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TNES VI - The Mythopoeia

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Shadowbound

    Shadowbound Scourge of God

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,954
    TANCUYIX: I am undone, a fate deferred come due,
    as consequence of that dark day
    in which I slew my brother's son, and he mine.

    Here we met, this ancient grove of past kings
    to contest the kingship of kings again.
    Under the half moon we have bloody fought
    and in my blood I see what was unknown.

    Another brother's son, Morvan named,
    who, long known to me but always hidden,
    has now brought me to grim desolation.

    I am a king, a seer, and a wise man
    but I am no great and fearsome warrior.
    Champions I have had for battle,
    but now I am set against my Champ'on.
    I need not foresight to see this result.

    Oh Foresight! You failed to see the viper
    in my court, waiting for the prime moment
    to strike against my long and most just reign.

    He took my silver rings and gave great gifts
    in homage to my generosity.
    Yet, all the while, he turned the great houses
    against me so that today none would stand
    with the House of Tancuy 'gainst this upstart.

    MORVAN: Words, words, words, many of little value.
    I give you this time because, to a man,
    no time is more valuable than his last.
    You wear my crown, you sit on my throne, and
    command the ships that are mine by birthright.
    As they were my late great father's before me.

    TANCUYIX: Yours? His? I have as much proud claim to them.
    Who stood by brother's side when they were won?
    Who guided his raiders on moonless nights,
    who counselled him away from rash folly?
    I!

    MORVAN: Enough! Your are done, your claim ends now with you.

    TANCUYIX: Ha! At last! Such is the doom of our house.
    And all the sons of Briac: ruin and
    destruction at the hands of our blood kin.
    So it has been, so I have long witnessed,
    and so I now I prophesize to you.

    Long you hid under the name Mathilin.
    Protected from me by my past kin-strife,
    as I was blind to you, like how I made
    my dear brother blind for opposing me.

    But now you are Morvan, and now, sharing
    our life's blood across our many wounds,
    you rejoin our House and our grim demise.

    The House of Briac is its own dark Doom.
    Never forget: kin-strife runs fast in our blood,
    and in kin-strife our blood shall be last spilled.
    No foreign foe, no dark god, no fell beast,
    shall rival us for our own destruction.


    MORVAN: Witch! Sorcerer! What vile man pronounces doom,
    dying, upon his own house, his own line?
    You die without dignity, still clinging to
    your title and your spite. I deny you!

    Your prophecy is broken and undone.
    Your life I give you, but your crown I take.
    Depart from the Carnish Sea with great haste,
    never return to the lands you once ruled,
    this sad bargain I offer now to you.

    TANCUYIX: As I love my long life, even deposed,
    I shall take it. But my words still ring true.
    I make no prophecy that did not exist.

    MORVAN: Go! Begone! Find few loyal retainers
    to treat your wounds and ferry you beyond
    my ruled oceans and governed stone keeps.
    Before I rethink my merciful wisdom.

    EXEUNT TANCUY

    MORVANIX: And now I am finished. Avenged? Triumphed.
    Complete? Far from it. My work has just begun.

    Spoiler :
    A prophecy has been made, but not fulfilled.

    A beginning ends.


    Hear now: exiled king seeking a good home.
    To any potentate who will take him.
    House trained and far sighted, bad with children.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  2. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    13,609
    Location:
    Homework Workshop
    Simultaneously…

    ---​

    Alai and T’namar watch over Jammie anxiously as she groaned feverishly. Suddenly, her eyes flashed open, and turned to look at a corner of the room. “It’s watching. It’s here!” she said, eyes glaring before she passed out from the strain.

    Alai whirled about, protective, concentrating. “Who is it?” he called, “Show yourself!?” now that she mentioned it, he too sensed the presence.

    T’namar places a hand on Alai’s shoulder. “Calm” said the half-marid, “It means us no harm.”

    Alai relaxes slightly, asking, “Is it a god?”

    T’namar is silent for several moments, his hand tightening on Alai’s shoulders before relaxing, before responding, “It is now.”

    ---
    Zemmi and Naioune alike cower as Shadur screamed again. But this time it was not for Ibba’s failure at Iphu, but a realization.

    A realization that Shadur is being watched. But worse, that Shadur was being watched for quite a while. During the most intimate moments with its children! Shadur screamed in rage and demanded action.

    They scrambled about like ants, chanting and crafting, before another scream pierced the mists. Shadur would smile, if it could. It wasn’t sure what it did, but the cry of pain pleased him immensely.

    ---
    Maithlin and Maelis looked at each other worried, then back at Taevic, whose eyes glittered with the light of stars. Maithlin’s grip on his sword tightened as the boy spoke of an unseen guest.

    “I saw this, I saw this moment, mother,
    In a dream from the very stars themselves.
    I saw it, there, I see you, here. Behold!
    We shall give you your first name...”

    Maithlin’s edge flashed, and a scream that was felt more than heard echoed throughout the fleet. The world.

    ---
    Afrakt Ghul laid upon the heart of the Mountain. Deep beneath the surface, where no other eyes could reach, there he spends several eternities every moment, with her.

    This is new, said the Mountain, amused. It seems we have a visitor.

    Fire opened one eye, the very rock weeping under his gaze. “Shall I apprehend it?” he asked, rising on one elbow.

    No, not yet, said the Mountain, It does not realize its own existence. The Mountain rumbled, in amusement… in laughter?

    Fire spread, seeking the intruder, to identify it, to locate it, at least.

    Enough, you may dispose of it. Said the Mountain.

    Then came the scream of birth and apotheosis. Then came silence. And it, whatever it was, was gone.

    “I await your command.” rumbled Afrakt Ghul.

    Shut up, said Azzatar, irritated.

    ---
    Enan opened her borrowed eyes once more, and reached out her lines. They stretched, as did others, but she did not look away from her goal, her destiny.

    There was a dream and a nightmare, an edge and a door, a mountain and a fire, and many others besides. But her borrowed eyes looked into themselves, and found one unnamed, unborn. And it screamed as she grasped it, her mind buckling under the strain. But she held. She must.

    Enan closed her borrowed eyes and looked upon the pool. A thin ring, a ripple, spread through the clear water, lapping at the edges. Then the water swelled, boiled, and erupted, heat and wetness, steam and mist filling the chamber, blocking her sight.

    And as she fell to one knee, squinting through the mist, a name came to her upon the voice of a boy.

    “Matchmaker.”
     
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  3. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,542
    Location:
    Yukon
    Aarogund

    Here we were gathered. Four of the children of Halid and Haadulf were gathered under starlight, as they prepared to depart. Many more, if one counted the Forest King, and the many Aeranath who were gathered many.

    “Will you come with us, teachers?” It was the voice of my elder cross-brother, Golofar. His voice was deep and had a slight gravely tone to it, but in this moment I heard a child asking the question.

    “Would there were two of me, Golofar.” Gologind, his master, spoke, slapping him fondly on an armoured shoulder. “We are sworn as protectors.”

    “So protect the family we shall.” Added Mastin, voice firm, clothing rustling over a thin frame in the wind.

    “As such, we must remain.”

    “Let what we have learned to you be our continued assistance in the challenges to come.”

    The half-twins, Golofar and Golofind, nodded and embraced their teachers, our parents' guardians.

    I averted my eyes, a little. My cross-siblings were much closer to Gologind and Mastin than I- this was their farewell. Instead, I busied myself with preparations. Tying my bags closed, checking our equipment, making sure the cart would roll well. Halogund finished his conversation with the King and came to my side.

    “Are you nervous?”

    Hmm. I considered. “Well, yes of course, but... having a path you know you're set to carry out... sort of calms you down a bit, right?”

    Halogund smiled, and he playfully rustled my hair, as he had once done when I was just a child.

    “Right you are, little brother. Come now- I think we're ready to go.”
     
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  4. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,542
    Location:
    Yukon
    Aardulf wanders with his friends for some time, among whom he lives hedonistically. He fears, or wants to avoid the fight that is brewing, and instead deepens his knowledge of mind-alteration. Through this experimentation, he is able to begin to piece his loud, incoherent visions into some sort of context. However, he grows conflicted, knowing what is unfolding.

    Masti thrives as a healer and sage of the Circle Cities. She is able to gain the practical teaching she sought, but in turn does much teaching of her own. She spends significant time in communion with her perception of the everturning wheel, seeking knowledge of the healing of animal, plant, and nature itself. Medicine is her vocation, and the eastern city of Hargaed becomes home to many advances in this field. In this period, she grew close to one of her teacher-students, Osuras, wedded him, and is now with child.

    Aarogund travels among several of the Circle Cities, often a messenger between his family members. He spends time in company with his eldest cross-brother, Halogund, and the Aeranath. He is angered by the enslavement of his people by the flame, and influenced by the Forest King, Halogund, and the firm words of his mother, becomes set on ending the enslavement of the children of Great Gahad.

    Haadalid lives in the eastern Circle City of Hargaed, alongside her sisters. She works to develop scripts and shorthands to record Masti's teachings, visions and discoveries, while further advancing her own goal to gather the knowledge of all the world, so that it may be forevermore recorded.

    Gennakan remains deeply and powerfully attached to her elder sisters, and learns from the same teachers who work with Masti. She also remains the closest of her siblings to her mother, Halid.



    Spoiler :
    A Green Reconaissance, and Perhaps Liberation (1 MP, 1 CP)
    Aarogund
    joined Halogund, the Forest King and their allies, alongside his cross-siblings Golofar and Golofind. Together, this force set out to liberate, by subterfuge or violence if necessary, the enslaved. Weapons are gathered and visions consulted, and green magics prepared.

    Your Bread is Dust (1 MP)
    A scheme, a plot, a machination. There is work afoot to lead those who can escape the flame. But as Aarogund departs, he is not the only member of his family taking action. Halid, having been privy to Haadulf's darkest and most desperate plans, describes a blight to destroy the crops in the fields of the slavelands, rendering them useless. Masti balks at this request and its faminous implications, but Haadalid rises to this challenge. Delving through the works that she had transcribed from her elder sister, Haadalid finds a vector for a blight that might wither the crops in the slavefields.

    The Works of the Pharmacist (1 MP)
    Aardulf
    grows restless. He learned of the journey of his brother and cross-siblings, and their campaign against the flame, but he did not go. However, guilt proves to be a powerful motivator. He delves deeper into the mental mysteries that his plants, molds and concoctions can illuminate, seeking clarity and new visions, anything that can provide aid for his kin. Aardulf draws closer to an answer that will solve the intractable puzzle of flame.

    Treedaughter's Teachings, Three Daughters Teaching (1 MP)
    Masti
    is hurt by what she perceives as Haadalid's betrayal of her wishes. However, Gennakan speaks up to intervene, before a deep rift forms between her two elder sisters. While Haadalid did act against her elder sister's wishes, there is terrible war and suffering that shall unfold regardless of any of their actions. Through Masti's cooperation and unparalleled expertise, a blight might be altered so that it can, perhaps, spare some crops needed for the peasants to eat, before they can escape, while still achieving the goal of denying the utility of these farmlands to their overlords. Mollified by her youngest sister's attempt at striking a compromise, Masti grows in knowledge not only in the arts of life-giving, but also, reluctantly, in life-taking.
     
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  5. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,531
    Location:
    In the desert
    My progressing penitents, please enjoy the following prologue to Update 4: The Inheritance of Strife.

    ---

    In the deepest tomb of the Leonine Mastaba, the purple torches for a moment flare red. Afrakt enters young and hale, as an adventurer garbed, half bare-chested, in the strange and exotic furs of the East. Strong, lean, tanned muscles and red eyes, and a beard of black with streaks of red in it like a fire-dancer trailing a sparkling pennant in the night around a camp-dance blaze.

    The ears of one of the guardian dogs perk up, black and isosceles, tail twitching as liquid purple eyes open.

    The Fire pauses, searching the room, then exhales smoke from his nose, giving a short laugh. “Even for this form, you won’t incarnate?”

    This vault contains the rarest substance in all Arisaras: Pure, clear water in a black well. On the wall facing the sarcophagus, a great effigy of the Mountain Herself stands, garbed as a mourning matron. The statue weeps, endlessly, bright glowing purple tears. The frigid well water flows into a channel and around the sarcophagus, where it mixes with the glowing tears until it achieves the consistency of the indigo wine that flows in the canals throughout the city, pouring from the great lion-mouths above in a roaring torrent.

    It is the effigy of the Mountain which speaks. “You know well I already have. Twice.”

    “Accursed prophecy,” mutters Afrakt. “Our enemies’ last jest at the doorway of oblivion.”

    “Our old enemies,” Azzatar clarifies. “We have new ones now.”

    “NO!” roars Afrakt. “She is still here. She never died, she is come again –“

    “Afrakt,” cautions the Mountain, the matron pulsing with such forceful grief that the Flame Himself is forced to a knee.

    “Our daughter is dead. Our old enemies, are dead. The corpse of the strongest lies at your feet. These are but mortal beggars and vagrants occupying long-empty mansions, the purpose of which they know not.”

    Afrakt merely grumbles, volcanically.

    “I will admit, I made a similar mistake. I thought Moag had returned.”

    “Old enemies, new names,” objects the Fire.

    “As always, you are simple. The moon hangs where it was, dormant, sterile, complacent. Moag sleeps, and my power suspends him in the sky ever still.”

    “But the power is the same,” Afrakt insists.

    “A shard, overlooked, at the first breaking of the world. Cast into the depths of the void on some ancient trajectory unknown to all. Perhaps there are many such. But this one was called back.”

    “So…a distant relation.”

    “I’m afraid so,” says the Mountain.

    “It may yet be our lever, as Moag was in the first war.”

    “If we empower that which stirs at Draum, Spring may be a pitiful foe by comparison,” cautions Azzatar.

    Afrakt sits on the sarcophagus, for a moment looking dulled.

    “I have lost my hierophant across the Past. And something else comes. I feel it, hulking, rising like the bulk of a wave.”

    “That which we felt?”

    “Not the trickster, no. A beast of metal and wood, crowned in horns, echoed by the clang of hammer on steel.” Afrakt is swathed in smoke, contemplative.

    Silence from the matron, and then a guess. “The power of the slaughtered stag.”

    “The stag-man. The trickster. The dreamer. The false hierophant. And the sons of the Prophet. War comes, and we are too few.” The young adventurer paces, trailed by embers.

    “So that is why you came to this tomb.” As if the beauty of my statue were not enough, she seemed to tease.

    “We need him, Azzatar. We knew this day would come.”

    “It is folly.”

    “But…” pleads the Fire.

    “But to scour the world of awakened ancient things, we require awakened ancient things. Yes, my love, your bluntness has its logic at times.”

    Afrakt stands over the sarcophagus. “Then I speak as hierophant and invoke your power, great Land. I call him, the fallen one, buried beneath your rock. Ashtur. Just sovereign, temple warder, butchered brother. Star-lion. Come at my call. Serve at my will. Die at my order.”

    The sarcophagus shifts. And cracks.

    There is silence from the darkness below, in which swirls drifting gravedust beneath the shattered granite glyphs.

    A low, thrumming growl.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  6. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,112
    The Storytellers Tale.

    -

    There was a storyteller in the City of Hargaed. Telling tales and singing songs amidst the scented trees and lively market stalls as flowers bloomed upon the windowsills of sod-roofed houses built of wood and carved stones. He lighted the hearts of his people as they bartered for udyn tide-stones and fanciful furs from Carndom far across the sea in his robes of motley green and brown and grey, for there was an air of coming war with Anis-Natar amidst the chimneystacks and the gods were ever silent to the peoples prayers and in the silence much lightening did their hearts desire.

    Thus while throughout all Hargaed men died each night and were born each day, night and day did they pray unto the wheel and to the fallen prophet of the spring in the temple of the green priests where that esteemed and venerable order sat singing songs and uttering prayers in whispered breaths as the faithful knelt in reverence. So it was that one day as the storyteller prayed in the temple did the spark of inspiration come to him from on high, and thus after he was done giving reverence to the gods, he alighted before the temple steps upon a stool to tell a story of a land far away, and near to mind. Hearken children of Hargaed to this tale, said he:

    -

    In a land far away in a city wracked for three years by pestilence and three by famine and trembling in trepidation on the brink of a ruinous war did the priests of all the gods in the Temple of all the Gods pray hard, their heads bowed low before the statues of the six great gods who stood before all others and likewise before the icons of the myriad lesser deities beloved of the peoples and the tribes that dwelt therein, who bore faces of stags and lions and serpents.

    For the priests said unto their faithful. "As a man may hear the droning of little insects and yet not be aware that he hath heard them as he goeth about his business, so may the gods not hear our prayers at first as they ponder the mysteries of heaven. Pray then often and regularly, that when thy prayers have troubled the silence long enough some god great or small as he strolls the glades and dells of the spirit world pondering great thoughts may come on one of our lost prayers, that flutters like a butterfly tossed in storm when all its wings are broken, and notice our plight; then if the gods be merciful they may ease our fears, or else they may crush us, being petulant gods, so the founders of our city used to say, with their pestilence and death and portents of war."

    But in the third year of the pestilence and in the second year of the famine, and while still there was immanence of war, came all the people of the City to the door of the Temple of All the Gods , where none may enter but the priests—but only leave gifts and go.

    And there the people in a great multitude cried out: "O High Prophet of All the gods, Priest of Gaddos, Priest of Enamon, and Priest of Avra, Teller of the mysteries of the Land, Receiver of the gifts of the People, Lord of Prayer and Speaker for the Mad, what doest thou within the Temple of All the Gods when our enemy is at the gates?"

    And he, who was the High Prophet, answered: "I pray for all the People."

    But the people answered: "O High Prophet of All the gods, Priest of Gaddos, Priest of Enamon, and Priest of Avra, Teller of the mysteries of the Land, Receiver of the gifts of the People, Lord of Prayer and Speaker for the Mad for three long years hast thou prayed with the priests of all thine order and all the priesthoods of all the temples of the gods, while we brought ye gifts and died by bow and spear. Now, therefore, since They have not heard thee in three grim years, thou must go and carry to Their faces the prayers of the people of this city, or else there shall no longer be any gifts whatever upon thy temple door, that thou and thine order may fatten on our toil and our grain at a banquet of our regrets."

    "Then thou shalt say before Their faces priest: 'O All the gods, Lords of the World, whose child is the thunder, whose daughter is the winter frost, take back thy pestilence from us, for ye have played the game of the gods too long with the people of this city, who would fain be done with ye."

    Then in great fear answered the High Prophet, saying: "What if the gods be angry and cast us unto ruin and despair?" And the people answered: "Then are we sooner done with pestilence and famine and accursed war, and better yet of gods."

    That night thunder howled upon the Mountain of Anatalaios, wherein the Cadano dwelt pondering the unremembered past. This mountain stood as a peak above all others in the lands bound to the cities yoke, its spire pointing upward to the stars. And the people took the High Prophet from his Temple by carriage and at the point of spears of law and drave him hither to the mountain, for they said: "There walk to-night upon the mountain and speak unto All the gods save One who sleepeth still and stirreth not for mortal men. Pray before the mountain, pray before the fire, pray even to the burning sky."

    And he went trembling to the gods.

    Next morning, pale-faced and frightened from Anatalaios the thundering height, came the High Prophet back into the fields of grain and rolling dells, and there he spake to the restive people, saying: "The faces of the gods are iron and their mouths set hard and grave. There is no hope from the gods for heavens gates are shut, Their voices ever silent, the mercy seat stands empty. Lament and weep, for the boundary that divides us from our foes has become water as the tide comes hither from across the Past and falls again yonder the far shore. The grain also falleth before the hooves of the thundering host to be crushed into the dust of our regrets"

    Then said the people who had grown wroth: "Thou shalt go to the sleeper, to whom sacrifices are made but to whom no prayer is given: seek Him upon Anatalaios in the whispering of leaves at noon upon its slopes, and on its summit, where all things seem to rest in silence. Seek him in the morning after thy slumber under the moonless sky and pray to him also. For surely there rests also Ellatos the sleeping in the darkness. Go to him, and say: 'Thou hast evil brethren, and They smite our City.' Perchance he shall awake and help us, or perhaps he shall hear us not. Be glad o priest in this errand, thou hast escaped the thunder of the wrathful gods, surely thou shalt also escape the stillness of the one who sleepeth still."

    Upon a morning when the sky and lakes were clear and the world still, and Anatalaios was stiller than the world, The High Prophet crept in fear and trembling towards the lofty slopes because the people were urgent and the hosts of their enemy were near at hand upon the azure sea and o'er the wide and verdant land.

    All that day men saw him climbing. At noon he prayed by the trees growing on its western slope, and at night he rested near the summit. But ere the morning of the day that followed, those few who rose early saw him in the silence, a speck against the blue, stretch up his arms upon the summit. Then instantly they saw him not, nor was he ever seen of men again, he who had dared to trouble the stillness of the Sleeping God before the appointed time.

    As for that city, such that now speak of it speak of an ill-fated city that scorned the gods and offered not their hearts to any one of Them but sought favour from them all to Their despite. They speak also of a fierce and potent tribe blessed of a great and mighty god who smote the people of the city in which stood a temple to all the gods attended by no high priest, trampling down their grain and reddening the azure waters of the Past with the blood of its sons. Be this a lesson for thee, if the heart is sincere the gods whom thou love dearly shall reveal their power and hearken in their time. If thy heart is insincere however, than as with the fabled city heavens gates shall be shut to thee, the faces of the gods grave, and their voices ever silent.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 2:36 AM
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