oh, poor atlas
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#1
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
In the end, she goes back to the place it began.

Amalia cannot remember her first visit to the Shrine. She cannot remember most of her visits, in fact: there have been many, almost daily for a time, happy or sad, pensive and merry. Amalia had come with her grandmother, her friends. She'd asked for wisdom, for safety, for strength and guidance. She had been comforted and reassured, given gifts and had sacrifices accepted.

She had prayed here after her grandmother died, and again for her mother, countless tears shed on the dusty stone running rivers beneath her hands. And always, the gods had been there.

Today, Amalia does not cry. She is out of tears: too devastated, too afraid, too deep in her denial. Dry-eyed, she kneels before the altar that she has prayed to so many times before, her head bowed before the stony, lifeless likeness of Vi. He has never answered her before, never cared enough: she is too small, too meaningless, too mortal for his regard. She is a disappointment, a disgrace, endlessly striving to accomplish something and endlessly finding herself falling short.

But today is different. Today she has witnessed a falling star, watched celestial light and life be snuffed out. Today she has made a mistake too great to bear, with nothing to show for herself, her faith, her ardent devotion and foolish passion. Today she has been part of something terrible, and she has nothing to say in her defense. She does not deserve forgiveness, absolution, the gift of being Attuned, the love of the gods.

Amalia deserves the punishment, the judgment, the silence which cuts into her like a knife.

"I am sorry," she whispers from behind closed eyes. "Safrin, I... I am so sorry."



Using my CotS pass to chat up Vi!
the God of Life


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#2
It begins with a sound like falling leaves. Like sweet voices rising in harmony, like the bellow of thunder in the night.

Wind, soft as silk, rises and blows through the Temple. It plays, it whips, it pulls and tugs at Amalia's hair and clothing. A sigh of a god. A breath of life.

"She lives. Do not apologise for her folly."

Vi stands not upon the altar, not before the baker, but at one of the windows of the Temple, gazing outside at the moonlight. His stern countenance is unchanged, but there is something troubled in his deep, dark gaze.

Rain patters outside.

"You have called for me all your years, young one. What is it, then, that you wish to say?"
VI
Table by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,112
MP:
#3
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
He comes.

There is no part of her which expected this. An answer, for one; that the answer would come from Vi; that he would be merciful, somewhat unperturbed, eerily forgiving of her vast number of sins. Amalia gasps as the wind rises, her eyes flying open, hopeful and alight. She expects to see Safrin there, the goddess made whole - she prays for it, yearns for it, though she doubts it will be true. But the voice that soothes her is not Safrin's, and the figure who stand at the window is one she has never seen before, but one she would know in any light, under any circumstance, at any scene.

"Vi...?" she whispers into his presence, his name a reverent song on her tongue.

She does not rise, but her eyes remain on him, transfixed, awed, adoring, afraid. What do you wish to say? Now that she has him, now that he is here, Amalia finds herself tongue tied, unable to find the words to describe what he means to her. She has said all the things she wishes to say, a million prayers whispered and hummed, sung and slept through, laughed and cried. "I..." she begins, and bites her tongue.

There are a million things she would like to say, but only one that matters, now.

"Is she going to be okay?"
the God of Life


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#4
He runs a hand along the windowsill, unimpressed with the dead wood, the man-made structures, this cage of gods. But Amalia has called and the stars are silent now with Safrin's fall, and her prayer has reached its intended.

Vi does not walk to Amalia - he is simply there before her, sitting cross legged and barefoot opposite where she kneels. His fingers absently pluck at one of the sprigs of flowers left as an offering; immediately they bloom beneath his touch. "Twenty-one cycles of the sun you spend calling. And now you have a response, your inclination is to ask after the wellbeing of another?"

Something like a smile - something faint, something not quite there yet .

"She is very sick," he says. "The Spire is not intended for any but the Voice and her kind. It has gotten its claws deep into Safrin. She is infected by it. She suffers."
VI
Table by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#5
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
A blink, and the god is sitting before her, his proximity bringing a vibrant flush of delighted surprise to her expressive face. Despite her sadnesses, her misgivings, the baker cannot help but relish this experience, a tidal wave of joyous awe rising within her at the presence of her god. His comment makes her drop her head, a little surprised, a confused half-smile breaking through her gloom. "I... She matters to me."

Her expression drops further as he speaks on, guilt and anguish playing across the lines of her cheeks. "Is there anything that can be done?" she asks - is there anything I can do an unsaid thing within. Even though Amalia doing things is what led to this and every other mess.

Old habits die the hardest, after all.

"Is... Her sickness, is it she same thing that's blighting the woods?"
the God of Life


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#6
There it is again, that not quite smile.

"In that, we are in agreement," he murmurs, his dark fingers retreating from the sprigs of flowers, even as the rain hammers now, overhead; naught but a seasonal shower to all but the two who sit within the Temple tonight.

Is there anything that can be done, though? An exhale, tired as the ages, escapes Vi's lips. "Life and death walk hand in hand. Nothing ought to be done to break that cycle. It is the most natural thing that Rae has to offer," he says.

But then she continues, this mortal of the barrier, and her questions suggest more insidious matters indeed. "It is possible," he concedes. "The sickness that infects these woods... no. It is not natural." Something about the deity hardens in that moment, some spur of will. Some catalyst, sparking through the cosmos.

"I will visit the Greatwood. And you..." Vi holds the baker's gaze, and in that moment the Temple slips away entirely, leaving them in a backdrop of black, of nothingness. "Whose work do you do, Amalia Chandrakant? Do not lie to me."
VI
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Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,112
MP:
#7
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
The rain continues to roll overhead, the soothing pattern of a summer storm. To Amalia, it is a rhythm not unlike her heartbeat, thunderous and riotous, a drummer's steady beat. He does not reassure her - he would not be so cruel, so mortal as to offer false platitudes, and while Amalia would like to be comforted, held, she appreciates too the faith of his favor, the strength of his honesty. She wishes there was a solution, though, a step she could take, an offering she could give: her work, her heart, her soul, her life, if only it had enough value to restore the thing that is nearly lost, to cure the wounded being. If Ronin could be saved-

But Amalia holds her tongue. She knows better than to question a god, especially this god, her god, the one she has waited for all of her life. Vi is wisdom and infinince, beneficence and life. She has not called him here to doubt him.

But oh, she wants to see Safrin again.

She does not expect him to harden, though she cannot be surprised when he does. She, too, is worried by the woods, the spreading sin and machinations of a diabolic being. But when the iron of his gaze falls on her, the girl is taken by surprise; and when the temple fades into endless night, nothingness stretching around them at once, Amalia knows that this moment, among all others, is the one that will define her coming life.

Whose work do you do? Do not lie to me.

Judged, witnessed, called to testify, Amalia feels her mouth run dry. Whose...? And her dark eyes meet his, an exhaled reply rising simply to her lips, honest and ardent and hopeful and pure, the only thing she knows with certainty. "Yours," she whispers, admits, sings, her voice impassioned, her soul given freely to the god she adores. "Vi, I... I have always tried, to do the best I can. To be... To be enough." Amalia has never believe herself to be adequate, to be good, but Safrin told her she was, once upon a dark and lonely night. Safrin gave her faith, and strength, and the belief that she had value.

Safrin showed her Vi's face that day, and Amalia carried it with her forever more, emblazoned on her heart.

"All I have ever wanted is to live in your service. To do the work of Life." Even when you were gone, I loved you. Even when there was nothing but night, I waited for your dawn.
the God of Life


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#8
They sit not a foot apart, with apocalyptic blackness stretching between and all around them. Vi’s deep, dark eyes do not leave Amalia’s even for a moment, listening, weighing her words for their truth or their emptiness. This small woman with a cosmos of conviction, with a molten core of passion that burns bright, that may burn too bright if it is not tempered.

”Life is dangerous,” the deity says softly, his voice echoing not against the wall of shadows that blanket them. ”Life begets death, which begets life again in turn. Creatures die. They are killed, sometimes cruelly. To stand against it - to wish to save, to protect - is a curious folly of mortal kind. A folly that Safrin, too, has picked up in her time.”

The smile is there now, beneath the earthen beard budding with autumnal flowers. ”To choose that folly is to walk the same line as those who would also do the work of Death. It is a fine line - one easily crossed. It is easy to murder in the belief that one is protecting others. It is easy to end lives under the pretence of preserving life itself. Are you one who might cross that line?”
VI
Table by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 2,112
MP:
#9
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
Close enough to touch - it's a dangerous thing, electricly charged, the culmination of a lifetime of prayer bringing her to this point. Close enough to touch- but while Amalia is bold and foolish, she is not a fool, not one to squander the gift she has not earned on something as menial as physical closeness.

She can love a god without touching divinity. She has done it all her life.

She listens, and listens, and listens again, soaking in every syllable, each intonation a hymn upon her heart, played on repeat through a curious mind. Life and death, a complete cycle - and yes, she knows, she knows it is mortal to rally against it, to scream her defiance, defend and protect. But she is mortal, after all, a creation of him, a servant of life. Can he fault her for doing the thing she was built for, for wanting to save the gift that he gives?

And how is she to answer the question he asks, the darkening tone, the violence within? Would she murder in the name of preserving life, snuff out one soul to defend another? "I don't know," the girl says honestly, dark eyes trained on his, unable to decieve. Hands clenching and unclenching in her lap, Amalia swallows, thinking hard. "I don't think I could kill anyone... It isn't my place to judge who deserves life. Unless... Unless it was your will."
the God of Life


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#10
She need not speak, for he knows her heart even as he asks the questions. He watches, a sentinel of this void they sit within, and at her admittance of not knowing, he is... satisfied, strangely. "And yet you would protect and judge that some deserve life even when circumstances dictate otherwise," he quips, something warm stirring in his dark gaze that might just be amusement.

As for doing his will... perhaps in time the baker will turn his head again. For now, however, her affections towards his starchild are enough.

Around them, suddenly the darkness chimes and stirs, and Amalia will notice small flickers of light burn and dance into existence between them. They are not in some dark room, evidently - no, they sit in the place before life, and within reach are a trio of infant stars.

"You asked if there was anything you might do for Safrin. Whilst I know not of this blight - though I plan to - in the meantime you might construct for her a new shrine. Take these and place them there, that she might watch and nurture them whilst she recovers. Worry not about keeping them anywhere - they will follow you as a duckling might its mother."

Slowly, the Temple emerges from the shadows and bleeds back into view, though the tiny celestials remain, hovering and shooting around Amalia like will-o-wisps. "Walk that line, Amalia Chandrakant," Vi rumbles. "Embrace that mortal folly, and do the work of Life."



Amalia has gained the following:

Infant Celestials | A trio of newborn stars hover around Amalia, until such a time as they can be placed in a new shrine to Safrin.

As recognition for her efforts to protect the magical creatures of Caido, and her devotion to life, the administrators have also awarded Amalia Chandrakant a Legend Title: Shield of Safrin

Congratulations!
VI
Table by Sky!
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 23 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 35 - Dext: 36 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 35
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 2,112
MP:
#11
Amalia
only lonely hid the morning from the stars
"Everyone deserves life." A breath, an exhale; she cannot hold it back, for it is a truth she feels deeply as her bones. Everyone deserves life, because they have judged it to be so, because life is inherent, complete, a gift of the gods.

Everyone deserves life, and everyone deserves death. Thus the world moves on, is born and broken and burnt and rebuilt.

They exit the dark - or rather, the darkness changes around them, now punctuated by pinpricks of light. Amalia turns her gaze from Vi, inhaling sharply at the beauty of the scene, the wonder if life's birth and creation. From the darkness a trio of stars appears, and the girl cannot help it: she reaches out with slender fingers letting them dance between, her onyx eyes reflecting them like a midnight sky.

But they are nothing next to the thing he says. Turning back, the baker is speechless, tears pricking behind her stare. "I will," she whispers. I will do anything you ask. The stars dance around her, not unlike Jyoti, and the girl fights between an urge to hug the god or prostrate herself, ultimately settling in a dazzling smile, wonder and delight and the heat of purpose flaring in her face. "I'll put them somewhere outside, where she can watch them." For a moment she selfishly considers building the shrine in the garden of her bakery, but it seems petty to hoard such wonder for herself.

Bowing her head again, Amalia keeps her eyes on him, the flowers in his hair, the beauty of his face. "Thank you, Vi. I... I will do my best, to do well. To honor you, and Life. To stay on the right side of the line."
the God of Life


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#12
Everyone deserves Life.

It is a small smile, but a smile nonetheless. She sees it as a gift, this woman aglow with infant celestials. Vi sees it as a burden, but they agree on the sentiment.

Their right is to live. And Amalia has chosen to bear the responsibility of protecting that right, come good or bad. And what a grey and hazy path she has chosen to walk. But at least there is light to guide the way.

"Doing one's best, one may never be judged harshly," he says, drumming long fingers across his knees and remaining seated before her as the Temple's candles flicker and blur, and the rain roars outside.

"May Safrin find her shrine well." Inclining his head to Amalia, Vi need not give a grand exit. He is merely gone in the next glance, a lingering warmth in the darkness, a faint kiss on bare skin.
VI
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