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Seas Of Erin > The Coast > Retaking Her Throne
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 08:46 PM
Darai sat in her own circle, drawn around her with her own blood. The girl was somewhere. She'd set her in her own room and despite the girl's consistent attempts to dictate Darai's behavior, set the smoke to fill the room and keep the girl quiet.
The bark paper coated in her own blood, burned in a special bowl, filled the room with sweet smoke. The girl was somewhere.
Hopefully asleep. If not, hopefully too tired or hallucinating a bit too much to be anything more than a nuisance. It never boded well to surround someone with the very air radiating everything they could ever want and the myriad ways Darai could give it to them.
But it, certainly, was not the girl that she wanted to speak to now. Nor Little Brother. Not even Little Sister, who she'd set to watch the girl but not touch her or give her anything unless it was necessary to keep her alive.
The world was somewhere, out there. She sat in the circle of her own blood, the smoke wafted out even here, sweetly scenting her world. She shivered.
Against all her better judgement... it might be time to ask for advice.
"Melekain," she breathed out the word with all the sex appeal she could muster. Which was quite a bit. Searching herself across the worlds to find him. "Grey Mage. Come here to me."
The room she was in seemed deep underground; the walls were stone, glowing eerily and giving off their own light. Somewhere, water ran in a trickling underground stream.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 08:52 PM
Being summoned was not something he was accustomed to. Few enough knew his name, and of those who did, few had the balls to do the deed.
So of course he would appear. It made little sense to drop a pebble in a pond and not stay and watch the rings race across the surface.
So of course he came.
Earth to earth, she had his element.
That was a small gift that he enjoyed.
But unlike the demon that summoned him, he was just a man. The irony of the reversal was not lost on him, that the ageless creature before him would summon a mortal man.
And it was as a mortal man he was here, just an average man with dusky skin wrapped in dark grey robes with cold grey eyes.
Nothing special at all compared to her.
“Intriguing.” That was all he would utter in greeting.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 08:56 PM
"I thought you might enjoy it," Darai said with a twitching smile. She was not the version of her he was most used to. The Mendare before him had skin the color of amber-the light sheen shimmering across the dark, dark mahogany underneath. It made her seem like a thing of made glitter and seduction as she slowly stood, and stepped outside of the circle.
She was naked; clothing she did not bother with, not now, not here. She wore her nudity the way others only dreamed they could; with absolute confidence. Her hair fell in seemingly a thousand tiny braids all around her, over her shoulders, down to her waist. Her large, almond-shaped, slightly slanted eyes were the same deep black.
Her lips the same bloody red.
"I want to talk to you," she spoke plainly, her voice a low rumbling. All around them, it seemed, she breathed-the sound a low, rhythmic purr.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 09:02 PM
The colour of her skin mattered little to him. If anything, it was more familiar than the form she had worn before. Less hateful. She felt like she belonged to the people of the south now, not the horse raiders from the north. Civilization. Such a thin veneer that was.
It amused him somewhat that despite the years, the reflexes learnt still were there. What he had learnt. How he had grown up. What was familiar. That so few years, perhaps the first fifteen or so, should colour a life. It had always intrigued him.
Shaping things. People.
He knew he was paler these days, he rarely saw the sun for any period of time, so his skin had faded to the dusky grey brown that darker skin sometimes did in colder climates.
Sometimes he missed the sun.
If he reacted to her nudity he did not show it.
“And what you wants, you take I gather?” He did not smile but didn’t seem overly annoyed with the interruption. He was intrigued.
And that was rare enough for him to wish to savour the emotion.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 09:07 PM
"I didn't take you," She responded calmly. Her breathing seemed to be the closest thing to a pulse she had, that sound that seemed to be all around them.
"I asked. If you didn't want to come, you would not have. And I would have allowed it." She laughed, soft and musical and surprisingly sweet. She crossed her arms just under under her breasts, one hip jutting out to the side.
"I made a deal," she stated. "That is where it starts."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 09:11 PM
“That is true. I answered because I was intrigued. Other people in the past have cast my name to the winds in an attempt to catch me, but I never expected you to do the same.” He freely admitted that surprise, there was little to gain from feigning omnipotence.
They were both playing their own games, posturing really was not needed.
They were who they were, and neither would influence the other to be anything else.
She could never give him what he truly desired after all.
“Dealmaking is your lifeblood. It always starts there, the question is where it ends.” He pulled back his hands in his robes, the hood shadowing his face as if her nakedness had provoked him to be quite the opposite.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 09:19 PM
"I wanted you here," she said simply. "And going after you would not give me that. I wanted you to be in this place. In me." She laughed, a little lower. "This is my heart, Grey Mage, or what is left of it."
There had once been love, bright and shining and holy and then there had been love more illicit but still between angels, and then there had been the Fall, the horror and agony that had stripped her heart of everything but bare rock, glowing walls, and the little stream of her life.
"It may never end. I wish it didn't." She tilted her head, braids whispering across her cheek.
"I have a girl," she said, considering. "She is the key to something. Id ont' care what. There is another girl I can going for. The two of them together. I will have to cross the ocean to get to her. Into the Faerie land."
She shuddered, hard and fast, the loathing the concept of the -ocean- brought out in her. Older than her, the deep pressure of its lowest points her judgement.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 09:26 PM
“The children are always keys.” His voice was faintly amused, but not by her plight. By threads he had read and appreciated the tangledness off. “That is why they are born. To fulfil whatever need their parents have for them. Happiness. Immortality. Revenge.” He made a gesture with his right hand, his robes rippling slightly as he did so.
“You need to cross into realms you were denied for so long. Your other half have made the leap, but do you dread that the gulf between you have grown so wide that he can do what you cannot?” He looked at her then, calmly, impassively.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 09:40 PM
"He has," she acknowledged, her eyes narrowing. "But he is insane. He can be expected to do such things even when he is -not- allowed."
She stretched her arms over her head, slowly, arching her back and seeming to all but lean backwards, making rippling gestures with her fingers, a kind of slow dance they had perfected in the Southeast of the world, seduction hidden in the slow rhythm of it.
"I dread the water," She said softly. "So much of it, surrounding me. I feel the sea-witch near the child. If I find the child at sea..."
The sea-witch, who wielded the only thing older than angels... could wield it against -her-.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 09:48 PM
“The grandmother ocean is powerful indeed.” He lowered his head for a moment, then looked up again to watch her. There was nothing not to admire there after all, a simplicity of purpose that was a bit enchanting in and off itself.
“Is your price worth your fear then? If your prey is close to grandmother ocean, would you dare risk her wrath? Or is it finding the girl that gives you pause?”
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 09:56 PM
"He promises me temples and worship. He gives me his own blood, his sister, as a bargain piece. If he lies to me, I can take the price out of his skin, for the rest of his life. He would forfeit the deal then." She tilted her head, giving a little smile. "If he forfeits his deal, I will give the children to Little Sister, who also wants the land."
She stopped her little dance for the moment. This place smelled sweet, almost too sweet, almost cloying and strange.
"I want my throne back," she said finally, spoken plainly. The breathing around them seemed to speed up, and a low sound that rippled through the place became louder and finally all but deafening, the crying of something full of longing and loneliness. "I want it. And I am going to get it. I will give them what they want. I want to seperate myself from Darren completely. Let him have our son." She spit at the ground, the walls of her own heart.
"I do not want either of them."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 10:05 PM
He nodded then, as if he was not surprised. “You will need to cut the tethers that bind you to your other half then. Such a thing is not impossible to do.” He spoke with surety there, as if he knew what he was talking about though surely such a thing had never been heard of before.
“The question then would be whether you could hold the throne or yourself when halved? And if not, what could possibly be used to fill the void that he has left?”
Gods. Devils. The creation thereof.
He could say that it was a matter he had studied somewhat over the years.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 10:09 PM
"There has been a void we cannot fill since the Fall, Grey Mage," Darai said softly, but calmly. Darren was the one who lost himself to rage; Darai planned her vengeance slowly and over millenia.
"I can live with it. But..." She shook her head, slowly. "I do not know if I can hold the siblings together on my own. My brothers and sisters... they loved the Meander better." More than the Mendare. The Mender. The pain-giver.
She shook her head, braids moving as if they had their own minds, their own willpower.
"I will brave the ocean, I think," she said slowly, firmly. A decision not made lightly. She shuddered at the thought of being surrounded by it without the whole power of hell to guide her.
"You watch them even now, don't you?" She asked softly. "The sea-witch and her crew. Do you still see them?"
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 10:15 PM
“The siblings are not yours to care for, are they? Or did he infect you with a heart as well?” The question was quiet and thoughtful, as if he was judging how much the division was between the pair.
As she said that she would brave the ocean he nodded slowly, the cowl dipping lower for a moment hiding what might just have been a smile.
“There is nothing that conceals them from me, did I wish to see, I could.” Had he? That he would not say.
“The ocean is not as much a barrier to me as it is to you. I am mortal flesh after all.”
And he had always respected the sea and had done nothing to anger it.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 10:19 PM
"He has tried to. Very hard." She laughed, her eyes glittering coldly, with cruelty she adored feeling in herself, as she thought about it. She moved closer to him now, taking each step slowly, placing one foot directly in front of the other.
"But it never works, complete.y THe siblings will buckle under when they see that I am truly myself again." She snorted. Madness might not-but Madness had always been partial to kindness it could exploit.
She moved up to him, reaching out to touch the robes he wore with her hands, sliding fingers along the fabric.
"Of course it isn't. These deals always create limitations." She sighed, softly, sliding her hand up towards his face.
"Grey Mage," She whispered.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 22 2007, 10:29 PM
The fabric would tingle slightly under her fingers, as if the patterns woven there in grey on grey were warning her to stay back. Nothing actively of course, just passive precautions aroused to wakefulness by her touch.
“There always needs to be limits. If there were none, it would mean it would be immeasurable.” And he did not believe in things that could not somehow be measured. Everything had limits and boundaries; they just needed to be found.
If that was not true, his whole life had been in vain.
As she touched him, he did not step back.
Instead he asked what had been on his mind the whole time. “Why did you call me then, dark one?”
Why here, in her heart of hearts.
In the heart of the earth. Invisible.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 22 2007, 10:55 PM
"I wanted to speak with someone who was not drugged or full of her own triumphant, hopeless faith," She spoke simply, honestly. "I wanted to speak to someone who was not insane."
She placed her fingers on the side of his face. The pulse-breathing of the heart around them had slowed down, relaxed. Was a purr once again instead of a wail or a roar.
"I wanted to speak with someone who will not fall in love or lust with me and let it cloud their judgement."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 23 2007, 08:41 AM
His skin was warm under her fingertips, but never as warm as hers. It was a strange feeling this one, an exercise in self control. Like holding your hand inside the flames to surpass your fear of burning.
“I doubt there is a man alive who would not lust after you. Though they would be fools to let it cloud their judgement.” He wanted her, of course he did. But he wanted a lot of things in life, most of which he would never have. He had made his peace with wants and desires for the moment, giving them all up to the grander cause.
And yes, men did want her. They might turn lust to hate and denial, but the spark would be there all the same. However it would work somewhat worse with females… and for a moment he pondered whether she had taken that into consideration when wishing to void herself of her male counterpart. Or did she plan to grow a new one, more obedient to her cause? That would take power.
Perhaps the promise of worshippers and temples was more welcome than whoever had called her forth had imagined.
“Do you truly think it can be done then?” He looked down at her, eyes sharp and curious. “Can the left hand cut off the right?” It would be a spectacular act of self mutilation that he had not previously thought immortals were capable of, utterly bound in their patterns as they were. But things had already been changed with this one, they had stepped outside the laws and rules laid down after the fall. The fallen had fallen further, outcasts not only from the bright but from the dark.
In a small way he was somewhat proud of the part that his foster son had played in this. Though that was most likely pride in the fact that his workings were having such unpredictable but powerful effects.
They key had been made. Too bad it was not in his hand.
But such a thing could change, and he had time yet. The endgame was not yet here. More tools could be crafted. Alliances made.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 10:32 PM
"It can be done," She said slowly, smiling up at him. Her fingers finally dropped back down, and it seemed now she wore a clinging dress of blood-red silk that shimmered in the dim light of her heart.
"It can. It will be. I know it, I," she spoke in a sing-song, moving away from him, fingers spread out to graze the walls of herself. Somewhere, she could feel even now, the burnt-blood smoke of her essence drifting throughout the place, its many veins and arteries, catacombs of stone. In one of them was the girl.
It was harder to see through her own heart. She could not tell, for the moment, if the girl she had stolen was awake and lucid, hallucinating from the smoke that cut off most oxygen intake (except for enough to keep her alive, of course), or outright unconcious. She promised herself she would visit her.
She glanced down at her own fingers, and then twirled, slowly, dipping slightly to one knee and then up again, performing some kind of dance.
"I -know- it, I," she repeated again in the sweet-soft singsong.
"There is a canyon's distance between us," She spoke softly, looking over her shoulder and through the thick canopy of braids at the man. "I can pull it to the distance between stars. Make it merely a string of connection. And... when I take my throne again..."
