Seeking Self in Eden
Summary: Cyrielle seeks answers on a pilgrimage within the Forest of Eden.
Date: 15/11/2013
Related: None

Feb 1 3014 — Forest of Eden, Primus

And into the belly of nature I go… This time with only the Six to guide me.

With a guide only to bring her to the entrance and to ensure she bears no technology, Cyrielle faces time cut off from the rest of the waking world. She carries a bag of basic supplies, her bow with a quiver of arrows, and the cane Nitrim gave her as a parting gift.

"May the Six guide and keep you. The Father to govern your thoughts. The Mother to keep you warm. The Maiden to show you what you seek. The Knight to find you safely through. The Sage to open your eyes. And the Crone for all that comes after."

The symbols of each are painted in succession upon Cyrielle's features by the quiet, young man who tends to the Forest of Eden. As he makes his way back to the holdings of his sect, the Hollolas is left alone at the head of a path that shows only light wear. The ground showing the infrequent trod of feet over and through the brightly colored flora that infuses the land.

She begins on the path, steps slow as she leans on the cane she carries and lets it seek out solid ground. In many places, the earth is so fresh and fertile that the loam sinks in and steps are treacherous. The brunette doesn't mind, however, as she continues onward. The dappled morning light casts patterns through the canopy above, laying alternating patches of shadow and light in a monochrome light show against the otherwise colorful and lush landscape.

So it goes for Cyrielle throughout much of the day. A slow pace onward, following existing trails as she gets her bearings. However, those trails soon spindle away or fade entirely, leaving her to forge one of her own. It is here that she lets her Awakened state fall over her and her consciousness spiral out into the surrounding flora. Trees, ferns, and flowers alike paint the picture of the land. This is her compass, her guidance, and this is the way she delves deeper into the forest ahead.

As the sun begins to set on that first day, Cyrielle finds herself nestled against the roots of a vast tree as a light rain begins to fall. The tree keeps most of the rain off of her, but she's pulled a lightweight poncho from the pack she's carrying nonetheless. A small, nutrient-packed meal bar serves as her dinner and she senses eyes watching her in the darkness as she fades off to sleep…

The next morning breaks bright; the previous night's rain well past. Dew covers the poncho that had been used as a blanket and Cyrielle shakes it out, using a very low Awakened fueled flame to dry it fully before packing it away. Her forward momentum is slowed today: the rain has set into her leg and caused a deep ache. So again, she lets the forest guide her. This time, to those paths that are easier.

It's a slow progress. Maddeningly slow.

So the next day passes and all around, there is the land. A land so much greater and more intense than that deep within The Spine. She hasn't spoken aloud since the Chantry member departed- has she? Cyrielle is not the most reliant on technology, but even she has not gone without for such a long stretch of time before.

How is Nitrim?
Has Ephraim kept himself out of trouble?
Have there been any further Hostile attacks?
What about…
How is…

Soon the thoughts begin to fade away. Most of the concerns melt away as she finds herself, on the third day, struggling more and relying on her Awakened abilities further. The meal replacements are doing well enough, but they aren't perfect. She purposefully went without AMP, to try to remove herself from it before the surgery… and the withdrawal pays its price.

The third night is spent in a hollow by a large bush; the berries are safe, she saw birds eating them. But even they do not help the suffering brought by the AMP cycling its way out from her body.

It is here that she begins to cry.
Is is here that she contemplates giving up.

The high that had infused her on her first day is gone. The determination that carried her through the second day is fading. All she has left is faith.

And in faith she relies. In faith she finds her strength.

It isn't a fountain, but a mere trickle. The urge to finally eat the berries. Slowly, at first, to give the energy the bars lack. The flavor they lack. The… insight they lack.

What isn't poisonous isn't always a standard meal.

The visions come, but with them she moves. Onward. Upward. Forward. Deeper into the Forest of Eden, where the shadows lie longer and the sounds reverberate within one's soul. Shapes and colors become one another in an endless dance.

It is only by the grace of the Six guiding her and those Awakened senses melding into one with the nature surrounding that she doesn't step into the gully. Or tumble into a creek. In that deep, dark place, Cyrielle finds a sense of center.

Even with the AMP withdrawal providing intense headaches, temperature shifts that send her alternating between drenched in sweat and shivering with a non-existent cold… Cyrielle presses forward.

It is the Knight who guides her and the Maiden who soothes her. It is the Father who calls to her in the distance to bring her home and the Mother who ensures she is warm and safe when she gets there. It is the Sage who gives his nod of approval and the Crone who holds the darkest of night at bay.

When Cyrielle awakens — both physically and truly — it is upon a small rise in a clearing, the sun bearing down with the greater intensity it bears on Primus. Her clothes are torn. Her skin nicked here and there by brambles, further packed with mud. The ache in her leg has dulled to a quiet roar and as she sits up and breaks her fast — with another nutrient bar and a canteen of water — she feels she sees more clearly.

She may not know what will come in the future. She may not know what her purpose is. What she does know, however, is what she must do next. Along with that comes the deeper understanding that she may never have all of the answers, but she can at least find guidance — even within herself — to the next step.

With cane in hand, Cyrielle turns towards the path out that now lies clear…

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