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Ruavin, The God of Dreams

Appearance: Ruavin prefers to take the form of a male though he is often mistaken for a female which doesn’t bother him. His build is very slender and dainty and is the shortest out of all the Gods. His hair is long, reaching to the back of his legs and is and platinum blonde. His eyes are grey and have been described as stormy. He dons light green robes in his realm while in the human world he wears breaches and a pale sage tunic.

“Birth” Order: Ell'eon [King/ God of Life], Mavain [Keeper of Souls], Traroth [God of Nature], Sumafel [God of the Ocean], and Ruavin [God of Dreams]

Rest of his family: Above. Loronna [Keeper of Lore], Vynnarisa [Goddess of War], Kalian [Goddess of Fertility/Love], Therudrim [God/Bringer of the Sun], Lafia [Goddess of the Moon], Aroyr [Goddess of the Seasons]

Marriages: Ell'eon and Loronna, Traroth and Aroyr, Mavain and Kalian, Sumafel and Vynnarisa, Therudrim and Lafia.

The Gods


Ell'eon was the first god in creation followed by Mavain. Not much is known about how he or his siblings came to be but they did. For a millennium Ell'eon trekked the vast unknown with his brother until he stumbled upon Loronna. Upon finding Loronna he also found what she had dubbed her own family. For awhile he remained with her until he felt something calling out to him. He followed this feeling until he found his own family. The first to be found was Traroth and then Sumafel. As a group they wandered again until yet again they found Loronna and her family. Ell'eon was tired of wander, however, and decided that they needed a place to stay. The first thing he created was a planet whose name was lost long ago. There he settled with Loronna and his brothers. For many more millenniums they lived happily, testing their powers, until they grew bored. In Ell'eon's boredom and with his families help he created the Tyrnahel.



When he had awoken all around him was darkness and another mass pressed against him. This mass would be known as his brother Ell'eon who he faithfully followed. By his side he traveled empty spaces and eventually settled with what would be his family. For many millenniums his powers were rather unknown. It was only when the Tryrnahel abandoned them did he learn his true purpose. He was to guide those who perished to a realm he had created out of whim. Only there would their souls be safe.



She awoke long after Mavain and Ell'eon on the other end of the seemingly endless plane. With each passing century another would appear in her plane. First was Vynnarisa, then Kalian, Therudrim, Lafia, and lastly Aroyr. They stayed in their corner of the empty plane until Ell'eon and Mavain appeared. By the time he left her siblings and her were getting bored. They too wanted something to do. None of them had any issue with creating a world. The moment they did she found a purpose to keep records of everything they did. While they did settle on world Ell'eon, who she soon promised herself to, created multiple other worlds. Each world she keeps record of.



While in the endless planes she had found the joy of fighting. Every now and then she would pit one of her siblings against each other. When the Trynahel were created they had such an array of emotions and passion that she would tap into it. By tapping into their passions and emotions she created anger and war. At first she loved it, even aiding Wymer in his rage and attempt of world dominance, but it eventually became dull. The Trynahel and the Humans no longer needed a guiding hand to start a war. Now she tries to stop the tides of war but has yet to succeed.



The moment she saw Mavain something woke up inside her. There was no longer that emptiness she felt inside when she was with her siblings. When Mavain left with his brother something inside her snapped and she missed him greatly. What she didn't know at the time was that her affections for the other would be contagious and soon all of her siblings had feeling of love with someone else. When Mavain returned she stayed by his side and they were the first to promise themselves to each other. She lives in his realm with him, reminding the souls that even in death love still exists. Together they created three children, two boys and one girl who aid their father and mother.



The moment he woke up his body felt as if it was on fire. There was a constant pain and light that would burst through him every now and then. Only with Lafia did the pain disappear, her presences eclipsing the pain. When Ell'eon made the world and then the universe he left the planet and let the light burst through it. As the light burst free from him it created other planet like things that he dubbed Suns. From them spewed warmth and light. All of his family enjoyed the warmth that came from the suns and he was tasked with bringing them to and forth.



Much like Therudrim there was always something beneath her form, begging to be free. It never caused her harm but bothered her somewhat. Only when Therudrim brought forth the sun did she decide to do something similar. With the sun came the moon. While the majority of her sibilings disliked the moon for taking the sun's place every so often there were a few who loved it. Sumafel was one of the few who loved the moon, which would pull the tides of his creation. Therudrim loved it because he got to see her more, even if it was in passing. Eventually Lafia and Therudrim figured out away to bring the sun and moon without doing the work themselves, giving them all the free time they could hope for.



With the sun and moon created Aroyr decided to test her powers. What she found was that she could manipulate the weather. She decided on four seasons after many test trails. The first, and her favorite, was Spring where all the new life had a chance to grow. Summer then followed and took the new life and gave it a chance to explore and have fun. Fall came next where life would start to settle down in life. Lastly was Winter. In Winter life had to give way to death but only so that new life could occur and thrive.



When Ell'eon made the first planet it was just a rocky sphere with no characteristics. With Ell'eon's help Traroth was able to create a thriving green world with everything he possibly could think of. With Aroyr's aid he was able to determine when his creations, plants and animals, could best survive. Together they created a beautiful landscape on their planet.



Where there was no land Sumafel filled it with water. With Traroth, Aroyr, and Ell'eon's aid he created life in the sea. He also aided in the creation of lake and ponds for Traroth's creation and helped them survive.



Not much is truly known about him. He is the youngest of the gods and was not there for the creation of the world. When the Trynahel were created he showed up only moments before the creation was finished. All he knew was that he would be giving these creatures relief when Lafia brought her moon out and something to hope for. Ell'eon instantly took Ruavin under his wing and was the one to help Ruavin with his powers. Most of the time Ell'eon and Loronna look at him as their first child though there are many times where he many times where he angers them and gets downgraded back to sibling.




.:.Aerlan – The book of creation, the original religious text. Not long did the formless change, // Turning from Shadows into Light // And in the light Ell'eon gifted them. // Gifted was the sky, the earth, and the sea // so that the Light may roam and prosper. // The Light then became the Tyrnahel, // The people of the God's.


.:.Aryor’s Kiss – A plant that is renowned for its healing powers.


.:.Asotasr and Theodulus – The False gods originally known as Eil’las and Thermus were once servants of the Gods, allowed to work directly with Ell’eon. They were loved by Ell’eon but they grew jealous of the Gods and their power. The created Dhaun and slipped away and they haven’t been found since.


.:.Dhaun/Dragon’s Breath – A flower that was bred with Aryor’s Kiss that is deadly and ravished Naira. This plant forces souls to leave the ody.


.:.Naira – The home of the Tyrnahel.


.:.Rydul – The Black City and the seat of power for Wymer. This city has been abandoned due to its connection to the God’s abandoning their people. In recent years pilgrimage is happening as the people are now believing that Asotasr and Theodulus had guided Wymer to the correct path and against the heathen gods.


.:.Savaric – The Wanderer was Ruavin first love and only heartbreak. No longer content to live in the land of the Gods he asked permission to leave. While this angered Ell’eon he allowed Savaric to leave to Verque. There he found the first kingdoms.


.:.Tyrnahel – A race of human that came from the God’s lands. They are the first humans to be created and while they lingered on their creator's lands they were granted the gift of immortality. When Savaric and some of his men left for Verque they lost their gift of immortality. The gods pitied them and gave them the ability to live a longer life than the humans they placed on Verque because the Tyrnahel were like their children. With that they were able to live a few hundred year the longest recorded life being 529 years. The average lifespan is 420 years.


.:.Verque – Also known as the Magister States. This was where the Gods placed most of the humans and where the Tyrnahel ended up.


.:.War of the Gods – Wymer, the Dark One and Last King of Rydul [The Black City] waged war against the Gods because he felt that they abandoned their people. Their immortality was waging, and their magic decreasing and the gods were no longer necessary.


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GuillotineDreams     106d ago

The impact must have rattled Sciath's head more then he thought it would for it would seem that there was the Dark One in his mortal coil in front of him, battle fit as the day he died.

"My, my, I do believe Yareen has been rather kind to you in that department. Forgive me as a swoon over the immaculate form of the Dark One made flesh," Sciath giggled a little to himself as he allowed Wymer to look over the head wound. Really it was a moot point. You couldn't get much deader than Sciath but the thought counted for something. Sciath leaned as heavily as he could against the Dark One as they stood up and one of his sparrowrats returned his lost parts. "Surely you don't think I'd leave you here? Gods, I may be dead but I'm not heartless, besides, how often do you get to see the Dark One in action? Please, put on a good show," Sciath spoke whimsically as Wymer entered the fray.


Time in Yareen was hard to rightly judge, Sciath could but it was yet another useless trait to keep so he didn't bother with it too much. Remembering the time before he entered was easier and even so, the history books had nothing on the real thing in battle. Wymer hadn't become a legend yet in his time, but he wasn't exactly a hero either so it was hard to come across anything valid about the Dark One. The generalization of him was that he was a barbarian with an endless bloodlust to face him in battle was certain death. They had that right about him, Sciath was by no means an expert fighter, even when he was alive it wasn't much of a talent he needed, but he could call Wymer the epitome of a storm. The blade he summoned was simple, but elegant in design no move was wasted, at least in the beginning. His shadows were entities of their own gathering around him for defense at first but even they seemed hungry for a good match. Sadly he wasn't going to get that, not with the Malboro. He was getting bored with it, and when one gets bored, one gets sloppy. Sciath sidestepped a few paces as his sparrowrats did the same, a few clamoring around his shoulders.

"Aye, it does. It doesn't have much else going for it, besides brute strength and poison; really you only have to worry about one of those. Come now Wyrmple, surely you're not out of the match yet? I mean, hell might be a bit sad for it to end so anticlimactically for you," Sciath teased looking down at Wymer after he slammed against the wall, causing a massive crack to fissure up and across the ceiling of the cavern. Sciath rapped his knuckles gently against the wall as the Dark One brushed it off easily enough but certainly loss whatever strategy he had going for him.


Sciath maneuvered around the cavern eyeing the damage the two combatants were causing. Although he probably should have done something to help Wymer, he'd feel kind of bad about it. Strategy was gone, but frenzy, hell down right mania took its place as Wymer jumped back into the battle. He held onto some caution as he approached but it was quickly replaced with excitement. The Malboro didn't stand a chance as the whirlwind of shadows and steel took off. Wymer even shredded some of his own shadows as they became animated teeth and claws as they tore through the Malboro. Sciath watched in fascination, he could easily imagine some of the Dark One's early battles in the Labyrinth when he was a Lord instead of just a pet. Tearing into foes without a care, just for the sheer thrill of battle, it didn't matter who lived or died it was just that moment of euphoric massacre. No wonder Vynnarisa supported him in life. Sciath felt the excitement of battle reach into his very core as he felt a twisted smile reach his lips.

