By Jane Lambert
This is the log of a role playing session on a MUSH I play on called Start Your Engines: Indianapolis by Night. Calum is a 13-year old Nocker, who has just had his Saining. He has falled in love with a 14 year old girl who happens to be a Son of Ether named Amanda.
Calum had enchanted Amanda and while she was enchanted, told her something of the Fae, knowing that should would forget it all to the Mists once the enchantment wore off. In turn, she told him how she was a mage and of the danger she faced from the Technocracy. However, when the enchantment wears off, all Amanda can remember is that she told Calum about Mages, but not why. She becomes worried that he is part of the Technocracy and is trying to get information out of her.
Calum is devestated and breaks the rules..telling her of what he is while she is not enchanted.
Time passes and Calum can no longer live with his "sin". He goes to the Duchess Cassandra, confessing his wrong, and being that Amanda be spared. The following scene is the punishment of Calum by the Duchess.
Log taken June 11, 1997
The room is utterly, brilliantly dark .... a memory of Nightmare that is, as they say, inspired. Cavernous is how you would describe this room, and the only thing of light in it is Cassandra. The Protocol in the room is obvious in the manner of a Seneschal Sluagh .. Tall, Old, and revoltingly ugly in his blackness. Behind a Chimerical Throne that seems to have been sculpted of blackest light absorbing obsidian hangs the banner of her House, Eiluned. Upon the wall to the right, the Banner of the Duchy of the Dragon's Mark.
A tall Sluagh opens the door, letting Calum and Susan in...
Cassandra sits upon the air, her face an utterly calm mask as she waits quietly. Shining like a a super nova in the blackness of her inspired Nightmare of the Underdark, Cassandra is as stunning naked of any clothing as she is when she uses it to her own advantage. But there is one thing of note, besides her silver circlet and blood red signet ring ... Chimerical crystal shackles with shattered chains hanging from her wrists.
Susan already has her coat over her arm as she follows Calum into the apartment.
Calum looks nervous, his eyes lowered as he takes off his coat.
Susan rests an encouraging hand on Calum's shoulders, "Good Yule, your Grace."
With a voice like the soft susseration of sand as it falls through an hourglass, the Chimerical Sluagh of the Protocol spell whispers softly, "Susan Mulinazzi ... Caretaker of Timeheart, and Malcolm Campbell, the Nocker called Calum."
Calum clenches and unclenches his hands nervously. He glances at Cassandra and turns a bright red, and tries to totally avoid looking at her, but can't help but be drawn to looking at her as well.
Cassandra says in her silken soft voice, whispering with all the imperious nature she naturally claims of her presence, "Tonight, I hold a Court of Justice... Step forward, Calum of the Nocker Kith."
Susan lifts her eyes to the ceiling and murmurs softly to herself then looks down and puts her hand over her eyes.
Calum seems hardly able to remember how to move but finally manages to advance forward, his eyes locked on Cassandra now, his face bright red. Calum kneels before her and lowers his head, whispering, "Your Grace"
The Sluagh Seneschal seems to flow like a boneless ooze as it slides across the floor, reforging it's form to stand beside her throne. It whispers with all the harsh bitterness of a throat having never tasted anything by bitter fluids, "Calum of the Nocker Kith, you are before Her Grace's Court to be judged for breaking the Escheat and denying a Prodigal her Right of Ignorance... how dost thou plead?"
Calum whimpers softly, "Guilty"
Susan folds her hands in front of her and shivers.
Cassandra's eyes close half way as she slowly focuses them down on Calum without moving at all .. she doesn't turn her head, or bow her face in any way ... just glancing down with her eyes. "Calum, has your Mother explained to you the penalty which I intend to sentence you with tonight?" she whispers barely louder than the shadow beside her.
Calum manages a nod as he says almost equally softly, "Yes Your Grace"
Susan still has her eyes on the carpet. Her face is a deep crimson.
Calum is also still a lovely shade of red.
Cassandra asks slowly, her voice a breath both soft and needle sharp in the way it carries in this Court. "You realize, this may mean a lifetime of service to me, and through me, to my Lord and Master ... Something intimately part of the Nature of a Sidhe ... but I have never known one of your Kith to accomplish ..."
Calum almost seems to look angry at the last comment. He bites his lip and pauses a long moment before answering. "I am aware of what you may request of me, and I will do as I am ordered."
Susan finally lifts her eyes to Cassandra. They're narrowed. Mommy-mode set. Mommy-mode on.
