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Interactive Quest  - the sinister exultation of stone

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Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 298 — Threads: 155
Signos: 986,020
Official Novus Account

in the abysmal herd of stone and dust

The hour is early when the elk with winter storms dying in their bones stumble into the canyon. Their bones are as brittle as icicles and their antlers are as delicate as weapons made of snowflakes are oft to be. In each of their chests there is something melting and their lungs breathe in and out with bitter cold instead of bitter fury. 

They are dying, this herd of elk. They are dying.

They have all begun to think (as wild animals think) that their existence is suspect. They think like beasts brought by gods should think, and that is as a hive, as one. A doe thinks the same thing as a stag, and their child thinks the same thing as the parents. And all they think of with each mirror breath is that the sun feels a little too hot on their skin as it rises above them, made sickle like a scythe by a black cloud of dust. 

Perhaps that is why the beast found them, huddled together into one single mass like lambs bleating and begging for the slaughter. However he found them doesn't matter because in the end he licks the air with his tongue and his hunger starts to ache in his chest when he feels sweet, cool winter on his beak instead of hot, desert sand. 

But it's not flesh or blood or ice that he wants to feed on. He wants stone, an army of stone sentries in which he might play god. And so he reveals himself to the hive of winter elk, and because they are all one, they all look in his direction like a hundred leaves turning their faces towards the rain. They all feel their agonies the same too. The way each organ turns to stone inch by inch, and each muscle spasms as the meat around it hardens. 

The eyes are the last to go, only because they all look at him and he wants to watch the moment a hundred lives snuff out all at once.  Finally they all fade in one slow, slow blink and the winter storms in their chests are dead, dead, dead. 

He has his menagerie of stone elk and he beds himself down in the middle of his herd to dream the ancient dreams of beasts when they are satiated.


The hour is high-noon and the sun is no longer a scythe whetted by a dust-cloud but an orb, a ball of fire that promises to drink deep of all the water in the world. When he opens his eyes the shadows of his herd stretch low beneath a hundred bellies made of stone, full of stone. He is hungry again and already his collection seems tiny and small compared to the canyons gaping around him like the mouth of the great monster god. 
He, Legion, feels blessed then when the sand in the distance billows up in a small cloud that suggests a single thing has come to see how lovely his army of stone is. And so he waits, watching from those low stone-belly shadows, as the cloud comes closer, and closer, and closer. 

Oh, won't you come even closer! He begs silently (monster to monster), because his beak and his tongue are made too close to god to tangle itself around the language of horses. And maybe as the shadows shift a little in a cloud it seems as if all the stone elk are starting to whisper words that pour from their frozen lips like dust and darkness. 

He waits and waits and waits That small cloud of dust comes closer and closer and closer. 

The moment the dust cloud comes close enough to clog whatever hole is left in the lead elk's stone head Legion rises up from the center of his collection. His tail smacks against the dirt and the elk at his side disintegrate into piles of dust that rise up around him like spirits let loose from the bowels of the desert. 

And in that cloud of dead-elk dust he lunges for the white horse who has appeared in his own cloud of red-desert dust. 

@Raum, on his way back from the battlefield, might see ahead a mass of dark shapes that looks so very out of place against the red, canyon stone. When he's close enough he will see that it's not a mass of shapeless darkness, but a hundred winter-elks turned to black stone. Maybe it's the voice that rings in his head, saying 'closer, closer, closer, come closer' that makes him take that final step towards the dead herd. 

Suddenly, Legion the Basilisk lunges and the battle is waged. Hopefully Raum knows enough about ancient beasts to avoid looking Legion directly in the eye. 

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Thanks for giving me a monster to write. <3

Enjoy! -nestle

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Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 146 — Threads: 16
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Deceased Character

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

He is blood adorned and victory crowned. But it is no smile he wears as he bears the canyon’s heat upon his back - his canyon’s heat.
Raum is a creature pieced from poison silver and the liminal moons. He is not made to wear a crown of sun – of the heat and burning and dust of ages. Yet he steps upon the desert as its king, shedding his shadows far behind like a cloak at summer’s beckoning.
Long ago Denocte’s Ghost learned that he could not easily find shadows here to hide. To hide here is to stand before the eyes of others and make them see, well, nothing at all. Yet his days as a spy are shed even further than his cloak of shadows, they are but a dot upon the horizon at his back. His past deeds lie in darkness and sin and he lets them rest there as one might a viper’s nest.
This day Raum does not seek to hide. He walks beneath the scorching sun as a king so freshly crowned and he wears Seraphina’s blood like armour, like the glittering of a ruby breastplate.
Though he left Solterra’s former queen, crumpled upon Bellum Steppe’s sparse floor, she had inflicted injuries upon him too. An ugly gash, long and thin as congealed black rope, runs down the side of his throat. It aches for its maker – the girl who lay gasping and thrashin and dying upon their blood soaked turf. Her pooling blood was a lake, a mirror of the horrors of their battle. If he closed his eyes, he could taste her blood still, becoming more than a ghost to him – a trophy of his triumph.
Solterra’s new king does not march toward his new Keep and the crowds that await Seraphina’s return. No, instead he tracks the scratches of a cockerel’s foot, more giant and formidable than any should be. In his ears are the whispers of the terrified. The ones who saw a monster land and claim a nest of stone elk. Within their center it laid down and all around it fled in fear.
Raum walks, as if he has not seen the multitudes flee from the nearest village, as if he had not heard the cries of the terrified. He does not walk like a man before his death, a crow flying as a tide of refugees flow against him. He does not stop, at last, lost within a labyrinth of crimson stone, like a man before a monster forged of terrible magic and the fear of men.
He drinks in the stone eyes of elk that beg to run and cry out in their silent agony. They are now eyes lost to magic and horror. Raum takes not a step forward, until a shadow begins to rise from amid the elk. And the moment he sees it shift, Raum’s eyes close and begins to step forward. At his throat, his blue scarf pulls loose, tied as it was to staunch the blood from his wound. It unravels like sinew, bathed in dry blood as black as Denocte’s sky in deepest night.
As Raum nears this monster, his eyes disappear, scales forming across his face. In his mind a voice hisses and clicks, it beckons him closer, closer. Obedient, Raum steps, closer, closer. His skull morphs into a bird’s, a swiftlet, and from his beak comes a series of clicks. Echolocation builds his world in clicks and soon, before him are the herd of stone elk, exploding to dust as the beast’s serpent tail lashes at their brittle bodies.
Raum’s scarf slips free, as if caught by a wind, and it drifts away toward the monster. He cannot hold his magic long, and Raum plunges close, what beas this would be to tame, What monster to have at his beck and call. Deftly, he slips between the elk and the monster follows his every move. A elk axplodes beside him and black dust fills the air as a terrible cloud. It clings to Seraphina’s blood – still damp, kept so by Raum’s sweat and the heat of the desert.
What is your name. Raum asks, even as he lunges, even as his back aches for his battle wounds. He limps and the monster laughs a hiss of ancient, fetid magic.
I am Legion. It answers as it lunges, smashing through elk to stand before Raum, blocking his path at last. Its great beak parts, sharp fangs glinting like great, curved swords as poison saliva strings between them.  Legion rears back, his gaze lowering to seize its new prey, yet from the sky, Raum’s scarf descends like an arrow. It unfurls, swift and bright, to wrap about the eyes of the monster. It pulls tight, tight, tigher still and Legion’s cries of rage split the sky and set the deserts trembling. He thrashes, his spiked wings straining for the back of his head, for the knot that holds so terribly tight, that steals his sight and its terrible magic.
Then does Raum’s own gaze return, his eyes bright and blue behold the contorting beast. All about it is black smoke as its prize elk fall away, once more victim to the wrath of the monster.
Its cries deafen Raum, it frays the link between them and oh it is enough to bring Raum to his knees, yet he stays still as the statues his monster makes. And as the beast thrashes Raum asks him quite softly, quietly, “Come with me, do as I wish and you will regain your sight.”
And still Legion thrashes. Still those great wings gouge into the stone of his making and the canyon echoes with his rage. At last the beast falls still an only a solitary elk remains, its eyes are wide, its body contorted in agony as it twists to flee – from whom, Raum wonders, the beast, or its new master?
“Come.” Raum says into the silence and above the rattling hiss of his still monster. Legion turns to follow, his wing colliding, with the rough side of the canyon wall. He staggers, and shakes, riled and furious. A cry like a caw, like a thousand crows rips from his parted beak.
Listen to me,” The Solterran king insists of his monster and the beast quiets and tilts its head, turning away from the wall and toward its master. Raum steps, his feet clacking over stone, brushing over dust and Legion follows pausing to listen to his footsteps and following close behind.
His tail thrashes as they leave the nest of stone and dust and the final elk explodes.


[Image: x341oLX.png]

You're one microscopic cog

in his catastrophic plan


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