Life Tastes So Sweet

Seeking help with her curse, Ialari enlists the help of an old friend.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Life Tastes So Sweet

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 11th, 2022, 2:49 am

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The 14th of Spring, 522 A.V.


With a plan in mind for how to figure out what the source of the curses was that was infecting Syka, Ialari realized that she could not do it alone. Unfortunately, gaining help from any of the residents of Syka was not something she thought would be all that helpful. As so many of them were suffering from their own individual curses, their perspectives on things were unreliable. Thus, her thoughts drifted to another; one with some experience with a cursed existence.

It was early morning, the rays of Syna's light were just breaching the horizon as Ialari made her way to a place that would be quieter and more secluded from the awakening of Syka's residents. She didn't want to make the journey to her home above the Stairstep Falls and instead chose a spot at the Overwater Ranchos where she herself took temporary residence. She walked out on the wrap-around deck where it faced the sea. There she knelt down with a piece of charcoal in hand. She began drawing on the wood of the deck. As she touched the charcoal to the wood, she drew the shape of a door. Inside the the rectangle, she proceeded to draw a number of intersecting lines that came together to form several overlapping geometric patterns.

She then slid the blade of her dagger over the skin of her hand, drawing blood. Making a fist, she squeezed drops of blood onto different points in the patterns. As the drops made contact with the drawn points, the lines extending outward began to glow red. She did this several times with each set of lines and points illuminating. Finally, she placed her bloodied hand in the center of the rectangle and space within the rectangle flashed with red light before vanishing. The wood of the deck fell away revealing a canopy of trees; trees far different from those in Syka. They were more temperate, leafed instead of frond.

The doorway, one created through the practice of Dominion, was established. This one however, unlike those that led to other places, offered entry to Syka.

Whispering into the doorway, Ialari beckoned, "Shalla, my friend, I need your help." Rising, Ialari took a step back and waited. Within a few moments a ghostly figure began to rise from the opened door. Semi-transparent, what emerged was a woman with long black hair tied back in a tail. She appeared pale in complexion with refined, almost noble angles to her face. She was dressed in a simple white robe with a black belt around her waist. Her eyes were a brilliant blue and she stood with an elegant posture.

A smile spread across Ialari's face as she looked upon the ghostly figure of her old friend, Shalla.

Looking around her, the ghost turned her gaze on Ialari and returned her smile.

Ialari! I heard you voice and a doorway appeared. I stepped through and...by the gods, is this Syka?"

Ialari, momentarily forgetting, moved to embrace her friend only to find her arms passing right through. Stepping back she righted herself. "Sorry, I forgot. Shalla, it is so good to see you. Yes, this is Syka. I'm sorry for the unannounced intrusion but...there are some issues here and I thought you would be able to help. Plus...I missed you and needed a friend. Things are not right here and I feel that you are the perfect one to help."

Shalla reached up with a ghostly hand as if to place it upon Ialari's shoulder. "Ialari, despite how we met, we will always be friends. Whatever I can do to help. What is happening?"

Ialari knelt down once more and touched the doorway, dismissing it. She then beckoned Shalla to follow her inside the Rancho.

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Last edited by Ialari Pythone on May 29th, 2022, 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ialari Pythone
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Life Tastes So Sweet

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 12th, 2022, 3:35 am

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While Ialari often rented a rancho while in Syka, this particular one was not one of those. In fact, one could say she was trespassing although she considered it more of borrowing for a short time. During her current stay in Syka, she tended to return to her Dominion from time to time while otherwise lounging about the Commons or on the beach.

Once inside, Ialari turned to Shalla. "As I said, things are not right here."

Shalla glanced around at the sparse confines of the rancho and then met Ialari's gaze. "I can tell by the tone of your voice that you are...well, frightened. I know what a frightened Ialari sounds like; after what we went through all those years ago, the idea of a you being afraid is, well, unsettling to put a word to." Shalla hovered about the room, passing her ethereal hands through the simple pieces of furniture that adorned the room.

"When we last spoke a few seasons ago, you mentioned returning to the world of the living and finally engaging in society. Obviously this hasn't gone all that well. Do tell, what is wrong? What has you so afraid? Shalla hovered closer to her friend and offered a sympathetic look.

Ialari chuckled awkwardly. She knew Shalla spoke many languages so having to focus her words and struggle with the common tongue was not something she had to worry about with the ghost. So she spoke in her native tongue. "Truth be told, there is a lot wrong with me. The most pressing issue however is...I believe the human word for it is ironu...ironus..."

