Labyrinth [1x1]

/ By GuillotineDreams [+Watch]

Replies: 19 / 8 years 81 days 13 hours 11 minutes 48 seconds

Allowed Users

  1. [Allowed] HanyouMokushi
  2. [Queued] kisame_hoshigaki



Life seemed so easy in the Magistrate States. All one had to do was listen to their magister and life was a breeze. [X], a farmer's eldest son learned that the hard way. When he denied the magister's daughter marriage the man threw [x] into a cell for breaking his little girls heart. The next week was is trial and he was accused of high treason; his family had testified he was part of a rebel group though he was not.The Magister "listened" to the evidence and came up with his punishment.
The Labyrinth.

The Labyrinth is worse than a death sentence for every few weeks the "criminals" are injected a drug that forces the person into the accursed realm of the gods. There they find themselves in an endless and ever changing Labyrinth that the gods use to punish the worst of the worst. In a group of four they must get to the end but once you were finish with the Labyrinth you went insane.

As for the master of this particular part of the realm it is the Weaver; Ruavin. It disgusts the God that this stain of his realm remains and is being used by the humans but he can only sit there helplessly as the humans die and join his brother’s realm. As he watches the newest bunch of humans he finds himself drawn to [x] for the farmer has the long lost blood of an ancient race.

With this attraction Ruavin is inclined to help but how will things go in the mortal realm?

Laws of the Labyrinth

* Left, Right or Straight Ahead. Never can you go back.

* No one can tell you who is good or bad.

* Always knock twice before opening a door.

* Never accept food or drink from the occupants of the Labyrinth.

* Die inside the Labyrinth and you die in the mortal realm.


RP Rules.

- Post when you can. I will not bother you to post and you will not bother me to post.

- Please do not leave the RP without telling me. I personally like to be informed if I am being abandoned so I do not wait like a hopeless idiot.

- Please, PLEASE, be able to write properly. When I mean write properly I mean like a normal human being that seems to have some goddamn english education.

- I request anime pictures. I will be picky ever so slightly with them. I do not wish to see pictures that are use by half of es.

- This will be a homosexual RP therefore if you were hoping for some SemexUke than please kindly remove yourself.

- This plot is flexible and meant for changes. If you want to save on of your companions and have him/her have a romance with another character cool! Or I kill them all off. Either way add twists and communicate with me; I promise I won't bite hard.

- Now then...Cybering. If anything happens it will be timeskipped or taken to Email. You choose what you are most comfortable with because I do not give a rat's ass what we do with those scenes.

- Violence and Swearing? I do not care. Drugs and Alcohol? Don’t care.

- This is a Fantasy medieval rp. To be exact in our history I would put it in the middle of the High Middle ages.

- This is not first come first serve. I may like a few of you and make a few [up to three total] versions.

- PM to join do not just request or I will hunt you down.

- I sound mean.



What I require of you:

Name:

Age: [18-24]

Race: Humanoid species known as Tyrnahel [For more info see below]

Short Bio:

Picture:

Sample of your Work:



From here is just additional Information. There is no need to read.

- Tyrnahel is a race of human that came from the God’s lands. They are the first humans to be created and while they lingered on their creator's lands they were granted the gift of immortality. When Savaric and some of his men left Verque they lost their gift of immortality. The gods pitied them and gave them the ability to live a longer life than the humans they placed on Verque because the Tyrnahel were like their childrens. With that they were able to live a few hundred year the longest recorded life being 529 years. The average lifespan is 420 years.

- Verque, the land now known as the Magister States. This was where the Gods placed most of the humans.


- The Labyrinth, or Yareen, was the last creation of any of the gods. Ell'eon, the lord of them, requested his younger brother to create a place where the worst of souls could go, instead of lingering outside of Mavain's [God of Death] gates. Ruavin created a place filled with good and bad where evil would stalk through never to be noticed but always tormented until Ell’eon decided that it was enough.

- Wymer was the second king of Rydul and was known as the Dark One. He raged war all over Verque and when the time came for him to die he was the first one to be settled into the Labyrinth.

- Rydul, the black city, has long since become an epicenter of trade. Though the name changed under Magister Maddox and the history erased by Magister Erwan darkness still looms about. The very city had been cursed by the gods and misfortune always falls in this area.

- Ell'eon and Mavain are the oldest gods alive. Ell'eon is associated with life and is called the creator while his brother Mavain is death and known as the destroyer.

- Ruavin is the youngest god out of all of them. He was created when humans needed hopes and a place to hide away while they rest. Ruavin came and supplied dreams to the people. As the youngest he has no mate and is pressed to find one amongst the Tyrnahel kind. Because Ell'eon wants him to find someone to be with the God does not know the outcome of any human’s life or their actions.

- The War against the Gods was under King Wymer's rule. During this war many Tyrnahel lost their lives and the gods began stripping them of their right. Very few Tyrnahel remain no.

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Roleplay Responses

The impact must have rattled Sciath's head more then he thought it would for it would seem that there was the Dark One in his mortal coil in front of him, battle fit as the day he died.
[#CD69C9 "My, my, I do believe Yareen has been rather kind to you in that department. Forgive me as a swoon over the immaculate form of the Dark One made flesh,"] Sciath giggled a little to himself as he allowed Wymer to look over the head wound. Really it was a moot point. You couldn't get much deader than Sciath but the thought counted for something. Sciath leaned as heavily as he could against the Dark One as they stood up and one of his sparrowrats returned his lost parts. [#CD69C9 "Surely you don't think I'd leave you here? Gods, I may be dead but I'm not heartless, besides, how often do you get to see the Dark One in action? Please, put on a good show,"] Sciath spoke whimsically as Wymer entered the fray.

Time in Yareen was hard to rightly judge, Sciath could but it was yet another useless trait to keep so he didn't bother with it too much. Remembering the time before he entered was easier and even so, the history books had nothing on the real thing in battle. Wymer hadn't become a legend yet in his time, but he wasn't exactly a hero either so it was hard to come across anything valid about the Dark One. The generalization of him was that he was a barbarian with an endless bloodlust to face him in battle was certain death. They had that right about him, Sciath was by no means an expert fighter, even when he was alive it wasn't much of a talent he needed, but he could call Wymer the epitome of a storm. The blade he summoned was simple, but elegant in design no move was wasted, at least in the beginning. His shadows were entities of their own gathering around him for defense at first but even they seemed hungry for a good match. Sadly he wasn't going to get that, not with the Malboro. He was getting bored with it, and when one gets bored, one gets sloppy. Sciath sidestepped a few paces as his sparrowrats did the same, a few clamoring around his shoulders.
[#CD69C9 "Aye, it does. It doesn't have much else going for it, besides brute strength and poison; really you only have to worry about one of those. Come now Wyrmple, surely you're not out of the match yet? I mean, hell might be a bit sad for it to end so anticlimactically for you,"] Sciath teased looking down at Wymer after he slammed against the wall, causing a massive crack to fissure up and across the ceiling of the cavern. Sciath rapped his knuckles gently against the wall as the Dark One brushed it off easily enough but certainly loss whatever strategy he had going for him.

Sciath maneuvered around the cavern eyeing the damage the two combatants were causing. Although he probably should have done something to help Wymer, he'd feel kind of bad about it. Strategy was gone, but frenzy, hell down right mania took its place as Wymer jumped back into the battle. He held onto some caution as he approached but it was quickly replaced with excitement. The Malboro didn't stand a chance as the whirlwind of shadows and steel took off. Wymer even shredded some of his own shadows as they became animated teeth and claws as they tore through the Malboro. Sciath watched in fascination, he could easily imagine some of the Dark One's early battles in the Labyrinth when he was a Lord instead of just a pet. Tearing into foes without a care, just for the sheer thrill of battle, it didn't matter who lived or died it was just that moment of euphoric massacre. No wonder Vynnarisa supported him in life. Sciath felt the excitement of battle reach into his very core as he felt a twisted smile reach his lips.
[#CD69C9 "They certainly know how to pick them, I can understand fully why you would give your support Vynnarisa. Almost a shame he failed in that endeavor, but once a champion, always one it seems,"] Sciath mused to himself.

There was a slight nagging sensation that brought Sciath down from his high. Perhaps he should have mentioned that to Wymer. Sciath glanced around the room, the various parts of the Malboro scattered about, as some were beginning to wriggle about trying to reconnect with others. It wasn't going to be a huge issue, at least it shouldn't be, it seemed that some of the discarded shadows from Wymer caught on and were beginning to devour the slower pieces. The Malboro was getting on its last legs, Wymer was going to go for the kill as the vines wrapped around the Dark One. Sciath ran a hand across his stomach, the wound stopped bleeding leaving the black blood shimmering in the failing light, and he looked up seeing the cracks crisscross along the ceiling. The Labyrinth was reacting to the new passage, Echidna’s failed attempt, took it a bit longer then he thought, but no matter. Sciath grabbed one of the mushrooms on the wall squeezing it in his hand releasing a pulpy goop then slammed his hand into the ground. He felt the rumble of power surge across the ground the mini malboros twitching once then turning to dust as Wymer's shadows took care of the stranglers. Sciath looked to the Dark One as he watched him plunge the sword into the Malboro's skull, his shadows swarming what was left as Wymer tumbled to the ground. Sciath wiped the residual blood and goop from his hand onto the ground as he saw Frederick make his way back. He looked to from where he came and saw a passage leading upwards.
[#CD69C9 "Well seems fortunately enough we didn't get dragged as far down as we originally thought,"] Sciath remarked flippantly sitting against the wall. Sciath watched with amusement as the Dark One came over. [#CD69C9 "Maybe you have, a victory is still a victory though,"] Sciath stated.

Really, Wymer [i really] should have known better. Sciath sent the sparrowrats back to scouting as Wymer was lamenting his current unsightly sight and his apparent lack of power. Well it was hard to be anywhere but at the top of the world when you've been there so long, you forget your mortal limitations. Sciath couldn't have cared less about that.
[#CD69C9 "I guess that means I'm a special case,"] Sciath began lowly effortlessly slinking on top of the Dark One. Sure he weighed next to nothing but Wymer even said he was a harder enemy then the Malboro at the moment; although he wasn't sure if this would make him an enemy or not. The battle left Wymer's clothing in disarray but simple enough to work around. Completely ignoring any protests the Dark One may have had; Sciath began humming to himself as he undid the cloth belt pulling the tabard over Wymer's head revealing his bare chest, tanned, and scarred with age and battle but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Sciath's own attire was simpler then what the Dark One had a tattered long sleeved shirt with an equally tattered pair of pants. Certainly being more dead then Wymer the shirt was more like a second skin then clothing as Sciath undid the shirt as it clung loosely to his back. Sciath snuggled on top of Wymer his pale skin cool against the warrior's body. Sciath died young, more lean then muscular, built for running over fighting, no less capable then the Dark One in a fight however. Even missing parts of his body the motions were fluid, graceful even, as Sciath traced Wymer's chest with his fingers. [#CD69C9 "I may be a piss poor whore, that doesn't mean I'm not the best at what I do,"] Sciath spoke softly kissing Wymer's throat working his way to his lips. [#CD69C9 "To the victor goes the spoils."]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Luke figured he may have fussed too much with the dog as he didn't seem willing to do much at first. The dog let out a soft whine, before he seemed to resign himself to his fate of being stuck with Luke.
[#33A1C9 "Maybe your owners live in a nicer part of town? It may be kind of crowded, and,"] Luke trailed off as he looked over to one of the sadly many homeless people in the city relieving themselves down the alley. Fortunately it was away from the goods and what not, but none the less disheartening. [#33A1C9 "Rydul...isn't the best place out there I can give you that. But it's where most people decide to live right or wrong. It's not like the world is at war, but it is the epicenter for trade and it is well-defended if it's necessary. Soren,"] he stopped as the dog seemed ready to move out. Luke held loosely to the rope, it was more of a means to not lose the dog, not to tie him down or anything like that, but it felt more like the dog was walking Luke then the other way around. He had to weave a little out of the throng of people coming for market day, a few hasty apologies, as he did his best to not slow the dog down. [#33A1C9 "Soren said once that people live here because they don't know anything aside from this. Everything is close at hand, you can obviously see the differences in class here as well, but he didn't sound upset by it. Just that people need people, to just really see that they aren't alone in the world. Beliefs only get you so far, you have to learn to walk on your own, but I still don't really get what he meant by it. To me it sounded like the people don't like change, and instead of doing anything about it they just sit around and turn stagnant, expecting someone else or even the gods themselves to do something about it. I never really liked that part of this place, got me in trouble a couple of times with my father. It was Soren who recommended Gita to me and Aedan even took us there a couple times before we got apprenticeships. Not that you seem to mind the rambling of a stupid kid, talking to a dog,"] Luke trailed off a bit, realization settling in that he was having a very one sided conversation with a dog that he believed very much so wanted to maim him.

Deciding it best to stop the conversation before he drew anymore curious onlookers, Luke fell silent as they entered into the noble district. It wasn't illegal per se to be a commoner in the noble district; it just made Luke's skin crawl. At least he could relate to people in the other districts, here everything was too showy, too... [i fake] for his liking that he was tempted to just leave the dog to his own devices. But that would be immature of him, and shirking his self-made duty of finding the dog's home. He didn't see anyone else in the area it felt like they entered a bubble, he could barely hear any of the sounds from the trade district coming up. The only sound was their own feet brushing against the cobblestones and the bubbling fountain in the center of the district. The flowers were in bloom, their scent sweet, but too much for Luke's liking as they approached the fountain.
[#33A1C9 "Asotasr and Theodulus, blessed be ye, and gratitude for all that was given,"] Luke mumbled out of habit then true faith. Right or wrong he was kind of sick of the gods, new ones, old ones, fake ones, they haven't exactly done much lately to earn his faith. But probably shouldn't tempt faith either, he added a partial bow to the prayer. [#33A1C9 "Usually when the flowers are in bloom they have a festival to honor the gods. But seems it will be late again this year, I imagine the last few trials caused that. Magistrate is too busy to look to their people, when they have petty feuds to settle,"] he spoke softly. He looked across the plaza and there stood the courthouse, in its glittery glory. It was a stupid idea, a very stupid idea, but not stupid enough to warrant Aedan’s concern surely? There was a high chance that Soren would have been somewhere inside in the prison. With the place as abandoned as it was, there really didn't seem like a reason not to. At least look, there was no harm in that right?

[#872657 "There's stupid, stupid, and stupid. Triple stupidity doesn't make it genius or some epiphany for glory,"] a voice interrupted rather loudly shattering the eeriness of the place. Luke turned to his right and there stood a young girl. Girl seemed a little rude to call her, she certainly wasn't a lady, but she wasn't much older than him if he was going to guess. She had her hands on her hips looking down at him, she wasn't much taller than him but the angle gave him a perfect shot of her chest, Luke stuttered before the girl stood up showing no signs of noticing his hesitance. She wore a simple black peasant dress with a floral design on the blouse, the skirt was black, but she also wore a pair of dark red pants a couple shades darker then her raspberry colored hair. Her hair was long and unruly, as though she may have just gotten out of bed, her feet were also bare. But where did she come from? Luke wanted to ask but her amber eyes locked on him and kept his mouth shut. [#872657 "Why give gratitude for the sake of giving? You're not getting anything in return. Why honor previous individuals,"] she began counting off his stupidity with her fingers. [#872657 "Do you honestly think you could sneak into the prison?"]
[#33A1C9 "What?! I wasn't going,"] Luke found his voice nearly shouting at her although she had the sense to keep her voice down with that last statement. [#33A1C9 "I'm trying to find this dog's home."]
[#872657 "Dog,"] she questioned finally taking a step back and getting the bigger picture. Luke was about to clarify when said dog barked and nearly yanked Luke off his feet as he bolted down the plaza. Luke tried to right himself and by the time he looked back the girl was gone.

Luke was gasping for breath, he honestly didn't think the dog had that much energy in him, and despite his small stature he managed to drag Luke all the way to where they stood now. When he entered the alley he dropped the rope as he leaned against the wall a little to catch his breath. He knew he wasn't out of shape, but something else was certainly making it harder to breath.
[#33A1C9 "Just give me a mo-,"] the yelp stopped him before a fist hit him across the mouth sending him sprawling to the ground. Luke lay still for a moment, before slowly sitting up with the soft hum of an arrow getting knocked. He tasted blood in his mouth, as he slowly lifted his eyes up to his attacker. [#33A1C9 "Get out of here, boy, go home,"] Luke hissed lowly as he watched the dog trying to defend him. The man lowered the bow, but his stature didn't change.
[b "It'll mean nothing to you, but I take no pleasure in killing kids,"] before Luke could react there was a glint of metal and he was back on the ground. He felt blood stream down his throat, but he couldn't move, blood bubbled past his lips, he couldn't breathe. [b "The poison will make your passing painless, and swift. All I can do for you. I'll let Mavain be my judge, and may he find a place in his realm for a nonbeliever such as you,"] the man spoke leaving the alley. Luke lay there, nothing registering for him as it got harder to keep his eyes open, he may have felt a gentle nudge from the dog but that sounded like wishful thinking.
[#872657 "Triple stupidity only gets you dead, Luke Culann."]

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Pherae knelt down next to Luke's body, running her fingers through his hair, eventually tracing over the neck wound.
[#872657 "Been awhile Uncle Vin, Aunt Aroyr talked to Mama about you a little, before I knew it Mama sent me here to help. But seems I was a little late, seeing death doesn't mean I can always prevent it,"] she spoke with a small smile her fingertips painted crimson. [#872657 "Not that I have such power. Auntie didn't exactly clarify what I was to expect. I thought you liked flying over being on the ground, although,"] she clenched her one hand as the other scratched behind Ruavin's ear. [#872657 "You make a cute puppy,"] she giggled bringing her fist to her lips blowing softly as a warm light emitted from it. She cupped Ruavin's injured paw gently stroking up and down. [#872657 "That's about all I can do for you, any chance you can give me your blessing? I mean I don't think I'd need it, but it would make it a little easier to navigate Yareen at least til I found Luke. Papa can help with the rest."]
[#6A5ACD "Such blind faith in me is admirable if not a little naive on your end Pherae."]
[#872657 "Papa, it's not blind or naive if it’s the truth,"] Pherae pouted standing up and puffing out her cheeks looking towards the entrance of the alley. Mavain hung his head, running a hand through his short dirty blonde hair. His attire was simple; pants, boots, and tabard in soft earthly tones with a blue cloak. His eyes were a soft amber, no doubt where Pherae got hers.
[#6A5ACD "Apologies, I should have known better than to doubt you,"] he held his hands up in defeat with a gentle smile walking over to the two.

Pherae scootched over as Mavain took her place over Luke. He held his hands over the body as they gave off a pale grey glow, the wound on his neck began to close, as his skin regained some color.
[#6A5ACD "I've healed the wound and removed the poison but I can't do anything else for him without his soul. My realm will remain closed to him, but we both know Yareen can easily claim him before I could do anything else. In your current state, can you even give a blessing,"] Mavain asked. He was polite on the matter, if not for that little hint that he already knew the answer. He looked towards Pherae ignoring any protests that Ruavin would have attempted. [#6A5ACD "You'll be fine without it, Pherae, there was a reason I recommended you over your brothers. You're far too stubborn for your own good, and plenty quick to back that up."] Pherae stuck out her tongue as she stood up holding out her wrist. [#6A5ACD "It was to be taken as a compliment,"] Mavain added bringing his hands together in prayer before pulling them apart creating a silver chain, he clasped one onto Luke's wrist the other to Pherae's.
[#872657 "Your compliments tend to sound backward though. But thank you all the same,"] she replied with a grin. She brought the chain to her lips kissing it before wrapping her bloody fingers around the links. The blood stains began to shimmer pulling off the metal as golden butterflies. [#872657 "Maybe next time we can go flying again Uncle Vin,"] she spoke turning her back to the two as a pair of black raven wings sprouted from her shoulders. She jumped into the air vanishing in a flurry of feathers.
[#6A5ACD "Be safe, my little angel,"] Mavain whispered taking his gaze from the sky and looking back to Ruavin with a pointed stare. [#6A5ACD "You'll have some explaining to do."]

Before Ruavin could rightly do anything, Mavain took a seat on the ground across from him and Luke. He held one hand up to stop Ruavin, as the other rested against his head trying to massage the headache and fatigue away.
[#6A5ACD "I'll go first. Ell'eon knows nothing of my presence here, Sumafel and Traroth are making sure of that, not that even my brother can sense as well as he used to. The others are for the most part minding their own business, trying to search for clues elsewhere to our dilemma. Aroyr and Kalian are helping you, which is why I'm here as well. You may recognize this method of soul retrieval,"] Mavain gestured to Luke. He released a sigh looking out towards the plaza where the flowers bloomed. [#6A5ACD "Dhaun,"] he spat the name out. [#6A5ACD "I had hoped that we eradicated it the first time, but clearly we were mistaken. Luke's case is not as severe, a slit throat easier to mend, but with the state of Yareen no less a challenge. With the first outbreak of Dhaun, I had to make these chains just to give me time to find out what had happened. It wasn't always successful, as you know,"] Mavain paused. The first outbreak on Naira was a horrendous tragedy, being powerless to help, for many he could only watch and give their souls a safe haven. The journey to the grave was certainly a gruesome, slow, march that Mavain could do nothing to even ease the pain. [#6A5ACD "In theory Pherae needs to only find his soul and clasp the chain to it, to give the soul a certain path back to the body. We'll have to give Pherae time and wait,"] he explained with a shrug. Overall it should have been a simple enough task, even with Luke being a nonbeliever, but Mavain was no different from the other gods losing his powers with the lack of faith. He was better off than most, sadly for the nature of death. The true believers were getting older and entering his realm at a steady rate.

[#6A5ACD "With no intention of cheapening Luke's and Pherae's challenges ahead, there is still you to consider,"] Mavain stated gesturing to Ruavin's miniscule form. Pherae may have healed his injuries didn't exactly change the fact he was still a dog. [#6A5ACD "Ignoring Ell'eon's orders, I expected nothing less from you. Wouldn't do to call you out on that, considering the majority of us are already doing that. Your lack of thinking would be another matter,"] Mavain signed exhausted. [#6A5ACD "We work as a group, in pairs, or at least giving some notice to others who are trying for the same goal, of your intentions in case they go awry. Traroth and Aroyr were helping you from the beginning, Aroyr may have been asked to look into the matter by Ell'eon, but Traroth had asked her to check in on you when you didn't get back to anyone after you went to investigate Yareen, by yourself,"] Mavain closed his eyes releasing another sigh. He may have been the only one of his brothers to have children so he should have some experience with dealing with them. Ruavin wasn't a child, but his actions certainly didn't show maturity. [#6A5ACD "It is your realm, and we know what happens when we interfere too much in each other's realms, Ell'eon has yet to learn that lesson. But Yareen hasn't been your realm in quite some time, so it's dangerous even for its maker."] Kalian may have been the better of the two to talk to Ruavin but Mavain would have to do. [#6A5ACD "We were worried about you, you've gotten damn lucky with the humans you've come across. But a kindness such as that, even if it may have been misplace, doesn't get one of them killed,"] Mavain finished as he stretched and stood up. He walked near the entrance of the alley looking around the plaza. [#6A5ACD "Ell'eon needs to be informed of this, but this Dhaun is not as potent as its first batch. Deadly, but not as effective, there's been enough time to lessen its hazards. Its existence is no less alarming though,"] he saw the fountain before walking back towards Ruavin. [#6A5ACD "Any signs of its lustrous creators?"] He knelt down by Ruavin, petting his head as his hand glowed faintly. [#6A5ACD "I can't say if you deserve any of this, but I'm giving you some of my magic. See what you can do with it, if nothing, I may be able to help more with that. I'm mostly curious how you'd like to explain your adventures thus far."]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

It was the quiet that caused Luke to stir from his current place on the ground, standing up quickly shaking away the dizziness with the motion. He didn't know where he was, but he was starting to miss the fakeness of the noble district to whatever this nothingness was. His body was trembling with pins and needles as he wrapped his arms around himself to regain some feeling. His mind was a blur to how he ended up here and where [i here] even was but more importantly...
[#33A1C9 "Where did you go boy,"] Luke spoke loudly before cupping his mouth with how loud that sounded in the stillness. A sudden dread settled in the pit of his stomach as the alley came back to mind. He trailed his hand down his throat until his fingers caught on the cut; he almost made it worse when he ripped his hand away. There was no blood, but he felt his fingers [i inside] his throat. That ceased the pins and needles. [#33A1C9 "I guess you wouldn't be here,"] he whispered, taking in his surroundings, the only structure being a long stone wall with only one entrance. It stretched as far as he could see both ways; it didn't take long to figure out where here was anymore. He tried to walk, a little shakily at first but the motions came naturally enough. On one side of the wall there was some sort of writing, it was hard to make out but that didn't really seem all that important at the moment. [#33A1C9 "Well I did make a promise to bring you home, Soren. Aedan would kill me that I may have gone a little too far with the stupidity, at least for not telling him the stupid first. But I made it this far, only thing to do now would be to commit, besides you always said once you agree to something you damn well get it done, right Soren,"] Luke spoke with a small smile. Really he must have been mad at how he was taking this in stride, but if he was in fact... dead, he already hit rock bottom. [#33A1C9 "That means all that's left is up, I'm going to find you Soren,"] Luke spoke again to anchor his resolve. He took a deep breath, although he probably didn't need to anymore, as he ran into the Labyrinth.

[center ~*~*~]

[#872657 "There really should be a limit to how dumb one person can be, it's unbelievable, he couldn't have waited a few measly more minutes,"] Pherae groaned loudly when she landed in Yareen. The chain at her wrist continued to pulse and the butterflies were still marking the path. If she was too late she wouldn't have either guide. She always enjoyed her visits with Uncle Vin, watching dreams, or playing games like tag and hide and seek in his forest. It was just so different from the other realms, maybe since it was the only constant link they had with humans anymore, that magic of dreams if she was being honest. She knew the forest well enough and tended to ignore the other part of Yareen, the Labyrinth; mostly since it seemed to be such a harsh place in an otherwise beautiful realm. A necessary evil is how Uncle Ell'eon described it once, but Pherae didn't understand what he meant by that. Why was evil necessary? What made evil, evil?

Pherae sighed loudly again tapping her head a few times to get herself back on track. She landed at the border between the forest and the Labyrinth, that barren nothingness. Since Vin wasn't here it felt a little sadder, no wonder her thoughts took that route, she shook her head and launched herself once more into the air, she landed daintily on the top of the wall of the Labyrinth. There were indeed rules to the Labyrinth and per Ell'eon all were bound by those, even its creator to some degree, but if she never technically [i enters] the rules can't really apply now could they? She still had to navigate cautiously, she'd only have one chance to get Luke's soul back and if she lingers too long in that, she would be stuck in the Labyrinth too. She flew above the walls, stretching her magic to hone in on Luke. She wasn't expecting to find him completely unscathed but she didn't find any signs of battle or even a confrontation with the denizens of Yareen. The butterflies didn't clump up to show that, they were going rather effortlessly through the turns of the Labyrinth.
[#872657 "Fortune favors the bold, and apparently the inherently stupid. May seem pretty silly coming from me, but I pray that your luck holds out."]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Soren barely registered Sigan or Alys when they left Lamia's chambers. It took a lot of will power on his end to not scratch at the scales, run away from the group in earnest, or take his new sickle to his throat to just [i end] it all. Soren did not like where his thoughts were taking him, but there was little else to distract the thoughts since the situation just kept getting murkier and murkier. It was never clear to begin with, but he [i really] needed answers. Ruavin seemed to be his best option but no offense against the god he didn't really do much explanation at their first meeting, whatever semblance of understanding he may have had was shattered with Lamia. He had to get back; he knew that much, but...perhaps that was all he had to focus on? All he [i should] focus on at least. He tried to organize his conversation with Lamia with what he may have heard from the others. He was getting vague ideas but nothing substantial, so it seemed a little pointless if not also concerning to Sigan and Alys to bring up conversations they were clearly having with him with having no recollection of them. Soren blew a sigh pinching his nose to help clear the headache. He took to looking over at the two instead, he spied a sword on Alys' hip, possibly a dagger on Sigan's belt, and he noticed Sigan managed to find a bag as well. Well they weren't the best equipped but certainly equipped beat nothing at all. He heard mention of assassin and the Dragon Guild, sounds like he was with capable fighters but those skills could be used against him.

Sigan spoke after a moment about taking the straight path as Soren took another cautionary glance around their other options. The greenery didn't seem to be standing out too much from before but he felt the growing nausea again.
[#8B475D "Sadly, it isn't just you,"] Soren stated licking his lips as the vines were wriggling a little on the wall. It didn't seem the most alarming, yet, but he would rather avoid another confrontation so soon after the last one. He rested his hand on the sickle as he quickened their pace a little down the path. The vines weren't exactly thinning out and sadly they seemed to be moving more with them down the path. It didn't take long to come to the next intersection, a right and a straight. [#8B475D "Mind if we stop here for a moment,"] Soren questioned. He didn't get any flat out refusals as he leaned against the wall, eventually sliding down it as he rested his head on his knees. The headache was getting worse, and his vision was getting blurry. Alys attempted to lay a hand on his shoulder but he flinched away as Alys recoiled her hand. [#8B475D "Apologies, Alys. Just give me a moment,"] Soren spoke shakily. [#8B475D "It'll pass. Apologies again though as it seems I'm the one holding up the group,"] the vines wriggled and Soren nearly jumped back to his feet barely steadying himself as Sigan proved swifter helping him keep his balance. Soren recoiled albeit with slightly more dignity taking a couple of steps back. [#8B475D "Thank you,"] he spoke quickly. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. [#8B475D "I don't know what you're seeing Sigan, but the vines don't seem hostile, if I can even use a word like that. They remind me of snakes, acting out since we've intruded on their domain, I imagine we just need to walk cautiously around them, and be mindful what we lean against,"] Soren suggested, trying to regain some posture. It seemed to work, he stood up straighter heading towards the right path. He looked down trying to navigate carefully the vines that wriggled near the floor and base of the wall, it slowed their progress a little, each step on a vine it tended to tremble and dig itself deeper or try and shake off the foot that dare step on it. Soren swore he heard the occasional grumble with a few poor steps on his end.

One particular misstep Soren felt a vine lash out at his ankles, ending him on the ground.
[#8B475D "Shit,"] he cursed lightly as he sat up. Sigan offered him a hand, but he didn't grab for it immediately, instead he grabbed the sickle and gently prodded up one of the vines that was on the crease where the ground met the wall. [#8B475D "I don't think we're on a path anymore,"] he stated digging a little into an angle where he should have hit the wall. There have been plenty of changes within the Labyrinth, but the walls were a constant that was depressing, their only constant was the reminder they were trapped. Soren dug around a little with his free hand into the floor as well, the dirt was looser then what it had been, he grabbed Sigan's hand and pulled himself up, going near the wall again and digging a little into that as well. [#8B475D "I understand Yareen changes but regardless what any of us have seen there have always been the stone walls correct,"] he asked keeping his tone neutral. This wasn't something to be panicking about, his digging didn't show any roots though, he was careful of the vines, but he never came across other roots. Yes he did find Aroyr’s Kiss on the walls in the Labyrinth and near the ground but...assuming he was wrong about the walls from earlier there was something different, or the right term would be something [i familiar] about these walls. [#8B475D "It's tilled soil, before planting season, I don't think the vines could do this on their own,"] he mused softly.
[#33A1C9 "Soren!"] He stopped dead; he could feel his heart pounding as well as his blood turn to ice. There's no way. This is just his mind playing a cruel trick on him, of course thinking of farming would lead to family but...but that should be all it was. Soren looked towards Sigan and Alys.
[#8B475D "Did either of you hear anything,"] he asked very softly. There was no way he would have mistaken either of them for calling his name.
[#33A1C9 "Soren, where are you?"] He threw whatever caution he may have had to the wind, he began to sprint through the hall. Some parts of the ground were softer than he expected stumbling more then he would have liked crushing a few vines beneath him or ripping some from the walls when he tried to steady himself.
[#8B475D "Luke,"] he hollered pulling himself up. The path split three ways, the walls looked similar although some weren't nearly as covered with vines, some looked like the walls from earlier but with more scratches. [#8B475D "Luke! Answer me, where are you,"] he screamed feeling hysterical again. Of course there would be no response, since Luke's not here. There was no point in redeeming himself now, he has completely lost it. He was out of breath as the cruel reality sunk in; he went down the less viney one in case he managed to irritate the other vines to try and mitigate any more damage. That was the plan as he leaned against the wall trying to catch his breath; he thought he heard Sigan or Alys calling him from behind.

He didn't have the chance to clarify when something barreled into him. It was cold and knocked the wind out of him, so this was it? He got careless, got lost in a memory and now was paying for it.
[#33A1C9 "Soren,"] Luke hiccupped burying his face into Soren's chest. Soren barely managed to keep his balance even with the wall next to them. [#33A1C9 "I-I found you,"] he continued crying. Soren slowly brought his arms around him, expecting them to fall through mist, they hit something solid, but not completely solid. Soren fell to his knees holding Luke closer.
[#8B475D "Aye, you did,"] Soren spoke softly barely holding back his own tears.
[#33A1C9 "I s-said I wouldn't cry like th-this when I found you, but,"] Luke mumbled.
[#8B475D "It's alright, there is no shame in it...but why are you here,"] Soren questioned holding him tighter brushing his hair down.
[#33A1C9 "I made a promise to Reyn and Mykael to bring you home,"] Luke breathed slowly breaking out of the hug as he bowed his head against Soren's chest.
[#8B475D "And when we make a promise we keep them,"] Soren gently brought Luke's head up to meet his eyes, he saw the neck wound stark against his skin. [#8B475D "Always admirable, but such an idiot,"] Soren berated him but there was no venom behind the words, mostly just a fact. He pulled him closer once more. [#8B475D "Mavain, Keeper of Souls. I have no right to ask but I pray, I beg you please give Luke salvation, please do not forsake him. Don't let him pay for my mistakes, give him a chance,"] Soren pleaded. [#8B475D "Now it seems we both need to get home, now don't we,"] Soren stated with a gentle smile slowly letting Luke go.
[#33A1C9 "I'm sorry,"] Luke hiccupped.
[#8B475D "Apologize when we get home,"] Soren finished slowly standing up and pulling Luke up as well.
[#33A1C9 "What's that?"] Before Soren could fathom the question the ground began to shake he felt the soil give away underneath them. He grabbed onto Luke.
[#8B475D "Don't let go!"]
[#872657 "Found you.'']

Soren was in a daze as he slowly opened his eyes. He couldn't make out much, a large room with some more of those vines; there was a faint light on the walls in sickening colors that looked to be flickering. The stench was the worse, as though something died; he coughed up dirt as he tried to crawl out from under the debris. The only miracle he could see was not getting stabbed with his own sickle the crawl only spiked the pain his body was covered in. It took some effort, but he managed, clawing at the wall to stand up.
[#8B475D "Luke,"] he coughed spitting out the dirt with a tint of blood. He looked around to no avail. [#8B475D "Sigan, Alys are you alright,"] he tried to yell coughing harder into this arm the stench was getting to him. He managed to hear some grumbling as he walked around the room following the sound as he looked up. He saw essentially the hole he fell into which didn't make sense in the least since when did the Labyrinth have multiple floors? [#8B475D "Sigan,"] he hollered his voice gaining some more strength as he saw a foot hanging over the edge. The body twitched in response pulling itself up, he saw Sigan look carefully over the hole. [#8B475D "Is Alys with you? I think...I'm the only one that fell,"] he worded cautiously. Alys peered over the edge when she was mentioned. Soren saw Sigan trying to come down to him. [#8B475D "Stop! There's something down here, it smells rotten,"] he looked around carefully still trying to be mindful of the vines, they weren't as thick, or wriggly for that matter. But he couldn't shake the shiver that ran down his spine. One corner was thick in shadows there was one of the rats from before standing near an exit. [#8B475D "I've found another path, I'll meet up with you. If you're in doubt,"] he looked back to the rat as it cleaned its face before running up the path. [#8B475D "Follow the rats."] There was no way that they saw anything but he couldn't help but hope. [#8B475D "Did either of you see Luke-"] The room rumbled as Soren crouched down to steady his balance. [#8B475D "Run!"]

Soren rolled to the side as something labored up from the center of the room. He mistook it for part of the environment with the poor lighting; it looked to be a giant plant with numerous vines fanning out around its mouth lined with razor like teeth. It reminded him of some of the old tales that Nasir would tell him. But it was injured, he didn't want to know what did it, but there was an obvious wound where the head would have been, a jagged hole that made its lopsided mouth all the more menacing. There were chunks missing from the vines and it was oozing a thick purple puss, almost black from the body. It wasn't moving, but neither was Soren as the fumes kept him struggling to breathe.
[#CD69C9 "You know something I [i really]] [#CD69C9 hate? Interruptions, to a rather splendid time, all things considered. I'll be borrowing this for but a moment, no need to worry, she'll probably bite me before I can get a single scuff on her,"] a strangely familiar yet far more annoyed voice came from the shadows. Soren felt the air get sliced dispelling the poison in an instant as the creature let out a horrid shriek. Slowly Soren managed to get to his knees, gasping for breath. He wasn't sure what he was seeing, the plant was sliced again diagonally through making pitiful warbling noises, almost like it was [i cowering] from something. The spirit Soren saw when he first entered the Labyrinth was to his right cradling what was left of an arm as though something mauled it. A beautiful black blade twinkled in the light of the room as the shadows grabbed hold of it pulling it towards the corner. The spirit gave a crooked smirk towards him. [#CD69C9 "Vezrak isn't it,"] he spoke towards the shadows yet never took his eyes off of Soren. [#CD69C9 "Pretty sure is what you called her, it, I think she'd rather be called a her, beautiful blade. Doesn't like to be handled by those not her master. A small price to pay,"] he made a gesture with his arm as though that would explain everything. [#CD69C9 "I'm not the monster here though, that would belong to you boy. So finish it."]
Confusion wasn't even the start of what was going through Soren's head. He felt an anger, that didn't belong to him ripple inside, and a blank as to what the hell did he mean? Finish it? How? He didn't realize he was on his feet, until he was running towards what was left of the creature, he didn't feel the scythe in his hands until it sliced through what he imagined would have been the heart. The monster yowled before crumpling on itself; Soren stumbled back pressing himself against the wall. The scythe fell from his hands, the staff was black as burnt wood, the sickle ashen with what looked like almost traces of embers in the metal, it glittered ominously in the failing light. Soren kicked it across the ground.
[#CD69C9 "It would be wise of you to not discard something as powerful as that so easily. Weapons can have souls as well, and do not take abandonment so well,"] as if on cue the scythe flew past embedding itself in the wall near Soren's head, although it now appeared to be nothing more than the rusted sickle he found in Lamia's chambers. [#CD69C9 "Best take it with you, besides what's one more bit of damnation on your soul,"] the spirit spoke flippantly, never losing that damn smirk.
[#8B475D "Luke,"] Soren tried to speak finding his voice hoarse as he reluctantly grabbed the sickle and slid it in his belt. His hands were shaking as he tried to grasp anything that would make some sense to this.
[#CD69C9 "Dead, and there is nothing to do about it. And at the rate you’re going you'll probably be joining him, bitten and charmed by a snake does not bode well for you,"] the spirit delivered the line so casually Soren couldn't bother with holding himself up anymore as he slid to the ground. [#CD69C9 "But where [i are]] [#CD69C9 my manners, you can call me Sciath. Now surely Wyrmple you have had more than enough time to collect yourself, so by all means, please come and join us."]
  Soren / HanyouMoKushi / 1y 74d 8h 40m 50s
[b [#a32438 'Does Sciath ever shut up?'']] Was the main theme to Wymer's thoughts as they made their journey further into the accursed Labyrinth. Despite his thoughts he patiently, and silently, listened to Sciath with no arguments or interruptions. He did snort, only a little bit, when Sciath commented about feeling like a whore. Sciath would make an absolutely horrendous whore with how much he ran his mouth. Wymer, however, kept these thoughts to himself. He also silently filed everything Sciath said away.

When Wymer stomped on the vine he turned and looked at Sciath, giving him a slightly unimpressed look. [b [#a32438 “Last I was here Yareen was almost always a new place. Routes would cut off, doors would move, new paths would appear. Getting back to a room or clearing was never done by the same routes. That was every. Single. God. Forsaken. Day. It got annoying much quicker than you, and I know that is saying something,”]] He said. Wymer didn't really like Sciath's lack of answer but he would accept it.

Turning back around Wymer carefully made his way down the vine covered hall. Sciath was being uncharacteristically silent seeing how he talked all the time. Wymer was about ask if Sciath was okay when he felt Sciath jump on his back. [b [#a32438 “What are you doing?”]] Wymer hissed in annoyance as the shadows on his back rose up. To make everything worse Sciath began to kiss and nip at his neck. Wymer really, REALLY, wanted to be annoyed with Sciath but couldn't find it in himself to be annoyed. It had been a long time since Wymer had seen any type of contact and his body, being a betraying sack of shit, was going a little gooey from the attention. [b [#a32438 “You would make a piss poor whore. Wait...What do you mean bra-”]] Before Wymer could finish his sentence vines wrapped around them and pulled them under. [b [#a32438 'Fuck me,']] was Wymer's first thoughts. His second thought was to wrap a hand around Sciath's ankle as if that would help much while they fell.

Wymer was ready to fall for forever, because that tended to be his luck, but the descent down was much faster then he expected. Soon he and his talking backpack were flung into a wall. Sciath, the poor bastard, took most of the impact as they separated and Wymer landed on a pool of what he presumed to be blood. While Sciath had bits and pieces of himself scattered everywhere Wymer had remained mostly intact and was just slightly sore. The shadows that shrouded him, however, weren't happy and had dissipated just enough for his true human form to be seen. Wymer slowly pushed himself up onto his hands and glance at Sciath behind him. While he knew Sciath would be fine, eventually, Wymer was still slightly concerned for him. Pushing himself up from his spot he made his way over to Sciath and knelled before him. Taking Sciath's chin with a gloved hand he turned Sciath's head to the side as he checked out any head wounds first. [b [#a32438 “No comments on how old I am,”]] he said while doing his inspection. Wymer had been a middle age man when he had died. His dark hair held streaks of gray, several wrinkles and scars marred his skin, and his poor scruff was more white than brown. Despite all of this he had died fit to fight. His body hadn't gotten softer with age and conquest but had remained hard and toned. All of this hadn't been seen in Yareen in a long while. It had taken him about a month to learn how to manipulate the shadows and have them become one with him. When he had found a big enough space he learned how to change into a dragon, never showing his true human appearance again.

Letting Sciath's chin go he looked behind him at Malboro. Wymer was going to take great pleasure in hurting the plant monster. Wymer had a couple hundred years of pent up frustration to release. [b [#a32438 “I didn't think anything could get uglier than your sparrowrats. I was proven wrong,”]] he dryly commented as the last of the sparrowrats brought the last remaining parts of Sciath. Wymer reached out and patted the last one on the head as a silent thanks.

Wymer got up with Sciath and turned all his attention to Malboro. [b [#a32438 “Get to whatever exit there is and I'll meet you there. I also hate Yareen more and more,”]] He said with an exasperated sigh. Yes, this was all his fault but it was still greatly inconveniencing him. Like a lot.

Stretching his arms above his head Wymer began to walk up to Malboro. The shadows returned the closer he got to the plant monster and by the time he was close enough for Malboro to strike there was only a black speck where Wymer stood. Sciath wasn't joking when he said that the beast was slow. With such large lumbering vines for arms it took it a moment to raise them and bring them down to smash Wymer. By that time Wymer was behind it summoning his weapon.

Vezrak was a beautiful weapon in Wymer's humble opinion. It was crafted from the shadows that surrounded him, creating a beautiful pitch black sword from tip to hilt. There was very little flare to the sword with a simple cross guard. The only thing ornate about the sword was on the pommel; a small gem laid inside it. It was a stormy blue gem and had been added most recently to Vezrak. The stone had been a gift from Ruavin when he had stumbled upon it and said it matched his “stormy” personality. Vezrak was also a very blood thirsty blade. It sensed a challenge and was singing in Wymer's hands. He could feel its excitement all the way to his core as he slashed one of the creature's legs. After a few more repeating attacks Wymer was starting to get bored with the fight. It was too easy. Well... that was until one of the arms knocked him away and he went sailing, hitting a wall besides Sciath. The unnecessary breath was knock right out of him and he was pretty sure he was counting approximately five Sciaths. Maybe six. It was hard to tell.

[b [#a32438 “Fuck me. It hits hard,”]] he said as the creature lumbered towards them all while trying to focus on a Sciath instead of all five and a half. It took him a moment but he was finally able to see only three Sciath's when he pushed himself up from the ground. Despite his head pounding and his ribs aching Wymer was getting excited. The fight was no longer boring. It had been forever since he had last gotten into a real fight. It was time to test just how rusty he was!

Approaching Malboro with a little bit more care he called Vezrak back to his side. Normally he had a strategy for these types of fights but with the pain he was feeling he could care less. It was going to be a fun game of hack and slash. Picking up his speed the shadows that surrounded him rapidly changed in appearance. Gone was the smooth uniform darkness and instead it was replaced with mouths and hands clawing towards Malboro. Once Wymer was close enough he shed some of the shadows causing little puddles of clawing shadowy hands to form on the floor. The puddles rushed after whatever limbs the could reach and began to gnaw or claw at the creature. Meanwhile Wymer was slashing at every limb that was in the vicinity while avoiding the creature's mouth.

His methods worked for a little while. The creature was getting tired but so was Wymer. As he was about to bring Vezrak down onto it's foot a vine wrapped around his torso and squeezed hard while it began to bring Wymer up to its face. Wymer summoned all of the shadows back to him as a shield as Malboro let out a loud howl the moment Wymer was leveled to its gaping maw. Wymer had never been sick from a stench after his death but this was for sure the first time he wanted to up heave. The saliva and breath was eating away at Wymer's shadows and he knew he needed to end it and end it fast. While Malboro brought Wymer up to eat him Wymer brought up Vezrak and plunged it into what could only be described as Malboro's skull. The remaining shadows swarmed Malboro as Wymer was dropped onto the vines below.

Malboro let out a loud scream before falling limp. It probably wasn't dead but it was weakened enough that they could waste some time leaving. Something Wymer fully planned on doing. Dragging his body over to Sciath he plopped down in front of him and just laid there for a moment. [b [#a32438 “I got rusty,']] He sadly said.

Wymer's shroud of shadows was going to take awhile to return, having been destroyed by Malboro, leaving Wymer fully exposed. Tossing a bare arm over his eyes a sigh left his lips. [b [#a32438 “I really need to step up my game. It has been a long time since I had to fight anyone.. How am I going to follow Ruavin's orders and save the Tyrnahel when I can barely fight a plant monster. That bitch, I mean the Black Knight, is a much harder enemy. So is the sphinx... and the behemoth... and probably you, at this moment.”]] a frown played on his lips all while he said this. It had been a long while since Wymer had last been bested by any creature. Sure he won the fight but he still took a heavy lost. Instead of being shrouded by his shadows he was left exposed in the very human body that he had first arrived into Yareen in. He was even still wearing the clothing he had been killed in. Which was a simple tabard, pants, boots, and gloves. None of it cried kingly. [b [#a32438 “When my shadows return we can move. I don't want the rest of the inhabitants of Yareen getting to see such an unsightly sight,”]] he added as he gestured at his form.

[center ~]

Sigan had woken her up after a long while. In all honesty it had been hard to wake her up because she had no interest in waking. Eventually through pure persistence Alys was woken up and Sigan curled up in her vacant spot. With the other two asleep Alys propped herself up against the wall and prepared herself for the worse couple hours of her life.

Every scream, scrape, and general sound was grating to Alys' nerves. Even worse was the constant shifting of the shadows. No matter where she looked it seemed that the shadows continually shifted into more gruesome images.

Why couldn't they just kill her instead of send her to this miserable hell? So what if she killed a council member? They had deserved the death they had received. In fact Alys felt that their death had been too kind. Councilman Laurent had found a sick a twisted pass time in experimenting on women. He would hack off limbs and reattach them onto others; he would cut into them just to see what was inside while bored. His death being contracted out was a contract that Alys had been all to happy to jump on. If everything had gone as planned she would have dished out the same favor to the Councilman but nothing had gone as plan that night. At least he was dead but because of it she was here.

Alys gazed at he surroundings. The cold stone walls seemed to continue forever and ever, reaching up towards the dark sky. A frown played on her lips, this place sucked. The next time she looked up the sky was starting to lighten and the Labyrinth was starting to wake. Something in her weary bones told her that it was time to wake up her companions.

Soren was the first one that she went to wake so Sigan could have a few more minutes of rest. [i “Soren.... Soren... Soren it is time to wake up,”] she softly said, trying to coax the male out of slumber. When that didn't work she began to shake him. It took awhile but eventually Soren woke up. [i “No, I haven't woken him up yet,”] She said as she looked over at Sigan.

[i [#664f12 “I'm up,”]] Sigan called out with a sad tone. He missed the simpler days where he could sleep all day and worry about absolutely nothing. Instead he was here, sleeping on a cold hard floor, with a bunch of strangers. Life sucked.

Alys looked over at her other companion before turning her attention to Soren. [i “I stand corrected. My leg hurts but we should get moving. Something feels wrong,”] She said the last part quietly as Soren looked over the bandage. A soft hiss left her lips as Soren moved it a little too much for her liking. Thankfully he left it alone and got up, offering his own aid if she had issues walking. Alys was sure that by the end of the day she would need help but for now she was going to try her best. Scrambling up she leaned against the wall while Sigan came up to her side.

[i [#664f12 “You sure you don't want help?”]] He asked in a low voice while Soren was staring off into the distance. The look on Alys' face told him everything. She was determined to march onward until her leg failed her.

The two of them softly chatted as the began their journey, only stopping when Soren said something. [i “You say something?”] Alys asked curiously.

Soren was obviously in his world because he didn't reply to Alys. Concerned for their newly made friend Sigan slowly approached Soren. [i [#664f12 “Soren?”]] He asked, his voice filled with worry as he went to kneel next to him. [i [#664f12 “Stop what? Nothing has happened Soren...it's been qui...”]] Sigan trailed off. It had been quiet; too quiet in fact. The only noise he had heard during their journey was him and Alys talking. Something wasn't right. Standing up he went towards Alys all while Soren was getting up. Before he could really say a thing Soren was running and all their concerns for silence was abruptly ended as they chased after him. Safety in numbers.

[i [#664f12 “What is going on?”]] Sigan yelled as Soren nearly ran into him while he was making a turn. His question was, obviously, not answered because a high pitch laugh broke the silence. Shit. Sigan and Alys looked behind them for a split second. Sigan saw nothing, and was happy with that. Alys, on the other hand, could see blood starting to leak out of the wall. The copper scent was assaulting her and turning her stomach. They needed to go...NOW. Grabbing Sigan's hand she pulled him along, running after Soren.

[i “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS PLACE!?”] She yelled in pure terror. Alys knew what the Labyrinth was but she didn't know that it was this terrible. She really wished she had just been killed instead of sent here. Her pace began to falter as she let go of Sigan and her leg was throbbing in pain. This was it. She was going to die here. Glancing behind her she felt pure dread. The hulking figure of ebony armor was coming after them. Blood seemed to ooze off of the figure as it approached. Alys tried to run faster but her leg was going to give out.

Sigan hadn't even noticed that Alys was starting to lag behind until Soren yelled at him to turn left. He whipped around to see Alys and the armor. Dread instantly filled him but he proceeded with Soren's directions, depending on Soren to get Alys. [i [#664f12 “I see a door!”]] He called out behind him as he skidded in front of it.

Alys was ready to die when Soren grabbed her hand and dragged her behind him. They turned the corner and was in front of the door. Sigan had made a move to open the door when Soren pushed away his hand and knocked. [i “She is getting closer,”] Alys said as they waited for the door. Thankfully the door opened for them and they got onto the over side as the Black Knight giggled and slashed at the door. Alys' heart was pounding as she leaned against the wall and tried to catch her breath,

[i [#664f12 “Why would Ruavin create such an awful place. This is a place of nightmares!”]] Sigan hissed as he caught his breath.

Once both of them caught their breath they peered around the unfamiliar area. A soft fire was the only thing that illuminated the room. Alys hobbled around the room with caution at first. Each of her movements kicked up some dust, causing her to sneeze a few times. To her, and Sigan, it appeared that the room had long since been abandoned. Weapons laid haphazardly around the place along with other equipment. Something had happened in this room but it was many years ago. Turning to Sigan she gestured at some of the weapons. [i “Let's grab some stuff. Maybe it will help us later on,”] She suggested. Bending down she picked up a sword and felt its comforting weight in her hands. Alys wasn't really a sword type of gal but she knew how to use one. [i “How well versed with weapons are you Sigan? Soren?'] She asked out of curiosity.

