[P] All the ghosts come sing along
[A Tear in the Tapestry] P. Éna, Aenan, and Arran | Western border | Late afternoon
#1
A Tear in the Tapestry Wrote:The trees at the border have been marked with what seems like endless carvings of eyes and teardrops. Find signs of fresh carvings and follow a trail through the woods - only to discover an abandoned fire pit. A strange burnt figurine is in the charcoal remains - what does it mean?

Location: Border west of Haven || NPCs: Reblin (cNPC) || Form: Optime



"There. Theyrrigh' there."

Percival stepped cautiously forward, muscles taught and hackles raised. He hadn't thought to bring any weapons with him. It had not been his plan to be out near the borders at sunset when he left the City Square to retrieve his drunk cousin from the Brass Potato. And yet, here he was: illuminated by the bloody glow of the sleepy sun as he stepped, painfully slowly, to where Reblin was adamant there were symbols carved -- freshly, he insisted -- into the trees.

Kids, had been Percy's initial thought. Just kids being kids. Or the result of an Apothecary harvesting plant material.

But Reblin was visibly shaken. So much so that, whatever the carvings were, they had scared him damned near sober. He heard his cousin start to follow him and turned his head sharply, teeth bared, to make him stop.

"Stay put. If there's anything there, I need you to run for help," he whispered harshly, thinking that he would certainly be doomed if it came to that.

Nodding hesitantly, the piebald wolfdog stood back and watched with bated breath as the High Lord eased himself forward again. The dying sunlight defined the lines that had been cut into the wood, revealing a deliberate and familiar shape. Deeply unsettled, Percival's fur stood on end and with every inch forward, his muscles were primed to leap back again.

"Goddess..." Percy breathed when he at last reached the tree, the symbol of an eye with a teardrop carved brutally into its flesh peering back at him.

Mechanically, his eyes shifted past the carving and, with dread and unease weighing heavily on his soul, they followed a seemingly endless sea of marked trees. He looked at Reblin, horrified, before he tipped back his head and called for help. There was no chance he was going to leave this until the morning, but he needed help and there was safety in numbers.



[WC -- 324]

#2
OOC: Sorry for my delay! || WC: --
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She had been no stranger to the whims of the world that spun on its axis, outside this tentative and delicate net that had ensconced all of New Caledonia’s populace. The pious woman was no stranger to the war that had ravaged their lands before; and thus, when the symbols appeared, she approached them with her staunch skepticism.

The gods were dead here. Their faith had wavered too far from sanctimonious waters, and Her cleansing ways; and these symbols were heretical. Dark fingers reached up and traced the pallid etchings in the bark, and her stomach twisted in wonder, expectant and tentative and mortified. The audacity. The gall.

Dark lips parted as though to speak to these wounded wood, wood splintering away with a sweep of her wilting fingers, but, before she could, a voice breathed through the dark, and her fingers cinched about her hood. Baleful eyes turned towards a duo of men, their own gazes on these works. A call went up, and, with slow and calculated hesitance, she made an approach, hurrying the closer their proximity got. Her blue gaze flitted over the men, curtain of dark hair spilling out of her cloak and down her shoulders.

”Ah – so you have found them too, have you?” she asked, taking in the pied wolfdog’s unnerved expression.

I am not bound by where I'm from, I'm not awake I am not sleeping
as I walk along the in-between of everything come and gone
#3
Aenan gripped his walking stick tightly as he followed the eyes. Worry had invaded his gut since he first spied an eye. Shiras was near, that was the only calming note in the silent cacophony of scrawled trees. Unblinking and crying, his heart went out to the timbers that had the eyes gouged into them. The old man was not happy, only fear was growing with the worry. This was clearly a problem, one he hoped would be dealt with and finished immediately.

He would be raising two pups and starting a family in a place beset by strange markings and acts of arson. “They’d be better off staying in the Oldwood,” Aenan muttered to himself as he traced one of the eyes with an arthritic finger. One or two would be nothing, but the sheer number of carvings was frighteningly astounding. Fanatical, much like a group he faced in the past.

When he was less grey, the world was an adversary he could take on. But as he aged, as his joints stiffened and fur lost its luster. He was an old contender, but now things shook him to his core and rendered him useless. Krokar’s fall pulled him apart, but he moved on and grew. Then, once he seemed to heal, after he began a life with his mate, the whole world rumbled and brought him to the moving ground. Things out of his control, monumental events that he could only be forced to endure and experience. Those are the things that hurt him the most, and all these eyes brought about fear and worry, and pain.

Shiras finally returned, panting slightly. Once he locked eyes with his father, the man shook his head. “There’s so many, dad,” he told him. “Just a whole bunch, I couldn’t find an end to them.” The younger Pyr stepped towards Aenan and seemed to look him over. He must have been afraid that something could have happened to his father. “Should we inform someone—”

Both males’ sets of ears perked as a howl met them. They looked in its direction, and then at each other. Close, likely a packmate. They nodded, silently agreeing to investigate. The two moved slowly, thanks to Aenan’s age-ravaged gait. Optime form was not the kindest to his legs, but Aenan did not expect to be out for so long. Eventually they found a small group, and thankfully they were indeed packmates. Shiras had his knife drawn for the trek to the call, in case it was a trap. “Percival, Reblin,” Aenan stated, nodding to them as a greeting. To the third he nodded as well, but he did not know who they were. At least they smelled like an ally. “There’s eyes everywhere,” he stated. “More than I can count.”
#4
OOC: sorry for the wait! I started a reply and thought I had posted it, but I had not Dx | WC: 240

IC:
Since it was his night off from watching the flock, Arran figured he could head to the Brass Potato. He didn't go there too often, but with everything going on with the weird eyes and whatever, he figured he might go see how anyone there was feeling and see if he could offer reassurance. Or at least attempt to since the whole thing had him uneasy, too. He didn't know what was going on or why, and he didn't like it.

As he neared the pack's bar, he heard a call for help. His hackles rose, the hair down his back standing on end like a mohawk. Percival, Arran's mind supplied after a second. He turned and sped off in the direction it had come from. Arran skidded to a halt when he arrived, kicking up a little dirt in the process. His eyes swung to see who was there before landing on Percy.

"What's--" Then Arran's gaze landed on the eye carved into the tree. And another. And... they were everywhere. With his bobtail tucked and his ears pulled back a little, he looked around them. Who would have spent so much time doing this? Would the trees ever heal from it, or would the pack have these scarred trees forever.

"Wow, that's..." Arran's mouth was having a little trouble forming words due to his unease. "That's a lot."
ARRAN
6/7 Grand Quest Threads Complete
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#5
Location: Border west of Haven || NPCs: Reblin (cNPC) || Form: Optime



Reblin released a shrill and decidedly unbecoming scream when the dark woman materialized from the surrounding woods.

"Gods, woman! he yelped, breathing as though his heart had leapt out of his chest and taken a lap around the world before returning to him again. "What th' hell. Creepy much? Fuhhh."

He shouldn't have been surprised, Percival thought judgmentally, but the eerie atmosphere that had settled over them, combined with the liquor coursing though his cousin's body, must have made him jumpy. And his overreaction, in turn, caused the High Lord to start as well. After realizing it was only a newer Caledonian, he clicked his teeth irritably at Reblin before looking back at her.

"You've already seen these?" he questioned before giving his head an apologetic shake. "I'm sorry, but I'm not confident we've met. I'm Percival Parhelion, High Lord of Dawn. That's Reblin."

It wasn't long before others began to appear, first Aenan and Shiras followed by Arran. Percy nodded to each of them and their observations.

"They appear to carry on and on," he said, pointing out the trail of vandalized trees with his brows deeply furrowed. "I'm asking for help investigating this sighting. With our numbers, we should remain safe. And it is my hope we might glean some answers as well."

He paused a moment, looking at each of those present, before stepping forward to follow the trail...



[WC -- 242]
OOC: To keep the thread moving, I'm fine with minor PPs of Percy and Reblin following along as others progress along the trail. <3


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