((I'll try to join in tomorrow if you'll have me. (wave) ))
Posted March 13th, 2017
[Just write, this is classic, no limits but imagination. ^_~]
Edited March 14th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
((Thanks, I needed some encouragement haha. ^_^))
A polecat was scurrying over the ruins of the renowned tavern, returning to its nest within the rubble, when the first roar of the Beast tore across the plateau. The animal halted its pace and turned its head, ears flattened against the deafening sound, teeth bared. Far above the little animal, the alien black mass continued its morphing, flesh and hair gathering about an indeterminate shape as the dust in the ethereal breeze carried itself toward the roaring apparition.
The polecat watched the transformation, eyes an uncharacteristic shade of dark blue. Its fur was white, but for a dark-tipped tail and the light-grey stripes that flecked its narrow face. The animal's initial shock seemed to have worn off, and it watched the Beast take shape with an intrigued expression, ears erect now, and eyes focused. The Beast's strange features became distinct as the obscuring matter from which it had emerged pulled away, and the polecat's gaze followed its quavering figure as it fell to the ground.
The Beast let out another roar, to which the polecat momentarily flattened its ears again. But otherwise, the animal did not move. It was uncanny in its unflinchingness and in its mysterious, unwavering eyes. A gust of wind sliced across the hollow, making its fur stand on end. The animal gave a slight shiver. Though perhaps one would not be able to tell through the puffed up fur, this animal was quite thin – emaciated even. The area it called its home had long become sparse, nearly lifeless.
The Beast was looking into the ground now, and at its claws, and the polecat could see a half-smile pulling across its face. The sight sent a single quiver of unease through the little animal, but it held its ground. At last, the Beast spoke. “I am Sabathel, the Beast of Edenia. But... have I returned?”
The polecat was quiet for a moment, unsurprised by this introduction, but also hesitant to make itself known. It was uncertain if the Beast, if Sabathel, had thus far taken notice of the furry rodent. The animal gave a steadying inhalation of its own, then replied. "Hello, Sabathel," it said. Its voice held the timbre of a human male, though it was quite soft and low. "Please forgive me if my speech is uncouth; I've spent far too long in this form, with only these ruin's ghosts for company. I'm afraid I'm out of practice." The polecat lowered its body and head toward the earth, tail tucked against its underbelly, in what seemed a symbol of submission – a deep bow of sorts. It straightened up and sat back on its haunches. "My name is Omin. I've awaited your arrival, for a long time now."
Posted March 14th, 2017
(Jeez Shadow, took you long enough to show your face. :P It's Cacila incase you forgot, ya old fart. I might apply. I'll need to read this first.)
Posted March 14th, 2017
[The Great Logos murmured and invited us at the right time, Cacila. Even Spike Armada was here a whileback, whom I miss as much as you. Join the play.]
Saabathel's question echoed in his mind. It felt as if a boulder tumbled off a cliff and made its painfully loud way downwards the bottomless pit. Or perhaps it was towards the flat, rough ground that couldn’t care less. Many cannot distinguish their fear of the endless fall from the fear of reaching the thick, wrecking end, from facing the unavoidable force merging the world into everlastingly new forms without a whiff. And for a moment still, Saabathel felt the same. Was he going to walk the meaningless path yet again, or is it that finding someone on the path will be the wreckage? He was, nonetheless, fully certain that he enjoyed how the boulder slide off. What fills the heart more than the adventure of times, a run across the tides? Indeed, the beast’s childish grin did not wear off as it successfully attempted to pull itself up.
Well, at least to its knees. He looked up, towards the murky sky. Dreamers often do so, though sometimes the skies turn crimson as they gaze at them, and much of the reality of a fragile creature fall victim of their beastly urges. He thought of it, knowing much. His eyes narrowed. Pictures of bloodshed summoned quickly, but he at the same time managed to push them away, deeper into his psyche. He skimmed across the tall borders of mesa quickly, trying to figure out is he where he thinks he is. There is no need for other thoughts. No need at all. Besides, who knows how much time has passed since. Who does, he wondered.
And at that moment he felt an unusual smell, perhaps the first of all. His sense of smell did not morph fully, yet to be restored – the great, endless world of stinks and redolences is still far from returning to his nest inside his body. Oh, a smell. His long cougarish tail trembled. Wonderfully provoking smell of the living. A surprise! Beast’s nostrils thrilled. He felt a shape forming in his mind, a bending curve leading him to his right. And he quickly looked down from the skies, to his right as his brain instructed, and as the earthly sights rapidly merged into a picture of mesa’s surroundings, he saw a small, wondrous creature look directly at him.
Was that… a weasel of sorts? Is it alive?
For a blinding second, he realized that his need for food did not trigger. And before he could think of it, of this good sign, he heard the creature speak. "Hello, Saabathel," it said. Saabathel waited for a brief moment, realizing that the animal heard him utter the words he designed to assure him that he has returned from the unimaginable chaos, the primordiality. And he completely forgot about the fact that he considered this place deader than empty graves. Being able to talk to many forms of animals, Saabathel could not tell whether the animal speaks his tongue, or was he referred to telepathically. His mind did not adjust yet. Moreso, he, in fact, could not tell whether he even could do the things he could before being disintegrated. And it felt best to attempt to utter words of the nature. But then the creature introduced itself, and has declared to be in a particular form.
“Omin.”, breathed Saabathel.
He listened to Omin’s voice taking a chair in the outskirts of his mind, sitting down and lighting a pipe. He enjoyed it. He pulled one leg up. His feet had claws much like his hands. He rose successfully, though with a bit of insecurity in his knees. He was almost ten feet tall, shoulders as wings. He was massive, muscular, though it’s muscles did not have training in them, nay. He was naturally strong, thick, like boulders sewn together. Unveiling his body from his own shadows, the dim light of the windy day cast its rays across numerous, massive scars. His fur was pleasantly clean, but mismatched with marks and rough lines, like a glass shattered in a hand. He looked as if he was not just injured, but severed several times. He remembered those moments well. They sting from time to time. The one around his neck in particular. He felt it as he observed Omin. So, all the burdens his body carries come back too? Why?
“Omin”, he repeated. He picked up Omin’s gesture. He was not sure was it just a random gest, or was he greeted, and thus he quickly nodded, and moved his forearm towards his body with a quick opening of his palm, to offer greetings. He lowered his hand and let it fall by his body, as if collecting sense of air. If it speaks, it is smart enough to know the simplest of manners, Saabathel figured. He looked around subtly, turning his body just enough to feel the wind wrapping his torso from behind. He tried to feel all the restless spirits Omin mentioned. There were too many to handle. He quickly revoked his invitation, and looked back at Omin. Saabathel felt weak.
“I mean no harm.”
Edited March 15th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
Omin watched as Saabathel rose, shakily, to his full height. The Beast towered above the polecat, catching the light across his massive body. Omin tilted his head slightly as he took in the elegant, yet visibly battered, form of this extraordinary being. The black fur shone pleasantly, even through the clear criss-crissing of scars that the flesh below had suffered. The polecat gave a slight downward nod as Saabathel again repeated his name, not taking his gaze from the Beast's muscular frame.
Omin received the gesture of greeting that Saabathel offered in return, but couldn't help but notice how quickly it was dropped. He listened to the Beast speak, then gave an even-toned reply. "No, I suspected not," Omin answered. "And while clearly I pose no threat, I would intend no harm upon you regardless." The polecat turned his head slightly to the side, looking a ways past Saabathel, toward a hollow trunk of what had once been an ancient, shady tree.
Looking back to Saabathel, Omin said, "I know nothing of the experience you've just endured – emerging from nothingness into being, carrying the weight of past lives – but I imagine it takes a toll of no small significance. Please," Omin nodded toward a pile of large, smooth boulders, dark in color, that rested a few paces behind Saabathel, against the steep sides of the Mesa, "those rocks will sometimes catch what heat is afforded in these dreary days. Indulge yourself a rest upon them, if you'd like, and excuse me briefly." Omin dropped to all fours and turned his body away, looking over his shoulder at the Beast. "I will return after a moment's haste." He scurried down the broken bit of rubble he'd been perched upon, and darted, unseen, through the tavern ruins.
Still out of sight, Omin's slender body dipped into an abandoned burrow. Omin had become so familiar with the underground tunnels of long-passed rodents that he scarcely had to think about where he was walking anymore. He followed the twists a short distance before climbing up a steep exit, poking his nose through a hole in the earth. The hole led into the darkness of the hollow tree trunk he had glanced at in Saabathel's presence. It was in this tree-trunk shelter that Omin had stored all the possessions he had taken with him to Barrengales Mesa, which were few and scant.
Omin hoisted his long body out of the earth and looked at the wooden walls. Against one side of the trunk was a pair of hinges, which held a door that could hardly be seen unless one knew where to look. Omin felt suddenly weary, not sure if he had the strength left to change his form back. He closed his beady eyes and took a few deep breaths, then sat back on his haunches and began to grow. All it once, his limbs, torso, and face grew and shifted, taking on the form of a human. His white fur receded, and on the top of his head grew shocks of straight black hair that danced just barely over his eyes and ears. His eyes maintained their dark blue coloring, and as the grey marks on his pale face vanished, Omin staggered and leaned against the corky walls around him.
He gave a soft, almost nonexistent, chuckle of pleasure. It had been too long since he'd assumed his natural form. It was like stretching one's limbs out of a cramped position. He had tried to spend time in human shape during his years living here, but it was impossible to sustain such a large life-form in such a desolate land, and the constant switching of forms left him increasingly tired. Even now, after just one transformation, he felt faint, and a dreadful ravenousness shook him. He panted lightly as he leaned against the walls, feeling the rough bark surface against his protruding ribs. Eventually, he straightened up and stepped into a pair of simple brown pants, fastening them with a belt over his naked, skeletal pelvis. Throwing on an equally bland cardigan, which fit much more loosely than it had before, he pushed open the small door in the trunk, crouched down to step out into the light, and closed it behind him.
Omin walked back towards Saabathel now, teetering slightly, unused to the motions of a human body. His movements started to become smoother with each stride, and before long he had walked back within speaking range. "Thank you for your patience," Omin said, in a soothing voice that was the same as the polecat's. He took another few steps toward the Beast. Omin's human form was of a diminutive height, a little more than half as tall as Saabathel's large body. Omin had a certain youthfulness, too; clearly he was within the first decade of adulthood. Altogether, his figure remained unthreatening, but perhaps for his erect posture, which declared a certain self-posession that a much frailer ego might find insulting.
Omin folded his legs beneath him, falling into a seated position, and breathed deeply. He looked up and regarded Saabathel with a steady gaze. "If I may inquire," he said, taking on a questioning tone, "do you know what you intend to do next?"
Posted March 15th, 2017
Omin's errand-running nature was a tad too fast for Saabathel. Before he comprehended that he was both invited and excused, the small creature was already gone. Saabathel reflected upon spoken words, pleasantly attuned, he thought, and in an attempt to recall of what was just said he repeated the moving images until he concluded to what did Omin refer to. He stagnantly looked around himself until he identified the place for rest. Inside of him, a sardonic laugher chipped in as he recalled of Omin’s words. “And while clearly I pose no threat…”. Few pieces of memory emerged from his vast history of small places, small people and small creatures alike. “Yes… clearly you don’t.” He thought – and walked over to the resting site. Though his footsteps were heavy and the pass was lengthy, he didn’t bother to inspect the site. What are the odds that the very first thing he sees might attempt to eat him? But the truth was, his senses were still askew, and he didn’t calculate that fact in. Something here might have already tried to threaten him. Yet he took a different route: he thought of all the spirits he feels roaming around, and of the muddy skies and the dry land, and of the ruined world – perhaps he might be considered as a chance for a different outcome, perhaps that’s worth keeping him alive for a while. A sad place, this Barrengales Mesa. No one will attempt to eat him here. What for?
He coughed heavily. His body was struggling with the act of resurgence. He was too quick to stand, it all happened too fast. The black matter briefly emerged from his body, like honey dripping from a spoon, it flowed down from him, interacting with the boulders. He laid his blackened palms upon them, pat them. He enjoying the warmth. It was a different kind of warmth. It spilled over down his spine which was marked with a deep carving it followed from the marks around his neck. He closed his eyes, and lost himself in the moment: ordered himself to collect his guts. He raised his black-soaked forearms up, as if offering himself to the sun. On the sun, it was clear that his fur had silverine features, it was a cameo of ashes and silver lining. The black matter, lashing about, withdrew back. His ears twitched, and he traced the source with his eyes. His iris restored its faint emerald colour smudged with yellow spectre. His pupil achieved its narrow form. He was a predator, alright, and his senses felt Omin coming out, and coming out as quite a different creature. At that moment, he heard the crack similar to those one might hear when opening the doors.
When Saabathel saw the young human, hundreds of faces thundered through his mind. He didn’t recognize him. He was neither from Barrengales Mesa nor from Nebefallen for that matter. Or perhaps now was the other way around – perhaps Saabathel himself – their protector – might be considered a foreigner now. Still, something about the fact that it was a new face, a new person, he liked about. Could it be possible… that he might never see a familiar face again? What does that speak of this world, or of himself? A castaway of misfortune.
"Thank you for your patience," Omin said to Saabathel. He took another few steps towards him, then sat. He was roughly of an average commonfolk height, at least as far as Saabathel could remember, but Saabathel battled smaller beings, and knew sizes sometimes matter close to nothing. Especially when magic was involved, and he could not tell whether Omin was trained in arts, a druid or shaman of sorts, perhaps, or it was his natural ability, which is something Saabathel would prefer. When Omin asked him about his intentions, it came as a surprise, but at the same time as a certain assurance. The fact that Omin did not even blink to anything that happened in the past dozen minutes, or even the fact that he did not mind seeing Saabathel bare-cocked, meant that Omin had seen a thing or two. Keeping in mind his shapeshifting abilities used to hide about, it might’ve been that he experienced a thing or two more. Because there were two types of survivors. Omin might have been the other type, the one that does not secure his life by breaking the wall with his head. Saabathel decided to indulge him proper. He turned around toward him and sat, lifting his tail up then laying it against the boulders freely.
