[MH] Into the veil... again. (Te S2:4.6 Ho S2:4.11)

edited December 2014 in In-Game
Once you've prepared yourself and you have the knife you plunge into the veil again, soon enough finding yourself wandering the primeval forest again, weaving paths through enormous trees. There is no real direction, nothing to orient yourself to, you're doing this entirely on instinct. And so there is a certain curious timelessness to it. You're aware of things out in the forest too, the sensation of many eyes watching you and Myrii.

She is there, of course, her hand entwined in yours as you walk, the knife-sweater bundle under your other arm. You've said nothing for a while... thoughts filled with... what?

Suddenly Myrii speaks. It's not loud, but in the quiet spooky wood it's almost as startling as a thunderclap.

"He could break the bond." She says.
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  • "He could - uh? Oh!"

    I was watching the trees, trying to glimpse, you know, something - anything moving or whatever. And trying to do like Myrii said and "trust the veil", I guess. But I refocus on her.

    "You don't, um ... do you want that, though? Would it hurt you? ... Can she do it?"
  • "Yes, she could." Myrii says. She's looking out into the trees herself. "I don't think it would hurt me physically. Not seriously. I would heal."

    She finally glances over, pushing part of the long fall of her hair out of her eyes. Her eyes are troubled. She gently kisses the hand she holds, then keeps it close to her lips.

    "Of course it's not what I want. I... I want the joining. But more than that I want your happiness." Her eyes meet yours. "I know you love Ashley... I... I can taste it." her thumb glides over the skin of your hand. "I feel it."

    She lets your entwined hands fall between you again. "I wanted you to know that you still have a choice."
  • Shrug.

    "I guess I always - with all this stuff - I've had another choice. Most of them aren't choices I'd ever make, though."

    I'm actually kind of comfortable here, a little more okay-feeling than I was. I guess it is sort of creepy, with all the invisible eyes on my back, but there's something a little comforting about all the huge alien trees, about how massive and old and quiet they are. And something weirdly definite about the winding path I'm taking, some kind of magnetic bird-sense thing leading me through.

    (That's a thing, right? Birds with magnets in their brains or whatever? For migration? You know what I mean.)

    Maybe it's a little bit like being high? No, I don't know, that's a shitty comparison. It's not like that at all.

    "I think ... if Ashley changed, if she changed like you're saying I would, I'd still love her as long as she was still in there, somewhere. I think. And I think that if I haven't already ruined everything, if she still wants me after all that's happening, then I think she would want me the same if we ... joined. I mean, everyone changes, all the time, every day, and I've already changed a hell of a lot this year. Look at me. Look at where I am!"

    I squeeze her hand.

    "And Myrii, the whole idea makes me nervous, but ... I love you too. And there isn't any part of you that I wouldn't want to have as part of me."
  • Her smile is small but genuine. She squeezes your hand in return.

    It's another indefinable time walking hand in hand, being watched. The forest, if possible, gets even quieter. The air is denser. And your awareness begins to fill with that sense of presence, seeping in like mist under a door. You break into a clearing. Myrii freezes at the edge of it. In the middle is a small hill with a large flat topped stone on it. Gwyn is there, lounging indolently on top of it, nude, of course, leaning on one elbow,some sort of strange blue flower in the other hand. Seemingly unaware of your presence. A couple of large black dogs of a breed you don't recognize lay at the base. Their heads come up towards you. Alert. Their eyes shine red.

    The forest around the clearing feels... full. Even though you can't see a thing in the dark trees.
  • Is it day or night? And is that big stone like one of those Stonehenge kind of rocks, or just an ordinary, you'd-find-it-in-the-forest kind of rock?

    I'm kind of brought up short - Myrii stops, and that sort of pulls me back when I feel the tug. So I'm there at the edge of the clearing, standing in around the roots of the big trees. And then, well, you know I don't like dogs. I said that before, when did I say that? It's like, the cops have those big police dogs, you know, and sometimes they like to bring them around the raves and things, just kind of hanging around the doors trying to scent drugs or whatever. I hate that. You ever picture what happens to you if one of those things comes after you, like just because you've got a couple pills in a pocket? Scary as hell.

    I bet he knows that. And there's no way he doesn't know I'm here - he's just ignoring me. This is all, like, set up for me to find this way, making me feel uneasy and uncertain. Unimportant. It's basically working, but I don't like that, either.

    So I ignore him too, right? I'm like turning toward Myrii, and she's a little behind me now so that's kind of mostly turning away from the clearing, though I can't quite make myself totally turn my back on those fucking red-eyed hunting dogs or whatever. They're still in the corner of my eye. And I was going to I guess like give Myrii another hug, and tell her to wait here for me, but it doesn't go exactly that way. I'm saying something like that, yeah, but then - just on impulse - I'm going up a little in this sort of one-handed hug, and I'm kissing her. And I'm doing it for real, too: serious, and drawing it out ... just brushing off the King and his pets, and also the dark trees and all the eyes hidden beneath them.

    I'm perfectly happy to Turn On anyone who needs Turning On, or even just Make Myrii Feel Beautiful as I finally draw back. Whatever the situation, even if she can't really do anything to help me, I'm so ... glad? Relieved? To have her on my side, to have her with me.

    I ask her, "Are you going to be okay? Do you want to wait here?"
  • Well I don't know if anyone needs turning on, but you're in the position for it to affect Gwyn if you want to. And hell, I'd accept the feel beautiful move too, if you think it's, y'know, like a real moment between the two of you and not just you playing mind games with the King, but I can't read your mind on that one.
  • Honestly, making her feel beautiful is mechanically kind of weird and uninteresting, but this is more about the moment between us than it is about anyone else. So screw the King.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )

    xp (4)
  • I was afraid of that. I'm not really trying to get her to do anything, and she doesn't use xp, but I guess now I'm offering her xp to do what I want. So ... I really don't know. Let it lie for now, and maybe I'll come up with something later. At any rate, she does now officially feel beautiful.
  • For a moment, everything around you fades away and it's just the two of you. And then there's that kiss and the look again, and you can see the moment when she sees it, when she believes to the core of her being that you really see her for what she is, and that you really care without some sort of condition. Maybe she doubted before, at least a little. It's not like she doesn't know that she's incredibly desirable to mortals, and it's not like she hasn't been fine with that for centuries. And in her deepest heart she was convinced that you two couldn't truly connect. But now... somehow... you've reached past that surface.

    She holds your hands tightly, smiling, her enormous golden eyes liquid and shimmering. And you realize part of the reason they're shimmering when she blinks and an enormous crystalline tear rolls down her cheek, followed quickly by another in the other eye. I don't think you've seen her cry before? I don't know, maybe you have. She's usually so composed. But you are sure that fairy tears must be some kind of crazy magical ingredient to something, right?

    Her eyes shift and her face falls a little. She looks at you again then back behind you, squeezing your hands.

    When you turn you find the King upright, leaning forward onto a knee and watching with interest, a smile on his lips. He's stroking the head of one of the massive dogs, which seems eager to get up from it's place by the stone.

    He looks between you when you're both looking at him, and smirks.

    "I didn't mean to interrupt. Please continue."
  • I'm turning after just a moment to get myself together, to take stock. I'm standing in front, between Myrii and the clearing. I guess logically I should be more scared - at least as scared as Myrii seems to be - but I guess I'm not. I mean, I'm kind of scared, but -

    "... No. You - I have some questions. And I have the knife."

    I reach down and untwist the sweater. I think it's got to be that zombie Che Guevara hoodie again, flashing all bright artificial red in the fairy forest. (Is it day or night?) And I'm still holding the thing with the cloth wrapped around the handle, but the blade shows.

    "I heard that the power in this, is the old Queen's. And it's gone bad - it'll corrupt and kill the coven, like it did Marsha Cross. Is that true?"
  • HIs mouth quirks again at your blunt refusal.

    He looks down at the dagger when you reveal it, cocking his head and considering. You're not sure if his expression is real or some mockery of thinking. His eyes shift back up to you.

    "Hmmm... well unmastered magic does tend to get a bit tetchy. Fussy, emotional stuff, magic is, like an ill tempered whelp. I expect it's just wanting attention." He says in that smooth, dark-honeyed voice of his, the voice that makes you think of things. Well actually he makes you think of things. Just like before. Force of nature and all that.
  • edited December 2014
    I'm breaking my gaze, kind of looking away and past him into the forest. Except actually, this way I can't keep myself from watching those dogs instead. Focus, focus.

    "Ashley's part of that coven. And so is - whatever, is it true? What will happen to them if I destroy this thing? If she and I destroy this thing?"
  • He fixes you with a look, then looks back at Myrii behind you.

