the return

for athras bb

POSTED: Tue May 21, 2019 12:58 am

He returned to the camp with little more than a pheasant, a single bird strung lamely over his shoulder. Iomair was no expert with the bow, and so he had checked traps that had been carefully set through out the forest at Tamlins behest. The pheasant was a welcome change from the rabbit and squirrels that had so often become regulars around their campfire. Iomair pined for the wealth that had so often been brought to his table – Vodeva had been a fine cook, but there had been others to help, hands upon hands to do washing and mending, hunting and fishing.

Here everyone did their own work – for it was a new beginning, but one that Iomair sought to eventually change.

The way to the camp was slow going, and for a moment The King grew lost amongst the trees and was forced to pause to find his bearings. He had scratched long marks into some of the trunks in an effort to make the return less meandering, but somehow he had allowed his feet to take him too far North, so that when he finally stumbled into the camp night had already begun to lengthen the shadows that gathered and clung like cobwebs against their tents.

The man coughed softly, bringing the bird to his front and gathering it up in his hands as he began to head for the fire.

The man sprawled there bade him pause, and his expression drooped with shocked surprise.

”Athras?”

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New Caledonia
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Amanda
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POSTED: Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:46 pm

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Basking in the blessed warmth just beyond the soft gold halo of firelight Athras lounged four-legged. His body was long and svelte his fur sleek and gleaming. Delicate forelegs were outstretched and crossed one over the other, his long feathered tail curled in around his hind legs. Slanted cyan eyes seemed to glow as they caught the light: ghostly, alluring. His silhouette was dark, his narrow features and soft feathering sharpened by it’s shadowy cast. His head was lifted, gaze intent on the flames, staring. His ears shifted forward as if seeing, hearing something that was not there. He did not blink until his eyes had long gone dry and his king spoke his name.

Slowly and deliberately Athras turned his head, but it was several moments before he breathed life back into his hollowed cheeks, his haunted eyes. “Your Grace.”

For days Athras had been anxious to set eyes on their benevolent king, their graceful ruler- their majestic master of the realm. And yet, now as they met for the first time since the fall of their kingdom, the half-shadow was resigned, slow and unhurried. He uncoiled like a snake, graceful as a dancer, unwinding his tail and coming to a stand on long slender legs. “Allow me to slip into something more comfortable, hm.” He sauntered away from the fire to his bed of moss, leaves, and peat to retrieve his dark robe then swift as a shadow retreated behind the canvas tent of the royals. As he shifted the fire cast his changing shape on the canvas until two-legged he dressed in his embroidered robe and returned.

“I’ve been waiting for you.” He said to Iomair, smoothing the edge of his robe against his partially exposed chest, “you look surprised to see me. What a shame we did not all burn with our forest.” His gaze was intent, the corner of his clever mouth twitching ever- so-slightly upwards.

Athras Eryn
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The Half-Shadow
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Stormie
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POSTED: Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:46 pm

The boy was born of Druids, and it was evident in the way his legs twisted before him like reedy branches of Nanin. Athras Eryn was old blood, blood that ran through the very core of Caledonia and had somehow made it to the other side unscathed. The man rose from his place next to the fire and Iomair bowed his head to give the man his space as he trotted behind a backlit canvas – the tent igniting his shadow as he shifted to two legs.

Iomair flattened his ears to the sounds the body made as it went through its transition. He wondered about the Taur’s family, of the Clansmen that could have traveled with him.

He felt his heart tighten as he considered the loss that fell in the wake of Caledonia’s retreat.

While he waited Iomair plucked feathers from the bird, turning it in his hands and collecting the largest feathers in his belt. They would prove useful for something; arrows, bedding, or decoration – and against the firelight the pheasants colors flickered against the smoke. When Athras finally emerged with a robe thrust up around his shoulders, the front of it gathered with a tie that the man was still fastening as he spoke.

"Surprised and relieved." Iomair felt the lines about his eyes crinkle as he stepped towards the Eryn Lord, "I was not sure how many more survived." He held out a hand to clasp Athras' forearm in greeting, "Tell me, what all did you see? Are there..." He flared his nostrils as he inhaled, "What of the rest of your family?"

