Breandryn and Pash get together for some girly Illuminati bonding.
She is a nimble faeling and is all angular elbows and knees with a hungry, waifish build, her scrawny arms and gangly legs giving her an awkward, coltish demeanor. Tall (for a Faeling), she hits maybe four feet up if she stretches tall on her tip-toes. A sooty streak of charcoal rakes across her face to frame a pair of unnervingly wide ice blue eyes. The rest of her features are delicate and soft, with an upturned nose and high cheekbones, while her long hair's bright and mecurial hues contrast sharply with her pale skin. Displayed proudly like a treasured prize, a curious feather is woven through the tresses, its barbs delicate silken strands which graze her cheek with errant breezes. Butterfly-blue and stained-glass-pink patterning unfolds behind her in ethereal tendrils to form the shape of wings, shimmering and shifting in delicate streams of light and color. She is wearing a silken butterfly satchel, a butterfly watch, a cloak of exquisite silken butterfly wings, a twinkling butterfly gown, a hair pin of iridescent butterflies, a spark-lit, violaceous butterfly stud through her right ear and a pair of black butterfly slippers.
She is a glistening mugwump and blends together her amphibious heritage with the features of the human race, tall and slender with long limbs and webbed hands. Her flesh is colored like the murky waters of the swamps her race traditionally hails from, so dark that it rivals black with a sheen of perpetual dampness across its hairless, smooth surface. At two meters tall, she seems quite thin; though possessing more typical female curves in along her hips, she boasts a waifish figure all the same, insubstantial in its weight. The features of her face are at once exaggerated and humanoid, with an ovaloid silhouette to frame her wide, thin-lipped mouth and oversized eyes of luminous yellow-green. She's crowned in long hair that falls straight around her shoulders and ends below her waist, the strands mimicking the bark of waterlogged trees in its subtle hazel hue. She is wearing an embroidered, cropped coat of golden koi scales, prayer beads of ivory poppies, 3 moonlight diamond brooches of lacy wind wisps, fuzzy purple chaos hamster socks, a glistening, rainbow-struck poppy, a brunette moustache stud through her upper lip, a brunette goatee stud through her labret, a twilight amethyst brooch of windswept skyblooms, a fashionable fesix tote, a lavish belt of scarves, a thousand poppied scarf, a pair of tapered harem pants in copper and red and Gauntlets of Psychedelia. She walks with the truefavour of Mysrai.
You read what is written on a lavishly chaotic letter:
Hello beautiful Pash!
I have a secret request for you - oh, but please don't think it is bad
or cruel or wicked or treasonous, no, no, it is not that sort of secret.
There's a thing, you see. I have the thing. I don't like the thing.
Xypher thinks I am silly not to like it, but...I do not, and so I shall
change it, for I am an Illuminatus, even if not a very good one, and
such changes are what define us - to know a transformation, to see its
potential and follow all those threads of possibilities questing out,
spinning off into all the could-bes, this is who we are and so I shall
Xypher cannot know. Can you promise this? Can you agree to such a thing?
It is hard for me, and I would not place you in a position you feel
uncomfortable in. Muse it over, consider it, let the thought simmer, and
let me know. I...need help, from someone, and I would prefer it be you.
Thank you, whatever you decide, and continue to be lovely,
Whispering arcane words, you bend over a lavishly chaotic letter and trace over the text already written. You watch in satisfaction as the words twist and change, becoming indecipherable to the uninitiated.
You address a lavishly chaotic letter to Mystic Pash, and immediately a harried-looking dracnari comes out to take it from you. She whistles, and a wakabi in a blue uniform with a ridiculous hat strapped to its head comes flying into the room. The dracnari attaches a lavishly chaotic letter to the wakabi's leg, and it speeds away.
---- Some time passes ----
Before the Eternal Flame. (Capital City of the Grand Province of Gaudiguch.)
Mystic Pash is here.
Pash peers at a lavishly chaotic letter unscrupulously.
You hide a grin behind your hand.
Eyes overly wide as she poorly feigns innocent, you say to Pash, "What's that, Pash?"
Turning the lavishly chaotic letter over in her webbed hands, Mystic Pash says to you, "A letter in code... I am trying to decipher it..."
Pash scratches her flattened nose gently.
You have emoted: "I wonder what word could be used," Breandryn muses, swaying slightly from side to side. "What word would be so important? What word would be vital to the letter? What word would you be certain would be inside?"
"What word would be in the letter," Pash murmurs, focusing all of her attention on the letter's enciphered surface.
Eyebrows raising, you say to Pash, "What words are in every letter?"
Mystic Pash says to you, "Hello. Goodbye. Sincerely. Dear... A. You..."
Softly, you say to Pash, "Everyone expresses greetings and farewells differently, but who they are addressed to..."
"They are addressed to names," Pash murmurs to you, giving you a befuddled look.
Pash stares implacably about herself.
Mystic Pash says to you, "...I used my name, I swear I did..."
You nod your head at Pash.
Pash's dark cheeks grow even darker as she flushes.
You have emoted: Breandryn mirror's Pash's blush, her swaying turning to a more anxious weight-shifting as she watches her read.
"Yes," Pash tells you simply, nodding once and folding the letter closed.
You have emoted: Breandryn's blush creeps all the way up to her ears, and she echoes the nod, a nervous smile on her lips.
Pash rises from her lotus seat, tucking the letter away.
Pash begins to follow you.
You place your hands on the Eternal Flame and find the link to the cosmic plane. Pulsating energy flares throughout your field of vision, and you find yourself tumbling through the aether pathways.
Pash follows you ether.
Pash follows you southeast.
The Chamber of Skins.
Throughout the location, small dancing flames flicker and spark. Illuminated by the innate light of several translucent, fleshy plants, this small chamber lies at the end of the long corridor to the northwest. The walls and floor are wreathed in innumerable layers of skin, each a different colour and hue, and layered so heavily on the floor that feet sink easily into it. Great leaves, made entirely of stretched skin, sprout out from the walls, hanging from their own weight as they encircle the centre of the chamber. Great fanning leaves spread wide, the Fleshpot of Yig grows here, swaying to the rhythmic breathing of the landscape. Bubbling rivulets of liquefied flesh run down the side of a great, oozing mound of flesh. There are 2 screeching morribles here. Mystic Pash is here. She wields Gauntlets of Psychedelia in her left hand.
You see a single exit leading northwest.
One of the largest of the fleshpots, the Fleshpot of Yig consumes much of his chamber and growing space. His stalk made of a many ridged layers of calloused flesh layered over one another like scales, all of them curving slightly as they reach upward, branches off at the top with long branches, each a mere stem for the massive leaves this fleshpot is known for. Great fan-like layers of skin with a streak of tissue running down the centre, leading back into the branch, each of the leaves is of a slightly different skin tone, some a scaled, rich blue while others a tough hide of brown, several a dark, smooth tanned while one, curled leaf, only beginning to open, bears the pink, smooth complexion of some newborn humans. All across the top of the stalk, from which the great leaves grow, a skirt-like layer of flesh has been made, composed of petals made entirely of flesh, many of them weeping with a viscous, flesh-toned fluid.
There are 35360 flesh petals growing within its bud.
The Fleshpot of Yig has an air of extreme strength.
He weighs about 1785 pounds.
He is loyal to the Vortex.
You cannot see what the Fleshpot of Yig is holding.
It has the following aliases: fleshpot, yig.
"So we do not like something," Pash supplies, studying the Fleshpot of Yig, "But I do not know what it is we do not like."
You have emoted: Breandryn is silent as she leads you through the twisted landscape of Vortex and its fleshy halls to stand before Yig. She remains quiet, evading your question, and simply stares at the branching fleshleaves pensively. Finally, eyes still fixed on the blooming tissue, she murmurs, "I come here, sometimes, to sit and think and...and..." Her voice hitches, whisper embarrassed as she admits, "...pray, as well, ever since Ashtariel was taken." Her gaze drops to her toes and she tersely mumbles, "Do not judge me. We all have our madness. Do you know of Yig?"
Pash folds her hands behind her back, standing beside you to observe Yig rather than the colorful faeling she journeyed with. "I don't possess the ability to judge," she confesses aside, "Not without understanding facts..." Her voice trails off there, slowly, into nothing but silence as she ruminates on the question posed. Finally, she admits, "I know only that Yig has control over the flesh."
An ethereal lollipop rolls in from the northwest.
You suddenly scoop up an ethereal lollipop.
Shimmering and translucent, this ethereal lollipop seems to only half exist in this world. Its tantalizing silver candy ball awaits a wayward tongue, though one must wonder if said tongue would just pass through it.
It weighs 2 ounce(s).
It has the following aliases: candy, lollipop.
As you scoop up an ethereal lollipop, it shakes about in your hands, almost as if it's dancing.
Pash peers about herself unscrupulously.
You have emoted: Breandryn's head dips in a slight nod as she balls her fingers in her sleeves, one arm hesitantly lifting towards her cheek. She draws in a slow breath, eyes closing, and then begins to wipe at the soot across her cheeks - her hand jerks, then, suddenly shaking as the lollipop distracts her, fingers pulling away as if of their own accord. She blinks her eyes open and lets out a small squeak of surprise.
The lollipop continues to shake in your hands, its ethereal presence seemingly becoming impatient.
Much like you, Pash reacts with surprise to the mystical lollipop that has crossed their paths, her oversized eyes blinking slowly in her mugwumpish befuddlement. "...someone is giving away candy?" she murmurs.
You have emoted: Breandryn's hand unfolds to leave the lollipop free to continue its dancing shake, eyes wide as she stares at the candy. "Should...Should I eat it?" she asks Pash, licking her lips. Her voice is an odd mixture of nervous and...almost lustful, eyes shining with a keen interest.
The lollipop seems to nod in your hands.
"That is what lollipops are made for," Pash admits to you, watching the wiggling candy. Her long tongue flicks out, not to lick it, but simply to wet her lips. "Yes, I think if it came to us, it must be a gift."
You have emoted: Breandryn seems almost hypnotized by the candy, her own curiosity getting the best of her. Tentatively, she lifts it to her mouth, taking a cautious lick.
You lick an ethereal lollipop.
You have emoted: Breandryn hasn't died yet (granted, it's only been seconds) and that seems to be enough for her. Into her mouth properly the candy goes as she lets out a quiet giggle.
After eating an ethereal lollipop, your eyes close dreamily as you fall to the floor, asleep and unconscious.
You lose purchase on a mottled black manticore with a short-cut, yellow mane.
You are afflicted with sprawled.
Your insomnia has cleared up.
A dreamy dark chocolate macaron descends, resting on a golden disc of pure light.
You have emoted: Breandryn's eyes widen. "Pash," she breathes. "You try this one!"
Pash gives a dreamy dark chocolate macaron the once-over, eyeing it suspiciously.
Pash picks up a dreamy dark chocolate macaron.
Pash looks to you with some alarm, then the macaron, sniffing at it momentarily.
After eating a dreamy dark chocolate macaron, Pash closes her eyes dreamily and falls to the floor, asleep and unconscious.
Pash's eyes close suddenly as she falls asleep.
Pash has left the area.
A dedicated scholar has taught Pash the hard facts of life. Or rather, death.
You see the death occur at meandering streams within the forest.
Confused, you say, "Pash? Pash...?!"
The soul of Pash says, "Oh dear..."
You have emoted: Breandryn scrambles over to Pash's body, confusion on her face. "What...wherehowwhy?" she stammers.
(Gaudiguch): You say, "Citizens, a warning: Do not eat strange candies you find in Vortex unless you wish to visit Nirvana, which apparently has some angry scholars there waiting to bludgeon you with books."
(Gaudiguch): Pash says, "That was a strange experience."
Pash arrives from the northwest.
Flushing, you say to Pash, "I am sorry. I encouraged you to your doom."
"Without curiosity, we learn nothing," Pash assures you, "Which means no doom is a bad doom."
You have emoted: "What did you see there?" Breandryn asks in curiosity, an odd note in her voice. "What was it like? How did you feel?"
Pash scratches gently at her neck. "I felt the touch of a shrine of Lord Weiwae," she answers, settling into her lotus position, "And felt the strong urge to wake up. There were warriors, and scholars - who do hit you with books..." She pauses there, growing distracted by the presence of Yig, before ultimately finishing: "The Dreaming did not want me there. I did not belong."
You have emoted: "How mysterious," Breandryn murmurs, brow furrowing thoughtfully. "I wonder why the candy did that - HOW it did that..." Her head tilts to one side, her frown deepening. "...Why it did that..."
Pash settles to the ground in a cross-legged position, inhaling deeply. As she brings her hands up to rest open-palmed at either side, she exhales, all tension leaving her body.
Pash lets out an atonal, croak-like chant that rumbles through her, an indication of her thinking.
Pensively, you say to Pash, "Do you think it was a joke? Or was there something for you to find there?"
