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 Hilda's Shrine

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Death-chan
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PostSubject: Hilda's Shrine   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:35 pm

A small, ruined stone temple sits at the front of a long, mirror-like lake. The lake and temple tend to vanish and reappear somewhere else. They're always found shrouded in fog, light, or some other mirage-like distortion. Many who come across the shrine are sure it is merely an illusion or a spell. Some swear they found a beautiful woman there, which only serves to heighten the disbelief in its existence.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:30 pm

Dusk falls, and the sky glimmers with stars through the clouds that race past overhead.

The tent Hilda has set up inside the ruins waves briefly as a draft of wind pierces the silent ruins. The fog is thick tonight, which means the shrine is likely disconnected from the physical realm. Soon it will land, and Hilda will walk out to see what location it's brought her to this time, beginning her search, as always, at the local level. At the moment, her tent is empty save for a pile of disproportionately luxurious blankets of lush purples and exotic embroidery. Hilda herself sits by the lake, which now reflects not the fog, but another scene entirely. Its surface is completely still, despite the chill breeze, and Hilda is currently using a small circle of it as a magic mirror.

"... ...one, how... ... voyage?" she asks, barely audible above the wind, but there is no doubt her correspondent can make out her words; a voice answers within seconds, though its words are only heard by Hilda herself.

"I have found... ... may... ... ... one of them. ... ...now certain the others still exist. ... ...are quite... ...circumstances." Pause for reply. The wind picks up, and her words are lost to it, torn apart by the bittersweet breeze that reminds her how homeless she is on her quest for salvation. It is only the voice of her correspondent that reminds her that she still has a home here, that she is more than a windswept questant on an impossible journey.

The warmth of her thoughts pervades the woman's words, a broad smile spreading across a face almost unsuitable for it. "I hope so too. Have you.... remembering to eat properly...?" The other person responds. "Of course I have. And remember, plants are an important... the diet."

A strong gust of wind blows Hilda's shawl away, and she stands for a moment to retrieve it. Sitting back down, she yawns slightly, hand wavering over the water as if envious of the physicality of her correspondent, and longing to touch whoever it may be. A sudden thought occurs to her. "I recently discovered a new seasoning, garlic. Have you ever had...? ... ...taste is simply divine." Pause.

"I can certainly try. How far... ... ... you right now? ...Friezant? I believe ... ...was it. ... ...I do not know. I am not originally ... ...Drachurst. It could be that... ...ancient times... ... Dragon froze... ... ... ... ...villages, and the city was... ... ...commemoration. ... ...Perhaps."

Hilda wraps the shawl tighter to stave off a blast of chill air, which is immediately followed by a period of calm. Leaning back down by the water to hear the reply, Hilda's face relaxes, then settles back into its usual mournful expression. She sighs. "I am afraid it might be a while, this time. Not that I know they're out there, I cannot turn my eye... ... ..for a second. I now have some clue as to what I am looking for, and ... ... spurns me on. But I promise that, for the... ... ...my task, and for the consummation of my atonement, our reunion will... ... ...much the brighter." Pained, bittersweet happiness fills her words, making them somehow sadder to hear, even thrown to the wind the way they are. Yet as the correspondent replies, Hilda's face picks up, her resolve strengthening, and her hope replenishing, even as small tears enter her eyes. They are dismissed in an instant.

Hilda will not allow herself to mourn, for herself or her task, until she has seen it through.

"I promise. ... ... And I you. ...Yes? ... ...Gladly."

She leaves to grab a blanket from her tent, wrapping it around herself for warmth as the wind picks up, but she stays by the lake for hours yet, talking through the lake. Her words travel no further than the surface of the lake, and she talks until the howling wind drowns out even that short distance, her eyes drooping as she bids her correspondent farewell. With a smile lingering on her face, she enters the tent. The roaring wind is her companion out here, and it often lulls her to sleep. Its familiarity is not like that of a home, but a bitter reminder that she's alone.

