Open  dig up the bones
Home
user cp
market
compendium
top




lurking: 1 Guest(s)
Equine 1354yo Female, Average & Thin Native 10 posts 0 Honor 89 ☪ argent
#1



CRADLE SONGS OF COMFORT
AND BONES GNAWED By TEETH

It is early Udane and the scorching heat has yet to touch the depths of Rune's coniferous forests; last year's needles carpet the ground, sending up sharp, resinous scents with every step Ashen takes. It is beautiful, but she does not have eyes for the trees— her carriage curved indefinitely towards the sharp-shinned peak only just visible beyond the canopy. The early season sees snow upon the mountain's brow, frost-capped trees mournful in their icy slumber. Even as the Grindholds change, nature drags its feet— they could not control everything, no matter how hard they tried.

Ashen feels leaden, trapped, a prisoner of the capricious waking dream that pulls her across the world's expanse until she comes to rest at locations she cannot remember and sees no significance in. She is not entirely sure how she came to the tiny meadow, nor is she certain of how this clearing — and only this clearing — holds a perfect view of Rune betwixt two yew trees. And yet, she comes to as though she were sleeping, laid down before a single boulder much scarred by the passage of time.

She is disoriented and frightened— too worried about her own sanity to see the tell-tale marks of destruction upon the stone or the purposeful arrangement of lesser stones and trees. Whatever this place had been, it was destroyed long ago; eradicated from Ourania's maps with a calculated precision.

Stumbling to her feet like a newborn filly, Ashen leans against the boulder and takes in her surroundings with white-rimmed eyes. "Hallo?" she calls, softly, but the voice in her ears sounds strange, as though speaking at a great distance. There is an impression of nearly grasping the solution just out of reach— before the world comes into true focus and Ashen, abruptly winded, must heave several breaths before the feeling passes.

Whatever strangeness she is suffering must wait.

Reply


Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#2
 It had taken many, many days to get out of her predicament in the Rim. Verona’s body aches from foreign maneuvers, her head spins from lack of slumber. She walked (how many miles now?) to find herself at the Interior Realm, though she is unable to find the strength to go back to the Rift yet - memories of splashing crimson come to haunt her when the sun goes to rest, the thoughts of friends lost to the War were almost too much to handle. Would their bodies still be there, whittled down to bone? Or did the earth take them, giving them a final resting place beneath soil and root?

Rune is a comfortable, bearable cool this time of Udane, and while she is glad to finally be out of Feral Rim’s grasp, she feels out of place. Like somehow this was all one big dream, and tomorrow she’d awake and find herself back with her band. The War was long gone now, but it didn’t feel that way. Verona couldn’t tell if this was the lack of sleep talking, the sadness that seeped into her bones for her fallen confidants, or the fear a similar situation would occur, tearing Ourania apart once and for all. Still, she continues, hazy as she was, deeper into Rune and the meadow which the shallow river run through.

A voice, softer than her own (and quite confused, she might add), catches Verona’s attention as she reaches the meadow’s clearing. Turning her head, she catches the ivory silhouette of a stranger, leaning against a boulder as if she cannot hold herself. Gliding steps pull Verona closer to the lone mare, and her head tilts curiously. Was this real or fantasy? In this state of exhaustion, she could hardly tell. Verona stares at the stranger - gentle cerulean gaze, alabaster skin dipped in silver...sides heaving as if she, too, had traveled a great distance - and a growing concern graces the contours of her face.

“Hello,” Verona finally offers after a prolonged silence. ”Are you okay?” She asks, taking a step closer to the mare, both ears flicked forward to focus completely on her. It seems the War had effected everyone in some measure, and Verona feels that deep gnawing agony threatening to swallow her whole. 

No. She reminds herself sternly. It is a new age...there is no use wallowing in the past.

She can only hope that the other survivors felt this too.

@Ashen  Sleepy
Reply


Equine 1354yo Female, Average & Thin Native 10 posts 0 Honor 89 ☪ argent
#3



CRADLE SONGS OF COMFORT
AND BONES GNAWED By TEETH


There— her unseeing eyes, wide and wild, sight a figure emerging from the treeline and, for a moment, Ashen cannot quite conjure up speech. She fumbles through unknown vowels and bitten consonants better likened to a deep snowdrift. There are words for her thoughts, but they, like the world around her, seem alien and incomprehensible: cymst þu mé díedan? But the mare, too, seems weary, dragged down by the weight of the years or of the Great Calamity. Does it hurt, Ashen wonders, does it hurt to feel the ruin in her bones?

