Salome was summoned by @Viravain
, with an unexpected proposition.
You fall to the ground and implore Mother Night for her dark favour. A glittering wall of darkness
sweeps up before you, and a shadowy female figure emerges. She bends down and kisses you on the
forehead and you scream in a mixture of pain and ecstasy as her dark power infuses your very being.
Faint whispers of invisible, silken threads brush against your skin, and the chittering of spiders
reaches your ears.
Salome lifts her eyes keenly, blinking at the subtle sound.
(Seekers of the Rose): You say, "Hail, Lady of Thorns."
(Seekers of the Rose): Viravain says, "Hello, Salome. Let us speak."
(Seekers of the Rose): You say, "As You command, Lady. Where shall this take place?"
(Seekers of the Rose): Viravain says, "Within the portal."
The Bower of Grasping Thorns.
Hand-long thorns pierce a cocoon of ebon silk, forming a bower of thousand-barbed walls. Between
great gashes in the silk, a garden grasped in endless twilight is visible, its paths and trellises
twisted with black rose vines. Long tapestries of cunningly-worked wool studded with black diamonds
glitter in the light of a single wax-papered lantern hung from the centre of the arched ceiling. The
air is thick with the scent of rotting petals and loam. Filling the air with a low-pitched thrum, a
vibrating Divine portal floats here. Viravain, Lady of the Thorns hovers here, enshrouded within an
ambiance of unnatural darkness. She wields a wickedly curved scythe with both hands.
You see a single exit leading through a vibrating Divine portal.
Thorns writhe from their places in the cocoon, slithering together into a throne. Black roses
blossom in the seat and upon the arms, bearing the Lady of Thorns up into the embrace of the vines.
You drop to one knee, demonstrating your humility and respect.
Gazing down at you, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "I am please with you, Salome. You act with
the grace and perfection of My web."
Remaining unmoving, you say, "I am honoured to hear of Your pleasure concerning myself, Lady. I
strive for the Glomdoring, for the Wyrd, as well."
She is a radiant immortal and is possessed by a ghostly countenance that haunts the very depths of
Her being. Shimmering hair the colour of a harsh winter's snow spills over Her shoulders and down
Her back in a straight fall, meticulously twisted into a loose plait mid-back with a single bit of
silver thread. Striking pale blue eyes are deep set within Her youthful face, haunted and fathomless
as they rarely stay focused in a single place. As befitting Her youthful appearance, Her figure is
slight and willowy and each of Her arms is slender, ending in sylphlike fingers and meticulously
sculpted nails. Dark shadows swarm sinuously at the corners of Her slender silhouette, their
movements manifesting a phantasm of bewitching grace. She is wearing a tenebrous gown of manifold
shadows, a hooded cloak of stygian darkness and a crown of midnight black roses.
Laying Her scythe across Her lap, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "They are as one, entwined, and
the Wyrd shall break like false dawn on the remainder of the Basin."
Thoughtfully, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "It is time for you to turn your hand and your eyes
more fully to the pursuits of the web."
Viravain purses Her lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as She carefully gathers Her
A glint in Her eye, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Grace of word, grace of movement, grace of
respect. All of these are subtle knives with which a skilled Shadowdancer may craft her web and her
Viravain strokes a wickedly curved scythe tenderly.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "You have embodied them in service to the Wyrd."
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "It is time for you to bring these lessons to the young."
Tears flow freely from your eyes as Viravain, Lady of the Thorns appoints you to Weaver of the Web.
Viravain graciously grants you entrance into the Divine Order of Viravain, Lady of the Thorns.
Congratulations, and may you serve your God well.
Her jewel-tone eyes glimmering in a cast of shadow, gazing up to the Goddess, you say, "My heart
overflows with gratitude at this opportunity. Your will being done by my hand shall not ever be
The throne of thorns writhes: writhes and descends, hovering before you scant handspans from the
ground. With a fluid gesture of Her wrist, Viravain turns Her palm upwards: in the hollow, a tiny,
crimson-marked black spider waits.
Viravain smiles softly.
Softly, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "This is one of My children, Salome."
With a chitter, the spider waves its front two legs at you. Eight eyes glitter alertly from atop its
Her lips curling faintly, you say, "How beautiful she is, as she greets me. The efforts of Your
creation, I recognize each day."
Viravain smiles softly at you.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "How sweetly your praises of Me fall from your lips, Salome."
Viravain brushes Her hand against your cheek. The spider crawls across Her fingers and across your
Your scalp tingles as the spider creeps behind your ear and begins to weave a tiny web amidst the
Softly, you say, "It has been sometime, since I have seen You as flesh." She shudders momentarily,
reaching for the spider with her slender, webbed hands. "I will cherish these moments, when I can."
Faded motes of green impinge on the chill blue of Viravain's eyes, and a strange youth suffuses Her
Bending in close to whisper in your ear, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Listen to Me carefully,
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "The Forest is wounded. It is not as it was."
The scent of roses chokes at you, sickening and sweet all at once as it blots out every hint of air
You nod solemnly.
Harshly, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "The young forget to keep civil tongues in their heads.
The Shadow Court plots amongst itself. Even the weapons I wield are harsher than they once were. But
we must do what we can, for the Wyrd, for the glory of the Glomdoring."
Salome continues in her silence, the blinking of her amphibious, shimmering eyes the only acknowledgement as she listens.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "The young are the hope of the webs to be woven. They are the
knives to be sharpened - but without a proper example of mercy and merciless in equal accord,
without the subtle arts of soft words, soft smiles, and knives held behind their backs..."
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "They cannot thrive. The rich glory of the Wyrd cannot take root
in fallow soil."
Leaning back into the embrace of Her throne, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "You must guide the
young to give glory and respect to the Wyrd, to respect their elders, and their Elders, to speak
carefully, and to never show their contempt from behind their smiles."
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "The arts of subtlety have been... sadly neglected."
Viravain strokes a wickedly curved scythe tenderly.
Shadows grow longer in anticipation for the return of their dark mistress as Father Sun's chase
brings him closer to the world's edge.
You have emoted: Salome nods curtly, her face lifting to gaze up brazenly at the Lady of the Thorns.
She smiles then, with her maw of pointed teeth, a tiny wasp buzzing through the gaps of her canines.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Here now is My command."
Viravain smiles down at you, Her eyes utterly without warmth.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Find three amidst the Forest. They are to emulate you."
Thoughtfully, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "For you shall be their teacher, and their all.
Cultivate their decorum, their words of praise, their embodiment of the Wyrd. Lead them in ritual,
You nod your head emphatically.
Tapping Her fingers against the briar of Her throne, Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Bring them
to Me when they are ready to serve."
Shadows flicker over the blue surface of Viravain's eyes like crows over snow.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "To restore the Glomdoring to what it was, I shall need many
The ghost of a smile passes fleetingly across Viravain's lips as She glances at you.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Equally talented ones."
As the sun passes below the horizon's edge, Mother Night unveils her terrible, shadowy beauty,
spreading darkness across the land.
Viravain closes Her eyes and inhales deeply, absorbing the scent of Her surroundings.
Gripping at the athame by her calve, you say, "It is unlikely that my unique talents can be found as
naturally as they were by Yourself. I will hone them, as I hone the edge of my own scythe."
Viravain taps Her fingers together and murmurs, "Excellent..."
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "Go then. Begin your work. Report to Me when it is complete."
With a majestic wave of Her arm, Viravain opens up a rift in the aetherways, fluctuating oddly
before it settles down into a vibrating Divine portal.
You humbly drop one knee to the ground before Viravain, genuflecting reverently in Her presence.
Viravain, Lady of the Thorns says, "I shall await your report."
Viravain leans back into the thorns, Her eyes slipping closed.
You say, "It shall come, when spiders hatch."
The apple is cold, crisp, and sour as the juices fill your mouth. As you consume the fruit, you glimpse, for a moment, a massive, shadowy figure, Her snow-white hair framing a perfect, icy-eyed visage. Beneath you, a vast, perfect web of silken strands lies - and, for a moment, you realize that you too are part of it, weaver and strand both - and home.