This is what the Sowers do! The following is the vision quest done with @Ani
to mark her progress from a Rootweir of the guild.
You put a Lossel's orchanet into a living alembic of pitcher plants and vines.
You put a delicate bouquet of elderflowers into a living alembic of pitcher plants and vines.
With a tap of your fingers, you stir one of the pitcher plants from its slumber, causing it to feast upon the gifted elderflower and Lossel's orchanet as it begins to extract their essence. Through the vines, the oraculum ferments and distills, dripping like honeyed syrup into a nearby goblet.
You take a tarnished silver goblet from a living alembic of pitcher plants and vines.
As old as it is tarnished, this goblet is a testament to the trials of time. The lip of the cup isrounded and curved, allowing the imbiber comfort as the contents of the vessel pass through the lips, and the stem is thick and coiled, like a series of branches woven together. Stretching outward from the bottom of the goblet is the circular base, which has been stretched and striated to represent above-ground roots. Red rust collects along the outside of the cup, as if moss were collecting on the bark of an ancient tree, and thin etchings have been long worn away as days stretched into years, rendering these secrets long lost.
There's the scent of refreshing pixie wine upon the goblet.
It weighs about 3 pounds and 2 ounce(s).
White wine sloshes about in it.
It has the following aliases: goblet, cup.
The light of Mother Moon drifts through the windows to cast long beams across the hallways.
Lief raises a tarnished silver goblet to her nose, breathing in its fragrance with a sunny smile. "Autumn's a good time for wine," she says appreciatively.
(Sowers): Aruokei says, "Something came up, I'm sorry."
(Sowers): You say, "Not at all!"
Ani peers into a tarnished silver goblet before taking a sniff, "Also with mead!"
Ani sniffs the air while fluttering a cute little rabbit nose.
You grin mischievously at Ani.
You whisper to Ani, "Is she with Millien?"
Ani nods her head sagely at you.
Lief nods knowingly, then leads the way out, her dragonfly wings a gentle hum behind her.
Ani follows you out.
In the shadier part of the dome, the amber wood-traced panels seem to be more subdued to allow plant-life to flourish, but in return, they possess a blue-white bioluminescence that fills this garden. Patches of fae mushrooms, next to some copses of willows pop out little spores from one to another in some playful game - sending them to land upon many begonias, bleeding hearts, primrose, and forget-me-nots that are coming to the end of their bloom. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Rooted deep into the forest's soil, an apple tree covers the ground in thick shade with its dense canopy.
You see exits leading north and in.
Ani follows you north.
Pergolas of moonflower and jasmine.
Worn white steps lead up to the many small pergolas spread beneath the Ambervault's high panelswhere foliage and structure are seamlessly dappled with amber-emerald hues. What were once delicate moonflowers have crinkled and desiccated into fluttering, brown husks that float across the horizon of the pergolas, nary a scent upon them unlike when they are fresh bloom. The frosted glass of the pergolas is supported on pillars of honey-stained oak, carved with the symbols of the spirits of the First Forest. A moon lantern hangs supended at each pergola, lit with silver faeriefire and follows the fading white of the gravel path in many directions. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading north, northeast, east, south, southwest, and west.
Ani follows you north.
Ellindel amongst the bluebells.
The vibrancy of the moonlight-blue of this bluebell garden has softened, their petals crinkled with brown veins and stems slowly drying out as they reach a time of rest. Like little floating willowisps, the aging growth has reclaimed the gravel path built around them, forming broadly into a trifold-knotwork path ensnared by sepia beauty beneath the shade of mighty oak trees. At the centre of this path, two sacred moonhart trees are entwined in loving embrace, their boughs losing leaves occasionally in a fluttering downfall of grey-brown. Nearby, a pool of glimmering water can be found with swans taking their rest within the soothing rushes at its edge. A statue of a robed woman stands beneath a veil of moss, holding aloft a crystal dagger of dancing blue flames. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading east, southeast, and south.
Lief winds through the garden paths to a pair of sacred, entwined moonhart trees and bows her antlered head toward a crystal statue nearby. She motions Ani closer and says, "Let's honour our forebears before we begin."
Ani follows you in silence, a slight bounce in her step and ears perked as the two come to stand before a crystal statue. She cups a glowing moonflower between her paws, and nods to you, before she takes a step forward and kneels before the statue. She lifts the delicate bloom, her voice barely above a whisper, "Dearest Ellindel, the First of Wiccans and Healer of Fae, blessed are we to know of you, blessed are those that follow in your footsteps. We thank you and honour your memory, and so vow to continue your work, and in yours and your hearthmate's dream." She places the moonflower at the base of the statue and stands again, turning to you with a bright smile.
