Solo A Chime Too Long

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on September 24th, 2019, 1:45 am

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1st Day of Fall, 519 AV

The air was cooler that morning than she was used to. A shiver ran down her spine as she stood at one of the pews at the very front, facing the symbolic shard within the Temple of the Black Sun. Pious as ever, she prayed, palms pressed together, knowing that the chill she felt had nothing to do with the flurries pointed out to her during her ride.

There, look closely, before it melts—do you see the crystalline shape? Snowflakes, what a treasure. Such lightness and beauty in it. Gods, would you believe it? I haven’t seen that in ages. Is Morwen back? Or do you think the God of Chaos and Evil is in a mood?

Rhysol and his moods were still a mystery to the sybil. There were no answers she could give to the ravosalawoman who asked for her thoughts so early in Syna’s dawning light while floating down the wide and quiet canal. Roh’s own moods were enough of a problem on their own, let alone the inner feelings of a God. Rhysol wouldn’t have time to deal with the musings and worries of a woman who just wanted to do the right thing.

Outsiders saw him as the God of Evil, yes—but Rohka had grown up listening to the teachings of the One True force of the world… his ways were meant to be unconventional, to work around the tragedies that the other Gods were bound to make if he was absent. Rhysol and his ‘evil’, as they say, kept the city safe and protected. That’s what mattered, after all.

The protection of all Ravokian citizens and their properties.

So then why should she need to run away? Couldn’t she just confess, right here, right now? The thought made her feel cautious, yet another chill spreading through her arms, causing goosebumps, making her clasp her hands together instead, attempting to conceal the simple silver band on her finger.

Her confession was two-fold: the first involved her wish to rid herself of the responsibility of having the ring. The second involved her knowledge of her family. The second was harder to do anything about. What could Rhysol do if she confessed her family’s treasons? Why would Rhysol care to change any of it? She managed to catch herself thinking that the God had to be the one to change things, when she knew she couldn’t hope for such things. She knew she would need to do things on her own. Avenge things on her own. Leave here, and work for something she believed in. Something that not only created change, but sustained it. Something she could trust in, once more. Did something like that even exist? Did it exist within her?

Rohka took another deep breath and prayed, standing still.

“Um, excuse me? You’re the apprentice from the Mystic Eye, are you not?”

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Last edited by Rohka on November 3rd, 2019, 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on November 3rd, 2019, 6:52 am

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A little boy with blue eyes and beautifully curly golden hair looked up at her when she turned to look at the source of the voice that mentioned her place of work. The place she was meant to go to after her prayers that morning. The sybil wondered for a tick, brows raising at the sight of such youth and beauty in the boy’s small form. He wore all white, not a single wrinkle in his clothes, and from his neck hung a single cord held taut by the weight of a red, jagged crystal.

“Miss?” His hands were clasped together, just as hers were, with knuckles that seemed to be almost matching in colour to what he wore. “I’ve seen you before, when my mother came in to see the other fortune teller there. My father and I dropped her off that day. Can I talk to you?”

Rohka nodded, almost mesmerized by the boy’s nature as she gestured for him to join her, to sit next to her at the front of the pews. He followed her cue and walked around to sit with her, looking around as if checking to see if anyone was near. The boy seemed forlorn, a tad melancholy, but a part of Rohka wondered if she was just projecting her own feelings onto him. She breathed in and tried to look at the boy objectively, seeing that his eyes actually looked almost empty and his full lips seemed to frown when he took his seat. Whatever the feeling was, he held it close to him, his voice never showing it and his straight posture almost contradicting it.

When they were both seated, Rohka put on a smile and clasped her hands in her lap. The medallion hung around her neck and she wore her long black dress with billowed sleeves that draped across her arms. With her legs tucked under her and her tail resting on the pew, she spoke to him, gently, her curiosity beginning to bubble up within her, covering the initial stress she’d felt coming in to the temple that morning. It was almost a relief to be able to put her focus onto someone else at this moment.

“What’s going on?”

The sybil refrained from introducing herself for now. It seemed the boy didn’t need to know who she was.

Ocean blue eyes looked around once more before leaning in, his voice far gentler than hers had been, and a tone so warm that she found herself feeling calmer in his presence.

“You know of the Larks and you know the slaves they are responsible for. One of the slaves is under my mother’s ownership. Will you be able to tell me, miss, of whether she’s been cursed? I think the slave is a witch of sorts, and she put my mother through states of misery, and my mother has been lashing out at her and the other slaves, and…” he paused, his gaze shifting to the shard. “She’s losing faith, miss. She’s hurting herself.”

Rohka gritted her teeth as she listened to the boy’s final words. She waited a couple ticks without saying another word, hoping the boy would continue. He did.

