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[P]  Synthetic God

Offline Dorin Jun 30 2020, 6:24 AM
#1
  • Corzya
  • Age: 27
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Howler
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Not once did Dorin ever experience the beginning of a dream. He was already walking in this one, and subconsciously he knew it was definitely a dream. There was nothing to smell, nothing to feel, even if his mind could supply upon waking what it might be like. He knew what the uneven and overgrown terrain felt like to traverse, and that it must have smelled like soil and rain. There was a soft, thin layer of fog rising up to reflect the moonlight wherever it was able to penetrate the dense canopies. It parted around the wolf's legs as he walked, and it was the first dream in a long time where he wasn't in his true form. Vines brushed over his shoulders as he walked, aimless and incapable of choosing his own path with the way listlessness gripped him tightly.

'Help.'


Dorin froze. The voice drifted around him, faint and holding a gurgling quality like the woman's throat was full of water. It sounded like it came from the left, or maybe it was the right. Either way his head turned, darkness thick in the spaces between the trees. With the haunting, feminine voice it brought a feeling of despair. Longing, even, as it tied knots deep in his chest. Something wasn't right.

'Come find me.'


An ambiguous whisper that traveled from one pointed ear to the other, like someone was walking behind him. Dorin's shoulders tensed and he whipped around… but there was nobody there. No. That wasn't entirely true. The dire felt eyes upon him, and that longing he felt started to feel desperate. For escape, or to heed the calls that echoed now in unintelligible murmurs.

Dorin tried to shake the feeling, but it was digging grooves into his spine to the point he felt his skeleton crawling beneath his flesh. It was an urge to shift, to find comfort in the truth, yet no matter how his body started to ache he couldn't do it. This didn't feel like a dream anymore.

'Not one of them…'


Was that disappointment? Wonderment? Dorin couldn't tell, but he did see the ghoulish hand in the corner of his eye. His nostrils were flaring now, and he swore he could smell blood. Still nobody was there, or no thing that he could see. Dorin thought he might have tried to call out and demand answers, but no amount of willpower got his tongue to move. His legs did, however, so he kept walking. The forest was getting more dense and claustrophobic now, the mist moving with a mind of its own in irregular patterns. Dorin idly watched it filtering around the trunks of the trees that stood like bones; they were akin to reaching fingers that scraped and ghosted over him when he passed.

No longer were the vines actually vines, or the hanging branches of weeping willows full of leaves. They were lined with jagged teeth, the flesh of the trees looking like inflamed gums. Fear. Dread. It washed over him like cold water, triggering adrenaline that had his heart pounding in his ears. It was coupled with sadness, Dorin still feeling like he wasn't in control of his body even if he felt very much present.

'Touched all the same. Darkness. Consuming.'


That one sounded like a child - like Liviana. Dorin swallowed hard. Then he flinched when he felt the vines again. They were lumpy and rubbery, dripping a substance darker and thicker than water. He smelled the blood. The trees were starting to widen out into a clearing, Dorin tentatively stepping from the treeline and stopping immediately when his boot squelched into the ground. The wolf looked down, and regretted it. There was no dirt or grass, only an expanse of fleshy material that undulated. It swelled up over his passage when he moved again, and Dorin felt ill. It seemed to be breathing, sighing, and a melancholic hum rose up in the silence.

'Come closer.'


He wanted to say no. Especially when he saw what stood in the center of the clearing. A monolith of vibrating and squirming gore ascended up beyond the treetops, the dire paralyzed by the sheer amount of terror that clenched his mind in a vice. Like wings there were parts of it that extended out reminiscent of a web. Tendons stretched and plucked by unseen forces, and there were so many eyes buried deep. Dorin heard them popping and rolling in their sockets, most of them weeping and only locking onto him when he started to move again. He didn't even realize when he had.

Whatever it was felt sentient and omniscient, bearing down upon him from all sides and closing the path where he had come from. Something heavy and moist splattered down onto his nose, causing him to flinch. Dorin lifted a hand to touch where he felt it sliding down his skin, finding his fingers came away with blood. At the base of the amalgamation of sinew, muscle, and pulsing organs there was a familiar pale face. Eirik.

The eximius was fused into the damned thing. Partially his torso was free, one arm loosened while the other entangled into a mess of what looked to be hair. Dorin approached with trembling legs; they trembled because he fought the urge to do so. Other bodies were pressed into the configuration, their arms stretching out as large and small eyes rotated to find him. In the background there was sinister laughter and agonized moans. It was difficult to tell where any of it was coming from anymore. Dorin's stomach flipped as bright, glowing blue eyes lifted towards him in lethargy. Eirik's jaw started to slacken, a thick sludge that was nearly black dribbling out to ooze over his chin. It was a mix of horror and morbid fascination that held the wolf in place, the thing that looked like Eirik beginning to reach for him slowly.

'Embrace.'


Dorin didn't get a chance to do anything, not that he felt that he could no matter how hard he fought it. Everything in him was screaming for him to back away and flee, but the hollowness within him kept him steady. Just a split moment later there was an aggressive tearing sound. It was so loud it rattled Dorin down to his teeth, needles of sensation jabbing into him all over his body. He saw the body of another beginning to step away from the monument, faceless and disproportionate, and before the dire could reel back there were hands upon him. They gripped at his clothes fiercely, clawing and pulling him closer even when he struggled against it. There were more hands, more arms closing in, and then everything snapped into darkness.



He awoke in a rather violent manner. Dorin's legs kicked, panic setting in when he found restriction in his movement before his mind fully caught up to his body. The wolf lurched up, gasping and drenched in sweat, and for a second he thought he might be getting pulled away from his bed. It was dark and oppressive inside the tent, not even the terrible ache of his bruised and sore body keeping him from fighting for freedom.

There weren't any hands or strange creatures trying to steal him from his bed. It was a mess of blankets and furs that constricted him here. Dorin groaned, first from the pain that began to cut into the temporary disorientation then because he felt like absolute garbage. His fingers uncurled from where they'd tightened almost painfully around the edges of the bed, Dorin aggressively throwing the blankets off as if they had been the culprit all along. He felt a touch dizzy and exhaustion wasted no time in weighing down his shoulders until they sagged.

His palms scrubbed at his face, hair a disheveled mess but he welcomed the cool morning air over his heated skin. It was blowing in from a draft in the tent, gelling the sweat and he was sure he probably smells ripe about now. Dorin didn't consider it worthy of his concern right now, his thoughts staggering with a slew of immediate questions that he didn't think there could ever be answers for. Upon waking there were fragments of the dream that had fallen away, dissipating into his grey matter almost as quickly as he had been torn from his slumber. Then he remembered Eirik's presence in it all, and he frowned. His eyebrows scrunched, too, and he felt like his eyes were puffy.

Definitely groggy, he found as he stood and his balance swayed. Once his eyes adjusted and pulled the light from outside Dorin started to dress himself. A strong urge to check on Eirik had him pushing through the flaps of the tent, flinching away from the daylight that was increasing in strength with each passing minute. The pack was mostly awake, at least the hunters and the elders who began to cook during their other morning routines. Some of the princelings were honking while the horses snorted, content to graze for now with no other burdens just yet. Dorin moved sluggishly at first. His ribs, back, and face felt tender and rife with bruises from his continued attempts to make peace with the wild princeling he'd found a couple of months ago. He wasn't doing so hot in that department.

The wolf ignored the mouth-watering scent of cooking meat and soup, skirting around the edges of those tents while absently swiping a pouch of different cuts of uncooked meat. Taking this route allowed him to bypass those who were awake and certainly would engage in conversation he didn't care for right now.

Saddling up the roan mare was a painfully grueling process for him in his current state, but his determination pulled through and at least it helped him wake up some. Dorin mounted up, which grabbed the attention of some of the dire who tended to the horses. Pulling the reins around, though, he gave them wordless greetings with a dull wave of the hand and spurred the gentle beast onwards into the trees away from his camp.

Eirik's wasn't too terribly far from where the pack had set up for now, the mountains in the distance helpful in keeping himself on track when his mind wandered. Which it did quite a bit, and that was dangerous in the Unclaim. For the most part this stretch of the Hinterlands remained unmolested by the worst of the Rogues who took up residence here, but Dorin still had his sword and other weapons with him nonetheless.

He knew he was close with the intermittent cries of crows. The eximius loner wasn't so much alone with the murder that often lingered around his camp. He saw some of them in the trees spread out, but as he found the subtle path traveled by Lusca and her companion they became more dense and frequent. Once they had brought about unease and apprehension, but now Dorin actually kind of enjoyed their presence. It wasn't as foreboding anymore.

Dorin dismounted to walk the mare the rest of the way, and as he did the crows were getting closer and more intrigued by his arrival. Their beady black eyes watched him carefully and curiously with that uncanny intelligence, heads turning this way and that. The crags which housed the shallow cavern Eirik had turned into home came into view between the trees, and Dorin pulled the pouch of meat to untie it. If he had the energy to at the moment he might have smiled with the way they all perked up, especially when he tossed the meat here and there. Their reactions were instant, wings fluttering and their caws getting louder and more pointed when they descended with a vengeance. It's become something of a habit to bring something for them, and Dorin was still pleased even if it didn't show on his haggard features

The eximius had a fire going. Dorin could see the smoke, but it was a small one. Eirik was awake and here, so that was a good sign. Alive. Unless…

He didn't keep that train of thought. Instead he pushed his trembling fingers through his hair, reveling in the familiar scent of the eximius. Lusca hopefully was nearby as well, but he didn't see the princeling anywhere. Eirik wasn't out and about either, though the low-burning fire still smoldered. Dorin's grip tightened on the reins subconsciously. The mare picked up on his unease then, starting to shuffle and chuff while teeth gnashed at the bit. Dorin tied her at one of the nearby trees, finding a branch that hung lower and was sturdy enough, and tried to soothe the horse's worry with a slow caress of her snout. He eyed the camp meanwhile, throat feeling dry. "Eirik?" he called out hesitantly, voice a bit rough and yet still quiet enough to not startle or drag unwanted attention if any of that lingered in the surrounding trees.
Offline Eirik Jul 9 2020, 9:57 AM
#2
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
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  • Race: Eximius
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The velveteen clinging around Lusca’s antlers were starting to molt now. She had shedded her bony crown early spring, and now they had grown again to their full height — it always surprised him how quickly it did. With the soft outer layer sloughing off it sometimes made for a grisly sight, for they fell off in patches and left bloody bone underneath; often she ran it against treebark to dislodge the excess. Now part of Eirik’s hygiene routine involved scraping it off for her. Well used to skinning things, he ran a hunting knife under the molt, the velvety pieces of flesh falling into the river, and cleaned the antler beneath with fresh water and the soap he had. The first time he’d done it he was concerned he was hurting her, for blood tended to well underneath the knife — but, she never gave any indication that she was in pain, and in fact seemed to enjoy it, lowering her weighty head against his side so he could reach. He supposes it’s like scratching an itch.

He’s done about half ’til he stops, pressing at the spongy velvet near the base. “Stuck fast. This part’s not ready to come off yet, aye?”Eirik runs his fingers through the tuft of blue fur sticking from her head. Lusca lifts up one of her forelegs. Looking down, he finds a tiny pebble stuck between the groove of her pronged hoof. Cupping it with a hand, it’s pried swiftly away, where it fell soundlessly into the water. “Anything else I can do for you?” he asks, with light sardonic tone, but she seems satisfied. Making a soft huff, and with a relieved shake of her antlers, she steps off to enjoy the river-water, finding a deeper section to immerse herself in and taking big gulps of it while she was at it.

Afterwards, Eirik splashes about in the water, too, ’til he was all soaped up and smelling sweeter. He wasn’t like some of the others out here, yet, uncaring of their hygeine, all yellow-toothed and reeking of the blood of their prey and their own body scent. In a way he could understand it. There’s not much room to make an impression out here, and besides, indulging in hygiene made him vulnerable — if there were anyone watching from the tree line they’d make short work of him and his naked self. But he’d never run into trouble out in the river before. Even seen a bear and her cubs once, but she’d ignored him to wash per paws and take a drink herself.

