• Memory • A Day To Remember

It is said that when the Immortal Treid was slain, his heart was buried in the shadows of the ice, cursed by the Immortal Audrae. His people built a city atop the frozen wasteland in hopes of one day finding it and resurrecting their fallen leader.

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Cylus, Arc 694th

The blistering cold winds that had rushed about all Cylus, let out a dull roar, promising to continue its presence for many more seasons. It threw about the snow like a million fluttering white butterflies, dancing about in all directions. Within the stark whiteness of it all, was a figure that could be faintly made out. She moved slowly but surely, taking every step in the thick snow with patience. As she emerged through the opaqueness of layered white, it could be seen that she was an elderly woman, bent over and clutching a walking stick by the middle - not for use, but perhaps for security. Her light blue eyes shone as she looked up and it could perhaps be felt, that those very eyes had seen many things - awful and wonderful.

'My lady Vralna...' A young voice rang out over the gushing wind.

One of her hand maidens had waited for Lady Vralna to complete her daily walk, she offered her hands for support. The handmaiden, a young Ellune girl called Esira, had waited patiently under Lady Vralna's instructions. The freezing cold was beneficial to her joints, many of her doctors would advise, as would walking each day. Lady Vralna was not so stubborn to ignore the advice and if it was not for her both her handmaidens' urging, she may have decided to lay in that morning.

Vralna took the handmaiden's arm with thanks, leaning her weight some what. As the handmaiden lead her on a few more steps, a male Ellune suddenly appeared out of nowhere. And kept walking, carrying a snow cap filled with food. He nodded his head deeply toward Lady Vralna as he passed by. Soon, other Ellune walked by from all directions as buildings all around could be made out at the same time that the snow storm began to wane and clear. A few moments later and the storm seemed to have regressed to a light dusting. Around them was revealed to be a wonder for all eyes - Treidhart.

The pair were walking away from the main square of Treidhart where Lady Vralna had completed her walk. The foot of the adjacent mountains could just be made out on either side of them, and in front, the entrance to the Hall of Statues. Lady Vralna and her handmaiden continued her walk over the bridge and there was no chatter - which was unusual. But it was an important day today - for the Elder's were to visit Treid's tomb in person to pay their respects. Each year, Lady Vralna had paid her respect and each year, Treid remained...exactly where he was.

At the entrance to the Hall, the guard of the Ellune clicked their boots and straightened their backs more than what was thought to be possible. Wind rushed by them as they walked through the entry tunnel and the sounds of echoed voices beyond grew louder. The Hall of Statues opened out before them in all of its glory, with every support of its enormously high ceiling, personified by a statue of Treid himself, bearing the weight of all of the hopes and dreams of the Ellune - even in his state of comatose.

As Lady Vralna entered, a group of Elder's had formed groups, talking quietly amongst themselves as they waited to be called to enter the tomb. Some noticed Lady Vralna's entrance and nodded respectfully, while a few others eyed her. She took a few slow steps into the Hall and waited for her second handmaiden.
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11th Trial of Cylus
694th Arc
Treidhart, Oscillus
[[Unless otherwise specified, Rizoel is speaking Leni in this thread.]]
Had she been meeting any of Treidhart's other elders, the girl's pace would have been much faster. As it was, Rizoel's appointment today was with the lady Vralna. Though she held a great deal of respect for the elderly Ellune, Rizoel also held a bit of pity in her heart towards the woman. The half-blooded young woman viewed herself as being in much better physical condition than any of the city's elders due to her young age.

Today, both her own physical condition and that of Lady Vralna's worked to her advantage.

Lady Vralna went almost everywhere accompanied by a pair of handmaidens. A promise to do the younger handmaiden's classwork was all Rizoel required to lure her away from the elder for the day. The girl's plan was to serve as handmaiden to Lady Vralna as she took her scheduled visit to Treid's tomb. Rizoel's intentions were not malicious-all she wanted was an opportunity to see the Immortal's body with her own eyes before she completed her education at Treidhart's school. In truth, she had few if any concrete plans for her future. The Ellune part of her brain felt that the sight of Treid would somehow inspire her.

