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Buttercup

A Vestal Bloom [Ellwood Forest]

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Decadence in measure cannot oft be maintained; temptation, whilst adamantly resisted, is a cruel and cunning mistress whose lips whisper bittersweet truths. 

Who are you to deny this birthright?

Vacant words tantalize the recesses of her thoughts and weigh the edges of a pale smile.  The path she gleaned free of travelers allowed monsters to pervade the sanctity of her solitude.  The voice so unceremoniously brash held no gender, though she heard it in both her father's and mother's colorful intonations; he ever the melancholy whisper and she the flicker of black rage.

Raw emotion seeded in her heart and bore fruit, and the nectar therein coursed through her veins with each thrum of her pulse:  uncontrollable rage tempered by icy calm.  Her existence was an enigma-- to be born of both creation and destruction, of order and chaos.  With the rustle of nearby foliage, her attention tore from those invasive thoughts and she was bequeathed a momentary reprieve.  

Who are you to squander this power that we have bestowed?

The relief of absence was fleeting, for then returns the whispers carried by the warm breeze.  Eyes of toxic green, wreathed in a halo of long, luxurious lashes, redirect their attention to the task at hand:  she was looking for them-- both of them.  Not long ago she felt a heaviness plague the land that has long since dissipated... but was still sensed.

Soft fingertips caress the bulky leaves of a nearby plant, thumb taking care to gently caress the struggling bud shrouded by its fuller brothers and sisters; with an audible sigh, the foliage blossomed at her touch, stretching itself full and surpassing even the hardiest bloom.  

"So this is where you've escaped to Xintylin, Colvin... a land bereft of me."

[Enter: Tziporah Arenios]

Spoiler

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Malicious eddies roiled, disrupting the tranquility of this forest in an attempt to bend the very nature toward ancient will that held no sympathy for this land’s plight. Energy raked at the forest bed, clawing into the earth as the saturated air thickened as it prepared for an arrival the monitor of Orisia courted due to whims few could ever explain. Perhaps it relented, possessing a clairvoyance of a reunion it wished to oversee or desired.

 

The flaring emotion that licked at the suffocating air that filled this section of the forest proved capable of transcending physical plane and provoking one of the originators of her current torment. Tempestuous winds blew through this area, heralding his immediate arrival as bare feet planted themselves upon scattered leaves. Silence blanketed their surroundings as creatures were soon overwhelmed by the pressure that he exuded, forced to remain immobile in reverence and survival instinct. All who witnessed were forced into observation as this corporeal form that crackled unforgivingly with dichotomous energy confronted the beauty born of chaos and order.

 

“Bereft not by my choice daughter…”

 

A knowing stare full of toxic green challenged the woman before him, his very essence assaulting the plant she had willed to bloom as its leaves began to wither yet the flower persisted. Enigmas clashed before one another, molesting the life around them as their natures collided and created a portent that this forest yearned to see bear fruit under its careful guidance.

[Enter: Colvin Arenios]

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A dark and writhing presence was felt long before the sharp edges of his words carved out portions of her heart; it stung, tore, and burned with a familiarity in which she'd never truly known, save for the tumultuous and uncontrollable power coursing through her veins.  His sudden manifestation, however, only added to the rancor that festered in the pit of her chest and it was the bloom in which she so lovingly tended that paid the penalty for his arrival.  Just by her touch, the edges of the brilliant pink petals started to brown and wilt, though went no further.  The brewing storm calmed.

"Oh," She breathed and sighed her response, disinterest hanging heavily in her intonation.  She seemed almost... bored.  "....what a relief."  Tziporah's head tilted just enough to catch him skirting her periphery as a blurred silhouette.  "...that you were, instead, imprisoned and otherwise indisposed, and not salivating over an open expanse of thigh.  How uplifting it is to know that she was lying."  Poison dripped from each syllable, heavily laden with sarcasm and bitterness.  Taking a single step backward, she twisted herself enough to peer at her father over her right shoulder; there was no denying that she was his spawn for they shared the same toxic green glare beneath a veil of thick lashes...and the same explosive temperament.  

The moments of silence that existed between their exchanged words allowed for her to carefully observe her surroundings; from his stance, to how he was clothed, and his overall appearance was quietly scrutinized.  She, to the disbelief of those that knew of her, dressed similarly to her mother, though the armor had not seen an age of misuse and was meticulously cared for, and had a healthy combination of metal adornments, leather, and wispy cloth.  It seemed hers was more for show than form and function.  

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Serpentine energies invisible to the untrained eye snapped wildly in the air as he pivoted slightly to face her completely. Black silk fell loosely along his chest and tattered pants revealed the hardships of this corporeal vessel straining to contain him with open wounds caked with crimson blood marring otherwise vibrant flesh. As she extended no luxury of pleasantries nor endearment, he reciprocated that same disinterest, tilting his head upward to the sky as if distracted by the forest canopy that covered this meeting. Venom found its way over to him, coursing through in an attempt to debilitate or disable but his beloved daughter would not receive any visible response. Instead, his tones mimicked her own.

 

“What a reprieve it is to see you alive, adorned with trinkets untested and unencumbered of purpose or zeal.”

 

Moist hair pressed itself against his skin as he looked up, listening to the silence he imposed around the area which gave their words more impact as they attempted to sting and pierce through vehemence. The vitriolic darts that she spewed from her mouth were of little consequence to a deity who has witnessed many greater than she attempt to wound him with knowledge they assumed he would regret. Still, this did not mean that he was devoid of any sense of responsibility for one of his finest creations. His head slowly tilted down to look at the only side of her face she did not deprive him of.

 

“No prison or obstacle could prevent me from attaining what I desire should I have deemed the effort worthy of pursuing."

 

Swirling green eyes seared their gaze in her direction, gauging her response before he continued.

 

"What measure of benevolence drove my daughter to this oppressive land I wonder?”

 

Sarcasm laced nearly every syllable save for the emphatic and possessive words that signified who she was to him. No amount of pain, sorrow, love, or hatred will ever change the truth he spoke then.

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Long, dark lashes flutter at the first utterance of his voice, though the vitriol was to be expected after the acid she spat.   "Is it?"  That same glimmer of toxic green lifts to regard his expression as his attention fixed on the canopy above.  Her aura, invisible to the naked eye, momentarily shuddered-- as though her heart skipped a beat and caused a brief flutter.  Tziporah's expression may have been frigid, but the energy surrounding her flailed wildly.  How dare he.

"I don't revel in massacre like my mother."  Adjusting her stance to fully face him, both hands entwine at the base of her spine.  At least I now know that I was not deemed worthy.

The hint of possessiveness in his tone drew her attention, causing eyes to pinch in a calculating squint.  "What ever I so choose."  Spoken like a true queen, she didn't allow his standing over her to sway her response.  

"...and how did I become worthy enough of your attentions for this encounter, father.?"

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Invisible energies collided with one another, weaving through La’Ruta's embrace subtly at first until rejection began and a mixture of chaos and order battered the atmosphere. Her flailing power was met with a harsh swipe that displaced the air between them and would cause blond tresses to flow every which way and damp black hair to struggle to maintain its attachment to his rugged face. Every step she took found oppressive volatility returned that even the ancient energy that coursed through this land seemed to encourage for reasons unknown.

 

Bare feet moved forward slowly without any hesitation as lips parted to respond appropriately to the confidence she exuded. “What a waste it would be if I did not witness the fruit of our union in all her glory, driven by whim toward me after so many wasted years. You may have thought my attentions fleeting, darting from one open thigh to another, but such acute thinking is reserved for the inexperienced. As you frolicked from plane to plane, I remained where I belonged.” His approach did not relent nor would it should she attempt to avoid it for once this deity’s attentions were fixed few could escape him. She’d find him standing mere inches before her soon enough but he’d continue regardless.

 

“I would have been easily found…daughter…had you the strength to do so. But I understand….what is a mere babe to do when it has been malnourished by others? I suppose imposing blame on me may satisfy your meager appetite but it will do nothing to change what you are right now little one.”

 

He would make no move to touch her but the strength of the crackling energies around him were invasive enough that it would not matter for they would seek to permeate through supple flesh and let her witness the transcending nature of who he was.

 

“Now that you have me before you…beloved…whatsoever will you choose to do now?”

 

His mocking tone would not go unnoticed and neither would the intensity of his stare upon her form, scrutinizing everything she was.

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Strands of platinum whipped back and forth with tempestuous fury, licking and biting at a youthful visage with naught but cold indifference etching the soft lines of her expression.  The crushing weight of his presence took a measure of time to get used to, but the woman's body adjusted, and it no longer felt as though her bones were splintering.  However, the closer he became, the greater the discomfort; with a curl of her top lip, that singular expression animated what words failed to convey.

witness the fruit of our...

It took every fiber of her existence to rein in the gag distorting her mouth; while not even spoken, that word caused a splash of bitterness washing along the surface of her tongue.  Such a negative reaction only marred her countenance briefly, then with guided words she resumed her impassiveness.  

I would have been easily found…daughter…had you the strength to do so. 

"Had I the desire to do so."  She waited patiently until he finished before sharply correcting his assumptions.  "You were gone; someone else took your place and taught me all I needed to know to survive and prosper." 

It was in that moment that she remembered the bloom once cradled in her hand.  Pulling her gaze from him, she returned it to the petals and how they'd begun to wilt in the overbearing presence of chaotic power.  Taking a step in retreat, Tziporah once again brought her hands to the browning flesh and tenderly caressed them with the tips of her fingers.  This glimmer of innocence trickled from her touch, gifting life once again into the pale flower.  

Her digits started waving around the space surrounding the bloom and it would soon come to light exactly what she was doing:  weaving the very threads of chaos to erect a barrier around the delicate plant.  

"What ever I so wish, be you here or not."

Her head inclined so that she may silently regard the plant she labored to save, thoughts dancing on her lips yet her voice denying their birth, save for one.

"Bereft not by your choice-- then who or what took that choice from you?"

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