"They certainly know how to pick them, I can understand fully why you would give your support Vynnarisa. Almost a shame he failed in that endeavor, but once a champion, always one it seems," Sciath mused to himself.


There was a slight nagging sensation that brought Sciath down from his high. Perhaps he should have mentioned that to Wymer. Sciath glanced around the room, the various parts of the Malboro scattered about, as some were beginning to wriggle about trying to reconnect with others. It wasn't going to be a huge issue, at least it shouldn't be, it seemed that some of the discarded shadows from Wymer caught on and were beginning to devour the slower pieces. The Malboro was getting on its last legs, Wymer was going to go for the kill as the vines wrapped around the Dark One. Sciath ran a hand across his stomach, the wound stopped bleeding leaving the black blood shimmering in the failing light, and he looked up seeing the cracks crisscross along the ceiling. The Labyrinth was reacting to the new passage, Echidna’s failed attempt, took it a bit longer then he thought, but no matter. Sciath grabbed one of the mushrooms on the wall squeezing it in his hand releasing a pulpy goop then slammed his hand into the ground. He felt the rumble of power surge across the ground the mini malboros twitching once then turning to dust as Wymer's shadows took care of the stranglers. Sciath looked to the Dark One as he watched him plunge the sword into the Malboro's skull, his shadows swarming what was left as Wymer tumbled to the ground. Sciath wiped the residual blood and goop from his hand onto the ground as he saw Frederick make his way back. He looked to from where he came and saw a passage leading upwards.

"Well seems fortunately enough we didn't get dragged as far down as we originally thought," Sciath remarked flippantly sitting against the wall. Sciath watched with amusement as the Dark One came over. "Maybe you have, a victory is still a victory though," Sciath stated.


Really, Wymer really should have known better. Sciath sent the sparrowrats back to scouting as Wymer was lamenting his current unsightly sight and his apparent lack of power. Well it was hard to be anywhere but at the top of the world when you've been there so long, you forget your mortal limitations. Sciath couldn't have cared less about that.

"I guess that means I'm a special case," Sciath began lowly effortlessly slinking on top of the Dark One. Sure he weighed next to nothing but Wymer even said he was a harder enemy then the Malboro at the moment; although he wasn't sure if this would make him an enemy or not. The battle left Wymer's clothing in disarray but simple enough to work around. Completely ignoring any protests the Dark One may have had; Sciath began humming to himself as he undid the cloth belt pulling the tabard over Wymer's head revealing his bare chest, tanned, and scarred with age and battle but certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Sciath's own attire was simpler then what the Dark One had a tattered long sleeved shirt with an equally tattered pair of pants. Certainly being more dead then Wymer the shirt was more like a second skin then clothing as Sciath undid the shirt as it clung loosely to his back. Sciath snuggled on top of Wymer his pale skin cool against the warrior's body. Sciath died young, more lean then muscular, built for running over fighting, no less capable then the Dark One in a fight however. Even missing parts of his body the motions were fluid, graceful even, as Sciath traced Wymer's chest with his fingers. "I may be a piss poor whore, that doesn't mean I'm not the best at what I do," Sciath spoke softly kissing Wymer's throat working his way to his lips. "To the victor goes the spoils."




Luke figured he may have fussed too much with the dog as he didn't seem willing to do much at first. The dog let out a soft whine, before he seemed to resign himself to his fate of being stuck with Luke.

"Maybe your owners live in a nicer part of town? It may be kind of crowded, and," Luke trailed off as he looked over to one of the sadly many homeless people in the city relieving themselves down the alley. Fortunately it was away from the goods and what not, but none the less disheartening. "Rydul...isn't the best place out there I can give you that. But it's where most people decide to live right or wrong. It's not like the world is at war, but it is the epicenter for trade and it is well-defended if it's necessary. Soren," he stopped as the dog seemed ready to move out. Luke held loosely to the rope, it was more of a means to not lose the dog, not to tie him down or anything like that, but it felt more like the dog was walking Luke then the other way around. He had to weave a little out of the throng of people coming for market day, a few hasty apologies, as he did his best to not slow the dog down. "Soren said once that people live here because they don't know anything aside from this. Everything is close at hand, you can obviously see the differences in class here as well, but he didn't sound upset by it. Just that people need people, to just really see that they aren't alone in the world. Beliefs only get you so far, you have to learn to walk on your own, but I still don't really get what he meant by it. To me it sounded like the people don't like change, and instead of doing anything about it they just sit around and turn stagnant, expecting someone else or even the gods themselves to do something about it. I never really liked that part of this place, got me in trouble a couple of times with my father. It was Soren who recommended Gita to me and Aedan even took us there a couple times before we got apprenticeships. Not that you seem to mind the rambling of a stupid kid, talking to a dog," Luke trailed off a bit, realization settling in that he was having a very one sided conversation with a dog that he believed very much so wanted to maim him.


Deciding it best to stop the conversation before he drew anymore curious onlookers, Luke fell silent as they entered into the noble district. It wasn't illegal per se to be a commoner in the noble district; it just made Luke's skin crawl. At least he could relate to people in the other districts, here everything was too showy, too... fake for his liking that he was tempted to just leave the dog to his own devices. But that would be immature of him, and shirking his self-made duty of finding the dog's home. He didn't see anyone else in the area it felt like they entered a bubble, he could barely hear any of the sounds from the trade district coming up. The only sound was their own feet brushing against the cobblestones and the bubbling fountain in the center of the district. The flowers were in bloom, their scent sweet, but too much for Luke's liking as they approached the fountain.

"Asotasr and Theodulus, blessed be ye, and gratitude for all that was given," Luke mumbled out of habit then true faith. Right or wrong he was kind of sick of the gods, new ones, old ones, fake ones, they haven't exactly done much lately to earn his faith. But probably shouldn't tempt faith either, he added a partial bow to the prayer. "Usually when the flowers are in bloom they have a festival to honor the gods. But seems it will be late again this year, I imagine the last few trials caused that. Magistrate is too busy to look to their people, when they have petty feuds to settle," he spoke softly. He looked across the plaza and there stood the courthouse, in its glittery glory. It was a stupid idea, a very stupid idea, but not stupid enough to warrant Aedan’s concern surely? There was a high chance that Soren would have been somewhere inside in the prison. With the place as abandoned as it was, there really didn't seem like a reason not to. At least look, there was no harm in that right?


"There's stupid, stupid, and stupid. Triple stupidity doesn't make it genius or some epiphany for glory," a voice interrupted rather loudly shattering the eeriness of the place. Luke turned to his right and there stood a young girl. Girl seemed a little rude to call her, she certainly wasn't a lady, but she wasn't much older than him if he was going to guess. She had her hands on her hips looking down at him, she wasn't much taller than him but the angle gave him a perfect shot of her chest, Luke stuttered before the girl stood up showing no signs of noticing his hesitance. She wore a simple black peasant dress with a floral design on the blouse, the skirt was black, but she also wore a pair of dark red pants a couple shades darker then her raspberry colored hair. Her hair was long and unruly, as though she may have just gotten out of bed, her feet were also bare. But where did she come from? Luke wanted to ask but her amber eyes locked on him and kept his mouth shut. "Why give gratitude for the sake of giving? You're not getting anything in return. Why honor previous individuals," she began counting off his stupidity with her fingers. "Do you honestly think you could sneak into the prison?"

"What?! I wasn't going," Luke found his voice nearly shouting at her although she had the sense to keep her voice down with that last statement. "I'm trying to find this dog's home."

"Dog," she questioned finally taking a step back and getting the bigger picture. Luke was about to clarify when said dog barked and nearly yanked Luke off his feet as he bolted down the plaza. Luke tried to right himself and by the time he looked back the girl was gone.


Luke was gasping for breath, he honestly didn't think the dog had that much energy in him, and despite his small stature he managed to drag Luke all the way to where they stood now. When he entered the alley he dropped the rope as he leaned against the wall a little to catch his breath. He knew he wasn't out of shape, but something else was certainly making it harder to breath.

"Just give me a mo-," the yelp stopped him before a fist hit him across the mouth sending him sprawling to the ground. Luke lay still for a moment, before slowly sitting up with the soft hum of an arrow getting knocked. He tasted blood in his mouth, as he slowly lifted his eyes up to his attacker. "Get out of here, boy, go home," Luke hissed lowly as he watched the dog trying to defend him. The man lowered the bow, but his stature didn't change.

"It'll mean nothing to you, but I take no pleasure in killing kids," before Luke could react there was a glint of metal and he was back on the ground. He felt blood stream down his throat, but he couldn't move, blood bubbled past his lips, he couldn't breathe. "The poison will make your passing painless, and swift. All I can do for you. I'll let Mavain be my judge, and may he find a place in his realm for a nonbeliever such as you," the man spoke leaving the alley. Luke lay there, nothing registering for him as it got harder to keep his eyes open, he may have felt a gentle nudge from the dog but that sounded like wishful thinking.

"Triple stupidity only gets you dead, Luke Culann."




Pherae knelt down next to Luke's body, running her fingers through his hair, eventually tracing over the neck wound.

"Been awhile Uncle Vin, Aunt Aroyr talked to Mama about you a little, before I knew it Mama sent me here to help. But seems I was a little late, seeing death doesn't mean I can always prevent it," she spoke with a small smile her fingertips painted crimson. "Not that I have such power. Auntie didn't exactly clarify what I was to expect. I thought you liked flying over being on the ground, although," she clenched her one hand as the other scratched behind Ruavin's ear. "You make a cute puppy," she giggled bringing her fist to her lips blowing softly as a warm light emitted from it. She cupped Ruavin's injured paw gently stroking up and down. "That's about all I can do for you, any chance you can give me your blessing? I mean I don't think I'd need it, but it would make it a little easier to navigate Yareen at least til I found Luke. Papa can help with the rest."

"Such blind faith in me is admirable if not a little naive on your end Pherae."

"Papa, it's not blind or naive if it’s the truth," Pherae pouted standing up and puffing out her cheeks looking towards the entrance of the alley. Mavain hung his head, running a hand through his short dirty blonde hair. His attire was simple; pants, boots, and tabard in soft earthly tones with a blue cloak. His eyes were a soft amber, no doubt where Pherae got hers.

"Apologies, I should have known better than to doubt you," he held his hands up in defeat with a gentle smile walking over to the two.


Pherae scootched over as Mavain took her place over Luke. He held his hands over the body as they gave off a pale grey glow, the wound on his neck began to close, as his skin regained some color.

