Seilvinia

Dirty_gypsy_by_neonwave
User: muklin
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Role: Controller
Class/Level: Ardent / Cleric / Theurge/9
Background:
The family of my mother has led the life of travelling Gypsy's for many generations. Stories around the camp-fire tell of the adventures of our ancestors discovery of a trading route between Eldorn and Cormyr, across the barren deserts of Pharin Kar. My Father Dravin was not born a Gypsy, growing up in a city of Eldorn. He fell in love with my mother, Siela, while her caravan was camped outside the city, and gave up his life as a blacksmith to follow her in the Gypsy way of life. I was born on the road, delivered by my Uncle, Kreb, who was also first to note my milky eyes, which our lore says are an indication of of foresight and power. I didn't feel particularly powerful or foresightful as I was growing up though, rather I found that I had to squint just to see who rode the pony in front of me, and I was useless when playing hide and seek with the other children. I learnt to trust other senses and feelings of the world around me instead.

Father left the caravan while I was still a child, following the call to protect his motherland from an invasion of Orcs on its eastern border. He returned to his city to fight for his fathers old unit in the army. Uncle Kreb had urged him to stay with us but he left anyway. I heard them fighting late into the night, harsh voices ringing out despite the distance from the camp they had walked. The next day Father kissed me before he left, and we travelled away in the opposite direction. My uncle knew a safe place, deep in the forest and we hid there for may years, until the war was over, though my father's battle with the Orcs was never far from my mind. From Kreb I learnt to track, (my poor sight was hindrance, but I could catch a scent, and hear a lark better than he), move in the woods, protect myself and fight with my hands. He showed me the ways of nature, and told me of the natural order of the world.

One night, as the full moon rose over the forest, I walked alone in the darkness, full of my thoughts. The shadows were deep and with my poor eyesight I could barely see the ground beneath my feet. But then moonlight fell on my path through a gap in the trees, the murky whiteness in my eyes began to glow and I saw a vision of a path through the trees. I followed it, sleeping by day and travelling by night. The trail led over streams and clearings, through swamps and spiderwebs. Eventually, I came to a glade. The glade of the Druids. I approached cautiously, the scent of their herbs reeking in the darkness. A single figure approached me, but fell away, shocked at the image of my eyes glowing in the darkness. As I entered under a gate of leaves, I saw the bonfire in the middle, and an wash of heady smoke billowed over me, making my eyes water, my throat burn and my nose run. Other figures, dressed in green cloaks with shadowy hoods, also withdrew away from me, because of my glowing eyes or simply my presence here, I know not. I fainted then, when I saw a single post thrust into the ground, tied upon it a man whom I recognized, my father!! As I fell into the darkness, I remember his face, his gaze, falling on my eyes and an anguished look on his face. His eyes also burned with a brightness, though different to mine. His eyes burned with a red fire that troubles my dreams still.

I remember nothing else of that night. When I awoke, I was slung over the saddle of my small sturdy pony, Destiny. I don't know where he came from, or how I came to be slung over his back, but he had carried me back to my caravan. He is with me still. I told no-one of what I had seen, saying I had become lost in the woods, and had walked for days until I recognised a stream and followed it back out.

When the war was over we travelled back out of the forest to perform our trade of entertainment, fortune telling, sharpening knives and so on. We heard that father never returned from the war. No-one had seen him killed since he had become separated from his unit after a skirmish at night. My Mother travelled many miles over the war torn landscape, searching the land for word of him. I trailed after her, my murky eyes earning small amounts of money as I told people's fortunes. I could not bring myself to tell my mother what I had seen. Eventually we came to the edges of the wasteland borders where the orcs dwelled and could search no further.

My mother never returned from that journey, and I lay her young body in the ground within view of the border, having died of a broken heart. I had seen enough of the brutal damage that had been wrought by the orcs to hate them forever, and travelled back toward civilisation, hoping to find my Uncle and his caravan again one day. My heart troubles me, wondering if I should have said something to my mother during those years of searching. But always the memory of his eyes, and the anguish on his face would come back to me, and I would say nothing.

Rebirth

The doll dropped from Seilvinia's numb fingers as the vision faded from her mind and her vision returned to its normal, cloudy state. "She is being held in the East, that is all I could see," she announced wearily, all her energy spent.
Griegl stood from where he'd been sitting on the floor, and Dravith muttered, "The East? The East is a big place, witch, how is that meant to help us?"
"I'm sorry, I can't help you any more, you will need to search further on your own, please leave now, I am very tired."
Seilvinia watched as the pair turned from her, disappointed. She slumped on to her bed when they were gone, letting her facade of professionalism drop. Witch or no, her auguries were taxing. The events of the day flitted though her mind, the basement, the childs toy, locked in a chest, the... creatures, in the next room. But she cast them away now, turning her thoughts instead to the black gate, there was nothing else to be done for that girl now, she feared...

