“That seems an odd thing to be thinking about. Don’t normal people typically consider sex a life affirming act?” Zis responded, her only covering a thin layer of perspiration.
“I don’t think what we just did was particularly life affirming.” Mnemia said as she looked over at the woman resting between them. Seemingly asleep, the solar doubted the woman was actually unconscious. As one of Ioni’s working girls she would have certain responsibilities, and since the Circle was fairly well funded, that would include paying attention to pillow talk for anything of value or interest. If she was actually asleep she was failing pretty miserably. Still, even though the pair had not left any marks, the efforts of the last hour had been… involved and intense. There would certainly be some unpleasant (or pleasant depending on her inclinations) repercussions.
“No, I suppose not.” the words carrying maybe just a touch of regret. “Since you’re talking to me about this I assume you’re looking for more information?”
Mnemia finally sat up, wrapping the sheet around her chest as she did. Modesty was hardly necessary given the circumstance and the company, but when constantly interacting with a partner with no sense of boundaries at all, she somehow felt it something she still needed to do. That, and Zis was not a fan of the behavior. Even now the abyssal was rolling her eyes and groaning softly.
“Is there someone else I should be talking to about this instead?”
“No.” Zis said, also sitting up. “At least not right away. Depending on what your goals are you may want to talk to Ophelia about it as well though. As a primordial of Oblivion she has some interesting insights into the subject.”
“Oh?” Mnemia let a slight grin touch her lips. “The role of proud mother suits you.”
The look the abyssal shot the solar was murderous. If there hadn’t been a third person separating them Zis might well have flown across the bed and tried to strangle Mnemia for that one. For a moment Mnemia wasn’t entirely certain that was going to stop the other exalt. But eventually Mnemia’s grin became a bout of uncontrolled laughter and Zis turned away with a huff.
More noise than the sleeping woman could justify sleeping through, she rolled over languidly and let her eyes flutter open. Drawing Zis’ attention like a lone gazelle at a watering hole, the abyssal discarded her wounded pride and began to slowly pull the sheets away from the body of the third woman.
“Oh, leave the poor thing along.” Mnemia chided, still grinning.
“Fine.” the abyssal relented, but not before most of the sheet had been pulled away anyway. “If you want to talk about necromancy, then let’s talk about necromancy.”
This, of course, had a startling effect on the woman still on the bed between them. The shock on her face seemed genuine, and she backed up against the headboard, reaching for the sheets that she quickly found were no longer within easy reach. Seemingly unwilling to lean forward and reclaim them, she simply did her best to fade into the background.
“Let’s start with the basics.” Zis began, briefly looking over to the naked woman, her gaze promising that she would receive the exalt’s attention before too long. “To become a necromancer one must pass what is called the Trials of the Void. We talked about this briefly when we learned that the twins had learned the art, but this time we’ll talk about you.”
The exchange started ordinarily enough, but as the abyssal continued her words became more weighted, her attention focused entirely on her solar partner.
“The first trial is that of melancholy. You must find yourself bereft of everything but the will to live, and rise again from the precipice of oblivion. You faced this trial in the icy confines of the manse of your former Circle mate. Trapped, surrounded by death, all but your life was stripped away, and still you and the others fought on, found strength in each other and survived.”
“The second trial is memory. This is some manner of self reflection that helps redefine you; to look deep within yourself to reveal a truth you cannot deny. I was there when you completed this trial, when you learned the ultimate self truth and railed against your prison as it consumed you. The woman I carried home was broken, but not destroyed. And as your namesake would imply, it only seemed to make you stronger in the end.“
“Stasis is the third trial, and much like the second you have completed this in nothing short of a spectacular fashion. To be a necromancer you must intimately understand the concept of stasis, and the freezing of all of Creation is about as wide reaching an instance of stasis that has ever existed.”
“Infliction is my personal favorite, something I consider less of a trial and more of a recreational activity. For this you must inflict upon another an all consuming fear of the death you bring to them. Actually killing them is not required, but it would be a waste if one did not. For you, this happened the moment you exalted. Can you imagine the fear those pirates experienced as one among their prey became a manifestation of the wrath of god? What must they have thought in their final moments as the Phoenix Born of Blood rose up to decree that their lives were forfeit? Ironic that you started walking the path of the necromancer from the moment you were blessed by the Unconquered Sun.”
“So that just leaves the fifth trial, decay. Unfortunately, this one must wait until you are fully ready. This is the catalyst, the point where one accepts the Void and becomes a necromancer. For this trial you must sacrifice something, but it must be a lingering sacrifice. You cannot quickly suffer the wound, but must do so slowly and deliberately, inflicting or observing the misery steadily build until it seems to be all encompassing. Only then can the sacrifice be made. Fortunately, you may choose what you sacrifice. Just know that you cannot cheat the system. This is about understanding an indelible concept, and if your sacrifice does not impart that understanding than it was for nothing.”
Zis paused then, letting Mnemia contemplate what she had just heard. It wasn’t until the abyssal turned her attention to the whore who had remained quiet and unmoving this entire time was the silence broken. As the deathknight slowly began to crawl across the bed toward the woman Mnemia spoke, seemingly offhandedly.
“This, of course, absolutely cannot reach the ears of your mistress. You do understand, don’t you dear?” With the solar exalt’s gaze upon her the young woman looked away from Zis just long enough to meet Mnemia’s eyes, fear clearly marring her features, possibly the first genuine emotion she had show since they had arrived. “You don’t have anything to fear from me mind you, but my companion’s lack of self restraint can be… troubling.”
The young woman looked back at Zis, who had somehow managed to sneak up on her in the moment she had looked away. She let out a slight yelp and then turned back to Mnemia.
“Of course, of course, you have my confidence. I promise.”
“Good girl.” Mnemia said as she reached out and pulled the surprised woman against her body. “As long as we have an understanding I’ll ensure that you have nothing to fear from my partner.”
For her part Zis continued to look the predator, shifting her weight subtly, like she was waiting for an opening to strike. Then, seeming to give up, she turned away, rolling off of the bed and eventually stalking off in search of the bath.
“Just remember your promise.” Mnemia whispered.