"I've healed the wound and removed the poison but I can't do anything else for him without his soul. My realm will remain closed to him, but we both know Yareen can easily claim him before I could do anything else. In your current state, can you even give a blessing," Mavain asked. He was polite on the matter, if not for that little hint that he already knew the answer. He looked towards Pherae ignoring any protests that Ruavin would have attempted. "You'll be fine without it, Pherae, there was a reason I recommended you over your brothers. You're far too stubborn for your own good, and plenty quick to back that up." Pherae stuck out her tongue as she stood up holding out her wrist. "It was to be taken as a compliment," Mavain added bringing his hands together in prayer before pulling them apart creating a silver chain, he clasped one onto Luke's wrist the other to Pherae's.

"Your compliments tend to sound backward though. But thank you all the same," she replied with a grin. She brought the chain to her lips kissing it before wrapping her bloody fingers around the links. The blood stains began to shimmer pulling off the metal as golden butterflies. "Maybe next time we can go flying again Uncle Vin," she spoke turning her back to the two as a pair of black raven wings sprouted from her shoulders. She jumped into the air vanishing in a flurry of feathers.

"Be safe, my little angel," Mavain whispered taking his gaze from the sky and looking back to Ruavin with a pointed stare. "You'll have some explaining to do."


Before Ruavin could rightly do anything, Mavain took a seat on the ground across from him and Luke. He held one hand up to stop Ruavin, as the other rested against his head trying to massage the headache and fatigue away.

"I'll go first. Ell'eon knows nothing of my presence here, Sumafel and Traroth are making sure of that, not that even my brother can sense as well as he used to. The others are for the most part minding their own business, trying to search for clues elsewhere to our dilemma. Aroyr and Kalian are helping you, which is why I'm here as well. You may recognize this method of soul retrieval," Mavain gestured to Luke. He released a sigh looking out towards the plaza where the flowers bloomed. "Dhaun," he spat the name out. "I had hoped that we eradicated it the first time, but clearly we were mistaken. Luke's case is not as severe, a slit throat easier to mend, but with the state of Yareen no less a challenge. With the first outbreak of Dhaun, I had to make these chains just to give me time to find out what had happened. It wasn't always successful, as you know," Mavain paused. The first outbreak on Naira was a horrendous tragedy, being powerless to help, for many he could only watch and give their souls a safe haven. The journey to the grave was certainly a gruesome, slow, march that Mavain could do nothing to even ease the pain. "In theory Pherae needs to only find his soul and clasp the chain to it, to give the soul a certain path back to the body. We'll have to give Pherae time and wait," he explained with a shrug. Overall it should have been a simple enough task, even with Luke being a nonbeliever, but Mavain was no different from the other gods losing his powers with the lack of faith. He was better off than most, sadly for the nature of death. The true believers were getting older and entering his realm at a steady rate.


"With no intention of cheapening Luke's and Pherae's challenges ahead, there is still you to consider," Mavain stated gesturing to Ruavin's miniscule form. Pherae may have healed his injuries didn't exactly change the fact he was still a dog. "Ignoring Ell'eon's orders, I expected nothing less from you. Wouldn't do to call you out on that, considering the majority of us are already doing that. Your lack of thinking would be another matter," Mavain signed exhausted. "We work as a group, in pairs, or at least giving some notice to others who are trying for the same goal, of your intentions in case they go awry. Traroth and Aroyr were helping you from the beginning, Aroyr may have been asked to look into the matter by Ell'eon, but Traroth had asked her to check in on you when you didn't get back to anyone after you went to investigate Yareen, by yourself," Mavain closed his eyes releasing another sigh. He may have been the only one of his brothers to have children so he should have some experience with dealing with them. Ruavin wasn't a child, but his actions certainly didn't show maturity. "It is your realm, and we know what happens when we interfere too much in each other's realms, Ell'eon has yet to learn that lesson. But Yareen hasn't been your realm in quite some time, so it's dangerous even for its maker." Kalian may have been the better of the two to talk to Ruavin but Mavain would have to do. "We were worried about you, you've gotten damn lucky with the humans you've come across. But a kindness such as that, even if it may have been misplace, doesn't get one of them killed," Mavain finished as he stretched and stood up. He walked near the entrance of the alley looking around the plaza. "Ell'eon needs to be informed of this, but this Dhaun is not as potent as its first batch. Deadly, but not as effective, there's been enough time to lessen its hazards. Its existence is no less alarming though," he saw the fountain before walking back towards Ruavin. "Any signs of its lustrous creators?" He knelt down by Ruavin, petting his head as his hand glowed faintly. "I can't say if you deserve any of this, but I'm giving you some of my magic. See what you can do with it, if nothing, I may be able to help more with that. I'm mostly curious how you'd like to explain your adventures thus far."




It was the quiet that caused Luke to stir from his current place on the ground, standing up quickly shaking away the dizziness with the motion. He didn't know where he was, but he was starting to miss the fakeness of the noble district to whatever this nothingness was. His body was trembling with pins and needles as he wrapped his arms around himself to regain some feeling. His mind was a blur to how he ended up here and where here even was but more importantly...

"Where did you go boy," Luke spoke loudly before cupping his mouth with how loud that sounded in the stillness. A sudden dread settled in the pit of his stomach as the alley came back to mind. He trailed his hand down his throat until his fingers caught on the cut; he almost made it worse when he ripped his hand away. There was no blood, but he felt his fingers inside his throat. That ceased the pins and needles. "I guess you wouldn't be here," he whispered, taking in his surroundings, the only structure being a long stone wall with only one entrance. It stretched as far as he could see both ways; it didn't take long to figure out where here was anymore. He tried to walk, a little shakily at first but the motions came naturally enough. On one side of the wall there was some sort of writing, it was hard to make out but that didn't really seem all that important at the moment. "Well I did make a promise to bring you home, Soren. Aedan would kill me that I may have gone a little too far with the stupidity, at least for not telling him the stupid first. But I made it this far, only thing to do now would be to commit, besides you always said once you agree to something you damn well get it done, right Soren," Luke spoke with a small smile. Really he must have been mad at how he was taking this in stride, but if he was in fact... dead, he already hit rock bottom. "That means all that's left is up, I'm going to find you Soren," Luke spoke again to anchor his resolve. He took a deep breath, although he probably didn't need to anymore, as he ran into the Labyrinth.




"There really should be a limit to how dumb one person can be, it's unbelievable, he couldn't have waited a few measly more minutes," Pherae groaned loudly when she landed in Yareen. The chain at her wrist continued to pulse and the butterflies were still marking the path. If she was too late she wouldn't have either guide. She always enjoyed her visits with Uncle Vin, watching dreams, or playing games like tag and hide and seek in his forest. It was just so different from the other realms, maybe since it was the only constant link they had with humans anymore, that magic of dreams if she was being honest. She knew the forest well enough and tended to ignore the other part of Yareen, the Labyrinth; mostly since it seemed to be such a harsh place in an otherwise beautiful realm. A necessary evil is how Uncle Ell'eon described it once, but Pherae didn't understand what he meant by that. Why was evil necessary? What made evil, evil?


Pherae sighed loudly again tapping her head a few times to get herself back on track. She landed at the border between the forest and the Labyrinth, that barren nothingness. Since Vin wasn't here it felt a little sadder, no wonder her thoughts took that route, she shook her head and launched herself once more into the air, she landed daintily on the top of the wall of the Labyrinth. There were indeed rules to the Labyrinth and per Ell'eon all were bound by those, even its creator to some degree, but if she never technically enters the rules can't really apply now could they? She still had to navigate cautiously, she'd only have one chance to get Luke's soul back and if she lingers too long in that, she would be stuck in the Labyrinth too. She flew above the walls, stretching her magic to hone in on Luke. She wasn't expecting to find him completely unscathed but she didn't find any signs of battle or even a confrontation with the denizens of Yareen. The butterflies didn't clump up to show that, they were going rather effortlessly through the turns of the Labyrinth.

"Fortune favors the bold, and apparently the inherently stupid. May seem pretty silly coming from me, but I pray that your luck holds out."




Soren barely registered Sigan or Alys when they left Lamia's chambers. It took a lot of will power on his end to not scratch at the scales, run away from the group in earnest, or take his new sickle to his throat to just end it all. Soren did not like where his thoughts were taking him, but there was little else to distract the thoughts since the situation just kept getting murkier and murkier. It was never clear to begin with, but he really needed answers. Ruavin seemed to be his best option but no offense against the god he didn't really do much explanation at their first meeting, whatever semblance of understanding he may have had was shattered with Lamia. He had to get back; he knew that much, but...perhaps that was all he had to focus on? All he should focus on at least. He tried to organize his conversation with Lamia with what he may have heard from the others. He was getting vague ideas but nothing substantial, so it seemed a little pointless if not also concerning to Sigan and Alys to bring up conversations they were clearly having with him with having no recollection of them. Soren blew a sigh pinching his nose to help clear the headache. He took to looking over at the two instead, he spied a sword on Alys' hip, possibly a dagger on Sigan's belt, and he noticed Sigan managed to find a bag as well. Well they weren't the best equipped but certainly equipped beat nothing at all. He heard mention of assassin and the Dragon Guild, sounds like he was with capable fighters but those skills could be used against him.


Sigan spoke after a moment about taking the straight path as Soren took another cautionary glance around their other options. The greenery didn't seem to be standing out too much from before but he felt the growing nausea again.

"Sadly, it isn't just you," Soren stated licking his lips as the vines were wriggling a little on the wall. It didn't seem the most alarming, yet, but he would rather avoid another confrontation so soon after the last one. He rested his hand on the sickle as he quickened their pace a little down the path. The vines weren't exactly thinning out and sadly they seemed to be moving more with them down the path. It didn't take long to come to the next intersection, a right and a straight. "Mind if we stop here for a moment," Soren questioned. He didn't get any flat out refusals as he leaned against the wall, eventually sliding down it as he rested his head on his knees. The headache was getting worse, and his vision was getting blurry. Alys attempted to lay a hand on his shoulder but he flinched away as Alys recoiled her hand. "Apologies, Alys. Just give me a moment," Soren spoke shakily. "It'll pass. Apologies again though as it seems I'm the one holding up the group," the vines wriggled and Soren nearly jumped back to his feet barely steadying himself as Sigan proved swifter helping him keep his balance. Soren recoiled albeit with slightly more dignity taking a couple of steps back. "Thank you," he spoke quickly. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. "I don't know what you're seeing Sigan, but the vines don't seem hostile, if I can even use a word like that. They remind me of snakes, acting out since we've intruded on their domain, I imagine we just need to walk cautiously around them, and be mindful what we lean against," Soren suggested, trying to regain some posture. It seemed to work, he stood up straighter heading towards the right path. He looked down trying to navigate carefully the vines that wriggled near the floor and base of the wall, it slowed their progress a little, each step on a vine it tended to tremble and dig itself deeper or try and shake off the foot that dare step on it. Soren swore he heard the occasional grumble with a few poor steps on his end.


One particular misstep Soren felt a vine lash out at his ankles, ending him on the ground.

"Shit," he cursed lightly as he sat up. Sigan offered him a hand, but he didn't grab for it immediately, instead he grabbed the sickle and gently prodded up one of the vines that was on the crease where the ground met the wall. "I don't think we're on a path anymore," he stated digging a little into an angle where he should have hit the wall. There have been plenty of changes within the Labyrinth, but the walls were a constant that was depressing, their only constant was the reminder they were trapped. Soren dug around a little with his free hand into the floor as well, the dirt was looser then what it had been, he grabbed Sigan's hand and pulled himself up, going near the wall again and digging a little into that as well. "I understand Yareen changes but regardless what any of us have seen there have always been the stone walls correct," he asked keeping his tone neutral. This wasn't something to be panicking about, his digging didn't show any roots though, he was careful of the vines, but he never came across other roots. Yes he did find Aroyr’s Kiss on the walls in the Labyrinth and near the ground but...assuming he was wrong about the walls from earlier there was something different, or the right term would be something familiar about these walls. "It's tilled soil, before planting season, I don't think the vines could do this on their own," he mused softly.

"Soren!" He stopped dead; he could feel his heart pounding as well as his blood turn to ice. There's no way. This is just his mind playing a cruel trick on him, of course thinking of farming would lead to family but...but that should be all it was. Soren looked towards Sigan and Alys.

"Did either of you hear anything," he asked very softly. There was no way he would have mistaken either of them for calling his name.

"Soren, where are you?" He threw whatever caution he may have had to the wind, he began to sprint through the hall. Some parts of the ground were softer than he expected stumbling more then he would have liked crushing a few vines beneath him or ripping some from the walls when he tried to steady himself.

"Luke," he hollered pulling himself up. The path split three ways, the walls looked similar although some weren't nearly as covered with vines, some looked like the walls from earlier but with more scratches. "Luke! Answer me, where are you," he screamed feeling hysterical again. Of course there would be no response, since Luke's not here. There was no point in redeeming himself now, he has completely lost it. He was out of breath as the cruel reality sunk in; he went down the less viney one in case he managed to irritate the other vines to try and mitigate any more damage. That was the plan as he leaned against the wall trying to catch his breath; he thought he heard Sigan or Alys calling him from behind.


He didn't have the chance to clarify when something barreled into him. It was cold and knocked the wind out of him, so this was it? He got careless, got lost in a memory and now was paying for it.

"Soren," Luke hiccupped burying his face into Soren's chest. Soren barely managed to keep his balance even with the wall next to them. "I-I found you," he continued crying. Soren slowly brought his arms around him, expecting them to fall through mist, they hit something solid, but not completely solid. Soren fell to his knees holding Luke closer.

"Aye, you did," Soren spoke softly barely holding back his own tears.

"I s-said I wouldn't cry like th-this when I found you, but," Luke mumbled.

"It's alright, there is no shame in it...but why are you here," Soren questioned holding him tighter brushing his hair down.

"I made a promise to Reyn and Mykael to bring you home," Luke breathed slowly breaking out of the hug as he bowed his head against Soren's chest.

"And when we make a promise we keep them," Soren gently brought Luke's head up to meet his eyes, he saw the neck wound stark against his skin. "Always admirable, but such an idiot," Soren berated him but there was no venom behind the words, mostly just a fact. He pulled him closer once more. "Mavain, Keeper of Souls. I have no right to ask but I pray, I beg you please give Luke salvation, please do not forsake him. Don't let him pay for my mistakes, give him a chance," Soren pleaded. "Now it seems we both need to get home, now don't we," Soren stated with a gentle smile slowly letting Luke go.

"I'm sorry," Luke hiccupped.

"Apologize when we get home," Soren finished slowly standing up and pulling Luke up as well.

"What's that?" Before Soren could fathom the question the ground began to shake he felt the soil give away underneath them. He grabbed onto Luke.

"Don't let go!"

"Found you.''


Soren was in a daze as he slowly opened his eyes. He couldn't make out much, a large room with some more of those vines; there was a faint light on the walls in sickening colors that looked to be flickering. The stench was the worse, as though something died; he coughed up dirt as he tried to crawl out from under the debris. The only miracle he could see was not getting stabbed with his own sickle the crawl only spiked the pain his body was covered in. It took some effort, but he managed, clawing at the wall to stand up.

"Luke," he coughed spitting out the dirt with a tint of blood. He looked around to no avail. "Sigan, Alys are you alright," he tried to yell coughing harder into this arm the stench was getting to him. He managed to hear some grumbling as he walked around the room following the sound as he looked up. He saw essentially the hole he fell into which didn't make sense in the least since when did the Labyrinth have multiple floors? "Sigan," he hollered his voice gaining some more strength as he saw a foot hanging over the edge. The body twitched in response pulling itself up, he saw Sigan look carefully over the hole. "Is Alys with you? I think...I'm the only one that fell," he worded cautiously. Alys peered over the edge when she was mentioned. Soren saw Sigan trying to come down to him. "Stop! There's something down here, it smells rotten," he looked around carefully still trying to be mindful of the vines, they weren't as thick, or wriggly for that matter. But he couldn't shake the shiver that ran down his spine. One corner was thick in shadows there was one of the rats from before standing near an exit. "I've found another path, I'll meet up with you. If you're in doubt," he looked back to the rat as it cleaned its face before running up the path. "Follow the rats." There was no way that they saw anything but he couldn't help but hope. "Did either of you see Luke-" The room rumbled as Soren crouched down to steady his balance. "Run!"


Soren rolled to the side as something labored up from the center of the room. He mistook it for part of the environment with the poor lighting; it looked to be a giant plant with numerous vines fanning out around its mouth lined with razor like teeth. It reminded him of some of the old tales that Nasir would tell him. But it was injured, he didn't want to know what did it, but there was an obvious wound where the head would have been, a jagged hole that made its lopsided mouth all the more menacing. There were chunks missing from the vines and it was oozing a thick purple puss, almost black from the body. It wasn't moving, but neither was Soren as the fumes kept him struggling to breathe.

"You know something I really hate? Interruptions, to a rather splendid time, all things considered. I'll be borrowing this for but a moment, no need to worry, she'll probably bite me before I can get a single scuff on her," a strangely familiar yet far more annoyed voice came from the shadows. Soren felt the air get sliced dispelling the poison in an instant as the creature let out a horrid shriek. Slowly Soren managed to get to his knees, gasping for breath. He wasn't sure what he was seeing, the plant was sliced again diagonally through making pitiful warbling noises, almost like it was cowering from something. The spirit Soren saw when he first entered the Labyrinth was to his right cradling what was left of an arm as though something mauled it. A beautiful black blade twinkled in the light of the room as the shadows grabbed hold of it pulling it towards the corner. The spirit gave a crooked smirk towards him. "Vezrak isn't it," he spoke towards the shadows yet never took his eyes off of Soren. "Pretty sure is what you called her, it, I think she'd rather be called a her, beautiful blade. Doesn't like to be handled by those not her master. A small price to pay," he made a gesture with his arm as though that would explain everything. "I'm not the monster here though, that would belong to you boy. So finish it."

Confusion wasn't even the start of what was going through Soren's head. He felt an anger, that didn't belong to him ripple inside, and a blank as to what the hell did he mean? Finish it? How? He didn't realize he was on his feet, until he was running towards what was left of the creature, he didn't feel the scythe in his hands until it sliced through what he imagined would have been the heart. The monster yowled before crumpling on itself; Soren stumbled back pressing himself against the wall. The scythe fell from his hands, the staff was black as burnt wood, the sickle ashen with what looked like almost traces of embers in the metal, it glittered ominously in the failing light. Soren kicked it across the ground.

"It would be wise of you to not discard something as powerful as that so easily. Weapons can have souls as well, and do not take abandonment so well," as if on cue the scythe flew past embedding itself in the wall near Soren's head, although it now appeared to be nothing more than the rusted sickle he found in Lamia's chambers. "Best take it with you, besides what's one more bit of damnation on your soul," the spirit spoke flippantly, never losing that damn smirk.

"Luke," Soren tried to speak finding his voice hoarse as he reluctantly grabbed the sickle and slid it in his belt. His hands were shaking as he tried to grasp anything that would make some sense to this.

"Dead, and there is nothing to do about it. And at the rate you’re going you'll probably be joining him, bitten and charmed by a snake does not bode well for you," the spirit delivered the line so casually Soren couldn't bother with holding himself up anymore as he slid to the ground. "But where are my manners, you can call me Sciath. Now surely Wyrmple you have had more than enough time to collect yourself, so by all means, please come and join us."

GuillotineDreams     106d ago

Wymer was not used to winning by a slim margin. In his life he brought only destruction, and very few ever got close enough to fight him, and even fewer were any real challenge. In Wymer’s death, when he began to fully embody the Dark One persona, even fewer beings could get near him. They weren’t as strong as Wymer or determined to win which left Wymer undefeated in the Labyrinth. That was so many years ago. He had gotten complacent at Ruavin’s side, his skills rusty and unused, which let a fucking vine monster get the best of him. This knowledge angered Wymer to his very core and the knowledge that he could be bested by the only angered him more. The only thing that was on Wymer’s side was he did everything out of spite and anger so if they came across any other Lords of the Labyrinth, he had faith in his ability to survive.


Sciath didn’t seem to understand Wymer’s problems and Wymer didn’t bother trying to explain his own frustrations. They were too numerous so instead he tilted his head against the rough stone walls of the labyrinth and closed his eyes. What Wymer didn’t expect was for Sciath to make his way on top of him. The moment he felt Sciath’s slight weight on him his eyes flew open and Wymer’s dark eyes met Sciath’s as he waited to see what the male was going to do. Sciath, however, seemed unphased by Wymer watching him and continued his quest. A frown played on Wymer’s lips as Sciath began to undo the belt that was holding his tabard in place and it didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going to happen next. Still Wymer had to, on principle, protest.


