[P] [M] The sky is a door, you've been givеn the sight

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: language.

The weather cooled.

The rivers, lurid in how they gripped at wet fur and dark in vengeful depth, changed with the season. Lorien waded up to his knees. The mud saturated his feet and welcomed him into the riverbed. That familiar feeling rose up through Lorien’s spine.

His lungs burned.

Breathing. Right. He opened his mouth and expelled lungfuls of smoke. He rattled with a coughing fit that seized him. With one final hack, he cleared what took him.

”Fuck! Now I have to start over, goddamnit.”

Lorien groaned and returned to the shore. The ritual was interrupted just because he lost his focus. He stuck his joint back in his mouth and fumed in his frustration. He fought to regain control of his breathing. The soul of the ritual left when the smoke choked him. He had to be careful not to forget to breathe again.
WC: 367

"But it's 'yellow', Bloom, it's not gonna come out of 'white' fabric..." Arianna whimpered as she was being lead by the hand in a rush towards the river. The medic held up her skirt to as not to snag it on any underbrush and tried her best to keep up as the Lifeguard dragged her along with a one-track mind. "It'll come out. It's gotta." Said Bloom with a frown. Clearly distressed, the Briddn woman was determined to help Arianna try and wash the stain from her brand new clothing.

She had bought the Medic a new outfit at the Lancaster Stockshow and Arianna had accidentally spilled one of her herbal tinctures on the front of it and now a bright yellow streak ran down the skirt ruining it. Feeling awful for her mishap, Ari allowed Bloom to lead her to the water. She wasn't confident that washing the fabric would do much for the herbs she'd mixed were quite potent and concentrated, they'd likely have seeped into the very fibers of the dress. "I'm sorry I ruined your gift..." She said sadly and Bloom snorted.

"It's not ruined, we're gonna fix it." Bloom insisted and perked her ears at the sound of the river rushing up ahead. "C'mon. Let's get you cleaned up, Ari." She released the other Eclipsian's paw and parted the brush and without hesitation, despite the frigid water, stepped into the current, holding out her paws for Ari to join her.

Just then a loud cursing upstream made Bloom turn her head in the direction of the familiar voice. Spotting Lorien, Bloom grinned. "One sec, Ari." She said as the healer stepped into the water with a large shiver. Nodding Arianna held onto a low hanging tree branch to keep from being swept away by the current. Up to her knees in the water, Bloom waded her way upstream, paw on her sword hilt. Lifting her other paw in a friendly wave she greeted the Coara man. "Heyyy, Lorien. What's up?" She grinned and tipped her head curiously. "What's got you out here in the river?" She asked, glancing back to make sure Arianna was okay. Ari looked on silently, observing the interaction.
Distraction after distraction broke Lorien’s focus. The thoughts swelled in a loud roar within his head. They were still nowhere near as loud as a friend’s voice. Dionians proved to be especially impossible to shut out.

Liam told Lorien as much about these two already.

Bloom, an Eternal Flame of Brig, never backed down. She waded into the cold river waters just to check on her friend. Lorien turned his head to stare deep into those verdantly green eyes of hers. Lorien opened his mouth to respond, and another column of opaque smoke escaped his teeth.


That was all Lorien told her.

”You Dionians never give up, do you? Is Ari behind us, then?”
WC: 270

Bloom watched the smoke pour from Lorien's mouth as he opened it to respond with a singular word answer. She chuckled and grinned, soggy tail wagging in the water behind her. "Worship huh? What's it involve?" She asked, all the curiosity, ever, in her voice, green eyes bright with wonder. The scent of cannabis was heavy on the air and that definitely piqued the Lifeguard's interest in whatever ritual he was trying to accomplish. "Y'know, I've been meaning to ask you for your help in better connecting and figuring out ways to worship Brig, perhaps I could help you with this ritual and maybe I can pick up some pointers or two."

Laughing at his statement about the Dionans, Bloom waved a paw. "Ha, you're stuck with us now." She smirked playfully. Jerking her thumb over her shoulder she nodded to his assumption. "Aye, Ari's just back there. I actually need to help her with her outfit, real quick, but I'm sure we could both put our minds and energy into helping you if you wanted." She offered hopefully. Behind her, Arianna had started picking her way along the bank, in the shallows of the river towards the two of them. When she was within earshot she waved gently and gave the Coara man a small, meek smile, splaying her ears. "Hi Lorien. I hope you are well." She dipped her muzzle to him, keeping her paws folded over the unsightly yellow stain on the front of her skirt and glancing anxiously at Bloom, wanting to get her outfit cleaned so she didn't look a mess in front of Lorien.
The Dionians were newcomers, but damn were they persistent in learning their ways.

Liam told Lorien over and over again that they deserved a chance just as much as anyone else did, and oh, think about what they could contribute. Lorien wanted to argue with his Chief about that, but doing so would have made him into a massive hypocrite.

Lorien made the same case about Kaleidoscope to everyone, including the ever-stubborn and difficult to please Gwen.

”You are a fast learner, Sonic Bloom.”

A wry smile lightened Lorien’s face. He reserved the creation of affectionate and playful nicknames like that only for his Trusted friends. Choko Stabnaka, Banjomin, and more were examples that came before Sonic Bloom.

Lorien waded past her.

”You just need to give yourself time to Bloom.”

Lorien climbed onto the shore. Bloom had mentioned Ari’s wardrobe malfunction like it was something that mattered, so Lorien gave her a wide berth. He twisted his body into a writhing shake. The water flew from his white fur until it fluffed out somewhat, still damp.

”What’s wrong with your outfit, then? It looks good to me.”
WC: 552

Bloom's ears perked at the nickname Lorien dropped. She laughed and grinned. She liked it. It was fitting. He then used creative word play to reassure her and the Briddn woman smirked as he waded past her to see Ari more clearly. "Oh hardy har." She playfully stuck out her tongue and placed her paws on hips.

"I suppose you're right though. As usual." She amusedly rolled her eyes and then stretched her arms skywards, popping her back. "Mmf. She then watched on the interaction between her friends with a warm smile. Arianna looked down at her paws and then back up at Lorien at his question, splaying her ears further. She slowly removed her hands from in front of the yellow stain on her skirt. "I got a tincture on it." She said embarrassed. "It'll never be the same." She said clearly distressed about it. Looking to Bloom, the healer whined once and then moved into deeper water holding up her skirt. "Let's give it a shot, Bloom?" She asked pleadingly and the Lifeguard nodded, snapping her attention back to the Medic. She had been sniffing the air. The cannabis still hung heavily around them but it wasn't enough to get any kind of secondary high from.

"Go ahead and kneel into the water, Ari." Bloom said and waded over to take Arianna's paw, helping her carefully lower into the stream. Shivering, Ari got into position, kneeling, almost as if worshipping... "Ooo it's chilly!" She chuckled gritting her teeth against the cold. Looking up at Lorien she smiled softly, gaze gentle. "I hope this works." She then began to gently agitate the fabric of her skirt in the water, scrubbing at the stain. Her dress flowed out ethereally around her and her tail floated like a fluffy lure atop the river current. Her gentle features reflected back up at her in the water's surface.

Standing just behind her and supporting Ari's back braced against her legs, Bloom stood like the Dionan protector she was. Supportive, ever watchful and caring. Her fiery red hair caught shafts of sunlight like flame and green eyes went from gazing soft and lovingly down at the healer at her feet then back up at Lorien with a fierce determination and kindness. "It will work." She said confidently meeting Lorien's eyes, but her focus was slightly off... Then. "If me or Brig have any sway, I promise you Ari, you will be cleansed..."

She spoke these words softer, her tone of voice oddly emotional. Her word choice not what was expected from Bloom typically, but in that moment, standing there in the river, Bloom suddenly felt overwhelmed by a deep sense of passion, duty, desire and euphoria. Her mind buzzed and her body felt light and tingly. She knew that in that moment, the gods had imparted a knowledge, a certainty, upon her she couldn't have otherwise known.

Smiling softly down at the Medic, Bloom watched with a blossoming feeling of pride as sure enough, the stain started to wash out of Ari's skirt and the healer's demeanor went from demure, meek and sad to hopeful, astonished, excited even, and she actually grinned and laughed out loud. "I don't believe it..." She uttered softly in awe to herself, green and gold flecked eyes brimming with happy tears.
OOC: Had my religious experience with Bloom’s yelling done at Claire’s Camp

Bloom gave Lorien a sarcastic laugh and a sassy hand on her hip. Lorien smiled playfully in response. Bloom was a true friend of Lorien’s now. She was of a different Clan than Osoa, but he still saw her as a sister. The Dionians made him and every other Camper feel safer.

The Irish woman apparently stood toe to toe with some fearsome competition at the Stockshow.

From Reed’s impassioned re-tellings, Lorien knew it had to be good. The man was blind, he had not even seen the events and battles, he only heard the terrible clashing of two fierce powers.

Right before Lorien’s eyes, he saw Bloom carry her fierceness into her fervor and faith. Lorien stood back and watched in hushed awe. It was bad luck to interfere with a ritual like this.

”You will be cleansed.”

And so it was done.

”I see now there is no room for doubt about Brig or Clan Diona.”

Lorien waited on the riverbank still.

”Have you ever performed a miracle like that before?”
WC: 473

As if coming out of a trance, Bloom looked up when Lorien spoke, green eyes coming back from their far away place. "Hm? Have I what?" She blurted, blinking a little stunned. Looking down at Arianna where she held her now clean dress in her paws, letting the water run over the fabric and through her fingers, the Lifeguard realized what the Coara man meant.

Splaying her ears, feeling a stranger warmth in the depths of her breast, the Briddn hybrid chuckled softly and rubbed at the back of her neck with her free hand. "I uh...Maybe?" She smiled slightly then and looked back up to the other Eclipsian on the river bank. "I've never thought of it like that." She hummed in her chest and set her paw upon Ari's head gently. "I told you it would come out, Arianna." The healer looked up, tears still in her eyes, yet to fall. "I'm sorry I doubted you... Sorry I doubted her." She said voice shaky and cracking. Sniffling, the Nightwalker woman looked to Lorien with a small smile and began to rise to her feet again with the assistance of Bloom's arm. Water poured off her sodden skirt and the fabric clung to her legs and curves.

"I've seen Bloom do similar before. Her will is extremly strong. But I've never seen it happen so directly or so quickly. I feel certain that Brig just blessed her with divine intervention." Said the Medic knowingly. Bloom felt hot around the collar. She hadn't done anything but willed the stain to come out. It wasn't even set into the fabric like she'd thought, that's why it had come out so easy, right? What was all this talk about it being some godly act? Feeling uncomfortable for a moment, Bloom shifted foot to foot in the water. "Are...Are you sure Ari?" She asked, uncertain. "Why me though? Why did Brig choose me? I still don't understand that part."

Arianna chuckled and placed her paw on her friend's shoulder looking into Bloom's eyes with affection. "Because you're worthy in her eyes, Bloom. And I agree. She made the right choice." Ari leaned in and kissed the ginger woman's forehead before wading back to the bank where Lorien stood and began to wring out the water from her clothes. Bloom stood in the middle of the river where she'd been left, frowning and thinking hard about what had just occurred.

Looking back at her two fellow Campers, she sighed and then shrugged, visibly resetting herself and then wagged her tail. "Well, I guess then since I can perform miracles now, Lorien, let's see if I can't help you with your ritual. I know you've got weed around here somewhere, I could smell it." She smirked, wading to the river bank as well and joining her comrades there.
Bloom reacted with shock. Lorien watched the two Dionians process yet another experience with Brig together. The sight reminded him of himself and his sister in more ways than one. The sight of an Eclipsian performing a rite oft spooked feebleminded outsiders. Ari and Bloom were once nothing more than strangers, but now he saw a single truth:

The gods’ hands were in everything.

”I am sorry I doubted you and Brig too.”

Lorien dipped his head low out of reverence.

”Brig made the best choice when She picked you two and brought you to our Chief. Everything happens for a reason, everything is connected. Forget that not in your piety.”

His fellow Lifeguard sniffed out his weed already. She said as much as she freed the fabrics of her clothing of its water. Lorien let loose an unexpected and sudden guffaw.

”You little green monster. You’re worse than Liam is. Very well, ‘tis the season.”

Lorien picked his way over to a tree that resided near the riverbank. He stooped over and retrieved a bundle from where it sat hidden among the roots. He sat down on the earth and went about rolling them some joints.

”We will have to do my ritual somewhere else. You used the latent energy that was in the river up for such a powerful miracle.”

Once the first joint was rolled, Lorien held it out to Bloom.

”Do you want some, Ari?”
WC: 503

Bloom still felt a little out of herself after the little 'miracle moment' in the river, but she knew the feeling would pass given time to reorient to her own reality. She'd been touched by her goddess, that was bound to leave an impression on oneself. She felt good knowing that she'd now received more validation about Brig. Smiling down at Ari as she knelt and wrung out her skirts, the Briddn woman too, wrung out her pant legs and tunic free of the excess river water before ear-perking at the sudden sound of Lorien's laughter after her inquiry.

Smirking and placing her paws on her hips, Bloom laughed as well. "Whaaaaat? Can I help it if I like the stuff, a lot?" She said and followed behind the other Eclipsian to his stash, watching him roll the blunts. As he offered her one, she accepted it graciously and pulled out a small chip of green glass from the pocket of her breeches and held it up to the sunlight. Angling the joint perfectly into the shaft of light, she used the reflection through the glass to heat up and ultimately light her roll. It began to smoke and then caught fire within moments. The Dionian hummed contentedly and brought the cannabis to her maw, inhaling deeply the substance and holding it a second before exhaling expertly.

Arianna didn't partake in cannabis very often, even though she knew many of the Campers did. She had of course tried it before, as she'd tried almost every herb and remedy she used in her medicinal practices. How else would she understand the effects of what she was giving to her patients? When offered a joint of her own, the healer paused a moment, hesitating, but then nodded. "Sure, I guess I can this one time." She said and took the joint from Lorien, looking up at Bloom from where she sat criss-cross on the ground. "Will you spark this please, Bloom?" She asked and the Lifeguard held her lit joint to the end of Ari's until hers also ignited.

Ari took a small puff from her joint and immediately choked. The coughing fit that followed made Bloom grin like an idiot and laugh. "Careful there Ari..." She rubbed her companion's back soothingly as her coughing subsided. "Oops. It's....been a while." Said the Medic abashedly and took a second before trying again, this time with more success. Blushing and looking to Lorien, Arianna smiled softly. "Thank you for sharing." Bloom nodded. "Yeah, thanks for sharing with us, Lorien. Always good to have a smoke with good people." She said taking a seat on a fallen log, holding her joint between her fingers.

Looking between her two fellow campers, Bloom sighed contently. "So, Lorien, what made you choose this specific spot for your ritual? And what all does it entail exactly?" The ginger wolf asked, curiosity dripping from her voice. She was fascinated by the spiritual practices of others. "Sorry again for interrupting it." Added Arianna quietly.

Forum Jump: