What Lies Within

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Kitsune, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    "Let's ride hard, reach the foothills of the mountain by dark. And," she said, mounting her horse. "I told you that you were beautiful, Alaria Dain Arinanst." She reined Rhonin around, waiting for the girl to mount.
     
  2. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Dain laughed faintly, clambering onto Rath – the horse kept looking at the unmasked rider, as if continually trying to look at her.

    “And I believe that you still jest, Rislyn. I’d prefer Dain, if it’s all the same to you. Alaria was the name of my mother.”

    She clicked her tongue, gently nudging Rath into a trot. The blood in her veins had started to rush once again – her eyes narrowed.

    There was something foul in the air.
     
  3. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Rislyn followed Dain onto the road, nudging Rhonin into a swift trot. As they cleared the last tree, she kicked him into a canter, urging him onward.

    Hours passed as they rode in near silence. Rislyn and Rhonin spoke quietly, of his training, his mother, a beautiful mare named Night's Maiden, and her companion, Rath's mother, Snowy Dusk.

    The sun was beginning to set when they neared the foothills. She called over to Dain, "It's a few more miles. Sun may be down by the time we get there, but we have made perfect time. Tomorrow, we have to travel on foot."
     
  4. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Dain nodded slowly, before Rath suddenly gave a low nicker, shaking his head. His movements became a cadence until halting, staying still. His eyes looked around cautiously before glancing at his rider, who in return, gave a small nod, jumping from the horse’s back.

    The air was chilly; something which had bothered Dain throughout the journey. There wasn’t even the sound of birdsong which she previously heard. Not even the scattering sound of a woodland animal. Her breath was forming soft air vapours in the unnatural cold. She slowly raised a hand to her polearm.

    “… Hold.” She muttered, “there’s something here.”
     
  5. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Rislyn dismounted behind her, letting Rhonin's reins drop to his neck. Her claws extending from her fingers, she listened for the sounds she should hear, and found nothing. Dain was right, there was something wrong. It wasn't just their proximity to Hell's Gate Pass.

    Sniffing, she smelt nothing out of the ordinary. Around her, magic built. It surrounded them, engulfing them, nearly suffocating Rislyn.

    Voice wavering, she asked in hushed tones, "What's going on here?"
     
  6. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    The she-warrior narrowed her eyes, tracing the dark recesses between the trees, smelling the heavy scent of oncoming magick. There was a soft, velvety swirl of mist, rising like that of a fresh, new dawn, yet contained the icy azure of the deepest ocean. The supernatural tresses of spirits was obvious to find – as strange, familiar shapes of wolves, deer and bears swooped around them, whispering, coming from the air like a frozen array of whispering ghosts. They made not a sound as they padded around the four living figures, their glowing, white eyes peering at every careful move, every intake of breath that the living drew.

    “That.” Dain breathed, the magicks intoxicating, even to her blood. Dain held up the halberd in one hand, loosely, but prepared, watching as the spirit animals formed an inescapable bulwark, parted only by one, giant figure of a bear.

    His fur swirled with colours, ranging from the purples and oranges of the dusk, to the fresh, celestial blues of the dawn. His eyes bore heavy wisdom, an intelligence which bordered greater than any human, whispered as a legend to those who knew and worshipped him – and judging by the large, black claws which stemmed from his feet, few managed to acknowledge the legend as a reality.

    He was Aguo, the land’s Spirit Lord.

    He slowly approached the group, his black snout twitching as he took a deep intake of breath, his exhale rough and throaty and his eyes gleaming as they fell upon Rislyn, the horses, then to Malris – the wolf pelt which resided on Dain’s back. He snarled.

    “Trespassers,” said he, “in the form of a Godblood, Land-Stalker Spawn and this… Marked One. You think it wise… to break this forest’s rules. The Troll King was unable to keep his bargain – and I hear that his vassals were slain. Tell me, little ones… were these vassals cruel enough to kill you? Or was it the simple act of thievery?”

    Aguo padded closer, the spirits closing in their ranks to form a perfect, azure circle around the four. Ignoring the suspicious ‘Marked One’ for now, he looked at Rislyn, the ‘Godblood’.

