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Site Wide Plot  - ACT VI: if you can dream

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Played by Offline Syndicate [PM] Posts: 123 — Threads: 22
Signos: 70
Night Court Champion of Community
Female [She/her/hers] // 9 [Year 495 Winter] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 29 // Active Magic: Amorphous Transformation // Bonded: N/A


Boudika was wrong.

A god sounds nothing like chaos. She thinks again that they must be the antithesis of the noise; their voice must be the tremble of everything right before it breaks. Boudika would pray, if she had the words, if she had the thoughts, as the magic island begins to rot and she hears the way a god would speak in the abrupt, silent anarchy right before the detonation. 

The island’s disintegration is a fever dream. It is fire, brimstone, saltwater and falling sky. It is a writhing, twisting anger; a Timelessness that wilts, and decays, and grows again. The relic exists as a planet would; it is the center of all gravity; the focus of all force. The noise fills her ears, her mind, and she is nothing but an extension of the anarchy. Boudika is a pawn; a creature of happenstance, and fate.

The center cannot hold. Neither can she. 

The utter knowledge of her own mortality is hard and bounding in her chest. 

Boudika leaps over an opening rift, the sand sucking at her feet. She nearly touches a hanging gold leaf where it rests, as though unaffected by all the chaos. At the last moment, Boudika twists away, as the leaf were poisonous. The only answer to movement is more movement, as the shards of sky strike her flesh and open small cuts across her brow, her flank, her withers—

She thinks of—

—breaking the surface of the water and gasping for air—

Her body is—

Lunging over another rift, her hindquarters nearly sliding into it. Only sheer determination allows her to rise above the toppling, sinking, draining sand. Move

She thinks of—

—the first time a Khashran gnashed it’s teeth against her flank and she turned, trident caught in the flesh of the dead, weaponless and alone. She was going to die—and then, and then Vercingtorix struck out with a fishing spear and the Khashran spat blood in her face—

There is a snake-thing.

A magic snake-thing, growing in front of her. Writhing and furious. A dying god-thing. It faces the onslaught of the remaining islanders; and is it not already gone? Is it not as ephemeral as the rest of them? Boudika does not know what is real anymore. 

But Boudika is not afraid. She feels the weight of her trident. She lopes forward, gaining momentum—

—her father’s funeral pyre. The smell of burnt flesh and charred wood. His full dress uniform is nearly indistinguishable in the smoke and flame, but it exists, a ghostly carcass of steel and gold that is red, red, red within the flames. A guidon snaps in the cliff-wind and somewhere, somewhere, a Khashran is keening out at sea—

All destruction smells the same. 

Sun-hot, seething. There is something sweet in the crushed trees. 

Fear is like copper.

Always like copper. 

What favour would you ask a god? 

There is another quicksand pit. She cannot see through the sky that continues to fall, sun-bright and glistening. Sweat drips into her eyes; or does it drip from them, salt-tears, stinging at the cuts on her face? The shattering world is reflected in a thousand of those shards and everything is colour, and noise, and the sharp sting of so many bees. Boudika leaps over the rift, and her trident is raised now toward the almost-snake, the rotting magic, the guardian of the gift. The tip glistens gold. It cuts through the falling shards, arrow-sharp and arrow-straight, and Boudika’s body mimics its line of flight. Everything, or nothing.

Somewhere she thinks a god must be talking.

Beyond the chaos, perhaps on some hidden cove untouched by the falling magic.

Perhaps Tempus sits waiting for one of them. 

She cannot imagine his face; or at least she thinks she can’t, and then in her mind it becomes the face of every man she’s ever loved.

Yes. Somewhere he is watching, he is asking, he is laughing—

Is it worth it?

Is my favour worth it?

And in their finite mortality they reach toward the immortal, the timeless, grappling through magic and monsters and the essence of a fever dream, and Boudika strains for the unobtainable, for the opportunity to turn it all back to a simpler time.

She waits. Endlessly—the seconds stretch on as if they are eternity, that trident poised, her supple body lunging. 

She reaches.

Somewhere there must be a quiet beach. 

And the gods must be holding their breath. 


