Solo Vespor

Lina has a frightening encounter searching the Chavena & seeks solace in prayer to Avalis.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Vespor

Postby Lei'Lani on July 15th, 2021, 9:08 pm

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19th Summer 521av, Near Midnight
Lina's Cottage in the outskirts of the Denvali Quarter


  The hearth sizzled and cracked, sending small dancing flames to cast shifting shadows about the small, 400sq foot cottage. The mellow scents of the oak twigs and acrid tinge of smoke filled the young Konti's lungs as she sighed.

  Pulling back the dreary drape by the window above her, Lina glanced out and up at the half moon glistening higher in the nights sky. Idly her fingertips played with the silver, crescent moon necklace dangling by her collar bone. The pitter patter of rain upon the pane was soothing in its natural rhythm, making Lina swell with gratitude for being cosy and dry inside their new home; although it didn't quite feel like home, yet, she supposed.

  Sinking back into the simple wooden chair, the uneven legs creaking with the added weight, Lina rested her forearms on the coarse desk in front of her. Her mother was really late tonight. Later than usual. They had only been in the city a few days, should she be worried? Her mother knew the city better than Lina, she couldn't be lost...could she?

  Shaking her head and with it her thoughts out of the spiral of gloom, Lina pulled the small burning candle a little closer to the sprawled pages of Avalis she had been reading. Squinting through the dancing shadows playing across the Kontinese Holy texts, Lina still idly fingered the necklace as she sought solace in the stories of the deity that had marked her at birth.

'Avalis, the Goddess of Visions and Divination and the mother of the Konti women. Her visions touch every aspect of the living, opening up pathways to possibilities and revealing truths that can otherwise be obscured.'


  Lina smiled reverently. What it must be like to be able to see with such insight. It was comforting that Avalis had deemed Lina worthy of being marked with her Gnosis of Divination and that there was a deity out there watching over them all and over all the events of the universe.

  How vast was the universe? Was Mizahar the only plane to which Avalis was bound? Was Mizahar the only plane to which she, herself would be bound? The questions were endless, the answers possibly boundless. Resting her chin in the palm of a hand, Lina read on, her mind awhirl. The Holy texts always reignited her desire and drive for answers and brought her comfort in ambivalent times.

'It is said that Avalis was once the queen of her mate Laviku's Otani, and that he froze her in her current form and brought her forth from the sea so he could more truly love her.

"The Otani sing to me of history. Sometimes they sing of storms to come or ports in turmoil. And when they have calmed they can often speak clearly. They are Laviku's servants through and through and their only loyalty is to him. And it is said that Avalis came from among them." - Sarah Windbright, Svefra Musician & Historian'


  In all her time living in Mura, Lina had never seen an Otani, nor had she ever seen Avalis roam their lands; though others have said they have witnessed her in the distance. There were so many songs the women of Mura used to sing about the Otani, she wondered if she ever would see one for real. Her childhood friend, Muiel always boasted that he had often swam with them, though Lina always doubted the validity of his stories; he was a show off at the best of times.

  A loud, reverberating pop from sap on the oak twigs in the fire startled Lina from her thoughts and intent reading. Her shoulders and back feeling cramped, Lina stood and stretched, glancing at the noisy fire in the hearth across the room.
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Lei'Lani
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Vespor

Postby Lei'Lani on July 15th, 2021, 9:20 pm

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  The once dancing inferno was dying down. Her mother had started the fire and Lina hadn't the skills to restart it should it fall to embers. Grabbing a few more twigs from the dwindling pile to the side of the hearth, Lina broke them in half and threw them on, breathing life once more into the flames.

  Suddenly a gust of wind threatened to undo Lina's work of restoring the fire as the front door burst open and then just as quickly banged shut. Throwing on another few twigs, Lina glanced over her shoulder to the dark, soggy shadow of her mother, Lula, finally returned.

  Lina called to Lula over her shoulder, "You've been gone a long time tonight. Care for some tea while you dry by the fire?"

  Lula shook out her cloak and hung it on the wall beside the door to dry, breathing in deep the earthy tones of their cottage.

  "You should try to speak more common darling, we are after all in a common speaking city now." Lula's features beamed brightly, despite the passive undertones of her words.

  Lina rolled her eyes and repeated the question in common as her mother requested, "You, like tea?"

  "Would, you, like, some, tea. Would." Lula repeated slowly and with over pronunciation as she pulled the simple chair from the desk across the room to sit in front of the fire. Grabbing the iron kettle from inside the chest at the base of their single, shared bunk, Lina rolled the question 'would you like, would you like' around in her mouth to memorise the correct words. 'W' and 'V' were always a little tricky for Lina.

  She quickly filled their iron kettle with water from the 2-gallon bucket in the far right corner and hung it over the hearth to boil; quickly snatching her arm back from the scorching, dancing flames. While she waited, Lina gathered the tea cups and tea leaves from the chest storage and sat on her calves by the fire, throwing in another twig.

  Lula glanced to the small pile of oak twigs that Lina had gathered earlier that day, "We'll have to invest in a proper axe for some proper wood."

  Lina nodded her agreement, "Yes, they no burn far."

  "Burn long," Her mother corrected.

  "Burn long," Lina repeated. She moved of towards the desk cluttered with the Holy texts she had been reading and began to tidy them away, while the water boiled. When the kettle began to whistle violently, Lina ran over to retrieve it from within the hearth, using a rag to guard her hands from the heat and set it aside on the wooden floor for a moment.

  Carefully measuring out two doses of tea leaves (one spoonful each), she dropped the measure into the iron kettle and gave it a gentle stir, resting back on her calves once more and settling her hands in her lap. Her mother quickly reached out to pour the kettle when Lina halted her hand, "Oh, not yet. It tastes better when you let it steep for a few minutes. I know how you like your tea, I will pour for you."

  Satisfied, despite that Lina had spoken in Kontinese, her mother eased back in the chair and began shaking out her long, golden, wet hair and brushed it through with her fingers.

  The women sat in silence for a long moment, while Lina anxiously picked at her fingers as she watched the flames dance.
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Vespor

Postby Lei'Lani on July 15th, 2021, 9:27 pm

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  Lifting the lid of the kettle Lina leaned in close and took a deep sniff of the tea, trying to judge whether it smelled strong enough. Deciding that it did, the floral aroma potent, she carefully poured them both a cup and set the kettle to the side.

  Her mother graciously accepted the cup and instantly began to blow on the hot tea to cool it down. Lina tried to refrain from screeching at her mother; tea was to be enjoyed leisurely, not rushed as it would taint the flavour. She hid her displeasure behind her own cup, breathing in the sweet, floral steam of the freshly brewed tea.

  "Ah, yes that was lovely thank you. I have an early morning so I will head straight to bed. Don't stay up too late now Lei'Lani, you have a lot of work to do tomorrow, searching for a job." Within a few chimes her mother had almost downed her tea. Jostling her daughters' already ruffled mane, Lula dressed for bed and indeed was asleep in no time.

  Lina remained where she was and leisurely enjoyed her cup. The warm steam of the tea tickled her nose with each sip. She tried to not get disheartened that she hadn't yet bonded with her mother the way she had hoped. Her mother was a busy woman and they had only been in the city a short couple of days. They had a few seasons together, like the tea, patience was to be had if one wanted the best flavour.

  She couldn't help herself however, from glancing at the remains of her mothers cup. The dark leaves at the bottom of her mother's tea cup left patterns most would ignore, but Lina knew the signs that lead to truths others did not realise were there.

  Squinting in the poor light, Lina saw a broken anchor; racking her memory, that meant instability or inconstancy. At the top corner of the cup lay a pattern like that of a bicycle, meaning individuality. Lina's brow furrowed in dread as she made out a large pattern in the middle, a raven over what looked like a bridge.

  Lina's heart raced as she rummaged through her memory of different symbols and their meaning and suddenly her stomach sank sickeningly. A raven brings news of an ill omen. The bridge is a life changing event. The fact that the raven flew over the bridge caused Lina to swallow a harsh lump that had formed in her throat.

