[P] tear in abyss
[A Tear in the Tapestry] | Jan 3rd | Bellad
take everything i have

When they began to pull back, she had allowed herself a sliver of hope that the worst of it was behind them.

There was bloodshed and carnage, but such was to be expected. The fact that no one had yet lost their life — or as far as she knew, no one had — was promising, even if many of their warriors had already sustained damage from the battle-hardened Ghosts and fanatical Eyes and Tears. The damage to their territory was minimal: it could be fixed. They could recover.

An eerie quiet fell over the Realm. Where Fennore thought she might feel a weight lift from her shoulders, instead, she felt wary, on-edge, a dull sense of anticipation festering in her chest.

Her magenta, hawkish gaze narrowed when she saw movement, the fuzzy outlines of something otherworldly and wrong blending in with the trees.

In the darkness, she couldn't understand the full scope of the assault yet to come. But when she heard the first thwack! as a boulder soared through the sky, she felt her heart drop into her stomach.

The sound of splintering wood and crushing stone made her ears cringe, and her eyes fell down to the Square below, where a building's roof was left caving in. Immediately the screams began in earnest, Caledonians rushing out of their homes to the commotion before another boulder crashed into the ground in an eruption of dirt and mud.

They hadn't truly retreated at all. These skirmishes, the distracting attacks — they were merely a precursor to the true devastation to come, setting the stage for their weapons of mass destruction.

Every step of the way, they had always been one ahead.

Immediately the wolfess was descending the stairs to head for the main hall, where the desecrated doors of the Bastion had already been flung open. Outside, another crash rung in the air as a building was ripped apart.

The Isiltári, mortified, gripped with abject horror, let loose a harrowing howl,

"To the Bastion! Fall back to the Bastion!"

The Realm did not need to be told twice, though similar summons jumbled into one another as they began to pour in through the doors, the stench of fear heavy as they piled in to escape the siege.

In the crowd, she could see Amon clearly, his towering form dwarfing all those around him as he made a beeline for his mistress. "Secure the side entrances," she ordered, her voice short as if out of breath, "barricade them if you must. No one is to leave."

He gave a grunt and shouldered his way through the crowd, leaving Fennore to try and assuage the terrified masses until the High King joined her.


The excitement would not die down completely. With many Caledonians violently uprooted from their homes to squeeze into the Fort, the tension and uncomfortable energy was readily felt, something that only grew with each discordant clash that followed at regular intervals just outside their walls.

"We need to take a headcount," Amon said. Whatever emotions he felt were kept tightly under lock and key, his face void of anything at all. "See who's missing."

The wolfess nodded solemnly.


In all of the confusion, she hadn't yet checked on her family, her husband and her children — her devotion to them tested to that of the Realm at large as she sought out the Songthorn by calling his name.


It did not take long, despite the new challenges that a full Bastion presented them. Breathing a sigh of relief, the celtic woman gave him a swift nuzzle, just enough to feel him and be felt.

Atica was there, too, her sunlit eyes reflecting back the dull torchlight as she cupped the girl's face in her hands.

"And where is your brother?" she asked.

The widening of her daughter's eyes was an immediate red flag. Something cold and dark, like the steel of a knife, plunged through her heart.

"... Where is our son?" she asked again, turning to Bellad this time as her hands fell away from Atica's cheeks.

Her breath hitched, a deafening ringing blotting out all other sounds as Caledonians rustled by.

"Where is Rohan?" she demanded, a third time, her voice climbing to a feverish pitch.

She looked about frantically, the ground beneath her feeling as though it might give way at any moment.

But he was nowhere to be found, vanished without a trace.


"Rohan?" She abandoned them there, gathering her many skirts in her hands as she desperately called out his name, the eyes of many of her peers looking upon her with shock. No one had ever seen her in such a state before — never once had her mask been tested so.


Another crash shook the walls of the Fort. Fennore leaned against it for support when she felt like they were all closing in, suffocating her.

And still, he did not come.

"ROHAN!!" she screamed, for anyone and everyone that would listen.

Where was her son? Where had he gone?

Was he still out there? Had he been struck by one of the boulders? Was he trapped?

Had he not been there, in the Bastion? Where had he gone?

She shrieked his name again, throwing off the strong arm of Amon when he came to pull her upright from her slump against the wall.


takes place in response to this thread

sig by Despi
Let me know if anything needs to be edited [+1170]
The Circle’s work was becoming painfully vital. Even in the early days of conflict they received plenty into their care, many far more gravely injured than others. It had pained him to send away Calan to rest in his quarters despite the head injury, but with his friend at least able to walk they needed room for those who could not do without rest.

Yuki’s suffered an even worse impact to the head. Reblin lost an eye to an arrow. Bellad could only vaguely recall the pack of his birth ever having to deal with injuries this severe, yet he was coming of age where there were no Elders to commit to such procedures. He was the closest thing to one now. A Councilor. And even if he wasn’t? The cruel reality was not asking him.