It's times like this that conversation soothes the soul, and the conversation is exactly what allows her to slip smoothly into peaceful dreams. She wakes up the next morning facing the sun, ready to step outside the shrine and continue her life's search.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:31 am

It's about midday when a strange humanoid covered in unnatural colors scampers into the shrine on all fours. This style of travel looks deranged enough even without the seemingly painted facial expression. Hilda feels a chill go up her spine as she lays eyes on the creature.

"May I help you?" she asks to preserve courtesy - she would not allow herself needless hostility. Not again... She prays that the creature does not attack her. That it's at least capable of understanding spoken language.

"Vengeance," sneers a deep and somewhat scratchy male voice. The creature's eyes lock with Hilda's, and she recognizes in their depths a hint of the same desperate dedication that has driven Hilda herself for so long.

"Against whom?" Hilda asks calmly.

"They chained me up, they worshipped me, they bid me become the symbol so I could not use my power, no no no. I would not stand for it." The creature notices his reflection in the water and recoils with a grotesque look on his face. He settles back on his haunches again, taking a moment to recollect himself - this time, his reflection is absent.

"I see." Hilda did not see. Not exactly. "I offer aid to those who need it. In what manner may I help you?"

He cackles. "I need to kill the usurper, the illusion, the exorcist."

"I do not kill."

He bares his teeth. "When I assume direct command of your body, you won't have much of a choice."

Hilda panics, and knows she has to steer the conversation back into more agreeable waters. "No." She expects an explosion, a twisting of fury, something threatening and evil and malevolent. Instead, he pouts. His face looks distinctly childlike. Memories spring to Hilda's mind, and she waves them away, jaw set. "I cannot kill. But perhaps I can aid you as you grow accustomed to this place."

He squints at her. "Promise to take me to a... spell-breaker or demon-hunter or witch-killer and you got a deal."

"Agreed," Hilda says before her rationality returns to her. She suddenly feels breathless. What did I just agree to? How did this creature get in here? What's going on?

"But no reflections." Suddenly the surface of the lake goes blank, then clear, showing only the lakebed, no light reflecting off its surface.

"In that case, the deal is off," Hilda says firmly, her conviction overpowering the strange nature to the air. Instantly the spell is broken, the lake regaining its reflectiveness (though still not reflecting the strange child).

"Awww, c'mon, please?" He looks desperate.

Hilda doesn't reply, but doesn't kick him out either. He doesn't leave, but doesn't bother her again.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:43 am

Dangausie walks through the night, face calm. She touches the locations of her concealed knives - one, two, three, four - just to make sure they are there. The sky is clear, the stars unimpeded from shining down on her, the light casting her face in just the right hue to complement her inscrutable expression. Her specialty is knowledge, secrets, justice, and the rumors she has heard are alarming, to say the least. Perhaps a potential threat of this caliber should be investigated by a task force, but Dangausie has knowledge and abilities uniquely suited to this situation - or so she wills herself to believe.

The night is clear, the air calm, the noises of the insects a peaceful lullaby. Dangausie closes her eyes and walks where the stars lead her. There is no better compass, and she knows the layout of these plains well enough. All she needs is the information given her by her informants...

Sure enough, soon the wind picks up. It grows to an almost deafening roar before the fog appears. The fog cannot be easily seen in the starlight - Dangausie's eyes want to slide past it, through it, around it - she fights against the instinct of her feet to walk past it, to veer subtly off course. She follows the stars forward, into the fog.

She almost trips, catching herself gracefully without showing any weakness. The fog has subsided, the wind reaching a more manageable level. Scattered around Dangausie's feet are stone debris; the ruins that shed them stand in the near distant, silhouettes against the moonless night and the vague fog. Walking toward her in the fog, face equally calm, is another woman, with wisdom and sorrow behind her eyes.

"What brings you to this place?" the woman asks, voice not exactly cold - cool, certainly, but detached, with an air of resignation and peace, that this place is a refuge from the outside world but that even so the outside world crumbles. Dangausie is impressed by the sheer emotional effort the woman must train herself to carry. It can't be easy, manifesting this presence. Dangausie herself has trained to carry very little presence, raise no eyebrows.

"Questions." Her voice comes out in all but a whisper, hoarse against the flowing wind. Ugh. Her rough accent stains the last part of the word, and she winces inwardly. She keeps her face a veil of night.

The other woman sighs, and looks at Dangausie with an immensely pitying stare. "Come inside then, if you won't be deterred." She turns and walks back toward the ruins, her gait striking Dangausie as... weary. Perhaps this woman was not a threat at all. By all accounts, the woman never raised a hand to commit an unjust action, only to save lives... Even so, leaving a loose end was a foolish thing to do.

Dangausie enters without a word, ducking down to enter the tent. The light within is warm, but oddly detached - it must be a magical fire, enchanted to seem more ambient, colder than usual, and always further away. The woman - the sorceress - must have some inane fondness for crafting an image. Dangausie would personally say this was overdoing it, though. Unless it was just a matter of taste. She keeps her disdain to herself, though. "Who are you?" she asks instead.

"A servant of the land, and a shadow of my former self," the woman replies unhelpfully.

This is going to be a long interview.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:08 am

A man walks the night, studying the stars with unimpressed eyes. He leans heavily upon his cane as he stops for a rest. He then speaks to the shorter being following in his wake, "Marteau, I believe that we are irredeemably lost in this... Wilderness." The word 'wilderness' tasted strange to the man. It was obvious that this was no pastime of his or his companion, given the fact that both were clad in silk suits. Marteau, as is his custom (for he cannot speak), does not reply.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:24 pm

The fog in the distance hangs back just out of reach, almost threatening. The trees twist around the way they'd come, so that no return can be easily found. The fog slides in there as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:42 pm

Not a normal wilderness either, it's almost as if the land itself is ...shifting. The man motions to his companion and they resume moving.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:52 pm

They stumble right into the thick fog. Or perhaps the thick fog moves to intercept them. Who can say?

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:03 pm

The man does more than stumble into the fog, he stumbles over a gnarled tree-root. Catching himself and his cane, he straightens and peers through the fog. "This is unnatural, Marteau. Keep near." The being appears to have no problem navigating the fog, unlike the man. However, the being (still) makes no acknowledgement.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:16 pm

The fog thickens, and the sound of roaring wind surrounds them. Turn back, it seems to say, though it gives no indication of which way "back" is.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:20 pm

The man is too turned around to turn around, or at least to know he has, so he turns and goes in another direction.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:37 pm

The wind continues, the fog thickening to the point where one's own hand would not be visible when extended.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:43 pm

The man coughs as he continues to attempt to find his way out of the fogbank.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:45 pm

The fog abruptly clears, though the wind still whistles overhead. A clear and smooth pond is seen, perfectly reflecting the night sky. Ruins of a shrine, not recorded on any map, lie before it.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:52 pm

The man stops, blinking several times. Perhaps this was a miasma and he was hallucinating...?

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:12 pm

It doesn't appear to be a hallucination. But then, that's the thing about hallucinations, isn't it?

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:23 pm

"This is peculiar." the man mutters as he turns from the ruins.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:30 pm

Away from the ruins, the fog and wind encircle the clearing, making exiting appear impossible.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:48 pm

The man makes a circuit of the shrine, his cane thumping the ground softly.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:03 pm

Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Except for, you know, a shrine being here. Wait-- are those voices coming from inside?

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:05 pm

Heinrich attempts to listen.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:27 pm

The voices -- one male, one female -- quietly banter back and forth with one another, often both stopping to giggle maniacally. While bantering, they sound very sarcastic and sadistic, but also quite youthful.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:34 pm

Heinrich raises an eyebrow. It's impolite to eavesdrop, but it's also impolite to barge in. If the voices were hostile, Marteau was the only construct Heinrich had brought with him. He mentally chastises himself for not bringing his normal retinue. He considers knocking.

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:50 pm

"Greetings, stranger," calls a different voice from behind him. "Are you lost?"

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PostSubject: Re: Hilda's Shrine   Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:59 pm

Heinrich turns to look in the direction of the voice. "In a manner of speaking, yes."

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