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Visions from the Leechtree

This was a stupid amount of fun, and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did. Props to @Kanthari, @Verexa, @Aydamis, and @Bathan for jumping in and getting involved.

Silence momentarily overcomes the forest, quickly replaced by a stirring beneath the earth. You feel an oppressive force casting its eye to Aetherius.

You tell Lionas Sol'Anlumaire, Redwood Blight, "Is the Tree stirring?"

--- Monarch Square ------------- 17:1:0 0 ---

Kanthari looks thoughtfully at you, pondering the situation.

You frown at Kanthari.
Lionas tells you, "I am unsure, but something is."

You ask Kanthari, "You felt it, aye?"

The terrifying form of Lionas, Aspect of Sukhder enters from the west.

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal says to you, "Aye."

Lionas touches an irregularly shaped fibrous red spore.
As Lionas puts his hand to the fibrous red spore upon his skin, a momentary look of confusion crosses his stoic features.
You look undecided and ask Lionas, "Where did that bloody come from?"
"Never mind," Lionas murmurs with a slight wave-off.

You tell Bathan Zran, "Where are you, boy?"

Bathan tells you, "I'm sitting in Stavenn, watching for intruders. Do you
require my assistance?"
You tell Bathan Zran, "Something is stirring. I don't know what."

Bathan straightens his posture, giving a sharp salute.

Kanthari nods his head at Bathan politely.

Bathan Zran says to Juran, "I'm unable to join, at present."
Juran nods his head.

Lionas frowns, gently caressing an irregularly shaped fibrous red spore.

Aleutia casts her baleful glance to Lionas, her jaw setting as she eyes the spore.
Bathan scratches his head in confusion.

Taking the body of a dead priest into your hands, you expertly slit the corpses veins, bleeding the body to feed the pulsing black roots gathering at your feet. Smoke overcomes the sight, leaving you with the metallic taste of blood in your mouth and the knowledge that this was but a vision.

Aleutia hisses sharply, her features paling as her hand lifts to touch her forehead.

An ominous presence settles in the back of your mind, bringing with it visions of smoke and blood.

Bathan grunts noncommittally.
Aleutia whispers softly, "No, no, no.."

His features unreadable, Kanthari reaches out one hand to settle on Aleutia's shoulder, applying a faint pressure.

Bathan looks about, eyes widening. "What sorcery is this?" he asks in a low voice.

Aleutia asks in a low, wavering voice, "Lionas?"

Lionas raises an eyebrow questioningly.

Aleutia shakes her head, her face pale as she murmurs, "There was a priest.." She pauses looking around as she asks, "Where is it now?"

Lionas looks over Aleutia with vague concern.

Kanthari presses his other hand momentarily to his temple, cognac-coloured eyes blinking once before he looks about the area.

Bathan stumbles to one knee, driving the tip of his blade into the ground below.

Aydamis, Cadeyrn, Maglust, and Verexa enter from the ether following Juran.
They are followed by a hideously warped treant, a hideously warped treant, a muamrite slave, and a ravenous hound.

Aleutia asks Lionas sharply, her voice breaking, "Is it the Tree?"

Aydamis says, "Yes."
Darkness overtakes your vision. As you gaze out futilely, you see the gloom move as a mist from your form. Suddenly, you find yourself high above Aetherius, watching as the forests of the world are slowly enveloped in an oppressive shadowy vapor. You blink, and find yourself back where you began.

Bathan Zran asks you, "You are seeing this, aye? These dark visions?"

Verexa blinks.
An unseen voice says, "I saw them too."
Aydamis nods his head in agreement.
Kanthari nods slowly.

Aleutia shrieks softly, her hands pulling to her mouth as she presses her eye closed.
An unseen voice frowns and says, "I saw myself plunging a dagger into my body."

The metallic scent of blood wafts upon the air, beckoning you to partake of it.

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal whispers to you, "I love you."

Lionas purses his lips contemplatively.

You quiver like a tightly strung wire.

Verexa leans over to the side, then straightens up again.
Bathan steadies himself, rising to his feet once more. "I saw a forest .. I was above it, shadows all around."

Verexa exhales sharply, looking around the room with a wide-eyed stare.

An unseen voice says, "I've seen another one."

Aleutia pulls one hand away from her mouth. Slipping her hand into Kanthari's, she looks to him with wide eyes, her voice quaking as she asks, "Can you smell the blood?"

Kanthari inclines his head slightly, his fingers lacing through Aleutia's as he turns to face her. "It will pass," he promises in a low tone, concern touching his features.

Verexa leans on Caelya seeking consolation.
(Tzolkin): Kanthari says, "Tzolkin. It may behoove you to attend the Tree until this passes."
Caelya wraps her tail gently around Verexa, affectionately pulling her close.

An unseen voice says to Caelya, "We are being plagued by strange visions."

Your sight distorts; when it clears, a host of armies stands before you. Treants, fea, shadow creatures - all await your command as they dance between the writhing black roots of the Leechtree. Your vision clears as quickly as it overcame you, leaving you feeling bewildered.

Bathan looks around, half-shouting, "Is there no way to make these sights end?"

Aleutia pulls away from Kanthari, her features yet pale as she steps closer to the Leechtree. Taking a dagger from her pack, she slices her palm, balling her hand into a fist to dribble blood onto the ground below.

The roots below your feet squirm, seeking out the sanguine offering.

Bathan Zran mutters, "B.... and"
Kanthari smacks Bathan in the chest with the back of his hand, not a significant blow. "Cease," he states simply, looking as though he may say something else before walking nearer to the tree with you.

Aleutia sinks onto the ground, tightening her hand once more to dribble blood. Staring listlessly at the ground, she opens her palm, displaying the wound to the roots.

Caelya squints suspiciously at you.

The stirring below you intensifies. Looking on with curious eyes, the bloody woodling watches as a tendril-like root caresses Aleutia's palm.

Verexa chews absently on her lip, deep in thought.

Bathan calms a bit, offering Kanthari an uncertain nod.

Sliding a dagger from his belt, Kanthari exhales in a low sound before drawing it over his palm, the motion appearing practiced. He walks over toward you, kneeling beside her to place his bloodied hand to the earth as well.

Lionas touches an irregularly shaped fibrous red spore.
Lionas wavers unsteadily for a few moments, but is soon hearty and completely refreshed.

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal says to Aydamis, "This is our duty. Sow the blood, Aydamis."

Aleutia gives a soft hiss as the root touches her wound, her eyes momentarily closing. Looking upwards to Bathan, she offers him the dagger in her unwounded hand, her dulled gaze expectant.

Marching resolutely towards the cleft of the Leechwood, the bloody woodling tosses the body of small animal into the gaping void.
Aydamis following the Arbiter's command, he too unsheathes a dagger and slides it across his palm. Clenching his fist, he kneels besides Kanthari and holds his bloody fist over the blood-stained earth.

Bathan stares at the dagger for a moment before shifting his gaze back to you. He begins to shake his head, protesting. "You've no idea what this is, or what it means.."

Sam, Aspect of Moradeim leaves to the east, a feeling of confusion leaving with him.
The earth beneath you quivers, as if shaken by a mass of movement deep below.

Aleutia answers in a hushed voice, "The Tree hungers. Feed it."

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal says to Verexa, "You as well."

Revenant Caelya Talmarian looks undecided and says, "Seems like maybe a time for me to step back. I am not a tree person."

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal says to Velion, "And you."

Bathan looks around, eyes pleading for support. He finds none and sighs, unsteadily dragging the dagger along his palm. He kneels, pressing the wound upon the roots. "Vahin, forgive me" he mumbles under his breath.

Verexa gives a small but resolute nod, kneels before the tree alongside Aydamis and draws a dagger as well. She drags it across her palm until several beads of dark, red blood appear around the small wound. She places her hand on a root and grips it tightly so that the blood dribbles down onto the earth.

A sanguine darkness overcomes the base of the Leechwood, wrapping around those present and coalescing around the form of the Prophet. A sudden upswell of heat and sulphurous stench overtake your senses as Lionas is lifted from the ground.

Sharply, you ask, "Lionas?"

His visage overcome momentarily with that of a great demon, Lionas echoes out, "My roots hunger. Bring to me sustenance. The bodies of the fallen shall usher in a new era for Aetherius."

Verexa straightens up and brushes the dirt off herself, giving Lionas an uncertain look.

Bathan flexes his fingers along the grip of his blade, gritting his teeth.

The form superimposed over Lionas's subsides, and the shadows retreat quickly into the ground. The last of the spilled blood is absorbed quickly into the roots here, and all falls silent. Lionas falls to the ground suddenly.

Aleutia vaults to her feet, passing the distance between herself and Lionas. Her hands shaking, she takes his face into her hands, asking in a voice quaking with concern, "Lionas? D'ah?"

Lionas looks up from his place on the ground, wrapping an arm around Aleutia. With a steady voice, he murmurs, "I'm fine."

Lionas places a collection of corpses before him. Making careful incisions, he watches as their blood pools out, disappearing into the pulsing roots below.
Rising from where he knelt, Kanthari looks cautiously up toward the boughs of the tree before walking nearer to Lionas and you.
Aleutia exhales loudly, her expression relieved as she withdraws from Lionas to stand.
Having completed his task, Lionas uses Aleutia for support as he rises to his feet.

Bathan rises once more to his feet, silent.
Lionas Sol'Anlumaire, Redwood Blight says, "It seems we have a task ahead of us."

(Sect): Lionas says, "It seems we have a task before us. We hunger. Feed Our roots."

Aleutia nods faintly, her gaze slipping to the west.

(Khandava): You say, "I will be hunting for the Tree. Who shall join me?"
Bathan looks to Lionas, his voice icy, "Do we know what feeding the tree will do?"

(Khandava): Kanthari says, "I shall."

Cadeyrn begins to follow you.
(Khandava): Aydamis says, "Count me in."
Aydamis begins to follow you.
(Khandava): Verexa says, "I will go as well."

Lionas Sol'Anlumaire, Redwood Blight says to Bathan, "We know Our strength will grow. Our Sovereignty will be protected."

Bathan sighs softly, nodding his head.

Kanthari tilts his head to the side, addressing Bathan directly as he states, "It is the duty of all Tzolkin. Sow the blood. Feed the Tree."

Marching resolutely towards the cleft of the Leechwood, the bloody woodling tosses the body of small animal into the gaping void.

Kanthari Sazuran, the Jackal whispers to you, "I'll need to relearn. A moment."
Verexa inclines her head toward Lionas respectfully.
Kanthari gives you a peck on the cheek.

Kanthari, Aspect of Moradeim leaves to the east, a feeling of confusion leaving with him.



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