Novus
Hello, Guest! Register

Private  - [Quest] hurt for me

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)



Played by Offline rayoflight [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 3
Signos: 0
Day Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 14 [Year 491 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#1




She glows. Her heavy strands of black hair slide /
like serpents over somber, blood-red plush.


Dawn had come quickly, rousing her from the restless handful of moments her eyes had managed to slide shut, her body heavy against the loamy earth of the plains. Her night had been spent trekking towards a sliver of the Oasis that splintered nearest to the border of desert and grassland, and she might’ve returned to their meeting place sooner, were it not for a rare, impossible encounter; a brush with familiarity. She’d paced her limbs ragged, sweat sluicing down her spine by the time she returned to the narrow valley bordering Delumine, her trembling body hidden within a fringe of rare trees. Her intent to witness Avallac’h’s midnight behavior was forgotten, the plan stamped to ash by the errant thoughts that blundered, rampant, through her mind.
 
It was all she could do to contain her breath and to lasso the wild things that threatened to devour her. When she’d at last fallen asleep, her bicolored hair a mess around her heavy head, the moment between resting and waking had been as swift as a blink.
 
She was exhausted, her hoary eyes haggard, but it hadn’t stopped her from gathering her legs beneath her with urgency. When she’d found Avallac’h, not far from where they’d parted the day before, she had hardly spoken a word beyond gesturing for him to lead onward. Heedless of what shadows of memory awaited her in the forest, if any, she needed to know—she would know.
 
And she would possess the tiny facets of joy that rarely accompanied the scent of bark or the rustle of branches. That was all she thought of as they entered the woodland, the satire of her antics the night prior drained away.
 

 
Viride Forest, as it happened, was not the spread of pale yellow birch that she had hoped for. It was not full of the nuances that had filled her thoughts with rare, begrudgingly precious gems since awakening from within the tomb—and they were certainly not the trees that had accompanied her throughout a decade within a stasis. The disappointment wafted from her in waves of discontent, the bitter tang a constant accompaniment to her purposeless steps. She followed Avallac’h, never betraying (at least in words) that she hadn’t found what she’d wanted.
 
Forget it had been her brusque instruction the day prior. So far, he had stayed true to her request—her command. Whether he continued to do so, she couldn’t be sure.
 
And though she presently lacked the vigor to care through the haze of her exhaustion, she knew she would give him even a grain of truth unless he offered her the same in return.
 
For now, she only walked—a stubborn, aimless streak of sunlight within the winding paths of the forest, as silent as a ghoul, as misplaced as a horned snake upon the mossy bed of a forest floor.
 
The trove she sought to unearth was not here. And yet still, she pressed onward.
 
 
The longing never faded, the purpose never ebbed, and the forest—much as the one in her dreams—felt endless. By the time they came upon a narrow clearing, meticulously cared for, she was deaf to all but the lilting song of her heart that beckoned her ever onward, filled to the brim with a permeating sense of solitude. The ache of emptiness cut deeply into her heart, her fatigue overwhelmed by the bitter ire of feeling.
 
This was not the forest of her dreams, and yet—
 
And yet the branches seemed to rustle with whispers where she’d paused, having drifted a few strides from her companion’s side (though she hadn’t been companionable to begin with).
 
The grass was friendly, even to a woman such as she, and it tickled her fetlocks with knowingness. The cupping hand of the wind guided the tilt of her jaw to look down a tunneled path, stretching forth endlessly with its spirals and forks, as kempt as it was wild.
 
Do you hear them?
 
The scarred black of her lip curled slightly, her hoof suspended in the air. The darkness of the tombs had convinced her of madness—she would not let this forest do the same.
 
And yet…
 
They’re only the voices of the lost. Some say they only sing to those who are also lost.
 
She hated that the ache within her chest grew like a bloom, its branches winding through her ribs, its seed burrowing within her heart. She hated that she stepped forward, more a girl compelled by a fairytale than a woman beholden to the sun.
 
She hated that she tilted her head towards Avallac’h, her body drawn to the path, her hooves sinking upon the soft dirt of its threshold.

 "Avallac'h," she called.

Since their meeting a day prior, her voice was finally soft.
 
“Did you hear that?”

If he had, perhaps it would mean that he was lost, too; it would mean, for that singular variable, she was not alone.




RAYOFLIGHT | ALIMARIJE






Mild powerplay permitted short of causing major harm



Reply




Played by Offline Neamrel [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 1
Signos: 930
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 15 [Year 489 Winter] // 17 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#2


and he will set himself afire before he realizes that
not even the gentlest of beings can tame the sun

As with every night, he had come to find shelter beneath the cover that such a time afforded him.  Away from prying eyes, assessing stares, he had been able to let the tension bleed from his body, just as his cloak did when he took it off.

Upon the stained fabric he had found what rest he could, easily woken by the softest of sound but never jarred from his sleep as a soldier in the midst of battle might have been.

No, such a reaction as that had grown old and stale a long time ago.

Then, as with every new, dawning day, he had woken feeling no less tired, but no more rested than he had been the day before.  This is a state that he has only just recently been able to reacquire, after many sleepless nights that consisted of doing nothing but searching, hoping, calling out for those he was looking for.

As he had said he would the day prior, he had waited for the dark, dappled skinned oχιά to appear.  By the time that she did, he was prepared—he was ready to meet the viper's slitted gaze head-on.  

Instead, he was met with something else.

He didn't ask, but he did wonder.  Greeting her kindly, he felt no sliver of annoyance at her lack of response beyond her simple command to lead on.  So, lead on he did.

The entire time he worried.

~

The forest was as it had always been since he had come to be here.  It contained the same winding trails, the familiar scent of sturdy trees that had changed with the season.  To him, this is what the forest had always been, and early one in their trek he had found himself wondering again what could have possibly been going through her head to warrant so much interest in this place.

He did not know that she dreamt in the shape of weathered, birch trees; that she had hoped to find the place of her unwanted recallings here.

After all, how could he ever come to such an idea when his own dreams were filled with waves of prairie grass; arid dunes that sucked him dry of his life and desire to leave?  They both dreamt of different places, longed for sites that were no longer obtainable but, oh, how Avallac'h wished they were.

Had he known of her disappointment he would have been able to see why she walked as she did.  Why she walked quietly and as if she would rather be anywhere else than in the forest with him.  However, since he didn't, Avallac'h could find no plausible reason as to the spirit she radiated.

No reason but, possibly, himself or something that had happened in the night that had caused her to look more tired than the day before.

He wanted to ask, wanted to know why she appeared as she did, but he steered clear of such lines of conversation.  It was not his place, no matter if he wanted it to be — out of interest for her own well-being, of course, not his own curiosity.  His own interests would never come before another, especially another's health.

(It was so easy to forgive her digging words, the evaluating stare, that she had given him the other day.)

Instead, he merely continued to lead her on, towards the river that bordered the other side of the forest.  A part of him grateful for her lack of venom, but a larger part of him too concerned to find any joy in that fact.

~

Content as he could be with the pieces in his life that he missed and lacked, his steps did not falter when they came to the cared-for clearing. The gentle decorations that warmly dressed the place not an oddity to him.  Not since many could be found here and there beyond this place, more so the closer one came to be to the center of the Court.

Having, by now, grown accustomed to his companion's demeanor and state of being, he was blind to her delaying gait.

Just as he was blind to the whispers that she heard.  For he was lost, but he had long ago found the ability to block out the whispers of his own making, making it more difficult for the whispers that had no access to his mind to ford the river that enclosed it.

(Did he hear them, though?

Yes... he always did.)

It is only the call of his name that signals him to the distance that now separates him from her. (His name upon her lips is soft, for once, so different and therefore so special from the other words she had spoken).  Steps halting, his ears and head turn to her, his body soon following as he notes how behind she is—how close she is to a path that is not the one he had been leading them towards.

Did you hear that?

Head tilting, he warily makes his way over to her.  Ears twitching in interest.

It is then the ache appears, the feeling of knowing he has had something but no longer does.  It is similar to the hollowness he carries inside of him, a hollowness he has carried since the day his sorcery was taken without his consent by a place he had known nothing about.

His answer comes easily to him, as most do.  "I do..."  There is clear apprehension in his voice; an uncertainty that leads to hesitation as he stands just behind, off to the side of her.

Something (a desire to be kept safe from harm, a feeling that had kept him safe in battle) tells him they should continue on.

Glancing away for a quick moment, back in the direction they had been heading in, he speaks up.  "We should continue—" his gaze returns to her, "Hälla."  He calls to her, seeing her already beginning to cross the threshold to the path completely.

His own anxiety makes him hesitate in following her, but his concern for her safety (only heightened since he has been the one leading her through the forest) forces him to go after her.

"Hälla," he gently calls out again as he moves to reach her side.




@Hälla , @Official Dawn Account
Speech








Reply




Played by Offline Ipomoea [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 6
Signos: 100
#3











the first choice


As you begin the pathway, the forest around you seems to come alive. There are birds of every size and shape flitting from branch to branch overhead, vibrant blue butterflies dancing around your hooves, rustlings in the nearby bushes. Perhaps you are familiar with the woods, and they seem peaceful to you; or perhaps every creak of the branches makes your senses jump, and every shadow dancing just out of sight has your skin crawling.

Or perhaps it feels as though the forest is watching you. Maybe the woodland animals are not the only things alive here.

Regardless, as you venture further into the forest, the festival noises are replaced entirely with the sounds of flora and fauna, and the glow of the lanterns placed along the pathway is greater than what little sunlight manages to break through the canopy. It feels intimate here, and whether you came with company or alone, you begin to feel acutely aware of how alone you are walking in the woods.

It is not long before the rustling in the leaves grows louder, and another set of footsteps begin to echo your’s. But when you turn to look, only the empty forest path greets your eyes. The trees shiver, the light in the nearest lantern begins to waver; and from the shadows, a new light begins to shine as a thousand fireflies wander down the trail.

For a moment, they seem to form the outline of another horse. But when you blink the image slips away, and the fireflies swarm together. They drift near to you, almost shyly, cautiously; the wind seems to be holding its breath, waiting, waiting. The fireflies reach out to you like an old friend, their light falling across your face. And then as one they turn, gathering once more into the likeness of a horse. And without turning, without caring for the old man’s warning, they step off the forest path and into the forest. Without the warm glow of the lanterns, they make their own light weaving between the trees, casting strange rays of light that seem to linger too long in the darkness, reaching back to you.

As if beckoning to you to follow.





To continue the quest, you must reply to this thread with your character's choice. There is no word limit, and you can be as creative with the prompt as you'd like! In this round, it seems as though a horde of fireflies are trying to show your character something...

Choices: stay on the path, or follow the fireflies

@Hälla @Avallac'h






Reply




Played by Offline rayoflight [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 3
Signos: 0
Day Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 14 [Year 491 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#4




She glows. Her heavy strands of black hair slide /
like serpents over somber, blood-red plush.


We should continue—
 
She gave no indication if she had heard him. Her hooves moved of their own volition, pushing towards the path without reservation, until the distant sound of festivities began to fade. She hadn’t heard them to begin with, really—they’d been a strange, soundless cacophony that felt faint in echo of her own thoughts. But when Avallac’h spoke her name, coming to her side with worried swiftness, she only spared him a glance.
 
The Hawthorne woman was ill-concerned with what dangers the path proposed. Whatever ghoul had cautioned them, it was doubtful that she would heed its warnings, and only more unlikely that she would listen to Avallac’h. A slash of her tail, much as she had given him the night prior, met his side as she wordlessly coaxed him onward. She had come here in search of answers, and whatever secrets the forest possessed, she would hold them in a fist before this was done.
 
Where the clearing had owned an open-aired atmosphere, one that made her lungs fill with calming breath, the narrow pathway was almost haunting. The lanterns that sparsely lit the dim trail—made all the darker by the low hanging branches and the dense overhead barriers—were an eerie, thrumming disturbance within the shadows. They set her white eyes alight with yellow, and her muzzle bowed near to the ground as she investigated one.
 
No matter the strange seedling of uncertainty that blossomed within her chest, she pursued the tether that tugged upon her heart, both hands fastened tight as she yanked herself forward.
 
Hälla only started when a feathery touch brushed her shoulder; an array of tiny fingers caressing her skin and coaxing her onward, until she jerked back a step and recoiled from the contact, the flats of her teeth bared. She nearly stumbled against Avallac’h in doing so, but remained tensely interested in the fireflies that pulsed, coalesced, and danced their way across her skin.
 
When they parted, she found the hollowing ache of loneliness only to be deeper. She stepped forward again.
 
And then the hundreds of insects were drawing together in the shape of a body: another horse, a deer, she couldn’t be sure—
 
Her throat was tight as her limbs froze, the specter stepping nearer to them both, its muzzle outstretched in greeting, in welcome. A bundle of fireflies broke off from the mass, creating the dancing image of a foal, who danced its way through the limbs of its lithesome parent. Entranced, enamored, her head angled to the side as she watched—
 
Until the two seemed to look to the side in horror, as though they were being pursued. A nudge to the foal’s hindquarters sent it spiraling forward, the alarm of its parent pulsing through the shining lights, and then the fireflies were spiriting, shapeless, into the trees. It was instinct, hunger, that made her step, ravenously, in their direction.
 
And then, the separate souls within her chest were torn in opposite directions, as a haunting voice charmed her back towards the path she’d nearly dared to step from.
 
Hälla, just her name, but sweet; spoken with the tenderness of a lover.
 
Hälla. Again, with more violence, until her name was just a shapeless sound within her thoughts.
 
The temptation to turn back was gnawing, it was soul-rending, but she turned her eyes towards the path that lay ahead, and coldly pursued the lantern dotted trail.
 
Her voice was throaty, hoarse, as she spoke to Avallac’h. The sound of it seemed to echo, haunting, through the woods—as though they were in an abyss, rather than a forest.
 
“What is this place?”



Speech, @Avallac'h @Official Dawn Account
Choice: stay on the path
RAYOFLIGHT | ALIMARIJE






Mild powerplay permitted short of causing major harm



Reply




Played by Offline Neamrel [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 1
Signos: 930
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 15 [Year 489 Winter] // 17 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#5


and he will set himself afire before he realizes that
not even the gentlest of beings can tame the sun

Already his ears laid back, held as close as possible to the beginnings of his hair as.  While there was concern that something imminent, unstoppable, might befall them, what he mainly felt was concern for how quickly she had dared to tread the path that silently -quickly as a passing exhale- warned them of what might lay within.  It was concern for her.  He could not, on good conscience, allow her to stride within such a place on her own.  No matter what she might say in opposition to this.

