Raazi~The Maw of Entropy

  • Heartbeats

    The prismatic starry sky mesmerizes Raazi below it as she floats on her back in a pool of blood while shadowy borders remain in her peripherals. Most of her body is submerged, only the rises of her figure remain unstained. Her ears underneath the water line can hear Cormac's heartbeats pounding slowly. So loud they make her eyes pulse which distorts the display above her. The warmth relaxes her beyond the days spent with Amanda af Hartenfeldt in the spa so much so that Raazi's brain starts to unfurl and open up doors she's held shut so long she's forgotten what's inside of them. All it took was her acknowledging the blistering coldness of the realm of death Cormac inhabits on her exposed skin to remind her of the night she escaped from Stormwall Keep: floating on her back for hours into the starry night till she eventually washed ashore from the cold sea and fell asleep. She closes her eyes and lets a breath out, and flaps her hands lightly to fully submerge herself to try to stave off the memory. Heartbeats. Raazi would sleep but she needs air and pushes herself off the shallow ground back up to the surface and resumes floating on her back.

    Cormac sits on his throne with his cheek resting on his fist. Brooding with unyielding gold eyes that only move as Raazi's natural subconscious movements cause her body to slowly spin at random.

    Raazi smells blood. It fully encompasses her and surrounds her now as she can't escape the memory of stabbing Opal in the chest. She remembers Dessa watching silently in awe. The exhilaration of holding the knife, and the overwhelming fear that quickly welled up as she realized she didn't know what she was doing. Raazi winces as she recalls the dagger being turned on her, slashing her guts out onto the floor.

    She gasps for air and starts to drown in the blood till she feels the bottom only half a yard below and pushes herself back up to the surface, sitting in the pool coughing and hyperventilating. She's never had to confront reality like this and all that comes to her mind next is how she stabbed Cormac trying to usurp him of his throne.. Back when she didn't know what she was doing and half heartily trying to save him as she watched him start to fade. The wanting, aching pain that caused her to turn the knife on herself and temporarily die. Not knowing Cormac watched over her as she had a surreal dream at the crossroads of Love and Death, miraculously surviving without a scratch and the dagger lost inside her neck. He must of heard her begging to return and to start over only to arrive too late, escorting himself to a cold grave that she ran to when she came to.

    Cormac arches a brow and no longer supports his head. The skull mask watching with indifference.

    She washes and splashes Cormac's blood on her face trying to bring her back to reality and end the ruminating. At Cormac's will, the pool slowly drains and Raazi sits there naked, but painted. She starts to shiver and crawls back to Cormac's throne and sits at his feet, hugging his shins while she tells him the story in tears about how she killed an innocent person trying to attain power. How she herself turned on her lover long ago in the face of judgment to avoid the death penalty. Terrified of the truth, the fear of herself, and what her compulsions are capable of until she cries herself to sleep doubting her choices. Waking up occasionally in a panic till she's grounded once again in reality inside the comfort of Cormac's silent kingdom and lost in his embrace. A dark realm of the man's desires, all manifested in one place and only the occasional dark horsemen to interrupt them with their dreadful eyes and portents. The safety that she is far away from Toril and all she has to fear is time taking them away from each other. A place where she feels whole.

  • She hid her Gnomish Positioning Scroll, went down the other route of the Pixie's Roost through the Romani Camp into the valley, but doubled back out of curiosity.
    When she finds him, he's wounded. He's furiously fighting a gloomy fog of shadow, 'This is entirely your fault'!

    She abandons him-
    Unable to sustain the fight-
    One she started, ducking low so her bat winged cloak could fill with air, and erupted her out of reach into the air. Shadows clawing and clinging to her legs as she looks back down at Mac hewing stalwartly at an uncountable force surrounding him and tearing him to pieces. She runs away with such force she's exhausted herself only far enough to be within earshot-and she hears his final pained path down the path. Noticing people converging in front of her looking for Cormac so she doubles back, and starts to weep over his corpse. She makes up excuses, and it is Sebrienne as usual is the only person who even notices Raazi acting suspicious, her doubling backs, invisible, coughing up reasons for this and that. Sebrienne only being confirmed over and over, the woman Raazi is a horrible mean person.
    Raazi and Cormac could barely make eye contact in public, knowing what she did. She wanted it all back and the crow already sounded over head.

