collapse

* Welcome!

CLICK HERE if you're interested in joining, or if you'd just like a little more info about Blood Rites.

* Important Links

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* COTY and TOTY

Character of the Year


Thread of the Year

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG-D Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

   

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.

* Plot Information for Dhemlan Terreille

It is natural for a Long-Lived Territory to remember the past, but it is equally essential to for them step into the future, and Dhemlan’s future is Democracy. With a proud tradition of representative government already in place, post-war Dhemlan has chosen to let the people decide their path forward. With drought and starvation looming, no one knows who the next ruler will be, but they do know this: the fate of Dhemlan Terreille will be decided not on the battlefield, but at the polls.
Culture of Dhemlan
Parliament
Males of Dhemlan
Priestesshood
Black Widow Justice

Author Topic: Beyond the veil, behind the mask  (Read 320 times)

Description: Ozymandias

Offline Ascencion Galante

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • healer
    • Role

      Anarchist

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      4

    • View Profile
Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« on: Feb 24, 19, 04:55:14 PM »
Ascencion's father didn't complain when she carted off the larger-than-life portrait of Sybil Saravia for her own purposes. In the painting, Sybil was always youthful, always healthy and serene, a faint and esoteric smile curving her thin lips. The bold brushstrokes--how many times had her father lectured her about the artistry of this painting--coalesced into the sharp edges of Sybil, her long and spidery hands, who had nevertheless been warm and kind. Ozymandias would eventually miss the painting, but for now, Ascencion had it all to herself.

With a fingertip that glittered with Opal fire, she lit the long red candle. She'd stolen it from a friend of her father's; it was so easy to just vanish a sanguine candle here, another there. Eventually she built up enough for the ritual she'd found in an ancient book that had belonged to her mother. It was meant to be conducted by a Priestess, she knew that. It called out for specific Craft, communion and concordance, the kind of thing that her father's friend Mamoru espoused from his stupid Altar in the mountains. But why should it only be possible for someone with a fluke of psychic scent? Why shouldn't Ascencion's need stretch across the veil, part that mystic haze and return her mother's voice to her?

A teardrop of wax ran down the side of the candle.

Ascencion jolted back to awareness. She breathed in, a deep and heady breath. There was salt and iron on the air, the blood she'd shed for the connection to Sybil Saravia, whose body had mostly been cremated to conceal the depths of the crimes that Gold Company had committed against her. Her sole remaining piece of her mother lay in the circle before her. So small. Maybe the size of Ascencion's fist. Dried and dessicated, old and older. Hundreds of years.

If she listened hard, she could hear Sybil whisper to her. She strained, the fine hairs on her arms rising in the oppressive silence, but the words refused to coalesce into anything meaningful. Just the idea of Sybil's voice. "Mama," the Healer breathed. "Mama, I'm sorry for what I said. Please talk to me. Please." Her stomach turned over as her memory of Sybil's corpse intruded on her focus. "I need you," she said, "I need you so much, please answer me." All she heard was the roar of her own blood in her ears.

Sybil never answered, but Ascencion stayed there until the candle burned down to a puddle of wax.

The morning after, when Ozymandias came down for breakfast, it was to his daughter asleep over her oatcakes and honey, her cheek pillowed on her hand.

Offline Ozymandias Galante

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • prince
    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« Reply #1 on: Feb 24, 19, 09:06:46 PM »
Ozymandias wondered sometimes if his daughter thought he didn’t know what she got up to. He had not asked a great many questions when she expressed her intention to relocate Sybil’s portrait. He had not needed to. All of Ascencion’s mischief happened under his nose, where he merely needed to glance down and see it. What use did a Healer have for so many altar candles filched from the stores of Mamoru Salazar, after all, if not attempting to perform unsanctioned Blood Magic that she had neither the training nor the caste for?

He wasn’t worried. Ozymandias was confident that Ascencion’s efforts would lead nowhere and that no harm would come to the painting. Why else would he have impressed upon her its value if not to warn her off damaging it? No. Sunny’s late-night seances were the least troubling of her interests.

