Site Wide Event Festival of Lights 311 PC

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Festival of Lights
It is no secret that Halo is not Ludo's favourite place in the world. Nowhere cold is - so this year's Festival of Lights will have to be particularly special to draw its attention.

In the ice and snow of the Citadel's main square, bright garlands have been strung and torches and lanterns hang in abundance, even before the crowds begin to arrive to hang their own offerings. Stalls offer mulled wine and hot spiced cider, skewers of ningo and root vegetables, along with snow cones and sweet honeycakes.

All in all, as cheerful a scene as the Citadel will ever know. It is time, indeed, for the festival to begin.

Welcome to the 311 PC Festival of Lights!

This SWE is open to Naturals and Outlanders alike, and for the first time, is being held in Halo! Please come and hang your lanterns.

This thread will remain open until the end of the month, at which time perhaps Ludo will appear to choose its favourite lantern, and bestow a gift. This is the main lantern-hanging thread. Feel free to have off-shoot threads for your other activities if you like!
Amun Arlun

Age: 41 | Height: 5'7'' | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 11 - Strg: 31 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 28 - Luck: 30 - Int: 1
ZHANSHI - Mythical - Landshark (Airbending)
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if I ever start to think straight
Amun pushed his way through the clouds, pulling his cloak tighter as he did. Steering clear of the fire that seemed to be everywhere, he didn't stop at the stalls. Instead, he made his way over to an spot clear of both decorations and people. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out a metal structure of a woman clothed in rags with snowflakes in her hands. It was a rendition of Maea, and he hung it then lit it.

"Would be better if you were here," he told it. Her. Shifting so his back was against the wall, his eyes scanned the crowd. He didn't see anyone he knew (that he wanted to talk to, at least), so he settled in to wait.
this heart will start a riot in me
Saiden Hali
Smuggler / Cook

Age: 32 | Height: 6' 2'' | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
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just take your time wherever you go
Saiden grimaced as he made his way into the Citadel. Grumbling about the cold, he found a spot next to a bonfire. Getting as close as he dared, he breathed out a sigh that puffed into a cloud of white. Once his fingers and toes didn't feel like they were going to fall off, he headed to the nearest stall to snag some mulled wine.

Sipping from it, he juggled the three lanterns he'd brought. The first was in the shape of an osprey in flight, as always for his sister Vanya. The next was painted with the image of a woman walking along the beach, a memory of his first encounter with Eloise. Finally, he'd made a lantern for Aoife, a simple star shape. He hung it so that Vanya could look over it.

Stepping back, he cleared his throat. "I miss ye, sis. And ye, Elo. Ye both were always better at these sorts of things than I was." He managed a wavering smile, before nodding at the lanterns and returning to his spot by the fire.
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
General of the Hollowed Grounds

Age: 46 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 12 - Strg: 61 - Dext: 60 - Endr: 61 - Luck: 58 - Int: 2
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the wraith
Bright. Reflective. Made with shards of glass, Ursur fur, and wire she molds the lantern into something resembling a blade or a fang; a promise and an homage to the family she’d come to treasure. Barbaric. Violent. Cold. Snow crunches beneath her light footsteps, muffling what was already quiet and graceful. A quiet figure weaves into the empty spots in the crowd until she finds a place to hang her lantern. Her hand lingers on it, fingers gently resting against the wiry fur.

Faces run through her mind: the eager twins, her sweet Clemente, beautiful Rex, brash Lucas, mysterious Aedion, stoic 108, formal Kristopher, and whomever else she’s missing. It’s the first year that a lantern hangs for the Ascended and not for her Ma and sister. It’s the first year she steps beyond the past and into the future. Magrethe will always be a part of her, but Magrethe is not here, now.
she's pullin' the trigger
cause it's me and the moon, she says
and i have no trouble with that
the Firebrand
Headmaster / Grand Healer

Age: 29 | Height: 5' 11' | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
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Loren had done his part preparing for the Festival. He'd hung garlands, stoked up the fires, delivered booze from the Kraai, and helped set up stalls. Now, though, it was time for him to put up his lanterns.

