Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet
Nae’s bullet point plot because she has forgotten how to story and these scenes demanded to be written.
You get the same energy you put out
- Begin scene. A bar, somewhere dark and plush, with music crooning low from the stage and figures hiding in the shadows. Bracken Balechild is easy to spot, the signature sickly green flames dancing across his head. He is standing behind the bar, arranging glasses and mixing cocktails, tall and slender and human. Bracken finds his humanoid form comfortable and flexible. It is much easier to get into small places and run away when you don’t have large wings taking up too much space. .
- Every so often he would flick just a drop of the sickly green fire onto the rim of a shot glass. Or sprinkle just a little touch of the toxic moss into a cocktail. His drinks are not for the faint hearted, or for the mortal. But here in a secret bar in the second ward of Herakles, the strong and the mighty enjoy that little bit of buzz Bracken’s toxins bring them.
- He knows that this is not what he is supposed to do. He is a Balechild! He is meant to corrupt worlds, cause chaos and destruction, to rule realms. But for now he is still young, and he has not quite figured out what he wants to do.
- It is not that Bracken considers himself good (insert delicate shudder here). He just hasn’t figured out who he is. Is he evil? Or just chaotic? He has brothers and sisters and cousins scattered across the nexus, some more famous than others, and he is not quite sure whose footsteps he wants to follow.
- The door opens with a delicate little twinkle and Bracken eyes the young woman who walks inside. Arresting. Not pretty, not beautiful, but something draws Bracken’s eye to her form. She is not well dressed enough, not protected enough. Where are the weapons and the armours, or the sign of gaudy power in gems and jewels? Bracken takes a delicate sniff and finds her scent… unusual.
- Odd. Lacking. As if something is not quite there, and Bracken quietly takes note. He will remember her scent.
- The woman walks quietly up to the bar and takes a seat in the corner. She whispers her order to the other bartender, and Bracken continues to watch her as she observes the room.
- A man sidles closer, and Bracken watches, eyes bright. His movements are smooth, practiced. Bracken barely notices the subtle tilt of a hand, the sparkle of something tipped into the woman’s drink.
- Bracken watches. He is not here to protect a delicate little flower. Flowers do not bloom in the second ward. The woman turns, catches his eye for a second, and her scent sharpens. Something rich and earthy, just a delicate little coil of it before it vanishes.
- “You shouldn’t do anything you would not want someone else to do to you.” The woman’s voice is low pitched, slightly scratcher, and Bracken knows he should not be able to hear it from where he is. But he does, and he is very sure that the woman is warning him.
- The next day, Bracken finds the smooth and practiced man in the alleys, his body riddled with markings. Someone had fed, deeply, had left the man’s corpse for smaller creatures to prey on.
- Bracken’s curiosity is ignited, and he waits for evening to fall, for the woman to appear again.
- He waits the next night.
- And then the next.
Is fate getting what you deserve, or deserving what you get?
- Bracken does not see the odd and unusual woman again, not in Herakles. For about a week he is almost able to catch that odd non-scent, sometimes with the touch of rich and earthy top notes.
- For about a week, odd and unusual events keep happening at the bar. Men and women who preyed on the young and the weak find themselves prey. The drinks laced with balefire and toxic moss give Bracken hours of indigestion. Something is not quite right at the bar, but when the last of the non-scent disappears, everything goes back to normal.
- And Bracken knows it is time to move on.
- You shouldn’t do anything you would not want someone else to do to you. The haunting words keep chasing him, and Bracken finds himself remembering the words as he hops across the Nexus.
- Bracken continues to seek out adventures and an answer: what does he want to do in life? (He has not yet realized that his travels are the answer — he wants to travel the Nexus rub shoulders with his powerful siblings and make deadly cocktails that only the truly powerful can enjoy). Every so often stopping to visit his brothers and sisters, delighted to see how they are making a name for themselves in the world.
- “Come, stay, play” they cajole and invite, but Bracken has no time. He does not want to make roots in a world where is siblings exist. What would be the fun in that?
- He continues to fine-tune his drinks. Bracken delights in his role as a “mixologist”. Perhaps his cocktails touched with toxic moss and balefire are too noxious for the average visitor. Perhaps they can only be enjoyed by other powerful creatures of chaos and destruction, but he delights in corruption organic matter just so, the fruits that weep out the most delicious nectar when they are corrupted slowly over time.
- (It is not as important, but there was this one time Bracken met the most ridiculous chaos god who delighted in licking his toxic moss. He remembers the godling fondly).
Don’t waste it time on revenge. The people who hurt you will eventually face their own karma.
- Of the monsters, it is Devraj who senses her first.
- “Something has changed.” He tells the others. “In her. The one who woke us.”
- “Is change a good thing?” Nana asks.
- “Change is never a good thing” Amina is sure of this. If change was so good, no one would ask for her help. No one would ask to remain in the past.
- Devraj is not sure. “She is quiet, now.” They are not speaking of the other monster, but the woman who woke them all.
- “Is she at peace?” Ravi asks. He was her first monster, the one who went out to seek justice.
- Devraj shakes his head. “She is waiting.”
- “Waiting for what?”
- “For our new sister to make her presence known.”
Everything happens and we’re the reason.
- It takes little time for the monsters to find their sister. They can sense her, and when they find her, they are surprised at the company she is keeping.
- “It took you long enough.” Shy enjoys the expressions of surprise and discomfort on the faces of the monsters. He enjoys knowing that he was smarter, faster (at least this time) and that he had found her first. “Meet Kenopsia.”
- “Pretty name.” Amina comments, her eyes flat and brassy.
- Shy is always surprised when he sees this one jarring mark of imperfection in the monsters. As if someone was trying to mimic the molten gold nature of his Projects, but managed to only get it to a dull coppery finish.
- “You must have cheated.” Ravi tells the Scientist. He does not like the way his eyes gleam with avarice as he stares at his sister.
- Shy manages a look of gentle confusion and pain. “I can be quite smart, and resourceful.” this is an age old argument now. “I keep telling you. I can be useful.”
- Ravi shrugs, uninterested. He wants to know who his sister is, and what she can do.
- “Do?” Kenopsia answers coyly. She claims she does not do anything. She just helps urge events that are supposed to happen, happen. Judgement.
- “Like the Opal court dragons?” Amina asks. She continues to care for the young Imperial princeling with his issues, and she finds the Opal with their powers of judgement fascinating.
- Kenopsia eyes her sister with the ability to heal in dreams, and smiles. “I balance scales.”
- Shy does not like these half answers, he does not like not knowing. But he does not have to wait too long to find out. A week at the Labs and he finds odd and unusual events happening. The Fool who is so quiet and angry finds his projects failing (you should not sneak around your master’s back, Kenopsia says to him), the cleric’s visits bring literal joy, with plants blooming in his presence (you bring good into the world and the plants recognize it, Kenopsia says to him).
- “Karma.” Shy decides. “That’s what you do.”
- Kenopsia watches him with amused eyes and opens her mouth to response just so, but Shy has decided he does not like having this monster speak to him. Maybe he is being a little superstitious, but when she speaks, things happen, and he is not ready to have things happen to him. (This amuses Monique the Oracle to no end, and she has taken a strong liking to this woman who can tip scales).
Sorry Bug. This is Nae’s even truncated bullet point plot because the two characters demanded to be written before I go on vacay.
How people treat you is their karma how you react is yours
- Bracken is off to visit his brother, Oleander Balechild. There is something about this specific Balechild that soothes him. Oleander fills the ‘older brother’ archetype for Bracken, and while he does not have the same desire and ambition to change worlds and twist living creatures, he wonders if spending time with Oleander will make him a better Balechild.
- There are reprimands, a little bit of scorn. That’s all you do? Bracken watches the way Oleander twists worlds, gardens and nature and while he admires the aesthetics Bracken is not sure that this is something he wants to do himself.
- It just feels like so much work.
- Maybe he leads Oleander on with the mistaken assumption that he too has the same ambition, that he too wants to corrupt the worlds and create blooms of balefire. To an extent, he does. But he wants to play.
- Oleander speaks off hand of the most interesting experiment happening at the Heimdall. A xeno queen has arrived and she will be using noulicorns to host her offspring. “The corruption” Oleander delights, and Bracken finds himself intrigued.
- The noulicorn are supposed to be the very good, the very pure. To have xenodragons offsprings mix with that kind of magic? He decide he must visit this Heimdall and see these xenodragons for himself.
Learn to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else
- There should be no surprise that if there is a project to create the most obedient, intelligence and powerful draconic soldiers, Shy would be all up in its business.
- Obssessed with the idea of finding the perfect soldier to protect the Vella Crean, his own projects fraught with the goodness and ethics of the cleric who wields the weapon of “disappointment”, Shy enjoys his visits to Heimdall more and more.
- Here, he is free of the pressure of the cleric and the Empress. He can tamper and hypothesize and manipulate without thinking of consequences. Strong. Obedient. Weapons. Shy delights in his time at the Heimdall, and he has started to very annoyingly advocate Dr. Krum for permanent residences.
- “After all” he croons, batting his eyes “don’t we make the perfect partners?”
- (It must be stated that the Fool is not invited on this trips, which might explain why the Fool is getting quieter and angrier)
- The noulicorns inspire Shy to create Siochain, the linyaari Project, and Vilifyss’s arrival excites him. “Imagine” he banters with Dr. Krum and the xenodragon. “What we could do, after this experiment is over.” He wonders at the thought of finding Death Court dragons to play host to xenodragon offsprings.
- And covets.
- Kenopsia follows him around, not interested in the Scientist’s discussions of genetics and weaponry, but enjoying the ability to meet so many new people. To balance scales across the Nexus.
- People do not like it when Kenopsia speaks. The very good and the very devout are pleasantly surprised when luck turns to their favour. When events fall into place in just the right order. But others, well. There are not many who are very good and very devout.
- The cruel and the spiteful find their days full of misery, the thoughtless stymied by challenges in their day to day. The cruel, punished by out of turn events that just should not have happened.
- “Karma is a bitch.” Being begin to mutter. “Kenopsia is a bitch.”
- But the monster does not care.
What goes around does come around.
- When Kenopsia and Bracken meet again, it is as candidates. Bracken, naturally, a candidate for the xenodragon clutch (Oleander sniffs. Naturally) while Kenopsia. Well. She is not exactly good, but she is not evil. And a noulicorn, would that just not be the perfect feather in Shy’s cap?