Euphony of the Dark Heart -- a Rite of Nascency

RancouraRancoura the Last Nightwreathed QueenCanadaMember Posts: 1,497 Transcendent
Every Nascent (GR1) in the Auguries is given the option to undergo a Rite of Nascency (not to be confused with the Rite of Awakening), which is a ritual written especially and uniquely for each individual, when prepared to move up through the guild. @Olethea has had an interesting journey which finally led her to the Augural Covenant, and so her Rite reflects that.

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The Roots of the Dark Forest.
The shadowy outline of a twisted forest casts a dark gloom here. An enveloping sensation of deepest night pervades this massive subterranean chamber. The walls and ceiling are adorned with a spellbinding network of tree roots, which emerge from the corners as thick as two feet in diameter and gradually taper to hair-width along their tangled, twisting paths. Sycamore and birch, yew and fir, willow, beech, pine, and ash, chestnut, hemlock, blackthorn, rowan, and most of all, stygian ravenwood; every type of tree in the forest seems to be represented in the myriad hues of brown, grey, and black that crawl and intertwine over every surface. The soil between each root has been sealed in with tar, hardened and polished to a dusky matte finish. Upon closer inspection of the walls, rune-like symbols carved into the roots become apparent. Crows, spiders, bats, wasps, beetles, and scorpions are embellished in an intricate mural that seems to reveal a new icon at each glance. The only light in the theater comes from a chandelier of undulating roots. Globes of cold shadowfire are held aloft by the gossamer webbing which enrobes the structure, pulsing and swaying ever so gently to the rhythm of the nearby Drums. A gnarly couch wrought from fallen apple boughs stands here, its twisted frame covered in a blossoming throw. Blending in with its surroundings, a bench cleverly crafted of twisting vines and tree trunks is here. Emerging grandly from the shadows, a dark, majestic stage looms here. 
[[ members of Glomdoring are here ]]
You see a single exit leading up.

"stage144216"                 a grand stage of stygian marble

Looming over its audience, this grand performance stage is elevated several feet above the ground to allow its performers to be seen and heard from far away. Built from polished black marble, the walls of the stage harmonize seamlessly with the dark stone of the Grand Hall. Intermittent veins of silver and white glimmer on the marble's surface like streaks of lightning flashing across the night sky. The floorboards are of rich ravenwood, gleaming softly in the ambient light. A large purple curtain hangs from the back of the stage, its rippling folds patterned with shadowy leaves. On either side of the stage, two graceful pillars form a proscenium arch over the stage depicting a beautiful thorn-entwined rose surrounded by the fae of Night and a murder of crows. Somber and majestic, this great stage creates a marvelous frame for any performance to be presented upon it.
It weighs about 3125 pounds.
It bears the distinctive mark of Devotee of the Tah'vrai, Valonah Bel'Fiore, Soul of Darkness.
It has the following aliases: stage.

Rancoura drifts towards the stage, studying it as she moves along its elevated edge, leaving the rest of the gathering to their devices.

[[ socializing among the audience, etc ]]

In an effort to soothe her nerves, Olethea turns her attention to her wings and begins to gently smooth and rearrange the feathers.

Gurashi's gaze softens as he smiles at Olethea.

Gurashi tugs urgently on Olethea's sleeve.

Olethea tilts her head curiously at Gurashi.

Gurashi excitedly offers Olethea two thumbs up.

Olethea hides a smile, and nods, slowly letting out a breath she was holding.

[[ more socializing ]]

Rancoura at last turns from the stage and drifts to Olethea's side with a suave glide, leaning in close to the viscanti to whisper into her ear.

You tell Nascent Olethea D'Cente, Attendant to the Wyrd, "Accompany me, Nascent one. It is time."

Olethea nods her head at you.

Olethea begins to follow you.

Gurashi drapes his arm across Ilistala, an enormous leopard's back, quickly looking at you as she approaches Olethea, watching the two interact.

Rancoura drifts towards the side of the stage, slipping behind a curtain with Olethea in tow. A moment later, the thick curtains part and the Haruspex reappears upon the stage itself, losing no time in unstoppering the cork from a small clay jar in her grasp and tipping it slightly as she moves in a circle, sparsely dripping a dark oil over the stage's surface.

Stowing the jar away, Rancoura turns to the sidestage, an elegant, curled-finger gesture inviting Olethea to reveal herself.

Stepping out from behind the curtain, Olethea does her very best to appear the very image of confident serenity; she accomplishes this for the most part, assuming one ignores her flicking and twitching tail.

Rancoura rests a slender hand upon Olethea's shoulder for a brief moment, meeting her eyes with an intensely-hued gaze. "Your journey following the Portal of Fate has carried you through many trials, many environments and many sacrifices," she whispers to the Nascent. With a solemn sweep of her silk-swathed arm towards the attending commune, she continues, "And your journey has now brought you here. To this place, and to this moment."

Gurashi beams broadly.

"Now it is time to allow yourself to be guided once more, for it is this you have chosen." Rancoura's words flow with a natural fluidity, a feminine melody accentuating each syllable. "You have merely begun to awaken the nascent spirit within yourself -- the spirit of an Augur. Allow the Hallowed Dark to speak to that spirit, and your journey shall course truly."