There were too many, far too many for him to use his hands. Instead, he called upon his summoning magic: three monkeys, the same ones he'd used to help make the lanterns to begin with, popped into being. They took lanterns from him and scampered off.

One for Abasi in the form of a canopic jar and one for Weaver in the shape of a scythe, his lost loves. Maea's was a pure white figure in robes and rags, much like Ludo itself, Edy's was a hollowed out dildo with a candle in the middle, Kiada's was a bird of fire, Rexanna's was a moon, Peter and Adam had intertwined trees, Roana's was a sword, and Lusea's was in the shape of fire itself. He was closer to some of those people than others when they'd lived, but they'd all impacted him in some way or another.

Then there was a lantern in the shape of a lightning bolt for Zariah, which he'd struggled with. In the end, though, he'd decided that even she deserved remembrance. Finally, he had a lantern decorated in stars for Aoife, and a lantern decorated in blades for Cormac, Jax, and Rhett, which he'd struggled with for other reasons entirely.

All in all, it took the primates a long time to put everything up. When they finished, he dismissed them, then stood regarding his creations with eyes that flittered from more than the firelight.
you are lost, hope is gone
but you must go on
Base Code by Sky!
Ray Lunarium
Herbalist / Information Broker / Torchline Councilwoman

Age: 26 | Height: 5'5" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Torchline
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A panther in the night, a fire burning bright.

Ray arrived in Halo after a long and cold trip. But it was the Festival of Lights and she refused to miss it, especially after all of the hard work she'd put into her lantern. Upon arriving, she found the perfect location and hung her lantern. It was a small paper lantern with the shapes of chamomile flowers for her mom, and coyotes for her dad, cut out. The holes were covered with transparent paper and the outlines of the shapes were painted. The flower edges were painted to reflect the natural colors. But the coyotes were outlined in black like a silhouette.

The small candle within shown light out through the transparent paper. Giving the lantern a little spin gave the illusion of a coyote running through a field of chamomile. Ray grinned, very pleased with results. It had taken a lot of work and thought, but her lantern was even better than she had ever hoped. Done hanging her lantern, she glanced around to see who else was here.

r a y

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
—Albert Camus

Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Warden of Halo / Guildmaster

Age: 33 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Hybrid | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 14 - Strg: 68 - Dext: 68 - Endr: 69 - Luck: 80 - Int: 3
BELIAL - Mythical - Peryton (Blend) ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
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We're lost in the space between
who we are and all that we're trying to be

The Sword instilled a long inhale, a vicious exhale, and strived to move forward. He lowered his head beneath the onslaught of lights, garland, and torches, ignoring the wine, the cider, the stalls, heart aching, aching, aching under the beacon of onslaughts and self-inflicted torture. He’d already said his goodbyes, his farewells, but these moments held the brushstrokes of finality, and for a few moments, a few seconds, he was permitted to hate the circumstances, to wallow, to grieve, and then to give them over, finally, to Mort (offering no sanctity for the Voice, who held Rexanna’s soul – he’d ensure its proper place eventually).

Relinquishing them was another matter entirely, calloused hands clenching hard over their polished, gilded surfaces, over the intertwined handles of fire, flame, and stories, their tales, illustrated in each enlightened pane. So he swallowed down every nuance, every notion of bile, every withheld breath, and then placed them upon a hanging hook – together, even if they couldn’t be in the afterlife, for now.

Then he stood guard, stalwart and brutal.

Stop trying to show how to save our souls
It takes dying to know
How to live as ghosts
Aisha Khai
Swordmaster / Deepfrost Shield / Guildmaster

Age: 27 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
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lover, i feel your sorrow
pouring out of your skin
How convenient, that the festival would be in her city. A night to celebrate death, and life, a night to commemorate a god. Hm, funny isn't it, how everyone is so taken by the gods of death. Mort and Ludo, his precious herald. Aisha hadn't quite forgiven it yet, for it's visions and tricks; Aisha is a creature of spite. If she didn't live here she might not have attended, might not have made a lantern. She'd really only come out of curiosity, her respects were hers to pay alone.