Bundled in all the layers she owned, Rizoel continued her leisurely pace through Treidhart's center towards the Immortal's tomb, where she knew the next phase of her plan awaited her.

When she arrived outside the icy tomb, she hurried towards the hunched figure supported by a much younger-looking one, silently praying her eyes read their silhouettes correctly through the snow. Rizoel was delighted when her eyes did not fail her and she found herself standing right next to Lady Vralna as well as her handmaiden. The girl she'd bribed gave her a quick briefing on relevant information to this post. Flipping through her head, Rizoel picked out the girl's name-Esira, if she remembered correctly, and offered the young Ellune a stiff nod.

"I apologize for keeping you waiting, my Lady," spoke Rizoel, her head turned towards the elder as she spoke. "I realize that I am not your normal handmaid and I deeply regret not being able to inform you of the change sooner. I was sent here on behalf of your companion, who wished me to inform you that she found herself ill this morning." This was the extent of the hybrid's introduction. As this was also her first meeting with any of Treidhart's elders, Rizoel found herself somewhat eager to get on Lady Vralna's good side.
Last edited by Rizoel on Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 465
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Lady Vralna had not waited long - to her surprise. Her current stock of handmaidens were generally unreliable when it came to appointments. But at her age, time was so...variable. It hardly mattered on most days, whether she were left to wait but in this particular circumstance, a day of respects were to be paid and her patience was as limited as the time she had to spend with Treid. So, she welcomed the handmaiden with surprise at her timely arrival and further surprise at the particular handmaiden it was that day.

"I apologize for keeping you waiting, my Lady."

Vralna's bright blue eyes widened slightly, flickering up and down, like a snake's tongue to scent the girl. Lady Vralna had always found half Ellune - half Eídisi peculiar in their own way, but manifested in blond hair and blue eyes, seemed a fair combination in this case. She noticed a slight dim in the conversations nearby as some of the Elders looked curiously her way. Certainly the girl was clad in more clothing as was usual for an Ellune on such a fine, freezing day. Vralna huffed to herself, for she found the usual Ellune-centric attitudes to race a bore, and she was all too glad to take the girl in, if it was just to make a point and stick it at the other Elders...

"I realize that I am not your normal handmaid and I deeply regret not being able to inform you of the change sooner. I was sent here on behalf of your companion, who wished me to inform you that she found herself ill this morning."

'Oh you never mind that. Quite ill indeed. Well, I suppose you wish to accompany me to see the tomb?' Lady Vralna arched a brow, with a faint sign of amusement on her lips.
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Lady Vralna's smug expression was mildly puzzling to the girl. Even on her best days, Rizoel was not good at reading faces. Not only was this not one of her best days, Lady Vralna was a completely new person whose appearance she hadn't yet accustomed to. Deciding it was best to play the situation by ear, the young woman ran with it.

"Yes, my Lady, I do," replied the hybrid somewhat sheepishly with a slight duck of her head.

It was then the girl looked around, having heard a distinct lull in the conversation. Every time she looked, she made eye contact with someone else before one or both of them looked away in a hurry. Playing the outsider now, Rizoel felt more confident about her abilities. This could barely be considered acting.

"My name is Rizoel, and it is an honor to serve my Lady," said Rizoel to introduce herself. She dipped in a brief curtsy before straightening her posture.

Though she avoided direct eye contact whenever possible, one of her glances at the crowd caught the other handmaiden's eye. She supposed the girl had introduced herself before the pair of handmaidens needed to return to the attending of Lady Vralna's needs, but she hadn't paid much attention to anything the girl said, preferring to focus as much of her attention as she could on the Ellune elder.

She would let the more experienced handmaiden lead the way, making sure to stay a step or two behind. Unless she was addressed before they reached the center of Treid's tomb, Rizoel had no intention of speaking. This was sightseeing time.
Last edited by Rizoel on Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 283
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Yes my lady, I do.

My name is Rizoel, and it is an honor to serve my Lady.

Lady Vralna gave a slight nod. She was pleased somewhat with the girl's eagerness and it seemed quite authentic. It had reminded her of her own first visit to the tomb. She wore a violet skirt made for that occasion and she remembered feeling sad afterward - crying that night to sleep. She had always wondered how that experience had affected her so much...

The now aged Elder, held out her free arm for her new handmaiden to clasp and turned toward the entry into the passage that would lead to Treid's tomb. Elite guards towered stolidly on either side, as if like statues themselves. Their icy armor ground together as they turned to face one another and made a step back, revealing passage to the next room.

'A moment, please!' A voice rang out nearby, Elders parting and the noise of whispered conversations then flatlined. It was a man of little hair and a slight look of disgust on his thin lips. 'Surely, my Lady Vralna, it is against our tradition for those that are not Elders to be disallowed entry to our Great Father on this morning?'

Lady Vralna stopped walking, sighing to herself - as if expecting this intervention to happen. She turned slightly, regarding the man with a purse of her lips.

'Elder Pellan. You disrupt the serenity of this ritual.' Lady Vralna said coolly. 'Now, you may have your youth still with you, but I do not. Need I remind you, that I have always had the assistance of my handmaidens, especially so for such occasions as these, as agreed by a majority vote at Public Council some arcs ago.'

'It was not agreed that you are to be assisted from those that should not see the tomb at all.' Pellan blurted out, referring clearly at the newly arrived handmaiden. When the room was suddenly filled with soft jeering and shaking of heads from both Pellan's enemies and even his supporters, Pellan knew he had gone too far.

Lady Vralna's eyes stared icily at the other Elder.
'You do not have the right, nor the support it seems, to say such a thing. Now, let us not besmirch this ritual any more than you already have.'

She turned and continued onward, leaving the angered and defeated Pellan with the low whispers of the Elders behind. Above them, hung large sheets of ice, carved meticulously with scenes depicting Treid. The morning sun was rising fast, entering the slots in the ceiling and placing soft splashes of yellow about the room. Dust particles hung mid air in the rays, pushed aside by the party that made their way through. Soon they were at the great icy door leading to Treid's tomb, guarded again by another two of the Elite guard. They touched certain points of the gate, exuding a white icy glow from the palms of their hands at each place, followed quickly with a distinct 'click.' Soon the door was unlocked and was swung open.
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This was the first time Rizoel had ever been allowed so close to Treid's temple. With widening eyes she took the Elder's hand and allowed herself to look around properly. Her gaze skimmed across the crowd and those in it-several of the Ellune looked away hastily when they noticed she was looking in their direction. One man seemed almost disgusted by her very presence.

A second glance revealed him to be Elder Pellan, another of the figures the Ellune highly respected. Her mother Allena did not care for Pellan, a dislike passed to her daughter. With a slight sneer at the elder, Rizoel turned her eyes to more interesting things, like the guards that had just moved to allow the trio entrance to the tomb. The armor adorning their bodies seemed to be made from pieces of ice. Rizoel guessed the material was either actual enchanted ice or perhaps tienite.

"A moment, please!"

The voice rang out from behind Lady Vralna and her handmaidens, silencing the entire assembled group. The girl pivoted to face its speaker, irritation crossing her face as Elder Pellan stepped forwards. Surely, my Lady Vralna, it is against our tradition for those that are not Elders to be disallowed entry to our Great Father on this morning? he asked, slightly turning up his nose at the hybrid girl.

Lady Vralna's response came with pursed lips, her tone icy. 'Elder Pellan. You disrupt the serenity of this ritual. Now, you may have your youth still with you, but I do not. Need I remind you, that I have always had the assistance of my handmaidens, especially so for such occasions as these, as agreed by a majority vote at Public Council some arcs ago."

Rizoel raised an eyebrow at the man attempting to oppose them, the sneer returning to her face.

"It was not agreed that you are to be assisted from those that should not see the tomb at all," blurted Elder Pellan. As she processed his remark, her sneer was replaced with barely controlled rage.

"I have as much right to enter the tomb as any other citizen born and raised in this city does!" Rizoel spat, clenching her free hand until she felt the sting of her fingernails digging into her palm. A slight movement in the corner of her eye from the other handmaid reminded Rizoel of the company she was currently in. With some effort, she silenced herself.

"You do not have the right, nor the support it seems, to say such a thing. Now, let us not besmirch this ritual any more than you already have." The icy edge of Lady Vralna's voice cut through the anger the hybrid girl felt, allowing her to see the disapproving looks and head shakes coming from those who normally supported Pellan. The sight brought a jolt of satisfaction to Rizoel, who slipped back into the sneer her face had worn previously. Following Lady Vralna's lead, she turned on her heel and began the walk to the tomb proper.

This was another area of Treidhart new to Rizoel. Beautiful ice carvings that showed the Ellune's creator in a variety of scenes covered the room, their smooth surface catching the sunlight that was just beginning to spill inside. Rizoel found herself drawn to the largest of the carvings, located right next to the tomb's door. This one showed the creation of the Ellune.

In time, the trio arrived at the actual entrance to the tomb. Another pair of guards who seemed even more intimidating than the previous pair had-was it their height?-leered over them, though when Lady Vralna drew close enough to the door they each turned and placed a glowing white hand to the gate. With a giant creak, the heavy doors swung open, sending a gust of air past the group and blowing a lock of the girl's hair into her face. She swept a hand through her hair and moved the offending lock before redirecting her gaze to the newly-opened doors.

From what little she could see of the tomb, the circular room seemed gigantic. A raised platform in the center was surrounded by statues Rizoel assumed were of Treid. A feeling of excitement bubbled through her as she wondered what the Immortal would look like. Her free hand, seemingly of its own will, brushed invisible dust off her shirt in a subconscious effort to make herself look presentable for the Immortal even though he would not see her. She took a deep breath and stepped forward.
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As the trio stepped into the Tomb, the air cried past them as if it had been bottled within. Once they battled past the entry, the door slid behind them and the rush of wind was silenced. Lady Vralna noticed her new handmaiden, Rizoel, was unconsciously making herself presentable and felt pleased at the small gesture of respect. She also heard Esira's slow breaths and saw that she gazed hypnotically at the tomb.

It was quiet and dark.

The only source of light, beamed through the oculus above, illuminating a shower of fine snow that dropped lazily down like autumn leaves. The snow dusted the inert ice statue of Treid, laying there on the raised plinth. The four elite guards, could have very well been statues themselves, heads lowered with their hands resting on enormous weapons of ice that were propped on the snow clad floor. They were facing outward and, it seemed, directly to four statues of Treid that returned their gaze.

Lady Vralna approached and the sound of shuffling feet broke the silence with echos. An elite guard stood directly in front of them and his hunched countenance was foreboding. The guards suddenly rotated in unison and their icy armors clanged while their weapons scraped along the floor, revealing a gap from which to approach the fallen Immortal. The guards halted abruptly, allowing silence to fill the room once again.

As Lady Vralna and her entourage approached, the icy statue that reflected light began to allow it to pass through. The Immortal's face became clearer as if it had been carved with finer tools. His face seemed impassive, eyes closed almost as if he had been waiting...

Lady Vralna had a son once. He had died needlessly in war. In some ways, Treid seemed strangely like her son, even though he was far older than she, even though he was more of a father to her people. Her maternal instinct seemed to jolt whenever she saw him and the pain was sharp and twisting. But where her son had died, the Immortal, had still a chance...

Lady Vralna lowered herself before the plinth, her hand outstretched to touch the surface of the icy coffin. After so many years of seeing him each year, her body was beginning to dry up like a shriveled fruit and with that, her tears. They had all been shed many years ago and were never to be replenished. Only hope remained in her dry core.

'You shall rise...' She managed with a whisper in defiance. 'I promise you, you shall rise again.'
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So this was the legendary Immortal.

An awed gasp fell out of Rizoel's mouth as she looked on the Immortal, who seemed merely asleep. Her hand twitched for a moment, struck with the impulse to reach out and touch him, though she restrained herself and sank to her knees.

This was a moment she had barely dared to dream of. Even while she plotted her way inside his tomb, Rizoel never once let herself hope this plan could be seen through to fruition. But here, now, she was in a room even most full-blood Ellune never had the opportunity to see.

Rarely did Rizoel feel any sort of religious pull. The existence of the Immortals had never been a question in her mind, for they created most everything important in Idalos. She had simply never felt there was a reason to pray to a being with more pressing concerns, preferring to devote herself to the pursuit of knowledge. There were perhaps two Immortals who she would even feel a compulsion to worship: Yvithia and Treid. One was incapacitated, and the other had no time for or interest in worship. It was, in Rizoel's opinion, better to spend time performing duties and tasks the Immortal in question would appreciate. Yet when Lady Vralna bent her head to inform Treid that he would rise again, Rizoel found herself in the same position.

"My lady Vralna," began the girl quietly. Another urge overtook her, this one an urge Rizoel had every intention of following through on. "I am studying in Viden this coming arc with every intent of becoming a researcher." She hesitated for a moment, unsure of her words. "I am determined to do everything I can to revive our Great Father, and I swear this to you in his very presence."

For a moment, she wondered if she had taken herself too far. Bowing her head in silence, the girl closed her eyes. With every trill that passed, the idea of learning in Viden became more and more appealing. Perhaps she would be more welcomed by the Eídisi than she had been by the Ellune.
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Stray snow diverted course and began to blanket the trio. Lady Vralna's hand was still outstretched and her eyes were closed. Her wrinkled features became more pronounced as her brow arched in pain and her lips moved in silent prayer. Silence resumed.

Lady Vralna slowly opened her eyes and they twinkled with the reflected light from the occulus. Snow had formed on her lashes. Her eyes were different now - as if transformed from the helpless pain to renewed hope. She clamped her lips from further prayer.

My lady Vralna. It was the handmaiden who spoke. I am studying in Viden this coming arc with every intent of becoming a researcher.

Lady Vralna continued to stare away and did not respond. She was pulled away from a sea of memory into a stark, silent reality. She remembered the handmaiden that had come with her. She was half-eidisi. How peculiar a mix, she thought again. She had also mentioned something about Viden. Viden! Groups of Ellune and Eidisi researchers worked in tandem to free Treid. Meanwhile, Pellan had the entire city digging deeper and deeper, to what? Certainly, there was no foreseeable conclusion to this dig and yet, Treid was here, tangible and real. The Videnese had made some investigations but with the strict securities and limitations caused by Pellan and others of his stock, a true investigation was yet to be made...and yet she was half-ellune too. Could she bridge the divide between Oscillus and the north?

I am determined to do everything I can to revive our Great Father, and I swear this to you in his very presence.

Lady Vralna, finally, managed to lift her head to look at the girl. Immediately she caught the sincerity welling in those icy blue eyes. On most occasions, Lady Vralna would have usually nodded and patted the cheek of a girl who spoke such lofty dreams. But, she herself, as a young girl, had said the same thing to her mother, when she had visited Treid's tomb for the first time.

The pieces of this puzzle had already been set.

'A rather heavy burden you just hauled onto your back.' Lady Vralna's eyes twinkled as she whispered back. Her face remained as shrewd as it always was. 'But once committed, there will be no going back. I will see what can be done to begin your studies in Viden.'

She managed to rise slowly, with the help of her handmaidens. Once standing, she straightened her back somewhat and was rewarded by a few satisfying cracks. She took one last look at Treid and turned to leave. The door they had entered from, cracked open.
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First she had been numb with anxiety while she waited for the Ellune elder to reply.

Then she had been numb while processing her answer.

But now? Now, Rizoel was numb with absolute joy, trying her hardest to contain the smile threatening to crack her face in half.

She sat in silence for a moment with her head still bowed, snow dusting her head and upper back. "Thank you," whispered Rizoel, her eyes watering irritatingly. "I...thank you."

As she stood up in a daze, making her way over to Lady Vralna in order to assist her in standing up, her body was on autopilot. She barely noticed as the trio left the tomb and then the Great Hall, a flood of ideas washing through her mind. The possibilities that had just opened up for her future were dizzying. Even better than the incredible potential she now felt she had was the sense of purpose just instilled in the hybrid girl.

She smiled as she made her way home. Nothing in the world could stop her now.
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