Teeth clenching, his skin spasms at the skimming drag of her tail against his side.  This touch, just as the night before, makes Avallac'h realize something rather quickly.

He is but a marionette attached to strings, not of his own making, that have been clipped and held by others before.  Now, they are attached to her, for the duration of whatever it is she has just initiated by walking down this path he knows nothing of.  Now he is nothing more than a mere puppet of a man, quietly walking just off to her side as she continues to pursue whatever it is that might be hidden within plain sight.

(Were he capable of thinking on it, though, had he been anything other than a puppet in her presence?  As short as their time together has been, has she not subtly tugged on strings that he graciously offered to her in the form of help and assistance?)

Silence is all that accompanies them as she investigates, his own interest and concern laying in what seems to be prowling just beyond the illuminating path they walk.  A willing guard to the one he accompanies, his ears continuously swivel, his head doing the same in a much more languid manner.  Despite Hälla being at his side, Avallac'h feels isolated, alone, and so terribly small.

It makes the muscles of his body tense, his neck curve as he glances behind them once and sees nothing but the trail they had just walked. The sight of nothing behind them (despite his mind saying otherwise, ringing those long warning bells that been constructed in his mind for ages) leaves him even warier.

He comes here for no answers, seeks none, and never wishes to.  However, he is unaware that Hälla does.  He does not need to, though, not when he can tell she will not be leaving this place without knowing a little more (not with how she examines things, treads the path with a determined and cautious stride in search of something).

When she startles, his reaction is an old one, born from countless hours of training that will forever scar the depths of his mind.  Where she jumps back, he moves to act, body and head turning in the direction he had not been looking, body taut and horns poised.

The glow that greets him is not what he expects.  

Composing himself, his blank eyes watch the waltzing group of fireflies as they shine against her skin that he doesn't dare to touch.  They part from her, then twirling a branching tendril his way.  He does not react beyond a tilt of his head to follow their path.

They leave almost too quickly, allowing him to see the way she moves forward.

The glowing insects recapture his attention again, however, as they come to move and swirl before the two of them.  Dancing to a tune only they can hear that leads them into forming the quivering shape of another.  Much like Hälla, he is rooted in his place, head high and chin angled down as he looks at what he sees in interest.

His mind can easily recognize the shape of the foal, and he does not know what to make of any of it.

Despite his wariness, he is calm once more, that is until he blinks and the mingling figures of adult and foal seem to stand up tall in alarm. Avallac'h follows their gaze, eyes quickly flickering to where the fireflies morph and swiftly drift away, before returning his attention to the direction the two fabricated figures had looked.

He steps forward, closer to that direction, looking into the depths beyond the lights of the path.  He is ignorant to how Hälla steps in the opposite direction, in the direction the fireflies had drifted.


What had they been running from?


...Αβαλάκ — his breath catches, eyes faintly widening as he looks back at the path.  (His heart almost weeps at the sound of his name in his native tongue.)

It has been ages, what feels like eons, since he has heard his own name spoken in that language.

He needs nothing else to make him stay on the path; does not need to hear the sound of it again (despite wanting to), or Hälla to take the lead.

He already has taken steps down the path before she does, heart clenched and beating unsteadily.  (Would he hear it again?  Might he miss it?) Regardless of his longing, the atmosphere of this place is one he knows they should be careful of.

"Somewhere I don't believe we should be."  He mutters in reply, glancing at her from where he slightly walks ahead now.  Assuring himself that she is still close, he carefully continues down the pathway.

"I am sure we will find our way back out soon enough."  He softly says rather unnecessarily, knowing she does not need reassurance from him and that he does not seek to make himself believe what he says.

Whatever this place is Avallac'h does not know, but now he wishes to find out.




@Hälla , @Official Dawn Account
Speech
Choice: Stay on the path








Reply




Played by Offline Ipomoea [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 6
Signos: 100
#6











whispers in the fog


Perhaps there is still some doubt in your mind, or perhaps you are too cautious to venture far off the beaten trail. Whatever your reasoning, you end up turning away from the fireflies and their dancing lights, and face the pathway laid before you with determination. You continue down the path as it weaves in and out of the trees, ever deeper into the woods.

The forest explodes with color all around you, the birch trees and the maples standing proudly in their robes of red and gold, bright green moss creeping up their trunks. Below them crabapples and cranberries tempt you sweetly, while mushrooms and wildflowers grow along every collapsed trunk. It is all too tempting to pause and enjoy the scenery, or to reflect on the strange noises rustling in the fallen leaves. Perhaps you don’t notice the mist that snakes in between the trees, cloaking the ground from view, rising higher, and higher, and higher; or perhaps you notice it right away, and watch it creep forward with distrust.

It curls thickly along the ground, rising up like a wave swelling to meet you. In the blink of an eye it has consumed you, swallowed you and the forest whole, obscuring even your hooves from sight. The air grows heavy beneath the weight of all that fog.

If you kept walking despite the fog, you soon realize the ground under your hooves has changed, becoming more wild and unkept as you strayed unknowingly from the path. From within that fog, from all around you, just out of sight - come muffled voices.

Voices you recognize.

Perhaps they are the voices of your friends back home, or your loved ones long passed from the earth. Perhaps they belong to your brother, your sister, your father, your mother; or a childhood friend you’ve long grown apart from. Whoever they are, their voice carries an eerie tone, like an echo follows their words through the fog, calling your name softly, sweetly, longingly. Off to the side the mists begin to thicken, a spectral form standing to greet you. Ghosts you think you recognize pull themselves from the ground and converge around you, shivering, whispering.

But up ahead, you can see a section of the fog parting, a light streaming between the trees. Perhaps it reminds you of the stranger’s words from before; perhaps it is enough to give you the strength to push through the ghosts rising all around you.

Or perhaps you find yourself trapped, and begin to think to yourself - what’s the worst that can happen? These ghosts you once knew, what harm could they bring?





To continue the quest, you must reply to this thread with your character's choice. There is no word limit, and you can be as creative with the prompt as you'd like! The pair has chosen to stay on the path, but the forest seems committed to distracting them. Can they even see the trail under their hooves still? What are the voices whispering? Are any of them familiar?

Choices: continue through the fog onto the light, or linger with the voices

@Hälla @Avallac'h






Reply




Played by Offline rayoflight [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 3
Signos: 0
Day Court Soldier
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 14 [Year 491 Fall] // 14 hh // Hth: 12 — Atk: 8 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#7




She glows. Her heavy strands of black hair slide /
like serpents over somber, blood-red plush.


Contrary to his words, her companion took the helm of their venturing, trailing over the tether that had undoubtedly bound them both. Hälla was helpless to follow, but not within the cloaked stallion’s shadow. She allowed the forest to guide her endlessly forward, deep into the unlocking of memories she had resisted since her awakening. They hummed through the woodland, electrical currents that shot through the shadows and coursed through her limbs. Aching, yearning, within her bloodstream.
 
More was what she hungered for, and the revelation of light at the end of the path, somehow, was more disconcerting than the shadows that’d sought to swallow them.
 
Lanterns ebbed in favor of the bloom of fungi, fat and healthy upon the flavor of loamy soil. The bark of the trees as vibrant, limned in the iridescent dappling of sparse sunlight, spreading its rare fingers over the starved forest floor—relieving her skin of the ghastly chill she hadn’t noticed before. It was the birch that caught her hoary eye, tilting her scarred chin in the direction of the trees’ striated trunks.
 
The desert woman’s expression fluttered with uncertainty, with remembrance, as she parted from her companion’s side and delved into the throng of mist that danced between her limbs, leaving her adrift within a sea of blinding nothingness. She barely noticed, her eyes upon the trees.
 
This was not the forest that whispered through her dreams; this was not the bed of wildgrass where she had once lain pregnant and alone within a nest of shadow, accompanied by her silence and her tears. It was a devastating relief, like blood pouring from an infected wound, purging the brokenness of her heart in a sea of throbbing red. A tear dewed upon her lashes, slipping, calloused, over her badger-marked cheek.
 
And when she turned her head to find Avallac’h, she saw only the fog. The wraith like apparitions that drifted in whorls of grey smoke, dancing across her skin until the surge of the clouds took shape; took form.
 
She was frozen where she stood, her limbs rooted deeply into the earth, her brokenness seeking the health of the earth as her veins reached, and reached, for warmth. Nothing answered the plea of her searching, nothing but the smog and the dismal cacophony of ghosts.
 
The whisper of fog turned into a trill of words, and the will-o-wisps coalesced into unfamiliar shapes; a tide of faces that danced in and out of her reach. Daring to draw near, and yet, with an outstretch of her touch-starved lips, dancing out of her grasp. Hälla found the conscious will to step after them, to chase their songs and their screams, to escape the darkness that had returned to claim her.
 
One such shape surged for her, a violent outlier of the rest, and she shied with a suddenness that felt arbitrary. She had stirred from dreams with the faith that she was made of more grit than softness; that certainty in her strength would overcome the cowardice of her fearful heart.
 
But the woman stumbled, her teeth bared as her tail slashed a line through the fog, the black point of her horn cleaving a space as she brandished, wildly, for the apparition that surged for her. Its teeth had sought her throat; its claws had reached for her heart.
 
Her pulse leapt within her veins.
 
And as she slipped to the side, the leathery plush of lips caressed her withers, a wanton tenderness that brought a shiver through her spine, a hungry deviation to the song of the spirits that chilled her to the bone.
 
I love you. More than anyone ever will.
 
She did not believe the voice—the memory. She wondered if she had believed it at the time, or if she had spun upon it as she did now, driving her horn through the breast of the specter. It faded with a haunting laugh, with a sob that sounded horrendously of her own, with a clash of violent hooves.
 
How could you? A voice whispered in her ear, sodden with disappointment; with desolation. By now, her lips were parted with the heaviness of her breath, and her wide eyes sought an escape from the fog. There was no thrall to be found here, not for Hälla.
 
Memories, perhaps, were not as kind as she had wished them to be.
 
After everything we’ve been through, the voice persisted, a woman’s. Hälla could not tear her eyes away from the ghost, the mare, that prowled nearer with bared teeth. They stood level at the withers, and yet the desert woman felt inescapably small. I knew you would damn yourself one day, Hälla, the ghoul snarled, and yet the hatred of her voice dripped with misery. But your sister, too?
 
She had not known she’d had a sister, and neither did she know how to be guilty for a crime she could not recall. Her chin lifted, breaking her from the spell of deference as she bared her teeth, heedless of the tears that had sprung, unbidden, along her lash line. Even so, no amount of mustered pride could heal the fracture that steadily fissured her brimstone heart, unleashing the flame that threatened to consume her.
 
Her breast ached with the treachery of remembrance, and with the confusion that accompanied such a wretched path to walk. What had become of Avallac’h, she could not say for certain—for no matter where she turned, how she angled her body, the glow of his silvery eyes could not be found through the mist.
 
And so, as she had through the gloom of the catacombs, Hälla persisted. She did so with vengeance, with fangs bared to the ghosts that dug nails in her heart, into her skin; that punished her with the lash of horrors long past.
 
The melancholy within her chest did not feel her own. No, it belonged to a girl ages and ages past; left to rot within the toil life had paid her. The viper shed those fragments as a second skin, sloughing the suffering away, peeling it back from the raw nerves that lay underneath.
 
She pushed forward, towards the light that haloed the open maw of the path once more; an escape from the belly of the beast.
 
Hälla, they called. Hälla, they screamed.
 
She could hear their damnation, she could hear their praise. She could hear the hateful intonations of enemies she had fostered, and the lustful allure of bedfellows she had invited. And yet there was no passion to the ardor of her loathing, nor to her loving.
 
Emptiness stalked her through the woods. A hollowed vacancy where such hunger ought to have laid.
 
Until—until.
 
Her steps froze as a gaggle of foals, two, crossed her line of sight. They nipped at one another, a reverential speck of light upon such a dismal horizon, and they shone brighter than the glow at the end of that hellish tunnel. Together, they danced from the path—the indentations of the fog’s artful attention to their eyes turning toward her, their lips parted in laughter at they teethed at one another, as they chased, as they lived a life heartier than she had ever known. Another trailed them, only a year or so their senior, the expression written within the fog betraying the barely-contained ire of an elder sibling.
 
But she knew—knew, with agonizing certainty, with crippling loss—that she’d once had a child.
 
This was not the memory she had sought.
 
Mama!
 
Their heads turned to her, and her breath froze within her chest, rooting her in place. The eldest of the trio cast her a wearied smile, a roll of their eyes; the children were a bundle of joy, and one that she longed to hold close to her chest.
 
Come with us! They reared, they danced; they tipped her nickering lips heavenward to coax her into their games. And she, starved for that lost perfection, chanced a step in their direction.
 
Through the emptiness, she felt the inexplicable pang of a mother’s loss.
Whatever their happiness in this moment, in this memory, she knew that it was not the ending of their tale.
 
Had it been, they would surely be with her now.
 
She stepped toward them once more, the calloused stone of her expression chiseled into something soft—into slopes of relief, of hope. She outstretched her muzzle to meet them with affection, to answer their calls and to watch on as they played their games. It would be so simple, to join them in this refuge; to leave the other wraiths behind and to be with her—
 
Warmth touched her side with a vagueness that was barely a touch at all. Not meant to be tender, but to call her back, to call to her with a voice was real—that was solid.
 
“Hälla!” It was Avallac’h, the two of them having drawn near enough to the cusp of the lit path that she could see his face through the fog. Her head jerked towards him with suddenness, and when she turned to face her children again, they were gone.
 
No words could put paint to her harrowed expression, to the loss that glinted in her eyes.
 
She joined him, wordless—her head still angled toward the path.
 
And prayed to Solis, to her own heart, to whomever would listen—prayed that the light held more hope than those joyous laughs.




