Not long before the final trial of Ascension...
(Order): @Maylea says, "I feel a terrible premonition..."
(Order): @Lief says, "My Lady, I think I've felt echoes of it, too - when I sit down to meditate, to write, I can't focus like I should."
(Yneli): Maylea says, "The premonition is as if... the world might fade away, and all colours leech from existence."
(Yneli): Lief says, "But You've helped give the world such colour."
(Yneli): Lief says, "Could Ghani...could the Soulless One take them away? What You and - and all of us have created?"
(Yneli): Maylea says, "I have not felt so terrible since the time of Our exile. Something is approaching. Perhaps it is Kethuru... but not as in other years. I can feel the trembles of His straining against the very bonds of existence."
(Yneli): Lief says, "Can... He feed while He's imprisoned? I've read...it's such a terrible thing."
(Yneli): You say, "That is... most frightening. If even You can't fathom exactly what is coming, My Lady."
[Lief and Naevari exchanged tells around here. I managed to grab Lief's from TELLS, but Naevari's are lost forever. I'll try and recapture the gist of what I remember him saying, though.]
Lief tells you, "We've got to be strong."
Lief tells you, "She told me - our Lady - that we're Her hope. We shards, I mean."
[Naevari says something to the effect of, "We do - of course we do. Have to be strong, I mean, if we're Her only hope. Nothing will be gained from huddling terrified behind trees. But it *is* frightening; I think it's wise to be frightened, during times like these."]
Lief tells you, "What frightens me most is how unruffled so many others seem to be. Not from bravery - it's as though they don't see it or sense it themselves."
[Naevari says something to the effect of, "I suppose because they've seen similar events so many times before. But it *will* be different this time; Lady Maylea said as much. I only hope their hubris doesn't betray us."]
Lief tells you, "If we're to be Hope, it must mean some very dark times are coming."
(Yneli): Maylea says, "Watch the Astral Plane during Ascension, My dears. My heart is chilled. The Wyrd and the Taint should not be the only bastions against the devouring of the world."
(Yneli): Lief says, "I know so many within the Serenwilde have put their entire souls into averting disaster - but we will attend, even if we've no champion."
(Yneli): Lief says, "I will, at least."
(Yneli): Maylea says, "You are champions, My dears."
(Yneli): You say, "Of course, Lady Maylea. I will do as You say, although I fear I'm only very small still, in the scheme of things."
(Yneli): Lief says, "We are Yours, and we're our own - we've got to be."
(Yneli): Maylea says, "You have the gift of words, dear ones. Do not let those of the First Forest give up hope, nor those among your allies. "
(Yneli): Maylea says, "Whatever it is, the First World rises together, or falls together."
(Yneli): You say, "I... will do my best to encourage them, then, should I see their spirits flagging. I don't know what I'll be able to say, but I'll try. I trust in Your judgment, of course."
(Yneli): Lief says, "We both will, my Lady."
(Yneli): Lief says, "You're stronger than you think, Naevari."
(Yneli): You say, "Perhaps... But I think maybe you'll do better than I will, Lief."
A beam of moonlight comes down from the sky and bathes you in light.
Lief dances down a moonbeam and alights gently on the ground.
A handsome, white stag with creamy white wings trots in from the ether.
Within Ellindel Arboretum.
Sparks of pulsing yellow light float in the air, cast from a shield shrine of Maylea nearby. Superimposed over this location, an ethereal forest reaches up to the sky. It is rather chilly. This carefully cultivated area consists of many white stone paths winding their way between many delicate flowerbeds. A tall building of glass rises up to the south, where a large archway leads invitingly inside. To the east, a fast-flowing river winds through the shrubs and carved trees, whilst to the north a white stone bridge leads across the river and out into the wild forests. A handsome, white stag with creamy white wings wanders about here, his head held regally. Awanydd Lief Myeras Silvermoon is here. She wields a golden whip of the pious in her left hand and a white blossom shield in her right.
You see exits leading north, east, southeast, south, southwest, and west.
Lief sits her hands upon her hips and stares at you, her grey eyes quiet.
Hand still clutching at his head, you say to Lief, "Oh." He starts to, suddenly, the beginnings of a distant smile tugging at his lips. His eyes look worried, though. "Lief. What a coincidence."
"We need to be equals in this." Lief doesn't acknowledge the greetings. Her wings hum behind her, keeping her at eye level, and her every muscle is tense as though wound a touch too tightly.
The smile slips instantly from Naevari's face, replaced by an expression of deadly seriousness. He bobs his head in a steady nod of agreement. "I've every intention of giving it my all, Lief. I promise you that I will. But whatever small gift I have for words, I can't imagine that it rivals your own."
Lief's lips twist and contort, utterly incapable of finding some semblance of peace. Slowly comes an inhale, swelling her lungs and dropping her hands to her sides; her exhale flares her nostrils and bows her head with the faint chiming of silver chains. "You discredit yourself," she says quietly.
If the faeling's gaze drops, the elfen's only continues to meet it the more steadily, until finally Naevari shakes his head in a slow, clipped arc of motion. "No," he says simply, in a flat tone. "It's no discredit to acknowledge myself less than you. I don't think I've ever heard another mortal soul who shared your gift, Lief."
"Naevari," Lief says, her eyes lifting to find yours once more. In the sunlight, the blinking silver fireflies which drift about the elfen and the faeling barely offer any illumination, but they're still there nonetheless, tiny sparkles which fade in and out of view. She wings in closer, lightly touching both of your shoulders by her fingertips. "Please," is all she can manage to say.
If Naevari flinches - and he may - it's in an almost imperceptible way, even to the touch. Still, his eyes do widen a bit, and he breathes, just barely audible, "Lief..." Slowly, very slowly, his hands rise, until they hover in the air, just inches to either side of her face. Softly, his eyes flitting periodically between her own, he asks, "What would you have me do?"
"It's not a matter of 'better', or 'stronger'." Curling into your shoulders, Lief's fingers squeeze, and in that moment you might feel her faintly trembling. "Please remember that. Please don't stay silent." With that, she lets you go, winging back a small distance. Her entire form seems to be trembling, now, and she gives her head a little shake. "I'm going to help them seal the hordes," she says, her throat tight.
"Lief," Naevari repeats again, his eyes still locked on her own. "I promise - I will lend my voice to yours." And then, a moment later, in the same calm, serious voice, he adds, "And I'll go with you now, to help you seal the hordes, if any remain." Twin shofa appear in his hands, then, so quickly that some might miss seeing him draw them. And then he falls in behind Lief, ready to support her in whatever battle lies ahead.
* * *
[Later, before I logged off...]
(Serenwilde): You say, "Farewell for the moment, Seren. And... hold fast to hope. The Basin has seemed at the brink of doom before, and it's always survived."
(Listeners): You say, "Take care, Listeners."
(Serenwilde): Lief says, "Fare you well, Naevari."