WillowMum

"...I cannot tell what is wrong, or why, but something about you is... off, somehow. Off-balanced."

Apr 22nd, 2021
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  1. Before the Master Ravenwood Tree.
  2. 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. 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. Muginn, the ghost-feathered magpie perches here with a mischievous glint in his eye. Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk floats here, suffusing the air with the sickly-sweet scent of blackthorn blossoms. They wield a graceful bastard sword of shadowed steel with both hands.
  3. You see a single exit leading north.
  4.  
  5. Caressing your ear, the voice of Sulwh whispers, "Thank you for the sandwich."
  6.  
  7. Your frills twitch as you detect an errant sound.
  8. You give a mango ice cream sandwich to Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk.
  9. You nod your head sagely.
  10.  
  11. Esei blinks.
  12. Esei ponders you thoughtfully, looking you up and down.
  13. Esei frowns at you.
  14.  
  15. Nearby shadows coalesce into the tenebrous leopard stealthily stalking into view.
  16. A shadowlord widowrider nods to Evette as he leads his giant black widow around.
  17.  
  18. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you say, "... Guess I should leave."
  19.  
  20. Esei beckons you to them.
  21.  
  22. A tenebrous leopard sits down on the ground, perking her ears up.
  23.  
  24. You blink.
  25. You begin to follow Esei.
  26.  
  27. Esei pets a tenebrous leopard ingratiatingly.
  28. A tenebrous leopard rubs up against Esei affectionately.
  29.  
  30. You glance askance at a tenebrous leopard.
  31. You glance askance.
  32.  
  33. Uncertainly, Esei nudges you with their foot.
  34.  
  35. Emotionlessly, Scourge Evette Stormcrow, the Heartless asks you, "What is the rush?"
  36.  
  37. The eyes of Esei go briefly out of focus.
  38.  
  39. Glancing at Liah once more, you say, "There is none. But, if I am unwelcome, I will not intrude."
  40.  
  41. Smiling faintly, you say, "Besides, I don't have any meats on me."
  42.  
  43. Emotionlessly, Scourge Evette Stormcrow, the Heartless says to you, "I'm not sure meat would earn her forgiveness."
  44. Evette reaches over and ruffles a tenebrous leopard's hair fondly.
  45. A tenebrous leopard rubs up against Evette affectionately.
  46.  
  47. Without pause, you say, "I wouldn't expect it to. Still, giving gifts is only polite."
  48.  
  49. Evette purses her lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as she carefully gathers her thoughts.
  50. Adding a bit of moisture, Evette folds, cuts, and shapes three sheets of vellum into a blackthorn blossom origami.
  51. Evette gives a blackthorn blossom origami to you.
  52. Evette nods her head emphatically.
  53.  
  54. Scourge Evette Stormcrow, the Heartless thinks to herself: Polite.
  55.  
  56. You have emoted: Cheliyi's lips quirk into a weak smile, and she pockets the blossom without another word.
  57.  
  58. Evette doffs a dapper, silver-banded black felt hat cordially.
  59. A shadowlord widowrider says, "Farewell, child of the dark forest."
  60. A shadowlord widowrider moves his giant black widow to allow Evette to leave.
  61.  
  62. Esei hums thoughtfully.
  63.  
  64. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk in to the Portals of Glomdoring.
  65. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk to a crossroads within an old wyrden wood.
  66.  
  67. Esei removes a dapper, viridian-banded black felt hat.
  68. Esei slips into a dapper, brown-banded black felt hat.
  69. A pale pink light cloaks Esei briefly, emanating from a gaudy glamrock. When it withdraws, they stands in an extravagant pose, demonstrating their new outfit.
  70. They are a ferocious loboshigaru wyrden demigod changeling. Their fur is almost carmine-colored along their torso, face, and upper limbs, though leaning towards a more ginger hue. Their limbs become black in a short gradient around their knees and elbows, becoming humanoid paws tipped with claws. Their long digitigrade legs and slender arms are elegant, though evidently muscled. Their tail is short and fluffy, fading white tip terminating around mid-thigh. Their face is mostly red, with a dark nose and snout and wide, tall ears. Said ears have been pierced, with asymmetrical studs and rings of gold, flashing against their black fur. Their eyes are a deep indeterminable shade, pupils almost blurring into their irises. Starting between their ears on the top of their head and trailing down their spine, a larger black scruff of fur is weaved with short braids and metal beads. Their ears bring them to just under seven feet tall. Shadows cling adoringly to them, reluctant to surrender their grasp on one with the truefavour of Nocht, the Silent.
  71. They are wearing:
  72. a circlet of the Shee-Slaugh house delicately placed against their temple
  73. an intricate, structured ensemble of dusk
  74. Ebon Prayer Beads of the Silent Lord wrapped around one wrist
  75. a wedding armband of eternal night resting on their left bicep
  76. a phantasmal shroud of shadows wrapped around their shoulders like a scarf
  77. a silvered leather scabbard tied loosely at their right hip
  78. the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree attached to their left forefinger.
  79.  
  80. The sky achieves full shadow, a pitch black expanse with only a few gasping, drowning stars for light stretching overhead. There is but a gaping hole where the moon should reside, as if the astrological body has been torn from its orbit.
  81. Midnight shadows coalesce around a new day, and Mother Night embraces the land in utter darkness.
  82. It is now the 7th of Juliary, 587 years after the Coming of Estarra.
  83.  
  84. Your frills twitch as you detect an errant sound.
  85.  
  86. Esei leans down, pressing their damp nose gently to your forehead.
  87.  
  88. You blink.
  89.  
  90. Frown pulling at their lupine face, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks you, "All is well?"
  91.  
  92. You have emoted: Cheliyi's shoulders lower from their previously stern set, and she looks away. "I like Liah a lot. If she is mad at me, she is mad at me. But otherwise, yes. Nothing insane is occuring in Celest. Thought I'd just... bring food like you do sometimes."
  93.  
  94. Esei shakes their head.
  95. Esei gently pokes at your chest, right over your heart.
  96.  
  97. You blink.
  98.  
  99. Esei frowns at you.
  100.  
  101. With smoky, august tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says to you, "...I cannot tell what is wrong, or why, but something about you is... off, somehow. Off-balanced."
  102.  
  103. You have emoted: Cheliyi looks down at the finger poking her chest, and then looks up at Esei. She blinks, and looks away. "Unbalanced?"
  104.  
  105. Esei gives a shallow nod, nose twitching as they seem to avoid the urge to snuffle at your head.
  106.  
  107. You think to yourself: **a swirl of tired emotions, stretched thin from being pulled again and again. longing, distrust, and unrepentance. a tinge of guilt.**.
  108.  
  109. A rush of summer warmth passes through you as you smell grass and flowers and glimpse the limitless blue of a perfectly blue, sunlit sky.
  110.  
  111. After a moment, you say, "I'm doing better in Celest, truly. But I do not want to..."
  112.  
  113. Esei swivels their ears towards you, listening with rapt attention.
  114.  
  115. You have emoted: Cheliyi looks up at Esei with a sudden sharpness, her gaze narrowing. Her lips seal shut, and like a door closing, so does the vulnerability in her eyes. "It does not matter."
  116.  
  117. Softly, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks you, "Do you think I will be unkind to you, that I will hurt you, simply for telling me the truth?"
  118.  
  119. You think to yourself: **a surge, again, what if this is not concern, steel your heart, do not let it bleed**.
  120.  
  121. You have emoted: Cheliyi glances aside, guarded. "... you listen." It takes a moment, but it soon becomes obvious that she's eyeing the shadows nearby with clear irritation.
  122.  
  123. With smoky, august tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "I do. Is that a bad thing?"
  124.  
  125. You think to yourself: **you can almost hear the whispers, they're taunting you, taunting you for weakness, they'll worm in and-**.
  126.  
  127. Esei gently rests a paw-like hand on your shoulder. "Are people not listening to you?"
  128.  
  129. Muginn ruffles his feathers, stirring up puffs of fog.
  130.  
  131. The sky becomes streaky with shades of pale blues and purples, spilling like watercolors across the twilit canvas, before lightening to a pale periwinkle for just a moment before sliding gradually back to lavender.
  132. The sky lightens and stars fade as Father Sun approaches the horizon in his neverending quest to capture Mother Night.
  133.  
  134. A flash of emerald from the southeast announces the entry of an ethereal cat.
  135.  
  136. Esei pets an ethereal cat ingratiatingly.
  137. An ethereal cat looks away from Esei, ignoring them completely.
  138.  
  139. You have emoted: Cheliyi suddenly rubs at her eyes, deflating. "I don't speak to anyone anymore. Not truly like that. I just speak to the flowers. They can hear, but they don't care or tell me anything back. Poor Cheliyi this, terrible Wyrd that." She mutters, rolling her shoulders. "Every time I share, it is used against me, or misinterpreted and made worse."
  140.  
  141. With smoky, august tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Mm."
  142. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk west to a winding path within the Wyrden wood.
  143. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk west to before a large garden.
  144. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk west to entering a flower garden.
  145. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk west to deeper into the flowers.
  146. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk south to inside a dilapidated greenhouse.
  147. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk north to deeper into the flowers.
  148. You follow Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk north to an airy meditation area.
  149.  
  150. An airy meditation area.
  151. The shadowy outline of a twisted forest casts a dark gloom here. A simple gazebo set atop a solid dais of stone makes up the center of this space, dark sheer drapes hanging from it. Vines and ivy writhe up the wooden columns, claiming it as theirs. Hooks hang from the gazebo's upper frame, shiny and evidently new, so that the drapes may be pulled aside if needed. Several plush rugs line the meditation area, pillows carefully strewn about for various uses. Constant wind, although subtle, blows perpetually within the room, stirring the drapes to cause soft whispering sounds. The surrounding flowers include gardenia, gladiolus, mixed with heather and white lavender; king protea and queen anne's lace grow in clusters near gazebo's posts. Muginn, the ghost-feathered magpie perches here with a mischievous glint in his eye. Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk floats here, suffusing the air with the sickly-sweet scent of blackthorn blossoms. They wield a graceful bastard sword of shadowed steel with both hands.
  152. You see a single exit leading south.
  153.  
  154. You blink.
  155.  
  156. Esei settles on a large cushion, stretching out their dark legs.
  157. Esei tilts their head curiously at you.
  158.  
  159. You have emoted: Cheliyi slowly trails in afterwards, sitting beside a pillow to bundle it up in her arms.
  160.  
  161. Esei murmurs softly to themself.
  162. Esei removes a dapper, brown-banded black felt hat.
  163. Esei slips into a dapper, cream-banded black felt hat.
  164. A pale pink light cloaks Esei briefly, emanating from a gaudy glamrock. When it withdraws, they stands in an extravagant pose, demonstrating their new outfit.
  165.  
  166. You think to yourself: Will I let my fears consume me? Are they truly fears if they've been justified before?
  167.  
  168. Esei lazily draws their wings to and fro through the air, fanning them slowly.
  169.  
  170. Standing at six and a half feet tall, they are a feathered trill wyrden demigod changeling. Their wings start as black near where they join at their back, a languid gradation to deep, stark plum at the tips. Black feathers, swept back into a loose style, cover their head, neatly preened and smoothed away from their face. Large tufts of feathers sprout from where their ears might be, occasionally twitching as elfen ears might do. Feathers, black and plum, cling to their back and shoulders, culminating at their tailbone from where a tail extends, entirely covered in feathers. The tail tapers at the end, bursting in beautiful sable and plum feathers at the tip in a fan shape. Their shoulders are rather wide for a trill, their body slender and willowy in all forms. Their hands are delicate, that of an artist's, each finger terminated with a dark black claw. Their face is one of beauty, with high aristocratic cheekbones, a strong jaw and nose, and an arched, feathery brow. Their eyes are deceptively wide, taken completely by inky darkness that gives them a far more bird-like appearance. Their feathery lashes are black, setting off a greater contrast between their eyes and pale skin. Dark freckles scatter across their cheeks and shoulders like little stars, trailing down their arms and lingering on their hands. Their dusty pink lips are full and soft, naturally turning up at the corners and hiding wickedly sharp teeth. Shadows cling adoringly to them, reluctant to surrender their grasp on one with the truefavour of Nocht, the Silent.
  171. They are wearing:
  172. a circlet of the Shee-Slaugh house delicately placed against their temple
  173. an intricate, structured ensemble of dusk
  174. Ebon Prayer Beads of the Silent Lord wrapped around one wrist
  175. a wedding armband of eternal night resting on their left bicep
  176. a phantasmal shroud of shadows wrapped around their shoulders like a scarf
  177. a silvered leather scabbard tied loosely at their right hip
  178. the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree attached to their left forefinger.
  179.  
  180. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Cheliyi... I know I can be merciless, at times. Even cruel. That is a part of me as easily as being a changeling is, and not something I can refute."
  181.  
  182. Your frills twitch as you focus in on Esei.
  183.  
  184. Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk thinks to themself: ** snapping ice over water, who has been cruel to dear-sweet-foolish-sapling? **.
  185.  
  186. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says to you, "But I am here to listen, and here to help, if you wish it."
  187.  
  188. You think to yourself: **a teetering imbalance, rarely at peace, you need to sort this out, don't you? Find a balance before it becomes a breaking point?**.
  189.  
  190. You have emoted: Cheliyi rocks in place for a moment, before crossing her legs to sit more comfortably. The mugwump seems to fidget in place for a moment more, before glancing up again at Esei. The suspicion persists, yet something seems to give way. "... I do not think it is something you can help. But... I do appreciate it. I know you are who you are. I do not expect different, and yet I throw myself at the wall all the same."
  191.  
  192. Gently, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Is it truly a wall? Or do you just see it as one?"
  193.  
  194. You stare implacably at Esei.
  195.  
  196. Dryly, you say, "Perhaps it is not a wall. It's like a pillow, with a knife hidden in it. Pleasant to hug on occasions, but it will stab you just as easily."
  197.  
  198. Esei quirks a single brow, clearly willing to wait.
  199. With a flourish, Esei slips a graceful bastard sword of shadowed steel into a silvered leather scabbard.
  200. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Would you enjoy a hug, then?"
  201.  
  202. You blink.
  203.  
  204. You have emoted: Cheliyi stares at Esei warily. "Are you going to stab me?" she mutters, gaze somehow slightly... off.
  205.  
  206. Esei raises a single brow, before asking, "Do you want me to?"
  207.  
  208. You have emoted: Cheliyi blinks again, the previous expression gone in a snap. "Not reallys, no. A hug would be nice, though."
  209.  
  210. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Then no, I will not stab you."
  211. Esei relaxes against the pillow, arms and wings spreading slightly as an offer.
  212.  
  213. You have emoted: Cheliyi stares down at Esei's arms, and then back up at their face with thinned lips. Slowly, she releases the pillow from her clutches and shuffles over to the trill, hugging them gently around their torso.
  214. You have emoted: Cheliyi sighs quietly.
  215.  
  216. You think to yourself: **something welling up in your throat, you haven't hugged them since...**.
  217.  
  218. Esei wraps their arms securely around you, wings folding around the both of them as the changeling gently snuggles the mugwump into their chest. "It's alright," they say softly. "I'm here."
  219.  
  220. You have emoted: Esei feels Cheliyi suddenly tremble in Esei's embrace, the mugwump wordlessly tightening her arms ever so slightly. "Are you sure?" she murmurs, muffled by fabric. "I could just be sleeping, again."
  221.  
  222. Esei gently cards their [redacted because pastebin is stupid] hand through your hair, a faint rumble rising in their chest before they speak. "Yes, I am here. I will listen to you."
  223.  
  224. You think to yourself: **resignation cutting through the sorrowful relief, its happened before, and might happen again, your siblings were just a memory, that time, and they may be a memory again, though you can hear them, waking up from a memory of you and Esei walking beneath the boughs warm laughter and a small smirk**.
  225.  
  226. You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
  227.  
  228. Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk thinks to themself: ** gentle popping lights, like fireflies. i-am-real, i-exist, i-am-allowed. **.
  229.  
