|Rules and Guidelines|
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|Lasse, 160 - Midnight, hr 1|
He doesn’t think he likes Deagan very much. The other boy is ignoring them now, acting all hurt, like they did something bad!
They were just having fun, playing with the dolls and the new shell house. It’s not like they did anything wrong—Lin even said so, and that’s enough for him—the dumb boy just got all upset for no reason.
And now, even though Lin /said/ they were just playing, they hafta be all apologize-y.
He’s not really sure why, since they didn’t do anything wrong, but he follows his brother’s lead.
It’s all just stupid. Deagan’s stupid, and so he snatches his doll back from the soft earth before his brother can pull him away, because he never did want Deagan to have it in the first place. They didn't do anything wrong, so it’s not their fault Deagan started crying!
They were just having fun…
|Naur, 162 - Midday, hr 6|
Light of the world, salt of the ocean, and the sounds of others neaby. This is the awakening, feeling the silken caress of water over fins for the first time, and that first sharp pang of hunger which inspires that first mewling cry for food.
The taste of food is pleasant, and the pain in the stomach subsides to a low growl for now, letting the mind stir and absorb all of the wonders of this watery world, seeing the other little fish we had shared the darkness with, and seeing the bigger fish that speak and tickle and bring the food.
Shadows swim in the waters further away, but all is comforting close by.
|Gurtha, 162 - Evening, hr 10|
I'm in the big water now! It is so awesome! I'm really happy to be with my Margaaboo and Morgabaa... I mean Marin and Morogh! I wish there was something to hunt though.... Oh well. For now I'm just going to have lot's and lot's of fun! I do wonder what a dolphin is though. Morogh says I get to hunt one. Guess I'll find out soon. Gotta go now, more big water to see not enough time!
|Rosa, 163 - Afternoon, hr 9|
The woman sat before the huge statue with her legs tucked beneath, her tail swaying back and forth in idle rhythm. The statue loomed over her, a woman not unlike herself, but cold and made of stone, staring out into the dimly lit cavern lined with other, smaller stone figures. Gazing up at the chiseled eyes, Aravi sighed.
"...I think I'm sick, Sar. Well...not sick, but...I make my ma sick."
Her gaze fell to her lap, hands folded neatly - respectfully - on her knees. Her leopard spotted tail came to wrap around her like a protective embrace.
"I think maybe I carry the tobra`a`charr. I know you meant to save us from it...and you did! Kathra and I..." She chuckles, a sound half hearted yet warm. "You should see Kathra's ma. I have to imagine they are much like us when we were but ma...being a Sar`Re can prove entertaining...but..."
"Sar...there is no one to carry my name. My basi`ma...they are strong, curious. Such sweet spirits. They will do well when it is time for them to be Basi`Sar. My ma, though...my last three still live, and they were so lively; but, they have fallen into a sleep which they cease to wake. Like all the other ma before...they have all passed on to walk with you and those before you. And...I know how important it is for our names to carry on after we come to you...a proud line of Mauri to continue to make the tribe strong..."
Her legs fold out from beneath her, tucking under her chin as silvery streams roll over her cheeks.
"...what am I doing wrong, Sar? The only life I seem to bring to Mauri are those made from terra. I will be unable to have ma soon - I feel it. There will be no one to...to..."
She stifles a sob as she shakes her head. "...I'm sorry, Sar. I should be stronger than this. You taught us better..."
Turning her back to the stone, Aravi curled herself into a little ball and looked out onto the ripples of the small cavern pond.
"...I wish you were here."
|Khelek, 164 - Midnight, hr 1|
Well, this was turning into an interesting little adventure, wasn't it? Yala grumbled, squinting into the darkness of the tunnel. It was pitch black, save for the tiny circle of light her sputtering torch gave off, and the chitters of cave-dwelling creatures filled the dank, damp air. "Remember what papa said." The young woman whispered to herself her hand on the hilt of her sword. "The most important statue, the most important..." She rounded a corner and came face to face with six red orbs the size of her face.