"I'm not certain. Dreamweavers, the mages and druids who practice it, are usually the only ones who access the Dreaming," Pash murmurs, her great chartreuse eyes studying Yig.
You have emoted: Breandryn nods slightly, her own stare returning to Yig as well. As her head turns, her hair falls away, giving you a full glimpse of her face. Something is different. In the flesh-lit, organic gloom of the chamber, the shadows are vespertine, mottled in the pinks and purples of muscles and arteries, and across her face they skitter, clinging to contours - it's difficult to discern, at first, and then she looks back to you, lips parting to speak, and the shadows shift, crawling across her cheek like a blooming bruise to expose a gaping, bleeding wound crusted in ash and spilling fire, skin peeling away to the bone, the very bone beneath- No, not- She blinks and the ripple in reality smooths. It is a birthmark, wine-dark and twisting across her face. Her earlier movements must have exposed it, the soot brushed aside when the lollipop shook her hand. She seems oblivious to this.
Softly, you say, "I came here to think, as I said, for Yig is more than just skin, I think..."
With her focus on Yig, Pash almost does not notice the birthmark staining your flesh, hidden beneath the soot from before. She tries not to stare, but her great, chartreuse eyes focus in on it. "What do you think Yig is?" she wonders, not drawing attention to the darkness of skin.
You have emoted: "Think of what we can do with Yig," Breandryn softly murmurs, eyes locking back on the Fleshpot of Yig as a smile slowly blooms on her lips. "We can become soft, deceptively soft, or we can become as stalwart as stone. We can shroud ourselves in protections, deceptively appearing as ailments to the eye." Her eyebrows raise as she looks back to you, an instructive note in her voice as she asks, "Think of our pathways. Think of the deeper truths. What does Yig teach us?"
Pash focuses on the Fleshpot, finally diverting her eyes from your face. Her great eyes grow narrow as she ruminates. Finally, softly, she murmurs, "Yig teaches us that we can be anything?"
You have emoted: "Oh, that is a beautiful answer," Breandryn breathes, smiling brightly at you. "Truly beautiful. Thank you for that. Yig has taught me many things, but it has not taught me that, yet." She blushes, voice lowering to a whisper as she admits, "I believe lessons are shaped by the student and I am too...small and soft still to have been given such a lesson."
"I do not consider you small and soft," Pash assures you, "For your mind is great, deep, and able to withstand much."
A quietly envious note in her voice, you say to Pash, "I shall continue to meditate until that truth comes. Until then, Yig has taught me that appearances are as much a tool as our claws or our legs. Even being soft can have its uses."
In her sagacious manner, Mystic Pash says to you, "Appearances can be, yes. Beauty can be a great boon."
You have emoted: Breandryn nods several times, lapsing into silence. She seems to lose herself a bit in her thoughts, the reason behind this meeting forgotten.
Pash allows you to settle into the silence, not desiring to disturb you.
You have emoted: It's silent for a span, the only sounds the gentle noise of the landscape itself breathing, interspersed every now and then with the plopping squishes of fleshformed creatures moving about. Finally, Breandryn draws in a deep breath, hands lifting to her face to scrub away what remains of the soot, fully exposing the birthmark before she turns to you, eyes squinting in a preemptive wince. Softly, barely able to look at you, she mumbles, "I have a mark."
Pash is silent for a moment longer, replying to you with a simple, "I know." The two words are said gently, but not in the manner of someone seeking to comfort another - simply a factual thing, like 'The sky is lavender at sunset.' or 'Mysrai has a face for every mood known to mortalkind and thensome.' "I saw it," the mugwump explains, her eyes remaining focused on the fleshpot they sit before, "Earlier, when you were speaking. You think it is ugly, and Xypher does not, but you would like to have it removed because it is your opinion that matters on this."
Uncertainly, Mystic Pash asks you, "Am I correct in those assumptions?"
You have emoted: Breandryn flushes nearly as dark as the birthmark at your answer. As you continue to speak, however, her anxious expression slowly shifts, relief creeping in as you lay the facts out bare and bald. Your final assessment, your view on her opinion, however, evokes an odd reaction, the blush returning as her eyes narrow. For a heartbeat, her jaw clenches, and then she nods, quietly agreeing, "Yes, that is what matters. That is what we should do. Yes-" Her eyes widen, uncertainly shaking her voice as she asks, "...If? If you think so?"
"I think that you are a beautiful person," Pash states, once more in her matter-of-fact manner, seeming as if she is going to tell you she disagrees with this choice for a moment. Her words, though, betray this possibility: "If you are unsatisfied with the mark," she continues, "Then removing it is necessary. The most important thing in life, besides knowing, is being comfortable within yourself. Otherwise, you won't want to exist in life."
You have emoted: Breandryn's uncertainties melt away as her face breaks into a radiant smile, her hair shifting to a soft, shimmering gold at your reassurance. She gives a slight nod and drops to a seat on her knees, hands reaching forwards to lovingly caress down Yig's trunk. Almost as if in benediction, she whispers a soft, "Thank you," and plucks a single, large petal, cradling it carefully in her hands as she turns back to you. Eyebrows raising, eyes wide and shining, she quietly asks, "...Shall we begin?"
Pash inhales through her flattened nose, watching as the petal is plucked by you. "Yes," she agrees, turning to face the faeling and offering her own wide-lipped, amphibious smile. "I'm not skilled in flesharts, like Xypher, but I'm sure we can make this work well."
You have emoted: Breandryn nods her head a fraction, her hands shaking as she lifts them to her face to press Yig's petal against her skin. At first, the flesh simply rests there, her fingers nervously tapping against it, before she slowly exhales and firms her touch - beneath her caress, as if intuiting her thoughts, the skin splays, stretching and splitting like sinewy clay to spiderweb across her skin, smearing over the birthmark in a pulsating crawl.
Quietly, you say, "I...Is it everywhere?"
Pash leans forward, stretching her webbed fingers out to gently smooth down the flesh, ensuring the smallest bits of darker color have been covered. "I think it is," she murmurs, "I think your skin looks flawless."
You have emoted: "I think we say words, next, Xypher always said words to root the shifting," Breandryn mumbles, fingers anxiously shadowing the trace of your touch. "We need to make it true and real and lasting."
"I cannot remember the words he used for me," Pash admits, sitting back now that the task has been completed. Electricity crackles between her webbed digits. "But I think any words should do. It's not the language that matters. It is the purpose, the meaning, and the depth."
You have emoted: Breandryn nods in agreement, her fidgeting fingers finally falling to her side. "It is what is comfortable and familiar, for focus," she murmurs, and then her voice shifts, lowering to a whisper as she begins. "Once, in a time long ago, on an aetherbubble far away..." Her eyes close, words a sing-song as she spells out a child's tale of evil step-fathers and secret ghosts and beautiful flesh-fae kisses and something hears - this is not like with Xypher, no careful preparations and refined ritual, but rather something raw and reckless, exhilarating in its breakneck rush of realities as the latent powers of Vortex begin to coalesce in response.
Pash rests her hands against her knees, her chartreuse eyes drooping drowsily as she listens to you spin you fae-tale.
You have emoted: Breandryn's words begin to falter, her story meandering as her eyes widen uncertainly. It feels like the chamber is holding its breath, the makeshift ritual teetering on the brink between realities. Impulsively, nervously, she reaches out to grasp your hands, fingers digging in tight as her breathing begins to anxiously quicken.
Haltingly, you say to Pash, "I can't remember, I can't remember what to say..."
Pash clasps your hands in return, her eyes opening slowly, like a cat comfortable with its surroundings. "Say what you mean," she offers to the faeling, "Say what your heart feels is necessary to be said. It is a personal journey - each of us would say something different."
You have emoted: "Say it with me?" Breandryn softly asks, her wide eyes pleading beneath the pulsing layer of flesh. Her hands tighten around yours and she seems about to cry, anxious uncertainty rippling through the gathering power with a crackling spark and tremor of possibilities, her form splintering before your eyes into a hundred Breandryns, one after another after another into the impossible distance, some smiling, some crying, some ravaged and bloody, all her, all potentials. Another clash like thunder and your own hands, all the hands they could be, dance before you. Eyes wide and wild as she sways in panic, the faeling whispers, "I...I forgot the words..."
"I will," Pash promises you, looking for the cue to begin repeating what is said by the nervous woman.
You have emoted: Breandryn haltingly guides you through the tale, each twist of the narrative smoothing down a segment of skin, the Yig melding and transforming to become her very flesh. Potential hangs heavy, reality thin - out of the corner of your eyes you can sense, somehow, all of the possibilities of this moment, spreading out from each choice like cracks splintering across a frozen lake. It seems to be working, it seems to be working, it seems to be wor- One of the fleeting potentials catches the woman's gaze, and in that moment she abruptly, instinctively, defensively recedes, shrinking back as her hands go slack in yours. Already small, she seems to transform into nothing more than a child, terrified by some imaginary nightmare and screaming in the night...and the shifting takes up her cry, plucking out the darkest and cruelest of the possibilities to birth them into brief realities. Disfiguration, madness, monsters loom sudden, pain pain pain fountaining through the chamber as the skin around her eyes begins to blister and bloom and split, peeling away as muscle oozes upwards and spears of bone claw their way out. She screams and screams and the ritual spirals onwards, breakneck like a runaway horse-
Pash speaks slowly, working to keep up with your words without knowing in full what they are before they come out of you mouth. When the rite goes wrong, the mugwumpi woman stalls, struggles, and then tries to draw it back to where it was going. "Breandryn!" she cries, "This is all in your mind!" She clutches your hands, trying to draw her closer. "This is one of many, and it will not be if you don't let it!" The story is continued through Pash, as she stumbles around the fae-tales that she's been trying to keep up with.
You have emoted: Your words seem lost in the screams, at first, Breandryn suddenly struggling against your grip - one hand breaks free and her fingers lift to her face, frantically clawing at malforming flesh. The pads are quickly sliced to ribbons on the unnatural outcrops of blossoming bone but the pain - a familiar pain, a close pain, different from the foreign transformation - seems to open a door. Her ears lift, twitching in time with your words and her eyes slowly focus on you. For a second that seems to stretch forever, the ritual storms onwards, reality crumbling about you, and then she blinks, whispering a soft, mournful, "Oh..." and it abruptly breaks, the chamber here and always here and forevermore here as reality settles back around you to leave her silent and bleeding, her face a disfigured mess of twisted muscle, tangled bone and warped, bubbling skin.
It's in the safety of the reality that Pash and you share that the mugwump grows silent, studying the ruin of the faeling's face. She releases her, reaching to the fleshpot to pluck another petal of Yig from it. "We ought to fix this, before dear Xypher yells at the both of us," she murmurs, the skin offered out to you on webbed fingers.
You have emoted: "How?" Breandryn hoarsely asks, a hopeless note in her voice.
"Remember? Yig teaches us that we can be anything," Pash offers. Gently, she smooths the flesh down, careful with the mass of muscle, the tangled bones. As if it were so much clay, she seeks to make certain that it rests over the ruin properly. "Once upon a time, on an aetherbubble far away..." the dark-fleshed Pash begins again, continuing through the story in her slow, ponderous manner, sedate as she tries to form the face of you with gentle digits.
You have emoted: Breandryn sniffles once, eyes staring at her ravaged hands as she quietly sits for your ministrations. When you begin to speak, to tell the tale, she glances up in surprise, sniffling again. A tentative smile shyly slips across her face and, after a moment, she begins to speak in a lilting whisper. Her words are her own, wandering over and under and through your own path, but the route is of the same spirit, the two of you traveling towards the same narrative destination, and as the story marches onwards her voice begins to strengthen, her smile widen, her flesh smooth as you begin to guide the pair through another shifting.
Pash's fingers continue, slow, methodical, as her retelling of the story that you told becomes more of a chant. Like a sculptor working on art, she continues, a smile blossoming on her wide mouth as time marches on.
You have emoted: You've seen Xypher at work and now Breandryn's uncontrolled paradigmatics, but this...this is you, reality shifting in a distinctly Pash-esque manner, possibilities inexorably and calmly sifted through like a tailor picking fabrics, the warp and weft pulling together into a solid new reality. The bone begins to recede, muscle retreating into itself like wax melting in reverse, and her skin knits together, Yig wriggling and snuggling into each torn furrow of flesh.
As the flesh continues to reform, Pash continues to shape it, working from memory as the reality around she and you shifts. It reforms like the sheet of Yig, careful in its folding and refolding, as if it too is clay to be shaped and transformed at will. The story winds down, her voice becoming an atonal rhythm to underlay your words. It ends in silence as the flesh is completed, with the pads of her webbed hands patting gently, ensuring it rests seamless.
You have emoted: Breandryn's focus is lost in the story, gaze distant and voice a whisper. She seems detached, barely registering your touch against her skin, and when the ritual ends she continues to murmur, traipsing out an epilogue in a halting cadence which gradually slows, stumbles and stops as she realizes you have grown silent. She languidly blinks, eyes focusing on you as her hand lifts to her cheek, fingers grazing the mended skin, and then she smiles, bright and blissful, and she is suddenly in your arms, her small form wriggling in close and comfortable against you. "Thank you," she fiercely whispers into your scarf.
Pash embraces you, squeezing you small frame oh so gently against her chest. "You are important to me, and to dear Xypher," she murmurs, "And to Gaudiguch, and many others. Never feel as if you aren't."
You have emoted: "I saw a monster," Breandryn whispers faintly, words nearly lost in the embrace. "I saw..I saw.."
"There are many monsters," Pash confesses, "But most come from the minds of mortals. Like the Dreaming. Like the lords of the elemental planes. They have no more power over you than you give them."
You have emoted: Your reassurance is met with silence, Breandryn soft in your arms. There's a sudden shiver, her skin prickling, and then wide eyes are staring at you, big and blue and sad, as she murmurs, "The monster was me."
Pash lets out a soft snort, a wry snicker, before lapsing into silence once more. She breaks it with words this time, promising you that, "We are all monsters, if we allow ourselves to be. There are many realities where we are not as we know ourselves to be..."
You have emoted: Breandryn squirms slightly, slipping back to sit on her heels as she gives a slight, uncomfortable nod. It's clear this is a truth she is aware of, but rarely likes to look at. "There are realities where I am without Xypher," she murmurs, biting her lip. "Realities where I never met beautiful you, or my lovely Rolan, or kind Steingrim-" The thought seems to overwhelm her and her breath catches as she blinks rapidly, trying to stem off tears.
"There are those realities," Pash agrees, unable to hide the truth of it from you, but offering her wide-lipped smile all the same. "There are also many realities where you are with all of us, in some form or another. You are only a monster if you let yourself be a monster." She places one of her webbed fingers against her flattened nose, adding that, "The monster of you cannot hurt you."
You have emoted: Breandryn seems reluctantly convinced, slowly but eventually smiling. She reaches out to give your hand a squeeze, softly repeating, "Thank you. For...lots of things. And I am sorry." She blushes. "An Archprelate should not be so weak."
Pash returns the squeeze with one of her own, electricity bouncing across her slick, swampy flesh. "You are honest," she points out, "And kind. Creative. Ambitious. You speak about things like this, which is a tender subject." She makes a dismissing, butterfly-esque gesture to the side with her free hand. "That's not weakness, Breandryn."
You have emoted: Breandryn chews her lip for a moment as she lapses into silent thought, before giving a sudden, decisive nod.
(Illuminati): You say, "Pash has diplayed exceptional fortitude under unstable and dangerous paradigmatic conditions. An impressive amount of calm and insight was demonstrated and, using the knowledge she has gained so far, she was able to not only calm a storm of possibilities, she was able to shift a solution into place. For this, she has proven herself worth of advancement."
You bestow your guildfavor upon Pash.
(Illuminati): You say, "Congratulations, Pash. We shall have a ritual for you to complete and then you shall become a full Illuminatus."
(Illuminati): Pash says, "Ah. Many thanks! I hope not to disappoint..."
(Illuminati): Alaksanteri (from the Aetherways) says, "Nicely done!"
You have emoted: Breandryn smiles shyly in return, nodding once more. "Xypher will handle leading the ritual," she explains, and then blushes as she stoutly declares "...and I will fight him if he dares question your worthiness for it."
(Illuminati): Shintar (from the Fire Elemental Plane) says, "Good workings."
"I am sure he trusts your judgment," Pash admits, her cheeks darkening as a blush spreads across them. "I hope that I won't disappoint during the ritual."
You have emoted: Breandryn mirrors your blush, a giggle slipping out as she confesses, "I made a LOT of mistakes during my own. You will be fine."
Stifling a sudden yawn, you say, "Oh, but I'm tired now. That...drained me."
Pash gives an uncertain bob of her head, dimples forming in her cheeks. "Yes, I suppose I will," she agrees, rising from her seated position carefully. "You should rest."
With an indifferent stare, Pash slowly blinks one eye and then the other.
You give a fragile prismatic butterfly to Mystic Pash.
Pash clasps the paper butterfly between her hands gently. "This is very pretty."
With another bright smile and a quick hug, you say, "Thank you. Take care. I love you. You are pretty."
--- The end ---