flaming rp (dream)

May 18th, 2020
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  1. Autumn: With Miracle revived and the night fast approaching, the party spent their remaining time in the ship or in Fantasia, simply talking and enjoying the last remnants of peace that they would know before descending to the underworld. Flaming Shorthorns found herself growing more tired than the others, despite having sat on the sidelines of the great battle within Miracle's core. As midnight approached, she was one of the first to settle into bed in the ship's barracks, now guarded by a second angelic companion.
  2. The dark soma of sleep sets her adrift among a hazy sea of skylines and waters, and she drifts between budding stars and dark cosmic clouds for a time. The scent of grasses and trees stirs her, and she awakes upon a nighttime plain, the skies clouded and uncertain, the stars' curtains of light hidden behind them. It is a wide plain, and yet towering mountains sear into the sky on the horizon beyond, leaving her feeling small before them. The aroma of foreign grass yet energizes her as she wakes.
  3. Shima: Flaming lets out a loud yawn as she 'awakes' in the dream, taking in the fresh scent of the plains and the grass as she's reminded of home, prompting her to blink her droozy eyes awake and take a look at her surroundings. She opens up her eyes and her jaw drops slightly, the eager young calf quickly raising up to her hooves.
  4. "Wooooaaah.... what is this place?" She says to no one in particular, moving down the hill as she starts to pick up speed into a trot. "It's so pretty! All these mountains and plains..."
  5. Autumn: >Don't watch the video, just listen to the OST
  7. As you trot along, you see that the grass is indented, at first sporadically, yet only more common as you proceed onward. Arrays of hoofprints, hulking and vast, buffalo's by the sight of them, pockmark the grass beyond, signaling the past crossing of some great stampede. Further on, the plain descends, and the vast fields are stamped utterly flat, tamed by those who have come before you. This is an invigorating freedom, far more than you have ever enjoyed, trapped in the dense woods of the Highlands.
  8. Yet beyond, a disturbing bouquet of shapes and forms awaits. Endless corpses of buffalo are strewn beyond, both fresh corpses teeming with bugs and long-dead bones. Among them, discarded, bloody tunics, torn bags, broken helmets and other buffalo armaments lay broken and destroyed.
  9. Shima: Flaming sticks her muzzle down close to the grass to sniff at it, her ears standing up on end as she recognizes the trample marks of buffalo stampeding through the plains. She smiles, a warm fuzzy nostalgia taking hold as she finds the 'trail' left by their stampede, and follows it instinctively, running along alone in the empty plains following the trampled earth.
  10. Shima: >sorry one more
  11. Shima: She loses herself to the gallop, running as quickly as she can with such wide open wilderness, but as she reaches the edge her run comes to a full halt, and her mouth opens wide with terror, fighting her urge to gag as she looks on at the army of fresh corpses. She says nothing, her eyes glued to the carnage before her with inability to approach or flee from the sighte.
  12. Autumn: Though the stampeded grass seemed at first to signal the passing of some great victory in battle or the conclusion of a time-worn ritual celebration, all that lays before you is a chasm of death, the rotted and putrefying flesh irreparably contaminating the blessed scent of sprawling freedom and glory. As you gaze into the field, the bones and corpses stare back, and a dizzying wave takes your forehooves.
  13. Some of the dead stir, their mouths rising and falling, bones and limbs shambling and quivering, and the air fills with the low hum of voices, deep and high, young and old. Their words are unintelligible, words stumbling over one another, forming a tumultous pile of discordant sound that spills toward you and weakens your back legs.
  14. Just as the noise of the dead starts to overwhelm you, a warm wind sweeps protectively about you.
  15. "Stop. Leave her alone," a deep voice intones. As it speaks, the breeze grows hotter still, until you become aware of a small coal, plucked freshly from a volcano, sitting before you on a stone basin.
  16. Shima: Flaming can only look out over the field of death and decay laid out before her as she finally finds the words to speak. "How... where.... how did this happen?! Spirits..." she falls to her knees, tears welling up from her eyes. "S-spirits... please don't let it be true, plea-se..." she pauses, looking up with horror at the moving mouths of the dead begin speaking to her.
  17. "I'-I'm sorry... I... I wasn't here, I... I didn't..."
