"Because you are strong, My Esei."

Jul 18th, 2021 (edited)
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  1. [the prayer I'd sent in the day before]
  2. Kneeling humbly, you press your palms together before you and close your eyes momentarily as you pray devoutly to Nocht, the Silent, "Hail, my Lord. I hope this prayer finds You well." There is a pause, the dark waters swirling around the spires of crystal, as if conjuring memory. "I understand I have asked You many questions in recent times, and know that You have heard them, even if they have yet gone unanswered." Another pause, the faint sound of a labored sigh as words clash together in a myriad of unfulfilled murmurs in the far distance. "But I wished to tell You thus: I spoke with the Lady Empyreal. I had sought knowledge after Her lotus, among other questions, to which She answered." Yet more non-silence, filled with the swirling of water whispering against crystal as their thoughts come together, break apart again, and then return. "It... She said something that confounds me, to some degree; She said I shared much in common with You, observing that I was 'content to wander, aimless, in the murk and the gloom' as You are - per Her words - and hoped that I was as observant as You." Water curls up lazily around a spire, creating a soft sussurration, a momentary break in their thoughts. "I believe She may have also shown me You, momentarily, within Ailustris, but I did not ask. I thought You should know these things, and that I had sought Her out. I understand if You would be upset at me for doing so. Thank You, my Lord, and I bid You well."
  4. A stone bridge.
  5. The shadows violently writhe and twist along the ground here, indicating a war shrine of Nocht nearby. It is quite mild. This small bridge provides a crossing point over the Glomdoring River. Constructed of grey stone, its edges are built up to form a low wall, whilst the centre is a well-trod path from south to north. Small symbols of birds and stars are carved deeply into the stone, some barely visible below the lichen and moss, others still clear and vibrant. Along the river, it is possible to see some distance to the west and northeast, as the ashes and willows drop back from the murky waters. To the south, a dirt track leads away into a dense ash forest, whilst the way to the north is dark and shadowy, bordered by blackened, twisted trees. A sedge of galingale is firmly planted in the forest floor. A marjoram bush flourishes here, spreading its delicate scent. Lovely coltsfoot carpets the forest floor. Sprays of chervil cover the forest floor. Casting darkness all around, a shadow totem thrusts up from the ground, chilling the air. A mature hemlock tree stands proudly here.
  6. You see exits leading south and northwest.
  8. A soft whisper bubbles up from beneath the bridge, "Hello, My little one."
  10. The pointed tips of your ears twitch to hear an errant sound.
  12. In pleasant, sotto tones, you whisper, "Hello, my Lord."
  14. You have emoted: Silently, Esei steps up to the wall of the bridge, placing a single hand on it.
  16. The gentle whispers coil around the ledge of the bridge, "So you've sought out My Sister? And what do you think of the Empyreal, My little one?"
  18. A jagged violet lightning bolt arcs through the firmament, the bright light searing the outline of the Black Tower momentarily into your eyes until you manage to finally blink it away.
  20. You have emoted: Esei pauses, fingers curling slightly where they rest on lichen-covered stone. "Patient," they say after a long moment. "Calm, like a pool of water. One that seemed, at least at initial assessment, to be... difficult to stir. But... protective, also, but I imagine most Elders are protective of who are Theirs."
  22. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  24. The soft whispers reach your ears despite the raging storms above, "A placid surface that conceals what truly lies beneath. Her patience and benevolence lasts only so long as one does as She wishes. Believes as She deems correct. Do you agree with Her, My little one? Do we wander aimlessly in the dark?"
  26. As the sun passes below the horizon's edge, Mother Night unveils her terrible, shadowy beauty, spreading darkness across the land.
  28. Quietly, you say, "No."
  30. The soft voice twists through the raging winds of the storm as it whispers, "My Sister cannot conceive of actions that exist outside the plans and methods of the Firsts. Of new and different ways of existing and surviving. This is why I believe Her to see My path as aimless wandering. Sadly, I believe there is little hope of Her seeing otherwise. She is unchanging, and perhaps that is part of Her allure to so many mortals. A lake of serenity, peace, and beauty. If only it were not stagnant..."
  32. You have emoted: Esei nods, black eyes briefly glittering as they gaze over the river.
  34. Midnight shadows coalesce around a new day, and Mother Night embraces the land in utter darkness.
  35. It is now the 15th of Juliary, 594 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  36. There are 25 days until the New Moon
  38. You think to yourself: ** and that bloodthirsty part of themself, larger than anyone knows, rearing its head at the barest hint; why should such things remain stagnant, after all? a sense of languid pacing, and patience. **
  40. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, absorbing the scent of your surroundings.
  42. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  44. Softly, you ask, " Lord?"
  46. The air twists around you and suddenly the winds feel gentler and heavy rain drops turn to mist before they hit you as the voice whispers, "Be wary of My Sister, little one. And should you have other questions, let Me know."
  48. The sky lightens as Father Sun approaches the horizon, revealing a maelstrom of dark grey clouds wreathing the firmament in a funereal shroud.
  50. You have emoted: Esei's fingers twitch slightly where they rest, as if in surprise, before they nod. They take a breath, and say, quietly, "...if it were ever a choice, my Lord, I would choose to follow You into the Shadows each and every time, rather than be blinded by the Light."
  52. The voice twists around the magicked barrier that shields you from the weather, the howling wind and heavy rain muffled in comparison to the soft whispers, "Because you are strong, My Esei. I do not doubt your words."
  54. You have emoted: For the briefest moment, Esei's lips curve into a smile as they bow their head just slightly in response. "Thank You."
  56. You feel the divine presence stir in the air and then withdraw. Slowly, the magic that shields you begins to come apart until you are left to stand against the weather under your own power once more.
  58. You have emoted: Esei stands motionless, silent and stalwart, even as the rain falls to batter their form once more. Their sloe-dark eyes continue to watch the river beyond, an echo of a smile lingering on their lips for several beats before their countenance smooths into something unreadable once more.
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