'Souls RPG

Full Version: Because I know there’s more than one way to lose
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Firelight from the hearth cast a warm, golden glow against the closed lids of his eyes. He watched the way the fire danced, keeping his eyes stubbornly shut and trying to will himself back to sleep. It was too early yet, to be awake. The fire had hardly burned down and the crackling of the wood as it was reduced to ash was still much too loud.

Too loud.

It had been the sounds of the flames that first drew Percival from his slumber, but it was the acrid, caustic smell that lifted his eyes and jerk him into full alert. Lifting his head, the Guppy — all the appearance of a young man now, with his ability to shift — released an alarmed bark and scrambled to his feet.

Their fireplace, tame and loyal, held a dying fire. But outside, beyond the walls of their safe, cozy cabin, somewhere — perhaps everywhere — a blaze was devouring their home like a monster.

Things moved quickly after his family woke, and Percy was only aware of how he managed to carry himself from the cabin to the disaster outside. Flames licked the night sky and was eating Fiskebyn alive. A cry rang out, followed by another, and before long the entirety of their village was awake and scrambling to combat the flames.

Percival stood, watching as familiar shapes moved and shouted and toiled. It felt as though he was paralyzed and it wasn’t until Daisy materialized next to him that he broke free of the hypnotic grip the trauma had on him.

”What’re ya doing, slugbrains! Go help Ma!” his sister shouted, running down the path from the village.

”Daisy! Where are you going?”

”To find Pa! Go! Help Ma and ‘Gun!”

He watched her a second longer, then turned away to find his mother. As much as he hated to admit it, Daisy was right: their mother would know what to do.

And, though the fire raged and burned hot, angry, and strong, Percival felt as though everything would be okay.

OOC: This is KR’s first group thread to combat the flames, set in Fiskebyn. No posting order!

[WC — 340]

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OOC: Dx!

Since her encounter with the young woman who had screeched prophecies on the borders, the Navigator had done her best to push away the worry that prophecy might become promise.

And then she woke one night to flames that seemed to roar out all those same promises. Fiskebyn was burning.

Eliza scrambled to her paws with the usual warmth in her brown eyes turned to wild panic. As she swiped for a bucket she sought the familiar shapes of her children: Cora was cowering around Liz’s ankles; Logan was heading for the door of the cottage. Percy - sensible, considerate Percy - seemed to have been locked into place by fear and the Cormier matriarch couldn’t blame him.

They were all too young to remember the fall of the Red Star, the panic and chaos that had ensued.

“Kids!” Eliza screamed, her gaze still darting around for the scruff-coated figure of her eldest daughter. She gestured wildly for Cora to follow as she made for the doorway in her eldest son’s wake. The amber glow of flames all but swallowed the many freckles in Gun’s pelt and Liz found herself rushing forward to collar the young man.

“Th’ lake! Get to th’ lake!”

“Where’s Da ‘n’ Daze?!”
Cora yelled. When Eliza met her youngest child’s eyes she saw that the smoke was making them stream tears. She couldn’t stop herself mirroring the expression of panic before she tore her gaze away, searching desperately through shadows and smoke for Milos and Daisy. She couldn’t allow Cora to feel her frenzy – though Goddess knew her youngest had always had an innate ability to pick up on people’s emotions.

“They en’t stupid – they’ll meet us there.”

It was more of a prayer than a promise – but Eliza knew in her soul that Milos would never abandon them and Daisy would stick with her Pa.

“Percy, Cora! C’mon!”

Eliza moved off, shadowed by Cora and praying that Percival was following. She threw a glance in the direction of Aster’s Fields and her ears pinned back to keep out the noises of panicking animals. Eliza couldn’t afford to shut down now and though she loved her caribou herd dearly they had instinct to keep them; her children had only their parents.

The lake, they had to reach the lake – a mere few hundred yards away, yet they might as well have been running a marathon as they fought through choking smoke and scorching flame, Liz collaring other Krokarans where she could.

Everything would be all right if only they could reach the placid shores of Sister Lake.

The sky was red as she walked down the dirt walkway of the small village the clans put together. Inara made her way to the old gypsy, Marithel. She had started teaching readings and would tell her fables. Inara loved the old gypsy lady.