  19. As the voice speaks up and the temperature begins to rise, Flaming looking over towards the coal, feeling the heat of the volcano that saved her life just the other day as she whispers, "Vir-can?"
  20. Autumn: The dead stir and move before you, heedless of your words, unhearing and unseeing, repeating only that which comes from the confused and lost hollows of their mouths.
  21. "Burn them," Vir-can commands in a low voice, that of a father instructing a lost child. "That is all you can do for them now."
  22. Shima: Flaming looks out over the field of dead, blushing had having almost forgot one of the Climbing Fire clan's most sacred rites. "O-of course... of course." She says, moving her head back towards the crowd of undead as she wills herself to approach them more closely.
  24. She takes in a deep breath. "Let your mortal remains return to the fire, and the ashes from the fire return to the earth. Breath life into this wounded world, my brothers and sisters..." she says solemnly, as her horns light up with blue flames courtesy of her Mountain prayer. She moves them to the edge of the corspses, starting up a mass pyre for the overwhelmingly huge supply of dead, Flaming's heart still weighing heavily with just how many there are before her.
  25. Autumn:
  26. The fire from your horn mingles with the fire from the coal, rolling over the dead, spreading from one to another. The bones and mutilated bodies ease and relax as the fire blooms across them, and the dark and fetid shades of death give way to the warm reds and auburns of your homeland's volcano, of the fire which is the beginning and end of life. Though the flames dissolve the corpses, yet they also restore the forms of the dead, illuminating them in the light blue and white of spirits, clothing them in the garb of ancestors, the crackle of warmth and the sound of their restored hooves rising in motion forming a kind of homeland song. As they are purified, the dead walk along ahead of you, the restorative fire twirling and spinning into the sky, now as a barrier separating you from the blessed dead of the past.
  27. "They visit me, each night," Vir-can continues, and deep, gentle steps behind you signal his arrival. "New faces each time, uncountable, unrecognizable with each pyre I build."
  28. Shima: Flaming lets a few dears drop as the fire builds from the coal of the volcano and her horns' flames, watching it spread around to burn the corpses of her fallen clan as she releases them from the mortal coil. However, as the spirits begin to rise from the ashes, Flaming's despair turns into something resembling wonder, as the shooken buffalo falls backwards on to her rear to watch them arise. "W-wow...." she mutters, utterly speechless at the massive crowds of the purified, spectral dead walking ahead of her, looking across to them as she listens to the sounds of the fire.
  30. "Rest peacefully, clansmen..." she says silently, reverently, as she holds down her head in a bow. As Vir-can speaks from behind you, she looks up at his form, anticipating the mighty volcano-mountain form she'd seen prior. "Are they.... when did all of these buffalo die?"
  33. Autumn: "They are those who have died since my vanquishing in the Beyond, so many countless centuries ago," Vir-can says. He walks beside you, in the form of a mortal buffalo, one towering and broad, marked along the neck and forehead with ancient elders' war-paint, cracked runes honoring long-ago victories and glory. "With my wrongful imprisonment in this choking, small world, my devoted are lost, unable to venture into the realms of the endless cosmos that were under my command. And now with my capture by the false goddess Athena, I am still unable to bring them to me. They are cast into the void that lays beyond death, wandering like wounded pilgrims until they reach me, at the end of the long road."
  34. Autumn: >did you need me to repost anything or do you have it fresh in memory?
  35. Shima: >still fresh in the log, I should be good
  36. Shima: Flaming looks out over the crowd of buffalo spirits as they move on, "You mean... ALL the buffalo since long, long before the Firmament broke?!" She says with shock, looking up at Vir-can. She is surprised by his surprisingly mortal appearance, but still awed by his larger than life size and decorations. "This... this is where we are meant to go when we pass? Or has it only been this bad since your capture? Because they no longer have anyone to guide them?"
  37. Autumn: "This small strip of grass?" Vir-can snorts. "No. This land is but one small sliver of the furthest edge of the purgatorial realms that catch lost souls. The realm of my devoted, the place of my true people, lies much, much further beyond this. Do not be awed by this small, small world."
  38. He sighs heavily. "But this small world is all that which I can guide them to for now. Buiwong, Ba'drel, Cer'rog, the situation is much the same for them, just beyond those hills. We are no gods now."