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POSTED: Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:43 pm

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The Eryn man tipped his muzzle up as his king gave reply, not quite a sneer, but not entirely pleasant. Athras took the offered arm after a moment’s hesitation, eyeing the limb suspiciously. He squeezed just enough for dark claws to bud from his fingertips before letting go. “You have eyes, Your Grace.” His arm returned to his side, then swept back with the other where they crossed low on his back. He turned and faced the fire. “You can see I’m alone.” There was a long pause as the half-shadow stared into flames.

“They burned.” Fiery tendrils and black smoke played upon the black of his pupils, but it’s heat sunk deeper. His nostrils filled with the acrid stench, gaze unfocused staring into the void. “I am the last of my house.” He said, dispassionate and removed. It was all he could do to contain himself in the presence of a man he blamed for their home's destruction. Athras glanced back over his shoulder. “Do you want to know how I survived?” He did not wait for an answer.

“I climbed a tree. There I heard every scream, every whimper. I smelled their hair burning, their flesh roasting. And all because we believed you could save us.” He turned to face his king, resplendent in his fine clothing, the pin of colored gems sparkling in the firelight.

“And now here we are.” He advanced towards Iomair slowly, hands still clasped behind his back, his head lifted, ears forward. “The King without a Kingdom, and the Lord of the Ashes.”

Athras Eryn
New Caledonia
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Stormie
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POSTED: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:00 am

Iomair was patient as the man collected himself. The embroidery upon his robe glistened as he turned, his bright eyes filled with an expression that Iomair could read even at this distance. It was one that had been common in the safe house, one that demanded answers and placed blame. It was a burden that even then Iomair had not truly understood, for as the war had gone on around them there had been no time to think, no time to ponder.

He could remember watching Inuven leave the safe house, his dark hair streaming behind him with dirt and blood.

Athras Eryn was of the old blood, the old gods. The King was sure that the half-shadow could trace his lineage back to the beginning of all things. Iomair hummed in his throat and tried to push away the vision that the man painted for him, but he could taste it - hear the heatwrenching screams and the burning.

”I am…” Sorry did not seem enough, and so the man held out his hands, at a loss for words.

Silence brewed between them until finally Iomair found the words to offer.

”We all lost something.” He spoke and gazed solemnly into the flames. ”My children are lost, Vodeva injured.” A deep sigh rippled through him and he glanced back towards the Eryn. ”There is much work to be done.” His brows lifted, "And I cannot do it alone."

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Amanda
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POSTED: Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:44 pm

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Athras had been a young man when the four clans united for the very first time. How his family had prayed then, beseeching the verdant stag for guidance for fear of what the union would bring. But there had been hope too. A faint ray of light that this Iomair, this king would be the figurehead they needed to push back the usurpers and take back their homes. In the end, it was chaos.

The four clans lacked the organization to effectively combat their enemy. They did not know how to work together, to combine their defenses. And so their flank had been left open, a fatal oversight. Their lines broke and the usurpers seized upon their fumbling. Athras’s training had been enough to ensure his survival in the battles lost, striking turned backs from the shadow of the trees. He had tasted blood, his, theirs. It was not enough.

When the citizens of Taur fled into their sacred forest, the usurpers razed it to the ground. None had survived the blaze, save him (that he knew of anyway). And for the first time in his life Athras had felt loss. Loss so deep it sunk into his heart to fester like the rotting hollow of an ancient oak choked by creepers and nettles, blackened sap oozing out of split bark to dry and crystalize. He carried the shards, sharp as the dagger so often at his hip.

It did his hardening heart little good to hear Iomair’s regret. He had no use for it! He did not see, he did not hear, he did not know what it was like to burn. What it was like to watch with eyes too dry to cry as his mother, his father, his brother withered into skeletal husks. He did not see their skin as it blackened and cracked, oozing their lifesblood out of deepening fissures as they boiled in their own fluids. He knew nothing!

“Lost.” Repeated the half-shadow in a hollow voice. “Is not dead. And injuries can be tended.” His face was a mask of tranquil fury as the fire sputtered and crackled before them, sending embers floating, free into the summer sky.

From Iomair’s lips came a weary sigh and Athras pondered over the man’s face, how very old he looked in this light. His hands had fallen, no longer crossed at his back and he had long since turned to face the fire. Their eyes met. He swallowed down his fury and turned his thoughts towards the future, dipping his head once in agreement. “No, I daresay you can’t.” On that they could agree. His tail twitched once behind him in time to his thoughts, the anxiety that set the wheels turning in his quicksilver mind. “So what is it you plan to do?” His eyes narrowed. Your Grace.”

Athras Eryn
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