  230. Into their chest, you murmur, "I feel unworthy. I know I am unworthy of the Wyrd, that is simply a given, but as someone who was Wyrden, who cannot even begin to truly trust the Light... I do not feel like I am allowed to be in their spaces. They don't like shadows. What if they think I am somehow dragging shadows in? I feel like I cannot let go. I do not want to let go. But now it feels like limbo, even as I am a part of the City, a part of the Light."
  231.  
  232. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you murmur, "Everything is so clean and bright and I feel like I am tracking dirt in with my steps. Nothing is -wrong- with dirt, but it feels rude."
  233.  
  234. Esei's hand soothes past your frill, briefly resting lightly against the frond before resuming its gentle motions. "Consider it like this - do -they- deserve -you-?"
  235.  
  236. Bitterly cynical, you say, "Well, when you put it that way, it makes it sound like I am a plague on their streets."
  237. A wry smile spreads across your face.
  238.  
  239. You glance askance.
  240. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you say, "Am kidding, am kidding."
  241.  
  242. Musingly, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Have they done their best to make you feel at home? Reassure you that you belong? Seek to destroy your fears and doubts?"
  243.  
  244. You have emoted: Cheliyi's frills twitch, and she grows quiet, considering. "... In some ways, yes. Dad showed me some trees, Mister Dad keeps helping my doubts and anger when he can... Miss Aeldra is nice as well. Keep telling me I am not an intruder, that it is my home now." She sighs, and leans into Esei's chest once more. "It does not stop the whispers."
  245.  
  246. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Oh, yes, certainly, they have been kind to you, have not excluded you. But have they -included- you either?"
  247.  
  248. Esei's wings flex, black and plum feathers sweeping gently against your back.
  249.  
  250. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "The whispers of your own mind, jatasere, or ones outside yourself?"
  251.  
  252. Quietly, you say, "Hard to tell the difference, anymore."
  253.  
  254. Moving their hand down, Esei rubs gently at your upper back, humming a low tune. "Do you think you can listen to a story?"
  255.  
  256. Shadows swirl around Esei's arm as the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree shifts and turns around their hand.
  257.  
  258. You have emoted: Cheliyi visibly relaxes, her tail flicking back and forth in slow, almost lazy motions. "I can."
  259.  
  260. Softly, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Not too long ago, I thought I was unworthy. Of the Wyrd, of the Glomdoring, of my rank and position."
  261.  
  262. As the sun passes below the horizon's edge, Mother Night unveils her terrible, shadowy beauty, spreading darkness across the land.
  263. Softly, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "In spite of all my accomplishments, and skills, and abilities, I still could not -see- what others had. Anything at all, from a glance to a word, would grind against any self confidence I had managed to build between wakings."
  264.  
  265. You have emoted: Cheliyi nods slightly, her frills drooping. "I remember. Kept trying to show you what I saw, before."
  266.  
  267. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says to you, "It was not directly my fault. I had long since grown out of tearing myself down on purpose."
  268.  
  269. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says to you, "But the mortal mind is a powerful thing, especially when it reinforces a bias that you have no reason -not- to believe."
  270.  
  271. You think to yourself: **the writhing whispers fading, replaced by the solid sensation of being hugged, it's so warm...**.
  272.  
  273. You have emoted: Cheliyi slowly nods, content to listen.
  274.  
  275. Esei gently brushes your hair from your face, dark eyes searching. "Do understand that my circumstances will be different from yours," they say softly, easing against the pillow. "But I learned from Brother Crow best, and Lord Nocht's Amalgam - these were not the only wisdoms I learned to understand better during my meditations, but the clearest ones."
  276. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks you, "Do you have any such teachings with the Light? With the Waters? Do any resonate with you, or simple... fall flat?"
  277.  
  278. The sky achieves full shadow, a pitch black expanse with only a few gasping, drowning stars for light stretching overhead. There is but a gaping hole where the moon should reside, as if the astrological body has been torn from its orbit.
  279.  
  280. You have emoted: Cheliyi follows along with little fuss, her dull gaze distant and considering. "I know it is different." The mugwump glances up at Esei through her tinted spectacles, meeting their searching evenly. "I... I don't know. I stopped listening to other teachings, I suppose. Slowly dipping in to the water. There are the Supernals, who teach compassion, justice, vigilance, and defense. And Miss Eloh...ora? Who is all of their light combined." She pauses again, and smiles faintly. "Lady Raziela is my favorite, of them. Though, I do worry about her safety, a bit."
  281.  
  282. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "And what does Raziela teach?"
  283.  
  284. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you say, "Lady Raziela is the Loving Radiance. A bit cheesy, I know. But she teaches to find compassion and love for everyone in your heart, to try and see them for who they are. She -actually- loves everyone, though. Even those who mean her harm. It's... a bit worry, in that way."
  285.  
  286. Raising a single eyebrow, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "...I see."
  287.  
  288. The ghost of a smile passes fleetingly across your lips.
  289.  
  290. Esei adjusts their arms, pulling you up their chest to allow the mugwump to nestle your head into the crook of their neck if desired.
  291.  
  292. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you say, "Well. It's a nice place to sit in. Very comforting. I also like... er.. Lady Sh... oh man."
  293.  
  294. No such help file found, showing CHELP SUPERNALS instead.
  295.  
  296. ---> looks up CHELP as fast as I can sob
  297.  
  298. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Shakiniel, I believe?"
  299.  
  300. Like a gentle ripple in a crystalline pool, you say, "Shak... yes, that. She is about defending anyone who needs it, to protect who might be hurt. Still tells you to make sure you take care of yourself first, or else you will not be able to defend anyone."
  301.  
  302. Esei hums thoughtfully.
  303.  
  304. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Sounds similar to something Lord Shikari teaches."
  305.  
  306. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says to you, "...as much as I adored you in Lord Nocht's order... you would have been a better fit for the Lord Predator's Pack."
  307.  
  308. Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk thinks to themself: ** a deep, languishing ache, deep inside their chest, flickering for a moment before it is gone on the morning wind. **.
  309.  
  310. You have emoted: Cheliyi leans up against Esei, closing her eyes. "Mm, really? I suppose I should have.... asked more at the time," she murmurs, her frills twitching. "I did enjoy a lot of my time in His Order, though," the mugwump admits, unguarded. "Even if..."
  311. You sigh quietly, frills drooping as your tail sags.
  312.  
  313. Gently prompting, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Even if...?"
  314.  
  315. Her expression pinching with a suddenly wounded frown, you murmur, "He kept hurting people I care about... I was too blind to notice."
  316.  
  317. The sky becomes streaky with shades of pale blues and purples, spilling like watercolors across the twilit canvas, before lightening to a pale periwinkle for just a moment before sliding gradually back to lavender.
  318.  
  319. Gently, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks you, "And who were those people?"
  320.  
  321. You have emoted: Cheliyi sighs wearily. "Well, He hurt Dad. Didn't even know, for so many years. Sure they are "lessons," but when they don't work again and again, it just becomes cruel, doesn't it?" The mugwump suddenly freezes, like a deer looking down the end of a gnomeweapon. "... I know you still love Him, as you should, and I... still love Him, even as I shouldn't. But He hurt me too. I do not know. It's just... I don't..."
  322. You shake your head.
  323.  
  324. Esei gently smooths their hand over your back. "And you do not think He has hurt me?"
  325.  
  326. Quietly, you say, "I know He has."
  327.  
  328. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Do you?"
  329.  
  330. Bitterly, you say, "He hurts everyone He meets at some point. It only makes sense. A lessons, a punishment, whatever He decides to call it. It just makes sense, to expect it."
  331. Quieter, you say, "It may help some people grow. But it would not help me."
  332.  
  333. Esei shakes their head.
  334.  
  335. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "No, it was a very long time ago. I do not think I even told anyone outside of Lady Rancoura."
  336. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "I cannot blame Him, for He was not aware of the fact at the time. But He did hurt me, for seemingly no reason at all."
  337.  
  338. Closing your eyes, you listen intently. Your frills twitch with idle curiousity.
  339.  
  340. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks you, "Do you know what He told me, repeating again and again?"
  341.  
  342. You shake your head.
  343.  
  344. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "That everything would be okay."
  345. Esei shrugs gently. "And... it was."
  346. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "It is okay. It will be okay."
  347.  
  348. You have emoted: Cheliyi blinks slowly.
  349. Quietly, you say, "That's kind of Him."
  350.  
  351. Esei closes their eyes and inhales deeply, absorbing the scent of their surroundings.
  352. Esei exhales slowly, allowing a long fluid breath to creep from their lungs.
  353.  
  354. The sky brightens to a warm, brilliant blue before the light dissipates into scintillating patterns across the daytime sky, distorting first into filigree silver and gold, then into dusky lavender. There is an odd absence where the Sun ought to be, leaving the daytime air cold and welcoming.
  355.  
  356. Esei leans close to you and gently lays a kiss upon your forehead.
  357. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "My point is this: you are already worthy of wherever you go, whether it be the Wyrd or the Light or anywhere else in the Basin."
  358. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "You have to decide for yourself if that place is worthy of you, if its people are worthy of you, its culture, its teachings. Do they suit you? Do they welcome you? Do they love you?"
  359.  
  360. You have emoted: Cheliyi smiles faintly at the affection and pulls away, sighing softly. "I suppose you are right, in this. Although, the concept of something being worthy of me is a bit foreign."
  361.  
  362. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk asks, "Why is that?"
  363.  
  364. You think to yourself: I just... could not help but feel like I was being used by Him to inflict more pain on Gurashi. Maybe there was some small concern for a small mugwump like me, but He almost always seemed to use my interactions with Him to scare my father. To pull at them, to bother them. **a flash of terrified eyes, glancing askance at shadows** I cannot forget the look on their face. And the hurt I have felt from it.
  365.  
  366. Amused, you say, "It was always what can you do for the Wyrd, not what the Wyrd can do for you. I suppose I have not called the worthiness of another into question, before."
  367.  
  368. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Mm. I suppose that is true. But one must take what they can outside the Wyrd."
  369.  
  370. You chuckle softly, your frilled tail flicking idly with amusement.
  371.  
  372. Esei looks as though they would pearls, if they had any hands free to do so.
  373.  
  374. Inhaling sharply, you puff out your frills in Esei's direction and utter a soft squeak.
  375. You nod your head sagely.
  376. With a content sigh, you lean up against Esei, blinking drowsily.
  377.  
  378. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Not that anyone should be outside the Wyrd, but, well. I know your opinion on that."
  379. Esei pets you ingratiatingly.
  380.  
  381. You have emoted: Cheliyi's lips quirk into a smile.
  382. You have emoted: Cheliyi slowly begins to sag in Esei's arms, falling utterly asleep.
  383.  
  384. In dark, lyrical tones, Wyrden Auspice Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk whispers, "I am sorry you are struggl-."
  385. Esei blinks.
  386.  
  387. (Trasto): Esei says, "Ok she just-."
  388. (Trasto): Esei says, "Well-."
  389. (Trasto): Esei says, "She did that lmao-."
  390.  
  391. Your frills twitch as you detect an errant sound.
  392. You have emoted: Cheliyi mumbles a quiet "Mhrm?"
  393.  
  394. Esei murmurs faintly in amusement, rubbing your back in order to usher you back to sleep. They tip their head back, staring up at the dusky sky above.
  395.  
  396. You have emoted: Cheliyi dozes off once more, mumbling out a quiet "Love you," as she curls up.
  397.  
  398. The ominous booming of the shadowbeat echoes faintly from a three-finger ring bearing an amethyst scythe on Esei's hand, and their eyes flicker with wyrden flames.
  399.  
  400. The sky's lavender twists darker as night approaches, a twilit shade of dusky mauve seeping over the pale lavender of the bowl of the sky, slowly darkening as the evening grows long.
  401.  
  402. Esei raises their brows in surprise, gently petting your hair.
  403. Esei leans close to you and gently lays a kiss upon your forehead.
  404.  
  405. You have emoted: Cheliyi murmurs contently.
  406. You grow still and begin to pray silently for preservation of your soul while you are out of the land.
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