“What the hell do you think you are doing?” He hissed as Sciath pulled the tabard over his head, exposing Wymer’s chest, an action that hadn’t been done in forever. Sciath, of course, did not answer him and snuggled into Wymer’s chest. This action was something else Wymer hadn’t participated in since his death. One of the last things he had done was lay with one of his numerous concubines before riding out to survey the battlefield and being betrayed by the Black Knight. Her mark, the scar that ran between two ribs, still evident in death like all other battle scars. When Wymer had arrived to Yareen that wound continuously bled and he felt like he was drowning all the time. It was a feeling Wymer grew accustomed to but then Ruavin healed him. The wound scarred over and Wymer didn’t feel like his lungs were rapidly filling with blood. Just a scar remained for his death. A scar that Sciath was tracing with his fingers.


Wymer was seconds away from pushing Sciath away when his attention moved away from the pale scar and instead began to talk. Wymer had to decide what he wanted to do, and he needed to decide fast. Yes, Sciath annoyed him. The other man just didn’t shut up, but Wymer didn’t hate him. Wymer tolerated him, and even liked him, and it had been so long since he had been touched like this. So, instead of pushing Sciath off Wymer wrapped his arms around Sciath’s waist.


Letting Sciath continue his path upwards Wymer met his kiss with his own. One of his hands found their way to the back of Sciath’s skull, cradling it as they kissed. Wymer only pulled away to say “Normally, I don’t let whores kiss me.” before going in for another kiss.




Ruavin was out of his element. Sure, in dreams there was violence, but it was all fake and echoes of memories or longing. Even in Yareen, where violence is in abundance, Ruavin did not have to deal with it. This was clear in how he dealt with the man before him. A low growl came from him as the man lowered his bow, Luke’s words falling on deaf ears, as Ruavin got ready to react.


It was a smidge too slow and a moment too late because in a blink of an eye there was a silver bolt straight through Luke’s throat. All fight left Ruavin’s small furry body as he felt a thud behind him. Turning, a small whine left his own throat as he saw Luke, on the ground. Ruavin rushed over and he nudged Luke’s body with his wet nose. A louder whine came from him as Luke didn’t move, not that Ruavin expected Luke to move. The poor guy did have an arrow through his throat which tended to put a damper on living.


Ruavin, however, didn’t know what to do. He had sent a prayer to his brother but there wasn’t much more he could do. He could try chasing after the man who murdered Luke. Leaving, however, felt wrong. With another whine he plopped down besides Luke’s body and as he did that someone Ruavin was very familiar with appeared.


Pherea, his niece, the daughter of Mavain and Kalian, was kneeling next to Luke. Ruavin was curious on why his niece was here but he didn’t have to wait long. Kalian had sent her and under normal circumstances Ruavin would be somewhat annoyed with his siblings. Would even feel like they didn’t trust him to do things correctly. This, however, wasn’t one of those times because Ruavin fucked this up.


As Pherea scratched behind his ears a traitorous leg started to twitch. The spot she scratched feeling great. It was a good enough distraction because soon she was cupping his injured paw. Ruavin was close to pulling the sensitive paw away from her grasp when it dawned upon him that she was healing it. As she healed his paw, asking for his blessing in Yareen, Ruavin licked her hand as a thank you but he wouldn’t be able to give her his blessing. As he did so his brother finally appeared, gently chastising his daughter on her blind faith. Ruavin was with Pherea when it came to it not being blind faith. Mavain was amazing and could do almost anything. While Ell’eon was the “leader” it was Mavain who got shit done, and Mavain whose cooler head seemed to prevail. Ruavin really admired his older brother, and respected the God, which is also why Ruavin was trying to find a place to hide from his brother. He wouldn’t do well with Mavain’s disappointed gaze upon him.


His attempts at an escape did not do well. Pherae moved over for her father and Mavain was right next to Ruavin. He could try to run but that would just end poorly. Instead, he laid next to Luke with his snoot buried beneath his paws just waiting for Mavain’s attention to turn to him. Mavain wasn’t wrong, Ruavin wouldn’t be able to give his blessing the Pherae. Not only because he was a dog but also because he was weak. With so few believing in them, and even less doing the rituals that helped power them, Ruavin was barely surviving. The only thing that was helping him was the fact that the humans visited his realms in their sleep.


Ruavin picked his head up to watch the chain be attached to Luke’s wrist and Pherae grabbing it. At least there was some small smidge of hope for Luke. With a small bark he agreed with his niece that they would fly again next time the see each other, before being left with his brother. Ruavin went back to hiding behind his paws when Mavain began. At least Ell’eon didn’t know about any of this. While Ruavin had a deep respect for Mavain he had a deep fear of angering Ell’eon. When the God raged, he really raged, and Ruavin would have to hear about how Ell’eon had done everything to make these ungrateful humans and how he had done his best to raise Ruavin. The worst part of Ell’eon’s lecture would be about how disappointed he is in Ruavin and how he expected more out of the younger god. At least Mavain was easier to talk to and listen to. The older god, probably because of his children, had much more patience.


Hiding behind his paws he listened to Mavain as he talked about the chains and Dhaun. Ruavin remembered those days clearly. So many nightmares invaded his realm and so many people were losing hope. It was a rough time for every god. What Ruavin wasn’t ready for was the lecture about working in pairs. Ruavin has always been the odd man out when it came to these tasks. Most times Ell’eon just overlooked the younger god and other times he was passed over because there wasn’t anyone to watch his back. All Ruavin had was Wymer who was a good partner in crime but wasn’t another god to help with issues like these. Even though Ruavin knew he was at fault for being stupid he couldn’t help but let out a small bark that was more of a grumble, “Aroyr was helping me”.


Mavain’s mention of Yareen stung a little. Ruavin had poured so much of his energy into righting Yareen. He knew that having the world’s vilest people in the labyrinth would have caused issues, but he didn’t think Yareen would stop responding to him. To make it worst it was ever evolving growing immune to what little powers Ruavin had, forcing him to watch it from afar and make sure no one escaped it.

Ruavin lowered his eyes as Mavain came back and placed a hand on his head. The warmth of magic filled Ruavin’s bones, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time. Mavain was one of the few gods that still maintained a certain degree of power as his domain took in every soul. Even nonbelievers tended to think of Mavain during their last breath begging him not to take them, not that it stopped the cycle of death.


With the added power Ruavin took it to turn back into his human form. Much like Mavain his own clothing was plain. While Ruavin favored robes, the current styles had robes out and breeches in, leaving Ruavin wearing form fitted breeches and a pale sage tunic. His normally long hair was shortened and laid to his mid back. For a few moments Ruavin sat there, staring at Luke before squeezing Luke’s cold hand.


“I was trying to figure out how people keep getting sent to the Labyrinth. Living people to be exact,” he softly began. The living shouldn’t be able to make it into his realm at all and yet more and more have started to be sent there only to die in the Labyrinth and become puppets to the Lords. Ruavin didn’t like it. While these people have forsaken their true Gods, they did not deserve to be tortured the way they were. “I sent Wymer to help them while I chose to come here and see if I could find out how these humans are being sent to my realm. I may have miscalculated my own abilities because instead of being a bird I became a dog and was ran over by this human’s cart. There is not much more to tell after that. His siblings took me in and wrapped my paw. With Aryor’s help I found a part of Aerlan on this world… and that’s really it. I haven’t been down here long enough to really investigate what is causing humans to enter Yareen.”


Ruavin finally looked away from Luke to look up at his older brother. “Please don’t tell El. He will be extremely cross with me and Loronna will guilt me for ‘running’ away.” Ruavin requested from Mavain. While Ell’eon being angry at him would be a blow Loronna was really the one he was worried about. The Keeper of their Lore had a way of spinning tales to make anyone feel guilty for eons and Ruavin didn’t want to feel that. In fact, he would much more prefer to be lectured and punished by Mavain instead of Ell’eon or Loronna. At least Mavain was reasonable.



Alys did not like the response she got from Soren. Her hand tightened on the hilt of her sword while she watched the vines, cautious as they walked down the path. The further they moved the more vines they saw, withering and twitching on the stone walls and floor of the Labyrinth. Alys was waiting for them to strike out, any moment.


She was so concentrated in tracking the movement of the vines that she almost didn’t hear Soren. In fact, it was really Sigan’s voice that snapped her out of her hawk like watching.


“We can stop. Are you okay Soren?” Sigan softly asked, his brows furrowed in concern as he watched Soren slide down the wall, head buried in his knees. ‘Poor guy doesn’t look good,’ Sigan thought for a split second before taking a step away to give Soren a moment.


Despite Sigan taking a step away Alys took a step closer, seconds away from laying her hand on Soren’s shoulder and asking him a question when he flinched away, her hand just lingering in the air. “It’s okay, I was just trying to check up on you. We can spend a few more moments here if you need it,” Alys replied just before the vines wiggled and Soren jumped.


Sigan was quick to provide assistance to Soren in that moment. “I don’t know Soren…” Sigan began as Soren suggested the vines weren’t hostile. “What if they are lulling us into a false sense of security by appearing nonthreatening now?”


“Then we stab it and try our best to kill it but maybe Soren is right. We will just have to keep an eye out on them,” Alys responded as they began their journey once more, this time aware of the vines that filled the halls and trying to navigate around them. Despite their best efforts there were plenty of cursing and stumbling as every vine brushed against decided to lash out. Alys in particular got caught in a bad loop of tripping over a vine, the vine lashing out and causing her to fall and the vine she fell on pushing her onto another vine. By the time they got out of that hall Alys felt like a battered mess and was seconds away from snapping on the vines. Thankfully, no one said a thing to her struggles. Well, Sigan did snicker a little but he got hit in the face by a vine, causing a nosebleed, so Alys wasn’t holding it against him.


When Soren fell both people stopped and listen to what he had to say. He did have a fair point as he pointed out the walls not being stone anymore. “As far as I can tell they have only ever been stones, but that doesn’t mean it is only grey stone. Maybe Ruavin decided to liven up the place?” He half suggested as he watched Soren carefully dig at the wall only for Soren to turn to them.


“I hear nothing,” Alys said, looking confused.


“I just hear skittering,” Sigan replied.

Their words must have fallen on deaf ears because soon Soren was sprinting off, yelling a name. Instantly both were concerned and chased after Soren but because of Aly’s injury they were much slower, getting stopped by the forked intersection, which is when they started to call for him, unsure which way he went as the three directions were darkened.


They waited a few moments before they heard a crash and Soren calling out to them. It sounded like he was in the room, but not exactly in the room either. Looking around frantically Sigan was the first to see the hole. Approaching he sat down at the edge to peer forward and that’s when he saw Soren. “She is with me,” he replied, confused about the hole but not bothering to figure things out because Sigan now accepted that Yareen made zero sense.


Alys peered over the edge, “Soren! You gave us a fright!” As she said that Sigan was seconds away from lowering himself into the hole when Soren told him to wait and then continue down to meet up. “Be safe Soren.” Alys personally did not like this plan to split up, but there wasn’t much they could do so instead they followed Soren’s suggestions.




Wymer’s hand tightened on Sciath’s waist as he heard someone lumbering into their room, interrupting what had been one of the best moments of Wymer’s death. As Sciath left him Wymer decided to sit back and watch, letting the inky black shadows return. Their movement caressing Wymer’s skin in a familiar way while Sciath stupidly used Vezrak and helped out what must be the Tyrnahel that he was tasked with aiding.


Just from looking at the man Wymer could tell that he had a run in with the Lamia. It’s presence surrounded Soren just like the taint. If Wymer wanted to be more correct it was a form of the corruption they had dubbed the taint, but it wasn’t just that. It was more and it was also obnoxious especially since it could kill Soren faster than the taint could.


Pushing himself off from the ground Wymer held out a shadowy hand and instantly Vezrak returned to her master. Soren, however, could really only see the sword slip into the black mass that was slowly approaching them.


“Sciath you know I hate that nickname,” Wymer simply grumbled as he approached Soren. “I see you bear Ruavin’s mark, Tyrnahel, which means he successful in contacting you.” To Wymer he could see Ruavin’s mark clear as day, right in the middle of Sciath’s forehead. He didn’t know what little power Ruavin had bestowed upon this mortal, but he hoped it helped him leave this place.

“Did My Lord leave you any instructions? My only instructions were to help you survive this place, though he did not tell me how to get you out.” Wymer asked. Back in Wymer’s days in Yareen there were only rumors on how to free yourself from Yareen. One was to climb the top of the walls that faces Ruavin’s luscious forest and to jump. The task was nearly impossible with the smooth walls and for anyone who did manage to climb those walls and jump were only met with redeath and transportation to some random location. Another included drinking from the Well of Sorrows, but that obviously failed when the Sphinx tried to, but couldn’t get a single drop of water out of the well. It didn’t matter if she used a cup or had dunk her head into the well, no water ever left the well. Wymer’s favorite rumor, however, was praying to Ell’eon for mercy. Like the King of Gods would show any mercy on the poor souls that were forced in this prison. The powerful denizens of Yareen were also too prideful to beg for Ell’eon’s help. In fact the only way Wymer knew how to leave Yareen was to be lifted from it by Ruavin and that wasn’t something Wymer could see happening for Soren. With how hostile and uncontrollable Yareen was now it wasn’t safe for Ruavin to come close, and he didn’t have the immense power anymore to do so. His lord was running on fumes.

HanyouMokushiSoren   28d ago

“You sound as though you would be the only one in trouble with El, if this treason comes to light,” Mavain began gently. Depending on how Ell ‘eon found out, this could turn into a rather complicated family affair. Although even if that did come to pass, with the current state of the world, there wouldn't be much that Ell‘eon or Loronna could do. Although history is written by the victors as Vynnarisa has hinted at, much to Lorrona's displeasure. Mavain glanced back to the bubbling fountain. “That seems to be rather low on our list of priorities if nothing is done, it won't matter who was in the right. Find peace, they won't learn of this from me,” he looked back to Ruavin's human form. “Unless we need them to act instantly, instead of these half-hearted attempts.” Even gods can get complacent, they would never admit to such weakness, but it’s been a glaring weakness over the last few centuries. He watched Ruavin tighten his grip on Luke's hand. It wasn't the most ideal situation to be in, but Mavain couldn't help a small smile of pride blossom for the youngest god. “I imagine Wymer has not gotten back for a report?” Another not so obvious secret from Ell'eon. Mavain knew of it, but rather the Dark One would approve or not, he's viewed that situation as Ruavin has found a pet, a friend that some may not fully approve of, but he would faithfully defend. Mavain knew the answer on that as well, he wasn't winded per se, but felt tired from the magic transfer, showing just how little magic Ruavin had to work with.


“It's not much but encouraging nonetheless there's some scripture of ours left in this world. Aryor mentioned that when I spoke with her. There's always hope, but it needs to be nurtured instead of blatantly ignored as has been the status quo for too long.” Still by no means were Ruavin's actions mature, but his beliefs were pure, and they have been idle for far too long. Now it was time to see if they could salvage this or be truly forgotten. “Leave the Dhaun to me to speak to Ell'eon about but sounds like we have little other evidence to go on. Short of talking with the magisters themselves, the current humans in Yareen seem to be the best option to get information, which we cannot directly reach, unless you can bring them out.” All prisons have keys, but it was unheard of for Yareen to let anyone out before the sentence was finished, which Ell'eon had the final say on when that was to happen. By then most were too far gone to be of any use, death was their salvation. That was how things were supposed to be, now they couldn't even do that properly. Especially with the living getting sent to the Labyrinth. That wasn't Mavain's territory so to speak, he could speak with the dead, and he has tried to do so once Yareen inevitably claimed the living, but they couldn't provide any information as to how they got there. Most couldn't even speak. Then there was Ell'eon demanding results with no real means to obtain them. It wouldn't do anyone any good to belittle Ell'eon, he did what he believed to be right with limiting their interaction with the people. They were children and needed to grow up but with so little guidance it was no surprise this was their situation. 

“Ell'eon isn't the only one who has tainted Yareen, his anger has bled through to cause more issues than what was deemed necessary, let alone expected, but now we come to what once counted as a necessity that inevitably failed,” Mavain started looking to see a reaction from Ruavin. “I cannot give you my mark, it lies within Yareen. At best it's merely lost, at worst someone else has found it.” Mavain released a sigh, rubbing the back of his neck. 

“Right or wrong, or simply the nature of things, I too favored a couple of Tyrnahel; Ruten and Inori.”



Inori was a priestess of Mavain, she served one of his temples in the city of Naira. As Dhaun ravaged the city, she did all she could to keep the doors open. Many entered the halls begging for Mavain for help or even death. She kept the peace inside so they would not turn on each other in a fit of panic. Dhaun forced the soul out of the body, but it wasn't always immediate, or painless. Many entered the halls, fully conscious as their bodies rotted away before their very eyes, the pain sending them into shock. Someone needed to take care of the bodies, she would clean and dress the wounds, doing everything she could to maintain them before the soul could be returned.

She lost her life during that time, although it wasn't from the Dhaun. She was slain bringing supplies back to the temple. The panic eventually subsided but Inori's wasn't the only life lost. 

Inori was welcomed to Mavain with open arms, but she declined believing there was more she could do. Yareen was supposed to be only for the vilest of souls waiting judgement, that didn't necessarily mean a soul couldn't go there willingly. Clearly, they had to have something wrong with them to even think that, but Inori's compassion knew no bounds. She offered counsel to those seeking it, assisting them in finding peace to move on, or even redemption. She established herself a small temple near the entrance of Yareen. It shifted with the Labyrinth, but if anyone truly sought it out, she would find them.


Ruten was one of Wymer's soldiers during his war against the gods. Ruten had no ill will of his own against the gods, but they were the enemy of his king, he needed no other reason than that. He buried whatever hesitations he may have had and followed orders, for the most part. He was extremely skilled with the blade, and he often trained the other soldiers, Wymer's son Albert was among his trainees. He did what was asked of him, but he still held to some morals of his own, a gray area that allowed him to follow orders, but not become a murderer of those that didn’t quite have the same beliefs as Wymer. He wouldn't kill women, children, or any other noncombatants, the same could not be said for some of the other more zealous soldiers.

He was killed during an assassination against Albert. Some of the soldiers were starting to question Wymer and were going to be part of the coup the Black Knight managed to set up. Although she was successful in her revolution and the later defeat of Wymer, Ruten was able to get Albert to safety before he was beheaded by the Black Knight herself. He knew what to expect with Yareen, although perhaps Kailan had a hand at this, for he was not prepared for Inori.


“Ruten was faithful and calculative, Inori was compassionate and kind. He taught her how to fight, she taught him how to forgive. They brought the best out of each other, and merely finding one another in such a way and embracing that, even in a place such as Yareen.” Mavain paused recalling the memory, even after all that has happened, he could still look fondly back on that one. “Perhaps my arrogance showed here when I was reminded so much of mine and Kailan's relationship. I wanted to believe in them. I wanted to help them, their combined effort for a time did maintain a thin veil of peace in Yareen." Peace was a very vague word to use for the situation since the nature of Yareen would state otherwise, its very purpose would say otherwise but it felt like it was behaving more for the Weaver when he needed to intervene. "Yareen was a prison, it needed wardens, and as gods it was unwise to interfere in another's realm. I believed those two were the best for the job to maintain this fragile peace. Unlike our brothers, Yareen does act as a gateway to my realm. So, I believed that that close of a connection would allow a little more intervention on my part into your realm compared to Ell'eon. So, I granted them a portion of my power divided equally between them, two halves of the same whole. This was done as a precaution, in order to use that power, they would both have to agree to it. But that would be hindsight speaking, it wasn't a precaution then, but an act of faith,” Mavain blew a sigh, he still carried a fondness for the couple, but regret has begun to outweigh that fondness.


 “When Eil'las and Themus' treachery came to light, I had reservations about Inori and Ruten. I did not wish to doubt them, but I couldn't be certain either. It would have been one of the few times I've entered Yareen,” Mavain pinched his brow taking a breath.  “I sought out Inori, and was able to navigate to her temple, just as anyone else would be able to. It was a ruin when it came to view. I could barely find Inori's mangled body under the rubble, there were no signs of Ruten. Although it did not take me long to find him,” he closed his eyes briefly before looking back to Ruavin. “My mark is the sword. I could not sense my scythe, so it was more than likely destroyed by the sword. I'd like to say that you'll know it when you see it, but that is not necessarily true. Ask Wymer about Albert's sword, it was forged with Ruten's sword in mind,” Mavain looked back towards the fountain.  “Ell'eon was blunt with his ramifications, stripping all Tyrnahel of their powers. I was precise, if not harsher. You've probably never heard of Inori or Ruten, because I erased them from history.”


Dead. That word hung in the front of Soren's thoughts. He barely registered the spirit, Sciath, as he properly introduced himself and hollered to the shadows in the corner. Wyrmple? Soren slowly attempted to stand, if this was in fact Wymer, a king, no less he felt some respect was needed. He demanded a distraction he couldn't let his thoughts linger. He was unsteady at first so instinctively he grabbed for Sciath's undamaged arm to steady himself. 

 “It is...such an appropriate nickname though,” Sciath responded slowly as he felt Soren grab his arm. He shot Wymer a look before pulling the boy the rest of the way up with no issue. “Although perhaps it’s a name best shared alone, feels wrong for a third wheel to be part of this discussion, no? Alas if it pains you so much, I can be the better man and save it for next time, my king,” Sciath spoke sarcastically, bowing before Wymer for affect. He grabbed Soren's head, forcing him to bow as well, with the same result.

