In The Unseen Midst of The Elgar Forest

Outside the city of Drache lies a number of cities, towns and provinces of varying size and populace. Most of the people living outside Drache are natives who speak Arangothian and observe the native customs and rituals. Click here for a list Arangoth's locales, and here to view a map.
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In The Unseen Midst of The Elgar Forest

Post by Krisael » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:38 am

The rolling hills of the Elgar forest were not exempt from the humidity and heat which had rolled over the inlands of Transdarania in this late summer, and night in the forest was more alive with creatures of all kinds avoiding the opressive heat of the daylight hours. The night-dwelling denizens of the forest moved without boundary except two. One boundary, the forest's edge, promised exposure and predation by the carefully timed patrols of Provincial Guards, dispatched from Drache and fort AngelSin for the specific purpose of containing what natural and unnatural threats lurked within the forest's dark boundaries.

The only other boundary feared by the dark denizens of the Elgar forest was a high wall wrought of dark stone, unmarked for its entire length by lichen or ivy and broken by a single gate. Though huge, the gate appeared to be made of plain enough forged iron, the sharply pointed finials looming over twice a man's height. Situated in the eastern reaches of the forest, where the trees grew in the very shadow of the Dragonspine Mountains, the wall stretched beyond sight to the northeast and southwest from the gate, and along the length of the wall the very forest seemed hesitant. No spreading branches defied the barrier, and the ground at the wall's base was devoid of life for perhaps twenty feet before the wild tangle of the forest's blackwood and briarthorn and spreading oak resumed. Though the wall appeared ominous, there was no explanation evident for the utter lack of life in its moonshadow.

The track which led up to the gate was dirt, though it seemed in good repair. Beyond the wall, neat cobbles of the same sooty stone paved the road which led into the ominous tangle of life which existed within the wall's confines. Impassable tangles of unclassified vegetative growth lined the drive within the wall. The species of this dense tangle was a dangerous one, and any who sought to penetrate this carefully cultivated barrier would quickly learn that some plants did not subsist on sunlight alone. The tightly woven canopy of this thorny growth stretched high overhead on either side, reaching to bridge the drive in a high arch through which not a beam of moonlight spackled the carefully laid path.

There were many divergences in this path, which led ever deeper into the lightless jungle. Some of these terminated in small outbuildings whose windows were dark but which gave the impression of malevolent occupancy. Some ended in seemingly pointless oubliettes, but a living soul who found his way into one of these simple clearings would learn the point of them soon after; vegetation was not the only thing which lived within the boundary of the wall.

One, well hidden and many unlikely turns within the ominous labyrinth, contained a green garden of true beauty. A perfect balance between wildness and cultivation brought up perfectly bloomed red roses interspersed with night blooming flowers with no known name whose petals glowed faintly with bioluminescent lines and dots in patterns so dazzling the mind could become lost in their contemplation. A fountain of alabaster burbled in the center of this lush respite from the oppressive dark of the surrounding wilderness. Wrought in the flawless pale stone was a woman of exceeding fairness, kneeling so that she appeared to be gathering water from within the fountain. A careful eye might even spot the beast which stalked the pale beauty, perched on an upper level of the fountain and crafted of glass so flawless it was nigh invisible in the scant moonlight which was allowed to find the ground in this oasis.

The correct series of divergences led out of the dark and into a vast courtyard, resplendent in its perfect cultivation. Bordered by low, seamless walls sculpted of the same sooty-grey stone as the cobbles and the wall, perfectly kempt lawns of green surrounded topiaries of mythical beasts. Many of these beasts were horrible to look upon, but not all. A unicorn arched a slender neck of pale green in company with hulking terrors here, and there a sprite with wings of delicate latticework reached skyward as if to escape the imps and demonlings which surrounded her.

Beyond the courtyard stood the keep, looming high and backed by a jutting outcropping of the Dragonspines. Wide, low steps led to its dramatically arched entrance, double doors bound with intricate ironwork and with large, heavy rings set in either side low and near the seam of the doors. This arched entrance had been expertly masoned into a corner of the structure, so that the walls to either side swept away and added to the impression of imperious height. These walls of perfectly cut stone were geometrically planed, not rough as the stones of modern architecture so often were. They were broken regularly by large, arched windows of stained glass, whose depictions were not readily visible in the dim moonlight. Above the angular rigidity of the keep's base there reached several spires, the most distant of which was topped by an observatory made small by perspective, but which must in fact be massive in proportion. The others, beautifully crafted and positioned at the corners of the relatively low base of the citadel, stretched in graceful upward curves and were topped by crennelated rooks.

It was within this massive structure that Shaodin, the master of this place, awaited his guest. Their agreement having been reached, he had corresponded with his prospective partner to arrange this first meeting, and awaited the arrival of the Lady Auxerre herself. He stood just within the confines of the keep, in a massive vaulted antechamber which was as meticulously decorated as the rest of his home. Several rows of the high, narrowly arched stained-glass windows were visible from where he stood near to the huge double doors, and it was upon these that he looked. His eyes were raised, and his pallid features were awash in blue and red and violet-stained moonlight.

He was somewhat more formally dressed and better composed than the last time they'd met, arrayed in his more common attire which stemmed from a sense of fashion born of a bygone era. His red tunic was bordered at high collar, cuffs, and hem by gold embroidery. The garment fit him square in the shoulders, adding to the formal bearing of his posture. It was cut long and belted at the waist, below which it split along the side seams and fell to his knees. The lower hem was cut to an elegant taper. Beneath this he wore unadorned silk trousers which bloused into kneehigh boots. The belt was broad, the leather unblemished, and the buckle was square, of ornate brass. Over all the baldric upon which he carried his saber was slung, its buckle ornamented to match the belt and aligned diagonally across his chest. His hands were bare, and one rested lightly on the artistically styled hilt of the weapon.

One of his small retinue of sentient servants stood ready to the left and behind him. The thing's features were utterly concealed, its head completely wrapped in black cloth which did not seem contoured by any facial features, and further covered by a deep cowl. Not an inch of exposed skin was visible of the creature in the shapeless robes except its hands, the flesh of which were white as milk and devoid of fingernails. The creature outlined by the robes was clearly not of human proportion, though it was vaguely humanoid in figure. Exceedingly tall, its limbs were abnormally long and thin. Its shoulders were sufficiently broad to support a stalk of a neck upon which the veiled head rested, but the joints at the shoulder seemed the largest part of the upper torso. Certainly the torso suggested by the fall of the robes could not contain a full set of human organs.

Three abhorrently long fingers and a thumb wrapped around the iron ring of the latch which would open the door once his guest arrived. The creature stood dutifully by, the vague noise of its breathing the only sound in the vast room.

Shaodin stood with his back to the door, allowing himself to muse upon the depictions in the windows while he waited.
Last edited by Krisael on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Characters: Aezra
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Eliya Almakira al-Fasaad
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Re: In The Unseen Midst of The Elgar Forest

Post by Nymphetamine » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:46 pm

She had been to Shaodin's Elgarian fortress but once or twice. It was also semi social calls, being shown something wondrous in the form of the spellglass windows he used to protect his amazing greenhouse, or simply catching up with the elder necromancer. Never before had the two vampires actually come together to research something. Now they would, and that was a fascinating prospect of its own.

To be sure, Isabelle Auxerre was somewhat distracted. The sudden entrance into her life of some ancient creature had left her slightly frayed at the edges. This sort of disheveled mind was not like her and she did what she could to keep it under wraps. That Arrow had her so discombobulated, that she knew she was on the verge of making some crucial, critical mistake. It would not do. Best to put the man as far from her thoughts as possible. The goal tonight was simple: begin the research on the dhampir subject.

Reaching the fortress, she stepped from the shadows dressed in black silk, the mantle of night clinging to her shoulders and wreathing around her legs. Her blonde hair had been braided back from her face and hung in a long tail between her shoulders. Her clothing fit well, neither too tight as to be restrictive, or too loose as to get in the way. She stared up at the outcropping of high stone walls. Their subject was no where to be seen, but she would rectify that once inside. Though she was expected, it would be rude to simply intrude.

A tendril of thought slipped between the shadows of the stone walls, the massive garden, seeking out the master of the house, to alert him to her presence outside. With that done, she pushed forward, once again dissolving into the darkness to pass the single gate. Winding her way through the topiary and decorations, she slithered unseen to the door where she stepped from the night again. A gloved hand reached for the door knocker and knocked. It lowered to the latch to see if it was unlocked. Isabelle would simply allow herself inside if he had not thought to secure the door against her. But again, expected, so maybe she would be allowed passage. If not, she would resist the urge to simply slip past his safeguards. (This was a trait that had begun to irritate her with guests of her own, so she was keenly aware that to do so to Shaodin, again, would be rude.)

Instead, she waited at the door, like a common petitioner. A polite one, at least.

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Re: In The Unseen Midst of The Elgar Forest

Post by Krisael » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:09 pm

Despite appearances, Shaodin had not been idle as she approached. Almost everything that lived within the confines of the dark wall which bordered his estate served him in one way or another, and Isabelle's approach did not go unnoticed among those denizens who watched for him. He would not engage in theatrics, however, and waited until he felt the feathery brush of her mind against his own and heard the knock to raise a hand to his servant. The creature pulled the door wide and stood a little behind it to admit the Lady.

Shaodin turned, the multihued moonlight sliding eerily over his perfectly pale face, and moved a little nearer to the threshold, his steps silenced utterly by a thickly woven, intricately patterned rug of burgundy and cream. "As ever it is a pleasure, Lady Auxerre. Please be welcome." His tone, smooth and rich in its timbre, was as brutally polite as ever.

The necromancer seemed somewhat more at ease than at their last meeting; it seemed he must've fed well recently. There was no predatory assessment in his eyes as he regarded her. Only a deep well of calm which complemented the inviting hand he extended to guide her over the threshold of his home.

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