/simu/ - Simulacrum

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>A cry of pain rings out through a castle undercroft, echoing against the walls and reverberating out and then back to an isolated chamber where a white-haired woman hangs by a chain, a mix of a dark ichor and blood dripping from her.

>In front of this sight, a young girl with black hair trembles, a ritualistic dagger in her hands, as she trembles, she breathes heavily, the walls of the undercroft moving in and out as she does.

>With one final breath, the girl falls backwards and the undercroft fades away.

>2017, Prydwen Castle

>Ceridwen wakes up with a start, immediately turning to a table on the side of her bed, on which she can see a small stone with a rune engraved on it, reaching over to it and picking it up, she moves it around in her hand, notincing several cracks on it.

Why do I keep on using you. . ."

>Ceridwen flings the stone at the wall, causing the stone to break apart from the force.

"if you don't bloody work?!"

>The young girl angrily pants for a few seconds, then sighs and calms herself down, and pulls herself out of bed, grabbing some clothes and putting them on.

"Argh. . . never mind, I didn't need the sleep anyway. . ."

>Walking over to her window, Ceridwen opens it, looking out of it for a second before reaching into a pouch on her belt and taking something out, crushing it in her hand and sprinkling it into her eyes, wincing from the irritation.

"Looks like the West stone needs a look today then. . ."


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"Hmmm. . . it looks like the Afanc population might need some culling before they start eating everything into extinction. . ."

>Ceri muses aloud to herself as she passes by several crocodilian, beaver-like creatures floating camouflaged at the top of a lake, at the centre of which stands an aged stone, covered in vines and runes.

"And before they make this trip impossible."

>Taking her staff, a twisted wooden instrument that may be more accurately described as a branch, Ceri taps the sufrace of the lake, the ripples of this action starting out small before spreading out and down, causing the lake to part in a small path for her to walk to the centre stone.

>Sighing to herself, Ceri walks forward, looking into the water either side of her as she does, using the opportunity to look at what lies below the waves of the lake, making mental notes of the plants and animals she sees.

>Once she's reached the stone in the centre and ensured she's high enough to not be below the water, Ceri taps her staff on the ground twice, causing the water to crash back, some of the spray hitting the girl.

"Right, first of all, we should remove this illusion, don't want to cut where I've cut before. . ."

>Ceri takes off one of her rings, the surface of her skin "melting" away like smoke once it's gone, switching from smooth to a crossing pattern of scars. Unsurprised, Ceri takes a dagger from her belt and cuts at a clear spot, wincing as she draws blood.

"T-then. . . we remake the ward with this symbol. . ."

>Putting the dagger back, Ceri runs her finger along her new wound, wincing again, and uses the blood to draw a symbol on the stone.

". . .and activate it."

>The girl puts her hand on the symbol, partially covering it, and closes her eyes for a moment, a light coming from the symbol.

"Hopefully that lasts a bit longer. . ."

>Ceri lets out a sigh, pulling her hand from where the symbol was, and steps back, nearly stumbling back as she does.

"Just need a moment to catch my breath. . ."

>Ceri lowers herself to the ground, sighing again and leaning on the runestone.


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>Ceri closes her eyes for a moment as she sits, taking a deep breath to try and recover some energy.

"They're failing more and more often, if this keeps up. . ."


>Ceri opens her eyes to see a raven standing next to her, hopping about and pecking on some stones.

"Oh, you're back, you managed to follow her and observe for a while then. What did you see?"


>The raven hops over to Ceri and she rests her hand on its head, blinking. When she opens her eyes again, they have switched to jet black.

>Ceri keeps her hand on the raven's head for few seconds, then pulls away, her eyes returning to normal when the contact is broken.

"Not much then. . . still, only three of them? Has the outside world really become that inhospitable to us? What else are we missing?"


>Ceri looks over to the raven, and chuckles.

"You've earnt yourself a rest, go on, fly back to the rookery, recover your energy, afterwards I'm going to need you to look into mr Fischer, the way he spoke at the Conclave - I think he was hiding something."

>The raven flies off, leaving Ceri alone again.

"Only three Hydes. . . and defences too dense for me to peer through with my usual methods - I'm going to need to slip through using one of them."

>Ceri picks herself up from the ground, using her staff to help support her weight, and taps the lake again to part a new path

"The eldest, that man, is unlikely to fall for any tricks. . ."

>Ceri walks along the path, dismissing it again when she reaches the shore.

"The middle one has already seen me in person, that would make things difficult. . ."

"Maybe the youngest then? She could easily fall for a trick, give me the crack I need to put eyes in their home proper. . . "

>Ceri stops for a moment, deep in thought.

"But what would work for that? Does she like birds? Maybe I could turn up as an injured bird, play on her empathy. . ."

>Ceri winces as her train of thought is interrupted by the rift above shifting slightly, a pulse of light travelling up the "branches" on her arm

"Well, looks like I need more information. . ."

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