The pale blue light of the giant star illuminating the firmament reflected through the transparent wraithbone domes covering the Field of Dirges in the upper levels of the Alaitoc Craftworld, giving the green landscape a yellowish hue. Small groups of citizens wearing simple robes either walked or sat in the endless green field, dotted by trees,discussing. Separated from the nearest group, keeping both feet submerged in a small stream that provided nourishment for the greenery around, wrapped in white robes, a single Eldar woman sat quiet, her eyes closed. Blonde hair lay sprawling over her shoulders, two small braids dangling gently in the breeze on either side of her head.
Not even the sound of footsteps broke her concentration, only the soft touch of the male that bent down toward her making her open her bright eyes. For a moment she looked at him before returning to gaze upon the stream before her, seemingly lost in her thoughts. Her gloved hand clutched a small object protectively, close to her chest. While no expression showed on her facial features,it was her eyes that spoke for her.
“Ayrianna, dear”, a sigh escaped the male, “remember, we must not let ourselves prey to emotion. We all mourn for your sister’s death, she did what she had for all of us”.
An icy glance locked upon the man briefly as she swatted away his hand gently, “What Sariel did was for all of us, I am not at peace of what happened to her. I am unhappy with the warlock’s decision of not retrieving her soulstone”. A pause followed by a calmer toned voice from the woman, “I fear for her”.
“She chose her path as you have yours”, the Eldar male intervened, “we can only hope the humans will keep the stone intact.”
Squeezing the gold and amethyst brooch held in her hand the female stood up, not bothering to continue the conversation. Her mind raced, her attempt to keep the control she’d been taught as a child futile for a few moments. Setting to her feet she idly walked through the grass toward a small nearby building, adorned with runic carvings, flanked by an Infinty Circuit access terminal. Her gentle hand rested upon the control stone, her thought alone sifting through thousands of records, displayed before her as pictograms. Biting her lower lip gently a single name surfaced in the search, that of Seer Lyanar. Brief flashes from dreams filled her mind; A burning giant, the screams of the dead, an unnatural wail from the depths of the labyrinthine paths of the Infinity Circuit.
Pairs of eyes followed her, some sketching concern, some indifference. Walking toward the Firebug-type skimmer that once belogned to her sister she climbed in the open cockpit, her merest touch making the vehicle respond. A staunch artist, Ayrianna was a decent composer, or so she liked to believe, yet her dreams intensified. Lyanar was an authority on dream interpretation but her heart knew what everything meant. Rolling both fingers over a dome shaped control the vehicle accelerated, joining hundreds others, flying from the glimmering spires toward the manufacturing areas in the distance. Ideograms rolled on the vehicle’s displays rapidly, a large bone coloured one indicating her selected destination.
A sharp right turn brought the Firebug on a gentle glideslope into a layer of clouds and between an older area of Alaitoc that was barely inhabited. Ayrianna’s eyes took some time to adjust to the gloom, her gentle input bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. Uncertainty of her decision invaded her thoughts momentarily before she jumped out of the Firebug, stepping on the pavement toward the foreboding shrine, flanked by the statues of a Crone and a Maiden. Bone-white wraithbone walls enclosed this place, one she had chosen to come for answers. Setting a hand on the gateway’s frame she seemed to wait, one step and another leading her into the Shrine.
Exotic plants hung from the wraithbone walls, their tendrils surrounding columns and completely covering a small gazebo, situated in the courtyard close to the central building that lay protected by the Bone coloured walls. Several mockups of enemies lay to her left, yet there seemed to be noone there with several training swords close and several polearms.
“Welcome to the Shrine of Fallen Blades”, a female’s voice started Ayrianna, making her turn quickly toward the sound’s source. “How may I help you, have you come seeking answers”, the wizened woman spoke, her eyes looking at the new arrival. “I am Exarch Thiriel, keeper of the Shrine”.
Attempting to find the best wording, Ayrianna bowed politely, “Forgive my unannounced arrival or any intrusion, Exarch. I merely seek help with my dreams, my urges, my desires”, she dared speak.
“You felt the call of Khaine”, the older Eldar spoke quietly, “you feel the call of Morai-Heg, she who has given us our gifts”. Moving in a circle around her new prospective student, Thiriel continued, “I have the answer you seek, child, you are ready to walk a new path, yet you have not told me your name”.
Unsure of the Exarch’s words the younger woman considered briefly, but the dreams were conclusive to the Shrine Keeper. She knew deep in her heart that leaving the Path of the Artist to join the Path of the Warrior would change her life, yet she had been called here. A polite reply came at last, “I am Ayrianna Coldwhisper and I have come to find my way, Exarch”.
A gesture from the keeper’s hand toward the inner shrine was all she needed. Walking into the interior of the Shrine quick alert glances studied the clean, spartan walls, the lobby and corridors leading left and right. In a similar colour to the outer walls the building felt peaceful enough, lit by crystals set at equal distance from each other within the walls. Six other females turned only to bow toward Thiriel gracefully, all adorned in bone-white armour, gathered around a table where another lay, fallen.
“Ayrianna has come to bring homage to Khaine and learn the truth of her path. We must welcome her sisters for the wails of the Crone will fill the hearts of our enemies with dread”, gesturing toward the new arrival, the Exarch forced herself a smile, “Let us help her become the bringer of death, a daughter of Khaine!”.