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What Fear Teaches
10-02-2020, 01:44 AM
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Eridanus, King of Yaurith

The news had reached his throne just as the last trees of the forest parted, strange magicks pulling the gnarled undergrowth aside to reveal ancient roads that spanned across the once-impregnable woods. At first, the notion of it brought forth an ire from the King; he had slammed his fists upon his desk and thew aside papers and books that once had been neatly stacked. Harbinger magic had never worked in the past, and their Deities lived only in their traitorous heads. Now the ironclad grip he'd had on his citizens could be called into question, his teachings no longer absolute but now up for debate. Even the whispers among the nobles drew rage from the King, who stalked his throne room for hours as more and more Templars filled his great marble halls with news of civilian unrest, and rumored groups of Harbingers already beginning to breach the new pathway. But as his anger came to wane, a new, sinister idea seeded deep within the Mad King's mind: the world now lay at his paws, and long had his army been building, desperate to break outside the confining walls of Yaurith and spread throughout the world like a unified force, an army outsiders would be woefully unprepared for. With the ideations of his growing empire dangled before him like a tangible fantasy, Eridanus instructed his highest-ranking Templars to meet him at the entrance of the Woods; and that day, for the first time in many years, the King donned his best suit of armor and his sharpest sword, and descended from his throne to the entrance of the Woods.

Far and treacherous was their journey. They had found the bodies of those long missing and long forgotten, as well as straggling hunters shellshocked from the interruption to their inquisition, and Harbingers unable to keep up with the bulk of their horde (those of which were quickly beheaded, under the order of the King). As they breeched the heart of the Woods, where no wolf had dare go before, Eridanus and his army felt a sudden chill run up their spines; the sun had long begun to set, and the howls of distant dark creatures frightened even the most seasoned of warriors. Throughout the night they set up camp, and when the morning encroached upon this new territory, they found they had all survived.

Finally, when the cliffs began to even and the forest began to recede, they came upon a road; ancient ruins where once a small city may have prospered now lay abandoned and decayed, a hallowed reminder of what once might have belonged to Kings far before Eridanus. To the south was an appealing Moorland, and quick was the King to set his knights forth into the unknown, instructing his Templars not to let citizens and natives pass beyond their expedition. But to the north a peculiar feat: Harbinger tracks and scent trails that lead straight to a jagged, rocky path that seemed to cross the northern oceans. Treacherous it seemed, but they were unified in their mission. With the strength of their magicks now confirmed, Eridanus could not let a single Harbinger slip through his grasp. “Find them,” Eridanus proclaimed as he stood upon a large felled column overlooking the Roadsmeet, the glint of his golden armor reflecting brilliant off the sun burning above head,

“And kill them all.”

Eridanus has begun his conquest of the Moorlands! Templars and Citizens alike follow his army through the Woods to discover these new lands, and are presented with a few options: They may join the Templars in exploring new territories and interacting with the newly-discovered Southlanders, stay at the Roadsmeet and begin to rebuild the new haven for trading, or join the Templar conquest against the Harbingers!

Please bare in mind that those who decide to journey with Adros will not be able to create threads unless they pre-date the opening of Askan's Woods as they will start on a path they cannot return from until the journey is finished. You may liquid time threads to take place in the past. Any new threads can be made only with those going on the journey with you. Any Citizens, members of the Order, or Harbinger dissenters who's identities have not been revealed may join on this quest.

10-02-2020, 04:46 AM
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The young templar followed the King and his army through the forest. Whether or not he actually believed in the man's cause didn't matter, he was to follow that was his job. He was but an initiate, at the lowest rank in the templars, it didn't matter what he said, he would get dismissed—or worse, he would get booted out. In his short time with The Order he had learned that there was next to no leniency. It was black and white. Which was fine with him, it made things easier, he didn't have to be stuck between a rock and hard place with gray decisions. It was just left or right, up or down, no diagonal or fuzzy lines.

Still... something didn't sit quite right with him when he heard those chilling words.

"Find them, and kill them all."

