Behind all the Masks

Estrellir and Johanne wander through strange dreams.

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Herein lies the realm of dreams, where dreamers who are scattered all over the world in the physical can come together in the mysterious world of dreams. Remember, unless one is a Dreamwalker, there is no control over dreams. Ever. Anything can happen, and by threading a dream, you are subject to whomever can walk dreams and the whims of Storytellers.

Behind all the Masks

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 3rd, 2015, 11:37 am

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Winter 42, 514 AV


As Estrellir glanced around, a smile started to bloom on her features. They were tugging at her mind, the things she saw, inviting her imagination and fingers to prod and pry.

She had ended up in the middle of an unlit room or hall. The echo of her footsteps only confused its proportions instead of revealing them. There were no torches or lanterns burning, everything was plunged into utter darkness and a vague feeling of smoke somewhere high above. With the exception of the lights. Whenever the Konti moved, strange lights seemed to flare up, white reflections of Avalis knew what, the dull glimmer of solid gold, the shimmer of diamonds the size of a fingernail.

Those sensations had sketched out most of the room before her eyes, stiff faces standing out against the shadows, a pointed nose here, a sapphire there. They were masks, she knew without knowing how, and they all hung at eye level to greet her. Countless masks. She was fairly sure she’d discover more and more if she began walking in any direction.

She didn’t though. Instead she approached one to her left, a motionless face of an ancient God, probably long forgotten with all his names and ceremonies. His face, however, she could admire and caress with her violet gaze. White boots carried her towards it and she leaned in until she nearly kissed the tip of its nose. It radiated cold, she felt it even before touching it. A finger connected with its temple, tracing the curve of its cheek and its lips. A majestic face it was, still and forever silent. No nonsensical everyday talk to it.

Estrellir almost drowned in the act of observing that face, its frozen beauty. She loved it, but more than that she loved what was behind, the things it covered. The secrets humming under her fingertips, she loved those most of all. They existed behind each of the masks in that room and she didn’t know where to start.
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Behind all the Masks

Postby Johanne on February 5th, 2015, 3:45 am

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The long dark hall seemed to echo on through space and time forever. Her footsteps thudded loudly through the dark space, and as her feet made contact with the black floor, it almost seemed that diamond lightning echoed through the space. It was in this strange, electric light that she saw the flashes of faces hanging on the walls. To Johanne, they looked dead, cold and dead. She felt the grippings of panic at her chest, her breath coming erratic and tight, and she ran through the black space, looking for freedom from the night.

It was as she ran that she almost thought she recognised the faces on the wall, some of them. Not all, some were as alien as the gods to her, but here and there she caught a flash: little Johan from the docks in Denval, Dariel the book keeper, Laszlo the sad Symenestra. The most strange and terrifying of all: her mother.

Though she ran as fast as she could, the room seemed to go on forever, faces adorning the walls, and the hall seemed to Johanne to be bitter, bitter cold. The chill was what forced her on more than anything, the fear that if she should stop, she would freeze where she stood, become one of the dead faces on the wall.

And then she saw something unexpected: her footfall lit up a blonde woman, strange in her being alive. Without wanting to stop at all, being too terrified of this strange place she found herself in, she reached out a hand and gripped the woman by the wrist, trying to tug the woman away from the mask she stared so intently at.

“Come!” Johanne called, wanting to flee. “We must make our way from this dark place!”
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“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
Vincent Van Gogh
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Behind all the Masks

Postby Estrellir Konrath on February 9th, 2015, 9:38 am

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While the mask and the thing it hid bore endless fascination, Estrellir didn’t have the slightest urge to take it off and reveal its secret. She knew about the nature of secrets, they were the currency she dealt in more often than not, so she understood enough to let that one rest. Anyone who wished to look behind the shimmering façade would forever destroy its beauty. The truth tended to be ugly… but the imagination knew no bounds.

As she ran her fingers over the smooth surface, her violet eyes took in all the details. The eyes were polished rubies, mysterious in their dark color akin to blood, everything else was of pure gold. She didn’t waste a thought on the mask’s value, as a Dynast she had access to all the coin she could wish for. No, the still and silent beauty simply mesmerized her.

Then footsteps shattered her perfect sanctuary. Not all at once, no, they were approaching and pounding the stone floor like the beat of unshod hooves. Estrellir had been trying to discern what it was that the face reminded her of… irritated that whatever it was resisted her steel mind… when her hand was grabbed and yanked at sharply. She staggered back a pace or two before leaning against the pull. Her gaze never left the mask.

There was fear in the other woman’s voice when she spoke, fear inspiring a gnawing urge to flee, but Estrellir felt no such thing. It was ridiculous, she thought, utterly ridiculous to be afraid of such beauty. Perhaps the other one had a weak mind, but she, she would persevere and remember what it meant. When she turned finally, she could only laugh in the girl’s face. The scales on her cheeks shimmered an opalescent white and with her hair pulled back by gravity, the thin slits of her gills were visible too. “Make our way?”

Laughter filled the chamber, echoing from the walls wrapped in shadows. She could only laugh, high-pitched and exasperated. “Why? There is beauty here and comfort. Why would you leave this place? You don’t even know what lies behind.” Did she, the lanky girl? She towered over Estrellir, being over a head taller, but still the Konti wouldn’t allow her to take her small frame away. It didn’t matter if she knew.
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