He did not respond.
Edited March 15th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
From his seated position, Omin watched the black panther-like beast. It shifted toward him, and Omin watched the black tail as it rose then fell across the boulders.
Omin let the silence settle between them, patiently waiting for the Beast to say something in response. It seemed that Saabathel was not wont to answer questions; all the same, Omin was willing to bide in silence for thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes...
At last Omin let out a quiet sigh and stood up, a little shakily. "Let me know if I can offer anything," he said simply, "though I'm afraid there is naught but insects and spiders by way of food here."
Omin trudged his way towards one of the Mesa's sharp walls and leaned his back against it, looking skyward. He slid back into a seated position, face still turned toward the light. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, enjoying the sensation of filling up his two, suddenly expansive lungs. He put one hand across his chest to feel the slow, steady beat of his human heart.
Posted March 15th, 2017
Saabathel carefully observed Omin's behavior. When Omin seemed to have lost his patience, but at the same time appeared to even further relax his disposition, Saabathel decided to loosen his guard and speak up before he causes any misunderstandings. He was unsure whether Omin is a solitary being or not, and he was unsure what was the last time Omin saw anybody. As far as Saabathel was concerned, any further delay in conversation might worsen Omin's initial good will.
The beast leaned forth, and spoke up. His voice greatly detached him from this world. It was rough, growly, resonant and bassy, and it seemed as if he is using more than a pair of vocal cords.
"I offer my thanks for your customs. You will certainly forgive for my muteness. If this is Barrengales Mesa, then I am sitting at the place I... vanished from... ages ago."
With his body facing Omin, his eyes made a simple overview of the land, looking out for more and slightly more proofs about the land he is in. He does not know how much time passed. He does not know whether it is real - as real as Edenia ever was. It truly does feel real, yet it is possible that it is not. He has to keep his 'soul' intact.
"And you've made your home out of what's been known as Prophet's Bulwark.", rumbled the beast. His tone was radiant with respect towards the spoken name, though there was a drop of cynism in it, perhaps an attempt to instruct Omin that he does understand that this is the same, but different land.
"How long you've been here, sir Omin? Did you ever hear about Prophet's Bulwark?", asked Saabathel with a subtle flavour of uncertainty. Things greatly depend on Omin's answer.
Edited March 15th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
At the sound of Saabathel's otherworldly, resonant voice, Omin cracked open his eyes, turning his head toward the creature. He seemed almost to bask in the Beast's speech, whether because he found the deepness of the noise pleasing or because he delighted in hearing a voice other than his own mattered not.
His expression took on a slight, but genuine, smile in response to Saabathel's words. There was something genial in Omin's mannerisms, a tacit message that fell between gratitude and hospitality. He opened his eyes fully and turned his shoulders to face Saabathel more directly, opening himself to him. He watched as the beast's shining emerald eyes surveyed the hollow they were in, almost as if they were searching for clues.
Saabathel continued speaking, identifying this place as the Prophet's Bulwark. Omin nodded in recognition as the Beast spoke, listening to the distinct tone his voice took on as he spoke the name.
Eventually, Saabathel addressed Omin directly again. The shapeshifter chuckled warmly when he heard himself referred to with a "sir."
"Please, I am unworthy of such formality," he replied. "You need not address me so properly. As for the Prophet's Bulwark, yes, this place retains that name on the maps. Though as you can surely see, it is hardly a place anymore." Omin's expression darkened slightly as he, too, scanned his eyes across the mesa. He looked back to Saabathel, smiled vaguely, then looked upwards again. He deliberately hadn't answered the question of how long he'd been there; he was sure Saabathel was less interested in that answer.
Edited March 15th, 2017
Barrengales' vigourus wind quickly declined by the time Omin confirmed knowing the name. It was Barrengales' trait and he remembered it well. It had something to do with the cyclonal shifts around the top of the woodlands that surrounded the outskirts of the valley Barrengales Mesa was erect in, though Saabathel never bothered to inspect it with philosophers from Cyd Omonia. Sharp drops were common, even sharper rises more so. For Saabathel, now it was easier to hear and smell. His muzzle, ears and tail twitched as they collected new fragments of his surroundings, far out towards the Mesa borders two miles away. Truly, there were very few living things here worthy of notice. Insects just won’t do.
