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  1. #351
    Faraking Island of Taroc in Far Western Rekōdo: The Floating Heli'Dom

    Attachment 2352 Attachment 2351


    Pasce, Princess of Rekōdo, Emit, High Chronicler of Rekōdo Arion, Second of Taroc, Nalia of Enchantry, Evalynn Agravaine of Enchantry, Sacha, Shepherd of Souls and Aramil, his Advisor




    Nalia glanced downward as she processed the images and words Kali shared with her. She recognized the voice of the High Priestess Karythar en' Uru'Loki and her counterpart, Maska’lalaith, the Dream Walker. Nalia's breathing quickened and her heartbeat raced blood through her body. She went very still. The last time she heard those two voices- The last time she had been in that cavern-

    Nalia closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe slowly. The life within her moved. She placed a hand atop her womb. An expectant mother's habit.

    ~It is difficult to say- ~ only because she did not want to jump to conclusions. Nalia glanced at Alain as he moved forward and brandished his red fire. The shadows of its light an the warmth of its intense heat reflected in flickers of scarlet light across her face. Her emerald eyes focused on Alain's mythical arm. She had heard so many stories of it, most told to her as a child by adults of Alain's trusted company who had consumed too much beverage to keep from regaling the very quiet child in stories of the past. The story of Alain's arm was a favorite, one of many. Nalia racked her mind over the memory of that story.

    ~ - but I do not know the makings of his strength. No one does.~

    Nalia shared with Kali the picture of Karythar's octagonal pendant around her neck. The light on the thick, golden chain reflected in the torchlight. There was a click as latch in the large, golden, octagonal pendant about her neck sprung open, like rays of a golden sunrise. This key was placed in the center of three identical locks and, when the key was moved, they all turned in sync to open the lustrous case that housed Rekōdo's sacred Tel'Parma en' Rinarim. It could fit easily within the palm of the Dragoness's hand, almost like a small box.

    Nalia knew every swirl, every whorl and eddy of golden lining within Alain's arm. She could reproduce its image from perfect memory right now if she so desired. As Nalia's mind replayed a snippet from a memory she had tried so hard to forget, she focused on the lines of golden embellishment and carving that outlined the octagonal pendant that was a key to a most sacred text. Nalia felt her heart trip within her chest. Her eyes were wide as she looked down from Alain's arm. Unwittingly or wantingly, Alain had been thrust into a most pivotal role in their world's future. The kind of part that became stories and legends long after the stars in them were gone.

    ~Where is safe, Kali?~

    Nalia glanced up at her, seeking the answer to a question meant for her inquiry and her own need. The more she thought on Kali's memory the more rapidly her heart beat. Nalia glanced at Alain with growing trepidation. The dread of how deeply woven they all were into history's tapestry threatened to bring her to her knees. Again, the life within her moved. Nalia looked down and then back up at her Second.

    ~Where can Alain possibly bring her that is safe?~



    -+-



    "The ritual is complex."

    Aramil spoke to everyone, but kept his eyes on the Princess, who would complete his half of the magik needed to make any of this work. He had some confidence in the girl knowing Da'Jinn and a vast trove of power. Some. Such rituals were not meant to exist. Such bonds were not meant to be broken

    "When Jinai pulled you from the World of Dreams, she did so by threatening to sever your life thread, thus extinguishing your life from Emporium. All of us are threads in the tapestry of our world. Our actions and motions weave together a pattern, a history. We are not weavers at the loom, but what we must undo is what one must do to correct a mistake in their work. Go back too far, and you lose precious work. Untie the wrong threads and you lose more than you desire."

    As he explained this, his hands moved through the air. Tails of exotic orange and green light trailed behind his fingertips. he swirled his hands before Pasce and then closer to his own body until the weavings created the All-seeing Eye of Da'Jinn, which was their self-proclaimed symbol. It set before Aramil, seeing before itself and behind itself. It blazed, unblinking, staring, watching.

    The Da'Jinn man turned Maginus Priest offered his hands, palm up to Pasce. The custom of the East was to show a man was unarmed and came in peace, but here he sought something. The Princess visibly hesitated, which caused the tanned man to smile beneath his beard and with his eyes.

    "I will take care" he offered her. Honest words from a man who was genuinely honest.

    The Princess nodded. She untied the lamps from her belt and placed the onyx lanterns in his weathered palms. The golden scratch marks of the Provinces of Shamaa and Astral glittered eerily in the magik light of Olivia's workings around them. Aramil's face was illumined beneath the deep cowl of his hood. He held the lamps with great reverence and care, as he promised. His movements were slow and careful as he set the lamp in their locations: One between Pasce and The Eye, the other between it and himself.

    "I will speak the words. The Ancient Da'Jinn. They are meant only to be spoken by a man of Da'Jinn. It will not work otherwise. It will fight against you. You must remain with me if you are to be of use."

    He placed one hand on the lamp of Astral, facing him, and the other he reached around the eye to touch the lamp of Shamaa before the Princess. Aramil nodded and Pasce did the same: one hand on the lamp before her, the other around the All-Seeing Eye to the second. They made the iris of an eye around The Eye, to see what it sees. To see the power within the lamps, the secrets they cannot otherwise yield. To watch The Eye, in case it shows them only trickery. Aramil peeked around the Princess and looked until his dark brown eyes found Arion.

    "You there! With the guitar!"

    Arion looked up sharply from his runic paths around the Heli'Dom.

    "Play something a little more Da'Jinn, hmm?"

    Arion's brow furrowed and glanced at Alain. He raised an eyebrow in inquiry to his Guild Master, then shook his head and continued on his purposeful path. Music continued to flow in soft, gentle waves around the Heli'Dom. Music of Taroc, old ballads to soothe the structure. Occasionally, a hint of something exotic graced his strumming. Couplets of Da'Jinn chords. Arion looked to the ritual to see if what he added would suffice, but the Maginus Priest had already returned to the task at hand.

    "Once the Spirits and their Vessels are liberated from their bonds, we will release the lamps. They are yours to melt, Master of Taroc, and yours to cool with waters, Lady of Shamaa."

    Aramil's fingertips touched the Princess so that her eyes looked at him.

    "We must remove all threads binding them to their lamps if they are to be freed, but we must take great care to leave the threads that bind the Spirits to the Masters. The threads that bind them here, on Emporium, must also remain."

    The Princess nodded. She understood completely. Aramil shifted, as if settling in for a wrestling-of-arms and then closed his eyes. He began to chant. The words rolling articulately off Aramil's tongue in the manner of a literate and intelligent man. The syllables and lilting would be nearly impossible for her to mimic at his rate and speed. Pasce felt drawn to close her eyes, as if she were falling asleep but entirely aware that she was succumbing to it. As soon as her eyes closed, she and Aramil stood within darkness. Just as Jinai had appeared on her carpet flanked by the bound Masters, so Mindoka and Herotus hovered here. Their eyes glowed depthlessly and emotionlessly. Their hands were shackled with clasps of gold and they were wisps of magik from their midsections downward. They trailed off into threads. Different colors for different weavings of their lives. They trailed off into the darkness that had no end. Aramil gestured and Pasce followed him together, they began cutting the threads that bound them to their respective lamps. Aramil taught her the words and with magik they unbound them.



    -+-



    Evalynn sought to draw her hand out of Sacha's. He knew. He knew about the alterations to her blood, the thing anyone from Maginus would see as a blasphemous taint. She wrung his hand in hers and twisted to free herself, but Sacha gripped hers so tightly she cried out. A faint glitter of violet scales on her arms catch the magik light through the tears in her blouse.

    "No" he said so sternly she went still and ceased her struggle. "No." Much more gently. "We must together."

    Evalynn's wide blue eyes looked to Olivia. Sacha's hand readjusted its hold on hers. The change in touch, more stable, drew her eyes back to him. Slowly, she nodded. Colored smoke began pouring out from the lamps. It began as the colored of Da'Jinn, of their servitude, and faded to the colors of their Province. A shape writhed in each cloud on the Princess and Priest's left and right. Of two men in agony and denial as they felt the strong, magikal threads that bound them to the onyx and gold lamps being cut a strand at a time. The process was slow and arduous for the Princess and the Priest. The strands resisted her touch, but she summoned forth her will and power and matched Aramil's pace as he cut ties to the lamps.

    Gradually, those shapes became more defined. The large, unmistakeable mountainous figure of Mindoka of Shamaa and the chiseled Herotus of Astral became less and less of smoke and more of life and flesh. Bands of golden servitude were clapped about their wrists. Their eyes no longer retained the orange glow of Da'Jinn, but of their own lands. The vaporous smokes seemed to invert their flow and draw inward under the assault. The two Guild Master's backs arched as they felt the pull to go back. The lamps under Pasce's touch began to rattle and shake. Aramil shouted something in the Common Tongue, but it was lost among the continuous chanting from Pasce. She too uttered the Da'Jinn spell. The lamps reverberated violently and then shuddered out one final attempt to call back its occupants before the smoke disappeared within the lamps and the two freed men dropped to the floor. Their golden manacles snapped off and clattered to the ground. They disappeared in a puff of smoke. Aramil released the lamps, oriented himself and then grabbed the Princess. He pulled her away from the lamps by her shoulders so hard that they tumbled to the floor.
    Last edited by SilntAngl5; 02-01-2019 at 11:33 PM.
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  2. #352
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    KALI

    Kali watched Nalia with great intensity. Her eye’s flicked almost hypnotically in color as the energies of magic ebbed and flowed like the ocean’s tide around them. Her exposed skin began to buzz and her scales itched with need to cover her body. She felt Branwen’s focus on those working on freeing the two guild masters and her growing connection to Evalynn shot through her like a bolt of lightning. Through those of her kin and her bond by blood, she suddenly felt connected and alive with the energies of those in the room, but all of that seemed minuscule next to the woman across from her.

    Her eye’s followed Nalia’s to Alain’s arm. Although Kali could see the markings with the vision of a dragon’s, it was multiplied by the image Kali caught in Nalia’s mind. The memory Nalia shared of her visit to the cavern’s overlaid upon the image of Alain’s unnatural hand and as the locket snapped open the connection was made in Kali’s mind.

    Kali's eye’s sprang back to Nalia’s as her Guild Mistress addressed her. The fear in her eyes was subtle to what she felt inside of her. So schooled and practiced with her outside appearance, only those closest to her would even know what beat inside of her.


    “No where.”

    It was an honest answer, for the most determined will find a way to reach their goal, no matter what it was. As much as Kali wanted to protect her from even the truth, it would be a great injustice to them all to lie.

    “We can find places to fortify, to give us the best chance until the promise is fulfilled, but nothing is foolproof, nothing is ever completely safe.”

    She watched Nalia further, her mind running through every place she could think of. They could take them to the places between the worlds, but even that had its own dangers.

    “We will find an answer Nalia, we will make it all work, whatever solution we come up with.”



    ****************



    Branwen

    Branwen’s eyes would wonder to the lamp holding the spirit of Mindoka, but her ears were ever sharp to every word that passed from the mouth of the man from Da’Jinn. Working with the elements was as natural to Branwen as breathing, but she knew from experience that the workings of the universe, whether it was called magic or miracle or witchery worked differently depending on where you were.

    She found herself begin pulled toward Mindoka’s lamp, as if an invisible force drew her nearer and when Aramil spoke to her, her intelligent eyes found the man of Da’Jinn’s. With a nod, Branwen drew upon the moisture in the air and water formed above her hand, waiting to be sent to whatever task it was directed too. She briefly looked to the Guild Master of Taroc before returning her gaze back to the lamp.

    All around her, a mist formed and out of this mist, spirit animals came to stand beside her in excited anticipation. At the head was the form of a majestic stag, standing proud, ears flickering to and fro. Branwen would be ready, taking her cue from Alain as soon as he melted the lamps. It was a struggle as their forms changed from smoke to that of flesh and the struggle of the magically ties that had bound them was evident in the visual display of agony.

    It was all Branwen could do to not want to grasp Herotus for his treachery when he was completely freed from the lamp. The tension in the air was thick and the stag dug his cloven hoof at the ground in anxiousness and Branwen fought the feelings within her to keep from running forward to the form of Mindoka who suddenly fell to the ground. The water that floated above her hand vibrated in waves to the magic and tension in the air, almost as if it had a life of its own, waiting to be freed to perform its task.



    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  3. #353
    The World of Dreams, The Forest of the Wilderlands







    The transition from the marshland fields into the forest was breath-snatching. It was like walking from bright sunlight into jelly and through it to atmosphere miles from the ground. A coldness entered their bodies through the lungs. The intense feel of it would beg them to close their eyes, so that when they were opened, they would see this world anew.

    It looked like a regular forest would at night. There was a dimness to the air, and the paleness of bright moonlight through the tree branches. The trees, as they went farther in, became more twisted and hung with the long, fanciful drapery of moss that signaled this was a damp place, ripe with swamp and bayou not very far into its core. here, the earth was still dry enough to walk upon. There was dew in the moss, like diamonds had been plucked form the sky and set into its gnarled, knotted elegance. It sparkled, like stars.

    It was night in this forest, a time rife with sounds unheard during the daytime, but here, in Dreams, this forest was silent. The starkness of how still the air was, how utterly devoid of any sound except the water within the forest, made any noise they made seem loud. Their noises were foreign here, but the muted air kept their sounds from traveling far.

    It was smothering, but in a way that was oddly internal. Nothing moved in the forest. Even in Dreams, there was no wind, no sense of the hazy sun above them somewhere. It felt like night and the darkness seemed to be too close, but in its place when your eyes sought it out. And, unlike many other places in The World of Dreams, there was no flickering of the presence of someone who unknowingly touched the Dreamworld before fading back out. They were utterly alone here.


    -+-


    It had been many years since outsiders had entered the wood in the World of Dreams. How many was hard to remember. It certainly had been a long time and the roots beneath the mossy-covered soil trembled in anticipation of the feet and- as it happened- paws that would soon traverse its dreamy contents. The vibrations of the tree roots rippled throughout the forest until the entire underground network of limbs and wooden capillaries hummed.

    It had been a long time.

    Perhaps not in the years of trees. Exactly how long was difficult to remember. This was an old forest, one of the oldest in this land and gauging age and time was not a strong skill for the woods. The moments leading up to the last warriors who fought against the dark that was spreading over Emporium had the forest remember that they left quite suddenly and took much of the darkness with them on their way out. Such a drastic shift from dark to light left the forest reeling and unable to think. It had let their guard down an in their years of weakness the darkness crept back in to their canopy and blotted out the light from their earth one ray at a time.

    It had been a very long time. But the forest was beginning to remember.


    -+-


    They awoke.

    In tandem with the vast network of trembling and humming tree roots, they too felt the arrival of the Dreamwalkers. Unlike the forest, though, they were attentive, immediate to welcome the guests to the forest. Unlike the forest, waking hazily from a long slumber, they slept lightly over the two decades or so that it had been since the last of them had come in numbers big enough to be a concern to them. Oh, they came on occasion. Sometimes with purpose- rarely with purpose- and never truly entered the woods. The men were afraid, though they would never say it. Some came by accident, popping into the Dreamworld unguarded. They guessed that they used- what did they call them?- Totems to keep themselves from coming here. It mattered little to them. The battle had been won long ago. There was no going back now.

    There was an interesting amount of curiosity though. The furry ones were a familiar sight. Recently they had come to the Woods. Rather than come into it, though, they had curiously run from it. These creatures were not known to run away. If it was the same creatures at all. They used to be numerous, as many as the boughs of the trees. They saw to it that theirs was the only darkness within this forests. The black wolves were no more.

    And yet, here they were upon the threshold of their woods.

    There was a stirring in the forest. One alien to the humming of the vast root system, but one that also sought to tap into the universal Energies of this planet. They had long been silent, waiting on the chess piece they'd sent out into the world. They waited for her to release them into the waking day. These here would be dealt with. All they had to do was cross the threshold and enter the woods.

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