Bloodstone: fills you with a surge of courage, self-esteem, energy and protection so that you can enjoy living in the now.
April 27, 2019
Red Dragon Inn
The ghosts of Faerie beckoned Bailey to kneel before the Hollow Throne, and so he did, before he could second-guess himself. As he knees pressed against the cobblestones, those thoughts came, but by that point it was far too late to go back. When was the last time I bowed to the Fae? Did I ever do so willingly?
The thought hung in the air, heavy like the fog looming over Dockside’s waters this morning, before the answer came. No. Never.
His brain screeched to a halt when he forced himself to focus on the spirits, and saw one of them approaching him. The specter looked perfectly androgynous, dressed in a poet’s shirt, kilt, and ghillie brogues that laced up to their knees.They were handsome; they were beautiful. A lump stuck in his throat, his heart skipped a beat, and then he could feel it drumming insistently against his ribs. That’s when the shame kicked in: a hot flush on his face and a sharp twist in his guts, like someone had grabbed hold of them and squeezed. He lowered his head, embarrassed to lock eyes with the ghost, but when their cool fingers brushed against his chin, he shifted and lifted his gaze.
“Art thou afeard?
” the spirit asked him, and his heart jumped once more. They spoke with two voices, echoing, a combination of a man’s tenor and a woman’s contralto. “Worry not.
“Why would I be afraid?” He tried to sound tough, yet his eyes still couldn’t bear to meet the specter’s.
“I am Fae. Thou art fae.
” As they spoke, their voices seemed to dance and dart around each other, one starting a split-second before the other, and finishing in much the same way. It distracted Bailey from protesting aloud, though the Gentry ghost noticed his apprehension anyways. “ ‘If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.’
“Shakespeare…” Bailey trailed off, as he finally met the pale blue eyes of his interlocutor.
“Aye. Art thou eft to receive thy blessing?”
” Before Bailey could stop them, they pressed two fingers to his forehead, and his eyes shut despite his efforts to keep them open.
“Do your best.” All that was there at first was Andrea’s voice -- no. Not just her voice. Another curled around it, like the Kindly One that had blessed him.
Or cursed, Bailey thought. But whose voice? Neither of the two from before, nor any he could recall hearing before. Pitched in the middle of vocal range -- a countertenor or contralto?
“Do your best.” It repeated, as he opened his eyes to see the Isle, the crystalline tower waiting in the distance for its fate to be decided. He blinked, and the scene shifted to the Arena, his jaw and left shoulder coated in his own blood. Matt’s voice, Mallory’s voice, Jonn’s voice, Runt’s voice -- they combined to form a cacophonous choir singing those words, along with the unknown speaker.
“Do your best.” Another blink, another shift, this time to The Callow. Bodies danced around him, sweat flying everywhere, but when he tried to see their faces, they shimmied just out of his sight. The mysterious voice combined with Max’s, Dany’s, Roshie’s, Grethe’s. The music swirled up to drown them all out, rising in speed and volume until it seemed ready to burst Bailey’s head and then --
Silence. He’d shut his eyes during the aural assault, and didn’t dare open them even when the coast seemed clear.
abra seus olhos.” The countertenor/contralto spoke, alone, with no accompaniment. Bailey obliged the voice, now finding himself in pure purgatorial white. Nothing else was visible -- not even the source of those words.
“Who are you?”
Sua bênção. Your blessing.”
“And the vision?” Bailey waved a hand at thin air.
“You have the courage. To stand in for Mallory when she was unable to fight on the Overlord’s behalf. You have the skill. To defeat Gren for the key to the Citadel of Stars, to defend it against Jin Chae. You have the desire. You love and lust fiercely, though you try to hide it. Don’t. Believe in yourself. I will protect you for a little while, so that you can live in the moment. Live in the now. The way you used to live. The way you should.”
Bailey drifted back to the here and now, dazed. Someone or something had slipped a bloodstone ring on his right index finger, placed bloodstone-studded earrings in his ears. Something cold, slight damp, and wooden touched both of his shoulders.
“Arise, L’rd of Bloodstone.
” Bailey did as he was told, knees shaking as he pulled himself up. Once he felt steady on his feet, he rushed forward to hug the spirit, but they were gone. All of the specters were gone. All he could do was hug himself, as that familiar tingle of glamour and goosebumps prickled his skin.
“Live in the now.” He turned to the north, to the Wilds, and began the long journey to the Fires.
((Please let me know if you’d prefer not to have Bailey “hear” your character during his vision, either via PMs here or Discord. Thanks!))