“It retains its names on the map.”, said Omin. Saabathel reflected on that piece of information. That it “retains” its name meant that there are folks who still use maps, and that there are maps of recent origin, which for Saabathel meant that there are traces of civilization still. Or perhaps it was only Nebelfallen that was meant to die, and he was meant to die with it. Probabilities hoarded in his mind. Precisely because of the Discordia Gateways, it is possible that some parts of Edenian regions were meant to be destroyed, while the rest of the causalities simply could not have not happen in such a grand assault, but were then left afterwards to recover and carry under the guidance of new masters.
One thing he was certain of was that he has to see the latest possible maps Omin might have. It bothered him that Omin did not answer his other question, at this point it might have been a crucial piece of information, and now it would be quite inappropriate to demand the answer. The way Saabathel saw it, Omin either did not know, did not dare to know or has kept the information for reasons he understood well, but are not meant to be elaborated. Dreadful option crossed Saabathel’s mind. Omin could have been a watcher, an informant. If this world has anything to do with his recent memories, it would be only logical. Though if that’s the case – and he truly hoped it is not – the insects truly will not do. Thus Saabathel concluded that he will get the information the other way around, if possible. He joined his hands together, criss-crossed his fingers, and bowed his head, clearly to contemplate over the matter flowing in the gorge of his mind. It was a gesture all together, trying to let Omin know that he let himself trust Omin even for a bit.
He spoke up. Serenely, his cords were bringing into his speech a certain etherealness, though the odd content of his words probably came from his unusual situation. Yet explaining the whole background for the probable reasons for why and how he found himself again in this world was something Omin could find insulting, or worse. As of now, it seemed like Omin did not care much for the past, or at least he had the right approach when he met with a naked hulking brute spitting organic black matter with features of elementary intelligence, which was a reason more to like him altogether, this odd creature on his own. But he might like to know that this beast was not a simpleton, and offering some of his lore to him might trigger something, for better or for worse.
“You speak of maps being recent… I wonder if we can speak of the same world. Please indulge me.”, said the towering cougar with a pinch of relief. "Prophet’s Bulwark was the resting place for warriors from Edenia, the continent we live on. It was managed by Vene Exellas at the time of Tenebra, the last age of Edenian prosperity, when its life began to descent into madness, and thus marked an epoch beyond Golden age. The Golden age started to collapse during the year 2002 O. P. N., which stands for “on the path of Nisheeva Pytha”, the apparent semi-goddess which guided first commonfolk to rise from animals and establish Edenia.”, said Saabathel, and silenced, trailing off. “I never met her. I cannot speak of her existence.”, he said distantly, waited for a moment’s right, then proceeded: “Prophet’s Bulwark resides in Barrengales Mesa, which is this…” – he showed around gently with his arms and pointed at the size of it – “… ruined land. It was not so before Tenebra. Before Tenebra, this was the garden of life. Unlike the frosty north, far up to Alefroux, or the misty, bleak south, Sabooth… loved its inhabitants. Barrengales Mesa is but a spot in Nebelfallen which is but a realm in Sabooth, beginning somewhat south-east from the central Edenian city we called ‘Naggaroth’.” The beast paused. “By the time Prophet’s Bulwark was established… Naggaroth was ruined. I… vanished…. sometime later.”
Saabathel looked up at Omin. His feline eyes were the rivers of agon.
“What do maps say about the history of this becoming? Is there life outside Nebelfallen?”
Edited March 16th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
((Hello – so sorry I didn't manage to reply today! I intended to, but ended up being quite busy. I am also leaving tomorrow for a week-long trip to Costa Rica! While I am abroad, I am not sure how frequently I will be able to respond. But I will try my best to reply soon, and then as often as I can after that. :) Thanks for your patience!))
Posted March 17th, 2017
[I will wait, no problem. Perhaps Cacila will manage to join in the meantime. Have a safe trip.]
Posted March 19th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
(Ah, forgot about this post. Been sick, working and playing Zelda. Today I'm off so I'll do my best to read this threa to get caught up. Do you have an email we can communicate with or some kind of skype or whatever? Email would be best since I'm by my phone frequently.)
Posted March 28th, 2017
[Please join freely, no limits here. If you think we need to communicate for the purpose of this play, no need, this is an freestyle approach to the play, we build together, attempt to understand each other, OP leads a bit, no planning forth. :)]
Posted March 30th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
((I'm sorry that I'm yet to reply myself! Had no wifi on my trip and, once I got back, was slammed with work to catch up on. I'll try to get something up this weekend.))
Posted March 31st, 2017
[no problem, waiting. :)]
Posted April 2nd, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
Omin watched with an expression of patient neutrality as Saabathel crossed his fingers and bowed his head, clearly lost in thought. This gesture of Saabathel's made Omin feel more at ease, less uncertain about how the legendary being was going to take to him. Omin averted his eyes politely, hoping to give Saabathel some space to think. But it wasn't long before the Beast's resonant, exquisite voice rang through the space between them once again.
Omin listened, eyes showing his attentiveness, as Saabathel began to relay some of the great history of Edenia. Occasionally, he would nod to show his understanding; but beyond that, neither his movements nor expressions revealed much of his internal responses. He sat still, and quietly took in what the Shadow Cougar had to say.
As Saabathel concluded his story, he looked up at Omin. Omin met the intense expression in his emerald eyes, feeling struck by sympathy for this otherworldly creature. There was something in the way Saabathel's voice trailed off that indicated there were burdens he carried that went left unspoken, and Omin felt the urge to provide the Beast some form of comfort. But their eyes met only briefly before Saabathel spoke again, asking Omin his question: “What do maps say about the history of this becoming? Is there life outside Nebelfallen?”
Omin shifted his posture, leaning slightly away, with a deep inhalation of Barrengales' grey air. He exhaled more slowly and raised a hand to rub a weary eye. "Yes," he said simply, and let the word hang in the air for a moment. "Life in Edenia is scattered and broken, but it persists." A slight breeze tussled his hair, and Omin gave a slow blink of pleasure at the feeling. He wanted to be touched, desperately. Even this – this opportunity to speak with another intelligent life-form – was itself as a bountiful oasis in his stark solitude. Omin continued, suddenly not sure if he would be able to stop...
"We are base creatures making base societies. Life endures – tenaciously, remarkably – on this earth. But it has lost its sense for the sacred. Life has turned away from higher powers and higher aims – not out of hatred for the Gods or for the ideals of civilization, but out of simple indifference. We no longer sing praise, we no longer ask why, we simply are. It is rare to find a community that aims beyond the satisfaction of its most mundane needs.
"Just as art has been rendered worthless so long as it cannot be made into a tool, so have philosophical and spiritual leaders been forced to pick up new livelihoods, or face gradual expulsion from societies that no longer wish to support them. Education is only perpetuated if it can be used to gather resources or fight petty wars. History and scholarship are being undone. Books are burned as fuel. Maps are used only for conquest. Old gods, new gods – if any are left, we've turned our backs to them. The Children of the Deep Within wrought their damage: there is life, yes; but culture has all but crumbled." Here, Omin paused, dizzied by his hunger. He closed his eyes and rested an arm across his stomach, briefly contemplating shrinking himself back into a polecat's form – but greater values were at stake. He looked up at Saabathel again, and continued.
"I was born to a cause, to a languishing ideology that holds onto the hope that Edenia might yet resurrect its once-thriving civilizations. I was raised through a rigorous childhood toward this end, I am a tool for this purpose. I am studied in history and have read the great texts. I was trained as a philosopher. I have traveled, some, before coming here, where I was instructed, simply, to wait.
"That was many years ago, when most would still have considered me a child. I do not know if any of our cause remains intact, apart from myself. I have not heard news since coming here. I know not what state this world's inhabitants are presently in. None but few knew that it was but a question of time before you might emerge from the chaotic substance of the world, and these few roam the lands of Nebelfallen, because we are its dwellers…" Omin trailed off and bowed his head, feeling tiredness in the words.
But shortly, he forced his posture upright again, and looked Saabathel in the eye. "We awaited your return."
((Thanks for being so patient with me! This RP is certainly challenging; let me know if this response needs to be changed in any way.))
Edited May 17th, 2017
After Omin began to talk, Saabathel quickly realized that there is much more to this than what he previously thought. It was a relief that Omin had things to say, and that they brought sensible things into his wealthy, yet empty knowledge. This relief... The coming of the world as being opened to him felt like resting beneath Jïshka waterfalls again, like willingly enduring the free fall of the mother’s caress for the first time in a day stuck between never and forever. It was only when Omin started to describe the ways of the world – "Life in Edenia is scattered and broken, but it persists." – from which Saabathel once departed, that he began to convince himself that he has truly returned. And quickly a sorrow fell with the waterfalls, the sorrow of particular kind which he safely kept behind his stern visage, with which he will have to deal sooner or later. But the imperfection of the world gave him hope. "Just as art has been rendered worthless so long as it cannot be made into a tool, so have philosophical and spiritual leaders been forced to pick up new livelihoods…" – As Omin spoke, they were too many, and too many meant the reality – "History and scholarship are being undone. Books are burned as fuel. Maps are used only for conquest…", the struggling. Thus it meant a world of flesh and bone… where things can die and fall apart into oblivion.
