Event  Chapter One, Location Two - Middleland Rift
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Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff
#1
Mending the Rift
Fable: Chapter One, Location Two


When the Rift opened here, the very earth was unfolded and upended in a tragic heap of soil and rock. What was once grass and tree became a torn wasteland of smoking, fiery rot that had burned for weeks before sputtering out in a hazy hiss. What remained was devastation, a clear-cutting of all natural life in the vicinity… but new life came, eventually. Along the darkened edges of the soil at the cusp of the Rift were several beds of new, white blossoms: some hung vine-like while others grouped and gathered towards the blue sky, spreading softly until they had created a carpet that spanned for nearly a mile on either side. 

It was a sign of life many thought might never come: a calming indication that perhaps the cataclysm of the War could indeed be healed from, for if the land itself could calm old wounds, perhaps the residents might too. It wasn’t without it’s reminders, though, as here or there the polished skeletons of those killed in the blast rested where they fell. As if in apology for what it couldn’t have helped, the land has already begun to reclaim them as grass and flower alike have swarmed the bones. 

Welcome to Ourania's first Site Event, and the first of many Fables. It's time we began to explore the Rift and what has healed since the Unfinished War nearly a year ago.

You have 48 hours to respond before the next chapter proceeds. Once a chapter proceeds, the chapter will close to new participation. You are welcome to participate with more than one character, however characters cannot cross-post on other locations. Happy writing!
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Canine 6yo Female, Short & Thin Immigrant 56 posts 0 Honor 771 ☪ Witty
#2
Her life was slowly becoming a book, scrawled ink against fragile parchment, pages were turning into chapters. O, how years were so easily uprooted and made new, erased until the paragraphs melted into one another, coexisting and creating a flowing symmetry of words. It’s what she was seeing now, reflected back at her flashlight eyes as she found herself limping through a valley, it was like reshaping her past.

Was it the familiarity of home that called her to it, the endless basin nestled below forested hills, the way the grass was clumped against soft soil? Beyond that, rocky slopes of frost capped ridges, she was sure, stopping to inhale the mountain air. Never so clean was the breeze, as if the uneven ramparts of stone, filtered out the toxicity of the world until it was born anew.

The days spent were meeting new faces, characters to fill the empty voids of her novella, though she had yet to place them as static or antagonistic. At times she thought she knew the roles of the creatures she encountered, just as quickly they would change dynamic, expressing something that swayed her. This day was another chapter taking form, though she was not yet aware of its importance, that’s part of the allure though, is it not?

Another boneyard, tucked away in stream-strewn fields, where white blossoms bloomed in thickets. Untrodden earth, not a bloom had been disturbed, adding to the silence that seemed to engulf these lands, and create a holy hush she dare not disrupt herself. Even her ears strained as they listened, awaiting a fault to the serenity she stumbled into, a crash to echo against the emptiness of the valley.

Reckitt stepped carefully, watching her feet more often than not, unaided by the way she gimped, head low and nose scenting the ground. Part of her wanted to pluck a cotton toned fluff, or three from the vines, stash them away in her pack for later. Study, and determine their properties or use- but she didn’t, snared by the hollow in the air.
photo from unsplash-words: 345-tags:
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Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff
#3


A Divine Orb has been discovered!
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human 900yo Genderfluid, Tall & Thin Native 11 posts 0 Honor 246 ☪
#4
Friendly reminder! Orbs can only be claimed by those currently in a thread, so lucky Reckitt gets to claim it all for herself.

Sorry friends, but there will be other opportunities in the future! Congratulations, Reckitt!
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Canine 875yo Male, Short & Thin Immigrant 44 posts 0 Honor 98 ☪ Scamander
#5

They say, that all things would fade into the silver veil of creation, falling as gossamer dust, ghostly and wistful. It was never a painful end, as the life drained from body and left all its shackles and binds behind. From suffering came understanding, an knowledge of what was truly important, and the strength to answer the questions that one was given at the beginning of time. Children, were wise, so much more forgiving to the insurmountable uncertainty of life. They did not see the bounty of the land and call it lesser; they did not falter to the way things were, only, how they could be better. The questions they asked were some of the most important, clear and innocent, not weighted down by the endless collisions of so many others who would one day bind them and make them lesser. Many, would call the child weak, incomplete and unaware. Naive. But, perhaps it was from the childs eye, that all things should be experienced and understood. It was as children that they greeted the world, and as a child they would one day return, embraced by those who had deemed them more precious then anything in the world, something that could not be hoarded and kept hidden from the light.


Aulë had lived eons before coming to Ourania, a fallen star fading into the great expanse of the heavens. He had fallen, and had become easily forgotten, a wish giver, a reminder, a holder of all that was unknown and uncertain. Yet, the mind never lingered upon a single falling star. He was falling still, in many ways, pained by the suffering he had experienced, not by his own body, but by each look into eyes that had known only war. The brave solider who's voice has wavered in beneath the crushing memories he could not bare to voice outloud, of the woman terrorized by magic that had been so pure so long ago, but had become corrupt, a vessel for torment rather then a gift of promise. It was important to remember the past, but, it would break any who remained in its hold, refusing to move forward. There were no chains to keep them there, only their own fears and failures. He had seen it, in the way so many were unwilling to change course, have courage, and voyage out into the unkonwn. He had seen it, in the way they turned their eyes away from the west, unwilling to see the fracture in the very heart of their homeland. For that was what Ourania was; home. Home to him and so many other's. They were ashamed of what this conflict had become.


But they did not know how to mend the damage.


The Eldar had taken leave from the comforting halls of earthen trunks that rose and leaned in upon the other, offering their strength, their shared voice. Eden was truly a place of safety, a place of beautiful peace that soothed even those who bore their scars. But, he wished to understand them, and for this reason alone, he had taken the journey, had crossed into the open plains as he followed the sound of pained whispers. It unfolded before him as a hand of the End, black and unwavering. The wound had been left unattended for too long, the earth around it infected, inflamed. Great heaps of rotting trees remained fallen where they had been stricken, their bodies lifeless, and yet, sustaining the first hints of renewel, emerald moss and white capped toadstools, sitting as jewels in a barren cavern. The soil was churned as if a great hand had reached down, and disrupted that tattered edges of the Rift, and yet they too had begun to heal, quilts of fragile Whitelace bountiful and laden, until one could barely see the stone beneath. The Rift stood unchanged from the blast, but Ourania, she had endured, she reached forth with all her strength to to close the wound that opened a door to her heart. 


He was not the only one who had found their dauntlessness. She stood a fellow amongst her kind, pale as moonstone, her crown held down, peering upon the life that struggled all around them. Aulë looked upon her, quiet, an observer, as he had always been, a star within his gazing pool, looking upon the simple, quiet moments of the children of the world. She had a gentle face, and slowly, affection billowed in his heart, airy and light, feather soft as the stars and wisps danced upon his fur, accompanying him as they always had. Many such lanterns shifted, his cheek warmed by their touch, as they moved towards her, yearning as he was drawn to all Ourania's children. But, he fell still, as the air around them seemed to grow, boyant and clear, each heartbeat like bell in his ears. He looked up, and seen it, hovering quietly, hesitately above her crown. It came to make a bed amongst the blossoms, a pearl of starlight and familiar comforts. His breath choked, before looking back to her, his voice wavering for but a moment, beckoning, enthralled. "It calls to you."

@Reckitt
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Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#6
What was a life without aim? What was a soul without an impetus? She cannot quite place the feeling - emptiness? loneliness? - her mind has found itself in. The war was an ongoing symphony there, a musician that grasped at the strings of her brain, plucking each memory of those occurrences to the forefront. She can hear it now, as she traces the inner-workings of what was once home (before the world burst, before rot found the fallen and ate them into oblivion) each melody haunting and beautiful all the same.

Varga seems almost foreign to her now. She feels everything and nothing all at once, each of her fluid motions growing heavier as she continues on. The air smells innocent despite the atrocities she had witnessed here, and her breath catches at the realization of how long she'd been away. 

