(Prismatic Crystal traded from Haix, Mind Crystal traded from Nadia)
... It had been a while since Aster had last had occasion to be here. He didn't know whether that was a good thing, though Summer would certainly have said that it was. He'd come into a couple of other nodes in that time, though none of his own making, through luck or through purchase, and yet somehow the final fire crystal eluded him. It felt a bit of a waste to use a Prismatic one in its place, but...
Summer wasn't going to like this, he knew. He had taken off his other ribbons, deadened his connection to all his other creatures as much as he could, but she was going to feel it no matter what he did. And yet, still, here he was, chasing power.
He looked up the long flight of stairs, took a deep breath to steel himself, then began to climb with his precious cargo in hand.
The first time, the climb had seemed impossibly long. That was just his imagination, of course, but there had still been a moment of surprise when he reached the summit. Now it didn't feel quite so grand, or so weighty, though there was still an escalating sense of pressure the further up he went. After a while, it got hard to take another step, in a way that had nothing to do with his relative fitness. After all, Aster trained beasts for a living. A flight of stairs, even a long one, was nothing to him.
If there was anything to surprise him on this occasion though, it was the sight of the figures waiting for him at the top. He knew they would be there, but the edges of the memory had softened--- it had been several years since he had been here last. He had, apparently, forgotten precisely how unsettling they were.
But here the memory helped, a little: he knew they wouldn't interfere. He registered their presence, then forced himself to forget it as much as he could, and focused on the task at hand.
One by one, he laid the crystals on the altar. His eyes traveled over the coppery darkness of the surface, layered with untold years' worth of dried blood. Something else not to dwell on. Once the crystals were lined up, he set down the orb of the mind crystal, placing it carefully so that it wouldn't roll away. Last was the berry. He set it down for just a moment, so that everything rested on the altar together, then picked it up and ate it. Dry and mealy this time, not at all fresh, with only a hint of sweetness. But, well, he wasn't eating it for the taste.
And now... the unpleasant bit. The part where he cut off part of his own soul.
The practical aspect was almost deceptively simple. Pick up the dagger, cut anywhere you like within reason, and let the blood run out over the rest of the assembled parts. Almost, you could forget that your soul had anything to do with it. It was always a little unnerving to do it, but a little cut was nothing to him now. He made the incision quickly, just below where he had made it the last time. Despite his best attempts to prevent scarring, to give Summer as little reminder of the incident as possible if nothing else, there was still a shallow white line visible along the inside of his arm.
Now it felt a little like a tally mark. A morbid way to keep track.
Blood welled slowly, and he let it gather a moment before angling his arm so that it would drip onto the crystals, one by one.
The first time, with the wind crystals, Aster had been too consumed by the significance of it to have noticed, but four years later, with more experience with the practical aspects of magic behind him, he kept his head enough to feel the strangeness of prostrating himself, even if it was before a place of worship. He hadn't quite managed to forget the ominous observers to the ritual, even if they did not speak. It was hard, too, not to remember all the other times in his life when he had been on his knees, forced there by more immediate threats.
His prayer for wind had been a reverent thing, all fond memories, all bittersweet. Wind was the element of freedom, everything he had ever wanted in life, and so much of what he had lost.
Fire... was different.
Fire had taken everything away from him once. He had been too young to remember more than impressions, the heat and the all-consuming light. But the pyre of his barely-remembered childhood home gave way to the pinprick warmth of struck matches, the fires they had lit in old sheds and empty warehouses to keep warm in the dead of winter. And it was summer, summer, Summer: a season and an old, dear friend. Anger and love, warmth and weapon, all of it at once.
To wield it for himself... What a thing that would be.
Node Creation: Success Cool-down will End: July 5, 2021
Should I wander Let it be to hell
Silver: I use google docs for everything now because of stuff like that.
Sept 17, 2023 18:01:49 GMT -6
Riku: I had like 20 tabs open to eventually go through to add up all my character levels and copy/paste all my stuff/pets into my registry thread. When chrome updated all the tabs were gone. Oh well…
Sept 17, 2023 11:45:28 GMT -6
Riku: Muahaha! And you almost got away with it, too.
Sept 17, 2023 11:09:32 GMT -6
Silver: Oops looks like I deleted you two at the end when making an edit, fixing now!
Sept 17, 2023 5:16:05 GMT -6
Xentus: ah am i missing from the show ring?
Sept 17, 2023 2:15:25 GMT -6
Skylos: Oooh, this time I have an acid pet.
Sept 16, 2023 22:27:02 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh, good point, thanks for the reminder! :0 Gotta pick out something special for my characters, hmmmm
Sept 16, 2023 21:21:34 GMT -6
Silver: Show Ring is up! Reminder: October is Vai Min Mur and therefore a special contest! Train your shadow and acid pets in preparation. :3
Sept 16, 2023 21:14:38 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for this allowing the change in prizes Silver, even if it was forgotten by mistake, I am very happy to get the opportunity for this particular Estharne type. <3
Sept 14, 2023 0:17:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Oh yes please! Thanks for this information Silver! <3 I would need to contact the npc account then?
Sept 14, 2023 0:00:16 GMT -6
Silver: (I said 'we' a bunch of times but it was totes just me that forgot it. Oops.)
Sept 13, 2023 23:55:16 GMT -6
Silver: Hey Twilight if you want to make a change to how you spent your points now that the River is available, please DM staff. We know we messed up by forgetting to include it so if you want it more than something else you bought we could swap for you.
Sept 13, 2023 23:54:40 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I can throw in the Pasha-Sarane Searhorse as well.
Sept 13, 2023 23:43:07 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is there any chance I could buy the river Estharne for 20 usd from someone? I lost the opportunity to get one last year when I forgot to buy one from the Trepuldra.
Sept 13, 2023 23:41:08 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Now I wish I had saved some points. ;-;
Sept 13, 2023 23:33:59 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Uggggggh I wish I would've been active a month ago x-x
Sept 13, 2023 22:16:38 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: We have a gorgeous addition to the Summer Fair prize shop- the river tiger estharne!
Sept 13, 2023 19:35:08 GMT -6
Riku: I really didn’t expect to get my two favorites of this cross. One, sure. But both? Perfect!
Sept 9, 2023 14:22:59 GMT -6
Darky: It was a fun prompt but MAN did I struggle trying to figure out how to make it actually x3
Sept 7, 2023 2:04:09 GMT -6