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|Action Id: 3396||Crisis:||Participants: Vitalis, Apollo, Rhiannon, Fianna, Beatrice, Juniper, Maja and Antea|
|Status: Resolved||Submitted: May 31, 2019, 6:14 a.m.||Public: True||GM: Puffin|
Action by Vitalis
It's a pleasant luncheon in the back green, still winter gray, of Vitalis' residence in the City. The weather is brisk, cold - lingering winter chill held in abeyance by pot-bellied iron stoves and a crackling bonfire. An 'Arxpedition' he's called it, welcoming friends and family and trusted associates to enjoy food and comeraderie as they either have, or might, were they out Exploring.
On the thirteenth day of the month and at the thirteenth hour, the luncheon becomes something else. With brandies and pipes, mugs of cider or tea and amaretto, Vitalis gathers everyone at the bonfire. With a brand from the fire, Vitalis lights thirteen candles in glass shelters. There are objects at his feet, his things, gathered on travels or significant in some way. Some look utterly mundane. He stands there, back to the crackling flames, his voice pitched into is deeper registers and welcomes everyone, "My blood," he nods to family, "My friends and allies," he nods to the others. "Thank you for coming."
He lifts his hands, palms up, voice resonant, with the cadence of ritual: "Primum is the stuff of life itself. Our links to it have been tainted for centuries. You are here to bear witness to my attempt to cleanse my own connection through sacrifice and the sharing of my hopes for the future. Think on what you witness. Give thought to what you would like to see come to pass and share your vision with others so that eventually Primum will be ours once again." A log on the bonfire shifts abruptly, embers exploding upward. Flames lick hungrily over fresh wood. He grins, lopsided, at the bit of added theater as he shrugs out from under the signature snarling pelt he wears draped over his shoulders.
"First. Respect for bravery." Vitalis' brow furrows, "Not mine... hers." He tosses the pelt as carefully as he might into the fire. It will not smell good. "She fought hard defending her own-" He rubs absently at his chest and, then, seems to realize this will take hours if he doesn't move along. "-and deserves rest."
"Vigilance for influences from without-" he slips a mirrored bracelet off, it winks in the firelight, "-and within." On to the fire it goes.
"Curiosity that leads to deeper understanding," a page with angular doodles on it goes into the flame quickly becoming ash.
"Curiosity that leads to hope," he tosses in a strange dried leaf with long blade-like fronds woven cleverly together.
"Curiosity that leads to trust," he grins and tosses a bit of bark onto the flame.
"Love-" represented by a carrot, of course. What else? "-for our friends, wherever we find them." He tosses it in, looking ruefully at everyone, "This is probably the only thing I'll add to the fire that will smell good, my apologies."
"Love for our families - the ones we're born to," he holds up an iris bulb, it looks like an onion, but sadly for the growing pool of scents, is not, "-and the ones we make."
"Moments of joy and simple beauty to lift flagging spirits," said simply, the rattling frame and paper of a brightly painted kite added to the flames, its cheer devoured, crackling.
"Music as a path to resonance, if not harmony, in connecting with those dissimilar," he stoops to flick open the latches of his lute case, running hands along the strings one last time before an old friend goes onto the fire with the rest.
"Dedication to our oaths and our passions freely chosen," his voice is loud, bright, carrying, and this is followed with a tuft of fur fetched from his coat pocket, rolled between fingers to make a thin strand and tossed.
"Passion, for the strength we learn despite our vulnerabilities-" a small leather folio, bearing comb, trimmers, and straight-razor, "-or, rather, because of them."
"Sacrifice, when it is called for." He collects himself a bit and holds up a charm that any who know him recognize it as the one clipped to his belt since Valerio's death. He swallows and adds it to the fire, lips moving silently.
"And above all... purpose." He slips Enigma from its stays at his hip. The whip's slivery coils gleam in the firelight. "Strange familiar echoes brought this weapon to me. Whispers from the Dream?" He shrugs, head shaking, "If you hand me an alaricite blade tomorrow, I'll never hold a weapon more suited to me than this one. We are woven together and without it... I will be less." His lips flatten as he looks hard at it, "It represents no more and no less than my purpose in life - the ones before, this one, and the ones to come." He pauses a moment, silent farewell, "For the Dream." He turns towards the bonfire and with both hands tosses the whip in.
Action by Apollo
This is going to be a lot of Apollo standing and watching awkwardly. He doesn't have the background to understand what is going on or why, nor the composure to paper over that fact. What he does have? Is just enough charm to come off more "rituals, am I right?" than a total head case.
Action by Rhiannon
Dressed in Ashford colors and leather armor, Rhiannon shows up at the party. She is often out of the way, not what you'd call exceptionally social. But she listens, she observes and she witnesses. Her lips curve a little at the bark and then her eyes go to the fire to watch quietly. She makes note of each one, registering the significance and the sacrifice.
Action by Juniper
Food and drink are fine lures but Juniper attends in support of their host. With warm eyes and the force of her smile, she silently cheers him through every item cast into the fire, and commiserates with every hesitation. It might seem a difficult thing, to pour support and reassurance into the act of remaining quiet, remaining still, but she's a courtier of no little skill-- and an enthusiastic friend, at that. When Vitalis has finished, and waits, she cups a hand over her heart. Maybe a prayer's said but if so it too is silent.
Action by Fianna
Fianna is present and dressed in Stormwall's colors as she stands in quiet support of Vitalis' ritual. She watches as each item is given to the fire and smiles faintly at the offering of a carrot in particular. Not because it's the only thing that smells good being burned but because of what is represents as part of the ritual. She watches with curious eyes as Vitalis speaks and can't help the hitch in her breath for that last sacrifice made to the fire. As she exhales a quiet breath, she waits with the everyone else once Vitalis stops speaking.
Action by Beatrice
The Nilanzan Seneschal is not much for Arxpeditions or snow. But friends and amaretto tea? Those she loves. She is a silent observer to the ritual, but the expression that begins curious changes to encouraging as Vitalis's sacrifices grow - and ends dazed by the time Enigma ends on the pyre.
Action by Maja
Maja .. doesn't really know what the heck is going on. She doesn't know much about anything! So she's here watching in wide-eyed confusion. Ritual? To cleanse .. whatnow? To say that her mind is being blown is an understatement but she does her best to be silent and keep it together. Hooooboy.
Action by Antea
Antea will be attending this 'housewarming' and all it entails. While there, she will observe a ritual of cleansing at the bonfire as Vitalis undertakes it. She is non-participatory, only there to observe and learn.
On the thirteenth day, in the thirteenth hour, Vitalis gathers his friends to perform a rite of cleansing. He lifts his hands, palms up, voice resonant, with the cadence of ritual: "Primum is the stuff of life itself. Our links to it have been tainted for centuries. You are here to bear witness to my attempt to cleanse my own connection through sacrifice and the sharing of my hopes for the future. Think on what you witness. Give thought to what you would like to see come to pass and share your vision with others so that eventually Primum will be ours once again."
And then he begins his sacrifices. Things small and large, mementos and memories. He lists bravery, and vigilance. Curiosity, understanding, hope, trust, love... twelve different things that he would see woven into the dream, and the fire stays steady as it consumes each offering.
And then he holds up a silver whip. "And above all... purpose." He slips Enigma from its stays at his hip. The whip's slivery coils gleam in the firelight. "Strange familiar echoes brought this weapon to me. Whispers from the Dream?" He shrugs, head shaking, "If you hand me an alaricite blade tomorrow, I'll never hold a weapon more suited to me than this one. We are woven together and without it... I will be less." His lips flatten as he looks hard at it, "It represents no more and no less than my purpose in life - the ones before, this one, and the ones to come." He pauses a moment, silent farewell, "For the Dream." He turns towards the bonfire and with both hands tosses the whip in.
Now the fire flares, and for a moment it is as though the fire whips out and lashes each of them in turn - and yet they are not burned. No, instead they are inspired, their hearts burning brightly with the feeling of the future - incipient, coming toward them faster than they can know, and suddenly with that whip-like feeling they know that the primum is closer to being cleansed than ever. That their actions have meaning. That whatever their purpose is, they are moving ever forward, relentlessly seeking a better future for all.
And then a voice echoes in the room, a strange voice with a foreign accent, sounding dry and dusty from disuse. "What spurs change onward, yet never changes itself?"
The question hangs in the air, and then the fire gutters and is out, the ritual complete.