When Eirik would return, the embers of the fire had shouldered into nothing and gone from hot to warm. He’d taken his sweet time, drying himself in the sun, then languidly pulling on some trousers…Dorin was fortunate he’d taken the time to do that much, for if the weather was particularly good, not unlike today, he might not dress at all ’til he’d gotten back. Lusca follows him, occasionally stopping to shake out the moisture from her blue coat.

He pauses before he emerges from the tress, noting a figure there…but soon he recognizes it. Once he comes into full view in the clearing, his clan of ravens hop and caw. They were a side effect of his hunts; he was a regular source of food to them, and in return they entertained him with their antics and their silly little gifts, and kept him some small company. And now that they’d gotten to know one another they were more polite, even, waiting ’til the prey was fully dressed and he had what he needed before they flocked around the carcass.

Eirik was friendly with Dorin. He’d not shown himself to his packmates, and trusted Dorin not to share their trysts or his location. He was eximius after all, and they dire.

He looks him up and down, wondering why he was here. Though they were at the point now where Dorin needn’t always have a reason. “’Tis a fine day, isn’t it,” he greets him, then begins to pull on his linen undershirt, too.

Animals adored Lusca, and she’d always calm them where she could, too; in a moment she had the mare nice and relaxed, and the both of them had dipped their heads down to graze the lush grass and foliage Lusca had reared nice and strong and verdant.

“You don’t usually visit this early,” he mentioned idly. He wondered how long Dorin had been waiting here. He almost missed the look in the dire’s eye, but when he finds it he stops, raising an ear and slightly tilting his head. “What?”

He thought Dorin was looking at him strangely. “You look like you’ve not slept well.”
Offline Dorin Jul 9 2020, 8:39 PM
#3
  • Corzya
  • Age: 27
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Howler
  • Total Posts: 30
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In his tired state the insects sounded louder. Each time one of the ravens crowed it was a needle being driven into him. Normally Dorin would not worry about such a collection of them, as he fed a handful of them the leftovers he had brought, but while it was pleasant somehow it still felt foreboding. It was the lingering remnants of the dream, restlessness and exhaustiom tangled into one until his body was subconsciously tense. When Eirik didn't respond at first… it was a silly thought, he kept telling himself, that the exi would have perished. They were just dreams- nightmares. To many they were significant, especially the highly religious, but to Dorin they were just dreams. They had to be, otherwise he'd just witnessed something truly awful he knew not what to do with.

The ravens were unperturbed, pecking at the cubes of meat as their throats bobbed and they waddled over the ground. Dorin was hyperaware of his surroundings and relative absence, so each movement in the trees that sometimes resulted in a snapping branch set him on edge. Just when he was ready to call out again and make his way towards the entrance of the accommodations Eirik made in the shallow cave he caught sight of a flash of paler skin. The eximius he was looking for emerged from the trees, Lusca close at his flank when shedding antlers poked into view before her head. Dorin almost heaved a sigh of relief, so much restraint in maintaining his composure that it only showed itself in the slump of his shoulders. From what he could tell Eirik was here in the flesh, and not, well, absorbed into some eldritch monstrosity.

'’Tis a fine day, isn’t it.'

It appeared he was also in higher spirits today, as compared to some others. In his idle distraction the dire's gaze wandered, following the subtle definition of lean muscle that moved with the engagement of longer arms. He didn't look hurt either, and there was some dampness to his dark hair. All good signs. "I just woke up a little bit ago, so I would say it's too early to tell. Not bad so far, though," he answered after a terse silence. There was a hint of suspicion in his tone that he didn't pick up on enough in his discombobulation.

The nightmare was slipping away in detail, but Dorin recalled enough to know whatever the beast within it had been able to mimick other voices. Perhaps other appearances Dorin could not say, not when the horror had ripped him from his slumber. His nostrils flared as he started to move away from the mare finally, Lusca passing by with a gentle snort of breath and a nudging of her snout. Dorin absently lifted a hand to trail it along her jaw and neck on her way, the princeling joining the mare and giving the nervous creature company. The wolf smelled crude lather and earth, and familiarity beneath it all. "Figured it's been a little while. I know you don't need it, but wanted to check in," he tried, a testing of what Eirik might be hiding if he continued the conversation long enough to watch the way he reacted.