The depth of large cerulean orbs focused their intent upon her own gaze before the little cherub spoke his truth.

“I saw the slave’s mark. His mark. And then another that I asked her about. She likes me, I almost feel like,” he paused again, this time, his eyes downcast. “I know her.”

He looked back up, his glassy gaze making Rohka feel a tightness building in her chest and a sudden spark of attention as she listened.

“The slave’s name is Maya. She told me herself that she’s a witch, that she was marked by a Goddess named Caiya before she arrived in Ravok.”

Caiya. It wasn’t a goddess she’d heard of before. Without skipping beat, the boy picked up on Rohka’s confusion and addressed it.

“She communicates with nature, miss. She’s the mother of the wilderness. Maya says she is one with everything you see, everything that contains life.”

Rohka nodded, following along. “And what’s your name, luv?”

“Krishveth. Everyone calls me Veth. My father named me, miss. He tells me he came from a city that worshipped a God named Tyveth. Maya calls me Krish, I like Krish better now. I’ve been lying to my father recently, miss, so I don’t think I can carry anything close to what my father says Tyveth is known to rule over.”

The sybil nodded again, slower this time. “Okay Krish, I think I understand. What—“

“Tyveth rules over honour, miss. And truth. My father grew up in Syliras, but his work led him to Ravok where he found my mother. He’s devoted to Rhysol now, miss.”

Rohka furrowed her brows and clenched her teeth once more. She worried about whatever trouble this family could be stirring within the city. She figured it would be best to keep her own name out of this story unless the boy needed to know it.

“Krish, what do you need to know from me?”

“I need a reading from you. I need to know how I can help her. I can’t afford a reading with the fortune teller you work with, but I saved some coins for you. Please, can you tell me what’s wrong with Maya?”

The little boy asked her with a yearning that she’d never heard before, in her entire life. It was like the boy was asking her to save this slave’s life, rather than simply a reading. What could he possibly have gone through? At his age? He seemed no older than ten, maybe thirteen. Rohka gulped, releasing the breath she’d found herself holding before she answered him.

“Keep the coins. I don’t take mizas from children. I will consider this simply an extension of Lelia’s work with your mother, alright? Which means I will tell The Divinist anything we speak about here. Are you okay with that, Krish?”

“Yes miss, yes. I just want to help.”

“Fine. You’ll—“

“But I want it to be a sacrifice.”

“What? Do you know what you’re asking?” Rohka looked at the child incredulously, frozen in place.

“Yes, I do.”

“Why? Why do you need to make a sacrifice?”

“I need Rhysol’s help, miss. I need him, it’s all his fault, Maya was so good before all of this happened, miss. Nothing I’ve said to her has changed anything, nothing I’ve said to my parents has made them see who Maya is becoming. She’s scaring them, but I know she doesn’t mean to do so. She’s,” he shook his head, his long curls bouncing as he tried to remove whatever thought had crossed his mind. His demeanour turned somber. Small hands reached for the cord around his neck and lifted it from where it hung, handing it over.

“My father gave this to me. A bloodstone. He said it would protect me, that it would give me strength. He said he got it from his mother, and that it came from a line of good men and women. He told me to never lose it, because it brought him everything good in his life. I can’t stand wearing it, miss. It’s done nothing for me. If it works as well as he said it does, let it work for Maya. Let it work as a sacrifice to Rhysol, the God of Evil, as the travellers call him. I want Maya back to normal, that’s all I want. Can you help me, miss?”

Rohka took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. The boy had courage, she could tell that much. She could see why he wanted to pay her now. Using an heirloom as a sacrifice would be normal for any adult who came in for a reading with Lelia. But a child? Was she prepared to face the potential wrath of disapproving parents?

The story was filled with unknowns.

“I can’t help with a sacrifice. I’m sorr—“

“Wait, please, that’s why I said I would pay for the reading, I know what I’m asking for. Just tell my father that this is what I want—“

“Krish. Listen to me. It’s not about the money. It’s not about your parents. A sacrifice is potent, and it has zero guarantees. Zero. You can’t take it back. The necklace will need to be destroyed for it to be a sacrificial item. Do you understand?”

The boy nodded vigorously as he held the item up for her to take from his grasp.

“I understand.” His eyes were brimming with tears.

“Fine,” she quickly snatched the necklace and stood up, grabbing her pack with her other hand. “We’re doing this here, in the temple, in the open, for anyone to see. There’s no better place to ask for Rhysol’s help, luv.”

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Last edited by Rohka on December 5th, 2020, 10:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on November 4th, 2019, 4:45 am

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Rohka sat down and asked Krish to join her. They positioned themselves next to Rhysol’s shard and in front of the pews, but enough to the side so that any acolytes, priests, or priestesses would be undisturbed by their activities. The sybil reached into her pack and quickly pulled out her usual silk tapestry of dark green and warm tones, shaking it out and placing it on the black marble floor in front of them. She ignored the glances and questioning stares from the men and women that entered the chamber and took their seats.

There were some that were curious and began to move closer, seating themselves in pews closer to the sybil and the boy. Members of The Black Sun and the few Ebonstryfe in the building paid them no mind, as this was not unusual for devout Ravokians. As long as devotees caused no harm nor trouble, they were allowed to practise their faith however they pleased. Rohka then took out her candles and laid them down on the silk. She sat still for a tick, then looked around the room, searching for other items of use. She told Krish to wait for her as she quickly stood up and jogged towards the altar. She asked a woman standing close, dressed in religious robes if she could borrow a few candle holders, a handful of ash and a heavy wooden plank from any nearby fireplace, plus a mug of lake water. The woman was happy to help provide the items for what Rohka explained would be a ritual in Rhysol’s honour. Returning to her seat on the floor, Rohka crossed her legs under her and closed her eyes.

An image formed in her mind. A circle. A star. With six points—no, eight points. Four long ones, four short ones.

A large part of her knew that this entire process was being conjured from thin air, from the little she’d seen Lelia do during her days of work at the Mystic Eye. She trusted in herself, knowing that she was guided towards what was best for her God and for her partner, no matter what occurred within her mind. Faith could do that. She believed it.

Roh opened her eyes and smiled at Krish. “Ready?” She asked him, a newfound excitement building within her. The sybil placed the bloodstone in the middle of the silk tapestry. She then produced her Lheroa cards, shuffling them quickly before laying them out face down in a line in front of her. Four candle holders were given to her, which she set up around the necklace two feet away, equally spaced. From her pack she then pulled out the crystals she bought from Herman many days ago, before her divine journey. The crystals were of all different shapes and sizes, the biggest were no bigger than being able to fit it inside the palm of her hand. She divided them out equally and placed them between the candles, equally spaced again, this time just one foot away from the necklace.

She took one blue crystal and handed it to Krish.

“This is to bind you, temporarily, to the ritual. Hold it tight. And when I tell you to look into it, do so, with intent.”

Rohka picked it because it matched the colour of the boy’s eyes closer than the rest. She then took her flint and steel and held it in her hands, waiting for the right moment.

A few ticks passed by with nothing giving her a signal. Another few ticks passed by and her resolve began to waver. Would there be no signs? Would she need to find it within herself? Rohka tried to quiet her mind instead, breathing in deeply to connect with her internal thoughts, and then separating herself from them, observing them. She saw her fear, her anxiety over performing this for an innocent child. She saw her doubts over the integrity of the situation. She saw her mind searching for the boy’s presence and when she found it, more of herself settled down, seeing a grounded assurance and determination in him that she knew was the reason for her acceptance. Soon after, she heard it.

A whistle.

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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on November 4th, 2019, 4:48 am

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Krish heard it too and he whipped his head around to find out where it came from. Rohka didn’t need to know. She knew it was her sign—she didn’t care what caused it but she wondered for a tick if she would find out. With a flick of her wrist she lit all four candles, sending their little space aglow and in tune with the djed of flowing time.

Rohka then placed the mug of water in the centre, within the circle of cord that held his heirloom bloodstone.

They were ready. A small pile of ash on a piece of parchment was brought and placed at the sybil’s feet. There was no going back now, with the candles lit and the djed now pooling inside of her as she willed herself to feel into the aura of their space.

“Krish,” she called to him, palms pressed together in prayer. “Who do you want to help?”

“Maya first. And then my mother. Which will hopefully help my father.”

“What do you need to know?”

“I need to know why Maya is putting my family through misery. I need to know how I can stop it. I need to know what’s wrong. I need to know how to protect her.”

“Protect who, Krish?”

“Maya. I want her to be safe.”

The sybil nodded, a couple pieces fitting together in her puzzle of understanding. The boy was more concerned for the slave than his mother and father. There was a kinship here.

“Very well. And now,” an idea came to mind and she swiftly pulled out a sheet of parchment, along with her quill and ink. “Repeat to me what you wish to sacrifice for this knowledge and why you wish to sacrifice it.”

The boy’s pale skin illuminated beautifully within the light of the candles, and it almost seemed to brighten as he answered her.

“I wish to sacrifice my necklace to Rhysol. This necklace has been in my family for generations, but it has been of no use to me. I am told it brings goodness and strength and whatever else, but I see none of it. It means a lot to my family. I am told it played a part in bringing life back to them.”

