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An Age-old Call
10-02-2020, 01:44 AM
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Henath, General of the Harbingers

Henath arrived to the battle just as the Caladrius fell from the sky at the paws of its new master. He watched from the sidelines flanked by seasoned warriors, years-long Harbingers who'd fought with him from the shadows for the protection of their people. This day, he had felt the quaking of the forest as its warriors marched on Yaurith, but he had also heard the faintest of calls ring far beyond the canopies of the trees and the waves of the oceans to the north. Where once she had long been lost to myth, appearing only in his dreams as a faint and distant echo, she now spoke to him clearly: It is time. Henath gathered his Harbingers and marched upon the battle, coming only when it was safe, when the Order was far too preoccupied by the battle and Yaurithian citizens too shocked to notice some of their kind slipping away. They had converged upon the outskirts of the forest, and when the final call came for those Harbingers who had leapt into the battle, they plunged deep into the woodlands jut as the earth began to tremble and shake all around them.

As they marched wordlessly, the trees began to shake, their ancient and gnarled roots untangling to reveal pristine undergrowth, ancient roads carved by skilled paws and marked with ineligible writing that seemed like directions. Fog that once choked the treeline heavily fell away into a lighter mist, and sheer cliffsides that once blocked wolves in parted like water, revealing the path continuing beneath it; this growth had not just been forged by centuries of weathering alone, but by magic as well. They moved swiftly, dangerously, so as they would not be followed; while Yaurith would still licking their wounds from the battle, they too would soon notice the way the Woods shook and changed, firmament unearthing and morphing as if it were breathing and alive. They pushed through the Woods nonstop, the elderly and the sick shouldered by the young and the strong, desperate to make it through. Some turned back, others fell so far behind they could not be reached; but Henath could not stop, for it would be far more dangerous to try and save them all.

Throughout the night they traveled, and as the dawn encroached and painted the sky a lovely orange and pink, they could see as the hillside fell away to the distant moors, and the forest pulled away. Henath turned to his people then, in those quiet hours of the morning, and although they were all bedraggled and tired, his voice could be heard above the harrowing whispers and shocked faces of the crowd. “See and behold what gifts the Deities have given us,” he bellowed, “witness the true old magicks of this world, and see now that they live as more than just voices in your head.” Some Harbingers may have already experienced what it was like interacting with the Gods, while others may have preferred the safety of Yaurith, where they were untouchable. All who had decided to join them knew of them now.

“We will not be safe until we head north,” Henath cautioned, his gaze turning toward the coast just north of them: a wild and raging sea divided only by a rocky strait, treacherous, yet perhaps just as daunting as it would be returning to Yaurith and straight into the King's paws. “Those of you who wish to abandon your brothers and sisters may do so now—run deep into the Moors where someday the Order might still find you. But those of you who wish to stand against their oppression and find true safety, march northward with me.” Henath stood, waiting to see if any of them came forward. HIs captains and generals came to stand at his side, but he could see the mix of reactions across the faces of newer and younger Harbingers debating such a hard choice. Even Henath could not feel bad for them; they had little time before the Order would show up, and if he had given them the chance to mull it over, they would certainly all be killed. It was now or it was never.

Henath has called for the Harbingers and their allies to travel with him through Askan's Woods! After a treacherous journey, they have emerged from the other side and discovered brand new lands to explore. From here, Harbingers have a few choices: they may turn back and return to Yaurith, go forth and explore the newly-opened Moorlands and interact with its natives, or join Henath on his journey through the Serpentine Path.

Please bare in mind that those who decide to journey with Henath 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. Harbingers, Citizens, and Order dissenters may join on this quest.

