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* Plot Information for Shalador

The capital has been destroyed, replaced with the spewing ash and liquid lava of Shalador’s Eldest Sister. The surviving factions and Clans scramble for a new leader and a way to save the jungle Territory from the remaining volcanoes. The Black Widows, long held at arm’s length, have stepped up to guide, by force or willingly, the Territory towards salvation.
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Author Topic: riders of the storm  (Read 168 times)

Description: tag: Aikanos, Cassiel, Camaxtli, Itzelian, Cassiel, Juliet, Xelara, Xipila, and others (in no particular order).

Offline Erisian Maboya

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riders of the storm
« on: Mar 26, 18, 09:04:48 PM »
Ruins of Aztlan, Elaho Province, Shalador.
One Year and One Day After Eldest Sister's Eruption
Spring, 193 AP.

Thread takes place at the same time as flesh, bones, skin, and soul.


One Year after Eldest Sister’s awakening came at Spring’s dawn. A festival for those claimed by fire was held. Fall was the season of the harvest, the season of the dead but the tragedies victims and heroes deserved their own day, their own celebration made in equal parts of mourning and grief. It would go on for three days and began at sunrise of the first.

Remembrance for the dead. Mourning for those that lived. Pride in the stories of those that had shone in ways worthy of holding space in history. From Aztlan’s ruins, and through cities, and villages across Shalador tales were sung through tears, smiles and sobs. Leaves of spellscribed paper were tied to branches ascending through the canopy, scribed with prayers and offerings for the departed they still held dear.

Hope, fragile and fraught with worry, laced worryingly hot air. Psychic scents echoing the nation’s shared trauma weighted the very atmosphere. Tensions between members of Shalador’s numbered Tribes and organizations were plentiful but there were no serious fights. Anger was but a side effect of so much grief, inevitable though quick to wane in light of the common anguish of those assembled, respect for the lost was more important than any divergence in family, Tribe or faith.

The next morning was oddly cool and many in the burned city woke complaining of strange dreams, and visions of loved ones long gone. Sisters of the Hourglass and Brothers of the Vigil passed warnings to those they served and prepared for coming change hinted at to several but made completely clear to none.

A light snowfall touched Nayarit. Warming spells not often used were needed by those who woke for the second day’s service. By noon it had warmed, but far less that it should’ve.
Come sundown a deeper chill claimed the land. Some of those gripped in suspicion and respect for Eldest Sister and her capacity for ruin chose to leave Aztlan before the three days of ritualized reminisence ended.

Most, unafraid of the dead who had every reason to grieve their own fates cut short, continued participating in the ceremonies set forth and in whispered soothing words into whipping winds.  All save the lips of the Priestesses, Black Widows, and Queens who all lead different sorts of services were still.

That second night was to be devoted to service, prayer, and communion meant to soothe spirits unable to find rest. Not all the Territory’s satellite services went on past the first day.

Aztlan, the disaster’s epicentre, knew no displaced citizen not permanently scarred by loss and so her services were extended as were Tikal's. Even those who did not travel to the ruins were able, at smaller temples set further away from the ruined site, to try and find a measure of peace and purpose on eve following their grim anniversary. They did not mind the rain that began falling when evening took hold.

Two hours past sunset a storm that would fuel the first of the season’s floods was raging and  seemed to be reaching its peak. Priestesses made clear those who needed shelter and rest from the elements exorcising their bereavement were no less than those whose souls needed communion more than cover from a tempestuous sky.

From those that stayed to pray they gathered from spiritual reservoirs of the assembled through the dangerous downpour. Most Black Widows ended their work, turning to make sense of what warning shook their webs and weave wards about that theirs to preserve. Queens? They prepared, commanded, and readied for flood, fire, or worse.

Three hours past night’s fall? Tempest winds raced, howling as they cut through the wood. Power charged the air and served as proof their weather came from beyond. This was a feeling those who survived the purge or knew well enough its tales recognized well.

Clouds swirled thick around the mountain waking from its year of tumultuous slumber.

Unearthly violet lightning arced in wide circles about the volcano that destroyed the nation’s holiest temple and city and it didn’t stop. Forking bolts of light served as a beacon and a bullseye marking the trouble’s origins.

Unlike before, the people near the charred remains of the Territory’s holiest city turned into its largest burial ground were given time to ready their Craft for fight or to preserve the flight of those not fit to stand their ground against furious rivers of flame. The Winds the Blood could ride wavered, unstable as the air they breathed. The skilled risked it, more chose still obstructed roads and used their magic to advance towards safer grounds.