Sigan was digging through his own pile before finding a dagger. [i [#664f12 “I'm pretty good with them but my weapon of choice is a bow. Before getting sent I here I worked for the Dragon Guild. I didn't pick up a lot of assassination contracts and instead did more...er treasure recovery if anything... but I know my way around a fight.”]] Sigan missed those days. Thievery was a whole lot easier and paid so much better than most jobs. Assassination was all fine and dandy but he never enjoyed it. It was somewhat meaningless to him. You kill one guy and ten more spring up in his place and it became a never ending cycle. Artifact recovery on the other hand was absolutely thrilling. Slipping undetected into noble's houses, stealing old relics, and slipping back out all under ten minutes was an adrenaline rush. It was where the true thrill was for Sigan. His favorites were to go into old ancient ruin and gather as much as he could. Those could be dangerous with failing infrastructures and people claiming them home but it was fun. It was also the reason why he learned so much about Ell'eon and his siblings. There were a whole lot of destroyed temples in Verque with damaged Aerlan's to spare. It had amazed him to find out that there were also temples devoted to a specific god instead of all of them. His favorite one to find had, ironically enough, been Ruavin's. Sigan had only ever found one despite pillaging through as many ruins as he could find. All of the gods had nice marble and traces of gold inside their temple. Ruavin's was simple stone, found in the local quarry, but the simplicity was perfect. In the wreckage was tattered silks, knocked over candles, and the most pristine Aerlan he had ever found. The book was perhaps the most expensive thing in the whole temple with gently laid gold leaf, and carefully drawn illustrations. Inside was a simple passage that went something along the lines [i 'To the God that gave me everything. -S.K]. Sigan had found it peculiar and it had been, by far, his favorite find. A sad sigh left his lips as he continued to dig through the dust. Those times were long ago. [i [#664f12 “How about you?”]]

Alys began searching for a scabbard when Sigan asked about her fighting abilities. [i “I was an Assassin. I'm surprised that a member of the Dragon Guild got sent here. Normally they manage to get out of punishment.”]

A soft laugh left Sigan's lips. [i [#664f12 “Normally we do. My punishment was for something that didn't have anything to do with my work so my people did not come to my aid. Plus I was accused and sentenced in less than three hours.”]] He said as he found a bag. Sigan rifled through it finding some clothing, bandages, and some potions that had gone bad. The bandages and change of clothes would be useful though so he dumped out the potions and kept the rest.

[i “Sounds like good ol' Alaric. I think I was out for a day, not too sure, but I had no trial. No point in giving someone a trial when there is very obvious proof that they killed a Councilman. I just wished they had killed me,”] she grumbled.

[i [#664f12 “You would have probably been sent here anyways. Don't you believe in Asotasr and Theodulus?”]] He asked, not noticing Soren's lack of response at all.

Alys let out a soft hum. [i “Not really. I grew up learning about them and all the good they did for Verque. I learned Ell'eon and the rest of the Pantheon was just a fake and was an attempt to guide us away from Asotasr and Theodulus. I also didn't care. I lived life how I wanted to no scriptures to hold me back. Nothing to stop me.”] She finally found a scabbard that wasn't on it's last limb and grabbed it. Slipping the sword into it she turned to ask Soren a question. Instead he looked like a mess, a puddle of sick nearby. [i “Soren?”] She said gently. When she got no reply she turned to Sigan who looked equally as concerned.

[i [#664f12 “Maybe he is in shock. Let's give him a minute,”]] Sigan suggested as he riffled through more dust and rusted weapons.

They continued to search through rubble and dust in silence. It was only when Soren spoke did the two of them turn to look at him. Both of them agreed that it was time to move on. There was very little left here for them. With one last scan of the area Alys and Sigan followed after Soren. As the continued further into the Labyrinth the walls began to change. No longer were the walls covered in blood but instead greenery. It was so odd to see but it was also a pleasant sight.

[i [#664f12 “How about straight,”]] Sigan offered as he looked down the three paths. He could see one door and then nothing on the other two paths. Both of them were covered with vines and had nothing different.

Alys nodded and didn't wait for any thing else. Slowly she hobbled down the hall, hand on the sword hilt just in case she needed it. [i “Is it me or are the vines moving?”] She asked the group in worry. She hoped it was just her.

[center ~]

Ruavin did not sleep at all. He was still reeling from the knowledge that he did not have the ability to change back and he didn't know what to do. He could ask one of his siblings to bring Ell'eon to him but Ruavin really didn't want to listen to his older brother's bitching. There was also the option of asking one of his other sibling to help him but that was promptly dismissed. The only one that wouldn't tell Ell'eon about Ruavin's misadventure was Aryor but there was a small problem where she wasn't good at dispelling magic. So that option was a no go. The only thing Ruavin could think of was to wait it out and see if his powers returned to him.

Another sad, and a little bit pathetic, whine left Ruavin's lips as he continued to think about being stuck as a dog. It wasn't that he hated the little creatures; he just hated being one. Everything was disorienting and dogs were forced to remain on land while all he really wanted to do was fly. Being a bird was also just as disorienting but birds could fly making them his favorite. Ruavin didn't understand it but ever since he was first brought into existence he had a love for flying. It was just freeing and it gave Ruavin a different perspective.

His thoughts were instantly interrupted when one of the humans woke up and knelled next to him. Almost instantly Ruavin's ears went back and he barred his teeth towards the human, not liking the surprised interruption to his thoughts. He especially didn't like as the human ignored him and gently began to pet him instead of heeding his disdain. Ruavin let out a soft growl but didn't bite the human. It wouldn't do well to bite one of Soren's brothers even if he was tempted to do so. Thankfully another human came in and distracted the space invader giving Ruavin a little bit of time to scooch away. Ruavin began to think he was safe from the hands of the human but instead he came back with bandages. Dread instantly began to fill him as he began to make his way away from the humans. They were, however, too quick for Ruavin and grabbed his tiny body before he could truly bolt. A soft snarl left his lips as they took his injured paw. The small amount of pressure they were exerting on his paw hurt horribly causing him to whine. Thankfully, the pain only lasted a few moments as the created a splint for his paw and then left him alone.

Free of their tyranny Ruavin elected to remain seated in his spot. Paw dangling uselessly Ruavin silently listened to all of the humans. It was rather obvious that Soren's family was hurting if the conversation was anything to go by. In fact a part of Ruavin actually felt bad for the family. Soren didn't seem to be someone that caused trouble and needed to be sent to Yareen. From what Ruavin had seen Soren had a pure soul, or at least as pure as possible. Ruavin wasn't too sure on what got Soren a one way ticket to perhaps one of the worse location ever created but Ruavin was determined to figure it out.

His resolve instantly evaporated in the air as the human, Luke , picked him up. A soft growl rattled in Ruavin's throat as he tried to wiggle free of the hold. [B [i [#56123e 'How dare he pick me up! Does he even know who I am...']]] Ruavin thought to himself, his train of thought faltering almost instantly. Of course they didn't know who he was. He was in a body of a dog and he was an “old” god. From what little information Ruavin knew about the mortal world the majority of the people worshiped the false idols and even though their brother, Soren, appeared to believe in the correct set of gods there was no promises that these humans did. These depressing thoughts caused Ruavin to stop his struggles and to fall limp into the other male's arms.

While they were waiting for one of the brothers to return Ruavin let himself be pet. The full force of indignity settled over Ruavin but he couldn't help but not care. The pets at least felt nice. He was about to be lulled into a nice warm nap when someone grabbed him. Instantly his eyes flew upon and he growled at Luke, letting his annoyance known as he was secured to the wagon's bench. No longer in his originally comfortable spot Ruavin made a very loud effort to get comfortable while the brothers said their goodbyes. He first tried to lay on his belly but it hurt his paw no matter what he did so he tried to lay on his back instead. That lasted a whole second before he let out a loud huff and circled his makeshift bed. With one last huff he laid down on his side, paws stretched out, and found that the position was to his liking. He was happy enough that he didn't even growl as Luke began to pet him. Instead he let it lull him to sleep.

It was odd to actual be sleeping. Despite Ruavin being the god of dreams he never experienced a true sleep. The closes he got to actually sleeping was when he would dream walk other than that there was no need for it. So finding himself in some type of dreamscape that he didn't purposely put himself in was off putting. Even more off putting was the fact that Ruavin knew it was a dream. The biggest giveaway being the fact that he had returned to his preferred form and was no longer a dog. Also Wymer was in his original form, which was so rare that Ruavin wasn't even sure if he had all the details right. Instead of pondering it further he let the dream wash over him. It was a simple dream where Ruavin and Wymer were playfully bantering.

[i [b [#a32438 'Maybe you should inform Lafia of your attraction to her? Steal her away from her sun god and take her away to your forest,']]] [i Wymer jokingly said as he ran a scarred, tan, hand through his dark brown hair that held a few hidden grays. A small smile played on his slightly chapped lips and his eyes crinkled just slightly. It was the most relaxed Ruavin had ever seen Wymer. Too bad he was being a little shit head.

[B [i [#56123e 'I TOLD YOU THAT IN STRICT CONFIDENCE WYMER,']]] [i Ruavin yelled as he glared at his one and only friend. 'Plus I got over my crush of her... She was just being very nice to me when only Ell'eon and Loronna would give me the time of day.' He added with a small huff.

Wymer hoped off of his favorite rock and made his way over to Ruavin. He tossed an arm around the slender pale shoulder's of the god and gave them a squeeze. [b [#a32438 'Well... how about Soren? He is a Tyrnahel so Ellie wouldn't throw to big of a fit,']] He suggested.

Ruavin sputtered a little bit. [B [i [#56123e 'I've only talked to him once Wymer and I'm just trying to free him from some monster's wrong doings! How is that a foundation for a relationship? Actually don't answer that. You and your relationships are weird. For example Sciath... are you guys a thing? Or do you just suffer his presence because you are that bored? Every time you run into him in Yareen you come back grumbling about all the stupid things he has done,']]] Ruavin replied, fully willing to throw Wymer under the wagon.

It was Wymer's turn to sputter a bit. [b [#a32438 'I...I don't know what you are talking about. Sciath just happens to be a valuable asset in Yareen that answers when I call. Without his aid most tasks would take slightly longer. How could I like him anyways? He is reckless and takes nothing seriously! In fact he is the complete opposite of me.' ]]

Wymer continued his rant and Ruavin just let it wash over him. A small sense of joy filling him because he managed to get Wymer flustered. While it was a dream Ruavin was still calling it a win.]]

Ruavin was rudely awoken by the wagon coming to a less that graceful halt, in his opinion. Lazily he lifted his head up and stared into the city. This was the first time he had ever been into a city in Verque. Before Savaric left Ruavin had spent plenty of time in what was the long forgotten city of Naira, the main city that the Tyrnahel lived in. Ruavin had loved the hustle and bustle of the city during those times. Music filled the air, the scent of baked goods wafted through the streets, and kids ran around enjoying life. Rydul on the other hand was a dump. The building were old and worn, the streets were filled with scent but there was the underlying scent of human waste trailing behind the baked goods. Kids were playing but they didn't appear as happy or as carefree as they would have in Naira where there was no war, poverty, or famine. The sight broke Ruavin's heart if he was honest. If only he could have convinced Savaric to stay all those years ago. It wasn't well known but Savaric had a place in Ruavin's heart and vice versa. Ruavin had actually been on the verge of asking Savaric to stay by his side forever when Savaric said he wanted to leave. He wanted to explore the rest of the lands that the Pantheon had made. He didn't want to stay in some idyllic setting forever and ever. Ell'eon... well he had been furious. Ell'eon had let Savaric sail off and explore but he had felt betrayed by one of his favorite sons. Savaric returned to Naira only once more, with a wife and child, before gathering the rest of his people and sailing to barely explored lands. Ruavin had been devastated. Now, seeing how these humans were living, he wished he had done more. He wished that he had pleaded with Savaric instead of weakly disagreeing. He wished he had tempered Ell'eon's rage and hadn't let him punish the Tyrnahel. He also wished he had pushed for the pantheon to remain a constant in the human's lives like they had been with the Tyrnahel. Instead Ell'eon had cut them off from their people, swearing they would remember them and that they would live just fine. Obviously that wasn't the case.

A sad whine left Ruavin's lips as he closed his eyes. Before he could continue down the dark tunnel of his thoughts Luke returned and carefully wrapped a rope around his neck. Ruavin glared up at the male but was kind enough to follow through with Luke's request and not maim him. His nose scrunched up in distaste as his three out of four paws touched the ground. From this height the unpleasant stench of being in a large human city hit him instantly. Next to him he was pretty sure there was a puddle of piss, which was not impressing Ruavin at all. As Luke pointed to the ground for him to sit Ruavin just stared up at him. His fluffy butt was not sitting on these filthy stones. All his sadness for the day disappeared as Luke pulled on the rope after his small monologue. Ruavin didn't move. Thankfully Luke got the message because he stopped pulling and knelled down to be at Ruavin's level. With a pointed stair Ruavin made eye contact with Luke and then the leash before kind of giving a head shake. He was not going to be pulled around. He would accept the horribleness that was the leash but he refused to be dragged. With one last hard glare Ruavin finally began to move, hobbling down the street. He wasn't too sure what he was searching for but he knew that he would figure it out when he caught a scent.

Ruavin's first matter of business was to get out of the trade district. While he was sure merchant's gossip was a useful tool Ruavin would prefer not to be in a place that smelled like lost dreams and waste. Carefully he maneuvered them to a slightly nicer smelling district, all while trying not to get stomped on. The noble district was a stark contract to the trade district. While the trading district was all hustle and bustle the noble district was borderline empty. There were no puddles of piss or shit sitting out in the hot sun but instead rows upon rows of flowers to break up the scent. The buildings here were also much better built and maintained but that was to be expected when the rich lived in these homes.

For a few moments Ruavin absently sniffed around, not expecting to find much, when he caught something sickly sweet in the air. Instantly he stopped and sniffed the air a few more times. It had been a long time since Ruavin had smell something so unique that it took him a moment to comprehend what it was. When he did figure it out he instantly froze. Dhaun. Instantly his stomach dropped as he remembered the last time he ran into Dhaun. It's creation had been an accident caused by the Tyrnahel. They had bred Aroyr's Kiss with another flower that was unofficially named Dragon's Breath. It created a flower that was extremely sweet smelling and equally deadly. Dhaun was the only time Naira witnessed any type of horrendous death. The souls were literally forced out of the body, leaving a body to rot. Mavain had been able to save the majority of people once he figured out what was happening but still people died.

Ruavin even grew more rigid as the sickly sweet scent infested his nose, bringing back more memories. Dhaun's creators... they had been aids to the gods. They were revered Tyrnahel's gifted extra powers to help the gods run their lands. Ruavin's stomach dropped. Whipping around extremely fast his gaze fell upon a water fountain in the center of the district. The fountain showed to males standing back to back, their hands lowered as if offering the world water. The faces were smoothed over from years of wear but Ruavin knew instantly who it was. Asotasr and Theodulus. Or as Ruavin had known them Eil'las and Thermus the creators of Dhaun. It had to be. Dhaun and Dragon's Breath had been destroyed soon after the discovery. No one besides the gods and the two creators knew how it was made. For Dhaun to be on this land would mean Eil'las and Thermus had brought it with them. They had always been bitter about not being as powerful as the gods and when the left they did not leave on a good foot. Instead they had stormed off with the last of the Tyrnahel, promising to never return and to leave the gods with an empty kingdom. When Wymer raged war the dynamic duo could not be found and their powers had never been stripped away.

He needed to tell Ell'eon this as soon as possible but first he needed to get rid of the Dhaun. Turning around to Luke he let out a small bark and pointed into the direction that they needed to go. Without any other warning Ruavin was off, dragging Luke, with him as he ran. He didn't care if his paw hurt and he didn't care that he was dragging someone along. All he cared about was figuring this out.

Ruavin skidded to a halt in front of a dark alleyway. The scent remained there but so did the scent of blood. The fur on the back of his neck stood up and he was about to bark when he felt a foot connect to his ribs. He hit the walls with a pained yelp while a gruff voice said. “Give me one good reason not to kill you.” Just barely could Ruavin make out a dark figure of a man with a bow focused on Luke. On his boot Ruavin could also barely see a dragon on it. The Dragon Guild? Ruavin didn't care at this moment. He wasn't going to let Luke get killed. Carefully getting up he dragged himself in front of Luke as if his small frame could protect the human. Meanwhile he was sending about a thousand and one prayers to his brother, Mavain, hoping he would interfere before it got too messy.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 194d 18h 4m 59s
Sciath kept silent, silent as the grave perhaps being an appropriate term for him. The walls were beginning to get hazy, sometimes shades of gray with blood splatter really popped out while quickly dissolving into the earthy tones of neutral territory in the Labyrinth. He was used to the shifty nature of Yareen but as of late they have become more frequent, the lords moving more and trying to expand their territory. It was as though they were preparing for something, Sciath could speculate but where would be the fun in that? Existence has been getting rather stale lately nothing like a good old fashion war could remedy; although these troublemakers have certainly lightened the mood a bit more. Frederick paused, Sciath stopped as well. He looked behind towards the Dark One, his shadows looking to be rather down, a distinct difference from the usual moodiness. Another scream took his attention away towards the right path. Frederick went that way.
[#CD69C9 "Apologies, that's the reason [i I]] [#CD69C9 keep you around. But you so rarely visit me anymore, only if you want something. It makes me feel a little like a whore,"] Sciath pouted following after Frederick, there was a quick left, and straight, the walls beginning to get rid of the haziness. Seems they were getting farther from the Black Knight's territory. [#CD69C9 "Now that is a man who needs to get rid of some tension, little Ellie was always known for his temperament, how Loronna manages him is beyond me. It takes all kinds but still, some of his actions are rather petty. Stripping the Tyrnahel of their powers, which need I remind you were given to them by the gods, seems a waste. Did it rightly make a difference? You lost the war, Tyrnahel died, some if I recall from the stories quite ruthlessly making the Black Knight seem like a drenched kitten. So he removes their abilities to defend themselves, to what? Prevent another war? Or to try and give the humans a fair chance to redeem themselves?"] Sciath clicked his tongue shaking his head. [#CD69C9 "To make matters more annoying he goes and sticks his nose into other gods’ realms, and now he wonders why things have gotten out of hand. Try telling him that though, I have better luck talking to a wall then to him. I may have told him to piss off last time he contacted me but that seems rather irrelevant,"] he sighed and shrugged his shoulders. He allowed the Dark One to finish his tale, looking around the scenery. It would seem like a safe bet that they have wondered far enough away from the Black Knight's senses but the screams were still heard sounded more muffled. [#CD69C9 "You know I'm a heretic right? I was taught proper scripture back in the day, so I know fully that the gods are responsible for everything in this world and connecting realms. Tell that to the humans now, they'll call it blasphemy and hang you for it. Their simple, stupid creatures Wyrmple, you should know since you were one of those stupid things. Death seems to be the only cure for that. I mean you're sort of the ideal model for that claim. Didn't you become a better being after you died?"]

Frederick quickened his pace causing Sciath to quiet it down just to keep up with the sparrowrat. There were more quick turns and double backing then he was expecting. The walls stayed mostly neutral for territory an occasionally lingering haze from the Black Knight's realm but it eventually settled to the earth tones, a few paths torn up from Echidna. Sciath stopped as Frederick went straight at an intersection; he threw his arm out in front of the Dark One.
[#CD69C9 "We should be far enough from her realm, but it seems it may be creeping towards where the troublemakers are. As much as you may want to run after them bear with me for a moment."] As soon as the words left his mouth the ground began to quake as a large brown mass sprinted past them kicking up dirt in its wake. [#CD69C9 "Echidna can be deceptively quiet, shadowy as you are, I can assure you it still hurts to get slammed and essentially burrowed into by Echidna. I've lost a couple organs from that experience, sure I don't need them anymore, but I wouldn't recommend that."] Sciath proceeded to where Frederick stood waiting for them. The walls were beginning to show more green from moss compared to the blood from earlier. Even a few flowers were sprouting on the walls. Sciath looked towards the laughter, with a rather perplexed look. [#CD69C9 "And here I thought you mostly looked angry at the world. A change of pace, but you should know even a small favor can make quite the differences with Yareen. I believe I'm a prime example of that. Yareen owes me no favors or I it but,"] Sciath watched the vine snake across the ground to strike the shadows drawing blood. He didn't have much of chance to gauge exactly what it was as Wyrmple stomped on the poor vine. Sciath tilted his head to the side, hearing a rather high pitch squeal partially drowned out by the Black Knight's laughter, but a little too late, he knew what he was listening for. Wyrmple has lost his touch with Yareen. [#CD69C9 "We have an understanding of sorts."] Sciath began counting in the back of his head as they continued their journey. Frederick was getting a little more skittish. [#CD69C9 "Changing? That would depend on your definition of change and frequently, since you are not familiar with Yareen's mood as well as I am. This last bout of the journey should be a safe enough answer for you. But I'm afraid I'll have to give you a better answer later."]

Sciath stopped allowing Wyrmple to get a little ahead of him; he walked behind him as he quickly jumped onto Wyrmple's back. He weighed next to nothing but the shock made the Dark One lose his balance slightly. Sciath wrapped his arms around his neck and his legs around his waist burying his face in the Dark One's neck. He was getting a euphoric high as he breathed in deeply Wyrmple's scent. He started to giggle a little drunkenly as he kissed and nipped at Wyrmple's neck.
[#CD69C9 "I could get used to this, but seems I'll have to wait a little longer. A pity, since I wouldn't mind being your whore, Wymer,"] he breathed heavily snuggling as close as he could to Wyrmple. [#CD69C9 "Two minutes, a little later than usual, but better brace yourself,"] he whispered tightening his grip. Before long there was a whooshing sound as thick vines whipped out from the wall wrapping around them both tightly. Then they were yanked forcefully through the ground, and a few walls. The impact knocked the wind out of him, but he only clenched harder to Wyrmple to prevent the two from separating. It was never a pleasant experience having your bones broken forcing through tight spaces, or your innards getting ruptured and possibly falling out. There were perks for being dead, you couldn't die again necessarily, but being in this state in Yareen you still felt it as though you were alive. Fortunately this time the journey was brief; it didn't take too long as the vines stopped and threw them against the wall from where they came. It was a large room, covered in moss, the stone walls barely showing through, old blood stained some of the moss rust, and mushrooms were peppered around the room in bright oranges and pulsing purple ones with green spots. [#CD69C9 "I took most of the brunt so you should be fine,"] Sciath wheezed the impact throwing him off of Wymer as he lay partially crumpled on the ground. He may not even have the organs anymore but Yareen was sure to make you feel as though you do when pain is involved. His arm and leg got dismembered once again fortunately they were still in the room, some sparrowrats in the area already bringing them back to him. Black blood seeped from a stomach wound, as more trickled down from his head where it cracked against the wall. [#CD69C9 "Wyrmple,"] he coughed blood dribbling down his chin. [#CD69C9 "I give you a Malboro,"] he wiped the blood away with the back of his hand as he gestured to the far side of the room. It rumbled to life at the mention of its name. It was a large green and teal plant, about eight to ten feet tall, with thick tentacle like vines serving as it's legs with multiple ones flared out around its head. Its head consisting only of a large gaping maw with razor sharp teeth, even from here its breath stank of death in the worst of ways, saliva dripping from the teeth. [#CD69C9 "It's not a lord, natural fauna of the Labyrinth, for the most part. At least this one is. Haven't seen the Queen of the Green for quite some time, may have ended up like Echidna,"] he remarked slowly managing to stand as he leaned heavily against the wall. [#CD69C9 "It can't move quickly, but it is very poisonous from its breath to its saliva, the mushrooms in here are also toxic. So, why don't you show me what the Dark One is capable of?"]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Soren was left alone before he rightly had a chance to fully register what had happened. He reached out to touch where Ruavin was only for his hand to slip through the mist. The Weaver spoke to him...It only took him being sent to the Labyrinth but one of the gods finally decided to speak to him. It was a surreal experience to say the least. He ran through the conversation multiple times in his head, most of it didn't make sense, but he figured he'd have time to figure it out. How he wanted to talk more with the god, but he said they would speak again. Still it didn't sound as though getting out of the Labyrinth would be just getting through the maze and surviving the inhabitants, he now had to look for certain items while still getting through and surviving. Then there was the issue with the taint, he glanced to his shoulder, it was a dream so it looked normal but it seemed if he squinted he could make out a thin veil on it, like shadows clinging to his form, it made him cringe as he stood up trying to shake away the sudden chill he felt. Soren touched his forehead gently where Ruavin kissed him; he felt the mist again before it seemed to ebb away.
[#8B475D "As I said, I have far too many questions, and sorry to disrespect you Ruavin, but you didn't exactly explain the answers so well; gave me far more questions than answers. What's a Tyrnahel?"]
Something gentle was shaking him awake, he groaned ready to roll on his side to ignore his brothers but the events from before came rushing back as he opened his eyes. A misty colored sky greeted him; it seemed to be a perpetual dusk shade, not giving him a decent way to gauge time. He looked over as Alys was shaking him awake.
[#8B475D "Sorry, didn't mean to keep you. Is Sigan already up,"] he looked around as he sat up and saw Sigan was standing near the bend in the path. [#8B475D "How's your leg,"] he asked looking over the bandage, it was looking better looks like they were able to clean it. [#8B475D "You can try and walk on your own, but don't push yourself either one of us can help as needed,"] he remarked. He stood up but didn't give either of the two much of a second glance. He was trying to remember the dream, unlike most dreams this one seemed to have stuck with him, so there was a small improvement. His body felt lighter, and his shoulder didn't bother him, so it would seem he got more than a fitful sleep. It may have helped the body, but not so much for his mind. He took a quick glance to Alys and Sigan, it wasn't obvious but he could definitely tell that [i something] was on them. Start of the taint? Or simply a trick of the light? It was too early to doubt them, but Soren shook his head and picked up the rear of the group. He didn't know what if anything went on between Alys and Sigan, but he didn't trust himself to let something slip but remaining quiet wasn't going to get any answers either. It was true once you learned something, you couldn't easily unlearn it. He was going through the instruction Ruavin told him, but with little success. Aroyr's Kiss sounded to be the easiest thing to find, but blessed water by Sumafel? There were territories in the Labyrinth? Then which one were they in, and where would they have to go? The last one still sent a small shiver down his spine, he had to cheat death? Perhaps that was what happened when he was young in the fire, but being able to do that twice? Seemed highly unlikely, but then he came back to the question. What was a Tyrnahel? He stopped.

[i [center So that the Light may roam and prosper]]
[i [center The Light then became the Tyrnahel,]]
[i [center The people of the Gods]]
But the gods created humanity, so wouldn't that make all humanity Tyrnahel? Was it just another word for human? No, that didn't sound right when Ruavin spoke it sounded like it was something special. Something more...but what? What good did that do him?

[#8B475D "Am I a Tyrnahel,"] he whispered softly to himself. It felt like something just clicked, he couldn't name it, but it just felt right. Yet at the time it felt so wrong. He was musing too long and lost track of the other two. He knew they haven't had walked far, it didn't feel like it, but the path behind him was already gone. He thought he had a good feel of the place, but it felt like he was reentering the Labyrinth for the first time. He felt sick, a growing headache, and he just hurt all over. [#8B475D "What the hell is wrong with me,"] he breathed heavily crouching down and resting his head against the wall trying to stop the world from spinning. Images flashed through his head, but he couldn't name any of them, most seemed to be violent images of war but they didn't mean anything to him as far as he knew. Yet some felt like he should know them but lingering on them just confused him more. [#8B475D "Please, stop it,"] he pleaded starting to hear the voices again.
Something bit his finger, ceasing the tremors, and images; he opened his eyes and saw a similar creature from before. This one had brown fur with gray tipped wings; it licked the blood from his finger as it began to dart down the path forward. Soren stood up shakily and ran after it; he kept his gaze locked on the creature, not bothering to look. It took a left, a straight, and then a quick right that he almost barreled right into Sigan.
[#8B475D "I'm sorry,"] he spoke quickly but didn't have time to explain as a scream broke the voices of the Labyrinth followed by a high pitch peal of laughter, then another sound of metal scrapping against the wall before the resounding thump of metal striking flesh followed by another scream. [#8B475D "Keep running,"] Soren spoke harshly ushering the other two on. He started to hear an eerie tune getting hummed, he chanced a look behind them catching the glint of a sword dripping blood and a shimmer of ebony armor. [#8B475D "Shit,"] he hissed running faster. He didn't notice it until it bit him on the ear that the rat from before was nestled in the folds of his scarf. Soren looked to where they were running spying the hallway on the left. [#8B475D "Turn left Sigan,"] he hollered as he grabbed Alys to quicken their pace. The Black Knight following suit, Sigan spied the door before Soren did.
[center [i Always knock twice before opening a door]]
Soren was quicker grabbing Sigan's hand, as he knocked twice on the door. Nothing happened immediately but a soft click that he barely heard answered his prayers as he pushed them through the door closing it shut behind him. The Black Knight let out a broken giggle slashing at the door once before walking away. Soren was breathing hard resting his back against the door. Sigan and Alys were panting beside him but it meant they were alive so that had to count for something. Soren opened his eyes as slits before turning his back to Sigan and Alys.

[#8B475D "Not again,"] he breathed softly. They entered a large hallway, easily double the size from the ones they started out in. There was only one other exit from where they came on the other side, there wasn't a door on that one. This hallway had seen a battle, a recent one but Soren couldn't trust his senses. The ground was littered with corpses, in varying degrees of rot and decay; many were in pieces an arm here a leg there. Bloated bodies with what he could only considered being the Yareen version of maggots eating away at the flesh, bones scattered with strips of flesh hanging on like tattered flags. The stench was horrendous, Soren eventually had to buckle over emptying whatever was left in his stomach. [#8B475D "Please just stop it,"] Soren murmured.
[#00CD00 "My, my, this is a rare treat. Someone who actually followed the rules,"] a velvety voice spoke drawing his attention to the corner. That sounded too real to be a figment of the imagination, even his newly overactive one. He passed a glance to Sigan and Alys. They seem to have caught their breath but were walking amongst the corpses with no obvious signs of distress. Sigan was even picking through the spilled intestine of a man, Alys was looking through another woman's chest pulling out the broken bones. [#00CD00 "Rarer still for someone to see what really happened; this is very interesting,"] the voice purred again far closer than it was a moment ago. He could tell it belonged to a female but he couldn't see her. [#00CD00 "I'll even let them take what they need, you've found me in a very generous mood, how will you repay me though,"] she asked with a haughty laugh.
[#8B475D "Show yourself,"] Soren hissed lowly.
[#00CD00 "That's no way to speak to a lady now is it,"] [i something] wrapped around Soren's legs and waist causing him to lose his balance as he fell back. Soft, petal like skin embraced him from behind stopping his fall. Long sensuous arms wrapped around his front, keeping him pinned as a woman rested her chin on his shoulder. She had shoulder length feathery hair in soft wheat colored hue; her eyes were like coral a bright orange that made her slit pupils pop out more. He could see what looked like scales down part of her throat in patches of sea foam green. His eyes looked to his waist and legs seeing the rest of the serpent tail.

[#8B475D "What are you?"]
[#00CD00 "You may call me Lamia. And what are you? A slave to Sciath?"]
[#8B475D "Who,"] before Soren could get an answer her mouth snapped around the rat in his scarf, swallowing it whole, a forked tongue peeked through her lips.
[#00CD00 "I do not like that troublemaker, the traitor has eyes and ears everywhere, says he's not but he's more a lord then most of the lords in this prison. But since that is taken care we can have a chat,"] she spoke seductively her voice making his head foggy. [#00CD00 "What is your name?"]
[#8B475D "Th-the others,"] he mumbled trying to get his tongue to form the proper words.
[#00CD00 "What about them,"] she turned her head quizzically over to them. [#00CD00 "They see what everyone usually sees, discarded supplies, weapons, and armor. They miss out on what really happened as I can see what you see. There both true, you're just seeing a past truth, they see the current truth. The Labyrinth is very old plenty of deaths have happened here, you're just blessed with seeing it for what it is. Which is also why you see me, and they don't. Who knows what they see with you here alone on the ground? Probably something lewd,"] she chuckled pulling off his scarf as though to make a point. [#00CD00 "Someone has had fun with the Behemoth,"] she spoke her tongue flicking against the wound sending a jolt of pain through his shoulder, clearing his head a little.
[#8B475D "Nasir, you may call me Nasir. What can you tell me about the Labyrinth? You wanted to talk, so talk, if not I have places to be,"] he spoke hotly attempting to wriggle out of her tail.
[#00CD00 "I like you Nasir, so much fire, and for what? To escape this place? No one does, you'll die here, or turn into something like me,"] she spoke bitterly. She slowly uncoiled herself from him pressing him to the ground. He could feel the blood seep into his back as he was given his first full view of her. One of her hands pinned both of his above his head agitating his shoulder, her lower serpent half was laying on top of his legs. She would have been a beautiful woman, before coming here, she had amble curves, supple breasts, and he can only imagine her legs would have matched the rest of her.
[#8B475D "Why did you get sent to Yareen,"] white hot pain cancelled his thoughts as Lamia bit down on his throat, blood gushed to the wound but he couldn't scream, it was as though she silenced him with a look. The wound burned like fires were eating him from the inside. She didn't stop there; her free hand shimmered to claws as they began to tear at his exposed stomach. Warm blood began to coat him, making him cold but he couldn't cry out. Because she was just like him.
[#00CD00 "Because I believe in Asotasr and Theodulus. They are the true gods, they saved me when the others wouldn't do a thing as I was beaten and raped by those that were supposed to protect me."] She released his hands, he couldn't move them anyways. Her hands were trembling as they reached for his throat. [#00CD00 "It was Theodulus who supported me when my husband was murdered in the streets, and Asotasr who gave me the strength to get revenge for the ones that did it. Your old gods allowed it all to happen and didn't lift a finger to help."]
[#8B475D "And killing me? What good would that do,"] Soren wheezed.
[#00CD00 "Show the gods what pain really is, when they lose something precious. You've been blessed by one of them, I was blessed by my gods too."] She tightened her grip around his throat.
[#8B475D "What good has that done either of us? We're both here, so do it, I can't stop you,"] he encouraged her closing his eyes. [#8B475D "But you can't can you?"]

[#00CD00 "No, I can't,"] Lamia broke off the kiss looking in Soren's eyes, breaking the spell. He could feel his eyes readjust to the now. His throat was still bleeding, and there was a gash in his stomach but that was all the damage.
[#8B475D "Why not?"]
[#00CD00 "Are you questioning your would be killer why they didn't kill you? You aren't exactly smart are you Nasir. I see myself in you. Besides, that would be the easy way; I'll let my gods kill you, as yours have killed me. Although your own may kill you first,"] she spoke keeping his hands pinned above his head as she passed her free hand over his stomach, scales began to cover the wound as though she was just coaxing them out of him, almost as though they belonged there. She did the same for his neck and shoulder allowing just enough scales to flake there to cause issue if they were seen. [#00CD00 "That didn't hurt at all did it? Mine bled for days, racking this body with burning heat I wanted to die just to end it, but even here my gods watch out for me. Yours have done nothing, the taint is heavy on your soul, almost as though it was supposed to spend eternity here, I know of only one other who was that easily accepted into Yareen,"] she explained with a shrug sliding off him with ease. Soren tried to move slowly at first hoping the scales would leave but that wasn't the case. He ran his fingers around his neck, he could feel the scales where they met flesh a rash was beginning to form.
[#8B475D "You seem to know a lot about the gods, for not believing in the old ones, as well as the Dark One. Why tell me anything if you despise them so much?"]
[#00CD00 "I like you, so here's the advice I obtained, you learn and survive, or don't and die. Besides, when this is over I will be redeemed, my gods watch out for me. I shall even say it was their doing we met. Perhaps you'll become a great dragon, mightier than the Dark One ever could be and finish what that fool started. You'll become the perfect weapon for the gods undoing."]
[#8B475D "I refuse to be part of your war, nor would I stand against the gods that have blessed me and my own."]
[#00CD00 "Pawns don't have a say in what their master dictates. Ell'eon's Wrath, will destroy you, as it has all of us, but I have also planted a seed if you wish to call it that inside you, and that feeds off the taint like a disease. Asodulus' Reign will control you even in death. I knew there was something special about you Soren Culann,"] she knelt down and pulled Soren to his feet, then pressed him against the wall kissing him. She secured his scarf back around his neck as she broke the kiss. [#00CD00 "So don't disappoint me, and we shall meet again when victory is ours,"] she dropped a bag at his feet as she vanished as quietly as she came.

Soren leaned heavily against the wall, not trusting his legs to support his weight. He kept his gaze down, the room still looking like a blood bath; the scent diminished slightly being the only improvement. Sigan and Alys were still looking around the room; he couldn't tell how long he was talking with Lamia or if he has raised more warning flags then needed with the group. He laid his hand against his stomach, he could feel the scales under his shirt, he didn't know how Lamia did that, but he didn't know how anything worked in the Labyrinth anymore, whatever footing he had was easily lost during that conversation. He readjusted his scarf flinching when he felt the scales, if anything they helped with the pain, but it seemed almost irrelevant if what Lamia said held any truth. But then was there more to Asotasr and Theodulus then lies? Asodulus, nice play on the names but even Soren couldn't recall them being referred to as that back home. He honestly didn't know anything about those gods, he knew of them from the scriptures he was forced to learn but nothing substantial compared to when Nasir taught him about Ell'eon and his family. Was it so farfetched that they may be gods in their own right? What rightly made a god a god? Some of the creatures in the Labyrinth could have easily been considered gods in their own right. Soren didn't know he shook his head trying to clear the doubt to no affect. He almost stumbled on the bag before he decided to pick it up. He chanced a glance around the room, it seemed to shimmer a little to what Lamia described as the present truth but he didn't wish to linger as he quickly made for the exit. He saw an old hand sickle leaning against the wall as he grabbed it as a passing thought.
Stepping outside to the more familiar halls of Yareen did little to clear his thoughts, he tried to steady his breathing, trying to process all that has happened, but as the Labyrinth was being ever persistent it wasn't doing anything for him. Soren decided to busy his hands with the sickle. It was well made from what he could tell, the handle was wrapped in worn leather, the blade despite the age he only saw a few bits of rust. He had some training in defense but the better option was to pick something he knew inside and out if it came to defending himself in the Labyrinth. He gave the sickle a few practice swings enjoying the familiarity of a farm tool in his hand; it was a small comfort as he tucked it in his belt. Soren picked up the bag, a shoulder bag of cracked leather showing its age, at one point there may have been engraved flowers but few traces of them remained with the tears. Soren wasn't sure what to expect but all he found was a battered book he recognized. He pulled it out, and flipped through the pages, some were torn, and others dog eared. It was most likely Lamia's copy of the scriptures of Asotasr and Theodulus. He felt sick having to think back to the woman, but it was more pity then anything. They both had their beliefs, and both were damned for them in one way or the other. He tucked the book back into the bag and secured it over his shoulder as the others came out.

[#8B475D "We need to keep moving,"] he spoke softly, barely registering what the other two managed to salvage from Lamia's chamber. With the loss of his guide, Soren really was back to square one with navigating the Labyrinth. It didn't feel exactly comfortable being in the lead, easily backstabbed position and all but he didn't exactly feel up to losing them again. His own fault the first time, and sheer luck he found them again, even with the taint a constant threat in the back of his mind it seemed relatively safer to travel in a group; at least for the moment. He looked over his shoulder a moment to see that they were still following him, they could have easily went their own ways but perhaps they had similar thoughts, no great loss with losing Baldwin but still put them at a disadvantage, he was a soldier so had some training not that it would have done them any good. The only thing Soren had going for him was his knack for attracting and fortunately being able to lose trouble. He strained his hearing, but it seemed like the Black Knight was no longer prowling around for them. Soren kept quiet as he followed the path, there weren't any intersections for quite some time, and the walls seemed to have stayed the same doing little for him with judging how far they have a gone. A familiar scent tickled his nose, as he slowed the pace. It was a gradual change, but there was more green covering the walls; most looked like moss, but it looked as though grass was growing on the walls along with a few flowers. He knelt down and picked a few more sprigs of Aroyr's Kiss, placing them gently in the bag. The scent reminded him of grass after rainfall, it was a pleasing scent compared to what he had to deal with. He stood and proceeded around the next bend where their first intersection appeared in quite a while. Soren stopped and looked at the three choices; he spied a door down the left path and felt rather against doors for the moment. The other paths were similar to where they currently stood. Maybe it was time to change the leader, he glanced back. [#8B475D "Where should we try next?"]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Luke would consider himself a morning person on all accounts. Usually he was the first one up in the household, sometimes even before the sun, making sure everyone else was awake, mostly just Soren so that they could talk or do something before his responsibilities required him elsewhere. Other times Luke got up earlier to do whatever he wanted before he was sent to do his own chores. It felt like a magic time to him when he was younger, maybe it was from the stories his mother and Soren told him but there was just something about that time of the day before everything else stirred. It was [i his] time so to speak, no wonder though he was usually the first one to fall asleep. It was a whine that woke him up, it took him a moment to realize where he was as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, colors danced on the ground in front as he looked up to see the light catch in the colored glass he and Soren made. The events from before stumbled back into his thoughts, no wonder he slept in hoping again in that childish, futile way that it was all a dream. His sleep was fitful, and filled with nostalgia he probably wanted to cling to. Another whimper reached his ears, he slowly stood up brushing the hay off his clothes to try and be presentable for market day.
[#33A1C9 "Easy there boy, you don't want to hurt yourself more do you,"] he asked softly kneeling over the little dog. Unlike his mother or Soren for that matter, Luke wasn't the greatest with animals, it wasn't through a lack of trying; they just didn't seem to like him. He's gotten over such silly issues with the farm animals, mostly with Soren going through a few sessions of letting the animals get familiar with him, but as for many other domestic animals, it usually ended up with claws or teeth in his skin. Seeing the dog was in pain did make Luke feel a little bad but he gently rested his hand on the dog's back. [#33A1C9 "Don't overdo it,"] he spoke petting the dog gently, feeling his fur bristle a little with the contact, and possible a low growl in his throat.
[#996633 "He may not be able to stand well, doesn't mean he still can't bite you though Luke,"] Aedan remarked smoothly as he walked into the barn. Luke retracted his hand.
[#33A1C9 "Maybe, did you sleep well?"]
[#996633 "As well as expected, all things consider. Usually you're up before me, but you seemed so peaceful didn't seem right to wake you up. Mykael and Reyson helped load the wagon. They're doing better, but..."]
[#33A1C9 "Still pretty fresh to them, I imagine Mykael didn't say anything and Reyson was trying not to cry his eyes out doing Soren's job,"] Luke spoke lowly standing up and heading over to the workbench. His gaze lingered a little towards where he found the scrolls before grabbing some bandages in the drawer. He took a deep breath ignoring any glares the dog may or may not have been giving him as he tied the bandage around his paw. He was no expert in taking care of injuries, but it seemed to at least help for the moment.
[#996633 "That about sums it up,"] Aedan concluded kneeling next to Luke as he helped to fashion a splint for the dog with some discarded wood securing the knot. [#996633 "Father was in the field before we even loaded the wagon. Can't say what was on his mind, seemed best to leave him to his thoughts."]
[#33A1C9 "Tch, hell of any good it will do him. Didn't do Soren any go- ouch,"] Luke hissed through clenched teeth when Aedan elbowed him. He was prepared to tear into him, but his eyes went towards the entrance. Reyson and Mykael stood next to each other; Mykael's eyes were downcast as Reyson clung loosely to his shirt.
[#996633 "Came to see us off? Don't worry about us, and be sure to mind Mother and Father while we’re gone. We'll be back by tomorrow evening, possibly sooner depending how the sales go. I'll send word to Mother if things were to change you have my word,"] Aedan spoke softly, the two younger siblings came over slowly. Mykael handed Aedan a slip of paper.
[#33A1C9 "Hey Reyn, mind helping me with the dog,"] Luke offered. Reyson slowly let go of Mykael's shirt as he walked over to where the dog was. Reyson loved animals; often he'd help with the livestock chores, and managed to tame even the fiercest of barn cats. It was too early to hope for some energy, Luke couldn't blame him but it stung to see the youngest so out of it. It was probably a miracle that either of them were able to do much instead of cry. But that would probably have been Soren's teachings to them. Luke swallowed the lump in his throat as he gently picked up the dog. [#33A1C9 "He's a bit stubborn, but I think he shouldn't cause you any troubles,"] he slowly put the dog in Reyson's hands as he held him close scratching behind his ears. [#33A1C9 "Carry him to the wagon and I'll lay out some blankets and grab a lead for him."] Reyson nodded his head slowly being extra gentle with the dog and headed back outside. Luke grabbed a couple of blankets and a rope and followed after him.

The sun was making its journey across the sky as a slight chill struck Luke as he stood outside. As Aedan said the wagon was already set up with the oxen harnessed to it, Luke walked to the front and laid out a couple of blankets on the seat, Reyson stood nearby scratching the dog's belly which seemed to have finally mellowed that one out. Luke grabbed the dog and gentle secured him on the seat.
[#33A1C9 "Now don't go anywhere, I don't want you to get hurt again,"] Luke instructed petting the dog's head before quickly bringing his hand back in case he changed his mind about biting it. It didn't take long for Reyson to quickly wrap his arms around his stomach. [#33A1C9 "It'll be okay, Aedan will make sure I won't do anything reckless, and I'll make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. We got each other’s back, and as he said, we'll be back."]
[#367588 "Ren said that too,"] Reyson hiccupped burying his face deeper into his shirt. He would like to say that he had come to terms with it, sure as hell didn't agree with it and wouldn't back down from a fight if it came to that, but hearing Reyson almost broke him into tears again too. Luke knelt down as Reyson readjusted his hug around his neck; he rubbed his back and took a couple deep breaths himself.
[#33A1C9 "I'm sure he did, but I'm pretty sure he told you he would come back after all this too. You know Soren, he always fulfills his promises. This one may take a little longer to fulfill but I assure you he will come back. I promise that. You got two promises for the same thing now, so you have double the effort to make it true. I'm a lot of things but I'm not a liar. You can trust me,"] Luke pulled him off ruffling his hair as he gave a shaky nod. [#33A1C9 "That's what I want to hear. Now take care of Mother and the house while we're gone."] Reyson nodded his head again. Aedan came around on the other side and hoisted himself into the driver seat as Mykael pulled Reyson against him in a backwards hug.
[#996633 "We'll be back, so watch out for each other in the meantime,"] Aedan added as he flicked his wrist to get the oxen going. Luke looked back as the two younger brothers waved them off.
[#33A1C9 "Grocery list,"] Luke gestured to the paper in Aedan's pocket as he softly began to pet the dog again.
[#996633 "Mostly, and I imagine a similar tale you got from Reyson. His writing is getting better,”] he pulled the paper and handed it to Luke. The writing was a little sloppy but still legible, Luke smiled a little. [#996633 "A request for us as well, to bring Soren home."]

Never before has the trip to Rydul been so nauseating. It was usually Soren who took care of market day occasionally bringing one or multiple brothers with him on the trip to get experience. Luke and Aedan often went as a pair if nothing else to see the city and take in the sites. Neither of them were a fan of it, preferring to look outside of Rydul for jobs. Luke couldn't place it, but there was just something off about the city, perhaps because of recent happenings, but he's always felt that way about Rydul. Fortunately the trip went by effortlessly enough and the gates came into view. Luke was half expecting them to get barred but it seems Jacob was able to clear any issues of that. The marketplace was already bursting with energy; at least it was the good type that Luke could handle.
[#33A1C9 "I didn't think they would let us set up truth be told,"] Luke stated as he jumped off the wagon and began to set up a couple of tables.
[#996633 "Father said Jacob would handle any issues. But they probably don't even know who we are. When was the last time either of us helped out with market day,"] Aedan offered taking out a few baskets of wares, a few customers already checking out their displays.
[#33A1C9 "There is that I imagine as well, but I'll probably leave most of the vending to you. It's never been my strong suit."]
[#996633 "Naturally."]
[#33A1C9 "You don't have to sound so smug about,"] Luke retorted hotly attempted to punch Aedan in the arm as he easily brushed it off with a chuckle.
[#996633 "The truth stings a little don’t it? Help me finish setting up, and then I'll leave the dog to you. Besides I imagine you'd want to look around for some information as well. Talking to people has been more my strong suit, then yours. Just don't do anything stupid,"] Aedan stated easily selling a couple loaves of bread to a customer. [#996633 "Or if you are, tell me first so I can help you, agreed?"]
[#33A1C9 "Agreed,"] Luke responded with a small smile before finishing getting their wares presentable. Satisfied Luke went back to the dog, and tied the rope loosely around his neck as he held the other end. [#33A1C9 "We'll see if we can find your home, but some rules. Don't bite, or scratch me while I'm carrying you, I don't want to drop you. I do appreciate you not doing those things to my little brother as he helped me out, he's...been through a lot,"] Luke explained picking the dog up gently and placing him on the ground. The splint seems to have helped a little. [#33A1C9 "Walk as much as you can then I guess sit when you're tired?"] He pointed his finger down to hopefully emphasize sitting. [#33A1C9 "Figure you'd have a better nose for where to go then me. It's been awhile since I've been here. You seem smarter then you look, so don't make me feel like an idiot talking to you like this, but I guess it wouldn't really matter if you don't and we'll just wander until something gets our attention,"] Luke suggested looking down to the dog. He pulled a little on the leash to start off at a walk. He didn't seem to want to move. Luke sighed and knelt down to the dog's level. [#33A1C9 "I guess if anything you're light enough to carry around if you don't want to walk. But I need a little idea on what you want me to do, carry you? Or let you walk? How do you want to start the search?"]
  Soren / HanyouMoKushi / 2y 265d 4h 13m 33s
There was a lot of things that Wymer questioned in his life. Why did he stage a war against the gods? Why did Vynnarisa aid him in his war? Why didn't he destroy Sciath when he had chance? More importantly why did he ask help from Sciath? Then again there was no one else Wymer could turn to for help. He had burnt a lot of bridges when he was in Yareen and burnt even more when he left. People hated him for what he was when he was in this wretched place and even more hated him for being able to leave this horrendous mockery of an afterlife. Sciath was perhaps the only one that Wymer hadn't fully angered. Or at least that was what he thought...he could be wrong and Sciath could be leading him to a trap. He doubted it but that was a possibility. Still Sciath was better than nothing. Even if Sciath was spending his time insulting Wymer by calling him Wyrmple and calling him a jester.

[b [#a32438 “The reason the Weaver keeps me around is not because I entertain him,”]] he snapped. The real reason why Ruavin kept Wymer around was a mystery even to Wymer. A part of him felt that it was because the youngest god in the pantheon was lonely. All of his siblings were already paired and with each other and yet there he was, alone. Sure he had his faeries that he created to aid in his job but it wasn't the same. The majority of Wymer's time spent was by Ruavin's side watching over him. But the occupants of Yareen did not need to know that the great Dark One has been reduced to an overly worried companion to a god.

Wymer looked up from his musing as Sciath asked about the Tyrnahel. [b [#a32438 “Only a few exist. A large majority of them did die during my war but not all of them. A few managed to slip away and created some guild. I think it was called the Dragon Guild or Guild of Dragons...something along those lines. Those who got away from the war were mostly spared from [i Ell'eon's] ]] [b [#a32438 wrath. They were striped of most powers though. Once the Tyrnahel had powers that were similar to the gods but not nearly as powerful. We called it magic and that was the first thing to be taken. With those who got away I'm not too sure what fully got taken from them. What I do know is trying to wage another war on the god would be stupid. The Weaver took me aside one day and explained to me the folly of my ways. At first I was angry but then he made a good point. Without them nothing would exist. Yareen and Verque are part of their life force. Everything from our feelings to the ground we walk on are from them and a part of them. Without them our world would unravel and become nothing. While some people may prefer that fate many others would not. All good and bad comes from them.” ]]

When Wymer had raged his war against the Gods he never thought about what would happen afterwards. He didn't think about how ingrained they were in the world and how without them the whole world and existence would rip at the seams. All the good in the world would be gone. No children laughing, no love, and no dogs. There would also be no hunger, hatred, or heart ache but the good out weighed the bad. Thankfully Sciath fell silent leaving Wymer to muse over his thoughts. He really needed to complete this task so he could return to Ruavin's side and protect him. The young god was too naive and trusting to be left alone for long.

The name Echidna was unfamiliar to Wymer. Though that was not too shocking. Yareen was suprisingly large, stretching for miles and just as large as Rydul if not larger. People could go through Yareen without ever meeting a quarter of the occupants. Wymer was just unlucky in meeting others. It did warm Wymer's nonexistent heart, however, to hear that the Black Knight was still single minded in her conquest. That was perhaps her biggest flaw while his biggest flaw was that he could be a perfectionist. His domain had been large, it was just not the largest out of all the other domain. But there was no holes in his lands. Every single person that stepped foot into his land had to either be loyal to him or ready to run and run fast. “I rather not attract her attention at all,” He responded, the shadows around him flickering. Wymer knew that in his current form he was not much of a threat. He wasn't even much of a threat while in Yareen he was just more ruthless. But the older he gotten the less ruthless he became because it was just tiring.

The last thing Sciath said had Wymer laughing, his shadows trembling with mirth. Yareen take shine to him? That would never happen. [b [#a32438 “Yareen dislikes me almost as much as Ell'eon. What little favor it may hold for me is because I protect its creator. But that is not much help.”]] As if Yareen heard his criticism a small vine came out from under the stone wall and swatted at the shadows that were at the base. [b [#a32438 “See,”]] He said as he looked down at the blood stained with mild disdain. He forced his body to solidify just enough so that a human form was somewhat peaking out of the mass of darkness. With little to no though he brought his heel down on the vine. Almost instantly the vine retracted and slid up the wall.

