You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Heterochromia  (Read 55531 times)

Mailbox-2100

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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #250 on: August 02, 2022, 01:24:11 PM »


CIRCA 777
"Maudlyn Argali Dupont"
Queen of the Mountain


  The storm had passed, and now she could see clearly: Haxx prepared the table before her. Angels warned her of the coming destruction. She told him she needed to be alone, and his wrath came quickly to the surface. There was no faith, hope, or charity: only accusations; insults (however cleverly concealed), and bitterness...

 There was no mourning- as if something of value was lost- only anger, like something was owed. She could not abide in that spirit. He was double minded, unstable... and yet she loved him. She shed not one tear after he turned his back and stormed off, but she could scarcely smile. The Lord had spoken, and the prophecy proved true. She could see how he restrained himself, but still- what fruit were to be harvested by his yielding fury remained to be seen in season. For he did walk alone now, like she once more: to reap what was sown.


Quote
"The way of love"
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

"Though alone, its not remiss;
as we prepare, for any tiff.

Try they might, to make us fall,
we will stand among so tall.

Those who kneel, will know reward.
A gift is given by my sword.

For kindred die, and kindred rise:
but Spirit lasts: beyond all time!"


Quote
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.




Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few are chosen.




Quote
  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.




The soul that sinneth, it shall die.


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Heterochromia: Alignment
« Reply #251 on: August 05, 2022, 01:05:47 AM »
Spoiler: show
The eye of the storm passed her over. And again she entered into the dark tempest.
Only now, she had remorse, and laid down her sword... Now she knew how to wield it.

"Not him... not her... If I must suffer them- amen.
Thank you Lord, and forgive me... As I have forgiven them.
Though they wound me, they offend me: Amen. Amen.
With fear and trembling: with tears outnumbered... Forsake them not, Lord.
Forsake us not. Set free the captive, save the soul. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Where once I sowed in iron, let me yield for good seed, that in season I may reap just the same.

Sound the horn; and wake the
Lamb: for the slaughter."

"Amen."

Quote from: Lyrics...

The mouth of the just one will prepare itself for wisdom
And his tongue is telling a judgement

Blessed is the one who bears a temptation
Since after being tested, he will receive the crown of life

Lord, the source of good-heartedness
Lord, the divine fire, be gracious

Oh how holy, how serene, how benign
How beautiful is the virgin believed to be

Oh how holy, how serene, how benign
How beautiful, Oh lily of chastity



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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #252 on: August 10, 2022, 03:54:11 PM »

Quote
Jacob, I write to thank you for your honesty. That is courage. I find myself amidst so much chaos here. There are greater things to attend than any flight of passion or melancholy. I can't stand to see what has befallen the people. I feel I may never return, at this rate. I love you all. I don't mean to cause alarm- I'm not afraid. I feel very strongly the Lord calling me for some great purpose I cannot fathom... but I have faith, all will be revealed in time. I pray you do too. Have faith... and if you don't, try. I know you better than that. In another life, I could see us too. You have more character than most I know. God bless you, and remember to bless your enemies too. You never know who might come to save you in the end. Haha. I count it all for a blessing, these trials I now face. I do them not foolishly, but with advisement, council, mediation,  and prayer: to be as wise as a serpent, but as harmless as a dove; that our Father in the heaven of heavens might smile favorably upon us. And deliver our enemies into our hands should destiny prove so cruel.

 If I should not write again.. I have fallen prey to a great evil. For no lesser thing can harm me. My life will not be spent in vanity. For the glory of God, in Jesus Christ name. Tell Tichy I said to stop. Tell Dann to speak up when he sings. Tell Anne "whats up?" when she replies tell her "Too slow." Tell Yoril to train harder. Its not a game out here.

 I'll write again soon, before any GRAND ENDEAVORS. Be certain. Farewell, and God keep us safe and sound.

Deus Vult

Maudlyn

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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #253 on: August 12, 2022, 09:13:20 PM »

Between Two Mountains


[Found among Argali Dupont's remains]
Quote
My favorite animal is the tiger... and often times I have considered myself akin to one, over all other beasts. I know I am more than a beast. However, I have considered myself, in turns: a lion, a lamb; a wolf, a sheep- an eagle, a dove- but foremost I see myself as a child of the Most High God. I do not consider many my friend (I know it is true), and less my family. So those closest always wound deepest. My brother Ivan returned today, and true to his name "Foebringer" he brought with him a mighty judgement.

No sooner had we confessed love and thanksgiving, solemn words of oaths and fellowship; Ivan Foebringer proved false... forsaking his words of obedience to Haxx's commands just prior. Haxx knew. He warned me, though he saw it closer than I until the moment Ivan's skull was crushed under the Tiger's paw... And though we hurried to restore his life- his body gave up the ghost. My brother is dead, abandoning his word in our hour of need... is this it? Is this Armageddon? To see an angel light before me, and be so immediately vanquished before my eyes. It is quickening. Something fast approaches.

 Sometimes I forget my narrative. They cross. Forgive me. Ivan.. before the madness that claimed my brother... he asked me one thing which warmed my heart. He asked me to tell him of my history. I was glad to: soon. Soon we would gather and celebrate our reunion. Our fellowship. And now he is gone. I wanted to tell him so many things. How much he means to me... and now he is dead. Like that? It grieves me, but I will not forget that madness. I will not let it happen again if  can help it. A duel. How stupid! A duel. Children of the Most High God do not duel...

There is no fight worth fighting that is worth fighting fair.

 It is true, a lion has pride, but we are more than a beast. Ivan forgot that fact. He could not remember how to be a child, and be humble, and open to the limitless wonder and majesty of creation. For it is written in the scriptures: the Lord resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto those who will humble themselves to that of a child. Ready and willing for every sign and wonder as discerned by that perfect spirit of God, made manifest by the loving worker of the living Word of prophecy.

 For the Lord see's fit to hide these mysteries in parables, and works of art. That only those of a blessed and contrite spirit may understand the truth and wisdom that is hid from the rulers of this world.

 So many now lie fallen before Armageddon, crying out for justice... so the marriage supper of the lamb is now prepared, for it is written: For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

 Is my brother truly dead? Lord have mercy...

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Heterochromia: Heretic
« Reply #254 on: August 17, 2022, 11:40:56 AM »

[Posted primarily around the Vallaki municipality.]

Quote
My sister is dead- at times I wonder if she ever lived...

Diot Etheldred

 I now tell you a hard truth because you are full of easy lies. All things may be forgiven but to blaspheme the Holy Ghost.

 Give not what is holy unto dogs. Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn again to rend you.

 Like a dog returns to its vomit, a fool returns to their folly- You? Love? You don't know what that means. Never has a lie waxed more cold in my ears. We all went our separate ways, yet we all returned as One body; you never returned but to weary us with the filth of your fornications again and again, until your evil was full. I saw the filling of it from the beginning with Viccar- and recommended you not be knighted because of it. You were anyways, using your empty niceties and painted faces to seduce the saints of the Lord God. And now that our blood in your goblet is low you seek to fill it again?

 Depart from me worker of iniquities! I never knew you! You give more attention to us now that your lusts might be satisfied in destroying our peace. What good work have you ever shown for this house?

 If you love me, as my squire, as my sister; obey my commands: Surrender yourself to an institution whose members you have murdered with either your own two hands, or your disgusting negligence. Your love for evil has always been- you fulfil every sign- your feet are swift to run to mischief, and your hands eager for unrighteousness. Your eye is set on carnality, and your mouth breeds nothing but venom! You give nothing, and take and take and- no more! Depart from us or repent! There is no other way but the Christ (meaning messiah: the Way, the Truth, and the Life). None of us want anything to do with you now, the same way you wanted nothing to do with us while you tarnished our temple and hearts without ceasing.

 Your soul is set for hell. Or will you live forever? I know it not but for this: we are finished with you. Your work is complete. The fruit of your labors are made manifest, and they are rotten to their core: for by the fruit, shall you know the tree. Lord have mercy upon you. I have difficulty not cursing you outright. We are finished. Any more is for the sake of the Lord who calls me, and not of my own good will; in this there is nothing but madness:

 Fear not who kills but the body, but also the soul. For you this is a game; our hearts are still broken, but this spirit is everlasting. We will pick up the pieces and continue for the good work of the Lord, that our fruit may multiply as it is written.

 A knight knows their enemy, and you were never a knight... only an errant.

Dame Maudlyn Dupont




Spoiler: show

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Heterochromia: Final Game
« Reply #255 on: August 19, 2022, 02:36:10 PM »

I cannot help but feel the need to write to you now. Soon I feel, I may never be able again. I love you...

My heart ... I can't finish it. I can't put it back together for a moment. It falls to pieces through my fingers. And now my tears hope to heal it- but how? The salt will lose its savor soon- and then will be good for nothing but to cast under the foot of these people. They seek to trample me. They encamp about me. Death hides in every corner. Though the houses are full, and furnished; they are empty. There is nothing for me anywhere. Their knives gleam and glisten and I go to pray- to fight these demons- but they remain. They camp about me. I am not afraid of not one, but they fear me greatly. Fools. How dare they... how can you fear me? Fools. They hate me.

 I'm dreaming. Of course. I live in these words, but... no longer. I cannot live like this, and so- surely I will die. Forgive me. If... I cannot write again. I never lied concerning the Son of God. Never once, nor any I've passed His judgement upon. Forgive me. I am but His servant, and He my God. I only meant to love you, like Christ loves me. He died- but they learned; He lives still. He is beside me. [tears stain the parchment]

 I don't know what I should add. I feel I can die any moment now, Lord have mercy. O deliver us from strength to strength, and everlasting to everlasting. Forsake not your elect- your chosen... the harvest is ripe for the taking, yet the laborers are few. Lord wake them, Wake them. WAKE THEM!

 This is my dream. How dare you come here with your waking? YOUR JUDGEMENT.

THE LORD IS MY HIGH TOWER, MY DELIVERER, MY SWORD.

My WORD ever lasting.

Vengeance is MINE saith the Lord. Curse those who curse me, and bless me from their cursing; like with Abraham.

Lord... where is my tribe? Where are my promised people? I'm so alone here.

Jacob... to who much is given much is required. You are esteemed higher than even my betrothed. We are yet engaged, but I trust him not... he too holds against me. We both know it. This is my darkest moment, my brightest storm. I wonder if you will understand me at all. I love you, and I'm so sorry for what I have done to you. You know why. Forgive me please.
Maudlyn
[tears crumple the parchment]

Maudlyn Argali Dupont.
God bless you always.

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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #256 on: August 22, 2022, 11:28:37 AM »

The Cry of Silence

~~~story


blurb


scripture


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Heterochromia: Butterfly
« Reply #257 on: August 23, 2022, 02:43:37 PM »

Quote
Argali... [its apparent time passed before the writing resumed] Maudlyn, please come home. If you don't... I'm coming after you. And then you'll be in real trouble. We both will be. Come home now. We need you. Stop chasing butterflies. You can return when its time, but now its not the season. Please if you love us come home. I am praying. I am crying for you to come home. I can't tell them what you've told me, but soon they will know. What will I tell them then?

 Please come home to us, we love you. We need you.

 Argali means 'mountain goat' right? You always have a hard head. Stop chasing butterflies, we can appreciate them when its time. Okay? Come home now or I will personally kill you. You don't have to worry about anyone else, dumb ass. I get to call you that now, forever, until you come home.

 I love you too, okay? And I always will. No matter what.

 I'm dead serious, I learned from the best,

Jacob


« Last Edit: August 23, 2022, 02:47:13 PM by Mailbox-2100 »

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Heterochromia: Reply
« Reply #258 on: August 25, 2022, 04:20:04 AM »

Quote
I've managed to convince you things are so bad. They are not. You will come here and kill me? Thats a laughable offense. You shall not murder. It is as heavy a sin as the others, and it starts in the heart and thoughts. Forgive me Jacob, I was given to a fey mood. You know me. I cannot come home at this moment, for so many reasons. Trust me now as you did before. Your words gave me perspective I sorely craved, and so I see clearly again. I will spend time away- around my people, but otherwise to myself, prayers, and the will of God. He needs me here for your season. Do you understand? I trust you do.

 I love you too, and all the rest as well. If I should lack, do remind me. Its not unwarranted.

 I'll write again soon, I just need to settle in some. Please do not come out here or you're right- we're both going to get into trouble.

 Attend the children in the meantime; your hands by all means should be full,

Argali

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Heterochromia: Shadow's Call
« Reply #259 on: August 25, 2022, 01:42:01 PM »

His mind raced with so many possibilities, but foremost he was upset. This elven woman comes into their lives, investing her life's allowance in what she called 'blood money' to make something more than an Orphanage- but a home for so many lost souls. The children loved her- everyone did. She walked around like she was queen, and the worst part was she was! Everyone knew it, she was the last too more often then not; so given to 'fey moods' and all manner of half wild and outlaw behavior. She came from a school of assassins, and had served the masters of her homecity for a forgotten length of time; A long time. Then she found the Christ God one day, hearing the words of a simple street preacher. That blossomed into what bloomed into her charity with the Orphanage... and now this miserable feeling of want and remorse.

Maybe I should take my own advice, about butterflies...

 It was just so difficult when she was so beautiful, and not only in her grace, her mere presence was enough to make him question his existence. A light searching every corner of his depths- there was no escape. He would listen to her lessons, train with her when she allowed, and teach her some of his many chores... she was a loner, but... she loved everyone equally. It was almost too much. He felt resentment she would not give him more attention, and so he already knew he was wrong. He had at least that much sense. He may not be the brightest, but he remembered a lot of what she taught him over the years. It helped. As to his faith- he was learning; this was a test now. She wanted to know if he was serious, if he was listening. She would often harp about human 'short sightedness' and how she's seen our folly too many times. She could be so cruel- yet this weapon of her's was somehow attractive to him- especially in her care.

Iron sharpens iron... to live by the sword you must also die by the sword... the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword- the Word of God is the sword of Spirit.

 Her riddles and mysteries... the scriptures and her stories... he sifted through a drawer of her writings even then, as he otherwise tidied her room. She wrote so many things, and most of it incomprehensible to himself, but still a lot was clear. She loved stories and poems, and music and art, and games... The notes were mostly so scattered, except the books- he couldn't understand the language of elves, but the books were beautiful even to behold... interspersed and interwoven with so much artistic license and aplomb...

"What are you doing?" The voice penetrated his reverie and he turned to see Tichy in the doorway, her eyes sharp and judging. "I'm--" Tichy interjected, "Reading Argali's spell?" Jacob exhaled sharply, closing the book and placing it back. "Yes- so be careful before I turn you into a worm." "Argali can't do that." Jacob grinned. "Just because she won't doesn't mean she can't. You know she told you to stop doing that." Tichy paused for a beat, "She'd approve now." Jacob sighed, "I don't think you understand." The girl entered the room now to peer at the closed drawer, then back to Jacob. "So what did she say?" Jacob considered a moment- it must be obvious when a letter arrived from the elf given his strange behaviors. Taking his time, Tichy allowed him, and he explained, "She... misses us a lot, and is going through some issues, but I think she's okay- she won't be back this winter." A shared silence. "Good thing she chopped all that wood." Jacob became annoyed as Tichy left, but sighed some- she wasn't wrong. It would be a cold winter after all.

 As he turned to leave his heart caught in his chest, as Tichy stayed watching him- before disappearing around the doorway. Some fire flared within him, a rebellious and hungry fire. He entered the hall to look after where she had gone, to shadow, before turning away in defiance- but Tichy's spell would torment him yet... only a word gave him comfort then:

To who much is given, much is required. Resist temptation and you will be gifted the crown of life. Wherein the Holy Ghost will quicken you for the days to come. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

"So be it."


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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #260 on: August 28, 2022, 01:12:54 PM »

[Addressed to Prelate Vandryn Carro, sealed with a unicorn signet]

Quote
Greeting, I come in peace- hehe. I have decided it is best for me to spend some time in isolation, away from the Church. This is not due to any particular reason other than my own inability to focus on anything fruitful. I recognize I need this time to draw closer to God. It does not help that Haxx and I are separated, and being near him keeps my wound open, as he has never addressed me about it at all. It really hurts, but I understand- I've hurt him too. So now this is my penance. I am not so far, but I am not alone either. I am socializing at my own pace, and attending to the Lord's commands as best I am able.

I pray for our house, and that we keep each other in our hearts and prayers. If you should have need, you can reach me at Midway Haven. Its really beautiful here, and peaceful. At night, I like to climb the observatory and have the stars keep me company, along a book or even just my own musing!

Hehe- anyway... I miss you all and hope to find you better than I left you. Forgive my failings, as I seek to make right all my crooked ways.

Love,

Maudlyn

//A parchment bearing Vandryn's seal--the knight chessman over a cross--in white wax arrives at Midway Haven for Maudlyn:

Quote
Sister and esteemed lady--

Greetings. My thanks for sending word of your welfare and whereabouts. It troubles me to see you so troubled, but our Lord is merciful, and I have every confidence he will bear you through it.

I and the brethren will continue to pray for you. May we be reunited sooner rather than later, and may you have the peace and rest you need in the meantime. I will continue to do what I can to help Ser Haxx overcome the curse or illness that afflicts him. I fear, but I trust the he will receive the Lord's mercy and healing too.

Go with our love, and walk in the Light! I remain, in love,

Your brother,
V. Carro


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Heterochromia: Frozen
« Reply #261 on: August 31, 2022, 11:31:23 AM »

A letter arrived for her at Midway, an invitation to a festival at Deganwy, a gathering of her kin. Her brethren would be there too. She wanted to go but she didn't want to go. Her heart felt faint. She knew if she went she would have a good time, but she felt vulnerable. She couldn't let them see her like this. Next time, there wouldn't be a next time... Next time, she would be the mountain only a prayer could move. Next time, a horse would ride before her; never given to these shadows that called her mind...

 Argali bore her burning brand, Flame Tongue, in the midst of the winter air. Only her breath and brand steamed or showed any sign of life in the frigid terrain. She panted slow, controlled, and yet she had never exerted herself to a greater degree. Her heart raced in her chest- giving her flashes of doubt- I will faint, I will die, by heart will fail, but she resolved her will. If she must die, if she must faint, so be it. Her heart thundering, her breath even and calm, she broke into motion, her feet a blur as she fed and fought angles to a battered and dead tree. Slashing and aligning, thrusting and ducking. She savaged the husk and rattled the hollow, sending a terrified hare bounding from temperance...

 Panting measuredly, she watched it race into the winter before smiling, wondering if she was so terrible for frightening the poor creature. She then examined the ruin of the tree before her, ashen and splintered and spent. It was a sign to move on, and let well enough alone. As she returned toward Midway Haven, she looked down the Old Svalich to consider her brethren, and the gathering of her--so far--removed kindred... remorse, and resolve followed her home.
 
 "Ai ren yalo..." she breathed into the winter wind. There was work to do.


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Re: Heterochromia
« Reply #262 on: September 09, 2022, 11:41:20 AM »

Fey Devices

Quote
"Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care."

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Solitude"

She fought at shadows that assailed and lingered in her mind. She knew somehow, instinctually, which were strangers, and which were personal. The illusion of her own mind creating a labyrinth the shadows would hide. The Labyrinth. She would find herself in strange places--burning brand in hand--following those dark halls. She must be free, none of these things who opposed her would stand, lest they be fallen. The irony of their unlife being the fear of losing it. Life blossoms, as observed in nature, and nothing bloomed in the labyrinth. The fire light of her sword let her see in ever dark corner.

Maudlyn sat in her chair, her tomb, her throne- within a nondescript room. A quill in hand she composed her letters. Her days passed in attack and repose; but in this was both. The enigma of art, and the truth of beauty. The elf quickened daily. Clarity and comfort calming the chaos of consciousness. The spirit of God dwelled on her now. She felt it come like many times before, its absence made it all the more spectacular. She was bidden to look at the candle that flickered by her window, which drew her attention to the full moon outside. As if portended a distant howl haunted her chamber.

The elf narrowed her eyes and hunched her aspect, before calming herself. This wrath had never served her faithfully; so what for it? She would strike from love, rather than hatred. How better to breach the heart? She reviewed her letters, smiling a little sympathetically, "I really do suck." she laughed, understanding: One must first become a fool before they may yet become wise. So rather than fret, or fight, she focused, and continued. The Lord favored her highly (for those who will profess Him before creation He will confess before the angels of heaven!), and she must not forget her duty. To bring light to every dark place of creation. To leave not one stone of the Labyrinth standing.





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Heterochromia: To Live
« Reply #263 on: September 15, 2022, 01:16:14 PM »

  As the season changed she walked along those old paths, blooming anew with the verdant spring. Her period of isolation had yielded her much, but little in what she initially sought. The Lord (her God) was silent concerning her mystery: should she abandon this place forever? It tormented her, so she sought to tender her resignation from the temple personally, to end it.

  No sooner was the head of her temple in sight, the pangs of remorse doubled. Still she sought his audience, which he readily supplied. She hadn't realized how conflicted she truly was until it came time to speak, so she poured her heart through the ample faucet of her tongue. The weight of the weeks worked their course, and Vandryn listened, and spoke, passing the dusk to dawn over the river Luna. "Is it safe to welcome you home now, sister?" and though she was slow to reply, she could only remember how they smiled. Warm like the glow of new horizons.


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Heterochromia: White Knight
« Reply #264 on: September 27, 2022, 07:50:25 PM »

Brethren,

  I've spent my years in service of faith to the Christ; yielding only whenever the convenience overpowered me; far too often. How can it be a mystery why my growth is so slow, why I teeter and totter like a child on such a plaything. It was never a game, I was only the victim of my own stubborn pride. Its so easy to be blind in self justification, so easy to be stiff necked when told one thing from my other. Far too easy to rebel and revel in the common muck along all the other beasts, for surely that is what most have become; satisfied in the fallen nature of this world. We are only passing through, but that knowledge is overshadowed by the wiles of Satan, the accuser, and father of lies and confusion.

  While often I have thought myself different, and above such carnality, I was merely justifying my own vices, using theirs as a scapegoat for the very existence I loathed in myself. Apathy, melancholy, despondency- to shield myself from the wrath that would nevertheless store in my heart, poisoning what beauty might well spring forth in its season. I made myself a victim, and everyone else my persecutor. Its easier that way. I didn't need to take painful accountability, I didn't have to look at myself and see my flaws, no- I could instead paint everything black. So long as I could demonize them, I could ignore what I, myself, had become: Lost.

  How can one of the faithful be lost? Like anyone else. While I would obey some commandments of the Lord, it was easy to ignore my shortcomings- especially pride. In my faith we are called, chiefly, to love our God above all else, and hold to His commandments -- should we fall short, then to stand again -- and second, to love our neighbors as we would ourselves; to pray for and love our enemies, though not to submit to them; instead leaving in good will when rejected, that any seed of light we may plant might not be spoiled with any mixture of darkness. For good seed will take in fertile ground, but be swallowed by weeds or barren waste. We are not called to judge which is which, only to be aware, and nevertheless stay the course of righteousness- and there is none in a half measure, only a slope to that great and yawning abyss of sin. For what we reap, is what we sow. By this stage I do not know what good I have done, only that it is some...


  Now I am called away. Another death has occurred at the farmstead, and I must tend the grief, which will be impossible if I leave any more than I can help behind. I want you to know that I'm not angry with you- or upset with you, though my heart grows heavy from my own failings. How I chose to waste so many years pining for your love and admiration, instead of fixing my face and flying right. Should I have done so long ago, then these tears couldn't find me now -- nevertheless -- they are not in vain, so allow me my mourning. Jacob, a young man, very dear to my heart, has been killed protecting another of my house. He died bravely, and I must attend to things now. The world is a hard place, but... it is made easier in knowing he was a good man, and surely at this rate, I will be a good woman, and we will meet in the heaven of heavens.

  Before I depart, I will leave you some recent revelations the Lord has deemed fit to adorn me: Remember that the breath of God lay in every living thing's chest. God will work through creation, and rarely show His hand directly, but through proxy. Even the unbelievers. Treat each and every with respect, even should they hate you. Don't lose heart, like I have been guilty. Be humble, and patient, and kind; remembering that your attention is the highest form of generosity one can freely afford. If you have little patience, learn it, and practice it. Even should one prove an imbecile, you might glean some insight into their nature, or yet your own. That in place, flee from temptation. Do not entertain it at all, or your mettle will whittle, and you will fall.

  Many will hate you, and persecute you once they cannot gain what they want from you, but anger and resentment is no revenge. It is only whetting an appetite for self-destruction. Forgive those who wrong you, and as mentioned before, love and pray for them, departing where you must. Meditate day and night on the doctrines and wisdom of our Lord, for that is the true source of our power; the Way, the Truth, and the Life: The living Word of God. Remember too not to be so stiff-necked in faith, if Christ is these three things, then we should strive to value them above all our preconceived notions. Just because someone doesn't know Christ's name, does not mean they are not Christ-like. In fact, they may prove the first to understand and come to the truth! Plant each seed dutifully, God will give the increase. As it is written.

  While the unbelievers may derive magical powers from their gods, our God is the only one who breathes life and wisdom. Remember this when they pose and posture, they do so from ignorance or vanity. Do not hate them, but love them like I could not before. Perhaps some may learn yet. Be a fisher of mortals, for souls are on the line here. (I hear patience is the primary virtue of fishermen!)


  I have learned so much from you all, despite my best and worst efforts. I do love you, perhaps at times unrightly: desiring more of you here, or less of you there- but now unrepentantly, and full borne. Now I will require assistance, even if only in prayer. What I go to face are broken and fearful hearts, let alone a great black beast haunting the countryside- a werewolf, by all accounts... I do not fancy the prospects of facing this alone, if possible, and will not make the sin of forsaking our bonds of fellowship. You have never done me wrong beyond my own reckoning. If any of our Order of Templar can travel with me and remedy this beast, I will have you now with full heart. Should it prove impossible, I understand. I do not doubt your convictions, I only must depart at once. I will write you, and never forget you. I am busy making preparations, but will return one last time before departure, where anything else will be made clear.

Your sister, in love and burning tears,

Maudlyn

Spoiler: show




P.S. Don't believe the lies of the ruler of this world, that old Satan. We are only passing through here, until we return to where we belong: in paradise.

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« Reply #265 on: October 25, 2022, 01:01:41 AM »

Chapter 1

The Faerie Queen


An elven knight stands upon the worn thoroughfare of the Vistani camp, waiting for her vardo. The captain arrives punctually, as always, and she approaches, considering the letter she sent but moments before boarding for her destination: home.
 

Quote
Firstly, I must apologize for never stopping by like I said I would. Another broken word. The truth is, I had not the heart to return even once more. I find that my misgivings toward our temple ran deeper than I anticipated, and instead of immediately writing to address them, I've had to rewrite this letter a number of times now. For, truly, how deep is my darkness?

No obstacle is worthy of an excuse. I am reminded of some verses in our holy bible which I refresh myself of: having painstakingly searched the scriptures for one key phrase, "let the dead bury their dead". I had to understand the context and meaning to these words from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Toward that end I've transcribed from Luke:9 a selection as follows:

46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

-

 I think what he is saying here is, there is no excuse. Actions speak louder than words. There is no greater action than to preach the kingdom of God, here, and now. To be a light in the darkness we certainly inhabit. Too often do we put on hold what must be done. Due to this, or to that. The truth is I have much against the men of this house, our temple, and I have squabbled pettily over so many melodramas, playing the hypocrite. How am I any better if I cannot see the truth of us? We are all lost in darkness. Why blame you instead of show you with my actions? Instead I prove the inverse; I am no better, wallowing in self despair. Then shame will move me into regretting my actions instead of understanding them, and forgiving let alone myself, but anyone else. Loving them as we ought to. There is no principle, there is no example but what we make. We are all lost in darkness, and Christ is come to give us light- as in the kingdom to come.

 I do love you, so I rebuke you, and call you to repentance alongside me. That we may set right all our crooked ways and be made perfect in the eyes of God. That our hearts be pure, and our intentions clean. That we pray for and deliver our enemies, suffering like good soldiers in Christ until our work is finished. That our righteousness be of the Lord, and our confidence solely in Him, and that we be not ashamed of the truth, or the lies of this world. That we break all the bindings and witchcraft set against us. That we be holy, yea, even like He who sends us! Our understanding is so little to that of God. We truly are like children, ransomed at a high price. I do not think we have finished suffering each other quite yet, and I am happy to be a menace to you- the ultimate brat. After all, we are called to be set apart from this world! Be of good cheer, the kingdom of God is at hand.

 I'll keep you apprised of the situation here once I arrive. I've been informed that many now gather at the farmstead. Tichy's tale of what befell Jacob has stirred quite a commotion. Its believed this monster has been at large for decades, though rarely do any survivors leave a clue to its passing or methodology... Tichy describes it as a great black spider, that speaks through shadows- indeed, even beyond natural comprehension... she claims to have known it for as long as she can remember. Surely, some terrible curse! I send this before my departure. God speed. I love you all. Pray for us, please.

Your sister in Christ,

Argali


 The elf stirs from her reverie, as her bible slips from her lap to bounce across the caravan floor. As she reaches for it, she keeps the page it fell upon, and reads:

"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

As she marveled, from outside, the Vistani captain spoke, "Strange shapes in the mists, I understand they upset the dreams." Argali considered her lonely confines, to approach the portal to return her speech, "I don't dream, there's no worry." The rickety road was the only response. As she returned to her seat, the captain finally replied, "You sure seemed to be dreaming to me. Dreaming of dragons. I've seen stranger things in the mists; great masses trailing dreamers like you. I have an elixir that will ease your passing. Twenty wolf fang."

Argali moved to see him through a slot at the front of the caravan, his back was unmistakably to her. "Whats your name?" She asked. "Nemo." He smiled in profile, with a mouth full of golden teeth. And when she understood- she paid him at once; twenty-one wolf fangs. Even so he tried a coin against his teeth, until satisfied. "I am Argali." She smiled to his back.

They spoke occasionally for the remainder of the journey. Sharing stories, and hopes- and indeed- dreams.


Next://Chapter 2: Ticky Tichy Tuyo


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« Reply #266 on: December 12, 2022, 01:13:51 PM »


Quote
I have nobody left to write to. Its just you now. As its always been. Who? What? Why? I've lived my life trying to explain it. Only now do I no longer feel the need to. I trust you will believe me. That you will understand. That you loved me all along. I'm only beginning to learn what love is afterall.

I have lived my life so vicariously. I behaved as I was expected to. Whatever was convenient. It was easy for me most of the time, because I was clever. But lo and behold so nearsighted. Who can teach the measure of time but experience?

I was taught to kill, and before long I did. Each and every one who knew me I killed. Until you are all thats left. A slight, a spirit, a phantom- is all it took. And my blades were measured against you, until the kill. Lifeless corpses, as far as the eye can see. You still remain.

I'm sorry. I admit that. I'm sorry for my cowardice. I feel equally distraught in knowing you are no better. From one coward to another, your wages are certain. The wages of sin. I pray God delivers us. I have lived my life for vengeance, to find that it was all in vain- for the battle was already won. For vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. How perfect is creation? The very measure of faith is faith. To live according to the truth of His word, rather than the lie and delusion of this world.

For who will you fool if you live a lie? The Lord knows the heart, and nothing is hid from him...

For the wages of sin is death. Who will you fool?

-
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
-

I know we are not friends, but I am charged with your blood on my hands. To tell you the truth of this world. It is passing away.. evil has already been defeated! We war not against flesh and blood, but against evil spirits in heavenly places. Wickedness and principalities. We war in the spirit, not the flesh. For unless you be born again into the spirit, you will be subject entirely to the flesh, which is born of sin.

Wake up unto righteousness, and live- or sleep in death until judgement comes. You choose, I can only warn you, though you may hate me so. I pray I never stop loving you... until it is finished.

-
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.


Wake up.




Who then shall we fear?


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« Reply #267 on: December 20, 2022, 09:34:57 AM »


Do not hold a curse from your brother against him. Excusing such times you curse him in your thoughts.
Vanity, everything is vanity. Therefore drink and be merry in your portion from the Lord. Wisdom increaseth sorrows. For good will overcome evil.

To day is the day that the Lord has made.



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« Reply #268 on: January 08, 2023, 11:01:23 PM »

[Somewhere amidst a dream and a tragedy.]

Quote
I dream of her, its true. Who could not? None who witness.

She's like a light in this dark place. Her absence is sorely felt, regardless of misgivings. What else feels like that? Holy. Pure. Maybe others don't see it like I do, and thats why she has trained me. Its worth remembering:

Sword Lessons
  • She did not let me use a physical sword before she explained to me what it was for, "It is sharp and divides even to the the asunder of joint and marrow, it is a discerner of the thoughts, and intents of the heart. The sword is the Word of God, and by its measure will you strike true."
  • Once you understand measure, next comes tempo; let it be intuitive. Do not rush into traps or overextend. Know the tempo.
  • Next comes mettle- this is where it became complicated. She explained mettle was effort as she beat me up- pretty much. I learned a lot. Its incredible how... powerful she is, and fluid. Like... dancing. Theres an art to it, but also... she's not human, thats for certain. Are all elves like this?
  • Finally was faith. She explained how all things came in cycles, like night and day. The sun and the rain rises and falls on both the good and the evil. But God is always with us, and if we held fast in that belief, we could overcome any evil attack. Pain is the best teacher, but obedience is a better friend. Through it we can understand the truth of flesh, and the mystery of spirit.

Out of everything, though I don't remember the exact words, she said this,

"I cannot give you peace,
Only a sword.

With such,
You may inherit peace by your own hand.
Who am I to know them? Who but you will know their work?
You must be gentle with this blade,
for it is perfect.

If good men are called to pray even for their enemies, then how much more so for their friends?
Lest we play the hypocrite. And woe to the hypocrite.

Where else than by the blood of innocence shall you judge in Truth,
Which is righteousness."

From my own recollections...
Swordsmanship is having perfect alignment, not only presently but... forever. It seems so impossible but... I'm seeing things myself now. I'm beginning to believe. I'm beginning to understand,

Knight Hood



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« Reply #269 on: July 10, 2023, 08:43:42 AM »
Orphan


Session 1

The Wind


 The caravan ambled along the misty road, through ancient and serpentine ways. Presently an elven woman of strangely mismatched eyes and red hair, akin to the wild tangles of the passing woods, stared off in a presumed state of reverie- as was given to her elven kind. Sheathed in armor, she appeared as some fey knight. Her beauty was wreathed in melancholy, when it wasn't otherwise obscured by the hood of her fur cloak. Though the passage of time was nothing new to her, no less counted with great measure, what was a weeks travel at most felt like months- years- a lifetime.

 The caravan creaked in progress, accompanied by the trod of burley oxen. From within the confines Argali sat juxtaposed in stasis. Despite her dull outward appearance, internally her mind swirled in a myriad of color. She was quite unlike her own kind, and yet, unlike the human-kind she was reared among. Indeed, she often felt like no-one at all- alien. Her only constant companion for the past decade was her faith, and even that she felt might betray her. Her ideals had won her few friends, though she didn't blame them entirely. She knew she was a troubled character. She didn't like to face her past, yet it seemed to stare and smile a rictus grin at all she admired. Her eyes closed then.

 She recalled the many letters she had wrote, accusations and advice, hopes and dreams, and warnings of the color of evil. Her mouth twitched. She felt a deep seed of shame for... for what? For the smell- the scent- the reek of her weakness, and insecurities. Those things she could never define before they were surely detected by the very people she thought to save. Her fears and immaturity betrayed her, worse, she felt, than any man or beast ever could. This was pride, she decided, but it did little to alleviate the invisible and seemingly immortal sorrow it painted in her soul. For all her worth, the tax she imposed on others was meted with vengeance against herself, by herself. Wisdom increases sorrows, she reminded herself in the vein of her holy scriptures. Her eyes opened again, only now she was unmistakably aware.

 This loathing... like poison in the wine of holy communion. This desire- the leaven of the bread of my body. When all the guests are left from my table, I am left alone to sup it. She trembled in impotent rage and rose with a violent motion. With no prey to purchase she steadied herself against the caravan portal with an armored gauntlet, staring long at the road behind as calm and shame again found her. From strength to strength, she thought, and everlasting to everlasting. Was this the best she was capable of? Had she come so far- dedicated herself to so much- to fall so hard? Surely, she was fallen. Was this all she could concern herself when now, the fruits of her labor called her home? The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, she recanted. Dogma had become much of her sanity. Without the faith, however frail, she would break, and crumble again to nothing. And yet she shivered in the dust of the portal, the caravan wheels often slinging stones or mud behind its wake; some would invariably find her waiting to caress. The darkness beguiled even her keen elven senses. She knew that what was behind she would never return to- so instead she stared a final vigil. Before long, she abandoned that too, to seat herself again with the dignity she could muster.


 Again, she thought of home... where tragedy waited. For all her letters, she had received some in return. The latest had set current events into motion. Jacob, her squire, had been slain. She never considered him her squire until news of his death, but that he was. When she first met him, he was a full foot shorter, but had shot up like a mustard tree over a scant few years. He was the oldest orphan among the lot, and served as more of a caretaker than a charge. The headmistress- everyone- knew he was as bright as he was industrious. Before he learned odds and ends of this and that trade, he would help in more practical manners with everything and anything to the point it became expected of him. Argali's arrival didn't start that, it only accelerated it. Jacob took to the elf like most everyone at the orphanage. She came like a bird of prey, bringing money and excitement among the so many creatures of that place. At first she merely made a donation, and was invited to stay for as long as she cared to. So she did, quickly becoming as enamored of the children as they were of her. She told them stories, played their games, and innovated new ones all the time. More: she brought order to the rebellious youths and fostered a nurturing environment. Where once the drudgery of the day reigned supreme, Argali became queen.

 Jacob was enamored at once- as were all of the boys. She was like a kid herself in so many regards, save her alien origin and preternatural ability. She was magic, there was no doubt, the stuff of dreams and legends- in the flesh, and more. She often spoke of her faith, and her Christ God who she praised to the fault of many. Despite whatever misgivings her religion may have garnered, she could not be denied. Apart from the mysterious attention she gave to the orphanage, she brought treasures too, singlehandedly funding the repair of the dilapidated house and its accompanying fixtures out on the fringe of the local town and forests. Sometimes suitors would come and lend hands, yet for all the joy she conjured, she left many a man cursing her bitterly. "Married to her God," they'd say, "A zealot- A lesbian-" others. A surprising few left peaceably, admirers, serving great benefit to the orphanage thereafter.

 After two years of occupation, she had become a fixture, and the cornerstone of that place. The entire time, Jacob studied her, learned her lessons, and played her games. He took to her faith more than any other, not only in interest, but in understanding. Argali was proud of him, but was also aware of his growing sexual maturity. She didn't want to hurt him, or lead him astray, a point she drove home more than most could bear. Through seasons of mood, he always returned, and so he became a confidant of hers. She began to teach him to fight, predominantly with swords, but no less the art and theory like she was taught- only with patience befitting her lineage.

 For all her mystery, she had but one thread tying her to her past there: her letters. She would incessantly write correspondence to deep within the Core. She admitted that while she belonged to a Order of Templar Knights, she never felt she truly belonged amongst them. Yet she kept apprised of their dealings, until such a time she may be needed to defend the faith. While that day would never come, Jacob, who handled the mail, sometimes received letters from a certain man who claimed to be engaged to the elf, a fact she seldom spoke of, and even then, with little vigor. Jacob felt that if she received those letters, she might leave, so he kept them from her a long time. When he finally cracked and delivered the bundle, his fears were founded when she announced she would be travelling to Vallaki to meet her fiancÚ once more.

 Try as he might, Jacob resented her, but tried to keep busy with his duties. Instead, he began to receive many letters from the absent elf addressing a great many things. Some encouraging, many alarming. A great evil had arisen in the Core, and worse, Argali was vexed greatly. He had never suspected she could express such duress and anxiety, so he thought to travel to her, but she forbad it; seemingly only finding her voice when it came to commanding him. He couldn't protest... it never ended well with her, so he obeyed, like he was taught. Though Argali was away, Jacob had a duty to the others; he refused to fail them, and by extension, her. He loved her, and though seasons passed, he stayed busy, until...

 One day Argali received a letter from the Headmistress. Instantly she was afraid, for the stout and tough woman could scarcely sign her own name; Jacob handled her accounts...

Quote
Maudlyn, I'm sorry to say but Jacob got killed fighting a monster from the Deep Woods. Tichy was involved, but the story is strange. I feel like she's leaving parts out, what given her past and not. Hunters and constables have the reports, but no good information beyond what Tichy can tell them. She went alone into the woods at night, and a great black spider attacked them. She says Jacob followed her without her knowing. When pressed on it, she says she likes to visit the lake you like to pray and do your rituals at. She says its her special place, and, well, she's alright. She got away with some scrapes and bruises from running through the dark. Jacob held the thing at bay for her to run, but the men can't find any trace of him but for blood and battle. Its everywhere. He fought hard, the men say. They call him a hero, but between you and I, Maud, I wonder if it was a mistake to give him, for her. It may be horrible to you, but I'm only human, Maud. You know he was like a son for me. Tichy is a [the line has been heavily scrawled over] troubled girl. And I'm not the only one who says so. I dont know what you're into but the men have been keeping guard over us since then. Some only cause I can afford it on your account. Some I think just cause of you. Its a motley crew, and its devil days like you wrote some time back. Only here now too. They put a call out for some special hunters and knight sorts like yourself. Maybe if you arrive you can join them. They might could use your faerie charm.

 We love you, Maud. We understand and don't hold you on account for not a thing. You done right for us beyond any measure I can pose you. Its devil days, and speaking for myself, I see more sense in your religion these days since some of the little ones, Anne, Yoril, in particular, been a blessing straight from your mouth, Maud. They talk like you and got more strength than me, it seems. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise."

I think I'll get myself dunked when you come home, babe.

-Tara


 Argali stared at the letter in her hands, she had read it countless times by now. Really, she was staring someplace through it all, when the caravan captain spoke from over the common din. "Strange shapes in the mists, I understand they upset the dreams." Argali considered her lonely confines. The captain hadn't spoken to her apart from camping and commencing, as was customary- often enough. She approached the forward slot to return her speech, "I don't dream, there's no worry." The rickety road was the only response. As she returned to her seat, the captain finally replied, "You sure seemed to be dreaming to me. Dreaming of dragons. I've seen stranger things in the mists; great masses trailing dreamers like you. I have an elixir that will ease your passing. Twenty wolf fang."

 Argali stared at his back through the slot. "Whats your name?" She asked. "Nemo." He smiled in profile, with a mouth full of golden teeth. She narrowed her eyes over him indignantly, he feigned offence so poorly she couldn't help but chuckle. "Tell you what, elv- you stop dreaming, I'll stop caring." That gave her pause. "We'll never make it at this rate." She considered his words before replying, "Its poor custom to drink stranger's brews on the road, don't you think?" Nemo nodded his head along, before regarding her once more. "If that were my intent, I could poison you a lot of other ways, elv-" "Argali," she replied. He turned to look at her more fully and squint a modicum, before turning back ahead to serendipitously navigate a rough patch.

 "Listen, Argali. Either you take the brew, or you stop dreaming. I don't get many elvs, and none with eyes like yours. I've seen everything these mists have to offer, and more, and I know you're causing this patch of wyrd- worst yet I've seen. Usually passes in a few hours." The din filled the empty air before he answered her unspoken question, "Its been three days, and I'm a little lost myself by now." He turned sharply, a pointed look, "A little." There was no humor there, but an unmistakable note of concern. "Stop the caravan," she said. Nemo turned back ahead, shrugged, and obliged.

 Argali dismounted the portal through the back in her full harness, observing the edge of the woods; as impenetrable as ever. She moved toward the front and hoisted herself up with a preternatural motion. Nemo merely watched her as the caravan rocked and the oxen snorted in protest. "Rude," he proclaimed. "Sorry," she collected herself beside him, watching him meaningfully, "Show me." Nemo took his reins and started back on the road, Argali beside him. She broke the din, "You say... strange things in the mist? Dragons?" Nemo nodded, "Maybe you'll see. Its not all who can."

 Over the course of a few hours, she indeed saw nothing, but felt a creeping, implacable anxiety; shivers down her spine. "There." Nemo pointed, there was nothing, but Nemo stared at the gloom over the woods. "You don't see it, do you?" Argali shook her head, vexed, "No... No I don't." She seemed disappointed, then jolted upright like she was struck by lightning, causing Nemo the laziest alarm, his eyebrows arching upward toward their center. He followed her gaze, to a cherry blossom tree along the path, and sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Stop the caravan!" she cried.

 Nemo seemed tired, "This is the third time we've passed here, Argali." She was trembling, though her eyes were bright and attentive; for once, lending Nemo pause. Argali looked to him and smiled, despite her tremor. "I believe you, Nemo... don't worry, I'll settle it." Nemo fixed his brow a touch incredulously, but simply shrugged and leaned back, crossing his arms. "This time you show me," he managed as she dismounted and approached the cherry blossom. Despite the gloom, the tree retained a vibrance and floral beauty. Argali stood before it, but glanced back once to Nemo, who watched with a nominal turn of his head. He looked both at once bored, and intrigued; like his entire veneer was a costume he was no longer comfortable in.


 Argali made a warding gesture, touching her hand from her forehead to her chest, then crossing from the left of her chest to the right. No sooner was the motion accomplished she kneeled under the boughs in prayer. "Lord, forgive me my sins, my trembling heart. For the spirit you have ever vested in me is of power and sound mind. My faith has been faint, but forsake me not. The more I seek, the more I find. The fever of fear has taken me far from you, but you remind me... your love cannot be taken from me. I have tread these roads, up and down, and now in circles- but narrow is the gate that keeps you. I pray we may walk it once more, and depart nevermore. Fill me with your holy ghost, that no shadow may stand against your purpose. For now Destiny awaits your perfect timing," she reached to unsheathe a sword at her hip, from among a pair, "may no man, beast, or unclean spirit keep me from it. I have tarried and lagged, I have stumbled and fallen; now I kneel, and soon I will stand again. My sorrows are without measure. You know the depths of me. Search my heart and steel my mettle. I have dreamed of death," she lowered the sword, and rose her gaze, "now may I walk the path of life, forevermore. May I abide in faith, and hope, and charity. May I forgive as you forgive me. May you reach them Lord, and soften their hearts. And instill in them a taste of eternity as I have tasted, that they may never thirst, or hunger again. May you feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and heal the sick. May our flesh fail, and your Word endure, forever. May you make us fishers of men, and keepers of your commandments. May lies consume my heart no longer. May this illusion be cast down! And sundered! And from the ruin your temple arise in a mighty shout. Keep us now and forever, humble, righteous, and true. Holy as you are, and perfect in your sight. Now comes fire, and blood. For vengeance is yours, Lord. You will repay. Your Word does not change. May your angels give witness, and your children sing glory, hosanna! For you are our God." She crossed herself like when she began, "Deliver us from strength to strength, and everlasting to everlasting. By the blood and body of Christ. May we return home, heirs and inheritors of your kingdom. Amen."

 When she rose, she turned to watch Nemo, and her face was both at once fierce, and unnaturally tranquil, with the subtlest hint of joy. Nemo stared quietly, his arms folded, he turned his head to observe the mists, but simply clucked his tongue. "Alright." As Argali approached he indicated her hands, "Still need that sword?" She sheathed it, then rejoined him at his purchase, and they continued along the way.

"Sure you don't want that brew?" Now Argali clucked her tongue, then laughed. Try as he might to deny it, Nemo smiled.


~Next//Session 2:  Ticky Tichy Tuyo