The rest of Shalador knew rain, knew storm, knew fear. Her Queens felt the very earth trembling out the rhythm of forgotten yet familiar songs. Out of the Abyss, racing for home, rode a Mad Court on a wave of providence and promise. 

From Eldest Sister’s mouth great plumes of ash rose. Heralding disaster they were lit with embers of the destruction promised in her rumblings. Electricity crackled through tenebrous tendrils. The greatest of Shalador’s volcanoes, dormant no more, roared to life. With the sudden eruption the sky was filled with the liquid flame that had consumed Aztlan.

As if in a dream, illuminated by crackling energy and unearthly orange and red glow, the flowing fire the defied gravity froze. Darkness consumed its surface, creating a mirror of obsidian suspended in air. Lava coiled within cracking lines through the ebony shine before the fire was swallowed completely in blackness.

An invisible force of cold struck the strange plume turned solid and sent black glass raining over Eldest Sister and those who’d dare be near her shadow to honour the fallen.






Offline Aikanos Soto

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Re: riders of the storm
« Reply #1 on: Mar 26, 18, 09:06:16 PM »
One mile outside border of Aztlan ruins, Elaho Province, Shalador.
One Year and One Day After Eldest Sister's Eruption
Spring, 193 AP.

Thread takes place at the same time as flesh, bones, skin, and soul.


Before the war, Cass’s responsibilities rarely touched his life at home with their children in the village they so loved. Since that day Nova Marzena saved him, his family and so many others from what was only the first battle in a drawn out, bloody civil conflict. He’d never believed the charges against the girl whose wit, strength, and skill with a bow spared and protected their canopy.

Since strife spread like a plague between the tribes, Aikanos’s life had grown much more formal, and it was a world to which he was ill suited.

His wife was the Chief of one of the nation’s Great Tribes. She was expected at events such as the three days of remembrance and grief to be head at the borderlands of what once was Aztlan. In the shadow of the Eldest Sister who was held captive in a fitful rest the Territory gathered

The Warlord was private as he was a man who found peace in working his body along with his mind, and neither thing fit in well with his wife’s world of subtler games and skills. The rules of her world meant that it wasn’t enough she be somewhere, those closest to her were expected to attend as part of her aura of influence. Lord Soto didn’t like it, but like any good male he did what was necessary.

Cassiel promised that if at any time he felt too suffocated by proximity to the place Lana and Trina were stolen from them, they could leave. She’d make an excuse, but before she could do that it had to at least look like they’d tride. Peace beneath Shalador’s self appointed Guardians was a tenuous thing easily rattled.

Grasping his wife’s hand, fortified by strong tobacco in his pipe and the stubborn resolve of a father facing the site of his imaginable loss but on the second day, when the rains began, his fortitude wavered. The trauma of Aikanos’s past collided with his present’s and he’d needed the aid of a calming brew to be readied to leave. Cass made good on her promise. He cursed and bit back tears when it became clear the Winds were made unstable by the deluge still gaining strength.

An hour later they were less than a mile from where they’d started and the tempest’s fury beat at their backs. Everything in Aikanos’s body screamed that they weren’t moving more quickly. With every step he took, the Warlord felt as if something hungry followed in his shadow. It reminded him of the false calm that fell over a battlefield at night. He begged his wife and those she commanded to move more quickly.

The usually stoic hearth husband’s increasingly rattled nerves were clear to any close to him. As a boy he’d had a brush with death thanks to a sudden flood much like the one the pouring rain promised. Then, almost at the same time, Aikanos, Cassiel and their companions froze.

Sulfur’s acrid scent overtook all others in the forest. Lord Soto’s stomach dropped. He watched his wife turn back towards the ruins. As if powered by a will not his own, Aikanos turned to follow. His blood ran cold at what loomed through vine and branch in the distance.

Eldest Sister stirred and from the sky called omens of a psychic storm. Though it was muffled by the terrified pounding of his heart, Aikanos heard Cassiel’s orders. He followed them without hesitation even though his limbs felt like lead and his tongue lay dead in his mouth like a lump of stone and steel.

Offline Cassiel Soto

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Re: riders of the storm
« Reply #2 on: Mar 26, 18, 09:58:10 PM »
Grief was a badge that the Chieftain wore in solidarity with her Jewels.  The loss of her children had been a blow that Cassiel was certain she would never heal from.  But just because Cassiel was wounded and bleeding out didn't mean that those who relied on her could wait.  No, her beloved husband and remaining children needed their wife and mother just as much as her Tribesmen needed her. 

Traveling to the place of Remembrance had been a challenge.  Not only because Cassiel wasn't feeling the desire to be out, airing her grief but because her beloved husband was struggling with the trip.  But she couldn't make the trip without his quiet strength beside her. 

Before they had left Cassiel had promised her beloved that if his discomfort should go too strong, they would leave.  And she wouldn't question him.  But they had to try.  They had to speak to their brothers and sisters.  They had to show to everyone that they, too, were suffering.  However, that would not stop Cassiel from looking after her husband.  With a loving hand on his cheek, the Chieftain smiled at her beloved and nodded.  "It's time now."

As the rains came, Cassiel knew that her husband would need to go home before he said the words.  Aikanos was a strong male, he was resilient and his love for her overruled almost anything.  But Cassiel knew her husband.  She could sense the building tension in him.

The rains were a problem.  Not only for their trip home but for her husband's anxiety.  She knew of Aikanos's fears as well as she knew her own.  As the rains grew harder, Cassiel stayed closer to her husband, her gentle hand finding his whenever she could. 

Something in the land and the air changed just as the torrential rains picked up.  The rain mixed with the ancient, stirring lava created acrid steam and smoke that choked them as they made their way home.  Not only was the lava stirring, something was waking.  Something just as powerful as the volcano itself. 

With firm commands, Cassiel ordered her people to move.  They needed to get out from under this cloud of death before it found them.  Gripping her husband's hand, Cassiel shouted for those who followed them to pick up the pace.

Offline Xipila Espinosa

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Re: riders of the storm
« Reply #3 on: Apr 04, 18, 08:44:08 PM »
She stood on one side of the river, having already set up her tent.  She wasn't sure why.  She'd felt.. drawn.. to this spot two weeks before.  She'd known she should be here.  She'd set to making more rations, and had stocked up on clean water. 

Even with that.. she still wasn't sure of exactly why.  But she'd learned a very long time ago - for her, anyways - that she should pay attention to her instincts and visions.  So the collection of water and the creation of rations had been undertaken.

It was as the rain began to pour that she felt the culmination of that tingling nerve.  It was when the crackle of energy in the sky gathered that she looked up, studying the obvious signs of power there in the sky.  Perhaps she was meant to die here, and this hut was meant to stand as a place of refuge for survivors.  Or perhaps she was meant to be here to help those running away.

It didn't matter, either way.  She was where she was meant to be - and it was only that thought that kept her from turning away from the Eldest Sister and fleeing as fast as she could.  She'd been led here, and she would by the Night remain.  So she took her deep breaths, unrolling a few more furs for any guests that might arrive.

She wove her protection spells, hoping they would hold against whatever.. horror.. would come sweeping down from that mountain.  And when she had done all she could.. she knelt at the canopy before her tent, her hands flat against her thighs as she began to whisper her prayers for the souls of those that had come before, those that would pass today, and those who would come tomorrow.

Optimism was important - she had to believe that there would be souls that would arrive tomorrow.  And the day after. 

Karana...  She could only hope that Karana was safe.  She could only pray, and wait - despite and because of the ice cold terror that washed through her as she stared up at that forming storm. 

Offline Taracena Omah

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Re: riders of the storm
« Reply #4 on: Apr 13, 18, 10:01:52 PM »
Taracena had come to mourn the dead. She had been lucky and had not lost family, The Omah village was far in the west and had not been particularly affected, but Taracena had many friends among the fallen. Having survived the Purge and being part long-lived in a short-lived Territory, Cena was used to loss. She had grown accustomed to pieces of her heart being ripped from her chest and had learned healthy ways to process death. It was a big part of her profession, after all. So while she had come to the ruins under the sleeping Sister to mourn, most of what she was here for was to help others do so. She had walked through the crowd, offering a touch of assistance anywhere that it was needed and taking breaks when the strain of all this loss grew too great.

The desire to grieve and honor the dead drew many out into the cold, and Cena had run around all day, putting warming spells on shawls and homes. There were probably better things for a Gray Jeweled Black Widow Healer to be doing, but the busywork kept her mind off of all the loss. When the storm picked up after sunset, Cena flew up to the tallest rooftop she could, eyes roaming over the city as she felt rumbles of...something. Rain blew into her squinting eyes as she looked up towards the Eldest Sister as purple lightning rent the sky. Her fingers tightened on the slick tiles she crouched upon as a gust of wind that felt more like Wind threatened to hurl her off. She pulled her wings in tight, creating a shield around herself to keep the pounding rain out of her eyes. Those brown orbs turned up towards the mountain and she felt her heart stop as ash and smoke started billowing from that peak that had brought such destruction the year before.

