Snippet #2767330

located in The West, a part of Exalted: A Tale in the Time of Tumult, one of the many universes on RPG.

The West

A vast expanse of Ocean that stretches into infinity, broken only by scattered islands that grow fewer the farther one goes. Many myths tell of what lies beyond it, but few that venture that far return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Astrid Grünewald Character Portrait: Lux Fiala
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Part 7 of the big collab, final part for now


Due to being carried around much like a child, Lux found herself otherwise at the mercy of Astrid’s whims. She knew that the Lunar had some kind of plan in mind when it came down to the situation regarding Calliope and Ashen.... What that plan was, she had no clue. Astrid had been tight-lipped about whatever she was plotting, and Lux was, surprisingly, sensible enough to know that inquiring would get her nowhere.

It took Astrid sometime to figure out where she was, the winding corridors of the palace all looked the same to her, opulent and buffoonish, all the while Lux bid her time fiddling with the ball of cloth she still had in her possession. After asking a few spirits, one was finally able to indicate what part of the palace they’d come from. Thanks to her inhuman speed and the help of a few passersby that she managed to retrace her steps to the path she’d taken out of the dressing room in a sort of timely manner. The quintet were talking amongst themselves, moving vaguely in the correct direction, it was no wonder that she’d lost them in her rabid dash, by Creation were they slow.

Throwing Lux over her shoulder, the Terrestrial squawked much like a bird in surprise as Astrid strode up to Nagasani, and grabbed her by the wrist, “Lady Astrid?!” Nāgasāni gasped, as she was led along to where Astrid had stopped chasing after Ashen and Calliope. Concerned and curious, the other four handmaidens followed along after the trio, while Lux just gave them a nervous wave with her unoccupied hand. She was as curious as they were….

”West wing, follow the anima. Are you afraid of snakes?” Practically dragging the girl along, and without waiting for an answer, she quickly began jogging back to her quarry.

“Sn’kes?” Lux parroted Astrid’s last word, lifting her head up as much as she could to try to get a view of the Lunar’s face, and failing in the process.

Meanwhile, Nāgasāni’s brow furrowed in confusion as she did her best to keep pace with the rather hasty Lunar before she echoed Lux’s inquiry, “Snakes?” Why...? “Er, no, Lady Astrid, I cannot say that I am fearful of serpents?”

Still slung over Astrid’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes, Lux watched the scenery repeat itself as she continued to fiddle with the ball of fabric in her grasp, “Why y’askin’ ‘bout snakes...?”

Astrid furrowed her brow, it was a simple enough question, or at least she thought. Some people were squeamish about snakes, some sort of primal fear, or something. "I've got an idea, but it requires you not to be scared of snakes." She left the specifics quiet for now, waiting until they were close to the duo, where she had stopped chasing. Lux wasn’t afraid of snakes, but...?

"Mkay... Up to ya'll to find them now. As for my part..." Astrid's form shifted slightly as she put Lux back down onto her feet, assuming the form of a snake which coiled about Nagasani's arms, hiding in her sleeve.

Nāgasāni shivered as soon as Astrid’s serpentine form made contact with her flesh, meanwhile Lux could only stare somewhat entranced, as Astrid’s tail vanished from sight—it took her a moment to reorient herself to standing after having been carried. Before today, Lux had never knowingly been in proximity to a Lunar Exalted, she’d seen Astrid change her form a few times now...and it left her in awe. She knew very little about how this all worked—she didn’t even know that Lunars could assume more than one animal’s form?! She’d have to ask Astrid later if she could get a better look at her current form later...after whatever she...what did she have planned? The Lunar wanted them to find Calliope and Ashen, and then she was going to...do something?

As a...snake.

As awestruck and befuddled as Lux was, was how uncertain Nāgasāni was. She stood there, looking at the sleeve which now housed Astrid...who’d assumed the form of a snake. She had a snake in the sleeve of her robe—she had a Lunar Exalted in the sleeve of her robe.

This day just kept getting odder and odder.

