Primum Cleansing - Raven
(OOC: Raven has agreed to make this public so that anyone who would like to participate to get the clue may join the scene. Due to the nature of cleansing rituals being deeply personal, this will be a low participation event. The expectation will be that, somehow, you were invited - by Raven or a friend of Raven. Please do not come if you plan on being disruptive. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Medeia or Raven leading up to the event.
RISK: None. No one will be attacked, no one will need armor or weapons, no one is going to be slobbered on by an Abyssal puppy. It is a GM'd scene, but no one is in danger.
DIRECTIONS: Because the Pravus Ward is still not working with @directions, here is how to get to the location - "@directions Rivers Edge" > "S" > "S" > "SE" > "TB" to arrive at The Blackwater.)
Aug. 23, 2021, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Pravus - Kraken's Cove - The Blackwater
Comments and Log
Raven drops curved scythe-like steel sword.
Valencia arrives, following Patrizio.
Raven drops wide-brimmed hat of exotic leather.
Raven drops form-fitting black leather leggings.
Raven drops loose-fitting dark leather duster jacket.
A winter day, with the sun hidden behind dreary clouds and snow falling heavily enough to dust over footprints within a minute or two, is not the kind of day one might choose to spend on the deck of a docked caravel. Yet, the thirteenth day of the month happens to be just such a winter day. And as the thirteenth hour of the day approaches, those who have chosen to gather to witness a Rite of Cleansing will see that some efforts have been made to provide them comfort - though the ritual takes priority. Sailcloth has been rigged and draped from rail to rail to act as cover against the falling snow, benches have been placed around the perimeter of the covered area, and braziers have been placed strategically to chase away some of the chill. However, the center of the covered area holds a chest - lid open to reveal an array of items. A hat, a sword, what might be the leg of a pair of pants draped over the side. Thirteen unlit candles are arranged in a circle around the chest, with enough room for a person to walk around. Each candle has a metal bowl - varying sizes - next to it, sufficient for burning something in. Around the caravel, the sounds of the world seem distant, softened by the snow. There is nothing to distract from the purpose of this gathering.
Jamie Greenmarch arrives on the Blackwater clad in his armor, no longer polished to the mirrored sheen it was on the streets of Bastion. Instead several parts look as though they're still dented and scratched, the battle itself not long enough past for everything to be fully repaired. Over that he wears his long, forest-green cloak, with a wolf fur tossed over his shoulders to ward off the worst of the wind and chill of the winter. For his part, he says little, greeting those he knows and introducing himself quietly to those he does not, and moves to stand where he has a good view, but is mostly out the way, preferring to stand somewhat near one of the braziers.
Claude climbs onto the ship looking about uneasily. He glances back to the docks several times considering whether he should leave or not. He finally settles on staying and pulling his jacket up higher he wanders in and seats himself on the edge of a bench alone attempting to be as unobtrusive as possible.
That the snow is falling, and the winter is... generally how winter is in Arx, Patrizio's wandered forth from his offices to attend the ceremony. How could he not, after all? There's not a stitch of armour on him, but blue and steel silk, as if he's decided that it's not appropriate for the setting, or the ceremony, his heavy leather cloak bundled about himself to keep of much more of the chill. Accompanying him is the Princess Valencia, that playful smile on his features as he murmurs softly to her, guiding her to a bench and settling, with a casual inclination of his head to the others about.
Lucrezia boards the Blackwater and takes a perch on the railing. Pulling up her legs to cross them, her pose is precarious. She tops it off by folding her arms beneath her breasts, staring.
Zoey arrives in her velvet cloak to keep off the chill, her steps confident as she makes her way to the deck of the ship. She stays somewhat back from where the ceremony has been set up for now, wanting to make sure that those who have not already witnessed such an event get a good view. She looks around for Raven as other witnesses assemble.
Volcica follows the small, scattered procession to the Blackwater, and then up the gangplank. Though her features are largely impassive, a hint of her misgivings leak through as soon as her feet leave the stability of the dock. Somehow, it's not hard to tell that she's not particularly fond of boats, despite her general lack of expression.
Ianna grasps onto a rope to steady herself as she steps onto the ship's deck. If nothing else, she looks comfortable despite the cold, clad in leather armor with a warm half-cloak and a cowl wrapped around her head keeping most of the elements at bay. After a quick look around, she selects a spot on a somewhat solitary bench and seats herself there, just under the edge of one of the sailcloth covers. Her eyes flick hither and yon curiously, but she seems content in her silence.
Dressed in rich red southern silks and an ebon winter cloak, Valencia arrives at Patrizio's side. Warm smiles and soft words of greeting are offered gladly to those she knows and happy introductions to those she might know know yet. A little look about the deck brings another smile to her face as she seeks out Raven to give her a wink before settling in a spot out of the way so she might observe the occasion.
Raven, chewing her bottom lip but for the first time in nearly two weeks she does NOT have food in her hand or in her mouth. She is bundled up against the cold and shivering, CLEARLY rueing choosing this destination during the winter but it's too late now! She nods to Medeia her thanks and manages to stop her restless fidgeting to raise her voice so that it carries over the sound of the wind and slap of water against the hull and hulls of nearby ships, "You all are hear to witness the Primum cleansing ritual! It is EACH of our duties to conduct this ritual, our part in undoing the poisoning of the Primum of Arvum. If I couldn't find an excuse to keep putting it off neither should any of you! So those who are here to observe, pay heed. Those who are here for moral-or immoral-support...thank you from the very bottom of my tiny black heart."
There's a pause and an apologetic grimace, "To my fellow Setarcans...I am deeply sorry. I was told to choose someplace important to me but I failed to remember it would be happening in the dead of winter. After I will await the retribution for the frostbite."
The old man shuffles onto the deck, the carved bone cane clicking with is thunk-click noise as each stab of the ground leaves a small hole due to the uniqueness of that cane. Once on board the cane is folded up and slipped to his belt. Instead of following the others in their silent directions he heads directly to Raven, "If any of this goes sideways, just shout." Then pats her on the shoulder as he steps to the side railing instead of the benches.
Raven says, "Sideways, why would it go sideways?" She looks to Medeia, "IS there something I don't know about this?!"
Vitalis steps aboard the Caravel, armed and armored, come to witness Raven's vision for the Dream and the cleansing of her connection to the primum. An air of solemnity wreaths him with muted greetings for those gathered. As Raven begins, he does what he does best: blends in.
Patrizio manages a faint hint of a smile when Raven apologizes, before there's the musing, "So long as this doesn't involve a swim in the river, I think we can all withstand it for a little while."
Zoey steps beside Raven, putting a reassuring hand on her arm and saying something softly. Hopefully it is equally reassuring.
Raven says, "Sideways, why would it go sideways?" She looks to Zoey, Then Patrizio, "IS there something I don't know about this?!"
Zoey mutters, "Sometimes strange things happen at ... ceremonies, but usually they are good. I am certain yours will be fine, and likely better than mine."
With the guests settling or settled, soe subtle shift in the light suggests it is time to start. The thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day, with thirteen items to sacrifice. It seems, for the moment, that the wind has stilled.
Raven fidgets a bit and eyes those gathered as if creeped out by having a live audiencem, though it's got to be better than a dead audience. She gets a lamp-lighting stick and shields it from the wind just in case it should stirr again, moving to light each one carefully, pausing to make sure it stays lit until moving to the next. By the time she gets to the thirteenth candle her hands are shaking. Probably from cold not fear but after the commentary who can say.
The circle of thirteen candles stands glowing around Raven, brightening the gray surrounds. Flames dance as a soft wind blows flakes of snow under the cover of sailcloth. The atmosphere on deck is thick, filled with the sounds of crackling braziers and creaking wood. The gentle sway of the caravel and scent of wood smoke might even be cozy for some. It seems that the Dream is waiting.
Lucrezia drums her fingers impatiently on her opposite arm, waiting for something, anything to happen.
Patrizio shifts where he sits, watching what's occurring without taking his eyes off of the moment. The lift of his flask to his lips, if only briefly, as if the contents helps with the cold, before it's tucked away as he's watching the flicker of the candles and the billowing of the sailcloth.
Raven removes her Steel sword from her swordbelt and studies it fondly, "Like all rituals, I am required to make sacrifices, and the more meaningful the sacrifices the more commited you are shown to the process. So my first offering is my first sword. It was given to me by one of my first true friends, Chance. He was a terrible influence and no doubt he gave this to me because he knew he'd need me to use it on his behalf more than once-I've never used it so much since, as those days." She sets the scowrd into a wide, flat polished bowl. She removes a battered, careworn widebrim hat, "This is the first gift Lunara gave me after welcoming me onto her crew. To you all who don't know her, she was the first Blackheart, and to me she will always be the True Captain of the Blackwater. I didn't have a mother and father but in my heart, when the thought of Motherly love comes to mind it is her that I see. The most valueable things that she gave me are not tangible enough to fit into a bowl so this will have to do." She then pulls out a peice of paper, "Speaking of firsts..." She snorts, "The first-and only-love letter I've received, from the only man I've ever loved. He was a two-faced snake but for a while I was genuinely happy and because of him I am now aware of a few things that I never knew that I wanted." Each offering gets put in a bowl by a candle.
Claude digs his hands deeper into his coat hunching forward. Eyes following the process with academic interest.
Raven intones, "In doing this, we shape the Dream, more than mere figments. With this sword I ask the Dream to be more Just." Then to the next, "With this Hat I ask the Dream to have more joy," with the letter she intones, "I ask the Dream that our Passions become a force of creation rather than destruction."
Ianna listens, her attention rapt and her expression one of curiosity, to each thing Raven sets into a brazier and the story she tells of the item. But she remains still and silent otherwise, witnessing without sound.
Zakhar smirks lightly with some cold breath escaping his lips as Raven explains the pieces she offers.
Zoey watches attentively, her lips moving in a quiet prayer as each object is offered up.
Patrizio draws a breath - not a drink this time, but there's brief attention given to those on either side of him, and then the jade eyes stray back to the giving over of the items, a thoughtful nod at the explanation for each one.
As Raven offers the sword, hat, and letter, she takes the candle beside each to it, letting the flame ignite. The sword proves surprising in taking flame, but all three burn in their bowls brightly, giving off flares of heat in the covered space. Beyond the rails of the caravel, the wind picks up and snow falls heavier upon the docks.
Raven looks startled briefly when the SWORD catches fire but she keeps moving along. Raven sacrifices her first set of dice-which friends she tells she's had since she was a very small-friends who taught her fool-proof ways to cheat at dice and often delighted when she did so, "I would ask the Dream to make the price paid by the mischevious less cruel." She lays then a battered, patched, careworn leather coat-from her first winter in Arx, "I ask the dream to make Winter less bitter." trying to keep the extra emphasis on that one as she shivers. She lays down the driftwood box in another bowl. "I ask the Dream to give us more ways to aid or offer shelter to those we love." She lays down some dried, pressed flowers, "I ask the Dream to be more beautiful." Another bowl she deposits a careworn message, from her dear friend Savio Proscipi, "I ask the Dream to give us more friends who challenge us."
Vitalis stirs slightly when Raven produces a driftwood box, curiosity flaring. With each offering, he nods and murmurs and affirmation of his witnessing of Raven's vision.
One by one, the items catch and burn, casting new shadows and chasing away old ones as the fires dance on the ship's deck. Raven is surrounded by the golden light.
Zoey pulls up her scarf around her face and the cloak tight about her shoulders. Her eyes are still visible, and for a moment they grow misty.
Raven gives more. Her lucky flask which looks incredibly battered which sort of makes it look it should be called her UNlucky flask. "I ask The dream to be more fortunate." A message in a bottle, "The dream to make the seas less lonesome." A letter from Belladonna Pravus. This one she lingers on and sighs softly, "The dream to help us learn more from those who would teach us." A letter from Lunara, "I would ask the Dream to give us more time with those who we love." A feather which looks like it might be from Moonsilver "Ask the dream that we all be so lucky to have those who watch over us,"
The thin press of Patrizio's lips together into a line as he's considering each of the items. His cloak is pulled tight about himself, given that blustery weather without, watching the shadows and the play of the light around Raven, his gaze intent and reverent for the time being.
Claude closes his eyes briefly and exhales slowly watching the braziers with interest.
Ianna smiles softly as each item is placed, as Raven makes her requests. At a couple of them, she nods slightly as if agreeing with them. But each item is contemplated as it goes into its brazier, and she watches the fire as it lights, the warmth reflected in her gaze.
Vitalis' breath plumes away, furnace heat of him ceded to the air and leaden sky. He shifts, moving weight from one foot to the other, soft whisper of leathers. He watches and listens to Raven's enumerated hopes.
Thirteen items all aflame, burning higher as the fire consumes the sacrifices made. The gathered witnesses are bathed in that golden light and warmth as Raven stands at the center of the circle, her vision of the Dream put forth. A sword, a hat, a love letter, a pair of dice, a winter coat, a driftwood box, pressed flowers, a jest from a friend, a (lucky) flask, a message in a bottle, a letter from a teacher and another from a mother-figure, and lastly a feather from a dear companion. Each important in its own way, each given willingly to reshape the Dream to better fit Raven's vision of it.
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