Silent Night (Part 1)

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[Temple of the Light, Warfall, Evening]

Darai examined the interior hall as she walked, Lyra sticking closely by. "I will send for you when it is time, but I have important letters to read. Tell me about this Severos another day." Her tone was tired, bored even. These letters were the only thing that didn’t bore her at the moment. She'd heard of Nadia, met her, issuing a warning about her magical uses some time before the war when the Prophet was a little kinder. That was until the war actually began, then the woman was to do as she pleased, being an issued war healer. However, the war was over and she could practice no more, legally that is.

"Be sure to get some rest yourself, Priestess. The day has been long and the night may be longer." She nodded to the young girl before making her way down into the catacombs. The gnome held her letters in clutch and upon opening the large door she slipped in with Whitetail for the night and made sure to lock up her room nice and tight. The door to her chambers was closed with a thud echoing through the empty, ruinous underground and into the walls.

Darai stumbled as she seated herself, a faint bout of exhaustion. The letters slapped onto the table quietly and she pressed a finger to her temple, wincing. Whitetail looked on from his cushion in the corner he managed to curl himself up on. Odd, this felt not like anything she'd sensed before. That's what it was. A sensing. Something...shifting in the winds, the clouds, or beyond the natural realm. What was this foreign feeling? It was like none other.
She blinked away the confusion and slit open the wax seals, examining each with a skimming nature to see any mentions of anything relating to her relationship with the High Church. She was too eager to investigate the urge.

Simple riff raff about missing farm animals, business in the capital, and other irrelevant gossip she paid no mind to. All useless.
A sharp jab pierced the gnome's temple in the way she was always used to, but it sent her gasping for a missing gulp of air, back colliding harshly with the oak grain chair. This was normal, painful, and part of the gift from the gods she was given years ago. But it rarely brought good news. She knew what needed to be done.
The letters lay scattered about her desk. Sliding open a desk drawer, the Arcane Prophet slid out a gilded dagger--small but elegant in size and detail. It had the symbol for the Mother, her blessing upon you.

In a quick fashion the gnome set out six candles lighting each with a ginger touch--one for each of the deities. The Mother's largest candle sat in front of her in the circle as she bent to the ground with her knees below her. Their flames were still as if frozen and there were few things that could melt them out of it. She knew all of them. Without further thought the Prophet closed her eyes and pricked her finger with the blade, pinching her fingertip over the flames of each individual candle before moving to the next.

"The Mother share her blessings, her children too.
The Maiden send her doves and the Warrior her stags.
The Butcher take thy blood, the Saint bring her welfare. The Scholar her wisdom.
Let your sight be known and bestow upon me your holy graces as you have done before.
I fear there is something to be seen. Make my fear into truth, o' gracious creators."

The words flooded out of her like a mother tongue. She breathed these words, she was born with that breath. These words were hers yet they belonged to the Six along with her mind, body, and soul.
And what she saw was nothing she'd predicted.

In her eyes was a blackened place filled with harsh shadows and invisible lighting. Darkness floating dormant around her. As she looked into the blank horizon things began to appear, like the popular tavern in town, two sconces lit outside the door. As she walked it was as if on water, rippling out in fractured rhythms under her tiny steps; she neared the Goat with curiosity. A red crystal--indicating an important life form--was inside. What did a lousy drunk hold in the future that was so important? The shape manifested into an aura, a body, then a face. It was the Black Order woman. Blacksong. And another more peculiar being she couldn't quite make out in the blur.

Suddenly, as quickly as the vision came, a chilling gust of wind flew past her and snuffed out the sconces' flames, her robes flapping quietly at her side. The air grew thick with fog and as she turned to see where the wind came her eyes were set on the new formation of town square, empty, cold. In her gaze was a group of something she never thought would threaten the small village in her lifetime. There were bones connected to one another, low glistening eyes, wielding various weapons in their bony grip. The harsh temperature, like that up far north, seeped through her crawling skin with a sensation of something unreadable, growling. Something dangerous. The skeletons were there, moving to gut life forms, then they weren’t. The image disappeared and from its fragments formed one other, further away this time. Darai spun to see the carnage that could unfold around her, invisible, yet she could feel every scream cut through her flesh. Innocent flesh of the townsfolk. Her small steps sped forward as best she could, fear engulfing her as it came nearer. The manor of that widow, Rose was her name? Blackwood Manor stood imposing as it was surrounded by the same thing only larger, fiercer, more wicked. She’d never come into contact with anything like this, only in stories had she imagined them. Nothing like this had come to them for some time.
The visions swam away in bursts of shrieking shadows toward her at light speed before she was flung out back into the room, sprawling backward onto the wood with a look of horror. Her chest sank and lifted heavily and Whitetail had come to her side concerned. One by one the candles around her burnt out as if blown, and the last to stand was the Butcher herself. The Prophet's eyes met the flame for a moment.

Then two.
And it too died out leaving the room nearly pitch black if not for the lantern on her desk.
But something was coming and it was brought upon her to prevent it. The gods said so.

The gnome scurried to her feet and she moved to the small chest locked safely underneath her cot, muttering something with a hiss before the latch clicked open. Pulling out the thick leather book sent a wondrous shiver through her body. Once it was locked and ready, she directed her companion to stay as she bolted out and into the main hall once more, book in heavy clutch.

Mother, please guide your ground child to bring sanctuary...

and greatness.

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