Bloodied Virtue

Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:48 am

"Elliot....Wake up noble Knight."

She sat on the bed in the rememdium, his head cradled in her lap, or so it would appear to him in his dream. Soft hands, with long gentle fingers, stroked his hair. There was no wound, no pain, no sign of anything that had happened with Catch and the others. The full crimson skirts made a lovely pillow atop her thighs.

"Elliot. Elliot it is time to talk with me, my noble boy. It has been far too long since we have had a chance to speak without company."

It was known to her, of course, all that had transpired since last they had spoken. She knew that her sweet little prince had been sucked into the nasty little game of Rhaena Olwak, It would be fine. She knew what had been and what was to come. Now all she required was to know the extent of the damage the woman had done.

It would be a busy time for the Dream Witch. So many visits that needed to be made. Ariane Emory. Cherny. Gloria. Perhaps she would even reach out and try to touch the mind that had so long eluded her. Glenn Burnie. Perhaps now he might wish to talk, on her terms.

She knew he would be upset, little Elliot. He would not welcome her presence even in his dreams, but there she remained. Calm, serene, waiting.
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:43 pm

"Do I know you?" It was a question that he had asked a number of people before he realized that there was no real point to it, that it was more grief on both them and him than it could possibly be worth. It didn't mean that the knowledge wasn't worth the cost, but there were better ways to say it. Now, though, he was surprised, disoriented. The last thing he remembered was comforting his young squire and suddenly, as that realization hit him, he blinked and shot up, sitting forward, looking around. "Cherny! Cherny! It's alright, lad. You did..." Then, silence. Cherny was certainly not there. No, instead there was this woman, this woman that he did not recognize who had been very forward with him indeed.

There was something unreal about all of this. Surreal, certainly. The end of yesterday and the beginning of today were not attached as they should have been. This was the remedium, yes, but there was something more. He had spent years in the wildnerness, years fending off strange and twisted magics. This had the feel of that. "Who are you?" Had the witch died only to unleash an even greater threat?
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:56 pm

"Your squire lives, brave little knight. He sits vigil at your bedside. He is honorable, if a little naive."

She smiled, watching him with her fully ebony eyes. No white, no true iris, nothing to detract from the void that was her gaze. For something so dark, so perfectly black, it held the fire of wisdom and emotion. He asked his question, and she watched the fear and confusion bubble just beneath the calm veneer. Felt the discomfort of her closeness wash over him like waves. She drew a long breath, exhaling slowly with the scent of smoke and rose water. So near he could feel the heat of it against his skin.

"Do you know me? No. This Elliot does not know me. He never has, and likely he never will. I've come to grant wishes, Elliot. Or is it Ser Elliot now? Are you a real knight? Noble and true? I certainly prefer my Ellliot. Noble yes, but with so much more potential. You...you will rush into the fight and defend her. Lay down your body and your blood for a woman who is not the Queen she believes herself to be. Die fighting a battle that was never yours, for a woman who wouldn't have thrown water on you if you were on fire just weeks ago."

She rose then, since he had sat up, she was free to do so. She paced in what could have been an actual room in the rememdium. Her long fingers clasped behind her back as the long red skirts swished across the rough wooden floors. The sounds were sharper here. The colors brighter. The scents more vivid. She turned to look at him over one shoulder, the curtain of silken raven curls shadowing her features. Making her dark eyes somehow even darker.

"As for who I am...I am the Dream Witch. The Nightmare Bringer. The equal of the Baie. I am a parent's threat to a disobedient child. But you....you once called me your Lady. My name is Galacia. I wish I could say it was a pleasure to meet you."
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:05 pm

"Galacia."

The pieces had come together, one after another. Cherny at his bedside, sitting vigil, but not there at all. He had no idea what happened to cause him to need such a thing. The Witch's spell of light. He had blocked it with his body, had protected Gloria but its effects were not immediate. Perhaps it had some sort of decaying effect, something worse. It could be a thousand things and it was done to protect someone who did not even like him but he would have done it again and again. If only the burden had not then fallen upon young Cherny.

"My mother used you to scare me into behaving, yes." It was both wistful and wary at the same time. She haunted little boys' dreams planted their by lazy or even well-meaning parents. She devoured all things good. He knew her. Any Myrken boy would. He was no longer any Myrken boy though. "Are you in league with the witch?" How else had she gotten so powerful so quickly here in Myrken. It made sense, including the spell she had cast to warp minds. Galacia must have assisted her.

She was speaking dangerous nonsense now, though. "I would die for the idea my Lady represents and to fulfill my vows. That means more than any single person, including myself. I wonder if you can understand something so noble, Dreamwitch." In all of his time in Myrken, since his return, everything had been a shade of grey. Everyone tried their best, he saw that now. This was a monster though, a creature of the night. He did not have to show the sort of mercy and kindness he had to others.
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:27 pm

"And what witch is that, little knight? The one you fear, or the one you serve? I have no ties to anyone in this place. Not even you...anymore."

She turned, stalking back toward him, hand extended to stroke his cheek. Her expression was blank. It was neither caring nor angry. She knew his mind was not his own and that this Elliot would hurt her if he could. It was almost enough to make her a little sad. Almost.

"You really don't know that she has bewitched half of Myrken. No matter how many times you are told, or who tells you, you really believe she is your Lady. And that would mean that by your twisted measure of things, I am the Monster. Once I was your Lady, and your were my Sir."

The broach at her collar glittered, almost as if on command. A beautiful antique, gold filigree surrounding a rather large ruby. A gift from her noble and brave little Elliot. The fingers of her other hand moved to stroke the edge of it softly.

"You gave this to me. Stole it for me. You were quite a little acrobat that night, and so pleased with yourself. It was quite impressive." She turned on him, her voice an icy whisper " And I understand noble. I understand that the Elliot I knew had a nobility you could never understand. Imperfect and flawed, and so very human. A far better man than you and your imaginary vows will ever be."
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:47 pm

She moved to stroke his cheek and his hand went for her wrist, harsh, meaning to drive her away, though he had no desire to hold her tight to him. The old Elliot had always been drawn to her, even mystified by her contact. This new one was of sterner stuff. She spoke her words and they did not match up what he knew. Her eyes shifted and so, for a moment, did his.

-----
You sit around the campfire with Sir Gahald, under the purple Lothaine sky. He speaks of the Baie, of the traditional monsters of Myrken Wood, of...
-----

The memory stutters, fades. His mind had been forging it in response to the stimuli around him for that is how the seed, the seed that had grown deep within him worked. Apparently, though, in this moment, something had other ideas. Elliot frowned slightly, instead using his own powers of deduction, dubious as they are, to work it out. "She couldn't figure it out on her own. She couldn't create a fantasy for everyone. She had YOUR help. And now that she's dead, you're revealed to me. You were the one who crafted the entire fantasy. A me that belonged to you and to her!"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:23 pm

As he held her wrist, she smiled. It was no longer the sweet motherly smile. It was cold, dark, menacing. Talons sliced upward from her fingers, tearing through the fabric of his sleeve as she pulled away.

"Foolish boy. I would be very disappointed if I didn't know who was behind all this. Mark my words...she will pay for what she has done. One way or another."

Yes, that was a direct threat to his Lady. So Elliot truly believed that Niall had been behind this. That was interesting, but it made sense. It was an easy fix for Rhaena to keep Niall away from Elliot. To keep him away from the one person who could likely have slapped some sense into him when this first began.

"The real you did belong to us. Well, I will admit, far more to her than me. She was your friend Elliot. Perhaps the only real friend you ever had. And she is dead now. When all of this is over, you will regret that. Perhaps I need to visit your friend Ariane. She is your friend now, isn't she? Both of you so steeped in this farce that you no longer see reality. I know who your witch is, Elliot. It is a pity you can not see her for what she is."
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:41 pm

"Lady Olwak is the light that is going to sweep away you and everything you represent. She's bringing a new dawn to Myrken Wood," and Elliot Gahald, her true and brave knight, was the ultimate symbol of it. "We are not afraid of you any longer. We are not afraid of nightmares, for we wake up to a better world each and every morning!" It was so earnest and honest. He believed every word and he believed that his Lady could smite her through the sheer goodness of her heart alone.

She said someone would pay and he shook his head firmly. There was kindness in is voice but it was tempered by firmness. He had tried to show the Witch mercy and it had gone horribly in the end, tragically, perhaps. "If you do not repent your wicked ways, you will pay, Dreamwitch. It shall be I who makes you, or my Lady, or yes, the Lady Marshall. Any of us are worthy enough to stand to you." Just as he was doing now.
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:35 pm

Laughter. Rich and genuine laughter. She laughed until blood red tears crept from the corner of her eyes. She laughed until her arms wrapped around her ribs to keep from bursting. The laughter shifted slowly from the high jovial sound of mirth, twisting, crumbling, until in the end it sounded more like the crushing of glass beneath the heel of a boot. A sound devoid of joy, of mirth, of hope.

"Oh Elliot. Thank you. A lady needs to laugh, really laugh, now and again. You sound almost as ridiculous as those pious creatures at the Church of the One God. Do you realize that? You act as though Rhaena is going to make Myrken perfect. Here's a bit of news for you little man. Rhaena is not going to purge all the monsters from under the bed. She is the monster under the bed."

She stalked to the other side of the room, almost as if she were counting, waiting, breathing, before she spoke again.

"And your Lady Marshall. Your Lady Marshall...she is not what she appears to be. None of them are, but she most of all. Though you do share something with her. She fears me too. She knows better than to face me. She knows what I can do. She will fall if I can not break your Lady Rhaena. Is that what you want? What price your knighthood, Elliot? Who has to die? Cherny? Gloria? Naill is already dead. How many are you willing to see fall?"
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:38 am

"I think," and he was not completely impolite. She was a monster, but this was obviously a dream and there was always a place for manners. "that we are having separate conversations here." She laughed, but didn't she see? Every single word she spoke was just as absurd to him as every single word he spoke to her. He didn't laugh because it was serious and because he was polite.

He just stared at her instead. "Creatures who use such dark magic sometime become lost within their own machinations." And of course, it was admirable of him to try to say such a word but the pronunciation came out more like some terrible Dauntless word. "I wonder if you are not lost yourself. My Lady would help you if you went to her." That's all they needed of course, Rhaena Olwak 'helping' Galacia.

"Otherwise, your news is opinion. Your opinion is ridiculous. The Witch crafted her own fate, even after I offered her mercy. I stepped before Gloria to protect her. Cherny stepped up and did what was true and brave and right. Your view of what is going on is so backwards and upsidedown I wonder if everything is seen in a mirror in dreams. In truth, I pity you." That last bit was outright said with kindness and compassion. Despite her words, he was a caring young man, certainly a mirror image of her Elliot.
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:40 pm

The smile she offered was knowing and almost kind. It wasn't his fault of course. He had not lost himself. He had been stolen. Shew had taken the charming rogue with potential almost unlimited, and locked him away in her perfect little box. Placed him in a glass cage that, like all things so delicate no matter how carefully constructed, would eventually shatter.

"Perhaps you are correct, Sir Elliot," She even managed to speak his new title with a kindness. "Perhaps all any of us need is the knowing and loving hand of your Lady. Could it be that all of us are simply unaware of our evil? That all we require is the guidance of a woman so wise and kind as Rhaena."

If he remembered her at all he would know that her words, despite their serious and kind sound, were dripping with sarcasm.

"But....just maybe, you could be mistaken. And then what? What is Niall really was your dearest friend? What if I truly was your Lady, your friend? What if Gloria truly wanted the best for you? What if Cherny is only your Knight to make sure nothing terrible happens to you? What if all those things are true? Would it mean then that all your Lady has told you is a lie?"
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:59 pm

"Dreamwitch,"when had she last seen such nobility in someone? She had seen heroes and monsters, fools and madmen, good men gone wrong and bad men who did right. Here though was such assurance, such confidence, but such compassion as well. "know this," firm and brave and true. "If what you say is true, if it is all a lie, a fabrication. If everything I feel and know is wrong, then it changes nothing. My code is worthwhile. My goals are worthwhile. I know this. I believe it. I wish to help my fellow man. I wish to protect beauty. I wish to make the world a better place. How could these things be false, even if, as you say, the reason behind them may be?

"If what you say is true, then so be it, but so long as i do my very best, each and every day, and so long as I help as many as I can, with all my skill and all my effort, then ultimately, it does not matter one whit."
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Galacia Tarin » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:46 pm

It was surreal.

He was completely a shell of what he once was. She had known he had been changed, but perhaps until that moment she did not believe that not a piece of the old Elliot remained.

"And then what, little Knight? You will marry and grow old? Have many fat little grandchildren. And then one day you will die and be taken into the arms of the One God. Is that it? Is that your perfect ideal? All that matters now is the goodness and virtue of your deeds and a place in that mythical kingdom after your death?"

She shook her head, she did not even have it within her to laugh.

"Not while I still draw breath. You continue on your little campaign for goodness Elliot. Let Rhaena move you like just another pawn on her grand chessboard. Let her laugh as she watches all of you dance to her little tune. Meanwhile I will find the young man I once knew."
"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you
But I'm pretty when I lie"
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Galacia Tarin
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Re: Bloodied Virtue

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:06 am

A shell?

This was no shell. This was no empty receptacle. He looked at her with compassion and concern, despite the fact she was a monster, despite the fact she had done so much to so many. "It is a lovely thought, Galacia, to have such a reward, but all I wish to create a better world. Lady Olwak thoroughly wishes that we can all live to see it, all live to see a better place. Those in her circle, though?" His smile was not wistful, was not bemused. It was honest and straightforward. "We may not make it to see such a day. I hope, dreamlady, that with your immortality, you may come to know it and more so, that during that time, you may come to know a real peace."
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