Event Death in the Park

The Alheas Crone is found dead near her shack.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

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.

Moderator: Luminescence

Death in the Park

Postby Luminescence on December 1st, 2019, 1:24 am

Death in the Park

Night of the 47th of Autumn, 519 AV

It seemed such unfortunate events always took place in the darkest of the night, and what more perfect time than when there was a near guarantee that almost every citizen of Lhavit would be curled up in bed somewhere, catching a few bells of reprieve before life resumed? It wasn't quite the midnight rest when the Alheas Crone met her demise; she had seen it coming, had prepared, but foresight did not always allow for the best outcome.

However, just as these terrible things were always planned for beneath Leth's light and within the shadows, there were also always those who did not follow the expected cycle for one reason or another. Cala's killer was long, long gone by the time the midnight rest ticked over into its end, careful to clear their path behind them and leave the scene as undisturbed as a murder could be. But others were just stumbling upon the scene.

They all had their own reasons for being within the Park so late at night, just as the midnight rest was ending, perhaps alone or together; maybe it was a restless night, or they were stretching their legs or getting fresh air, or perhaps they had their own deeds to do. Regardless, they would all find their steps being drawn the same way. Perhaps it was chance, perhaps fate; that they unknowingly weaved a certain path, or perhaps it was something else, the glowing of the prismflies and occasional calls of owls leading them, luring them towards where the blood was still drying in the grass.

One way or another, they would all stumble across the scene, perhaps at the same time but certainly not long after each other. It was eerily quiet in the immediate area, the scene before them remarkably and so very wrongly calm. The Crone's shack was in view, sitting still, and mere steps away from the porch lay the Alheas Crone herself, face down in the grass and unmoving, one arm outstretched as if she had been running, reaching for something. The gentle multi-hued glow of prismflies lit the area in a ranging spectrum of lights, casting an unearthly quality over the scene.

The grass glowed a gentle blue-green-pink-orange beneath the lights of the insects; it slowly faded into a darker colour near the Crone, the blood that had spilled pooling in the grass around her, dying it almost black in the moonlight, still slightly damp as it seeped into the ground.

Cala did not move; she was perfectly still, unbreathing. If touched, her body, the already cold blood of a snake running through her veins, would be icy cold; she had clearly been there for at least some time, though not too long. The door to the shack behind her hung open, ajar and just slightly off its hinges, a gaping maw into the blackness of the fortune teller's home within.

If any of those who were there, shock wearing off and investigation being launched, were to roll the Crone's corpse over, Cala's eyes would stare unblinkingly upwards, unseeing, her lips only slightly parted as if she had been about to say something. Her headscarf and jewelry were askew, and the front of her clothing was drenched in still-drying blood, the tacky substance sticking to her skin and around the deep stab wound in her stomach. The sudden heavy, sickening smell of drying blood filled the air, cloying and sharp all at once, sickly sweet yet metallic.

On her forehead, drawn clumsily, perhaps by the killer's own fingers, was the mage marking symbol. It was slightly smeared, not perfect but recognizable, and this time it was very clearly drawn in Cala's own lifeblood, dried against her skin, not any sort of paint trick that was meant to resemble blood.

Silence reigned, thick and heavy, except for whatever words were exchanged between those who had stumbled upon the gruesome scene. For some, it was not the first time they had found a body in the Park, bathed in shadows and moonlight and blood, the smell of death thick in the air. For others, it was a shockingly new sight; for all, it was still grim and horrifying.
User avatar
Luminescence
Allow me to light the way
 
Posts: 535
Words: 645579
Joined roleplay: January 13th, 2018, 2:05 pm
Location: Lhavit, the Diamond of Kalea
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Medals: 2
Featured Contributor (1) Artist (1)

Death in the Park

Postby Madeira Craven on December 1st, 2019, 3:11 am




Madeira never minded the dark; she was well acquainted with all the things that went bump in the night. The shadowy animal topiaries that loomed over the paths, the skittering of unseen creatures in the trees, the flicker of the lantern in her hand that made the shadows shiver and reach out for her skirt as she passed, none of these things held horror for her anymore. But beneath the sleeve of her simple cotton dress the magic in her bracer crossbow still sparked anxiously.

"Why are we here..." The ghost behind her whined, pressed close enough for her shoulder to be halfway through Madeira's torso. "I wanna go home."

Emma was the barest flicker of presence in the light of the lantern. Her edges were nothing more than a misty glow as her soulmist kicked up in nervous currents that frosted the grass around her bare, scabbed feet. This ghostly apparition of an eternal, undead and gruesome child was the only undead creature Madeira knew of who was afraid of the dark.

"You can go home, sweetheart. I'll call you when I'm ready to leave." the spiritist stepped away as the nervous, fluttering fingers of the ghost brushed past her lungs. The unearthly chill made her chest stutter and lanced painfully up her spine.

"No, you have to come with me!"

"There's nothing out there that can hurt you anymore", except me. The words brushed her lips but she wouldn't let them past. She swallowed hard. "Were almost there, I think. I just want to have a look around at something. When we get home I'll have to tell Raj how brave you've been."

It had been a long night for the spiritist. She had dressed hastily, leaving her jewels and cosmetics behind, taking only her gloves, rings, bracer crossbow and lantern. Sleeplessness showed dark and heavy beneath her eyes and in the way her blonde hair was hastily scrapped back on her scalp and tied out of the way. She had dreamed about Jomi again tonight. Tangled up in her sheets, groaning into her pillow, she dreamed in stress and pain and wild colours she couldn't remember upon waking. Where do ghosts go when they are dusted? She had replayed the memory of him pinned down, her hand through his chest and what was left of his life force swimming up her arm. She didn't dust him that night, but it had been close. At the last tick she had pulled away. But it didn't matter. Several days later Rotsam had finished what she started and dusted the kelvic ghost for good.

Awake and anxious and unable to stay under the watchful eye of her house, she had taken the only person as sleepless as she and headed out into the night. She was full of a strange inexpressible need to see the clearing where she fought and nearly killed Jomi. Though she knew in her mind there would be nothing there in the half season since the battle, her heart was telling her to look just one more time, as if the key to his resurrection could be found in the slashed earth if she just looked hard enough.

The clearing she was looking for was tucked towards the back of Ahleas Park. She had been there a few times before. It was a mysterious meadow ringed with scrubby mountain trees, where, if one was lucky (or very unlucky) a strange shack would appear. The first time she saw it was with Dev'ania, when the Konti had introduced her to the shack's strange inhabitant; the Crone.

The human and ghost travelled in uneasy silence for a while. Emma was wide eyed and alert, drifting along behind her master and watching the silvery beams of moonlight that shone down through the trees. Madeira was squinting straight ahead, her right hand flexing around the handle of her lantern. Something was wrong here. Her gnosis sensed death beyond the white noise Emma was giving off. At first she chalked it up to that explosive bit of power her and Jomi showed that night having lingered as death often did. But the sense was getting too sharp, too fast. She licked her teeth, and green sparks fell from her sleeve.

"You should go home, Em. You're shaking like a leaf", Madeira prodded gently as they approached the mouth of the clearing. The sense was stronger now, almost overwhelmingly so. The spiritist wasn't sure what she would find once she stepped inside but she was certain she didn't want Emma to see it.

"Then you have to come too", the little girl squeaked, dancing from foot to foot, her fists wrapped up in the nightdress she died in. "Please Maddy!"

Madeira came to a stop. Something was in that clearing, she could feel it in her bones. It was almost like the gnosis was pulling her along towards it, begging her to look. "I can't, kitten. Go on ahead. Thank you for taking me here. I think you've earned yourself a nice big batch of soulmist when I get back."

"But-"

"Go home, Emma. I'll be right behind you."

The two stared each other down for a long tick before Emma fidgeted and looked back down the dark path they had come. "But it's so scary."

"Then isn't it a good thing you're so brave?"

Emma scuffed her toe on the ground, mumbling into her collar. But her arms were straightening out at her sides as she worked up what little courage she still had.

"I'll be right behind you", Madeira pressed, giving the girl a big smile.

The ghost huffed noisily and vanished in a whip of soulmist. She could feel the girl's presence moving away, and suddenly Madeira was alone. The spiritist transferred the lantern to her left hand, freeing up her crossbow, and with a deep breath prowled into the clearing.

Moonlight lit up the scene. At the edge of the clearing the illusive shack was wedged between the trees, glowing with the whirl of prismflies kept on the porch. A dark shape was collapsed on the grass in front, on top of a pool of shining blood. Madeira removed her rings and gloves as she approached. Corpses were not new to her, and that was exactly what this was. She knew before she touch her that this person had been dead for bells.

She put down her lantern, casting a competing yellow glow over Leth's silver scene. The figure was diminutive and buried under a colourful headscarf and layered, sexless clothes. As gently as she could, Madeira turned the figure over by the shoulder, and felt something in her wither as she looked down onto the cloudy, unseeing eyes of the Crone. A knife stuck out from her belly, and a familiar mark was painted on her forehead with her own blood.

The Magekiller had claimed another victim. The thought hummed electric through the Spiritist. First Elena, then Hitori, now the Crone? The targets were getting bigger and more impossible each time. The Crone was a mystical Dhani with the gift of foresight, and a house you couldn't even find unless she wanted you to, for gods sakes. And if rumours would be believed she was ageless and eternal and had other, stranger powers. If anybody was going to be invulnerable, it would have been her. Madeira felt her mouth go dry. She felt a sudden, urgent need to run home and check on her family.

