(SE) Of Gods and Mushrooms
Iris Acquarone
Wanderer

Age: 16 | Height: 176 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Other
Level: 0 - Strg: 5 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 8 - Luck: 9
Played by: Nell Offline
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Posts: 35
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#1
I R I S

Twigs snapped far too loudly beneath her feet, the sound resonating amidst gnarly, ancient bark. She pulled her coat around her shoulders and stopped to observe the wood. At first, she could only hear silence. Then, trees creaking and unseen creatures rustling the canopy. She spotted a bird, its dull colors blending into the dim surroundings.

The ground was brisk and strewn with roots intent on tripping the unwary traveler. Its most successful residents appeared to be fungi. She approached a cluster of mushrooms and tapped it with her foot. Content that they were harmless enough, she plucked one from the ground. At first, it smelled of nothing, and then her nostrils were filled with the foul stench of rotting flesh. She dropped the offending fungus like it had bitten her.

Fastening the straps of her bag around her shoulders, Iris carried on at a quickened pace, eager to leave the unsettling woods behind her and reach the Settlement before noon. She had been walking for a few minutes when she saw it – a rabbit, white as snow, barely two steps away.

She followed it.




She stared, wide eyed and out of breath, as the rabbit broke bones beneath its teeth. Dark brown stains on the grass stretched into the dark cave beyond. She carefully backed away from the beast and noticed, in her peripheral vision, a sudden burst of color.

The grass shone like the crystalline ocean floor. Leaves rustled like hundreds of birds with a song as calming as a lullaby. Bright patches of sky appeared overhead, letting warm rays streak over the clearing.

She realized that she was lying on the ground when, gradually, the colors started floating down in streams. Propping herself up, she watched them congregate and mix together like wrestling serpents. They formed a puddle, then a pond, and grew further into a lake. Iris watched, entranced, until on the other bank she spotted him – Elias. The colors dripped around his form, nothing more than a dark smudge, barely recognizable to anyone who didn’t know him so well.

She swam toward him.




Her throat was dry, making her voice crack as she called out to him. Her breaths came in heavy, so she saved them, struggling to keep up. She must have been trailing him for hours. The colors had faded and the Hollowed Grounds were once again dyed in plain browns and greens. The sight of Elias’ back was a constant, ignoring her calls, just out of reach, a misstep from disappearing from sight.

Finally, she seemed to close the distance as they walked into an apple grove. A second later, he was gone. Turned around among near identical trees, she dropped to the ground, desperate and exhausted.

“Fuck!” She called out, voice raspy, hitting the ground with her fist and instantly regretting it.


Henry


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Henry Walker


Age: 25 | Height: 5'11" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 0 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 10 - Endr: 10 - Luck: 5
Played by: Catalysta Offline
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Posts: 39
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#2
HENRY
a knife twists at the thought that
I should fall short of the mark
He floated through the air on strong wings, letting the currents of the wind take him with them. Eagle eyes blinked down over the vast grove of apple trees, honing in on the subtle movements of a rabbit down below their canopy. The predator in him was responding before the human in him could think, soaring down between a gap in the trees' reaching branches. The tips of them brushed through his feathers but, he was unperturbed. The rabbit darted away and he swooped through the brush after it.

That was, until the sudden appearance of a figure blocked his vision. He careened out of the way just in time, the eagle shift squawking in his alarm. He landed as a man, as himself again, and whirled around to see who was there.

Only, they weren't really there. The ghost resembled his friend, a friend from a long time ago... whose end had been untimely. Yet, even knowing better, he found himself speechless, felt as if his feet were made of stone. Memories of that time, of that age, of that person, flowed through his mind.

"What's wrong, Henry?" the voice was haunting, echoing with each syllable. It sent a shiver of goosebumps up his arm. "Aren't you happy to see me?"

He didn't know what to say - or what to do. He knew it wasn't real. Asking how or why or what - or telling him anything... it would mean nothing. He clenched his jaw, muscles fluttering with the action. Then, he heard it; a real voice, hoarse and feminine. He cocked his head away and looked around in search of the source, realizing that they sounded distressed.

"How long has it been? Nine, ten years?" the ghost pressed, stepping forwards.

"Fuck!" the swear echoed through the trees and Henry moved away.

"Go back to wherever you came from," he snapped at the ghost as it pressed closer, swatting at it with his hand. He wasn't entirely sure of its intent, whether it was good or bad. So he moved away and morphed back into his eagle shift. Broad, dark wings carried him away from his past - and whatever else awaited him back there - as he searched the treeline.

There. Through the trunks, beyond the wilted undergrowth, was a girl. She lay with her fist against the ground but, otherwise, she seemed unendangered. He slowed down until he was hovering. As he lowered himself, he shifted back. His feet hit the ground with a thump!

"Hey, are you okay?" He leaned down beside her and tilted his head at her, his eyes wide with concern, "are you hurt?"
middle of adventure
such a perfect place to start
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Iris Acquarone
Wanderer

Age: 16 | Height: 176 | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Other
Level: 0 - Strg: 5 - Dext: 14 - Endr: 8 - Luck: 9
Played by: Nell Offline
Change author:
Posts: 35
MP:
#3
I R I S

A giant eagle hovered in front of Iris. She stared at it with a worried expression and a sinking feeling that the hallucinations were starting up again.

Then, it revealed its true form and her instincts kicked in, finding a knife was in her hand as she shifted into a defensive stance, ready to jump back and pick herself up on tired feet.

The bigger surprise, however, was the disarming kindness in the stranger's eyes. Tentatively, she lowered her blade, clearing her throat. "No?" She looked down at her body to make sure, but found nothing but small cuts and scrapes, most likely inflicted by the sharp branches that hugged the passages through the wood. Then, she looked around, taking note of her surroundings.

The sun seemed to be in the wrong place, but she couldn't tell from inside the grove, where apple trees obscured the horizon. "What time is it?" She asked the man in a raspy voice, clearing her throat again with no effect. Had she been wandering for six, seven hours? Or an hour at most?

Having finally sat down, getting up seemed like a chore. Instead, she relaxed her stance and allowed her limbs some rest. As the excitement of the chase subsided, she started feeling the aches she had accumulated on the way.

Spotting an apple on a nearby tree, juicy and plump, her stomach growled. "What the fuck is up with that forest?"


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