As you brush your hand into the depths of the opening, you step forward and all sense of direction
is lost as a complete darkness descends. Suddenly a beam of radiance breaks through the gloom and
you step through to the inner reaches of the tree.
Within the bough of the Queen's tree.
It is quite mild. The silvery leaves of a faebush gently billow in the wind. The Tree of Memories
stretches into the sky, its canopy of moonhart leaves and raven feathers dancing in an unbroken
breeze. Bulbuous crimson eyes greedily eyeing everything in sight, Grokus, an undead grimtoad,
lurches about the area here. Infernus Celina is here, shrouded. She wields the Warped Orb of Chaos
in her left hand and a fiery basalt staff in her right. She is surrounded by one reflection of
You see a single exit leading in.
She is a compound-eyed royal kephera demigoddess and radiates a dangerous heat, the air itself
distorting about her form in ripples and waves. Her body is encased in smokey crimson chitin,
layered upon her form like steel armor, streaked with deep blacks and fiery oranges, veins of
scarlet weaving jagged patterns across her rigid surfaces like cooling lava. Each matte eye is
composed of countless facets. catching no light upon their ebony faces, while her other features are
sharp and typically kepheran. From the depths of her abdomen glows a crimson light, as if an inferno
threatens to consume her from within, its violence barely contained within her. She stands relaxed
and aloof, her posture unconcered with the world outside the curtain of heat around her. Numerous
sparks flicker into life around her, dancing across her form in wild patterns, tracing up her arms
and legs before dispersing about her head in a burning halo. A chaos butterfly is resting on her
shoulder. She is wearing a frozen fawn brooch, a fesix bandolier, the Medallion of Life, Wyrden
Prayer Beads of the Lady of the Thorns, the Charm of the Clangoru, an elegant opal brooch, 5 beryl
eagle brooches, a Leprechaun's Medal of Profligate Inebriation, an onyx studded clear ring, a pair
of rose-coloured spectacles, an elegant garnet brooch, a Pendant of the Divine Spark, an intense
crown of breathtaking fire, Spurs of the Traveller, a snobby snoot, a diamond swan brooch, Wings of
Wonder, a conical, nexus headdress, a fesix backpack, a circlet of crystal thorns, a fiery red cloak,
a shadowy moonstone cloak and an ankle-length, web-dusted coat. She walks with the truefavour of
A soft luminescence surrounds the two verdant antennae that emerge from her forehead, pulsing softly
to a rhythm unheard. Thick at their bases, which are surrounded by tufts of ebony hair, the glowing
antennae taper to needle-thin points.
Her voice echoing behind you, you say, "Hello Mother."
Her voice uncharacteristically warm, Infernus @Celina says, "I am suprised you still find it fit to
refer to me as such."
You say, "The nature of the tie still remains, regardless of who has done much to sever and damage
Infernus Celina says, "Sever it? I thought I had burnt it to ash by now."
The rustle of her feathery wings buffeted by a bleak breeze through the Queen's Tree, you say, "Not
necessarily. I still continue the Lady's commands to see Gaudiguch aligned to Glomdoring proper."
Drawing the heat around her to a radiating warmth, Infernus Celina says, "Such is the nature of fire,
to burn the old and make room for the new."
The tone unchanging, you say, "It is needed. For the Wyrd. But for us, I am not so sure."
A smile playing across her lips, Infernus Celina says, "What is "us" next to the needs of the Wyrd?"
You say, "It was all that I knew. The absence of Astraea did not assist." You sense her moving
closer, the volume of her voice adjusting as she does. "As was the nature of yourself."
Nodding once, Infernus Celina says, "So you begin to understand after all this time."
Synkarin says, "Oh awkward."
Synkarin ponders you thoughtfully, looking you up and down.
You flash Synkarin a joyous smile.
Synkarin says, "Have you ever considered being a Ysav'rai."
Celina clears her throat.
Infernus Celina says, "Exceedingly poor timing."
Synkarin says, "Or is it?"
Synkarin says, "Ok ok."
Glancing towards Synkarin, Infernus Celina says, "Please."
Lifting a silvery brow, you say, "Fascinating."
Her eyes wandering the shadows, Infernus Celina says, "What is?"
You tell Synkarin, "Did you just propose some arrangement?"
You say, "That one is quite poorly in knowing when to approach individuals. It must be a trait of
what they call Freedom."
Synkarin tells you, "No."
Synkarin tells you, "Or did I?"
You tell Synkarin, "It did seem so."
Synkarin tells you, "Timing has never been my thing."
Warmth in her voice, Infernus Celina says, "He is not so bad. He revels in the now with no regrets.
Salome flicks fingers away idly, her gazing lowering to the roots of the Tree of
Memories. "He is not, no," she responds, "I enjoy doing battle with him."
After a pause, Infernus Celina says, "As do I, and such is my bond with him, and such is why I
return to him now."
Distantly, Infernus Celina says, "Attachment is a difficult thing, Salome. It provides great
strength, bastions of safety when the world around us burns to the ground. Yet even as it does, it
unravels us. Slowly but surely it frays our edges."
With a feathery softness, the shadow vipers of her hair writhing in synch, you say, "It has always
been my intent to see your needs fulfilled."
Her voice tinged with sadness, Infernus Celina says, "Glomdoring is...attached. It has always grown
attached, overly reliant on a select few here were revered as heroes. From them the people grew
great strength, and so they frayed. Growing reliant on those who became their legs and fists."
Infernus Celina says, "The Wyrd....the Wyrd is not attached. The Wyrd is as the flame. Irreverent
and indiscriminate. It is what it is."
With a nod of agreement, you say, "Mortals are imperfect, reliance of people like you...It cannot be
counted on. And must be appreciated for what time they remain."
Infernus Celina says, "And it must be severed when that reliance becomes crippling."
Salome Nightshade nods solemnly, her eyes lifting to gaze at her new form for the
You say, "Even then, you did not allow me to rely on you. Perhaps one of the more important lessons
I have acquired."
Nodding slowly, Infernus Celina says, "It is cruel, perhaps, to some for a mother to treat one as I
treated you. Though I think you understand, to some degree, why you must only rely on yourself. As I
You say, "It was cruel enough, for you know what my Black Sorrow is. How I do wish that you and I
could no longer be polarising towards each other, I cannot rely on you, it is true. But I can reside
with you, perhaps just as Synkarin does..."
Exhaling slowly, the air around her rippling with waves of heat, Infernus Celina says, "Never as
Infernus Celina says, "But perhaps as my daughter, who understands what few lessons now."
Infernus Celina says, "What few lessons I have to offer."
After a great silence, you say, "I can accept that."
With a smirk, Infernus Celina says, "What would the Lady think, Her chosen now consorting with a
You say, "Consorting with them can be useful, to a point. Especially one with such apt skills in
combat. Of which Glomdoring lacks severely."
You say, "Regardless, I am labeled a disappointment."
Salome gestures with a flick of her long, black-tipped nails, the alabaster of her
slender palm denoting acknowledgment.
Sparks of amusement in her voice, Infernus Celina says, "You will always disappoint the mother of
the Wyrd. She birthed that which is believed perfect, and what are you next to that?"
Infernus Celina says, "What are any of us in that context?"
You say, "Exactly. Merely that I am reminded that I am, and yet I am chosen. It is a rather
Her eyes tracing the ravenwood and moonhart leaves of the Tree, you say, "It certainly does not bore.
Infernus Celina says, "Fain once had an apt phrase. The maggots strive to rise so that they become
flies. Yet in the end, they are only flies and lords over maggots."
You say, "Then the purpose of ranks and the drive of obtaining it are less meaningful, in that
regard. It is not to serve for the purpose of gaining things, but to give things."
With a thoughtful tilt of her head, Infernus Celina says, "Is it? An admirable perspective for
You say, "One must aspire to perfection. Regardless of the struggle."
You purse your lips pensively, gazing off into the distance as you carefully gather your thoughts.
With a nod, Infernus Celina says, "Such is the way of the Wyrd. I must depart but..."
Salome Nightshade turns curiously, her expression guarded as she looks to Celina.
Infernus Celina says, "Know you have my affection, Salome. You always have. And now you have the
strength to understand it, even if it is not what you desire."
Infernus Celina says, "Under the shadows of Glomdoring, I grew as far as I could grow."
Salome nods once, her visage hardening in acknowledgment. Though with such, she
appears as if she has been struck and an utter stillness possesses the shadows around her.
Infernus Celina says, "Yet a servant must know when her time has come, even if that means
surrendering it all. There is no service like sacrifice. Grow in my absence, it is what you were
meant to do."
Turning to depart, Infernus Celina says, "And Niico needs a new title. A Scythe he is not."
The apple is cold, crisp, and sour as the juices fill your mouth. As you consume the fruit, you glimpse, for a moment, a massive, shadowy figure, Her snow-white hair framing a perfect, icy-eyed visage. Beneath you, a vast, perfect web of silken strands lies - and, for a moment, you realize that you too are part of it, weaver and strand both - and home.