Bound by Crimson

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Aetherea, May 8, 2016.

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  1. A veil of darkness hid the world from the bright sun that once breathed life onto the creatures of Earth. Birds were the only free creatures, for they were able to soar above the suffocating sickness that was compelled to sentence the beings that roamed the world freely, to death. One by one, they fell, and one by one panic arose throughout the continent. Sick children would become orphaned, outsiders would be blamed, the dead would be left in empty houses, and burials would be neglected. As the sickness invaded the countries of Europe, carried by a warm summer breeze, the name, Black Death became infamous.


    The world was grey despite the mid-day toll of the church bells. Humidity rolled through the narrow streets and sickness became unavoidable, regardless of the effort made to cover one's face or find self-healing cures. Death was looming over heads and taunting those who wanted to live the most. Though, none of this misery stopped bare feet from padding quickly along the dirt roads, weaving in and out of alleyways to avoid 'death houses' and to spare herself from seeing the black lesions that cover the sick or the welts that turned a painful shade of pink; the violent coughing that turned to vomiting, and the desperation in dying eyes. It was foolish of her to think that she could avoid the sickness so easy yet, in vain, she attempted to with fierce stubbornness. Despite keeping her pale blue eyes trained on the dirt road beneath her filthy bare feet, the sound of retching echoed through the buildings, the stench of death rolled off the sticky summer gales, and the moans and pleads for help made her heart pang with a shadow of sympathy.

    The world smelled of death and decay. The memory of sweet smelling flowers in the spring, the fresh ocean breeze during the summer, the smell of autumn rain, and the bone-chilling wind of winter had faded long ago. Happy memories were sacrificed in order to pursue the sole goal of living. There was no room for sympathy or other emotions, for those emotions would be the ones to drag her down to the depths of Hell; she was bound by a facade of bitter and scorn, of contempt and self-interest. If she allowed the world to see any other side of her than her fierceness, then death would surly seize her soul, leaving the only thing she learned to care about in the condemned world she lived in; her brother.

    Between buildings, she ran. Her movements were swift and experienced. She had navigated this path before, and she would again, in time. The path she chose stole her precisely away from the worst cases of the Black Death. Before the plague had created mass hysteria as it spread, the world was blind to the caution one had to take and the longevity of the virus. Those who were sick were helpless, and those who were healthy both feared and desired to aid the sick. In doing so, they, too, became victims of the Black Death. Selflessness was a dangerous thing, and her parents both possessed it. As doctors began to refuse to see patients and priests declined those who wished to have their last rites administered, the girl's parents sought solutions and cures. Futile, as it was, they used their medical practices to try to rid the disease from the affected. Though, no matter how pure their intentions were, becoming infected was inevitable. Black lesions and boils appeared all over their bodies as they became bedridden with fevers and terrible pains. Her brothers and sisters tended to them as much as they could, but within days their parents were dead and the children found that the plague had spread to them, as well.

    Months had passed since the death of her parents and siblings. Out of five brothers and sisters, only her youngest brother survived. After the death of the rest of her family, the young girl abandoned the house with her deceased family members, she took her brother and ran. Death had surrounded her as she ran away from what it had meant to be compassionate. The truth had taken away her innocence, and though she had her innocence stolen, she vowed to herself and her deceased parents that she would protect her brother and the blithe world he lived in. However, her vows became broken. It was only a matter of time, she knew, until she or her brother would catch the virus.

    Lungs cried for air as her heart pounded with every hard stride she took. The tattered piece of cloth she had covered her lower face with began to slip, but she didn't care; the church bells had just finished ringing in the hour, and yet the girl was still racing through the narrow streets. The girl lifted her pale eyes from the dirt road to the grey afternoon, her eyes spotted the rotting wooden house that appeared small in the distance. Almost, she was almost there. Her brother wouldn't have to wait long, she had gotten their sparse lunch in the forest nearby, though she had spent more time searching for berries than she wanted to.