Standing beneath a grove of evergreen, her eyes are trained towards the clusters of ivory flora sprouting along the Rift's edges. Something calls to her, a gentle nudge against that ever-stirring brain of hers, and she goes towards it. Verona lowers her head towards the blooms, mint eyes staring curiously at them, and for the first time in what feels like a century, a smile breaks across her lips. They are dressed in the bones of soldiers and heathens, innocents and bystanders. It is almost poetic - through death came life, through decay came growth. They are all so fleeting, and one day the earth would swallow them to make room for the new. The Rift calms itself with these virgin blossoms, sewing together a wound that had been opened too long with roots and vines. New air breathes into her lungs and she feels content, satisfied in this moment of peace. If Ourania could heal itself from the War maybe she - maybe all of them - could too.
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Canine 7yo Male, Tall & Bulky Native 13 posts 0 Honor 120 ☪ Tempest
#7
Beneath the cover of the thick trees he hovered, weight shifting slightly from one long limb to the other. Dark wings were held tightly to his back, as if they could shelter him from what lay below. Heavy as the great horns that twisted from his skull were, it was nothing compared to the weight that seemed to suddenly press in on his head, and rest along his gilded shoulders. The scales along his back seemed to burn, ready to break and bleed from the tension of his spine. He needed this though, he supposed, to force him back down into that place, to face the darkness that had clung to his mind this past year. It held too much of him, he’d given it far too much power over his life. Perhaps now it could offer some answer, or mending to the immense guilt and shame that plagued him.

He picked his way down the hillside, his pace slow, steady, but no yet faltering. The trees gave way around him, opening into the vast clearing and he could see the broken and upturned earth clearly before him. Her surface was still broken and scarred from that day, but her edges held the signs of healing. Among the chaos and ruin, small bundles of white blossoms had begun to form, a slight hint of beauty among the darkness that had taken this place. As he neared, he felt the small sense of peace they’d given him waver as he took in the sight of pale bones, the skulls of his own and the equine alike jutting up from the earth. Their mouths eternally open in silent gasps.

Despite the heavy quiet of this place, he could still hear those long ago screams. He paused to look down into one such empty gaze, struggling against a swarm of emotions he could not name. They threatened to overtake him. A rush of embers and smoke fell from his lip and curled along his back, the only sign to the terror he faced, locked there in death’s stare.

It did not hold him long, as the sound of a familiar voice flowed around the hills ahead of him. Grasping at that chance for escape, he turned golden eyes onto the distance and followed the path. He was greeted by the familiar site of one he’d met before, and also the shock of one he’d fought against. His gaze lingered on the form of the mare, wondering silently, trying to place her. Would she recognize him if they’d faced each other? Forcing his gaze onto the others he noticed that strange otherworldly sort of being he’d met before, Aule. Beside him, a small woman stood facing a small orb of light that seemed somehow intent on her. He felt a sense of awe as he watched it, perhaps the sign he’d sought that the world could and would mend, and that there still lay some hope for his own healing.


"Speaking"

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Canine 6yo Female, Short & Thin Immigrant 56 posts 0 Honor 771 ☪ Witty
#8
For some moments, she is still so very alone and separated, as she has been for days now. Unintended separation caused by the current Magic in her blood (a gift she struggles with, never doing quite what she asks of it), she had never meant to be on her own.

A lone wolf, left to fend for herself in a world that is foreign and rebirthed, ashes remolded from the phoenix- it has begun to rise again, she is not yet privy to this knowledge, perhaps soon they all would be. Eyes of glow to light her way when the terrene is too dark, things that must be used carefully, because when they did not aide her, they made her a beacon and a target.

The surrounding air (though heady with renewal) is a barbell on her back, causing a still, stiffness to her movement. A heaviness to settle between the blades of her shoulders, so slight and powerless. Pages of her story sway, taken by the wind until there is a nonsensical order, sheets of fragile, tinted-yellow, left blank in between.  

A scar of blooms has been nestled here, where bones curve in worn tombs, tiny vines to wrap around and pay homage to their sacrifice. A macabre beauty left behind, she soaked it up, entranced by the somber tone of allure. Reckitt often could find beauty in the plain and unremarkable, this however, was nothing of either.

Pale nose seeks the ground, until she is drenched in the perfume of the budding vines that crawl out of the chasm. This is why she does not immediately notice that the sky has fallen, a pocket of stars carved from the night, one that is becoming very close.

For a breath, she backs away, uncertain that this was another she could befriend- nothing has yet to occur to prove otherwise, but Kitt is cautious nonetheless. Another orb keeps her from her retreat, suspended once again, she must remember to breathe. This ball, is unlike the rolling sphere from the beach, laden with speckled galaxies and wondrous light that beckons her. A summoning that she can feel, a binding spell uttered without words, no lips from which to form. Still, she can hear it so very clearly, can he?

It calls to you..

Such a simple declaration, but one that fills her with a bravery she does not otherwise know. This time, she is not afraid in the presence of the uncertain, rather, somehow she knows everything is alright. Even as others gather to the sanctum, she watches them approach with a calmness, her ears do not bind to her skull and her body does not attempt to shrink away. There is a familiar face among them, words she can recall about the Magic of Ourania, so she touches her pale nose to the orb and is washed in divinity.

“I feel..” there is a long pause, eyes shifting as she searches for a word to encompass the sensation that fills her. “Whole,” she decides, though that is still such a dull explanation.

Power Name: Druidism
Slot: Primary
Description: The user can utilize the nature-based magical arts of the Druids, The Celtic Priestly Class, that were said to possess great influence over nature. Encompassing the following attributes:

By channeling their power, druids can use the power of nature to heal grievous wounds that are considered fatal. This power has the opposite effect on demons or corrupted souls, when not controlled enough, hurting them and repelling their power. In addition Reckitt will not be able to heal grievous wounds sustained directly to the heart or the head. As Reckitt refines her talents, she will begin to emit a nature ‘essence’, small sprouts will begin to take root in her paw prints, and wherever she lingers for lengthy periods of time (like months im sayin) will show significant plant flourish when compared to its surroundings.
photo from unsplash-words: 518-tags:



FATE EDIT: Your power of Druidism has been approved! You may now add the power and icon to your profile.
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Canine 986yo Female, Tall & Average Native 18 posts 0 Honor 144 ☪ Magtox
#9
She lingers like a shadow, the very breath of her stolen away by sights as familiar as they are unfamiliar; descending at last from the northern frozen wilds of Fortuna and Beastwreck, the long-time native finds herself overwhelmed by the sensations of once more walking the soils of her homeland. For a creature so far absorbed in her own ilk, the expressions of want and wonderment that flicker across her features seem misplaced, even foreign, and as her crimson-clawed paws step from the place where snow breaks way to brown and green earth, Blodreina Euclepsis -- the Unmerciful, the Unforgiving, the Red Queen -- absolves the homesickness deep in her heart with lungfuls of air belonging to the interior realms. Her trek is careful but never arduous for she has nothing but time on her side; she skirts Eden and its depths and continues on a southwesterly arc that carries her past the Middleland foothills and straight for Varga.

When she arrives, she does so both silently and at a distance. Her presence is concealed by rock and tree but from the northern bank she comes upon the Rift, its blackness spread out before her in a chasm that tingles with magic and calls to the aura already newly within her: as if in answer her body responds, and the edges of her silhouette go misty and shadow with the faintest calling her her wraith-power. It doesn't last long; she quells the awakening, calming it as if she were crooning to an otherwise dangerous beast only to fit it with chains. Across the bank, too far for a normal leap, gathered many: a deep inhale, and Blodreina discovers the familiar scent of @Reckitt, the subservient female she'd encountered at Beastwreck. What plans she had became re-ignited at the sight of the girl, imagining her falling beneath her proverbial wing of power if only to be molded into what Reina might need... but the thought is fleeting.

An Equus came into view.