Boudika chooses option two if this isn't too late... it's 12:34 o:

Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 36 — Threads: 6
Signos: 30
Vagabond Citizen
Male [Him/his/he] // Immortal [Year 504 Spring] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 25 // Active Magic: Time Acceleration // Bonded: Circe (Cheetah)


holy places are dark places.
it is life and strength,
not knowledge and words,
that we get in them.

The sand rises, gathering in great serpentine loops. It rears up and back, riled as its great maw parts and sand falls from its lips like hissing poison. He feels the trembling of his sister upon his shoulder. Their fear rocks through their twin bodies, each of their bones echoing with the fear of their sibling. But never do either of these children stop to question what strange world this is. This island is the place of their birth, where time stands still and moves too fast. They are made of it and for it and maybe they are the least fearful here.

Slowly the boy tilts his head towards his sister’s lips, lets her words reach for his ear and all the while he watches the monster and the horses. Her breath is a rattle, it judders from his lungs, yet determined lines are branching across his face. The boy nods once and feels his sister peel away from his side. 

He moves as she does, each of them creating a perfect arc. They move in opposition and yet in tandem. As the serpent turns its gaze upon Aster - oh bright Aster of the moon and of the bright of bone, her darker brother slinks beyond, behind its line of sight. The relic lies, open and exposed beneath the moon. The serpent lunges and Leo leaps forward too. The island’s magic is fast but Leo’s is faster yet. Time propels him forward like a sigh, it is all he has, this one small sigh of magic. But it might be enough... 

He gropes for the relic.

OOC: Leo has a horseshoe left at the end of this SWP

@Aster | "speaks" <3

Played by Offline Obsidian [PM] Posts: 51 — Threads: 2
Signos: 5
Inactive Character

This keening soul;

She has stayed with the foals, stood beside them as the island turns savage around them. Yet it seems all for naught, for the children part like a biblical sea. They spread, moving in mirror of each other. One to the right and the other to the left. For a moment Leto stands, immobile, frozen with indecision and then she runs, after the bone-white girl. Her gold is like blood across her small body and Leto prays she does not bleed gold like the gods. 

The serpent rears and Leto’s lips part in fury. A star cuts its way through the sky. Fog and cloud and gems descend, but her magic pierces through it all. It flies down as bright as a comet, as hot as the sun. It aims for the serpent that watches the child awaiting its strike. The star is laughing, a high keening almost inaudible yet utterly harrowing.

Leto’s ears fall to her skull as she reaches the girl and turns upon the beast, her body between it and the filly. Her maw parts like a panther, her teeth gleaming blunt yet savage in the light. The galaxies of her gaze swirl with a maddening, wild beauty that vows to swallow this island magic whole.

No children will die this day.

| "speaks" | notes: table 2/2!! this was super fun to make
rallidae | art

Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 77 — Threads: 10
Signos: 140
Day Court Citizen
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 3 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 24 // Active Magic: Perception Manipulation // Bonded: N/A

i see everything;
that is my curse

Easy through the air as death’s scythe, the crowd falls away.

One second there are contenders, and then there aren’t—in less than a blink her competition wanes by half or more, and O does not care where they went, or why, or with who, only that they are not here to tussle with her. 

She smiles, and it is like her mother’s, sharp and selfish and far too pretty.

The axe comes whirling back to her; as it soars through the air O reaches up and snatches it with the delicate edge of her teeth.  Girl and weapon, one again! How good it feels. The pain in O’s chest is briefly replaced by a premature thrill of the victorious. They land with a crash of hooves on moving sand. She only narrowly avoids slipping into a newly opened rift, hooves losing traction for a heart stopping half-second, and then without a pause for breath she’s rushing forward again.

“Close,” Tuchulcha chirrups. If it could laugh, it would. Instead its voice reverberates with a giddy kind of satisfaction.

“The shadow of death, hm?” gasps Apolonia through her lacking breaths.

“You’re the meanest one in the valley,” the axe promises, and with a brief smile that pulls O’s lips dangerously close to the sharp edge of her blade she throws her head forward and they’re both off again.

The world is falling apart. O thinks of Anandi, unbidden. Overhead the sky is shredding itself into little ribbons of searing white and blue, and underfoot the earth itself is cracking and shearing like old bark, and, more pressing than either of these, the snake is rising like so many mosaics of god she has seen and rejected on the walls of the Solterran chapels. The bright, vicious eyes. The hidden threat of teeth. If there were a thing to be scared of, this would be it.

 Her whole body shakes, alternatingly hot and cold, pleased and terrified. And in her mouth is the hot-white taste of copper punctuated by heartbeats like gunshot, but if she’s bleeding it doesn’t matter in the long run, it doesn’t slow her down by even a modicum; Tuchulcha is flying toward the relic and she’s following at a lung-bursting run and nothing else matters but the shine of the gold as it winks from oh-so-close.

She reaches. 


Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 291 — Threads: 145
Signos: 983,815
Official Novus Account

the earth sings when he touches it

It's fitting isn't it, that in the end the hunt is nothing more than a race?

Each horse is brought down to their core, the stretch of sinew over muscle, the inhale of salt and brine into lungs made for this exhilarating pulling of air. There is the sweat on their skin and the stillness in the air and the way their hooves are all singing instead of pounding through the sand. Ahead there is the final snake turning her head towards all the horses running for the relic.

When the sake turns it is only to open her great jaws in a mighty roar. And then she becomes nothing more than another tunnel for them to race through.

Perhaps they might slow to look at the way her massive oak ribs arch over their heads like beams of a cathedral. Or maybe they would only race faster through the hollow of her body and never once pause to feel the way the fronds of her organs reach for their skin, saying in the way of earth hurry, hurry.

And maybe they cannot hear the music in the space between their racing bodies-- the wild thrilling of wolves and birds running from the flame. But the song grows to a fever pitch until like all races, there must be a end of it.

There is only one horse to reach the relic sitting on a pedestal of petrified wood. It pulses like the ivy as the first horse draws closer, an echo of the wild beating of their heart and the quivering of their aching lungs.  When that horse gets closer they might notice that in the end the relic is nothing more than a silver stone that's almost clear enough to be diamond. Where it not for threads of light woven between the stone it would seem nothing more than another gemstone found in the Night Markets. It's beautiful for sure, but small enough to hold in the frail magic all horses posses.

Was it really worth all this?

In the stillness before the horse grabs it, the island holds its breath like a thing waiting to die. Somewhere in the belly of the sea a shark starts to swim far out towards the horizon. And when the horse grabs the stone the island trembles with a roar.

The trembling never ends.

The relic hunt is over! @Erasmus has beat the other horses and may now claim their prize with a final post. As soon as you do the island will begin to disintegrate, so a quick exit is recommended!

This officially concludes the relic hunt! If your character did not win the relic, they will go home empty. A follow up thread will be posted shortly to wrap up the island, and for everyone to make their exits.

The only post after this one should be @Erasmus claiming the relic.

@sid will be working with the winner to go over what they may do now that their character has the IC relic.

The final reply to this thread gives you +1 post in an SWP.

Thanks for playing <3.

To tag this account: @*'Random Events' without the asterisk.
Please be advised, tagging the Random Event account does not guarantee a response!

Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 61 — Threads: 12
Signos: 240
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // Immortal [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 14 // Active Magic: Aether Manipulation // Bonded:

There is the clap of thunder beneath, the grating rile of it above, and beyond – all that quakes in its glory.

There is little time for thinking but he does; and in thinking, its device finds the curiosity of grand mythos – here, little Erasmus, prone to greater things than godly trinkets or falling in to the glass black night, or being swallowed by a god too motherly to be vicious, thinks for a moment that his blood may boil with a meaning deeper than roots or the volatility of man. For, while all cascades about – the end, the end! His only end is the unraveling of the island and the way the sand flies from beneath his feet, the way the serpent reaches her wild sea-soaked jaws for his throat and his crown breaks against her fangs. His horns graze the lining of her muzzle, powdering him with fine grains of sand that shine transparent in the undying light above – and the relic changes, changes, its golden mingling in red and shifting ever so delicately that he thinks again for a moment, on the deceptions of gods. Erasmus does not see the great mother snake curl into her earth, upturn with shimmering scales of jungle emerald and pale-white sands, upheave the brine and volcanic ash from whence its tomb has exhumed. He does not see his competitors, too near that he could feel their warmth beat against his flesh like a pulse.

