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Breeze of The Heavens
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Breeze of The Heavens Reply with quote

There were ways and means and backdoors. Thorn wasn't above trying any combination of all in an attempt to get to the home world of her blood. Up to and including sneaking and fighting her way past patrols, natives, and petitioners on three of Baator's layers.

Finally, wounded, sorely taxed, and sucking air hot enough to fry a chicken in through her teeth so it could scorch her throat and bake her lungs, she stood slumped before what seemed like an ordinary stone doorway. No runes marked its frame, no wardings hid it from anyone's eye. Literally anyone who knew where to look could find it. Could open it and cross over. She'd come here to do just that.

Open the door, slip through, finish fighting her way through to her bloodline's home.

Except the door wouldn't open.

The simple, even flimsy seeming barrier didn't so much as shimmy when she kicked it, rammed a shoulder against it. Hurled spells at it.

Even the gift of the blood of a dozen "devils" who'd come to investigate the magic thrown about couldn't crack the lock. Not even a smear of her own blood made a difference. Sighing in frustration and weary to the bone, the redneck took a moment with her head resting against the door way before pushing off to retrace her steps.

She'd discovered, much to her chagrin, that teleportation magicks didn't work as they should when in close proximity to the Doorway. And so had to find a pool of shadow further away to be able to return home.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Gateway was a circle of stone mushrooms in the center of a moonlit glade deep in a forgotten valley in Arborlon's deepest, oldest forest. A breeze stirred air that hadn't felt the weight of speech since Araushnee plotted her coup. Or it hadn't, until a scream of frustrated rage tore through the night.

Fey and sylvan creatures startled and fled, froze in their tracks, or hunkered down deeper in their nests and dens as the echoes rippled out and faded. She knelt in the thick grass at the center of the circle and sobbed. This was the last of them, the final of Nine. This had been her last best chance to find the loophole, the backdoor she needed to get to her blood's home.

The auburn haired Champion of her mate, 'Dia watched from outside the ring. Leaning casually against the trunk of a birch tree older than the worlds. Her right hand rested lightly on the hilt of her sword while the fingers of her left flexed and curled. From time to time her eyes narrowed and she worried her lower lip with her teeth. Fruvor Thorn's current erratic behaviour was approaching worrying.

When the woman enacted the enchantments that turned her handflowers to blades and began, essentially attacking the ground 'Dia left her post and crossed into the ring. "Thorn. Thorn!" Her voice sharpened, came close to a bark. Her eyes dropped at Thorn's snarled response and she took an involuntary half step back while briefly wondering how she'd ever thought the blonde weak or soft.

"Even Cellin wasn't sure this would work, so enough. You're only wasting power and energy." Now laughter came, a quiet tremble underneath. "And terrifying the local wildlife. I think there's some dobies wondering if they're ever going to be able to find their livestock again. Enough Fruvor Thorn, it's enough for now."

To the relief of those denizens of the glade who'd been working since before the beginning of time to cleanse the taint left by an overly ambitious elven woman's overreaching lust for power, the blonde woman took the younger's advice.

"I'll get this *** figured out, and I'll break through their *** barriers." A vow made, a Promise given breath.

And the very air shivered with the Power behind it.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You were right." This was her way of opening a conversation today. Add in a pretty tray with lemonade and cookies and it might be easier to pretend there wasn't still snow on the ground. Might be easier to pretend it's a lot closer to summer than it was, with color and texture exploding just past the edge of the porch where the garden fae reigned supreme through her gardens.

The old druid, nut brown skin wrinkle with age and careworn through centuries of duty, took up his cup of lemonade and briefly debated a cookie before responding. "What was I right about this time?"

She settled down on one of the chairs beside his and took a moment to stare off, out across the landscape that was just beginning to show itself again under the blanket of winter's touch. "I can't get there. The doorways are all sealed tight. Nothin' I do will get me through there. I can't get to Coi'cor."

Pretending to ignore the stubborn slant of her jaw, the determined sulk in her tone Cellin gestured with a cookie - the debate had been short lived and only for form. "Told y' so." Just because he was old, very old, and very powerful, didn't mean he was above pointing that out.

"And good. There's no point in goin' there. Not now. Not anymore."

Her incredulous, even appalled stare was met with a shrug.

"How can you --? There has to be something." Her grandfather was one of the most stubborn, downright obstinate people she knew. His giving up without a fight boggled her mind. Giving up on something that he, and his brother had fought so hard to save, to protect, just didn't compute.

