she who loved you yesterday
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
A M A L I A


She is slacking in her duties.

A lone figure approaches the shrines, golden hair shining in the setting sun. In one hand, a crooked staff; in the other what may be called a picnic basket, full of the best of the day's baked goods. One a pilgrimage made almost weekly, the girl has not done this in some time, distracted as she is by the onslaught of strangers and sudden busy bakery bustle. Still the steps of the temple feel familiar beneath her feet, the trail so predictable she could make it with her eyes closed: here, a hole; there, a stray root; to the left, a fallen pillar, creating a hole in the wall. And ahead, as always, the looming Spire, its dark figure a constant beacon, a reminder of the things once loved and lost.

She reaches the shrines as the sun starts to set, light streaking low through the empty rafters of the temple walls. In one corner she deposits the staff and pack, tucking them away neatly along with her shoes. Carefully Amalia opens her basket, extracting from it four decorated rolls which she carefully arranges around the base of the shrines: Caido, Rae, Mort, and, at last, Vi. And as she walks, she sings:

"Old Ones, fathers and mothers of the world, accept my gifts and gratitude:

"For Caido, who made the world as it is, that we may live upon it: I thank you.

"For Rae, who makes the wheat grow tall and the animals multiply, that we my thrive upon it: I thank you.

"For Mort, who ends the cycle of the world, that we may value the lives we live: I thank you.

"For Vi, who begins the world anew, that we may spend the day alive: I thank you."


At Vi's shrine the girl stops, falling into a reverent kneel. Legs crossing beneath her, she bows her head, barefoot, and lets her eyes drift closed. Amalia has never been blessed enough to be visited by the gods, but it does not lessen the reverence she feels, or the peace that prayer and meditation bring her often anxious mind.





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#2


As the fire-bright light caused by the setting sun billows through the windows, everything suddenly seems to shimmer with potential. Starbursts of breathtaking iridescence seem to coat everything, rendering it like a world made of glass or set in crystal. That Amalia has never seen those she is praying to is no surprise of course, for the Old Gods have not been seen within this horrific prison since it was erected.

But that doesn't mean that no one has been seen.

Perhaps it is because it is Vi's shrine that the woman kneels before, perhaps it is simply that Safrin is up to her old tricks, or perhaps it is the way the golden light catches upon the golden hair and seems to set it afire that the goddess deigns to appear. In a crescendo of silent star shine Safrin seems to slip her way into reality as if through a curtain. Her beauty is ethereal and unlike her divine counterparts in this place, hers is a decidedly female form all the time. Striking as her appearance might be, it is her eyes which always garner the attention of those she meets; they are galaxies into themselves. Swirling pockets of light, infinitely deep with whispers of the secrets of the universe dangling like dew in her long lashes.

The lights dim suddenly and soft orbs of light rise around the two to gently cast the space into a warm wreath of light.

"What lovely words." She muses, her voice like aurelian bells at midnight. "Though they cannot hear you. Not anymore." Seating herself on what appears to be a pillar of darkest marble that was certainly not there a moment ago, the goddess languidly crosses her legs and casts a vivacious stare down upon the kneeling woman. "But that does not mean that your fealty goes unnoticed." The goddess continued with a smile that revealed pearly white and slightly sharpened teeth.

Safrin
The devil is not as black as he is painted

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
A M A L I A


She does not need to open her eyes to sense the lights grow dim, the luminous radiance of the sun replaced by something else. For a moment hope wells up in the girl, unspeakable and beautiful and cruel, clawing at her throat. Have they come at last? Has her piety paid off? She does not fancy herself a prophet - knows, indeed, that she is unworthy, that when the gods return it shall not be to her, a baker, a bastard - but still she hopes, for she cannot help it- it is the human condition, after all.

Unsurprisingly, Vi does not answer her prayers, nor do any of her gods. They are locked away, captured and enslaved, or so she has been taught. prisoners of hubris, of their children, of the new ones, the things they built and bred. Oh, she has heard whispers of these New Gods, creatures of decadence and insolence, though this is her first personal encounter, her first time seeing one in the flesh. She is prepared for desecration, for filth and despair. She is not prepared for grace. Her eyes flutter open, and though the hope falters, it is replaced by an unwillingly reverence, a forced sense of awe. The figure that looms before her is female, dark and beautiful, perfect in construction, and for a moment Amalia can only stare in open wonder and admiration at the goddess, her lips parted slightly in a whispered "Oh."

The figure speaks, but the girl scarcely listens, too deeply entranced by the way the light glitters in the goddess' infinite gaze. It is the addition of Not anymore that jolts Amalia from her reverie, reminds her that despite its beauty this thing is an interloper, a figment of greatness she is bound to ache against. Almost unwillingly she averts her gaze, letting it drop from the woman's eyes to her perfect knees, her beautiful toes. "Why did you come to me?" she questions softly, "When you know my fealty is to them?" The baker feels woefully inadequate by comparison, angular and ugly and alone. What could this goddess want from her- and how can she deny a deity, even if it be one she has been raised to loathe?





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#4


Safrin's perfect and full lips twist into a gentle smile and her face became a mask of pure and sweet compassion. "You are not the only one loyal to them." The goddess laughed gently, her cosmic gaze soft and kind. As powerful as Safrin was, there was a hierarchy among the gods...one that she did not top.

She too missed Vi and Mort and Rae. Vi most of all though.

"I came because I have seen you. I have heard your prayers and songs, smelled the bread you cooked during The Festival of Lights ... I hear you murmur their names late at night, or when you cannot sleep." Gently the goddess' face crumpled elegantly with melancholy and memories. Lacing her fingers together, she tilted her head regarding the sharp-minded baker.

"They would be pleased to know that you still visit them. Even now.."

Safrin
The devil is not as black as he is painted

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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#5
A M A L I A


She has never considered that the other gods, too, mourn the Old Ones, think and dream of Vi and Rae and Mort. The idea challenges her assumptions about the world, the things she has been taught to so ardently believe. Yet the goddess' empathy seems genuine, her promise of loyalty true... but then, who better to be a liar than a celestial being, blinding in beauty and shrouded in secrets? Amalia is not sure what to think, and so she remains quiet, her head still bowed, taking in this information and letting it circulate through her mind.

It is true, Amalia has mourned them, just as she mourns so many. Her songs and prayers are a steady heartbeat, a habit that grants certainty in a world steadily growing more unclear. They are a way to keep something dead alive, a promise that what is lost may some day return, even if it does not return to her. That this goddess should have heard her prayers adds new conflict to the girl's heart: part of her bristles against the idea, while another points out that this what she wanted, to be heard. To have someone listen, to have someone know, to find something in this world greater than herself and her fears.

Now that she is facing greatness, she does not know what to think.

They would be pleased. Amalia's eyes dart up at this, hope and pride and wonder swelling in her breast, bittersweet and tender. They would be pleased. "Did you know them?" the girl asks, curious passion igniting a flurry of questions on her lips. "Where have they gone? Will they ever return? Why have we been forsaken for so long?" She thinks of her mother, her grandmother, and the generations before, living and dying in Caido's dome. The bubble has been their prison and their home, their haven and their exile, for generations come and gone. "Will we ever be free?"





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#6


"Know them?" Safrin repeats the question, finding that it leaves a strange sensation upon her lips. "If it helps your mortal mind to think of it that way sweet one, then yes. I know them."

The string of questions makes the deity pause, galactic stare weighty with patience, her full and painted lips twisting slightly with thousands of answers. But how many to give? What could this fragile mind take in before it burst?

"They are where they have always been. It is we who have been removed." Her lashes flutter softly and with a calming breath, a cascade of warmth and honey-suckle sweet wind emanates from the being, filling Amalia with a sense of serene composure. The goddess does not aim to remove Amalia's righteous worry or anxiety, merely to quiet it. "308 years is not so long. For you perhaps, you who were born and will age and then die. But for those of us who do not, it has not been such a great length of time." Even so, Safrin was slowly growing uneasy with their current situation as well, however her beautiful face was an impeccable mask of composure.

"Free?" Safrin muses with a genuine smile of amusement. "There are few things which are forever sweet one, and I do not believe this situation is one of them. Though whether you will see change in your lifetime is not something I can guarantee."

Safrin
The devil is not as black as he is painted

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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Posts: 1,971
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#7
A M A L I A


It is we who have been removed.

Six words. One sentence. A whisper of doubt builds steady and certain, a snowball rolling into an avalanche as the words replay in her mind. "Removed?" Amalia's tongue forms the word mechanically, her lips whisper it reverently, but her brain still struggles to reconcile it all. "We were... removed?"

The goddess' attestation that it has not been much time matters little to a mortal: Amalia was born within this cage, as were her mother and grandmother before her. That she may not die within it is a foreign thought, amazing and beautiful and terrifying all at once. "What were we removed from? Are there... others? Outside? Are the Old Ones out there?" Her low voice quivers, but does not break. Hope and fear wage a war within her; she is still too nonplussed for one emotion to win.

That this situation could be temporary amazes the girl. That it may not be temporary appalls her. Though mere minutes ago resigned to her fate, to have freedom offered and snatched away is more than the girl can quietly take. Anger blazes righteous in her heart, agonizing aspiration biting at her heels. "Why not?" Amalia questions, demands, though she is quick to add a note of reverence. "Your Radiance- if there's a world outside, if the gods are outside, why can't we be? Why are we here?"





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#8


"The rest of creation." Safrin said a bit breathlessly, her hand waving gently to reveal the topographical map of the continent creating out of stardust. With a gently flick of her wrist mountains rose, seas frothed all around the continent, and though it was made up of only the contrast of the stars, still colours seemed to suggestively wink in and out depicting trees and deserts, rivers and valleys, mountains and forests. All manner of life which had withered away in the bubble. The bubble of course was depicted, a blackened sphere in the galactic representation of their continent. "Yes. The old ones are still there. Still maintaining and creating." A ghostly smile flickered on the goddess's lips for just a moment, before an ugly snarl overtook her perfect features and she waved the map away.

Raising a brow at the girl's outburst, Safrin regards her silently for a moment as a predator might. The starswept depths of her gaze lock upon Amalia's dark stare, her lashes lowering with decided slowness, before she sighed and the tension in her shoulders and her cheeks disappeared. "Because there are things which must not reach the outside world. That is the purpose of the bubble."

300 years was not long for the goddess, but perhaps it was for the mortals if they had already forgotten the events leading up to this. The war. The blight that were the ascendeds and their New Gods.

Safrin
The devil is not as black as he is painted

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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#9
A M A L I A


Amalia watches in rapt attention as the goddess builds mountains and seas from nothing, shaping a world she cannot begin to comprehend. Beautiful, perfect, teaming with life, it is nearly tangible in its creation, and the girl finds herself leaning in toward it, aching for that world which apparently waits on the other side of her cage. "It's beautiful," she breathes, her deep voice heavy with yearning. A slender hand raises up, as though to capture the moment, the image - but just as quickly as it appeared, the vision is gone, and Amalia is left grasping at nothing but empty air.

She is not the only one disturbed. The tone of the room shifts quickly; Amalia's outburst is met with thinly veiled hostility, and though the girl wants to hold onto her passion, it is difficult not to soften and wilt beneath the goddess's starlit gaze. But Amalia will not be quelled so easily, and though she falls back onto her heels, she does not give up on this newfound dream. "What things?"





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#10


Safrin looks above Amalia's shoulder, as if looking into or upon something unseen. Her lips quiver slightly with words forming and then dissolved as her brows furrow and dance as a multitude of expressions wash across her beautiful features. After a moment, the goddess takes a breath, her gaze focusing and falling once more upon Amalia. Silence descends as Safrin merely studies the girl, the long face, her wise but young eyes, the emotions so rife and right on the surface of her heart.

In a world far away, perhaps she and the girl might have been —

"The New Gods." Safrin answers, lashes fluttering softly as her gaze lowers a fraction as she sneers, obviously using the title as some sort of contemptuous slight. "They and their creations must never be allowed to leave. The world was almost ruined once, before this solution was decided upon. Some think it would have been far sweeter for Mort to simply take all who live inside of this place, sparing you a life of captivity." Safrin's lips twitch slightly, a rather affectionate smile beginning to take form. "He only wanted the best for all of you of course...but Vi wouldn't hear of it. And so here you are. Here we all are."

Safrin
The devil is not as black as he is painted

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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#11
A M A L I A


"The New Gods," the girl repeats, dislike and fear hot on her tongue. She has heard stories of them, of course, has read - and believed - that they were responsible for the loss of the Old Ones and this imposed isolation, but to have it confirmed sends a shiver of fury down the baker's spine. They, the arrogant, have brought about this ruin- and she has brought one of them back, found it in the Underground and freed it from its prison. Nausea rolls at the pit of her stomach. What have I done? "I met one... the Voice," the girl confesses, dark eyes downcast in sudden searing shame. "She was locked away, I think, but we.... I... freed her. She asked if I wanted to be 'bright'. I am sorry." Tears burn, bright and hot, at the girl's dark eyes.