  39. Shima: [well on the plus side I should be a little faster to post now, heh]
  40. "It's even bigger than this...?" Flaming asks, looking around the vast plains and mountain ranges. "B-but it's so big to begin with. Though," she pauses, "I guess, for every single one of our brothers and sisters to fit in it, it *would* have to be even bigger than this. I can hardly imagine..."
  42. She turns up to him, and then towards the mountain ranges. "You mean, all of Buiwong and the other gods' flocks are in places just like this one, beyond the horizon? Or that this even bigger land is on the other side?"
  43. Autumn: "I mean the former. If you so desired, you could walk along these ancient rocks across the ridges and through the hills, and find him. You could even kill him, if you were so inclined. Put an early end to all that which will befall you in but three days."
  44. Shima: Flaming lowers her eyebrows, her gaze softening. "You mean... when we enter into Tartarus...?" She walks up to him. "Do you... know what we'll find in there?"
  45. Autumn: "I do, because I know what lies within you, and within them."
  46. Autumn:
  47. Shima: >Pathetic...
  48. Flaming's ears flatten, and she looks up at Vir-can quizzacally. "You do...? Well, what is it? What lies within me... and, by 'them' do you mean my friends?"
  49. Autumn: "You do not already know what is within you?" Vir-can asks. "I would hope that you would not be plagued with the loss of inner-sight, like so many Accorsians wrapped in the intrigue of their petty politics and daily mercantile."
  50. "I mean all who will be entering Tartarus. What you encounter in the underworld is determined by the contents of your heart and mind, and of all those will be traveling alongside you -- friend, temporary ally, and enemy alike."
  51. Shima: Flaming pauses, looking upwards at her forehead. "You mean... are you referring to the Elder markings you gave me when you saved me from the glass?" She pauses, looking down at herself. "I... I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you consider me worthy of them but, I have not felt much change 'within' since I acquired them. Should I have?"
  53. As you clarify as to who he means, Flaming squinces her eyes, trying to contemplate. "I... I'm not sure I understand. What do you mean what we encounter is determined by our hearts and minds, you mean it's different for everyone?"
  54. Autumn: Vir-can closes his eyes with infinite patience. "Sit with me."
  55. "Tartarus is no simple place. It has a will and a mind of its own, unfathomable though they may be. It draws on the thoughts and desires of those who enter it, and from those, it determines what paths you will take, what horrors you will encounter, what dangers will beset upon you as you travel to your destination. That is if you travel purely alone. If you travel with another person, then what you will encounter will not just be based on what lies within your mind, but of those around you. If the minds of those in your group are arrayed in perfect harmony, and aimed at a singular goal, such a journey will be to a degree predictable. But if there are those in your group who have their own aims, their own schemes, that run contrary to yours, then not only will your group be in danger of betrayal by those members, it will have no way of knowing what to prepare for, and what they will be attacked by."
  56. "Now. What do you desire? What is it that makes you walk forward each day? If you cannot answer it clearly, what can you expect will befall you in your journey through the underworld?"
  57. Shima: Flaming takes his suggestion and sits down besides him in the grass, feeling the cool air of the valley as she listens to his words carefully. There are times where she seems lost as she was before, but as he speaks it clearly, she begins to grow more understanding.
  58. "Tartarus... is alive? And... and you're saying it changes based on what you want when you go in? And, if there are LOTS of people with LOTS of different goals..." her eyes open wide. "I-it'd be a mess... we would never find our way anywhere!"
  60. She pauses, concentrating on herself. "Well... what I want is easy. I want peace to return to Accorsia. I want... something done with the demons to make them stop rampaging, and for everyone to get their homes back so we can run free without fear again! I want to save the world... and deep down, isn't that what everyone wants?"
  61. Autumn: "You, perhaps better than anyone else in your group, should not be victim to such naive thoughts," he warns gravely. "There are those among you who will enter in search of power, in search of knowledge forbidden for their own safety, in search of battle, glory, and blood... One searches for forgiveness she has not earned, and another, for revenge against the world itself."
  62. Shima: Flaming looks down, searching her feelings as she considers her companions that will be travelling into Tartarus with her. She closes her eyes, thinking carefully, and re-opens them after a short moment later. "I... I know what you mean. We all have other things that we want out of Tartarus too but... is it not true that we all wish for the same thing in so far as stopping the demons? It's kept us unified 'so' far." She narrows her gaze. "Are you... suggesting we be more choosy about who goes into Tartarus with us?"
