a stern and stubborn rock
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#1

"This one is for the New Gods."

Amalia's distaste is obvious in the way she wrinkles her nose, the disapproval of her voice. She had been delighted to learn there was a shrine in the Atheneum, her haven of books at last graced by divine presence. When it became clear who this shrine was for it felt like a punch in the gut, the wind of purpose draining from her sails and leaving her at sea.

Still, Ronin had asked to see the shrines, and this is one among them. Tucked behind a hidden bookcase, it is easy enough to miss: indeed, Amalia only learned its location recently, from other patrons of the ancient halls. She guides the demigod to it reluctantly, drawing open the secret shelf to reveal the sphere within, reaching out to grab Jyoti as the starwhale tries to approach it. The baker does not trust the thing.

Turning to look at Ronin, Amalia arches a brow in question, wondering what he will do next. She certainly has no intentions of reverence, no plan to pray at this particular site. The Voice is not one whose attention she is interested in garnering, except perhaps to ask her a few pointed questions, to demand answers for sins present and past.


Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
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#2
the things we hold are always the first to go
"There are a lot of these," Ronin said quietly, not wanting to raise his voice beyond a murmur. Partially it was habit from being in a library, but there was also something stifling about this shrine that made him reluctant to signal his presence. "I found another in the Labyrinth, to the New Gods. And in the Underground."

He folded his arms across his chest and frowned in at the innocuous sphere, feeling the tug and pull within him fade now that he had found what he was looking for, like a dowsing rod that had fulfilled its purpose. It didn't look like much - almost like it had been made in secret. "I feel as though the person who created this did so without the knowledge of the rest of the people in the Atheneum," he remarked, not particularly wanting to get any closer.
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#3

"Too many," Amalia agrees, her voice also quiet, as though concerned to draw attention to their place in this hall. The Atheneum has always welcomed her, but this corner of it feels cold and forsaken, a loneliness permeating the usually pleasant haven. She shivers inadvertently, turning back to look at him as he lists the locations of other shrines. "I know the one in the Underground-" and how "But not the labyrinth. There's one in the Woodlands, too." Frown deepening, she shakes her head. Too many places of power, offering too much strength.

Judgmental, she stares down at the globe, barking a hushed hush at the soldier's observation. "I imagine so." Part of her wants to tear it down, the way she tore down Zariah's notice, but it seems sacrilegious to desecrate an altar, even one like this. So instead she shuts the doors, hoping nobody else will find it, that it will simply rot and waste away. Turning back to Ronin the baker runs her fingers through her hair. "Let's go. I don't like knowing that it's there."




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#4
the VOICE
"Go? But you have only yet arrived."

Amalia may have shut the doors but that does not mean they will remain in such a way. Of their own accord they burst back open, revealing the tiny shrine within. The obsidian orb pulses with life now, crackling with energy, and it is as though the call comes from within. When it speaks again, it is clear that they are in the presence of the Voice.

"You did not wish to become bright last we met, sweet one," she remarks of Amalia. "Have you changed your mind? Or do I have the pleasure of welcoming this not-man into the echelons of my children?"

Around them the ground would seem to pulse and rumble, suggesting that what they see of the shrine may not be all that there is.

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Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
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#5
the things we hold are always the first to go
"In the Woodlands, as well? That seems all too natural a place for a shrine to the Voice," Ronin remarked, his brow furrowing in a frown. Even so, he supposed in a place like the Hollowed Grounds, a place where the Voice had gathered her power, it made sense that there were fonts of power to pay homage to her.

Still, he was in agreement with Amalia about leaving, nodding emphatically and turning away - only for the shrine to have other ideas.

His shoulders squaring, back straightening, Ronin felt the hiss and buzz of life from within the black globe like it was a virus trying to crawl all over him. When he had been in the Underground with Sam it had been different - the focus had not really been on him. Now, though...

"You do not," he said stiffly, though he was aware of the power radiating from the shrine, and knew better than to let his mouth run away with him. (For now). "I would not have imagined a visit from the likes of us would draw your interest."
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#6

She expects no response - why should she, when she made her disdain of the being so clear, time and time again? But the Shrine has other thoughts and ideas, and Amalia winces as the doors spring open, turning around with animalistic surprise. Tense and wound, she watches the orb begin to pulse, her hands clenching uneasily at her sides.

That the Voice would think either of them interested in becoming bright is almost enough to make her laugh. She is grateful for Ronin's quick response: left alone, the leopardess would not be so diplomatic. Tightening her jaw, the girl holds steadt, though the rumbling of the earth below her incites some new alarm. Vi, Safrin, protect us from fiends.

"Why are you here?" Amalia grinds out. Here, in her presence, in her library, in her world.




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#7
the VOICE
The walls seem to smile with a dark amusement, the humming intensity of the static in the air only increasing. The pair will feel the hairs on the back of their neck stand, their hearts to beat faster in the presence of such a tremendous electrical upset.

"The likes of you? How nice to hear that you have stayed humble, not-man." The Voice replied, before the weight of the Voice's invisible gaze seemed to fall upon Amalia. "What am I doing here? This is my shrine after all. " She replied cooly, the obsidian depths of the orb somehow darkening and twisting. "And a fiend, Amalia?" The air seems to tut disapprovingly.

"Truly I am no different than your friend here. It is only hypocrisy on your part and the part of the gods you so cherish that has you calling him friend and me fiend.'

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Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
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#8
the things we hold are always the first to go
Ronin didn't know why, but being called not-man struck a chord deep within him that didn't sit well - probably because of how true it was. He forced himself to take a deep, calming breath, straightening up to stand at Amalia's side, as though presenting a united front might mean anything to the goddess before them.

"How are we alike?" he asked before he could stop himself, his fists clenching at his sides unconsciously. He reconsidered his words. "We did not mean to trouble you, or this shrine. I'm sorry if we disturbed you by coming here."
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#9

Amalia, too, stiffens against not-man, defensiveness on behalf of her friend rising hot within her veins. Bristling, literally, with leopard fur growing on her shoulders and neck, the baker tries not to snarl her displeasure as her eyes grow cat-like and her teeth lengthen to fangs. She lets her hand flex and extend, touching Ronin's fingers in gentle solidarity as the attention of the voice falls onto her. Defenses, lies, and cries of hypocrisy: the girl's ears flatten, her tail lashing in rage.

But she does not reply, not to that. Instead she tilts her head defiantly, dark eyes hard as onyx, steely flint in the eerie light. "What are you doing to the woods?" she asks instead, looking at the orb unhappily. "Why are you killing it?" Haven't you done enough?




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#10
the VOICE
With eyes like smears of pure energy, the Voice regards the not-man with a terse smile. "How are we not? Do you not possess god-like powers now? Are you not something other now? Not accepted, not abandoned, not attuned?" Softly the Voice crosses her arms, a soft smile on her lips. "The only difference is that I worked to be what I am. You simply died."

Turning to Amalia as if her presence was merely a bother, the Voice sighed, still disappointed that Amalia had chosen the route of normalcy, rather than the chance to be bright. "Me? Whatever makes you think I have anything to do with it. I have not stepped foot in the Greatwood in over 300 years. "

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Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
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#11
the things we hold are always the first to go
Ronin's mouth opened and then promptly shut again. No, he wasn't like anyone else he'd met since coming back from the dead. But then Remi was a unique case in this world, too - did that make him - them - something like the Voice? "Whatever I am, I don't think I am anything like you," he said softly, trying to keep his tone clipped and respectful, despite the uneasiness he felt.

Frowning to Amalia (and wondering how likely it was that the Voice was lying), Ronin let out a sigh. "That doesn't mean you aren't stepping foot in it now," he pointed out. "You have a shrine, in the Woodlands... something happened to the trees there. Is it not similar to the Greatwood blight?"
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
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#12

Amalia glances sidelong at Ronin, not sure what to make of the Voice's proclamation. God-like powers is not something she aware of or familiar with, and something akin to distrust threatens to spread within her, setting her on edge. But no- this is what the Voice wants, and the girl strengthens herself against it, refusing to let doubt cloud her mind. "Ronin earned the gift he was given," the girl murmurs in quiet reply, dark eyes still steely. "You took it, a and tried to use it to kill the world."

She grinds her teeth at the false innocence, grateful when Ronin stands up against the lies. "The blight isn't natural, and it wasn't there until you brought down the barrier." Clenching her fists and squaring her shoulders, the baker glares at the offensive orb. "You want to rebuild the world in your image, whether it wants to be rebuilt or not."

Not unlike Zariah, actually- and for a moment Amalia is distracted by this thought, wondering if perhaps their new 'Queen' has deeper, more wicked intentions than the girl had ever feared.




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#13
the VOICE
"That is because you are still so very young." The Voice replied with a light shrug, ignoring the lines of tension that graced the handsome hunter's face. The real question is not what he was, but what he could become. It had been...well, three centuries since anything like Ronin walked the face of Caido. Would the gods soon turn against him? Would he become bright like she was?

Could he?

Softly the goddess smoothed out her expression, lips turning upwards with a childlike innocence for a moment. "Neither of you really know what I am, do you?" She tittered for a moment before her expression grew slightly more serious. "But no. I have not stepped foot there. As for the shrine in the woodlands? That has always existed. Don't mistake coincidence for intention." She tsked chidingly.

"Did he earn it?" The Voice mused as if they were merely discussing the colour of a flower. "The way I heard it told, was that he died...and then someone else sacrificed something on his behalf. A girl who made a deal with death, and hasn't been seen since." Frowning softly, though her eyes glint with electric amusement. "Funny, that."

With a soft sigh, the Voice merely shook her head. "Took? I took nothing. I worked. I trained, I earned. I studied and evolved. I am no different than the creatures of pure evolution, my trajectory was merely steeper than theirs." She countered Amalia. "I protected my family. Think what you will about me, but they deserved none of the injustices your gods subjected them to. A life of banishment, encased in a dome. How many died within? Over a disagreement that you can't possibly understand." Static pulses of heat appeared in her cheeks. "Don't talk to me about killing a world. Your gods lit a match, and then turned their backs while countless died."

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Ronin Taliesin
the Dark Star
Monster Hunter

Age: 27 | Height: 5'10 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 7 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 26 - Endr: 26 - Luck: 30
SUGAR - Mythical - Dragon (ice breath)
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#14
the things we hold are always the first to go
Ronin had to bite his tongue against the objections that threatened to spill from his lips, and he gazed across at Amalia and almost winced at her comments. It wasn't that he disagreed with her (though he didn't believe for a second that he had earned anything), but he didn't know how much good provoking the Voice would do.

Then she mentioned Ashetta and anything more that she said fell on deaf ears. Ronin's hand found his chest, rubbing guiltily at the space over his heart like it hurt him, and he frowned at the floor. "Stop. Please," he muttered. "We mean no quarrel with you. If you are not involved with the blight, perhaps it would be good to tell people. Else they will spread their stories until they are out of control."

Ronin did not take well to the mention of the woman he called a sister, especially at the reference to the sacrifice she had made. Ashe was gone and he didn't know why. Perhaps her sacrifice had killed her, and now... well. Now he was all that was left.


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