Awakening

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Awakening

Post by Were-Ah on Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:25 pm

Layers of meaning
facets of salt
faces of wisdom
like the faces of the crystals
something to remember


-Raymond A. Foss

Patience


Patience came into consciousness slowly. Her head pounded and her mouth was dry. She slowly opened her eyes. Her vision blurred and distorted for several seconds. She blinked rapidly, until it finally cleared.

Patience looked around and tried to figure out where she was. Four walls of carved stone.

Blue-white crystals covered the walls, floor, and ceiling. Some as small as the bed of her thumb claw others longer than her, tip to tail. All of them glowed with a cold, blue light; the only light in the vicinity.

One large crystal and grown from the ceiling and pushed into the south-ward wall to the point where the entire wall was cracked. Everywhere the larger crystals touched, smaller crystals had spread out in all directions. Tiny formations of crystals had covered the stone floor and caused hairline fractures.

A warm, deep voice in the back of Patience’s mind said: infection.

It appeared that the initial crystal had grown through a fissure in the northward wall and caused it and the ceiling to collapse. However, the crystals had the heavy rock in place.

Her head pounded.

If she looked in front of her, through the doorless opening into another empty cell across the hallway. The tiny crystal formations on the floor had grown into the other room as well.

She shivered. Next to her hand was her shield and weapon.

She had no idea where she was.

Faena


Faena opened her eyes.

Her vision was filed with a soft, cold, blue-white light.

Four walls of carved stone. A doorway with no door.

Blue-white crystals covered the walls, floor, and ceiling. Some as small as the bed of her thumbnail, others as long as her arm. All of them glowed with a cold, blue light; the only light in the vicinity. They circled around her from the northward to the westward wall.

Tiny flecks of crystal had grown along the floor so that it glowed and sparkled in the blue-light from larger crystals.

If Faena looked in front of her, she would see that room? Another cell? across the hallway was filled past the point of bursting from the all of the crystals. Short crystalline spikes had forced fractures in the rock wall and more tiny crystals had grown into the cracks.
If she looked towards the southward wall, there, smeared in charcoal in common, Elvish, and Draconic read: DO NOT TOUCH THE CRYSTALS.

There were other languages as well, some that she could recognize and others she couldn’t. Some appeared to be some sort of hieroglyphics.

If she looked down, she would find her trusty bow broken in three pieces and strewn across the tiny crystals.

She had no idea where was she was. She had never been here before.


Last edited by Were-Ah on Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:16 pm

The tiefling woman carefully rose to her feet, checking herself for anything missing or damaged. Like all tieflings, Patience has a tail, fangs, claws and horns. Her black and blue tinted horns were small and curled tightly into each other making it look like she had two hair buns from a long distance. Her eyes were completely white, a completely normal colour of a tiefling, and she was certainly not blind. The thing that made her stand out the most though was her hair, for her long hair (which she kept in a braid) was a deep blue and naturally so as tieflings tended to come in many colours. Fortunately (to Patience who had grown up around other races that were not tieflings), her skin was not any shade of red or purple, but a dark brown that any human, elf or dwarf would have. She had always felt having a more... average skin tone made her more approachable.

Oddly enough, as she felt around, everything seemed to be in place. She still wore her chainmail armor, her component pouch was still on her hip, and she already noticed her mace and shield beside her. The image of a gauntlet with an ever staring eye that was on the shield stared up at her. Looking to the doorless opening and to the crystals that grew into the walls and floor, she considered her next opinion. The voice in her head called the crystals an infection, and you do not touch infections.

"Well," she muttered to herself, trying to talk herself down from her panic, "No point in just standing here."

She reached down and picked up her shield, and placed her mace back in it's holster. Patience could not decide if having all her gear was a blessing or an omen of bad things to come. Who would bring her to such a place and leave her whole and well equipped? That could never bode anything good. Deciding no good would come of just standing around, she faced the doorless opening, gathered her courage and stepped through, hoping there was not some enemy on the other side who wanted to simply kill her for sport.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:38 pm

It's the light that brings Faena to wakefulness. How long had the darkness claimed her? She has no idea. The light isn't bright, but it is enough to force her to blink her hazel eyes from the glare of it. At least that pain doesn't last for long.

It takes only a few seconds to do a check and make sure that she hasn't been injured - she hasn't - and then she looks around to see where she is.

Now that's a good question. Where is she? How did she get here? She has never seen anything like this before, never in her one hundred and twenty seven years ...

The warnings on the wall catch her gaze, and she nods to herself in satisfaction. Don't touch the crystals, she thinks to herself. I can do that.

She doesn't recognize some of the languages on the wall, but she presumes they read the same as the languages she does know.

Time to take stock. It takes mere seconds. Backpack, check. Short swords, check. Quiver of arrows, check. Bow ...

She sees it lying, broken, on the crystals. A part of her breaks inside. How can she rescue it without touching the crystals, which someone so painstakingly warned her not to touch? And if she could miraculously retrieve the pieces, how could she fix it? Would she have to make a new one?

She has to try.

She draws one of her swords and tries to use it to pull the pieces of her broken bow towards herself. Too late, she realizes that was a mistake: still groggy from waking so recently, she feels a wave of dizziness wash over her and she loses her balance. A gasp escapes her lips as she falls to her hands, dropping her sword as she does so.

Thank goodness for gloves! She only hopes they will be enough to save her from whatever the writing on the wall is warning her against. Then, with a groan, she realizes that she's only made things harder for herself: she's pushed her bow even further away!

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Re: Awakening

Post by Were-Ah on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:07 pm

In the very last cell, alone in the dark, sat an Aasimar monk in deep gray clothes. His skin was a dark brown, tinted purple on his cheeks, elbows, and the back of his hands. His black dreadlocked hair was held back securely in a bun. His eyes were closed to the world. Around his neck is a holy symbol of the Dreamer. An opal carved into a circle with the middle carved out. It is tied by a leather cord around his neck.

An opal, carved into an oval with the middle cut out. Next to him is a pack and bedroll.

His is tall, like all of his kind, but noticeably more slender than Aasimar typically come. His strength comes from speed, not the bulk of his body. His arms and knuckles are scarred. His

Tural heard the tell-tale signs of his companions awakening in their cells. Outside, the crystals on the stone floor shimmered in their own light.

"Ah," he says and opens his eyes, revealed them to be the color of a misty morning. Gray, but light enough to be almost white. "Good, let's see where this dream shall take us,"

He waits for his companions to find him. After all, he had awakened long before them and had explored the small cell block that they were in. He knows that they must pass his cell to exit. He closed his eyes again and thought of the Dreamer, did they find this a good dream? Was this a nightmare?

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:24 pm

The moment Patience steps out of her 'cell', though it wasn't much of a cell seeing as there was no door. With one hand on her mace in case she had to bring it out, she began to investigate her surroundings in hopes of finding a way out, or maybe even finding out where she is.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Were-Ah on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:37 pm

When Patience looked to the north, she could see a mountain of crystal that burst through the stone wall and cells. The crystals were larger and they branched off from each other in violent zig-zags. The pushed through the two cell walls that are down the hallway from her own. One of them is completely encased in the crystal, the jagged, crystalline spikes filled the doorway. The cell catty-corner to her own had a small area where one person could squeeze through.

Across from her was an empty cell, save for the crystals that took up the lower half of the north-side wall. On the wall outside of the cell, scrawled in Common, is "DON'T TOUCH CRYSTAL" in a dark pigment.

The south of her, she could see two more cells, with only the tiny crystals on the floor for light. Down the hallway she could see an exit into another hallway. There must be more of the bigger crystals to the left of the door, because she could see the cold-white glow.

The architecture is the geometric symmetry of the dwarves, but it's unadorned in way that was unfamiliar to her. There are no carvings to ancestors, gods, or even runes that she can discern, save for the scrawled Common on the wall across from her.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:46 pm

A few seconds pass before Faena's body allows her to breathe again. Has there been any sort of effect on her from touching the crystals with her gloves?

She doesn't feel any different ...

For the first time since waking, she smiles. Then this may be easier than she thought - at least the retrieval of her bow. She gingerly pushes herself to her feet and picks up her sword, sheathing it once more at her waist. Then, stepping carefully, she tiptoes over the crystals and picks up the pieces of her bow, making sure to touch the pieces only with her gloves.

Then, when she is back in the middle of the room - cell? - she takes a moment to think.

She has no bow, her main weapon.

She has no idea where she is.

She has no idea how safe it is to touch anything around her.

Her eyes light on the open doorway. She really has only one option left to her, if she wants to learn anything more about what's going on. She has to venture out.

She tucks the pieces of her bow into her backpack and slings the bag onto her back. Keeping her swords loose in their sheaths, she steps out of her cell and looks around. Crystals, crystals, and more crystals ... and ... a Tiefling?

A cold shiver runs down her spine and her muscles tense, her heart beating faster. Not all Tieflings were as bad as they were made out to be - or so she was told - but she had never met a decent one. Was this Tiefling woman the cause of her presence here? And what are those symbols she was wearing? It looks like a set - stolen? That would be typical. But ... things didn't often get stolen or worn in complete sets ... purposeful, then? Representative? Of what?

The very act of pondering calms her heartrate and helps her to be a little more objective. She won't trust this Tiefling, but she will give it a chance.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:18 pm

Patience is equally surprised to see an elf in the hallway. She cannot tell if this elf is a friend or foe, but the woman is not attacking her (always a good sign when one is a Tiefling). Carefully, she walks towards the elven woman slowly and warily.

"Greetings," Patience spoke to the woman in elvish, "Pardon my bluntness, but are you someone who is from here, or are you someone who has somehow ended up here?"

It wasn't an unusual question as she had seen the other cells.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:46 pm

A Tiefling being polite? And speaking Faena's mother tongue? She doesn't know which surprises her more.

But she will not allow either of those facts to put her off her guard. She supposes, from the Tiefling's questions, that they are both in the same boat, so to speak ... but even that could be a trick. And how many Tieflings spoke Elvish, honestly? What are the odds that one who could would mysteriously end up in a strange place like this in the same way she had?

"From-" The dryness of her mouth surprises her, and she clears her throat to try again. Why is it that she only realizes now how thirsty she is? She licks her lips, though it does little to help her comfort. "From your questions," she tried again, "it seems you and I are in similar situations. I was going to ask you the same thing."

Her dry throat makes her think. How long had she been out? And how? Who could possibly have put her to sleep? But it isn't possible for her to be put to sleep ... what could have happened then?


Last edited by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Patience's eyes narrowed at the way Faena acted and her healer instincts kicked in. The woman in front of her seemed to be a bit lost in her thoughts (or perhaps just lost in general). Though she was more concern about what looks like someone suffering from a lack of water. Carefully setting her shield down, Patience took off her pack and began to rummage in it.

"Ah, so it seems," Patience murmured, "I'm not sure how I ended up here, I was on my way to a sister temple."

She paused, remembering she had joined a caravan in order to put her guardian's mind at ease. Patience hoped that the caravan was alright and that her guardian wasn't worried too much.

"Now where did I... here it is," Patience finally pulled out her waterskin, it still was full, and handed it to Faena, "Here, it won't do you any good to be without water.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:32 pm

Faena's eyes flicker to the waterskin in the Tiefling's outstretched hand. Water, she claimed; but was it really?

Better to be safe than sorry.

Slinging her bag from her back, she reaches inside and pulls out her own also-full water flask.

"Thanks," she says, fully aware that it is best to be polite and hopefully not provoke the Tiefling into doing anything ... Tiefling-ish. "I have my own. Save it for yourself."

As she pulls out the stopper, she looks around (while keeping the Tiefling in her peripheral vision, just in case). "I've only just woken up, myself. I also don't know how I came to be here. I haven't had the chance to look around yet, either. Have you?"

She looks back at the Tiefling and begins to sip at her water.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:38 pm

Patience wasn't sure, but decided after a second to take what Faena said at face value. There was no point over thinking it. She paused, took a drink of her own waterskin and then put it back in her pack before putting the pack back on and picking up her shield.

"I was in the room over there," Patience pointed to the room she had come out from, "And just woke up a few moments ago. I haven't even tried for the exit over there, though I'm not sure if it's the exit, but that's my best guess."

She pointed to the exit that she had spotted earlier.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:45 pm

Faena looks over her shoulder at the exit Patience was talking about. It is a doorway, to be sure, but then, there are other doorways in sight, and even another hallway.

"Have you checked out the rest of the place?" she asks, turning back to the Tiefling. "Is it all like this?"

Again, a question disguising her doubt. Though, if the Tiefling had indeed checked out the rest of this crystal ... cave? Is that an appropriate word for it? ... then at the very least Faena will find out more about it. If not ...

She starts to wonder if she will have to stick with this Tiefling for a while, until she - or, it seems, they - will be able to escape this place.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:50 pm

"I haven't looked at all of the openings up close, but from what I managed to gather from what I've glimpsed, they're all small rooms," Patience frowned now that she thought about it, "More like cells really, but without doors. Unless you include the areas where the crystal has overgrown. Whatever it is, I saw a sign across from the room where I woke up to not touch them in Common."

But she had already come to that conclusion from the voice in the back of her head. It was deep and warm, she was sure it was the voice of Helm.

"And like I said, I haven't tried beyond this room, which I had hoped to do before spotting you."

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:57 pm

Glimpses and assumptions. The assessment does not impress Faena. Though the reminder about not touching the crystal causes her to glance once more at her gloves. She had touched the crystal with them ... and then handled her water flask. Again she wonders why the crystals are so dangerous, and whether touching them with her gloves and boots will have any effect.

"Then it seems that you and I have a common goal," she comments, looking back at Patience. "To find out how we arrived here and how we can get out."

She pauses for the briefest of moments before sighing ever so softly. "They say there is safety in numbers. Perhaps we should count ourselves as allies, if only temporarily?"

It is something she would never have suggested in regular circumstances. But this is far from regular circumstances, and what matters right now is survival.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:02 pm

She thinks about it, but only for a moment. Despite it being strange to be in this place with only this elven woman, Patience has no reason to be suspicious. This situation was strange enough, and besides that. What if the elven woman was someone just like her? Patience could not in good conscience just leave Faena if that was the case, her duty would demand she help.

Picking up her shield once more, Patience nods at this in agreement.

"Agreed, while we are here, I will consider us allies, and you have my protection."

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:16 pm

Now that is a statement that Faena would never have imagined hearing coming from a Tiefling, and her eyebrows shoot up in surprise before she can stop herself.

"Likewise," she says once she can find her voice again. She closes her waterflask and returns it to her bag. "I am Faena. And you are ...?"

More than that, she reasons, the Tiefling does not need to know. Faena had always been one to keep to herself; but since ... well, since she had begun her journey, she had grown even more introvert. And far less trusting.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:30 pm

"I am Patience," the tiefling gave a small bow, "A cleric of Helm."

It said a lot about how much Patience's own identity revolved around her beliefs, she could not imagine one without the other, but her upbringing had a lot to do with that.

"Now... shall we try to find a way out?"

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:42 pm

Faena nods, much more confident now that she has a tangible goal.

"I suppose we should try that exit," she says, gesturing towards the doorway Patience had indicated earlier.

She slings her bag back onto her back and starts towards it. She still doesn't trust Patience, however proudly or righteously she might declare herself to be a cleric. Faena has no trust in any gods or religion of any kind. If there were any such beings, they would have stopped the slaughter that had made her what she was today. Besides that, she had seen too many people claim to be a part of some religious group and act completely contrary to it.

As she passes by other cells, she looks into them, in case one of them might be hiding a true exit.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:06 pm

It was as Patience has suspected, the others were all cells, which was creepy in a way with all the growing crystal.

As they started to pass the last cell, Patience stopped catching the glimpse of a person out of the corner of her eye. Turning her head, she saw in that one last cell a person. He did not seem distressed at all, in fact he was meditating, which was very bizarre. She spotted the pendant around his neck and realized that he was a follower of the Dreamer.

"A dreamer?" Patience murmured, "What is a follower of the Dreamer doing all the way out here?"

She was very familiar with this religion, for a follower of the Dreamer had once been invited into the home of her guardian. The person in question had been traveling and hadn't a place to stay so her guardian offered his home. As a child, she had been taken aside by her guardian and explained quietly that dreamers were odd folk. They were either the type to be relaxed no matter the circumstances, letting life flow, or they were eccentric to the point where they talked to air. Which one, depended on the sect they were from. Both sects believed that the Dreamer was dreaming and experiencing the world and all its inhabitants, and that they were a product of that dream. However, one sect believed that the Dreamer merely just dreams and nothing else, they have no say over the world, while the other sect believed that the Dreamer could and would affect the world they were dreaming of. For some reason Patience suspected this person would be of the latter sect.

"Sir?" she called into the cell, "Are you, alright?"

Followers of the Dreamer weren't known to be dangerous, just... very strange.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Were-Ah on Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:57 am

The Aasimar slowly opened his white-gray eyes. He exhaled slowly and smiled, "Hello, friends," he said, voice rough and deep. "I see you are finally awake," he closed his eyes again and stretched his arms. Then stood, "It has been a while long for me," he slowly stood up, grabbed his bandolier that held his staff and strung it over his shoulders.

He gestured with both of his hands towards the girls, "I find this is a strange place in the Dream, but I look forward to seeing what it holds for us," he smiled again, "I am Tural,"

The hallway that was right next to Tural's cell glowed brightly from the left with that same blue-white light. Small crystals could be seen bursting from the wall and even a few along the floor. It almost looked like the crystals were a fungus that spread, though that wasn't typically how rock formations worked . . .

But what did any of the three know? They weren't dwarves or gnomes!





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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:32 pm

Just my luck to run into another of these nuts, is the first thought that runs through Faena's mind. Still, from experience, she knows that they are, at least for the most part, not dangerous. She would be cautious, nevertheless.

"Faena," she introduces herself as simply as she had to Patience. The switch in languages is no trouble for her. "This is Patience. Strange is an apt word for this place. What can you tell us about it?"

If he has been waiting a while - waiting for them? Had he been waiting for them specifically? Had he seen them asleep in their cells? - then surely he will know more about the place than them already.

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Re: Awakening

Post by Were-Ah on Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:46 pm

"I have not gone far," Tural said, "I did not wish to go far from you," he gestured towards the hallway door, "There are two other rooms, down this hallway, the one across from us appears to be a cell of some kinda, it has many crystals in it, but is navigable," he straightened his bandolier. "It appears that there was some kind of cave-in and the room is open into another part of this place,"

He fingered his holy symbol.

"The next room is on the right, it is very dark," he said, "There is a stairway on the left after the other cell and at the end of the hallway is another set of stairs, I did not venture down either,"

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Re: Awakening

Post by Shadowgirl00 on Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:52 pm

Patience had no reason to not believe Tural when he said he didn't want to go far from them, and in fact thought it was quite kind. However, it did bring back to the question of how did they all get here and why.

"Do... you remember how you came to be here?" Patience asked.

Though she doubted it and whoever brought them here must be long gone, it was strange that none of the cells had doors, unless you included where the crystals had grown.

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Re: Awakening

Post by EAldrich on Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:59 pm

Faena isn't sure if Tural watching over them makes her feel protected or creeped out, but circumstances being what they are, she is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt - with reservation, of course, for self-preservation. She will listen, she will learn; but she will not trust.

Perhaps she would see if she can see anything in the dark room. She knows she can see more in the dark than many. She doesn't know if the others can.

But until then, she will listen and learn.

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