She swirled around, facing him again, flames flickering in her ees though there was no fire in the room.
"I will -cut- it."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 10:44 PM
Was it a conscious effort that made her act like this?
He pondered that for a moment, but decided that most likely it was either her own wish for grace that drove her on, or his own desire that helped form her actions.
She had echoed his wife there for a moment, the same grace, the dancing, the mad smiles and the fire.
He found it interesting that he had such a hard time suppressing his.
“You do find the dark more forgiving than the light then? You are not willing to cut off the parts of you that would enable you to crawl back towards the light, but you find yourself willing to cut off the ones that would keep you from the abyss.” He did not look away from her, intrigued by her choices.
“A second fall, this one by choice.”
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 10:50 PM
"The dark forgives everything," Darai said teasingly. "It only asks that you sin again." She laughed, bright and musical and strong. Perhaps it was Melekain's desire forming some of her actions now. Maybe they were her own. It was, either way, not self-concious or posed at all, simply who and what she was.
She stopped, looking at Melekain. For a moment she seemed almost awkward, and then she blinked and turned her face away from him, staring around the walls. From somewhere came that low moan of pain and grief again.
"Going back is not another fall," She replied softly, calmly. "-This-, this halfway-existence we have, outside of the rules but using people like junkies for power... this was the second Fall. Another lapse of connection."
And the one sentimental thing she allowed herself, she placed a hand on one of the walls. The grieving sound came again.
"I lost the One once," she said with bitter hate still lacing her tongue. Then, her shoulders drooped slightly. "I am now lost even to my Lucifel."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 11:02 PM
“Loss defines us all. With no loss there would be no desire to regain what was lost.” He spoke quietly, resisting the urge to place a hand on her drooping shoulder to comfort her.
She was an immortal demon, not a woman, no matter what form she took. He knew that.
Instead he folded his arms across his chest, his hands hidden in the folds of his robe.
“Did you truly lose the One? Was it not that you made yourself get lost? From what the legends tell, this was a choice. You strayed willingly and fell deep.” It was not a pantheon that he was familiar with, they were devilishly hard to work.
Monotheists always were. Their views tended to infect reality so strongly.
“You find no worth in your second fall then, as your other half does?”
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 11:08 PM
"The One cut us off," She hissed, something changing in her, and she placed her hands more securely against the earthen walls. Her eyes were flashing green spirals and blue fire, and slowly she placed one hand over her stomach. "We wanted -love-." She spun around, glaring not at Melekain but -through- him. Like he was simply something she could yell -at-, knowing he would not react, knowing he would not hold it against her later.
"I wanted love," She amended. "I -was- Love! That is all I was. That was all I felt. Love for the One, desire to be closer to It, desire..." She growled, and the keening, wailing, mourning sound in the caves echoed through, rippling and deafening, dropping down again, to return even louder.
She did not voice it, but she wondered somewhere where she was still rational how the Berber woman and the girl, if she was awake, would take hearing her grief and her pain vocalized, shaking the foundations of this world.
"I wanted to -know-. The One gave them desire for other things," spitting out the 'them' full of venom. "And Lucifel, he... he was set aside for -them-," actually spitting on the floor now to show her hatred for mankind. "He was set aside! We..."
She fell into a crouch on the ground, holding herself. Rarely did Darai have to feel the pain of it.
"We fell for love, both times," she whispered. She raised her eyes to look at Melekain. They were black, as black as they had ever been. It seemed she shifted imperceptibly into her other form... great wings, darker than Darren's, shaking the shivery powder off of them. The claws that were her fingers. Dripping lust and tears in tracks down its face. Male and female, still covered in that bloody silk.
"It was never a choice," she whispered. "The One wanted it to happen. It was an example. We... we were an example." She spoke in her two voices, male and female. Empty. Lost.
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 11:16 PM
“Gods work in parables and principles, you were a means to an end for your master then.” He nodded slowly, eyes narrowing as he watched her pain impassively, though he knew he should feel an overwhelming need to comfort her.
“Does that mean that by returning to the Abyss, you also return to the plans your creator had for you?” Was that one of the urges? To at least have some place in he universe, even if it was as a bad example.
He wanted to know how this worked, how these beings worked. Seldom did he have the opportunity to speak to them.
“And the second time… was it choice then? Or do you think that was a part of your creator’s plan as well?” He tended to stay out of the affairs of gods than for no other reason that they annoyed him.