“My name is Soren, I prefer you use that instead of...Tyrnahel,” Soren spoke softly brushing Sciath off. Even if he was...a Tyrnahel, seemed hard to deny that now, it didn't feel right to be called that quite yet. “Ruavin's mark?” It felt like a century since he had the brief respite in a dream with the Weaver. Well, he was getting some answers, amidst the thousands of questions, he was regaining some ground, but it was difficult to accept it, he lost any ground as swiftly as it was gained...Ground? The ground shook violently. Sciath grabbed Soren as he looked at the walls. With the Malboro inexcusably dead, there was nothing to keep the room from collapsing on itself, it no longer served a purpose for Yareen. The cracks caused in battle continued to chase up the walls. 

“Take the boy and run,” Sciath barked throwing Soren with a strength he didn't expect at all in the spirit into the mass of shadows. He didn't pass through them as he thought but something oddly human wrapped their arms around him and made for the exit. 


It was over in mere moments, Wymer released Soren when they were down the hallway. The collapse rang in his ears until it turned silent. 

“Sciath,” Soren yelled. It didn’t register that where they ended up was just another hallway of Yareen, the same stone walls, no vines, no tilled soil... 

 “Like it wasn't even there,” Sciath stated nonchalantly rounding the corner to rejoin the duo, a few rats were by his feet. “Please, did you honestly worry? It's sweet, but completely useless. That room served no purpose, nor was it Yareen, so it got rid of it. Echidna will try and fail again to dig out of the Labyrinth, and Yareen will fill in the holes so to speak. I may catch you up with that later. I imagine no doubt what the Weaver said has value, but Wyrmple there is an ever more pressing matter to speak of, since you cannot deny it either.” Well, the nickname came back really quick, Soren looked between the two.

“What do you mean,” there was an edge to his voice, it came out more as a growl.

“You are truly a remarkable addition to Yareen.”


 “Aye, it's rather amazing how fucked you are.” It was a very unnecessary provocation, but some of the harshest lessons needed to be taught as such. Sciath braced himself, although that also wasn’t necessary. Soren lunged at him, slamming both into the ground. Sciath was pinned beneath him, the scythe was pressed against his throat.

“Speak plainly, or I'll send you to Mavain myself,” Soren hissed, Sciath smirked.

“Your scales are showing.” Soren leapt off Sciath as though he was thrown, his hand flew to the scales at his neck. His scarf barely covered them after they first appeared, now he could feel more going to the back of his neck, he clenched his hand drawing blood. Lamia's words lingered in his thoughts.  “Lesson learned,” Sciath asked blithely propping himself up with his arms.

“Not exactly.

“The short of it? You shouldn't be able to interact with us at all,” Sciath gestured to him and Wymer. “Not to that extent, especially not on a whim. Ellie's anger has twisted Yareen, that anger will do the same to you,” Sciath stood up brushing dust from his form. "So, in a pinch, you might survive. After that, who knows.” Sciath leapt on Wymer's back rubbing his face against his cheek. "But that's why the Weaver granted you his pet, isn't that right Wyrmple?'


The Dark One being mentioned drew Soren's attention to him. He felt the scythe return as a sickle, gently he secured the weapon, his fingers brushing against Lamia's bag. He'd have to investigate that at another time. He bowed deeply to Wymer, if things did get out of hand, he imagined that Wymer would deal with him accordingly. Even if he was instructed to help him, if Soren became a threat to Ruavin...

“My apologies, Dar- Lord Wymer,” Soren pleaded slowly raising his head. “Lord Ruavin's instructions were vague at best. He warned me of the taint and stated there were keys necessary to escape.” Judging where Sciath was trailing kisses in the shadows, Soren looked Wymer in the face. If he focused, he thought he could make out some features.  “I need Aroyr's Kiss, I don't know how many sprigs are necessary, a vial of water blessed by Sumafel located in the Well of Sorrow in the Sphinx's territory, I don't know if Sumafel's Blessing will break the laws of the Labyrinth,” Soren took a breath realizing how childish he sounded. Sure, he repeated the list that Ruavin gave him, but there were a lot of unknowns in that list. It was like asking for a miracle, or a disaster. “Mavain's Mark, I'm not sure how to obtain it his instructions weren't clear, cheating death? He was going to speak with Mavain about that. I need to find the exit of the maze, and finally pray and ask forgiveness from Ell'eon,” Soren trailed off.

The reason for the trailing would be that Sciath had fallen off Wymer in peals of laughter. The list had a very slim chance of success rate, and after hearing that last requirement, Sciath couldn't contain himself.

“Well, it wouldn't do to make it easy to escape now would it, but why not just make it impossible and forever tease those gullible enough to believe in escape? Oh Lord Ellie, you are a cruel bastard, go fuck yourself,” Sciath managed out between the laughter. Soren stood silent, it seemed some of the texts may have put Ell'eon in a more favorable light.

“Thank you, Sciath. Your input has been very helpful,” Soren deadpanned.

“There's really only one option on that list, for now,” Sciath spoke regaining some composure using Wymer to pull himself up from the ground. “We'll need to head to the Well of Sorrows.”


“You honestly expect Wyrmple to be able to find his way there? Eventually...maybe. Sorry, boy, but you're not getting rid of me that easily. Besides, be a shame for this to end so quickly,” Sciath spoke flippantly as he started to lead their troupe, leaving Wymer and Soren behind.

“Can the others be saved with this method? Despite the odds,” Soren questioned following after Sciath.


“Thank you again for your business,” Aedan stated stiffly with a bow. By no means was he terrible as a vendor, Soren was always the stronger one in this field, and Aedan was hoping to improve. He was, but he knew his heart wasn't into it. It also didn't help that Luke, nor the dog had returned. It's been a while since either of them has been to Rydul, but they weren't clueless enough to get lost amidst the buildings and streets. At least they shouldn't be.

“I'll take a loaf of bread and any jerky you might have on hand,” an older voice interrupted his thoughts.

“Right awa--,” Aedan stopped the guard's chainmail shimmering in the light. Shit, was there a certain precedent to do with the guards? He didn't think so...

 “It is you, isn't it Aedan? Last time I saw you, you barely reached my waist, now look at you almost fully grown. Ha, none of you Culann boys could grow the facial hair Axle had in his youth. maybe you're a late bloomer,” the guard gave a hearty laugh pulling off his helmet, setting it on one of the tables. He had black, more salt than pepper hair that was done up in a braid. His beard and mustache matching his hair, soft chocolate eyes that twinkled with the laughter, part of his beard looked shaven but looking closer Aedan could make out a scar that refused hair to grow over it.

“Jacob Gunter? Mom mentioned a Jacob, wasn't expecting it to be you though Sir Gunter,” Aedan responded familiarity dawning on him. He was an old friend of their father's. Not that his father had many friends to speak of...

“You can drop the Sir, hasn't been necessary for years, besides wouldn't do to draw too much attention.” Jacob spoke softly. Sure enough a few passersby looked their way when Jacob walked up. Others were trying to get away quickly. Old friend or not, he was still a guard of the magistrate, people were bound to be hesitant.

“Thanks are in order then, I didn't realize it was you who spoke with the merchant guild to allow us to set up,” Aedan spoke harsher the familiarity doing little to lesson his tone. At least he could probably get away with it, if it was anyone else, he'd probably be thrown in the dungeons.


“My father always got compliments with your wares, and while Soren was in prison, it was noticed by the other costumers,” Jacob eyed Aedan at the mention of Soren's name caused him to clench his fist and let out deep breath. “I can save you a question or two. Yes, I was one of the guards that arrested him, yes, I was there when they investigated the house.” Aedan's hand turned white, he could feel his nails dig into his palm, he noticed his other hand was grabbing the dagger he was using to cut up samples. “I was there for the trial and allowed Reyson to visit him.” It was stupid, suicidal even, but Aedan didn't care. He lunged at Jacob, with only one feasible outcome. Jacob grabbed his wrist effortlessly, slamming it down on the table, his hand covering the dagger. 

“What...the fuck do you want,” Aedan hissed as hot tears started to fall, he felt the blade graze his palm, it was Jacob that was preventing it from slicing his hand in half. 

“I don't believe a damn word of it,” he released Aedan's hand and the dagger. Aedan pulled his hand to his chest, blood oozing from the wound. “Bandages in the back of the wagon, right? Under the bench,” Jacob questioned although he seemed to already know the answer.

“Then why did you do it,” Aedan whispered quickly wiping the tears with the back of his hand as he walked to the back of the cart as Jacob was already there rummaging through the back.

“The same reason why Soren confessed, to save family. No one opposes the Magistrate, unless you're willing to lose everything. Most learn that lesson the hard way, your father was a prime example,” he stated finding the medical box as he began to clean the wound.

“What do you mean,” he hissed as Jacob did his work.

“Did he ever say what happened to his siblings?”

 “They both died from disease, I may have met them once, but no one brings them up anymore.”

“If by disease, he meant the Magistrate, then yes, I pray to whoever will listen that they are dead. To settle a grudge the magistrate had against your grandfather his siblings were punished. Do not underestimate them.”

“Then why bring any of this up now?”

“I want you to trust me.”


Aedan flexed his bandaged hand, it stung and there was some slight bleeding, but it wasn't going to be the end of him. Since he was failing spectacularly as vendor and with the latest information from Jacob, he didn’t expect to get farther with sales he decided it best to pack up. 

“I insist that you stay at my sister's inn, Moon's Folly, it's outside the city walls, fresh clean air, and her wife is the best cook this side of the mountains.” Jacob stated amicably as he had already hitched up the oxen and leading them away from the market square much to Aedan's chagrin as he trailed after him.

 “You sure that's not your very obvious opinion on that?”

“Obvious or not, does not deny the facts,” Jacob remarked flippantly. It was strange how just leaving the city walls improved Aedan's mood, as well as how more carefree Jacob was being. Sure, enough a sign for the "Moon's Folly," crept up on the other side of the gate, there was a modest inn as well as a stable. Jacob went to the inn as Aedan made his way over to the stable to unhitch the oxen, secure any leftover goods, there wasn't anything perishable. He didn't think there was anything worth stealing, whatever coin they made he had secured on his person.

“It's good to be cautious, but some might think it rude. Especially to doubt someone like Charlotte. She's one of the few decent folks on this side of Verque. I'll vouch for her,” a voice trailed from behind one of the stalls.

“I'm sorry who,” Aedan questioned trying to find the voice, he swore it was from the stalls.

