(Mostly) Girl Talk
- Title: (Mostly) Girl Talk
- Emitter: Cryosanthia
- Characters: Cryosanthia, Kira, Munch, Braelnoir
- Place: A10: Temple of Daeus
- Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 8:31 PM
- Summary: Cryo and Kira have just had Zeke, Seldan and Braelnoir depart on them. The whitescale is a little shocked, and apologizes to Kira for being indiscrete. Before the girls can get down to talking, Munch arrives and asks after Rocky by Cryo, mangling both their names. Cryo explains that there is a new sith-makar warrior about, with granite coloured scales, and confirms the detail Kira supplies, that he is her big brother. She speculates he's at the colosseum and tells Munch he is interested in knowing more about golems, and she told him about Munch as a result. Conversation returns to the topic of Salina, and whether Fae Monarchs are all that, with Munch believing it's merely and empty pointless title while Cryo insists it's a description that holds truths, like saying someone is a particular race. They don't agree to disagree and Munch leaves as Braelnoir returns, at which point the conversation switches to what Braelnoir has recently experienced. She details her struggles with her transformations, the attempts to find a cure. Topics switch back to Salina's antics, including swimming, snowflake marks, Merek's imprisonment in Hell, and Cryo's more recent speculation that perhaps the Fae Queen did successfully change the future, as certain things that have happened only make sense if future knowledge was communicated back, and actions initially taken were erased by acts of preemptive revenge. Brae goes into some detail regarding Rol, and her stolen Scythe, and both Kira and Cryo console her, pledging to help her get it back. Braelnoir explains both how she got her scythe, lost it, and wonders about Kaelyn and her transformations. Everyone decides to go out to eat.
-=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=<* A10: Temple of Daeus *>=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
The temple of the Sun Lord glitters golden beneath the same. Rather than walls, the majority of the temple is composed of what appears at first blush to be a raised round platform made of one of the largest slabs of marble likely in existence. Columns rise into the air as if to hold some massive ceiling, though instead of a normal ceiling, one finds the deep blue sky, studded by a disconcertingly close canopy of bright stars. One should not worry, however, as the rain never falls, and the wind never blows on this particular temple, but for a gentle breeze, whatever the weather outside may be.
Despite the austerity of the columns, warmth suffuses the grounds. A grand, marble statue of the Shining Knight stands a the center, a hand outstretched in benediction. Beside Him, the statue of Althea, their hands clasped in love. The central position of the temple to the others gives view to all of their children, and the two look upon one another with the solemnity of love that has been the center of so many tales and legends.
Masterfully designed mana lamps provide further soft, golden lightning where needed, their pedestals carved in the form of the Dragons of Light, over which Daeus is said to have dominion in His form of Draco Solis. Majesty, justice, and welcome suffuse the temple grounds. Around the central temple are a series of smaller buildings, each with a simple function and form. One houses the sacred book depicting some of the earliest known translations of the Laws of Light, which pilgrims from near and far come to visit. Another houses the well-appointed quarters of the Sunguards, and among all the ground bristle the Sunblades.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Appearing, in Order -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Cryosanthia 6'9" 267 Lb Sith-Makar Female A dashingly tall, elegant white-scaled lizard woman. Kira 5'0" 120 Lb Human Female Blonde woman in simple robes with an eye patch. Munch 6'5" 225 Lb War Golem Male Dreadlocked golem with metal scales. Braelnoir 5'11" 246 Lb Sivery Chimera Female An armored silver chimera with four arms. =--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=
The room cleared out fast.
Zeke departed, with Seldan following. A few minutes later Braelnoir excused herself for a moment. Kira and Cryosanthia are left alone, with one being more alone than the other.
The white sith exhales, still staring at the floor. "This one could have handled that better. This one is a negotiator, meant to be skilled at handling delicate subjects. I should not be embarassing friends and frightening off my mate. We were trying to keep that news from Zeke, that Salina still lives."
Kira handed out hugs, at least? It's no subsitute for Cryo's cihuaa, but Kira understands alot of what the white sith must be going through. Not exactly the same, but some. "We all want him safe and healthy, Cryosanthia. It wasn't your doing that revealed things to him. I could have asked you to check later, or somewhere else... Maybe then it would have been different."
"Maybe..." She was stiff and cold in the hug, her recovery also not much more than a surface coating on her troubles. Cryo exhales, "At least I'm not lying, having to treat him like a youngling and talk around subjects. This one really wanted to speak with Seldan, to know what progress, what to avoid. He is a good man but he leaves me in the dark way too much, about things I should be gatekeeping the information on."
She draws a foot along the floor, scraping it with her claws. Repeats the gesture.
Munch wanders the halls of the temple, wings folded back out of the way, faceplate cracked slightly so his long black tonuge can flick out, testing the air. Checking doors, he stops outside the room, peering a moment before rapping lightly on teh doorframe. Well, sort of lightly. The wood doesn't break. "Hello, ah... Crying Santa, is it?"
"He did give me some advice and I'd be happy to share it," Kira offers. "It might help some, and it-" She stops at the knocking and turns to the door to offer a polite, "Hello."
"I would- what?" The white scale sith looks at the door, her eye ridges wrinkling up in confusion. She blinks. "Oh... Munch. Hello. No, this one is Cryosanthia, like the white flower, or Cryo. Also, we are being scrying on by the Fae Queen of Endless Winter right now. Were you looking for Zeke?"
Munch blinks with a soft click, the 'dreadlocks' aorund his head wiggleing out into a sort of halo as the golem peers around the room. "....I don't sence anything, but will take your word on it. Anyway, no, I'd heard there was a new warrior sith hanging around, Stone River, or something? Thought I'd come to say hello."
"Oh! Her big brother!" Kira's smile grows some, then her lips purse and she looks to Cryo. "Or... clutch kin?" She's uncertain of the term, but adds, for Munch, "I'm not sure where he is."
Cryosanthia sits up straight. 'Oh yes, there is. His name is "River Stone", in Tradespeak it translates directly as River Stone, but he usually goes by Rocky. He is staying in the Temple of Daeus, in one of the Sunblade associates barracks. He is clutch-kin to this one, yes, grey granite scales. Big brother works too.' <draconic>
She smiles at Kira, then back at the war golem, 'This one told him about you. He was curious about war golems. He would be interested in meeting you. I think he might be out exploring Alexandria right now, he's had a lot to catch up on. He only knew of here as the City of Mists.'
Munch buzzes softly adn nods, magicite eyes still searching th room. "I'm sure we'll bump across each other eventually. This peeping scry, same one as the ooze and vampires? I keep missing all the fun. Never eaten a fairy queen before. Pixie, quickling, part of a nymph... but not a queen."
Kira is pleased she seems to get the term right, as she doesn't think she'll ever be able to pronounce the true name properly. Her smile dims notably at the question of peepin and she nods. "Yes..." She blinks at mention of eating pixies and more, her smile dropping off more. "Oh, my... Why would you ... eat them?"
"Considering what she did to my mate and how he couldn't eat because of it, this one would enjoy you doing that." Cryo's inner white dragon gets control of her mouth for a moment. "We killed... a golem version of her. A simalcrum. A copy. This one is not sure. She is weakened but not defeated."
The sith sighs, rubbing at her horns, "She lost the Tower, so no more time travel for her. It gives me a headache thinking about it, and the more I do, the more I think we've suffered changes. This is not our first attempt, and we don't remember the others because she changed time so they didn't happen. It's the only way certain things make any sense at all."
"Anyhow Munch, speak with Sir Seldan, he is organizing... Scales! The mistress knows about Rocky now. Maugrim Resplendant."
Munch blinks at Kira. "My internal processes are anylysis as well as processing. I eat things to learn about them. I learn things to grow stronger. It;s an inexact process, but I suspect a queen would be really educational." He looks to Cryo, and shrugs. "If she can;t screw with time any more, then it;s okay if she knows some things. Doesn't have the time and resources to be a bitch about them."
That doesn't ease the look on Kira's face much, but she doesn't say anything further on eating people. Instead, she now realizes what Cryo just did about Rocky. "I'm sure he'll be alright. As he said, she doesn't have the tower to use anymore."
"She's been pretty good at dropping Eclavdran on me when I upset her." Cryosanthia says, her posture has hunched up again. This is obvious enough body language, although the paladin's observation of her and Zeke would make her more informed. The white sith exhales a cloudy, visible breath. "This one hopes so. This one can not take more targeting of her family. She still has all the resources a Fae Monarch would, whatever those might be."
"Anyhow Munch, this one will let Rocky know you're looking for him, and seek Sir Seldan if you are interested in assisting against Her. There was a golem in the Tower too, in the dungeons, this one totally overlooked we were so rushed. I have no idea if it had a 'soul' or not."
Munch buzzes quietly, considering a few moments. "...you know how to piss her off for sure? Let her send some minions to lose. It's been a while since I had a good fight." The barbarin has never had an issue in lacking confidance.
Kira nods slightly to Cryosanthia, then shakes her head at Munch. "I don't think that fighting Eclavdran would ever be a good fight for anyone. I think that many have stood against him and he's still ... he is terrible."
The whitescale sith shakes her head, her eyes closed. "She doesn't send minions. She should have them but I've never seen her Fae followers. No, she sends a Vampire Lord, or her Demon Duke of Hell, Eclavdran. The smallest I've heard of her having is Yukia, the Ice Demon, and she's been absorbed. This one has not heard anything of her in months." Cryo holds out her left hand, on the back of it is a snowflake shaped marking. "This is her symbol, if you can see magic you'll see it's glowing. She's observing. She was just before you arrived. If it's stopped, she is watching my mate instead, which is less encouraging."
"I still wonder if we should seek the other two Fae Monarchs, or her followers, if that is a relevant detail or not." The sith stares off at the wall.
Munch shrugs. "Are you such she has followers? Lot of kings who don't. Throne, crown, castle, followers, jester, it's all just extra. Royality is just a title, nothing more."
"I only know of her, Eclavdran, and Kol the vampire," Kira nods, "so maybe there are only the two of them, now. They are still very powerful on their own."
Cryosanthia shakes her head, "No, it's the other way around. The Fae ARE. Their names, their roles, are very precise and unchanging, like the philosophical ideals. The human, Sildanyari verions, aren't derived from but are corrupted definitions. A Fae Monarch IS a Monarch and therefore has all the things a monarch must. If he or she did not, they would be something else, a pretender, an ursurper. Think of the term like one would a God, or a Race. You are a golem, it means certain truths about you, if these were not, you would not be a golem, just as Draco Solis is not Vardama. She is the Queen of Endless Winter. She is constrained by the rules of the Wild Hunt, and otherwise is Mistress of her domain. Killing her will be like killing a god, it will change reality, fae reality, in a fundamental way. Fae don't do change very well."
Munch shrugs again. "Titles and belief. She calls herself a queen and believes it. I don't believe. So I'll crush her just like ever other wannabe I've fought."
"I hope you will be careful," Kira shares to Munch, "and I hope you wouldn't try that alone." She doesn't know if they're still being observed, so she doesn't offer up anymore. Not that she knows much about Her. Not that would be helpful, that is.