They reminded him too much of things lost. Freedoms lost. Sacrifices.
Gods and immortals had such power.
And so little freedom.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 11:21 PM
The fallen angel licked one of its tears, flicking out a strangley inhuman tongue out to catch it. The lust that normally came liquid lust, concentrated... mixed with tears that were not human, not at all, but at least seemed that way, in this form.
And it nodded, bitterly.
"I was a means to an end," it said softly, pulling too-long arms tightly around itself. The wings shivered, more of the strange powder, glitter-like substance falling all around the small figure, making the floor shimmer.
And when she stood again she was herself, back to the form she had been in before, nothing in her face at all.
"I might," She admitted, softly. "I probably will. But... it will be worth it, to step back into the plan..." For her Lucifel. For her bright angel.
She glanced up at him, blinking at the question, her black eyes empty pools.
"I do not know," She whispered, having a hard time admitting it. "I think mostly it wasn't part of the Its plan. But... but it could have been. And then..." She shook her head, slowly. "I hate my son," She said softly, firmly, truthfully. "I loathe him. I would have broken him to shreds long before I'd have let him win us away from the throne. I wish now that I had."
She thought of Jochy, before, bleeding and for the moment broken, looking away from her and staring at the ground with helpless resentment. How it had reminded them of their real son. How it made her shiver to think of it even now.
"I need this deal concluded," She said softly. "I need the worship and the pleas, the pleading and the -want-, to get back to my rightful place."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 11:30 PM
“Had you truly hated your son… then he would not have been able to win you away.” He spoke the words softly, as if respecting the barrage of emotions that she continued to throw in his path.
He was silent for a moment then, looking at her thoughtfully, lips pressed together in a thin line. “The question would be whether you can bring yourself to truly hate him now. To widen that gulf.”
Emotions had such power. Though he was loath to succumb to them himself, he recognized that. They were powerful tools to wield people.
“If you need the deal concluded you need to risk facing the sea and stepping into the unknown. That is not your world, dark one, and it does not follow your rules, nor the ones of your creator. You will be a creature of power there, true, but not as you are in other places. Is that a risk you are willing to take?”
There were other means after all, she might not go herself but send servants.
Or find other paths…
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 11:39 PM
She considered for the long moment, tilting her head back. Her eyes gleamed in the darkness. She smiled slowly, showing white, sharp, pointed little teeth.
"I think I am," She replied in a soft, sultry, smoky voice. "Indeed I do."
She stretched her arms over her head, coming to her full height and then some.
"Grey Mage," She said softly. "Do you use me now for your own plans?"
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 11:46 PM
“Do you not use me for yours?” Her commend teased a wan smile from him, as if he had been expecting this for quite some time now.
She was an immortal. She was an imposing creature. Had she been on her throne she would most likely have been far more powerful than he was, as it was… he was not sure.
It was a fight he had no intention of engaging in.
“Our threads tangled when a red haired girl was dancing through the hallways of a monastery and met your other half and subsequently got pregnant. It is a tangle neither you nor I can untangle just yet.”
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 24 2007, 11:48 PM
She shook her head, slowly, looking nothing but amused at the reality of it.
"That is true," She said softly, and laughed, sweet and loving.
"I don't mind, Grey Mage. But only because we use each other."
She stepped up to him again, reaching up to touch his face just a little bit more, tilting her head up at him.
"I must go speak to my captive," She spoke softly, in the same voice she might use to draw him into bed. "And you must go walk your worlds. We will meet again, Grey Mage. We always do."
She smiled, brightly.
"We are bad pennies, after all, the both of us."
Posted by: Melekain Apr 24 2007, 11:58 PM
As she touched his face he suppressed a shiver, bearing the hot touch with nothing but a faint frown which soon faded.
“Go with whatever grace you lay claim to then dark one.” He inclined his head slightly in respect, then gave her quite an odd glance as he started to fade.
“Remember though, that pennies do have two faces, not one.”
Head and tail
“Even the bad ones.”
And then he was gone.
Posted by: Darai Mendare Apr 25 2007, 12:58 AM
She quirked a quick, if slightly faint, smile as he was gone. Were she given to emotions like love for anyone but her Lucifel, she might have wondered at how easily she'd turned to him for advice.
But it didn't matter. It was only that he was someone else who could stand outside of it and give her grey answers... not black and white.
She turned and walked, slowly and with her dance intact, out of the center of her heart.
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