Perhaps he oughtn’t indulge her so much. His daughter was already in her sixth century. Why, when Ozymandias had been her age, his uncle had already lost the family fortune and he’d been consumed with the task of restoring it - not to mention there’d been a war brewing. He’d been robbed of their people’s typical lengthy adolescence. Sunny, conversely, had been born into a war and forced to act far above her maturity level far too soon.

No, Ozymandias considered. She was perfectly fine. He was only giving her what she was due, an opportunity to be young and carefree. Once he’d lost his adolescence, time had never slowed down enough for him to reclaim it. There was no harm in letting Sunny dabble in the occult for another century…

Of all her interests, it was one of the least worrying.

“Late night, Sunshine?” he asked, taking a seat beside her at the table. He was confident a servant would be along with eggs and fruit in a moment. “Any progress?”

He could at least humor her, he thought. It was a kindness she deserved.

Offline Ascencion Galante

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • healer
    • Role

      Anarchist

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      4

    • View Profile
Re: Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 19, 04:11:16 AM »
Sunny jolted awake at her father's greeting, and tried a tired smile on her face. It felt weird, wrong, near-rictus in its unfortunate shapes, so she let it fall and instead let him see how tired she was. "No, Papa," she said, though she was sure she'd heard her mother whispering to her, the words too faint to hear. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking, born of Sunny's own need to know that Sibyl would have forgiven her. Either way, it was too private to share, even with her father, her Escort, her protector.

Ascencion didn't know why her need to try to reach out to her mother's--what? Spirit? Lifespark?--ghost felt so direly secret to her. She didn't want to share it with anyone, though she knew that her dear Papa would accept any invitation she tendered to the casting. His love for Sybil might be the element that finally twisted the Priestesses' ritual and made it work, but if that were so, why wasn't Sunny's need and love for her enough? Had Sibyl been too angry to care for her at the end of her life? It didn't sound like her mother, to be so cruel and so bitter, but she hadn't been speaking to Sibyl for nearly a century when she'd found (been shown) her mother's body.

And he would almost certainly object to discovering that Ascencion still had a piece of her mother with her. He'd probably make her bury it in the family crypt. Where would that leave her except bereft of proof that Sibyl Saravia Galante had ever existed outside of Sunny's own imagination? Well... Ozymandias would probably feel better, knowing she wasn't keeping some gory memento mori of Sibyl's horrific death at her side anymore. But didn't he feel the same way now, all unknowing that Sunny literally carried her mother's heart with her?

Better to keep that a secret, she decided.

"There's nothing important going on down in the village clinic," said Ascencion, finally digging her fork into her oatcakes as a servant brought eggs, fruit, and coffee to her father's side. "They'll call me if they need me. Do you want to go for a walk? Prince Salazar wants to know if we have a spot for that hideous statue and I think I know a place where it'll be safe but we also won't have to look at it."

It was a pretty bad statue, in her opinion. Prince Salazar said that it was an 'exemplar of the early Petrarchan style' and that she was not allowed to drop it into the ocean where the hideous thing clearly belonged.

Offline Ozymandias Galante

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • prince
    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« Reply #3 on: Mar 01, 19, 11:10:24 AM »
Ozymandias nodded. If he were a different man, a different sort of father, perhaps he would have retained a priestess to tutor Sunny in the caste and nurture her apparent affinity for the arcane. But he knew in broad strokes what she was trying to do, and the only reason he managed to be okay with it was because, Healer that she was, he felt she had no chance of breaking through and succeeding. She could go through the motions of the spellwork all she liked - there was almost no chance that Ascencion would spontaneously manifest the caste that she needed to make the magic real.

He had larger concerns about her. The powerless seances were the last of his problems.

“I’m sorry, love,” he said. “I know you’re working hard.”

He was not going to say anything more on the matter if she wasn’t. Best that his daughter thought he was supportive of her efforts, he thought. He would only truly concern himself with them if she began involving someone actually capable of communion craft. Of the Priests and Priestesses known to him, he knew Mamoru wouldn’t collaborate, and no one else was nearly so close to the family.

Ozymandias leaned back in his seat, allowing the serving girl to set down his breakfast. “Once I’ve eaten, we can go and have a look,” he answered, salting his eggs. “I do think I know the spot you’re thinking of, but I disagree on the matter of the statue being hideous. The early Petrarchan style is defined by its primitive forms and disharmonious shapes, but that befits the time period. The territory was just emerging from a lengthy war with Hayll…”

He trailed off, blinking at her. “But I don’t expect to change your opinion on the matter. It’s an issue of personal taste. Surely Mamoru doesn’t expect us to give it a permanent home, though I’d be honored.”

“If you’re really so opposed,” he said, dipping a piece of melon into his egg yolk, “I can find space in the vault for it. But we can go for a walk in either case.”

Offline Ascencion Galante

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • healer
    • Role

      Anarchist

    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      4

    • View Profile
Re: Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 19, 01:05:25 AM »
"Papa," she sighed. Of course the early Petrarchan style was important, but it was also hideous, which was why it didn't belong in the house. It would be like... hanging a corpse in a hall! Which the Eyriens had done, actually, so she wasn't going to draw that line. "It's too early for art history lectures." It was always too early for art history lectures. If Ascencion let her papa get started, they'd spend the whole day doing New Criticism at some portrait he'd taken for interesting. She wasn't going to waste her whole day like that. She had important things to do... important things to tell her father.

Ascencion waited for Ozymandias to finish eating with ill grace, her gold eyes tracking the moment of his hands until his plate was cleared. She didn't wait for him to get up, just grabbed his wrist and dragged him after her. Once they were out in the cool, clear morning air, she woke up a little more, and it occurred to her that she probably oughtn't have brought along her coffee cup. It was a little more than half full still, so she took a hearty sip of it before she dropped her father's hand.

The Opal-Jeweled Healer cut through the high hedgerows of the family gardens like a ship through water, firm and unerring in her course. Ozymandias ambled after her; despite his Dark Jewels, sometimes he just seemed so old. Full of the willingness to stop and smell the roses, or some such elderly concept, she supposed, but that wasn't the point. Once she got to the small circular garden area within the great labyrinth, she threw herself on an empty pedestal. "We could put it here," she said. It'd taken them nearly ten minutes to get to the spot. She'd never have to see the ugly thing if she didn't want to, which she wouldn't, because it was ugly as sin.

"I'm going to run to rule Dhemlan," she announced, without further preamble.

Offline Ozymandias Galante

  • Character Account
    • green2red
    • prince
    • Territory

      Dhemlan, Terreille

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Leez

    • Posts

      12

    • View Profile
Re: Beyond the veil, behind the mask
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 19, 10:32:37 AM »
“We could,” said Ozymandias, considering the pedestal - it had long sat empty. He couldn’t even recall what had last occupied it. Perhaps nothing since his uncle Cyrus made his run at selling off everything that wasn’t nailed down. If Ascencion really wasn’t going to let go of how ugly the thing was, then it was probably best to put it far from sight. He doubted his daughter would vandalize a piece of priceless art, but there would be no end of complaining.

“I’ll let the movers know.” He nodded. That hadn’t taken long at all!

To which his daughter replied, I’m going to run to rule Dhemlan.

“Of course you are,” said Ozymandias, masking his surprise. He’d never known her to have political ambitions, but it made a certain kind of sense - Ascencion had opinions in spades. While he and Sybill had hidden their revolutionary involvement from their daughter, she’d still picked up their leanings.

There was a bench in the clearing, and Ozymandias took a seat, folding his hands beneath his chin as he regarded her interestedly. “You know I’m powerless to deny you anything you want, beloved daughter of mine,” he said, a smile in his voice. “If this is what you want, then I will throw my support behind it.”

Already he was imagining what favors he could call in, what old friends he could activate. Ascencion was a good age to find her calling - young, but with some centuries under her belt. No doubt the press would brand her an upstart, but anyone less than a thousand was an upstart in Dhemlan. Ozymandias had been an upstart once.

“What, night tell, is your platform?” he asked.