Her cerulean eyes narrowed perceptibly, the crimson feathers and matching quills springing to life along her spine in a grand show of her displeasure. It had been nearly a year since she'd laid eyes on the very kind she'd openly raged against, and the urge to clench this creature's neck between her teeth came so sudden and fierce that a low, threaded snarl began to brew at the back of her throat. It took her time to calm, to retreat, to remember the reason she was here: to rediscover and to learn, to rekindle her ferocity for a better, brighter Ourania.

She wanted her kingdom back, and she was coming for them all.

Patience left her; Blodreina called upon her primary power and her body went transparent in a swirl of amethyst-hued mist and shadow, her heartbeat grinding to a halt. When she reappeared, she did so with equal magnificent measure: the swirl of magic deposited her on the opposite bank of the Rift's precipice, nearly among the other company but closest to @Rhaegar; she inhales quickly as her heart restarts and her body becomes whole once more, but a residual curtain of shadow rises from her as she stands where she's appeared, her muzzle held high and every inch of her alert and formidable. Her lips are silent; she never speaks, but rather looks to each of them in their turns, though her gaze settles upon @Verona with a dark and sinister quality.

It passes when her gaze drifts to the flower-covered ground and the polished bones that can be seen intermittently: a graveyard, she muses, and her heart falls. This was the center of the blast. These were her fallen comrades, her stricken victims.
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Equine 5yo Male, Tall & Average Immigrant 2 posts 0 Honor 65 ☪ Krys
#10
The land is unlike anything he had ever known.

Ethereal, yet deeply sobering, the magic thrummed still through the vast and distant plain – reaching into the deepest pocket of fresh water, and lingering in the age-old bark of tall and towering foliage, festering in the sweetness of their rich and lustrous evergreen leaves. He can feel it in the moist and fertile soil that so subtlety moving beneath the weight of his stance, humming so low that he can feel it in the very tender marrow of his long and narrow bone structure. His nostrils flare, filled with an overwhelming splendor of sensory stimuli. Born into a dark and dismal ice dimension in another world apart, he hardly knew the saccharine temptation of a blooming blossom across his tongue, nor the crisp brilliance of mountain water trickling into his parched throat.

And yet –
The death and destruction is not unlike the life he had left behind.

His expression is both grim and somber, staring out into the emptiness of a land once teeming with life (struggling still to push past the once-smoldering ash that lay over the rich soil) – only to see the true loss of life hidden beneath, with winding, bleached bone protruding where a thicket should be. His mind is lost to the memory of his mother, rotting into putrid nothingness before him, before being washed away to sea. His world had not been the only one to know of destruction, and the thought is both unnerving and satisfying. Death would follow, wherever he should go – a single thread holding purpose and meaning together, with tenuous grasp.

Torn from his reverie, the dark shadow of his auburn gaze pursues a sudden, glowering orb – cosmic in both hue and intensity, startlingly beautiful and captivating. His heart stutters within his chest as the ridge of his brow is furrowed, uncertain of what is materializing before him, drawn to a single ivory-laden wolf with awe-stricken eyes. I feel .. whole, she murmurs as the orb altogether envelopes her and dissolves into the very essence of her thick, radiant fur. Swathed in starlight and doused in divinity, she is aglow, or perhaps it is only the curious wonderment of his imagination causing him to think so.

He is not wary of the perceived enemy, the wolf. He does not know of the lore of the land, nor of the war that had torn the land into the wreckage that it is. It would simply be foolish to see a carnivore as anything less than worthy of his instinctual wariness, but as his weight is shifted from one leg unto the next with the stillness of his halted stride, the precarious spines finding purchase along his shoulders shift seamlessly. He shied away from the weakness of fear; he once thrived on the brink of inevitable Death - should She find refuge in him, he would not turn Her away.
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Equine 4yo Female, Average & Average Immigrant 4 posts 0 Honor 92 ☪ Stormie
#11

Tryin' to fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn't they tell you that I was a savage?



As her eyes scanned the rivets in the earth beneath her feet she saw signs of new life, the white flowers giving off a pleasant smell and a slight calm to her own anxieties. For a moment at least. As she crept forward, her hooves crush what looked like a bone picked clean by scavengers and baked by the heat. A femur perhaps. Harrier was familiar with basic anatomy, having dissected dead fish on the shores of her childhood home and the birds that had died on the beaches they loved. Death was no stranger to the palomino tovero and yet she was more comforted by the ash than the signs of new life. Fire was constant. Hot. Burning. Painful. The flowers, though sweet in smell, could be poisonous, could have thorns, could be completely harmless. There was endless possibilities in the small blossoms.

An immigrant to the lands, she can't help but noticed the scattered bones of wolves and equines alike. A battlefield was easily identifiable but why? Only then the winds shifted just slightly, and the fresh scents of wolves crossed her pink nostrils. Eyes widen just slightly and she twitches her singular ear with worry. Most seemed to either be ignoring her present or at least wary. She longed for her old powers, for the flames to engulf her hooves to warn off the predators that she'd go down in a fight. Instead, she pins the ear down, and tightens her face to look as angry as possible. It was almost a dare. She was not some filly that would be easy to take down--she knew how to use her hooves and teeth.

She stood still finally, positioning herself just behind the arched carcass of a fallen equine--their bones bleached in the sun and all signs of life long gone. The firefoot watched when her eyes fixated on a horned equine. His odd silhouette didn't do much to make her scared, rather it was welcome sight against the number of wolves. She moved just slightly closer to him but watched him with apprehension as well. Still, an equine form against the backdrop of Canidae was a small comfort. She speaks softly, hoping only he would hear her. "Please tell me we're not going to get eaten today." Gone was the thought of the flowers that initially had captivated her, and instead her attention was fixated on the predators.

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equine 1278yo Male, Short & Thin Native 5 posts 0 Honor 12 ☪ Nikkayla
#12
vyvyan idyll
i am diseased and ungrateful
From the sanctity of the forest, he had made his way. Wing bound, eyes forward though only one saw his path. He had travelled to the Weir to collect some herbs and fungi that would grew only here, but there had been a disturbance on the horizon, a strange feeling creeping into his spine as a feeling of ice crept along his body. Feeling like he had been dunked in the cold, he made his way over the land until he passed the Rift, doing his best to ignore it and the spirits that haunted him, their voices still shouting and crying out in pain, voices of the dying. He passed a skeleton of an equine, covered in ash and dirt and knew that could have been him.

It should have been him, he thought with a dark expression, as he turned his eyes forward and ignored the reminders of the violent end to their war. Their war, one he had been dragged into screaming and biting, wanting nothing to do with those who had declared themselves gods – he still followed the Old Gods and Vyvyan would until he died.

There was something here though. He saw others, between canine and equine a like – he heard voices of the wolves and wondered what it meant, but he was drawn to the way life was hanging on here, returning and growing a startling white colour, stark against the ashen earth.

Vyvyan saw her, the she wolf marked with red, recognising her as Blodreina and recognising she was a formidable creature, and so he kept his distance from her, as well as the others of canine shape, so he might keep his hide. He crossed the earth until he was nearby those of equine shape though he did not recognise him. The ancient Vyvyan halted nearby them, hearing the soft words of the woman, as he turned his eyes from the bones of those who had died here.

“Not today,” he says softly so she might hear him, and he meant it. Not in the sight of the Rift – there had been enough death here, they didn’t need to add more to it. And yet, the Rift was coursing, burning at the edge of his peripheral vision and he felt it, deep in his heart, that something different was happening now, after all this time.

Whether it was good or not though, he did not know – he only watched, eyes lingering between the signs of life and the stagnant reminder of the violence they had caused – anxious, and nervous.
---
HTML from Mia - Image by Nikkayla
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Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff
#13
The earth here is like a child. It clutches bones to its chest with unbridled joy, muffling their rattles in loam and decaying flesh. It cares not for the grim reality told by last summer's corpses, but delights in the gaping ribcages it has filled with flowers. To some, it might seem sacrilegious— that life, invariably, moves on.

The summer wind whistles through the groves of scattered trees, winding through the meadows as reckless as any foal, but the cavernous wound in Ourania's chest echoes with the absence of sound. There are no birds left to sing. There are no field mice, and no clever foxes which hunt them. For all the presence of new growth, something lingers in the shadows of rotten trees, digging grief-stricken fingers into the warmth of Udane.

Can you feel it?




Ourania plucks from her bleeding heart a gift for the fair-furred wolf— a magic that sings of the Old Gods and the divinity the Named stole for their own. As the aura magic seeps back into the she-wolf, there is a peculiar stirring, made all the more strange bt its normalcy. Before @Reckitts paws, pearlescent blooms flutter in a gentle breeze, carrying both the scent of decay and of delicate wildflowers.

But no breeze has ever dared tread upon Calamity's graveyard.

Near her, the night sky's child drifts, dreaming and unreal, within the mortal world that has embraced him. Aule, the breeze seems to sigh, speaking the language of the endless expanse, of the making and the ending— of the stars that shine a little dimmer every day. Someday, they will all go out.

But not today.

As though Ourania senses the despair that tumbles brokenly though @Aulë and @Verona's chests, the breeze rushes in a winding path. Every flower shivers and, inexplicably, opens their bright petals to the sun; they are a dozen hues, from white to deepest blue, but each of them unfurls like a hundred defiant banners in the face of Death. Not today, they cry against the backdrop of staved-in skulls, spinal columns left jagged above decomposing bodies.

The border between the disparate halves of the world is thin here; Life and Death in heaps of tangled thread, pressing teeth against each others' throats. The wind might dare to trespass in the demesne of silence, but it does so with peril— the creeping sense of resentment grows sharp and a faint scent of acrid smoke permeates the air. The wind, harsher now, drives against the dark-hued wolves who tread their bloodied paws upon the battleground— leave, leave, leave, it cries in fear and agony. @Blodreina, @Makhai and @Rhaegar too, the gale buffets their thick fur with increasing urgency.

But @Vyvyan's presence is not tolerated either.

The flowers beneath his and nearby @Harrier's hooves droop, and the wind hisses in his ears— they all have blood upon their hands and Death can smell it, reaching long claws across the border as if to snuff out the flames that consumed so much of Ourania. The wind lashes in one fierce gust that sweeps a hundred petal loose and, like those who rot upon the ground, perishes into unfathomable stillness once more.

Even Udane seems a little colder.

There is a howl, ghastly in its parody of life, and then a far-off neigh. In the shadows of fallen trees and the shattered shoulderblades of the dead, wraiths flicker, liminal, to life— some are immediately recognizable, while others are in shambles, broken even in death. Lording over them, silent and unwavering, stand two figures haloed by silver. The sovereigns who dragged the war to its cataclysmic finale.

'You killed us,' they hiss as one, with flickering quicksilver eyes. They are their comrades, their loved ones, their enemies, the thousand-fold futures that might have been, and they look upon the living with mingled grief and rage. Equines and canines stand shoulder-to-shoulder, growling and shrieking a cacophony of awful joy and terror. Death— the great equalizer. Intermittent and far between are the scattered souls who merely watch, drawn through the Rift like a draft through the wall; do @Makhai and @Harrier recognize them, those hungry shades that fix their eyes upon them, the lone immigrants? They, too, are out of place here— and they seek the familiar.

Even as these shades seem to slink, glide, stutter forward, a flicker of wind snakes through their midst, drawing the many hundreds of fallen petals in an unmistakable trail that culminates in a thin, barely-worn path that cuts a jagged swathe into the Rift itself— the only direction where the dead do not tarry.

To face Death, or the Dead?


This chapter of the site event is now closed to all new participation; only those currently present may partake. The Rift has stirred and with it, magic abounds: you're being beckoned into the Rift itself... but will you heed it?

All participants have 72 hours to reply before the chapter proceeds.
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Canine 875yo Male, Short & Thin Immigrant 44 posts 0 Honor 98 ☪ Scamander
#14

The world remembered, its thoughts long and deep, a pool of starlight amidst a forgotten cavern, dredged into the earth until the walls turned warm and moist with fallen tears. The world remembered and it mourned, yet, life was more then a single spark in the flame, more then a single star in the sky. Forgotten, no, but, taken with the greatest of care and tucked into the arms of loving Mother, Father, the Maiden lifting her voice high and the Crone's ever watchful eyes guiding the way. He felt the adoration, the rapturous fulfilment of a lost, beloved child returned, and sighed, his eyes, old, wise eyes, watching, as the moon daughter came into her own, a bloom unfurling its petals. It was not the birth of something new, but, something that had been there all along, something that had grown and sang in abandon, joyful and fevered. Her words, gave him hope, hope that someday perhaps the children of this land would know what it was to hold all the love and hope of their creators in their heart, and to not want anything more of it then to feel its presence.


Aulë suffers deeply, his heart breaking for what had become of the past, yet, his heart is full with the light that whispers of a tomorrow. He could see the scars, he could sense the lingering memories, the haunting cries of those who had endured their final moments here, yet, he chose to let the essence of Ourania to stand rejuvenated, not by blind ignorance, but by the very nature of the world he had watched and known for aeons unmatched. The world had always suffered, taken the wounds of its children, so young, so full of promise, yet, prone to mistakes as all innocence were. He paused, his body growing pliant with the touch upon his body, and felt the wind croon against his ear, playfully, yet earnest. A mere whisper. 'Aȝūlēz,' and he cries, his chest pressing into his heart even as his soul feels the uplifting, caress of such loving hands. His name, his truest self. None had called him that since he had come to earth, had chosen his love over his calling. It had been so painful and yet even now he could not feel it in himself to regret the fall. Aulë dipped his head back, jeweled tears met by seams of true emotion, dampening his cheek, his ears cupped upon his diadem as if in hope of hearing that whisper again, that gentle, loving voice. It did not come again, but, a smile, light and airy, curled wistfully at what came next. It, was enough, it was more then enough.


For in some way, somehow, there was life here in the desolate. Before him the aching pain of Ourania stretched deep and black, but, she survived. She would not perish, not today. But, why did she call upon them now, to this place, in this moment? Aulë returned to the world, his own light enchanted, weaving as mist upon his body, drawn forth by the tongue of tongues, the whispers of the loving darkness and all its wonders. He looked around, seeing many had come, drawn by the same whisper that had guided his steps. Equus and Wolf alike, faces he had seen and some he had not. A young mare, her mane awry with the colors of the Mother's flesh, was alightened upon, the softest of gaze, lilac shining curious and warm, before moving on. Rhaegar, the wounded solider, his mind and heart broken, found equal gentleness in the star, a soft dip of his head, even as he was drawn to the pull of shadow, a woman with a mantle of red. She, who's eyes were so angry, so guarded, untrusting to any who was not of her own kind. Aulë's affections faded, saddened to see the remains of such hurt. Not every wound of the war would heal so soon, some, not at all.


A trio of Equus stood beyond, and the star, once more, was befallen with intrigue, amored with their differences, those beautiful traits that defined them as unique, as precious. A man of spines, a woman of rich warmth, her eyes molten in the embers of the heart of the flame, and another familiar face, his body baring its scars, yet, remained so proud. Their presence, stirred something, the calming wind a balm to his aches now hissed, enraged, circling amongst the barbs and needles it lashed upon those it deemed a threat. Aulë fur danced, a rich heliotrope of the silken velvet, the nebula spiraled, a storm stirred, and yet, he did not feel its ire. Looking, his ears fell back, disheartened to see so many judged and found lesser. The Eldar turned, facing away from the Rift, taking in the presence of those gathered, a chaotic circle painted upon the edge, only to grow still, and the mist came to life, and phantom walked among them. They never came close, yet, Aulë could feel his breath grow cold, his heart tremble in his heart, as all he felt was malice and deep, aching agony. 'No... why must they suffer after they have lost everything.' The words fell hot, molten, as iron turned red, and Aulë flinched away. 


No... no. This, wasn't right.


"Do not be so cruel. Do not turn them away before they are given a chance." His voice was soft, given strength by his own memories and thoughts on the war. He, who had never born sword in battle, knew there would be no peace so long as they still chose to fight, but, to many, it was never their choice. He was pushed, pulled, his lithe formed tucked towards the Rift, the darkness awning wide, and yet, he felt no fear. "Sometimes the right choice, is not always the most clear."

@Reckitt @Verona @Rhaegar @Blodreina @Makhai @Harrier @Vyvyan
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Canine 6yo Female, Short & Thin Immigrant 56 posts 0 Honor 771 ☪ Witty
#15
“I feel...whole,” she tells him, the one stolen from the stars, painted cosmos against an abyss of black. There are scattered satellites, among trails of colored dust, tinting the depth of his fur. Ethereal, she takes a moment to reflect on him, in whole; caught off guard by the quality of his uniqueness. Timeless, she felt juvenile before him, the softness of his gaze, the warmth and love held within his celestial eyes- she felt like a child, loved simply for existing.

Lost for words to express the sensation washing over her, something has settled within her very soul, entrapment of the divine nature.

They come like water, trickling in from seperate tributaries until the make a whole, a great river to wind against the gaping hole before them. A scar, riddled with frosted flowers, among vines the deepest of emerald- a breath of what once was, a taste of what could be. Reckitt tenses in their presence, save for the recognition that floods her eyes upon two. Just two, the mare whose mane was like fresh mint, and the hardened exterior of a spined she-wolf. Reckitt had been planted as a sprout in the soil, so many miles of the earth untouched by her ubiety, so many nameless souls before her.

Why does she weep?

A tear falls slowly against her ashy cheek, she sniffs it away, looking, searching to each face of a stranger. The Rift called to them, much like it had pulled her in, tightening the tug of fishing line on a reel. Round and round we go. Behind her, her tail wags, warmly, welcoming them to the fold of magnificence taking place around them. Was it anything but magnificent?

Before her, the breeze coaxes the dainty petals of ivory blossoms, sending scents of perfumed death into the air. Tail still, a cease fire caused by a scent that made her skin prickle beneath her alabaster coat. To answer, the earth unfurls each bloom, spreading wide their windmill shapes, coated with rainbow prisms of color- there is unstill in the valley once so quiet and hushed.

Without warning, the moans of those departed crept on a ferocious gale, swept in from the unknown depths of the chasm. They sang songs of retribution, they cried tales of unslaught and Reckitt felt each shuddered thorn of pain as they did so. Wraiths loomed, harking banishment to the sullied, crying reprimand for spilled blood. It only made her seek the war-worn gaze of warriors, more desperately, to lock eyes on those accursed to bare scars they would never wash away. The wind rushed passed her with ferocity, she steeled herself against it, wobbling as it pushed weight upon her bad leg.

It did not heed the barricades of the mountains, the buffer of treeline, it came to a pitch and then, it abated on its own accord. A trail of tears was formed, white diamonds of salt to trail into the cavernous mouth of the Rift, the wraiths remained topside, they would surely meet death below.

Reckitt is not afraid to die, she has watched the light flicker and fade from many glazed, cataract wrought stares. Look them in the eyes, she was told as a girl, so that their soul does not depart alone. Feeble bodies, the elderly, she adored each one and so she took this task- tucked close as last breaths were sighed into oblivion. The phantoms, had they been given such a meager expression of care? They were owed their due.

“Sometimes the right path,” she spoke to Aule, though she is yet to know his name, “is not a path at all.” A stiff nod, she turns to the spectres and away from the looming gorge, away from the petal pathway. Unable to undo the wrong, it was much too late; she could however, see to it that no more injustice occurred.

“Not today,” she whispers.
photo from unsplash-words: 667-tags:
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Canine 7yo Male, Tall & Bulky Native 13 posts 0 Honor 120 ☪ Tempest
#16
Rhaegar’s gaze turned to find a woman he’d not met, but seemed vaguely familiar among them, her crown seemingly dipped in blood. There was a coldness to her gaze, a firmness that he recognized. He did not have time to dwell on it though as he turned his gaze back onto the pale woman, as light seemed to fill her from that small blessing. The wind around them seemed to pick up, brushing Aule’s long galaxy tail around them. He seemed to hear something, to feel a sense of peace. But the sensation that rushed over him at the winds touch was anything but. A sense of dread pooled in his belly. He could feel the muscles along his spine grow taught and ready, his wings pulled slightly back, ready to aid his movement if he needed. Tall dark ears darted back and forth, listening for something that may have signaled the change he felt in the air.

At the edges of the forest he watched, as mist coiled and gathered, and from it the gleam of many eyes. Their forms were not whole, instead they stood broken and jagged, their broken cries filled with rage and vengeance for the living blood they still shared. Among them, Rhaegar found familiar faces of both sides. Lives he’d taken and lives he’d list. Both held their rage, and anger. He felt the brush of that wind again, harsher this time as though it threatened to throw him over. ”Traitor” it whispered in his ear, ”Murderer,” he could almost feel the gnash of teeth against his flesh. The fire of his blood, quelled by the rifts opening, still seemed to scream from whatever hollow place it had gone to. Thick smoke coiled from his neck, glowing embers slipping from his lips and broke loose from his body as though he’d fall to ashes.

He fought with his own instincts. To run, to fight? The guilt of the lives he’d taken that day of the great war had dampened part of that warrior’s heart. He’d been wrong before, he could not bear to be wrong again. The pale blossoms petals seemed to gather, lining a pathway into the rift before them. He looked to Aule one more time, that instinct to protect him still pulled at him. He would be the first then. He turned to the rift, and walked down it’s path into the yawning darkness.



"Speaking"

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Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#17
She is not alone here, though she hardly seems to notice as tears fall openly down her cheeks. The sun still shined, the earth still orbited around it, the stars still twinkled, they too would burst and decay just like the souls on the front lines. They are all fleeting - each one of the creatures standing here would one day find themselves mere nameless parts of history, and then nothing at all. What a beautiful thought...one day, when Death took them into its open arms, when the inevitable passage of time catches up to them, all their mistakes (fears, regrets, downfalls...all of it) would be consigned to oblivion.

Verona finds an odd sort of comfort in this, her eyes trained on the blossoms as they bloomed, one by one, into different shades of cerulean and pearl. They pop through shattered vertebrae and cracked skulls, displaying how thin the line between Life and Death was. They were all just dancing on it, only some unlucky enough to be on the business end of spears and gnashing teeth. Those spirits rise from the chasms, vengeful and sorrowful, the nauseating scent of decay hangs threateningly in the air. Their war cries ring out across the Rift, vindictive and resentful, as they challenge those who dipped their feet so brazenly in blood that day. Leave. Repulsed voices echo, they need not finish their syllables, it was clear what they meant - “this battlefield has no place for those who do not regret.”

It causes her head to turn upright, to the group of huddled wolves and horses. Some are familiar - Blodreina, most notably, catches her minty eyes. She stares warily at the warrior queen, a menacing black cloud wrapping itself comfortably around the navy of her fur. Another swathed in golden scales and carrying the weight of heavy wings and a stallion of glowing blue, too, Verona had seen the day the world split in two - faces she cannot forget, from a war ingrained in the fabric of her being. 

She looks to the group of huddled immigrants, the golden mare and the man of spikes, and she tilts her head. Had they, in their old lives, beared the pain of loss? She holds the stallion’s - Makhai’s - auburn gaze for a long while, staring at the quivering gray fog that rests around him. An aching, she surmises, from something long ago...it had hardened him like the stone of his stare. She turns away from him, her eyes finding comfort in the petite ivory figure of Reckitt. She approaches her and the canine sewn from the galaxies themselves, nodding politely in greeting. Her eyes follow Rhaegar as he walks the path of cerulean flowers into the waiting arms of the Rift, and for a moment, all she can do is stare. She looks back, once more making eye contact with all who stand there. 

And then she follows. 


@Rhaegar @Reckitt @Aulë @Vyvyan @Makhai @Blodreina @Harrier
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equine 1278yo Male, Short & Thin Native 5 posts 0 Honor 12 ☪ Nikkayla
#18
vyvyan idyll
i am diseased and ungrateful
Vyvyan watched, feeling the cold of the air, feeling the way his skin crawled at those voices spoke in terrible ways, voices of the long dead that haunted his every waking state, and he watched as the flowers withered away before his eyes. For a moment he felt a surging of anger, believing this was some manner of trick being performed by those who controlled everything. In that moment, he felt hope it was the Old Gods and he staggered sideways, taking a step backwards as his head went up. He reeled backwards several steps before regaining a hold on the burning desire to run, to flee.

No, he’d run before and he wouldn’t now, not even with those spectral figures who caused him to start and move away – some figures he thought he recognised, a lifetime ago and yesterday all at the same time.

He clamped his teeth together, running metal all along his resolved and he forced the lump in his throat down as he looked out through one eye and watched the apparitions, equine and canine alike, banded together.

Like they had before. Like he wanted them to again, before the death of the Old Gods. His Gods. He heard the soft words uttered by a wolf he knew, and then he was faced with allowing the Dead to overwhelm him or looking towards the very cause of all his own grief – his family all gone, his siblings and treasured friends – they all stood before him now, harrowing at his flesh and bone.

If he gave himself to the Rift, perhaps it would all end. Maybe it was what was needed – death for life, the restoration of the world. He would follow the canines and the equine. He felt ice creeping along his limbs as he walked the path of petals, towards the Rift that loomed before him, prepared to finally consume him.

Perhaps it was time.

And Vyvyan would descend with them.
---
HTML from Mia - Image by Nikkayla
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Canine 986yo Female, Tall & Average Native 18 posts 0 Honor 144 ☪ Magtox
#19
There's unsteadiness in the air, an overall feeling of the unknown that has presumably infected all those here. Such a call could not go ignored and yet here she stood as if a peer among fellow peers, equine and canine alike. It disgusted her to her very bones, and while she did her best to create a facade of calm and collection she's certain it bleeds through in various patterns across her face. Out of sheer will Blodreina avoids gazing upon any of the hooved-kind, lingering as near to the other canines as she dared without placing herself in a position of unease or potential harm.

The wind buffets her coat, snagging at hair and feather alike and the chill it carries is foreign and dark in a way that sets the hackles along her nape to rising. Something is afoot, something that has her on edge and as uneasy as the feeling in the air that surrounds them. Being this near the Rift has brought a tingling to her toes and various extremities and it teases at the newly-claimed aura magic she holds within her, as if beckoning her forward, onward. But to where, and what end?

And then the sounds come. Howling, neighing, far-off and mournful and they are unmistakably the cries of war: she feels it in her blood, remembers those same cries in her ears just a year before, remembering the rush and pounding of wardrums and the equalizing pressure of nearing triumph.

The pull is clear, now. Unwillingly she shuffles to the Rift's edge, her keen cerulean eyes gazing into the depths and seeing flickering and filtering images of those of the past, faces both familiar and unfamiliar. Her unease compounds as she draws away again a single step, canting her visage to @Rhaegar and the nearby @Aulë and @Reckitt, as if she might draw some manner of comfort from their canine presence. An oddity for sure, for the usual wiley and untouchable Queen.

"This is absurd," she murmurs, and to her great shock she watches as Rhaegar -- a man she'd momentarily wondered if he could benefit her campaign -- step recklessly into the Rift and disappear into the darkness. Her shock turns to rage at the absurdity of it, her lips lifting into a silent, creased snarl that furrowed the bridge of her muzzle.

One by one, others follow suit, giving over to the call of the Rift and for all her experience and lifetimes Blodreina cannot fathom it. What was Faith anyway but a clouding of judgment?

Blodreina remains rooted, and yet the power of the Rift is strong: she feels it tugging, pulling at her innards and soon once more she is on the cusp, staring down into the blackness but this time it is not out of free will but of requirement. The front toes of her paws splay as she braces against it, red toenails lost in the soil and her snarl grows from silent to lethal: it echoes across the Rift in her defiance, and for a brief moment she wonders if the Fallen Gods had come to exact their vengeance on her.
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Equine 4yo Female, Average & Average Immigrant 4 posts 0 Honor 92 ☪ Stormie
#20

Tryin' to fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn't they tell you that I was a savage?



Harrier's eyes widen though having another of her species felt reassuring. Quietly she stood, watching at the creatures as they rose from their unmarked and unburied graves. Their appearances varied, which shattered the illusion that everyone will be made whole when they die. She shifts her weight before glancing back at Vyvyan as he whispers towards her that they would not die on that particular day. And yet the ghosts of a past she was not a part of accused her of crimes against their mortal lives.

She glances down at her hooves, finding the beautiful flowers whither and brown as she backs away from them. Her singular ear pins back and her nostrils flare in the indecision, in the fight or flight as the adrenaline rushed through her veins. She had seen her fair share of monsters but never before had she seen something so supernatural. The spirits close in around them, and even as she looks behind them there more dead eyes watching  her...whispering to her. She watches as the wolves, one by one enter the shimmer ahead of them.

And then she watches as Vyvyan descended into the shimmer.

She pauses for a moment, and then realizes she has no power to defend herself. Her magic stripped from her and leaving her bare and with no way to fight back. For the first time in her life, she felt helpless. The cold biting through her winter coat and urging her forward. She growls to herself as her ear pins back, "Oh...what the hell." And then she take off galloping past the last of the group and into the Rift.

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Canine 875yo Male, Short & Thin Immigrant 44 posts 0 Honor 98 ☪ Scamander
#21

A whisper of a memory, an awning embrace reaching forth from the world that was known and comfortable, terrible as it was only in the dreams that were created in the most still of moments. Aulë, had never feared the darkness, that great and unknown oblivion just beyond the grasp of celestial light. There were lingering thoughts to what prevailed in the beyond, when his thoughts were not enthused by the world, when sleep had harried off the sun and cast a temporary reprieve in the dizzying momentum of life and war and triumph. Even now, as he stood upon the edge, the great Rift reaching forth with wings spread wide, stealing away the horizon, the star remained steadfast, tranquil. How many such places had revealed their very nature, when the light came to it, when the birth of something new and bright brushed away the uncertainty. Merely, a ponderance as to why?


Perhaps, there was a way to sooth the pain, the agony of the Mother, to brush away those tears that clung to his cheek, left lavendar eyes wet and blurred. It was not the choice many would make, it was not a decision to leap into the void, unless, circumstance demanded it of them. Change, demanded courage of those fate had chosen, commanded something more of what one ever dreamed possible of themselves. How many beings had he witnessed, doubt their way, doubt themselves, believing themselves not up to the task. The hesitantion was palable, the tension, a noose upon the throat of everyone in the gathering, even as one step, another, drew them closer to each other. Even now, the divide remained, a painful wound cutting right down the middle, Aulë finding himself close to the young pale woman, and another, her mantle red as a dawn at day break, her bodice black and drapped in tattered shadow. Something in her was so angry, the bitterness poisoning his tongue, and he could not help but look upon her. She, who held all the strength in the world, yet, was crushed by something violent, perhaps, her own expectations, her own beliefs. He wondered, was there something more, that made her look so distrustingly upon the Equus. 


His movements found Aulë close to Rhaegar, that familiar scent of ash and pain, warm against his chest as he breathed in. The Eldar chanced a look upon him, only to find the dwarf stars settled upon him. He shifted, bearing the weight with a serene smile, wondering, what would the man do, who wanted to become more then what he was expected to be, what he was trained to be? Rhaegar, who was so hurt, yet, so very brave, to face the mistakes within that were crushing and fatal to so many others. When the winged being moved, Aulë saw that moment resolve struck, and for a moment, his breath stopped. The first to step out into the darkness, falling, vanishing. It was not another wolf that followed next, but an equus, both heading in union to something uncertain. More followed, more equus, the deep water spirit of Eden, and the fire mane and after a moment, Aulë felt something... pull him forward. He wanted to see what they would do, he wanted, to join them. Be part of this change that held his heart in its grasp. Yet, before him stood those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice, to be naive to their pain, their anger... he could not turn away. Death would come for them all one day, the immortals who called themselves god, even the most fleeting of stars, yet, he could not willingly go into the dark, not now. On silent steps, he danced away from his fellow wolves, his breath pearlescent with the veil of the dead, his own light burning all the brighter, clearer. Lilac jewels caressed their faces, tender and quiet, even as for every soul he seen, a star beaded as sunlight from his fur.


Light filled the Void, stars, hundreds, falling upwards into the sky in a requiem of a dream
""

@Reckitt @Verona @Rhaegar @Blodreina @Makhai @Harrier @Vyvyan
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Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff
#22
One by one, they whisk themselves from the sight of the ghastly shades— each of them unable to face the horrors of the war. Even Ourania, her birds and small mammals and the greater flora, are unable to bring new life here to face it; spoiled meat left exposed, to wither away the last awful reminders of the Unfinished War. And truthfully, who would ever wish to face them? They are generals' fatal mistakes, the grim consequences of a war-torn nation, a reminder of what once was.
 
The spectres seem to tire with every soul that makes that fatal plunge, scrambling over the narrow knife-edge of shale in hopes that Death might think more kindly of them. Eventually, they come to corner Reckitt and Aule, until the dead are all seething blackness, rippling with the unnatural light given off by their sovereigns. A few brave souls, those few who remember a little of life, dart forward to touch @Reckitt — leaving smears of red against her pristine white fur. Their voices have been lost, but they remember her; does she recognize her sister, too? She is ephemeral as memory— swept out with the wind to those lands she once called home.

Aule is a different matter entirely. The shades roll mercury irises, look askance at the star-made-flesh, and bare their teeth. The wolf is of Ourania, and not— pulled from the sky in the world's youth, he is not truly a creation of the Old Gods. He frightens them, and they loathe him for it, even as their yearning hearts cry out for kindness. Even the liminal are wary of that which they do not understand.
 
'You are strange and strangers here.' the Dead speak as one, each of them nameless, as they fix their attention upon the pair. They do not loom, for all their singular focus. There is something about them that holds many of them away; an insidious brightness the shadows are hesitant to touch. 'Why do you offer yourself to our mercy?'
 
 

 
 
The world falls away from those who leaped. Those who trusted the shale path find that, in a few steps, the path unbecomes, unraveling itself in fragments of stone that chimes like bells beneath their hooves. Eventually, even these stones simply disappear, divesting the stragglers with a callous indifference.
 
@Blodreina, however, requires a little less... tact. The bank beneath her shatters and, in the moment before time and space pitches uncannily, a pair of small, quicksilver eyes stares up at her from the blackness between the stones. Time halts unfathomably, while the shade's many hands grip Blodreina's fur with unnatural strength. How does it feel to be muzzled? those bitter eyes ask. 'Blodreina,' the small, trembling voice says, every syllable an effort to remember his voice. 'May— you reap.. what you sow.'
 
The dead prince finds his jawbone beneath Blodreina's throat and screams— wailing on without end, even as he sinks cruel fingers into her neck and drags her into the Rift, where all the world becomes meaningless.
 
The abyss that swallows them is black in the way of the night, half-seen shapes fluttering betwixt and between, trails of stars following them from @Aulë's astral form. In the wane light, their forms are strange— the equus seem to warp, hooves become paws, teeth grown sharp, the prey become hunter. The wolves, too, seem to elongate, legs strange and ungainly beneath them. @Rhaegar and @Vyvyan find that even their wings are not trustworthy, slipping away like sand.
 
They seem to fall for days, a moment, an hour— time is interminable here.
 
A thread catches @Harrier's hoof-paw first, then @Verona's, until the air around them is filled with the tangled scarlet strands. It entraps them all, in the end, until each member of the party has been ensnared with a piece of the jumbled mess. Gradually, they become aware that they have stopped falling— that their forms are no longer transient, but stand upon the shores of a river bordered by blackened sand. Where their feet step, the black crumbles to reveal more red strands.
 
Each of their tethers, their own strand in the grand web of Fate, comes back to the river before them. It winds through this cathonic land as far as the eye can see, all the way to the unnerving ruins far in the distance — a castle, some might remember — to the stretch just before the supplicants. Is it the red of destiny, or the blood spilled over Ourania's turbulent history?
 
"You stood on the precipice, and you chose to jump." The voice is all things, and it does not quite sound the same to everyone. To Blodreina, it even seems to find humor, for its voice rings, 'were forced', instead. There is a figure in the distance, shrouded by both shadow and the desperate, consuming desire to look away, as though a single glance might bring it amongst the living.
 
"Some of you chose in the past. Some of you have yet to choose. A few of you will not choose." The world reels and, for a moment, they are before the crumbled ruins but they are also watching it fall and, for each of them, Death gives them a taste of the mingled horror and joy of the moment. For Blodreina, Harrier, and @Makhai, Death imparts the believers' grief; Vyvyan, Rhaegar, and Verona feel the ecstatic joy of the triumphant children, building a stairway to the Gods' power one body at a time.
 
They, too, are in the midst of the great cataclysm, struck and striking vicious blows upon foes and allies— each glimpse is more visceral than the last. Time grinds to a gut-wrenching halt, the white-hot fury of the Rift's birth tearing apart magic at its seams. Enemies freeze in terror to watch the blast hurtling towards them, conflict forgotten while they watch their oncoming doom.
 
Regret is the final emotion on their features.
 
As the vision fades, the river comes into view once more, the gritty sand giving way as the blood-red waters draw up over their knees. Death is nowhere to be seen, but its presence its felt: a serenity absolute in its control over these lands. For those who belonged here, there would be no escape.
 
"I do not give advice, and I only rarely send warnings." For a moment, the river is the fathomless Rift; terrible and unending, carved all the way to the depths of Ourania's heart. A wound that was cursed, forever rent and weeping, that sought to poison all that it touched.
 
"When the world dies and I, too, perish from this plane— the Rift's passage will be a scar that cannot be erased. Remember this. Remember what I have shown you," the voice continues, its tone neither benevolent nor malicious— only observant and perhaps too interested.
 
"I will accept every gift you send to me," Death intones, its voice tolling through their very souls. "But be wary. Your choices may some day outlive you."
 
The water is rising higher, deep sucking undertows pulling its prey farther in. The canids are treading water now. Just before the water subsumes them all, a mocking laugh calls out, "Fate binds you, but what is Fate to those who killed their own creators?"
 

 
They come to slowly, scattered among the meadows near the rift. Golden boughed trees stand in a circle, sentinel, around the canids and equus, and a few stray sparrows sing from their crowns. As the adventurers move, slowly returning to Life, the reminders of their vision become visible. In their paws and hooves, even beneath their bodies, black sand falls from their coats, littering the ground.
 
A final warning, or blessing, lies strung across paws and necks, hooves and horns: each character awakens with a scarlet cord wound about them.
 
 
 
Those who leapt into the Rift received visions from the underworld showing scenes from Ourania's past. They were also shown that those who died during the Catacylsm that created the Rift regretted the Rift's creation. They are encouraged to make their own choices, but to remember that their choices can affect everyone else.
 
@Reckitt may respond one more time to the Dead. Everyone else may respond to each other and, once Reckitt has a chance to complete her side-quest, may return to Reckitt if they so choose!
 
Once the other Site Event threads have neared completion, a Final Chapter thread will be created for further participation in the event’s conclusion.
 
All those claimed by the Rift have earned the item “Thread of Fate”, which will be dispersed shortly.
 