Cassandra with slow fluidity ... an utterly silent grace ... Cassandra stands, beginning softly, "Then first," she says with that presence that draws at your attentions to look at her, "I choose to offer you a chance at dignity and Honor ... Stand before me, and make what Oaths thou would free of my grip through Geas." She will hold out her hand with the signet ring to Calum ...
Calum gulps and manages to stand, his eyes drawn to Cassandra again, and too entranced to look away. What a wonderful shade of red. He says softly, "I..I swear fealty unto you, Lady. Your command is my desire, and your request my desire. May my service always please and may my sight grow dark if it does not. As the tides to the moon, my will to yours, my liege." He gently takes her and and kisses the ring on it, his lips lingering for a moment long enough to even surprise himself.
Cassandra glows in a bright, pleasing sort of way that seems to not intrude upon her serene facade, but does convey the emotions behind the mask of her face.
Susan watches Calum with some surprise. There is alarm in her eyes, yes. Then she looks at Cassandra.
Cassandra keeps her grip on the hand that holds her's when Calum looks up after his Oath, "Thou hast had an excellent Mentor at some point who hath taught you that Oath Calum ... most excellent indeed ..." she whispers softly, "But to the point of thy Guilty Plea, would thou consider a moment, and decide if thou canst make an Oath to never again break the Escheat?"
Calum nods and blushes more as he realizes what should have been obvious to him. He is undoubtedly nervous and a bit..distracted? "I..umm..yes Your Grace." He stops to gather his thoughts.
Susan looks over at Calum, sympathetically. Her eyes are full.
Calum says quietly, "For as long as the sun and moon light our skies, for as long as the kiss of the wind travels the earth, for as long as the stars ..stars..dull in comparison to your beauty My Grace, I do swear I shall never break the Escheat again. Else may the breath leave my body and the world be wrapped in darkness."
Susan lifts a hand to her forehead and slowly closes her eyes.
The chimerical chains dangling from Cassandra's wrists seem to have been blown by a wind, invisible and intangible, at Calum's words.
Calum shivers nervously and looks pale and frightened.
Cassandra's hair billows out behind her for a moment, and she quietly watches Calum a moment in the face of such a strong Oath ... savoring the power behind it ...
Susan drops her hand and goes quite pale. She watches silently, helplessly.
Within seconds of the Oath being finished, Cassandra begins to gather the Glamour about her ... her own billowing in such dark, black clouds that it obscures Calum as her power begins to reach out and enwrap him...
Calum trembles but tries very hard to look brave.
Susan's Glamour billows strong. Desparately, the green-gold fingers reach out in a swirl of vanilla-sandalwood for Calum. Hwe eyes widen as she wrings her hands, looking quite helpless. Her eyes dart to Cassandra and she squeaks, "Don't hurt him!"
The protocol manifests itself between Susan and Cassandra as the Seneschal flows to stand with sightless eyes bleeding ichor as it intercepts her sounds and muffles them with it's own presence.
Cassandra says in a whisper redulant with power, sheer undeniable Sidhe coming through those soft words, "I take thee into my service, and to now cover thee with the protections of my Dreams ... the strength of my Nightmares ... the power of my Geas ... and grip thy will with mine own that should I command thee to keep secret anything, no matter what it's import, thou shalt have this great and glorious magic upon thy soul preventing thee from uttering anything that I have denied thee the will to speak."
Calum can't help but whimpers softly as the words are spoken, as the full weight of all this pulls at his very heart and soul. Susan's mouth drops and then closes. Silent, hot tears flood her eyes and then course down her cheeks.
Even George, Susan's chimerical lovebird dips his head, for once, the songbird doesn't sing. He only twitters nervously and then nestles into Susan's hair.
With brilliant Silver lightning, Cassandra's Geas streams all over him like a woven shell for a moment, leaving no shock, but insinuating itself to every part of his person ... then suddenly the clouds seem to withdraw, and the lightning subsides, and there is just that mark of Cassandra's personal Glamour upon Calum's aura ...
Calum suddenly seems rather overwelmed, he weakly drops to his knees before Cassandra, his head dropped submissivly.
Susan's eyes turn a deep blue, like a storm over the sea. Her pain for Calum is evident, poignant. When she finally pulls her eyes to Cassandra, they are filled with disgust.
Calum just sits there, waiting for whatever may happen next.
The Sluagh retreats to Cassandra's side, stating quietly, "Thy will be done, your Grace."
Cassandra says softly, "Thou hast acquitted thyself with Honor ... Thou has shown Dignity in the face of my soul ... Thou shalt never, ever forget me in all the lives that thou shalt live, my dear Calum ... I hath seen those who thought themselves Greater men than thee claim to be blanch at my Court ... but in this, what must be done is now done. Thy suffering for thy guilt is now a thing of the past ... thou has survived thy punishment with true presence ... don't forget that." she ends in her soft whisper, letting a smile touch her lips.
Susan is rather pale now. She puts a hand to her stomach.
Calum whispers, "Yes ma'am"
Cassandra waves a hand dismissively, "Thou art no longer needed, shadow..." she states letting her voice rise above a whisper.
The Seneschal bows deeply, then dissipates as the Protocol ends...
Cassandra says softly, "Calum ... get your mother a glass of water, she looks a bit pale..." and will draw a chair from the nearby table, motioning Susan to sit ... "If you two will give me but a moment, I shall return quickly..."
Calum quickly gets to his feet and hurries into the kitchen for water.
Susan stumbles to the chair wordlessly and holds her arms out to Calum.
Cassandra steps into the bedroom ...
After a short time, Cassandra returns. Now she is an image of nature. Her hair is a the silken backdrop of black. On her body, she has allowed green chimerical ivy to grow around her so her pale white skin is not too revealed. Entwined with the ivy are vines of blue bells which hang thick, though not binding, as a skirt. The silver chain holds a dark, obsidian pentacle in the hollow of her throat.
Calum comes back in a hurry, spilling some water. He sets it down and hugs his mother whispers, "I am sorry mommy, I am so sorry.."
Cassandra slowly buttons her blouse as she steps out of the bedroom ...
Susan clings to Calum, murmuring, "It's okay, sweetie. It's okay. You're all right. It's okay." She continues to murmur, "It's okay." softly. As if a mantra as her hand smooths Calum's hair.
Cassandra lifts her hands, and concentrates a moment ... her eyes closed.
The room seems to change drastically ... as Cassandra pushes back the dark nightmare, sucking it into her with a sweep of her will to manipulate the Glamour with a will of soft velvet. This room has begun to take on slight chimerical aura. In the corners, the shadows look a bit darker, and leave one with the impression of black velvet ... near the windows, there seems to be strands of moonbeam silver. Other than that, it looks normal.
Calum gently comforts Susan.
Cassandra takes a seat at the table, gathering up her drake in her hands, and scratching it between its wings and sitting silently a moment, glancing from Calum to Susan.
Calum reaches for the glass of water and offers it to Susan, "Is your tummy ok mommy?" he asks softly.
Susan takes the water and lifts it, shaking to her mouth. A few gulps and then she puts it back on the table, "I'm fine, Calum. I will be all right." But the expression in her eyes is clear. Her heart has been torn. Susan lifts her hand and gently strokes Calum's cheek as she battles the sad gaze, "You're safe, darling."
Calum says softly, "It will be ok, I am grown up..it will be ok"
Cassandra smiles slowly, letting her features soften into simple beauty ... no need to say anything, she just sits a moment quietly.
Calum hugs Susan again, obviously worried about his mom.
Susan turns to face Cassandra as she stands, gathering Calum's hand, "If you please, Your Grace. I do not feel all that well... I need to take my son home now. What you have left me of him, that is. Give me until after the holidays to make my decision as to whether I can remain on your Council. I fear that I am not strong enough to make the decisions required. I wasn't quite aware..."
Calum looks from Susan to Cassandra, obviously torn between the two women and what he should do.
Cassandra asks softly, "Susan, would you like to lie down a minute on the Couch ..." and raises an eyebrow as she begins to speak... "Oh, Calum is quite fine... as I can see and attest to ... but if you must leave now... I understand." she whispers quietly, getting up to get the door like a good hostess ... "Feel free to come talk to me if you wish ..."
Susan shakes her head in refusal to the offer, "I need my bed, Your Grace." She notes Calum's apprehension and says softly to him, "It's okay if you need to stay here... I quite understand.... I do love you."
Calum nods to Susan, "I will come in to kiss you good night when I get home mom"
Susan nods at Calum and hurries quickly out the door, leaving her coat behind.
Cassandra shakes her head, "I have no need immediately ... and Calum, a gentleman of distinction would see his mother home in the cold of Winter ... feel free to, and come back tomorrow as I and thee must talk."
Calum nods to Cassandra. He scoops up Susan's coat, "Yes ma'am..what ever you wish" Calum hurries out once dismished so that he can take the coat to Susan as quickly as possible.