    “I see a latent might in a child. Tell me, little one. How do you attempt to remain wise as well as mighty? The Gods whisper many things.”
     
  7. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Rislyn fought hard not to cower in fear at the sight of the bear. Memories and nightmares swirled around her, threatening to bring her to her knees, screaming. Swallowing hard, she thought of his question. How does she attempt to remain wise as well as mighty? She was neither, in her mind.

    "I h-have no wisdom or m-might, bear lord. I am s-s-simply myself, on a journey to regain what was taken from me." Her voice grew stronger as she spoke of her quest for revenge.
     
  8. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Aguo laughed, his colourful, but mighty frame shaking heavily, before he padded closer to the stuttering female. He appeared to be careful in his movements, trying to control them so as not to frighten her. He was what he was.

    Dain remained silent, stabbing her weapon into the ground – she was watching Aguo – but she was also observing Rislyn.

    “Put out your hand, little one. My maw has already feasted tonight. I am interested in your … actions. Your search little one, is greater than you suggest – perhaps more than you realise.”
     
  9. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Shaking head to tail, she complied, holding out her right paw.
     
  10. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Aguo softly pressed his snout against her palm, breathing in deeply. There was silence for a moment, before the air could be felt blowing past her hand as the Spirit Lord turned away, humming in a low rumble from his throat. He raised his head to look at the fox-girl with his wise eyes.

    “Deep into the recesses of magick you hunt, little one. Your brashness may be your undoing, should you not control what you already possess. Control your … lack and you find strength.

    “Now…”


    Aguo turned swiftly to Dain, charging at the cold mercenary, snarling at her and the wolf pelt, rage contorting his features.

    You.”

    “What about me?” Dain muttered, “I had no intention of killing your goblins.”

    “Your smell. You carry the satchel of a Madgod on your back. Malris… was a proud wolf spirit.”

    Dain smirked faintly, “Do you want me to apologise for a favour?”

    Aguo bared his fangs viciously, a low growl emitting from his throat. Dain’s eyes glowed viciously as she gritted her teeth, trying to growl back. She wasn’t about to let this huge guy intimidate her.
     
  11. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Control your … lack and you find strength.

    Rislyn rolled these words around her mind, thinking of all the things she lacked. Patience. Selflessness.

    Your brashness may be your undoing, should you not control what you already possess.

    What did she possess, but not control?

    Beside her, Dain was snarling at the bear lord. Laying a paw on her shoulder, and said, "Dain, please... do not anger him." She removed her hand before Dain could shrug it off, and turned to the lord.

    "Please... We only seek to camp for a night, and travel up the mountain tomorrow. What must we do?"
     
  12. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Aguo continued to snarl at Dain, who in exchange, continued to growl. Suddenly, after Rislyn had spoken, Dain roared as loud as she could, followed by the loud cry of the Spirit Lord, who had neared his face to hers, flashing his yellow fangs at her. There was a terse silence, the Spirit Lord and the warrior facing one another with vicious faces. Aguo, finding that the human before him wouldn’t relent, snorted and backed down. She was a lion.

    Dain’s eyes didn’t leave the Spirit Lord’s. She cared little for his intimidation – and would only exact the same treatment. Aguo’s growl became a faint chuckle as he backed away, circling the four living beings. His eyes often fell upon Rislyn, scenting the latent magick in her veins – and on the man-made magicks of Dain… and the trace of mad magicks left on Malris’ fur. He hummed faintly.

    “Pillars become storms in the most abysmal times. Wearing the mad wolf’s corpse on your back, Marked One, shows nothing but ruthlessness… but these are becoming violent, dark days. My subjects and I will soon depart for a war – we are to shackle the trolls and goblins into our service. Eternally. Before you join them, you shall move – but should you return, I will enjoy eating you alive. Do not dwell here, little one. Go to the mountains from here. Your travels… are not over yet – and we shall devour you… before the madness devours us.”

    Dain narrowed her eyes.

    “You can’t be serious.”

    “The deaths of two, little goblins do not concern me. I care for their task – before the Trolls can kill them all, we shall wipe them all. At least then, they shall know peace.”

    “… You are weak.” The she-warrior was having no problem trying to provoke the bear. Looking aside at Rislyn, she believed that she needed to. She needed to see.

