Under the Willow

Sep 14th, 2019 (edited)
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  1. Lief tells you, "Are you free to meet now?"
  3. You tell Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon, "I am."
  5. You tug upon the aether strands around you, searching for one that connects to the Aetherplex Chamber.
  7. Lief tells you, "I await you there, then - my father has given his permission."
  9. You incline your head politely to Lief.
  11. Lief bows her antlered head a fraction toward you, then motions for you to follow.
  13. You begin to follow Lief.
  15. You follow Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon down to Rose garden.
  17. Lief leads the way through trees and across bridges, until she swoops down a rope ladder and awaits you to meet her at its bottom.
  19. Esei follows Lief down at a more leisurely pace, contemplating her athame at her arrival. "As a show of good faith..."
  21. You hurl an athame dagger south.
  23. You say to Lief, "I have a gift for you, if you would not mind it now."
  25. Lief watches the path the sacred knife travels, then nods and likewise slings her violin over her shoulder and tucks her whip away. "A gift?" she asks quietly, uncertainly eyeing you. "Of what nature...?"
  27. Lief ceases to wield an onyx-wrought violin of windswept cherry blossoms in her left hand.
  29. You give a painting of Pride to Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon.
  31. You say to Lief, "So his children may remember him more than simply through stories."
  33. Lief accepts a painting of Pride quietly, her gray-colored eyes falling to study the painting. At the bottom lids, moisture begins to dampen her lashes, and she blinks rapidly to clear her vision and gather herself.
  35. After pulling in a slow, deep breath, Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon says, "Mahin had said your people had taken away all his feathers."
  37. You say to Lief, "I believe so."
  39. Lief gently sets a painting of Pride down, propping it upright against nearby rose bushes. "Why? His murder was not enough?"
  41. You have emoted: Esei studies Lief for a long moment. "Were you there, when your Lady shot the Silent down?" She asks quietly, brown eyes low-lidded.
  43. Lief's brow furrows and, silently, she shakes her head toward you to the negative.
  45. You have emoted: Esei sighs, then tugs on one of her braids. "I was," she says. "Admittedly, I was a very young novice at the time. But I was there." She steps over to stand next to a rosebush, cupping one of the flowers. "I met Him twice after that. Do you know what He looks like, now?" She purses her lips and shakes her head. "Nevermind, I know you don't."
  47. Lief likewise shakes her head, her eyes silent as she watches you, listening.
  49. You have emoted: Esei is quiet for a moment. "He is sick. I have faith that He will recover, either through the passage of time or through a cure, but I *am* a healer." Esei turns her head to face Lief. "Only a God can kill another God."
  51. With dark eyes, you say to Lief, "If He is not careful, the flowers may choke Him and He may die."
  53. Lief's dragonfly wings keep her perpetually afloat, humming rapidly behind her. She clasps her hands in her lap, her expression thoughtful and quiet. Eventually, she speaks up with words as quiet as her expression: "You are certain they might kill him? My Lady is exceptionally skilled with Her Pathfinder; She never misses Her mark."
  55. Softly, Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon says, "Besides - She would not consume His essence, not like the Soulless."
  57. You have emoted: Esei narrows her eyes at Lief. "They could." She steps away from the roses. After the last phrase, Esei is quiet. "But someone else could, and would, if given the opportunity, I'm sure."
  59. In silence, Lief lowers herself to the earth, onto her knees. Her entire face is the very picture of contemplation; one can practically see the way her mind works as she thinks.
  61. The nearby flowers bend toward Lief's faeling frame, drawn to it or something within it. She stretches her fingertips out toward one such blossom, offering it a brush of affection against its petals. Eventually, she looks up at you, directly into you eyes.
  63. You have emoted: Esei tilts her head forward, meeting Lief's gaze, resolute.
  65. Quietly, but firmly, unwavering, Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon asks you, "Why did Shashi die if the feathers are what your people claimed?"
  67. You have emoted: Esei tilts her head in consideration of Lief. "The athame that the Lady Haruspex wielded was not ordinary," she says. "If you recall, it cut through your Lady's protections on Shashi." Esei pauses, rubbing her chin thoughtfully, but says no more.
  69. "An athame," Lief echoes you, her gaze lowering and her hands gathering into her robed lap. "Something to cut - and evidently something meant to hurt. It was Shashi who died, but so many of us now suffer for it."
  71. You have emoted: Esei crooks her eyebrow. "Yes, that is usually how it goes."
  73. "You are a healer," Lief says, her fingers curling into her palms. She glances to one side, to a painting of Pride, and seems to draw strength from it. "Does it make sense to you? To heal one the murder of an innocent life? Is that balance?"
