illirica's workshop

illirica

Member
This is my character workshop! I like to work on my characters a little bit at a time, so whatever you see here is absolutely not the final version, but you can take a little sneak peek while I'm still figuring them out.
 
Do you know what it is like, when the gods take you?

It is... tranquility. Outsiders always say it is madness; perhaps it appears that way. From another point of view, we rip, we tear, we maim, we kill. From within, though, there is no madness, no fear, no pain - there is only grace, and beauty. The world parts like a waterfall, and we dance between the raindrops. You feel them splash on my face, one after another, plip plip plip... afterwards perhaps you shall realize it is blood, but in that moment, there is only peace.

The difficulty is not when it begins. The difficulty is when it ends. When you are alone, in a room full of pieces of things that might have once been people, and all you can think of is how none of them are as broken as you are. You are empty, alone, and so you fall to your knees and you pray and you pray and you pray.

After a while, someone will find you. They will take you somewhere they call home, and they will clean you up, and they will remind you that you are human. You do not wish to be human. You are a vessel of the gods, and your only desire is for them to return to you once more.

But you are human, so you eat and you drink and you pray, and sometimes you remember that the one who brought you home is your mother or your sister or your daughter, and sometimes you can only turn your face from her and cry, because she is not the gods and you do not want her.

For two decades, this has been my life. I do not think I will see the end of another. I cannot bear it. One day, the gods take us, and they do not let go.

This, I pray for.


Journal of Silah Leviat, Order of the Endeiic Wardens, Midsommer 28 in the 9582nd Year Of Our Inception​


SILAH LEVIAT​

Order of the Endeiic Wardens
Homeworld: Cael-Rielle

Race: Human

Age: 27 years, Terran standardized

Calling: Endeiic Warden; godstouched, berserker

Description: Chosen by the Church and the gods to venture forth in an attempt to reunite the gods of Cael-Rielle with their unbound cohort

Armament: All things are weapons. The gods will provide. She carries a knife, but it is nothing special - she loses it often, and finds a new one.




image: "Quiet" by People Strange, Artstation
people-strange-001.jpg


On the World of Cael-Rielle

Cael-Rielle is a unified world with a human presence on two of its five continents. Of the remaining three, one is primarily ice and has been deemed uninhabitable. A second is devoid of all life, consisting only of malformed rock - largely shale. Canyons are many, often formed anew by frequent tectonic shifts. The deepest of the canyons reach far enough that the magma layer is exposed at their lowest points - the number, length, and depth of such canyons is variable based on tectonic activity. The third uninhabited continent was previously inhabited, but has been relegated to noninhabitance after the emergence of the Worm-Gaunt, first thought to have appeared there. Many still are present, though they are not classified as human.

The two habited - or habitable - continents are known by the names Xoje, situated with its center just above the equatorial line, and Shoje, situated east of Xoje and with its center slightly below the equatorial line. Both are large enough to have portions of land both above and below the equator, with Xoje extending all the way up to the northern prime meridian and Shoje meeting both the northern and southern prime meridians. Cities are relatively few and are the seats of both government and technology, including spacefaring potential, though residents of the world do not, as a rule, generally travel off of it, finding this to be uncomfortable.

Large cities are often considered inadvisable due to issues should there be a Worm-Gaunt emergence. More rural areas are often bereft of technology even to the point of eschewing electricity in some of the far reaches. While Cael-Rielle theoretically has a democratically elected secular government, in many of the areas outside of the cities it is the church to whom the residents look for guidance. Voting rates are poor.

There is only one church. Competing religions on Cael-Rielle have found the competition to be fierce, in the most violent sense of the word. The gods of Cael-Rielle are very serious about their investiture. The Church is divided into three main sections - the largest is the Order Of The Presiding, which contains those priests responsible for decision-making and for interpreting and enacting the will of the gods. When Cael-Riellans speak of the Church, it is generally to this branch which they refer: the second being referred to by its name, and the third not usually at all.

The second branch, the Order of the Endeiic Wardens, is small in numbers but is not to be discounted in terms of power, for its members are all those who have experienced a very direct and personal connection with their gods. They are combatants as needed, and often are not aware of the need until the gods intercede and re-establish that personal connection, enacting their wills through these human bodies in the most expeditious manner possible. It is this Order which is responsible for the eradication of any competing religions, usually in the form of an Endeiic Warden showing up to the location of the competition and killing everyone involved, tangentially involved, or occasionally merely nearby. Formation of other religions is, therefore, strongly discouraged by the people of Cael-Rielle. The Endeiic Wardens are also primarily responsible for dealing with instances of the Worm-Gaunt, and as such tend to skew largely female.

Little is known about the third branch, the Order of the Custodiet Custodes, but perhaps there is little that needs to be known. Each member has or had a direct and personal connection with one of the Endeiic Wardens, usually a parent, sibling, or child, though occasionally a spouse or very close friend or cousin. They are the madness-minders, and it is these individuals who go into the fields of carnage after the Endeiic Wardens and talk them down to some semblance of humanity. Like the Endeiic Wardens, the Custodiet Custodes tend to be primarily composed of women and girls, though it is unknown if this is also related to the Worm-Gaunt or if this is more to do with their connection with their Endeiic Wardens.

The gods of Cael-Rielle are not known for their kindness.

CORIN LEVIAT​

Order of the Custodiet Custodes
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Homeworld: Cael-Rielle

Race: Human

Age: 24 years, Terran-Standardized

Description: Silah's younger sister, designated by the Church to follow her in her quest and keep her, if not sane, at least redirected.

Affinity: Custodiet Custodes; Warden-Watcher, crazeminder

Weapons: None. It is very important, when approaching the godstouched, not to carry a weapon.



image: unattributed, artist unknown



On the Gods of Cael-Rielle

The gods of Cael-Rielle are known to possess two separate sets of names. The first is known as the Left-Hand Name, and the left-hand names of the gods can be known but are almost never spoken. The gods are very protective of their names, and do not take kindly to having them said aloud. Those ordained by the Church are capable, at need, of speaking the left-hand names of the gods, and indeed, one of the final steps to becoming a priest of the Order of the Presiding is to speak the left-hand names of all of the gods, beginning with the one the priest-candidate feels is most closely linked to them.

The second Name of each god, known as the Right-Hand Name, is unknowable and unspeakable. Knowing them invites certain madness and almost always death - those who do not die immediately often wish that they had. The Grove of the Primordial Wardens contains what is thought to be the remains of the pre-Inception people who bound the gods to the world: great white capillary-trees of bone stretching towards the sky, with unhoused eyes dangling from their branches like forbidden fruit, keeping watch over what they have done for eternity. It is thought that they are still living, and also that they were once human.

There are four gods in the pantheon of Cael-Rielle, though some pre-Inception records suggest that these are part of what was once a greater pantheon elsewhere.


The Warded Pantheon
Right-Hand NameLeft-Hand NameMonikerDomain
???HopythThe Bloom And RotGod of growing things and wild places, the planting and the harvest, youth, old age, health, sickness, and death
???LuacthThe FathomlessGod of the sea and the underground and caverns and canyons and deep places and high places and death
???QuaithThe Cold SilenceGod of winter and the hunt and quiet and the void of space and death
???AzathThe Sound And FuryGod of music and emotion and marriage and battle and death



The Exodus of the Leviat

"Silah, you need to drink something." Corin's voice was calm, soft, as if she had not said these same words over and over again, twenty times this hour. Perhaps the next one would be the one that worked, or the one after that. She placed the cup in front of her sister once more, a broken and battered thing.

Both the cup and her sister, she supposed, from a certain point of view. Her sister was of flesh, the cup was of metal - porcelain would not have lasted. Even the metal bore dents where it had been thrown at things, but it also bore tea. It wasn't good tea - it was harsh, black, bitter, the tea that they'd been allowed little sips of as small children, to get them going in the morning. It didn't have to be of the highest quality to invoke that memory, the memory of something long ago and far away and only ever human.

Her sister's hand moved from her lap, fingers tenting the rim of the cup. Corin waited, wondering if she would remember how to drink this time. Silah picked it up, managing not to spill, which was a good enough place to start. Corin crept closer, kneeling beside her and helping her bring the cup to her lips.

A knock sounded at the door, and Corin thought some rather profane things for a moment. These thoughts didn't make it to her lips, though, only the calm repetition, once more: "Silah, you need to drink something."

Their mother would answer the door and deal with any guests - either send them away or take them upstairs. That was why it was a surprise to her, some minutes later, when she heard footsteps coming down the stairs towards the basement. Corin stood, stepping to one side, because if her sister endeiified then there was not going to be any way to stop her, but if Corin stayed quiet and out of the way, she might be able to talk Silah down afterwards. Again.

As always.

The door opened, and Corin started with a warning: "She's not quite-"

It was not her mother who entered, though, but a man in the robes of the Presiding, white-bearded and with white wisps around his temples and the base of his skull, the remnants of what hair he had left. He looked harmless. Corin was certain that was deliberate. Like herself, he would be unarmed, trying to appear as nonthreatening as possible.

Corin looked back to her sister. Silah had stood up as well. She was still holding the metal teacup, but she held it in the same way that someone would hold a weapon - a solid grip, but with enough flexibility in it for a full range of motion. There was no question that she was not completely aware of this fact, either. Her eyes danced, and a smile coiled around her lips like a serpent.

The old priest bowed, somehow including her in the single movement as well. "Custodian. Warden. Warded Ones. I will not apologize for the intrusion at this time. It was necessary that Warden Leviat be maintaining some remembrance of Endeiification."

The gods weren't here, of course, which was why Silah was as she was - but she was attuned to them, and for some reason, that was what the priest wanted. Silah said nothing, of course, but Corin would be her voice - or not, sometimes. Corin had found that sometimes a silence was better than anything else at driving a conversation.

If the priest was bothered by it, he did not show any sign of this. "The Presiding would like you to consider an... opportunity."

This was a command in all but name, it was merely that even the Presiding did not presume to command the gods, and so it would be presented as a choice. Corin met this statement with the same disconcerting silence; Silah met it with the smallest tilt of the teacup that spilled a drizzle of liquid onto the floor, the trickle of it seeming somehow sonorous.

The priest took refuge in sermonizing, as they often did: "Long have our gods been bound here on Cael-Rielle. This, we know. Our connection with them is severed, when we leave the world." Nothing new, in terms of information - there were traders, of course, but never those of the priesthood. Always those that were aware of the gods only lightly - and never, never the Wardens. To leave the world, as a Warden, was death.

Corin shifted her gaze, watching her sister, because she could see the request taking shape and she did not like it at all. She folded her arms, tucking her hands in, somewhere between obstinacy and self-embrace. "You want her to leave. Why?" Her would mean us, and it was quite possible that the madness would settle in Corin as well. Sometimes the Presiding or the Custodians could return to Cael-Rielle before the madness took its full form, but they were never the same. Her concern wasn't for that, though, but for her sister - as it always was.

"Her connection is unusually strong. There are very few Wardens who are taken as young as she, and of those... almost none live to adulthood. A few endeiifications and they simply... cannot. The gods are cruel, but they are not often so cruel as to take a child."

Corin, having witnessed firsthand the cruelty of the gods, thought that this was less to do with mercy and more to do with the usefulness of children, in the many eyes of the gods. "There wasn't anyone else," she said quietly. "The Worm-Gaunt came, our town... one came into our house. My mother screamed. My father died. My sister... she threw the fire-poker through his throat and then pulled the worms from his flesh one by one with a fork."

Corin remembered. She would never forget that, no matter how much she tried or how many other horrors she had witnessed. She'd been small enough that she didn't fully understand the Worm-Gaunt yet. They looked like people, for the most part - thin and starving people, which was what they were, she supposed. The worms took up residence in the largest of the blood-vessels, stealing nutrients, leaving their hosts mad with pain and hunger and anaemia, craving food, craving meat. As it progressed, their desperation grew, and humans were... meat, mostly. She understood them now, but to a small child, it had been different.

"Yes. And there is you."

Corin blinked, the bubble of memories suddenly popping just as it rose to the surface. "Me?"

"Yes. You, Miss Corin Leviat. You, who talked down a godstouched when you were four years old, and so when the Wardens arrived, you had already calmed her."

Corin wasn't sure how to feel about that - uncomfortable, somehow, as if she'd done something she wasn't supposed to, and was only just now finding out about it. There was a shift of movement; Silah had taken a step closer to her, the teacup once again righted and no longer spilling. Corin took a small breath, released it. "Silah, you should-

A small sip, and a small smile. Not the edged thing from earlier, but one that was almost human, once more. Her sister. Her sister, who the Presiding wanted to send to her death. Corin turned her attention back to the priest, judgmental. "She cannot-"

He raised a hand, open-palmed, and Corin had a sense that he was taking the same small breath as she had earlier. "We would like to try to send the gods with you. Or, a connection to them-"

"How?" It wasn't Corin's voice that broke in, but Silah's - soft, husky with the dryness of someone who hadn't been taking care of themselves for the past day. She didn't speak with ease, but at least she spoke - at last, she spoke. The word was curious - too curious for Corin's taste. Too obedient, maybe, but Silah was used to being told what to do - by Corin, by the priesthood, by the gods, if no one else. Corin didn't think she knew how not to be, sometimes.

The priest seemed somewhat surprised to hear her speak, but he recovered quickly, the little white wisps of his hair floating as he turned his head. "There is a book." He paused, then cleared his throat, as if perhaps he needed a cup of bitter tea - or perhaps he'd had one, and not found it to his liking. "A book that contains the Names of the gods."

There were many books that contained the names of the gods, Corin was thinking, and that was hardly - oh.

He was not speaking of the left-hand names at all. She drew in a breath sharply, prepared to object, but a fingertip brushed her sleeve, then another.

"You want me to read them." Still soft, distracted, drawn within. Corin could tell what her sister was doing: looking for the lost touch of the gods, as if they might guide her. She wouldn't find it, and Corin could almost predict the words that would be spoken when she failed to find it. "And then they would be... always with me."

"Silah, you'll go mad. You'll die."

"Perhaps. Perhaps... not." This was the priest. Corin found herself wishing he sounded more confident, for a priest, and then found herself relieved that he didn't. "Do you know your name?"

This made little sense to Corin. He was looking at the both of them, though, and so she hazarded a guess. "Leviat? It's my father's family name, passed down..." Almost immediately, she regretted being drawn into the conversation when she should have been defending her sister, but it was too late for it.

He nodded, quite firmly. "Leviat, yes. Passed down. And you are both, as I noted, unusually strong. We suspect-" He paused, with another clearing of the throat. Perhaps she should offer him some tea, but Corin didn't know that she cared to. She waited in silence until he decided to continue. "We suspect it may have once been Leviathan."

"It cannot-!" The thorn was the letter of the gods. It was only ever in their names. No human would name their family or their child with such a letter. The gods would take offense, and when they did so, their retribution tended to be very personal. Corin would not have wanted to accompany the Warden who the gods sent to deal with the offending family. Some things were harder to stand back from than others.

"No, it cannot. But things were different, long ago, and... it may once have been." He was looking at Silah, now; her and only her, and Corin knew that whatever this fight was, she was about to lose. She closed her eyes as he spoke, and closed her hand over her sister's fingertips, as if she could hold on to her for only a little while longer, before she was lost forever.

"The gods crave their lost cohort. Will you not help them be reunited, Silah Leviathan?"
 
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Solace Apostolic Hospital​

Patient Information


Name: Ethan Gray

Date of Birth (MM-DD-YYYY): 08-08-1992

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 182.7lbs

Temperature: 99.3 F

Blood Pressure (systolic/diastolic, mm Hg): 128/79

SpO2: 91%

Blood Type: AB-

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown



About Your Recent Visit​


Chief Complaint:
Lacerations, multiple: right arm, right leg, right torso (ribcage, abdomen). Minor tearing of abdominal wall. No organ penetration detected.


Treatment Given:
Medical staples to close lacerations, additional sutures on smaller injuries.

Patient received 4 packs (32oz) blood transfusion during surgery.

Update of Tdap (Adacel®) vaccination given.


Ongoing Care:
Change wound dressings as needed. Avoid submersion in water until healed.

Followup appointment scheduled with Dr. Ivison, 2:30pm 5-18-24






Winston Financial - Employee Client

From: James Storr
Date: May 12, 2024; 8:25am
Subject: Re: Medical Leave Request

Got your message, Ethan - look, don't worry about coming in until you're ready. Heard what happened on the news. Rick and Andy can take over your security shifts for a while, we'll get it done. Rick's probably happy about the overtime, anyway.

So sorry to hear about Ali and Aidan. Let us know if there's anything we can do.
-Jim



INN
News at 9

...further updates on the most recent set of werewolf crimes in the city. Following a violent pack rivalry conflict around 8pm, multiple injuries were reported to human bystanders at Lake Park. At least 7 deaths have been confirmed by police, including two children, one of whom died this morning in the hospital. Additional injuries were also reported. This event is merely one of the most recent in a number of violent crimes perpetuated by the city's werewolf population, and local citizens are asking What are we doing about it? We turn our report over to Greg Hauser, reporting from the capitol building...


Obituaries

Aidan Gray
March 2, 2020 - May 11, 2024

Aidan will be remembered forever as a whirlwind of sunshine and energy. Always happy and eager to go somewhere and see new things, he brought joy to the lives of everyone who knew him. His tragic death will not be forgotten.
He has gone with his mother, Alison Gray (31), to the next world, and is survived by his father, Ethan Gray.


Alison Gray
June 2, 1992 - May 11, 2024

Alison Gray was a devoted wife and mother, as well as being active with her family and church. She was employed as a tax accountant, and enjoyed mathematical puzzles as well as movies and reading.
She was a victim of recent were-crime in the city, a bystander in an event which claimed the lives of both her and her son Aidan (4).
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.​
 
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Criminal Record​

Lutetian Department of Criminal Justice

Name (Last, First, M.I.): Merin, Margaret S.Aliases: Rhetta
Nationality: LutetianCitizen: Yes
Species: LycanthropeTransmission: Genetic
Affiliation: Bloodstone PackRank: Enforcer
Gender: FemalePronouns: She/Her
Height: 5' 7"Weight: 146
Eye Color: Brown, HazelHair Color: Dirty Blonde
D.O.B. 22 March 1979Age: 45
For thropics only:
Shifted form: QuadrupedalGenus / Species: Canis Lupus
Height, shifted: 52", shoulderWeight, shifted: 643 lbs
Coloration: Gray/brown, brindleNotable features: white streak, left rear haunch
Regeneration: Yes, on shiftSilver Allergy: No
Shift Completion (Avg): 27 minutesShift Completion (Record): 22 minutes

Arrest & Sentencing Info​

DateOffense CodeCharge and DescriptionFiled BySentence Term
21 March 2019R-814Illegal Substance TraffickingCivil Nation of Lutetia5 years
Further Information:
Subject was arrested for trafficking of lycanthrope-specific pharmaceutical supplies. Co-arrest placed for Ziessel Geiger at same incident.
Confiscated Items:
Knuckles, brass (set of 2, spiked)
Knives, assorted (7, max blade length 11")
Crossbow, miniature (arm-mount, spring-loaded)
Bolts, crossbow (6" length, steel-tipped with silver plating, tips wrapped with plastic wrap)

Additional Information​

Subject Merin has been a known member of the lycanthrope gang known as "Bloodstone Pack." Merin's parents, Emory Merin (1923-1991) and Lacey Summit Merin (1938-1994) were also known gang members. Merin has been known to exhibit strong loyalty towards the Pack's leader, subject known as "Baron," especially following the death of her parents. Merin was known to have achieved the rank of Enforcer by 2011, following repeated demonstration of loyalty to the pack and Baron specifically.

Release Information​

Release DateReason
20 May 2024Term served
 
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