  What could that mean? Was her mother possibly in danger? Was this trip to Zeltiva the life changing event that would bring ill news?

  Deciding that her mind was too frantic to grant sleep easily, Lina shuffled her butt to sit crossed-legged in front of the hearth. Her warm, half cup of tea placed before her, Lina rested the palms of her hands on her knees and breathed deeply.

  Listening to the gentle sizzle of the sap burning in the flames, Lina attempted to clear her mind of all the questions and to simply be calm in the moment. It was a struggle, but the soft drumming against the window from the rain outside, helped to create a soothing atmosphere and gave her mind something else to focus on.

  In the calmness from releasing the tension in her shoulders, Lina reached out to Avalis for guidance in silent prayer. "I hope I am on the right path. If I am not, please give me a gentle nudge in the right direction? I know we are all entwined," Lina felt her lips curl into a sad frown, "I just hope that I am meant to be entwined with this one." Opening her eyes, she glanced at the still shadow of her mother, sleeping soundly in their bunk.

  Concern wrinkled her child-like features, her full doe-eyes glanced to the pattern of the raven flying over the bridge in the tea leaves of her mother's cup. Again she beseeched the comfort of Avalis, "I know you have blessed me with the sight of Divination. Please just help me to see the actual meaning of these omens."

  Opening her eyes, she flicked a cautious look to her mother. Her stomach lurched in a back-flipped as she contemplated something that possibly crossed a personal boundary. Though what would it matter if it was to help preserve life?

  Never before had Lina glanced at her mother's personal chavi. The temptation to gloss her mother's past in an attempt to better interpret the omens from her mother's tea was nearly impossible to shirk. Suddenly the voice of Mother V'nessi Ulvalin, Mother of all Konti and the Leader of Mura chimed through her mind.

"Divination, the Gnosis bestowed by Avalis, is the art of truly seeing reality for what it is. We observe, study, interpret, and understand. Anyone can see. Anyone. But a true seer can understand meaning of what they are seeing. seeing for anyone can see. This is the true nature of Avalis’ gift.."


  Lina had only on occasion had the blessing of being able to trade words with the incredibly busy elder of the Konti women in all her childhood. She greatly revered the wisdom V'nessi had and always took on board the advice she imparted.

 She was the one that had explained to Lina when she was only 13 Arcs old that the Chavena was a complex root system, made up of individual chavi that bend and twist around one another on their journey to the Ukalas; anchoring all life in the mortal realm solidly to the divine realm.

  Lina still didn't quite understand the complexity of it all. She had asked many questions back then. Mother V'nessi had only grinned from ear to ear and simply told Lina that her journey to discovery had just begun; what ever that meant.

  She was too young to understand V'nessi then and she was still too naïve to understand now. However, the Chavena only ever made sense to Lina when she compared it to that of her view about life.

  Everyone danced around each other, some touching for brief instances on the dance floor, others remain entwined for several songs. This, Lina knew and understood, even at the young age the Mother of Konti had bestowed her wisdom. What she yearned to yet discover was the reason for the music.

  Feeling the need for some answers, Lina took to tapping into the Power of her patron deity, Avalis. Closing her eyes, Lina cleared her mind once more, sinking into darkness; she allowed her body to float. Concentrating on the complex root system, Lina easily found herself swimming in the luminescent kaleidoscope that was the Chavena.
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Vespor

Postby Lei'Lani on July 16th, 2021, 5:40 pm

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  A flurry of rainbow ribbons danced and twirled about her. They intertwined and sailed all around the space between spaces. Suddenly Lina was overcome with an influx of images! Things she had never seen before, others she could never hope to understand. Nearly overcome with the impossible vastness of birling chavi about her, Lina swiftly recalled why she had entered the Chavena in the first place.

  Quickly, Lina sought for the familiar feeling of her mother. She had never sought her mother's chavi before, but instead tried to remember the feeling and vibes she felt when her mother was present. With intense concentration, Lina almost giggled with glee when she finally found it.