And then Omin said the words Saabathel wanted to hear: "The Children of the Deep Within wrought their damage: there is life, yes; but culture has all but crumbled."
The same name. His ears twitched. It is still here. It really is. It seemed that they adopted the description Saabathel and his comrades used instead of their... its… true name. He heaved, his eyes narrowed into a poisonous slit as the last word rolled off Omin’s tongue. When Omin took a pause – to adjust, he figured – Saabathel brought back into his memory just why they used it, why was it “Children of the Deep Within”. They turned this world upside down by their rule of strife, feeding on the endless struggle which they perpetuated, and which grew natural, nested itself into everyone’s psyche, spread its vines, and with it cracked the shell of everyone’s deepest secrets held at bay by nothing more than the sense of security. It was how it operated, it was, in a sense, what it was. Saabathel remember when he saw it for the first time, far up in the Alefroux, a strange group of “children” as black as ink, with eyes wide and white, utterly soulless and fervourously thirsty for them. They came from somewhere deep in the forests unpassable, but he remembered that Spike Armada and Mistraal speculated how they might have come from another realm altogether, though... thought Saabathel to himself many times afterwards… “We never managed to search those woodlands for Discordian Gate, we were already limping…”, repeated Saabathel within himself – to himself. It was “existential dispersion of enmity”, as Aninkhilar of Naggaroth, wisebeard, said not long before his hometown fell. It was the same damn power. It must have been. They appeared as children, and began to feed on fears imbued into commonfolk and bound by them. It was what was buried deep within the Edenians, and oh it so devastatingly dug its way out.
"Fucking Children of the Deep Within", spit Saabathel as Omin began to talk again, and hushed him with words he did not anticipate. For a moment there, Saabathel truly remained speechless. Trained and sent with a cause to wait for his arrival? Saabathel was quick to speculate. He did not believe that he became a part of history books, though he left quite a mark. It would be easier to eliminate him from the records. Thus the second possibility was apparent. He was loved by some, and hated by many. From this, again two possibilities branched. Either the hateful breed realized that he might be a functioning part of the larger scheme of things, which in turn might give Saabathel a number of answers on the matters of his personal origin, or some of the few, those that stayed by his side until the end, are still alive. From this, an idea thundered: many surely died in the wars, others from old age. But elves, demihumans and hybrids might have survived. Which meant that Cacila too… might have survived. Yet it meant little. From both situations there were no more than two options probable. The first one was that Omin was falsely trained to believe that he is here to aid him, yet his true purpose will be orchestrated to bring doom to the one who yet again recovered from the blades of fate. The second one was that he was guided by the remaining wisebeards operating during Tenebra, and that meant that there could be hidden groups defying Children of the Deep Within.
At this point, Saabathel had no choice. When Omin spoke his last words, it was Saabathel who gathered himself, rose, walked over to him, offered him a subtle, but noticeable bow, a bow which seemed to have been first since ever, and he offered his large beastly hand to see whether Omin will know of the shake that died centuries ago, a simple one that mankind thought him, wrist by wrist.
“A philosopher. A rare word, scarcely used. Edenians used to call your kind wisebeards. Omin, the wisebeard, I know nothing of what you told me. Listen to my question: the ‘few’ you speak of. Those who taught you your ways. Can we find them?”
Edited April 7th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
[I guess folks forgot about it. Though if anybody feels like simply continuing this, I'm stalking the forum and will respond accordingly]
Posted May 13th, 2017
by Shadow Cougar
((Totally forgot about this once school picked up. I'm sure my apologies are starting to wear thin. :S I made plans to go out tonight, but tomorrow I'll post something.))
Posted May 16th, 2017
Watching Saabathel gather himself and rise, Omin couldn't yet make sense of what tone the Beast's response was taking. The large being walked towards him, and Omin could only look up expectantly, half-fearful, but altogether resigned to whatever eventuality Saabathel would enact next.
To Omin's surprise, Saabathel offered a subtle bow. Omin himself scrambled to his feet, resting a hand against the rock wall for a steadying moment, then noticed Saabathel's outstretched hand. He closed the distance between them and gripped the Beast's wrist firmly. His hand was small and pale in comparison to the Beast's muscular girth; all the same, he shook Saabathel's hand with a sense of assurance, looking him in the eye as a gentle smile crossed his face.
Saabathel began to speak again, which was somehow a relief. The direct connection of a common language was a source of comfort and familiarity for Omin, as he met with this legendary being. And there was contentment in listening to Saabathel's otherworldly voice. But Omin found himself shaking his head slightly. "I must apologize if I've misled you," he said. "While the wisebeards trained me in their ways, my studies have not yet been comprehensive enough to earn that title myself. But yes, if any are left, I should know how to find them." Omin turned his head back towards his hollow tree, then said to Saabathel, "I beg you excuse me another moment," before turning to walk that direction.
He returned some minutes later, carrying with him the pack that held his possessions. Though it was small and light, it felt heavy to him, pressing into his shoulders with each step. But he maintained an erect posture as he walked, eventually settling back into a seated position near Saabathel. He pulled his pack in front of him and reached inside, fishing for an object. When he pulled it out, it was cupped within his hand, likely obscured from Saabathel's sights, though not deliberately. It was a small, faded orb, seemingly made of glass. He covered it in both hands and lifted it toward his face, bowing his head and closing his eyes. He whispered something inaudible into the object, which began to take on color and glow faintly – a blueish white hue. It was a signaling orb. If any of the remaining few that roamed Nebelfallen were left, their own orbs would begin to glow the same, signaling that Omin had lit his.
This task accomplished, Omin returned the orb to his pack while it still glowed, perhaps less discretely than he'd taken it out. He stood and hoisted the bag back onto his shoulders in the same motion, and looked to Saabathel. "I must admit," he said, beginning to walk, beckoning Saabathel to follow with his eye contact, "I am not sad to leave this place." He fell quiet as he made his way in the direction of Barrengale Mesa's only exit.
It was going to be a brisk walk – not too far, but also, not too close. They would arrive at the sheer cliff edge in less than an hour, the sole location at which the steep walls that lined the mesa gave way. As they walked, Omin felt the world almost as a surreal experience, often feeling inclined to drop to all fours and scurry along the dusty floor, looking for mites to eat. It was a dizzying sensation, this traveling upright after so long. He stumbled occasionally, perhaps out of hunger or this disorientation.
They made it to the Barrengales exit, and Omin looked down the dizzying side of the mesa. There was a worn staircase etched into the cliffside, its utility functional but precarious, especially now that it had stopped seeing any maintenance but for the steady buffet of the wind. Omin began to make the descent towards the valley floor, feeling within him a sense of elation; at last he was able to step outside the ringed mesa borders. When he reached the last stair and stepped onto the wide-open earth, he took in the landscape with a sense of gratitude and allowed himself a muted smile. But he did not linger. Omin began to move on, walking through the empty, lifeless valley. He looked over his shoulder and said, "We will find the rest of my order in Nascentia. The city was humble and frail when I saw it last. It was built underground, below the ruins of Naggaroth."
Omin staggered momentarily, then stopped walking. He turned to Saabathel. "It has been a long time since I made the journey. I must assume you know the way as well?" His posture bent over slightly, as though he were out of breath. He surveyed the open valley again, then straightened up and looked back to Saabathel. "My order – the Order of Nasci – aims to resist the influence that the Children of the Deep Within hold over the consciousnesses of Edenians. Ultimately, our goal is to subvert and overcome their rule." Omin looked toward the horizon with a shallow sigh. "Our guiding philosophy is to yield to the natural path toward which all existence is naturally drawn – unless it is corrupted, as much of it has been. When life is in touch with its own nature, there will be harmony. We view you as a part of that nature," Omin said, looking pointedly at Saabathel, then back west. "Some say you are an amalgamate of the errors of nature and mistakes of fellowman, a menace. Perhaps you are. Whatever the case, this universe has made you manifest. You, like all life, are a force of the natural order." Omin shifted his weight to face Saabathel.
"We believe in a concept of reversion – that the farther the world strays from its path, the harder the universe will push it back toward its place. If you are a menace, an affliction of our own errors, perhaps that is your intended role. Perhaps your manifestation is an act of reversion, of the universe pushing back. But we make no presumptions about who you might be, or how you might chose to act. We don't claim to label or define you, as only the universe can. We wanted only to welcome you, and to offer our aid if we could – because if you exist, you are what must be." Omin blinked heavily and looked up at the sky, locating the sun's position to estimate the time of day.
"We only hope that you might help bring about the end we seek – the riddance of those most unnatural Children of the Deep Within." His eyes narrowed as he spoke their name again, making eye-contact with Saabathel's in a moment of solidarity, a distaste for those creatures. But Omin quickly let it pass, expression becoming soft again. "If you don't wish to align with us, we have other operations keeping us busy. The choice is entirely yours." As he spoke the last phrase, he turned once again in the direction they were to be headed, staring forward at the miles to come. He found himself rooted to the spot, tired, maybe, weary. How many days of travel would this be? Was he strong enough?
Posted May 17th, 2017