There was bitterness in her artistry, in the crude paper lantern she'd made, not at all as careful as the doll she'd crafted from straw and remnants of a warm gleam. It was black, with a hole in the middle and on the sides, where the light could shine through. And that was it, simple, telling. She didn't make this lantern for those she'd lost, she made it to appease. You will not have my ghosts, she thought as she hung her lantern, stepping back and reaching her hand into her pockets to play with the golden ribbon.

You will not take them.
i don't want to be alone
if i am tonight, i'll always be
Aurelia Murlow
the Fireheart

Age: 29 | Height: 5'7" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
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Aurelia had come to the festival in tow with Melita. She felt maladapted to this, to her surroundings, to the strangers that filled the Citadel. It wasn't just because she was suddenly in Halo, either. Like a seal on a beach, she felt clumsy and slow and easily distracted, hesitating beside Melita as she took it all in.

The shield-shaped lantern she'd crafted hung down from one of her hands, her father's insignia carved onto each side to let light out in the shape of a flame. It was a simpler lantern, no fancy bells and whistles about it. The paper glowed with warm, orange light. In terms of the 'contest' she'd been told about, Aurelia was not interested in winning. Even at the prospect of seeing her sisters or her parents. She only had an interest in participating, in paying homage to their memory, and - ultimately - in showing that she cared to belong. Symbolically, this was her seceding from her old life. A formal goodbye, of sorts.

She glanced towards the red hair and honey-colored gaze of Melita, down to her lantern - a beautifully hand-crafted item. Following other people's lead, Aurelia found a place to hang her lantern. Her brows furrowed for a moment, gaze swimming, as she stared up at it suspended there among the other bright and shining lanterns, where it would stay.

standing in the ashes of who I used to be
Sunjata Wrenzaok
the Flood

Age: 33 | Height: 6'5 | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: King's End
Level: 15 - Strg: 71 - Dext: 70 - Endr: 73 - Luck: 79 - Int: 3
PETRONELLA - Mythical - Sea Panther
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don't you know i'm no good for you?
As with every trip Sunjata has taken to Halo, one thought sticks out over and over again. He fucking hates it here. He hates the cold, he hates everything about it. They may have dressed up the Citadel nicely, but all Sunjata can think of is that ridiculous trip he had taken with Phoebe when they’d been married, paired with the time he’d trudged back to the Inn, covered in blood, having lost nearly half of his guild.

Its that latter thought that has the darker lantern in his hand held a bit more close. But he arrives with two, the one he’d always brought for the Festival of Lights, the one closest to his heart in bronze metal and flamed pieces in the windows, the one for his flame, for Lusea. The second is the newest one, a lantern of dark metal, shapes etched into the sides, leather added into the finer details, for Adam.

He’s wrapped up in jackets and a scarf to hide the bright splotched bruising on his face, a jaw that pulses and hurts any time he tries to move it. So he’s the prime example of upset, even more so with the lanterns heavy memories settled in his arms, moving along the crowd with Nate to find a place to hang both the lanterns, hanging Adam’s first and sending a quiet attuned comment with it, before moving onto Lusea’s with a heavy sigh, gloved fingers running along the edge of the bronze, adding some more quiet comments, before stepping back and shoving his hands into his pockets. Why did it have to be Halo? He rumbles with quite a bit of upset, aimed directly toward Nate as his silver gaze scans the crowd.
i've learned to lose, you can't afford to
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Sunjata, without killing him <3
Sunjata speaks with an Australian accent and has a passive magic that makes him produce a subtle scent that matches exactly to whatever those around him most desire him to smell like.
Nate Wrenzaok
the Lone (Free) Ranger
"Doctor" / Guildmaster

Age: 36 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 10 - Strg: 55 - Dext: 45 - Endr: 50 - Luck: 46 - Int: 1
PEMOTA - Mythical - Starwhale (narwhal) RAMOTH - Mythical - Dragon (Biopulse)
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there's a niche in his chest where a heart would fit perfectly
It’s not any one thing that really ruins this trip. Not at all. Any one thing can be managed, can be mitigated. It’s all the little things coming together in a tidal wave to drown Nate in exhausting worry. He can’t sleep, can’t soothe it, not while they’re here, so far from home and sanctuary. Nate hasn’t let his guard down once, and it’s made him snappy, prickly to everyone but the attuned at his side.