Just before she got to the old lady, Inara felt a need to turn around. It was then she saw flames growing. Her family was standing there calling to her when the flames began to engulf them. It felt so real that Inara started to run to them, only to feel the heat as the flames came to her. The smell of burning earth, wood, and ash stung her nose. She ran faster. Her heart raced as she screamed for help. The warmth of the fire could be felt on her pelt. She heard a bark, and she halted looking around. Fire was all around her. She had no escape.

Inara woke with a start. She was confused as the smell of ash, smoke, and burning wood filled her nose. Shooting to her paws she saw all the Cormiers and Parhelions running out the door. No...no...no! She screamed in her head as she saw the flames. She had to be having a nightmare. She closed her eyes hoping to wake up, hoping this was all a nightmare. The house crackled and began to creak, her eyes shot open as she looked above her. It was real...it was happening.

She felt her throat tighten as her eyes burned, but not from the ashes and smoke, but from the emotions the weld up inside her.

Eliza was ushering everyone to the lake, but her paws were frozen. The house was loosing its stability and she realized she had to move or she'd die. Would that be so bad? Maybe I'm cursed...this had to be my fault then... Her body began to tremble, and a whimper busted from her. Her tail tucked tightly beneath her.

"...I...I need to move..I need to help them.." The voice in her head snarled at her, You're useless...look at you, you can't even shift...you useless whimp..

She began to shrink. "No..No." Her trembling got worse as the house creaked and moaned more. Smoke filling the room. Yes...you can't even move...what good are you?

She felt the tears burning her eyes and trickling down her fur as she balled up. "I can't save them. I can't do anything..."

WC: 410
Closed eyes and a quiet mind muddled with a gentle dream of soft breezes, the slow lapping of waves, and the sun's warmth was interrupted by a loud snap. Aenan's eyes opened and he quickly sat up. Reality was very much different from his dream. A thick smoke wound itself around his home like a snake, coiling around it's victim. His lungs felt constricted as he tried to breathe, he knew he had to get out before it was too late. Behind him he could feel the heat of flames, he could hear wood popping and cracking from the fire's bite as it chew and ate the timbers to keep itself alive, and grow bigger. Fire had an insatiable appetite, and the man did not want to be on the menu.

Though it was hard to see in his home, the man slowly felt along the floor near him for his backpack and bandolier. His home may have been sparse with furniture, but that only meant his life could be carried on his back. He kept low and krept along the floor to his work table, and it was there where he stood. With his head in the thick of the smoke, Aenan held his breath and clenched his eyes tight. He felt from one side to the other, picking up his things and instruments for knapping, and slipped them into his bag. Outside he could hear others shouting. He hoped they were okay and getting to safety. Finally, with his lungs screaming for air, the man finally placed his palm against the wall of his home, and felt along it until his fingers slid against paper. Quickly, and as carefully as he could, Aenan tore the edge of the paper, held to the wall by nails. It was his map of his original home, the landmass it was situated on.

With the most important tools saved, and his mementos tucked away the tall man quickly went for his door and practically busted through it. He took a deep breath of what he thought would be clean air, but was met with the dry sting of smoke. With watering eyes he looked around Fiskebyn and saw it all aflame. Homes and trees lit up, smoke, embers, and fire rising high into the sky. He felt many things at the sight. Confusion for sure, but sadness and anger as well. Those emotions were promptly replaced with a tinge of worry, and a determination. He was a Krokaran, Krokar was in trouble. It was his duty to protect his pack.

Feet sped towards the lake, his old backpack slung over one shoulder with the map of where he came from was stuffed in it, along with everything else. Everything he owned was on his back, it was safe, and now he could make sure others were as well. The lake was likely where everyone was going, and so he was making his way there. His whole home was on fire, and all he was trying to think about was how to save others before they were engulfed by the flames. He joined in with the shouting, warning all within earshot to go to the lake. He ran by still standing houses, and shouted into the windows and open doors, before finally crossing the road between and getting to the lake side of Fiskebyn.

He paused for a moment to catch his breath, panting desperately for air. His eyes and lungs stung, but he continued on, echoing Eliza's warning's and urging to go to the lake. He checked the lake side houses, far better than those on his side. Though that didn't matter as all would be ash soon. Amidst the flames and smoke he saw someone still in the home. The house had belonged to Eliza, and her family. From the sound of it, they must've been safe. The house itself would fall at any moment, and he had to make a quick decision right then and there. Go in and save a pack mate, but possibly die. Or leave to safety, but let a packmate perish. "I'll do you proud." He uttered a small prayer to his parents, though likely still alive. He had looked up to them all his young life and held no belief in a deity. Against his better judgement, Aenan dove into the burning house and placed his hands on the inhabitant. He didn't know who they were, but they certainly were not any of Eliza's brood. "Come on!" He shouted over the roar of the flames. "I'll take you to the lake, we'll be safe there!" He had already decided he’d drag them out if he had to, and was beginning to urge and pull them towards the door.

WC: 793
The walls around her hissed, popped, and crackled as the roaring flames moved along the wood structure of the house. She kept her eyes closed as she contemplated over this decision.

They left you...don't you see? They don't want or need you...just die.. The voice hissed with the fire as she shrunk into herself more and whimpered. The corners of her eyes ran with the watering of her eyes.

Inara coughed a little, the smoke beginning to fill the room. He's right. I'm useless to them. I'm just an extra...I'm sorry Bramble. I am a burden. Look what I caused...

She was ready to resign in her chosen fate when a brown toned sable man came bursting into the room. She wouldn't have noticed him, the sounds in her own head and the fire were all she heard, but he grabbed her. This startled Inara to open her eyes and her head shot up. "No! I deserve to die!" She howled, and she wiggled and fought to be put down. It was futile since the man who grabbed her was a large Luperci in his Optime form and she herself hadn't shifted yet and was in the puny useless lupus form. She wasn't a small lupus though, she was 90lbs and 26 inches in height. Still it wasn't a match to the seven foot Optime male. Inara was stubborn though as she fought and squirmed as he dragged her out of the house.

It wasn't even 10 seconds once the two were outside that the house Milos allowed Inara to stay in collapsed. And she became stunned at the sight of the Cormier Parhelion home collapsing. It was like the symbolism to her life and what was happening here and now. Her heart sank further into the pit of her stomach, and she howled more, "Why is this happening!? What did I do to cause this!?" This had to be a nightmare, this couldn't be happening! It is because you're weak, you're pathetic! The voice sneered.

Eliza was there, suddenly, and Percy felt a wave of reassurance despite the angry flames and clouds of smoke and cacophony of cries. No, it would be okay. His mother was here; nothing bad could happen to his mother or his siblings or any of them. They would be okay. Everything would be okay.

His mother called for him and, as though in a daze, Percival staggered forwards a handful of steps before stopping again. At the back of his mind, something clawed against his skull.

He didn't notice the swift shape of his pack mate, but he heard the cry of a voice, a familiar voice – her voice. "Inara..." he breathed, turning his head to the inferno that was eating away their home.

Their home.

Percival was aware only of the deep, heavy ticking of his heart and the cruel reality that nothing – absolutely nothing – was okay. "Inara!" he cried against he roar of the flames, frozen with indecision and uncertainty and horrible, selfish fear.

But from the smoke and ash, the shape of someone dragging something materialized from the cottage. It grew more dense, more sharp, more real, and Percival finally remembered how to breathe the moment he realized who it was. He started forward and then skidded to a stop just as quickly when the house – their home – collapsed into itself in a cloud of hot air and burning embers.

Percival stared, mouth agape, and felt as though his own heart was trapped beneath the timbers and ash until Inara's voice cut through his stupor. Without fully feeling as though he was in control, Percy felt his body move toward his friend's – his sister's – howling figure. "Inara! Stop! We gotta go!" he cried and look mechanically up at Aenan. "C'mon, Aenan. Help me get her to the lake! Mama says the lake's where we gotta get to!"

Imploringly, he looked between the two canines and gestured in the direction of Sister Lake, reaching out now as though to tug at Inara's fur.

[WC — 342]

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