She struggles to pull away from the boulder she presses against, protective and fearful all the same, and as the contact breaks, she senses a kind of leeching, pulling tremble within her. A moment later, the world seems to clear— leaving her both more convinced of her need to protect this place and increasingly confused about what it, any of it, truly meant. For a heartbeat, she feels the call of the void— that thorned vine, always growing, ever since the Rift tore open and darkness came spilling into the world.

"I'm fine," she says shortly, tearing her thoughts away from the itch she cannot scratch. "Just... winded. A long run." Her lies are poor, distracted things at best; but they clatter like alms at the stranger's feet in hopes they might be accepted and her truth left alone. "Who are you, and why are you here?" her words restrain themselves from outright accusation, but there is a hint of suspicion, born of stress, in the inquiry.

There is something about this place, in its curious splendor, that drives her to unease and a kind of territorial defensiveness.

@Verona



Reply


Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#4
A lie, slithering through ivory lips - agitated, apprehensive - Verona observes it before the sentence has ended. Her eyebrow raises, ever slightly, but still she pretends to take the the fabrication at face value. There is no sense searching for answers that clearly the mare before her doesn't have, so instead the sooty mare nods her head, allowing the deception to fade into the background of their conversation. 

An overreaching accusation hits Verona's ears, and her ears flicker backwards. Did this woman have claim over this land? It seemed implausible, considering most she'd encountered succeeding the War's aftermath had been in much of the same state this stranger was - distressed, demented, and more or less just exhausted. Still, Verona allows one ear to perk forward once more, content on knowing just what  the unknown mare's issue with her was. 

"I suppose I'm here for the same reason anyone is," Verona replies with a shrug. "A displaced mistress of the war, desperate to find a way to rise above this situation? A lost soul riding the coattails of the cataclysm that brought us here?" She lets out a gentle chuckle, minty eyes trained on alabaster skin. "I'm Verona. I don't mean you or anyone harm. I'm only passing through..you seemed troubled, and I wanted to see if I could help." She finally admits, a weak smile gracing her lips, though she does not come any closer. 

There was no one she could trust, these days. 

Reply


Equine 1354yo Female, Average & Thin Native 10 posts 0 Honor 89 ☪ argent
#5



CRADLE SONGS OF COMFORT
AND BONES GNAWED By TEETH


She notes it, the way the other mare's brow quirks in unabashed surprise at the baldness of her lies. But Ashen's lips purse tight and unwilling, closing up the secrets and the fears she's battled for too long. Strangers are to be feared and, if not feared, watched with all the wariness born of strife. But perhaps the mare knows this, for she dips her head in acquiescence to Ashen's untruths as though they were reasonable, acceptable, even believable. The war has made mockeries of them all.

Her words catch sour notes, bitter notes, and Ashen at once finds herself torn between two sets of thoughts— that it was natural for anyone to find this clearing and enjoy the view, and that anyone who was here came only to harm it. She rarely feels the knife-edge beneath her feet, but today it wobbles, and for the first time in her life, Ashen is afraid of falling.

"No one has the same reasons," she says, clutching suspicion tight to her chest. It is true that the mare before her looks just as travel-worn as herself, all thinness and drooping limbs, but.. what if? her heart cries. Perhaps if she ignores the way the mare's — Verona's — words are barbed wire across her skin, she can forget the characterization that suits her best: a lost soul riding the coattails of cataclysm.

Ashen turns away from the mare, to again seek for answers in the jagged profile of Rune and that single remaining boulder, and uses the moment to hide her expression of guilt. It is not that she dislikes lying, only that she feels — in this moment — that lying is a shameful solution. "There are questions you are unable to answer," she says at long last. "Thank you, I guess, for the concern. But I don't think anyone can help." If they could, she'd have found a solution by now, wandering so far afield as she did.

"Not that I trust you," she adds, abruptly, like she has to remember to be prickly. The War has left its marks.

@Verona


Reply


Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#6
In her own wary head-space, the words feel callous and spiteful, and it cuts like knives across her skin. The phrase "words will never harm me" seems ignorant, a harsh contrast to what Verona feels as the alabaster mare replies.  Her brows furrow, and her ears wiggle back and forth as she decides what she should do - go on with her life or continue this conversation? Verona stays ever-still, those seafoam eyes never leaving ivory skin, even as the stranger turns away from her. 

"I suppose that is true,"  Verona responds, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. Though the sooty equine tries not to be rude, she can hear the displeasure in her tone as words tumble from her lips and into the air.  "But don't act as if you - as if any native - aren't displaced for the same reason as I."  Verona could hear it in each irritated syllable, the way the mare uses her anger as a weapon. She swallows, clears her throat, and takes three gliding strides forward until she is in the mare's peripherals. 