  63. Autumn: "In a sense," Vir-can says. "I have meditated on this for a while. There is no overstating the danger that you will be in while you are inside. Removing any ally from your team will be highly inadvisable. Even if their goals differ from yours, parting ways with their skills will only make things more difficult for you. But the larger the group is, the more difficult that it will be for the group's psyche to be unified, and thus, the more unpredictable and varied the situations you will encounter while inside."
  64. "The way of circumventing this is simple. If you split your party into small units, grouping together those with similar goals, the less chaotic the journey will be -- though whether this is safer will be yet seen."
  65. Shima: Flaming stands up, "Well what do you expect me to do then!?" She shouts prematurely, "If we take in too many, all of our conflicting goals will make Tartarus a nightmare for us to navigate, and if we don't bring in 'enough', we're going to be overwhelmed! I don't see how..."
  67. As he moves on to explain his solution, Flaming's eyes light up with hope. "Ooooh... I get it! If we split up, we still have the advantage of numbers, and can pull on each other's strengths... but it'd make Tartarus less chaotic if we're grouped up by our goals!" She pauses, "I think that's a great idea, Vir-can, but... how can I know whose goals match up with whose? If I ask... couldn't they just lie?"
  68. Autumn: "Those who lie will do so either for their own personal safety or gain. They will be able to gain neither if they allow themselves to be killed prematurely with self-sabotage. I would hope that you would not have to journay alongside those you could not trust to tell you the truth. But in just this case, a deceitful ally maybe better than none. Simply tell them of what danger they will plunge themselves into if they are not open about what they seek."
  69. Shima: Flaming nods her head in agreement, "Yes, I can see... even the most deceitful would 'have' to be honest in the interest of their own safety." She sighs, "I trust my friends, of course.... Amy, Flow, even Shei... and I know Pryce doesn't want to go in at all. But the witches... they I 'definitely' do not trust as much."
  70. She turns to him. "I should just confront them with this information then, and hope they answer truthfully? Or... am I to make my own judgement on this?" She asks, clearly nervous at the prospect of the latter.
  71. Autumn: "I did not give you these markings for you to cower, as Pryce does," Vir-can says. "An Elder decisively confronts the danger before his eyes without a step backward. But he also knows when it is wiser for the safety of the people to stay silent."
  72. "Ah, speaking of the markings: To answer your question earlier, I can indeed resurrect you another time."
  73. Shima: Flaming looks up at Vir-can as he explains the meanings of the markings, and lets out a small chuckle as he confirms she can resurrect her again. "Hehehehe... knew it." She looks up. "You're right... I... I know what I must do. To not confront this danger headlong and without fear would dishonor the markings placed upon me and every Elder to have held them prior. I won't let you down, for the honor of Climbing Fire... no, of ALL Buffalo of all clans."
  75. After her bravado passes, she pauses, holding herself up and standing proudly as she lowers her head. "I... I just have one more question. Why me?"
  76. Autumn: "The resurrection is not without... costs, I am afraid," he says, dodging your other question.
  77. Shima: Flaming's expression turns to that of concern. "Costs...?"
  78. Autumn: "There is a reason why your marks will not wash off, nor be broken even by wounds. In order to undo the damage done to your body, I had to establish a Covenant with you. I gave you part of my flame, and as you have restored the bodies of the dead today, so too did I restore your body. But mortal frames cannot coexist with the divine if they are not prepared for it. To speak plainly, in restoring your form, I overwrote part of it with my spirit. That which I overwrote did not simply vanish; like all who join me, so did that part of your spirit. To save you again from death would be even greater erasure. I could save you one more time, but if I were to do that, the 'you' that exists in this world would no longer fully be you, but a vessel for my soul."