With a shriek of surprise, Yala stumbled backwards. Her torch rolled away from her, flickering out with a pathetic hiss. Groping blindly for her sword, Yala tried to convince herself that this wasn't the end. Tried not to think of the faces of her pups, how she'd never see them again--
"Calm yourself, daughter of Amras." A voice like a thousand fingernails rattling across stone rang inside Yala's head. Not so much heard as felt. It made her fur stand on end, though not so much as the creature before her, growing more and more visible as her eyes adjusted to the dark.
"Y-you're a giant spider!" She squeaked.
"You're a giant spider!"
"You're..." She gulped, glancing around the cavern nervously. "You're a giant spider, and you're... not going to eat me?"
"We were not planning on it, no." The voice hissed unevenly. It sounded almost like a chuckle.
"Oh." Yala nodded slowly, the panic slowly starting to dull. "Um, you're... Laopoloas, aren't you?"
"Yes, we are, daughter of Amras. And you are the pup who wandered into these tunnels many years ago."
"I... Yes..." Yala replied hesitantly. "You... Remember that?"
Another skittering chuckle. "We remember, yes. One of our children tried to make a snack of you, yes? You stabbed it in the eye, as we recall."
"Oh, right. That..." Yala let out a nervous laugh. "Um, sorry about that?"
"We require no apology." As her eyes adjusted more and more, Yala began to see the spider spirit more clearly. He was enormous, his eight-legged form filling the entire cavern. Legs as large around as saplings were twined with rope-like web, and beneath his massive abdomen was a pile of... Eggs?
Laopoloas must have noticed her staring, as he laughed again. "We have found that only the queen of our children has a mind large enough to survive our presense." The spirit rumbled. "And even then, should we ever try to leave..." A low, hissing sigh rang in Yala's mind. "Her death would mean the death of hundreds of our children. A thought we do not relish."
"I-I see... I'm sorry..."
"It is alright. We do not mind. As prisons go, it is a comfortable one. But you did not come to hear our woes, daughter of Amras. The mountain has been quiet of late. Why do you return, we wonder?"
Now it was Yala's turn to sigh. "Um, we- er, I was sent to gather food. By my mother..."
"She sends you all alone? Last I saw, the children of Amras were growing thin. Surely they can not spare even one female of breeding age?"
"Th-that's not...I mean..." Yala crossed her legs, getting comfortable as the stone floor would allow. "I'm not really allowed to, er, breed yet. I-I'm not an adult."
Yala got the distinct feeling that, if Laopoloas had eyebrows, he would be raising one. "Oh?"
"Yes. I, um, failed the trip..." She felt her voice crack. It was still hard to speak about. "I-I got pregnant before I reached home."
"Then surely the offending male ought to be here as well?" Laopoloas chittered. "Or have the Children of Amras been blessed by the Slug spirit?"
"The what?" Yala blinked in confusion, shaking her head after a moment. "No, Sorin, I mean..." Yet another sigh. "I didn't actually 'breed' with anyone... I-I had a dream that... Papa said a spirit did it."
There was a long pause. A slight flicker in Laopoloas's eyes. A muttered hiss of an "We see." Then...
"Lokin!" Yala let out a frightened squawk as the cavern shook with a thousand arachnid voices. "Come and face what consequences you have wrought!"
A low rumble rolled through the cavern as the walls suddenly became brighter. As quickly as it has extinguished, Yala's torch sprang back to life. And though she could not explain it, the young woman got the distinct feeling that someone else was in the cavern.
"This is why our Great Brother of the Mountain punishes you, Lokin." The spider spirit's voice had an edge of bemusement to it. "This is why you are told not to meddle in the affairs of mortals."
If torches could express emotions, Yala would have sworn the flame had a questioning look about it.
"Do you see what suffering your recklessness has brought this daughter of Amras? Do you feel the suffering of her pup?"
"Pups." Yala squeaked.
"We are sorry?"
"Pups." She repeated, swallowing hard. "I-I had pups. Plural. Eight, actually."
Another long pause followed by a skitter of a laugh. "Eight! Eight! A lucky number to us! Those who do not wait shall be born again to us, daughter of Amras!"
"U-um, thank you?" She gulped, cocking her head to one side. "But, um, who is 'Lokin?' Is he... Is he the one who..?"
Yala jumped. Laopoloas's voice was not heard, but felt. This voice was not felt, it /was./ There was no way to explain it.
"Our brother is not one for words, daughter of Amras. The flame rules sight, touch, smell. Not hearing. But yes, Lokin, burning brother of the Mountain of Amras, is the father of your pups."
"I... I see." Yala gulped, took a deep breath, took another, got to her feet, and let out a long, rage-filled screech. She kicked the torch across the floor. The flames remained, but almost seemed to... cower? The cavern roared with Laopoloas's laugh.
"And we begin to see the reason for our brother's choice!" The spider shook with mirth. "Perhaps the daughter of Amras was not so ill a match!"
Yala just growled.
"Forgive us, daughter of Amras. It is not often we see Burning Lokin, who burns within our mountain brother and makes him weep with fire, so cowed. Of course, he apologises for your trials. And... Will seek to ease them?" The giant arachnid blinked. "We see. Our brother feels quite generous this day, it seems. Go back to the light of the sun, little firebride. You will find flint, to feed your cookstove, and your meat will never burn for all your days. The fire is kind to you, it seems."
Yala raised an eyebrow at the torch. "Um... Thank you? Meat!" Her eyes widened. "Oh no, I need to cook! I need to get this done!" She grabbed the torch and scrambled for the exit.
"Wait, Daughter of Amras!" Laopoloas chittered. "You did not come just to ease the lonliness of an old spirit, yes?"
Yala turned, and came face to face with the giant, mandibled face of the spider spirit. She didn't even realize her hand was outstretched until a small, heavy bundle was dropped into it.
"The totem you seek, as well as our venom and our silk. Use them well, firebride." Laopoloas gently brushed Yala's head with one of his many legs. "And tell your father we said hello."
|Lote, 164 - Evening, hr 10|
As I attack and is run through with a spear, he has no regrets. I watch from above as Evelii and Sobek enjoy their newfound freedom, but am sadenned that my mother seeks revenge. I just wanted everyone to live happy without a bad Ahti. My wish was granted. Now Sobek isn't an Ahtella fish. He is happy with Evelii. Everything is good now. Even if I'm dead I can watch over them. I guess the fight was worth it after all. I can go wherever I want now and look after the ones I care about. I'm not six anymore either. I can use the word I too! I was never a stupid-fish. Cthyella was right about what she told Anki... I mean me. I'll look after them now. I just wish I could make Cthyella happy. I was her little fish but I don't like seeing her angry and not being able to help her.
|Kuile, 170 - Before dawn, hr 3|
Finally, I came to birth! Thank you, mama!
|Ringwe, 179 - Evening, hr 12|
I am...very tired. It is different then before, when I could kill many and not feel exhaustion. Now it seems I feel weary even after I chase the deer for a while. And it is harder to chase, because of the moonkin growing inside me. I felt dizzy for the first two days, and now I am not. I am hungry more than before, which makes me feel guilty. I have not prepared much food for the glade although I am one of the younger ones and able bodied. I must prepare food for the moonkin that are coming, so I will push through this tiredness. But I am very sleepy and hungry. Even as I write this I feel my quill slipping from my hand. The meat is roasting on the fire, and I must stay awake to not to burn it. I must also remind myself to not eat it myself, because it has not been long since I had blueberries.
Even my shirt is uncomfortable now, because I have grown so that it pushes tight against the hide and makes me feel too warm. I am sure it will not be big enough in another two days. It is already to small and I feel the hide straining against my stomach. I will have to continue to wear it, even if it presses down on my girth. At least it will make it smaller and allow me to hunt for a few more days.