“Fetch me more bandages and clean water!” He called out from the bedside of one of his patients. The paltry remains of their supplies left him wishing for some of the finer poultices and powders they have made before. But at least there were able hands. His apprentice, his brother, other members of the Guild. And yet the Councilor still wouldn’t rest his own hands.

Supplies were brought to him. He swapped the bandages covering most of Reblin’s muzzle, watching tiny bloodstains bloom like a smattering of crimson flowers on the fabric until enough layers covered his injury. The man’s groans accompanied the procedure, as did the sound of the Guild bustling against the grown number of casualties.

Bellad stood up. Some of their wards writhed in their beds, yet they had little means of calming them. Not even the seemingly omnipresent lavender was in ample supply at this point.

The crashing sound from above made Bellad’s body instinctively compress, then something brought him to his knees, splinters of wood showering him as something smashed into the floor before him. It dug a trench through the wood, and called out screams from those in the Circle’s building. Dazed, shocked, the healer stared at the stone, then turned back, pelt specked with dust and debris, and looked at the hole in the roof.

This wasn’t only the beginning. Through the windows he could see more buildings get hit. And in his ears he heard ringing and screaming from within and without.

“Out! Get out now! Help the wounded!”

Many were too far from consciousness to walk, but shoulders to lean on were the best they could offer. Only one set of makeshift stretchers was available for a single of their injured. Bellad stood at the threshold of the building, occasionally staring back at the projectile that, had the angle been but a bit different, will have shattered the back of his skull. His scarred shoulder stung and he found himself removing a splinter he hadn’t noticed before. Painful. Not crippling. If only all of the Realm could describe its injuries so.

They made it outside. He saw his people hobbling. Rallying howls called them to the Bastion. He answered and directed the rest. One last glance at the building. No one left behind. Not this time. A tiny sliver of hope, yet they were still under fire. “To the Bastion! Everyone to the Bastion! Don’t stop, don’t look back!” And he joined in helping carry one of the less able into what had to be at least a relative place of safety.


So many were inside, but at least that meant they made it. A cacophony of sounds welcomed him, and the smell of dozens of bodies, scared, bloodied. He heard Souls crying out the names of their loved ones. Was it because they were searching for them, or because they knew tragic fates that had befallen them? Having directed the Circle and the rescued as best he could, he found himself looking around.

At some point, Atica all but crushed into him, and he wrapped his arms tightly around his daughter.

“Are you hurt?”

“No. Are you? Where’s mom?”

He looked around. His eyes found her. The healer rushed over to his Light, feeling her breath, taking in her scent for that brief instance of touch they shared. The family was almost complete. Where was Rohan?

"And where is your brother?" He heard Fennore ask their daughter. Atica’s breath hitched.


He had no contribution to this, but he felt his blood run cold. “Rohan?” He called out. The chill in his veins picked up and prickled at his skin, made his fur bristle. “ROHAN?!”

He still didn’t have his Deft Hand. Perhaps he was just winding his way among the many feet in the room. He had to be here. He had to be. They all made it, hadn’t they?

Nearby, Fennore’s voice picked up and brimmed with panic. As she ran from them, Bellad followed, Atica staying behind to keep looking, keep calling. He had to navigate the crowd to get to her. Everyone heard her screams, but no one answered. Certainly not Rohan. He was not the only one. Amon was there as well. It seemed he was trying to keep Fennore steady, but she was having none of it.

“Fennore!” Bellad called out, drawing closer, but what could he do? He hadn’t their son to bring her. He failed.

“I’ll go find him!” Atica’s voice shook him out of this instance of hesitation. “He might still be out in the City Square. I’ll go find him!”

“No!” Bellad told her sharply, turning to face the girl. To think that she was ready to head into danger after what nearly befell her during the patrol with Yuki. It could have been her among the wounded. Writhing, bedridden, with her own father and the Guild drained of means to adequately support her. “You will stay here. I’ll go.”

“You are needed here! He’s my brother!” Atica was putting on a brave face. He could barely see the tears stinging at the corners of her eyes.

“I said no! I will search for Rohan myself!”

“Neither of you will do any such thing.” It was neither of the family who spoke. Amon towered by Bellad’s side, placing a hand on his arm before the Councilor could make a step anywhere towards the exit. “They are attacking the City Square. Nobody leaves.”

“Let go! My son must be out there!” Bellad snarled, but he could do nothing. Amon glared at him. The snarl held, but his efforts to break out of the grip died down. 

“Dad is… Is Rohan okay?”

He didn’t know, but he spoke either way. “He has to be…” He stepped over to Fennore and found a way to look into her eyes. He didn’t know what to say. He wished so dearly to reassure her, yet the creeping fear of being proven wrong stole his voice. He couldn’t look any steadier than Fennore did. He was afraid, if not screaming for his lost child.

Each other’s arms were all that the inconsolable parents could offer one another at this moment.

Forum Jump: