A thing that happened that was pretty cool between @Salome and I (@Silvanus was there for a while and @Crek made a guest appearance). @Viravain this is why she wasn't responsive immediately please don't be mad at her because of me!
The surrounding shadows stretch and writhe, coiling lovingly around Salome as she enters from the north.
Brushed by a passing wing, you turn to watch Salome circle slowly around you, making note of your every detail.
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "It's been quite some time, Brother."
His voice as taught as a wire, you say, "I am glad to see the Prince is loitering about when our enemies attack."
Coloured with dark amusement, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Is he?"
You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
Bowing to one knee and extending his athame, the point facing the earth, you say to Salome, "His mistakes can be forgiven. I am much more pleased to see you once more than disappointed in his inaction."
She is a nimble shadowcaster faeling shadowed demigoddess changeling and is utterly blackened by the twisting, undying shadows that bleeds a cloying, mesmerizing scents of wyrden flora and fungi, laced with the underlying aroma of old death. Unsoftened by such is the additional undercurrent of a funerary headiness of dried roses and hemlock balm that overwhelms and intimidates the senses with visions of moonless nights dancing in blurry frames of faceless bodies. Her figure cuts a looming shadow, taller than an elfen and belied with more grace than the common slaugh or wraith which sends her wings to spread wide to blot out the sun in her shadow if it were by the will of the Dark Mother.
Divergent tendrils of shadow curl and caress about her form with the delicacy of a lover upon her bone-white flesh which is drawn taut across her zaftig, brutally refined features. While each is finer than the last it is the marbled sense of frozen beauty untouched that truly epitomize the more savage visage of comeliness in her pupil-less melanoid eyes that hold not even the twinkling light of wayward stars. Her hair is now but a cloud of sterling viper-like locks streaked with the stygian shadows that pulse down her skin, moving in and out in an eternal dance that is both ceaseless and haunting. Wings as wide as those in crowform are spears of razor feathers sprout from her supine back in a violent burst of the same milky silver of her hair, clutched with dewey webs of spiders that crawl and manifest along her skin to form new strands even as she takes flight. She is wearing lots of clothing and the Fingerblade of dha'Wyrden-cree. Tattooed on her face is an illustration of the eyes of Moon's despair.
Atop her head, two brilliantly alabaster horns thrust straight upwards, curving only slightly at the
tips. So smooth are their exteriors that they resemble marble more than bone, their bright white
complexions marred only by incredibly faint veins of silver and gold.
He is a nimble shadowcaster faeling and has olive skin and black hair, the messy, shaggy locks similar to baby bat wings. Eyes the colour of rich, dark chocolate are drawn and weary, heavy circles sagging underneath them like small half-moons. A smattering of freckles flare across the bridge of his slightly upturned nose and cheeks, directly above thin lips that seem perpetually drawn into a tight, indifferent line above his pointed chin. Wiry arms and legs lead out of a small torso, only the faintest hint of muscle visible on them. His wings, while mostly translucent grey, have pitch black circles and whorls through them, the outer border of the sylphine appendages
incandescently white. He is wearing another decent amount of clothing.
The coils of shadow extending out in a languid embrace to you, the Mark of Darkness flaring above her heart, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "As I am pleased to see you remaining where the Wyrd truly lies. Our Mothers seek a new brood-child for their plots in the City of Flames."
Rising from his bow to take up an air of boredom and surly indifference, you say, "If our mothers wish me to take to the Flamecity, then they may ask it of our Lady. Should She deem such a holiday necessary, I will take it."
Simply, you say, "Otherwise, my place is by your side, Sister."
Her intonation the sharpest hint of chill, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "When you have not been wandering with our Dark Mother. You have duties now to perform."
His mouth drawn into a tired line, you say to Salome, "She has taken me on a long journey, sisterling,and I have seen much of Her face that was unknown to me before. You know well it is only the highest calling that draws me from my duty."
Gently drawing several fingers across her brother's freckled brow, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "All shall be well, in time. The shadows call for many to slumber, we must resist the dreams of comfort."
Furrowing his brow slightly, frowning at the ground as he speaks, you say to Salome, "I wish it had been a comforting slumber, my sister. I fear I have seen little rest since I last left your side, as She has kept my weavings to Herself."
Nodding thoughtfully, her full rose-blush lips creasing into a delicate line, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "She grants no rest to those who have not yet fulfilled their purposes for Her will."
A soft sigh escaping his lips as he rubs the back of his neck, you say to Salome, "So long as there are those who oppose Her, I fear we shall never see rest. I wish I knew how you managed to keep so energetic, sister."