Shalla interrupted. "Ironic?"

Yes! That's the word. Ironic. So it has come to pass that this settlement is plagued by a series of curses. It all began on or around the first day of the season with the arrival of our supply ship. Someone or something is passing out curses like they are holiday gifts. They are all different and there are many. I have been cursed with...well...nobody else can see it but I see and feel my own body to be, in all ways, like a nuit who has neglected themselves for far too long." Even as she mentioned it, Ialari could taste the decay in her mouth and smell the heavy scent of death surrounding her.

At hearing this, Shalla raised an eyebrow. "Indeed irony is the best word for such a thing."

"I don't know how you ever dealt with such a thing for so many centuries. If I hadn't already been through all that I have up to this point, I would have gone mad already." Ialari rubbed her arm where she was feeling the stiffness of death.

Shalla laughed lightly and said, "In my defense, I never let my body get to that condition. Yet, I can see why this would be troubling. You say you suspect that it came with this ship but you don't know the exact source?"

Ialari shook her head. "That's the problem. There were several newcomers aboard the ship along with supplies. It could be anyone or anything. I have a plan to hopefully narrow things down but...well, seeing as how you were a spy for centuries, I thought your trained eyes could help me find out what started this. In order to do this though, I am going to have to use the blessings of Tanroa and go back in time; retrace my steps and look at everyone and everything I encountered that day to find anything that looks off."

Shalla found it difficult to find words at first to respond. The idea of traveling through time was a lofty one even for one who had existed outside the cycle of life and death for over 500 years. "So let me get this straight. You want to travel back in time and watch yourself during the day this supposedly began in hopes of seeing something that doesn't look right. Then you want me to come along and help you find whatever that might be?" Shalla then shrugged.

"Honestly...I've encountered things almost as crazy as that. Why not. That leads me to the next question which I think I know the answer to. In order for me to do this with you, I'm going to have to...hitch a ride? Is that what you were thinking?" Shalla gave a soft sigh. This was not what she'd expected was going to happen when she heard Ialari's voice through the magical doorway that opened before her back on the east coast of Syliras.

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Last edited by Ialari Pythone on May 29th, 2022, 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Remade In My Dominion!

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Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
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Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 587
Words: 874650
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
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Life Tastes So Sweet

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 12th, 2022, 3:50 am

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Hearing Shalla voice what she thought of Ialari's plan back to her did indeed sound a bit crazy. "Hearing it from you, it does sound insane. I don't know what else to do though. The rest of the settlement has not been much help so far. They've shared their experiences with these curses yet don't offer much in the way of insight as to the cause. I can't keep going like this so I'm kind of left with little other option." Ialari's voice trembled a bit with urgency.

Shalla nodded. "As I said, I will help however I can. What you are proposing however will not be easy. I imagine you want to do this as soon as possible but you are talking about possession and as far as I know, the biggest experience you ever had with such a thing did not go very well. The whole Berliotz thing and all. This will take a bit of time and practice to get right. Otherwise we are looking at an entirely different level of things going wrong."

Ialari swatted at an invisible fly that was buzzing around her head; stopping from time to time to bite at her unseen rotting flesh.

"Ok. So how does this work? I've been possessed all of two times in my life...at least that I know of." Ialari wasn't exactly fond of the prospect of being possessed especially considering her first experience with taking in the broken ghost of Amir Berliotz, the insane echo of a former Master of the Seven Robes of Alahea.

Shalla offered a calmer tone. "It won't be anything like that first time, I assure you. There are two types of possession; the unsavory one and the one known as graceful possession. Graceful possession involves a union of the living and the dead where both work in unison. For the inexperienced, it can be rather jarring and difficult. This is why we will need to practice. We will need to...get in-tune with each other. It may take a number of days of constant work to reach a point where we can function well enough for what you have planned. I will do what I can to make the process as smooth as possible. Considering the trauma you experienced before, it might not be all that easy."

"I accept the complications. How do we begin? I would like to try as soon as possible."

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Last edited by Ialari Pythone on May 29th, 2022, 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Remade In My Dominion!

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Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
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Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 587
Words: 874650
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
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Life Tastes So Sweet

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 18th, 2022, 12:17 am

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Shalla positioned herself directly in front of Ialari. "Ok. This is going to feel a little weird. Considering your past experience, your first instinct is going to be to do everything you can to prevent me from possessing you. As you have no real experience with resisting such a thing, you will likely only be able to lock yourself down so that neither of us can do much of anything. This will not be helpful, obviously. So when it begins, you need to try and remain calm and do whatever you can to not resist."

Ialari nodded. "I will try."

"Shalla smiled. "Ok, let's give this a shot."

With that, Shalla reached out and laid her hands on Ialari's shoulders. She then pulled herself forward; her ethereal form making contact with Ialari's body. As the two drew closer, Shalla's form disappeared inside Ialari's. At first, nothing happened. Ialari did not feel any different. As for Shalla, she too felt nothing. She remained still for a few moments before trying to move. When she did, she could see her arm move separate from Ialari’s body.

“Well, that didn’t work right.” Shalla said with a bit of frustration in her voice.

“You have done this before, right?” Ialari asked with some concern.
Shalla chuckled nervously. “A few times but it when I have, it’s involved much less…complex people unlike yourself. Those who are more weak-willed and not as…traveled as you.”

Ialari realized what the ghost meant by traveled as being that she’d spent so much time in the Ukalas and had been exposed to so many different magical and divine forces that it could make simple possession difficult.
“Now I could just try and force my way in which would probably work but it would be quite unpleasant for you and maybe even me as well.” Shalla commented with continued concern.

Ialari frowned. “No, I would prefer we try to avoid that; really don’t want to try that right now.” She tried to think of another way. Her analytical mind began spinning the various possibilities and obstacles alike. It didn’t take long for something to occur to her. “Maybe…maybe if we try it the other way around.”

“What do you mean?” Shalla asked.

Ialari took a step back and stood apart from Shalla. “In my Dominion, when I try to merge with a piece of my soul, I am the one trying to bring it into myself as opposed to the other way around. In this situation it seems like just a switch in perception but the idea itself feels sound. Those dead things hanging from that tree are really just ghosts right? At least in some way.”
Ialari was of course referring to the pieces of her soul that hung from Dira’s Tree of Death located in her Dominion.

Shalla herself knew of the tree and Ialari’s condition so the idea didn’t sound all that out there. “It may work, I don’t know. I haven’t been a ghost anywhere near as long as I have a nuit. When we trade bodies, there is nothing there to stop us; just an empty shell.”

Ialari shrugged. “It can’t hurt to try I guess…at least, I hope it won’t.” Ialari closed her eyes and began preparing herself. She wasn’t much of a spiritist to be sure but she considered herself rather adept at seeking out connections between things and feeling them. It is how she created her Dominion and it is how she was able to work towards reforging her own soul.

With her eyes closed, she imagined a room filled with opened doors. It was a common method she used for her meditations. In the room she pictured all the clutter of her thoughts strewn about. Her desires, hatreds, fears, troubled emotions and joys all scattered and threatening to bury her in the room. She then imagined a broom in her hands which she began using to sweep the clutter into piles which she in turn swept through each door one by one; clearing out the room and closing each door. Little by little, the cluttered thoughts and emotions were removed and the doors they were swept out of closed until the room was empty. The clutter pushed against the closed doors; some of it rather violently, yet the doors held. With the room finally empty and secured, Ialari approached one wall that held space where no door was but that was big enough for one. She then proceeded to trace the outline of a door with her metallic fingers; carving the rectangular shape into the wall’s surface.

When she was finished, she placed the palm of her hand against the center of the newly etched shape. When she did, there was a rippling effect within the created frame followed quickly by the formation of a mirrored surface. Stepping back, she smiled inwardly.

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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 587
Words: 874650
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (2)
Overlored (1) Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Life Tastes So Sweet

Postby Ialari Pythone on April 18th, 2022, 12:20 am

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Still holding the meditation, she said to Shalla, “I think I have it. Stand still and let’s see if this will work.” With that, Ialari stepped into the mirror within her mental shelter with her arm outstretched. As she did, she physically stepped toward Shalla while reaching out. As she made contact with Shalla, both felt a solid connection as Ialari’s physical form and Shalla’s ethereal one touched. With that connection came a tingling sensation that quickly became more of a jolt felt by both. Immediately they were both hit by something of a shockwave as if having been hit by a bolt of lightning. Ialari was thrown back against the wall of the rancho and fell to the floor. Her vision was blurred at first and her head was spinning. Her entire body was filled with tiny electrifying tingles that numbed her movements and made even raising her hand difficult.

After several moments, the tingles subsided, her vision started to clear and head stopped spinning. Slowly she knelt on one knee, and looked around the room. Shalla was gone or at least it looked like it. Although the ghost was no longer seen in the room, Ialari could feel something strange inside her. It was as there was something just under her skin, pushing lightly outward from inside. It was a bit unnerving and uncomfortable but not exactly painful.
“Shalla? Are you alright?” Ialari asked as her voice cracked.

At first there was no answer but then there was a response. “That was…different.” Ialari heard Shalla say in a muted tone followed by a louder one, “Ialari…Um, I’m not sure how to put this.”

Ialari asked with growing worry, “What, what’s wrong?”

Shalla replied, “I am sitting in a room filled with closed doors and whatever is on the other side of those doors is...well, by the gods it sounds truly frightening.”

Ialari gave a sigh of relief. “That is the room I create in my mind to help clear my thoughts and keep things out.”

Ialari felt her body involuntarily shudder as Shalla said, “If these doors are keeping things that sound like that out…you are truly more troubled that I thought. How are you even still sane?”

Ialari smiled joylessly. “I ask myself that every waking day. Anyway, what do we do now?”

Shalla replied, “Well, as this is completely different than what I am used to, I don’t know exactly. That said though, it appears as though you’ve mostly locked me out of your body by trapping me in this room. That is usually how someone prevents a ghost from doing anything during possession but it isn’t normally this explicit in form. Generally, when one tries to stop a ghost from doing anything with their body during possession, they simply freeze and don’t move. Unless the ghost is extremely powerful, they are trapped in the body until they get tired of being frozen in place and leave. This feels more like you’ve created not just a shelter from your own thoughts but also something of a prison. While you may not consciously realize it, you’ve created something mentally that protects you from not just from things that come from your own mind but things that come from outside your own body. I imagine it is because of what happened in Sahova combined with your encounter with Berliotz plus any of the other…crazy…you’ve experienced since. As it is now, I can’t do anything other than stand here in this room and I don’t dare try to open any of those doors. Maybe try creating new ones? Even windows that would allow me to at least see through your eyes. Actually using your body for anything is going to be too difficult until we’ve spent more time together like this and find ways of safely connecting me to places outside of this room.”

Ialari moved to stand, her legs still feeling a bit weak. Using the wall for support, she was able to quickly gain balance. “Ok, let me try something.”

Ialari moved to sit on the nearby cot. She then closed her eyes and imagined the room once more, this time with Shalla standing in the center. She then focused on her knowledge of and skill with Dominion to imagine a small doorway opened in mid-air in the center of the room. This caused Shalla to see the faint outline of a shape form right in front of her. It looked like a few dimly lit lines coming together to form a two-foot square. When the lines fully appeared and connected, the inside of the square went black. When Ialari opened her eyes, the square offered Shalla a connection to what Ialari saw. Together they saw the inside of the rancho with its sparse furnishings.
“That worked! I can now see what you see. A great first step!” Shalla exclaimed with excitement in her voice.

Ialari continued to sit on the cot. She felt exhausted. The strain of the initial connection with Shalla combined with the mental stress of housing the ghost and opening herself even in such small ways was quickly taking its toll. For Shalla, even with her excitement over progress made, too was feeling the effects some fatigue although it was relatively minor compared to Ialari. As they were both still new to the whole possession experience, Shalla was rather competent when it came to Spiritism which helped her in the whole process. Still, it would take quite a bit of further practice to build on their connection and reduce the strain on both of them to a point where they could function together more seamlessly.

“A great first step indeed. Yet, it’s not something we can maintain for very long; at least not right now. We will need to work on doing this a number of times before we can even hope to engage in a more cohesive union. We can split for now, take a break and try again later. Maybe we could even work on letting me share some of your other senses…perhaps grab a bite to eat? I haven’t tasted anything for more than 500 years.” Shalla mused aloud.
Ialari nodded and concentrated on increasing the size of the window in her mind which Shalla was then able to step through. As she exited the doorway in Ialari’s mind, Shalla emerged from the isur’s body and moved to sit next to her friend on the cot.

“Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out together. At least for right now though, I can offer you that second set of eyes you wanted during this little jaunt through time you wish to attempt.” Shalla herself concentrated for a moment and began to materialize in a more solid form next to her friend. She reached her arm around Ialari and pulled her close.

Words: 1139
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 587
Words: 874650
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (2)
Overlored (1) Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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