Please respond to this thread in a timely manner to continue your character's presence. An announcement will be made with the Final Chapter thread!
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Canine 986yo Female, Tall & Average Native 18 posts 0 Honor 144 ☪ Magtox
#23
She would fight til her dying breath -- all too soon, she wonders. Nearly a millenia she's lived and nothing compares to the nightmare that reverberates before her: snatching grabs, unfathomable strength, and soon the eyes of the dead prince staring at her, gaping, jawless from the upper teeth downwards. Is it fear that makes her feel as if the jawbone hanging about her neck takes on life, chittering as if to speak, or merely another segment of the nightmare?

For all her strength she is no match for the forces at work here and soon Blodreina is airborn not of her own volition, toppled forwards into the darkness of the Rift and she fights every inch of the way. Her body flails, rights itself, spins and flails again, teeth snapping at whatever it might reach but soon the entirety of her world is enveloped in utter nothing.

Nothing, and then... something. How much time had passed? Did time exist here? She floats, no longer falling, tethered to some divinity she had thought long-dead and of her own making. Death is among them as sentient as any, and her mind and body are overcome with a grief she knows is foreign and not her own. She is back upon the battlefield but this time she fights on the opposite side, her body not her own, hooved and defiant, but it doesn't last.

Regret. Regret. It pangs her, deep in her bones, but some semblence of sanity reminds Reina that it is not hers to bear.

She regrets none of it; not even this show of power can dissuade her from her conquest. If anything, it gives strength to it: her eyes, cerulean and narrowed, watch as the vision fades to river and Death is nowhere to be found, and the sight of such serenity serves only to remind her what it is she seeks and fights and bleeds for.

They are returned as one to the land of the living and Blodreina alights upon the earth with every inch of savagery she bore going into the Rift. While no snarl paints her face there is something else there instead as her paws grip the loam, hackles raised and feathers flared: rage consumes her, a rage she'd thought assauged when the divinity had been brought to justice, and the need to flee is strong in her. So consumed she is by her anger at being subjected to such visions and magic that the new item tethered to her front wrist goes entirely unnoticed; she takes one brief glance at those around her, canine and equine alike, and takes her leave in a fury of navy-amethyst smoke.
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Canine 6yo Female, Short & Thin Immigrant 56 posts 0 Honor 771 ☪ Witty
#24
“Not today,” a whisper against her downy lips, acknowledging, repeating their echos, she hears them. The white lace lady, the immigrant that knows no more than she is told, no more than she can see with her own, glowing eyes. There is so much pain before her, tormented, agonized, if the others would not repent; she would stand in their stead.

Reckitt the Druid, Reckitt the martyr.

Shadow and shade, undeath. They loom before her, these ghostly figures, (sinners and saints, fallen warriors, their cause, their reasons- all gone now. ash to ash, dust to dust.)  as the others plummet into the depths of the chasm. The white lady wants to tell them ‘No!’, but she watches, unmoving as a statue as they take that leap- else they fall away, tumble into the blackness.

Do they not see what is owed, have they no honor?

Perhaps it is she that gives too much, holds too much care over all things, maybe there is too much light in her soul. As the wraiths dissipate into smoke, back away, she knows it is true, but there are some that cling to their humanity- those that still know life; feeble tether as it is. With spectre hands they touch her, their fingers slipping passed her silhouette, marking her shining skin with the blood she did not shed.

Suffocating, their pain, it engulfs her, causes her body to quake with tremors. To say she wasn’t frightened, that she did not wish to shrink away, would be a lie of epic proportions. Reckitt was terrified, yet she did not turn from them, she had seen so much death- but had she really, truly seen it?

“Your souls, what measure of humility did those, that tore life from limb, show you?” These creatures, canis and equus alike, they did not know what it was to serve, so she bowed her head in respect before returning her gaze to their vapid eyes. Hollows of sockets glared back, so she repeated the only words she knew, with such certainty they came like a renewing river off her foreign tongue.

“Look them in the eyes Reckitt,” her Mother’s words, her Dam’s teachings “so that their soul does not depart alone.”

Then she steeled herself, pressing her weight evenly against her three good legs, rising to meet them. “You're not alone anymore,” she sucked in a desperate breath, uncertain what would befall her now.
photo from unsplash-words: 417-tags:
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Canine 875yo Male, Short & Thin Immigrant 44 posts 0 Honor 98 ☪ Scamander
#25

Earth, sky, and sea; these giants made immense and unsurrmountable in their ancient wisdom, how disparate they were from one another, and yet, how alike. Each held a piece of itself in the palm of a far older hand, a caress of tender care, unconditional and and wavering. Some, would say they diverged too greatly, their essence but another jewel in the crown of the glory of divinity, but another piece, sharings their borders but never truly living amongst one another. Perhaps, if one was brave enough, they would dare to look closer, to see that spark that shined as a fragile light, the lightbringer that brought all things to being. All things came in pairs, all theres bore a mirror image, a beautiful anchor to bring forth a depth in the heart that could never exist alone. The lonliness of the mind gave way to the rapture of this chaotic, crowded, conflicting world, never alone, not truly. The day fell away with a final, fleeting kiss of Artemis, yearning for that new twlight to break upon the shores of the horizon, that place where earth, sky, and sea met.


Death, so many feared death, they gazed upon the unknown as a demon through the veil, unknown in its savagery, its intentions. But death, was but one piece of what it meant to be alive, death was one piece of a story that circled and circled upon itself without end. Some may have gazed upon the wraiths and flinched, revolted, unable to feel the cool air that brushed his body, the phantom sigh of the intangable gracing the world. Aulë seen them, truly, a rare blue rose that thrived in a winters embrace, its petals brushed with ice, its color a vibrant blush of the eternal walks. How he mourned for their end, how he yearned for the true peace they had been denied. This place, it was a scar, but, it was so much more. The Rift, was a void, a hungry creature built upon the greed, anger, pain, rage, fear, ignorance of so many lives, so many choices that had all reached a single, dead end path. Some had known their path was coming upon a great cliff, but were unable to stop, to turn back, for some roads went only one way. The spirits too, were caught, a web of fate, red clothe, gleaming as silk and sturdier still. The star did not cry out, as one by one so many turned to the void, addicted by its siren call. There were some things that must be seen, some truths that could only be revealed in a place where words fell as whispers, and all senses were given to passage. The radiance of Ourania, pure and clean, guided by the kindness of a benevolent god, was lost. Some were not alive to experience such a blessing, and some had forgotten entirely, their minds and heart turned barren and scarred. 


Memories, were such precious things, painted by candlelight, made to endure, but, as precious treasures, some were buried so deep, they never saw a glimpse of the sun. Aulë did not tremble beneath their gaze, he did not turn his face away in shame, those eyes forged in black marble, suspicious and uncertain. They feared him, for he did not bear the light that had been placed so carefully in each and every soul of this world. His was older, brighter, a foreign essence that weaved a web of golden light upon their feeble will-o-wisps. Yet, where some would turn away, where some would bear the rejection as a bitter lash upon their flesh, he accepted it, and still, loved them in return. "I feel your pain," he sighed, his breath falling choked, clawing against his heart and chest, mourning what had befallen these children who had lost their way. "You, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, only to suffer so terribly." 


He, who held the sky in his heart and gentle darkness of a watchful night, drew closer to them. He did not flinch before their teeth, their phantom cloaks, black and sulphorus, worn to sand and ash in their long waiting. What would have once been recognizable was fading away, crumbling away, becoming nothing more then their ire and fear. "I have watched this world for aeons before I first came to this world, and yet, so little I have truly seen." They were her suffering, her voice given life where she could not reach out in turn. "But you do not deserve to suffer." The star who loved the world and its people, but had never turned its eye upon the solemn grave, the bare flicker of a lonesome flame upon a negelcted stone. "Let me bare some of your burden." It was the living, who would carry on the lessons of the passed. Stars touched the earth in orbs of shining gold, floating in that abyss between the darkness and this world. He was close enough to touch them, but, would they let him?
""

@Reckitt @Verona @Rhaegar @Blodreina @Makhai @Harrier @Vyvyan
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