Fingers squeeze Sunjata’s hand tightly, Nate all but refusing to break contact with his husband, even for a moment. He too has two lanterns bundled up safely in his arms, oneof them carved from wood and stained with such a deep blue it looks almost black, shards of reflecting mirror representing Clem better than any flickering flame could. The other is simpler, in a way, reminiscent of an elaborate chandelier that now exists only in his memories, for his brother.

We had it last year. The words are almost distracted, Nate working his jaw more than enough to make up for the fact that his husband can’t, eyes flicking around the room, taking in the people already there, the lanterns held in nearly every set of hands. Too bad it isn’t the Greatwood. We could have skipped it then. A soft snort leaves him, mismatched eyes turning to Sunjata just in time to meet steel, humour softening the suspicious pinch of Nate’s brow.
Melita Najya
the Honeybee

Age: 26 | Height: 5'6" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Torchline
Level: 10 - Strg: 55 - Dext: 55 - Endr: 55 - Luck: 55 - Int: 1
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to be lit up from within
vein by vein
Despite others’ whining about the cold and chill, and being a desert-born creature herself, Melita didn’t mind the glacial expanse. It held its own kind of particular, overbearing beauty, and she could relate it back to the sands that didn’t hold their heat in the dead of night, to the way realms could crush and destroy without so much as a whim. So she bundled up with extra layers, found a pair of suitable gloves, and set about escorting Aurelia to the portal, and through the reaches of the Fangs, towards the Citadel.

Bright and cheery would never be how’d she describe the world – but there it was, nestled and curled in its garland, torch-fire wake. Otherwise, the melancholy void seemed to brush over the void, and she wondered if there would ever be a time where Outlanders like herself regarded it with some semblance of excitement – because so readily it hurt and marred and reminded of what they lost. Maybe, when she was older, wiser (would that ever happen?).

A sigh trickled through and the Torchline pair found an area to hang their adornments – she cast Eloise’s shelled lantern, her mother and Clem’s lanterns on their hooks, before gesturing back towards Aurelia, for once quiet, whispering, hushed in the juxtaposition of solemn and vividness. “And now we wait. But you can always go talk and mull about if you want.” Her eyes flickered over to the stalls, to the way her heart didn’t feel quite as heavy as years past.
to be the sun
Neos Rivetter

Age: 32 | Height: 6'1" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
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Don't be mistaken
Your bloody time's up
It took some care to transfer his large lantern, made with paper and wire, from Torchline to Halo, but he managed it as he carefully held it. The lantern, shaped ornately into a large crystalline tree of blue, purple and green with many branches held many figures among its branches that were geared to have light shine through the 'leaves' to illuminate them.

Himself and another that could pass as his twin intertwined with backs to each other, the twin wearing a pure-purple version of the suit-attire that Neos wore and red eyes instead of green were at the top of the tree. Neos' own hands were stretched out while the double wore a wicked smirk with arms crossed in front of him. The two were connected through the back by a metal wire that was painted with a light-blue color to make it also appear crystalline in nature. From Neos' outstretched hands, additional metal wires painted in the same way were stretched out to the other figures throughout the lantern in almost all the same location, the front of the chest where the heart would be.