She cannot withstand the small chuckle that escapes her, though, or the warmth that blooms within her at the mention of Vi. "Is there no way to stop them? Nothing we can do?" She does not expect much of an answer- if they could be quelled, would not the Gods have done so already? And in truth, does Amalia wish to slay the New? She thinks of the Ascendeds she knows, of Wessex. Strong, brave, secretly kind. The girl would will no ill fall upon her, yet she is part of the problem, the things that apparently helped bring down the world. Fists clench and unclench in Amalia's lap as she struggles with this knowledge, acceptance and refusal at war in her mind. Perhaps this was the best option, a part of her concedes.

But still, now that she has tasted it, the girl yearns to be free.

One question remains unanswered, tugging forcefully at the girl's brain, a puzzle piece that no longer fits with her newly updated worldview. "If the Old Ones are without, and the New Gods roam free... what is in the Spire?"





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#12
Safrin

Safrin's gaze narrows but her expression immediately softens as she takes a breath. "Yes...we felt her presence re-awaken." The edges of the goddess' mouth twitch ever so slightly. Was this not the path they knew the mortals would walk? So why her surprise? "Do not cry, darling one." Safrin said sweetly, a warm starstream of air coming to gently wipe away the tears that had not fallen, the soothing warmth settling around her shoulders like a shawl. "You said no, that is all that matters."

With a gentle smile, Safrin shakes her head darkly. "Perhaps Vi and Mort are working on a way to fully quell their rebellion. I am sad to say I have no way of knowing. Our part is merely to contain their evil for as long as is necessary, even if it is forever."

At the question of what was in the Spire, Safrin's posture changed. She stiffened, eyes sparkling darkly as a knowing but dangerous smile danced on her painted lips. "Do the New Gods roam free?" She whispered, then extended a hand towards Amalia. "Remember when you saw her. The Voice. Tell me what you see.." If she were to take Safrin's hand, the same illusory landscape would appear between the two as it had when the goddess had put on her demonstration before. If Amalia could recall clearly, she would find that she already had the answer.
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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Posts: 1,971
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#13
A M A L I A


Again the goddess shows her mercy, and Amalia feels some of her anxiety melt away in the warmth of the starlight embrace. Her tears vanish as easily as they appeared, and the girl warms with appreciation and pride - she did say no, and is doubly glad of that knowing what she knows now. "Thank you, Your Radiance," the baker sighs, eyes rising hopefully to meet the goddess' own.

Vi and Mort are mentioned again, and again Amalia's heart squeezes with jubilation at the reassurance that her god is out there, somewhere. The brief happiness is short lived, for as Safrin stiffens so does the girl, afraid to have asked the wrong question, pried too far. But no, there is a smile, and an outstretched hand, and though she is anxious the girl is brave, emboldened by the fascinating encounter, the beauty of the goddess and the reward of her faith. Nodding, Amalia reaches forward and touches a diety's hand.

At once a world rises around her, as before, only this time she is back inside the Underground, staring at a crumbling wall. "It was bright," the girl recalls, her voice distant as she struggles to find the details, to remember every nuance of the scene. "And beautiful. But... strange. There was a statue in the middle of the room, shaped like a girl, and... she came out of it." Amalia swallows and bites thoughtfully at her lip, recalling the Voice, the invitation, and watching Sam and Archebold drink. She is missing something, an important piece: the answer must be there.

"The statue was black... like the Spire," she muses, looking back up at the goddess. "Is it... part of the Spire? Did she come from inside of there? Are there other New Gods trapped within?"





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#14
Safrin

"Mmmhm." Safrin swings sweetly as the chamber descends into darkness, so that only Amalia's revealed memories provide any light.

"Tell me what you saw when she came out of it.." The goddess encourages, her hand gently squeezing against Amalia's own. With a sigh, the perspective of Amalia's vision changes; instead of viewing the Voice from the front as the baker had, suddenly it is viewed as if they had been standing behind the statue the entire time.

The Voice appeared flat. One dimensional. holographic, even.

Are there other New Gods trapped within?

"Do you see now?" Safrin whispers. "Do you still believe that they New Gods roam free?"


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