"No girl, there's not a damn thing that can be done. Not this time, not last time." He snorted at her sharp look. "No, this isn't the first time this's happened. Not even the third or fourth." He thought for a moment, mentally tallying. "More like the twelfth, maybe more'n that. Can't remember that far back."

She sipped her lemonade and wished she'd thought to bring out a bottle of vodka for a ripple. "Then how do we save the people? How can get save somethin' at least?"

Cellin shook his head and reminded himself that she was still young. Young in her power and duty, young in her responsibilities and young in her actual age. Despite what she'd survived and how she'd been formed, she was still so painfully young and fresh. Tender still.

"We don't. We can't. No one can." With regret he set aside his drink and finished off his cookie. Used his power and will to fill the space between his hands with an image of a different solar system. "This is the Plane today."

Around the edges there was creeping black. An emptiness that was worse than nothing. It was an undoing. An erasure that bled forward like ink over water soaked paper. Stars died out, simply ceased to be, constellations fell soon after. Holes in the sky that flowed forward, down and around to swallow planets whole.

"This was the Plane last week." With a gesture like pulling yarn, fingers flexing and stretching, the image pulled back, zoomed out. The skies were full, mostly. Some odd pinpricks of darkness far, far away. So distant that it might have been imagined. And one by one the stars and their light, died.

"This is the World itself, today." Another gesture and the 'verse zoomed in. Focus fining down to the globe of Coi'cor itself. And the same ravenous black inching its way forward. Devouring everything in its way, leaving nothing but a cold void behind.

"Even the Powers, even the Gods are falling, being erased one by one. " There was a warning there in his voice. No matter where she'd risen, where she'd been born, her blood was as tied to the Plane, to the Realm as his was.

She was shaken, visibly so. The fingers of her left hand covered her mouth as though to stifle the terrified whimper. "We can't just let them all, let it all, end."

This was his world, his and Orin's. They'd fought to bring it back from the destruction of the Blood Wars. They'd struggled to save what was left of the population from cook pots and slave pits and worse. They, Cellin and Orin had shown her that she could, and did belong somewhere.

"We have to--."

"No. We don't. There's nothing to do girl. Everyone and everything left there?" He tipped his head in a pointed nod to the dying Plane he still showed her. "Is dead. They just don't know it yet."

When she opened her mouth to argue again his voice sharpened. "Everyone." A verbal slap to drive his point home. "Everythng."

Thorn flinched back, wincing and hissing as though physically struck, and he softened his voice. "They just don't know it yet."
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I can't not try, you know this." When she sank her teeth into something, the redneck didn't usually give up without a fight. Not when she'd decided it was worth fighting for.

Rage flared in him and when he leaned forward in his chair she remembered what it had been like to see Death coming for her. "Every time you do, you will be smote down by my own hand."

The air around him crackled with energy, heat throbbed in gathering waves fueled by anger, and fear. "If you manage to get there, you'll be trapped. Undone completely."

He cocked his head to the right and stared down his nose at her. "More than the fate of one world hangs in the balance now." In a back-handed gesture he pointed at the house. Indicated the man sprawled in front of the fire crackling cheerily in the living room's hearth. "What do you think he will do?"

For this she didn't have a flip answer, didn't have a smart-assed retort. All she could do was give the answer they both knew was truth. "Burn everything to ash, destroy anyone and anything in reach." Though her shoulders slumped, she wasn't defeated, wasn't giving up.

"Fine. Okay. I"m gonna be smited, a lot. Well, at least four or five times." Probably more. Not the point apparently because she kept right on talking, even when he opened his mouth to speak again. Probably to reiterate the smiting and the sheer amount of pain that was going to bring to her world. "How the *** do we keep this from happening again?"

Either the ramifications of his earlier warning had gone right over her head, or she was just as stubbornly ignoring the possibility of being erased as she was the probability of being flattened by a godly bitch-slap.

His bony shoulders lifted in a helpless shrug. "Don't know. Hells girl, no one even knows how, or when this mess started in the first place." Indignant and disgusted he puffed out a breath and smoothed a hand over his mustache and beard. "Think it might have something to do with how gods of the realm are made, but no one really knows.

"My memories only go back so far, those of the Briairblood from the beginning are all, washed out and faded. Blurry images on glass."

Understanding the far off look in his eye she waited, reining in her need to be doing something to sip her lemonade and nibble a cookie.

"But, things are already being done. If any of us have a chance of surviving it'll be the three who aren't on the Plane." This time when he shrugged it was to indicate how little he knew about their chances. "None of the gods have been off realm when it reset before, so there's that."

"There's mortals on the realm tasked with gatherin' artifacts that are connected. If they succeed they may just pull it off." He laughed at the expression on her face, and leaned to pat her shoulder in a consoling fashion.

"They can't save the world, nothin' can at this point. But if they can pull this off, they can help stop this from happenin' ever again." Cellin had faith in the group, but then he had more experience with the denizens of Coi'Cor than his granddaugther did.

For Thorn's part, she didn't know whether to laugh or cry from the absurdity of it. The desperation of it. Instead she shook her head, did her level best to ignore the years of conditioned responses between the world she'd been born on, and Rhy'din.

"So, what can I do to help?" The fate of an entire plane of existence rested on the shoulders of a small group of mortals, damn straight she wanted to help.

(Written with Cellin.)
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She grimaced, still stiff and sore from being slapped down damn hard two nights prior. Gingerly lowered herself to the edge of the bed, and did her level best to ignore the oh-so schooled expression her Mate was wearing at the moment. The man rather looked like a child who knew exactly what his surprise was, but was waiting, for form rather than politeness, for the reveal.


He even blinked in a reasonable facsimile of curiosity when she extended her closed hand to him. "I need t' give you these," and laid a set of ordinary seeming keys in his upturned palm.

Roan considered, for all of a heartbeat pretending he had no clue what this was about. Then considered how ready she was for just that behaviour. "It's about time."

With a flick of his fingers he sent the keys to a place only he had access to. Only he knew how to find. He also ignored the sulking line that formed at the corners of her mouth when he patted the bed for her to settle beside him.

"What happened?" He had a fair idea, but the details were sure to be entertaining at the least.

Thorn sat, more like flopped, beside him on the bed and plucked at a spot of the rich blanket between them. Hemmed and hawed for all of thirty seconds before telling her tale. Watching him from the corner of her eye the whole time, she started with the phone call progressed into spinning the keys around on a finger, then feeling the life return to her (literally in this case) while lying on the ground half way across the Inn's yard with Mist and Eri in attendance, while the elven man poured energy and magic into her.

It was obvious that he'd expected something of the sort when half way through her retelling he started laughing. And kept laughing 'til the end. Damn near busted a gut when she stuck her tongue out at him and flipped him off at the same time.

"So, the next day when Mist gave me back the keys, he told me to give them to you." The next day having been yesterday, but at this point she didn't feel the need to share that much information. Especially not when she was more than fairly sure he already knew.

"And did you tell this Mist why you'd been smote? That you'd been smote to begin with and my whom?" Even with the laughter, his voice took on the tones of someone speaking to a student reluctant to explain why they'd gotten a failing grade to their parents.

Here she rolled her eyes at him, smug and preening for it. "I did. Told him what I knew of it all, and what the keys were. That'd be why he told me to give them to you in the first place." Keys to everything and a stubborn redneck on a mission. Not a great combination.

"Besides, I only have two actual secrets Roan." After all this time, he still seemed surprised by that. The redneck's life was pretty much an open book, a person just had to be interested enough to read past the first couple of pages to find out nearly everything there was to know about her.


At his slightly confused look, she chuckled under her breath and shook her head. "My name." Held up a finger as though ticking something off a list. "And Krist." Another finger lifted to complete the list.

"My Name doesn't hold power over me, but that's not who I am. I'm Thorn. I've been Thorn for a very long time now and I really dig who she's become, who she's becoming. The other? Nah, that's not me. That's someone else, someone who might have been if the deck'd been shuffled a little differently." Her shrug and facial expression were eloquent comments upon the way things had run their course.

"Krist. What happened with him, I'm still completely ashamed of." Her voice softened, its volume dropping to something barely above a whisper. Remorse turned the corners of her mouth down, drew auburn brows down at the bridge of her nose.
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canting his head to the right, Roan watched the woman closely, but made no move to touch her. Made no effort to comfort her. He knew from experience that there was no comfort she'd accept from anyone in this instance. It also wasn't something he had much skill, or experience with. Easing someone, soothing them, didn't come naturally to the Abyssal Lord.

"Considering your sphere of influence, I can understand that. The lost and the broken do fall under your purview, and you failed him. Repeatedly." He didn't say these things to be cruel, or to kick her when she was already wallowing. The man knew her well enough to know that if he said what she was thinking, she'd be able to pull herself back more quickly than if he remained silent.

"That's part of why I think. Why I started taking more to the lost." Her smile was lopsided when it came. "Plus, I've always been drawn to them."

"They've been drawn to you too, sometimes more than you've been drawn to them." For this, among a thousand other reasons, she was reminded that he was her match. Her Mate. He showed her where her actions and choices were balanced out. Pointed out something she would rather ignore about herself.