    Aguo snarled, turning to fiercely look at the she-warrior. Finding that she held no judgment in her eyes, his ferocity relented, but his maw did not stop flashing his teeth. “And you are insolent. I shall remember your face as I crunch it from your head.”

    Dain smirked.

    “Should that time ever arise, Aguo, I pray that you will have learnt about hygiene. Malris certainly didn’t when he asked to die. Come on, Foxy. We have no reason to stay here.”

    She turned to find the spirits parting their way on the other side of the azure bulwark. She clambered onto Rath’s back – the horse took off before she could nudge him into motion – the horse already confused and alarmed by what had transpired. Dain wondered if Rislyn would ever ask questions about what had passed – but she doubted it. However, the she-warrior doubted that it wouldn’t be the last that they would see of Aguo, the Spirit Bear.
     
  13. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Rislyn turned hurriedly from the bear lord, and stepped onto Rhonin's stirrup. He was moving before she settled herself in the saddle, eager to be away from the bear.

    They traveled in silence for another hour, coming as close as the horses could to the stoney mountain path. Setting camp next to a pine tree, the two women built a fire, set food to cook, and untacked the horses without a word.
     
  14. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    The escape was quicker than how Dain had planned it; more speed seemed to be in earnest more than haste, a blow which came quicker to the horses than their riders. Their sudden stop made Dain jump from the horse and pull the saddle from Rath’s back with a frown, pulling away the inventory which reined him. She softly patted the horse’s mane before looking across at Risyln.

    Dain observed at the half-goddess in silence before smirking and looking away, shaking her head slowly in amusement, humming a faint tune under her breath.
     
  15. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    For a time, the crackling of the fire was the only sound to be heard. Rislyn ate her food, lost in thought about the spirit lords words to her. It would take a lot of reflection.

    "Tomorrow morning," she said into the still night air, "we start our journey up the mountains. I do not know how long it will take, but magic will guide us along the correct paths."
     
  16. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Dain looked aside with a frown, narrowing her eyes at the mention of magick; of course, it was no surprise that she relied upon it so heavily and yet… why did it feel as if the she-warrior had paid no mind to it? She had no magick in her blood – she drew it from herself, manually forging it from her being.

    She imagined the strange strobes of bizarre light, before shaking her head wearily.

    “You were afraid of Aguo,” she said softly, arranging her cards absent-mindedly. It was an obvious statement, if not blunt. She was interested however, what Rislyn would say to such words.
     
  17. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    Shit. Of course Dain would bring it up. Rislyn sighed, and nodded. "Aye, I was. I have nightmares about my past. Boone... he was a bear god. Since, I've feared bears, despite knowing it is irrational. Aguo... Well. Once you've been raped by a snarling bear, you don't forget that fear," she said quietly. She made it sound light, not important, but inside, her stomach knotted itself.
     
  18. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    Dain knelt beside her, listening carefully, not looking at her, but at the fire, that illuminated softly against her skin; for once, the look of calmness which had previously been expressed in her eyes was now shown on her face. She gently nodded, showing no sign of horror on her features; instead, she looked at Rislyn calmly.

    “Would it have been better for a man to have raped you and for you to fear all men?”

    She smiled faintly.

    “While a memory may burn in your mind, remembering that all are not that same is key to strength. That when a creature snarls at you once more, you are unafraid to snarl back.”
     
  19. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox Lady of Madness!!! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,514
    "I do not fear men, because I can kill men. Actual bears I fear, but not as much as I do Boone and the spirit bears. They are very hard to kill. But I faced Aguo, and held my ground. I am satisfied with that, for now. The next time I face him, I will not shake so."

    "Enough of me. I do not wish to have therapy tonight, please. Tell me a story of your childhood? A time when you were happiest?"
     
  20. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,344
    “I know,” replied Dain quietly, a sincere look passing her calm features, “which is why I want to help you become strong.”

    Dain’s face was briefly surprised at the fox-girl’s question. She didn’t look at her, a slight frown on her face. Was there a time…? The she-warrior couldn’t remember. She glanced back at her with an awkward look on her face.

    “I don’t have one,” she replied faintly.