Hearing this piqued the sybil’s interest but she delved no further. She stayed silent, allowing him to finish.

“I sacrifice this necklace to you because I know that you did this to her.”

Rohka watched the boy’s gaze glare angrily at the black shard.

“I know it in my heart, Rhysol. Take this necklace and everything good about it and help me understand, please,” he begged, the tears returning to his eyes and his knuckles turning white, hands clenched together in prayer.

Rohka let out a deep breath and finished writing:

I, Krishveth Lark, give the employee of The Mystic Eye permission to sacrifice my necklace to bring the knowledge I seek from this fortune telling. I understand that there are no guarantees for desired results. I take responsibility

I understand that The Mystic Eye is not responsible for any undesirable consequences. I will look for Roh if I need further information or assistance in the future.


“Here Krish. Sign your name below, and then take the ink, paint your thumb, and put your print next to your name.”

The boy read over the agreement and sighed, but didn’t argue.

“Roh?”

“That’s me.”

“Oh.” He signed the sheet, placed his print, and handed it over.

Rohka knew what she was doing. It was self-protection, knowing she’d never done this before. Should the child be questioned, she needed to have evidence that he consented. They were in the public eye and it was all under free will. It had to be done.

“Four cards will be pulled,” said Rhoka, her hands in prayer once more. “The first will be for Maya’s mind. The second will be for Krish’s mind. The third will be for What is Wrong. The fourth will be the Inspired Guidance.”

Suddenly, the flames of the four candles grew taller. Unnaturally so, making the sybil wonder if her craft was being tempered with. The answer soon came to her as a figure glided over to sit between them.

“Did someone say guidance?”

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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on July 1st, 2020, 2:03 am

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A woman with flowing white hair and shimmering scales on her neck introduced herself immediately as Lelia.

“You got here quickly,” stated the sybil, avoiding her employer’s gaze and looking at Krishveth, her tone less lively than it was before.

“I have my eyes and ears, and I was in the area,” said the Konti, her sly smile masking the truth. What Rohka did not know yet was that The Mystic Eye had been in business for several years. Not five, not twenty, but actually hundreds of years. Most common people of Ravok know Lelia’s story as the young Konti who came to Ravok from Mura to start fresh. Folks who came in for regular readings would know that Lelia had used her gift in Divination to gain insight into Ravok, and she decided that Ravok would be the exact place that she would need to reside in order to aid her clients until the day she died. Lelia made sure people knew that this was the craft she’d chosen as her purpose.

However, there were only a few who knew that Lelia had, in fact, shifted her business over to Ravok. Where at first she had been devoted to Avalis, every part of her being was now aligned with aiding Rhysol through the skills she had developed over the years… and she barely knew it herself. What Lelia did know, however, was that in the hundreds of years that her and her line of Mystic Eye fortune tellers were honing their craft, every single fortune teller had all been able to predict, with some degree of certainty, the movements and choices of those in regular contact.

Thus, Lelia knew almost every move Rohka would make.

The Divinist had been tracking the young Calico in several ways, ever since she made her first inscription upon the art piece in Rhysol’s honour. Late night card spreads, whispers to Black Sun officials, low-level Ebonstryfe guards, and even general snooping were all methods that Lelia had carefully honed. The sybil had been slightly paranoid at times, and has even developed a hunch for a couple seasons… but the two women never fully addressed it quite yet.

“So I need supervision for this, eh?” asked Rohka, looking down to her cards. Her voice held a bit of childish impudence, something that was already a form of mindset that she knew would not be conducive to the task at hand. Krishveth looked at the two women expectantly. Catching the boy’s eager, almost stressful brows made her own begin to twitch, sending her hands up to smooth down the hair underneath her headscarf. Lelia simply offered yet another smile as she removed her own embroidered linen bag and placed it next to her, pulling out her own deck of cards, along with a couple thick, coloured candles.

Then came out two aluminum plates, and a bag of dried rice which she then emptied onto one plate.

“Roh, this is great timing for you. Do not take my words lightly,” she said as she set two blue candles up on either side of the bloodstone. “I know how you’ve been feeling lately. I knew how strong these feelings would become when you took on the burden I gave you,” the Divinist took a quick glance at the boy and caught his sudden, instantaneous glare before it vanished into serene curiosity.

Lelia turned her head fully to the boy and offered a smile. The kind of smile that held back an onslaught.

The kind of smile that ties to a crime well done.

Tanroa’s ring had been given to the sybil not too long ago. The ring was required to be kept safe and Rohka was tasked to protect it. The Divinist wasn’t surprised by the boy’s glare, but took note of it before lightly clearing her throat. Rohka’s attention was distracted by the designs on the backs of her cards. The designs gave her a sense of peace and control within her flittering mind that had ceased to give her feelings any real importance.