Her cold black eyes lowering to you with a semblance of exhaustion, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Resilience must be taught, I too have had my dreams and my Black Sorrows." She tips her nose away, gazing at the closest pairs of crimson avian eyes staring from the boughs of the Ravenwood. "And they must be confessed if I am to proceed, as all proceed in the Wyrd."
Linkings his hands together in a nest behind his neck, cradling his head in the interlaced fingers while his elbows, you say, "If there's something that can exhaust you, I don't look forward to taking it on. But I suppose now that I'm the Dynasty's representative, I have to act the part." He grimaces for a moment, as though there were something dirty under his nose or a bad taste in his mouth, "Dressing the part still sounds like a no, though."
With a gentle bout of laughter, its glacial notes ringing wide and up through the branches, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "We must be the platform on which the Dynasty flourishes now. I was trained for this purpose, and continue to be educated." The light in her face dies away with sudden solemnity, as her voice grows hushed at the rustle of murders above. "You must now undertake the education that I have endured."
Stumbling suddenly as though pushed and raising his hands defencively, you say, "Wait, wait wait!" His voice is suddenly two octaves higher, his eyes wide, "I'm not the person you're looking for for that, I don't know how to be all...sisterly!"
Floundering, waving his hands in a vague gesture at you, you exclaim, "I don't even have a word for it, it's just how you act!"
Amusement lining her features, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Merely because of my air of aristocracy and high society is prevalent to the source of my external, does not require me to be less qualified to teach you how to become a proper Warlord."
A nail tracing your cheek, leaving a trail of chill behind, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "There is very little that you know, very little indeed. And now that our Mothers have left us,you are my charge."
Wincing at your words, eyes flitting around rapidly, you say, "Right, but...um..." He pauses for a moment, then smiles to himself before continuing, "If you're teaching me, then who's going to preside over the Court? Why don't you just get me your old teacher?""
Darkly, the back of her hand lifting your chin, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "I can do both, you feckless boy." Her eyes shift with shadowfire, the familiar stirrings of a fury of storms. "For too long you have kept hidden underneath the lazier wing of the Scythe, it is now my turn to show you the truth."
Lamely, you say, "But...but..."
Calmly, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Do you not see what she has done, Niico?"
You have emoted: Niico Nightshade shakes his head, his cheeks burning a dark crimson as he tries to avoid Salome's gaze, fingering the point of his athame nervously.
Firmly, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia intones, "She cultivated your weakness, by leaving it untended. She placed all of her energy, pressed all of her cruelty and hardness upon myself so that I may survive. She did not grant you the same courtesy, nor the same time."
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says to you, "That changes now."
You have emoted: Niico shrugs, glancing at the ground and rubbing his arm.
You say, "You're the one she saw taking over after she was done, so she trained you."
Taking a stride closer to her brother, her footfalls allowing shadow to writhe at every step, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "She has cultivated unnecessary weakness. And has left me the leavings of her failure. If I cannot rely on you, then what exactly is your use?" She smiles coldly, the gentle guise slipping to reveal a flash of razor teeth. "It matters not who she left this to, it matters who remains. And you have denied your full potential for so long..." With a trace of a hand on your cheek, her voice softens. "Let me help you."
You have emoted: Niico Nightshade pauses, rolling his athame in one palm loosely before raising his head to look at Salome and opening his eyes wide in curiosity.
The saccharine tones of her voice lulling further, her lips curling upwards at their corners, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Shall you let me help you, brother?"
Glancing nervously down before looking back up again, you say, "I...I don't..." He taps his athame against his leg, frowning at it for a moment before he seems to make up his mind, raising his eyes to his sister once more, "You're the success, and I'm...I'm the failure. If you can help or fix me, then I'd be stupid to say no."
Resolve lifting her jaw, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Very well." Without hesitation, the faeling's long talons strike in a blur of motion as their black, polished gleam plunges into her brother's right eye socket. In one singular motion, the eye is ripped cleanly away with a force so strong that Niico is flung to the earth. "This," she says, holding thusly with bloodied fingertips, "Is your first lesson."
You have emoted: A sharp cry of pain, loud and horrific, escapes Niico's mouth as he lays on the floor, the hand that had fiddled with an athame just seconds before clutching the bloodied socket. He quickly stifles the yell into whimpering grunts, tears escaping his good eye despite it being firmly shut from view.
Barely audible whispers permeate the air as Crek enters from the north, a cloud of translucent figures trailing after.
Inclining her head to Crek, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Hello, Eye of Crow. There is something that I must entrust to you."
Crek tilts his head curiously at Salome and offers a soft "Hmm?" in her direction.
Pausing for a moment, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "But perhaps..." She turns the bloodied eye over in her fingers, the pupil left in permanent shock and horror upon her palm. "Yes. This shall be an addition to my lesson," she turns her eyes to Niico writhing amongst the roots. "My Brother has accepted my mentorship, I am cleansing him of his mercy."
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow smiles and says to Salome, "The Scourge always enjoys shiny or priceless trinkets within his nest."
You have emoted: Niico's mouth opens for a moment but the muted grunts quickly escalate into another cry of pain. Just as quickly as it is given birth, it is stifled, the faeling rolling to his other side and grabbing weakly at shadows scattered across the clearing with the hand not pressed protectively over his left eye.
Crek bursts into a fit of giggles, ending with an abrupt and surprising snort.
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says to Crek, "Yes, I expected as much." She turns her gaze idly to her struggling kin upon the ground.
Crek hums a happy tune.
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow says, "Such a gift. Such a loving sister."
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow says to you, "You will be so much more... focused."
You have emoted: As sinuous tendrils of darkness squirm, delighted at Niico's touch, along his arm, he quickly flexes his fingers, directing them to his head as his laboured breathing quickens, wrapping around his head in a loving caress before quickly focusing on the right side, the side pressed close to the ground.
Her voice rich with a sneer, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "I am kind."
Crek nods solemnly to Salome.
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow says to Salome, "Teaching your younger brother of the Blood Thirst and Black Sorrow. Patience and control. Something so many forget."
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says to Crek, "Something he has been failing in, since he was a child in these woods. I ask for your blessing, in the stead of Father Emar to watch over him."
Crek's eyes sparkle with amusement.
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow says to Salome, "If you are asking me to take him under my wing and feed the boy like I would a fledgling the answer is no. I am much too old."
Druid Crek Ysav'rai, Eye of Crow says to Salome, "But should you require assistance in teaching him the ways of Mighty Crow, always."
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says to you, "You. Come with me. He does not like to be kept waiting."
You have emoted: His whimpers growing ever quieter, Niico Nightshade slowly pushes himself to a wobbling stand, shadows swarming about the empty socket his eye once took residence in and drinking at the blood pooling there hungrily. He weakly reaches out for Salome's forearm with one hand, the other still firmly pressed over his good eye.
You begin to follow Salome.
Turning to Crow, and groveling to the boughs with her wings spread wide, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "O! Great Brother Crow, you who have vast understanding and were created unto the Wyrd to fly above its majesty - I come with offering of my kin's eye (though pittance it may be to You, Mighty One), to beseech for You a sign of blessing upon this fledgling's teaching." She gestures to Niico. "I beg upon my life as Your carrion servant."
Salome lifts her palms, extending forth the newly plucked eye near the beak of Great Crow.
You have emoted: Niico Nightshade stifles a whimpering sob, dropping to his knees in front of Crow, next to Salome. His side, however, is shy from his sister, veering ever so slightly away from her.
Salome lowers the eye to the taloned feet of Crow, her eyes tracing his striking plumage.
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Niico Nightshade comes in place of servants who have betrayed You. That which is known as Celina Nightshade and Astraea Nightshade. Thus, he will take upon the mantle of Your savant, in time. This we swear, this we solemnly shall uphold."
Salome Nightshade inches from the feet of Crow, dragging you away with her as she rises and lifts his face which already bears the brusing of the blood vessels knitting from the shadows about.
Salome caresses you gently.
You shiver violently.
His voice hoarse and quiet, you say, "Y-you..." He exhales heavily, panting slightly for a few moments before continuing, "You could have warned me first."
You have emoted: Niico gives a weak, dry laugh, wincing and moving his hand towards the shadow-infested socket, tenderly probing the skin around it and jerking every time it nears the emptiness itself.
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "You are not worthy of a warning, as we all are not. There is no warning for the cruelties of this world, and we have no mercy for those who do so unto us. If you cannot strike without it, then you will not know the blade that is sharp enough for a true Scythe."
With no remorse, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia remarks, "You are a boy no longer. You shall begin in seeking what I first sought: The Heart of the Wyrd."
Curiosity entering his voice, though it is still slightly wounded, you say, "It's...it's not coming back. How...what...?" He pauses at your words, though, and nods slowly at you. "How shall I proceed, sister?"
Patience etched in her voice, Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Find what you believe to be the Heart of the Wyrd."
Hoarsely, more to his own self than anything, you say, "The Heart of the Wyrd..."
Salome Nightshade, the Sublime Aphotia says, "Consider it, then we shall continue with small tasks."
Salome gestures with a flick of her long, black-tipped nails, the alabaster of her slender palm denoting acknowledgment.