11-13-2020, 05:36 PM
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O to blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place

She struggled with the acceptance of her new normal; who was she now, why did the weight of her name feel so far heavier? Why did her mere existence feel so perpetual, so ceaseless, so dangerous? Avaneira awakened at the call, awoken in the dead of that night as the forest shuddered and quaked, parting like waves of the sea clashing against the iron shore of the Gallows that lingered so hauntingly in the distance. Come, come, it seemed to call, and in her empty and hollowed house, Avaneira felt nothing tethering her; no older brothers to playfully pull her tail and beg to playfight, no father to ruffle the fur of her forehead and will her back into bed. There was nothing but silence and the soft slumbering noises of her familiar as he so easily slipped into a peaceful sleep. Avaneira shouldered through the door, and as she did her familiar awoke, and the streets that lay before her seemed dark and empty and endless. The chaos of the forest had drawn soldiers from their posts and Templars from their station high in the Citadel, and stealthily did Avaneira linger in the shadows behind them.

As she emerged upon the chaos of the forest, the Order was shaken; their soldiers lay strewn across the grasses injured or tending to them, captains amassing their knights as they waited for the King. Avaneira watched from afar as the dust began to settle, and the bodies of the Wood's armies lay piled among those less fortunate soldiers. But eventually, the pull of the forest began to overpower her, blinding her; the haze of afterbattle muffled their voices and blurred their silhouettes against a darker horizon. She was pulled deeper into the forest, footsteps retracing the paths of a familiar lionish scent and the very same Godsblood that trailed behind the other Harbingers she'd met those months ago. A bitter wind caused her to shudder, the brutality of its assault on the trees almost deafening as their leaves shuddered and branches creaked. Through the night Avaneira wandered, sheltering under the warm and protective form of her far larger familiar, until the morning began to draw a milky gray sky, and the parting of the trees began to grow sparser, and sparser, until there was nothing but rolling hills greeting the rising sun.

See and behold what gifts the Deities have given us, a voice bellowed to her left, and as she turned her head, she saw the Harbinger General addressing the small group of them that had begun amassing. He stood so boldly in the open, and the fringes of his mane were illuminated in a bright white from the sun, as if he were half-holy. Witness the true old magicks of this world, and see now that they live as more than just voices in your head. But this new reality did not feel quite as grand as it did in the stories her father used to tell her as a child; as Avaneira looked across those vast moors and the misty mountains in the far-off distance, she felt nothing but a cold dread. We will not be safe until we head north, Henath continued, those of you who wish to abandon your brothers and sisters may do so now—run deep into the Moors where someday the Order might still find you. But those of you who wish to stand against their oppression and find true safety, march northward with me.

Avaneira strained. Every part of her ached to follow; she fought every urge to push forward, to head toward the north as Henath and the Deities seemed to command. But even she struggled to leave, to break and burn the bridges that tethered her. Would her father not wonder where she had gone, would her brothers not wonder why she no longer delivered them small trinkets and meals? What would Shale think, should he find her stall in the marketplace hauntingly empty? What if she was never meant to come home?

Tears prickled the corners of her eyes, but Avaneira stepped forward nonetheless, unable now to fight the will that urged her. The final pieces of her resolve fell away on the perhaps-hopeless notion that she could return to a life without the Order baring their teeth at her back.

11-15-2020, 04:11 AM
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Having not yet fully recovered from his prior encounter with Henath, in which shortly thereafter he'd fallen into the hands of the Order and was now sought out, he still felt the inevitable and primal pull of the forest. Beckoning him with its whispers and tales, creating this feeling that he could not shake until finally he began to descend the mountain almost blindly. He had taken the time to put on the pelt he'd used to conceal himself; remnants of the bear's gifts, tied loosely around his neck by the artful hands of primates and their rudimentary vine weaving, but just enough so that it flapped over his sides and covered the marks on his face. His descent was riddled with strange encounters, fleeing as fast as he could from stray order members that had been left behind to scour the woods and the paths in search of him, but he would not be stopped, he could not be stopped. The voices filled his mind and drove him forward, creating a cacophony in his mind as he hurdled towards the woods. Each step closer brought his heart racing faster, beating until he thought he could hear it out loud and not just feel it within his chest, egged on further by the fact that they had left a trail. The harbingers had brought the order to its knees, but this was only a temporary win.

Finally Henath was standing once more before him as his sides heaved, the words sinking in with a weight that matched his resolve. The entire time he fled the mountain it had crossed his mind that this would mean leaving his sister behind, leaving everyone else, but he'd known, for some time now, that this would be his path. From the days of the voices ringing in his ears and the whispers beckoning him to search the forest, from the time he had been willing to sacrifice himself to save his brethren in the fight against the bear... it was all culminating in this. It didn't take long once the lion had spoken for him to move forward and join him alongside the captains and other harbingers, his eyes looking among the crowd but finding little solace in their path, there were too few. He knew not the numbers of the order but he had seen so many of them funneling into the dungeon and interrogating him that he knew this did not bode well. It did not diminish his resolve though, if he was to die for this cause then he was to die for something he believed in deeply.

"Varahel" | "Ristedir"

Table & art @ Centience.

11-25-2020, 01:16 AM
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Life had a funny way of working for those whom deemed it worth living. The waves of happiness combined with pain, as well as breezes that held generousness and selfishness, tended to hit anyone worthy of their experiences. With the sweets came the sorrows, so often seen by people with their tender hearts and open-minded thoughts. Nights always brought the sun to rise, only to be let go for the dark skies to return. Birth into a new world often had death from that old world happen in the same breath. There were many whom questioned the highs and lows of life...Aeilanyllis was one of the few whom did not mind.

The black-pelted woman was an optimistic female, though her thoughts had little to do with her own processes. She was given the gift of life by her parents, but they had only been the mortal vessels for her future on this continent. After gaining the ability to hear and speak to bodiless voices, Aeilanyllis's life changed from making her parents happy to enticing the deities of the world. She had kept such decisions to herself, small thoughts that would have, otherwise, caused her parents to cast her out and have her scooped up by the Order. Her life, she knew, was too precious to waste within the walls of the kingdom, hidden from those whom desired to take it. What she had seen, heard, and felt in those sleepless nights from months before could not be explained to those whom did not believe. With such realistic situations surrounding her, Aeil had no choice but to depart for parts unknown.

She had heard of the Harbingers long before her decision to leave home had been official. They were the ones who would understand, the chosen few whom the deities proved worthy of their visions, voices, and encounters. The well known Henath had just been a name she had heard in whispers, whispers that had been silenced by the Order and those whom supported their demise. Now, as she walked wordlessly among those chosen to seek more than what the kingdom provided, she knew he had been more than just a name. Her support of him and the cause for her fellow Harbingers would continue without a verbal cue. Instead, she would remain steadfast to the mission ahead, whatever road they pursued, she would follow.

It was this state of mind she was in when the fights were many, yet she remained oblivious to the struggles of those on either side. Her black frame melded in well with the shadows that were provided throughout the scene, green eyes remaining low as she sought to search for a way to continue to avoid possible, physical encounters. Ears remained perked and her nose kept itself on point, picking up any random scents that tried to find their way towards her. The deities favored her, keeping her from harm's wrath as she pushed forward amidst the other Harbingers. Dainty paws carried her across rocky terrain, as well as roots that attempted to trip her as she got closer to the forest that loomed closer. The more miles she intended to cover, the further the sounds of the battle became. Any anxiousness that tried to rise within her was soothed away by the gentle voices of the spirits within her mind: 'Won't be long now.'

Henath's voice broke the spell that was cast over Aeil, causing her green eyes to rise and meet his massive frame with honest curiosity. We will not be safe until we head north. His words were brutally honest, a tone that Aeil would enjoy from any truthful wolf. Those of you who wish to abandon your brothers and sisters may do so now—run deep into the Moors where someday the Order might still find you. But those of you who wish to stand against their oppression and find true safety, march northward with me. She turned her gaze towards the stretch of land that was barely noticeable against the sea that promised to sweep anyone under. Yet, the dangers that possibly laid ahead were not enough to deter her. Aeil stood on her own, green eyes never wavering from the form of the man whom dared to lead the Harbingers to better lands. One flick of her black tail was all she would give him. The Deities had proved he was worthy; North was the next quest for her and her kind. In her mind, her thoughts began to stir, but she only allowed one to rise to the top of them all. 'Our paws may be bloody and our bodies may be emaciated after the journey, but our souls will be fulfilled...

