RP-M SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru.   Posted by The Empress.Group: 0
The Empress
 GM, 219 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 01:55
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru

This message was last updated by the GM at 01:56, Sat 22 Dec 2018.

The Empress
 GM, 220 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 02:16
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Through the shimmering air, Caerden found himself above ground - far above ground.

Distantly, the peaks of mountains poked through the clouds below.

Before him was a great but worn temple, of ancient provenance.

It was night, and difficult to see - but then your vision coloured purple, and outlines stood in sharp contrast to you. Night-vision.

A tap on your shoulder, and she was signing.

"Remain silent within the temple. We still mourn the loss of our great deity, who perished long ago. His name was Kaer-Den, and I was his high priestess." She said, a impish tone in her hands. You sensed she had told you a half truth.
Caerden Reveler
 Virtu of Festivals, 13 posts
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 05:41
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
There was a brief sense of vertigo as Caerden stood beneath the open sky with some sort of walls or roof for the first time in years. It felt like he could fall into that great uncaged heaven. Shaking off the sensation, the Lord Remad watched Xixi's motioned words. Kaer-den, that seemed an odd parallel.

Caerden nodded in agreement to her request and was content to play the guest as Xixi showed him strange hidden world that was Arashimaru. These mountain peaks certainly put to shame the Four Thousand Steps, that tallest tower of Remad.
The Empress
 GM, 224 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 05:53
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"Below us is Remad. Long ago, Remad was part of this temple - but the dread Tchal'Halybs, a Mad God of a Thousand Eyes, sent a Harvester Demon here to consume the earth to create more of his war-golems. The High Guardian of this Temple, the first of my lineage, was unable to defeat the beast. In some way, he succeeded in jettisoning the entirety of the under-temple, and the remains of these have become your Sprawling Halls."

"I have not been entirely honest with you. I am Xixi Arashimaru, true, but that was a past life. My spirit was called forth by Myriad, the great and mighty warrior-spirit of this universe, to serve as the guardian and advisor - the Aegis - of the master of this Realm."

"The place once had a different history - my memories are from a different world, one long ago. I am 528 years old."

"I am, however, also a real woman, albeit something of an . . . angel? You are no more mortal than I, Caerden, Virtu of Intrigue and Festivals, Anima of the Sprawling Halls of Remad, Walker Between Worlds - "

"I AM your wife. I've won you, as I knew - as you knew you needed to be won. You would never have simply agreed to marriage. And I do believe the House Margrave makes for a convincing dowry."

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:27, Sat 22 Dec 2018.

Caerden Reveler
 Virtu of Festivals, 14 posts
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 16:39
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Listening to the history full of names he'd never heard and peoples, beings?, and titles that had not existed in Caerden's understanding of the world till moments ago, the Lord of Festivals was slotting this new information in place for the future. Knowledge was one of the most valuable commodities of the land. It was not all made equal, a stray bit of gossip in a peasant market might be a copper, the rumor of an upcoming crime a silver piece of two. Knowing the fundamental components of the world? That was hard to put ones finger on.

The endless halls, rooms and passages of the Endless Halls were a cast off temple. War golems, warrior-spirits, and all of this wrapped up in a wife who very much did not act her age.

Caerden did not have the same command of hand-language that Xixi possessed, so his response was likely a tad underwhelming. "Fascinating."

"Unions are often alliances, I do not begrudge you the ploy. I would have done similarly had I been in the same position." Caerden signed clumsily. The meaning was clear enough, though the motions did not capture the same nuance and tone Xixi was able to convey.

"But personal matters will have to wait, it seems my previous understanding of the world was quite limited. You say you are my advisor? Of what shall you advise me? Are you an agent of this Myriad? Are there more of you? You say am I not mortal, are there others like me in Remad? What significance remains of this temple that it's been hidden so well for so long?"

So many question, but one needed to know the lay of the land before trying to proceed, otherwise there was certain to be a great deal of stumbling and twisted ankles.
The Empress
 GM, 229 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sat 22 Dec 2018
at 22:56
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
She silently mimed a whistle, and sat on the steps, patting beside her for you sit.

"Starting from the beginning . . . you're a god. I'm a ghost. You have lived a life of adventure and intrigue, but you always knew you had . . . abilities other did not. You can see what others desire. You can come back after being poisoned . .  immoloated . .  etc. You can walk between the worlds of the living and the dead. Did you think that was all just . . .  talent? You never considered you were something greater?"