Both handmaiden and Terrestrial stood in silence for a moment, before giving each other a glance, considering their options. “Well, it was my intention to seek out Lady Calliope....” Nāgasāni started, just now realizing that Hotton, Vengalu, Periya and Lakshmī seemed to have fallen behind them.

“We were doin’ t’same....” Lux replied, squeezing the fabric ball in her arms.

Neither girl had any idea as to what plot Astrid had concocted, and both came to the same conclusion; they were not going to get an answer until said plot was set into motion. Resigning herself to that fact and dreading what may come; Nāgasāni knew she was now at the mercy of the Lunar’s whims.

“Gues’ we sh’uld g’lookin’?”

To the question, Nāgasāni could only respond with a nod—there was nothing else to say. All she could do was hope that things did not devolve even further.... So, both girls set off in search of the two runaway Celestials.

Coiled around the slender handmaiden's arm was slightly relaxing, the warmth of her skin feeling odd against reptilian skin. For now, there was nothing to do but wait, soon Nagasani would find her quarry and the plan would be sprung into motion. Flicking her tongue out, the scent of the Lunar and Solar runaways was sharp in the air, certainly they couldn't have gotten far. They probably stopped running shortly after she'd ceased chasing.

Lux was admittedly not entirely certain how Astrid expected her to track Ashen and Calliope—she had some experience hunting and trapping animals, but, that was different...? Animals possessed some intelligence, but once you understood their behaviors and them overall, it was easy to prey upon them, insofar as she’d always been concerned. “Hunting,” for lack of a better term, a Lunar and a Solar was something of an entirely different caliber, something she didn’t exactly have experience with, for numerous reasons. Though she was still rather tipsy, Lux knew that the two were likely still within the Spire...somewhere. Ashen had utilized a Charm of some kind in order to put distance between himself and Astrid. Though that granted him impressive speed, it was also finite. He and Calliope would’ve had to stop fleeing...eventually.

Beside the ruminating Terrestrial, Nāgasāni had otherwise remained silent...til she allowed her eyes to wander downward. “....you are without any shoes, Lady Lux.”

As soon as the handmaiden’s observation registered, Lux ceased walking, and she herself looked upon her own feet, and wiggled her toes, “Yep, I am....” she responded, matter-of-factly. Lux was fully aware of her shoeless state; she’d made the conscious choice to kick off them off before taking off after Calliope, after all. The blonde shrugged after a moment of silence passed, and continued her aimless searching.

Nāgasāni shook her head, allowing herself a small laugh before she followed after Lux, “So long as you are content, then.”

The Dragon-Blooded herself snorted, “‘Course I’m content~ S’easier to walk ‘round w’thout tall shoes, y’know?”

“Many do indeed seem to be of that opinion.”

“Not a’opinion...it’s fact.” Lux mumbled, tilting her head in every which direction as she tried to get her bearings and figure out how she was going to find Ashen and Calliope.

Beside the befuddled and frustrated Dragon-Blooded, the head-handmaid herself held a small smile, but could not help the chill that shot up her spine as a chill registered from her forearm. She had to stamp down the desire to rub warmth back into the appendage, given that Astrid was still coiled around it. “My apologies then, Lady Lux,” she continued on with their banter to distract herself, “it is a fact then, not an opinion.”

A tiny hum came from the tipsy Exalted as she rolled and squished the fabric in her hands, completely at a loss. How Astrid expected her to track down Ashen...she didn’t know, so she once more stopped walking, and was quiet for a moment...before she let out a very loud and very childish sounding groan. Sure, Nāgasāni knew the layout of Fakharu’s spire, but she didn’t. And honestly, a lot of the grandiose décor was beginning to look the same to her at this point…?

Wait, were they going in circles...?

….how in Creation was she supposed to find anyone like this?!

“Ast’id...I d’think I can find ‘em. I c’track ‘nimals fine, b’not people, not much ‘perience....” At her own admission, Lux pouted and felt her cheeks redden, as she hid the bottom half of her face with the bunch of fabric in her arms.