Event Stranger Still

The mysterious artifact is put on display at the Twuele.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Stranger Still

Postby Luminescence on September 25th, 2018, 12:40 pm

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Stranger Still

The 2nd of autumn, 518 AV, late evening

The room was silent, almost grim as the doors swung open. Aysel entered Zintila's private chambers, a small but sturdy wooden box held carefully in his hands. Behind him, Talora followed, her diminutive mortal form like a shadow in the presence of Aysel's divine height.

Their footsteps echoed on the marble floor as they entered; pale rainbows scattered beneath their feet as they crossed the room. On the other side, her back to them, stood the Star Lady herself, peering out one of the crystalline windows to gaze upon the faint glow of her city below.

The two Ethaefal were well-aware that Zintila knew they were there, so they stood back, waiting patiently to be acknowledged by the Alvina. After another brief moment, Zintila turned to face them. Her skin shimmered like the stars themselves, her eyes luminous, but beneath the glittering beauty, her two closest advisers had learned to recognize weariness in her.

Zintila crossed the room to meet them, the hem of her dress whispering over the marble floor, and took the box from Aysel. Despite the layers of shields that had been implemented as a pre-caution over the object inside, she could still feel the tingle of power through the wood of the box that contained it.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Aysel asked carefully, after a moment. Zintila tore her gaze from the lid of the box to peer at the Moon Lord of Lhavit. He always spoke so plainly, so honest where others often feared to voice their opinions. Zintila always appreciated it. Even her most trusted and loved among the Constellations rarely, if ever, dared to question her.

"I believe it is not necessarily a safe idea," The Alvina admitted, turning to set the box down on the nearest crystalline table; she continued to rest one hand on it, her brows furrowed slightly. "But I think it is what is necessary. I do not wish to ever hide what I don't have to from the people here; not only for the sake of their hunger for knowledge, but because they trust me." She leveled her sparkling gaze with Aysel. He still looked uncertain, but behind him, Talora nodded; she understood.

"But if it could harm people, surely it's not worth it," Aysel protested.

"I don't ever want to keep in the shadows what can be plainly seen in light. Knowing of it's existence will not bring harm to them. They deserve to be aware of what is going on, especially after the uncertainty and fear of summer. There will be supervision, Aysel, and it is not for long. The thing will be destroyed within a few days." The Star Lady's tone brooked no further argument.

The strange discovery that her Constellations had brought back to her two seasons prior had baffled even her; she knew what it was, but without the creator, it was difficult to gauge its purpose or capabilities. It had proven it was powerful, certainly; she had wanted to destroy it sooner, but now there were questions rising from the lips of Lhavitians, which she couldn't fault them for. So she was going to allow them to see the answer, to put it together themselves, and then the thing was going to be burned.

Though not satisfied, Aysel said nothing further, and instead he and Talora went to fetch the glass case that would house the artifact until it was to be burned.


The 3rd of autumn, 518 AV, early morning


The next morning, well before the end of the dawn rest, the glass case was set up on the ground floor of the Twuele, towards the back and out of the way. No ropes section off the case, but a large notice posted to its stand reads 'Do Not Touch' in bold letters. On one side of it is stationed a Shinya, on the other a Constellation; they rotate out with others regularly, but the case is never left unguarded.

Inside, on a small cushion, for all who are curious to see, rests a skull. The bone is bleached white, intentional or not, and looks surprisingly smooth. Not a single crack mars the surface of it. Empty eye sockets gaze forward, staring at nothing; something about the skull, however, seems not quite right. Looking at it gives one an uneasy feeling, as if they had woken at the end of a rest only to find the streets of the city empty.

It could take a moment or two to realize, but it is not difficult to notice why; the skull's jaw is intact, and yet it has no mouth. Where there should be teeth or an empty space is smooth, blank bone. Upon finally noticing this fact, the feeling of dread and unease from viewing the skull seems to only grow stronger, creeping up one's back as if a cold hand had reached inside them and clutched at their spine.

If one were to walk around the case, they would notice that the skull is indeed not perfectly flawless; on the back of the cranium is a symbol. It is no symbol that has been seen before, for indeed it is unique; engraved into the bone is a complex circular symbol, with multiple rings and overlapping circles and other designs etched in as well. If one were to look closely enough, they would notice the faint rusty tinge of long-since dried blood that was never quite properly cleaned off the ivory-white bone of the skull.

OOC :
This starter is the only post I will be making to this thread; I have described all of the important details of the skull. If your character wishes to examine it, you may make one single post to this thread on any date/time between the morning of the 3rd and the morning of the 6th where they do so; please make sure to date your posts!

If your character examines the skull with magic or if you have any further questions, feel free to PM me. Characters are expected to respect the no touching rule of the case or they will be escorted out of the Twuele by the Shinya.

If a character views the skull, they will begin to have headaches, aggressive tendencies, and general bad luck until the 56th of the season; you may decide on the specifics of these symptoms and how they effect your character. On the morning of the 56th, your character will temporarily go insane until the 59th; again, I will leave the details up to you, but hallucinations and aggressiveness are the two strongest symptoms during this period.

Have fun! :D
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Stranger Still

Postby Mauriel on September 26th, 2018, 1:51 pm

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3rd of Fall, 518 AV
23 bells






The queue for the inspection of the artifact was long, like a line of ants moving to an anthill. An apt analogy, given that The Twuele towered over the people under it, reaching for the skies. Mauriel thought the tower was in that way a bit like herself.

Joining the queue, most people around her seemed as ordinary as perhaps she was, arguably more. There were surely scholars and mages among them, though she couldn't tell them apart. Most people seemed to be drawn by sheer curiosity, as the rest were doubtlessly driven away by the power an object like this would possess. The Ethaefal could not live with herself if she did not record anything about the object before its destruction. She was sure more information would surface eventually, perhaps quiet whispers among some of her acquaintances or customers, perhaps public notices like this one. She would hate it to be unable to follow a potentially interesting story to its close because she refused to do this. Her quill, folded parchment, and ink vial in her pocket, she was ready to record what she saw later to the best of her ability. She wished she had more practical writing appliances so she could draw while looking at the artifact, but alas, this will have to do.

Not many people were allowed in at the same time because of security concerns, so Mauriel was relieved when it was finally her turn. She was escorted through the reception room and than a large hall, leading to many section of the tower. She couldn't think of functions of so many offices and rooms, let alone floors and floors worth of them, and although not the point of her visit, she tried to take in as much as she could on her journey to the very back of the ground floor.

Upon arrival, she was greeted with a glass box and a large sign that read 'Do Not Touch.' Curious formality, as she couldn't understand why somebody would want to touch a glass box containing a magical artifact. The artifact itself, sure, but like this it was all danger and no gain.

She approached the glass casing, seeing the artifact was a small skull. Before anything else came to her attention, Mauriel felt like she met the gaze of the empty eye sockets. She shivered from it, unable to avert her gaze for a bit. It's just a skull! She forcefully broke out of it, and looked at the nearby Shinya instead. They looked back at her, raising their eyebrows as if they were inquiring what is it that she wanted from them. Peace, she thought, looking back at the artifact, but avoiding its eyes like a lying child. Mauriel had never seen a skull, but she did see animal bones, so while the smoothness of the skull did not strike her as strange, its whiteness did.

The skull seemed somehow inhuman even to an untrained eye, and in only a small way that made one feel deep unease, although it took the child of Leth a few moments to notice why. It did not have mouth. The lower jaw wasn't missing or anything like that, it's just that where mouth should have been there was just round, bare, bone, its whiteness reflecting the lighting of the room. What came next made Mauriel dreadfully uneasy, as it was unlike anything the Ethaefal ever experienced. A cold shiver moved up her body, like a slowly building wave soon to envelop her. A sharp pain in her head indicated that something was wrong, together with weird awareness of the almost healed wound on her torso, a tickling feeling tracing its edges. For a moment she was terrified that it would burst back open, though nothing was indicating that beyond her wariness of the thing she has gotten into.

Though she wanted to turn and leave, she knew that if this feeling she had was anything dangerous, it was clearly too late to turn back. Superstitious dread ruled her mind, but she thought that if she's already gotten this far she should at least see it through. She slowly circled the stand the skull was on, glass case reflecting the light from different angles as she did so. The skull was no more extraordinary from the side than it was from the front, but the back had secrets of its own. Making sure to hold her hands back and not stand too close, to indicate to the guards that she wasn't trying to sneak a touch, Mauriel squatted slightly, aligning her eyes with the symbols at the back of the skull. Its complexity perplexed her. She tried to memorize its nuances, circle, smaller one, overlapping at one, two, three, four points with the other two and another one with the larger... Her thoughts soon got too convoluted for her to decipher herself and she was pained to realize that even if she got her ink out right then and there and started drawing on the floor she was unlikely skilled enough to copy the complex engraving properly. She tried to etch it into her mind to the best of her ability, but accepted that there will be inaccuracies.

Having finished her inspection after noting there was nothing different about the skull when looking at it from the left side than from the right, Mauriel nodded goodbye to the guards before exiting the premises. She did not take her time on her way out, for she was glad to be away from the thing and her mind was too occupied to think of the opportunity to explore The Twuele. Right as she was outside, she sat on the floor nearby, unfolding her piece of parchment besides her. He spent almost half a bell trying to sketch the skull itself and the complex symbol from its back, but was at the end unsure if anybody but her could make out what she intended from the blob of ink on the parchment. She'll have to try and copy it later, both for accuracy and preservation in a notebook. Though she suspected her efforts were purely for herself anyway, as anybody to whom this was truly relevant will have recorded it better than she managed anyway. When she was done, it was already midnight rest, and the line in front of The Twuele was virtually non-existent, composed of a few people who came then to avoid the crowds who were quickly admitted into the building. She picked herself up and left with the full intention of spending her night out in the moonlight, for the last thing she wanted now were dreams.
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Stranger Still

Postby Eleutheria on October 3rd, 2018, 12:25 am



5th Summer, 518

An occurence. A curious one, too. An artifact, for everyone to behold in the Twuele. One they will unmake soon, as if they were able to dissect it well enough already. Or feared to do so. Yet they feared not to put it on public display for some reason.

If there was nothing to learn from it, they would unmake it right away. If it was dangerous, they would not bother unmaking it.

Logic behind their action is hard to understand. If one lays finger upon it, something may happen. Brilliant, right?

Not much to go on and a lot to fear. But regret of missing an opportunity, even as small as simply examining the item, was greater than it had right to be.

Equipped with pen and paper, Elea marched there on early morning, 5th Autumn. Queue would be less and mind would be clearer, before heading out to library.

Entering the exhibition, she was stung by sudden jolt of headache, that escaped her as soon as it transpired. A pain unlike any other one has experienced. Followed, like an aftershock, was eerie state of mind. Unright one. Intriguing... yet tiring.

If only Elea was skilled in auristics: She'd surely see more about that skull than meets the eye. After all, the eye only met an eerie skull. Strange teeth... wait, no teeth, just bone. Paleness. Fear. So much sudden fear that Elea gasped. "Yes, I'm all right" - she lied to stay any attempt at conversation before it happened. It caressed Elea's shoulders, making them shudder, as if she saw something far more dangerous than a strange skull. Finally, she spied a symbol of complex array of circles with a few designs. This was so strange, so different... so dreary, but there was no time to give up. Whatever maledy clutched into Elea, it already has stuck itself in her anyways, or so she thought.

She willed herself to focus on the design and try replicating it, in spite of all, enough to spot some dry blood. At this point, not even that could make her a difference, as she scrabbled as well as she could in her shaken state. Not quite detailed or well. But the point was to be able to recognise that symbol, should it ever reappear. After Elea finished the sketch and saw how loosely it resembled the original, she started writing notes about the appearance. Finally, once all (key) details were ironed out, she saw herself out.

It was unsure what was worse: Fear stemming from that skull or fear stemming from the fact she was so strangely afraid of it. In any case, Elea knew that she was too shaken to properly study at library. A... refreshment, was in order. Maybe a bath... it would make sense, with a small but creeping headache that Elea was now enjoying.
Mysteries are fire. Truth burns.
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Stranger Still

Postby Gilcrest on October 8th, 2018, 7:42 pm

4th of Fall, 518 AV

Gilcrest woke up early in the morning and after a session of meditation still had ample time before breakfast would be served. With that being the case, a quick decision to visit the Twuele was a way to effectively use the, not so often had, free-time. Word of the artifact being guarded by the Shinya had spread among the Acolytes and quickly became a test of mettle to take a look at it.

"I still can't shake the feeling from when I first saw it." Shinya had claimed similarly one after another when returning from their guard cycle. The Acolyte didn't doubt the Shinya ability, so what exactly could rattle some of them in such a way? Gil couldn't help but grin at the possibility of it all being a hoax.

He entered the Twuele and walked directly towards the small display, only being able to decipher that it was in this location because of the guards. After performing a low bow in respect to the Shinya, Gilcrest approached further. Paying heed to the do not touch requirement, he placed his hands crossed behind his back and leaned forward. His green eyes leveled with the empty sockets of the white skull... the hair on his body seemingly stood on end. whoa

As he leaned in closer the glass faintly reflected his appearance over that of the skull. With a shudder he stood and pursed his lips, mimicking the fact that the skull had none while wondering how that would be possible. An icy chill ran through his veins, and his heart began to race. It was as if something was threatening to attack, he needed to defend himself. As quick as the feeling swept over him it had left. Interesting

The Acolyte walked around the case taking notice of the symbol at the back of the skull. Following the lines of every circle from the outside towards the center, the intricacies of every overlapping detail was examined. Until... he found himself eventually cross-eyed. A simple shake of the head freed him from the seemingly endless symbol. He had seen everything needed and could conclude it was definitely an impressionable sight to behold. Bidding farewell to the guards, Gilcrest made his way back to the Shinya Pavilion.
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