"It's not a title or belief, it's her True Name. It has power. It is her essence. She can be summoned and bound with it, like a demon. It is her. The words that encompass her. You'll understand when you eat her if you don't now, but it's not like you're thinking." Cryosanthia says, shaking her head. "If I started calling myself... I don't know, the Queen of Joyous Winter, it would be jumped up and meaningless like you say. She is death, Munch. Her name is an allusion to the end of all life, hibernation, and the static unchanging nature of things preserved in ice. She wants to make her whole domain like a white dragon's horde, frozen and perfect."
"As Kira says, seek Seldan. She should not be faced alone."
Munch shakes his head again. "You don't get it. Its true because you believe its true, she beleives it's true, the universe believes it's true. I don't believe. And I'll change the mind of the universe. It wont be easy, I won't do it alone. But names change, even True Names."
Cryosanthia closes her eyes, opens them again. She holds out her hand and stares at the marking on the back. It evokes some memories for her. She slides her glove back on. "You can ask her about it when you see her. This one will let Rocky know you stopped by when she sees him. I had a few things I wished to discuss with Kira, personal things. Was there anything else you were looking for, Zeke is... also out. This one looks forward to life without a Fae Queen Step-Mother, I tire of her."
After a time, the chimera gives a quick knock-knock, knock-KNOCK-knock from outside the door and listens for conversation before just moseying on in. These are nervous times after all. That's how accidents happen.
Munch nods, turning to head out. "maybe I'll run across them in the market or someplace." Meeting Brael comming in, the golem nods politely.
Kira doesn't quite break her recent silence, but does reach up to put a hand on Cryosanthia's shoulder and offer both a nod and what she hopes is a reassuring smile.
"Thanks for stopping by Munch. Rocky will enjoy meeting you. He's still new to Alexandria and would enjoy seeing the sights. I think he has been at the Colosseum." Cryosanthia says, waving as the golem goes out and the chimera comes back in. The touch on her shoulder does help a little, "Hey, come on in. I want to hear how your latest change happened. Something different."
Braelnoir blinks behind a silver veneer up at a familiar golem on his way out. Lifting one of her right hands to clap to her breast with a, "Hey Munchy, 'ow ya been? Got any more o'that manticore tail?" she greets him with a grin, then glances at the ladies inside to make sure everything's been at least arguably ok in her brief absence, a scabbarded greatblade clutched in her left hands as she sets it like a walking stick against the floor, "Probably make more sense than the river, anyway?"
Kira now gives Braelnoir her smile, and a wave. "Welcome back. I'd be interested in hearing of that, too. If you don't mind?" Probably for exactly the same reasons Cryosanthia has.
Cryosanthia bobs her head. Most of the time it seems she is staring, as blinking seems to be a conscious thing for her and like most lizards she faces whatever she is interested in. She is properly staring now, examining Braelnoir's new appearance, looking over her arms, her tail, the new configuration of her legs. "You are much like before, although more consistent. Your tail has filled out, but is much smaller. Must have been a change from being all tail. What was slithering on the ground like, and did you try swimming as a Marilith?"
Braelnoir walking-sticks her way in with the sword before closing the door. It looks like a really nice sword, possibly Aesirean or Draenei in design. With the questions, she grins and shrugs a shoulder, "Yeah... I've been wondering about that, honesstly. It'ss been awfully conssisstant. Moresso than Kaelyn's advisce would ssuggesst." She settles on one of the Sith-friendly chairs, tail curling loosely around her feet though her tail twitches a little bit, "It'ss different than sswimming in the mermaid form. More dependant on lateral moshtion than vertical. It felt kinda nisce on soft grasss, and lesss sso on jagged sstone."
Kira tries to imagine being all tail and fails terribly. She only just started thinking tails from Cryo's comment not long ago. She does wince at the mention of jagged stone. "That doesn't sound like it would be comfortably at all. I can't imagine being all tail. I can't even picture myself with a small one. I'd probably be knocking things over everywhere..."
The white sith grins, her eyes glittering, "That describes nestlings perfectly, knocking everything over with tails. It takes some time to be properly aware, then you build an idea of the space you are occupying. This one still has painful wacks on doorways and table legs when not thinking right. Grass is nice, stone this one does not enjoy much either, my feet are only partially covered." She stretches out a leg, showing off her boots which still leave her toes largely exposed, like fingerless gloves for her legs. "Swimming for me is side to side, lots of hip. I can kick with the legs."
Braelnoir laughs a little and nods, "Ya ain't wrong, luv! Wazs sslappin' shhit all over the plasce when I firsst shhifted. It'ss a little ssenssitive, but moresso if ya ain't ussed to it." with an amused glance to Kira, then, "The sscalezs are act'ally pretty tough. Ssoft grass wazs like a... consstant caress on m'belly. Jagged sstone didn't actually hurt, it jusst wazsn't azs nisce." She looks to Cryo at her input with a smile and nods, stretching out her own leg and wiggling the sharpened digits, "I misssed havin' toezs."
Kira can't help but laugh some, too. And then there's all the wiggling toe..claws. "I like swimming, too, when the weather is nice, but I'm sure that a tail helps alot." She blinks and belatedly realizes, looking to Braelnoir, "A mermaid? Definitely better at swimming that most anyone. I think I would miss having toes, too. And legs!" She lets out another little laugh and shakes her head. "I think it's good that I'm not, because I would make for a terrible sith-maker, or mermaid, or ..." she looks between the two tailed. "What was the other you mentioned?"
"A marilith. Much like Braelnoir is now, from the waist up, below she is a very long, large snake body. They are demons with six arms, very dangerous." Cryosanthia explains, with a grin, spreading her hands side, "Did you get the sword to go with that form, or the one you have now? It is a new one?"
Braelnoir laughs again, "Think again, ssisster, I could barely sswim at all! Too damned heavy fer the sscalezse." She shrugs a little on the rest, "Th'mermaid wazs mosstly like thiss, too. I wissh I could have enjoyed it more." She dims a bit on Cryo's question, leaving some unsaid about missing legs, "It'ss a new one. Ssomeone sstole m'sscythhe." there's a dark, simmering anger threating her tone at that, and she looks to Cryo, "-that- sscythe." the one with a story.
"Oh. I don't think I've ever met one..." Kira admits, though dangerous demons aren't the kinds of things one wants to meet. "Oh!" Her eyes widen when Brael mentions the stolen weapon. -That- one. She doesn't know what -that- means, other than it is special. That's enough, though. "I'm sorry someone took it from you."
The white sith blinks, "How did they manage that? Out of your room when you weren't there? Did you report it to the guards, look in the adventurer pawn shops? That's... you'd never part with that."
That the marilith form was too heavy to swim is an interesting detail for her, which she files away.
"Do you have a description of the thief? This one will help you search."
Braelnoir looks down at the floor, and brushes at the ornament in her ear, "It wazs before the mermaid bizsness... but I wazs more worried about you when I got to town... when I found out what happened. Then the river, happened."
The chimera looks to Kira with her sympathies and smiles sadly, "When I took that sscythhe... me an' Rol..." she looks to Cryo and chooses the word that puts things into context, "Mated. We weren't married.. we didn't think of it that way... we were merscenariezs... but... sstill..."
"Oh..." Kira is good at this word, though it has different context now. Possibly from the bit of blushing as Brael gives context. "So it is special." She nods. "I understand why you're upset."
Cryo nods, exhaling hard, her breath cold and visible. "The river wasn't good. Things... still aren't good. Merek is... he got a lot worse Brae. When Kol was killed without him, he went even more crazy, talked about disgracing Eluna's gifts to bring him back. Then when Seldan and I tried helping Elleandra clean the oozes out of the sewers, he set off an alchemical fire with a thunderstone. Blew his arm off and was laughing about it. The plan had been to draw the oozes onto a pile of explosives and set them off, he lit them before everyone was clear. The ooze came out of the sewer and attacked the temple. A lot of people died before we got it under control. Then, Eclavdran took him to hell. He's still there. Malik said to consider him dead, no one is planning a rescue..."
The female sith is shaking her head from side to side again, "I... didn't know about Rol, all the details, I guessed some. And when you got the scythe, that was when you lost her, now it's lost also. Have you tried... scrying for it?"
Braelnoir smiles winsomely at Kira, and her gaze returns to Cryosanthia as she starts to relay the... array of things she's missed with her personal problems, the motion of her tail growing more pronounced as her face darkens. By the tme Merek's name left her sister's tongue, the chimera is at full attention. She's half off the chair by the time the story reaches Merek's own limb count changing, her scent one of worry and anger, more familiar than before. At 'Hell' she's on her feet with a furious expression on her face, the rest of the questions left to the wayside, "Well FUCK Malik!" is her immediate response, "When the hell did thiss happen?"
Kira obviously didn't have nearly enough context. She didn't realize there was so much more significance to 'the river.' She is only surprised of some of the information on Merek and her expresion saddens greatly. "Merek... may well be gone, for some time now." Then there's the revelation that Braelnoir's friend was lost, too?
Kira's eyes lower to floor, or maybe a twitching tail at Braelnoir's pained reaction. "We were taken... a few weeks ago?" She hasn't thought too much of the time, and alot of it wasn't easy to track. She looks back up to Braelnoir apologetically. "I'm so sorry. I tried to free him..."
Cryosanthia looks over at Kira, "You were taken the same day, the market. The day after Zeke was taken by Salina. Then it was eight-day, planning to kill Salina and get Zeke, then two weeks and weekends he's been back. No, more..." She mentally adds it up, looks at Braelnoir, "a month? A month ago. A long time to be alone in Hell. So much happened. Eclavdran has been about Alexandria with impunity. There is a giant summoning circle underneath the city, it lets him wander the whole thing while still being bound. He shows up in markets, the Temple district, here! This one knows only so many paladins."
A month drives the chimera to the floor, the greatblade slapping against the tiles beside her.
"A month...?" she parrots numbly, trying to process the entirety of it, "A month... Cryo... I... I didn't know." She shakes her head as if to clear it, "I shhould have been there. I've let alla ya down too many timezs..."
"A month?" Kira was a wee bit off there. "I didn't think it'd been so long..." Now Brael seems to shift from anger to ache; Kira could've probably weathered the anger better. "You didn't do anything wrong," she tries to assure or console, "and you can't be everywhere. It's alright." She can't speak for Cryosanthia, but would like to think she knows her enough that she wouldn't blame anyone for being absent.
Cryo is not about to blame her scale-sister for being absent. She's still shaking her head, that nervous tic she needs to work on. "You're not at fault Brae, you'd have been there, this one knows. I've tried organizing, even going into the sewers to check on the circle was a disaster. I can't find the great heroes of Alexandria and ask them to go to hell, when I don't plan to. Sir Seldan has been focused on the Fae Queen, we had a big meeting to deal with her. A bunch of adventurers showed up, ate the food, then when we went after Salina it was only Seldan's family. Halani, she was the only one I didn't know well. Acedia, Malik, Faran, Mikilos, all have connections to Seldan and I. When I tried doing things on my own, I got Auranar killed and nearly Verna, Faran and myself as well. It needs to be a lot of people, stronger experienced ones. Other than throwing another food party this one has no idea how to find them. Ask around the colosseum, they laugh at me, they'd rather hit each other or summoned animals. Safe fighting."
Braelnoir brings her hands to her head, two smoothing back her mane as the others press to her face while she trembles, muscles knotting taut against each other, a low sound in her throat. Her scent, to the noses for such things are a cocktail of mammalian shame, fear and guilt drizzled over something more... something more draconic... the reek of building rage.
Kira doesn't have the knowing nose, but she can imagine at least some of what Braelnoir might be going through. She doesn't know what to say, exactly, but can still try to help. Comfort. Ease. She straighten up from her seat on the bed so she can put a hand on her shoulder. Any of them. Maybe both of hers for two of Brae's, just in case.
For the sith-makar, it's a lot more clearer. She's had a lot of exposure to mammalian scents, and the reptilian ones as well are instinctive enough for her to read. Primarily, they're making her anxious, guilty, ashamed and angry as well. She breathes carefully, focuses on being calm, smelling calm. Her emotions have been on everdrive since her cihuaa was taken and she's trying to find that centre Acedia told her to look for. "Does anyone want some tea? I found I can make hot tea with my gloves."
She stands, moves over to the table with the tea set and fills a pot with water. A few gestures later her gloves are glowing and she's holding it. "More peach, or something different now? We can try to find some, I don't know, put a notice up in the Adventurer's Guild. I don't know. Seems no difficulty finding some to bully me when I'm out trying to relax, but for an actual job, I don't know. There's some hope that if the Fae Queen is defeated, Eclavdran will get... nicer, and maybe Merek will be returned. I don't know."
Braelnoir's response to the touch is, thankfully, not to lash out, though it could be a close thing. Under Kira's grip, Brae's body is vibrating with muscle and sinew under strain, each shuddering inhalation returning with a growl though perhaps the contact, perhaps Cryosanthia's words, her own pheremone broadcasts somehow collectively stemming the building emotion within the chimera. Her breathing over time shallows... gaining stability and, while still far from 'ok', seeming inclined to speak as her hands lower from her face, "... maybe... izsn't it... "
Cryosanthia sets a tea-cup down beside Braelnoir, and looks over at Kira, "Let her rub your back Brae, maybe a hug, it helps I've found. Please don't blame yourself, this one would have sought you, so much is going wrong. I got my memories back... and they... were not good. I can show you I have scrolls, but... as soon as I remembered I realized Zeke was imprisonned along with me, by her, for a lifetime and I had to leave him. Alone there, and that everything which happened to me was going to happen to him. She took him, right after, we didn't even have the chance to make cihuaa. Get married. The time aspect of it makes my head spin, makes me think this is not the first time, somehow. Other things were done, then forgotten. She changed time."
It's hard for Brae to take her eyes off of Cryo as she moves, as she speaks and as the tale continues, grief expands further while rage continues it's slow boil. She doesn't fight off Kira's consolations with her sister's advice, and in time she starts to ebb back to something that can see calm from where it is. With the remark, with the declaration about the cihuaa, one of her hands reaches out to clasp at Cryo's, "I wazs... too occupied with thiss.. and you almosst ended up like me..."
Cryo takes Brae's hand, holding and squeezing tight. She sits silently for a while, "Kira kept him alive. She was with him. Used her hair to stitch up... what She did to him. He was so strong when we were there, being strong for me. When I left, he said I had to, he would kill himself if I didn't... I think... alone... was worse. Decades Brae, he knew what she was going to do to him and he volunteered. None of this would have happened if I hadn't offered to help her. Just... let Seldan, let all these other heroes I haven't seen since... handle it. I missed you. I miss Ezil, I miss Merek. I miss... not having the Tower in my head, all the time. I took a risk... and I'm still not sure it was worth it."
Braelnoir's grip is firm, but she seems conflicted, uncertain what to do before she tries to pull Cryo into her arms, "I miss the boyzs, too, Cryo." she says softly, "All we can do... izs own our misstakess an' move on, ssiss. Fiixss whatcha can." Her eyes lower, "I met Zseke before all thiss... worked together onsce or twisce... honesstly didn't ssee him havin' thozse kinda gutss." she says softly, "I'zs wrong about'm."
"He's beautiful, and when I first saw him I knew he was something special. I had no idea he would go through this for me. I can't relax, every time I start to something else goes wrong. I wish I could have been there to help you more, I feel badly you were used in the colosseum, we never got to really talk about what you saw in Merkabah, and now your scythe. I had no idea." Cryo hugs tight, holding on. She inhales scents, "you have me at arm disadvantage."
Braelnoir is still a cocktail of emotions pheremonally speaking, but in the embraces, and with a short bark of tension breaking laughter at Cryo's last remark, at least the dragon goes back to sleep. She gives her a firm squeeze, "He'zs a good guy... jusst alwazs sso sskittissh..." She shakes her head and goes back to her sister's self recriminations, "I'll get the sscythe back.. onsce we get you an' Merek ssorted. Though.... Ghissha izs sstill out thhere... if shhe figurezs thiss out, I'll be helplesss." her tone grim, and something inside her rails at the choice she's been forced to make, "Rolsson would undersstand."
Cryo nods, still holding on, "He is. This one is afraid that if he did not get comfortable with my touching him over all that time, he might never. It is not a thing I want to think on, and he knows everything about me. He saw it all. The whole thing has been a mess Brae."
The whitescale falls silent again, another sigh of an exhale, "We're looking for our own place. Something less like the Tower. We were, until She started watching us. Except he should have a mark too, there is no way to escape being watched with one."
Braelnoir frowns and nods, "Yeah.... I'm gettin' thhat." she says quietly, a grim note in her tone, "That why ya'zs sso sscarsce, too, then?" She looks to her shoulder where copper scales occupy what had been bone white skin, "We know how deep that mark goezs...?"
"It's to the bone. She made it very carefully, with needles. All my markings. It might be on my soul. I have thought of cutting my hand off..." Cryosanthia has, a lot, every time it causes problems. "It's unfair, that she did that. I offered to help not be owned..."
"It's why I think there was a first time, other times. That after I helped her and came back with secrets and helped others act against her she went back in time and told herself what happened so she took revenge on me preemptively. How, why, would she know to bring Zeke, to block Zeke. Perhaps I am thinking of it too much, trying to find sense where there is none. No meaning to her beyond cruelty. I'm sorry, I must sound obsessed. The Mistress has been my life... for... four fifths of my life now."
Brae looks earnestly into Cryo's eyes at mention of cutting her hand off, but she nods, "Yeah. Sso, amongsst other thingss, the sskag bargainzs in bad faith." she says softly. She looks to the defiled extremity for a moment and sighs before meeting her eyes again, "If y'know yer enemy'zs gonna move, sstrike firsst, or make'm think they got gold a'fore ya cut their throatss." A shake of her head and, "Can ya ssee if yer fae izs watching...?"
Cryosanthia nods. "It glows when you look at it with detect magic. That's what Seldan was seeing earlier, that's why Zeke got upset. He realized it meant she was still out there. I can't watch my hand all the time, and she doesn't watch me all the time either. I don't know if she can hear me, or if she just watches who I'm talking with."
The whitescale shrugs, "She's already seen you now, whether or not she's still watching doesn't make too much difference. It's totally destroyed any sense of shame. Well, that and four guys knowing every intimate detail for decades of my life. And I mean, everything." She gives an intent look.
Braelnoir blinks, she's had time to process the time disparity, but the sharing of memories, with a quartet, that, for some reasons astounds her for a moment in a world where time can vary in pace, if not be traversed entirely. She lowers her eyes then looks into Cryo's again, "I don't wanna give'r ideazs, luv..." She smooths her hair back again and sighs, "I can't sstay this way... not if everythhing we gotta deal with izs throwin' big mojo around."
The whitescale nods, curling her tail around into her lap, "Yes. She would want to take you apart as you are now, find and understand those pegs. Perhaps do something with her oozes to make them behave the same way. The infected would then transform too. She's immortal, this is a setback for her, she will still try to achieve what she was."
"So it should be fixed, soon. She might not recognize you after that. I can make sure it's safe to talk to you, or use message or something, so she doesn't see us together. She sent the demon after Seldan's husband, that's how Kira ended up in the Tower as well, he fetched her. It will be strange... when you are your human self. This one likes you this way, your scales are very pretty."
Braelnoir lowers her eyes and nods, a brief pang of regret striking through her, "....it'ss a liability, now..." She turns her head to look back to Kira, then, back to Cryo with a momentarily puzzled, "Husband...?" Blink. "Huh." then just rolls past it, bringing a knuckle to her lips, "A ssetback..."
"I wish it wasn't," Cryo slides her hand along Brae's arm, clicking her nails over the scales, "You are easier to understand this way. You smell right, not a softskin. This one knows it is not you, but it is hard to think of you otherwise."
"Ah, I should not have spoken of Seldan's mate. You will find out soon enough when you meet him, his sword complains greatly."
The whitescale nods, "Yes. We thought her slain, but it was only a golem, or a simalcrum of herself. The Tower was destroyed, but this one has heard the oozes were recalled to it. That is their original function, to repair the tower, so likely they will. If she wait long enough, Seldan, the other softkins will die, she can retake the tower however she did, and return to her plans. The longer we delay, the more we lose hope and focus, the easier it is for her. She has lost Kol, but has a replacement almost as good. This one suspects her fallback position from the Tower is also strong, even if it does not allow her the abilities to send herself where and when she wishes."
Braelnoir frowns and shakes her head, gently closing a hand on Cryo's, "Ya known me longer like thiss." she says softly, "... ssoftsskin... I alwayzs ssmelled contempt from that word." Her hand squeezes lightly, then, "Later fer that, though... Tell me about thiss replascement."
"It is... not a nice word, and there is contempt how most use it." Cryosanthia says, looking at the floor. She takes hold of her tail, clicking her fingernails over her own scales. "I try not to use it with that. There is no good alternative, no word for 'People that are not Sith-Makar, Ko-jodakh, Nar-sektoth, Kobolds or otherwise descended from dragons. Nonscaled would work, I suppose. I use it to remind myself they... you, are different. More delicate. My scales will turn knives, are tougher than a suit of studded leather armour. I do not feel things the way softskins do. They can think out of their bodies better."
She looks up, "Seldan's mother. Salina kidnapped Seldan's mother and turned her into a Vampire. She was re-captured, placed in the Artificer's Dungeon, you know the place. This one doesn't know what has happened since. Seldan has not shared those details, this one did not feel to ask."
Braelnoir frowns and nods, but she takes Cryo's face in two of her hands, "Yer uzsin' what ya'zs taught t'uzse." she says gently, "Mebbe if Kae ever getss thiss shhit ssorted out, ya can take a trip on th'other sside o'that. Half curious what color hair m'ssisster would have." ending with a grin. A shrug, "I'll poke Sseldan about it, look into ssome optshions." The idea that his mother has been weaponized is something she can barely relate, too, at least on his end.
Cryo almost pulls her head out of the hands on her cheeks. Her pupils widen a little, "This one would be... this one... would rip herself open accidentally going through her day. There would be so much sensation, and hair is... strange. And a flat face, with much less space for things to hide under my nose. I don't know... perhaps... it is... I would fear being even weaker." She admits.
"See what Seldan says, yes. I was there when she transformed, it was... very difficult. We could not hurt or hold her, and she was very easily damaging all of us."