Eirik's face was relaxed as he moved to the fire to either stoke it or snuff it all the way out. Meanwhile Dorin's pace was a touch slower, a bit more strained in his aches and pains, and the fresher bruises were easily more prominent on his face in contrast to the heavily tattooed skin. Many of them were faded, or a few days old. Some looked newer. Dorin found himself picturing this version of Eirik, the one he saw now, stitched into some grotesque and vile nest made of flesh and other bodies. 'What? You look like you’ve not slept well,' Eirik's voice pulled him from his disturbed musings.

Dorin blinked, noticing now how Eirik looked at him with a raised ear and quirked brow, tilting his head in consideration. The dire shrugged and came to a stop some odd feet away, ravens flying around them to find different perches to settle on for a time. "I didn't," he answered truthfully, though it didn't take one of Eirik's many observational talents to gauge that. Dorin's gaze pulled away and he did audibly sigh then. "Bad dreams. The princeling kicked my ass again, too. It was hard to find comfort." That last bit was said a bit more rushed, Dorin stubborn in the admittance, but then his own eyebrows shot up when he turned back to Eirik. The wolf looked him over again when his arms crossed, like something might have changed. "What have you been up to? Seems like you fared better in the night than I did."
Offline Eirik Jul 25 2020, 4:49 PM
#4
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
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"I just woke up a little bit ago, so I would say it's too early to tell. Not bad so far, though.” Eirik gave a little huff of a laugh. “Just now?” Dorin had always been a late riser to Eirik’s standards. He chalked it up to the fact he’d a pack, whom he could stay up with at night around a bonfire, talking and laughing. When night fell for Eirik there wasn’t much to do when all of his chores were done — unless he wanted to stare into the crackling fire — and thus sleep came early for him. That meant he woke extraordinarily early, pre-dawn sometimes. Enough time to tack up the princeling and watch the land wake.

He busies himself with drying his hair with a hanging pelt, giving it a good shake while he was at it. He had noticed the tense silence, but had yet to address it. He figured Dorin was readying himself to say whatever he’d really come here to say. "Figured it's been a little while. I know you don't need it, but wanted to check in.” Eirik gives him a warm and genuine smile at this — but also a knowing one.

Back outside they went, where the sun could warm them. Lusca and the mare were munching at the foliage around camp. It was a pretty clearing with some semblance of terraforming; the land around them was obviously manipulated, that was, with bare spaces made to manage prey and almost-perfect rows where seeds had been planted and grown. This late spring had yielded an array of brightly colored flowers that dotted the grass. The trees had grown strong, shading his campsite from the brunt of the sun’s rays. Distantly one could hear the babble of the river. It was idyllic, in a way. And it had taken a lot of work. Eirik had come far from when he’d first settled here…that harrowing winter, alone and freezing.

“I wish I could help.” He’d found it an interesting tradition, when he’d heard of it. Befriending a princeling. By that measure Eirik had already passed an important milestone in their pack. “Lusca tells me I defended her, but truthfully I don’t remember it. …Maybe wait until he’s set upon by a bear or something.” Eirik scans Dorin, taking note of the bruising. He must have been getting quite close to it. “You’re farther along than you think. At least you are getting close enough to be kicked.” He knew of the princeling Dorin was pursuing; a magnificent creature with curling ram horns, unlike Lusca’s branching antlers. He’d yet to ask her to speak to him for Dorin. Wasn’t his place. And Dorin hadn’t asked.

Eirik turns his head then, settles a look upon his face. Was this what he had come here for? Dorin watches him expectantly.

There were many reasons Eirik would lie. The dreams were visceral, violent, or unfathomable. They would carry the stigma of Madness. He could not expect to repeat them to anyone who might be threatened with the mere notion that Eirik might be going Mad; Dorin was a dire after all, and a quick outreach of his senses confirmed he was alone. He had always liked that about Dorin. But it was foolhardy, as well. Trusting, optimistic. Eirik had warned him about some of the rogues that wandered the woods near them. Some were much more far-gone than him…Madness had boiled their thoughts down to instinct, and for some that instinct included killing the wolven folk.

He wasn’t ready to relinquish the truth just yet. But he would test the waters. “I didn’t say that.”