The next day, she left the curtains sit and prepared her ritual; Skull, knife, incense, and crystal... She had not eaten since she had first heard Adrian speak of the existence of more black gates, but the thought of what she was about to try made her stomach want to try to empty itself anyhow. She had dreamt of a black gate several times since disabling the one in the Kobold warrens, but it now seemed likely that those dreams were more like precognitions. She needed to know where they were, but something in the dreams made her uneasy, unsure of what she might find. With some trepidation, she sparked the candle and held her incense to the flame.

The day was bright as Seilvinia stepped down into the dust of the street. She felt her failure to see the Black gates keenly, especially on top of a feeling of failing the Greenwell girl. And as with the dreams, there had been something else. She had planned to set up her stall, to earn a few gold pieces and pay for these ridiculous inn room prices again, as if she hadn't ever been just as comfortable in a wagon's cot, or under a canvas sheet. But as she was musing, her feet took her away, unbidden, toward that strange compound across the river. She couldn't have said why, but that place had stilled the disquiet in her soul when she had stepped in, that first time.

Even though she had struggled with their ways, the meditation that the monks had taught her over the past days was like a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room, a lightness of breath, and her mind was open and clear. Mizruki's droning chants wore on and and on, and she slipped into a deep trance where it was possible to inspect her own intellect, like a shopkeep inspecting his merchandise. The void was empty, and she revelled in its emptiness. Suddenly another presence in the void startled her, and she opened her eyes in shock.

The scene before her was as she expected; the calm marble of the monastery floor, with the monks arrayed before Mizruki in reverent rows. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a movement, a flash of colour and when she turned her head, the whole scene tilted crazily, as if a painting on a canvas that had been cast into the wind, floating, spinning away. A lurid landscape of contrasting colours, a red sky and blue green grasses, buildings of brownstone, which tilted at impossible angles. She looked down and saw her feet, brown and furred, like a dogs. Turning she saw the painting land on the wall of one of the buildings, and suddenly noticed there was a humanoid figure studying it. He was tall, with a long slender scaled head, some 10 feet from the ground. Curious, she approached him, and as he turned back to the image, she noticed that she could see herself in it, still sitting on the floor alongside the other monks.

"Do you expect these teachings to help you?" the humanoid asked, though Seilvinia could not see and mouth he may have opened, to speak. "I think this is not the place for you... Druid." he spat the word, like a curse, and suddenly she somehow knew his name was Isthrialis. A motion of a finger and the scene changed, and Seilvinia realised she was staring at herself again, though now she lay in a cot in the corner of the room, an old lady pressing a compress to her head. "They think you sick, for you burn with a fever, though none recognize a Cleansing Fever, it seems," somehow, even without a mouth, she knew he was smirking.

Another motion, and the scene changed again, images whirling as she recognized members from her recently made acquaintances, Guthrum with his hand in a cash drawer, Dravith peering into the darkness, a light shining behind him, Greigl trying and failing to count a number of strange spiders who were attacking him, Fouco, sniffing disdainfully at his robes, as he carefully rolled another ball of batshit between his fingers.

"Do you see that they fight toward something? Do you see they have purpose? We are usually without purpose, happy to let our fury reign over all, to let balance align itself of its own accord," a long pause, before continuing in a tone somehow of both submission and arrogance, , "but now the balance is shifting, unhealthily, and we must look to any new furies that we can spark. You have the chaos-spark within you. Your curious devotion to the leaf god is wasted... " Seilvinia suddenly knew that her hands were... no, had always been... thick, leafy branches. The figure touched a hand to one, arcs of lighting jumping to the green and setting them alight. Within moments, her hands had changed to balls of fire, spitting lighting. She felt a change in her head as well her thoughts becoming like a damp and putrid swamp, before a darkness closed over her. The figure of Isthrialis was a single silhouette at the end of a long tunnel, growing further distant, and his words echoed as he stated; "Choose carefully, when you answer the next question."

The tunnel closed, and the darkness was complete. Seilvinia opened her eyes, and while she could now see the ceiling above her cot, still she lay in the darkness, for the darkness lay within her. Terrified, she tried to scream, but no sound came from her throat. The wizened old woman turned to place the compress on her brow again, and Seilvinia somehow saw that the woman lived in a swamp, and that she, too, was smirking at her.

Suddenly a whisper of a voice came to her, "Seilvinia, you have cast off your bonds to Nym, and such a decision may be held in account in the future. But we see your potential, for you have walked many paths; inside your mind, in the nether world, in the plane of chaos and in the ether. You will walk many more.. Would you walk under my banner, and fight our fight? Will you stand for Asfixia?"

"Yes."