You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: A distant pattern...  (Read 326 times)

cheese tornado

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A distant pattern...
« on: May 22, 2023, 03:11:33 AM »
...902BC...
...Somewhere in Dementlieu...

Marissa leaned back into the old wooden chair, it creaked in protest but she held her faith to it's support. She exhaled over the ink on the parchment, finishing her notation and waiting for it to dry. Her old eyes scanned the lines of spidery handwriting that her usual script:

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"So long has it been that I have set quill to paper, I hardly remember the last time I wrote. Much... much has happened. My memory stretches behind me like spiders strand of webbing caught in a morning breeze. I am old. Older than I should be, as I have extended my natural lifespan with a blessing from the Goddess. Amelia would have had a fit if she knew, if.. she was still alive, perhaps Eve too. Unfortunately it was necessary, according to the path of least suffering. Many witches have been killed by the Tepestani Inquisition into these lands, many friends, brothers and sisters slaughtered and sent to the fires, many more fled beyond ability to scry or reach with a dream, no prayer exists that I know of, and no spell of an arcane bent to find them.No, if I didn't accept the power that day, our faith would no longer exist..."

She reclined again, admitting silently to herself the sins of her life. Her small hand clenched, streaked with the blue of her veins. She had discarded her veil, thin and as ancient, by human standards, as she was. It lay on the floor in a heap, her hair now a stark white and hung in pools behind her on the floor. She had long since knew that discarding any part of her living body was a hazard, too many hags had tracked her with naught but a strand of hair, or a crescent of a fingernail. Anything soaked in her lifeforce, so she had let her hair grow. She exhaled with resolved and centered herself before she continued reading:

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"Only Barovia and Hazlan now stand between barbarism and civility, outside, beyond the wards and deep walls of this sanctuary, see the banners of the Inquisition, I feel and smell the gunpowder that fires across the praries. I see villages smouldering with evil fire, while grim faced soldiers pile wood at the feet of a mother and her two daughters. I am filled with rage, smothered only by my sorrow. For nearly a hundred years we had warning of their resurgence, the Red Vardo, whats left of them, tried to tell us, but we paid no heed to the rumors. They destroyed the Mist Camp first, the haven of chaos and misfits, and the Vistani disappeared into the Mists. No one has seen them for nearly fifty years..."

She paused in her reading, closing her thin eyelids against the tears which flowed down her wrinkled cheeks. She looked up, as the sound of a deep boom reverberated through the reinforced walls of the room. It was sparse, free of earthly possessions, several bunk beds lay on the eastern wall, caught in the hypnotic dance of a flickering lantern. She cast out her senses, careening through the static fizz of warding woven into earth, wood and air, through the medium of charcoal. The conflux of elemental forces, appealing to the virtues of heat and air, to form a mirage which obscured the secret entrance from prying eyes. Beyond, she felt the presence of hostile minds and knew her time here was nearly at an end. She continued writing, her quill animating via a swiftly spoken Amanuensis spell.

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"The Keep was obliterated soon after, and the gargantuan building reduced to a smouldering ruin. All the mighty heroes of our time, some less virtuous than others, were no match for their sheer numbers. Bes'lyth had slewn more than a hundred on her own, before she too fell to exhaustion and so many others. Amelia had vanished, I was never again able to find her. I assume the worst, though it has been decades, and she likely would be dead by now."

She paused in her dictation to listen, but was only met with silence. After a moment, she resumed.

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"I don't know what sinister event or deed spurred the Tepestani onto their righteous war, but to rule out a hags influence at this time is foolish. I only hope I live long enough now to find out, though it's been over a hundred years, time means nothing to some of us."

The building shook, and dust cascaded from the ceiling, which was only scant feet above her head. With a thought she extinguished all the lanterns, blew on the paper once more. Folding it neatly into her pack, she said aloud, "I am sorry, Amelia. I hope you would have understood if you were alive still." She took a deep breath and drew on her training. Within an instant she was gone, only the sound of yelling, pickaxes striking the ground and wood shattering under them filled the chamber. Daylight speared through splintered wood and earth, the great cacophony searing through the dark silence.

Marissa awoke from her dream, her eyes shot open, ringing with the haze of morning light. She was stunned by what remained in her mind, visions and earth, writing, war and suffering. She tentatively reached for her veil, right where she left it, on her bedside table. Already, she heard the milling about of other Sisters in the Sisters of Compassion sister's quarters, and it took a moment or two for her to register. She swung herself out of bed and examined herself in the mirror. She was youthful still, comely but marred by the scars around her milky white cataracted eyes. Though once vivid green, they were now darkened in hue. She stared at her reflection for a long time, it had all seemed so real... With a breath, she donned her veil and begun her day, though it was many hours until the shadow of her dream finally left her...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2023, 03:17:48 AM by cheese tornado »