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A Consecration In Blood

Tags: Galadhechil,  Lominzil,  Niphredil,  Umar

Short Summary: The noble hostages from Gondor are invited to observe a ceremony.
Date (real-life): 2011-10-25
Scene Location: Inner Chamber, Lond Annun, Tolcrist
Date (in-game): April 8, 3054
Time of Day: Evening
Middle-earth time is:
Daytime on Sterday, Day 8 of April.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 17:32:35 MDT on Tue Oct 25 2011.
Middle-earth year is:
     Historical Year: circa TA 3008
     Online Year: 3054
Execute +TIMEFRAME for more information or read NEWS TIME FAQ.

Galadhechil has arrived.
Lominzil has arrived.
Niphredil has arrived.


The sun sinks in the sky and falls below the horizon. Nighttime takes over.
 
This is an inner chamber that is dark except for several candles that burn steadily around the center of the chamber. Benches have been placed in a circular fashion around the inner pool of light. People begin to file in as darkness falls outside.


Galadhechil has been escorted to this chamber. Coming in, he shivers and frowns. "Something's not right here," he says to himself.


Niphredil is not impressed.

As soon as she steps within the room, her eyes glance back, over her shoulder, back the way she came -- with longing. She voices no agreement with Galadhechil some ways away, but upon hearing his words, the girl frowns and affords the dark chamber a distrustful scan. A beat passes, then the girl nods her head, quietly.

And folds her arms protectively beneath her chest.

 
The escorting guard plants Lominzil firmly at the entrance of the chamber.

Shaken, he leans against the wall, his eyes seeking the pinpoints of light.

 
Through another door across the chamber enters a procession. In the lead is a torchbearer followed by an acolyte bearing a thurible emitting the heavy smoke of incense. Behind comes along a man, staggering and wearing a mask with no eyeholes. He is led by another man, Umar, who has shed his turban and white in favor of a simple black cassack and red sash. Coming in last is another torchbearer. All in this new party except for the man in the mask are chanting in some archaic Haradaic dialect.


Niphredil begins moving to a bench on the other side of the chamber -- yet, spending an awkward beat in stillness, looking over the succession of new entrants, and especially the staggering fellow, she thinks better of it. She takes backward steps; turns, even, but finds the exit blocked by a guardsman.

Not knowing what else to do -- jaw tensed in frustration -- Niphredil comes to stand to Lominzil's left.

 
Galadhechil glances at Niphredil, Lominizil and the others. And then his eyes seek the door they entered from... blocked! Again, his eyes sweep the room, trying to see faces in the darkness and the light.

"Is it one of us," he rasps.

 
"Don't look," warns Lominzil, holding out a hand.

"Don't listen."

 
In the center of the room is a waiting altar and as each torchbearer takes his station at one end of it, Umar leads the masked man to the altar and sits him down on it before bringing up the legs so that the man lies there prone. Then he whispers something as the two torchbearers and the acolyte with the thurible continue to chant in their ancient tongue.

The candles that circle the altar flicker and dance though there is no breeze in this chamber.

 
Galadhechil is rigid as the ancient words seem to take on a life of their own. The hairs on his arms and the back of his neck stand on end and he shivers again. "Cold... death."


In the dark, Niphredil's fingers clasp Lominzil's hand about his wrist.

His extended arm is pulled down, and for some time, while the girl watches -- staring, wide-eyed -- as the masked man is laid on the altar, his sleeve remains held. A whisper in astonishment when she looks from the torchbearer to Umar, "This pig."

 
With the man laid out in front of him, Umar holds his right hand up over the man's body. The chanting ceases and he calls out, "Kali-ma, kali-ma, KALI-MA! Shup-di-daye!"

Umar's other hand appears from beneath his cassack holding a dagger and he says again in the Common Speech, "Great Dark One! Come to us this night! Accept this sacrifice as a sign of our allegiance to you! Let this blood consecrate this shrine and fortress for your glory!"

 
Lominzil's wrist is held, his tendons wrung taut. "We are stronger than this," he tells sailor and girl firmly, though perhaps he understands the entirety of the chant and it does not help his pallor. "Do not look."

His other hand moves about his neck.

 
Galadhechil looses his color as well and takes a step back away from the altar. He nods at Lominzil's words, but seems relunctant to turn his back. Instead, the sailor only manages to turn his head and force his eyes on the wall.

 
From somewhere in the dark, a book is brought out by the acolyte who has put aside his thurible. He holds it out for Umar to read, angling it so that the light of the candles may fall upon the open page.

Umar announces, "The continuation of the Book of Mozilla: 'Mammon slept. And the beast reborn spread over the earth and its numbers grew legion. And they proclaimed the times and sacrificed crops unto the fire, with the cunning of foxes. And they built a new world in their own image as promised by the sacred words, and spoke of the beast with their children. Mammon awoke, and lo! it was naught but a follower.'"

The reading concludes and silence reigns for a brief time.

 
Galadhechil shakes his head clear and then turns fully away to look at Lominzil for strength.

"I will not watch. There is nothing I can do for that one. But you will not use my as sport."

 
The reading concluded, the book is taken away and Umar lifts high his dagger. It plunges down into his victim's chest. Oddly, the masked man does not thrash from pain, but this is in keeping it seems with his sedatedness thus far. Blood squirts out of the wound onto Umar's hands and he lifts them high to show them to the Dark One, should he be watching.


Niphredil's face turns.

Downward her eyes go, to her hand -- then up it hops, a moment later, searching Lominzil's expression --

-- She catches the gleam of a blade in her peripheral vision. The Hlorithain is so unmoving, if she breathes at all, they are shallow breaths.

 
Lominzil is watching. A steady chill settles over his expression, frozen into stillness as if the hot, thin blood has coagulated in his veins. His grip is uncomfortably tight.

 
His gaze on Lominzil and Niphredil, Galahechil needs no other hint than their reactions to know the sacrifice has happened and a life has been taken for Him. The sailor does not try to steal a glance at the poor fellow and his killer.

 
The two torchbearers and one acolyte begin chanting anew.

As if in blessing, Umar flicks his fingers at the congregation, turning slowly to reach each person in the room, dipping his hand into the hot blood before him to refresh when needed.

Those touched by the blood of the sacrifice dip their heads one by one as Umar turns their way and then depart in silence.


It is when the first man leaves the chamber that Niphredil's gaze leaves the squire.

Escape? Her posture straightens with possibility.

Until she sees Umar's ritualistic farewell -- small splatters of blood trickling off skin and cloth. Even in the shadows, she looks paler than she ought to. The altar is regarded as she waits -- waits, for what else is there for her to do? run? -- and whatever she sees there has her looking to the ceiling. Her expression reveals little, but when she sniffs, there's a hint of sudden congestion.

When she looks to Umar again, closing in, it's with unblinking hatred.

 
A hint of a fey smile shows up in the half-shadow of the candle light as Umar turns directly towards his noble hostage guests and flicks at them with his fingers that are dripping in blood.

 
Galadhechil finds he has blood trickling down his body. It does not bother him. It has happened before. But the source of the blood and how it has come to his body overwhelms his senses. The sailor struggles to control dry heaves.

 
The blood that spatters across Lominzil's face is cooling fast, attaining a jelly-like consistency. He doesn't move, his eyes curiously dark and emotionless, but his fingers flex a little as they hold the girl's.


Niphredil refuses the Haradrim the pleasure of her recoil -- though she cannot rely on the experience of battle for any gift in this. She blinks only when a flick of crimson hits her lid and forces her to, but then she stills, as unaffected and motionless for the rest as what she can manage. The spray that mares her features is not acknowledged and so tense is her solemnity that she fails to show Galadhechil her sympathy as he wrestles with nausea.

She is the first to step away, leading the squire with a meaningful pull. All she gives Umar is a disgusted sneer and a glare of a thousand knives -- her disgust all the more pungent when she catches his smile.


Lominzil snags Galadhechil's sleeve as the three find the nearest exit.

 
Galadhechil takes flight with the others, not bothering to feign and dignity.


FADE OUT

Date added: 2011-10-25 22:07:06    Hits: 189
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