"Whether my history is a story or true doesn't matter, if I am the only one alive to recall it. This place - this Temple - is my home, my Haunt. I have servants that I have created within - select Revelers that came too close to finding me out, and once they knew me, preferred to live a life of isolation and peace. My purpose it to . . every century or so . .  correct the scales of power below, and avert an incident like the War of the Wine and the Rose."

"The Revelers are your people. They owe you fealty, and you owe them protection, guidance, and a brighter future. You nature is Divine, but your mind is mortal. As such, I am . . . a vehicle for you know the things a god should know without getting the worst migraine you can imagine, trying to know every penny-ante scheme the Revelers are cooking up at once, moment after moment."

"Myriad is . . . if there is an absolute power in this universe, it is her. She is the sky above you, and the ground beneath you, the breath in your lungs, the blood in your heart. She is the world . . . a world that is very much aware of itself, and you. I have heard her speak your name at the heart of the universe. Like any good mother, she does not meddle in the affairs of her children unless they ask . . .  nicely."

"There are other Gods. Gods that want the brightest future for their people . . . gods that wish to take what is yours .  . gods that will wish an alliance. If you want intrigue, you'll get it. Your world - Remad - exists as a Realm, orbiting a greater World, which in turn is orbiting the Valley Divine - the world-of-worlds, the city-of-cities, the capital of the universe."

Caerden Reveler
 Virtu of Festivals, 16 posts
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 00:09
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Answers flowed readily from Xixi's fingers and each of them spawned another question. But the important thing was that this new perspective was not so different from Caerden's old one. He was powerful, but it was a power amongst other powers, other gods. It was a strange new idea, it would take a few more times to roll it through his mind before it became comfortable. So if this new found divinity was like mortal politics, then these others gods were allies and rivals, sometimes at the same time and sometimes they might honestly claim to be one but really be another. The form of politics might change, but never the underlying ebb and flow.

"Thank you Xixi. It is good you are the vehicle for my knowledge to flow from, for anyone else might soon tire of the many questions I'll have to ask."

And there were so very many questions. But not all of them bore the same importance. "You say Remad orbits another world," a dizzying notion, but accepting that for the time being, "what world is that? You also say this Valley Divine is the city-of-cities. All cities bow knee to someone, who would lay claim to this Valley Divine? What is their temperament? Lastly, for the moment, I would desire a list of the nearest neighboring Realms, neighboring in whatever way these worlds are aligned, I would wish to know who has to living alongside Remad and who owns these realms along with their state of mind. That should paint enough of a picture to know how to proceed in the coming days."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:17, Sun 23 Dec 2018.

The Empress
 GM, 232 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 01:02
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"The world is still in flux . . in truth the world is -"

She pulled a strange timepiece from a pocket, clicked a button, and a second clock-face swept out of the side.

"While Remad is something like 2,214 years old, that's mythic time. In relative time, it's only as old as you, Caerden. It's a mind twister, but this Realm is a seperate self-contained timeline, and history is an extrapolation of . . ."

She paused. "I'm not being helpful. Or even answering your question. Well . . this Realm orbits a world that doesn't exist yet. Or rather, you haven't decided where it orbits."

She held out the same timepiece, and an illusionary diagram emanated from it. It was a diagram of a tree, with four branches, four roots, a trunk, and a crown.

The crown was labelled The Court.

The trunk was labelled the Valley Divine.

from the trunk, midway down, two boughs emerged, which then each forked into the four branches.

One bough was labelled "Nocturne" it forked into two branches - the upper one labelled "World of Dream." and lower one labelled "World of Night."

the other bough was labelled "Prothalamion", and forked in two branches - they upper labelled Realm of Skies, and the lower labelled Realm of Rivers.

Below that, were four roots - from left to right, labelled "Lower Ash / Lower Dust / Lower Rust / Lower Must" The Lower Ash was being gripped by a serpent, labeled 'Tarek.'

"This is the World-Tree."

She pointed to the four branches. "Each of these manifest as a sphere rotating through a spatial vacuum. The Trunk is the Valley Divine. The roots are the soil that feed the Tree and strengthen it. Remad is a sprig upon one of those branches, and manifest as a moon orbiting the branch-world, which in turn orbits the Valley, which is the trunk."

"Are you starting to get it?"

She paused.

"The Archon of the Valley Divine is Halley Meretoll, Myriad's . . . " Xixi took off her mask, revealing sharp cheekbones, warm-toned skin, arched brows, and large, dark eyes - and she was blushing deeply. "Myriad's . . Myriad's . . .  beloved. That scheming bitch!" She clenched her fists. "Halley - fuck! - Halley. She's the Maestra Divina, a kind of -  if I'm an angel, then she'd be the arch-angel. More than that . . she is the the protector of the Valley Divine as I am the protector of Remad. That's about as much as I want to know."
Caerden Reveler
 Virtu of Festivals, 17 posts
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 02:45
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"For a tree, I expected it to be a bit... fuller," Caerden motioned when he saw all of four branches extending off the trunk from Xixi's image. Pursing his lips thoughtfully, he took in the information and started to glean some understanding. Xixi's violent reaction to the keeper of the Valley Divine gave him pause.

"I think I'm starting to see, yes,"

Pondering the tree, and the new knowledge that Remad was but a branch, no a sprout Xixi had called it, left the world Caerden knew feeling much more precarious. Trees were often pruned, branches were errantly broken off. It would not do for Remad to meet the same fate.

"Then the first thing I would ask is, what can be done to make Caerden more secure. It seems the world -the tree- is full of things which we were not equipped to understand, even just your magic to bring us here. So as a... god, what might I do to make our Endless City safer? Also, you seem to know this Meretoll and do not hold them in high regard, do you care to elaborate?"
The Empress
 GM, 234 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 04:54
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"She is extremely pretty, brave, skilled in battle, concerned for the welfare of others . .  practically the ideal woman. And headstrong. She spurned every one of my advances, and I arbitrated the duel in which she was slaughtered," She said. "And now she returns, and romances the most powerful woman - the most powerful BEING - in the universe? Before I can so much as -" She paused her signing. "You are a wonderful man. Intelligent, suave, and resourceful. I am speaking of another woman, here, and passing no comparison between the two of you."

"The world is new, perhaps a half-millenia old. It will develop in due time."

"The Valley is a wellspring of divine power. It is the center of things. There, you can do buisness, make alliances, and advance yourself in power - and strengthen Remad. I am, properly, the Aegis of Remad, not Xixi Arashimaru. In strengthening me, you strengthen Remad."

"Additionally - Remad, as it grows in power, will gain additional Provinces. A Province is an extension of the Capital - in this case, The Sprawling Hall - and aligned with one of the Lower Roots, strengthening Remad as the Roots also strengthen the Valley Divine.

Every Realm has a Central Province, four Outer Provinces, and one Secret Province - usually the Haunt, or home, of its Aegis. As an Aegis, I am also the Keeper of a its unique magical tradition. In the case of Remad - I am the Keeper of Thanaturgy, and may train you in its use."

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:56, Sun 23 Dec 2018.

Caerden Reveler
 Virtu of Festivals, 18 posts
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 05:45
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
It seemed this Valley keeper was the subject of a number of affections. Caerden was not inclined to dabble in any love triangles. He discarded the notion of this City-of-Cities for the time being. It would do better to stick closer to home for the time being, it seemed everything was interconnected anyways.

"Yes, lets start with Thanaturgy, what is that? If you will teach me the ways, I will strive to learn them." Knowledge is power after all. "Then if there is more to Remad that lies waiting to be discovered I'll work on better acquainting myself with this world I thought I knew so well. You said you had other agents here? Can we send them along your secret paths and tunnels to scout ahead so we might know what province is most beneficial to start our explorations?"

"But for now, Thanaturgy."

OOC: Caerden plans to study some magic, probably for the next six months until it's time to claim the title and holdings of Margrave, hopefully by then he'll also have some reports about the surrounding provinces of Remad in order to make a decision on how to proceed with exploring them!
The Empress
 GM, 237 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 17:48
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"Thanaturgy is a discipline that blends forces and spirits. It composes four of the Royal fields I am familiar with - Death, Life, Necromancy, and Shamanism, but is something other than that. It's counterpart, Animancy, is easier to explain - the ability to read the natural movements of spiritual energy within a being. Thanaturgy is about stopping, starting, creating, and conversing with that same energy."

She kicked a seed pod on the ground, and it flew up to where she could catch it. The pod had two distinct wings.

She held each of the wings, and you felt the smallest use of magic slip from her. One side of the seed pod recieved life energy, the other death energy.

They met, and the seed pod exploded. The pieces fell to soil, and black patches of dead grass appeared - and then were consumed as fodder, a new tree sprouting from the earth in moments.

She moved her hands, and the tree uprooted by something invisible. "The vengeful spirits of the land," she signed. She moved her hands again, and the tree rose up on its roots, and began to move in a strange, bestial way. She then struck with a spark of life magic, and it turned to dust.

"Life, death, the movement of life into death, and from death into life - to call back the living spirit to your bidding, or to imprison it with the corpse. This is Thanaturgy."
Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 19 posts
Sun 23 Dec 2018
at 18:49
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Listening to the description, Caerden started to better grasp what exactly the magic entailed. He was certainly familiar enough with restless spirits from those early days when Remad had lain empty and abandoned. There were still a great many lingering phantasms. Something to put those dead to better use than merely disturbing the living, yes that was a valuable skill indeed. It was almost like discovering a natural resource of Remad that had been previously unknown.

"Excellent. Teach me these ways. I would be most interested in learning to better speak to those ghosts that still linger in Remad. Perhaps some still have sense enough in them that they might wish to be of use if given the opportunity."

What a strange day this was shaping up to be! Caerden's hands were starting to ache too, they were not used to the odd strain that the motion language put upon them. It seemed he would be getting plenty of practice in the upcoming days.
The Empress
 GM, 241 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Mon 24 Dec 2018
at 15:22
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Six months passed.

In the first months, you were taught the basics of connecting with and harnessing the entropic and prolofic energies within you; and then extending them into world; and the basics of contacting the Realms Higher and Lower, to contact the worlds of land-spirits and the dead. The last two months was the most hands-on - constant sparring with Arashimaru, who along with being a seeming master of all magic was also a ferocious fighter. You were taught the Three Roots - cultivating your internal life-force to combat fatigue, striking your foe while channeling death energy into the tips of your knuckles, and stealing life-force from your opponent and the surrounding area to rapidly recover mid-combat.

You gain the title "Thanaturgist."

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 15:22, Mon 24 Dec 2018.

Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 21 posts
Mon 24 Dec 2018
at 19:20
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
It had been an enlightening six months. Over the course of the training with Xixi Caerden had gained a new appreciation for magic. It was never something he'd been deeply aware of in the past, but the way in which it interconnected was so very similar to the way people connected. You pull here and something moved there, a bit of pressure in one area resulted in changed in another. These were fundamentals Caerden could start to grasp and so he did though he was still a far cry from the mastery that Xixi displayed.

Then the appointed day had come for Caerden to assume the title of Margrave and all the holdings that came with that. Dressed in his finest silks, a bright spring green to symbolize new beginnings, he wore a wildgrowth mask carved from oak wood and hung with strands of ivy as hair. With the copper and silver ring on his finger, Caerden had swept down the steps to the assembled nobles, officiant and to the seat beside his wife. Removing the mask for the official occasion, the Lord Remad wore a properly somber expression.

Largely a formality, Caerden said the words required of the new station, signed the papers and pressed his insignia into wax where it was required. Soon enough the occasion was concluded and the after party had begun and his mask was adorned again as music started to play, food was brought out and dancing was organized on the floor. Brushing through the crowd Caerden made light conversation, all the while he was distracted by the prospect of getting reports that same day regarding the other provinces of Remad and what they might offer. It was rediscovering his homeland all over again and Caerden was eager to begin!
The Empress
 GM, 246 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 03:11
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Sometime after the 'coronation' as Archduke, you returned to the temple and your wife's behest.

Xixi was on your arm, as ever. At least while you were here, at the temple. When she chose to be, she was there beside you - she had yet to let you in on that little secret.

"There are not yet other provinces, dearest," she said. "You'll need to invest a significant amount of divine power in me before you will be able to discover them.

"For now - I would recommend a journey to the Valley Divine. I'll let you in on something - as a God, you can be in multiple places at once, so long as they have different timelines. I have held this Temple in alignment with Remad, but in truth it is impossible to travel to this Temple from Remad, as they there is a chronotheological boundary between them.

"You must first hold a vision in your mind - close one eye. Hold still. Envision that your closed eye see a mirror of what your open eyes sees. Then, with your mind - see the 'seam' between them, see it pulled apart like a door, and see a corridor beyond, immediately in front of you.

"Then step through. You will be in a place betwixt - and must quickly repeat the action, holding in mind the name of your destination. A second portal will open before to the desired location.

"You will then appear in the location, and you will also still be here. Your mind can handle multiple avenues of experience, so long as they are in different timelines. You can be here, in Remad, and within the Valley - all at once."

Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 22 posts
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 04:32
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Splitting oneself in two. It seemed that with divinity a number of impossibilities simple became possibilities. But Xixi's suggestion gave Caerden pause. "You said the Valley Divine was run by this conniving woman who was also beloved by someone of quite significant power and influence." Considering Xixi's strong reaction to the woman and her apparently quite powerful station, Caerden shook his head, "No, it would be best if I had a better grasp on this new reality before I go fumbling about before those who apparently hold significant station. Looking like a poor simpleton fresh to the party and who doesn't know the steps to the dance is a first impression that can't be undone."

"What were these lower and upper branches of the tree you mentioned? I would visit some of these less central corners of the tree first, perhaps meet a few of the gods who do not hold quite so lofty a station first before fumbling into the courts of queens. Or perhaps there is a neutral ground somewhere in this tree? A place where no god directly holds sway?"

OOC: Of the options available, Caerden will choose the most civilized Realm available barring the Valley Divine, if all of them are wild, he'll choose the least overtly dangerous and visit there to practice getting the knack for traversing Realms.
The Empress
 GM, 249 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 17:11
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
She displayed the tree again. It looked a little different.

Where before their had been four roots, there were now two - The Lower Ash, and the Lower Haze.

"I am somewhat aware of the governance of the outlying worlds," she said. "The Realm Nocturne is governed by the Watch-Wolf and Eri - Kavya? She has changed her name again. The Watch-Wolf dwells in the Waking Night, while Kavya calls the Dream home. Those areas are dangerous for uninitiated.

"of the Realms of Skies and Rivers, they are both destinations for the spirit - the Realm of Rivers carries the dead to the afterlife, such as it is, and the Realm of Skies is the abode of living spirits. Yami rules the Realm of Rivers, and her husband Pallav plays his role in the Realm of Skies.

"of the Lower Roots, the Ash is governed by Tarek, the Sun-Dragon. I do believe he has succeeded in creating a citadel and fortress-city. The Haze is likely - although I am unsure - governed by Divj, the Time-Dragon. So long as you stick to the reflections of the Valley within the Roots, you should be alright, especially with your command of Thanaturgy."

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:12, Tue 25 Dec 2018.

Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 24 posts
Tue 25 Dec 2018
at 19:42
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Listening to the options of this new world, Caerden nodded as he made his decision, "Let us visit Pallav then and meet another god. A place of living spirits might give me some better understanding of the spirits that dwell in Remad and an idea of how to see that the balance in the Sprawling Halls is better maintained."
The Empress
 GM, 252 posts
 Hopeless Romantic
Wed 26 Dec 2018
at 20:52
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
"Outside of this Realm, I can only accompany you as a familiar spirit. A small black cat, in this case. Pallav is beneficent, but also a warlord. Keep your wits about you as ever, Archduke."

Please proceed to describe opening a portal to the Realm of Skies - also known as the Realm of Rebirth - and then post in the appropriate thread.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:53, Wed 26 Dec 2018.

Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 25 posts
Thu 27 Dec 2018
at 16:24
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Nodding to Xixi's advice, Caerden created a portal. It took a few tries as he struggled to get a feel for the strange activity. Eventually though he succeeded a pair of velvet curtains materialized. Brushing aside the fabric, the Lord Remad stepped through and into somewhere entirely different.

Transitioning to The Sky Realms
Caerden Reveler
 Intrigue, Festivals, 36 posts
Tue 8 Jan 2019
at 03:47
RP SECRET: The Hidden Temple of Arashimaru
Returning back through the portal, Caerden has the disconcerting sensation of being in two places at once. How odd to be in the quiet hidden temple and also talking with a woman whose entire arms were covered in bangles at the same time. Almost opening his mouth to speak Caerden remembered himself and signed to Xixi. "It's time to return home for a bit. I would put what we've studied into practice."

Returning to Remad proper.