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The Eyes See
#1
Armande felt the support from Valeriya and Rowan. But it was time to peel back the veil. He remembered the first time his Beloved had seen for him. The experience had left him feeling drained, empty, after having sensed the divine that had been there. Since then, it was always similar. That is, until Rowan had joined them. Suddenly it had changed again. He could see, could actually feel as they intoned. The fire singeing his skin, broiling his flesh, trapped in that cage, that experience still lingered.

The fact that Rowan's brother had found them was the final nail. Evasion would only work for so long. Sometimes a moving blindspot became visible for being invisible. All it would take was an enterprising AI being given parameters to seek out absence rather than presense. A moving blur would stand out, then.

No. They had to go. He bid them to sit with him and he leaned forward to look at the skin. The map was crude, but the features were clear enough even without a legend. Heavily dotted with forests, two conjoining rivers, a ridgeway, and a crater or hole of some sort. He looked at both of them. "What Rasputin kept safe, he did for the future. The Khylsty themselves." He gently touched Valeriya's cheek. "The Eye herself, my queen." Then his hand touched the soft cured skin. "And this map. Since ascending, I did some searching. He was from the east, coming from seemingly nowhere to plant himself at the very center of Russian power. But obviously, he did not come from nowhere. And the Khylsty did not spring up over night."

He looked to his partner, studied her for a moment. Her eyes were deep and held things long hidden. "Is there anything you can share, my love?"

@Valeriya
@Rowan Finnegan
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#2
Vale sought out Rowan the first chance she could get. "Who was that?" she asked of her newly adopted sister. The woman was sad, Vale read it in every movement. She pushed the yellow hair behind her shoulders and trailed one of her own nails down the damaged socket of her face. She hadn't come close to the visitors, but they irked Armande for some reason. Maybe it was protectiveness? Maybe it was worry that Rowan would come and then depart so soon despite her Awakening. Vale wasn't so sure, but she knew something was important about the intruders. They upended the calm, steady river of power that was Rowan's visions. Was Rowan torn between the Khylsty and the Above? Vale was worried.

Finally, Armande sought her out to discuss the map. The Eye hadn't blinked since the vision sparked by Rowan's awakening. She shook her head, disappointed that there wasn't more to add. She held out a hand to Rowan to see if she may be able to see what she could not.
The Eye of the Khylsty
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#3
Rowan warmed as her new sister asked after Aiden, even going so far as to show some physical intimacy. She felt a shiver go down her spine, goosebumps springing up all over, at Vale’s touch. Rowan instinctively pushed her head against Vale’s trailing fingers.

                “That was Aiden. He is – was – my twin brother. Aiden came to this country for… Well, I don’t know. But when he came here, he abandoned me. Hid from me. I came here to find him, but I could not,” Rowan told her truthfully. She was quiet for a moment, looking off in no particular direction. They had been so close, her and Aiden, but that seemed to be another lifetime now. They both were to blame for that. There was no going back now. Rowan said a silent prayer for her family and tucked the looming guilt back into the deep crevices of her mind.

                Rowan turned back to Vale, smiling at her, “I see now that I did not come here to find him, but to find you. And Armande. I sent Aiden away. He is not my brother anymore. You are my Sister and you are all that I need in this world.”

               


                Armande drew them down to the ground as he unfurled an age toughened length of animal skin. The man still barely acknowledged Rowan. That was well and good, she did not expect him to have been as open as he had been with her before Aiden showed up. Perhaps that little scene outside reminded him that she had only just sworn to their cause. Vale, however, was unruffled. She shook her head in reply to Armande’s questions. Rowan saw nothing, felt nothing as she scanned the map with her one good eye.

                Vale reached out and clasped Rowan’s hand, clearly hoping to trigger some sort of psychic reaction. Nothing came. It wasn’t as if they had been able to command it before, the Sight just sort of happened. Oracles rarely worked the way that Kings and Tyrants hoped; perhaps that was why so many Oracles ended up dead.

                “Well, it’s safe to say there are no psychic vibrations coming off of it,” Rowan said after a few moments of gazing at the thing. What was Armande expecting? The map to magically turn itself into a set of GPS coordinates? If she had been able to do that, she might never have met these two; She would’ve been on Aiden’s ass every second of the day otherwise.

                “Perhaps…” Rowan said as she picked up the ghastly item and held it in both hands. Ignoring Armande for the moment, she shifted her body and turned so that she and Vale were facing each other. Rowan held the map in her right hand and then placed her left hand over the other side. “Sister, if you would humor me for a moment… I have an idea… Mirror me. Place your right hand under the map and your leftover the top. Maybe if we try opening ourselves?”

                It was worth a shot.

"The power Voodoo. Hoodoo? You do! Do what!?"
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