11-29-2020, 07:00 PM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2020, 07:01 PM by Hestia.)
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Hestia "Mielle" Vanidestine
When the morning came and with it, the words of the deities, Hestia had found a fine excuse to escape the comforts of the holy church. How the head priest had persuaded her otherwise, to stay so that the evils of the world may not taint her purified mind — but the heeding of the gods prevailed. She knew her duty and so did he as he sighed in defeat. In the morning, she had prayed before the stained glass and the idol of her beliefs. Today, her prayers had been answered along with a singular command of journeying to the South. An untouched land where none had been able to venture for generations.

"Please," Aries would plead in her head. "Don't go. You know it's suicide."

Her head turned and she clasped the bird within the palms of the hands. "But I don't. Aries, don't you see?" She spun, gazing at the blue azure skies for they seemed to emit a radiance unlike any other monotonous day. "They're testing me, they're testing us. We must go, now Aries. Now."

Perhaps it was partly due to the fact that she was a Harbinger that this call came to her and only her within that grandiose church, but she choose to believe that it was simply because her faith was stronger and true.

See and behold what gifts the Dieties have given us. Her mind chimed at the sound of the lion's roar, yes, yes, yes. Witness the true old magicks of the world, and see now that they live as more than voices in your heads. It was exhilarating for this, this was what she had waited for her entire life. The entire purpose of her existence. She would travel to the southern lands where the gods would reward her for her undying loyalty to the cause. She would convince the natives to turn to the faith of the true gods through benevolence as her church had taught her and on this very trip she would find the love she had sought as a child. This was it. She knew it now.

Those of you who wish to abandon your brothers and sisters may do so now—run deep into the Moors where someday the Order might still find you. But those of you who wish to stand against their oppression and find true safety, march northward with me.

Her eyes became alit with a passion that was not only the result of religious faith, but rather a naïve and almost gullible look. The thought of her own death or even harm coming her way never did once cross that frail mind of hers. Of course, Hestia had heard the grotesque stories of her kind being hunted by the king, but did hatred take hold of her heart? Did she ever once blame the king? No! The ones captured were the ones who had failed to appease the higher beings. It was punishment and the king simple enacting the will of the gods. It happened because it was meant to happen. The gods had dictated it so.

The call of Henath stirred forth two reactions: those that followed and those that cowered. Hestia did now cower, not with the eyes of the lords prevailing over her, ensuring her safety if her conviction was not an act.

And her credence was stronger than ever.

table ▸ bunny

11-29-2020, 09:01 PM
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Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and Despair

Hist! Hear how that woeful lion speaks. How those savage teeth whisper tales; no, lies, of how gods kiss those beasts gathered near. Bestowed upon thee wayward hounds are gifts that those wolves weep and bellow, for the deities speak to them and their prayers are answered. Tis evil, these boons of conduct, but they don’t know. They couldn’t know. The burdensome truth was for he to carry alone. And that righteous man would purge their souls of their sins and leave what may be behind. Endellion is salvation.

We will not be safe until we head north, the cat cries. North. Follow the crashing sea until that dark endless blue deepens into something more, something foamy and red and burial. And he, that coxswain white wolf, will guide them to the deep. Past the rock and soil, beyond the briney fingers, to the fiery pits of nothing. The king’s will be done; and when the king’s will be done and there is nothing left but the gluttonous swallow of wine and victory, endellion’s end will begin.

The lion beckons now. Challenges and brays; march northward with me. And he would. Branded a wolf of heresy, endellion would trek shoulder to shoulder with the harbingers to that very north like obedient sheep at the heel of their shepherd. kill them all. eridanus’s command cut through to him now, cleansing and imperious and abolishing the beguiling lion’s prose. Onward he would go, those raspy voices of true divinity wicked and bold in his head. you will cleanse this wretched place. You will gut it, and cleave the evil seething from its chest.

Death to the harbingers.


I speak & Familiar speaks

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