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Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.

* Plot Information for Raej

The High Priest rules Raej with political acumen and charisma, but not all is well under the desert sun. As the years progress tension between Blood and Landen grow and are now nearly at a fever pitch. Odji Khaldun’s secret war against the Landen is not public knowledge but the workings of it can be seen. Blood and Landen die on both sides while Raej subtly prepares for civil war.
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Author Topic: Grief and the grieving  (Read 115 times)

Description: Solo/Offering

Offline Saiph al-Kaid

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    • pd2sapphire
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    • Here lies a toppled god.

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Grief and the grieving
« on: Apr 10, 19, 03:03:19 AM »
Saiph knew the words of the Offering Ceremony like she knew the infinite shades of darkness that were all she could perceive. She knew them in Pruulian and she knew them in the rhythms of Raej, though it was the endless riot of stars over the desert that pounded in her chest. It was the heartbeats of her lost homeland that thrummed in her chest behind her breastbone as Syeira said the Raejian words: jan-jan-jan. Run run run. But there was nowhere to run to, not now, not ever, maybe. Perhaps she would live out her life blinded and in exile in the land of Raej, forgotten--but even so, she would be a worthy successor to Saiph Nagi. My heart's mother. The line of Priestess Queens stretching back near-unbroken to the time of Onn's founding...

The Darkness was familiar to her, and the blood wine did not turn her stomach. She was twenty now, a woman grown, and had walked some few of her people through their Rites under Syeira and Iskander's supervision. It wouldn't have been the same in Pruul, she knew. There would have been the Hajj to plan for, for the women; the trials to oversee for the men. Here, the Offering was one thing, only one thing, a strange and self-contained rite that conferred nothing upon its supplicant but the Jewel that the Mother in the Darkness granted them. No right of manhood, no ritual at the water's edge. Just this moment. Perhaps, after, she would walk down to the Vaal and sit in contemplation, but it would not be the same as the rite she would have had, and as she considered that difference her heart ached as if from a hammer-blow, nails scraping against her ribs.

Perhaps she'd thought that she knew all there was to know about mourning and the mourner. Had she not cried for the uncle she barely knew and the people she'd left behind? For Errai's lovely Blood Opal and Red, shattered to dust beneath the knife of Namri al-Hague in her defense? For the burning of the Pruulian sun on her skin and the sun-frost it imparted on her white hair? But it was not until Syeira put the Raejian cup of blood wine in her hands and opened the door to the Abyss that Saiph truly knew the shape of grief. It spoke another language, and the words she knew in it fell short of the things she needed to say.

Yet the door to her Darkness had been opened, her inner web rendered permeable by Syeira's guiding Craft. It was too late to delay, to wish for the Pruulian rites that were her birthright. She turned her back on the bright glare of the White and filtered down, slow as water spilled onto sand or the flow of Pruulian blood. Tiger Eye, Rose, Summer-Sky, the familiar Purple Dusk. She paused for only a moment there, and then continued. Opal, Blood Opal, Green.


As she had promised Odji Khaldun, Saiph settled at the Sapphire. The Green, the Blood Opal, the Opal, each of them was wrong. Not for others. For her. Purple and blue, the colors of deep dark water, the colors of the night sky as the Mother in the Darkness whirled her starry skirt over the world. Streaks of purple clouds passing the moon as it hung in Sapphire stillness. In the Abyss, she could see; in the Abyss, the complex clockwork of the world was revealed before her. She saw no new state of matter, no profundity: but she recognized a relationship that previously eluded her, masked by all the myriad little indignities of the body. So many little details missed between breaths, aching between heartbeats.

A fact, then: The oracle shapes her sacred inner universe to produce new probabilities from forces which surpass all understanding. What need is there for understanding before one shapes the world around them? Do metal workers need to understand the tiny building blocks of iron and steel to work them? Could Mother Night not describe this valley in which I stand, this river of time which runs around my thighs even as I await the end of this night? At the Sapphire, Saiph could see into forever, a whirling vortex of complexly intertwined motes, past-future-past-past-present-future--No, we're not talking about the piano--when had she ever seen a piano?--we're talking about dreams; all I do is dream, all the time--

And she SAW: a wall upon which someone had painted in stale, tacky, clotting blood the legend WE SWEAR, a rough drawing like two silver fish--

And she SAW: a universe, timeless at its roots, all times and all futures combined within the curling sprawl--

And she SAW: a legend inscribed upon a stone, I bequeath to you--

And she knew: She could not die of grief, though in that moment as her head pounded with things that were gone and her heart beat thready and slow on just the right side of that dividing line. Her heart could not actually break from sadness and sorrow and the strange heartbeat of a land that did not belong to her. Her grief dimmed with time. Already it was fading. That was the way of things, though her chest still ached and screamed.

When she returned to her body, she cried. One tear from the inside corner of a violet eye that long saw nothing, neither wind nor wake, one tear only, and that because--

She didn't miss Pruul as much as she once did.