The floating, long-tailed cat which was pained to be a pink color with large blue eyes. She was seen being given the illusion of floating with an unpainted support of metal keeping her up above a part of the tree near the yellow and purple duo at the top.
The man in the ornate hooded robe, with the robe revealed to be multiple shades of blue while the man himself was pale in skin color. He was holding up the hood and had the appearance of his eyes glowing with a blue light, an illusion made by allowing the light to better shine through the base of this figure. He was standing near the duo as well to better allow the light to shine through him.
A calm-looking female teen with long hair past her waist wearing a dress that covered most of her shape next to a younger male with his hands thrown up to the air with energy. Both of them had brown hair and pale skin, but the girl had violet eyes and the boy had yellow eyes. The girl wore a mostly-grey dress with yellow bands around the neck, wrists and waist. The boy had a white shirt, brown shorts and a yellow scarf around his neck. The scarf was moving somewhat with the wind as if it was real. They were placed upon one of the branches, allowing better visibility.
The humanoid alligator, wearing flowing light attire and ornate decoration on his head depicting a snake, the colors of the attire being primarily white with accents of gold and red while the figure himself had dark-grey scales. He was one of the figures resting near the base of the tree, stretched out to show the rocky ground it had sprouted out of.
The giant of a man about Neos's height, painted with brown skin and black armor ornated with gold holding up on a single arm a figure that was not even half his height. She was almost white in comparison, her skin was only minorly-darker in color than her white hair and attire, the latter accented with the pink of her dress and the former adorned with a golden crown. This duo was also at the base of the tree, on the other side of the alligator.

"I hope you're all alright, since there's no way to find out if any of you are still alive or not..." Neos muttered to himself before finding himself glancing up towards his twin near the top, a snarl appearing on his face. "...well, minus you, at least."

"How crude that you wish yourself harm, dear counterpart," Neos heard outside of his head outside of his head for once, causing him to look to his side and seeing the same figure in purple standing next to him, but with white hair and pink eyes instead of purple hair and red eyes. "Do you always wish harm upon yourself," he asked with a toothy smile, already knowing the answer.

"Can you blame me? I have you as a split personality..." Neos then turned towards the figure before asking, "Also, how are you showing up and why like that? Past worlds, I heard you as a voice at most, Gemini."

"Outside of the Pathway, obviously," the pink-eyed double said coyly, a slimy smile plastered on his face before simply shrugging. "One of this world's gods seem to have a thing for toying with the populace, can you blame me for a moment of freedom when I can take it?" The double in purple, Gemini, then raised a hand before saying while tapping the center of Neos' forehead, "Who knows, I may get pulled out of your head for good and made my own entity finally..."

"For everyone's sake, I hope to all gods in existence that doesn't happen," Neos grumbled, primarily to himself.
This ain't no game
We're not here to entertain you
Bastien De Rosieres
the Dionysian
Ambassador for the Hollowed Grounds / Artist

Age: 40 | Height: 6' 2" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 22 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 10 - Int:
PITTORE - Mythical - Gremlin (Disappearance)
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Move aside, everyone, the champion of mourning was here.

Possibly not the healthiest attitude to take, but Bastien had always been a slave to his desire for extravagance and flair; when it came to Rexanna, to preserving her memory, he was always going to go all out for it. After all, anything less would imply that her memory did not deserve his best, and he could not take that!

And so he had crafted what he might humbly call his masterpiece. A lantern about as tall as he was, so large it had to be lit with a lantern that had once been a streetlight inside; each side painted with a mural celebrating Rexanna or some part of her life and their life together. Little stars cut into the wax cloth shone out lights and the metal finishing gleamed from how often he had polished and perfected it.

...Of course, he had had to transport it all the way from the Hollowed Grounds to the Citadel, having used a trolley with wheels and a lot of patience. It had taken on a bit of damage. He had covered it from the snow, but inevitably some parts of it were dented and small patches of wet clung to the bottom. Still, it was far more impressive than anyone else's heartfelt tribute to lost loved ones, so he lit it and beamed as he dared anyone to deny his wife the title of 'most loved spirit' this night.
Fade to the close-up
We're gonna stay naive tonight
Base Code by Sky!

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