He had always told himself that he would kill a Harbinger if givent he chance. Trauma of childhood had twisted his view of the world and left a stain of taint on his heart, left something bitter in place of forgiveness. It was different when he told himself that he would not hesitate to end the life of those liars. It was easier saying it in his head. However, when King Eridanus has spoken the words as a command, it felt different. A darkness unlike his own, a black goo dripping over the words that radiated a foul stench. A piercing arrow through his ears. It was so much easier to listen to his own voice say the words, but when another said it—it was a mirror being held up to himself. His own beliefs being reflected back at him, and he didn't like what he saw.

No matter.

That's why he was a just a templar, no resounding title, it made decision making easier... because he didn't have to make any.

"here comes the sun"

— coded by aureate —

10-02-2020, 05:21 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2020, 05:23 PM by Lydia.)
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Bruised, battered but undefeated, Lydia's body bears the marks of a battle hard-fought and hard-won. With the coming of dawn she finds her muscles aching and her joints stiff, and the skin across her ribs where the bear's claws traced their marks is tender, but she's alive. She's yet uncertain what drove her to enter that fray with such wild abandon, shirking most of her interpersonal rules of observing rather than partaking, but there was something about the urgency of it that made it clear she was to participate. Hardly a woman to do anything for the greater good, Lydia chalks it up to a seizure of opportunity -- and it paid off in loot, at the very least. Having limped from the battle to tend to her wounds in the night, she'd slept rather well atop the large pelt she'd procured and awoke feeling somewhat restored, if very sore. She'd dressed her wounds with what herbs she could find and tended to them with the careful precision of her tongue, which eased the sting and would surely help them heal in the long run.

Things wouldn't be the same, however. With her satchel filled with much of her prizes among other sundries, she foregoes her trip to the market and instead to investigate the parting trees and the unexplained event that had taken place immediately following the battle. She'd left her fight companions behind and in so doing found herself drawn to the pull of the magic that parted the forest, revealing the pathway to lands unknown and knowing full well that the King and his cohorts would be gathering in haste. With every intent to remain out of sight of the Templars and the Order (not only out of self preservation but also out of personal taste), Lydia dons her most careful and collected guise and trails the King's conclave at a safe distance.

With her hood pulled snug over her head and body donned in the pelt she'd procured (both for protection as well as to mask the scent of her wounds), she is careful to remain out of sight. From tree to tree she moves in the shadows, her eyes an eerie gleam of pale pink and yellow even as the dawn intensifies, threatening daylight. She's close enough now that she can hear the murmurings of the King and his men. From beneath a canopy of dead overgrowth Lydia presses herself, concealed from sight and flush to the ground with her proximity close enough that she can see the comings and goings and plainly hear the collective conversations. With the sight of the King in his armor, she understands one solidary thing: conquest. Her expression drifts to distaste as she looses a soft and silent breath, recognizing the newest Templar to join the grouping as one of the men she'd fought alongside only hours ago.

It is in this hiding place she'd remain for the time being, gleaning what information she could that might play useful to her own means, wondering -- above all else -- what it might mean should the King's conquest prove successful and the newly opened lands beyond the Roadsmeet met the full force of the city's strength.

Lydia rolled a 32 sneak. She is currently undetectable.

10-14-2020, 02:16 PM
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I was a woman once,
but that’s not the farthest thing from the sun
another universe might’ve
let me be: another universe might’ve let us be.

Long behind did she trail that hallowed path. The forest seemed far less frightening now, far less the harrowing ghost of its past that once loomed a foggy shadow just beyond the ancient stone walls of Yaurith, where mothers warned their pups dare not tread. What once had fought back so bitterly against the Order now crumpled under it; the path was heavy with footprints, stones unturned and roots unearthed, claws marking the trees as they passed and the corpses of half-eaten game strewn along the edges of their camps. Nahriye felt almost bittersweet. The excitement of this new place had been more overwhelming as she watched the forest shift and change from her window in the infirmary. Now, it seemed more like a sin to be here, as if this road is not meant for her. If not me, then who? She thought briefly of her beloved, and though her heart swelled with the warmth of his memory, a coldness soon gripped it too. He would certainly have been the one to fell these trees himself had the old magics not receded and done it for him. It had, after all, been his most important of plans. It had been the very thing that would have place him at Adros' side. Nahriye side, and abandoned her bandages on the roadside, littering this place just as those who had come before her.

