[Seasonal Event] The Dying of the Light
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Jigano Silversmith
the Sage
Provost of the Loreseekers Soul Shepherd / Outlander Advisor
Portal Guardian
Age: 29 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 11 - Strg: 30 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 39 - Luck: 40
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 3,506
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#1
The light was failing.

Walking the woods with Isuma bouncing at his side, Jigano, haggard from lack of dreams, had noticed the drift of herds of luxere suddenly moving with a coordination he’d not yet seem from the great antlered creatures. He had slept longer than he'd thought, trying to find the dreams he'd traded away, and the day had been so short he’d barely found food for himself and his companion. They hadn’t even made it towards town before it seemed like the sun was setting again. The gryphon was restless, and the naturals had warned them that the Long Night was almost upon them, but Jigano had though the last day would be longer. He’d meant to spend the week with Isla in the Infirmary, but there was no time, now, to do anything but coax Isuma onto his back, ignoring the painful cut of her claws through his fur as he ran grimly across the snow.

He followed the tracks of the luxere that headed towards the nearest source of shelter he knew of. Rory’s farm would surely have space for a lanky fox and small gryphon, wouldn’t it? His friend might even be glad of the quiet company for the week. A week spent in his foxform would be longer than he’d ever gone before, but with the blond hunter at his side it seemed not only doable, but unexpectedly something he found himself looking forward to. A little beacon of light against the anxiety that sent his heart pounding as he raced the setting sun.

He caught up to the medium-sized herd of glowing-antlered deer as the last straggler filtered down from the woods to set up their perimeter around the farm, where it stood between fields and trees. A few of those who had already arrived snorted solemn greeting – and perhaps warning? – at him as he finally slowed his steps, Isuma peeping politely back at them from her perch on his back and shoulders. The farmhouse and its sturdy door were just ahead, and not a moment too soon as the sun was more than halfway down the horizon. Ears perked forward, the fox began to trot towards it—

Five scents caught his nose as he drew close, all familiar and two reassuring, even if Amalia’s was unexpected. But of the other three each, in their way, was enough to raise his hackles. Two belonged to the dogs, canines who had offered him violence before. Their tracks led to the door and beyond it, into the warmth and light that Jigano had been yearning for. That alone would have been enough to give him pause, but the third scent was more complex both in composition and in emotional effect. Blood on the snow, and pain in his friend’s eyes, and anger and betrayal were caught up in it, along with frozen flesh and worn leather and a torn cloak. He froze for long moments he couldn’t afford, ears flattened to his skull as Isuma chirruped in concern, sensing his inner conflict.

A big buck ducked its head to nudge him towards the house, gently but firmly, and Jigano found himself moving again but not without trepidation. The house would have its own dangers for a fox and a gryphon cub, and he didn’t know enough to guess which would be more deadly. But he had to reach shelter, and swiftly. Shying away from the house, feeling the fear building in his chest and echoed from his companion, he curved around to the farm proper, trotting past the outbuildings and following the earthier scents of horses and goats to the big barn, even as the shadows stretched long and ominous across the world. It was shelter, and warmth, and food in the form of the mice and rats who lived in the hay, even if it would be a rough and lonely week. Darker than the inside of his den in the glade, and far from his friends, but hopefully safe for Isuma, which was what he clung to as he shifted smoothly back into his human shape, steadying the gryphlet on his shoulder.

He had gone around to the side of the barn first, where there was a smaller door for people rather than horses, an easier entrance to wrangle open – and to blockade firmly, once inside. He was glad of his warm gloves that protected his hands from splinters, even as he struggled to shift the rarely-moved crossbar. There was no way to replace it once he was inside, but he opened the door just far enough to slide his lean frame through, lifting the bar up as he did so and slipping underneath. He closed the door as far as he could until only his wrist was outside, still holding the crossbar. As the sun slipped below the horizon he raised the bar up, then swiftly and gently closed the door, letting the bar fall back into its brackets outside with a rattling thump.

It was dark inside, the bleating of goats meeting his intrusion as the little herd edged away from him when they realized he wasn’t Rory. He shifted back into his fox form, Isuma squeaking soft protest as he suddenly shrank beneath her. She tumbled into the hay, then blinked big, owl eyes around the barn, the only light from the faint glow of the luxere outside filtering through knotholes in the siding. Jigano nudged her gently with his nose to make sure she was unhurt, then let her take ahold of his tail with her beak as he put his nose down and led the way back to a stall with a familiar horsey smell. Talys was there, calm and warm and unbothered by the little vulpine visitor. With a soft, grateful whine Jigano tucked himself and his companion into the clean straw in a corner of the stall facing inwards, curling himself protectively around Isuma and keeping his ears perked up and straining for whatever was going on outside the barn.

Long Night had fallen.


Age: 1 | Height: | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: - Strg: - Dext: - Endr: - Luck:
Played by: Admin/Moderator Offline
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#2

Nails on a chalkboard.

They whisper. They lurk.

Finger nails filled with dirt and dried blood. The scent of copper.

A ringlet of hair torn; unceremoniously scattered DNA in the snow.

They leave no tracks. The luxere watch and are watched back.