As the words are spoken, Lief's grey eyes light with sparkling motes of colour, lazy pale blues and greens swimming about her irises. Clasping her hands together, she bows her vine-wreathed, antlered head as she listens to Ani's prayer, and lingers in silence for a few moments longer. "Beautifully spoken," she murmurs when she finally raises her head again, then turns to wander the paths clockwise toward the next destination.
Ani spares a look at a crystal statue, touching her heart and bowing slightly before resuming her step beside you, ready to follow again.
Ani follows you east.
Beneath a vaulted, ivy-snared bower.
The distant sound of chimes invokes a sense of otherworldliness here. Aging honey-bees buzz to among themselves in the crisp air as they float among the remaining flowers upon this archway wreathed in bright reddening ivy, which bears the wilting remains of delicate lilies, snapdragons, and roses, and little buds of fruit that ripen into the bright colours of harvest with each passing moment. Several dangling lengths of ivy trail down to the ground where the white gravel path melds into soft beds of orange and brown moss that reflect the panes above, which thrum with gold pulses through the Ambervault, winking in and out like trails of faerie dust. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading south, southwest, west, and in.
Ani follows you south.
Glinshari beside an apple tree.
An orchard of bountiful harvest, the air is fragranced with ripe, green-skinned apples and old wood. One towering apple tree rests in the centre of an overgrown path, where moss and tall grasses scatter throughout the area. Old trails to the tree can be seen upon the ground, reminiscent of tawny fingers running along the earth. Other downed apple trees reappear as saplings through some of the grasses, their young branches slowly losing leaves that swirl through the air in shades of gold and red. Cornflowers, chicory and sage wilt along the mighty tree's roots, slowly curling back into the ground as if in preparation for winter. A statue of a leaf-cloaked man stands beneath drooping branches, leaning on a great cudgel of glimmering green light. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading north, west, and northwest.
The fragrance in this orchard is striking and immediate as both Ani and Lief make their way down these paths. She reaches out a hand to gently touch one green-skinned apple, plucking it from a tree overhead and tucking it away before reaching a crystal statue. Her earnest attention swivels around to find Ani again, and here she waits in silence, hands clasping together before her kimono robe again.
Ani steps lightly before a crystal statue, this time a a moonhart leaf clasped between her paws. She kneels upon a patch of moss, holding up the moonhart leaf, "To the First of the Druids, Glinshari Strongleaf, we thank and honour him - wherever he may linger in existence - and vow to continue his work, the dream of his and Ellindel's. With both the gifts of healing and protection, we will one day see the world healed and restored to it's natural state." She places the leaf at the foot of the statue, standing swiftly and wondering to your side again with a nod.
Lief listens keenly to Ani's words, her ears twitching as she bows her head with reverence. Once the leaf is placed, she looks once more to a crystal statue, and her fingertips stretch out to brush its figure's foot with wonder and respect. She nods her head and gently draws away to conclude the circle drawn about the gardens, wending to its centre.
Ani falls in beside you, her eyes wide with wonder as she takes in the surroundings as they walk.
Ani follows you northwest.
A wrinkle of light.
Leading further toward the center of the Ambervault, a path of white stones travels and branchesinto a crossroad within the gardens: a central point found to be directly below the apex of the wood-traced dome. Here, the air shimmers with energy, which mounts just ahead into a wrinkle of light - a fissure between the planes. This strange manifestation casts an ethereal luminosity upon the desiccating plant-life, and indeed, it is extending their life for a mere fleeting moment before their green stems and soft petals become brown and crinkled. In the distance, several floral structures of glass and wood rise into the air, never reaching the curve of the dome above and drinking in its light as if they too were about to hibernate. Radiating from the nearby rift, ethereal energy caresses and suffuses the ground with magic and light. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, in, and through a dimensional rift.
In the distance, drawing closer, is a shimmer of energy and light which draws the eye, and it would seem that Ani and Lief are headed right for it. Near the rift does she finally plant her feet, letting their bare soles sink into the cool, autumn-mulch earth. She gazes up into the perfect centre of the dome's ceiling in quiet contemplation, and then she turns to face Ani. "Before we visit the Last Seed," she says quietly, "let's take a moment to meditate on why we are Sowers. What purpose calls you here to us? What have you learned about yourself in your time with us so far?"