As she emerged from the treeline, the marvel of the new, open world before her was something she could not hide. Wide- and wild-eyed she stared down toward the moorlands, watching the long peak of mountains so far in the distance they could almost blend in with the sky. She could hear the waves of the sea crashing just north of her, and the bustling of camps erected by merchants who seized on the opportunity to expand their reach. Eridanus' party gathered near the center, where the roads met in a large and open area where ancient columns and shattered walls seemed to have once been a great monument or temple. Quietly, she strode toward the gathering of Templars, young and eager-eyed as they accepted their assignments. Those compelled to return to Yaurith seemed almost pleased to not have to venture into the unknown, while the younger of them could barely stand shoving themselves out of the crowd to regroup and plunge into the open wilderness south of them. The scent of Harbingers hung heavy, however, masked underneath the overwhelming smell of iron and steel of the Order. Find them, the King declared, and Nahriye suddenly understood her suspicions had been correct: the Harbingers had gotten here first. And kill them all.

Nahriye sucked in her breath. She had managed since his death to avoid those patrols, like crusaders stealing into the night to tear Harbinger pups from Harbinger bellies; yet now, it seemed unavoidable. He would be standing there, first in line, bold and grinning. There had never been anything he wanted more than to impress the King, than to realize the worth he knew he had. Nahriye had always been more comfortable slinking back, to meld into the crowd where she could be thoughtless, guiltless. And yet, it was guilt that weighed heavy on her heart: guilt for chasing after Harbingers when she had doubted their crimes, and guilt for not doing it for his sake. “I'll go,” she finally decided, stepping forward toward the Knight Commander. And though she remained unfaltering, even she could not hide the strange flicker of hesitation in her eyes.

Nahriye is going with the Templars to the Serpentine Path

10-20-2020, 02:16 AM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2020, 02:24 AM by Cassius.)
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Cassius Dumonte
It had hardly been a day before Cassius was faced with the news of a great expedition lead by the king himself. The guard had been faced with sleepless nights and a heavy heart prior to the battle with that great bird. A reason to steal away from Yaruith seemed like a blessing in disguise. There was no doubt that Esmeray was fiercely upset with him but he needed space after her denial. He also needed to be sure this was what he wanted and how far he was willing to chase after her. She'd already told him no once. If he didn't come with a fire in his belly next time he knew for certain nothing would change.

The night before he'd tended to his wounds with clean rags and some herbs he'd bartered off a merchant in the marketplace. He was feeling better but sore. His jaw ached painfully still even with the help of a poppy sort of seed that dulled the pain. He'd sold the pelts he'd won in the battle for a good amount of coin. Still, nothing could ease the pain he felt in his jaw. That stag had truly done a number on him. Cassius did his best with booze and the herbs to patch himself up. The scars from his previous fight with that massive bear still littered his flanks. They were healing but the flesh was still pink and new.

He had left the house in the early hours of the morning after drilling the temporary person guard of Esmeray that if even a single fur strand was bent on her pelt he'd personally rip their ear off. Satisfied with his goodbyes to Esmeray he set off after the great legion of knights, templars, citizens, and merchants. He found himself settling with the order since he was known to many of them. As a personal guard to a head of house he was expected to train with them after all. The dark slate male offered a smile and nod to many familiar wolves as he passed. Coming to sit as a group of the order set up a small camp. A white female offered to join the band ahead. Cassius thought it was brave of the lass and stepped forward.

Chasing down the harbingers and murdering them felt cold foreign to the kind-hearted guard but he was not backing down. He had to change. He had to become stronger for Esmeray so she could lay her trust in him, clearly she could not do that at present. Flickering his dual-colored eyes upward toward the gathering group he rushed over. "I'll be happy to join your ranks." He stated warmly offered a smile to those coming to gather.