There is only the changing of the relic he does not understand, and the quivering bridge beyond it.

And then there is the hum. 

It returns with devastating frenzy, and he thinks for a moment that his skull would split with the weight. But its device is changing with the relic – first it is the unbearable drone, the dredging thing that claws up the walls of his mind and tear down without discernible rhythm but the constance; like the sound of eternity. Then there is a pulse, and in that pulse a growing beat that persuades the thought of song; but it is something old, something forgotten, like a chant on the desert vagrants' tongues when they sang of a world before a world. He almost stops to admire it, and there is a ripple in the way his body moves – an alteration to his machinations, a shift that treads from the final notes of his spine to the creeping ladder of his neck. It is not the thunderous poundings of a furious gait flown over the ramparts – it is a dance, a graceful feralty, this desperate tempo. This ravenous waltz. He leaps the fallen boughs of desecrated trees, bows beneath the rising spines that press like cathedral halls – and o, there is no prayer in their sanctity, no gracious tone lifted to the Novusian gods that look to him and smile warily, a smile fitted with teeth too sharp for invitation.

No, he prays to things older than gods, in a dance that is older than prayer. 

Something changes in him, in the final yards that rest between he and the relic. Something about his softened angles, his roughhewn boyish nature too like the naiveties of youth on the rush of their vitality – whether it was magic of the island or not, wound to his flesh, those arching spires reaching to click against his horns and brush gingerly against his skin. The shadows, incited by the furor of his heart's vicious pulsings, rushed those without secondary thought – grating things that leeched from him all his softness, all his tender likeness that terrified him once before in his reflection. The awful smallness of mortality. The horror of failure, the terrible things that crept in between. Oh, how the shade leapt and nestled, and oh, how he sharpened to the shine of the relic as the sun quivered in the sky and beat, and beat, and sweltered against those unending shadows. But how they glean in feeding upon the magic of the island, how its pulsings do engrave its song into the mettle of their will ; seething night pursed beneath the weight of the golden sun! Oh, how the tendrils of smoke lilt against his flesh to the sway of the dance, to the crescendo of its song! And then, and then – – 

Erasmus did not expect to pluck the silvery thing from its place upon its driftwood pedestal. He did not, in fact, expect to feel the way it pulsed in his grasp, too much like a vein full in the rut of conquest. And so too much like a vein, he drinks it in. The hum subsides and in it is an awful silence, but he cannot hear it. He does not see the shadows that congregate, those seekers who are blotted from the pale sands one by one as the island quakes and roars. If he would, he may consider the nature of the island's rage. Was its fury owned to a blasphemer, to a heretic prince who was undeserving of its treasure? To a boy who was no longer a boy, but a pretty stone whose skin was flecked in golden serpent scales, teeth too sharp to be tender? A creature who, when he observed the milky way that light passed through the stone, did not think to thank its god? To honor this blessing, to bow to Tempus? This thing that, in its quivering light that wandered like fractured quartz veins, did not at all look anything like the traces of time to an animal carved from pagan rites? Oh, may it quake. It rolled in his grasp, even as he did not consider these things. Even as he turned his back on the Novusian gods, scowling and thundering above and below and all in between, and his spine was bathed in the fever of a blaring sun. Was there not someone more worthy? 

Yes, there was. But it was his.

And so, as the old song fell to the crumblings of a many forgotten temples, and the island quaked with all its forgotten hungers, Erasmus tucked the precious stone into his satchel and looked out over the ocean that seized with walls of frothing waves. Without another thought to the way the jungle swept into nothingness or the smoking volcano collapsed in itself, or the way shark fins disappeared lowly into the cold blue leagues, or the way a peculiar wash of light traced the veining waves too like the hot press of not-moonlight, he turned his back on the sea.


[Image: YKsvZVZ.gif]

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