“Rohka, look at me.” The sybil followed her instruction and looked up to see Lelia’s face. “Yes, for this, you need supervision. I know you dislike being protected. I just need to teach you the right method so that you can carry out this ritual as you intended, while saving your future for the journey you are in the midst of taking. I can’t be any clearer than that. Do you have any more questions or can we begin”

Rohka blinked. It felt like she was hearing Lelia for the first time in a long time. A sense of relief washed over her as she nodded and offered a hand, automatically.

“No questions. I can light the candles.”

“Good. Take the big red one and place it at the top. These three will do. The blue ones will stabilize you and the red one will add,” she paused, trying to find the right word. “It will add… juice, to your ritual.”

Rohka did as she was instructed, using her flint and steel to light each one. Lelia watched, her features stern, approving of the manner in which the sybil took care to straighten the candles. It was the details that mattered in these types of practices, and Lelia was glad that Rohka was taking care. She spoke up to continue the instruction.

“When you are ready, here is what will be done. You are to find your own incantation. You are to hold a grain of rice while you speak your incantation, and you will stare at the light of a candle. When you are finished, place your grain of rice on the empty plate. Repeat this process, look to the candle on the right of the one you stared at before, and you will be doing this until every grain is transferred to the other plate, which means you will have gone around the circle of candles multiple times during your incantation process. Is that clear?”

Rohka nodded.

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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on July 1st, 2020, 3:34 am

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“You need to speak, child.”

Both Krishveth and Rohka looked quizzically at Lelia.

“You, Roh. A child is a state of mind. Speak, and you will bring forth the mind you wish to see in the world. So answer me now; is that clear?”

Rohka breathed in silently, her eyes closed, listening the the murmurings around her.

”They’re slow at this, usually Rhysol’s rituals are more filled with, oh I don’t know, pizzaz, right?”
“That’s an odd set-up, I’ve never seen that before.”
“They’re fake, I’ve been to that scaly woman’s place before. Cheap, dusty, her beauty is really the only thing she has going for her. That fortune telling stuff is all just fishy to me.”
“Stop staring at them, focus on Rhysol.”


Rohka grimaced. The focus on Rhysol was exactly what was needed.

“The lord will guide my clarity. But Lelia,” she began, looking up at the pale face of her mentor. “Although the process you’ve described is clear, I’m nervous that what I choose to say will not be enough. I’m worried I don’t know how to destroy a bloodstone. I’m even unsure exactly on the kind of impact a ritual would have, because I’ve never done it before.”

To this, Lelia hummed, pondering the sybil’s concerns. Krishveth sat silently and looked down to his fingers, seemingly counting them, ignoring the conversation between the women. The boy was young, and the restlessness he had was beginning to show. His silence was largely ignored by Rohka for the moment as she focused on the Divinist. Lelia, however, picked up on Veth’s silence as well. His aura was flashing multiple shades and it bothered her.

“Krishveth. Remember that this is for you. You are to focus on this ritual if you are to gain what you seek. Do I make myself clear to you?”

He looked up at her, partly in awe, partly in remembrance of his purpose. “Yes m’am,” he answered.

“Good. Now Rohka. Your instinct is your guide. Pull the djed from within you to read your own aura. You will know your answer best, always. The ritual’s impact is not one that you can guess, but you must test it out on your own before being able to guess it’s impact in the future. Your first time is the most beautiful, because you begin to understand your own impact. Concentrate. Then release. You are safe under Rhysol’s influence, always.”

Rohka breathed out a thank you and re-focused on her cards and on the lit candles. She then picked up a grain of rice and hesitated.

“You’ll be fine. Trust yourself.” Lelia paused, watching the face of her protegé begin to frown. “Always,” said the Divinist, her tone firm.

“Okay,” said Rohka, in immediate acknowledgement. “I can do this.”

The sybil took time to breathe. In and out. In deeply, then out again, her eyes closed. It was a process of discovering the blips and sparks in her mind, checking them, observing them, letting them go, sinking deeper and deeper into a state where she could find what she was looking for. The words, the sound, the vibration, the meaning needed to make this go smoothly for her young client. Krishveth needed to save Maya. Why? Something about hurt. Something about slavery. Something about Caiya, being one with nature, but cursed with something else. Something related to Rhysol…

“You are one.”

A pause.

“You are none.”

Another pause.

“You are the soul of what you need to be free.”

A long pause.

Rohka opened her eyes and set the grain down on the plate while she stared into the depths of Krishveth’s two blue lights.

“Again,” whispered Lelia.