  An old picture filled her minds-eye of a younger version of her mother racing down a beach. The image was solidified upon the ever dancing chavi strand, making it slightly easier to read the context of the picture she was seeing. Her mother wasn't racing down a beach on Mura, she was somewhere else. Someone was chasing her, but her mother wasn't frightened; she was gleeful. A man embraced her from behind and they fell, laughing, to the warm sands.

  Suddenly Lina gasped! She drew herself away from her mother's chavi and instantly became entwined and surrounded by the thousands, millions, billions of chavi rotating about the space between realities. A flurry of images inundated her; overwhelmed her. She screamed without producing sound as she verged on falling victim to the thousands of memories flooding her mind.

  She couldn't find her way out. The Chavena was too vast.

  Suddenly she heard the sound of her mother's voice. It called to her and Lina frantically searched for it. She felt it draw her away from the phantasmagoria all around. With a gasp, Lina opened her eyes and in a rush reality surged forth, filling her senses. Lula was hunched over her as both hands shook her shoulders. Panting in fright, Lani gulped for air as her mother sighed in relief, "Are you alright?"

  Clenching her jaw, Lani fought back the overwhelming urge to cry as she slowly adjusted to being back in their cottage. Seeing the tears teeter on the edge of her daughters fear-filled eyes, Lula suddenly embraced her child in a warm hug.

  Lani's panting instantly ceased in shock.

  A vision of her mother's greatest fear in that moment inundated her sight. Darkness, pain and the rattle of chains. The iron tinge of blood filled Lina's nostrils, it was everywhere. Lina ran, but suddenly tripped over something. She glanced behind her, bodies, dead bodies littered the floor all around. Rancid breath suddenly blew her hair from behind. Her breath caught in her throat, a scream squeezed off at the tip of her tongue. It was the face of her father, a cruel grin spread across his face.

  As her mother parted and gazed in her daughter's eyes, Lani forced a smile, the tears freely ran down her cheeks as her mind whirled with everything that she had seen. Lina's body shook as it tried to process the terrifying vision of death from her mother's touch, while also processing her own fear that she had almost been lost in the Chavena.

  Panting in ragged breaths Lina suddenly realised, her mother had come for her. Her mother saw her, she was genuinely concerned and ran to her. Lina sat awkwardly as her mother searched her young daughter's face for a sign.

  "I'm okay. I'm so sorry." Lina choked back the urge to breakdown and cry, stifling the tears and forcing her chest to stop heaving. She forced a smile, though she knew her mother could tell it was fake, it was worth a try to ease her mother's concern. It pained her, that she finally had the attention of her mother, but that it was at the cost of her mother's wit.

  Her mother sighed in relief regardless and sank to her knees, "You need to be more careful. It's dangerous entering the Chavena. You need more practice, yes, but not when I'm not here, understood?"

  Her mother was now frowning disapprovingly at her. Lina once more forced a smile, this time reflecting the smile into her eyes and nodded her understanding as she felt the fright of the situation ease into memory; focusing instead on the soothing rain on the window and the warmth of the fire next to her. Dealing with fear was second nature to Lani. She dealt with everyone else's every day. Even now, Lani could feel the terror seep from her mother.

  Sighing, her mother visibly relaxed, appearing to have believed Lina's fake reassurance, "Alright then, time for bed - for both of us."

  As Lina rose and walked over to the desk and the still lit candle, her mind reeled now with the last image she had glanced from the past of her mother's chavi. Her heart slowing as the adrenaline eased from her body, Lina bit her lower lip pushing the dark terror down and out of mind.

  Was that the face of her father? The image of the long, curved scar down the side of his stubbly face scared her. His eyes weren't soft and loving as she had always imagined, they were as steel and ice. Something in her gut told her to be scared of him. What did this all mean? Was this maybe the ill omen the raven in her mother's tea cup meant to warn them of?

  Sighing, as weariness began to take hold, Lina took a deep breath and blew the candle out. Once more she sent a silent prayer into the night, "Avalis guide me, in your wisdom I thrive."



END
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Lei'Lani
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