Ani settles opposite you, close to the rift between planes. She casts her eyes around the centre of the Ambervault, taking in all that can be seen, before her eyes rest upon you again. She contemplates the question, brow furrowed and rubbing a paw against her cheek. "Simply, the Sowers wish to see the world healed. It is broken and hurting and needs both a firm yet loving touch to restore it to near-former beauty and health. We know it cannot return to how it began - but still we would try. We recognise that life is a cycle - like the moon, or seasons, tides and such, everything waxes and wanes. A cycle of life, death and rebirth. We would harness this in our work to protect the land and forest, too." She pauses, once again rubbing her cheek. "As for myself... I have learnt some, I suppose. I have felt that I've become more connected not only with the forest itself, but commune members within - and our Lady Bloom, of course! But I also recognise that I still have much to learn and grow!"
Lief's head is tilted up as she listens to Ani, her expression serious, though not somber. Life dances in her eyes: brilliant, verdant life, colours twisting actively like crawling vines, reflecting the ethereal shimmering light which pervades the space around the rift. Something powerful begins to fill the air with Ani's words and Ani's voice, strong and steadying in the cool autumn air. Pierced by afternoon light, casting pastel colours about the earth before her, the faeling's wings give slow, idle beats which never threaten to lift her from the ground as she steps closer to Ani.
In defiance of encroaching winter, a warmth suffuses the air around you, its fragrance redolent with intoxicating moonflowers and sweet peach blossoms.
"You will grow," Lief promises Ani, touching her forearms. "You will grow unrestrained like a wildflower, and wilt, and die, and be reborn again before long. Stronger, ever more radiant." She smiles gently, bowing her antlered head as she withdraws a step. "This I see in you."
Ani smiles softly at you, bowing her own head in return as you withdraws. She places a paw over her heart, lifting her eyes to the faeling again and murmurs, "Thank you for these words, for seeing such in me. I am honoured to be a part of the Sowers and hope to work side-by-side with you and the others in times to come."
"I feel honoured," Lief says in turn, "to have you among us, Ani." She bows her antlered head low, much as she had before the statues. This time, however, the gesture of respect is for Ani. When eventually she lifts her heavy head and rises, she turns, wings humming to lift her from the earth, and approaches the rift.
You place your hands on a dimensional rift and find the link to the ethereal plane. Pulsating energy flares throughout your field of vision, and you find yourself tumbling through the aether pathways.
Ani follows you ether.
The coming of autumn.
A fresh gale whistles in your ears. Leaves of many colours swirl here beneath trees slender and tall, eternally blown about by a scented breeze that brings the odour of harvest and dying foliage, collecting on the ground in a plush layer of greens, browns, reds, yellows, and oranges. The air is cool and crisp, with a beginning nip of frost. Great limbs spring from the white-barked trees, some still full of vibrance and colour, others almost bare of their coverings, stark against the clear sky. Smaller saplings and bushes also spring forth in bright oranges and golden yellows, some bearing bright red berries, heavy on the branches and ready for harvest. Hints of small creatures dart about among the white trunks and leaves, continually collecting nuts and sustenance in preparation for colder climes to come. A platinum stocking has been hung here. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Embraced by a thorn-studded cape of autumnal fog and leaves, Sparrow Longfellow whistles pleasantly to himself and his avian companion. Tweeting melodically in conversation with her fae friend, a yellow-breasted song sparrow flits between the ethereal branches.
You see exits leading northeast, southeast, and through a dimensional rift.
Ani follows you northeast.
It is uncomfortably cold. Unbowed, unbent, and unbroken, colossal trees hewn of blue ice tower overhead as sentinels whose lofty eminence recalls noble Wildewoods clad in frosted verdure. Great limbs spring from the mighty tree trunks, reaching skyward in spirited yearning. Foliage wrought of frozen moonlight adorn the soaring branches and boles stained with caught starlight together bathe the grove in a spectral radiance. No two leaves or flowers are alike for indeed each blade and bloom in sight, though shorn from the same argent lustre, bears singular designs seemingly plucked from the fickle dreams of snowflakes. Frozen fractals float in the air, seemingly arrested mid-fall or perhaps falling infinitely slowly towards the cottony snow drifts blanketing the ground. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading southeast and southwest.
Ani follows you southeast.
It is quite mild. Drops of dew and mist rest, glittering, on a field of young, verdant shoots that bend to some unseen breeze. Patches of golden, bell-shaped plants leap up on stems of fresh green, welcoming the buds of treeflowers and tender leaves that struggle their way out from the bare branches above. An emerald tangle of tendrils wreath the grey-barked sentinels that ring the field, bearing the star-shaped leaves of vines that grow voraciously in the crisp and damp air, which still bears a hint of sharp frost. The smell of rich loam rises from the soft soil, mingling with the everchanging scents of wildflowers that burst into bloom here and there, only to shed their petals and fade, leaving a scatter of brilliant colours on the seeded ground. Borne aloft by phantom winds, a sibylline seed turns and spins freely in mid-air. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground.
You see exits leading southwest and northwest.
Ani cups a tarnished silver goblet between her paws, looking back and forth from you to a sibylline seed.
Glancing behind to make sure the winds don't carry her too far away, Lief leads the way to a sibylline seed, a tarnished silver goblet clasped between both hands. She draws up to it, basking in the mild warmth of springtime, a smile as sunny as the skies on her face. She lifts her goblet toward Ani, as though in toast, and nods. "Drink, and let us read."
Smiling brightly, Ani lifts her goblet to you before taking a deep drink.
Ani sips the Hornsmen's mead from a tarnished silver goblet, her eyes becoming hazy for a few seconds.
You take a long draught of white wine, hoping to quench your thirst.
As you enjoy the refreshing taste of pixie wine, you swoon and feel the language and knowledge of prophecy come upon you.
You read what is written on a sibylline seed:
The seed bears a complex network of markings that merge into enigmatic, ever-shifting lettering.
Ani approaches a sibylline seed and reverently leans in to discern the secrets upon it. The seed glows a multitude of colours in quick succession, and a bright haze passes over Ani's eyes before fading.
You approach a sibylline seed and reverently lean in to discern the secrets upon it. The seed glows a multitude of colours in quick succession before finally settling upon a lovely emerald. The seed's shifting lettering resolves slightly under your oraculum enhanced scrutiny, and you can make out the following words from line four of the prophecy:
... spirits cry, and ...
You feel that this effort has drained you, and slowly, your oraculum-gained insight fades.
Ani passes a paw over her eyes, steadying herself after reading a sibylline seed. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, eyes burning with curiosity finding you. "I saw...A field of green, a farmer singing over crops. The scent.. I could smell?.. the soil after rain..Verdant tendrils binding the sower and and the sowed." She rubs her cheek with a paw as before, "A simple enough vision, but the farmer, the crops and the destruction of weeds can be a metaphor for many things in this world and our work as Sowers, yes?" She bites her lip, feet shuffling.
Lief swoons in the air, and slowly, her wings lower her to the grassy earth near a sibylline seed. She takes a moment to herself while Ani likewise takes time to recover, sinking her hands into the soil. And she breathes, her grey eyes rioting with innumerable prismatic colours which slowly fade as she recovers. When she hears Ani's voice, she looks over to her, and tenses as though to raise herself before ultimately giving in to the gravity of the ground and simply listening. "It can," she says softly, fingers curling into the earth. "The context may well be in the piece of the Prophecy that I read..." This time, she does straighten if only a fraction, and she says, "'...spirits cry, and...'"
Ani sinks down to the ground, letting out a small 'oof' as her rump makes contact with the earth. Her expression is thoughtful, then her brow furrows as she comments, "spirits cry.. that doesn't sound altogether good.."
Lief draws her hands into her lap with one gentle motion as she watches Ani, her attention quiet, eyes inquisitive. "But crying can be a good or bad thing, right?" she says softly, likewise thoughtful. "Crying can mean sorrow - or it can mean crying out. It could be...a call to action, or it could be a moment of rejoicing." Her gaze piercing, she once more focuses on Ani, tilting her antlered head slightly. "Given what you saw, what do you feel?"
Ani tilts her head, pondering. She sits up straighter, ears perking slightly, "It could a moment of joy - satisfaction? Freedom from the weeds!" She dips her head, gathering the end of one ear between her paws.
Lief smiles warmly at Ani, nodding her encouragement. "'Spirits cry' wasn't the only thing I read," she says. "There was the 'and', too...and when a poem ends on an 'and', it becomes all the more significant." She breaks her intent gaze to turn it on a sibylline seed. "So it is with visions, I think. I think you're right - the spirits are not crying out in your vision because of something bad happening, but something wanted. Something 'and'."
As she nods slowly in your direction, you realize Ani understands.
Rootweir Ani smiles impishly and says to you, "I think I was ignoring the and and just seeing that spirits were crying."
Lief's smile presses deeper into her cheeks as she looks back to Ani once more. "What will you do with your vision, Ani? What kind of Sower will you become?"
Rootweir Ani says to you, "I will be like the farmer! Freeing crops from the weeds! Or, well, protecting the crops?"
Ani scratches her head in confusion.
Rootweir Ani smiles impishly and says to you, "I can't sing very well, so we know that's not happening."
Dimples pressing into her cheeks, you say, "'Freeing' and 'protecting' are very different things. Perhaps you'll do both."
Rootweir Ani says to you, "I shall be a Sower of all kinds."
Ani nods her head emphatically.
Ani claps her hands together merrily.
(Sowers): You say, "Ani has completed her vision quest, and she's seen she is to be a Sower who both frees and protects. Well done, Ani!"