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Interactive Quest  - through the wind and the rain--

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Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 291 — Threads: 145
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a ceremony made of desperation

 The twilight comes with a storm. The autumn winds are cooler than usual and the forest below the mountain is alive with sighing trees and crackling dead leaves. Each whip of wind through the thick shadows makes the shadows sway like bodies bumping against each other in a crowd. When the moon starts to rise, each blot of darkness glows as if it's no longer a shadow but some beast of a world between. 

Rain starts to join the wind. It starts slow at first, a tinkling of water that makes each leaf still hanging on to life sound like a bell. Whenever the wind howls through the trees each plant turns belly-up towards the rain, like flowers blooming for the moon and the water instead of the sun. The copse feels fuller then, with the rain and the wind howling and increasing by minutes instead of hours. 

But through all that rain, bell-tolling leaves and the wind howling like a wolves there is a cry. It started out slow and sad, but when the storm turns its heavy eyes towards they cry it rises in pitch. Soon it's shrill and fearful. Everything about that cry scream heartache and death. It's a cry that could curdle the bones. 

And when the wind pauses and inhales a great, big breath the cry sounds a little like help chanted in a language that horses are not taught to speak. 

- - - - - - - 

Deep in the forest through the rain and the wind, where the leaves are so thick the rain has to fight to reach the dirt, there is a young mother bobcat circling a fragile, dead tree. Each of her steps has a frantic flavor to it. Underneath the darkness and the moonlight (that barely can reach this place)  her dark, brown eyes are wild with fear and hopelessness. Her fur is matted and bloody and she looks as if she's come straight from some war where she might have lost. 

She's pacing back and forth, back and forth and the ground already has a small trench in it from how long she's been pacing. She didn't mean to be gone for so long, she didn't think the cougar would have been quite so determined to have her or her child. The storm took her by surprise and when the tree below which is she pacing cracked like a thunderclap she came running back as quick as she could. 

The tree was supposed to protect her child, not bring death and destruction to her heart. 

But it did, it was far more unsteady and dead than she thought it. Now her small cub is clinging to a cracked branch that's swinging in the wind. Soon it will crack and fall to the ground and she's not sure her baby can survive the fall. 

The storm increases in pitch and she yowls and it still sounds like help, help, help through the wind and the rain. Her screaming only stops when she hears another sound in the storm, it's the whisper of wings and the steady thrum of a horse breaking through the forest. 

Her eyes look desperate when she looks to the stallion and his dragon. Gone is the predator, the reaper of voles and mice. Tonight in the twilight and the raging wind she's only a mother. Desperation knows no difference between species. And oh she's desperate for anything to save her cub hanging on the dead branch. 

All desperation wants to know is hope. 

@Kratos will find himself in the mountains as the night starts to arrive. With it comes a storm that quickly increases in violence, what started as a slow rain turns to a torrential downpour. Underneath the sound of the rain in the forest is a cry, that's haunting and sad. Following it will reveal a mother bobcat (on the small side appx 15 lbs) pacing wildly below a dead tree. On a branch of that dead tree a very young cub is crying softly. The branch he's hanging on is about to fall. But the wind is still increasing in speed and it's clear that if he's not rescued he will fall to his death.

Will Kratos help the mother bobcat and her baby? Or will he turn and walk back into the forest and let fate choose the outcome? 

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The team quest was so refreshing to write

Enjoy! -nestle

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Played by Offline Dingo [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 1
Signos: 1,020
Inactive Character

death doesn't discriminate
The mountain passage was harrowing without a storm, and nearly impassable during one. By the time they find a winding, twisting path that led down to a flatter area, both dragon and equine were soaked to the bone and looked far worse for wear. Most of the trees had thinned out from winter’s chill by now, and although the available shelter was laughable at best, it was better than the alternative of trying to go further and potentially falling to their demise.

Kratos let loose a curse as he sidled up to one such tree, the cruel wind blasting through the valley and effectively stealing his words so that not even Pryna could hear what he had said, probably for the best. As his body began to quake against the onslaught in an effort to warm up, thankful for the small wind block provided, the man of starlight settled in for what could quite possibly be one of the longest nights of his life, as Pryna laid claim to his back.

’We will be okay here,’ she soothed, ’Rest, and I will keep watch.’

But rest would not come so easily. Just as he began to warm, a cry pierced the air, impossibly louder than the shrill whistle of the wind. His sharp blue eyes, once squeezed shut now opened, peering out into the darkness around them. Upon his back he could feel Pryna shift, who knew better than to think her companion had managed to find sleep.

’That was a call of distress,’ her voice came through the dredges of his exhausted mind, ’We need to see what it was.’

Kratos’ lips pursed and he contemplated telling her to go see what it was herself, content to stay put until the storm had subsided. His job had never been to assist the living, but rather the opposite. But as true as the fact was, one thing was even more true – he was more frightened of what Pryna would do to him than he was of Felume. With a sharp inhale and a look that could kill, he trudged forward, his hooves squelching in the mud and slop with every step.

In time they reached the frantic mother, and Kratos eyed the wild cat warily as he approached. It wasn’t that he was particularly frightened of her, instinct be damned, but rather his simple distrust of most creatures that weren’t Pryna. But as he observed the scene quickly unfolding before them, he spotted the single cub dangling precariously from a too thin branch, far too high for the babe to survive such a fall. The branch he was on creaked and groaned as the wind buffeted it, threatening to send it crashing to the ground at any second. A shift of her weight was the only warning Pryna gave before she took flight, struggling against the wind but managing to reach the near-broken branch.

’Be ready to catch him, just in case!’ the dragoness called out to her bonded as she went, finding purchase beside the young bobcat. The branch moaned and sagged beneath her added weight, and Pryna knew she had to act fast before it was too late. Reaching out, she grabbed the cub by his scruff as carefully as was possible given the situation. He cried out, surely in alarm at being accosted by a dragon, and squirmed in her grasp – just as the dead branch finally gave way and went careening toward the ground.

Taken by surprise, Pryna tightened her grip on the cub who was even more frantic now that he was dangling helplessly in the air. The wind whipped violently against her back as she fought to keep control in the air and make her way down, but between that, the writhing bobcat, and her sheer lack of size and strength, it was too much. Just as she surpassed the halfway mark to the ground, the cub was ripped from her jaws, and she barely had a moment to cry out to her awaiting companion below. ’Catch him!!’

Though his eyes were narrowed in an attempt to block out the elements, Kratos’ gaze had never strayed from Pryna’s opalescent form, and from the ground he tried to stay directly below her, ready to move should anything go wrong, and wrong it went. As the cub plummeted toward the ground, the stallion grit his teeth and sidestepped to the left. The youngster cried out fearfully as he fell toward his certain death, but before he could potentially meet his demise, he landed across Kratos’ hindquarters and nearly bounced off, leaving a few scratches across the unicorn’s skin in the process. Heaving a breath of relief, Kratos knelt down on his front knees, further covering himself with disgusting slop but knowing he was at a point where it didn’t really matter anymore.

Dazed and confused, but alive and ultimately unharmed, the cub scurried down the length of his back before leaping from his withers. The frantic mother darted to his side, appearing to check her son over for a moment before reaching down to tenderly pick him up within her own teeth. Before she turned and hurried off somewhere safe, though, she lingered, and Kratos swore he could see gratefulness shining in her green eyes before she slinked away. Straightening back up just as Pryna returned to him, perching on one of his horns and grinning wide, Kratos watched until the mother and child had disappeared completely before he, too, turned to find shelter for themselves once more.

The day was cold, dismal and oppressive, but for them, it had become just a little brighter than it had been five minutes prior, and Kratos would never admit that he felt just a tad warmer, too.




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