Fable - Ask Past the Point of No Return

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Athanasia

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Somewhere, East of Thiria...At the border of the Spine and the Blightlands, the border between Winter and Autumn...
When one isn't looking...
There exists a series of caves, known to be little more than a death trap for any adventurer brave enough to enter.
Entrances have been boarded up with wood and boulders, only for another one to make its inviting appearance a few weeks later...
Waiting for someone curious enough to continue through the perilous, winding walls of the mazelike darkness.

One does not enter Lortha on purpose. Nicknamed the Slumbering City, she is the first of three cities comprising the Kindgdom of Nid, an architectural marvel once closely associated with the Winter Courts. There is no true consensus on the origin of the city's name, though two theories have been considered since its rather recent rediscovery. The first was based on the written account of the city’s presence prior to the arrival of the first modern settlers. In Efferil Cithreth’s journal, as a group of lost explorers explored the stalactite-like architecture, they came upon the body of a woman, Lorindiel, sleeping on her throne. The second theory was based simply upon the eerie silence that the city offers as one approaches. Even during the liveliest of celebrations, Lortha from afar appears still and silent beneath the luminescent canopy provided by nature’s own little stars.

A total of five paths lead out of Lortha. One to Iveril, the second city, two into Ur, the third city, and two more leading to a number of mazelike cave systems and eventually above ground- if you can survive the trip.

And you..

You have managed to survive.

Enamored by the luminous flora, you followed the narrow, damp hallways. You crawled on your belly through claustrophia inducing keyholes. Completely lost, you finally thought you could see the stars above you only to make one simple misstep. The ground caved in beneath you and you tumbled helplessly through the air. Landing in the underground rapids, the water pulled you along to the end where the water and air met, dropping down too many feet to count. The waterfall carried your screaming body down. And down you plummeted until, with a bone-jarring crash, you landed in the dimly lit cavern below.
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Dazed. Disoriented. The water slowed to a lull, gently carrying your body along. You hear soft giggling of a child hiding in the grass, but you only see glowing as your eyes adjust to the darkness. It felt like an eternity, your body aching as you barely maintain consciousness. But eventually you wash up into the stony ground alongside. You look up and illuminated only by the light of glowworms, you see the pathway leading up to a kingdom that appeared to be carved in the stalactites themselves.
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The child stood before you, nudging your battered body with her foot.
"Psst." She whispered quietly, making an attempt to wake you before the locals arrived. From the darkness, you see the flickering blue-green torchlight and a group of fae descending along the pathway. Their features, sharp and ethereal, as they closed in. It is clear they regard the disturbance with suspicion.

"Who goes there?" The booming voice of their leader, and elderly man is heard. He can see the child, but not you.​
 
  • Scared
Reactions: Aethiriin
"Hhhhhhuuuuuh."

This ... was not at all what Thiri had in mind when she'd ventured into the caves from which no one had ever returned alive. She couldn't be sure if it was death she'd been seeking, but if this was the afterlife then it could fuck right off.

In the dimness of wherever it was she had managed to find herself, her own eyes cast a leery glow the color of strained peaches. Though soaked by the ride through the rapids the the falls, hair slicked against her face and neck, clinging to the leathers and cloths that made up her stalking armor, she found herself desperately thirsty. Her throat, parched perhaps from the horrific screaming, gave way to a hoarse and choking voice that responded with a whimper.

"Help me..."

Veithir would not approve of this, but he seldom approved of much so that wasn't saying a whole lot.

"Please," her hand reached for the offending foot that deigned to shuffle her immortal coil onward to these strange guardians of the afterworld, "where am I? Am I dead?"
 
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  • Gasp
Reactions: Athanasia
"Shh!" The child held a hand over her mouth, signaling to the intruder that she must keep quiet. The crowd grew closer, yet their footsteps only seemed to fade as they did so.

"Vianola? Child, what trouble are you getting yourself into? Was that you screaming?" The same male voice cut through the silence. The child, Vianola, turned and shook her head. She did not speak as he addressed her, instead gesturing wildly towards the waterfall and down it's length before mimicking the crash in the water. However, her motions left out the fact that the woman now lay at her feet. Instead, she placed her fingers over her eyes, shutting them. This was her attempt to inform them that the foreigner was dead. The foot Aethiriin grabbed on to was shaken off, her body still concealed by the flora along the river. She pointed further along the river, where the 'body' had been carried off to.

The group halted, their faces much more visible now through the grass. They varied in stature, some appearing tall like duanaan-most looking more elven or even human. Aethiriin would also now see the weapons they carried. Long, like walking sticks, but sharpened and coated with an oily black substance. While the child displayed no signs of hostility, they made it clear that unexpected surface dwellers were not welcome.

The man huffed and motioned to the rest of the group to turn and make their way back up the narrow path. The child's wild explanation was satisfactory for him. One figure lingered, a woman of average height for a human with dull white hair and mask covering her eyes. She did not carry a weapon with her. Her head shifted as though she were able to scan the area but ultimately she turned to follow the rest of the group.

Vianola crouched down, her face inches away from Aethiriin. She still did not speak as she inspected her for injury. A question still lingered, am I dead? A question that Vianola could do little more than shake her head to, far too late. Once the group had lost interest, she pulled the body out of the water and behind a collection of stalactites. She would let the girl dry off while she chipped away at the base of one stalactite with a sharp rock. "Not dead." She carved in nearly illegible, children's handwriting. "Who?"
 
  • Nervous
Reactions: Aethiriin
No one liked to be shushed, especially not Aethiriin who preferred her words to fly freely, but something about the urgency of it clamped her jaw shut. Seemingly of its own self-preserving accord. Whoever it was she was being hidden from she hadn't a clear view of them, which was likely a good thing considering it meant they hadn't a clear view of her either. Too tired to protest against the strangeling's efforts to keep her hidden, Thiri simply lay there like a wet sop, internally agonizing over the pain of her entire body.

Seconds slowly drifted into minutes, and in those minutes despite the exchange she found herself drifting off out of sheer, overwhelming exhaustion. Until a puff of breath tickled across her nose and she opened her eyes to find the child hovering over her face.

"Uh!" Thiri gasped in surprise, making noises of discontent and limp protestations as she was dragged, bodily, from the water to cover.

A headache had slowly begun to hammer at the backside of her forehead, visions of blinking colors filling the edges of her sight. Thiri winced at the chipping and scratching of rock, looking over to hiss at the girl to stop only to see the ... were those words?

She winced in her attempt to read it.

"Well if I'm not dead," her voice croaked, "then where am I?"

Who?

"Aethiriin," she answered, looking to the girl, "they called you...Vianola?"
 
Vianola’s fingers fidget nervously as the stranger, now known as Aethiriin, struggled to make sense of the situation. Her eyebrows scrunched together, feeling frustrated with the questions the could not answer. She could not speak language, or any language aloud for that matter. Communication beyond a few words, easily sketched into stone was difficult. And though she wished she could convey the most basic of answers, the story was still much too complex for writing and gestures.

“Safe” and “Trust” were carved below the first words followed by pointing and her third word, “Lortha”.

As for Aethiriin’s second question, Vianola nodded in response. There was a sense of urgency in her mannerisms as the girl glanced from Aethiriin and up towards the winding pathway into Lortha. Although battered and discombobulated, Aethiriin could pass for a Kobaloi with her…lack of height especially when compared to the Kobaloi in Ur.

If Vianola could only get her something less…surface-leveled to cover her body with, she may fit in with the other women in Lortha. Long enough to figure a way out. More likely a way to adapt to her new home.

Her gaze shifted upward, following a sparkling cerulean butterfly that hovered above. Eyes widened, she began to scratch into the stone. Frustrated, scribbling and crossing out words, she settled on a horribly misspelled attempt at the word “disguise”. She couldn’t shake the feeling of unease lingering in the air after the butterfly’s departure and quickly began to tear at Aethiriin’s clothing. She could not afford the finer clothing, but with precise and clearly practiced movement, she could make the woman a beggar, like herself.