Faced with the truth she puffed out a breath and nodded. "There's that too yeah."

Her hand gesture, a wiping away of something, was meant to change subjects, to clear the air. At least a little.

"Besides, I figured out part of why I had such a need to get to Coi'Cor out of nowhere."

His attention sharpened. The whole of it had been on his Mate, and at her gesture he reached out to run the back of a hand down her scarred left arm. "Hmm?" Negligent as the response might have sounded, she had all of his attention.

Tonight, right this moment, was not a night for laughter or smiles. No impish jokes, or mischievous glances. "William. Last I knew, he was there. He'd gone back there after Bar got settled at home again."

Sometimes her ability to forget things, her tunnel-vision was astounding. "Why in Hells haven't you asked me where he is then?"

Her response only compounded the ridiculousness of the moment. "Honestly, up until right now, when you asked me, it hadn't occurred to me to ask you." She had good reason to wince, duck her head, and hunch her shoulders.

He just, stared. Opened his mouth to speak a couple of times, blinking his confusion all the while. Closed his mouth with a snap. This action was repeated, more than once before he managed to find the words.

"How in the name of ...I think you're the only person know, the only power I know, who routinely forgets they're a power. Or that they have abilities." That he was dumbfounded by this was evident. His amusement was just as clear. "He's at his brother's. Dorian's."

He watched her sag in relief, watched the weight of that slide off her shoulders. Delighted in the return of her smile.
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She sagged in relief, a laugh yanked free that she couldn't have stopped even if she wanted to. "Thank gods." The irony in her statement was not lost on her at all.

The loud, smacking kiss she planted on his lips wasn't lost on either of them. And the opportunity to rub salt in a wound wasn't going to be lost by the Abyssal Lord.

"I'm surprised it only took one smiting to convince you to listen to reason." For all his playful mockery, he was genuinely startled, and somewhat worried about her.

The mouth meant for smiles, and other things, twisted into a silent snarl that was as much defensive as it was derisive. "I got hit, and it switched me off like a lightbulb. " Snapped her fingers for added emphasis. "Just, nothin' there like flippin' a switch. " The shudder was not delicate, and not an affectation.

"When I came back Mist was there, pouring energy and power into me, bringin' me back faster than I'd've come back on my own. And aside from worryin' a friend like that, all I could think about was you, an' what you'd've done if I hadn't come back." That thought, more than anything else had finally tunneled through the wall of stubborn intent she'd built around her common sense.

He pressed a kiss to the palm of the hand she'd cupped his cheek with, letting her both feel, and see his smile. "Have you tried your magics yet? Do you know if you're suffering from smiting sickness?" Whether or not that was the actual, technical term for the condition didn't matter.

Often when a person was on the receiving end of a good smiting, their abilities suffered. Or simply stopped working entirely for a while. And once he'd explained that to her, nothing would do either of them but to find out.

Over the next hour Thorn tried her abilities one by one, with varying degrees of success. And quite a few utter failures.

When going through her forms from dhole to squirrel to cave lion she discovered that while she had no problem with the change of shape, she also had no control. She also discovered that she did not ever want to be a walnut tree again. As well as a surprising amount relief that while in the form of a hippopotamus, she did not fertilize the gardens.

Her magic was as unpredictable as her shape changing abilities. A simple spell to create dancing lights resulted in a disco party, complete with mirrored ball. Dispelling that earned a giant, glowing grapefruit. Magic missile shot berries (they were ripe and delicious), while fireball called forth a giant squirrel that swelled. And swelled. And kept swelling until it exploded and rained giant squirrely bits, pretty much everywhere.

After she'd tested all of her abilities, and found they were all very much not working properly, she decided it was best to not use them.

When her beloved, the light of her life, the warmth in her heart, decided to be his thorough self and stab her she came to the decision that smiting-sickness really sucked. No matter how gently it was done, having a dagger between your ribs was just not a pleasant experience. Moreso when you discovered it was just a regular dagger.

Knowing how vulnerable you were, however briefly, was not a pleasant thing.

Ever.
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There may still be pockets of snow on the ground here and there but Cellin was in his summer clothes. No longer the chubby raccoon of Winter the old druid's nut brown skin soaked up the sun's warmth. Lounging in a chair, he watched his granddaughter's garden fae flit about the ever-evolving fairy tale space they'd created surrounding her home.

It was a fine spring day made for doing just what he was doing, relaxing and thinking long thoughts without actually, physically doing much. And with the puzzle he was currently worrying like a dog after a bone, long thoughts were par for the course. So were sleepless nights and an aching heart. No matter what he told the girl, watching the erasure of the world where he'd been raised as Briarblood, the world he'd been born onto, was eating at him. Tearing his heart to shreds bit by bit.

In part it was because of his own inability to let it rest, to let it ride, that he wasn't surprised when he heard the jingle of tiny bells. What did surprise him though was the sound of a car's engine, and the closing of a car door. To his knowledge she hadn't driven for anything other than fun in years. So when he turned his vivid green eyes toward her, there was honest curiosity in them. "Out for a drive?"

The hunching of her shoulders combined with the chagrined grimace only served to heighten his curiosity. Didn't offer any actual answers, they did however bring up more than a few questions.


Thorn very nearly threw herself down in the chair beside his, heels thumping hard against the greening grass. She didn't cross her arms, though it was a very near thing. And the gesture was very much implied. "None of my magics're workin' right. They're all jiggered up."

She could actually, literally feel the sulk settling over. Could hear it in her voice. And didn't bother doing anything to change it.

Speculative, he eyed her, stroking his chin in thought before replying. "Well, what the hell happened?" He was only more confused when she looked at him, eyes wide and slightly bulging, like he should know. And when she spoke his bewilderment deepened.

"What happened? What happened?! You friggin' smote me is what happened." Nevermind that he'd warned her it would happen, and nevermind that they'd had a long discussion on smiting.

He blinked, a lot. Caught off guard. "Huh." Head rocked back a bit, brows lifted. "Set it to trigger when you messed with the keys."

She looked like a landed fish gasping for air on the bank of a river. "You..Did you... You friggin' macroed me?!"
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a day for confusing the old man it seemed. "What's a macro?"

The humor was starting to seep through her indignation. She freely admitted that she'd sort of deserved the smiting. Mostly. It was the loss of her abilities, her magics, that were grating currently.
"A macro is, it's a thing you set up to do a thing when something, or someone does a certain thing, so you don't have to do the thing." This was her understanding of it at least.

After using a finger as though keeping track of her wording in the air, he nodded. "Oh, well in that case. Yes, yes I did macro you." The word was odd in his mouth, felt weird and just, awkward on his tongue.

With the admission he watched her deflate, saw the laughter come back into her. "Shouldn't've messed with those keys." He couldn't resist I-told-you-so's. And when she stuck her tongue out and raspberried at him, he laughed.

"You've got smiting-sickness and it's messing with your, well you." Confirming what he knew she already knew with a twinkle in his eye and the twitch of a smile at the edges of his mouth.

"Okay, yeah. So how long's it gonna last? Just because I forget I have this power, regularly, doesn't mean I don't every use it. And havin' to worry if some ass-hat's gonna pull a knife on me, and how much it's gonna hurt if he gets past m'guard and stabs me, is just gonna suck a lotta wrinkly sacs." After that statement, she waited while he brought himself back under control again.

"He's nothing if not thorough." Stifling another round of snickers behind a hand, he cleared his through and drew a breath. "If you don't trigger it again, shouldn't be longer'n a month." He could see the questions raising, and held up a hand to head them off.

"Even with our magics being so very, chaotic, and stubborn, shouldn't be longer'n a month. Assuming you don't trigger it. Quit messing with the keys, sprout." He nodded, jerked his chin down in firm agreement and approval when she grumbled that she'd already given them to Roan. And blessed himself for having not reached to take them from her.

He lapsed into quiet then knowing full well that that wasn't the only reason she'd driven an hour from Rhy'din proper to her mountain home. She could have saved herself the sight of his laughing at her expense and simply called. Even though he didn't understand fully, the concept of telephones, Dae did and could have been roped into playing go-between. So he settled down to wait her out.

Thorn spent a while watching the fae dance between bud and bloom, from tender new shoots to older, more established leaves. Their industry, their dedication and presence soothed her, allowed her to collect her thoughts once more. When she spoke she was a great deal more at ease.

"'Nother thing I figured out was part of why I was so driven to get to Coi'Cor." She was still driven, but it had backed down to a need rather than an obsession. "I thought William was there still. Thought he'd gone back after Bar came home."
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was very much something he could understand, the need to protect your young was a driving force in the lives of most things. In their family line, with a few exceptions, it went beyond that. He knew very well she'd fight to the bitter end to protect anyone she'd claimed as family, and he knew the atrocities she'd commit to shield someone she saw as her own. She probably didn't, not yet, but eventually she would.

"Bill's at his brother's. Been there a while now."

"Bill?"

"He prefers Bill, and he's older than you now, so respect your elders."

Thrown for a loop mentally, she squeezed her eyes shut in a series of almost-blinks and shook her head as though to clear it. "How the *** is he older'n me? How weird is time on Coi'Cor?"

"Depends on the day. Especially when you factor in the weirdness of time here." He shrugged up his shoulders, hands spread palm up as though to signal his helpless ignorance of the details.

"Okay, so, how old is he then?" If her heart son was older than she was, then she needed to know just how large that age gap really was.

"He's, uh, thirty-one now I believe. Yeah, thirty-one." Bushy brows beetled when she tipped her head to the side and looked at him like he'd lost his marbles again.

"Cellin, I'm thirty-four now." Brows lifted, lips pressed into a line, she squinted at him. "You suck at grampa-in'." She continued teasing the old man while he redid the maths in his head, and blustered.

"I mean, okay yeah, I kinda get it, he's all serious and knightly, and I'm very much not. But, honestly? How could you forget how old your favorite, and at this point, only, granddaughter is?" For shame, for shame, her tongue of voice could have served for a disappointed head shake and exasperated tsk-tsk at once had it not been for the laughter she couldn't completely suppress.

Now it was her turn to laugh in wicked delight when Cellin made a rude gesture for her teasing of him.

"I still want to be there, want really bad to go in and fight and do everything I can, but it's not as bad as it was. I can think around it, mostly."

"It's part of you, part of all of us to fight to protect our Home. Coi'Cor is our home, and now that home is being threatened. -And I can't help but wonder if it was me, my actions that started it this time."

That she didn't follow his line of reasoning was evident in her expression before she flat out said, "how the hells is it your fault?"

Hi s voice softened, choked with regret and emotion, green eyes went distant and misty. "I killed him. I struck my brother down."
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pain in her grandfather's voice tore at her, tightened her throat and had her eyes burning. It wasn't an automatic denial that had her shaking her head. "No. There's no way you caused this Cellin. You did what you had to do. He'd been poisoned, pushed over the edge of sanity."

"When I struck him down, when I put him down, my attack hit and damaged the Throne of Divinity as well. His seat of Power. Part of it was destroyed." His expression severe, he pulled back. Straightening his spine and looking down his nose at her.

She took a few minutes to think, to organize her thoughts and go over the little she already knew about the incidents. And again she denied him fault or blame.

"No. You said so yourself, this has happened before, at least a dozen times. Might be something triggered it, but I don't think it was you. And even if it was you that triggered it, this was gonna happen anyway. " The words weren't empty, they weren't pretty things used to ease his conscience or guilt. They were the truth. They were also the words he'd give her if their situations were reversed.

"Until, or unless we can figure out what started all'a this, then it's gonna keep happenin' no matter what we do. You told me that Cellin." And that served as both a reminder, and a segue.

"How're they doin'? How's the world?" What's left of it? Is there any left? Silent questions that clogged the air.

Reluctant to leave off his self-blame the old man shrugged petulantly once and mumbled his reply. "It's still there, hasn't been completely undone yet. And there's three in the party. One's a follower of mine, one's a follower of one of Poa's fragments, and the other's a monk. They have faith in us, we should have faith in them I think." Waspish tones there, more than a touch of a snap.

It was then that she finally noticed that his attention kept snapping, sneaking looks at the tower her cousin had erected on her land years ago. And she noticed that every time it did, traces and hints of dread stole over his face.

"What's up?" Chin lifted to indicate the tower, though her attention remained almost completely on her grandfather.

He slumped, then wilted into the arm she threw around his shoulders. "I'm trying to figure out how to tell that boy that Suragot's dead." And because he saw the bloody joy in her eyes he finished the statement. "But it took the lives of his brothers, and damn near the life of his father to get it done."

She was crooning, humming a song under her breath and holding her grandfather as though afraid he'd shatter. And she was filled with sorrow. "I'll do it."

But before she did, she stayed there in the sun a while and just shared her warmth with her grampa, and let him grieve in his own way.
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After casually mentioning to her grandfather that there was lemonade and cookies in the refrigerator, Thorn made her way across the grounds to her cousin's tower. From the sound of things, the stroke of metal on metal, the ring of hammer on anvil, he was creating something. Possibly the same something he'd been working on on and off for the last few years. And though she knew she wouldn't be heard over the din, she pounded the palm of a hand against the door. Made a stab at manners and respecting personal space.

Then, when he didn't answer, she opened the door and walked on in. Walked into a sauna that, even with the resistances afforded by her nature, was took her breath away and settled like a physical weight over the whole of her.

Branth was indeed working at his forge, the steady, rhythmic rise and fall of his hammer bringing shape and form to his vision. Sparks flew as they did when any master of this art worked. That sparks danced wasn't surprising; what was had the entirety of her focus settling on the half-formed lump of something on the forge was what the sparks were.

Creation in its purest, most primeval form danced its way through the air, skittered and jittered across the stone flooring. Thorn stood staring her mouth more than slightly agape while he worked. And when the song of metal and Life changed, altered just slightly, she stirred herself. Shifted into his line of sight just after he threw the lump back into the furnace where fire elementals jockeyed for a place and held their charge in the heart of the inferno.

Curiosity and awe rather than reluctance prompted her to ask, once he'd flashed a grin her way to acknowledge her. "Whatcha makin'?"

With a manic sort of gallows humor sparking in his eyes, Branth sang, a whole new world.." Then promptly fell to snickering when she rolled her eyes at his quip.

"Honestly, don't know. Been workin' on it for a couple years now, back and forth. It just, stops talkin' to me after a while and I lose the thread of what we'd been talking about, so I have to start all over. Like now." That she understood what he'd said was obvious, as was his appreciation for it.

The young power had filled out quite a lot over the last few years. While he'd never been willowy or delicate, the constant work had added quite a lot of muscle and more than a little bulk to his frame. Bulk which he wore well, and that did nothing to slow him down. At the anvil, in his work space his movements were deliberate, perfectly timed and controlled, away from it, not so much. And yet, even the feline tail that lashed or curled, rarely touched or bumped anything it wasn't meant to.

The smith's eyes searched her face, catching minute tells that most would miss. The laughter died away, humor bled from his face. "What's happened? It's not finished yet, there's still places on my globe." Offhandedly he gestured to what was left of a globe, wrapped in darkness with a full third of it missing, completely gone. But still life clung, stubbornly continued in the face of the encroaching, nothing.
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In for a penny.

She puffed out a breath and nodded once as though urging herself to speak.

"I have the classic good news, bad news for you." In Thorn's version of good news, bad news, the other person didn't get to choose which they got first. She barrelled on before he could do more than open his mouth to speak, "good news is that Surogot is dead. Destroyed, gone, ended."

"About damn time." That was his only reply. If that was the good news, and damn sure it was fantastic news, he'd wait for the bad.

"Surogot's dead, but the doin' of it ended your brothers and damn near ended your father." Like a bandaid, fast and brutal. Being delicate would quite likely do more harm than good. Laying it out just as she had also gave her no option to backout, to go back on her promise to Cellin. "I'm so sorry Branth."

The simple offering of words, the sincerity of the feeling behind them touched him, soothed the edges of shock that rocked him. "That's...disappointing." At a loss for words, that was the best he could come up with at the moment. It would have to do.

Everyone processed things in different ways, everyone had their own Way. Thorn wasn't going to judge her cousin for this, or anything for that matter. She gave him several minutes to process and adjust as much as he could. To let the shock settle in and possibly pass.

Then she asked again, "but seriously, what're you making?"

Drawn out of his thoughts again, he nodded his thanks to her for the distraction and looked at the furnace with a grimace. "I seriously don't know. It's something I've been working on for the last couple of years like I said. It just, won't be made yet. But it won't let me leave it alone for long either. Always pulling at me, always elbowing me in the ribs to get back to it. " He eyed her quizzically. "Why?"

"Because that?" Pointed at the glowing lump of Reality and Creation in the heart of the furnace. "Even I know that ***'s not metal anymore. Started out that way probably, but *** Branth. You're working some serious Creation here." From astonished and awed, to cheekily proud in a heart beat.

"Good ***' job man." She laughed merrily when he returned the fist bump she offered him.

He wasn't coy, didn't have the false-modesty what would demand he ducked his chin and tried to push off his gift somewhere else. Branth knew damn well where his gifts lie, and he knew damn well he was very good at what he did. He took the compliment in stride and cut a grin her way.
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"That wasn't the only reason you came in was it? To let me know about my brothers?" There was the faintest catch in his voice then. He hadn't been close with his siblings for a variety of reasons (having a mother who was completely off her rocker and swung from one extreme to another at unpredictable times made family bonding a touch difficult), but they were family. They were blood. And no matter how he reminded himself that they would have died anyway with the erasure of the plane, it still stung. It still hurt.

"Huh? Oh, no. No it wasn't the only reason, but it was one of them." Pressing the tip of her tongue to the inside of her lower lip, she flipped it a few times, clicked flesh over flesh before continuing. "So, Cellin and I were talkin' and I was reminded of something. You're a maker, a creator. And you know a lot of *** folks probably don't give you the right amount of credit for."

She watched him preen under the deserved compliments and didn't bother stifling the sigh, or trying to stop the eye roll. "An' because of that, what do you know about what's goin' on? How it started, how to stop it, any thing, everything." Spread her hands to implore him, or to yank the knowledge out of him, whatever wound up being necessary.

He shrugged and sighed, shaking his head to further indicate his ignorance.

"I just don't know. Trust me cousin, if I did, I wouldn't be in here fighting to beat metal into Reality to make something that flat out won't let me make it." Flicked his fingers dismissively at the furnace with a growl and annoyed lashing of his tail . "I can't find anything about it documented anywhere. The little bit I do know is scattered all over the place and makes no real sense. It all contradicts itself, but then it confirms what it contradicted and then swings back around again.

"It's connected to how the gods of the realm are raised, at least the first one, the one that starts the pantheon. So in this arc, it's Orin. Not Cellin because the Briarblood is a title passed down in a straight line and nothing can really undo that. But since Orin's dead, we can't ask him how he became a god, so we have to guess."

"And I think that's the way it's supposed to be. This is something that has to be figured out as we go, even though it's mortals doing the on Plane work at the moment. All we can do is wait and watch and gather as much information as we can until the time's right for us to step in and do..whatever the hells it is we're supposed to do." His movements were painted in a quiet frustration.

"Even if that means just stepping in and taking up the reins when it's all reset and put back together again."

She could actually feel the muley expression forming on her face, feel her back tightening and straightening. "No, I don't, won't accept that. There has to be something we can do. Something we can do to stop this from ever happenin' again if we can't fix it now, reset this *** and get the world back on track again."

Thorn wasn't known for her patience, not when every part of her screamed out, ached to be doing something tangible to fight against insurmountable odds.

The Lost and Broken fell under her sphere, under her wing, and right now an entire Plane of existence was Lost and Broken. She couldn't sit idly bye, it wasn't in her.

"What about the old gods? The ones that were there before Orin? Before the Stewards before Orin even?"

His response came out of left field and caught her flat footed.
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Have you been having weird dreams?" They were both still staring at the globe, and even the question could make either of them look away yet.

"What kinda weird dreams Branth?"

"Two towers, three bridges that go from land, to tower, to tower, to land, and below all of that, a swamp that goes almost from horizon to horizon. There's people milling about on one side, one piece of land like the starting point, occasionally someone gets the courage to start up the bridge. When they do they run into this really big guy, he's strong, a warrior, a guardsman of sorts, and he's holding a big assed staff. When the person gets close they stop and the guard stares at them, like he's judging them or something. Then they either go on to the first tower, or he knocks them off the bridge into the swamp below. And the swamp, it's choked with people. Every time it looks like one of them might be able to climb out, the ones around them grab on to get out too and they pull the other back in.

"But, you don't see anyone on the other bridge, there's no movement past that first tower. And the landing, where people start up the first bridge, keeps fillin' back up again. It just, doesn't end. It keeps going on and on and on." He watched her from the corner of his eye, saw when she startled, when recognition flared. "When I see it, I'm waiitng to cross the first bridge. Where are you Thorn?"

Plucking at her lip, she kept her gaze on the globe for another heartbeat before turning to face him. "I'm watchin', all of it. Like I"m an observer, not a participant. I'm not actively there, but I'm everywhere and all of it feels, broken. " She mimed snapping a stick between her hands.

"Like it's supposed to work a lot differently than it does. But something's gumming up the works, something's clogged the drain." Her expression went shrewd.

"What if that's Coi'Cor's bridge to the after life? All those people, all those souls, they're dead and they're tryin' to get to their heaven, or their hell, their judgement and som'thin' isn't lettin' 'em through? Maybe, what if that's what's broken an' why everything keeps resetting?"

He could almost see it, almost see the pattern that overlaid the pattern of current events. Almost see what could be, what likely was the cause. It felt like if he reached out for it, he'd catch hold of it. "Like the souls are just, stuck. And every once in a while, whatever balance there is there gets tipped and it starts all over again. Like an overfull basket splitting open when one too many pieces of grain gets stuffed inside." His voice took on confidence as the theory felt closer to right, as his instincts urged him on.

"They're supposed to go to the first tower maybe, and go beyond if they've lived a life right for it. If they haven't, well they go into the swamp where they're either reborn to live almost exactly as they had, or they just don't move on to the afterlife. -- But if it was working properly, Coi'Cor could, would run out of souls and no one would be able to move on anyway."
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