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Author Topic: only time will tell it's tale  (Read 1173 times)

Description: attn: Eris

Offline Rian Maboya

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only time will tell it's tale
« on: Jan 31, 13, 01:45:12 PM »
Fall 187 AP

It had been weeks since the arrival of Erisian Maboya to the Court of Shalador. The people had been euphoric, their celebrations lasting well over a week in revelation of what Mother Night had done for them. She had returned that which had been most precious to them, the daughter of Shalador, the hope of the people. They saw the woman, saw only what would have been had the girl been given the opportunity to grow up in Shalador under her sister's tutelage. They saw Eris as she should have been rather than as she was.

But Rian knew the truth.

The years spent in the mines had changed her sister. The girl she had once been was gone, the woman she would have grown into nothing but a fantasy. And what the High Priestess was faced with was a woman she did not know any longer who happened to bear the Black. Every fear she had of Erisian was coming to pass with a more calculated cruelty than she could have ever imagined. Rian had made the sacrifice years ago, she had offered up that which meant more to her than her own life because it had been what was demanded of her, it was what her land needed. That day she had lost her sister, and even now she did not have her back.

Rian had come to her rooms, her clothing stripped from her, the heavy ornate garb being peeled from her and taken away. Stripping the jewelry she wore, the woman sat alone in her room with her own thoughts. They were grim thoughts, filled with darkness and fear no matter how her heart ached upon seeing Rian and Akan again, witnessing the shattered pieces of themselves that remained in their gazes. They had survived, but it had cost them - and now, it would seem that it would cost Shalador.

But the pair had not returned alone. Rian had not met many of her sister's Court, but she had seen them. Criminals from the Salt mines, hardened men and women who had no place in the blessed land of Shalador. Rian was not too keen to give them a place either. She had held the land in her grip since the Purge, taken it and nurtured it until it produced life, blessings for the sacrifice of the people. She had made the decisions necessary to protect her people, and bore the weight of many secrets that threatened to crush her beneath them.

Amoxtli would come to her tonight. She had sent for him, and the man had never denied her. She needed him by her side in this. She needed to feel his acceptance of her in the face of what she had brought down upon Shalador; she needed him to make her smile. He could not carry the weight of her rule, but she could for a short time forget herself and what would remain there for her to deal with when the morning came. Still it would be some time before she saw the man. He had taken to tutoring her daughter, and as Itzel had become close friends with his niece, they were probably out playing together before he would send the girls off to bed.

For that reason, Rian was alone when she heard the voice.

It was her sister's voice, drifting in through the open window to the High Priestess's chamber. Confusion swept over the woman upon hearing it, not because it was terribly unusual for voices to drift up from the Courtyard, but because it sounded as though Eris was angry. Her sister's ire was not something that Rian wanted unleashed on Shalador, not ever, but certainly not now. She was so shattered internally, even Rian could see that in her eyes, that Rian felt confident she would be quick to break and lash out in anger. That was more than the people of her land could handle, and there were very few who could stand up to Eris.

She went to the window, the voice even louder from there, but Rian could not see her sister. Quickly, she fled the room to search the Courtyard. It crossed her mind for the briefest of moments to call for Akan, but she had not gathered the strength to face the man, she could scarcely imagine herself calling for his help in this matter. And after all, Eris was her sister, and that was a bond that transcended the slow descent of her mind into madness, especially as she had no idea that it was Rian herself who had sent her there. Eris could face her sister, even if she now stood further in the abyss of power.

Hurrying out into the chilled night, Rian wore a simple shift for the evening, but the woman herself could not be considered simple. Even in the Courtyards lacking the priestess garb that traditionally set her apart, the woman was still a commanding present. She swept through the Courtyard quickly, bright gold eyes searching - seeking her sister before the argument could escalate.

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #1 on: Feb 07, 13, 07:59:55 PM »
Returning to the Forest improved Erisian's condition by leaps and bounds but she was still shores away from whole.

During their last days in the mines it was touch and go as to whether the Lady's chalice would hold. Perilous enough was her condition on the first eve of their release Karlissa, still sickly and wounded stole away with her Black Jeweled sister. She told no one and pilfered the supplies she needed to make her friend less vulnerable to the tendrils of madness wormed through her mind. The purpose? Weaving foundations of the healing that might eventually pull the Shaladorian fully back from the Twisted Kingdom's treacherous borders where she spent most her time.

Unfortunately Lady d'Maris' craft wasn't what is had been and she was far from well enough to go traipsing through anyone's inner barriers unguided.  Though she'd served as the caretaker of Eris' sanity for decades she was not, nor had she ever been, an expert in the art of mental healing

A call had been sent to the Hourglass  to send someone more adept with the craft that would be required to return the Queen her mind.  The qualifications required were many and, unwilling to risk Rian's displeasure, the venomous witches had chosen to be quite careful in whom they selected as possible candidates for the job. Soon she would be truly on the path to wholeness but in the mean time...Lady Mad was difficult to contain and would remain as such a suitable Mistress of the art was found.

During the day she was kept busy with routine. In the mornings she worked with a Healer meant to look after her health and the recovery of all who'd suffered in the mines. Hallian Olin was not only Red jewelled and a natural to her caste, but an expert in the field of wing rehabilitation. It was a skill she honed during the Great War when a common punishment for any whom dared defy Lady Ranosi was the disfigurement of wings.

Nights were the trouble. While most slept the Mad Court wrestled with demons born of the salt. None tumbled more than their leader. The hours where she was supposed to rest after she'd exhausted the evening's partner (still, most often, her Juliet) Erisian was all alone. Most Queen's craved moment of solitude. Not her. Time to think too much was her worst enemy but pride often stood in her way of seeking company not carnal to ease her mind. While an excellent elevator of a dark mood, sex couldn't keep it all at bay. Not always.

Alone. In fifty years she'd been many things, but almost never alone. Solitude proved to be the enemy of calm.  It made her restless. sometimes even panicked. The hallucinations that taunted her would come then, when she was most frightened. That was when she couldn't fight them away.

In the courtyard as Rian approached Eris stood beside a fountain, the water in which churned in response to the waves of temper rolling off the Black jewelled woman beside it.  “NO! NO! THAT'S NOT WHY HE LEFT!” she yelled, fingertip violently thrusting at the air before her.

A beat, the length of a sharply dealt answer. Erisian's face contorted in pain and it was ugly and vulnerable- like all flavours of the feeling. It's force sent her staggering back as if struck through the heart.

”HE SAID I WAS GOOD!” She exclaimed, her words wrung with desperation and disbelief. Whatever was going on, Lady Mad's hurt filled the courtyard. Her anguish had a life its own that Black Widows would be scrubbing out of the stone for weeks to come.

Those five words became a refrain, uttered more and more softly until it was just a murmur and the Priestess Queen sat rocking back and forth on frost covered tile. Knees hugged to her chest this became a mewled mantra as a strangled cry rose from her throat and broke, giving way to shuddering sobs.








Offline Rian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #2 on: Feb 07, 13, 11:46:02 PM »
Rian had been prepared to be faced with a great many things in the Courtyard as she descended to find the trouble with her sister, but she had been completely unprepared for the fragility of the moment. It was as though it was a fragile ornament held precariously in hand that threatened to fall any moment. That ornament would not survive the fall. It would shatter almost before it fell against the stone pathways or the marble floors, it's pieces so numerous and jagged that not only would the beauty of the priceless piece be lost, but the darkness would turn that which was beautiful and so full of hope into that which would splinter and destroy.

That fragility in her own home had mocked the High Priestess for days now, the stability and strength of her sister wavering as the destruction of Shalador loomed closer with each passing day. Each day Rian prayed for absolution, prayed for hope - and each day she was faced with even more promise of the future she attempted to subvert. But the future was not so fickle that it could be so altered.

The High Priestess stood motionless, appearing almost as though a statue among the Courtyard herself while witnessing this intensely private moment of her sister. For the briefest moment, she contemplated calling for someone - a Healer, a Widow. Akan. Her mind went back to the Warlord Prince who had seen to caring for her sister with a single minded passion that she could not fault, but neither could she watch without feeling the sharp pain of regret and betrayal. While staring at her sister, the High Priestess of Shalador sank from view, leaving behind simply a woman. Simply Rian, the sister who so desperately wished things could have been different for her and Erisian.

She did now know to whom her sister spoke - she could not know what scars remained unhealed, nor if they would ever be healed. Rian was not a woman whose realm was the mind and the turns of the Twisted Kingdom. Rian's realm was beyond that of the living, beyond that of the mind, and straight into the spirit of the Darkness itself. It was a much higher calling, but for the briefest of moments, Rian would have sacrificed it all to be able to assuage the hurt she could see twisted in her sister's features.

There were two directions such pain would focus, either outwardly in a display of anger and hurt, or inward to scar the psyche far more deeply than the lashing out would have done. Still, lashing out with the Black would have certainly left the elder of the Maboya sisters likely on the verge of meeting Mother Night herself, the sacrifice of the High Priestess complete when her own blood spilled out on an alter of stone as a gift to the land.

Watching her sister crumble was jarring for the woman. She had hardened herself for many years, like stone was her heart - so much so that she felt only the slightest pain of remorse when she considered her actions against her sister so many years ago. Half a century had passed, and here she stood staring at her every fear come to life - but in this moment, Rian was not able to only see the threat her sister posed. No, in this very intimate moment between the two sisters, Rian saw beyond that to the child her sister had been, lively and spirited - the child she had condemned to death without scarcely a second thought.

Without another thought, Rian moved forward to her sister, reaching her within moments where she sat on the tiles with her legs tucked beneath her arms very much like a child. Rian knelt before her, not even noticing the cold of the stone beneath her or the chill that permeated the air. The woman had spent enough nights in vigil to ever notice such a thing, especially as she was now faced with a more pressing concern in her mind. She reached out with tenderness to brush her sister's cheek, an emotion almost foreign to the woman in recent times except for those rare times when she was with Amoxtli and at times her daughter. Such a response was reserved for those who held such a place in her life, and the offering of it to Erisian now was telling of the woman's true feelings for her sister despite how she knew she must protect her people from that very same sister.

"Eris," she crooned the word softly to her sister, almost as one would to a child, the child she still could see in the eyes of her sister. "Eris," she spoke again, the name gentle on her lips. "I'm here for you, dear sister." It was so unlike the Eyrien woman, the woman known for her stone reserve and absolute belief in the will of the Darkness. But not even Rian could deny the call of her own sister, not when she so desperately needed her. Rian leaned close, drawing her sister into her arms for a moment of embrace and compassion between the two.

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #3 on: Feb 10, 13, 04:27:19 PM »
Backed into a corner a wounded animal will fight with everything it has to escape, even sacrificing it's own life in the process just to flee. Erisian was very close to turning inward and running far from the torments that rocked her sanity. The Twisted Kingdom hadn't yet devised a torture great enough to push her past any hope of return but every day it went unchecked chances of its eventual success soared.

Rian paid for men to capture and send her sister to live a brief life in the mines if she didn't die fighting while being apprehended. This sacrifice was made for the good of the Territory. What the Priestess hadn't known was that behind her fated choice puppet master's tweaked her schemed to suit their own nefarious goals.

Their plans never involved Erisian dyingbut they had meant to strip her mind of its reason. In Shalador there were powers that wished to see the purity of a Black jewelled Priestess Queen boiled down to down to instinct and rage for reasons of twisted religious fervour. It didn't take the arts of a Black Widow to realize someone with great skill had used tangled webs to pull Eris' sanity asunder leaving it frayed and threatening to snap. What would the great betrayer Rian do when she realized that her greatest sacrifice had been twisted by men long gone?

That was a question for a calmer moment, when a power great enough to bring ruin to the Realm was not so delicately balanced between despair and destruction.

While lost in torments unseen Lady Mad hadn't yet lost touch with reality. As her sister's hand brushed her face the younger woman bristled and then relaxed.  Rian was there and solid. That  meant that in spite of everything else accosting her – she was really home. Sometimes when fear really took hold she became paranoid, delusional, and inconsolable. At the worst of it, such as the moments like the one Rian had encountered, the world's very foundations seemed suspect. .

Erisian was granted a sweet relief from this suffering at her sister's gentle touch. Like called to like with a charge and a draw that refused to be denied. Lady Mad leaned into the gesture and then tumbled forward into the elder witch like a girl leaping into a mother's arms, pulled by the force of their familial bond. Rian had, after all, raised Eris. It was no surprise her sister's effect mirrored the same magic peace she could bring to Itzel when nightmares sent her crying for her mother.

At first the words she heaved through tears into Rian's breast were nonsense. Nothing but the blurred together laments of a heart-wounded witch. She made noises then like a wounded creature, mewling and choking through the grief pouring from her eyes and lips. Her emotional state was painted in a strange, animalistic clarity as she fought to regain her words.

I'm sorry,” was the first thing she said that made any decipherable sense. As she found a shred of composure to cling too Erisian sat back and wiped her eyes and then her nose on the robe she wore.. “I'm so sorry.








Offline Rian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #4 on: Oct 14, 17, 06:36:25 PM »
If anyone had seen the High Priestess in the Courtyard with her younger sister, they might have not recognized the witch. Rian was a figure larger than life, offering sacrifice to feed the land and ensure the protection of her people. Beneath her rule, Shalador's land had flourished, but only at the the demands of great sacrifice. She had offered up her own sister for this purpose, and now, somehow, Mother Night had brought Erisian back to her. Fragile, small, thin cracks running through her so powerful they could almost be felt as she ran her hands over her sister's hair and shoulders.

No head dress adorned her now, nor was she covered in the sanguine gift of her most recent offering to the land. To an outside observer, she was merely a woman comforting another, her wings muscular and strong, held close to her back, which her sister's still bore signs of cruelty and disuse. "Eris," she said soothingly, over and over, attempting to slowly break through the powerful memory or perhaps hallucination that gripped the twice blessed Queen's mind. Twice blessed and once cursed, for no one as small and frail as her baby sister could walk the depth of the Black and continue to keep their mind intact.

Her fear realized, even as she reassured her, whispering soft words against the chilled air. "I'm here." She would not tell her it would be okay, there was no truth in those words, not even the hope of truth. No matter the healing that Eris may or may not able to undergo, she was the very threat to their land that Rian had tried to protect them from. Whatever was to come, it would not be okay. Not for the Maboya sisters, nor for Shalador herself.

Pulling herself away gently, Rian allowed Eris her space, easing back onto her heels, her weight settling again in her kneeling position against the stones of the Courtyard. Her shift was thin, but the cold did not phase the woman used to long vigils before the altar. Her gaze was soft as she looked at her sister, watching, offering silent prayers that Erisian would not come apart before her eyes, here in the Courtyard.

Apologies fell from the girl's lips. Rian's hands settled gracefully on her thighs, her gaze settling on her sister's form. "What are you sorry for, Eris?" she asked, her voice soft, the woman before her reflecting the memory of the woman she knew as a child, the one who raised her, who held her and wiped the tears from her cheeks before her Birthright ceremony. 

Offline Erisian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #5 on: Nov 09, 17, 12:11:45 AM »

Year: 187 AP.
Season: Fall.
Location: Aztlan.

Her heart was an ocean. Nightmares dragged her into their undertow to crash and break her in waves of terror across the courtyard. The sisters communed for an audience of confused servants and courtiers fighting off the killing edge in response to a Queen’s unbound distress. She ached for Draven. When she first sensed Rian’s Gray approaching through the Twisted Kingdom’s delirium, Erisian forgot her wild Warlord Prince - her wildfire through darkest nights - was a realm away.

Rian’s touch brought her back to earth but it wasn’t the embrace Lady Mad craved. When the space between them grew she felt a shaky relief. Decades beneath sand spent wishing for home turned the elder sister into something of a mythic figure to the younger. Distance was preferred when mingling with one's little gods.

She slid back onto her heels to lean against the courtyard’s central tree beneath which she’d crouched. One strong, scarred leg stretched out and the other followed. Even in the darkFba the Black Jewel hanging about her neck shone. It flickered like a lightning bug as Eris used a spark of witchflame to bring a cheroot to life. Sweet smelling smoke curled off and around a Blood Opal ember. The heat of it against her raw throat burned. That was what she wanted. It held her to the present.

Erisian focused on the feel of the land through the roots of the tree holding her up. She measured time with the deep in and steady out of her breath. In. Out. In. Rian asked why she apologized. Out. She considered an answer that made sense. Too many words, words that were just failing her, fought to break to the surface. She drowned them in the rise and fall of her chest.

The problem was that no answer made sense. She lived in cycles the pain her body refused to believe was over. When she slept the dreams were a portal back to the worst of what was. They poisoned the present with seeds of doubt and dread.

Some smells sent her back. Two weeks prior she’d tried to eat a favorite salted meat from her childhood. One bite brought tears to her eyes. Trying to finish it made her sob.

Certain sensations could threaten her sense of safety well enough to have her mind retreat from the world so thoroughly she could spend sometimes days at a time living a half-life. Existence at the edge of madness was a sometimes subtle thing and oft most dangerous when quiet. Anything could send her psyche careening against her chalice's most fragile curves. Pruul's horrors chased their survivors and haunted them without mercy.

Tied to her body by smoke’s sting and tethered to life by the Forest so alive beneath, around, and through their land Erisian watched Rian. She tried to find the sounds to make neat explanation her messy display. None could be found. The Mother of the mines clung just a bit to the quiet that came before her disappointing answer. Tired eyes stared through half closed lids as if her sister’s pristine calm produced a blinding glow.

“I didn’t come here for confession,” she said. Blowing smoke out hard enough to bounce the hair in her face the Priestess Queen shook her head and more tangled locks fell to join their stray cousins. “But since you asked? I’m sorry for a lot.” Survival was an ugly master and father to heinous acts in its name. Erisian didn’t even know the name of every man or woman that died for her, because of her, or at her hand.

“Hell is real. It’s full of blooded salt rivers and roads of bone. I was one of its Queens.” Staring at the ground between her splayed out legs her head continued to move from side to side. Eris kept rhythm to a soundless song, The Forest’s melody. “You’d be surprised how many of us wound up there.” The cheroot was vanishing quickly at the pace her shaky hand put it to and pulled it from her lips. “Did you know that witchblood doesn’t need light, water, or much of anything to grow?”

A beat passed in a shift of her shoulders and a sigh as she nestled backward settling further into the stability of the tree, its roots and history. “Of course you know. But it’s different to see, to be. Here. I’m here and I don’t believe it. The dreams where I am there are what feels true. This world’s forgotten how to have me in it and me?” Shaming her pride, Eris had no answer. All she could do was shrug, smoke, and try to hold onto the moment instead of the madness at the edges of every inhale and the shadows of every exhale. From the outside, it didn’t look very impressive but it took everything the Queen still new to freedom had just to be where she was instead of where her scars were made.








Offline Rian Maboya

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Re: only time will tell it's tale
« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 18, 05:56:04 AM »
Quiet in her kneeling posture, the stillness that emanated from the High Priestess of Shalador belied a deep calm that she did not feel. Beneath the golden shine of skin made soft by the blood of sacrifice and the muscles made firm by wielding the knife that slit her peoples' throats, beneath the bones of her ribs that had never been broken beneath an Overseer's boot and the sinew that had never been torn at their hands, beat the heart of a woman terrified by the girl-no-longer-child that sat before her, smoking her cheroot, leaning against her tree. Fear brews the coldest of all, stamping out any warmth that might have been there once, when the baby sister she had known had been the shimmering symbol of hope Shalador needed. Before that day at the altar when small hands gripped the stone crimson cruel, whispering the truth of her fate to the Priestess whose affections were forced to harden as the lava forms to biting sharp obsidian shards.

The Darkness had sent her back, somehow whole and unbroken, returned from the depths of her self described Hell as a still living threat that had not been extinguished, whose flame burned yet despite what Rian had offered up to see it snuffed out. Not witchblood, not yet, she sat before her sister, speaking of things that Rian did not want her to remember.  Sadism of her sister's pain had never been her goal, nor her desire for what was intended. No vessel of mere flesh and blood was meant to wear the Jewels Erisian did. Neither the mind nor the body were strong enough to wield such power. She had offered her back to the Darkness where such power should remain, and the Mother had instead returned her into Rian's tender care.

Was this her fate? To endlessly prevent what this being could do, seeing as she did the myriad of paths which led to no possible outcome but another Witch Storm at the hands of the new found Witch? Countless nights Rian had knelt in prayer, seeking guidance, strength, and absolution. Strength had been granted, the strength of the volcano whose shadow they lived within, magma coursing through her veins as likely as blood. Guidance she thought she had earned, and despite the breath still within the lungs of the Queen before her, she would not doubt her path. Down that road led madness.

And absolution, well, that was neither her gift to offer or grant, it seemed.

Patience was a simple thing to grant in this moment. She did not rush her sister's words, nor did she rush her own. The stone bit into the fine bones of her ankles and yet she did not shift, did not attempt to move from the position so often taken by the Mother's truest supplicant. Gracefully curving wings no longer ached from this position, the muscles grown strong by repetition. Her hair flowed loose down her back and brushed softly against her long neck in the softest brush of breeze that found its way to dance lightly through the courtyard. She was aware of those who no longer bothered with the pretense of being on their way somewhere else and openly watched the sisters now. Rian did not mind. She was used to an audience.

When finally she spoke, words laced with duality broke the soft silence that had once again fallen over the pair. No servant would interrupt, even the males would not dare to approach such a sacred communion between Darkness's Daughter and her chosen Scion. "It is good you do not seek me for confession. I have no absolution to offer. I shall pray for you, little sister, that your nightmares should cease." Her breath remained steady, much in rhythm with Erisian's, even as she breathed the sweet burning smoke deep into her lungs, passing from her sister's breath to her own.

"The world will remember what it is to hold you within its bounds. Your memory, however, is only within your own hands to control."