“Charlotte, Jacob's sister,” the voice was right behind him, he spun around a young man probably older than Soren was standing near the oxen stroking her head.  “Daisy and Iris, they're good animals, they'll treat you well if you keep it up,” he had short messy blonde air, he wore simple clothes, something Aedan would almost expect a stable hand to wear, a dark long sleeve shirt with some cream colored pants that went a little above his ankles revealing what looked like leather sandals that tied up to his calves, but there was about him. He kept his back to him, but he swore he heard a bell chime near them. "Don't forget about Luke, I'm pretty sure my sister has found him, but well things can always change," he tapped him on his shoulder Aedan tried to grab his hand but only caught air.

“What happened to Luke,” he growled getting a little fed up with this game of cat and... mouse.

 “He's in the best hands around, don't doubt me. You'll see him soon enough,” the man stated Aedan almost fell in the water trough as he stood in front of him. He wore a mask that covered the lower half of his face, it made his two-toned cat eyes stand out, one was a soft amber, the other a luminescent purple. He saw a bell on his choker.  “Don't do anything quite as stupid as him for a while at least, miracles are hard to duplicate.”


“Aedan you still in here,” Jacob asked walking through the side door.

“Did you see anyone else leave,” Aedan asked as Jacob's entrance took his attention and by the time he looked back, the man was gone.

 “It's just been us here the last hour or so, Charlotte wasn't expecting anyone to use the stable. Charlotte's...”

“Your sister, you mentioned it when we crossed the gate,” Aedan lied, this was only the second time he heard her name.

 “Right it's mostly locals in tonight, even so not many travel on their own and instead make use of the convoy options,” he explained climbing into their own wagon. Aedan sighed, giving up trying to ask what he was doing now, since clearly, he knew more in the wagon than Aedan. “Found it, sneaky as ever Soren, he may have learned a trick or two along the way.”

“Found what,” Aedan stepped aside as Jacob jumped out of the wagon, Aedan didn't see anything out of place as he followed Jacob to a shelf. He laid out a couple of pieces of parchment, Aedan grabbed the lantern from the wall. “That's Soren's handwriting,” he breathed seeing similar symbols and shorthand that Luke found. 

“Aye, it's one of Aroyr's rituals for a good harvest, this other one is a ritual to Ell 'eon, or that might be Mavain. I don't know the code as well as Dad. But” he paused pulling out another small notebook he thumbed through one of the dog-eared pages. “This is just a log of market sales; this one could be a grocery list. Notice anything?” Jacob pushed the notebook towards Aedan, it seemed wrong that Jacob would have it. It matched the other notebooks back home, he thumbed through some of them while Luke was asleep, even he could make out some of it as being nothing more than a to do list.

“Why do you have this?”

“That's what quickened his sentence, it’s the evidence we found, there was nothing else.” He felt Aedan's glare. “It doesn’t matter that I have this now, he's already in the Labyrinth. Just shows how little they care about it. Honestly if this was found it be more damning, but no one bother to double check,” he pulled a few partial pieces of parchment and spread them out. The only similarity was the symbols, the handwriting was nothing close. “These have been found on other convicts throughout Rydul, some on thieves, others would be assassins. But the Magistrate saw Soren's and threw him in the rebel lot. The code has gotten around and changed to serve other purposes than just old teachings and rituals,” Jacob explained as he grabbed the papers back up and secured them in his bag. Aedan was quiet for a while clenching and unclenching his fist, he felt his palm tear open further but it didn't bother him.

“He's just a scapegoat everyone is using for themselves,” he spat out feeling hot tears begin to prick his eyes again. "Why him? What has he done wrong to deserve this?”

“Sometimes there is no reason, sometimes you get dealt a shit hand, and have to bluff your way out of it,” Jacob blew a sigh securing the rest of his belongings. He hid the new parchments from Soren somewhere away in the shelves. “You got the okay from Charlotte to stay as long as you need to, already asked her to mail a letter to your folks so they won't worry. But seems my time is up here, probably should make it back to the guardhouse."

“Do you believe in Ell 'eon and his family?”

“Not much a believer in any faith, those documents are for my father. When Mom passed, he was lost, Soren went to her funeral and performed the rights from his faith. It moved something in the old man and he asked to learn more. Haven't seen him so invested in something since he took control of the Merchant Guild, figure if it can help an old man find peace, there's no harm in it. I'm on your side, I'm on Soren's side, so let’s see what we can do about it, without jeopardizing what we have. Don't do anything too stupid, that's more a Luke thing than a you thing,” Jacob explained with a shrug heading out.

“Thank you, Jacob. I'm sorry for doubting you,” Aedan bowed his head, but Jacob shook it off with a wave as he returned to the city.




It was more stagnant, then creepy, unsettling, would be one way to describe Rydul after night. There wasn't any curfew that Aedan knew about, or at least he'd imagine Jacob would have told him if that was the case. He could hear plenty of rambunctiousness from the taverns and bars still open, but as soon as a door opened and whoever stumbled out all got quiet in the bar until the door shut again. The few people he saw leave the bars sobered up very quickly, practically running away to get the safety of another home. The roads and paths were well lit, but it didn't add a sense of comfort, just more eyes on you. Even the few couples he saw outside were huddled so close he was wondering how they weren't stumbling over each other, their voices so quiet it was more like wisps. The guardsmen seemed most at ease, but even so there was an added urgency, did something happen? Or were they expecting the worst, but what were they all afraid of? 


It made him miss Dhaval, he wasn't fully settled in by any means but there was a certain warmth from the citizens and travelers alike, it didn't matter the time of day, there was always some idle gossip or musicians playing that just felt comfortable. He sensed some of that comfort from the lights spilling out from home or taverns, even hearing some of it but it still sounded forced, there was just something hanging in the air. Or maybe it was just his mood that was darkening the surroundings, there was a lot to digest, and he was nowhere near finding any solid answers. He shook his head briefly as he felt a nudge on his shoulder leading him towards the noble district; he swore he heard a cat bell chiming occasionally as well. 


If he thought the regular district was bad, he shouldn't have expected an improvement in the noble district. Even the insects were quiet here, the only constant sound was the fountain in the middle of the square. There was a cloying sweetness that stuck in the back of his throat, no doubt from the ever-blooming flowers. Some seemed to shimmer a deeper shade but honestly probably a trick of the light. Despite being in the noble district, he saw fewer guards, most homes may have had some form of private security or there were plenty of guards just out of sight. If those within were safe they couldn’t care less about the common riff raff. Another chime and gentle nudging led him towards one of the many side alleys. 


Voices finally reached his attention. They were loud, but also quiet, more like they were contained to that one spot, without drawing any unwanted attention.

“Ingway? Why are you here, aren't you supposed to be helping Mama and Papa? Or did you pawn all your work off on Silas,” a female huffed, he couldn't tell if it was from annoyance or exhaustion.

“That's a bit harsh, 'pawn off' you have no room to talk, you've done it plenty to us in the past,” another voice shot back, he recognized that one, but not the accent attached to it. 

“Peace, we have a visitor,” a male voiced smoothed over the animosity in the air. Aedan steadied his breathing, not realizing he felt panic rising in his chest. He rounded the corner not sure what to expect. The young man from the stable, his mask was pulled down revealing sharp fang like teeth a snaggletooth grin as he glared at the red-haired woman. She was leaning against the wall hunched over her knees, with black wings drooping. The man who spoke was standing at the end of the alley, it looked like he was coiling up a silver chain, he motions were slow so as not to alarm him. The last one was sitting on the ground clutching...

“Luke,” Aedan shouted, but it sounded muffled to his ears. He dove down next to him, barely looking at the man by him, a rope lead was by his feet. He checked for a pulse, his skin like ice, his hand flew to his neck trying to find a pulse there, his hand froze over the new scar at his throat. “No, no, come on you idiot! You're too stupid to die like this,” Aedan wept grabbing the collar of his shirt.



“Soren,” Luke shot up, slamming their heads together as he fell back to ground dazed, and Aedan fell against the wall.

“Looks like it worked, how about neither of you do anything that stupid for a while,” the male Ingway spoke. His voice lost its accent as Aedan saw his mask was pulled back up. “Dad can't always duplicate miracles, and Pherae needs to rest before going back to Yareen.”

“Hush, Ingway. Uncle Vin I'm fine, just wasn't quite expecting the mess when I got to Luke, but we both made it back just fine, no worries,” the red head Pherae stated as she looked apologetically to the man sitting by Luke. She straightened up her wings slowly dissolving into feathers, not even one landing on the ground as they disappeared. Luke was the first to get out of the daze he propped up on his elbows before slowly sitting up. Aedan was rubbing his forehead and the other male still sat down next to him, he offered to help Luke up further, but he stopped him midway. He knew this man, he patted his head, the silky texture.


“Boy? You mean,” Aedan squinted at Uncle Vin. There was something there, he caught on to a bit of annoyance that flickered across his features. He looked back at the rope lead by his feet. “Maybe,” he murmured. He grabbed the rope before Luke could go in for another pet, and quickly spun the lead around him tying it tight behind his back. Before Luke could protest, he yanked him hard towards him slamming him back on the ground, he punched the ground near his face. “I hereby revoke you're decision-making skills for the foreseeable future.”

“Your hand's bleeding.”

“You got yourself fucking killed. What about our promise to Reyn? Don’t you dare turn me into a liar in front of him.”

“Soren's alive, I held him.” Aedan's hand bled as he tapped Luke on the forehead for good measure.


Aedan looked around at the...deities before him. He felt small, but even these gods seemed vulnerable. He could feel a rumble of power, but would it be enough?

“Can we save him? Can we bring Soren home?”

“Have faith,” Mavain spoke softly.  “Ruavin, I expect you to look after my children, they shouldn't be a burden to you. I'll see what I can do with Ell 'eon. Be safe and watch out for each other,” Mavain added with a small smile. He turned as he was ready to depart.

“Wait,” Aedan called out, he handed the rope to Ingway as he helped Luke to his feet. Mavain stopped turning to look towards him. Aedan knelt in front of him. “Lord Mavain, thank you for saving my brother. I shouldn't ask for more but... my father's brother Leon, his sister Silique, Soren's teacher Nasir...did they find peace in your halls,” he asked softly clenching his fist preparing for the worst.

“It took some time for your father's kin, but they and Nasir found peace in my realm,” he offered Aedan his hand. He took it gingerly. “Have faith,” he repeated as he pulled him up.

"Thank you,” he said once more but Mavain was already gone. He felt unsteady.

“I gotcha,” Pherae said as she leaned him against her shoulder.

“We have a room at the ‘Moon's Folly’, I guess Ingway knows where it is. We might be able to figure something out there.”


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