I hemmed and hawed about this for a little bit but decided to go ahead and post it. I had no idea where it was going the entire time and I thought the height of it was going to be JUICY LORE from Carakhan's memories but then I GOT BONUS AVATAR. I'm beyond excited!
Huge, HUGE raves for @Carakhan
, who has beautiful
writing and had me on the edge of my seat with each new vision.
A sea breeze wafts about you, curiously seeming to emanate from Avechna's Peak.
You give the master shrine of Carakhan a respectful salute.
An ocean breeze ushers in a flurry of seafoam, from which rises Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves.
Misericorde greets warmly, "Greetings, Sculptor."
A warm smile upon Her face, Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves says, "Greetings, Crafter of Dragons. You have distinguished yourself in the Challenge of Beauty."
Misericorde snorts to cover up a laugh, her eyes bright with mirth. "I'm not sure about a Crafter of Dragons, but I was quite pleased with my placing. Thank you, Sculptor."
Her gaze glinting with amusement, Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves says, "True, it was but a single dragon upon the lantern, and all too soon burnt away in its own brilliance."
Misericorde hums a little note in the back of her throat as she nods. "I thought it would be poetic," she replies, her head tilting to the side as she continues. "A moment of desperate longing only to flicker out when achieved. I had hoped to capture the joy and despair of achievement."
With a sweep of Her hand Carakhan draws forth a wavelet from Her sphere, transforming it into the resemblance of the draconic skylantern, and then allowing it to slip away almost immediately. "An ephemeral medium for a fleeting moment, and yet the memory shall linger on in the eyes and hearts of many." She considers you a moment. "You have had more than a little of the despair of achievement of late."
Misericorde observes the wavelet in fascination, her amber-bright eyes wide when it disappears but a moment later. As Carakhan speaks her expression sifts, subtly, to a look of introspection. Allowing her gaze to fall, she then nods and clears her throat before speaking. "Yes," she agrees. She looks up to Carakhan and replies with rueful mirth, "But that is how we grow, isn't it? Whether we want it or not."
"Yes," Carakhan agrees, simply. "That is how We grow, and find new possibilities, and new achievements in which to triumph and despair."
Carakhan raises a golden trident above Her head and whirls it around once, sending drops of seawater flying. Then She thrusts it deep into the ground in one fluid motion.
The sounds of waves entice your ears, drawing your senses on a salty journey.
ground, surprise colouring her expression at the action.
Carakhan gazes intently at you for a long moment, the trident in the sands before Her. "It is time for Us both to grow." Her voice is soft as waves in moonlight. "If you are ready. If you are willing. Lay your hands upon My trident."
Misericorde blinks slowly, her gaze seemingly torn between the Goddess and the trident. With a lingering look to Carakhan she then steps forward and extends her hand to grasp the trident.
Gleaming a sharp gold, this wickedly curved instrument has three barbed trines that betray the lethality of this otherwise ornamental weapon. Both deceptively slight and absurdly elegant to wield, what ought to be a top-heavy spear instead is beheld as an exalted sceptre, radiating the eerie calm of the quiet before a storm. Silvery pearl adorns the flat surface of the blade, curling about an elaborate engraving of waves that rage across the otherwise polished metal; beneath this, brightest coral wreathes about the shaft's apex, centered by a single, breathtaking golden pearl. Wrought from star sapphire, the haft of the trident is striking in its spectrum of crystalline blues, flashing indigo, cerulean, and sea-green as latent energy surges beneath its surface to flare at the Goddess's slightest shift in mood.
As you grasp the haft, a wave of power sweeps out and over you. The sight of the Goddess upon the beach fades away, and for a moment you are deep beneath the waves. Light filters through the waters, which teem with life. And Life. Divine are everywhere, laughing, creating, singing, crafting. A colourful Godling sweeps a paintbrush across a clownfish. An Awakener kneels amidst a kelp forest, sleepy eyes blinking up at Him. A vast Goddess's mouth is open in song, the great whale before Her singing in answer. And the Sculptor is there, swimming amongst the others, giving shape to a coral reef, adjusting the shape of a fin.