My armor feels heavier on me than before, and sometimes I wish to discard it. But I will not, because no one can be sure of when one of the otherkin will come to the glade and threaten us. I hope it does not happen while I am so slow. Tiarnan and Lisana are not experienced with their weapons, and Mathias carries none.
I look down at my shirt. Although a day ago it looked as though I had a little too much to eat, now my condition is obvious. It makes me scared because I do not wish to think how the otherkin will laugh if they seek to hurt us when we are so vulnerable. Now my belly has the curve of a child's toy shield and comes out from my belly about a handslength more than before.
I have sought to walk properly, because I can not hunt if I walk slowly, but it grows more difficult because I sense my legs being spread apart to compensate. I force them together, but my hips protest. I can still do it today. I must hunt again in two days, so I will do it then.
The hunt of the black and white bear was most difficult. I had already killed four before it, so I was tired. A few scratches lined my arms. I chased after the large bear. It is not a fast creature, but it is very strong with its paws. It managed to create a large gash in my arm. It would not have happened if I was not so slow. So I must continue to train myself to walk properly, even if it is uncomfortable, because comfort is not the most important thing anymore.
|Kuile, 194 - Midnight, hr 1|
She smiles at her three children, blowing raspberries on their tummies. However, as she is cuddling her children, her canine ears twitch to the north, picking up a faint sound. With Eleanor and Gaetan in her arms she stands up, continuing to listen. However it is then she hears the flapping of wings, her eyes growing wide, and her face growing pale. As debris and dust is pushed around, she moves the children in her arms behind, but the moment the dragon breathes fire she covers her children, clenching her teeth to keep from screaming at the burns. Her skin beginning to fall off in several places, she still continues to protect them, as the waves of fire continue. She struggles not to gag at the smell of her own flesh burning, and her hair smoking.
Lydia, Aeryth... I'm sorry... I'm going to Aten and Sekah now... Lydia... Protect my children.
Tears sting her partially disfigured face, even as she feels the beast tear into her. Much to her blessing however, she can no longer feel pain, despite it tearing into her body. The sounds around her echo, but she can't comprehend them, and eventually she fades into darkness.
|Losse, 197 - Before dawn, hr 2|
"What is your name?" The voice called out in a most gentle tone, he opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
"What is your name?" It asked again, impatiently, two pale green eyes were looking at him, the woman had soft fur on her ears, and sharp teeth; but she was beautiful. He reached his hand out to hers, he wanted to say 'mother' but the words made no noise, instead he saw the canopy open from above her, the light pouring in all around her and then a great shadow descending upon her.
He wanted to scream, but again he could say nothing. As the dragon landed he remembered the gentlest smile on his mothers face before she was gone, in but a moment the creature had turned the only family that he knew he had into a limp lifeless form; and then it carried even that... far away. He awoke from his nightmare trying to remember what she looked like, but the image did not come to him. He could only remember her pale green eyes, gentle, loving, the memory his only memento of her.
He decided to visit her grave this morning, there was a small statuette that was supposed to be carved in her likeness; but it did not seem familiar to him. "I hope you are okay..." he said with uncertainty, there was always talk of some deity in the temple, but he didn’t know much about it. It seemed as though if something had directed all these things it might not be too friendly, but if it was... surely it would understand his uncertainty.
The caverns were cool with a constant low breeze flowing out of them from some opening far concealed in the darkness, it would get hot in the jungle today and he didn’t always enjoy the company of others anymore. There was a day, before he became a teenager, that he was proud of the fur covered ears above his head, and the tail he now kept tucked away; after all... the others didn’t get to have a tail and their ears were hairless, whether rounded or pointy. Something about growing up though, made him more aware of how people looked at him, 'half-breed' was the term they would use; but in truth it was closer to a quarter. The other children had all avoided him, though they were not allowed to harm him; the isolation had done more than enough by itself, and the dreams hadn't let up either.
He wandered in the dark cavern tapping his pick against the wall as he went, he could not see a thing, but his ears perked up and he always knew where he could go; though he had to step carefully. Something about the dark caverns felt eerie and uncomfortable, yet at the same time he knew the tunnel was too narrow for the great beast that haunted his dreams. He could hear the trickle of water getting closer, his favorite spot to dig was just next to an underground spring with water that tasted so fresh it would make his ears tingle and his tail wag endlessly even if he wrapped it around his waste, or tried to pin it down in a fit of laughter.
When he arrived at the spring he could tell something was different, the sound echoed more than usual; someone had widened the room quite a bit and left a new tunnel that made his favorite place seem like it didn’t belong to him anymore.
"Hello?" He greeted the darkness... "hello" "hello..." "hello......" the darkness answered back in a chorus, every rendition less like his own voice than the one before it, degrading into a mumble before vanishing into nothingness. The sound of the water trickling filled in around him once more.
He didn’t enjoy using a torch, but the last time he explored a new section without one he had tripped half a dozen times before giving up and using one anyway; today he didn’t plan on falling. It took more time than he would have wanted to light it, but he succeeded nonetheless and held it out as he wandered into this strange new place. It would be wrong to say that the spring felt close to home, but this place seemed further away from home than anywhere he had gone before; what he didn’t realize was how accurate that feeling had been.
It didn’t take long before he saw something he didn’t like, the darkness would ignore you if you traveled within it; but bring a torch and it would glare at you with eyes gleaming from the light as if to warn that you are not welcome. He continued as the eyes lining the cavernous walls caught glimpse of the fire and shone a beautiful green that seemed almost familiar, then red and yellow before transforming into shadow once again.
The tunnel turned, and ended rather abruptly at a wall, if the tunnels before had eyes, this place was an ocean of silver that shone so bright he had to shield himself from its beautiful reflection; but it was not gems he was looking at... it was mithril.
|Naur, 197 - Midday, hr 7|
Today I got two new siblings! Mara asked if we each got one and I said I wanted lots and lots! One of them is really loud and cries a LOT so I said Mara could have that one. I hope the quiet one wakes up soon so I can have someone new to play with. Right now Mara is the only one who will play with me. Amma and Pada and Sumac and Ravine don't count. They're so old. Amma says Sumac and Ravine are my siblings but they're so tall! They could never have been as small as me and Mara.
|Elen, 197 - Before dawn, hr 3|
This water is a lot cold! What is happening? What is this... a fish tail? Where am I?
|Rosa, 198 - Evening, hr 10|
The world outside is soooo big! It's a bit scary but... I still want to see everything! Amma is worried. She seems to like the big wingless people but the gigantic big thing with the huge wings makes her all funny. The big people, delvers is what Amma calls them, seem to like the giant thing though. The giant thing's name is Onyxia. She's the biggest thing ever! I wonder if she eats chestnuts? She must eat lots and lots of them! I hope that I can make friends with some of the delvers. More friends would be nice! Tons of them! And tons of siblings too!
|Losse, 204 - Sunrise, hr 5|
I came into the world on this day,the dark cabin holding my siblings and my mother. I am the elder sister of us two, my sister Faerlen came into the world with me. Our mother give us tons of affection our siblings are mostly asleep. Our father brings our mother honey to feed us. It is sticky,sweet and fills our little bellies. However I am a curious babe and once I am a little bigger i don't kno how but I will see what is beyond thi little room the place where everyone goes and then comes back.
|Urnu, 206 - Evening, hr 10|
Cold air, and light, and too sharp sounds!
I close my eyes and cry.
A swirling vortex opens as I seek that soothing, rumbling noise,
so much movement!
Are they close?
I open up my mouth, and warmth rushes down my throat.
The colors fade to familiar darkness,
cold to warmth,
and a narrowing world
into which I float.
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