I speak & Familiar speaks

table ▸ bunny

10-20-2020, 03:45 AM
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I've fed my demons

War seemed far less threatening than the ire of the Silvasi father. When the command to flank the armies of King Eridanus had been declared, Aristide herded his brother down the mountain and into the fray. The trek had taken several days. Each night the wolf would lay beside his brother and lick at the sky, anxious to know what Sabina had been swindled into doing beneath those same stars. He feared leaving her without his protection in the midst of their father, but he knew that she’d never seen him the same. His sister’s eyes would soften and her lips would purse as she recanted Varujan, the noble father who promised her a royal life. Aristide had always snarled at such ideas. The only crown Varujan was capable of bestowing was one of blood.

Finally when the mass congregated for their final orders, Aristide’s eyes quickly found the King. Clad in gold armor and swarmed with faithful guards, there was a strange sense of achievement in their proximity. He’d been too young to understand, and too smart to ask, but the wolf wondered if his father had ever gotten this close to the man he conspired to kill. “Find them.” Eridanus commanded, hate a familiar fire that licked the words. “And kill them all.”

Wolves began to funnel out of the area, all intent and eager to please the King. But Aristide stood a this brother’s side and cast his eyes onto the crowd that had gathered nearby. When eyes would catch his, the wolf would offer a nod that went understood by all. He was here to scout. He was here to fight. He was here to kill; and he would. If only to imagine it Varujan’s throat between his teeth.

"I speak."

Code by Dusk

10-23-2020, 03:17 AM
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Go, every singular word a command placed before his children, find out where they are going, trail them, ears flattened against the child's head, hidden gaze falling submissively from where the shadow of their father stood in the back of the cavern's damp mouth, obscured by the obelisk of his older kin's figure breathing in steadily inhaled motions, his sides engulfing the man from view, yet not enough to hide that of glowering amber eyes bearing down past that of a whelp he did not fear to crush the pitiable spawn beneath the mastiff's glare. Kill them if you can at any opportunity, and do not fail me this time, Aristide. Varujan's finality a nail against Dragomir's hitched lungs, holding still the air in his throat as charcoal eyes of stern make gouged across them both to the faded sheets of parchment sitting before him instead, mulling over plans he kept only for himself. It was then that his brother had ushered him like the lost lamb from the maw of the cave and down the slopes of the snowy mountains and frigid forests sparse with life, his bony figure shivering beneath the chill of Dawnforge where the shadow of his brother would comfort him in bulk, curling securely about the lackluster monochrome of his argent-clad brother. They would soon rid themselves of their snowy cloaks heavy with furs and hunched backs, for the expanse of mystifying woods and broken paths creeping long, aged tendrils of branch and bough alike towards them like towering visages of nightmarish things; where some days he might sleep forever, other days he barely closed his eyes, only a sliver of comfort to be found in the coaxing coo of his brother's heavy accent lulling him to slumber as he staked his watch under the guise of the stars and the night skies, pondering of Sabina and she, of him. Dragomir cared only that she may survive under the watchful scrutiny of Varujan, and this dream brought with it a wailing cry to flee his mouth on one lonesome night, quieted by that of his kin once more until he could not but cry into dark fur for the pain he could remember.

It would not be long until they reached them.

A congregation of wolves of various backgrounds, brought on by duty, curiosity or, as they had been, for the orders that bit at their heels. Eridanus was but a buzzing white noise, and lithe ears idly flicked to the voice which morphed into that of their father's own, his demanding tone near identical to the king's. Find them, and kill them all. The ink bled into the biting tongue of Varujan, repeating near word for word. The bony form in response fled behind the backside of Aristide in haste, though as tall as his brother he cowered with ripples of vertebrae like waves down his back, lacing his spine to curve across the taut flesh in a myriad of canvas curvature stretched with greys and blacks and white a surreal perfection in the abstract wander of his widened moondust gaze. Pitched whimper bubbled from between clenched jaws as the two siblings fell away to the dark corner of their heavy handed company's peripheral visions, some armed while others simply held an expression that could cut flesh. Wolves passed by in flocks of marching feet and as he pressed into the side of the one besides him he would catch the flicker of eyes wandering, the momentum of the looming beast dwarfing him in presence making motion to nod with eager plate to be filled, the course presented live for the benefit of exhausted children and a wanting father who was never, ever satisfied.

And he had to wonder, as silver eyes followed to roving of legs down the untouched path, why he had come.

art x table ▸ bunny

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