    The empty well within her caused her to trudge, and she become high with the reality of her choices. Everything she valued so much, a realm just for her, a man stronger than the planes itself.
    She had to hide.
    She had to pray to him
    And he sits there furiously defeated, bitterly withering on his throne in Deaths Rest, breath by breath. His heart beat stopped echoing the chambers. A lightening crack staining the starry sky picture like the surface cracks on a plate refused to be thrown away for sentimental value despite its harbored bacteria. The atmosphere holding up whats left was contorted like the legs of a suffering spider and shattered into the deep black void like a violent storm and remained perpetually unraveling to his horror, to his grief. His brothers mocked him, their vehement laughter slapping around him like a chain noose.
    "HA. Ha ha. Ha haha! haha ha HA HA! HAAAA!!!! YOU KNEW IT! WE TOLD YOU! SHE BETRAYED US! JUST ANOTHER WHORE! AH HA! HAHahaha! Even after -everything-, she still turned her back on her family! YOU'RE FUCKED!! HAHaha! You know what this means!!!"
    He knew. And the Hungering Star that always loomed off in the distance of his domain started to accelerate, no longer hearing the war drum of Cormac's heart filling the nothingness with love,

    An old friend sees his pain. Salin V, who was there when Raazi did her best to rally strong folk to come to deaths rest, with every intention to dethrone him. Salin V gives Cormac a hope just enough for his last few heartbeats to pump his blood and reminds him of his heavy ax's purpose and Who it is that wields it.. And he spends his few hours on the material plane trudging into shadowy fortresses with the noble few who can stomach it. Raazi, having lost her grip on her sword entirely unable to help. She knew it spelt death for her and she couldn't stop his fate, horrified he may be even more reckless now that she's successfully wounded the man.

    It is this very mistrust that ruminates within her. It compels her to bring a curvy dagger deadly enough to simply have to touch someone with slight intention to kill them. It is gripped in both hands, and she once again watches Cormac from the shadows.
    The moment has to be perfect.
    Even if it is tomorrow.
    He is a liability to her new future. One fit for the heartless, the whores, the betrayers, the guiltless, the powerful, the evil...
    So when all the kind folk leave the table at the Dancing Mermaid and it's just him bitterly looking over the fog of the commons. She is there behind him.
    "Whats that for Magpie", Cormac has no fear but respect when he' goes to touch her hands to relax her dagger. But she lays her threats down at him. To keep his mouth shut about what he knows.
    He will be silent about what he knows. If even a peep, she threatens to destroy him. And by the end of the conversation she's in tears barely able to hold the dagger. Cormac's skaldic poems trashing her into a human being again and reminding her she's not alone still. That even if he hates it, he'll do it for her. He'll keep the very secret that is the reason he's going to face the his end..
    ..She chose to serve a demon queen..
    Not sit by his side, under the million stars he placed when she wasn't looking. That now hang in ruins like a shattered love fern...

    They kept up the lie: it only takes a few friendly glances to feign a good time. Only few knew his true heart ache, if anyone. The Prince Kasimir having had a very close eye on them from the start perhaps the first to know. Slowly, they separated till it was too painful to be near again. They did their best to stay apart. But a pile of pixie corpse in a beautiful glen perhaps will remember the truth, hidden survivors turning away from seeing their closure.

    The truth of loneliness, facing every challenge alone now, Raazi recluses to places of beauty where she finds Nenufar, curiously watching her from the shadows. Curious of this particular quarry, picking each other's minds like cherries that survived in the shade. Sharing an out look not bleak but tangibly understandable. Her mortal hand reaching out to a fiendfriend to doom herself once again into physical solidarity and mental isolation. The simple subconscious outreach turned devastating as she felt the full weight of the succubus's apathetic desire to be fulfilled even if it betrays them both. Nenufar identified promptly what happened and took flight. Had she been a lesser fiend, she would of taken Raazi's soul there perhaps- but saw her purpose, her loyalty[Needle In The Hay - Kermit]. Raazi could barely contain herself from the torture of being let alive.
    A thrall.
    Like a hangover, she did everything she could to curve it. Even admitting to a few people that a different demon named Miranda, who she knew rather well had been playing tricks on her and nothing more, perpetuating this other shadowy succubus as a baddie. She needed people to think she would -never- turn and did so quite effectively. She catches Cormac at the docks, and crys to him in her overly tightened clothing and helmet she fascend just to keep a layer between her and the Succubus Queen as she served her new purpose. Raazi could feel Cormac's spite, she knew he was going to be the first adventurer to murder Nenufar. An inevitable feeling like something falling like an ICBM towards her queen lingering in orbit. The hero Cormac Randolph had the means to tear Miranda out of the sky..

    She finds the courage to finally ask: if she can come home in a moment of clarity or fear.
    "Its Xaari all over again," he refused, knowing fully well how bad it'd gotten. She'd of lost it, the good man spares her but spears his heart once again.
    "What is it that makes it so easy for people to leave me..."
    Cormac now walking away with a hollow cup in one hand, weapon in the other.

    Raazi filled with whats left within herself, only to flounder about crying it out laced in leather and twine.

    Cormac swings the ax ruthlessly when he picks it up, but his arm always slacks unsatisfied after every bloodshed he commits. Less so for The Jewel, and more because- he was in the current heading to the edge of the fall no matter what, due to what had happened.
    He knows his way through the bard college like a grocery store. The doors like isles he could care the fuck less about until he gets to the one to refill his cup. His eyes sob, his heart knocking on the door of the bard's college trying to take flight once more.
    It wouldn't of mattered if She was on the other side or not.
    The Norns moved his feet 3 steps closer to the door.
    3 times did his heart beat.
    3 final words did he utter like the roar of a wolf you'll never hear again.
    "My name..its.."
    He freezes at the door.
    Death's rest goes empty.

  • She couldn't tell The Iron Maiden or the sailor. That Old Elf or the Old Men. Not the Royalty or Investigative Enthusiasts. No Mercenaries, no feelings of hope. Only honest lies or dishonest truths to cloud what people people were in denial of already knowing.

    No one could kill Cormac, you can't kill Death so, everything was going to be on fire fine. Except for soon-to-be-her-unborn-child's-new-literal-toy-to-play-with-like-a-rattle, Kyrie. He was butchered though through his broken swords, and Raazi learned what it was like to loose a relative you only merely met, unlike Victor, who smiled through death...

    It wasn't uncommon for them to have extra planar visitors. When Nenufar one day arrived in Her glen of choice, it was just one more game they were playing. The hurtles their relationship had been through had gone full circle to a place of sporting and games when there used to be challenge. None the less, the seemingly weakened succubus would occasionally drop in to curiously gaze on the lovers, or to feel theirs on hers. The questions she answered enthralled Raazi while her form beckoned them both. Raazi became ablaze with inspiration and dreams- her heart was fumbling as she learned the woman was so far away from home, with so many enemies and powers waning.
    Raazi, from her throne next to Cormac, had everything. It was easy to spend thousands of gold on potions for Nenufar. To offer kindness and expect nothing back. To offer acts of hatred, or evil just to aid another through these cruel planes. How she herself knew the comfort of a throne, a place to call home, and how it feels to be helped selflessly by someone who thought you worth kindness. The favors and games she played with Miranda and Nenufar often lead adventurers into forced perspectives, Raazi merely being the messenger and having no clue or caring about the greater scheme of things.
    Raazi, a mortal who has seen the Far Realm and survived it's horrors, expected nothing less than to inflict another gash she could watch bleed on The Nars with Cormac and the Exiled Queen of the 501st Layer of the Abyss.

    They climbed up to pixies roost outside the city to chit and chat and gather some apples. A redundant activity now that Raazi could just feast of his flesh and blood at Death's Rest. Cormac speaks of everything he will take. Everything that will be hers when he's done siphoning the glory from it. For a moment, he sounds almost content with the idea that his hairs could grey and still find life worthwhile. Nenufar's familiar buns wander by inquiring about the lack of coitus and apologizes for interrupting(as demons do). Cormac growled his cool bitter retorts to the Queen, offering her no rewards of reactions other than his disdain laden amusement and support. In response, the succubus recoiled at the negative connotations of demons and assured them that she was missing the all pleasure in her palace that not so much different than the halls of mortals. The homesick fiend explained to them the deal she had for Raazi and the minor tribulations they'd have to work out after seeing Cormac was hesitant to participate due to becoming 'Second' to his princess. Repulsed by their lack of celebration, she leaves to continue her dance across The Nars.
    There was no reassurance Raazi could ever offer again to Cormac after that.

    He shifts uncomfortably after hearing her fail to remind him of her loyalty in love, "What is it about me that's so damned easy to discard?", his voice like a hammer slipping from a tired worker's hand.

    He concedes that he'd of maybe done the same as she comes to terms that this maybe a crossroads. She hugs him dearly and pleads to see the romanticism, where he could only see her leaving~ over and over. He could not beat her enthusiasm nor could she stifle his pride. She combs him with affections as she watches his heart dissolve as she explains the gravity of the opportunity before them. With equal hope for the future: she reassures him that she's not any less in love with him and his fears are valid, but not to be worried about because she knows his lust for life drains with rapidity. Cormac admires the boldness of the move, but hates it. Sabotage already in his fist.
    Petting his hair, he refuses to be second in her life and can see her starting to look sad, despite his devastation.
    ''Ye didt nothin' t' deserves this..'' she acknowledges for the first time, hoping it to sooth him.
    "I'll never be able to see past this 'wedge'". He has to know if it was worth it, to which she says it will always be.

    ...Cormac gets click killed in another universe, and stays dead from heart ache...
    But what what really happens is:
    As The Talk reaches its peak, words begin to repeat and as we all know decisions will soon be made. A shadow spews forth like a zombie jumping out of a desk drawer, and thrashes at Cormac. It is slain like the rest, and Raazi resumes metaphorically trying to braid 2 people's hair together without hair ties...

    "My own spark of divinity, wrestled for the gods before they abandoned me too. I've always been good at seeing through lies. Even pretty ones. -- What'll we do now Magpie..." He remarks at her calling his wisdom a curse. Raazi warns him not to let others know about the abyssal queen, and his heart is broken learning the greater truths beyond her selfishness to save Nenufar. But not without telling him to never say he doesn't love her.
    "Dammit Raazi. I've never stopped loving any of them, have I? You just keep -- taking little bits". He tiredly pushes himself up after she explains how there are none other like him. "All that and then some right? But you all find it 'so' easy to walk away. I'm going."