He watches his expression, and it would be clear to Dorin that he was watching close, too. “I’ve restless nights. Sometimes,” he said. “Dreams, yes. And other things.”
Offline Dorin Jul 25 2020, 9:02 PM
#5
  • Corzya
  • Age: 27
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Dire
  • Rank: Howler
  • Total Posts: 30
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He used to be up before even the first light that cut through the mountains and over the sand dunes. Kheim was situated in a place where the distant land formations only provided so much cover, but given its location it still took some time to fully see the sun. Even prior to the Vermeulen’s waking for their daily routines and studies Dorin and the others were preparing the estate for them. His father had kept him on track to wake up earlier as well, but he still detested it even if it meant spending time with him. He’d always liked to wake up when the world was already awake rather than before, when it was cold and dark. Sometimes it felt lonely, no matter the amount of thoughts that were there to keep him company. Some days he didn’t need to be awake at a certain time within the pack. Whatever tasks they would have laid out for him would be ones that took up the later portions of the evening, most of them in some sort of rotation to keep the peace. Luckily for him today was one of those days, otherwise he would be hurting for energy in trying to keep up with what he needed to do.

Dorin watches him dry his hair, clearly amused by the fact he got here so late when Eirik was certainly already well on his way through the to-do list. “Never liked getting up so early, even for the fun things,” he said, somewhat humored himself, “though that is a good influence.” Of course, here it wasn’t exactly anything fun that had woken him before his body was ready for it. Talking to Eirik helped stave off the dragging sensation that clung to him, the dreary fog of it all lifting a bit in ways he found more comfortable than talking to the other wolves. There were plenty of them he got along with now, a few more than others, and the children were usually of no consequence. Easy to entertain and be entertained by, should he be tasked with looking after them. None of it compared, especially not with this, when it evidently didn’t concern them. It was believed only the exi could be mad, but Dorin was quite sure that was untrue. In the sense of their kind, that is.

The dire tried to relax once they’d started to move further outside, the mare he’d ridden content now like nothing had happened. Wildlife began to rise, bees taking to the wildflowers and the ravens were starting to disperse when it was clear there might not be some food for a time once it’d been exhausted from Dorin’s belongings. It was all picture perfect, a snapshot of contentment that would strike any dreamer with awe, and Dorin was happy for the exi to find some comfort through the difficulties like he had. Inviting him to the pack would not have gone over well at all, they both knew, so it needn’t be said. That’s why Dorin made visits like this, but there was something else starting to make him feel more anxious about ensuring these visits became more frequent.

He was aware he was eyeing him more often, his focus lingering just a touch longer than simple attentiveness, and did his best to not be so blatant about it. The normalcy of it all is what was getting to him in this moment, the feeling of the dream not exactly a familiar one he’d ever dealt with. Too real and not real enough all in one go. ‘I wish I could help,’ Eirik said then, the dire’s eyes drifting to where Lusca raised her head to her name being spoken idly. A fascinating bond, all in all, from what Dorin had seen among the pack and the exi himself. Watching them hunt was… something else. ‘Maybe wait until he’s set upon by a bear or something.’ Dorin laughed. “I think if that happened he would still use it as an opportunity to kick me,” he commented in jest, though these days it was looking more and more to be the case. With the sun starting to filter through the canopies it was warming up further, the nagging in the wolf’s mind growing quieter.

Eyebrows lifted to the hopeful observation, Dorin considering it with a slow nod of his head. “Not untrue. Maybe you can,” he murmured, leaning against one of the posts of fencing to gesture with a hand, “help, that is. Might be something you can see that I don’t. Sometimes I think I just get too impatient and caught in the moment.” His weight shifted from one foot to the other, adjusting how he rested with arms still crossed and blue eyes finding the hunter again. The idle chatter helped, but Dorin kept coming back to the nightmare and trying to find any signs that Eirik might have experienced it, too. Anything, really, because it was so bizarre even for the subconscious. Tension weaving between them wasn’t anything hostile, but it was definitely present nonetheless. ‘I didn’t say that.

His chin rose up, eyes narrowing just for a moment into a studious squint. At this point they were both sizing one another up, perhaps for different reasons and yet the same, and it was almost like the first time they’d met at Dorin’s campfire when he was not so comfortable in the Unclaim as he was now. As comfortable as he could ever be, anyways. Even without Eirik’s warnings of the rogues the dire knew of them well. Eirik himself was the target of great suspicion and caution at the start, especially after hearing so many stories of the Maddened eximius who prowled the Unclaim. They’d been made out to be monsters, all of Svalbard denouncing the ones they’d created to hunt his kind, and twisted it away from their own fault. Dorin knew the real truth, but that didn’t mean there was no truth in some of the other portions of the tales.

Intentionally Eirik kept it vague, but he at least was admitting to some extent that he’d not slept so soundly either. Dorin wasn’t exactly relieved by any means, but it was reassuring to hear. Also strange… very strange. He felt like he was reaching, or connecting things that didn’t really connect. Just because he’d seen the hunter in the thick of it didn’t mean he’d been there as well in the realm of dreams. ‘Dreams, yes. And other things.’ A pointed ear flicked, the dire searching Eirik’s face as the mare quietly snorted and moved through his peripheral. It dragged his eyes away to watch her exploring the edges of the clearing space, Dorin feeling suddenly awkward.

They weren’t just bad dreams,” he said after a pregnant pause, nose wrinkling a bit. “Sort of went beyond that a little bit.” How else was he to try to explain it? He sighed heavily, shoulders shrugging as he turned back to Eirik. “I just thought that maybe we had, I don’t know, maybe shared the same dream,” he continued, a furrow forming in his brow as he looked down to nudge at a rock with his boot, “or something along those lines.” That didn’t sound quite right either, especially since he didn’t add anything that would have even described the dream. Dorin didn’t know yet if that would be wise, now that he was starting to sound as crazy as some of the rogues he’d been warned about. The stone flipped over and Dorin rubbed the back of his neck. “That sounds wild, right? Sharing a dream,” he followed up quickly, “I don’t even have my Magic. Just seems like a stretch. The witch, uh, could do some shit like that I guess, but I don’t know if it was even like that.

Dorin winced a little then. He’d told Eirik about that, the amulet he wore, at one point not long ago when he’d wondered why he was in the Unclaim when he had such little knowledge on survival. “You were in it, is why I bring it up.
Offline Eirik Jul 26 2020, 10:53 PM
#6
  • Corzya
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank: Servant
  • Total Posts: 122
  • Played by: Day
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“I’d like that.” Eirik was keen to see the princeling again. There was nothing quite like the sight of one. “Lusca’ll make short work of a buck. You’ll have your tribal honor in no time.” He had seen her gentle snarling saber cats, and even larger, more monstrous beasts. And sometimes Eirik wondered if she missed her own kind. Princelings seemed to leave solitary lives, far apart from one another…but perhaps it was only because there were so few.

Dorin begins to leave the small talk behind. Eirik runs his fingers through his damp hair as he listens. An ear twitches. Dorin is not explicit, but the images come up regardless; another reason he felt that these were not ‘just dreams’ was the fact that they never seemed to fade in memory. He’d had many of them by now, and each one felt like a glimpse into some thing’s thoughts and intentions. Some seemed accidental. Others were deliberate. He felt sometimes as if he were being specifically addressed, and when he woke, he felt its lingering presence in the night. You were in it, is why I bring it up.” Eirik’s eyes flicker up to Dorin’s face, thoughtful.

There was a pause then. Maybe enough time for Dorin to think he’d made the wrong move in sharing it. Eirik was weighing his options: it must be easier to dismiss it, but, didn’t everyone love company? If one witnesses unfathomable events, don’t they always seek out others to confide in? Finally, he says, “I, I had thought madness had something to do with it… at first.” He sighs, running a hand up the side of his cheek. He keeps his gaze down, towards the left. “I didn’t know dire heard it too…”

And perhaps there was some relief in that. That what they were going through wasn’t some shared delusion, some trick (or symptom) of inevitable Madness. “I know the dream you speak of. At least, I think I do. I know I saw your face at the end,” he said. “Is it…your first? I have had many like them — almost from the moment I got here.”

The more he goes on, the more he seems to sink into deeper thought. “Maybe it’s always talking, but we can only hear it in sleep.” So far.