Suddenly she felt a prickling in the back of her mind, and that was all the warning the Spiritist got. She turned on her knees in a panic just in time to see Emma materialize behind her. Perhaps she got spooked and came running back, or she never really intended to leave in the first place. Horror dawned on the child's face as she saw the brutalized body in her master's arms, and before Madeira could do anything, the girl's hands clamped to either side of her head, and with a sound that pieced through the entire park, she started to scream.
Image
Last edited by Madeira Craven on February 13th, 2020, 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Death in the Park

Postby Octarus on December 1st, 2019, 4:04 am

The Alheas Park had quickly become a favorite of his to roam during the night before he made his way to the temple. It was a beautiful place with unique little creatures that reminded him vaguely of his time spent among the divine. He imagined taking Dannette here so she could enjoy the charming little flies. In life she'd ate up all the stories she could get about Lhavit, but none of them had ever related the experience of this park at night. Those stories had focused mostly on romance and adventures in the peaks. Voiced by men whom had likely never been to the peaks, given they'd missed touching on a place like this.

Octarus sighed wistfully, and knelt next to the rippling waters of the pond. Multicolored lights bled across its surface, forming little multicolored waves.
Something further along the bank disappeared into the water with a plop before he could see it. Faintly, he could see the outline of his face and the horns that swept gracefully from his temples, outlined by the brief flashes of light over the water.

On the other side of the pond, someone screamed. Octarus shuddered. Almost pitching forward, he rocked to his feet. What the petch was that? He looked across the water and barely made out two figures in the flickering lights. His heart hammered in his chest. Without much further thought, he took off around the pond. That sounded like a young girl. The ground around the pond was soft.
His feet struggled to find adequate purchase, but he didn't look for more stable ground. Didn't have time for it. He wasn't sure how much help he would be, but he had to try. Had to. He couldn't let this happen again.

"Never. Again." He panted, out of breath as he came around the pond. I'm truly terrible at this whole running thing he thought, hands on his knees as he hunched over, catching his breath. Barely made it around the pond and already he was winded. Ahead, he could finally make out the features of the people.
Surprisingly they were familiar to him.

"Madeira!? Are you okay?" He managed to shout after taking in a deep breath.
Taking in another he jogged over to the pair, looking around for signs of the danger. Distracted, he almost ran into the prone figure of the Crone. When he just managed to see it out the corner of his eye, he came to an abrupt stop.

"What the petch!?" He saw Dannettes face on the Crone's weathered body for a fraction of a chime, before he blinked it away. The woman that lay between him and Madeira was very dead, and it occurred to Octarus that this was the first time he had seen a dead body. Well, at least a whole one. She looked eerily like a doll laying there. Looking up at Madeira, he said. "Ah, I see now." His tone was flat now as his heart continued to hammer in his chest. His eyes briefly scanned the darkness around them, giving the young ghost a wide berth. He still found her more than a little unsettling to look at. "What do you need me to do?"
Last edited by Octarus on February 14th, 2020, 3:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Octarus
Player
 
Posts: 61
Words: 47363
Joined roleplay: November 16th, 2019, 3:24 pm
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet

Death in the Park

Postby Dev'Ania on February 18th, 2020, 4:51 am

Leth’s light flooded the small room of Dev’Ania’s Solar Wind apartment. She laid, tossing and turning in her bed - a nightmare playing in her mind. Sweat soaked her smooth skin and her soft sheets. It was the same reoccurring nightmare about her parents again, except this time there were new characters in it. Now, there were two more mysterious figures whom she could not identify. Who were they? What did they want? Why were they in her dreams?

Prompting her to jump out of her sleep, an image of a masked figure with the mage-killer symbol on it popped into her nightmare. She woke in a panic and gasped for air as she tried to catch her breath. Her heart thudded quickly against her chest. It felt like it was going to burst through her rib cage.

Finally, after a few chimes of sitting in her sweat-soaked sheets and panting, she had calmed down enough to roll out her bed and sit in a chair by her opened window. The cool breeze of the night air felt refreshing as it rushed through Dev’s nostrils and into her lungs. She stared out into the empty streets below and watched how the light of Leth illuminated everything with a subtle glow. Ember jumped into her lap and started purring, rubbing her head against Dev’Ania.

“Aw hey there, Emmy. I’m sorry to have awakened you with my night terrors.” Dev’Ania ran her webbed fingers through the black cat’s fur as her eyes turned to the midnight sky. A million thoughts ran through her mind like a raging river. She thought about the investigation and all the clues she collected with Madeira.

Her eyes drifted closed and a familiar feeling fell upon her body. Suddenly, she was surrounded by swirls of luminously colored lines. All weaved together like one big net of stories. She was back in the Chavena. A line, that seemed to grow a tad brighter than the others, flowed right past her. She gently brushed her fingers against it and was immediately faced with her own memories. Memories of her and Cala. She saw when she first met the Crone all the way up to the last time they spoke, ending with Dev upset with the Crone.

After seeing her own memories, her eyes opened and she was returned to the mortal realm. She jumped up with Ember in her arms and gently placed her on the chair. She had to see Cala. If not to get more information, then to apologize for being so upset with her. Of course, Cala probably knew how Dev felt, but Dev still felt the need to tell her.

She put on a different dress, her shoes, and her cloak, grabbed her bag and was soon making her way through the park.

As she hastily made her way through the illuminating brush of the park, a scream rang out that echoed to her ears. Abruptly her fast walking switched to a sprint. She ran as far as she could toward where the scream came. Once again, her heart was racing in her chest.

The Konti stopped in her tracks as she came to the source of the scream.

“What’s wrong! Are you -” Dev’Ania paused, coming to a sudden realization, “Emma? Madeira? Octarus? What...what are you guys doing here?” Her eyes flicked between the three people and then on what she realized was the Crone’s shack. Then, her eyes fell on the figure laying lifeless between the three before her.

She approached it with a pit sitting in her stomach. She already knew who it had to be but had to see for herself. Tears welled up in her eyes as her eyes caught sight her dead mentor, laying in a pool of her dark blood.
User avatar
Dev'Ania
The Future Awaits
 
Posts: 164
Words: 125755
Joined roleplay: November 21st, 2018, 11:41 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

Death in the Park

Postby Madeira Craven on February 18th, 2020, 8:07 pm

"Madeira!? Are you okay?"

Madeira would never dare to pull a crossbow on an Ethaefal, but it was close. Her frayed nerves had her jumping to her feet as a tall, golden haired creature she had never seen before came charging at her in the middle of a murder scene. He slowed to a jog as he came close, and swore lustily as he beheld the body in the grass. Even in his shock he was beautiful. Dark green horns twisted away from his tanned face, and blue eyes shone even in the gloom. He seemed to process what he was seeing, before he turned to Madeira and asked what she needed him to do.

The tips of Madeira's uncovered right hand blackened, and a lick of fire danced under her sleeve as she stared. "How do you know my name?" she demanded. The Magekiller knew who she was too, and she would have remembered seeing a face like that.

But he never got the chance to answer. At that moment a fourth person stumbled into the clearing, and it was someone Madeira was both relieved and horrified to see. It was a soft Konti girl, prismflies and lantern light catching on her opalescent scales.

“Emma? Madeira? Octarus? What...what are you guys doing here?” she stuttered as she realized who they were. Madeira's eyes flicked to the Eth. Octarus? What the hai? She had met an Octarus earlier that season, but he had been a scruffy human man... The realization clicked into place, and her eyes widened with recognition. But this wasn't the time to reintroduce themselves. The Spiritist's voice caught in her throat. She wanted to shout for Dev'ania, tell her to back away, not to look, but it was too late. The Konti's realization had melted into grief, and the Spiritist watched as her ocean eyes swam with tears.

"No, no, Dev'ania", Madeira stepped around the lifeless Crone and slammed into the Konti, enveloping her in a rare hug and pivoting them so Dev wasn't facing the body. One hand pressed into her upper back and the other wrapped in her hair, pressing the taller woman into her shoulder. "Breath. Breath deep. Don't fall apart. I need you right now. The Crone needs you. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

She held her like that for a long tick. Several meters away Emma had stopped screaming. The little girl had her hands tight over her eyes and was sobbing in a cocoon of wildly whipping soulmist. Madeira called to her from over Dev'ania's shoulder. Her voice turned from gentle and pleading to something harder. The voice of a woman used to being obeyed.

"Emma, go home. Tell Infinity everything, do you understand? Tell it I want that house on lockdown. Nobody goes in, nobody comes out. Nobody. Go." She pointed back the way they came, but Emma never removed her hands to see. With a panicked little hiccup she fled, blinking away into the night.

Without her the clearing was eerily quiet. Madeira's hand drifted back to Dev'ania's back, and traced down her spine in long comforting strokes. Her voice softened as she dipped her head to whisper directly into the Konti's ear. "I'm going to give you something to help with the pain, okay? This will be our secret. Gently, gently", she crooned, and the pressure on her back took on a new, more purposeful pattern. Hypnotism roared to life in her body, the dijed stretching and rolling outward from her soul, and all that power condensing to the palm of her hand. An emotional surge sank into the steady pressure on her back, the power dancing along the steady rhythm of the movement. With each stroke she build a surge of focus into Dev's mind, giving her something for the grief to hide behind as they worked. The hypnotism was too abrupt and fighting against a powerful emotion like grief for her to be sure it was working, but it was all she could do to try and hold together the konti's composure.

And she needed Dev to be focused. they were partners in this case, after all. She couldn't do this without her.

Madeira pulled away as the strain of passing that much dijed became too much. Dev would know that magic had passed between them, but Madeira wasn't sure she would know what. Her hypnotism was something she kept very close to her chest. The Spiritist squeezed her shoulder and kissed her cheek before turning back to the Eth Octarus and the body.

"You could have told me you were an Eth", Madeira hissed as she knelt back down beside the Crone. "But, if you really do want to help... I'm glad you're here", she admitted. She had already rolled the Crone onto her back, but the Dhani's hand was still out in front of her, as if she had fallen forward reaching for something. Behind her the illusive Shack's front door was ajar and slightly crooked, leaning on its busted hinge. Madeira looked between the them and shook her head.

"Did you know the Crone? Her house is... strange. It can appear and disappear at will. You cant find it unless she wants you to. More than that, I'm sure she is, was, a divinationist like Dev. She knew things nobody else did; impossible things. So how the hai did the killer break down the door of a disappearing house and stab not just a viper Dhani, but a prophetic viper Dhani while face to face?" She must have let the killer in. But then why bust open the door? And the Crone had run outside. After the killer, perhaps? It made no sense.

Placing her right hand over the woman's chest, Madeira closed her eyes. Breathing deep of the smell of blood, she began to pray.

"Dira, beloved goddess, warden of death, I pray you see this soul safely to your embrace. Let their going be gentle, and give them peace in the next life that they can no longer find here. Bless those they left behind so that they may find comfort in the certainty of death. And curse those that take that power into their own hands."

Madeira closed the Dhani's eyes with her hand and moved to stand. "Octarus, try and search the house for clues to what happened, and who was in there. See if the killer left anything behind." Madeira for her part stared down at the corpse, trying to summon her own Eiyon sight. "I'll see if the Crone has anything to tell us." She turned her hand palm-outward to explain, revealing the black scythe buried deep in the waxy, molted flesh of her palm.
Image
Last edited by Madeira Craven on February 22nd, 2020, 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Death in the Park

Postby Octarus on February 20th, 2020, 4:20 am

Octarus flinched. He hadn’t expected that question, nor the tone that went with it. Was he so forgettable? Her eyes watched him intensely, but before he could respond, Dev’Ania’s voice broke the tension. He spun to face the woman and watched as she registered the grisly scene. “I was just walking” He said, softly trailing off as he noticed her expression. His lips drew into a tight, small line as he clenched his jaw. This was all just too much, too soon. Dev’Ania’s face was. Well he didn’t quite know how to interpret it, but sorrowful seemed to stick.

Fortunately, Madeira took charge here just like she did when escorting him around the peaks. She went to Dev’Ania and surprisingly started comforting her. He hadn’t expected such familiarity, but then it occurred to him that she had called Madeira by name. So, they knew each other and were apparently well acquainted. Maderia was saying something that he couldn’t quite make out over a very distraught Emma, and suddenly, the ghost departed. The ghost had created quite the tempest around her and had been making it difficult to think with her disturbances. He felt kind of bad about that. He didn’t want to think too harshly of the ghost. She creeped him out though, and she was far from a calming influence right now. Which is something they all needed desperately.

Maderia was apparently not done with Dev’Ania however so he turned to focus on the body. The woman on the ground was the one person he did not recognize in this clearing, which was sort of a relief. He was careful not to get blood on him as he knelt close. The woman had been brutally slain, that much was apparent, but beyond that, he didn’t know what to make of the scene. He wasn’t sure were they were even supposed to go from here. Did they just contact the Shinya and stay out of their way, or? Maderia knelt beside him. His eyes widened as he realized that he did look quite differently that day. Well that explains the interaction earlier at least. He should have realized from the start that she wouldn’t recognize him as an Ethaefal. “When you have as many memories as I do rattling around your head, you stop being surprised at what slips through” He murmured soberly.

Watching her, he shook his head. “I did not. Who do you think might have killed her?” She seemed like a whole different person, almost like he was in Leth’s light without such a flashy change. More direct and take charge than she had been out in the market. Like this might be her element, which given her professed experience with ghosts, he supposed was a fair assessment. It also looked like she had dealt with her fair share of corpses by the way she handled the Crone’s body. The next words she uttered were a prayer of some sort to Dira. He stared dumbfounded for a moment before he gathered himself and stood up. What had he gotten himself into? He was not equipped for work like this.

Suppressing a shudder, he nodded. “Sure” He left it at that, because anything more from him would be just unintelligible babble at this point. This whole situation had him uneasy, and he couldn’t readily dismiss the dread sat across his chest. He turned towards the shack. Part of him wondered if the killer might still lurk within, but his more logical side firmly doubted that. Still, who knew what disturbing sights awaited him within. Slowly he made his way to the door and stepped inside.
Last edited by Octarus on February 23rd, 2020, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Octarus
Player
 
Posts: 61
Words: 47363
Joined roleplay: November 16th, 2019, 3:24 pm
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet

Death in the Park

Postby Luminescence on February 22nd, 2020, 4:05 am

Madeira

The scene didn't change at first. Except the perception was off; Madeira was facing away from the shack now, out into the expanse of the trees. There was a dull, throbbing pain in her stomach. If she looked down, she would see her hand pressed against her stomach, fingers splayed out as dark blood poured from a deep wound, rivulets running down over her fingers and the back of her smooth yet weathered hand, much darker than her skin had ever been.

She took a staggering step forward, her vision blurring slightly, and Madeira saw a figure standing several feet away, clad all in black from head to toe, only dark eyes peering out from black face coverings; the killer blended nearly seamlessly with the shadows. They held something clenched in their hand, but it was difficult to make it out in the darkness.

The figure approached as Cala's strength finally gave way and she slumped to her knees in the grass, breathing ragged. The magekiller was not overly tall, and on the slender side; perhaps a woman, or a slim man? Cala's unfocused gaze was on their legs as they walked forward towards her. The killer dropped to a crouch in front of the Crone, dark brown eyes unreadable.

A black-gloved hand reached up to catch Madeira - the Crone's - chin. The two stared at each other for a moment that seemed to stretch on forever. The Crone let out a shuddering sigh. "I have made my peace with this end," she rasped, coughing slightly. Madeira felt wetness fleck her lips, a mixture of spittle and blood.

The killer dropped their hand, adjusting their grip on what they were holding in the other; the Crone's eyes flicked to it for a half-second, but it was enough for Madeira to see it for what it was. The hand that held it was ungloved, pale skin stark in the moonlight, and the killer's fingers were clenched around a stone spike, half of it stained dark with still-wet blood.

"It is not my job to inerfere," the Crone continued, her breathing rattling in her throat. She did not have long left, and she knew it. "I can only warn and direct from the sidelines. The future is not mine to tamper with no matter how grim. But I wish you would have taken a different path."

A sharp bark of laughter, muffled by the cloth covering their face, came from the magekiller, cruel and pitched high. The killer stood abruptly, circling around, out of vision; Madeira felt a hard kick to her back that sent her sprawling forward onto her stomach.

Footsteps sounded, boots coming into view as the killer began to walk away, leaving her to bleed to death. The Crone reached out an arm, fingers stretching towards the murderer. "Wait," she rasped. The killer paused, but did not turn to look. "Do you regret it?" Cala asked, her voice pained not just from her wound.

The silence was thick and heavy and lasted so long that Cala feared the blackness flickering in her vision might take her before she received an answer. Finally, the killer spoke; their voice was muffled and distant, but distinctly feminine. It was possible Madeira had heard the voice before, but impossible to place, muffled as it was. The killer spoke two words. "Do you?" They asked, finally turning to look at the dying Dhani woman.

Cala's head slumped forward into the grass, and all Madeira saw was green so dark it could have been black. Footsteps told her that the killer was leaving, and silence told her that they were gone. "I am sorry," Cala whispered, into the grass. "Madeira, Dev'Ania. Even now it is not my place to interfere, but please be strong. You are close, and you can stop this, I know it. I'm so very sorry." The Crone closed her eyes, leaving Madeira in blackness, and gave one long, shuddering sigh.

Madeira's vision returned to her in the clearing with the Crone's cold body laying lifelessly in front of her.



Octarus

The shack was devoid of any signs of life. A few candles and lanterns on the tables and walls flickered, casting dim light enough to see by, and the floorboards creaked beneath Octarus' feet as he entered the front room. The air was smoky from a still-smoldering stick of incense, scenting the air with something spicy that mingled unpleasantly with the metallic tang of blood still in the Eth's nose.

A trail of blood drops, some smeared, lead from the backroom to the door and outside, trailing through the grass to where the Crone's body lay. There was no evidence of a struggle, but then again, there was hardly any furniture to be put out of place. The doorway to the backroom, draped in gauzy sheets of fabric, was illuminated with a brighter light than the entrance room.

If Octarus entered, he would find the smoke inside even thicker. Two cups of tea sat on the table in the circular room, long since having gone cold. One was half empty, the other still seemed to be full. The Crone's pipe lay discarded on the floor, fragrant herbs spilling out of it; the lovely tablecloth was stained thick and dark with blood where the Crone usually sat, a tacky pool of blood staining the floor. The chair that Cala favoured was knocked onto its side, but otherwise, the room seemed intact.

On the table sat a disheveled deck of tarot cards. A handful of cards had been laid out face-up, bloodied fingerprints staining the intricate illustrations on them; many of them seemed to be upside down. A card depicting a beautiful full moon stared up at Octarus, flipped upside down; 'The Moon'. Then came a card with a beautiful, regal woman on it; 'The Empress', the delicate scrawl across the bottom claimed, also reversed.

It was followed by another card with a woman on it, this one also flipped upside down; 'The Mother of Pentacles'. Below those three cards were two that were right-side up; one card displayed a skull. 'Death', read the scrawling word at the bottom. The one next to it showed an intricate scale; 'Justice', it claimed to be.

To Octarus, they were just pretty cards with intricate images and words; whether or not they had more meaning was uncertain. Had the Crone placed them on purpose, leaving them for whoever would find her body? Or was it simply her last reading that she never had the chance to clean up?

It was hard to say. If Octarus continued to search around on the shelves in the room, he wouldn't find much of note; jars of herbs for both tea and the Crone's pipe, seemingly ancient journals filled with notes in a language that he didn't know, but whose occasional illustration allowed him to guess that they detailed things about fortune telling, a box of small various bones and another filled with stones that had strange markings.

However, pushed to the back of one shelf was a box, much newer than anything else in the room. In scratchy writing, the card on top spelled out Dev'Ania's name.
User avatar
Luminescence
Allow me to light the way
 
Posts: 535
Words: 645579
Joined roleplay: January 13th, 2018, 2:05 pm
Location: Lhavit, the Diamond of Kalea
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Medals: 2
Featured Contributor (1) Artist (1)

Death in the Park

Postby Dev'Ania on March 5th, 2020, 10:47 am

The Konti’s eyes were red and puffy as the tears continued to rush out. She buried her face into Madeira’s shoulder as the Spiritist unexpectedly tried to console her. This was a side of the woman she had never witnessed in the time they had spent together investigating. Perhaps, it was the motherly side Dev’Ania suspected every woman held within them. Surely this was a side her children got to experience often.