    "Leola!" A voice rang, hoarse and drenched in pain. The words made Leola cringe as she barged though the door. Unhappy memories she thought she had forgotten months ago came flooding back with the simple call of her name. The pain was unbearable to hear coming out of the mouth of a six year old. But once the door shut behind her, Leola untied the cloth that hid her lower face and forced a smile on her face and willed worry out of her eyebrows that were drawn together. "Happy birthday," she said softly to the child who was laying on the bed in the corner of the house, though she didn't make eye contact and instead, looked down, "and sorry I am late, it took longer than usual."

    Leola calmed her breathing and waltzed over to the table in the opposite corner of the house and reached for berries, mushrooms, and nuts that she had stored in her pockets. As always, their meals were sparse, and there was never any meat. Leola sighed and brushed a strand of her dull brown hair behind her ear, though, due to the length of her hair, it fell around her face again. She was young, not yet out of her teens, yet misery has drowned the world and it's inhabitants. Hopelessness settle into the hearts of many and people feared that this was the end of the world. Perhaps it was, but if it was, Leola wondered what she should do, how she should spend the rest of her days. Between a wheeze and a cough, a strained voice interrupted her busy thoughts, "Thank you, Leola."

    A sad smile crept on the girls face and tears clouded her vision. Though her back was turned to her brother, she was glad that her hair veiled the sides of her face. She wanted to give into the hopelessness that ate at her conscious. She wanted to let fate decide her path and relent her responsibility, but she knew she couldn't. Choking down her tears, she cleared her throat, separated the food into unequal proportions and turned to her brother, meeting his glazed eyes and smiled. "For the birthday boy!" She said, as chippy as distress would let her. She held up her cupped hands so he could see that lunch was ready. In response, all he did was smile weakly. Leola knew that it was dangerous to be in the same vicinity as her brother, but she took the risk because, if the world was to end, she didn't want to end it alone.

    Placing the mix of berries, mushrooms, and nuts in the tiny hands of her brother, she stood above him, watching him attempt to enjoy his meal. Worry worked its way back between Leola's brow. Her brother's condition was getting worse. The boils seemed to multiply, the lesions grew larger and darker, and his fever hasn't broken for days. Leola thought. Medicine didn't seem to work, for every cure someone would create would turn into failure. The popular act of blood letting seemed to, also, be a bunch of false hopes and promises. Leola wondered about the art of mysticism. Ancient mystery cults were whispered about and stories used to be spun about them, however, none were proven to actually exist. She pondered on what to do and where else to turn, but Leola knew what she was going to do. Nodding to herself, she snapped back to reality and met her brother's eyes, once again. He was staring at her, his pale blue eyes that was void of life held confusion in them. She had been thinking and pondering longer than she had realized.

    Leola forced a smile onto her thin lips, "You know what? I actually have a present for you today." Through her teeth she told a truth she wasn't certain wouldn't become a lie. But as she spoke those words, a glimmer of life passed through her brother's eyes and her determination was fueled. "I'll be back," she promised her brother before shoving her helping of lunch into his tiny hands. "Save this for later in case you get hungry." Leola petted her brother's head, "I'll be back, I promise!" Without turning around, she headed back out the door, tying her mask around her face once more before setting off. The Ritual of the Old was what she was looking for, and if her memory served her correctly, she wouldn't break her promise to her brother, and she would be back before nightfall.
  2. [​IMG]