SHe watched for a whole thirty seconds, incredulous that it was happening again. She had seen omens in the Webs but had not wanted to believe it.

People will die again. Taracena though, followed quickly by, no, not this time.

She launched herself back into the sky, using Craft to control her flight as she flew straight into the storm, into the districts closest to the base of the volcano and the people who were closest to the destruction that was about to descend upon them. She landed with a ripple of Gray power by a group of people running.

“Go! I’ll cover your retreat!” She shouted, pulling her scarf up to cover her nose and mouth as the steam and smoke and rain all combined to make the air a choking mess. The small family didn’t need to be told twice. As they sprinted in the opposite direction, Taracena took to the sky long enough to get to another crumbling rooftop, then focused on the oncoming threat as the sky was lit up by fire. Taracena threw up shields around the whole area, preparing for the rivers of molten lava that had descended upon the city the last time, not pausing to think lest terror grip her and make her stop. Except the fire did not come. Instead it seemed to freeze for a moment in the sky then begin to tall as daggers of obsidian falling at high speed from above. Cena braced for the impact and felt her shields absorbed the first wave of falling shards. The power of them made her skid back across the roof, but she widened her stance, letting her consciousness spread over the neighbourhood feeling for other people and trying to work out how many were left and how fast they were moving. Her eyes, unneeded for that, rose towards the sky again as more lightening raced across it.

This time I’m not too far away to help. This time I stand until the last.

Offline Itzelian Maboya

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Re: riders of the storm
« Reply #5 on: Apr 14, 18, 06:16:02 PM »
Today had been hard.

The Maboya had lost too many on this day a year ago -- Queen, leader, Court… And, of course, they had to make not only an appearance at the event, but were expected to lead. Itzelian...was expected to lead. And not, at the same time. It was a weird limbo that she couldn’t decide if she was happy about or upset over. Maybe she was just upset all over anyway.

Today was not a day she wanted to be Queen. Today was the day she wanted to think about her mother and how much it still hurt and how much she still resented her mother. She didn’t want to be prim and proper, dressed up for the mourning masses, hiding her tears when all she wanted to do was be left alone. She had to be paraded in front of the remaining elders, receive condolences and make chit-chat, and it was really starting to get on her nerves, listening to all of these people talking about her mother and her aunt like they were either heroes or villains and didn’t anyone care what Izzy wanted today?!

Obviously not.

At first, Itzelian had stared balefully at the mountain that had taken her mother and aunt. Her entire life. And yet she was still living. Half living? What was living when your heart felt like it was just some dead weight inside of you that day? It didn’t always feel like that though, just today. She’d even put her hand on her chest to make sure it actually was still beating, that she hadn’t become some sort of...automaton or shadow.

Izzy let out a long, unQueenly sigh. Today sucked.

And it didn’t stop with just that one day.

Izzy, scoured dry of all caring by the end of it, went home, disrobed, and fell into bed with hardly a word to anyone else. She want to do anything but fall into the oblivion of sleep and put the day behind her.

But Mother Night had other plans for her.

She dreamed of monsters -- eyeless, ethereal things -- rising from the ground, wailing her name. Wanting her blood, just like her mother’s. Izzy’s wings...they wouldn’t work. She couldn’t fly. She began to run but the shadow things were always right behind her, wailing and writhing. Coming for her. Running those cold fingers along her skin. Sounding like her mother. Itzelian…

Izzy awoke, entangled in her sheets, screaming and sweating. Luckily, she hadn’t woken her nanny, else she would have to childishly explain why she was afraid of dreams still.

It hadn’t felt like a dream. It had felt like...a premonition.

Needless to say, Izzy was exhausted the next morning and the day dragged on. By evening, as the winds began to whip wildly, lashing the trees, Izzy begged illness and was able to escape back to her home. Her initial relief of being away from the milling crowd soured as the storm gathered and the feeling of dread built. With her wings pressed tightly against her spine, Izzy opened the windows to her room and began to pace, listening to the storm.

The first thunderous bolt of lightning made her cry out in surprise. It was so close! Izzy dared to look out the window and noticed that what she had thought was the oncoming night around the Sisters was actually thick clouds. And the lightning...streaking through those clouds…

Just like the day…

Shaking, Izzy backed away from the window but she could not tear her gaze away. Again...it was happening again. The mountain that had taken her mother hadn’t been satisfied. It hungered for more.

“N-No…” she whimpered. “N-No!”

 

 

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