Kira finally speaks up again at the talk of families affected. "Faranmidahn's parents, too... and so many others," she laments. The talk of ... descaling diverts her morose thoughts, though, and she looks to Cryosanthia. Looks her over, even, as if trying to picture her as... human? maybe syldanyari? Khazad just seems... not right. "Our skin isn't as strong as scales, but I don't think you'd hurt yourself -that- easily..." she offers with a bit of smile.
Braelnoir shrugs it off, the pitch made, though she nods a bit to Kira on her input before looking between the two, "Sso the sskag'zs a mousser, too. That trackss." she says with a sneer. Hmmmm, then, "Will have t'think on this, ssome. Lasst time I took on a moussing casster it wazs a horror shhow." And the bitch is apparantly still alive. She really wants to fix that, but she has other obligatons.
"You don't know how hard I bump into things." Cryo counters, her tail swishing, "I will consider. She casts, yes, makes one forget as easily as breathing. Mikilos, Malik and Seldan could describe what happens. This one has not yet heard the full story from them of how they defeated her and escaped."
"I wonder if we should wait, or try something else." She sighs, "Everything that comes to mind is begging someone more powerful for help. This is frustrating beyond belief. Perhaps we should focus on yours Braelnoir, someone we could take down ourselves."
Kira takes a few moments to think. "There is so much. It can be ... overwhelming. As much as I want to help resolve ... this, and I'm sure we all do..." She then nods with Cryosanthia and looks to Braelnoir. "Maybe focusing on something else we can help, or others we can help, will be best? Returning to my duties has helped me, I think."
A hand comes up as the chimera looks between the two women, "There'zs probably another optshion, but it'll take ssome ressearch. Either way, we shhouldn't disscusss it withhout being reazsonably ssure shhe izsn't lisstening." She frowns, "I don't like leaving you sswinging in the breeze, ssiss, or leaving Merek t'roasst." she complains, "Both... ssitchuatshionzs need more info an'mojo than I probably have accsesss to."
Cryosanthia nods, leaning back on the bed and supporting herself on her hands. "Yes, you are right, and we are back to her again. This one is tired of checking if she is watching. I feel it will call her down or something. Assume she is. So, seek Seldan, for safe discussions. Tell us more about Ghiska, if that would help. To have something else to think about. Perhaps She'll think of her as our ally and take her out, that would be an amusing misdirection, to pretend enemies are Allies and see what her response is."
Kira considers, and thinks she might be able to assuage some of the concerns, though not in any way that fuels her smile. "He did say that he would return Merek... but he made it clear that I didn't declare when or ... in what state. I hope that means it will be soon, and he will be ... well. He was not very kind to Merek, when I last saw them. I am sorry."
Then she realizes that maybe she should have stuck with the other topic of Braelnoir's ... other problem. "I don't know how all of ... this happened, but I'll gladly help to resolve it." It seems much more approachable and reachable than other things at the moment.
Braelnoir rubs at the back of her neck a little, flinching slightly as her fingers get bound up in the line of her mane, "Sstill not ussed t'that..." She gets to her feet, then and picks up the greatsword before settling into the chair she'd previously vacated, "I'zs sstill part o'thhe Brazzen Sstride, then... almost two yearzz ago, now. We were hired t'harass Bludgun movementss within their border. Rolsson and I were Ssergeantss, by then. He wazs given Sscorpion platoon, and I held onto Sscarab." She removes her earring, "We all held onto ssomethin' from th'orphanage when we're firsst bondssworn. By th'Bludgun campaign, Rol an' I were the only original Sscarab'ss left. Night before we deployed on this one engagement... I gave him Mura; thiss ol' rag doll I had... an' he gave me, thiss..."
The whitescale listens, hands clasped and leaning forward. She nods as Brealnoir describes her origins with Brazen stride, details she wasn't aware of. The mention of a doll gets a sad smile. She touches the bag around her neck briefly then says, "Those are wonderful symbols to exchange. It sounds rough, to be taken so young and used that way. Forged in fire."
Kira listens, also, a bit unsure of some references, but doing her best to catch on with more and more context. While her face contorts a little at some of the implications, her smile warms and she nods with the mentioned exchange. "So you grew together. That is wonderful."
Braelnoir's eyes flit to Cryo's pouch as she fingers it, an unspoken question answered, then. She smiles in sympathy for a moment, then lowers her eyes back to the tiny skeleton in her hand, "It'ss what we knew." she says at last, smiling winsomely to Kira. A weak shrug, later, she glances sidelong to the scabbard in her hands, "My platoon got torn up pretty good burnin' a ssupply caravan. Th'Lieutenant, only casster in the Sstride except the chaplain, told me thh'Sscorpionzs were gettin' mauled not too far from where we were. We got there when we could an' that'ss when I met her."
Cryosanthia gazes at the tiny skeleton. She watches Braelnoir carefully, taking in her movements, the more familiar ones of her sith-like parts, her four arms still a curiosity. She's focused on the story, unwilling to interrupt but also desiring to do more than bob her head in response. "Ghiskha, am I saying the name right? I'd hate to go into a fight without a caster and I've gone for them first every time I've had the chance."
Kira is less adept at hiding her expression of worry, loss, and distaste at the recollection of battles. One going poorly, from the sounds of it. This time, she is quiet, though, so as not to interrupt or let Cryosanthia speak.
Braelnoir shakes her head a touch, then "Ghishha. Ghishha K'dhul." A finger gently brushes something from her memento, and she continues without looking up, though there is a venom leeching into her voice, her expression as it darkens, "Shhe'zs an ogresss. Had this...warped ferret thing fer a pet, greyishh green, boilss... She wazsn't azs bloated azs I'd figured an ogre t'be, though her gear told me shhe wazs a big deal. Shhe wazs playin' with the ssurvivorzs, lettin' some mojo're other burn away at ssome while... shhe... while..." There's a shake of her head and, "Rolsson... we hit them in a pinscer charge, caught her off guard, but her men bought'r time t'recover."