  75. You have emoted: Esei stares at Lief. "Perhaps it is our different views, but yes. I do." She turns her head towards the painting. She mutters something incomprehensible, then looks back at Lief. "How much do you know of the events that transpired between Lady Maylea and Lord Nocht before all of this?"
  77. "I know," Lief says slowly, her fingernails beginning to dig subtle crescent moons into her palms where they are kept tucked against her lap, "that my Lady once cared for Him beyond words. I know that He had helped Her to heal far before our mortal memory begins. I know that He once wasn't consumed by such hatred and coldness." Her gray eyes turn to you, now meeting you stare. "I know He has had others murdered before, others my Lady has sought to protect. I know a dear friend of mine forever lost her husband to His machinations centuries ago. I know that He no longer cares to heal."
  79. Esei folds her arms. "He felt much the same for Her," she says slowly, carefully, almost as if tasting the words. "He said to us that She betrayed Him." A look of contemplation crosses her face. "Perhaps there is more to the tale that we do not know."
  81. You murmur, "Perhaps a more logical view is necessary, on both sides."
  83. Lief draws a slow breath in, letting the clean dusk air fill her lungs with winter. When she exhales, her mounting emotions quiet and still, and she looks evenly at you. "Perhaps," she allows. "I suspect that He withholds more from your people than my Lady does with mine." She touches a hand to her heart, letting her fist loosen to press against cloth instead.
  85. Softly, Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon says to you, "It sounds to me like He withholds quite a bit. That perhaps He knows many of your people might make different choices if you had more information."
  87. You have emoted: Esei gives Lief a wry, grim smile. "Keep in mind that we are the Glomdoring; the Forest without Mercy." Esei steps over to contemplate the weeping willow in the garden. "He is the Silent One, after all," she muses. "I suspect withholding information is in His nature."
  89. "We, too, know silence," Lief says quietly as she follows your movements, remaining knelt as she is. "There is so very much to hear when you bring yourself to stillness...the life within you. The life around you." She pauses. "I wonder what He hears in His silence."
  91. "Much, I suspect." Esei says. She looks over her shoulder to look at Lief. "If you wish to say something to me, please just say it. I suspect you've been sitting on something."
  93. A fragrant breeze cuts through the rose garden, chill with winter's touch but carrying with it the sweet and heady scent of peach blossoms. It rifles through Lief's hair, fluttering the leaves and flowers growing in vines about her antlers. "I am sorry that He suffers," she says slowly, seriously, her expression knit with sincerity. "Anyone would lash out when hurt and fight, rather than die. Anyone." She pauses, rising to her feet from one knee, and then the other. "But He has been suffering for far longer than this recent injury. I truly hope He does not inflict further suffering - or regret, as it may be - upon you and your people for it."
  95. You have emoted: Esei brushes some of the willow's leaves absentmindedly. "I extend the same to you and your people," Esei says. "But... we are the Glomdoring. I cannot speak for all, but we are known as the Forest without mercy." She pauses, letting out a low hum. "Good luck to you, Awanydd."
  97. You say to Lief, "It would be far more interesting, and productive, if we no longer fought each other. Perhaps it's just a daydream of mine, but we can learn more from each other than most would think, I believe."
  99. Lief touches her fingertips to her heart once more as she listens to you, her expression turning to quiet, gentle sadness. Her wings lift her from the earth again, and then those little hands clasp together anew. "There is much we can learn from each other even at odds," she says with a small incline of her antlered head. "Even if it does nothing to change our current paths."
  101. You have emoted: Esei looks towards Lief. "That is true," she says mildly, rubbing a willow frond between her fingers. "We are bound by tradition..." she trails off into a murmur. "It is best if I left now."
  103. "I will show you the way out," Lief offers quietly, wings bobbing her small frame in the air.
  105. You incline your head politely to Lief.
  107. You follow Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon south to Under the weeping willow.
  109. Lief nods her head at an athame dagger.
  111. Lief suddenly scoops up an athame dagger.
  113. Lief glances askance.
  115. Lief gives an athame dagger to you.
  117. You shrug.
  119. You follow Awanydd Lief Myeras-Silvermoon north to Rose garden.
  121. You bow respectfully to Lief.
  123. Lief inclines her antlered head.
  125. You say to Lief, "We may be without mercy, but I am not without honor."
  127. Lief smiles quietly, sadly, her hands clasping over her lap.
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