[b [#a32438 “I hate this place,”]] he hissed as the form retreated back to the comfort of the shadows. The body remained below the mass of shadows but it was hard to see and the only way to know that there was something below the ever shift darkness was to do what Sciath did before and press themselves up against the inky black shadows.

Another scream could be heard followed by a loud laugh. At least the Black Knight was entertained for now. Maybe if she was entertained long enough he could sneak the Tyrnahel out and away from her land.

[b [#a32438 “Has Yareen been changing frequently?”]] Wymer asked as they continued on their journey. When he was in Yareen it changed almost daily. New paths would be introduced and others would close off. The exit was also ever shifting but with Ruavin weaken he was curious if the changes were happening as frequently. He was hoping that it wasn't changing as rapidly. It would give the occupants the advantage over Wymer and the party of foreigners but it would also help them in the long run. A lack of ever changing features meant less time traversing back and forth through the labyrinth.

[center ~]
[B [i [#56123e “He really hates being called the Dark One. He has developed an attitude recently,”]]] Ruavin said with a small smile when Soren asked about Wymer. Ever since Wymer was freed from the hold of Yareen he slowly developed a small attitude. This didn't bother Ruavin at all because it was rather funny to watch Wymer lash at and be sarcastic to others. He never stepped over the boundary with Ruavin, knowing the moment he did he would see the walls of Yareen forever.

Soren asked two smart questions and Ruavin was impressed. Most in his scenario would ask something stupid. Like why the gods abandoned them or if he was really Ruavin. Sadly, Ruavin could really answer one question. [B [i [#56123e “Yareen... is no longer in my control. I don't know where the exit is since it is ever shifting. I'm sorry that I can't be much more help with getting out of that horrible place. As for the taint... it is a manifestation of Ell'eon's anger. Yareen was created to punish Wymer and his followers. When I created it I had made it an ever changing Labyrinth that will keep Wymer and his followers busy and stuck until Ell'eon saw fit to forgive them. Ell'eon was not happy with that. His anger managed to leak into Yareen and corrupt it. This corruption is what I call the taint. It manifests differently in everyone who encounters it. For some it sits on them as a thin film, others a thick film, and some it slips into their bodies. Only a few can see the taint. What it does is similar for everyone though. It enhances your worse emotions and can turn you insane. For Wymer it enhanced his anger and caused him to slaughter all who stood in his way. For the Black Knight it made her more creative in her torture methods. The group you came in will start to distrust each other as the taint starts to manifest more and more. Be wary of that.” ]]]

There was a small shift in the air that really only Ruavin could feel. It was an indication that he was overstaying his welcome in the dream and needed to move on. If he was at his home and not within the human world this would be no trouble but he as in the human world. He was overextending himself by being here and it was time for him to leave.

[B [i [#56123e “I must leave but I will return next time you are asleep. There is one thing that I can tell you that will help. When you get to the end of the maze you need to pray to Ell'eon asking for his forgiveness. You will need Aroyr's Kiss, a vial of water blessed by Sumafel, and the mark of Mavain. Aroyr's Kiss is everywhere in Yareen. Sumafel's blessing is at the only water source which is the Well of Sorrow in the Sphinx's territory. Mavain's mark is the trickiest. To receive his mark is to nearly die and cheat death itself. If you weren't a Tyrnahel then his mark would be impossible to gain but you have a chance. I will also speak to him about it.” ]]] The wind started to pick up and Ruavin was approaching the end of his time with Soren. Moving before Soren he gently placed a hand on Soren's cheek and pressed a small kiss to his forehead while whispering a few hushed words. [B [i [#56123e “I bestow upon you some of my power. Until next time Soren.” ]]]

As fast as Ruavin had appeared he was gone, only leaving behind a misty form. When he woke up Therudrim's light was slowly starting to filter into the barn. While he felt the need to stay on Verque he also needed to talk to Mavain as soon as possible. So slowly he got off of his straw bed and stretch his short and furry limbs, keeping most of his weight off of his still throbbing paw. With a yawn he began to will his body to its natural state but nothing happened. The sparks that he felt when he transferred to different forms and planes of existence wasn't there. There was nothing. Instead of the sparks he felt tiredness settle in his bones as if he had overextended himself. [B [i [#56123e 'But...I couldn't have. I just dreamwalked!']]] Ruavin thought to himself as he closed his eyes and tried to will his body to change and move.

Nothing.

The more he tried the worse the weariness got. Eventually his body was exhausted from trying to shift forms that he collapsed onto the floor. A loud distressed whine left his muzzle as he fell on his injured paw though the true distress was the fact that he didn't have the ability to change back. He couldn't survive as a dog! A fucking dog. They were so... gross and inferior to birds, which he preferred to be.

With a quieter whimper Ruavin curled up into himself. [B [i [#56123e 'A fucking dog,']]] was all he could think of.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 3y 60d 14h 10m 51s
Some people just didn't enjoy a little humor. Who cares if it was at their expense, or inappropriate for the moment? It was something to kill the time and they had a ways to go before getting anywhere substantial. Getting anywhere was the easy part getting to the [i right] where was the fun part. Sciath glanced back towards Wymrple seeing the shadows around him fluctuate with his mood, it only made him smile. For a lump of shadows he was quite expressive.
[#CD69C9 "Keep telling yourself that, it'll be all the more enjoyable when Yareen proves how horribly weak you are in the most spectacular of ways. Don't underestimate the Labyrinth; don't be so human like that. You should be above and beyond such limited thinking,"] Sciath remarked. Oh what joy he was having, resuming his skipping pace with Frederick. The sparrowrat paused at an intersection, Sciath stopped as well. [#CD69C9 "A bard you are not, but I like you more and more as a jester. I can see why the Weaver keeps you around."]
Sciath closed his eyes, tilting his head to the side. He could feel the little pulses of the other sparrowrats as they were taking up the search, before some faded from thought going too far out of his reach, or breaking formation to run from the other inhabitants of the Labyrinth. That would work getting the other denizens away from them as well as the humans.
[#CD69C9 "The Tyrnahel,"] he opened his eyes and looked to the Dark One. [#CD69C9 "They still exist? I thought they all perished during your war."] Sciath cocked his head and blew a sigh. [#CD69C9 "Perhaps that's who the Tyrnahel is, well that explains a few things; and complicates quite a number of others. Tyrnahel may be blessed, and I use that word loosely by the gods, I've heard that blessing can come in a variety of shades, longevity being the only certain one. Sounds more like curse for him to be sent here, the Lords would love to get back at the gods in any means, the sins of the father belonging to the children and all that. Perhaps just the push needed to go beyond their little spats within the walls and again, pick up where you left off, eh Wyrmple?"] Sciath smiled once more as Frederick took off down the straight path.

For his part, Sciath did quiet down ceasing the banter with the Dark One as Frederick led them down a twisting path. Quick rights, a few lefts, ending at a bit of a slope that even Sciath barely caught himself from tumbling down, not that he really [i had] to, but old habits and all that. Eventually the ground leveled off, it wasn't a steep slope or one that would land them into a gaping cavern where all sorts of other nasties lie. He was expecting the ground from before to be the same as it was, but it wasn't quite the case. It was still obvious ground, but there were signs of something tunneling recently, the ground broken up the walls having a few more obvious gouges.
[#CD69C9 "Ah, seems Echidna was here not that long ago. Friendly fellow, completely crazy, no longer a lord I'm afraid."] Sciath knelt down grabbing a fistful of dirt as it easily slid through his fingers like sand. [#CD69C9 " I think he broke a century or so ago. Convinced that he could dig his way out of the Labyrinth, and into Mavain's realm; or into some other equivalent place. It didn't work if you were wondering. He's managed to create some caverns and maybe a few underground routes but Yareen has stopped him from going beyond that usually turning his tunnels back to the paths you see here, only the disturbed earth showing he made any sort of dent into it."] Sciath stood up looking to the options ahead. Straight ahead looked to be where Echidna has headed, Frederick was leaving them behind before he slid into a narrow path Sciath nearly walked past. [#CD69C9 "The lords are one thing, a rather large thing to be honest, but don't underestimate Yareen as its own entity, it has trapped all within its walls, and continues to grow. It can be kind, or it can be merciless,"] he explained with a shrug, stopping, more like [i waiting] when the scream only seemed to prove his point.

It was a gradual change, the air getting heavy with the stench of blood and rot, the walls seeming to turn a light grey making the blood pop out.
[#CD69C9 "A sliver between territories. Echidna is no lord but he has enough power to affect the area around him, a fake territory if you will. Most ignore him since he is relatively harmless in his state,"] he tapped a finger against his temple, lowering his voice. [#CD69C9 "You know very well whose territory is next door. That is the down side of knowledge, you can't use ignorance as a shield."] Sciath tossed him a wicked smirk over his shoulder as he continued their pace. [#CD69C9 "Not to brag but I've mastered this very intricate dance, it was one reason I found you so quickly, the other well, we can honestly say you summoned me."] He pressed his finger to his lips. [#CD69C9 "Her territory is one of the larger ones comparable to yours in your glory days. But there are also many holes within it, she still has a rather one track mind when it comes to her tendencies. The sparrowrats are doing well keeping it that way, her new toy is as well."] He lowered his finger tilting his head knowingly in the direction of the scream. [#CD69C9 "Keep your thoughts on your task of finding the boy. In your current state he'd attract her attention far more then you; that could be used to our advantage."] He quickened their pace as quietly as he could. [#CD69C9 "We're getting closer, it shouldn't be much longer."] Sciath smirked once more towards the Dark One. [#CD69C9 "You can always pray that Yareen will take a shine to its first Lord to grant him victory."]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Soren knew it was a dream, and that made it hurt all the more. He stood atop the hill on Nasir's property which looked down into the valley where the Culann fields were. He could make out the minute details of the whole setup, where the barn and main house were, he could differentiate what fields were what from their color and the scents that were carried on the winds. If he strained his hearing he could probably even hear his family going about their chores. That wasn't the worst part, he looked over his shoulder and there stood Nasir's home. A modest little house, one barn, and blankets of his own fields stretching out into the horizon. Rydul was just a black speck far to the north, out of sight out mind. No Isolda, no trial, no Labyrinth.
His vision flickered on the house, one moment all was the calm, the next he saw flames, it flickered a few more times until the flames remained and he could feel the heat from where he stood. It was his dream, his dream inside a dream? Shouldn't he still be the master of it? Did the rules still apply? Die in the Labyrinth, a dream world, die in the real world? Would he die in the waking world if he died in his own dream? In the next instant he was crouching inside the burning house, the flames licking his body, just like that day. Would it have been better if he died then? Fitting wouldn't it? There were stories of witches and other such nasty creatures being burned at the stake for their beliefs...Beliefs...is [i this] where his faith got him? Hated, despised, murdered? He saw Nasir's face as he dangled on the noose. Humans were pathetic, but they still give it their all, yet the gods they worship don't even bat an eye for their suffering? Did they even care? Did the humans even need the gods?

Soren gasped and doubled over clutching his stomach as though he just got punched. His vision readjusted and he was back on the hill, just as when he first entered the dream. The wind blew gently caressing his face as the sun shone brightly overhead.
[#8B475D "Gods, I'm a mess,"] he murmured grudgingly at himself. He steadied his breathing, slowly sitting up; he pulled his knees up to his chest and rested his head on top. [#8B475D [i "Not long did the formless change, turning from shadows into light, and in the light Ell'eon gifted them. Gifted was the sky, the earth, and the sea. So that the light may roam and prosper,"]] Soren whispered softly like a chant. [i Everything] was a gift from the gods, they could have done nothing, instead they gave everything. As to why? He honestly couldn't speak for them, but they must have believed in the humans to grant them such gifts asking for nothing, except maybe a thanks that their work has not been squandered. He took a deep breath as he closed his eyes and prayed.

[center [i [#8B475D "Ell'eon, one who grants all life, I can never know the extent of your love, breathing life into such sinful creatures as us. As one of the few who still believes, please, do not give up on us yet. We can change."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Loronna, shepherd of faith, I apologize for the millions who have lost their way forgetting your teachings and clinging to false hope. We are human, and full of sin, we are but children who need to mature in our own. Please do not forsake us as we have forsaken you, we can learn and grow."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Mavain, protector of the departed, I pray when my time has come that I will not be a disappointment to you and may find peace in your realm. If I have failed, thank you for taking care of those who did not."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Kalian, angel of the heart, too often love is taken for granted, yet without it the world would be a cold, unfeeling, thing. Please watch over our love so that we may learn and connect with one another, to know what it truly means to live."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Traroth, father of nature, I cannot count the times I have prayed to you and your wife, Aroyr, mother of the seasons, for a bountiful harvest to keep my family fed. Please continue to grace us with your presence so we may live and learn from our mistakes. We have wronged you so many times, but please have faith in us that we can change."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Sumafel, ruler of the waves, thank you for allowing safe passage through your waters so we may travel and learn to be better, and worthy of your guidance."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Vynnarisa, defender of life, humans have fought with each other for countless years over the most trivial of things, I pray there may be a time when we no longer need your protection in war, but instead your wisdom for maintaining peace and understanding."]]]
[center [i [#8B475D "Therudrim, bringer of the Sun, and Lafia, keeper of the Moon, thank you for blessing light into this otherwise darkened world. We have strayed from your light for far too long, and deserve the darkness. Please guide us a little longer with your light so that we may stand tall and repent for our sins."]]]

Soren released a shuddering breath, pressing his head harder into his knees to stop the tears. It's been too long since this happened, and he was no better than all the others who have forgotten. He couldn't waste any more time, he had to get out, and had to get back. He made a promise he was going to keep it no matter what.
[#8B475D [i "Ruavin, the weaver of dreams, thank you for helping me remember what was truly important. Please continue to watch over our dreams so we may make them a reality,"]] he whispered. It was a strange sensation; he had fallen asleep in a dream, and proceeded to fall asleep into the next stage of that dream.

[i "Soren,"] that voice again. Soren stirred slightly blurry eyes barely making out the fields from earlier trying to figure where the voice was coming from. [i "I am Ruavin and we do not have much time. Sleeping in Yareen is a dangerous thing."] He looked over to the voice, rubbing the rest of the sleep from his eyes.
[#8B475D "Ru...avin,"] Soren spoke softly looking at the god before him. Pale blonde hair, almost like starlight cascaded down the god's back pooling around him as he slowly sat down. Loose fitting emerald robes draped around his milky skin as though it was all some intricate design and how smooth the material followed his gestures. His movements were seamless, graceful like a stream, as he was probably trying to do so gently enough to not startle Soren. It was partially working, Soren was dumbstruck. [#8B475D "The...Weaver,"] he ended quietly trying to follow along with what the god was telling him. It made sense to some degree, although the haste of the delivery made it difficult to comprehend.
It didn't seem to matter though when he felt a headache come on followed by nausea as he rested his head on his knees again to try and will the pain away. It worked when he felt a slender hand touch his shoulder and leave as swiftly. The taint? He was under the impression he was going to die by something else in the Labyrinth when he was sent here so that didn't sound as sure as a thing anymore. Granted he was more than eager to get rid of the possibility altogether.
[#8B475D "That seems a bit unfair,"] was the first thing that came to mind when asked. [#8B475D "Any question is a bit unrealistic,"] he continued trying to find the proper tone to use when addressing the god. He came up with nothing since it seemed a little pointless since time was of the essence. Rationally he would have to second guess everything that was just stated to him, but he didn't feel that was exactly the relevant part; this was still a dream after all. [#8B475D "Wymer... as in the Dark One, from ages past?"] So...he was to be expecting help from one of the worst individuals known in history? Truth be told he probably wasn't going to get anywhere with this conversation.[#8B475D "I probably have far too many questions to ask,"] he murmured figuring the safest bet would also be the quickest. [#8B475D "Can you please tell me how to escape and about this taint?"]
  Soren / HanyouMoKushi / 3y 88d 32m 13s
There was a lot of things that Wymer questioned in his life. Why did he stage a war against the gods? Why did Vynnarisa aid him in his war? Why didn't he destroy Sciath when he had chance? More importantly why did he ask help from Sciath? Then again there was no one else Wymer could turn to for help. He had burnt a lot of bridges when he was in Yareen and burnt even more when he left. People hated him for what he was when he was in this wretched place and even more hated him for being able to leave this horrendous mockery of an afterlife. Sciath was perhaps the only one that Wymer hadn't fully angered. Or at least that was what he thought...he could be wrong and Sciath could be leading him to a trap. He doubted it but that was a possibility. Still Sciath was better than nothing. Even if Sciath was spending his time insulting Wymer by calling him Wyrmple and calling him a jester.

[b [#a32438 “The reason the Weaver keeps me around is not because I entertain him,”]] he snapped. The real reason why Ruavin kept Wymer around was a mystery even to Wymer. A part of him felt that it was because the youngest god in the pantheon was lonely. All of his siblings were already paired and with each other and yet there he was, alone. Sure he had his faeries that he created to aid in his job but it wasn't the same. The majority of Wymer's time spent was by Ruavin's side watching over him. But the occupants of Yareen did not need to know that the great Dark One has been reduced to an overly worried companion to a god.

Wymer looked up from his musing as Sciath asked about the Tyrnahel. [b [#a32438 “Only a few exist. A large majority of them did die during my war but not all of them. A few managed to slip away and created some guild. I think it was called the Dragon Guild or Guild of Dragons...something along those lines. Those who got away from the war were mostly spared from [i Ell'eon's] ]] [b [#a32438 wrath. They were striped of most powers though. Once the Tyrnahel had powers that were similar to the gods but not nearly as powerful. We called it magic and that was the first thing to be taken. With those who got away I'm not too sure what fully got taken from them. What I do know is trying to wage another war on the god would be stupid. The Weaver took me aside one day and explained to me the folly of my ways. At first I was angry but then he made a good point. Without them nothing would exist. Yareen and Verque are part of their life force. Everything from our feelings to the ground we walk on are from them and a part of them. Without them our world would unravel and become nothing. While some people may prefer that fate many others would not. All good and bad comes from them.” ]]

When Wymer had raged his war against the Gods he never thought about what would happen afterwards. He didn't think about how ingrained they were in the world and how without them the whole world and existence would rip at the seams. All the good in the world would be gone. No children laughing, no love, and no dogs. There would also be no hunger, hatred, or heart ache but the good out weighed the bad. Thankfully Sciath fell silent leaving Wymer to muse over his thoughts. He really needed to complete this task so he could return to Ruavin's side and protect him. The young god was too naive and trusting to be left alone for long.

The name Echidna was unfamiliar to Wymer. Though that was not too shocking. Yareen was suprisingly large, stretching for miles and just as large as Rydul if not larger. People could go through Yareen without ever meeting a quarter of the occupants. Wymer was just unlucky in meeting others. It did warm Wymer's nonexistent heart, however, to hear that the Black Knight was still single minded in her conquest. That was perhaps her biggest flaw while his biggest flaw was that he could be a perfectionist. His domain had been large, it was just not the largest out of all the other domain. But there was no holes in his lands. Every single person that stepped foot into his land had to either be loyal to him or ready to run and run fast. “I rather not attract her attention at all,” He responded, the shadows around him flickering. Wymer knew that in his current form he was not much of a threat. He wasn't even much of a threat while in Yareen he was just more ruthless. But the older he gotten the less ruthless he became because it was just tiring.

The last thing Sciath said had Wymer laughing, his shadows trembling with mirth. Yareen take shine to him? That would never happen. [b [#a32438 “Yareen dislikes me almost as much as Ell'eon. What little favor it may hold for me is because I protect its creator. But that is not much help.”]] As if Yareen heard his criticism a small vine came out from under the stone wall and swatted at the shadows that were at the base. [b [#a32438 “See,”]] He said as he looked down at the blood stained with mild disdain. He forced his body to solidify just enough so that a human form was somewhat peaking out of the mass of darkness. With little to no though he brought his heel down on the vine. Almost instantly the vine retracted and slid up the wall.

[b [#a32438 “I hate this place,”]] he hissed as the form retreated back to the comfort of the shadows. The body remained below the mass of shadows but it was hard to see and the only way to know that there was something below the ever shift darkness was to do what Sciath did before and press themselves up against the inky black shadows.

Another scream could be heard followed by a loud laugh. At least the Black Knight was entertained for now. Maybe if she was entertained long enough he could sneak the Tyrnahel out and away from her land.

[b [#a32438 “Has Yareen been changing frequently?”]] Wymer asked as they continued on their journey. When he was in Yareen it changed almost daily. New paths would be introduced and others would close off. The exit was also ever shifting but with Ruavin weaken he was curious if the changes were happening as frequently. He was hoping that it wasn't changing as rapidly. It would give the occupants the advantage over Wymer and the party of foreigners but it would also help them in the long run. A lack of ever changing features meant less time traversing back and forth through the labyrinth.

[center ~]
[B [i [#56123e “He really hates being called the Dark One. He has developed an attitude recently,”]]] Ruavin said with a small smile when Soren asked about Wymer. Ever since Wymer was freed from the hold of Yareen he slowly developed a small attitude. This didn't bother Ruavin at all because it was rather funny to watch Wymer lash at and be sarcastic to others. He never stepped over the boundary with Ruavin, knowing the moment he did he would see the walls of Yareen forever.

Soren asked two smart questions and Ruavin was impressed. Most in his scenario would ask something stupid. Like why the gods abandoned them or if he was really Ruavin. Sadly, Ruavin could really answer one question. [B [i [#56123e “Yareen... is no longer in my control. I don't know where the exit is since it is ever shifting. I'm sorry that I can't be much more help with getting out of that horrible place. As for the taint... it is a manifestation of Ell'eon's anger. Yareen was created to punish Wymer and his followers. When I created it I had made it an ever changing Labyrinth that will keep Wymer and his followers busy and stuck until Ell'eon saw fit to forgive them. Ell'eon was not happy with that. His anger managed to leak into Yareen and corrupt it. This corruption is what I call the taint. It manifests differently in everyone who encounters it. For some it sits on them as a thin film, others a thick film, and some it slips into their bodies. Only a few can see the taint. What it does is similar for everyone though. It enhances your worse emotions and can turn you insane. For Wymer it enhanced his anger and caused him to slaughter all who stood in his way. For the Black Knight it made her more creative in her torture methods. The group you came in will start to distrust each other as the taint starts to manifest more and more. Be wary of that.” ]]]

There was a small shift in the air that really only Ruavin could feel. It was an indication that he was overstaying his welcome in the dream and needed to move on. If he was at his home and not within the human world this would be no trouble but he as in the human world. He was overextending himself by being here and it was time for him to leave.

[B [i [#56123e “I must leave but I will return next time you are asleep. There is one thing that I can tell you that will help. When you get to the end of the maze you need to pray to Ell'eon asking for his forgiveness. You will need Aroyr's Kiss, a vial of water blessed by Sumafel, and the mark of Mavain. Aroyr's Kiss is everywhere in Yareen. Sumafel's blessing is at the only water source which is the Well of Sorrow in the Sphinx's territory. Mavain's mark is the trickiest. To receive his mark is to nearly die and cheat death itself. If you weren't a Tyrnahel then his mark would be impossible to gain but you have a chance. I will also speak to him about it.” ]]] The wind started to pick up and Ruavin was approaching the end of his time with Soren. Moving before Soren he gently placed a hand on Soren's cheek and pressed a small kiss to his forehead while whispering a few hushed words. [B [i [#56123e “I bestow upon you some of my power. Until next time Soren.” ]]]

As fast as Ruavin had appeared he was gone, only leaving behind a misty form. When he woke up Therudrim's light was slowly starting to filter into the barn. While he felt the need to stay on Verque he also needed to talk to Mavain as soon as possible. So slowly he got off of his straw bed and stretch his short and furry limbs, keeping most of his weight off of his still throbbing paw. With a yawn he began to will his body to its natural state but nothing happened. The sparks that he felt when he transferred to different forms and planes of existence wasn't there. There was nothing. Instead of the sparks he felt tiredness settle in his bones as if he had overextended himself. [B [i [#56123e 'But...I couldn't have. I just dreamwalked!']]] Ruavin thought to himself as he closed his eyes and tried to will his body to change and move.

Nothing.

The more he tried the worse the weariness got. Eventually his body was exhausted from trying to shift forms that he collapsed onto the floor. A loud distressed whine left his muzzle as he fell on his injured paw though the true distress was the fact that he didn't have the ability to change back. He couldn't survive as a dog! A fucking dog. They were so... gross and inferior to birds, which he preferred to be.

With a quieter whimper Ruavin curled up into himself. [B [i [#56123e 'A fucking dog,']]] was all he could think of.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 3y 60d 14h 12m 2s
Well there was a first time for anything; Baldwin looked as though he would rather die than admit that a stupid blasphemous boy had a sound idea. It was an amusing look for the guard to be having but Soren didn't linger on that as he rose to his feet as quickly as he could, wincing during the process.
[#8B475D "Remember the laws? It's not that simple to scout the area. You'll get lost,"] Soren spoke trying to stop the man. Sigan's words followed after him but neither seemed to be able to convince him to stay. It wasn't long until Baldwin's back disappeared completely. Was scouting really even an option? Soren looked back where Sigan and Alys were from whence they came, he could still see the bend but he had his doubts he'd see much more than that. Come to think of it he couldn't hear the monster anymore either, as though it simply vanished. The Labyrinth's voices were coming back to the front of his mind but he shook them off to the best of his ability, he knew what they were now, more or less, so he'd just have to cope with it. [#8B475D "My knowledge is a little dated when it comes to Yareen and the Weaver."] He scratched his head releasing a sigh. [#8B475D "That's the truth for a lot of things though isn't it? It's always worse first hand and you see that the texts do little justice for the truth,"] he finished. [#8B475D "Gather what strength you can, and we will just have to take the challenge one step at a time,"] he added watching Sigan settle down next to Alys. Truth be told there was much he wanted to talk to the man about, it's been a long time since he heard of anyone outside of the elderly that knew of the true gods. It would be nice to get a bit of perspective on the matter, were there others that still believed? Even in Rydul? Or were they all just fools believing in a dead era? [#8B475D "There are worse things to be considered I imagined,"] he spoke ruefully to himself as he turned his back to the other two.

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

He really couldn't contain himself, Sciath pushed off the wall effortlessly as he began to dance around the mess of shadows. He knelt down a little here and there fluffing up the shadows around the Dark One's supposed feet. His scent was intoxicating, something fresh, and sweet compared to the usual environment of Yareen. He buried his face in the suppose chest of the shadows finding some solidity there pushing them against a wall as he hummed to himself.
[#CD69C9 "But that is what you are Wyrmple, it's far more fetching the Wymer or Dark One for that matter. Besides if we are getting to the truth of it, you have no power here, giving up your title of Lord of the Labyrinth [i quite]] [#CD69C9 some time ago. I'm going to guess even before I came here, well maybe not, I don't think I'm [i that]] [#CD69C9 old in Yareen years,"] Sciath rambled on untangling himself from Wymer some of his residual essence mingling with the shadows as he was playing with a clump of shadows his back turned to the king. It was an invigorating sensation, actually having such feeling again between his fingers. Wymer was far from his thoughts as he was quite the little child enjoying something tangible in his hands or as tangible as shadows can be. They were cold as expected but that was still something then the abysmal nothing of Yareen, at least in most parts of Yareen. But besides the cold he could feel the lushness of leaves and hints of spring scents tickling his nose. He was giggling like a fool, remember fragments of his own life before this while burying his face into the shadows before they dissolved in his hands.
Alas the trip down nostalgia way came to a halt as Sciath stiffened a little.
[#CD69C9 "You know it has been a long time I've been here, quite enjoyable I might add, but I think my hearing may have gone a little soft,"] he turned around facing Wymer not a trace of his childish delight on his face. Instead he wore a vicious smirk revealing his teeth. [#CD69C9 "So correct me if I'm wrong, but are you asking for [i my]] [#CD69C9 help,"] he questioned innocently, loving every moment how Wymer seemed to squirm with admitting any form of weakness. Oh yes, this was becoming an auspicious day like no other. And Wymer probably knew exactly how much fun Sciath was having at his expense. [#CD69C9 "So your new master wants you to help these humans, hmm? Very much against Lord Ellie's rule I imagine, my, my, good to see that sibling rivalry and contempt go for gods as well as humans. And being the [i generous]] [#CD69C9 sort that I am, who am I to refuse someone in need,"] Sciath explained going back to his more childish attitude.
He walked back to the king and patted his head. [#CD69C9 "You really must have done a number on your head when you tumble in here, because Wyrmple my dear, Yareen is [i always]] [#CD69C9 changing. Even I can't say I know where or when the Lords' territories will overlap or the troublemakers will stumble right into something they shouldn't."] He ruffled Wymer's head. [#CD69C9 "I have my ways to have an idea though so don't worry your pretty head, just follow my lead and we shall have a grand adventure through the Labyrinth."]

The journey was underway, Sciath skipping to a beat in his head, as he looked behind seeing the Dark One following him, doing little to hide his disdain over the entirety of the matter. Their path winded down a few lefts, a right, and then a straight. Sciath stopped as he held a hand up to single to Wymer to do the same.
[#CD69C9 "This should be safe enough, the others can be idle when it comes to getting up and about, expecting the usual troublemakers, figuring someone else would get to them, and be back to lording over their own designated territories. It won't stop the higher lords if I'm to categorize them as such to intervene, but we and the troublemakers should be safe from the Lords themselves, they have grown in power in your absence Wyrmple. You did keep many of them in check, but they have begun to create alliances with one another, the Behemoth and Sphinx being one such pair. Changing the competition for a time, as to who would be the ruler of all, ha, the next [i 'Dark One']] [#CD69C9 as it were of the Labyrinth. Their reasoning? Perhaps to mimic your failed attempt at overthrowing the gods. Time creates all sorts of ideas, Lord Ellie and his family may not be as fortunate as with you. Fighting a war on two fronts rarely ends well,"] Sciath spoke with a smirk. [#CD69C9 "Are you sure you're on the right side?"] Sciath raised his hands in peace. [#CD69C9 "That topic is neither here nor there so think of it nothing more than a friendly warning to the Weaver and his kin. I would hate for things to end swiftly and rather dully."]
The Lords and humans were on opposite ends of the resident spectrum of Yareen, there were plenty of spirits and creatures that fell in between the extremes, Sciath being one of those. As for the other occupants, most kept to themselves, some swearing various forms of loyalties to the Lords, or merely skimping by on the fringes of such territories to wait out their damnation in peace, creating minor discord where they can to mitigate the staleness of their existence, others simply live and see what comes of it. Yareen was its own realm, but there were plenty of influences from the other realms of the gods, it created unique natives different blends of animals and plants adding a simple beauty to the realm of the damned, if one only had an eye to look for it. Sciath walked to the center of the crossroads, their path gone leaving a right and straight path. He traced his fingers on his exposed spine, feeling for the proper rib and broke it off. Sciath brought the bone to his lips and blew a soft note.
[#CD69C9 "I did have both hands last time I did this so bear with me,"] he remarked readjusting his grip and blowing a few more notes, creating the start of an eerie melody. [#CD69C9 "That should do it for the moment- Ah, here comes Frederick, always a quick responder,"] Sciath walked back to Wymer near the wall where he crouched on the ground opening his hand near a small opening. A rat appeared, or at least the bulk of a rat as Frederick came out further revealing a small pair of leathery wings and furry tail with something wrapped securely within. [#CD69C9 "And it seems you were successful this time, not the whole arm, but a hand will do nicely."] Frederick flicked his tail discarding a pile of blackened bones. Sciath moved the bones in the proper formation as a pale glow formed around them and he flexed his fingers, He placed his pale hand next to the skeletal one testing their range a little, until satisfied as he stood up, clenching and unclenching his fingers a few bones were missing but it was the thought that counted. He chatted animatedly with Frederick through a few clicks and whistles before Frederick took down the right path.

Sciath gestured for Wymer to follow as he blew a few more notes on his bone flute testing his fingers in their range of motion as the melody continued a little stronger and quicker pace.
[#CD69C9 "That should do the trick, I call them Sparrowrats if you're curious. I'm no Lord, and no desire to be one, but you learn a few tricks, try a few things out, and you adapt to living in Yareen. They should be able to find us just fine for a while, be able to get a better lay of the Labyrinth and who is moving where. I usually enjoy doing my own walking about, but since you were [i so]] [#CD69C9 kind to ask for my help, you do deserve the best that I can offer,"] he smirked looking over his shoulder as he returned the rib to its proper place. [#CD69C9 "For good or ill, it may also attract some of the other occupants of the Labyrinth towards us and away from the humans. So I certainly know you are rather diminutive in that state but you should be quicker on your feet then a lumbering old dragon, follow my lead, and we should be able to get you out with most of your pieces intact. Frederick will alert the others to try and assist the humans in the meantime. Don't be doubtful of the Sparrowrats, they share a link with me, and I do have a weak bond with one of the humans. It won't last long if I strain it, but I can try to offer advice as well until the mighty Wyrmple saves the day. If they die? Well at least it was entertaining while it lasted,"] Sciath finished following Frederick as he continued straight. [#CD69C9 "Surely though in the meantime you can weave me a tale or two to keep me entertained."]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Soren was starting to doze off; he had to jerk himself awake a couple times to keep from falling over. He wasn't sure how much time has even past since Baldwin left. He wasn't expecting him to return, he ignored the laws twice already, usually in situations like this you don't get a second let alone a third chance. A few times he started to walk a couple steps in the direction he left, looking back over his shoulder to see that the others were still there. He lost the nerve after his fifth time trying to go beyond the bend. It wouldn't be wise to get even further separated. It was an ever changing maze, so there was a chance Baldwin's path would eventually lead him back to the group, but Soren still held his doubts. He shook his head, trying to keep his thoughts clear of doubt, since he knew that would only lead to further doubts in himself and ever returning home. When his thoughts started down that path the voices of Yareen would increase in volume burying his weakening determination with further despair.
[#8B475D "Shit,"] he whispered breathing hard tightening his grip on his shoulder digging his fingers into the bandage till they bled and the voices began to subside. Pain seemed to help with that, although he imagined he wasn't the only visitor to think that and decided to take the more permanent way out.
[#006A4E [i "You're stronger than that, Culann."]]
[#8B475D "Nasir,"] Soren breathed looking around him. Same as before, but it sounded so near, he edged a bit from where he was looking back to the group then forward.
[#006A4E [i "I taught you better than that."]] Maybe it was just around the corner, he walked further down. [#006A4E [i "When a man makes a promise he keeps it until it is fulfilled."]] Soren could see that old face, proud with a smile that reached his eyes whenever he did a job well done.
[#CD69C9 "Chasing the dead is the quickest way in joining them."] Something hard slammed into his chest knocking him on his back as he opened his eyes.

He let out a gasp as he looked up and saw the sky, he could hear Sigan and Alys behind him, Baldwin still hadn't returned. He brought his hand to his forehead swearing at himself for his stupidity. He got lucky this time; next time wouldn't be the same. Soren brought his hand down as he got up on his side to go wake Sigan. He paused and pushed himself against the wall. A rodent was standing on its back legs looking up at him. It was about the size of the rats back home, but he saw a pair of wings folded against its side and a long almost catlike tail. The rat cocked its head and unfurled its tail revealing a couple of long sprigs of green and yellow herbs. He knew those. Soren looked to the rat then to the herbs, and then the rat was running down the path that Baldwin took.

[center [i Never accept food or drink from the occupants of the Labyrinth.]]
Technically, it was food, although they were used for medicinal purposes. Or was it only considered food if you ate it? He picked up the sprigs gently feeling their texture in his fingers as he brushed the leafy heads against his cheek and catching the distinct bitter scent of Aroyr's Kiss. Soren sent a quick prayer to the goddess as he pressed the herbs to his lips and caught the scent change to honey and the dusting of pink to the herbs before they faded to their original color. He stood up stretching with the motion as he walked over to where the other two were.
[#8B475D "Sigan,"] he spoke gently as he nudged the thief's shoulder. He imagined he was a light sleeper, or the fact getting a fitful sleep in Yareen seemed to be impossible, it didn't take too much nudging to wake the man up. Soren didn't know how Yareen was affecting the others, he seemed to be the only one stupid enough to admit its effects on him but it was worth a shot. [#8B475D "I'm aware of the laws of the Labyrinth, but this may help Alys; if she's willing to try it. It goes by a couple of names, I know it as Aroyr's Kiss, and it can be used as a salve if it's crushed into a pulp. It has a bitter scent that changes to honey if you press your lips to the leaves, they also develop a faint blush before fading back,"] he explained handing the plants to Sigan. [#8B475D "I'm telling you that in case it isn't what I think it is and my senses are playing tricks with me again,"] he added massaging his shoulder. [#8B475D "Baldwin hasn't returned either,"] he concluded sliding down the wall across from Alys as he laid on his side keeping pressure on his shoulder to help mute out Yareen and allow him to fall asleep to the sound of his heartbeat.
  Soren / HanyouMoKushi / 4y 36d 8h 33m 44s
Baldwin slid down the wall, heart pounding faster than ever. This was not what he signed up for when you became a guard. He signed up for a life of relative peace with no frights. He had enough frightening experiences to write a book especially after ten years on the battle field. But this....this was a whole new level of frightening. Blood, screams, and the stench of urine had clung to this place. All of those smells were familiar to him but it was more intense. No matter where they went that stench just lingered worse than a prostitute's perfume.

He needed something to distract him and sleep was not going to be his saving grace. Forcing himself up he glanced at Soren. [B “Your idea is sound,”] he forced out as if it pained him. [B “I'm going to scout the immediate area first.”] With one last look at the group he made his way down the other portion of the labyrinth.

Sigan gently lowered Alys against a wall. [i [#664f12 “You are going to die if you venture too far Baldwin,”]] He called after the retreating figure. Sigan didn't care too much if Baldwin died but right now they needed everyone. Safety in numbers. As the other male disappeared Sigan turned his attention to Soren. [i [#664f12 “Ruavin has created such a dangerous place. When I read about Yareen I thought the texts were just exaggerating when they described this place. I guess I was wrong and we haven't even seen the whole Labyrinth,”]] He said as he settled down next to Alys.

Alys closed her eyes as she listened to the three men in the group. “That was just bullshit,” she muttered. “I'll take the third shift.” Alys was just exhausted emotionally and physically. Her leg was throbbing painfully and no amount of ignoring it was going to make it better.. Sleep on the other hope was her only hope.
[center ~]
Wymer patiently waited for Sciath, confident that he would come. It had been forever since Wymer had so much as stepped foot in Yareen. Originally he had been the only one to haunt these ever changing stone walls. Then the sphinx came followed by the behemoth and as time ticked by more and more had joined him. Each of them carving a hole for themselves in the labyrinth. Then there were too many souls in the area so the more powerful started to take it upon themselves to fight for territory. Wymer didn't need to fight hard for his territory. Thus the Lords of the Labyrinth became a thing. Oddly enough Wymer was happy for a long while lording over the damned but even that got boring after awhile. All he wanted was the sweet relief of nothingness that only Ell'eon could grant but never would. His salvation came many years later with Ruavin stepping foot into the Labyrinth for the first, and only, time. The ignorant fool had been chased off to the center of Yareen. Wymer had contemplated attacking Ruavin right then and there but something stayed his hand. When Wymer was starting a revolution Ruavin was not even in the pantheon of gods. The Tyrnhal had no dreams to fill the void of sleep and what little issues he had with the young god they were really Ell'eon's fault. For staying his hand Ruavin had lifted Wymer out from Yareen to join him in his forest. The rest was history.

Just as Wymer had predicted Sciath was there, his playful tone grating against Wymer's nerves. [b [#a32438 “Don't call me Wyrmple,”]] the mass of blackness hissed. He didn't care too much about what the Lords of the Labyrinth thought about him. Wymer was free of Yareen and while he was limited by being only permitted in the forest he was free to join peoples dreams and live another, and better, life.

[b [#a32438 “I do not care what Ell'eon wants,”]] Wymer bluntly responded. [b [#a32438
“I need...you aid,”]] the male's voice was filled with pain before going on. [b [#a32438 “I need to get to the humans before they move much further. Yareen has changed too much since I've last been here.”]] Wymer loathed to admit any weakness but this was not the time to let his pride stop him. Ruavin had a reason for wanting to watch over this group and Wymer was going to see it through.
[center ~]
Ruavin had his eyes closed as he listened into the conversation. Well that was until one of them told the other to watch out. Instantly pale gray eyes shot open and through the little hay that covered him he saw the pitch fork. For the first time in his long life he was happy that someone had noticed him or else he would have been skewered. Getting skewered was something that Ruavin would like to very much avoid because it normally ended with him explaining why an animal turning into a human form and why he wasn't dead. Those conversations weren't fun.

If Ruavin was in his normal form the look of distaste would be all over his face as the humans dropped their hands in front of his face for him to sniff. As much as he rather not do so he did anyways just to act like a dog. At least the information he was learning was interesting. The female soon enough left (finally) leaving the two males behind. One of them took it upon himself to offer a hand and then pet Ruavin. PET! Oh the indignity.

Ruavin let out a little huff as he adjusted himself, eyes narrowed as he glared at the humans. He couldn't say anything but he sure as hell could glare at them. The dirty look he was sending to one of the humans ceased to exist as the human opened a secret compartment. Interesting. As the male moved away towards better lighting the god kept watching. He would be looking at the scrolls as soon as possible which wasn't long. Soon the human was asleep and Ruavin could feel the hum of his dreams.

With one last glance at the human the God moved off the hay and slowly padded over to the work bench. The biggest problem that Ruavin was going to face was opening the compartment but he was up for the challenge. Jumping up on the bench he went about trying to open the compartment when he felt something clamp his muzzle shut.

[B [i [#56123e “What are you doing here Vin,”]]] a soft voice whispered as if it was only a slight gust of wind. [B [i [#56123e “Ell'eon didn't send you here.”]]]

Ruavin stiffened as he heard the voice of his sister. Well shit. [B [i [#56123e “Does this have something to do with those who got sent to Yareen?”]]] she softly asked as her hand removed itself from his muzzle. Ruavin did not turn to face her but instead hung his head, ready for a lecture. Instead of a lecture he got a soft laugh. [B [i [#56123e “I won't tell on you brother. Ell'eon has been too passive with these false gods and we need answers. We won't survive much longer if these false gods continue to convert people. Now how may I help you?”]]] Aryor gently asked. Ruavin's light blonde ears perked up at the fact that his sister would help. Getting straight to business he nudged the compartment so that she knew to open it.

A breeze passed on each side of him as Aryor easily opened the compartment and soon enough Ruavin was guiding Aryor on how to hold the scroll. Gray eyes skimmed the few symbols on the page all of which he was familiar with. Ruavin paused as he looked at the small scribbled passage.
[center [i Not long did the formless change,]]
[center [i Turning from Shadows into Light]]
[center [i And in the light Ell'eon gifted them.]]

[center [i Gifted was the sky, the earth, and the sea]]
[center [i so that the Light may roam and prosper.]]
[center [i The Light then became the Tyrnhal,]]
[center [i The people of the God's.]]
His head cocked to the side as he finished the small passage. It was the start of Aerlan, the book of creation, written by one of the Tyrnhal that Ell'eon had favored.

Ruavin turned and looked at his sister who read the page to and wondered if she felt as giddy as Ruavin did. People believed in them. Or at least believed enough to have a portion of their texts in their holding. After that they had quickly skimmed everything else, finding nothing overly important to aid in their quest against the False Gods.

[B [i [#56123e “Be wary where ever you go brother and be careful. If El finds out that you are here he will be angry,”]]] Aryor whispered as she resituated the scrolls so that it was as if they were never their. Ruavin's ear twitched at her words but showed no indication that he heard her. Instead he jumped off the bench and softly padded over to the stack of hay. There was not much he could do and he needed to contact the Tyrnhal. As he settled down Aryor left with only a light breeze as proof that she was there.

[Center ~]
At first the labyrinth was simple. Baldwin just kept walking straight and encountered nothing. Once he felt content with what wasn't in the vicinity he turned around. Gone was the straight path that he was taking. Instead there was two options. Right or left. Neither of the options were straight ahead. [B “Fuck,”] he hissed as he peered down both of his options. Left was dark and blood stained. Right was.... dark and blood stained. Both options were unappealing.

With a sigh he went left and kept to the wall. It felt like forever as he trudged down the path encountering nothing. No sounds. No creatures. No blood. Nothing. Baldwin paused in confusion.

[i “You took too long to figure it out sweet pea. Now you're mine,”] a soft musical voice called.

The next thing Baldwin felt was pain as if he was being ripped a part. Then nothing.
  GuillotineDreams / 4y 96d 21h 50m 20s
Run. That was the only coherent thought that Soren focused on. The screams and sobs died down from the depths of his head but he could still hear them when he lost concentration on the task at hand. It was a cacophony of voices, too varied to focus on but he felt the voices down to his bones. There was a sleuth of languages he couldn't even begin to understand but the constant [i desperation] was apparent. He may have tightened his grip harder on Baldwin's arm trying to keep his thoughts sane. Whenever the beast lumbered after them, shaking the very walls the voices would increase in volume deafening him to the present. He stumbled more than once, nearly dragging Baldwin down with him, but some semblance of instinct kept him on his feet. Then everything went silent, Soren chanced a look behind him, Baldwin breaking free of his grip, the others running past him. The creature was blocked by a wall, more like a hurdle but it was still something to slow its progress. Soren stayed still the only sounds were the others distancing footfalls and his ragged breathing.
[#8B475D "Thank you,"] he murmured turning on his heel to catch up with the others. The silence didn't last, but the respite he had was enough to gather his thoughts to separate what ones were his and the Labyrinth's.
[#CD69C9 "Not bad. But nothing lasts, especially if one forgets the very real threats of the Labyrinth,"] that voice again. He was certain he had outrun [i that] particular nuisances. Alas reality proves far crueler then the mind. It started with the smell, like the start of a storm, without the calming gift of rain.
[i "Turn right,"] a new voice whispered in his mind. It was comforting, gentle even but he couldn't linger on that as white heat sizzled past striking his shoulder careening him into the new path. He barely stumbled out of the way as the creature growled attempting to shove its claws down the narrow path. Soren pushed off the wall spying the crackle of one of the horns before it sizzled out, not getting the chance to send another lighting strike down the path.

He could only hope the creature would get bored of them and be on its merry way. Soren slowed his pace eyeing the new path with the relatively same results of the larger pathway. Calling it [i 'safe'] seemed a bit farfetched but for the moment perhaps it was going to be the closest thing to safe they were going to find. Part of his arm was numb but he had that tinkling sensation in his fingers so at least it shouldn't prove useless yet. His shoulder bled and burned but not enough to stop him. He wrapped his hand around the lose end of his scarf applying pressure to the wound. The pain and numbness did take his mind away from the voices of the Labyrinth as he was slowly picking up more familiar voices. He rounded the bend spying the rest of their traveling troupe.
[#8B475D "That would depend what you mean by all,"] Soren spoke softly steering the conversation. [#8B475D "It might be a different story depending on who you ask,"] he worded shifting his gaze towards the wall. He trailed his tinkling fingers down trying to differentiate what he was seeing to what the Labyrinth wanted him to see. It was working to a small degree but it didn't matter depending on how it was affecting everyone else. It didn't look like anyone was willing to admit aloud at least to their own madness.

[center [i No one can tell you who is good or bad.]]
[center [i [#CD69C9 "I wouldn't act too jumpy, your friends might think you've gone crazy and decide you're a threat."]]]
Those laws again and the words of the spirit stopped his motions for a moment as he passed a glance to the others. He took a breath straightening up to lean against the wall holding his arm close to his body.
[#8B475D "I've...seen things,"] a pause. What would make him sound slightly less crazy? [#8B475D "Blood on the walls, some looking fresh others old,"] he trailed off figuring to keep the spirit to himself. [#8B475D "Aside from that I've been hearing things, screams mixed with crying, that I can't understand. That would be my story, Alys,"] he concluded. [#8B475D "If anyone else wants to talk be my guest, may help us survive. If not suit yourselves, we don't exactly owe anything to anyone,"] he spoke taking the time to rip his scarf in an attempt to apply a makeshift bandage to his shoulder. [#8B475D "Believe what you will, if nothing else we should sleep in shifts. We aren't exactly going to finish this in one attempt."] He slid down to the ground, propping his knee up and laying his arm across his lap. [#8B475D "I'm not ordering anyone to do anything, if you feel confident then by all means carry on. I know my limits, so I'm going to rest while I can. To those that wish to remain, I'll even volunteer for the first shift,"] Soren finished using his teeth to work the bandage as best as he could before giving up on that. [#8B475D "But why listen to anything a heretic has to say?"]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

Heretic...maybe that was the deciding factor living as long as he has in the Labyrinth, more so ever since Yareen became the plaything for the Magistrate as far as Sciath was concern there were only ever three types of people that come anymore; heretics, zealots, and pawns. Sciath would happily consider himself a heretic and a bastard. Heretic for he knew of the true gods, hell he was sent here by them many years ago after his death, a rarity nowadays. He hadn't been here as long the Dark One, when he was sent here that king had fallen to the pages of history; by most considered more legend then truth. Sciath knew better, and ever since he was thrown here that one is affectionately referred to as Wyrmple. As for the king of gods, Ellie. He honestly hasn't dealt with the other gods all that much, Ruavin hasn't granted him dreams in what felt like an eternity, and Mavain? His doors are still closed to him. But Sciath wouldn't have it any other way, he rather enjoys his predicament so much last time Ellie even attempted to converse with him end his torment as it were, he told him to piss off. As for the bastard title that should be apparent. But back to his classification system, heretics were ones that still knew of the true gods and even worshipped them. Zealots were the poor fools who didn't know anything anymore about the gods instead placing all their faith on the empty thrones of false idols. Pawns fell in between ignorant to the true gods but not convinced of the false idols. As far as he could tell, the boy and thief were heretics, the guard a zealot, and the girl a pawn.

Sciath tuned his thoughts away from the troublemakers as he laid in one of the niches on the wall. Even being a resident, dead or otherwise all were bound by the foundation of the Labyrinth. He couldn't always interact with visitors but that didn't stop residents interacting with each other or Yareen trapping them all. Despite his full hearted embrace of his damnation, existence within the Labyrinth has become rather predictable. The same social miscreants, political rivals, petty arguments, and above all same stupidity of those cast in here was pathetic it was a wonder that anyone managed to escape. The place where the worst of the worst go after death has been reduced to nothing more than some dump for a worm of a man who didn't have the gall to get his hands dirty to take care of things himself, instead he throws a tantrum over every little thing that doesn't go his way and uses the Labyrinth to clean up after the messes.
Sciath grew bored with many of them, leading plenty to their deaths, or some of the more interesting ones of having them kill each other. He couldn't [i do] anything to them, most of the time, but he could whisper things to them, create distrust, and so forth. Even so it never could entertain him for long. They were all idiots, if not for the very changing nature of the Labyrinth; he'd take up Ellie's offer or simply fade from the plane of existence.

Ah, but the boy Soren, he [i heard] and [i saw] him they even had a conversation, of sorts. Sciath couldn't even remember the last time that happened with a visitor; it sent his form trembling with excitement. He'd keep an eye on him for sure, the others; well the girl was at least cute. He didn't really have a chance to analyze the other two, they were interesting, but not nearly enough as the boy and well they didn't really strike him as attractive. But, chances were he wasn't the only one that had noticed their presence, the Behemoth coming to the top of that list, but that creature was merely a grunt to the Sphinx. There would be plenty more interactions amongst the Lords of the Labyrinth. Sciath slipped out of his niche landing on the ground below. Indeed he was missing pieces of himself but the mind was a funny thing, it remembered when the body was whole so it still tries to imitate that, with enough practice Sciath could walk as naturally as any of those visitors despite missing chunks of his leg. He could float if one was to use such a coarse word but he still found he enjoyed the feeling of ground beneath his feet, he stretched his arms over his head much with the same practice having lost one of them some time ago. Ruavin may have created the Labyrinth, Ellie may pass judgment to those there, Mavain may reap their souls, and the Magistrate may throw them in nowadays; but Yareen doesn't belong to any of them, it's its own entity with its own rules and definitions of good and evil.

Well it seems it was time to see who the troublemakers disturbed from their own ennui. Sciath was probably the only one that actually enjoyed his damnation; it granted a certain perspective of matters that has yet to bore him. He did a quick assessment of his location heading the right path towards a crossroads. Straight, then left, and right. He felt a shimmer in the air, it stopped him dead as he broke out into a fit of giggles. Skipping now as he spied one of many overlooked paths. He hovered a bit grabbing the small ledge before pulling himself in, being a ghost of sorts had its perks. The passageway was cramped but easily maneuvered for someone like him he turned left, and then straight, pausing over the opening as he saw the Behemoth makes its rounds. Ghost or not, he still felt pain, and on more than one occasion has become the chew toy of some of the larger residents of Yareen. Once the coast was clear he floated across and slightly up as he reached another small passageway, left, left, straight, and right.
[i [b "SCIATH!"]] Was like sweet music to his ears.
[#CD69C9 "Well, well, well, this has certainly been an auspicious day,"] Sciath practically sang as he looked down to see the great king himself. He rested on his arms doing little to hide his smile. [#CD69C9 "To have some fascinating troublemakers and a summons from King Wyrmple himself, milord what brings you to the mighty Labyrinth in such a diminutive state,"] Sciath chuckled sliding out from the passageway landing in a crouch as he bowed his head. [#CD69C9 "Does your master know you have wandered into your old stomping grounds? Surely, it must be something [i very]] [#CD69C9 important to have you crawling back,"] he raised his head. [#CD69C9 "You know the Lords of the Labyrinth aren't particularly fond of you. Mocking them with your freedom from this maze, and yet still just a pet to the Weaver. Probably sent a few here yourself, by driving them mad in life to corrupt their souls in death to face judgment for all eternity here,"] he stood up crossing his arms and leaning against the wall. [#CD69C9 "The troublemakers are safe, for the moment. One suggested a rest before to continue I don't know how many are going to follow through with that, despite the logic behind it, this is Yareen, so nothing is ever for certain, nor does anything last. Surely though, you wouldn't be going against Lord Ellie's back now, hmm?"]

[center ~*~*~*~*~*~]

When he was younger the scent of hay always made him feel safe and reminded him of home. The good times, because it didn't matter how bad his day was, he could come to the barn and know there was someone willing to listen to him and offer some advice. Luke felt hollow when he entered the familiar building. The anger still burned underneath but the reality of the situation cooled it down a bit. It didn't stop him going through the familiar motions trying to figure out where Soren was. Was he in the back tending to the chickens? Maybe milking the cows? Or brushing the oxen? As far as Luke could remember, the barn was Soren's domain, and the fields were their father's. Sure Soren worked in both but it just felt...right when he was in here.

[i [#8B475D "You going to stand there the whole time? Or get to work,"]] Luke whirled around expecting to see Soren in the door way with the harness for the oxen over his shoulder ready to hitch them up to the cart, gesturing for him to come with if he wanted to get out of some barn chores under the ever watchful eye of their father. But he wasn't, his shoulders slumped he turned back and grabbed the pitchfork.
[#996633 "Watch it!"]
[#33A1C9 "Huh,"] Luke stated when Aedan yanked the pitchfork out of his hands.
[#996633 "You almost skewered the dog,"] Aedan spoke exasperated pointing to the canine in question. Luke followed his finger and sure enough there it was staring back at him warily.
[#33A1C9 "When did we get a dog?"]
[#FF1493 "We didn't,"] a gentle voice brought both the boys attention to the side door. Aedan stabbed the ground with the pitchfork walking over as he grabbed the crates from her arms. [#FF1493 "Thank you Aedan,"] Lilia spoke with a smile walking over to the hay pile.
[#33A1C9 "He might be hurt, he hasn't gotten up or anything. Be careful you never know what an injured animal will do,"] Luke stated getting back to the now as he tried to hold his mother back. She gently pushed him away as she knelt down near the dog, offering her hand for him to sniff.
[#FF1493 "I've always been pretty good with animals, who else do you think it was that tamed your father,"] a small smile. [#FF1493 "Reyson and Mykael finally settled down. Little Nel too,"] she added resting a hand against her stomach.
[#996633 "Nel? What's that supposed to mean,"] Aedan asked returning with a few strips of jerky in his hands. He knelt down to her level offering them to her.
[#FF1493 "Just Nel, we'll have to wait and see if it will be anything more than that. But I've grown rather found of it, Soren suggested it. He was playing around with different letters during market day and that was what came of it,"] she took one piece for herself as she laid the remainder in front of the dog. [#FF1493 "Surely you have some fire left over for me, Luke. I wasn't entirely guiltless in the manner."] She didn't look up, which made Luke's gut wrench all the more. Did she even care? Aedan glanced over to him giving him a cautionary look he was all too familiar with; choose your words carefully.

Luke stared at her long and hard, trying to think of anything to ask her, berate her, yell at her, anything but the words didn't come. He clenched his fists.
[#996633 "What exactly happened,"] Aedan suggested standing up offering Lilia his hand. She slowly straightened up taking the hand as Luke helped her on her other side.
[#FF1493 "He was arrested during market day as he was leaving the city. We didn't hear anything about it until late that night. One of the guardsmen, Jacob, told us about it. Followed by more guards that came searching for evidence. To what we didn't know, until the following morning. Evidence was found that Soren was in a resistance group against the magistrate. It wasn't until after the trial that word came about the murder of a court official, and the death of a doctor from within the prison."] Aedan helped ease her down onto a bench as he could see the anger boil up again in Luke's pacing and breathing.
[#33A1C9 "How the hell is that justification for Soren's sentence?! According to what you just said, he was already in jail when those two deaths occurred! Where was the proof before that,"] Luke hollered.
[#FF1493 "His notes."]
[#33A1C9 "What notes?"]
[#FF1493 "Notes that were found in here the night we heard of his sentence. They were coded, and I swore to them that that was Soren's handwriting. Mykael testified that he saw Soren writing in them frequently over the last few months. Some of our regular customers also saw him meeting with shady individuals. Before Reyson was brought to the stand, Soren admitted to his crimes, and the rest you have already heard from everyone else,"] she explained firmly. Luke was speechless. Essentially he was hearing the same bullshit from his mother that he heard from his father. Coming from her though, it hurt a hell of a lot more, even worse was how cold she sounded when she explained it as though it wasn't even her son they were talking about.
[#996633 "Market's day again tomorrow. Are we even allowed to be at the square for it,"] Aedan broke the tense silence.
[#FF1493 "Yes, Jacob vouched for us at the guild meeting after all was said and done. It wouldn't do to let one person's mistake to turn away a good business partner. Your father may have overreacted about the family reputation, speaking of I need to get back to the house, finish up some baking for tomorrow,"] she stood up brushing off her dress.
[#996633 "Luke and I will take care of market day; we'll bring the dog with us into the city in case someone may be looking for him."]
[#FF1493 "Thank you and I'm sorry if this will put you off with the jobs in Dhaval."] Aedan shook his head.
[#996633 "They were both very understanding that it would be a big move to get organize. I also sent a letter to them when we were in Gita to alert them that it may take a little more time. They did assure us though we will have the jobs when we do return, you can assure Father of that."]
[#FF1493 "Again thank you both and please get some rest,"] she bowed her head and slowly left the barn.

Luke left to take care of the animals as Aedan and their mother were exchanging pleasantries like that, he couldn't trust himself not to lose it again with his parents and soon to add Aedan to that list. He brought a dish with water for the dog as he knelt down mimicking his mother's movements allowing the dog to sniff his hand before he chanced a gentle caress of his ears. They were like silk, before he dropped his hand to his side.
[#996633 "Do you honestly think Mother is that cruel,"] Aedan asked disturbing his thoughts. He stood up and grabbed the pick as he went into the closest stall.
[#33A1C9 "I didn't think she could be as cruel as Dad. no."]
[#996633 "She's been crying it was the only way for her not to break down in front of us. It was bad enough with Father, but she didn't want to add her sorrow onto us, since she knows us well enough we can both do some pretty stupid things when we get emotional. Things that we would regret."]
[#33A1C9 "Such as?"]
[#996633 "You know, go to the magistrate's place with hoes and pickaxes to burn the place down. Do unto them what that did to us. An eye for an eye, sorts of things that would put us in a very similar spot as Soren. Although he'd probably beat us over the head for being a couple of idiots,"] he suggested with a smile. Luke chuckled a little as well.
[#33A1C9 "That sounds about right. Soren usually kept some extra blankets and the like here, I don't rightly feel like sleeping in the house,"] he muttered.
[#996633 "That's fine with me."]

Once the chores were done Aedan went to writing a follow up letter to Dhaval to clarify what their plan was for the moment, and apologizing for the delay that no doubt would come with all the news that was thrown at them when they came through the door. Luke left him to that, he was always better at writing then he was. This evidence that was talked about was bothering him. He knew that Soren often spent time in the barn, figure it was just his means of getting some alone time while still being close at hand if he was needed for one thing another. But, pretending that he was even going to believe in this evidence, where would he hide something that he wouldn't want others to find? Aedan was upstairs in the loft, that was where Soren slept when he was out here, but that would seem too obvious a place. He walked over to the chickens, where the eggs were trying to see if something would catch his eye, no, he checked the stalls as well. He looked over to where the dog was staying at, for the most part he stayed where they found him, occasionally Luke would feel the dog's eyes on him, and it made him shudder a little bit at the thought before he chased it away.

If it was something he didn't want others to see, it was probably something that was precious to him, so he wouldn't want to put it in a place where it could get damaged. But then where would he put it at? This could all be a waste of time if the guards took it all. Soren was cleverer then the guards, he wouldn't put it all in one spot; he'd scatter it around and make it work. He smiled despite himself remembering some of the scavenger hunts that Soren set up when they were younger. Luke made his way over to the work bench, some tools still scattered about, a few unfinished projects, he felt a lump in his throat recognizing some of the designs; they had that distinct Soren flare to it. He couldn't bring himself to clean it up; Soren wouldn't like that since he leaves things as they were for a specific reason and as a memory tool for when he came back to them. As things lay the guards must not have disturbed this area, so maybe they didn't do a thorough search, or what they found wasn't hidden. Which didn't make sense, his brother wasn't careless like that. Luke sat down in the chair as he went about tapping the top of the work bench being sure not to disturb a single item. It kept his hands busy as well as calming himself down, it hasn't exactly been an easy last couple of days. Truth be told the situation probably didn't even settle in his head as being real, this was all like some twisted dream he'd wake up from. Tap, tap, tap, [i click], Luke stopped looking where his finger rested. There was a small indention, he pushed the chair and crawled under the bench trying to feel what he heard. There! His nail caught on a lip as he pulled it down opening up a small compartment.

Luke felt around brushing past a couple scrolls and a battered journal, he was gentle as he pulled the journal, grabbing a loose piece of wood to hold the compartment open. He ducked out and went over to get a better light from the candles. There was a lot a paper sticking out from the book, some old others newer. He took a breath as he opened to the first book mark. There were some notes in Soren's hand that Luke couldn't read. It was a combination of symbols and short hand that probably only he could decipher, he turned to another page and another with the same results. He couldn't read it, but there was a sense of familiarity with it. Gently he pulled out a folded piece of paper; it caught his eye since he could read it.

[i Thank you so much for your wares and your conversation, it’s been too long since either of us were able to talk freely about the gods. I fear many a good man had been silenced speaking too openly about them. Your teacher would be proud of you, keeping up your studies and honoring the family. We're still working on your code, rather ingenious method you'll have to tell me the story behind it next we meet. If we can circulate it, add a few things to it, we may be able to keep the faith strong before they are completely wiped from the world. We'll do our best with what were given. May Traroth and Aroyr bless your family with a bountiful harvest.]

High treason? A rebel group? Not really, in a small way, perhaps, but the old gods weren't forbidden, as long as it was practiced in secret, and not any ill said about the real gods; most of these believers were overlooked; just old fools dwelling on the past. Luke tucked the letter back as he looked over more of the coding. It could be view as treasonous, dangerous even, if they didn't know what any of it meant. They didn't know Soren. The familiarity clicked.

[i He heard the story numerous times, each time different from each other with few similarities. Luke was probably nine or ten when he finally got tired of hearing the variations and wanted the truth. He would like to consider himself smart and grown up thinking like that. Besides if he didn't know the truth then he wasn't sure who to believe on who was right or wrong. Well Soren was always right to him, but their father sometimes had a certain look to him when that came up in conversation.]
[#33A1C9 "Sore,"] [i Luke hollered when he entered the barn, looking around for his oldest brother. Something hard hit him in the head, an apple which he picked up and then looked to the source. Soren was leaning against the railing of the loft with a grin.]
[#8B475D "And what work are we trying to avoid this time? You know Father will only let it slide for so long before you face punishment."]
[#33A1C9 "I'm done with my chores! Mama said so, until after prayer. Which I finished early! So I have a little time before Papa needs me pulling weeds,"] [i he spoke readily puffing out his chest. Soren chuckled as he came down the ladder, a few books tucked under his arm.]
[#8B475D "Very well, what did you need of me? I'm not as quick as you with chores, still have a list of things to get done before nightfall, so I will help to the best of my ability."]
[#33A1C9 "What happened to your arms?"] [i Silence, Soren adjusted the books under his arm, his free hand playing with the sleeves on his arm.]
[#8B475D "A strange question, I thought you already knew? There was a bad fire a while ago. I got caught in the blaze, nearly died if you must know. But seems the gods kept an eye out for me,"] [i he responded a little stiffly as he always did when gods were mentioned.]
[#33A1C9 "Can I see them?']
[#8B475D "Surely you've seen them before? I don't hide things from you, but physical appearances tend to have an impact with sales. So I cover them up, been doing it so long it's become second nature. But as you wish,"] [i Soren placed the books down as he undid the buckles at his wrist and pulled the sleeves off one at a time. Luke came closer as he grabbed Soren's arm. The skin was a maze of bumps, crevices, and ridges even. They were a little rough to the touch but not unbearable so, they still had a reddish tint to them a deep contrast to his pale skin. Soren turned his arm as Luke continue to run his fingers across it. He trailed the inside where the damage looked to be the worst, and then pulled gently on each of his fingers; the scars went over them as well but in a softer shade. His other arm looked to be the same condition.] [#8B475D "Satisfied, or do you need me to strip more for you,"] [i he questioned gently as he began to reapply the sleeves.]
[#33A1C9 "What about your back?"]
[#8B475D "What has gotten into you? Did someone mention the fire to you or something,"] [i Soren pressed him.]
[#33A1C9 "Your back,"] [i Luke demanded near tears. Soren sighed and pulled his shirt over his head and turned around. He heard the soft gasp, his back was far worse than his arms, but he figured that wasn't what the gasp was at. There were three deep gashes apparent amongst the burnt skin. He involuntarily flinched when he felt Luke's fingers trace the groove of one of them.] [#33A1C9 "Are you...a bad guy...a her-her,"] [i Luke choked out a sob. Soren brought his shirt down as he knelt down to his level pulling him into a hug.]

[#8B475D "A heretic?"] [i A nod as he broke down crying.] [#8B475D "Some might say that about me. Is that why you skipped out on prayer? Mother was worried about you, you just missed her when you came looking for me. It's not polite to lie. Regardless of who you believe, both parties tend to frown on that,"] [i he explained letting him go and smoothing out his hair, wiping away his tears.] [#8B475D "Someone very dear to me died some time ago. After his death they decided to burn down his home, he had no family in the area, so there was nothing to be missed there. I was young and frantic when I heard about that. There were quite a few things I wanted to save from his house, precious memories to me. But I was too late, by the time I got there the house was already engulfed in flames. I didn't care I ran in anyways, trying to find what I was looking for. I blindly followed my memories to where they might be. I found some of them and gathered them up in my arms. But I lost my way in the smoke and the support beam collapsed on top of me,"] [i he paused getting lost in the memory, sometimes his body still felt like he was in that inferno.] [#8B475D "To this day, I honestly have no idea how I survived let alone got out of the fire. By all rights I should have died in there. But by the time I came to I was outside, the guards who started the fire were shouting nonsense at me, apparently set on beating me to death for interrupting their gods given duty, some of those scars are from them. But Father came to my aid, to save my life he publicly punished me with their whips then and there,"] [i Luke starred in horror.]
[#33A1C9 "B..but why? "]
[#8B475D "To save me. The guards were set on killing me, but by showing contrite for my ways, pleading on my youth, I got away with that. If burning in the building wasn't bad enough,"] [i he chuckled at the morbidity of that.] [#8B475D "If it means much, I didn't feel it when he whipped me, the pain sort of numbed out any sharp pain like that. That aside I recovered nearly effortlessly, most of my skin healed you probably didn't even know most of my body is covered in burn scars with how faint they have become over the years. But that is all in the past Luke. You needn't worry about me. Believe what you will, or when in doubt just trust your heart, that will never lead you astray. Now you better go back to the house so that Mother can relax. Really you are as bad as me when she was pregnant with Aedan, I caused her all sorts of worries,"] [i Soren added on a light note as he stood up and ruffled Luke's hair.]

[#33A1C9 "What about the memories you went back for,"] [i Luke wiped his face of tears trying to calm his breathing. Soren guided him over to the water trough as he splashed water on his face. Soren leaned his back against the trough.]
[#8B475D "They were burned, I couldn't save any of them in the end. But while I was recovering I was able to rewrite some of them. Ah, that reminds me,"] [i Soren went back to his discarded books picking them and opening the top one when he returned.] [#8B475D "There was so much I had to remember, my fingers cramped up too often when I was trying to write it down. So I created a little bit of a shorthand for myself. Old habits die hard; I still use it time to time for some of the logs. Helps give my fingers a rest too, they still cramp up occasionally. I'll show it to you sometime then we can write messages back and forth and work on your penmanship at the same time,"] [i he offered with a smile.]

He was crying as the memory faded with Soren's smile. Luke held the book to his chest as he crumpled to his knees.
[#33A1C9 "What the hell did he even do? He's not a bad guy, or a heretic, he's a..."]
[#996633 "A loving brother, a devoted son, and a good man,"] Aedan spoke from the bottom of the ladder. Luke held the book tighter to himself as Aedan walked closer to him. He rested a hand on his shoulder. [#996633 "I didn't see anything, besides I think it's best to turn it in. Maybe a good night sleep will make the difference, besides it wouldn't be good for us if we oversleep for market day,"] he added softly, Luke could hear the tears in his voice as he nodded his head. [#996633 "Keep an eye on the dog?"] Another nod as Aedan walked away. Luke wiped his eyes returning the book to where he found it being sure it was hidden just as it was. He couldn't motivate himself to go to the loft; he grabbed one of the animal blankets and headed towards the hay pile. He made sure the dog had some food and water before he curled up on the far side of the pile. The sweet smell of hay and memories of happier times were his lullaby for the night.
  Soren / HanyouMokushi / 4y 120d 15h 47m 47s
Baldwin wished that hanging was still considered the best way to end a criminal's life. If it was then he wouldn't be in this disaster with a mouthy punk spewing blasphemous words. There was no such thing as Ruavin. The pantheon of Gods that Ruavin supposedly belonged to was all a lie. Asotasr and Theodulus were the only two true gods to rule over them. This labyrinth... it was just a gift from The All Mighty. That was it. The “laws” on the wall meant nothing to him at all. He was a good man and his gods would protect him.

[B “Her name does not matter. She is a murderer,”] Baldwin muttered.

Alys squeaked in indignation at Baldwin's words. “Alys,” she hissed sending a glare at Baldwin's way. She knew that wounded she was going to be the weakest link and that her death was inevitable. She accepted that. When Alys had accepted the assassination job she knew the risk and accepted it. Everyone died sooner or later but she refused to die before Baldwin. She would limp, crawl, and drag herself if she had to to survive. “Thank you,” she muttered to Sigan who was letting her lean on him.

[i [#664f12 “No problem,”]] Sigan responded softly as they began to move slowly into the Labyrinth with Baldwin taking point. Sigan had been prepared to all types of horrors when they stepped into the stone walls of the Labyrinth. He was not, however, prepared for the piercing screams that filled the air. It was as if someone was being tortured right next to him. The sound was horrible and the tinging in his ears worse. Yet when he glanced over to the woman she seemed unfazed. Maybe it was just him?

The first few steps into the stony grasp of the Labyrinth was filled with pure disconcerting silence. As the group moved further in that was when the sobbing started. With each step the sobbing grew louder and louder before cutting off when Soren bumped into him. Baldwin grunted upon impact as he stared at the three options that they had. [b “Which way?”] he whispered to himself, forgetting about the other three for the moment. As he moved to the right Soren spoke up. He was about to argue when he saw the monster, [b “Fuck.”] Luckily Soren was smart enough to drag him out of the way or else he would be dead.

Alys did not hear a scream or a sob. Her sense of smell was overridden by the smell of blood, piss, and fear. It turned her stomach and she was pretty sure if she was able to move she would be hurling. As she was about to mention something about the smell Soren brought there attention to the right. “What the hell fuck!” she yelled as Sigan unceremoniously threw her over his shoulder.
[center ~]
Wymer grunted as he landed on the top of the wall. If he had it his way he would have left the group to their fate. Sadly he couldn't have his way especially since he couldn't say no to Ruavin. He tried once to deny the god something and then condemned himself to the puppy eyes. That was the worse. A god should never do puppy dog eyes.

With a sigh and a deep breath the dragon closed its large eyes. Within a moment the dragon was no more. In place of it was a mass of shadows that vaguely formed the outline of a human being. Just vaguely. As he made his way to the bone covered ground he heard the scream. [b [#a32438 'Damn it,']] he thought as he moved as quickly as his form would let him.

Two lefts. A right. Left. Left. Straight. Right. Left.... And Wymer was lost. [b [#a32438 “What the hell Ruavin! You couldn't have made this easier!”]] He growled out loud. It has been forever since he last was in Yareen and even longer since he was this puny size. He stayed in his spot for a moment trying to think of what to do. Ruavin was occupied or else he would have heard Ruavin in his mind. The only other person who was able to navigate Yareen and was not going to try to kill Wyrem was [i him]. Wyrem did not want to call out to Sciath but he needed the help. [b [#a32438 “SCIATH!”]]

[center ~]
Ruavin was indeed busy as Wymer had speculated. He was leaned over a pool, engrossed in the image of the group being chased. With how this encounter was going he was losing hope in these mortals. They would be dead in a heart beat. Well maybe two of them the Tyrnhal was doing the best so far but that was with the aid of Sciath. Ruavin was okay with the humans dying, especially the one that believed in the false gods. He was not, however, okay with the Tyrnhal dying.

Dropping to his knees Ruavin reached out. The image rippled and his hand became almost deathly cool. Moving his hand as if he was stirring the image he concentrated on the image of a wall. Ruavin may not be able to do a lot but he could throw in a few obstacles. Flicking his wrist the wall dropped right behind the group, nearly clipping Sigan but not quite. It wasn't a large wall, just enough that the creature would have to jump over it to reach the party.

“Turn right,” he softly whispered, hoping his words were heard. Right lead to a narrow portion of the Labyrinth and while it was not leading to an any safer portion of the Labyrinth it did hinder the creature more.

Not bothering to watch and see if the group listened to him he removed himself from the pool. Ruavin felt drained after using such little power but he was going to need to get over it. He was going onto the human's land to do his own investigation. Ell'eon would not like it but Ruavin felt compelled to do so. He needed to understand how these humans keep getting into his realm and Ell'eon's reconnaissance was not doing it for him.

Taking one last look at the pool the young god stood up and focused his mind on farmlands. An unfamiliar pulling filled him as he left his realm and materialized in the human's world. Sadly he did not end in an empty field and he did not turn into the bird form he normal did. Instead he was a dog and what was right upon him was a cart.

A yelp left his mouth as the cart got closer and before he could act he was under the wheel. As the cart continued Ruavin laid there in slight pain thinking about how he should have switched places with Wymer. Yareen may be a horrible place but at least he wouldn't get ran over!

Slowly the god got back up, his front paw aching but he had to make some distances before it got dark. If Ell'eon had known about Ruavin's visit then he would have just used his magic to move around but Ell'eon did not know. So with a determined face Ruavin hobbled down the path seeking cover or at least a safe place for the night. In his search he saw a barn and made a beeline there. His plan was to lay in the hay and have his consciousness slip back into his realm for the night. It would be power draining but it would save him from having to bring a physical body back and forth to the world.

The sun was finally starting to set by the time he got into the barn. Turning his furry head back and forth he was pleased to see no humans inside and was even more pleased to see a pile of hay sitting. Plopping down on the hay Ruavin was about to fall asleep when he heard voices. They were muffled but one word caught his attention. Old gods? What?! They, him and his siblings, weren't that old and irrelevant. The rise of the two false gods was only two hundred years ago... That did not warrant them be called old. Ruavin let out a loud huff before going completely still. He didn't want to be seen by the humans. That wasn't part of his plans at all but they were in the barn and he was not hidden. Hopefully they didn't notice and leave him alone. Ruavin really did not want to get pet. That was undignified.

[center ~]
Baldwin heard the ethereal voice and without a second thought broke the grasp that Soren had on him before making a sharp turn into the more enclosed portion of the Labyrinth. He heart was pounding but he kept moving for awhile until he could not hear the howl of the creature that was chasing them.

“What the hell was all of that?” Alys said again as the began to slow down. She knew that they were in the Labyrinth but she did not know what the hell that creature was and whose voice they just blindly followed.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 4y 130d 17h 4m 55s
Leading didn't really seem to be his thing, following less than that if his life choices were anything to go on. Baldwin seemed more than willing to leave them to their own devices.
[#8B475D "We may be the criminals here, but the Labyrinth doesn't care for such titles. In the mortal realm we are the subjects to your Magistrate, but this is the realm of Ruavin. You best respect the rules of his realm if you don't want to join us in death."] Soren remarked earning a rather nasty glare from Baldwin. He held his hands up in a sign of peace. [#8B475D "You may want to look over the laws of the Labyrinth, in case you decide to go on your own,"] he finished looking back at the other two in their company, and then further still to where he caught the faintest glimpse of green. [#8B475D "Your [i ‘gods’]] [#8B475D won't protect you here,"] he whispered taking a deep breathe entering the threshold of the labyrinth.
It was like walking through a veil, he felt something cling to his skin, then peel away as though something was being left behind, it sent a small shiver down his spine as he shuddered. The interior looked much as the exterior from what he could view on the outside. Same dark slabs of stone, the sky was open above them for the moment. Did time pass the same in here as the mortal realm? Soren had his doubts, trying to remember Nasir's talk about dreams, or just trying to recall the nature of dreams. Sometimes they feel endless other times over in a blink...Time probably didn't pass in the same way, but time is a human concept which as he previously told Baldwin such notions don't belong here.
[#8B475D "Shit,"] he murmured running circles again with his thoughts. [#8B475D "Are you..."] the question trailed off when he looked behind him. Sigan and the woman were still there but the entrance was not. He brushed past the two gently standing where the entrance was he rapped his knuckles against the new wall. Solid as he expected but he didn't hear a sound when it happened. Soren turned back. [#8B475D "I never did catch your name Miss,"] he spoke. It was rude of any man to ask a woman her age but he would place her around his age.

[center [i "Die inside the Labyrinth and you die in the mortal realm."]]
The last law came back to his thoughts. Was the reverse also true? Die in the mortal realm you die in the Labyrinth? Dead in a sense, or simply just lost with no place to return to? Would Mavain take you as an act of mercy? He scratched his head dismissing the thought as best as he could. He couldn't give up; he passed a glance back to the two. As far as he could tell he wasn't injured coming to Yareen, stiff and the like as he expected but she was different. Was she injured before and that simply followed her into Yareen? Possibly but it seems like extra work on the magistrate's side to cause further outward harm onto any of them there, they were sent here to die anyways. Perhaps another thought for another time.
Soren pushed off the wall beginning to walk between Baldwin and Sigan, acting as a deterrent from either of them killing each other. He looked around the labyrinth again; it would be poor tests of character if they were to die from the get go. He wouldn't think there would be any major threats in the beginning, aside from each other.

Although he couldn’t stop his eyes wandering to the dark splotches against the stone, occasionally he swore he saw a splash of fresh blood. That was ludicrous, breathe, he tried to remind himself as his hands clenched and unclenched trying to shake the numbness. Keep moving that's what they all had to do if he wanted to make it back. Reyson and Mykael don't forget about them. He heard screams, and sobbing along with a growing panic in his chest. Like he was caged and had to run away. That would be foolish, a part of him [i knew] that, but he couldn't shake these feelings. He was getting nauseous.

[#CD69C9 "My, my, usually their broken after getting through the Labyrinth. I'd love to see what a broken soul looks like completely mangled beyond recognition,"] a voice trilled in the back of his head. Soren whirled around but saw nothing. [#CD69C9 "This way, boy,"] the voice ordered forcing Soren to turn back and slam himself against the wall. Before him stood a young man, ephemeral with shaggy black hair, and piercing gray eyes. Part of his back was exposed revealing an ebony spine with partial wings; he looked to be made of tattered cloth as how he seemed to be missing pieces of himself. [#CD69C9 "I wouldn't act too jumpy, your friends might think you've gone crazy and decide you're a threat."]
[#8B475D "What,"] he hissed albeit quietly.
[#CD69C9 "I don't care what they see, what do [i you]] [#CD69C9 see,"] he smirked wolfishly.
[#8B475D "Nothing,"] he murmured shaking his head resuming his pace. He cringed as another scream pierced his thoughts.
[#CD69C9 "Keep telling yourself that, see how long that last."] The man twirled in front of him, Soren braced himself as he walked through feeling cold seep through his bones before passing as the man reappeared like a wisp at his side. [#CD69C9 "This Labyrinth is steeped in a bloody history. Some are lucky to witness it before adding their own story to its pages. You'll be a fun addition,"] the spirit laughed sending another shiver down his spine.

He nearly walked into Baldwin earning a grunt of a response. He took a step back witnessing they reached their first crossroad. Sure enough left, right, or straight were their options. Soren looked down each path, nothing distinguishing one from the other.
[#CD69C9 "Look [i closer.]] [#CD69C9 You'll see something interesting,"] that voice again, he growled low in his throat. Hesitantly he tried to look closer down the right one, the same path with dark stains; although this time he caught a glimpse of something more. A faint pale glow emitted from around the corner, slowly a large form emerge; it had purple skin stretched over rippling muscles with clawed feet and a meat cleaver of a tail. It had a golden fringe across its back with a pair of spiral horns and flaming eyes. It still had that vague glow to it until the specter evaporated like a mist. He was dumbstruck, shaking his head to be back where he was. Baldwin was heading towards the right.
[#8B475D "Not that way,"] he spoke startling himself a little with his own voice. Before Baldwin could do anything a low rumble ceased debate drawing all attention towards the right; there was the behemoth in the flesh, at least judging on everyone's reaction it wasn't just a trick of [i his] mind. [#8B475D "Carry her and run,"] he hollered to Sigan as he pulled on Baldwin's arm to guide him down the left path.
[#CD69C9 "When you meet Mavain, tell him Sciath sends his best,"] the spirit chuckled dissolving into the air.
Rather they would heed his demands or not he didn't check as he ran the lumbering roar of the beast adding to his speed. The Labyrinth was wide, but not wide enough to give an advantage over the beast, its bulky form catching on the walls although it didn't exactly stop it either. The ground trembled beneath their feet as the beast gave chase. He heard breathing behind him so for the moment they weren't separated or dead. Soren kept his gaze ahead trying to keep from stumbling and looking for a way out. He couldn't die yet.

[center [i ~*~*~*~*~*~]]
The room was quiet stiflingly so as those present were trying not to make eye contact with each other. Soft sobs disturbed the silence, Lilia stood up slowly balancing herself she bowed her head, dabbing her eyes as she left to console the younger brothers. Truth be told it was her that kept the peace if one was to use such a loose word.
[#33A1C9 "Asotasr's ass! What the hell did you do? Why didn't you tell us anything,"] Luke hollered slamming his hands on the table, shattering the silence. Axle clenched his fist but kept silent. [#33A1C9 "Aedan and I come back with great news, we got the jobs over in Dhaval. I got an apprenticeship with their blacksmith Aedan got an in with the head of their merchant guild. We could have forgotten Rydul,"] he fumed. Luke was fifteen a bit hotheaded, but his heart was in the right place.

[#996633 "Instead we come to the checkpoint at Gita yesterday, mind you, and we are questioned about our loyalties to the Magistrate and if we were also plotting to over throw them,"] Aedan remarked smoothly trying to settle his brother's temper. He was eighteen a bit more levelheaded then the other but that did little to hide his own anger. [#996633 "Once passing through Rydul heading home we were told about Soren's trial and his sentence. You could have sent word to us, postponed the trial, [i anything]] [#996633 but to add to matters, you had Reyson take the stand [i against]] [#996633 him. Soren's his role model how could you do that?"]
[#DC143C "I will not take any more insults from the two of,"] Axle spoke lowly, ceasing further comment. Axle was a good man, a good father under normal circumstances but he would not tolerate disobedience. [#DC143C "So you got the jobs, it will help your mother and repair the Culann reputation. I will not hear another word of this, unless do I have more than one rebellious son?"]
[#33A1C9 "You believe that bullshit?! Soren doesn't care about politics; his only concern was his family! And you sully his beliefs by believing what [i they]] [#33A1C9 say. What happened to your own morals?"] Axle was quick to his feet but Aedan was quicker standing between the two of them.
[#996633 "Let's go Luke. We have to get our things gather. We'll take care of the evening chores; I'll talk to Mykael and Reyson later about the good news. May Asotasr and Theodulus grant you peace of mind,"] Aedan worded slowly, bowing his head and forcing Luke into a bow before leaving the room. The room was quiet once more as Axle unclenched his fist and looked to where the boys left.
[#DC143C "Gods, what am I supposed to do? What [i could]] [#DC143C have I done,"] he questioned the air sliding back into his chair resting his chin in his hands.

[#33A1C9 "I thought you were better than him,"] Luke accused once they were out of earshot of the house heading towards the barn.
[#996633 "And I thought you said you would keep your calm when we talked to him?"] Luke glared at him but kept his mouth shut. [#996633 "We can't do anything for him now. Soren wouldn't want us to anyways. He'd tell us he could handle it himself and to do what we could for those that remain."]
[#33A1C9 "But the Labyrinth? It's a death sentence, have you heard of anyone returning from that?"] Silence, Aedan looked to the fading light of the sky.
[#996633 "No, not that I paid attention to anyone that got sentenced there before though. But if Asotasr and Theodulus wills it, we'll see him again,"] he answered glumly heading into the barn. Luke lingered outside.
[#33A1C9 "He doesn't believe in them though, I don't think gods would give their blessings to nonbelievers,"] Luke looked around to be absolutely sure no one else would hear. [#33A1C9 "I don't know who you... [i 'old gods'] [#33A1C9 are but maybe you can bring him home,"] he prayed softly before following after Aedan.
  Soren / HanyouMoKushi / 1y 74d 8h 11m 4s
Sigan laid on the ground for a moment before he forced himself up with a great sigh. Once he was standing Sigan stretched, eyes taking in more and more of the Labyrinth. His knowledge on the structure before him was rather limited. All Sigan knew about the Labyrinth was that Ruavin created it at the request of Ell’eon and it supposedly housed the worse souls that had ever been created. That was the extent of his knowledge and Ruavin cursed himself for not paying more attention to his Uncle. Then maybe, just maybe, he would be able to understand fully his predicament.

“For me to die,” he muttered as his eyes trailed up the large walls of the Labyrinth. This was honestly one of the cruelest fates but Sigan would not complain about it. Complaining did nothing and he was more interested in surviving the Labyrinth and returning home to his sister. “Sigan,” he replied as he ripped his eyes away from the imtimidating walls. Already he was formulating a plan on how to survive. Sigan would stay with his “companions” until they were no longer useful then he would either leave or kill them. Baldwin was on top of the to kill list and would be killed right now if Sigan had a nice knife to stab the baster with over and over again until he spewed blood from every inch of his body. Regrettably Sigan did not have a knife.

Sigan stopped his thoughts of murdering Baldwin when he heard Soren explain why he too had been cast out to this accursed land. “That is harsh. I supposedly raped the magistrate’s daughter’s handmaiden,” at this Sigan snorted and turned back to the other two companions that decided to join them. Sending one hate fill glare at Baldwin he moved to the girl who was in obvious pain.

Baldwin scoffed when he heard the insolent brat speak to him. Why had the gods cursed him and sent his innocent soul to a place like this with people that harbored tainted souls? He was a dedicated follower of Asotasr and Theodulus. Baldwin spent as much as his time that he could spare in the temples, praying and dedicating his life to the two gods and now he was here, in some “creation” of a false god. All this was was a figment of their imagination, a product of the hallucinogenic properties of the drugs. Right?

Sir Baldwin brushed those thoughts off. “The point is that you die stupid boy. You are a criminal and I shouldn’t be here,” The knight hissed as he sent a glare to the petty criminals. If they did not die from their trials in the Labyrinth then Baldwin would see that they all died by his hands in the name of the magistrate and the two true gods. “Even if you survive this you will still be his subject. You will dance to whatever tune he wishes you to dance to.”

Sigan turned away from his inspection, an annoyed look covering his face as he looked at Baldwin. “Oh shut up you big oath,” Sigan said, receiving a growl from Baldwin but no response. Pleased with the lack of response Sigan returned all of his attention to the girl. “We are in Ruavin’s Labyrinth.”

Alys stared at the man hovering over her for a second, trying to comprehend what was going on. The Labyrinth? That is just something in stories. Turning her head slowly she peered at the stone walls and realized that it was maybe not a myth. She moved slightly and stifled a groan as pain shot through her leg. She could do this. She could sit up and move. It wasn’t until the other male tied his belt around her leg. The pressure hurt but now she had more faith in her ability to move.

With the help of Sigan the woman was able to stand, leaning heavily on the thief. “Well then lead the way. The faster we get out of here the faster we can return to our bodies!” Sigan exclaimed as he wrapped an arm around the female. Baldwin just grunted as he began to walk forward, not caring too much about the rest.

~

Ruavin pulled away from the pool of water as the four began to move into Yareen. Leaning against Wymer’s body he looked at the large dragon. “Wymer, I need your help,” He said as he stroked the dark green scales of the dragon’s lean body. For someone that was condemned for eternal damnation Wymer was not a bad guy. Sure he screwed up a few (thousand) times as a human but he was a great companion and an even better protector.

“Yes?” The great dragon rumbled as he looked at the god before him. “I need you to assure the safety of the Tyrnahel.” Wymer cocked his head to the side, curious on why the god would even bother trying to protect the soul of the boy. Yareen was an unforgiving and harsh place, protection would not be much aid to the sould by the end because it would return tainted so why bother? “Why do you wish to waste your time and go behind His Grace’s orders not to interfere? Surely you know that if he succeeds he won’t be the same.”

Ruavin sighed as he moved away from the dragon and steeped towards one of the great trees. For a few long moments he watched as his sprites ran about, trying to weasel their way in as many peoples sleep as possible. “He is one of the Tyrnahels. They are a strong people blessed by my brothers and few remain. It would be a pity for him to fall prey to Yareen when he is one of the few remaining. As for his soul it can be healed. I can destroy most of the taint once he is out. In fact I think I may be able to remove all of it after a while so the damage to his soul in a whole is not my worry it is the lack of protection that frightens me. I need you to protect him Wymer. You are one of the few that can go between the forests and Yareen and I trust you. Please Wymer. I would go but it would only drain me further,” He said as he still watched the sprites.

The dragon huffed with annoyance but he would do it.

Ruavin turned to Wymer a small smile on his lips. “Thank you Wymer. Get them to sleep and I will try to influence them. Now go,” He said, easily dismissing the dragon. With one last huff Wymer opened his wings and began to rise in the air. The first issue he needed to address was the Sphinx or else the four troublemakers will never make it far.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 6y 340d 9h 5m 7s
Soren took a few steps back as the man began stir, his reflexes reminded him of a cat, poised to strike, although there was something feral about it as well. Something more dangerous than the barn cats at home. The twitch in his hands made Soren look over his own clothes. He didn't have anything on him, the guards were sure to pat him down before he got thrown into the cell, not that he had anything of value, let alone helpful on him. Since the other man looked to be in a similar state, Soren turned his back to him and walked back to the wall. Sure the man probably could have killed him if he so desired but the thought seemed almost trivial, compared to where they were.

"Left, right, or straight ahead. Never can you go back."

Indeed there was only one way into Yareen, at least on this side there was only one. Soren looked the length of the wall until it was enveloped by the fog on both sides. Turning around he could catch the farthest hint of green, but it seemed useless to even go that way. The rules even said you can't go back, even if they haven't entered the labyrinth first; which made his gaze land back onto the man. He spoke so that counted as something, but he couldn't place the man for the life of him. Perhaps this was the first time they met.
"That counts for something; so it seems Ell'eon still sees purpose in you. Although I'll admit I can't exactly see what that is, but it's not my business to know either. The same fate awaits us all in Yareen," he deadpanned, successfully avoiding the question as his words made him look back to the wall.

"No one can tell you who is good or bad."

No one can tell you who to trust or not, the thought stuck to the front of his head. It didn't take long for that eerie silence to fray his nerves again; he flexed his hands instinctively noticing his words didn't even echo in the emptiness. He felt lightheaded again leaning against the wall his arm as a pillow as he counted to ten.
"My name is Soren, use it or not is your choice but I've done my part for courtesy."

He was stalling, but exactly what he was stalling was anyone's guess. But the whole thing was just adding to the already stifling emptiness of this place it wouldn't take long for him to lose whatever sanity he had. It was getting him nowhere and once more he'd be a disgrace to Nasir and his father for idling his time away, time that could, no should be put to better uses: like fulfilling his promise to Reyson. Reyson, Mykael, how could he have let his unease make him forget them? For even a fraction of a moment?
"I imagine it's the same reason why you are here. I disobeyed the magistrate. My charge was spurning the love of his daughter," he sighed kicking up the dirt beginning to pace the area. Soren didn't get far as something else attracted his attention. It was just with the first man that appeared, there was nothing and then within the blink of an eye there was another body over there, shortly followed by an audible thud with the final member of the group. The man did little to hide his disdain for Baldwin, and Baldwin didn't even bother to pass them a real look, just a passing glance that you'd give ants before you stomped them, or burned them with a looking glass. Soren placed Baldwin as burning them. Not that it mattered now since now everyone was in the same boat.

"It's the same no matter where you look, the only way out is that way," Soren spoke briskly to Baldwin jabbing his thumb behind him. "Besides the magistrate is still going to win if we kill each other now. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I really don't want to dance to that man's tune any longer then needed. Excuse me," he finished abruptly walking forward as he knelt down to help the sole female of their group. "Looks like they did a shoddy job with the bandage work," he remarked undoing one of the belts around his boots. He didn't have anything to necessarily disinfect the wound but at least some more pressure would help, he applied the belt as he slowly pulled her up to her feet. 'Why don't you take her and lessen the chance of you killing each other," he suggested handing the girl over to the man as he stood between him and Baldwin. "We might as well begin."

"Die inside the Labyrinth and you die in the mortal realm."

It was going to be a long journey, who knew who was going to survive?
  Soren / HanyouMokushi / 1y 74d 8h 12m 9s
Ruavin watched as the first human fell into his realm, a frown playing on the god’s lips. What had this boy done? How did he come into his land? These questions and more filled his mind like many times before but he could never receive an answer. Despite Yareen being his creation he could not be of any help to these poor and unfortunate souls; such a thing having been dictated by Ell’eon long ago after the first humans to step foot in his realm. Ruavin turned away from the pool that permitted him insight of many things and instead poured his attention onto the trees and the figure lingering in the shadows. “Brother, what brings you here?” The god asked as he moved closer to the trees.

“I always wondered how you could get your forest to grow so well. Anywhere else and the plants would wither at your touch,” the god said stroking the trunk of the huge tree beside him. (i “You did not answer my question Traroth. What has caused you to leave your fertile lands and come visit me in my lands?” Ruavin asked again, stopping in front of his brother. The god of nature shook his head at his brother’s impatience, “I wished to see my younger brother, therefore I came to see him.” A fine dark eyebrow arched upwards in apparent disbelief. Traroth, did not leave his lands unless he needed something. As if the god could read his younger brother’s mind he sighed, his disappointment becoming apparent like Ruavin’s disbelief. Ruavin watched his brother speak, trying to pick up any deception from him and found none. With a resign sigh he turned away from Traroth and moved back to his pool. “I cannot assure you anything Traroth but I will try to guide him to the best of my limited abilities without Ell’eon noticing.”

Traroth smiled to himself, pleased that his brother would at least try to be of some aid instead of sitting back and waiting for the boy to be slaughtered. His pleasure of this was also a personal one, finding some fondness of the farmer’s son that believed and learned about the true gods not those false idols. Turning around he started to leave the forest when he paused and looked over his shoulder. Ruavin was engrossed with the images in the pool, not noticing his brother at all especially the mischievous glint that went across his green eyes. Traroth had a plan and one that included finding Ruavin a partner. With one last glance the god was gone, leaving his brother to look into the water and watch those in front of Yareen.

A groan left Sigan’s lips as he landed on his back. The thief, and supposibly rapist, rolled onto his side and opened his eyes. The land was barren and depressing while further away he could make out the outline of various trees. Closing his eyes again he took a deep breath, sending a prayer for protection to Ruavin. That was when he heard the voice. Snapping upright he looked at the male with him, hands twitching for a nonexistent weapon. Almost golden eyes roamed over the figure before him recognizing the boy by face but not by name.

"Yeah, just sore," he finally responded as he got up from he ground and rubbed his sore lower back. "Why are you here kid?" Sigan asked his curiosity finally getting the best of him. All the assassin knew was the boy was a farmers son and last time Sigan checked farmer sons don't get in trouble because they are busy on their farms.

Alys smirked as she jumped down from the walls, landing on her feet like a cat. Glancing behind her she saw the guards scrambling to get up the wall and calling for archers. Turning around the woman darted towards the tree line. And then there was pain.

A pained gasp left her lips as she grabbed her leg, feeling rough linen wrapped around it. Amber eyes snapped open only to be greeted with darkness. Hands covered in dried blood ran across the crude stones below her, feeling around her and eventually getting up and feeling around the cell. She found nothing but chipped stones and a door. Alys sat back down her back being pressed against the wall as she sat there, listening. It was some time when the door was opened and light filled the room. A growl was the only thing that left her mouth as someone walked into the room.

Baldwin lowered the tray of food for the girl, ignoring the girl. She would receive no trial for her crimes. She had killed a court official and would be punished as the Magister saw fit. That punishment was to be sent to Yareen. In the bland porridge was the medication that would force them into Yareen with no way to return unless they found the way out. Turning away the guard left the girl to herself and to eat the porridge.

Once the door was locked the man stalked down the dungeons, going deeper until he was at the very last room the dungeon provided. There they made the drug and there they were holding Sigan and Soran, both on the list of extermination with the Magister.

Opening the door the guard glanced around the room searching for the chemist. "Gregory," the man called as he walked to the pile of herbs on the table. No response. The man frowned when he received no response from the man who normally responsive. Turning on his heel he moved to leave when the door was slammed shit. "Who is out there?" he cried as he pounded on the door. No response yet again.

Baldwin slammed his shoulder against the door, not hearing the light footsteps until it was too late. Gregory pressed the soaked cloth against the man's mouth, a sword pressed against his own throat. The drug took effect immediately and the moment Baldwin slumped forward so did Gregory only with blood spreading all over the guard.

Alys opened her eyes, head pounding as she looked at the bright blue sky. Turning her head to the side she saw two men nearby. "Where are we?" she whispered. The last thing she recalled was eating the porridge and her leg throbbing in pain and then dizziness. Turning her head again when she heard a loud thud next to her.

Baldwin groaned as he laid there, mind still on what had occurred in the room. Sitting up on his elbows he looked around in a daze state, ignoring the criminals before him to take in the unknown land.

"Thank you for joining us Baldwin," Sigan snarled, his hatred for Baldwin running deep but he made no attempt to attack him. Baldwin glared at Sigan but said nothing as he looked over the land once more.
  .:. Ruavin .:. / GuillotineDreams / 6y 340d 10h 4m 3s
"Come on get up lad! Therudrim only gives us a limited amount of time to go on with the day, and then his fair wife takes to the skies. Surely you don't want to waste your last day sleeping only to wake within Mavain's realm?"
Sensation returned in flickers of feelings, flickers of consciousness. He couldn't tell how long he was asleep; he only knew if he didn't get up soon, his father was going to have his hide for oversleeping. After a thorough whooping for sleeping in Nasir was going to give him an added verbal lashing for running late and a far harder lesson on the gods that he was bound to fail which would lead to yet another lashing. Verbally so but then he'd spend the rest of the day hating himself for upsetting Nasir. If there was one thing Nasir was good at, it was swinging guilt effectively over your head. Yet he wouldn't even have to say much, but it all fell to how he said it and then you'd just want to grovel for forgiveness that he wouldn't give. Such thoughts ran rampant through Soren's head he didn't have the rational to notice the lack of the everyday things he took for granted. The smell of hay, the oxen and cows baying for their breakfast, Mother's cooking wafting through the floorboards, the steady breathing of his brothers. A sudden chill danced up and down his spine he shuddered trying to curl tighter onto himself to chase away the ominous feeling of dread; until reality settled in the back of his skull, and he opened his eyes.
Nothing was the first word that came to mind, followed by desolation, and finally damned. His body felt weighed down, sluggish, as though he was just waking from a dream, and entering a nightmare. The day's previous events swarmed his mind like a stampede; as he tightened his eyes shut pressing his head into his arms trying to stop the building pain from exploding out of his skull. Soren tried to steady his labored breathing trying to hold onto one thing until the pain ebbed away.

Strong, familiar hands held his shoulders. Muffled words reached his ears but he couldn't make them out over his own sobs.
"Steady Culann, breathe. It was only a dream," Nasir spoke softly his gravelly voice sounding almost like silk. Soren pushed away from the man trying to make out his face through the tears.
"Bu-but it felt so r-real," Soren managed through the sobs, turning into small hiccups.
"It was real, in a sense. Dreams allow us to see the world through a mirror. What we see is a reflection of ourselves, without the world interfering. Just purely yourself, no influence from the world, a time for peace, hope, and relaxation. A time with the gods. Yet it is not something to cry over. It is done, it is over. Sometimes the dreams are not always pleasant, but neither is life. However such nightmares allow us to appreciate the good times we do have in our waking world. Some may even call nightmares a trial to help overcome your fears in the real world. It is the way that Ruavin shows his care for the people of this realm, and through such processes that we see his realm."
"Ru-Rua-vin," Soren questioned taking a deep breath, and wiping away the tears swiftly. What type of brother was he if he got so worked up over something so small? No...but it wasn't small, not the images he saw that still clung to his thoughts. "You haven't told me-me much a-about him except he's the youngest of the family," he spoke again with more control over his voice.
"Aye, guess I haven't gotten around to him. Well we had to spend a bit of time with the marriages before you got those down pat. Perhaps I was waiting for the opportune moment to bring him up, now's as good as any. Now clean your face and will jump into today's lesson."

Why must the gods tease his thoughts with pleasant times; especially with the more pressing manner of what was he to do now? Now he was being no better than his father, placing the blame onto others when it was nothing more but his own thoughts turning against him. Ruavin... That was why this place felt so strange. His thoughts simmered down, lessoning the headache, it was time to do something then just lie around; Nasir and Axle would both have his hide for such laziness. Slowly but surely Soren opened his eyes, pushing himself off the ground regaining his senses as he rested on his knees. There was always something...calming when it came to dreams; from his understanding it was through Ruavin's will that such hopefulness was present. There was nothing of the sort with this place, yet he knew he wasn't dreaming in the normal sense. If anything from the trial and the lessons were something to go on, this was Yareen, a place for the damned souls of the living to face judgment before being allowed to enter Mavain's realm for better or worse.
"Breathe Soren, dreaming or no, you still have to breathe to live," he chastised himself pinching his brow and slowly clawing up to his feet. Wobbly at best, and nose diving fast as he fell back, but instead of the hard ground, he met with the hard wall of the only structure within reach in this whole place. The sudden impact and chill sent him reeling as he quickly pushed off the wall spinning around to face it; miraculously his feet doing their job of not getting tripped up with one another. It was hard to make out, but there were definitely words or something scratched into the surface. A small shudder ran down his spine at the thought of what could do it, but he traced his fingers over the lettering, attempting to read it.
He could barely feel the hairs rise on the back of his neck, ceasing his fingers. What were the odds he was alone? Zero if these scratches had anything to go on, but he heard something that sounded a little more human as he spun around. He held his stance defensively until he relaxed spying another man on the ground. The question of how he got there, for he was pretty sure he was the only one in the area when he came to, was being shoved to the back of his thoughts. He felt a little surer on his feet as he slowly made his way towards the man, nudging him with his boot when he came into range.
"'You alright," he asked softly mostly not to startle himself, his voice being the only sound mixed with the dying howl of the wind.

My, my, my >.< Very, very bad Hanny for the massive delay. Yes, I know your thing said post when can, but still, I'm very sorry for my lack of a post for getting pretty darn close to a year. >.> I certainly hope you are still interested in the story as much as I am. My thoughts been trailing back to this story for a while now, but haven't gotten around to doing anything with it. If not, I will completely understand. Seeing as it wasn't deleted I certainly hope you are :]
Meh, wasn't sure where to go with the post, since I had a portion of it done earlier and only recently got around to finishing it. I certainly enjoyed your post by the way. Sigan seems to be quite the character to play around with. I was unsure of your ideas for characters for the team of four, so I didn't wish to step on any toes. But if needed I can add a character or so; so that you won't be doing them all. I had a couple vague scraps of idea for some, nothing substantial in the least, so don't you fret about it. Do what you wish, and I shall follow suit :]
Well I certainly hope things have been going well for you. No more slamming body parts into doors, I hope? Ha, well in any case please take care, and with some luck I shall see you sooner than this last bout ^.^ Take care once more~
  Culann / HanyouMokushi / 1y 74d 8h 12m 45s
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