"There is always a way to help,"  This much is true, though she states it with a long sigh. "And I don't expect you to trust me. As I'm sure you don't expect me to trust you. War has a funny way of doing that, yes?" A rhetorical, she doesn't suspect an answer. Instead, Verona continues, without pause or question.

 "We're all fighting our own demons, none the same. But if you live with a chip on your shoulder, you will never find the answers you seek," The words become smoother, less biting as she goes. She reminds herself that they are all a little bent now, that she mustn't let this stop her from what she always wanted to do - help. "I won't ask you to take my help, whatever that might be, if you don't want it. And I'll leave you go if you'd rather, but the offer is on the table if you so choose."  Verona doesn't look at the mare anymore, her eyes trained forward at the path ahead. The stranger would decide, in time, what she wanted to do...and until then, Verona was content to wait. 

All life was, after all, was waiting. 
Reply


Equine 1354yo Female, Average & Thin Native 10 posts 0 Honor 89 ☪ argent
#7



CRADLE SONGS OF COMFORT
AND BONES GNAWED By TEETH

Smoke before fire; so too does Ashen see the hurt upon the stranger's face spark to life a quick, bitter impression of irritation. It is no less than Ashen expected, but it still chafes at her thin skin— did the mare expect her to lie and nod and agree that, yes, she wanders the world only because she must, unable to return home because of the gaping void that was the Rift? The eastern plains, the rolling deciduous forests where she found solace, the towering mountains bleak as any desert; these were the places she knew, far from the Rift's grasp.

She hears the irritation, too, in the mare's voice. Her curved ears draw back, to the narrow of her neck, and there is only barbed suspicion in the thin gaze Ashen spares for the advancing equine. "The Rift is a symptom," she says slowly, and if the stranger finds weapons in her words, then these are switchblades poised to release. A symptom of what, she isn't sure— like two opinions rise, ever-warring, in an effort to be voiced. So Ashen voices neither of them: the quick-footed hare that cries, "War", and the insidious snake that whispers, "Sacrilege".

The sinewy lines of her muscles are taut by the time the stranger finishes expending time in an effort to convince Ashen, to convince her to— what. To lay all of her troubles upon the stranger? Her, that Ashen had never seen before in her life? A cobra, she lifts her swan neck with a visible effort and bares teeth as pale as ivory. "You know nothing of me," she snarls with deep affront. "Do not presume that you have answers for questions I cannot ask."

There are mysteries greater than any of them in the world; how could one mare ever think she could part the veil of Ashen's troubles? If Ashen could not understand herself, it was unreasonable that anyone else could. A tremble runs from poll to hock, and Ashen looks more ghost than horse as her coat ripples with the movement. "We are not kin," she says, in a voice as flat and whisper-thin ice. "When the stars and sun answer your cry, when the rivers flow to their source— that is when you will be able to answer what the Rift has broken."

That was all, in a way, that she could describe of her situation. That night, when the heavens keened in agony, something in her snapped like brittle ice— and ever since then, that something has always been breaking.

@Verona


Reply


Equine 318yo Female, Short & Thin Native 26 posts 0 Honor 284 ☪ Liv
#8
The mare of ash and stone bites back, head curling back like a cobra, venom in each syllable. The sooty mare shouldn't have been surprised, but she winces at the inevitable backlash. Verona had been wrong, and with each breath it feels like she's taking on water - guilt. Her eyes lower and her eats flatten like a scolded child, remorseful for the trouble she had caused and desperately trying to think of a way to fix the situation.  She was just as vulnerable as the stranger, and still she cast the first stone, and look what it had caused. They were both flawed in their own ways, yet she hadn't acknowledged it - and now here she was, wounded by what she herself had caused. 

Verona lets Ashen's words hang in the air for a long while, mint eyes shifting from side to side as she collected each thought running frantic through her brain. She is not afraid of the mare, she simply respects her, so she puts her words together precisely - there was no use arguing anymore...they'd both fought, and they'd both suffered. 

"I didn't claim I did, nor did I presume I had the answers of which you seek,"  She says carefully, seafoam eyes locking on Ashen's cold cerulean gaze. "Though, I do apologize if it came off that way." Verona tries to defuse the situation, her voice calm and steady. "The Rift is a symptom of a system we created long ago -"  She says, a sigh rolling off her tongue. " - But that does not mean it...we cannot be healed from it." Verona turns away now, content on leaving this hostile conversation behind before it escalate any more. "I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for,"  She turns her head to look at Ashen once more. "I'm sorry. Know I am here if you need me, should our paths cross again." With this she leaves, her thoughts and heart racing. 
Reply




JUMP: