The sea holds the circle.

The circle holds secrets - dark and powerful secrets.

Clans battle for control of stretches of craggy stone, for glory, or just for the sake of battle itself.

Battle spills blood.

Blood feeds darkness.

Awaken, oh scions of Ancar! Dark Zolos rises!

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Note to Cabhan
(As the group reaches the outskirts of Tree-Town, Ailie presses a piece of parchment into Cabhan's hand.)



C-

I have possibly already lost any right to ask you this, but please - I beg of you - please don't do anything foolish.

I find myself ashamed of my poor behavior, that I have put my ego over seeking help for my troubles. That in my insistence of keeping my secrets I have perhaps hurt you. I realize it must seem as though I would rather have my false pride than be able to speak with you again. I have chosen sleepless nights and deception over admitting to any weakness - but that denial has made me weaker, and...

I see that I cannot properly support you until I have dealt with my own burdens, and I am deeply wounded by that knowledge. My heart hurts that I am unable to help you.

In the meantime, I can offer only apology, ask only your forgiveness and patience, and promise only that I will try to move forward.

I understand if you have lost affection for me, but please know my feelings for you have not changed...

-A
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Weary Steps
None of us seemed very sure of what to do about the tear, though we seemed to agree that usually a phenomena of that kind would mend itself within just a few hours, usually; days at most. That this had been apparently open for a year - no wonder the land and fauna here had suffered. Padhraig's theory was that something of our Plane had crossed over, and like a piece of grit in a wound was keeping it from healing.

Before we could fully decide on our actions a great demon emerged from the rift. Padhraig forced it back through with a mighty heave of water, and Ser Jarrad followed it through without hesitation.

I, on the other hand, followed through with a great deal of hesitation. Cabhan and Kaela waited for me, and it was clear neither of them would go through until I had. It was a hard moment, drawn out in my head much longer than it was in reality. Crossing to a strange, evil place... doing so intentionally... it hadn't been easy going back to The Dark, and it wasn't easy entering the rift, either. Still, it was marginally better to stay with the others in a strange place than alone at the bottom of the lake.

I was not expecting the fall. We emerged from a tremendous height, and though Ser Jarrad was content to plummet straight down to the demon, the rest of us allowed our descent to be slowed.

It fought ferociously, but ultimately we were successful. Kaela's personal demon tracked down its lair, and there we found a variety of interesting things. Most critically, though, was a length of chain - metal from our side of the tear. We didn't have much time before other demons came hunting after us, and so we made our escape.

As we had hoped, the rift sealed itself almost as soon as we were through. We made our way to the surface, and the next day Kaela, Padhraig, and I made our report to the Lightbringers.

Speaking with them still made my skin crawl, but it was necessary. For the time being, they don't feel the need to destroy the lake. Their leader knew something was strange about Padhraig's story, but there was little I could do to mitigate the harm of it. I was able to talk them into a more favorable division of labor - both settlements would fall under our “jurisdiction” - but I had the feeling it was only because he didn't have a good reason to deny our request. He had some sort of orders, I suspected, to reasonably work with the locals. But that would only get us so far, and if he was suspicious of us (and I assumed he was) he would be watching for us to fail.

With that settled, we turned our weary steps back towards Tree-Town.

The journey was only a couple days, but it seemed interminable. If it had been hard to sleep in inns or on the Fenstalker, it was nearly impossible now. I kept myself half awake for fear of hurting someone, and even then the laughter of demons and of Zolos herself echoed in my ears. I was cold and miserable, jumpy and snappish.

Meanwhile, Cabhan was hurting, agonizing over what he had learned of himself. My heart broke to see him so troubled, but I could barely look at him, how could I possibly help him? I was so afraid that he was going to do something drastic, and I would lose him. I was afraid I had lost him already...

I had tried to wait these nightmares out, I had tried everything I could think of to stop them on my own. It was time - past time - to admit that I simply couldn't do it by myself.
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Padhraig's Journal
We studied the roiling gap for a long moment, curious as to why such a thing would not have closed itself over the year, as the world does not welcome such things. Like to a wound, they tend to heal themselves. Though perhaps, like to a wound, they cannot heal if some bit of irritant remains embedded within, a shard or splinter that the natural healing power of the Arch cannot overcome until it is drawn out. We thought of what it might require to explore the tear to find such a thing when the matter was taken from our hands quite suddenly.

A savage head combined of bull’s horns and slavering meat-eating fangs dripping toxic-looking green spit pushed through, followed by a monstrous body, four-armed with the upper ending in massive claws. I knew it from my studies, a gabraizu, a terrible sort of demon, resistant to all but the holiest powers and, as most demons are, hungry for chaos and destruction. Far more powerful than the fractional demon energies left by the not-quite-annihilation, and nothing we could allow to remain here lest the Lightbringers speed up their plans in response.

I pulled the waters to me, sorting out the coldest and most forceful currents, and pushed them into the thing with all my magics behind me. And it was just enough, forcing the demon back thru the tear, giving us time to plan.

Or it would, has Sir Jarred not already reached his decision. He rushed after with a roar, into the tear himself. The rest of us shared but a look and a nod before following, though I took the moment to fragment my image as a defense against whatever waited.

What we found was a stiflingly hot, terribly dry space rather than the icy water that had surrounded us, and the ground far beneath us, the demon sprawled on some shattered rubble, Sir Jarred arcing his fall to land atop it, blade first.

Between Jokhula’s magic and mine, we controlled our fall, though our ranged magic and weapons were clearly weakened against the demon’s might, here in its home plane. It fought mightily, knowing that if it fell here, it would die in truth. It slashed and clawed and spat forth a cloud of foul, corrupting darkness, but it was not enough. Our blades and magic proved sufficient even against its powers, and Jokhula’s ice particularly so. It fell with a beastial screech and then all was threateningly silent.

At the advice of Dama Kaela’s bound demon, we quickly found its lair and, amidst the treasures it had gathered and made into a crude throne was a length of chain formed from rubble from the demonic prison/armory. This, quite probably, was the splinter preventing healing.

We took the chains, sacks of gold, and a half-dozen other items of note and returned thru the tear, which already looked to be closing with the chains back on our side. We swam quickly back to the surface, unsure how much longer our magics would endure after the time in fey and demonic planes, and made our camp far from the Lightbringers.

Study of the items recovered proved many quite interesting. A ring that could summon a sultan of magical fire. A necklace of glistening magical gems that could be removed and thrown to burst powerfully. A belt that could transform its wearer into the form of a dragon. A wand of chaoticly unpredictable but potent magic. A spellbook worth some longer studies. And a sword like enough to Sir Jarreds to create a conflict between them. Indeed, both were the crafting of Ronin Swordsmith, two of his most renown three creations. That we held two among our small company now again echoed the dire needs of this cycle, far more worrying than it was encouraging.

We made our way to the Lightbringers the next day, myself, Ailie and Dama Kaela serving as spokespeople while the others hung back. We told them the rift had been dealt with, showed them the chain as proof, and after some clumsiness trying to not quite explain everything we knew of its origins and nature, reached a more firm understanding on our shared responsibilities in protection the island. We divided it, using a map they provided, and with some argument were able to keep both settlements under our responsibilities.

Still, this would be an unrestful winter, and at least one conflict between settlers and zealots was inevitable.

The commander sent us on our way with a gift bottle of fine Thearean wine for Dama Kaela.

And, out in the waters of the lake, I glimpsed Máthair poking up an eye or two, keeping track of what happened on her shores. That peace could be fragile as well, I fear.
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Icy Depths
As we dropped into the lake, the world shifted around us. The depths of the water hung dark and ominous above our heads and sunlight filtered through the thick ice below our feet. In the distance an enormous castle loomed, and figures from it were speeding towards us.

Clad in bluish armor and mounted on strange beasts which seemed to be half lion and half fish, they approached. Pennants snapped briskly from their spears (a feat which seemed normal until one considered that we were still underwater) as they reigned their mounts in a short distance away. Their leader fell to his knee before Padhraig.

Knight Captain Mythras was of the Fae, his features fine and sharp, and though Ser Jarrad looked at him with a great deal of suspicion it seemed as though we had little choice but to follow him. He welcomed us to the Queen’s Realm and began to lead us back. Quietly, our own knight whispered to us that we must be cautious about what we accepted and what we gave. “Not even your thanks!” he emphasized.

The path we took was incredible. As Padhraig approached, the landscape seemed to come alive. Ice and water took the forms of plants, small creatures, even tiny and delicate butterfly-like creatures... all of it fantastic, the sort of things one might read of in tales or see in a particularly memorable dream.

As we reached the walls, musicians sounded a welcome for the Prince, and a grand figure flowed towards us from the entrance. She was beautiful, clad in a gown of water, and (for the moment) wore a pleasant and benign expression. “My dearest child...” she greeted her grandson, “I had despaired of ever seeing you, but here you are.”

She invited us within, and we were forced to accept her hospitality. (I think Ser Jarrad may have injured a tooth from clenching his jaw so tightly). We were scarce inside, though, before she suggested that her kin might make “his escort” more comfortable. In just a few moments we had all been separated, taken by one of the Fae to a private suite.

There, we were given opportunity to bathe, and anything we wished for was provided. We were told we would be given appropriate clothing, and as we passed the time (I suppose to divine what those clothes should be) they asked strange, seemingly random questions. Still, I suppose pondering the answer to “Do you think Purple is hungry?” kept my mind off our predicament. And, it was better than the awkward... proposition... my attendant offered me.

I rather liked the outfit I was eventually given. I wouldn’t have necessarily picked out such a masculine style for myself, but once dressed I adored the look. Comfortable, relatively practical, and remarkably flattering. I spent a great deal of time in front of the looking-glass, feasting my eyes on the image of a strong, fearless woman I hardly recognized as myself. It was, annoyingly, in my family’s colors of midnight blue and silver, but as I looked at it I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.

Finally, we were reunited, and I could see what everyone else had been given. I went from frowning at my buttons, each rather impertinently embossed with the SIlverhill crest, to frowning more deeply at Cabhan’s clothing. He wore a suit of black embroidered with gold ravens, which I realized immediately (and had to explain) were symbols of the Blackbyrnes.

We were brought down to the feast, and introduced with strange titles - I was named “Mayhem’s Handmaid” and Cabhan was called “Master Marionette” - and the evening grew more unsettling from there. Padhraig’s Grandmother at first offered to expunge the warriors of the Light, and seemed put out when we declined her offer. Her Vizier Ebb forced the demon who was bound to Kaela to show himself, and further made it admit that it had used its power to disguise our nature from the Lightbringers. We have, he pointed out, had our own power sourced nearly evenly from good and evil sources, and without his obfuscation their skills would allow them to sense it.

When our hostess invited us to ask questions, I quietly suggested to Cabhan that he might wish to ask about his clothes, why he was clad in the Blackbyrne colors. After giving him a look she answered, telling him simply that he is the last surviving Blackbyrne heir. Over our protestations that he was more than his heritage, she insisted “I’m afraid your Marionette is in every sense a tool. He is the eyes of your nemesis, and while he lives, he cannot be defeated.

Cabhan was angry, his eyes and posture looked stricken. And for a brief moment his anger scared that deep part of me, but I lay a hand on his shoulder, trying to comfort him. I scarce heard a word of our dismissal, but it wasn’t long before we were being escorted back out into the open waters before her castle.

There, finally away from the curious eyes of the Fae, I was able to ask if he was alright. And of course he wasn’t (as he said, what manner of person would be), but he continued “you shouldn’t be talking about anything of import near me - you shouldn’t BE near me at all.”

My heart hurt with worry for him, but all I could do was offer him an embrace. He accepted it, but he held himself much more stifly than he would have normally. It wasn’t the time for it, but I prayed he would talk with me before he did anything foolish - and I was afraid at my core that I had pushed him far enough away that it would be easy for him to go.

Our spells seemed to still be holding, and so we swam down into the depths of the lake. We encountered several nasty creatures, eellike and vicious, but fewer of them bothered us than I would have guessed. A thrumming noise, almost like a heartbeat, grew louder as we went, until we just about reached the bottom.

The sound stopped, and two enormous, green-glowing eyes opened, illuminating the water around them. An exceptionally large creature looked at us, and a line of smaller eyes opened on some ridge of its tentacled body.

“WHAT ARE YOU?” it asked in an impossibly deep and raspy voice, beginning a conversation (which still managed to not be the strangest we had had that day).

The creature had been created from fallout of our actions last winter. It told us of the lake, of the other creatures within it, and the sharp remains of the demon-prisons. It told us that it did not wish to be unmade, and it did not wish to leave its home. It told us of something in the deep water which might be the cause of the “breaking” of some of the other creatures. It could not see it, it said, but could feel it - and it agreed to show us were it was.

Before we began, though, I had the thought to ask it what its name was. It seemed surprised, and wondered what use a name would be to a creature who had no one else to speak to. We all introduced ourselves to it properly, and Padhraig gave it the name Máthair Shúigh.

As it agreed, Máthair led us into deeper waters. As we went, a wretched noise like screams grew louder and louder. As we drew closer still we were shocked to see a jagged crack in the water itself. A bit taller than a man, and just a foot or so wide, the tear was suspended about fifteen feet above the lake bed. It was alarming, to say the least, and I had no idea what we were meant to do about it.
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Padhraig's Journal
O Grandfather, what did you do?

No, to be honest, I have heard far to much of what you did and how well and often. I am left to wonder, though, why you thought it at all wise to flee with the child, or to keep your secrets so close, even from those quite clearly impacted by them. But I may not get the chance to ask, and certainly not before many more things come to pass. So I will update this journal, being truthful to any future cycle, if future cycles come to be.

The hole in the ice above vanished, and the pull downward inverted until we walked easily on the frozen underside, toward a castle in the middle-distance, pennants fluttering in the currents and lit from below the ice, all but glowing.

Riders approached on sharks with the faces of lions, lances canted at their backs and their own pennants fluttering. Their leader gracefully leapt from his mount, swimming effortlessly, coming to kneel just in front of me, removing his helm with a sweep of his arm as part of the same gesture.

“Your Highness,” he said, and before I could say anything more, “I am Knight Captain Mithris, Commander of the Queen’s Mounted Forces, sent to welcome you and your escorts. Bringing welcome on this day that has been awaited for decades. We have no due conveyance, and our beasts will bear no mortals.”

That was no bother, though. We all agreed we could walk. Or swim. And as the riders spread out to escort us widely, Sir Jarred quietly warned us they were not elven but Fey, and so the same rules of care from the woodland fey just weeks ago must apply.

Cabhain asked after ‘Highness’ and I could answer only it was something else my Grandfather never quite explained.

We walked amidst a land of ice, but ice that bloomed and stretched from shape to living thing as we approached it. No, I must be honest. It was almost certainly as I approached, giving more weight to the welcome we had been given. This land waited, and it waited specifically for me.

We made our way to the castle, its walls hundreds of feet high, its towers far taller still, rising into the dark and starless depths of water above. A moat of water somehow sinking below the other water circled the wall in which sharks and hippocampi swam. Musicians played us across the drawbridge, coming to attention as I stepped off the bridge, and as another entered the court from the other side.

She was magnificent, a beauty just shy of demanding all attention be given just to her. She wore what seemed nothing more than ice and water woven into a gown of perfect elegance and a diadem crowned with a deep blue stone. The guards all knelt as she passed them.

“My dearest child. I had despaired for your very existance. Yet here you are, before me.” She opens her arms and smiled, an expression too friendly by far for the general set of her features. “You have his look about you.”

“You’ll forgive… He spoke little of his experiences.”

“Unless something has changed, your grandfather is something of a rogue.” Her smile showed an edge and suggested that was nothing she found unpleasant. I will omit, save this note, her regular habit of offering casual asides referencing the very physical ways she had enjoyed that roguishness. All too detailed and specific asides.

She says the courtyard is no place for higher conversation and welcomes us in as being above commoners. Still numbly, I followed at her offer of hospitality with the others behind, a bit more reluctant snd cautious.

The castle is impossible in its structure and light, and its people openly subservient to the Queen and, if their bows and averted eyes said anything, to me as well. Sometimes there were people there, though… Varied in their features and cultures, numbering far fewer than the scores of fae. The humans seem of a glazed and odd aspect. They pursue their own tasks, not oblivious to our pasage, but not really reacting either.

She led us to a domed chamber, colored beams of light with no obvious sources shining down to the cold floor.

“It would be my great honor to throw a feast for you, our guests. With your permission, my kin will see to it that your escort is settled and made comfortable.”

“An’ what they are given is to my account, it is accepted,” I said, remembering Sir Jarad’s warning.

Each is offered their own tall, elegant escort that leads them their own personal path deeper into the palace while I stayed here at the pleasure of the palace’s Lady. My grandmother, which I still have difficulty accepting.

She led me into another chamber, an underwater chamber in the fashion of an aviary, tiny ice crystal fishlike yet also birdlike forms darting from icy tree to column, shadow to deeper shadow. She sat herself in a throne clearly grown from the ice and with the slightest gesture offered me one of my own nearby.

“It took many things to make this meeting possible,” she tells me, and that she is most cross with my “exceptionally naughty” grandfather. That I was told nothin in a score of years, left to so many doubts and uncertainties and unease. “But now creation crumbles, and fortunately that allows us to seek you out. Being forced so far from the home I had created and into the outer dark was so terrible.”

Her manner changed, ever so slightly. The preditor escaped her mask.

“One favor, though, I must ask. One of your companions is an affront, a servant of the power behind that eviction.”

Dama Kaela. She casually asked me to give her her the life of a friend and companion. I must not have schooled my expression well, because she all but instantly re-assumed her kindly show.

“It must come later, then,” she smiled, and proceeded to complement my cleverness and luck in gathering such a clever and chaotic band. She claimed to adore the presence of such chaos in the midst of order his has wrought, indicating the castle. And offered to me whatever aid she might provide, even if, when I asked, their purposes are at odds. “Family being more important than anything else.”

I circled around asking for the mantle directly, but she sussed out my purpose and said I must know already where I had left it. When I clearly did not, she clarified that the cloak lingering over the Bore is the Mantle and I must reclaim it. “You must go to claim the mantle, but something beneath it is not happy to be contained. You left it there for a purpose, after all.”

We talk about the fragmenting nature of time and tides and how, she insists, I am meant to direct the tides not be taken by them. “You’ve only recently been given a chance to release your heritage. This Zolos woman has opened the locks. You couldn’t perhaps half-defeat her?”

It was clear she meant much what the Earl-king had. That they desired the cycles broken, their exile ended.

The others returned the, each garbed in the finest of clothes, befitting their own manner, if sometimes not the manner they commonly presented. Her vizier, Lord Ebb, named each.

Kaela is in a flowing gray gown, darkening as it rises along her body, a sash in her family tartan. “The Ruiner’s Disciple”

Ailie wears men’s ridingwear, a long jacket and tails in a semi-skirt, with leather pouches, all in midnight blue with silver buttons of her family crest and a cravat of white lace, as are her cuffs. “Mayhem’s Handmaiden”

Yvor wears Therean rural lord’s finery, dark and simple and severe, black trimmed with the colors of military service. Only his hide swordbelt and fur color decorate it, and those clearly trophy of a significant hunt. His left arm has a stylized eye in silver tracery on his bracer. “Grim Magnificence” At his entrance, Grandmother looked hungrily and muttered “There is nothing so lovely as a predator.”

Jokhula wears kertle and sideless surcoat in grey and silver fir with pears and diamonds at her throat. “Lady Argent”

Jarrad wears practical forest green with woven leaves as a cape and a branch halo growing up from the neck over his head. “The Ash King”

Cabhain wears a full suit of fine black silk, embroidered in gold with ravens at collar and cuffs. “Mastr Marrionette” Ailie grew stiff first, before any of the others of us recognized that he wore Blackbyrne colors.

I found myself dressed in the manner of a naval officer’s uniform, unfamiliar in its specifics. Black coat, fanning wide in tails behind, with large square gold buttons over a pale purple shirt with a high, stiff collar. Loose sleeves exposed my one bare hand, my one gauntlet all that was left of my armor. My hat had vanished, and I wore a diadem a smaller echo of Her own. I carried no blade, but knew as I often did that it would answer my call at once. My trousers were loose and comfortable, a total opposite to the collar. “Her Darling Boy” is all I was given as an introduction, and she beamed her approval.

She smiled in greeting and spoke. “We would have it known to each of you, in honor of each and joy of our boy’s return, and to give aid in your purpose, we have prepared a service. We apologize for its limits, but as you struggle with the creatures of light… We will do away with them, sweeping them from this isle at the least.”

I protested at once, that those people were our allies, not enemies. At least in the current matter. She did not aggree, and insisted they did not put us to the sword only for the priestess’s thrawl. And in time, when they will see thru our disguises, they will remember their purpose.

Cabhain asks plainly what she meant by these disguises.

At her gesture, Lord Ebb unmasked Dama Kaela’s demon, a male figure of inhumanly perfect appearance, save cloven feet, bat-wings and horns. He is forced to his knees by the next gesture, to the Dama’s obvious displeasure.

The Queen said it has been hiding secrets. “I have withheld nothing,” it insisted, “but my efforts to reveal information have been rebuffed.”

“Educate your mistress, thrawl,” the Fey Queen commanded, and Dama Kaela frowned yet again.

“I took steps to protect the lives of you and your companions. The dark nature each of you carries within you.”

Zolos’s touch. We had taken one mark too many to try to steal our enemy’s strength. Would we now echo as evil to the Paladin’s eyes, were it not for this demon’s aid? I must think so, as the Fey lie with more tact than this, and the sound of it rang far too true.

Grandmother withdrew her gift after our protest, sending her commander to recall her troops. But she will not accept giving us nothing. “Nor would I ask that of you,” I said, lest she decide the nothing was what she would give us. Such a give could not but be a dark one.

There was more of what, for company such as this, might be considered small talk. Of time and its nature, of the walls between people and fey. But not of slaying enemies as a gift.

But in the end, it turned to the reasons for our garb. Or, rather, of Cabhain’s.

“Why, he is the last Blackbyrne heir. Your good Marrionette is in every way a puppet. The eyes of your nemesis and, so long as he lives, your nemesis cannot be destroyed.’

Cabhain was clearly stricken and angry, and the meal dissolved into uncomfortable silence.

She allows us to go with a grand, sweeping gesture, but if we have need, I may stand in water and call on Queen Marrisnus for her aid. Until that moment, none had said her name. It rang cold and clear in the water around us.

The clothes we can also keep and call on as we need. And we can go with her blessing, though most refuse that.

One last message was whispered by Lord Ebb as we leave… that I am to tell my grandfather that the man he tricked into his place is still here.

O Grandfather, what did you do?

Once we’re back in the icy lake, Ailie asked after Cabhain. If he was all right with this. Which he really wasn’t, but we talk him down. He has prove and friend an ally, whatever his birth and others’ tricks. And will do so again, of that I am certain.

The spells seemed to still be holding, so we descended into the lake. A perfect hemisphere, we find.

We seek the absolute center, the place the annihilator spheres met. To try to sniff out a flaw or a leak in the world, or other hint.

The nearby passage of predators became harder and harder to ignore. The largest we spotted was some 20 yrds long. The water bears an odd thrumming as we near the center.

Vast, externally toothed, and multi-eyed eels begin to close as we approach the thrumming heart, but I found being in water, even this frigid and icy water, entirely welcoming. Somehow, I was home in a way I had never been. Under the water. Where no sailor wishes to be.

The eels closed in then, and we fought them back. I let my magic pull me close to one and pulled lightning into it through my blade as the others fought the rest.

The water was thick and sluggish, and it slowed us a bit as we swam to the heartbeat of the chaos… Which is the center bottom of the lake, its very deepest point.

Green glowing eyes open, illuminating the water. The creature was exceptionally large, curled and folded in on itself. A ridge of smaller eyes open as well above.

WHAT ARE YOU? A voice shook the heavy water, somehow audible.

“Here to see you to a place where you’ll be more comfortable.”

WHAT ARE YOU?

Tentacles the thickness of trees rise and twist.

I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE. WHAT ARE YOU?

Sir Jarrad said “We are the children on Ankar. We are responsible for your existence.”

I EXIST BECAUSE OF YOU?

“Our actions spread the chaotic energies. And their gathering here have summoned forces that new seek your destruction.”

YOU CREATED ME?

“I pulled the trigger,” I admited.

AND SOMETHING ELSE WANTS TO UNCREATE ME?

Tentacles smashed against the bottom and started to press down in quiet fury.

THANK YOU. EXISTENCE IS AMAZING. WHERE IS THE THING THAT WOULD UNCREATE ME?

Ailie pointed up beyond the water.

ABOVE THE WATER AND THE HARD WATER?

We agreed. While it would do no good for the Fey to strike at the Lightbringers in defiance of the Arch and the order of things, they had truly earned this creature’s emnity.

THERE ARE THINGS IN THE LAKE THAT ARE BROKEN. THEY KILL WHEN THEY DO NOT HUGER OR HURT.

Jared offered to let this thing have its world, though it is troubled by needing to kill the eels to defend itself.

THERE ARE SHARP THINGS IN THE WATER. ONCE OTHER THINGS NOW COME APART. BAD MEAT. NOT TO BE EATEN. I HURLED IT FROM THE WATER
WHEN I FOUND IT. EATING IT MAY BE WHAT BREAKS THE OTHERS.

It showed us a broken capsule, surviving bits of the demon prison’s cells.

I HAVE SEEN LITTLE LIGHTS ABOVE THE WATER. WILL THEY LEAVE IF I TELL THEM?

They won’t leave him be because, as Jokhula described it, they are broken things.

WHAT WAS THE PLACE YOU WENT? THE CAVE OF HARD WATER WITH THE ANCIENT PREDATOR?

I tried to explain, and warned it to stay away from her. He seemed too innocent, and would be too tempting to be made into a toy. Or weapon.

We tred to locate a source of new bad meat, and it said it has thrown out most, but still feels something that breaks the weaker creatures in the middle water.

We tried to describe the issue and it asks if we meant the noise, and directed us toward it.

Before it guided us there, Ailie asked its name, which it could not give. We gave ours and name it “Máthair Shúigh”

Máthair guided us to the noise, which was many voices screaming though a visible disturbance in the water, a jagged crack in the world some five yards height above the lakebed, another three tall and about 18 inches wide. A tear in the world, just as we had feared.
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