"Ghishha K'dhul, got it." Cryo says, staring, unblinking. A nod at the detais of the ferret, her gear, her men and the tactics. She asks, "No ranged?"
"Couldn't land anythin' on'er." Brae says with a shake of her head, "Shhe hit m'with a sspell. Th'boyzs apparantly couldn't make out what I'zs ssayin', sso we almosst got chewed up while I couldn't direct m'men, till I figured it out. Why I know handtalk." She makes several gestures, each short and quick, then, "Meamwhile, shhe'zs layin' into me. And... by the time the fight wazs over... almosst everyone was gone. Managed t'save one o'Rol'zs men.. but he... he didn't make it... I wazsn't fasst enough."
Cryosanthia listens, then moves in to hold her scale-sister, "There's nothing I can say. You know it was her, not you. We never have all the resources or time we need. I'm sorry. There is always a cost."
Braelnoir nods sadly and sinks into Cryo's embrace, even as she returns it, "He'zs withh Kor... I'm ssure of it, but.... but I misss him." she says mournfully. She aches for him, but can't have him, and so, "I'll kill'er.... I promissed her... azs many timezs azs if fuckin takess...!"
"You will, you will." The whitescale says, holding tight and clicking her fingernails on Braelnoir's back scales. She pulls back enough to look in the chimera's eyes. She's speaking, but there's a cold brutality in her words, a chilled anger. "There's things you can do to make sure she won't come back. Burn her with fire, a huge pyre, or magic so even bone turns to ash. Gather the ash and earth beneath, raze where her blood spilt, take any sodden dirt there. Bloody the area with other corpses or pig blood, then burn them on the spots she fell. Till that in. So that anyone try raising or reincarnating her they will get a hog. Scatter the ash and earth remanants of her in a large body of water, preferably near a waterfall or whirlpool. The gods would have to want her back after that."
Braelnoir looks unflinchingly into Cryo's eyes, wolflike amber pools aglitter in vengeful interest as her sister says good things. A hand reaches for the side of Cryo's head at the end as her lips pull back from an interlaced maw of razored teeth, "Yesss...!" she exhales in a taut, almost exhultant hiss.
Cryo grins back with an equally fearsome maw, an intense cold fury in her eyes. "Thisss will work. You will know, ssshe will not be back again. Ssso few come back, it ssshould not be the evil ones." She exhales with a firm huff, her hands squeezing Braelnoir's shoulders, her mouth a wide grin, "Tell her when next you see, you are so glad she's back so you can kill her for Rolsson too. Make her feel regret."
Braelnoir runs her hand back along Cryo's scales with her grin, "I'll help ya figger out how t'dusst yer sspook, too, Cryo." she assures her, then, "Who's hungry?" she asks out of the blue.
"Oh, this one could eat." Cryosanthia says, tilting her head and nuzzling against one of Braelnoir's hands. She looks at the door. "The boys do not seem to be coming back immediately, we could see if there are late vendors still outside the Temple with something hot to snack upon. Kira? Would you come also. I'm sorry there was a dark turn. This one has worried about the past returning in a bad way."
Braelnoir gets to her feet again, and muses, "It'ss sseemss t'be sseazson for it." A shrug, then she wonders, "Hear anythin' outta Kae, lately?"
Cryosanthia shakes her head, "I haven't, and I haven't been by the Fernwood... in a long time. I... quit working there." She smiles, her teeth hidden, "I'm too old for that now. I've spent long enough serving others. They hung up my apron. A lot happened there and I didn't want to go back. Same for this room. Zeke and I are making a nest, we won't be here soon. Someplace else. Not underground. So, no, I hope Kaelyn is all right. I've been really hard on my friends lately Brae, I'm glad you missed that. I want you to know, you're important to me. Even if you know, you turn back to being... 'soft'."
The sith's grin has teeth now, and slides her hand down her sister's arm, "Perhaps, pull a scale or two off, before you do. To remember."
Braelnoir frowns and nods, "Yeah... I got... ssome o'thhat when I got from Merkabah. Ss'why I came lookin' for ya that night." Hmmm, "Hope shhe's alright." A roll of her shoulders, then "Sstill wonder why th'sscalezs have been sso conssisstent through all the changezs."
Cryo nods, shrugging her shoulders, "I don't know. Maybe there's something in the pegs, so it stays in a theme? Kaelyn turned into more and more scaley things till she ended up a feathery dragonette. But she was part taur for a while, and that other woman in the market was half cow, half human. All of you seem to have extra limbs even if the sort of limbs, arms, legs, wings, change. One peg might be scales, another extra arms... I don't know. If we found the thing and it was analyzed properly... I'm thinking it'll be another mystery no one ever figures out."
Braelnoir shakes her head, "I dunno, maybe... maybe Nelzs didn't a lotta pegzs, sso that'ss why his change wazs sso coherent." A shrug, "He'zs the only one I know whozse actually cured thhe transsformatshion." There's a moment or two of thought, "I wazs... wondering. Cryo... Izzit... later on, could ya help me with yer polishh?" she asks uncertainly, "I know thiss hass t'go away, but..." She breaks off and shakes her head, "No, ferget it... let'ss jusst get ssomethhin' t'eat.
The whitescale perks up her head. She nods, "Yes, we should use it before they go away. So you see a good shine. After we eat. In case it is not something Kira is interested in."
Cryo stands, writing a quick note and leaving it folded on the table with her Dragon-Eye drawn on the front. She waves for the other two to come over by the door. "Just a quick bite on whatever is outside." She grins once more.