Dev’Ania was overcome with waves of emotion showering over her. Anguish for the death of someone she loved, hatred for the murdered and, though she would never admit it aloud, hatred for Cala for letting it happen. Guilt also flooded her mind. She could not help but feel guilty for not solving the mystery early and preventing the Crone’s death. Lurid memories ran through her mind as she remembered the journey through the investigation Dev’Ania and Madeira went through together. The got so close exposing the killer’s identity so many times yet the petching murderer seemed to continue slipping right past them. Dev’Ania should have figured out Cala’s riddles earlier and then maybe she would be alive right now.

Everything faded away except for the warm feeling of Madeira’s embrace as Dev’Ania sobbed into her shoulder. For a moment, her senses seized existing as if everything had disappeared. The smell of metallic blood and trees disappeared. The sight of a corpse and prismaflies flying around disappeared. The taste of salty tears running down her cheek disappeared. The sound of Madeira consoling her and Octarus all disappeared. It all disappeared until Madeira whispered into her ear.

“I'm going to give you something to help with the pain, okay? This will be our secret. Gently, gently.” Madeira’s words suddenly ameliorated Dev’Ania’s pain and emotions. Madeira’s words permeated Dev’s mind and took it all away. She didn’t know what it was, but she recognized it as the same thing she did to Kasha. It was more than good charisma. The way Mads managed to submerge Dev in her thoughts, meant it just had to be magic. There was no other explanation. Yet, all the Konti could think about now was focusing on finishing this investigation and finding out who did this to the Crone. Her weeping came to an end as she pulled away from Madeira’s arms. She wiped her eyes dry of the tears and looked at Octarus, and then at Madeira.

“I am okay,” she began. “Thank you, Mads.”

The Konti knelt down next to Cala’s cold corpse with Mads and Octarus. “She was a diviner. She taught me all I know about divination and fortune-telling. She knew the killer was coming for her. It… it just makes no sense. The only way this could have happened was if...the Crone wanted the killer in her shack...but why?” Dev tried to wrap her head around the murder with the other two.

Kneeling down, she took one of Cala’s hands into her own. The dead Dhani’s hand was freezing to the touch in Dev’s. Under normal circumstances, Dev’Ania would have just broken down into sobbing again, but whatever Madeira did to her made her stay focused.

She watched as Octarus entered the shack to investigate and Madeira standing with her palm out. Her eyes were drawn to the symbol on Madeira’s palm. It looked burned and melted, but the sight did not frighten the Konti. The sight of the symbol somehow triggered her thinking. It reminded her of her own gnosis mark. Perhaps the mark on Madeira’s hand was also a type of gnosis gift from a different god or goddess.

Whatever it was, Dev’Ania was inclined to use her gnosis to dig out any information and give them some idea of what happened.

“I will try to divine into her past and see if I find any information,” chimed in the Konti.
User avatar
Dev'Ania
The Future Awaits
 
Posts: 164
Words: 125755
Joined roleplay: November 21st, 2018, 11:41 pm
Location: Lhavit
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes

Death in the Park

Postby Luminescence on March 6th, 2020, 1:58 pm

Dev'Ania

Dev'Ania's grief and pain faded into the background, clouded over for the time being by Madeira's djed and soothing hypnotism; the Konti would have to face her anguish and go through her own grieving process for the Crone eventually, but now was not the time.

Cala's hand, bloodstained, was like ice in Dev'Ania's own, and some of the tacky residual lifeblood from the fortune teller's palm smeared across Dev'Ania's own pale skin as she knelt beside Madeira. Even as Dev'Ania spoke, Madeira seemed distant, her eyes glazing over slightly as she, unbeknownst to the Konti, experienced the Crone's last moments.

Dev'Ania herself would follow suit shortly; as she tapped into her divine gift, focusing on the Crone, the Konti's eyes clouded over as she stared off into the distance, gaze unfocused. The two blonde woman knelt, motionless and staring distantly at nothing as they each experienced their own sight from their gnosis marks.

To anyone it would be a strange sight indeed, and if Octarus returned from the shack to inform them of what he had found, he would find them both sitting like pale stone statues beneath the moonlight until they roused a few breaths later, each blinking out of their respective visions.

Dev'Ania, however, was finding that she was having a difficult time with her own gift. She could see the gently pulsating, glowing strands of the chavi that stretched across the chavena, winding and twisting and intersecting, branching off; but wandering among them, whereas she could usually fairly easily find the one she was looking for with a bit of concentration and a moment or two, Dev'Ania was finding it strangely difficult to locate Cala's chavi.

More than strangely difficult; as time seemed to stretch on, infinitely longer than she was used to, Dev'Ania would begin to realize that it was impossible to find Cala's chavi. She recognized none of the twisting, glowing strands of colour as belonging to the Crone, because it simply was not there.

She could keep looking, wandering deeper and deeper into the chavena, risking losing herself among the chavi, a usually nonexistent risk for someone with only one lily on their skin; or she could accept that Cala's chavi was no longer there for her to see and come back to herself, blinking back into the clearing as the Konti learned the hard way that once loved ones were dead, they were truly gone, inaccessible even to the sliver of divine power that she held.

If Dev'Ania chose to return to her own body's vision, snapping herself out of the chavena, she would find that she had been delving through the chavi for well longer than the usual few breaths it took, as she came to well after Madeira, having learned nothing but the cold hard truth that death was indeed an uncrossable chasm; of course, that was not entirely true for those favoured by Dira, as Madeira knew, but Dev'Ania was not aware of that. And indeed, even those favoured by Dira could only bridge that chasm so much.

The Crone was dead, her body cold, and except for the last few moments of her life that Madeira had been allowed to glimpse and whatever clues she'd had the foresight to leave them in her shack, she was no longer going to be able to help them. The trio were well and truly on their own.
User avatar
Luminescence
Allow me to light the way
 
Posts: 535
Words: 645579
Joined roleplay: January 13th, 2018, 2:05 pm
Location: Lhavit, the Diamond of Kalea
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Medals: 2
Featured Contributor (1) Artist (1)

Death in the Park

Postby Madeira Craven on March 7th, 2020, 3:33 am





Madeira came out of the sight trance staggering, clutching her belly, her face white and contorted in pain. It was not a pleasant experience, sharing in someone's death. Madeira came back to herself in pieces, her eyes focusing and breath deepening, slowly tying together exactly what she had seen and what it meant.

"I know you..." she mumbled deliriously as her eyes refocused. "I know you..."

But who was it? That voice, that figure, those brown eyes, she knew them. She knew the killer, she had met them before, but where? And what was stranger were the Crone's last words. She had never been directly spoken to in a vision like that before, and the experience had shaken her. A message from beyond death, cleaved into the present.

Octarus was gone, and the wide open door to the shack told her he had taken her advice and gone inside to look around. Crouched at her feet Dev'ania was holding the Crone's bloodstained hand. Her eyes were glazed and distant, and Madeira understood the Konti to be exercising a vision of her own. She didn't know how divination worked, but she hoped it would hold more answers than her own cryptic look into death.

She did not dare disturb what Dev'ania was doing. Instead she took a moment to compose herself, unknotting her hands and smoothing out the crumbled bodice of her dress. But once the Konti showed signs of returning from wherever she had been, Madeira laid a hand gently across her shoulder.

"Dev... The Crone had a message for us", she began gently. "They were her last words." The Spiritist collected her thoughts for a moment, recalling the words past the pain of the Crone's dying. "She said... She said that she was so very sorry, that even then it was not her place to interfere. She said to be strong, that we are close, and that we can stop this..." She squeezed the Konti's shoulder. "She had made peace with her end."

Madeira let go of the her shoulder. Now that they had looked over the scene they had to regroup, put what they had observed together. The mystery was fresh again, the killer so tantalizingly within reach. The Crone had said they were close, and Madeira believed it. This whole horrible saga could be over soon. The thought put a fire in the Spiritist's eyes. She just needed to take hold of this situation. She didn't know much about Octarus, besides his affinity for animals and his artistic eye. But she knew Dev, and she knew the Konti to be far more familiar with the Crone and to have sharp deductive skills.

"Come with me when you're ready", she told the Konti before leaving her beside the body, offering her a moment of privacy to say goodbye to her mentor. Madeira ascended the steps up to the porch. Walking around the drops of blood that lead from inside, she mentally retraced the steps the Crone must have taken before her Eiyon gnosis could see her. She stepped into the sparse, incense choked front room, now dotted with blood and the gummy, copper smell of blood. Then, pushing past the gauzy curtain, found herself in the familiar cramped reading room.

Even here the chaos was confined to the overturned chair, the pool of blood, and the blood smeared tarot cards. Madeira felt an unpleasant tingling up her back that had nothing to do with her gnosis, though it too was awake and stirring in the strong presence of death. No, she simply hated this place. She hated the smoke and the confinement of this little room, and the trappings of fate that surrounded it on every wall. She licked her teeth uncomfortably. The idea of fate to someone as ambitious as her was disturbing, and the idea of the fortune teller seeing her every move before she made, even to the Crone's last breath, was even more so.

Stepping into the room, her eyes beheld the scene, taking everything in. She looked to the beautiful Eth, who she was still having trouble recognizing as Octarus. "The Crone was stabbed in the gut by a stone spike." she explained factually, though the idea of anyone being stabbed by such a weapon was bizarre. "She knew who the killer was. She was stabbed in here, somewhere, and chased them outside..." She glanced at the table, with its lay of strange cards and two cups of tea. "What do you think happened in here?"
Image
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: margeryaq60 and 0 guests