It is now the 5th of Shanthin, 558 years after the Coming of Estarra.

Rancoura produces two hollow wooden rods, each the length of a long hand, just wider than a sovereign and etched with runes. Arrays of dark feathers are strung upon leather cords which in turn are threaded through the ends of the instruments. The Haruspex clacks them once together, producing a low, echoing timbre which resounds among the Roots, and soon she allows her eyes to close, her feathered lids falling peacefully. Another clacking of the wooden instruments is accompanied by the soft hum of Rancoura's voice, which begins with solemn tones.

Invoking thoughts of the rhythm beat by the Heart of Darkness, Rancoura's tune is otherworldly; the essence of which is carried into the words which follow. "Ere the shadows within the woods unfurl," she begins to sing softly, "A spirit-child takes a step, among her first." The Haruspex clacks the hollow rods together again, the sound accentuating her words. "Night-Mother be with her, before her and after; let her flower bloom beneath the darkest of Your grace."

Drifting to Olethea's side, her silk robes rasping over the worn ravenwood flooring, Rancoura's lyrics continue. "Murder-Father, Mighty Crow, Your children fly with ease; a fledgling must take flight, ere the nest she outgrow. Grant Your chick wings, and feathers bereft of light; let her spirit soar and dive, and her sorrow control." Clack, clack.

"Idols-Black of the Wyrd, five in number and in count," Rancoura sings as she drifts now behind the Nascent. "Wisdoms innumerable, abilities paramount. A youngling spirit walks among you, eyes open to your truths." Another rapping of the thick rods is followed by another echoing vibration. "Let her absorb what she is offered, from your kin both lesser and great."

Passing now to Olethea's left, Rancoura sings, "Yet others move among us, aged and wrought with want; Spirits-Dark, watchful of the Heart, and those bound by their tah'vrai -- guide this new hand well, for it is your realm which she seeks; may longevity be hers, paralleled only by her will."

Rancoura glances the rods together once more as she returns to Olethea's fore, holding them high above both their heads. "For this child is of the Song, vibrant and without end, and it is the forest's life she passes within and without," the Haruspex's voice croons, "Sing to the Echo and to the Voice, of the Harbinger-Goddess now; follow Her unwaveringly, and her rhythm shall guide you true."

Gurashi brings his free hand up to cover his mouth, listening in stunned silence.

As her last note trails off, Rancoura brings the wood together in rapid movements, the sound akin to the clicking of an insect. In a crescendo, she raps them one final time -- impossibly, violet sparks shower from the contact, a burst of wyrden purple flame and smoke following afterwards before vanishing into the air. The Haruspex meets Olethea's eyes anew, her head lowering to whisper something to the Nascent.

You tell Nascent Olethea D'Cente, Attendant to the Wyrd, "The Wyrd is watchful, Nascent one, but it does not watch unkindly. Your tah'vrai is before you; it is for you to recognize, to accept, to fulfill."

Rancoura nods once, slowly, to Olethea, time nearly stilling as the shadows surrounding the stage stir, lethargically -- but with a keen sense of observance. A faint whispering reaches your ears, layered voices speaking unintelligible words before slowing fading into silence.

In their passing, an eerie, haunting melody echoes distantly, emanating from the walls, the root-clad ceiling, the floor -- beautiful, yearning, mourning. Rancoura's eyes flutter closed once more, and only when the melody has faded away do they re-open, a set to her delicate jaw.

Rancoura straightens, her movements once again normal. She deftly unties the knots binding the feathers to the wooden rods and, within moments, has bound them together in a talisman. This she presses into Olethea's hands. "The journey of your Awakening begins in this moment," she whispers, now audible to the audience below the stage. "Stride forward with confidence, Olethea, Nascent no more. Stride forth, as the Euphony of the Dark Heart."

Gurashi's hands fly to his mouth as he gives a short gasp of elation.

You tell Nascent Olethea D'Cente, Attendant to the Wyrd, "Speak our mantra, of what truly matters, and the commune shall answer."

Having relaxed throughout the ritual, Olethea blinks in brief puzzlement at the Talisman she has been given. She studies it with intimate curiosity, before she finally smiles, and nods graciously toward you. "I will, Lady Haruspex." She inhales, slowly, and then exhales. "Nothing matters, but Glomdoring."

Spinner Afollia Ebonrose, the Grand Diviner says, "Glory be to Glomdoring."

Spiritous Wraith Esei Shee-Slaugh of the Ascending Dusk says, "Glory be to the Glomdoring."

Softly, with a bow of her head, you whisper, "Glory ever be."

Voice bright and clear, Gurashi An'Ryshe, the Crescendo whispers, "Glory be to the Glomdoring...!"

Muttering in a barely audible whisper, Kyalrhin Ysav'rai says, "Glory be to the Glomdoring."

Gurashi beams broadly.

Spirit Warden Xenthos An'Ryshe, the Ebon Strategist says, "Glory be to the Glomdoring."

Olethea will now be known as Proselyte Olethea D'Cente, Attendant to the Wyrd.

Olethea will now be known as Proselyte Olethea D'Cente, Euphony of the Dark Heart.

Tonight amidst the mountaintops
And endless starless night
Singing how the wind was lost
Before an earthly flight

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