    The cry of ravens stamped to the air, the sickening coughing of the sick, as the final nail is blasted onto the next coffin and the gracious shade of death is continuously brushed onto the entire continent of Elixandria--, the newest age of darkness befalls the miserable existence of the "flesh-bags", and business has never been better. The "Black Death", o' one of a kind, you are; The panic you disperse, symbolic and sour, as the rotten apples hanging on the trees. This event, unlike others of its kind, wasn't synthesized -- he knew that much -- as his bets weigh on the contrary: While its clout is reminiscent of his patron's deeds -- this is much more "natural", not his type. A meteor strike or revival of legends, that's the work of the Old; Let his illustrious digressions be-dammed, however, as, shallow as he is, A'eroryn has never been the type to worry: To carry a millennial existence under one's shoulder and to spend even a tiny percentage of it preoccupied with delusions is yet another naturally undermining task he was bound to shelf from moment of consideration --, tens of millions dying under his wing? So be it, "it's good for the business"; Furthermore, it is undeniable that despair is, single-handedly, his ultimate source of fuel, to continue lighting his purpose on this plane: Allow one's mind to dissolve into anguish, and you'll cash in yet another weekend where boredom strays, and A'ero finds himself a new toy to amuse himself with -- under his occupation, we're always dealing a win-win scenario, what's there to worry about?


    O' Elixandria. His domain and responsibility therewithal. A mass of land so titanic, emperors and kings alike never reserve the right to bloodshed over its treasures. Dissected into fourteen major empires and over hundreds of villages, seeing it fall under ruins is nothing short of a enthralling sight through the lens of the Old. Corpses flooded with tears, entire skeletons to display on previously busy streets, vomit and blood shed on every wall: It's truly a vision to behold. Cruising above the skyline, hidden from sight, A'ero's pastime is to watch the greatest show on the planet, unfold before his eyes, as a play, directed and produced to his best entertainment. But -- it comes to a point where every play needs a stop, or even better: Another climax. The Black Death has plummeted the continent as a wave, destroying every sight of life in its path, spreading faster than any other disease, and breathing the life out of kings before any political action has time to occur -- it's growing boring. Not one ritual, not one interesting twist. "To seer and pine the shed of blood", that's his duty, from the Raven King himself. And while he hasn't dreamed of disobeying, the task has grown painfully tiring. To drift over the cloud-top, his avatar's short locks sawing with the wind, a sigh escape his lips. It could be worse.

    The demonic hierarchy is wildly vast -- from plane overseers and generals to mere infant soldiers, set off to battle on distant frontiers, there's always a job for everyone. As still under the commands of his own overseers, A'eroryn isn't any general, but has, for the last couple of centuries, steadily risen onto the Old's private chain of command, delegated to positions only those with tens of millennia of experience get appointed to. Some claiming him to be his private right-hand man. Position of incredible wealth and fame, but of absolute bone-shaking fear; The Raven King or the "Old", as any proud dictator, is fantastically severe -- ruling those under him with an iron fist -- but also, as any proud dictator, awfully meteoric: One disappointment, and there's a vivid chance you'll get sent to the Void; And whatever you do, you do not want to get sent to the Void. There are only tales, as those who go, never come back, but the myths behind its gates are mind-sunderingly terrifying; Under that menace, there isn't much to do apart from your job, and to do it as well as you possibly can. Ritual Overseer is undeniably one of the easiest occupations on the chain of command -- which's where A'eroryn so comfortably nests: No underlings, no responsibilities -- his only need is to wait his calling, and follow procedure once that is. The wait, however... The wait alone is enough for him to explore the loopholes in what is asked of him: "To request your time's worth, to ensure the request's completion, to thrive more, and to seek more.", meaning: Every Ritual Overseer will have its own procedures, as how one evaluates one time's worth is only so personal, and to have one's own cravings fulfilled by a sore exchange of power is truly what makes this one of the most satisfying jobs under the demonic hierarchy; And to stop and ponder, there isn't much debate:

    What in heavens A'eroryn craves more than entertainment?
  3. Bare feet padded along the dirt road as dark clouds blanketed the village. Despite the season being late summer, fortune seemed to favor no man nor women in the age of death and darkness. Hope was fragile in the midst of those savage enough to shatter the deeply desired 'hope'. And as secrets befriended those who carried such fragile emotions, sympathy is what fed this shimmer of light to the sick to devour. Leola only hoped that she wouldn't become one of the many to succumb to the sliver of sympathy beaming inside her, for she need only to show sympathy and compassion to the one whose veins pumped with the same blood as her's. She couldn't help but wonder how long her young brother had. As she weaved, once again, between building and through narrow passageways, avoiding the sections of the village with the worst outbreaks, Leola felt her chest seize with a pain that forced her quick and light feet to stop in their tracks. The girl gasped for breath behind the piece of cloth that covered her nose and mouth: How long did she have?

    Dark clouds turn inky as thick drops of water started to fall from the sky. The sensation of cool droplets felt sensational on her pale skin. It was as if the rain was washing the sickness off the face of the Earth and welcomed life to barren planet. However, Leola knew better than to think such thoughts. As soon as the churning in her stomach stopped and the world did not spin before her eyes, she rid herself of such emotion, forced her mind blank, and carried on through the streets until she finally reached the forest line. Looming trees dominated the grey sky as they eerily swayed in the stormy weather. Hours ago she was in the forest foraging for lunch, though it was like she was in a different forest. Despite the grey and deathly world, the forest had always been a sanctuary to her. Though the Black Death also affected wild life, the peaces and longevity of the trees and forestry had instilled a sort of comfort within Leola. Something in the godforsaken planet still had the audacity to live.

    However, these trees were not the ones she knew; they were not the ones that brought her comfort, instead, they instilled a fear that pitted itself deep within her. Leola knew that fear was a measly feeling, considering that death being so prominent in the world she lived in. If one were to give into their emotions, it would be as if they were allowing death to win the battle that no one initiated. Emotions were a troublesome sort that Leola vowed never to succumb to. Ever since the war between life and death began, the young girl learned how to lock her emotions away and lead a life geared toward surviving. Don't feel, don't think, don't look, and don't stop: these were the words that propelled her forward and saved her from the Black Death thus far. However, Leola knew her health wouldn't last long. Between caring for her brother, and exposure to the infected air that invaded her lungs every day, it was inevitable that she be the next victim of the cursed virus.

    The rain fell heavier and branches began to snap under the weight of substantial rainfall that the forest had been deprived of for three months. With a deep breath that sparked a shadow of pain beneath her rib cage, Leola entered the forest and the rain stopped. Drops here and there landed on bare skin, though the canopy above wove together so tightly as to not let any rain hit the forest floor, nor any sunlight - if there were any - dapple the earth in shadowy designs. While the world outside was filled with chaotic darkness, the world that Leola now walked through was crowded with darkness a shade darker than what awaited her outside of the eerie forest. However, despite the gloom that veiled the forest air, a bit of magic and hope resonated off of the trees that beamed with life. The hope that Leola fostered deep within her soul, one that she kept a secret to the rest of the world, became amplified by the atmosphere that surrounded her. Possibilities laid out before her and she knew that if she found the Ritual of the Old, she would find her salvation. If the stories were correct, her hopes for a better future not only for her, but her brother, too, would be attainable.

    Leola began her search. Just as in her village, she weaved through familiar paths that littered the forest. Silence was welcomed and her absent mind wandered toward the nature around her. To the beauty in small things and the freedom that came with solitude. However, her muscles remained tense as she scrounge the forest. Her bare feet no longer as tender as they used to be, stepped over rocks and needles in haste. The fable that had been told throughout the generations in her village spoke about the forest that lay between the port and the road that led one east of the village. However, the fable shifted under each voice of the various families that occupied her little village. There were some who told tales of the relic, which would allow one to complete the ancient ritual, being stuck between the two largest trees in the forest. Others speculated that there would be a clearing surrounded by round stones, and the ritual would be engraved on the underside of one of the stones. However, Leola's family had believed that the relic would be etched onto the oldest tree of the forest. Each tale told was vague and carried rare descriptions of the relic, mostly going into detail of the ritual itself and the consequences. Nonetheless, Leola was determined to find the present she vowed to find for her brother.

    As the hours passed, fatigue overtook Leola, but stubbornness wouldn't allow her to quit and break her promise. She pressed forward, and with the time of day being obscure and undeterminable, worry etched into her eyebrows. The dark forest had started to become shrouded in darker shadows and Leola's pale eyes were getting weary. The ghostly outlines of trees and bushes were the only thing visible in the inky forest. While her body moved instinctively throughout the forest, her feet following the map of the forest that they have remembered, her mind and thoughts interrupted the instincts she relied on during the day. A turn there, another there, and Leola admitted defeat. She was lost and she wasn't sure she could find her way back to her brother. Weaving between trees and exploding through shrubbery, Leola's mind was no longer on the Ritual of the Old. Tomorrow, there was always tomorrow. Though, what if there was no tomorrow? Would her brother make it through the night? Would she be able to find her way back in the morning?

    Pain seized Leola's chest and her frantic mind became enveloped by the thought of pain. She gasped for air and stumbled backward into a tree. Catching her balance, Leola placed one hand on the tree she ran into and attempted to steady herself. Filling her lungs with as much air as she possibly could, the pain finally subsided. Leola began to wonder at the pain that took hold of her body, but her mind pushed her curiosity aside as it wandered to the place on the tree where her and was. The wood felt smooth in some parts, yet rough in others. The engraving. She had found it, the ritual and relic. Though, in the dark forest, it was hard to read the words imprinted on the wood. Taking a deep breath, Leola found the beginning of the engraving and spoke aloud as she read the letters, then repeated the word she had traced. The tongue she recited was in a different language, yet she continued as smoothly as the lack of sight would allow her. After she recited the ritual, a piece of bark, that was invisible to Leola in the dark, sliced at her flesh and stole her blood. As the blood dropped from her finger tip and fell onto the ground below, Leola spoke to the open air, "Please, just help my brother. He is six and does't deserve to live a life only to die before he has had a chance to experience life. I'll give anything to ensure he lives, even if that means I have to become sick in his place." Her voice disappeared into the silence and she wondered if it worked or if the words she recited was a hoax. Though, if she could save her brother, she would do anything.
  4. A calling. Weeks without end, and finally, a calling reaches his ears; Now comfortably nesting on his mountainside castle in the meadows of east Elixandria, he inhales a deep breath, stamping a contempt smile onto his face, as every noise in his vicinity ever-so-slowly begin to grows more and more silent: The ticking of the grandfather clock near his throne is lazily drawn into a halt, the cry of ravens outside the stained window of the grand hall stops, the natural creaking of wood underneath his feet languidly dissipates to stillness. A deep crimson aura sprouts from the cracks on the wood and marble of the flooring below, as a mist of blood begins permeating his lungs and the air around him, slowly spiraling into the ornaments on his armor, and the air around him. The only audible noise being the wind howling as the spiral grows faster by the second, encasing the demon in a cage of a semi-translucent velvet-like red, which only displays his smile, as -- in the blink of an eye -- the spiraling swells, spinning impossibly fast before the form of A'eroryn, until then within it, disappears from sight, in an explosion of mist, that then vanishes into the dusty air of the room.



    Darkness. The purest form of darkness. Lacking in any coloration. Even the ominous black, ironically spotlighted for its secrecy, is not present. Complete and perfect void; Until -- the air fills the demon's lungs once again, as, still with a grin with his face and with his eyes still shut, he exhales a sigh of contempt. Opening his eyes, he --without the mortal need to wait for his own eyes to adjust to the lightning around him -- explores his location, noticing he's in fact still aloft, only but a few inches on top of a branch, perfectly hidden inside of a tree's canopy, inside a misty, dark forest. Still to say a word, he drifts down towards the branch under his feet, starting to glance around; A fifth sense of his, per se, tells him quite clearly: He's west. The Black Death swallowed this entire side of the continent already -- surprising to hear a calling from here specially. To think that anyone survived is truly enticing;

    And as he drops his deviations to now properly, and quite eagerly search for his new munching toy, the sight of a young woman reaches his eyes, as the plead "Help my brother" resonates to his ears. His smile widens, a faint ominous chuckle echoing through the meadows as he sits down on the branch at his feet, resting his jaw on his hands, as he glances down towards the girl, a soft mien carved on top of his smile.

    "Help your brother, you say."

    His voice resounding off the canopy, deep and mellow -- his words, dictated and pronounced as of the mouth of the best etiquette's instructor one's ever heard. Dashing on forwards, the apparent male figure jumps to the ground with a thud, landing ten to fifteen away from his client. Straightening his posture, he crosses his arms, nesting his index finger on his chin.

    "That's... Awfully uninspiring. But it isn't an issue: By the power of the Old, your brother is freed from the Black Death, and is to rejoice with his life as presented by the crafts and plays of fate, as of the reach of the Raven King in his willful aid."

    And as the words leave his lips, he releases his chin, making a rapid hand motion, as an oddly inconspicuous flash of a deep crimson light illuminate the nearby bark of trees, before it fades and the darkness encages the scenery once again.

    "In return--" His gaze intensifies. "I wouldn't want to sicken you. What good would that present me? I want you, darling, healthy as you currently are."
    #4 Thomaz., May 10, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  5. Silence enveloped the dark forest that seemed to swell to such an extent that the layers of shadows could fool one into to believing that they had entered into the realm of the underworld. Though, the air was crisp and cool after the summer storm had attempted to wash the sickness away; death seemed far away, despite the skin-crawling atmosphere, and hope lay in anticipation in its wait. As time ticked slowly by, the faint outlines of the trees started to wear on pale blue eyes. Leola blinked, trying to fend off the overbearing feeling of fatigue along with the looming hopelessness that made her heart drum a little faster and sink further into her chest. To live in a world where death was on every door step and befriended humans either forcefully or with ease, one had to take any means necessary to ensure that life was not wasted, even if that meant giving up one wizened soul in hopes that a more fragile one might live on. Leola had accepted her fate and accepted that her actions meant survival, though not her survival. However, even though she was ready to lay down her life for her brother's, she was't sure if the ritual actually worked. Silence had sucked the life out of the ebony forest and Leola was not sure what she was waiting for; she had not the faintest clue of what was to happen after the ritual, so she waited for something to happen, some sign to tell her that it worked, or --

    Words curled through the air that was heavily occupied by thick, inky shadows, making soft brown hairs stand up on Leola's neck and arms. The voice encompassed the forest, leaving no space for silence to occupy. Deep and rich, the mysterious voice was, sounding as if death or misery was unknown to occupant. Leola turned in circles, trying to locate the voice with a body, taking the utmost precaution she could. Putting words and context aside, the voice alone put Leola on edge and instilled a sense of distrust within her -- and it was just that. As the words continued to spin through the air, her distrust grew alongside her suspicion. His words were all that she could have hoped for, but his tone wasn't as she had expected. Leola had expected a gravelly voice to condemn her to whatever payment she might have received. Instead the voice that stood no more than fifteen feet away ended sentences as if there was a catch to every word that was said. Leola has a sinking feeling about the voice whose body was invisible to her human eyes in the dark.

    A shock of red lit the forest with crimson light, illuminating the towering trees, the damp grass, and the owner of the voice that was speaking to her. Leola raked her eyes over the man, but it was useless. His features weren't visible in the fading light, and darkness seized her view of the rest of his body. The girl silently scurried to the left a few feet and posted herself next to an oak tree that she had barely caught a glimpse of before shadows invaded the light. The strange blood red orb of light that appeared and disappeared out of nowhere. Although Leola itched with unquenched curiosity, her instincts fought against them. The man before her was not to be trusted and in the moment of light, he was able to see her and document where she had stood. She only hoped that she was a step a head of him by relocating. If worse came to worse, despite overwhelming fatigue masked by a new profound sense of adrenaline, Leola was ready to run or put on fight.

    The last words that spewed from the lips of the stranger were truly spine-crawling and danger echoed throughout the dense forest. However, despite the danger that initiated Leola's instincts, telling her to run, a deeper emotion began to bubble from within her. Leola scoffed and pushed away from the tree and stepped forward a few feet carefully, trying to trip in the dark. "And what could I possibly do for you?" Her voice was raw and mocking as she folded her arms over her chest. The stiffness of the tunic she wore prevented her arms to fold neatly, though she attempted to anyway. "No matter, that isn't what truly matters here." She threw her voice at the stranger and sharpened it with her next words, "How is it that I am supposed to know that what you speak is true? You could be speaking riddles for all I know." She clicked her tongue and walked a few careful paces to the left, "It's dark in the forest, perhaps your nose is growing under such a lie you spoke," she spat at him, appalled that he should just assume she would follow him willingly. "How do you know I will come with you willingly? What good am I to you if I resist?" The adrenaline in her body began to slowly dwindle and the heat of the moment no longer burned, it simmered. Briefly Leola entertained her thoughts with scenarios that could stem from her haughty words, however, she forced her face to become stony and fear to leave her body. She was ready for anything.
  6. A deep chuckle echoes out the man's throat, as he gingerly intertwined his fingers, arching his arms and hands only an inch or so below his chin-- the moonlight piercing the thin layer of clouds above the canopies, drifting through the forest ground as a Heavens-sent spotlight, puncturing the veil of night above; The clouds, actively fighting to obscure the ghastly luster of the zenith skies, give in to the resistance of the strong winds, and slowly grind to halt, illuming the moisture-laden grass around them, as well as the rigid motionless figure, in a mantle of white, reflected only by his golden adornings and crimson pupils.

    "Oh, dear... Resistance is the fun part. You'll understand, soon enough." The man pauses, stepping forwards. "However, if all you thrive is certainty-- Yes... That, I can provide."

    With his left arm still arched towards his chin, his right hand begins lazily motioning in a circle. His fingers, dancing, in a near incomprehensible pattern. "Now, see.", he mutters, closing his eyes. His head lays towards his chest-- fingers reaching a standstill. And for a couple of silent seconds, confusion installs into the air. The wind howling strong through the tree's barks-- the canopies and their leaves dancing in their rhythm. The figure's coat, only now visible through the light, also capering to the winds' melodies, as the seconds go by. Two, five, eight, ten-- and before there's time for questioning, the eyes of the figure jump wide, his pupils flashing with crimson. From his fingertips to the mind of the young lady, a vision.

    Escaping the boundaries of its own form, the girl's sight darts towards the fabric of the clouds above, fleeing the confinement of the ground below, in a supernatural display of speed. The breeze gently caressing her face, as she rapidly drifts over the cloud top. Seconds pass of what would a be one of the most marvelous views a mortal has ever laid their eyes --if not faintly obscured by the confusion and fear brewed out of the situation--, and finally, her vision is directed downwards, phasing through the clouds once again. A conglomerate of trees over at the far south, bolting just out of view, as a scarily familiar, death-rigged village to the north grows more and more visible, enlarging by the second, as her sight is hastily dragged towards it. Her vision is cast upon an specific house, an specific room. Now gently drifting to a full stop, it's visible: This is her house. The streets blackened with death and sickness-- however, in that very specific room, laid a beacon of hope. Her brother, now sitting by his bed, a confused expression on his face, as he examines the spots in his arms where, formerly to that point, dark markings began suffusing his skin. The confusion transitions to happiness, as the boy, riddled with joy, jumps out of bed, beginning to healthy run throughout the house.

    And whoosh; In a single second, as that visage is finally digested by the girl's system, her vision travels back the way it previously traversed, nearing inscrutable speeds, as it travels through the village, the cloud top and conglomerate after conglomerate of trees, as it is ultimately cast back to its original form. The figure of the man watches, as her body physically reacts to the abrupt end of the scrying ritual, chuckling to himself, yet again.

    "I hope that suffices. Now, shall we?"
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