Summary:At the beginning of Calibration, Zahara makes use of Third Circle Summoning -- but something unexpected happens.

XP:I4, S4, V4, Z4

< An Ultimate Purpose | Sol Invictus Logs | The Liberator of Netheos >

`Spring "When you are ready, Empress."

The clock ticks down, the last moments of the year proper slipping away... as the proper beginning of Calibration grows closer second by second, and with it, the time in which the most powerful souls of the Primordials might bend to the whims of the Solar Exalted.

`Imrama holds a pocket watch in one hand, and a noisemaker in the other, ready to raise a ruckus at the moment Calibration begins, in observance of a First Age custom.

With what can only be described as ample warning, the clock ticks over and Calibration officially begins. Though the darkness of evening changes not at all, the air almost instantly feels several degrees colder than it did a moment before.

`Imrama Toot!

`zahara attempts to maintain her concentration in the face of the ruckus without laughing.

`Spring ::At least he did not try to kiss anybody.::

`Imrama ::That's for the end of Calibration.::

`zahara ::Who are you going to kiss?:: Zahara asks as she begins the really important parts of the demon summoning ritual

`Imrama ::That all depends on who's around in five days.::

The air continues to cool, to the point where now almost any clothing that was comfortable for the temperature of the air just moments ago would now be easily quite chilly.

Across the floor of the chamber, the black dust of ground demon bones that fills the grooves in the floor begins to glow a faint, fel green.

Throughout the chamber, winds kick up unexpectedly, though no obvious sources of ventilation lead to the outside. A scent begins to fill the air: like cloves and lemon, mixed with the slightest hint of charred flesh.

On the ceiling, the runes do almost the reverse of those on the floor: they grow translucent, almost invisible, and let through the sight of an unreal sky far above, dotted by blazing stars, of which three in particular stand out in a brilliant triangle almost precisely above the chamber.

The manticore-painted designs on the walls begin to move, to writhe of their own accord, and to slowly march across the wall in a counter-clockwise fashion, leaving tiny scrawls and trails in their wake.

All the while, from somewhere in the distance, a sound begins to fill the room, first quietly, but increasingly loud over time: like incomprehensible shouts layered over low-pitched drumming and, somewhere amidst all that, the sound of scratching, like something imprisoned trying to find its way free.

`Spring cocks an ear.

zahara` keeps her concentration firmly fixed on the ritual, the eerie wind catching and sending harmonic ripples through her gown that meld with her voice, strengthening the ritual and giving it aural shape - She'd incorporated extra touches of sound into the ritual inspired by her listener.

The two sounds meld in the air, the horrific demon sounds merging with the elegant melodics of Zahara's chanting, creating what to any other observer is at best an unnerving and unsettling combination.

On the mortal sensory levels, the room is already abuzz, but now the Essence of the room itself begins to shift: the power of Zahara's spellcasting makes this place a locus for immense energies, while Calibration itself fills the air of Creation with far more Essence than would ever be present on a normal night.

From above, from below, and from all around, three subtly different forms of Essence flow begin to seep in, drawn like moths to Zahara's burning and keening form, each energizing the air around it with a harsh, almost painful edge and setting off new, dissonant sound harmonics that weave their way into the already disturbing sonic brew that grows louder and louder in the chamber.

`Spring seems outwardly calm, almost as if he has some sort of plan.

`Imrama marvels at the display of light and sound, and waits for the summoning to take effect.

zahara` 's look of intense concentration is broken for a moment as she briefly looks worried - as if she'd forgotten some important factor, and then a subtle shift and a gesture or two made - and a wicked smile flickers across her lips before the intensity resumes as if nothing had happened.

The paths of Essence wend their way from the three sets of runes -- past a marveling Imrama, around a calm Spring, and above a Varanim who appears to have passed out and curled up entirely within her designated floor-circle -- towards the center of the chamber, the inner dodecagram where the target of summoning is meant to be held.

The winds grow louder, the glowing lights grow stronger, and all the sounds get much, much louder as the three strands of Essence begin to coalesce and solidify at the heart of the summoning symbol, and the room's temperature drops down to what can only be described as "frigid."

As the patterns solidify, Zahara can feel that something isn't quite as she expected it -- the energy output is far greater than she had expected, from her own studies of the summoning ritual -- but the modifications that Brigid had dictated all seemed to be fitting perfectly with the casting of the spell, and there was no risk of her being unable to control this energy output -- yet, anyway -- so she continues to guide it into place.


As they continue to manifest, however, it becomes clear exactly what the source of the unusual energy levels is: not one, but three distinct shapes begin to take form on the platform.

To one side stands a shape, easily ten feet tall, of imposing and overlapping bone plates ridged by spines and knobs, bent over like a hunting beast and with a massively toothed skull-head, all surrounding a tiny humanlike figure in black silhouette through whose shape blows a cloud of grey-white dust: Axivas, Third Circle Hekaton of Auna.

  • Avixas, Hunter-and-Child of Wasted Beginnings, Third Circle Hekaton of Auna.

To the other is a a shape like an enormous serpent whose top half has been split in twain by the strike of a sword, greenish-blue smoke bubbling out of its exposed internals, with the snake's lower body wrapped around and through a series of elaborate iron puzzle-locks: Yselimi, The Scourged Serpent, Third Circle Malakim of Erevel.

And in front, a figure that is very familiar to Zahara: the jet-black torso seated on an infinite mass of serpentine coils that seem to reflect the starry night above -- only now somehow his entire form is, if possible, even more cast into shadow... Jugurtha, the Coils of Night, once a Third Circle Demon of Nyx -- and Zahara's betrayer.

`Spring ::Can we send some of them back?::

zahara` ::Oh, this should be fun.::

`Imrama appraises the summoned creatures carefully. "The symmetry of the set is all wrong. Either Nyx should have stayed in Malfeas, and so not had to die, or Erevel should hurry up and join his mate and child among the Neverborn."

`Spring "Good evening. We have a few things to discuss."

The ghost of Jugurtha, clearly playing lead for the moment for this particular set, grins cruelly, and speaks -- though his voice is but a thin, hissing mockery of that with which he spoke to Zahara so long ago. "I have looked forward to... more... discussion... with your kind."

zahara` "We will be rectifying the symmetry soon enough, if Erevel keeps on with what he's doing." Zahara says, a mild strain in her voice as she prepares herself to deal with a threefold mental assault, casting a glance at her ancestress who is probably enjoying this far too much.

zahara` raises a brow slightly at Jugurtha. "It is true, our discussions could have been longer."

Brigid sits in her own special circle, watching the proceedings with interest but otherwise remaining remarkably and almost unsettlingly still -- a skill developed in death, assuredly. When she catches Zahara's eye, she takes a moment to look over --

the tiniest hints of pride in the advancement of Zahara's abilities mixed with relief at no longer being the sorceress responsible for these sorts of weighty matters briefly peeking out from behind her stony features -- and then turns back to the demons.

"Why do you call me today... tiny fly?" Jugurtha whispers at Zahara, and his eyebrows arch as if to indicate that he is entirely prepared to begin contesting his freedom with his sorceress summoner.

zahara` "Because I can." She smirks at him with no small quantity of cruelty in return.

`Spring "As flies go, Zahara is actually extraordinarily large," Spring observes idly.

zahara` "More like a spider, I'd say," Zahara comments as she draws upon her web. The bracelets spinning their multicolored threads to the matching collars, and drawing back with their bounty of essence, fueling her spiteful shredding of the demons' will.

`Spring raises one hand, bursting into painful radiance, which mote by mote slides away from his halo into Zahara's maelstrom of energy. Meanwhile, he thinks, ::Berwyn, it is time.:: The Sidereal, sighs, stops massaging the new wrinkle in his forehead, and makes a quick gesture, and a hundred starmetal pacifiers slide into a hundred mouths, most of which are baby mouths (the remainder are just...

`Spring ...victims of Zahara's mockery).

`Imrama smokes a bit of faerie weed that causes him to exhale odorless, multi-colored light. His own natural corona bursts forth, its coterie of clockwork birds cohering and encircling him before spiraling over to Zahara and diving one by one into her chest.

Jugurtha leans forward and darkness seems to flow out of him at every turn, his Essence supported by his two cousins as he strains his very being in hateful resistance to Zahara's efforts at control.

zahara` is momentarily taken aback by the force of will still brought to bear upon her own, but rather than make her back down, this only serves to make her smile flintier. The light of her anima burns, flaring out in brilliant rays through the inlaid orichalcum in her skin and searing into his shadows like knives of purest gold.

Jugurtha recoils slightly at the blades of light that push back against the shadow of a shadow that he cloaks himself with, but his cold and heartless face remains dedicated to spiting Zahara.

`Spring whispers quietly in the disgusting tongue of the Neverborn, a language that, like its speakers, died horribly and became something utterly other: &elax, Jugurtha. This will all be over soon.%&

zahara` bends the will of the Malakim and Hekatons as she Shapes (particularly fraught and dangerous) Wyld. Slowly, ever so slowly, she builds the prison of will that will cage one of her least favorite of the Cauda Draconis' souls. And his friends. There will be no games this time, no trading for knowledge.

The dead demon roars in defiance of Zahara. "You will not subjugate me, little fly!"

zahara` "No." Zahara raises one hand briefly

zahara` "I will subjugate you ALL THREE." She slams her hand down towards the floor and the invisible cage crushes the last remaining resistance in the creatures, completing the prison of Sorcery and Will.

The three malakim crumple, each collapsing to one knee in utter sublimation to the dominating will of Zahara Zhan.

zahara` The web of Essence connecting her to her compatriots - willing and unwilling - flickers and fades, but the burning of her anima does not subside for some time. ::Thank you for your assistance.::

`Spring ::Of course, Empress.::

`Spring ::Shall we proceed?::

zahara` ::Please step carefully from your circles, do not disturb them or the other runes on the floor as you leave the room. They aren't strictly necessary anymore, but they are still quite lovely.::

zahara` walks over to the prone form of Varanim, steps carefully into her circle, then hefts her onto her shoulder and proceeds serenely out of the room.


< An Ultimate Purpose | Sol Invictus Logs | The Liberator of Netheos >

Page last modified on April 25, 2011, at 08:15 PM