    ''thats not th' truths''...Raazi's voice is a whimpering whisper as he leans down and leaves an ashy blotch. Internal blood starting to mute her eyes and ears.
    "Its the only truth", and his hand slipped from hers trying to hold on for those last moments taking her breath away.

    Raazi assumes the fetal position, shocked like a fish as it hits the deck, ruminating over the truth. She doesn't know he's talking to the Shadow Skulls down in the valley below. They are taking everything from him now that his tether to the mortal plane had loosed like rope thrashing against a sharp edge about to lose its final thread.

  • Blackness becomes phosphenes when you become accustomed to it and when that happens, you are no longer alone. And from there his brothers were always near.

    Cormac now looks up at Raazi as she walks up to the tree he's sitting under in the public common's area of the City of Peltarch in Narfell, and he steps up.

    ‘’I have something to show you.’’

    Time, space, the weave, everything outside and in between breaks in front of him like a shattered mirror. Black ink sets into the crack, and out of it stretches ferrous shadowy tendrils writhing like slow fire searching for Cormac’s mass. He steps into it and vanishes.
    She stands there waiting...Till she feels the cold blackness surround and encompass her, and she’s once again in Death’s Rest. The temperature drop is so all consumingly severe and surreally painful that one can barely focus.
    Mind numbingly cold..
    And from a hidden throne his yellow eyes watch her feel her way through the nothing- crawling on all fours, disorientated by the sudden blindness and environment: he told her to look up, and there it blossomed in the sky in every direction like fine shimmering glitters vortexing into oil. He pulled it nearer so her blurry eyes could more easily see the countless twinkling bodies of light he placed up amongst The Hungering Star that loomed above Death's rest. She loved everyone one of them, and would spend endless hours from then out gazing upwards in the absolute quietness of his chilly domain.... George's star, however, was a not so much loved imperfection in a domain often shifting to win her every affection and slake every curiosity..

    With Shay dead, Raazi only now had to find a way to free him. She tried to get his friends to intervene. She could guarantee them 1 trip, maybe 2, and she was careful but not clever enough to avoid detection by The Home Skulls. Failing to let others mess up for her this time.

    The small stool she proudly sat on next to Cormac's throne creaked under the weight of her ego as attempts were made.

    Florine Brightmantle, a theurge, failed to slay the cold creatures despite his expertises. He blasted manifested avatar projections of Them and nothing more. Even Jonny, a sailor cleric of Selune could only manage another dagger such as Raazi did, which only infuriated the entities and temporarily had them licking their wispy wounds. Not even Salin V could rekindle the warrior's heart and passion on the prime through empathetic reminiscing. Neither could the half dragon Makoto dethrone him with well placed brute force.
    From the beginning, others suspected Raazi as a driving force of Randolph's sudden change. Sebrienne perhaps most astutely sensed Raazi's malicious intents and underlying motivations. It made Raazi proud to much later find out that a static feeling she once felt on her neck, was actually Sebrienne attempting to destroy her outright for her behavior and reckless endangerment of others. Raazi almost lost herself to the Iron Maiden's inquisitioning heart, and the reciprocating reflections between her and the Sailor as well. Alas even then, she still somehow managed to find her self wrapped in Death's arms, being forgiven for her open heart.
    ''Dont Ever Change''...
    The immediate attention of Cormac's sudden shadowy entrances into Peltarch's commons, the unknown entities that played rough with him and Raazi regardless of the company they kept, and the accusations of violent deaths in gaol cells gained them the attention of the royal family. Cormac was able to rest the superstitions about Shadow Men to the nobility, and also not be promptly exiled or thrown in jail. He also managed a Lantanese pistol, and a few seemingly semi-nuclear rounds, and the ever loving and watchful attention of Peltarch's finest, Coyote.
    As the forces working against them were running dry, Raazi became a dark princess emboldened by her new environment. How could anyone know Raazi was acting out of her own free will and the closest thing there was to keeping him from disappearing into antiquity? Merely mentioning a way to thwart The Shadows was dangerous, as it ended up in violent encounters often being dangled off the city hall by the foot or throat. Their commands were simple, 'You will lie for me', and 'You will not get in the way'- and the violence against her slowly ceased. It was safer to be alone, together.
    A modicum of peace manifested amongst the Shadow Family and she became pregnant, despite being unable to due to sterilization. Rafni could not of existed if a certain searing beam of light had landed merely seconds earlier to blast the avatar that manipulated a working womb into her.
    And so she lived in excess and blackness.
    And They set their bets:
    How long could she hold the Raaz-beans?
    What, or who would trip her up?

    And from then forward, everyone except Them was an enemy. Loving Cormac worked well for their survival, and everyone was semi clueless about it till her body started to grow, and even then she'd flagrantly lie about the child's origins. They together encouraged people to stay away. That there is no going back once you know, and no one bit. Even when Cormac spouted the blatant truths, no one accepted them and active damage control became unnecessary. What are words of honest truth raging from a hurt soul seeking refuge from their misery worth when fallen on the deaf ears of capable people.

    News of shadowy abominations reached far and wide about he man named 'Death'. Raazi could of killed Kyrie. She could of tried. Kyrie, a man of many swords revered even amongst the nobility and Shadowmen as a formidably worthy.
    Another Monster.
    Hailing from order of people who could care less if they hurt your feelings to indiscriminately destroy evil. They are the ones who do it because you have too many hang ups to get things actually done. Raazi couldn't take from Cormac the fight waiting for him- even if at his peril. The purpose of fighting to the death was one she loved as much as she loved him, even though she still had hoped Kyrie was simply a test, or one of The Shadowmen themselves. But by now she realized he was another one of the deeds Cormac was destine to claim on this world merely to bring him closer towards the inevitable end. A force of order.
    Someone that Cormac viewed closer than kin who's sword she'd almost accidently walked into more than once when rounding a corner.
    Kyrie, a man she grew to love like family. Who hunts the Shadow Family despite his comrades being vanquished pursuing the same task. Who aimed to put a stop to Rafni's existence. Through time and space he almost slew the bairn during her first breaths of cold air of Death's Rest.

    The common's became a living room where they spent few hours away out from outside the darkness where there was everything. The ever constant threat on the prime turned almost into a comical game that propelled a careful carefreeness within her. Raazi had long abandoned her candle lit, tapestry strewn alley way in the undercity of Oscura as soon as the Homeskulls allowed Cormac to let her live with him in the blackness as long as she played along with their game, which she was happy to. A dishonorable Princess who's domain was merely the beating heart of warrior, and beauty of the endless stars placed in the sky- each with their own intention and place...
    Content, together, and slowly spiraling towards a warped horizon with arms linked, Raazi had finally resigned her feelings for The Wolf of Death. There was no pain she wished to cause him beyond her mild inherent mischief. They had become extensions of each other, trusting even through the obvious lies and games they played with everyone. It was in spots like secret glens and abandoned sanctuaries or places of beauty they would find each other in when outside The Rest. Places like this where they slowly distilled despite their unwavering care and love. Within them, their natures would run rampant and tangle horns together:
    Raazi wanting everything.
    Cormac wanting everything.
    It was always more with her.
    It never seemed enough for her.
    And yet, she was fed to her fullest.
    Lapped up every drop of blood on the table.
    Enthralled and satiated beyond what mortals are usually allowed.
    Comfortable enough to face his displeasure, and enabled fully to be herself.
    She resigned her open invitation to others and took comfort that he would always be there.
    Even if he didn't answer her prayers- he heard them.
    Even when her heart wandered, he forgave...
    He never wanted to change anything.
    Only that she'd always be his.
    The leaf in the stream.
    Water logged.

  • It only takes a couple drinks at the Mithril Mug deep in the warm cavernous expanse under the Nars named Oscura for her to release her mind from paranoia. There is always Rothe meat cooking and plenty of privacy to enjoy some with a drink in the side booth.
    The small room goes suddenly dark.
    The air mutes.
    The sounds of the tavern disappear.
    And the shadows start talking behind her, ''You're actually lying for me. I'm still going to kill you, though''.
    "What do you wantt? Cormac? Anything! Killing me would be a waste but I'm not going to tell you what to do. You can have me, even!" Raazi has turned around to see Shay, an armoured figure always clad in a skull mask.
    His amusement at her eagerness to not only betray what seems to be a friend but also her desire to serve herself recklessly hangs in his voice, ''I don't want you. You should have listened to Cormac though and kept your distance. Don't you understand?''
    "Do I have to understand"? Raazi is kindly feeding Shay's desire to talk, to speak about himself.
    He's turned around chuckling once again at her enthusiasm, ''You probably wouldn't. Whore. But understand you're in the way of a something that cannot be stopped. I have to say though, you are quite amusing and-''.
    when Raazi pulls out the old man's dagger, and utters a divination to lead her dagger true, straight into Shay's back.
    She thrusts with enthusiasm and purpose.
    It penetrates.
    He shouts in thunderous anger, ''WHERE DID YOU GET - THAT -'', Shadows outstretch from him and pin Raazi up against the booth's wall by the neck till she sees the narrow, static tunnel. Shay rips the dagger out of his back, looking at it, absolutely stunned. He turns it on her.
    ''You don't understand. I cannot be stopped. He is - MINE -. There is - NOTHING - that can be done.'' His rage hasn't released enough for her to speak till now.
    "If you haven't killed me yet, then, I submit." she gambled once more with a weak voice and was now before him without any thing to back her confidence.
    And with that he drops her.
    Shadows laughing out of his mouth, ''Remember everything I said'', and dissipates.
    Filtering reality back in around her.
    The light.
    The sounds of people enjoying their time, unaware.
    Raazi wanders to the bar and orders a drink. All she can say for her rocked, bruised appearance is, "Is it illegal to work one out or something?"
    The bartender does not reply...

    Eventually though the shadows stop watching just enough for her to slip into the Oscuran Library weeks later. She searches endlessly for even seemingly useless information. She would spend a night or two a week merely trying to find slightest clue to help out Cormac.
    Forbidden knowledge.
    Secrets of shadow entity's.
    A weakness.
    A weapon.
    The lights dim, the atmosphere goes still, and so cold it hurts and sucks the life out of you. Which is not ideal for reading, so she feels her way along the bookshelves, cursing the library staff for these studying conditions till she's deep into the library. A hand attempts to grab at her but is just barely too far away- making the hairs on her body stick up. Reaching the end she turns around and hears the only other sound in the void.
    Soft breathing through a skull mask but its impossible to see.
    A shadowy arm extends from the figure and swipes at her face like a bear trying to snap an easy meals spine. She manages to sense the presence and takes an awkward duck backwards, "GUARDS!".
    The city's peace keepers look in the darkness blindly while Raazi throws books and calls out to them more.
    ''BAH!'', grunts the masked assassin, thrusting a dagger now to deal with her rightly, but a guard manages to be in the way and it finds its way into him instead.
    When the lights return the killer is gone and Raazi talks herself out of being the prime suspect. The guards merely wanting normalcy to return and be about their business.
    She runs the old bridge and waits for the old man to come simply to hear her, but does so at a loss. She prays even, but with no result other than the sound of the river.
    So she makes her way back down with an inspiration and retrieves the knife from the guards who're desperate for less work.

    By now, no one knows what to assume of Raazi and Cormac. Amongst themselves they've grown close, unable to share the details of the Shadowy Entity. Unity in the woven lies they've created for their safety.

    Second floor, Third door, On the left.
    Dressed in red.
    Anointing a master quality caribou mask with her own blood and wearing it on her head. Her heart and intentions are projecting to the Goddess while snuffing out a candle's flame with her open wound.
    Shay stubs his toe
    which may or may not be related
    It maybe incidental, because not long after her prayers she is teleported to somewhere familiar, but in increasing intensity.
    A grim, muscular man wearing Shay's Skull Mask sits on the throne broodingly while carefully watching her curiously walk around, hugging her arms...''If you stare too much into the darkness, you'll get lost..Grr.. don't ask how I know..''
    Her hips sway a bit as she walks up to him with her mask still wet.
    ''I did it..'' Cormac says with little enthusiasm, waiting for her to show some sort of reaction.
    As she takes her headdress off off she smooths her lipstick using her lips and straddles him on his seat, elated the nightmare is over.
    The time is now.
    The aching within her compelling her mouth to meet his finally. From behind her back whips that dagger aimed directly for the side of his neck. Eyes wide open in the darkness to see nothing.
    Time decelerates till it's just the sound of heartbeats for what feel like an eternity in each other's embrace while the blade drives slowly, just barely into his dermis till the pain from - That Dagger - was too much to bear.
    And she finds herself back in the Regal Maid.
    Second floor.
    Third door on the left.
    No throne.
    It's too much to bear, the failures and burned bridges. He wont hear her prayers. So her neck swallows the dagger.

    Her corpse wasn't there when Cormac heard her apologetic, desperate prayers. Arriving to the conclusion he should return to the prime by her side minutes too late.

    Unexpected warmth drips over her as her vision fades and sinks into the bed and pounding sound of her heart returns as a dimming, ever increasing in distance sound till it goes away into haze of static and closing light. This time she does not find herself in the fugue, but a bar manifested from her memories she cant tell from reality.
    End of the queue.
    Why not order a drink.
    Sit down.
    And hate everything.
    and not realize that old man is sitting across from you, watching you.
    ''I'm going to give you a choice. You can go on, and I understand why you do... Or, you can just give your heart a break, and return, and keep trying'', he speaks her through till he leaves her with the ultimatum. She thinks for a long time after disclosing her hopeless outlooks with confidence, before closing the door behind her- waking up in the Regal Maid full of tears and screaming out of angst.
    Neck ate her dagger.
    At least it's there for later..
    Was it a dream?

    She runs desperately with tears down her eyes to a grave to find him there, and hugs him into a long, elated, rest. The grave capturing the warmth of their bodies during the cold Nars night..

  • "Let's not make the wolfman sad, shall we", -Isolde to the conflicted Raazi, after the failure of the bridge many weeks after.

    The occult rewards those with eagerness to transcend beyond morals and orthodoxy.
    Opportunities are inevitable.

    It was a matter of searching and waiting till a big wave or swell was going to carry her to where she intended to go. She found herself a broken person, badly wounded by many others before her.
    Strength beyond his reason.
    Influence like the weather.
    She'll acquire some unimaginative knife and be witnessed before the Goddesses and Gods and things outside and in-between: murdering a hero.
    Even if its hard.
    A sacrifice, or declaration to anything listening.
    She might of succeeded had his friends not come to check up on him on the other side of the bridge that crosses the Scar where they discovered him upset, braindead, and of few answers. It wasn't the first or last time she would attempt to control him.
    To her folly however, the man's mental and physical fortitude is that of a stubborn, nasty hound. His tongue spills poetry and with one hand he holds a seamlessly endless supply of mushrooms, and in the other: gore.

    And within his mind, dream walking, gathering information on her prey, prepared to plant a vile seed, she see's his hurt through and through.
    The ones that hurt him.
    The loss around him.
    The loss he's caused.
    The isolation.
    The scars in his mind-wrinkles that weigh on him heavily even if he didn't them want to. She wasn't prepared to see herself in him.
    Crying too.

    She eventually found peace away from the madness of his life choices and psyche, in Silvia's pools, who graciously let her float in them after experiencing first hand the mans ires & woes.

    Sometime after a tournament in all his pride, he received a painting in public. His heart sunk, and he let it fall after seeing his reflection. A large, strong man, hopelessly bitter and sad to see the tide that was to drag him and all his pain out to sea.
    Crying, screaming, howling, or not.

    As the days go on the facade it took to be close to someone turned into genuine feelings.
    Under the common tree under the light of the sun, Cormac sees The Fear. It was not clear initially if he was being controlled by a violent entity, or if he him self was the violent entity.
    "Get away from me!", desperately barks Randolph, but she takes one to the shnozz anyway and blushes.
    Roiling around the Common's Circle, he eventually gets knocked down by Thau‘lira. The basic knife in Raazi's hand finds its way into his hand, pinning it down for a few moments to the earth.
    Instead of into his chest where it belongs.
    The big, strong man with seashells braided into his hair is screaming and cursing.
    ''See ye in the hells, punchy hand.'' while pulling her blunderbuss's trigger she received from a princess, tearing his hand to ribbons and launching her onto her back.
    A shadowy serpent unfurls from a tendrilly gas.
    "You will tell no one.”
    A spill of dark mist into the air from its raw manifestation.
    And so they did.
    Thau'lira and Raazi were followed to the southern mote of Pelarch within the walls.
    'Do you like swimming?', Asks an armoured man with a skull helmet.
    "I love swimming....its too farkin cold up here though, not like-", Raazi gets flung into the mote of Peltarch and her head is pushed under by an useable force. She starts to panic and struggle, but fails and rapidly loses her breath.
    "Stop meddling. I will have no problem killing you, consider this a fair warning", Uttered from a skull helmet: Shay.
    "You're kind of fun though", He releases her and steps through shadow.

    The wounded hound had found its way back to its soft bed in the Regal, where it used an ancient Netherese talisman to regrow its paw while it's soul heals.
    The lies they told of what happened were a cunning mix of farfetched truths and white lies.
    Comradely grew in their odd seclusion.
    She became ensnared by his wiles and dodged his poison, and acknowledged not the aching it caused her within her own heart and body.

    She now finds herself at the bridge between cities watching the bandits almost like a cat under a bird feeder, except with torturous hexes and curses and spells foul. She holds a mundane dagger, unsure of herself. Her mind is swarmed with contradiction whether its within her values to help with Cormac's Shadowy Tormentor. Cormac has slowly grown on her- maybe that happens when you fight someone long enough, you begin to know them on a personal level.
    Dresses, pounds of flowers, the poison...how could one not fall in love with being enabled and supported, when others shake their heads.
    An aging man wanders up to her wearing chain and barding. "You look like you've something on your mind".
    She wants to live forever, at almost any cost. Her feelings are getting in the way, and she is getting more desperate.
    Though she can't explain because risks betraying herself or getting killed by The Skull man almost no matter what she says.
    He urges her to accept death.
    ''Easy for ye to say, oldman. Death is an individual's journey- no amount of advices prepares one for it. I refuse t' accept it. I know ye have- but I will not. Even if it means making an impossible decisions'', she quips at his wisdom, speaking her own, ''the path I walks, is lonely, but worth whiles''.
    The Old man sees something in her and imbues her dagger by running his hand over it- what's left something of much finer value as he tells her to put it where it feels right. She turns around he's gone, but weirder things have happened. She at least knows where her heart tells her to drive it into: Cormac. To do what she feels she must, to follow her heart towards someone who has vehemently requested she don't intervene.

    "Why me. Woman. I don't understand. But I don't want to stop what ever......the fuck you are..".
    The bearded man with blue tattoos of bears fighting dragons fighting wolves and so fourth, has never gotten a clear answer...

  • Raazi is starving while she waits for a skinless humanoid thigh to materialize. Her body is reacting hormonally, a tiny hungry heartbeat inside her dictates many compulsions that she embraces whole heartedly. She stares just a second before cutting into it with the provided extra sharp cutlery and tears into the slab of raw meat put out before her on a large ornate plate. The blood is familiar, everything is familiar here for it is all Cormac. His flesh, his blood, his beating heart, his sanctum of desires and manifestations. It tastes like gamey raw pig, the taste of uncooked cells and fat is over whelming and chewy but she is desperate to satiate a hunger inside her. She goes in and out of denial of her pregnancy. Suspicious that its not real- that its all lies. Skeptical that even a verile, potent male could undo the surgery that made her infertile... but it's happening and very soon. Blood runs down her chin as she pauses midbite as she imagines a better scenario posed by her peers many months ago: "Parasites. Worms. That's it. Much better. Remember when you ate that alley way sandwich? Now they're eating your sandwiches and making you sick and bloated." That never happened and she can't convince herself it did this time. So perplexed is she that at some point didn't notice herself ditching the utensils and started to tear into the flesh on the bone with her teeth. "I'm not like them. This will not make me like th' others~ I don't want to change.. This is going to ruin me, even though I'm grateful, I'm truly horrified that another soul is going to 'be'. They'll force it t' have hope and drown in a world that will watch it die if it doesn't comply. They'll take it, try t' kill it, and treat it like me, like some street cat. Endless doubt sewn into its soul as they romanticize death and morals. Press it between iron and then carve the parts off they don't like. I hope it's full wolf. A monster that'll eat raw flesh and live happily as a hungry beast of nature instead of living as a hungry human.." Raazi snarls bitterly interrupted only by a piece of sinew that just wont give.

  • Raazi sits on a throne at Death's Rest gazing at the black ground before her while Cormac Randolph sits in his throne swimming in his own world of thoughts. She imagines what it'll be like to give birth. Her peers informed her she can do it in a tub of water. As she thinks about the aftermath of birth, the sensation of feeling water jars her memory and then the imagination. The unexpected introspection pulls her into a distantly silent and serious demeanor..

    Raazi floats on her back in the druids pool, basking in unusual serene peace while Isolde and Silvia chat nearby. Feeling they'd keep her safe from herself if she broke down and drowned.

    Raazi floats on her back in the lake Ashane outside of Kront during the late hours of night. Happy to get her beach time for once, remembering combing the beach as a child near Tashluta. Sebrienne's shells in Cormac's hair, the glistening sapphires of Makoto's bare body, Sam's contentness by the fire. The faces of people she wished she could be sharing the day.

    Raazi floats on her back in the spa alone in the cold water, sobering up from her impulses.

    Raazi floats on her back in blood, remembering trauma she's buried deep in her heart for almost a decade. Repetition dictates her to forget many things, but the mind stains everything deep in its muscle somewhere.

    Raazi floats on her back in shining sea after escaping imprisonment in Tashluta during the dead of night. Waiting to be washed ashore, or to be eaten by sea creatures. Submitting to the eerily still and cold reflecting water that leads her nowhere.

    Raazi floats through life perceiving the world around her being evaporated, eroded, and decayed by a razor like wind. Fully believing the cosmos's unfathomable will forces all to bend to its carnage. Time means nothing when life is so finite, fragile, and at the whims of endless chaos. The formalities, morals, and ideals of people are so obviously twisted around the short time they live, the politics of their ancestors, and their perception based on upbringings, circumstances, and conflict.

    Raazi has floated as far away from conformity as possible in the pursuit of her own survival, freedom, and expression. Her nature allows her to feel the flow of the sea and gently coax herself along with minute movements, only to end up miles away.

    Raazi backstrokes against the current. It leads her to arrive late, allowing others to fulfil their roles as they panic to the shore like clockwork. Though, there are no absolutes- some flotsam bumps her head to remind her its there. Some fish swim under her shadow, plucking at her skin like tiny parasites or masseuses.

    Raazi swims with the current. She overshoots her destination so far that she doesn't recognize anything around her. There is no harm out here, only destitution, loneliness, and adaptation.

    When Raazi sinks she lets air out of her lungs in one intentional exhale, knowing full well that the most potent sacrifice is self, mind, love, and body. In a panic she claws at the surface to no avail. She sees death and starts to swim up against the excess of overindulgence and hubris pushing her down back towards the blackness. The betrayal of self and peers teaches her to see past the logic and limitations of her human imagination. Contradiction leads her to many places she'd otherwise never experience or have a place in.

    As Raazi resurfaces she is desperate for air and grateful to breath again, helpless against her own desires and weaknesses. Her conscience haunts her with impulses, doubt, and portents of loneliness and hunger. She forces herself to be as detached as possible to not be bothered at what she's lost and caused. Pride only sutures a wound, but scars remain as evidence of intent to sin.

    Raazi floats. She knows her tolerances increase the more she is desensitized to pain and loss, yet emotionally it lingers in her soul being pushed aside and bruised, and inevitably has to be acknowledged like a pebble in a boot. It's not enough to just spill a little blood, despite its terrifying repercussions. A sacrifice that comes at no cost when plucking, bending, calling, weaving and/or cutting at the threads of time, space, imagination, emotion, the cosmos, the entities that observe, listen, and intervene, and everything outside and in between: is not a sacrifice at all. Accepting failure and change on one's own terms while still remaining in the grace of Beshaba's shadow is not for those who can't transcend their humanity for vision beyond their confines. Full control is for those who can't cope with out it, for the flow operates regardless of one's cooperation.