    There's a languid roll of his shoulders. "It affects them. It must. But as for what happens? Likely nothing much. Perhaps something. The particulars I couldn't begin to guess. It's magic after all. These things are difficult to know. It is true that the roots of the coven's magic lies in the queen's."

    He peers at you seemingly sincerely curious.

    "Why is that important? You seem prepared to leave the mortal world behind." He indicates Myrii.

    The dogs are staring you down.
  • "I'm - people are important. They're important to me, and that's not going to change, even if ... You told me, if I break this thing, you'll help with Ashley. You'd help make it so her mom is okay with her and me being together. But she's already been hurt by this thing - all that's worthless if, if she doesn't make it."

    I raise the knife.

    "Promise if I do this, if I break the knife and make them give up the - the ball thing, then you'll protect all the coven from the Queen's magic. Otherwise, I ... I won't do it. I'll give them the knife and they can do what they want with it. I'll talk to their mothers. I won't be - I won't be the one to get them all killed or -"
  • If that's a manipulate, I'll do it. Or heck, he has Strings on me and everything - I might have to hold steady or something just to get all this out. Up to you.
  • I think you will have to hold steady. I mean you're right there trying to stand up to the freaking Fairy King. Normally he seems all non-threatening... well less-threatening, right? But as you talk to him you find... you find the presence growing. That pressure of immense power. The force of nature. And Jesus, those fucking dogs.
  • Holly,

    Ivy worked a small bit of magic, deftly and with great expertise, and, after a last look at Winter and Riley, you entered the veil. You've been walking through the great primordial forest. Are you relying on Ivy to lead the way or your own sense of where to go? There certainly is no trail. In any case what seems like a very short, or extraordinarily long time (time is so... slippery here) wandering through the woods, most definitely under the watchful gaze of many beings, you hear voices ahead of you and see the glow of a clearing in sunlight, piercing the dark trees.

    Teddy... and Gwyn.
  • He's blamed.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • Holly
    Holly followed her mother for a little while, then steadily grew more confident and walked ahead until they heard voices. The noises and the watchers were worrisome, but Holly wanted to be brave in front of her mommy, so she pushed those thoughts aside.

    When she sees Teddy and Gwynn, Holly says, "Dora! You... you came here?" She bows her head, "Hello, Fairy King." She moves up to Teddy, offers to give her a hug.
  • edited December 2014
    "... won't be the one to get them all killed or -"

    I'm kind of jolting to a stop mid-sentence when I see you, Holly, but uh, I don't know, I mean look ... I'm standing here in kind of a confrontation with the Faery King, with a naked blade in hand. I don't think it's time for a hug?

    And also botching a roll. I'm doing that, too.
  • The king meets your eyes, Holly, with an expression of... well almost surprise, then glances around him, first at your mom, then just around. You get the impression that he's not looking at any of the scenery, really, but that he's looking at the Veil itself. His fleeting expression is one of slight exasperation.

    But the dogs are on their feet, right Teddy, and the power gets more.... just more.

    He drops down from the rock, the dogs stalking behind. Gwyn speaks mildly but there's something dangerous about it.

    "You have already promised to destroy it" He says, and there's an extra level of reverb.... somewhere. "The bargain is already struck. The penalty for breaking it would be... severe."
  • edited December 2014
    So you're right here with me and Myrii, right Holly? And your mom ... whom I've never met ... is over there. I guess there's something sort of familiar about her, since she looks pretty much like you, but my brain's too preoccupied to work that out. I stepped in front of Myrii, and I guess you're kind of to my side? There's danger here, and I have kind of an instinct to step forward again, put myself between you and - well - whatever. But I can't.

    Actually, I ... step back, a couple steps, leaving you out front. Maybe I bump into Myrii, depends on what she's doing back there. I'm sorry - I just physically can't stand my ground! It's the dogs, probably, yeah. I'm scared of big dogs. Um, I think zombie Che crumples to the ground there, because I change how I'm holding the knife, and I'm saying, like:

    "... I - I didn't. You asked me to - you said you'd do that if I did ... but I didn't, I never promised."

    Maybe we should run. We should run.
  • I'd like to gaze into the abyss? I tend to do that when I'm freaked out, you know. So far just when I'm alone, but this time I'm here, I'm in the Veil, I'm staring at an angry King, got a black athame in my hand ... I feel like I'm closer to the abyss than usual, right now. I'm kind of freezing up right now, so can I just get, like, insight? What should I know about this situation?

