The Varvara Incident
“I am Varvara the Knife, do you want my life?”
“You are not strong enough to take it.Only sacrifice can buy the might you need. Her sacrifice,” she points at Cello, and thick oak roots erupt from the ground and impale her, ripping into her with thick glee. The cleric opens her mouth and eyes wide, but has no air to cry out her pain. From her mouth a golden vapor begins to spill, then is absorbed by the vicious roots. They buckle and tear across the cavern floor until the sprout just beneath the Fey’s feet – and a purple flower with six petals forms, glowing and beautiful in the darkness.
“Eat and become strong. It is the way of leaf and bough, of claw and bone. It is the way of the Ember Court, and here it is law. Eat a petal and you will become strong, strong enough to face me. Or do not. Certain death or a chance at life, that is the coyote’s howl. Have you blood enough to bear it? Or will you bend your necks to my fangs?”