They are plentiful and the LongNight is long. The deer must sleep some time.

LONGNIGHT
Leatherworker

Age: 29 | Height: 175cm / 5'9 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 8
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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#3
That morning, the sun rose on the short, last day before the Long Night. Rory had been up before it, making sure everything was prepared. He checked his food stores, located in the cold storage adjacent to the house. He made sure the Long Night outhouse had all the necessary supplies. He filled his small tanks up with water from the well, and used Talys to haul them up to the house. He made use of his sheepdogs and moved the goats and ponies into the barn, and he made sure they had adequate food. He double-checked every door and shutter to make sure they were secured. He made sure there was hay left out for the Luxere.

And when Amalia and Wessex arrived, he ushered them into the house, showing them the doors that led to the outhouse and the cold storage, and left them to possibly fight over whoever would get the larger of the two empty bedrooms. Then he put up the blackout covers for the windows, since he was already in the house.

He went through his rituals, so when the sun descended towards the horizon after a brief, brief day he called the dogs into the house. They disappeared into it, but Rory remained in the open door, watching as the Luxere came walking in.

There were so many of them, more than he had ever seen fill the yard before: their antlers glowed and their kind, dark eyes fell on him for a moment, before they took up their positions, some munching on the hay, some browsing the snow for the brown grass buried beneath.

The sight of them all took his breath away, and he hovered where he was, watching the shadows lengthen and the sky darken as he sang softly under his breath in thanks. He was just about to close the door for the Long Night when movement caught his eye; his heart lurched sickeningly, his first thought being that it was a monster, simply because he wasn't expecting anyone else.

It wasn't a monster.

It was the white fox, with the gryphon on its back, but it wasn't heading for the house.

"No," Rory said, suddenly understanding what was going on: the Attuned was going to seek shelter elsewhere, but nowhere else on the farm was safe for a human and it was out of fucking time so what was it doing"Hey, fox!" He didn't dare raise his voice. Just hoped the vulpine hearing would be good enough. "You have to come up to the house, it's not safe—no, wait—what are you doing?" One hand gripped the thick door, one hand grasped the frame; one foot was outside, one on the threshold. Rory leaned out, watching the white creature as it headed towards the barn.

He felt sick. His heart was pounding and his mouth tasted of terror. What was the fox doing? Why wasn't it coming up to the house? Why was it going away, despite what Rory tried to tell it?

"No, stop," he pleaded with it, his voice too soft in the deepening darkness, but he daren't raise it. The darkness was too deep, even though the last of the sun still colored the western sky a deep, deep blue.

Blue wasn't black.

"Please don't," he whispered, but the fox disappeared into the dark, around a corner.

He leaned forward, his heart fighting with his mind; the weight left the foot he had on the threshold, but he didn't lift it. Couldn't. The Luxere watched him with patient eyes.

Part of surviving in Caido was knowing when to let go.

"Watch over them," he whispered to the Luxere before stepping back inside and closing the door to the darkness and monsters of the Long Night.

He locked it. He locked the fox out. His heart was heavy in his chest and his eyes burning as he put his back to the door and slid down into a sitting position, hands balled into fists pressed into his eyes.

He was sick of watching the people he cared about die, but there was nothing he could do.
burn scars crawl up the left side of his neck and onto the lower left half of his face
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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#4

a m a l i a

She and Wessex arrive together, the unlikely duo a striking pair against the dying light. They pull a sleigh behind them, or Wessex does, heavily laden with supplies for the week: bread and cheese, wood and furs, and a pair of glowing luxere antlers perched atop it all. It is distinctly possible that she brought to much, but it is too late to recant and take it home- and besides, her mother often told her to always be prepared. Will there be space, though? Will Rory be irked? It is her first Long Night with company in years; what if she annoys them, or they her? Anxiety heightened by the myriad of stressors which plague her brain, Amalia is somehow more on edge and flighty than usual. It is only Wessex's sturdy presence which keeps her calm, the Ascended a familiar and stalwart (and alive!) beacon in the encroaching endless night. This will be fine, she repeats like a mantra, each word timed with her soft and swift steps. Everything will be fine.

It will not, of course. It never is.

Rory's home is comfortable, homey, rich with the scent of fur and hide. There is not fighting over rooms. Amalia voluntarily takes the smaller: she feels more comfortable within, and besides, the girl feels a great deal of respect for Wessex, the older woman something of a misplaced family figure for the baker. As the night draws nearer and the luxere come in waves a warm reassurance fills the girl. She has left her antlers in the front room, hoping they will bring some happiness to her companions, unaware of Wessex's history with the beast. Finishing up her unpacking and preparing, Amalia wipes her hands and sighs, a tentative smile on her face.

The smile fades when she comes out. It is replaced by an expression of worry and fear, concern for the worst creeping at her throat. "What happened?!" she whispers, dashing on quiet feet to where Rory sits against the door, in obvious distress. Horrible images dance through her mind: blood on the snow, sounds in the dark. She remembers a scream, and shudders. Her eyes are frantic as they scan his face; she kneels down beside her host, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Is everything okay? Is it Wessex?"



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