    If that works, you know what? Heck with it. I've changed how I'm holding the knife, and it's completely unwrapped now, but it's not like I'm brandishing it or anything ... it's just unconscious, I'm doing it totally blind. I'm hugging it to myself, actually, like shielding it with my arms. I don't one hundred percent notice, but the way I'm holding it, it bites into my arm, up where I was cutting myself during those bad episodes. There's blood already down my arm, to the elbow, and I'm taking 1-harm.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+5 )

    xp (5)
  • What should you know? In a sense you're in the Abyss, Teddy. The veil itself, you might realize, is alive. It's sentient and sapient if only in the incomprehensible way of a being that is huge and ancient, much like the ocean was for Nula. The Nudd's flash of annoyance was due to the blatant manipulation of time inside the veil by the veil itself to get you and your foster sister here in the same moment. The voices of the wood whisper to you, and the depth of the being involved is frankly terrifiying.

    The promise is serious business, as those things are with the fae, and with the king, even tacit agreement is interpreted as ironclad. If you don't figure your way out of that issue, the dogs will come. A vision of the hunt and Gwyn here as the enormous shadowy figure with antlers sprouting from his head, on an equally large, fire breathing horse. Hundreds of other Fae and many of those black, black dogs. Creatures which used to be mortal, and the recipients of the usual punishment for breaking a bargain with the King, eternal servitude.

    The king and queen need to bond, to come together into one being. It's long past time, in the opinion of the veil, and the root of the problems. You and your sister could do this thing. If the athame were easy to handle, the king would have done it himself. No, he needs a mortal. The blade is part of the queen, and a channel (being all phallic and all) for the transfer of her power.

    If you can plunge that blade into the Kings heart. Holly can give the jewel and, just maybe, push the queen out of her own soul and into the king, and things will be as they should have been.

    Not that that's an easy thing. You'd have to be close, and there's no guarantee that either or both of you won't be terribly hurt in the process. You could trick your way in. Extract promises. You could just lunge and hope. You could do as the King believes you promised, and he would fulfill his end of the bargain, probably in the most unpleasant but technically correct way possible. You could run, but chances of escaping the hunt are very, very slim, and then agents of the fae would become much more active against you.
  • The king's eyes glitter, and he takes another deliberate, threatening step towards you.

    "You agreed. You accepted the proposal in your heart. If you refuse it now..."

    You do bump into Myrii. In the link between you, you can feel her terror. If you're not properly scared yet, that should do it. She's ancient and she's terrified.
  • By the way, Holly:
    Can’t Save Myself: When somebody saves you from forces too powerful for you to reckon with, they mark experience, and you gain a String on them.
  • Holly
    "No, Fairy King, don't hurt her!" Holly says with sudden alarm as she realizes what she's walked into. Then, she sees Teddy cutting herslf and gasps, "Dora! Please don't hurt yourself!"

    She pulls out the marble, holding it up for them both to see. "We are here to help, Fairy King. Please. Please let us talk. Dora, don't hurt yourself. Please."
  • So I'm just frozen up - I'm not exactly cutting myself on purpose even, or at least not totally on purpose. But the thing is razor sharp, and I'm clutching it hard to myself, however the edge ends up turning. It's my only bargaining chip, so I need to protect it ... can't let anyone get it away from me.

    It does cut, though, and the pain wakes me up a little bit. My eyes flicker around, going from you to the trees to the King. I don't see any softness in my f-ing grandfather's eyes, and you can see my answer - maybe it's stupid, but I'm turning to run. Kind of backing away another step, turning, but not fully turning my back. I only have one hand free, or I'd grab for you too, but my one hand goes to take Myrii's, to pull her along. Blood's immediately flowing from the wound, trickling down to my wrist, and my whole arm's soaked - this could be serious? It makes my grip on Myrrh's hand a little slick.

    But that's what I'm doing. There's probably still time to stop me, or to follow me, or to do whatever, but I don't want to be here.
  • Holly, I think you need to manipulate the fairy king to make him back down and continue to talk. Otherwise the dogs are coming.
  • edited December 2014
    Holly
    "Dora, don't run!" Holly says frantically, seeing the hounds gnarling and waiting to pounce. Her eyes fix on the Fairy King. "Please. Gwyn, please. We're here to bring you back your love. We can fix what's broken. Please don't hurt Dora, you love her! Pun... punish me instead!"
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