Misericorde gasps softly, her eyes wide as she observes the scenes passing before her. Her grasp tightens on the trident to steady herself while her other hand presses to her heart.
Another wave, and you feel yourself rising through the sunlit waters, to break upon the surface of a sea that stretches in every direction. Amberle and Meridian swim languidly through the waves, Their hands clasped. Before Their gaze rises a resplendent foam-capped wave, that crests, then falls in a splendour of sound and scattered droplets at the Sculptor's command. Delighted laughter mingles with the symphony of the sea.
Misericorde's expression shatters from its normal impassive mask into utter enthrallment at the vision before her. Despite herself a laugh spills from her lips, bright and clear. She turns to look at Carakhan, though seems to be staring past Her than directly at the Goddess.
Another wave, this one of sorrow. You find yourself speeding towards the distant shore, as grey clouds gather overhead, reflecting the grey upon the waves below. Two figures stand upon the approaching shore: Meridian and the Sculptor. He simply stares out at the vast, ever-moving grey of the sea. She digs deep into rocky shoreline. You catch a glimpse of an eye, the curve of a cheek, a finned ear, before the vision washes away once more.
Misericorde exhales, the hand over her heart tightening. It seems for a moment she may close her eyes from the scene passing before her, but instead she tilts her head, the susurrations of the tendrils atop her head loud as they shift and stir with unspoken emotion.
Anger is in the wave that dispels the vision, anger and pain. The waters beneath the waves teem, but with chum, not life. In the distance, the Leviathan roils. Coral spread around you, blocking out the sight, but never the memory.
Wave follows wave, triumph, mingled with hope, mingled with anger, mingled with determination, mingled with fear, and horror, and sorrow, and love, and joy. Then fear comes more strongly, wedded to determination. The Sculptor swims alone, save for the pursuing Devourer. Before your eyes, legs weld together, star shape succumbing to the urgency of survival and the temerity of hope.
Misericorde's face flushes a deep blue as she finds herself swept up in the emotion of the memory; the tendrils atop her head stir violently before slowly settling to their normal idle movements. With a soft gasp she looks to Carakhan, her expression a mask once more.
A new wave washes over you, bringing with it wonder, as the hope is answered. Small Meridians crowd about you, and you taste the joy of freedom, and the despair at how all has changed.
Misericorde exhales softly, her amber gaze searching Carakhan's features. "Thank you for sharing Your memories with me," she utters, her voice cracking faintly as she speaks.
Carakhan reaches out a hand to touch your cheek. "Thank you for bearing them."
Carakhan has imbued you with great powers, use them wisely.
Warmth and power flows through you from the touch of the Sculptor's hand.
Misericorde closes her eyes briefly and leans her cheek into the touch. With a nod, she promises, "I will make You proud, Sculptor."
Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves says, "You already do, My Misericorde."
Misericorde looks up to Carakhan, a radiant smile spreading over her face at the words. Her voice cracking once more, she utters, "Thank you."
Carakhan bows Her head a moment, a faint smile upon Her lips. "I know you will continue to do so."
Carakhan holds out a hand imperiously towards a golden trident, and it flies to Her grasp, its golden tines gleaming brightly.
You feel the tug of an unseen current, lifting you up and surrounding you in a protective warmth. Somehow, you sense that Carakhan, Sculptor of Waves has sent this current to guide and guard your soul should you perish in Her service.
Carakhan's sphere splits into two large waves, which rise and crash above the Goddess's head with a thunderous clap. When the water and mist dissipate, She is gone.
The sounds of waves entice your ears, drawing your senses on a salty journey.
Misericorde gives a little nod as she answers tightly, "I will do my best." Her hand shifts to caress the aspergillum at her hip, the smile on her lips fading, though the brightness lingers in her gaze.