow says, "I can come with you if you wish."
  584.  
  585. Alarin stands at attention and gives a crisp salute with their furry right paw.
  586.  
  587. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White gives the world a smart salute.
  588.  
  589. Avaris pauses, and then replies, "I would prefer to do this in solitude, if that
  590. would not offend you."
  591.  
  592. Alarin Stormcrow says, "As I thought. I also did so myself."
  593.  
  594. Alarin Stormcrow says, "The best of luck, young one and may the Light continue to show the way
  595. forward."
  596.  
  597. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "Thank you, again - And the same for you both, always."
  598.  
  599. Thaldorn Thornfist, the White says, "Later kiddo."
  600.  
  601. Alarin Stormcrow says, "And no offense taken, truly."
  602.  
  603. Alarin beams broadly.
  604.  
  605. In a smooth harmony of buzzes, you say, "Until next time, Alarin, Thaldorn. Light keep you."
  606.  
  607. You incline your head politely to those around you.
  608.  
  609. Alarin Stormcrow says, "Let me know if I can help in any way."
  610.  
  611. Alarin waves goodbye.
  612.  
  613. You part a sparkling veil of white mist, leaving your surroundings in a bright shimmer of water and
  614. light.
  615. The Fulcrux of Lantra.
  616. The rush of running water echoes throughout this alabaster sanctuary, its white pillars surrounded
  617. on all sides by shimmering waterfalls. Breathtaking stars twinkle across the misty falls as they
  618. collect into a luminous gazing pool, its rippling waters clear and sparkling as they reflect the
  619. open expanse of the celestial sky above. Caught in a graceful dance of duality, an immaculate white
  620. koi fish circles its dark twin in the glittering depths of the basin, continuing in a silent push
  621. and pull as their silhouettes form two halves of a whole. The white, blue and pink petals of
  622. assorted lotus flowers crown these starry waters with their regal beauty, standing at the feet of
  623. several stone priestesses who guard this place. The statues bow their veiled heads in silent prayer,
  624. each bearing a tilted celadon urn that overflows with the boundless light of healing waters.
  625. Shimmering over with water and light, a sparkling veil of white mist draws a starry curtain here.
  626. Impossibly still at the centre of this luminous pool of water and light, a single star lotus flower
  627. blooms brighter than all the others, its heart radiant as the dewy petals unfurl to reveal a
  628. beautiful, enchanting light.
  629. There are no obvious exits.
  630.  
  631. Stepping through the glimmering veil of mist into the Fulcrux proper, Avaris's
  632. footfalls slow to a halt as he takes in the wondrous view that greets him. He pans his smooth head
  633. from one side to the next, the inverted teardrops of his eyes glittering with an inner light as he
  634. drinks in the stellar, peaceful beauty of the area, made silent in his awe.
  635.  
  636. Moving with great care, Avaris makes his way towards the pool, gazing down into it
  637. for a long moment, before he lowers himself to one knee. Clasping both sets of hands together over
  638. his heart, he bows his head, the deep red of his antennae drifting down to undulate, as if stirred
  639. by a gentle current.
  640.  
  641. Kneeling humbly, you press your palms together before you and close your eyes momentarily as you
  642. pray devoutly to Lantra, the Empyreal, "[A hesitance, born of layered uncertainty - Does he have any
  643. right to be here, in this gentle, holy place? Is he right to pray to an Elder at all, to disturb a
  644. being so far above him, in all conceivable ways? Gradually, a firming of purpose, doubt compressed
  645. into a hard, glinting chip of smoky grey that is set aside. Respect and reverence flow from him in
  646. quiet waves, tinged golden by a hushed sense of pervading awe. When he speaks, his voice is strong,
  647. and resolute, a harmony woven of steel.] "Lady Lantra. I ask Your forgiveness for intruding upon
  648. this place, upon Your time, and attention. I have been speaking to Alarin, Thaldorn, and Aeldra, but
  649. I am still unsure." [A lapsing into silence, where he gathers his thoughts as another might equip
  650. themself for battle.] "I will cut to the heart of the matter, for that is my way. I am not a gentle
  651. soul, good Lady. I am built from unforgiving edges and cold planes, and at my core is not the
  652. endless capacity for understanding and nurturing, but something sharper, and far less kind. Even so.
  653. I feel drawn towards You, and Yours, though I feel I do not belong among them. My question is thus,
  654. then. Is there a place for one such as I among Yours? I know that You are a good and kind being, but
  655. please, do not soften Your words for my sake. I ask that You speak plain with me, and do not temper
  656. Your response with concern for hurt. I will endure, and understand, even should You turn me away.
  657. Light keep you, good Lady."
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