Rohka picked up another grain and then looked to the light of the red candle.

“You are one; you are none; you are the soul of what you need to be free.”

Rohka felt her djed bounce in waves across her skin as she placed the next grain on the plate.

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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on July 1st, 2020, 3:35 am

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There she sat, for almost three bells straight, repeating the phrase over and over again. You are one; you are none; you are the soul of what you need to be free. You are one; you are none; you are the soul of what you need to be free.

A simple task, meant to reform the solution, over and over again. Lelia sat with her eyes closed as well, while Krish fidgeted impatiently throughout the ritual chanting. It was his bloodstone after all. His sacrifice. To save Maya.

The girl of his dreams.

‘Girl’ was probably not an accurate enough word. She was a slave, yes. Rohka had no context for this knowledge, so to the sybil, Maya was placed in her mind as the source of Krishveth’s troubles. The boy wanted to help Maya. Then his mother. And then his father. The question he’d posed was to know why Maya was putting his family through misery. To know what’s wrong. The knowledge he sought was the method of protection. Safety was his concern.

To Rhysol, the saviour, he wanted to sacrifice a bloodstone that has been in Krishveth’s family for ages. A bloodstone that brings goodness, strength, and even life.

Krishveth believed Rhysol was the cause of it all. The cause of Maya’s… troubles.

For this, Rohka could not begin to understand what would be necessary for Rhysol to see. Her God only brought what was the best for the city, and hopefully for Mizahar as a whole, so why would her God choose Maya as a target for any reason other than for the betterment of their world? The curiosity blended in with the chanting.

”You are one; you are none; you are the soul of what you need to be free.”

The last grain was placed on the plate.

There was a tick of pure silence. It was loud. Almost surreal in the way that it overtook her mind for the briefest of moments before the usual sounds of the temple began to flood back into her awareness. The shuffling, whispers, quiet conversations scattered around the open, public space of reverence. Rohka opened her eyes.

She looked to Krishveth first. He smiled at her, expectantly, waiting for her next movements. He seemed less restless now, which was odd considered the amount of time they’d been sitting here. Rohka looked back down to her cards that were spread, then looked over to Lelia’s.

“Do the reading as you intended. My cards are here to aid if needed,” she said, nodding to the sybil.

Rohka hummed in acknowledgement, looking back at Krish.

“You are to look at your blue crystal now, okay?”

He nodded.

When his gaze shifted, she placed her hands above the deck, bringing it all together into a pile.

“Cut the deck, Krish. Place it to your right.”

Which was her left.

“Cut it again.”

He did as instructed. Rohka picked up the piles and stacked them, then swiftly pulled the top card off, placing it before them.

“This is for Maya’s mind.” The Hanged Man.

The most independent personality in the deck. The one that tell everyone that there’s gold hidden in a burning forest fire so everyone heads there, while the independent one would go their own way. Seeing this, Rohka took a pause, a smirk playing at the corners of her lips.

“There’s rebelliousness in her. In Maya’s mind, there is the capability to stir things up, and to disrupt.” She took another moment to look for more depth in the reading.

“I can’t tell if this is a good or bad thing.”

“Just keep going. Lay out the other three before interpreting them,” said the Divinist.

She did as she was told.

“Judgement card for Krish’s mind. The Star for what’s wrong. And,” she flipped the last card over.

“Queen of coins for the inspired guidance.”

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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on December 5th, 2020, 10:00 pm

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A chuckle slipped out of Lelia, seeing the last card.

Rohka looked at her, puzzled about her amusement. The Divinist had arrived right when Roh had chosen to use the fourth card as the symbolism for inspired guidance, so perhaps the laugh had something to do with Lelia's interpretation of herself?

"No, none of this is about me," said Lelia, smirking at her naive student of auristics and fortune telling. "Go on, then. Interpret them. Only ask me if you need help. Remember to keep your focus on the cards. Go at them individually, then put every ounce of your available inner knowing into the connections between the four cards. Got it?"

Rohka nodded, bringing her attention back to the cards. It was hard not to notice immediately that the first three were major arcane cards. Which meant that this reading was dealing with major changes. The sybil closed her eyes once more, focusing more intently within herself, feeling for the threads of djed that ran their paths through her body. She inwardly watched as the remnants of the light from the candles danced on the backs of her eyelids, forming patterns overtop of the images surfacing in her mind's eye.

The Mystic Eye. Her place of employment came to the forefront of her relevance and she saw the Queen of coins now displaying herself, with its flowers and vines overhead of the woman seated upon her intricate, straight backed, stone throne.

"Security," she stated, her eyes staying closed. "The inspired guidance speaks of security. There is an influence here, guiding all of this, towards security." She paused here, to open her eyes and look at the real card. Here, she noticed the red of the woman's clothing. "There is a strong passion for this security, too," said Rohka, closing her eyes once more. Now that she had a better picture of the card in her mind, she could focus on the light behind her eyelids, and their movements pointing to the symbols.

She saw the rabbit, but the light was weaker around it. The red continued to pulse, so she spoke to it. "A strong lover, this woman. This guidance. Never cross her, don't make her angry. See the growth behind her, see the vines, the flowers. This is an extremely possessive guidance, seeking control, for this goal of security."

Rohka paused once more to bring her hand up to massage the middle of her sternum, attempting to release the tension there. Seeing this, Lelia looked into her own embroided bag. The bag itself was quite colourful, which stood in contrast to the Divinist's clothing. Krish noticed this, seeing the symmetrical patterns embroidered into the linen. He watched her pull out what looked like stones and little pebbles. Lelia began to place the stones and pebbles on the now empty plate, lighting the stone with a flick of a flame.

The pebbles were a resin, from trees close to Rohka's home. It immediately began to release smoke into the temple, and an incense that the sybil could now smell as she continued to read the cards in her mind.

The smell relaxed her immediately. A calm smile grew upon her lips as her entire body felt as if it began to sink closer to the ground of the temple.

"That's good, you're grounding appropriately. I've lit you an incense to release the initial effects of what will certainly be a case of overgiving. You will learn as you go. Continue," said the Divinist.

"Thank you," said Roh in a whisper. She placed her hands back in her lap. "This guidance is a friend, as long as she is not crossed. Cross her, and there will be problems." The statement was said matter-of-factly.

The sybil opened her eyes and looked at the cards again. This time, her attention was drawn to the Judgement card. She focused on it, letting the image and colours flow into her senses, taking a moment to study it. She saw the nude figures with their hands up, the red cross on a flag, and the golden curls of the figure with red wings. She barely noticed the trumpet, yet she knew it was there. The grey clouds shifted in her own mind, and she took it as a sign to close her eyes once more.

"Krish's mind," she began, her tone more cautious than it had been before. Krish straightened himself in his seat. He put his full attention onto her.

Rohka could almost feel the added attention. It was like Krish was now... mixing...? Mixing his own innate ability? It was hard to tell. Rohka continued to pause in case Lelia had anything to say. The silence continued for the next few ticks. The sybil decided to move on form it, and spoke out what felt true in the images.

"His mind is making a major decision. It will impact our lives in a large way. He is deciding based in Rhysol's domain." Rohka opened her eyes. "I don't know what else I can say on this."

Lelia nodded. "That's okay. Move to the next card."

The sybil saw the hanged man again, remembering that she'd spoken about it already. "Maya's independent mind really does want to go her own way. Disruptive, as I said before, but," she looked closer at the face of the man, and the light surrounding his head.

"This disruptiveness might be a good thing," she stated.

There, she felt finality, so she moved to the final card. The star.

Rohka felt a tickle on her neck. Almost instinctively, her tail went up to move the loosened strands of hair away and behind her. The shimmering limb then settled on the ground again, the colour seemingly blending into black floor. She stared intently at the card meant for what is wrong. It was more than perplexing to see such a card for this reading. She saw the water, and the tree in the background, a bird sitting atop of it. She saw the seven white stars surrounding the big bright yellow one in the middle. The sybil shut her eyelids to get a better sense of it.

"The Star represents hopes and dreams," said Roh, wistfully. "There's something wrong with the hope, the dream. See the water bearer, pouring water onto land, and water into water." She watched the light settle on the mountains in the back as she spoke. "With life, there are several aspects to it. Each star represents an aspect of life towards which we have hopes and dreams. Marriage, business, children, other aspects too."

Rohka opened her eyes, her brows beginning to knit together as she put all four of the cards into the context of the ritual. Why is Maya putting Krishveth's family through misery?

What is wrong with their dreams?


The sybil looked straight into Krish's eyes now, seeking her answers. He gazed into her own, as solemnly as before. With their eyes locked on each other's she could feel her own heartbeat grow louder in her ears. She could feel fear beginning to creep up into her neck and she willed herself to let it go... and to focus.

Focus on Krish. Focus on the ritual.

Focus on this moment in time.

It was at that moment that a draft blew out the red candle. Whispers began to build around them and Rohka quickly searched for her flint before she felt a hand on her knee.

"No. It's okay. You're almost done. Bring this sign into the closing of the reading. I will tell you how to proceed," said Lelia, reassuring her. The Divinist had not expected the turn, but it was a moment she was familiar with seeing. Every moment held its place with the Gods, and here, the divine had no trouble with hinting at the boundaries of respect. "No more juice," she said, grinning.

Rohka pursed her lips to suppress a giggle. She looked back at the cards to figure out the relationships and connections for a closing. Taking in a deep breath, she placed her hands on her knees and spoke the mantra once more:

"You are one. You are none. You are the soul of what you need to be free."

The cards no longer needed to be seen. She brought her attention up to Krishveth and spoke to him, letting the words spill out of her.

"Make your choice, Krish. Your decision will help Maya. It will help her identity, and it will help her disrupt her own life in the way that will aid you and your family. She was blessed with Rhysol's mark, so she will be guided by Rhysol's love. Look into your dreams and your hopes. Find out what is wrong, there. Find out how your guidance can bring you to the security you seek. You want to save Maya? Bring her security. Sacrificing your bloodstone is only part of this. It is only the beginning of this. Sacrificing goodness, strength, and life are not decisions to be made lightly, but you've made them. You, Krishveth, under the guidance that is being inspired here in these moments, are to make your decision with the full intention to bring security into your method of protection. You are to recognize, with full clarity, this judgement call. So speak. Speak this judgement now. What are you deciding?"

The boy smiled. He'd listened to her, hearing her loud and clear. He gripped the blue crystal in his hands and leaned in, ever so slightly.

His voice was low. Ominously low.

"I'll marry her."
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A Chime Too Long

Postby Rohka on December 5th, 2020, 11:00 pm

Image
Rohka's eyes widened. The sacred declaration made by a child... in her mind, it felt... practically on the cusp of absurd.

This was a delicate matter. This did not feel right. She broke her gaze on Krish and looked to her mentor. Lelia had her hands on her flushed cheeks, staring at the boy who was now smiling inwardly, looking at the four cards.

The Konti turned to Rohka and brought her hands back down to gesture towards the black shard. "He doesn't deal with marriage. Cheva does, the Goddess of Love. If there is true love and devotion between this boy and whom he wishes to marry, Cheva's mark will appear on the both of them. It will not appear if either one of them is unwilling or coerced."

"So Maya would need to be in love with Krishveth, then."

"Yes. Marriage and love are ideas that have been around for ages, and many cultures throughout Mizahar have different views on how it operates. The Konti, for example, are rarely allowed or asked to be married. Love does form, cheva marks do occur, but the Konti have bred a culture that focuses the love between the women. The mothers, the daughters, the grandmothers. Frankly, when I settled in Ravok to focus on my Call on my own, marriage had always seemed strange to me. Plus, I never chose to have children, and my status that I built here allowed me to keep my devotion on Rhysol's needs, first and foremost."

The sybil nodded, listening.

"So, I am at a bit of a loss here, Rohka. Let me see. Krishveth?" she asked, calling for the boy's attention. "When do you intend to marry her?"

"Right after the bloodstone is sacrificed."

"Hm. And you think marrying her will help her? You think that whatever is wrong with Maya will magically disappear if you marry her?"

"No. I think that by marrying her, I will bring her security. By marrying her, I can save her from Rhysol's influence. By marrying her, I can protect her."

"So do you love her? Are you in love with her?"

The boy froze. The silence seemed to feel as if time itself slowed down, dramatically. He looked around, then stared at the shard. Both Rohka and Lelia shared the silence. It was odd to the sybil, seeing a child consider whether he was in love. She wasn't sure what to make of it. In fact, she wasn't sure what she was truly witnessing here. A boy determined to sacrifice an heirloom stone to have a reading that would help him determine how to help the people that matter to him. None of this felt remotely close to a burden that a child needed to carry.

Krishveth continued to stare at the shard as he considered the Divinist's question.

He wasn't sure what to say. He was so sure that he was doing the right thing. Yet, this question, posed in the manner that it was posed, felt almost accusatory.

Something shifted in the boy's face as his gaze turned back onto Lelia to answer her.

"I won't answer you. You said Cheva would mark us, right? If we were to marry?"

Lelia pursed her lips and nodded.

"Okay."

A curious strength, thought Lelia.

Rohka could really smell the incense now, and was deeply reminded of her home on the Lakeshore. A pang of nostalgia ran through her veins and a tiredness began to set it.

"Lelia, I-"

"I know. Let's end this. The next step is the sacrificial process. Krishveth, you will come with us. You need to be part of the process. I don't know how to destroy a bloodstone, so we will need to gather information. Blow out the candles, Rohka, and say your last prayers to Rhysol. Ready?"

And with that, the boy followed the sybil's lead as she bowed to the circle of the ritual. The quiet ceremony concluded with the sound of a faint bell above them.

Oh Rhysol, thought Lelia. Have mercy on these two.
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