  79. Shima: Flaming's eyes open wide as she looks down at herself, feeling her body as Vir-can explains what he had to do. "Are... are you saying that you replaced part of 'me' with 'you' when you saved me? A-and, that part of me is now 'part' of you?" She says, clearly getting a bit confused at the prospect. "T-this is too much... so, am I part god now? And you're saying if this happens again... there won't be anything of 'me' left? Exactly how much of me is still here?! I-I can't even tell1"
  80. Shima: *tell!"
  81. Autumn: "Indeed. That is what it took," he replies plainly. As you panic and question him, he sets a hoof on your head. "When a forest burns, who can tell one fire from another? Who can grasp the flames and call them separate or call them to separate homes? Our people have never solely been individuals, and I am not different. We are each part of a single flame, that passes from one source to the next, and though we shrink, we can never be quenched, not by earth, nor by wind, nor by water. We tame the elements all in turn, and we are revered as that which separates the light from the dark. Release the notion that you are a single coal, doomed to vanish quietly into the night. You are the great pyre that is our Clan; the sparks are neither mine nor yours, but the people's."
  82. Shima: Flaming calms down as he sets his hoof upon her head, looking up to him and listening as he explains how she, and him, and all buffalo are as part of a burning flame. She takes a deep breath, calming herself as she listens to his teachings. "I... I understand. The part of you that's a part of me... is a part of all buffalo. We all share the same flame... one roaring inferno that tramples the earth." She lets out a breath. "T-thank you, Vir-can. I... I know I must not seem much like an Elder now, but I'm trying my best. It's just so much to take in some times..."
  83. Autumn: "That is why," Vir-can says, softly rustling your hair.
  84. Shima: Flaming scrunches her muzzle as her hair is rustled, before she looks up towards the lumbering god. "That's why...?"
  85. Autumn: "You asked why I picked you, Flaming. Because you are humble despite your strength, clever despite your brashness, brave despite your... tininess. You are a bold spirit, the first to run into danger, yet know that you are one coal out of millions, part of the body of our people, and that all you do for yourself must serve your tribe's glory, now, tomorrow, and forevermore."
  86. Shima: Flaming blushes at his complimenting, lowering her head as she feels tears of pride welling up inside at such praise. "I.... I.... t-thank you, Vir-can." she shakes her head. "I-I just wish I could take credit for it. If it weren't for Amy and the others... I'd still be unabashedly proud of my strength, stubborn and unmoving in everything I thought, and just a big idiot running headlong into things without thinking. I mean, sometimes I 'still' do that but... you know. I've improved."
  88. She lets out a sigh. "Somtimes, though... sometimes I wonder how brave I really am. I-I've been scared so many times since I left Zha Arlakane, and I don't know if I'm brave because I really am, or if I still feel like that tiny little calf who has to prove herself to everyone twice her size."
  89. Autumn: "To be brave is to step forward in spite of fear. Do you not know that even gods are afraid? We are gods because despite that fear, we marched beyond what all else were able to achieve. But there is one thing that you must still learn as Elder, and I worry that you may not fully appreciate this lesson without a dire experience of your own: You will not be able to fix everything, and you will not be able to save everyone. You must remember that every moment that you are in Tartarus."
  90. Shima: Flaming closes her eyes, letting a few tears run down, before reaching up to wipe at them before addressing Vir-can again. "Sorry... s-something in my eye. From the embers, I think..." she takes in a deep breath. "Thank you, Vir-can... I... I really can't tell you how much I appreciate your guidance now of all times. I want to be an Elder that our buffalo can truly rely upon and be proud of... in times like these, I wish they had someone as big and strong as you right there with them, but I know I'm all they have."
  92. As he tells her she won't be able to save everyone, she lowers her head. "I think I have plenty of experience with that... Circadia and Vitral are gone. Who knows how many didn't get away..."
  93. Autumn: Vir-can pauses and is silent for a while, then steps away. "Save who you can. You are still a single spark, even with all of your party around you. I am afraid that there are even those around you now who would extinguish you. Remember what I have told you, remember what you have experienced, and for better or worse, remember those who will enter Tartarus with you. That knowledge is all that separates you from Tartarus' unending abyss."
  94. A light-headed stirring begins to nudge at the corners of your vision.
  95. >You have one more reply for this sequence
  96. Shima: Flaming looks up at Vir-can one more time, and steels her gaze, nodding affirmatively. "Alright... alright! I promise, I will remember all you have said." She stands back up to her full height proudly, "I promise, that no matter who I end up saving, or what end might come.... know I will go forth with the strength of you and all our clan behind me. I will make all of them proud, and happy that of all the buffalo to do this, *I* was the one. I won't let them, or my friends, or anyone down."
  97. Autumn: >end
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