Speech, @Avallac'h @Official Dawn Account
Permission to lightly powerplay Avallac'h given from Neam <3
~
Choice: continue through the fog onto the light
RAYOFLIGHT | ALIMARIJE






Mild powerplay permitted short of causing major harm



Reply




Played by Offline Neamrel [PM] Posts: 18 — Threads: 1
Signos: 930
Dawn Court Citizen
Male [He/Him/His] // 15 [Year 489 Winter] // 17 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: N/A // Bonded: N/A
#8


and he will set himself afire before he realizes that
not even the gentlest of beings can tame the sun

The belief that this might come to quick end, meet a swift death, slowly begins to die inside that hopeful heart of his.  Together they are but two helpless being, each drawn and bound to this place for as long as it wishes to keep them here.  It was now entrapped them both, each with but simple calls of their names that only their own ears were privy to.

It calls for them both, and they are both powerless to resist what beckons them deeper down the forested path.

All the while, he could not resist the temptation that begged for him to look over his shoulder and glance at Hälla to ensure she was still close.  The act was only done a handful of times until his anxious mind begged him to settle and trust that nothing would happen to either of them.  He willed himself to obey, to tamper down on this inexplicable desire that asked for him to keep gazing at her.

All was well, and answers were still asking to be caught.

Just as the breaching sunlight found her own touch-starved skin, so did it find his own.  Glancing upward, through the wicked branches that attempted to catch what light it could and bar it from ever getting through.  Avallac'h marks the time of day, trying to quickly surmise just how much time has passed since they both heard those unearthly words that had passed their ears like the gentlest of breezes.

Contemplating, with ears held back in thought, he is an unknowing fool to what is occurring around.

Until the light above begins to fade.

As quick as the sudden call of a bugle, as swift as the blazing life of a crackling flame—his head turns to where his silent companion was, and he is met with nothing but the obscuring veil of the unexpected fog.  Alarm shoots out from within the depths of his heart, causing his neck to tense and ears to stand to attention.  Body turning in the direction he had last known her to be, he attempts -foolishly so- to see her.

He lifts a hoof up to take a step in the direction, "Hä—"

Avallac'h...

His hoof never falls.

Neck straining to look behind him, he is met with nothing but the heavy blanket that has come to befall him and separate him from the one he had entered this place with.  (He knew that voice—one that is -was- drained after emerging from the sea.  One that belonged to a woman that had helped him save those he could.

He hasn't seen her in so long.)

His heart begins to pound for a completely different reason.  A reason drenched in anxiety and fear as another voice pulls his attention to his left.

Advena, Vall, you are okay?—arid desert lands, the baking heat of the sun upon his cloaked back.  A pain, a strong longing, and uncontainable grief, suddenly yank on the ends of his cloak, choking him.  βοήθεια!  His ears twitch to pick up the call for help, the sound of a broken woman's voice piercing the deepest part of him with a poisoned dagger whose aim is always true.

Vall!

Daughter of the sea, who took him to the Mother Tree.

Always, I will have your back.

His eyes shut, for that voice is, perhaps, the hardest to listen to.  Aelin-Lekha.  Where have they all gone, where are they, are they safe, are they okay?  He finds his feet retreating uncertainly, head turning this way and that as he attempts to regain his footing.  All the while the voices persist.

You have been like… like a father to me. — You're an intriguing creature, Avallac'h. — I came here to get away, I didn't want to be found... — Αδερφέ, έλα και κοίτα!Τι κάνεις? — Do you need any help? — Are you lost, old man?

They are all a resounding orchestra of musical instruments that do nothing to soothe him.  They all pull on the strings of his heart, never stopping and bringing with them the pain of a father who has lost those he cares for, the shame of a soldier that has had to do unimaginable things he never believed himself capable, the guilt of a Sovereign who failed his people—

The pain of a boy that was given away by his mother and made a slave.

A ragged breath leaves his lungs, stifled by the tightness in his throat as he forces himself to move.  (Has he been moving this entire time? Or has he been rooted in place, falling prey to the wretched voices of memories he would sooner wish to forget?)

I know no Avallac’h... Forgive me sir, you must have me confused for s-someone else.  It hurts to hear, to remember that conversation that ended in nothing but pain and misery.  My name is Lekha!  No, no.  That was not her name.

Where was Hälla?

You say that as if I had a choice!  You were quick to lock me away.  Tuck away the problem... it's bound to fester. You are just as much at fault as I am.  Blame me, hate me, hurt me if you want, but you'll never get over it if you don't forgive yourself.

How could he ever forgive himself?

Advena—Vall, I thought you gone as vell. Dead, taken by the— they took my people, Advena. Nothi! They took my home. Everything, It is all gone…

He knows—he knows and understands.

A choked sob almost managed to escape him, but he beats it into submission with a weapon forged from pain and anger he has not wielded in years.  He makes the weight around his legs, the heavy chains, release him and let him slowly go.  The tide of emotions that have built up behind his eyes, which has managed to break free and cause a few tears to run down his stained cheeks, does not make him falter.  He is getting out.

But where is she?

The old king bares his teeth then as a murky apparition, something he believes to be a simple conjuring created by his own mind, emerges from within the hidden depths of the fog.  Alarm, pain, is what makes Avallac'h stumble backward, the unmistakable formation of horns upon the wraith poised to strike.

They never do, and he is instead met with nothing more than the weightless breeze.

Inhaling, he looks in the direction the fog's creation had just been.  Now, there is nothing.  Panic tells him to hurry, to get out before the memories become too much.  Whatever lingers in the abyss, beyond the unbreakable walls created by the fog, Avallac'h wants nothing to do with.  He had been foolish to try and seek answers he has no right to gaining.  

He moves, but his hope of making progress is cut short when his steps come to an immediate halt as his eyes fall upon the unmistakable image of the one that practically raised him.

The man, enslaved just as Avallac'h had been when he was but a boy, seems to be looking off into the distance, at something that Avallac'h's own eyes cannot see.  This figure needs no color, no refined details for Avallac'h to remember the eyes the other bore, different from Avallac'h's own despite the Oracle having been a mage himself. He also does not need anything more to make out the clear form of a necklace, wrapped around his mentor's neck three times.

It was the very same necklace Avallac'h currently wore.

One of the foggy apparition's ears waves in Avallac'h's direction, as if it could hear the way his heart pounded against his ribs.  It's head then turned, and it seems like it was just the other day that Avallac'h was looking at the smile he sees appear on the face of his mentor.

Εδώ είσαι, the man, guardian— Albus says, Σε περίμενα να τελειώσεις τις δουλειές σου.  The apparition kindly gestures with its head for Avallac'h to come.  Έλα, αγόρι μου, έχω κάτι νέο για να σε διδάξω.  Albus says as he takes a step in the direction Avallac'h hadn't been going.  Avallac'h can't help but take a step closer

His heart stops, his mind reminding him of a sorrowful truth.

Albus is dead.

The dampness that lines his eyes builds up again until another mournful tear falls.  Albus is dead.  Has been for years.  This is not his tender-hearted mentor.

Avallac'h takes a step away, looking over his shoulder and noticing, for once, the distorted brightness of what must be a way out.  Where is Hälla?  Looking back at the figure, Albus' image has stopped moving, watching Avallac'h closely.  It sends an unpleasant chill up Avallac'h's spine.

Αβαλάκ, τώρα.  There is no longer a smile, and the voice is stern.  Avallac'h shakes his head, fighting back the pain and grief.  He turns away.

I'm going to need witch hazel, yarrow—

"Hälla?"

Everyone fails, Cousin.  It's what you do with that failure that really matters.

"Hälla!"  He calls out more forcefully as he finally lays eyes upon her familiar coat.  Both of them seem to have gravitated towards what appears to be a lit path.  The moment her head jolts to look at him, he is telling her they need to go.

This place isn't one he wants either of them to be.  He wants to be anywhere but here, as far away from the ghosts of his past as possible.

The necklace around his neck feels heavy, keeping a watchful eye on Hälla once more and feeling no shame in doing so..




@Hälla , @Official Dawn Account
Speech
Choice: Continue through the fog onto the light








Reply




Played by Offline Ipomoea [PM] Posts: 20 — Threads: 6
Signos: 100
#9











the shadow-birds


Once again you choose to continue on despite the forest’s tricks, be it out of caution, mistrust, or something else. The voices fade into the background behind you, dampened by the fog, and once again you are alone in the woods. For a while, it feels as though the air is thick and heavy, hard to push on through; the fog drapes you in a coat of dew, weighing you down. No matter how hard you strain, the light remains stubbornly fixed ahead of you, never closer, never further. The forest grows deathly quiet beneath all that fog.

Perhaps you don’t notice it beginning to lessen at first, the chains of mist shackling your legs loosening their grip. But slowly, slowly, the fog begins to fall away bit by bit, ribbons of white rising into the sky. And in their place, you can see the eyes staring at you.

A dozen shadow-birds block your path, their feathers darker than a moonless light, glossy with stardust. They stare at you in silence, heads tilted to one side, eyes burning white-hot and bright.

When the first one parts its beak and rasps out a challenge to you, your heart nearly stops.

When the second one joins the call, a shiver raises the hair on your spine.

And then the remaining shadow-birds can hold back no longer, and all of them lift their voices together in a screech that echoes throughout the forest. But still they do not budge - they only stand tall as loud, unnatural sentinels, as if perhaps they are waiting for you to make the first move.






To continue the quest, you must reply to this thread with your character's choice. There is no word limit, and you can be as creative with the prompt as you'd like! The mist eventually parts, revealing the trail once more - but your characters are no longer alone. A dozen shadow-birds stand in their path, gazing eerily back at them. As if daring them to continue...

Choices: quietly ignore the birds, or scare them away

@Hälla @Avallac'h

A note: this will be the pair’s final choice to make! Choose wisely...






Reply





Forum Jump: