Open [Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Mysterious unknown circumstances lead to an insane find.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Zephari on June 8th, 2015, 4:18 am

45th of Summer 515 AV
early morning
Summer in Riverfall was hot, the scorching heat was made worse by the wet coastal air. Or so that is how the locals put it. Zephari thought of it more as a pleasant warmness that kept the body working nicely. While Zephari found it crazy how much it drove Riverians insane, there was one habit they had that she found enjoyable; walking the beaches. The therapeutic feeling of the warm sand pressing into her feet was incredibly relaxing, and Zephari took to taking bell long walks every other day as the summer progressed.

It was early in the morning on the 45h of summer when Zephari went out of her usual sunrize walk. The sun had just barely slipped over the horizon, so it was still largely dark within the shadows of the cliffs surrounding Riverfall. The air was cool and salty, the coldness would not last much longer as the sun rose, spreading the scorching heat across the beach.

Zephari was walking close to the bottom of one such cliff, gliding her hand along the rock face, letting her fingers feel each and every crack in the wall. She had gotten up early today so that she could get a walk in before heading to the mines. The wind pickup up as it was warmed by the sun glazed rock walls. Taking a deep breath, Zephari started to climb up to a lower ledge on the rock wall, bored with just walking along the cliff wall.

Her arms burned as she hauled herself up onto the small ledge, which was about four feet ride. The surface of it had been worn smooth by the mixture of the wind and crashing waves over the ages, making it a great walking path. The benshira took to a quick pace, covering several hundred feet in a few chimes. being forced to follow along the cliff, which turned inland moving up a small beach canyon, Zephari was startled by what laid at the head of the inlet.

Splintered wood and boxes were strewn about the beach at the head of the small canyon. The only identifiable part was what looked to be a wagon. Now abandoned wagons and shattered wood wasn't entirely uncommon, especially on the coast where such things often washed up from far away lands, but this particular wreck had something far more unusual, and shocking.

Skeletons. Several human skeletons strewn about the wreck. Some where hanging over the side of the cart while one was still actually sort of seated on it. Zephari's face went white with fear at the sight, but that fear was almost instantly burned away by curiosity and adrenaline. She leaped down back onto the white sand, and ran over to the site. She slid to a halt about ten feet from the first skeleton which was in a sitting position against the wagon, almost as if some one had propped it up there.

Zephari careful strafed around the cart, looking for any signs of danger. After not seeing any sign of movement for several seconds, she crept in for a closer look. The shadow receded, shining onto the skeleton. To her great surprise, Zephari was blinded by this, the skeleton reflecting a strong beam of light directly into her eyes. After rubbing her eyes for several seconds she opened them, blinking hard.

"What in Yahal's name are these!?" Zephari screamed, horrified at that she saw. The skeletons were made of pure crystal, reflecting a myriad of different colors. The bones didn't have crystalline lines, but were instead shaped like normal human bones. Zephari fell back onto her hand, and scooted away from them body as fast as she could, almost crap walking/running away.

Her heart pounded as her arms gave way, her back hitting the sand. She could not tear her eyes away from the bright crystal skull sitting on the shoulders of the body. Eventually she was able to for herself to look at the other skeletons, finding all of them to be the same, even the horses where made of solid crystal.

"Who, or what would create such an abomination of Semele's work!" the benshira yelled, her voice squeaking slightly. It seamed Zephari could be skipping work today.

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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Merevaika on June 14th, 2015, 7:00 am

Inside the tent was hot. Outside the tent was hot. Everywhere was hot. Merevaika hated the heat, the unbearable, ever-rising heat. It was so inpractical, so annoying. She couldn't bear it any longer.

The drykas had heard Akalaks talking about how much cooler it was by the beach, and she seized that knowledge with great joy. This morning, before the sun had risen, before others had had chance to rise, Merevaika slipped out her tent, leaving her possessions behind. She just needed to go down to the foot of the cliff, and relax in the shade, before the temperature reached even that area. Even before she reached the beach she could smell it, salt drifting through the sky. Merevaika just had to follow her nose and she could reach the strip of sand.

It was, like she had expected, covered by a great shadow, the shade cooling her skin. The sand seemed to retain a little heat from the day before, but that too hadn't turned to its burning nature. Merevaika slipped off her boots, throwing them over one shoulder, and began to make her way towards the sea, where the tide was gently moving back and forth in an endless cycle. Her feet sunk into the sand, the little grains getting stuck between her toes, but at that moment she found it enjoyable.

Merevaika pulled her trousers up to her knees, before wading into the water, which cooled her feet even more. Breathing out, she closed her eyes, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the moment. And the coolness.

The sun, however, soon decided to regain its grip on Riverfall, and began to push the shadow back, bringing its heat back. Merevaika sighed, although she remained in the water. Perhaps another few moments wouldn't hurt.

It was then when a flash of light caught her eye. There, halfway up the cliff face, where lights, shining and reflecting and dancing. Merevaika rubbed her eyes, unsure whether it was just her seeing it. No, they were real. And there was someone up there, a shadow of a figure.

Merevaika, filled with curiosity, started to make her way to the cliff face, before stabbing a foot in one little crack and jarring her hand in another. This allowed her to pull herself up enough to be facing a flat walkway, carved into the cliff. The drykas struggled to get up onto it, slipping of the smoothness. Eventually, she managed to get a firm grip on a stone lodged at the very back, and pulled herself up slowly and gradually.

Then, carefully along the path, she made her way towards where she had seen the light. A yell came, the words disfigured by the distance, and Merevaika hurried her pace, now a little scared of what lay in front.

When she saw it, she was even more so. A wrecked cart was strewn across the path, inside sat several skeletons. Crystal skeletons. Even the horses, the great and noble horses, where diminished to this crystal state, their skeletons no longer bone. Another woman had fallen back, terrified at their appearance. Merevaika had to struggle to not do the same.

"What... happened here?" she asked, although she knew by her companion's face that she was just as shocked and confused. Merevaika just needed to ask, just in case.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Marion Kay on June 15th, 2015, 12:08 am

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Marion's legs burned. Her chest burned. Gods, her entire body burned, and it had nothing to do with the summer sun beating steadily from the horizon, already merciless in its endeavors. Her limbs ached from constant motion, her ankles from the uneven pace they beat out against the sand, her sides from a particular twisting and pulling to which the muscles were unaccustomed. It was simultaneously natural and unnatural. Marion had long ago resigned herself to the fact that she simply was not built for physical strain, with her slender build and delicate limbs and skin that was too pale for any Alvad.

Yet she ran -- not towards anything and certainly not away from anything. She had woken angry, and it was only the sting of pain that kept her grounded in her body, in who she was. She was Marion Kay. Her body hurt. And the fire of that hurt was just scathing enough to keep the frozen rage melted and at bay. It was not an uncommon occurrence, people said all the time that mood swings were natural in young women her age. But those people didn't know her, they didn't know the slimy temper that slid its fingers across her heart, they didn't know the whispers that kept her up at odd hours of the night. Something lurked within her; she'd felt it, somewhere deep within her djed, her core. It skulked about there like a spider, spinning its web and lying in wait for her, its prey, to draw closer.

She blamed it on her illusion-tainted blood. The erratic moods, the uncontrolled desires, the obsessive wanting. The trickster's heart within her. It was inborn and inescapable, and this season was only serving to hammer that point home. The doors, the gods-damned doors. Alvadas had a way of calling Kays back home -- at least that's what her father had always told her -- and she couldn't help but wonder if this was its way of reaching out to her.

And therein lay the root of her rage.

Bare feet slapped against the shore, sweat beading across her body. She should have invested in some lighter clothes for the season. Her white shirt was fine, though the long sleeves were a hassle to roll up in the heat, but black trousers didn't fare so well even in the earlier bells of the morning. They were cuffed about her knees, providing an uncomfortable resistance where her legs bent in their toil. Every now and again she would stamp a foot down on a broken shell or sharp rock, and her body would wince, pausing just long enough to ensure she wasn't bleeding before carrying on. A desperation drove her forward, the kind to which she would never admit aloud. She needed to feel some modicum of control. It was a hypocritical sentiment, some rational part of her being realized, that she who was so enraptured by the beauty of chaos in a world of false virtue and forced ethics would find herself craving the restraint she so cursed. But she didn't care.

You need to stop, she realized only once her breath came in labored gasps and legs trembled under the weight of her body. You're no runner. She would have argued the point, she would have insisted that she was anything and everything she wished to be. She would have pushed on, cantering forward in arbitrary defiance until the shell that was her body could go no longer. But it was in that moment that it her body did give out, her legs growing heavy and catching on the ground when they should have pressed forward. Air whirled past her ears and against her skin, heart sinking with her body as realization hit her like a swift kick to the gut. She collapsed in a heap, knees and palms digging into the sand to absorb the brunt of the fall before rolling to the side, one elbow colliding with a rock that was sure to leave a bruise.

She laid there a moment, pressing the side of her face against the grainy sand as the tides rose in rhythm. It was a relaxing sound, and she cursed herself for having to push and push and push herself so far rather than simply enjoying the landscape. Still, she had drained herself of both energy and emotion, the wrath that had so knotted itself around her core having washed away like the shore under the waves. Breath rattled in her lungs as she rolled onto her back, limbs numb in exhaustion despite the fact that the sun had only just begun her trip across the sky.

A pair of gulls winged lazy circles overhead, their shrill cries punctuating the breeze, and Marion was prepared to simply rest here, forcing her breathing into something steadier despite her burning chest's desire to intake as much air as quickly as possible. But the breeze carried something else as well. The bittersweet smell of fear -- she would recognize it anywhere -- made its way to her from further down the beach. It came as a sudden pang at first, fading for a moment before doubling back in full force and punctuated by a high-pitched voice. Marion grunted, fighting stiff and protesting muscles to roll forward into a sitting position, pale eyes scanning the area with suspicion. There was screaming, but it was comprised of words. Words she couldn't quite make out, granted, but words nonetheless, and it stood to reason that if someone was speaking, the fear stemmed not from immediate danger.

Even so, should she approach? She was tired, too tired to flee or fight should any situation head south. But curiosity was a cruel temptress, and if there was something afoot that shattered the nearly perverse peace of the city and it's wide reach, Marion wanted to be there.

Sand clung to her body and clothes where sweat had soaked through, joints popping and muscles tensing as she pushed herself to her feet once more. She tread slowly now, feet shuffling across the ground while every movement felt exaggerated. Hair flew in her face for a tick, and when she lazily brushed it away her eyes were met with glittering lights drawing her attention. It wasn't the dancing of light on water, there was no constant motion about it as she would have expected. Rather, it was sitting still, as if someone had spilled a number of mizas. And through its shining she made out both the figure of a human -- a woman, she assumed from the stature -- and the splintered wreckage of what must've been a cart. Planks of wood impaled the sand.

She urged herself forward with a particular determination then, her mind piecing together the scattered dots. This person must've driven off the edge of the cliff above, though whatever had caused her to veer so off course was nowhere to be seen. She hobbled strangely about the wreckage, either hurt or wildly upset by the ordeal, and as Marion drew closer she noticed another woman approaching with some amount of haste as well.

After another chime or two of picking her way along the beach, she finally found herself close enough to see what the fuss was truly about, closing in just in time to hear catch the second woman's inquiry from a distance. Marion had no answer.

She surveyed the scene before her. It was a wagon, or it had been, that was for certain. But its occupants were past saving, their flesh apparently having decayed away. More than that though, their bones were not bones at all, but clear and crystalline, reflecting Syna's rays in fractals of color every which way, casting flecks of light across the sand and the cliff face behind.

"Looks like they fell from the edge," she offered simply to the two strangers with a languid upward gesture as she approached, her voice hoarse and throat still raw from exertion. She scanned the sight, hopping from one pile of crystalline remains to the next, before turning her gaze to the other women. The scent of fear was heavy in the air and she had to fight not to pull a face at it, but without the energy to keep her face carefully neutral as she would have liked, her lips curled in a small grimace.

Yes, the scene was unusual, but what were they so afraid of? These people, if they had in fact been people, were dead. It was a sad fact, but these were only remains. Did something transform these bones? Were they like this in life as well? Marion supposed it didn't matter. "Should someone tell the Kuvay'Nas, or...?"

An odd combination of disappointment and curiosity etched away at her and she pushed past the other women to the wagon remains, kicking at the sand as she bent to examine one of the skeletons. Lips pursed, she ran one delicate finger along the jaw of a skull before tapping at it with a soft clink. "Is this glass or something?" she questioned, not entirely expecting either of the other two present to give a definitive answer. "Some kind of sculpture?"

A wry grin tugged the corners of her mouth at that musing, part of her commending the morbid and cynical sense of artistry of whatever being put this here as she tore her gaze from the two pits of the skull to squint up once more at the top of the cliff.
Last edited by Marion Kay on July 22nd, 2015, 6:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Zephari on June 16th, 2015, 5:02 am

Please ReadGoss has given me permission to run this thread as if I were a moderator, within some guidelines so I will be doing so. If you have questions about this please PM me. I should note I have never done this on Mizahar before so expect this to not be perfect. Criticism is welcome.

The moment Marion tapped the skull of the skeleton, it disappeared. Her consciousness was pulled away from the scene at the broken wagon, instead she now stood in a blur of images, a person's entire life whizzing by tick by tick. It all was totally confusing at first, no image clearly defined or separate from the last. Soon sounds and feeling started to become associated with the images, and they started becoming much clearer. Each blur became an experience, ranging from a man hunting in the mountains with two or three eagles, to that same man playing with his children in a green valley, surrounded by family. But the veiw of these scenes was strange. Marion felt as though she was seeing them through the eyes of the man, yet at the same time through her own. The name Kelrin began to emerge among the blur of information. It was the man's name.

The number of scenes continued to grow, until there were literally hundreds, some of them blurrier and more patched than others, some as clear as if they had happened in the last five ticks. The strongest ones were those of Kelrin marrying his wife, by the name of Venira and those involving his son. Many of scenes involved her, so it seemed they were married for a very long time. As the massive collection of images, sounds and feeling finally stabilized within Marion's mind, it was now obvious these were memories.

These were the memories of the entire life of an Inarta man named Kelrin Evrith, who had spent most of his life in Syliras, until his family has been tragically kidnapped by slavers. He had spent the last eight years of his life pursuing them across mizahar. He had tracked them to Cyphrus in the last year of his life, and it seemed he was getting close, but he died before he could reach them. The memory of his death was extremely fuzzy, almost entirely unreadable. All Marion could see of that memory was that is wasn't an easy death, and was most likely violent.

The scene shifted to earlier in Kelrin's life. He was in a dark room with several people, circled around a table with a man missing a leg, who had many lacerations all over his body. This memory was flooded with a feeling of overflowing determination and fear. Kelrin was holding a knife and his hands were completely covered in blood. He was cutting away bits of flesh from the man, removing bits of wood shrapnel from the man's face. He was apparently a surgeon, and he spent hours a day every day for most of his life taking people apart then sewing them back together.

The scene shifted one last time, to his son. He and his son were out hunting with the assistance of two falcons. This was something Kelrin and his son did often, and was there main source of bonding. Both were experienced hunters, and spent days out in the mountains of Windreach with their falcons hunting for the family. This was when Kelrin was at his happiest, and these memories showed brightly among the others, and flooded Marion with the feeling of happiness and contentment.

The blur settled completely as each memory slotted it's self into place in Marion's mind. Her consciousness drifted back to reality, her mind now containing the entire life of Kelrin Evrith. Her vision returned to see the skeleton completely disappeared beneath her hand.

A NoteEveryone will receive memories of the person who's skeleton they touch, and that also counts if you touch one of the horses.

"Those are no sculptures, this is something of magic" Zephari said, breathing heavily trying to get her fear under control. Her mind was abuzz with questions. What had caused the creation of these freakish things? It certainly wasn't by any mortal hands, the bones were perfectly shaped, not sharp edgings or normal crystalline shapes of any kind. This ruled out them being created by the goddess Semele, as she always did things naturally.

I better have a feel of these... They look pretty inert so it can't do any harm... Zephari rolled back up onto her feet, and walked over to one skeleton, crouching down in the sand. She slowly reached toward the shoulder of the skeleton, which was partly pushed under the remains of the wagon. Her hand was shaking terribly in fear, and at the last moment Zephari yanked her hand away from the skeleton

Her focus was so solely on the skeleton that the benshira had almost forgotten that their were two other women standing next to her. "Ok there is nothing to be worried about... It is just a weird, crystal skeleton..." Zephari whimpered, desperate to reassure herself.

Gathering every ounce of courage she had, Zephari ran her hand along the collar rib of the skeleton. It was perfectly smooth, the exact texture of bone, but mixed with the texture of tumbled crystal. She sighed in relief, but was quickly shocked by a sudden rush of information. She fell back onto the sand, feeling the thud against her back just as her mind was sucked into a whirlwind of craziness.

Her mind reeled at the blinding mirage of colors, sounds, and feelings that assaulted her mind, invading every sense of her being. The majority of the sounds and feelings were ascociated with being on a farm. The smell of fresh cut produce and animal manure, the sound of pigs and digging shovels.

The images started to clear. It was largely centered around a man, who lived as a farmer's boy outside of riverfall. The man lived a hard life, as his farm always had some problem or another, weather is was the creek drying up one summer, or insects eating the family crop during the fall.

As the scenes became more and more coherent, Zephari's perspective changed on the images and feelings, changing from an outside perspective, to feeling more as if she herself was experiencing the things going on in each place. As this change occurred certain bits of information arrose from within her own mind. The man was a normal human named Denrick, and he had a terrible life.

Showings of the family's poorness constantly flashed by, often accompanied by images of Denrick receiving a beating from his father. The family was always able to make it each year, but just barely. Each image had an emotion connected to it, and as Zephari was exposed to each one, she realized that these were the memories of Denrick.

The only bright and happy memories were of Denrick's mother, Yenna. She was the only one who was ever nice to Denrick, where his father was abusive and his sister was cold hearted. The memory that burned the brightest among the sweeping whirlwind of memories was when his mother died.

His mother had contracted some flesh eating disease. Denrick sat by her during her last hours of life, trying to reassure her. He offered her empty promises that she would be alright, and she would make it through this, but he in fact knew she was dying. Even in her last hours Yenna gave Denrick all the love she could, and told him to stay strong as she passed on.

The memories only got worse from there on. His sister was found the next year eaten by wolves, and his father passed on from the same disease. The memories of the last year of his life were nothing but running, moving from place to place trying to stay strong, but bad luck followed him wherever he went. The very last memory that was visible was hazy, but unpleasant. Zephari could easily assume that is was the memory of his own death, but all she could really tell was that it was awful and violent. It was very fuzzy and Zephari couldn't really make out much of what it was. Maybe that was for the best.

Zephari's mind snapped back to reality, her eyes wide. The memories of Denrick slotted themselves into place in her mind, nestled alongside her own.

"Wha... I don't... What happened?" she asked, completely dazed by the experience.

Last NoteOk so this was my first time doing any moderating, and putting memories in people' head is not an easy place to start. This REALLY pushed my writting skills so this has been very cool. Merevaika I will do you once you actually touch a skeleton.

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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Merevaika on June 16th, 2015, 8:41 pm

Another had come along, a young woman that didn't look to different, age wise, as Merevaika and her companion. She seemed calm, or calmer than the other two, thinking logically and about actions to do. The woman asked if they should speak to the Kuvay'Nas, a group Merevaika assumed that she should have known about, but instead was ignorant about. She didn't reply, watching as blonde walked closer to the abominations, running her finger along before tapping it sharply, the clink sounding loudly, reminding her of glass or crystal.


The moment she tapped it something happened. The skeleton disappeared before her very eyes, vanishing into thin air with no trace. Something seemed to change about that woman, but Merevaika couldn't tell what, as the woman's back was facing her. The Benshira started breathing heavily, saying something about magic. What else would it be? Merevaika doubted that there was another way to make something to disappear. But still, what sort of magic was like this? The memory of the gilded antlers came back. Something strange was going on.

The Benshira slowly got up, fear evident in the way she pulled her hand back just before touching the skeleton. She waited a few seconds, saying something to herself, before touching it. She fell back, shocked, lost. Merevaika watched her mind slip away before coming back, eyes wide with... she didn't know what. She was lost and dazed.

And Merevaika wanted to feel what the others had experienced.

She neared a horse, feeling an attraction to that animal rather than the human skeletons. After all, she lived and breathed with horses, so it just felt right. Merevaika didn't hesitate as the Benshira had done, but went straight into it. Her hand reached out and landed on the horse's skull, the crystal cold and smooth. Just like a real skull would feel like. This, of course, was definitely not a real skull. Merevaika wasn't an expert in anatomy, but she knew the difference between bone and crystal. This was crystal.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Zephari on June 17th, 2015, 2:02 am

Merevaika is sent into a whirlwind of sensory overload. The colors are bled out, some colors entirely missing. The images twisting around in the drykas' head are not what stand out the most, but instead the sounds, and smells are the most vibrant. The smell of grass becomes the most apparent first, the smell of fresh grass pervades the majority of the scenes. The smell of horses and the feel of their fur against Merevaika's shoulder was another thing that came across very strongly.

As the whirlwind of information slowed down, Merevaika's perspective changed, from viewing the horse from an almost observer type of view, to seeing and feeling each thing as the horse it's self. She could feel the impact on her hooves as she ran across the sea of grass pursuing her herd. She could feel the wind tugging at her mane as she ran around as a foal for the first time. She could feel the adrenaline as she ran from a pack of wolves as a young filly.

This horse was a mare in a herd of about fifteen, that tended to roam around southern around the southern end of the sea of grass, moving from one watering hole to the next for most of her life. She was one of the most carefree and silly of the herd, often being at odds with the older stallions or mares. Then emotions started to bleed into the scenes, like love and embarrassment when it was the horse's mother, or irritation at her father. These were no normal feelings for an animal, this horse was a strider. Her name was Venthris. One of the strangest feelings was that of the connection to the web. It was much deeper than that of Merevaika's connection. It was something at the very heart of Venthris' being that was constantly there, but not something she ever really noticed, it just being something that always was.

At the age of six, her herd was captured by a group of humans, and she was taken from her family, being forced to serve as a work animal for a farmer. The anger and sadness surrounding the first scenes after being take were blinding, causing Merevaika to feel the same pain Venthris did. The emotions were not complicated like those of a human, but they were just as strong, if not stronger than those Merevaika was able to feel.

Even though she had been taken from her herd, she never gave up, always fighting against her owners, which often ended with her receiving a lashing from whoever her current owner was. Because of this she moved from owner to owner until she was almost eight years old. Her final owner was a drykas woman who owned several other horses. She was very nice, never hitting the mare, and only ever fed her long sweet grass or apples. From that point she was starting to grow old, but she was happy with her owner, the seasons began to bleed together, eventually leading into nothing but blur, and then blackness. Merevaika had just witnessed the entire life of a strider name Venthris. And the story of her entire life was now burned into the memory of the drykas woman, as if they were her own memories.

The whirlwind had now calmed to a slow rolling, as each memory slotted its self into place in Merevaika's head, sort of next to her own memories. Her consciousness floated back to reality, her eyes opening to see the horse's skeleton completely gone, her hand raised, floating above where the skull used to be.

Lore NoteI got creative with this one and gave you a strider's memories. Because not a ton of lore exists on the striders themselves I had to make up a lot as I went. If there is anything that is obviously wrong lemme know so I can fix it. Shall we carry on with the thread now that we call have our new memories?

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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Marion Kay on July 27th, 2015, 7:18 pm

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oocI'm very sorry for my absence!

Words fell into mumbling, tapering off into silence on her lips. Marion watched, a captive audience, as the outline of the cliff above blurred, faded, and was slowly replaced by a whirlwind of images -- sights, sounds, smells. And beneath it all, as if the driving wave that sent this crashing against her mind, was the crystalline echo ringing between her ears. It washed away the world around her, sand, sky, and ocean fading to the noise of it, until it too fell away, and in its place some unintelligible cacophony came slowly rumbling to the forefront of her mind.

But the images were stronger, the sights of trees and sky and stone and so many people flashing across her mind as if no one vision could grasp a solid foothold before sliding into the next. It was benumbing, dizzying, and Marion distantly felt a softly jarring impact sweep across her body, though it registered as hardly anything more than a vague sensation associated with the rest of the sudden onslaught of visions. As if it had unlocked some corner of her mind, other sensations began to wash across her: the coppery smell of blood in the air, the warmth of velveteen lips against her own, the cry of an eagle, and the bite of that same eagle's claws against her leather-clad arm. And they kept coming, a flood of information until she felt as if the fabric of her, of who she was, had been torn at the seams.

The visions came as memories -- abstract, disembodied, incomplete -- and it was with a dazed and dream-like logic that she concluded that must be exactly what they were. They were memories of things she had never experienced, places she had never been, people she had never known, feelings she had never had. They were memories, but not hers.

They belonged to someone else, someone short and red-haired and masculine. Someone who spent much time washing blood from his hands yet was no killer. Someone who felt an intimate kinship with the sky, yet had bound himself under the all-encompassing roof of the fortress city for the sake of love.

In her gut, a hard knot of something resembling rage twisted itself into existence at the sight of those glimmering Syliran walls. She clung to it with a desperate relief, like a drowning man to driftwood. She was drowning, after all, in the flood of memories and motion. Thoughts slammed against the walls of her mind, battering over and over in the most disorienting way until she could no longer remember which life was hers, and this feeling, this utter disgust that wormed it's way through her core, was uniquely hers. And she clutched it close, an anchor to her self, a reminder of who she was.

Her mind was being hijacked.

And yet it was she who felt like the invader when the man's wife pulled him close, their Cheva's marks newly emblazoned upon their flesh, her breath soft as she whispered his name against his skin. She was the invader when she felt Kelrin's heart beating within her own chest, racing in elation, and when she held his wife's hand while they leaned over the fresh and beautiful life they had brought into this world. And she was the invader when all of this was taken from him and he was left crumpled and broken upon the cold stone floor, a hole wider than the void torn into his soul.

Each scene, each experience, each moment both beatific and excruciating played out as if they were her own, as if Marion had repressed an entire other lifetime only to have it unleash itself in one mind-shredding onslaught. And when it all came to rest, the parade of new memories filing themselves off to where they belonged in the recesses of her mind, Marion found herself on her back, dry sand catching in her hair and the sky stretching out in front of her. For a moment, before she settled back into her surroundings, she was numbly concerned that this was one last memory until the blur of wreckage came into view out of the corner of her eye and muffled words wound their way to her ears.

She laid there a moment, unmoving, letting all that had just occurred within the last few ticks settle. Her breath came steadily, perhaps even calmly, though it was a stillness born not of composure but of exhaustion. She was spent, mentally and emotionally, as if both her body and her soul had been dragged through a monsoon and been left to soak in its wake. A storm of memories. Had she not just lived another life, experienced each and every one of its highs and lows, within a single moment? Marion very suddenly felt forty years older, and her body, physically drained and still aching from exertion, did nothing to alleviate the sensation. A number of the visions still ambled through her head, trying to find space in an altogether supersaturated memory. They mingled. They pounded. And the dead voice of Kelrin Evrith echoed across her psyche until she realized, with quiet discomfort, that the majority of memories that inhabited her mind now belonged to him.

Anger seized Marion as a substitute for the fear she couldn't feel. It was anger that conjured bile to her throat and anger that spurred the sudden burst of movement in her limbs as she rolled and pushed herself to her hands and knees. She held herself there, her muscles quivering and brow furrowed. Acid burned against the back of her tongue once, then again, but never quite managed to get farther than that, instead leaving her to dry heave against the sand while the sun beat hot and hateful against her back.

Who am I? The thought pounded through her mind as a chant. Who was she? Weren't people the culmination of their experiences, their memories? And now her mind was the home of Kelrin Evrith's entire existence. His memory had found new life within her, and now she knew more about him, this absolute and dead stranger, than she knew about herself. Why had this happened? Who was she?

Marion turned her gaze to the other two women, looking at them without truly seeing them, the stale tinge of fear in the air and their dazed words only dimly registering to her. Her eyes felt too wide, too haunted and unearthly for how relaxed she had previously been about the situation. Perhaps they would write it off as fear. That was what it should have been, after all.

"I have to go," she decided, her voice forceful. It was for her own sake -- there was no reason for her to excuse herself to these women. They each appeared dazed to Marion's eye, though she made no observations beyond that, too worked up over her own inner turmoil. She could only conclude that whatever she had seen, they had seen too. "I have to go." She repeated her words, letting them fall more breathily from her lips, the syllables slurring together as adrenaline burned away and fatigue once more nestled itself into her bones.

Muscles screamed as she stood, sand clinging to what felt like every inch of her body. Marion's gaze drifted from the women to the ocean, Syna's reflection on the water blinding her momentarily, and when she took her first step away from the damned carriage her knees buckled beneath her weight, sending her to the ground once more, the world spinning around her. Sand raked like gravel against her bare skin, and the sensation conjured the memory of her first and only riding lesson, where she'd fallen from a horse's saddle and scraped her shoulder against the dirt.

But that had happened so many years ago.

And it hadn't happened to her.

Who am I?
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Merevaika on August 3rd, 2015, 9:13 pm

Sights, smells, tastes, textures, noises came to her accompanied by feelings and emotions. None, however, were familiar or natural. So alien, so unfamiliar. Everything was much stronger than what she would normally feel, much less complex - less like the rainbow of colours that formed her emotions, but a thick, solid block of each one. Love, embarrassment, irritation and happiness bled into each other, surrounded by scenes in a familiar setting but in a world so unlike her own. A world where her hooves thundered across the rolling landscape, the sea of grass, a world where the wind pulled at her mane and tail, a world where humans were irrelevant; a world where she was horse.

Then were scenes of blinding pain and anger, being captured and taken to work for a farmer. Merevaika felt herself feel two, separate and distinct things. One was the strider's emotions. The other set were her own, feelings so distinctly different it shook her mind. Both were anger but were so incredibly different.

She was overwhelmed by it all. Merevaika struggled to keep a grasp on reality, reliving the events of a strider named Venthris. A horse that was not herself.

It all came crashing down on her, things she felt as if she knew, but had never seen before. Memories were still flooding in, taking over her mind and filling it with knowledge she shouldn't have known. Her hand grasped her forehead, trying to struggle against the tide of memories. Why was she feeling this? Why was this horse's life entering her own?

Her legs buckled, unable to cope with the two lives, and she sunk to the floor where she stayed knelt, trying to sort through Merevaika and Venthris. One was here and one was not. But everything had melted together, become a blur. As she tried to recall memories of her own life, Venthris' broke through, memories of fighting and of loss. With the strider's memories, she felt a connection to the web. It was expected, but it was so strong. Something she could feel, not just something she knew existed. Was the horse's bond with the web that strong? People claimed that they lived and breathed it, but they could never truly know, could they? Merevaika could though. She remembered.

What did she remember? As the events slowly separated distinctly into Venthris' and Merevaika's, it became clearer that they were in fact two different lives. With one, she remembered young and old, finally leading to blackness. Death. With the other, there was much left to live before it could be remembered. But what did that mean? Were they truly two separate beings, brought together by sheer coincidence, or was it fate reuniting them? Two lives lived by one. If it wasn't that way from the start, it certainly was now.

Had the other two women felt the same? Had they also remembered a life that was not theirs? They appeared dazed, and like her, seemed weak and disorientated. One seemed adamant that she had to go, but collapsed paces later into the sand, seemingly as confused as ever.

"This..." There seemed to be no point in asking anything. From the expressions visible, neither knew anymore than she did. Perhaps, however, if they discussed it, perhaps one would draw a conclusion on the events that had just befallen them. Her eyes glanced around the scene of wreckage around them. No more skeletons, not yet anyway. She wouldn't be able to cope with yet another life. Hopefully, she wouldn't have to.

"What happened to you? Did you live the life of another, remember their memories, like I did?" she asked simply, wanting to know if they really had felt the same thing she had.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Zephari on August 28th, 2015, 8:39 pm

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Ears ringing, the words of the darker haired woman barely reached the benshira as she continued to try to mental sort out what had just happened. Her body was worn out the the point where she could not keep her breathing steady, instead it was erratic and shallow, making cognitive though that much harder. Struggling to keep her own senses about her, Zephari was overwhelmed by a deep feeling of depression and regret, though it was not from her own memories.

The emotions swirling in her head eventually calmed, and she was able to think clearly, though it felt like it took an eternity to do so. Slowly standing up, knees wobbling under her weight, the benshira looked around at the scene now changed. Three of the skeletons were now gone, two humanoids and one horse, each of the ones the three had touched.

I knew it, they were magic. That is the only explanation. But what kind of horrible spell would do this, and why would somebody use it? Poor Denrick... and I thought I was miserable with my dad...

Drawing herself back into the real world, Zephari strode over to the brown haired lady, and motioned to the place where the skeletal horses had been raising an eyebrow questioningly. She then wandered over to the girl lying down in the sand, who seemed to be in great pain. Seeing that the person probably just wanted to be left alone, she returned her gaze the woman who had probably touched the horse skeleton.

"If you just asked what I think you did, then yes, I did inherit the memories of another. A farm boy." the benshira answered in a deadly serious voice, feeling very cold about the situation. Her mind was still being strangled by the feeling of dread and sadness she had received from Denrick's memories. Normally she was able to shake such feelings easily, as it was something she had learned to do as child when she was abused by her family, but this deep depression was now too deeply ingrained to shake off. Physically shaking her head trying to rid herself of this feeling, Zephari became dizzy, forcing her to take a seat on a rock poking out of the sand.

As her vision cleared from the dizzy spell, she looked up at the scene before her. She had come out to the beach for a relaxing walk before work, and had instead gotten a traumatizing and confusing experience that she knew she would be recovering from for some time. The weight of the grief that Denrick had dealt with his entire life now sat on the benshira's shoulders, and Zephari didn't know if she could bare it. "Who, or what did you see?" she asked, hoping maybe the others had more insight as to what had happened, thought she knew they were probably just as confused as she was.

oocSorry for the long wait, a lot of life stuff got in the way, and it was rather stressful, which makes my writing really sloppy and low quality, and I didn't want to expose you guys to the awfulness of that. I just realized that this is gonna be REALLY weird for whoever eventually grades this.

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This is the color of thought.
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[Seasonal Event] Benshira Jones and the Crystal Skulls

Postby Marion Kay on September 9th, 2015, 12:19 am

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Marion, spitting grains of sand from her mouth, turned her head towards the ocean. She imagined, wished, that whatever gods ruled those waves would simply sweep her away. She imagined a great storm. She imagined the stillness that would follow. The water crashed softly against the shore, over and over. Marion waited for it to grow more frantic, for the waters to rise, for grey skies to roll in and provide some spiteful reprieve from Syna's baleful glare. And when, after a few moments of waiting, Marion realized that no such things would happen -- that there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and that the waves crashed in steady rhythm and would continue to do so until the end of time, or at least for as far as she could see -- she waited for the disappointment to settle itself into her breast.

But she felt nothing, as if she were empty. No, that wasn't quite right. It was as if she were full. Too full. Full to the point of bursting with things of which she had no energy to even entertain the idea of understanding. So full of foreign emotions and thoughts that there was no longer room for the things she wished to feel, only those which Kelrin had felt so long ago and now forced into her vessel.

There was only enough space for one thing, one emotion of her own that sat shriveled and unwanted, having been forced out from whatever dusty recess of her mind it had previously occupied, like a landlord whose tenants grow so rowdy and entitled as to force him out of his own home.

She felt violated. And it was worse than any physical assault she could have imagined, to have her headspace suddenly commandeered, her memories tossed about by those with which she now shared the space. No matter what happened, she had always assumed her mind would remain her own. It was her refuge. She figured it was the same for everyone, that they held the place sacred as the one place they could ever be truly alone. Of course, as she reflected upon that, she knew it couldn't possibly be the case. There were always those whose own minds played host to their worst nightmares. There were always those who feared being alone with themselves more than anything else in the world. She had met one such person only recently. Met him on multiple occasions, in fact. Perhaps she had even grown fond of him, in some twisted manner she hadn't the mind to contemplate right now. She couldn't even remember his name for all the false memories in the way (she had to consider them false, as in not hers, simply to keep herself from going absolutely mad in these few moments), but she did recall his face, as if from a long time ago, prying through the crowd to the forefront of her thoughts. His features were blurred, smudged by the cacophony of noise and a spark of vague recognition she had to suppress because it was from Kelrin's memory and not hers. But she saw his eyes clearly, and the darkness that swirled within them.

Why couldn't it have been him? Why couldn't he have been the one to have a flood of an unwanted and dead consciousness forced into him? Perhaps he would have appreciated it. She was certain he would have appreciated it far more than she did, having the memories of another life, even Kelrin's life, to distract him from his own. Maybe he would have adopted this dead man's life as his own. Maybe that's what she should do.

No, that was ridiculous. And the idea was swallowed by one memory that broke away from the rest all of a sudden, of the first time she'd ever experienced a beach, twenty-some years ago. It was fleeting, gone just as quickly as it came, and Marion was suddenly acutely aware of her arms trapped under the weight of her body and the prickling sensation that had begun to spread to her fingers, heralding numbness. She shifted slightly, her abdomen tightening and weeping in its weariness as it prepared for the motion, when the voices of the two other women drifted over to her. She froze, stiffening as she listened, her eyes rolling from the ocean the the sky as if that small alteration would somehow make their voices heard more clearly above the din of the world both around and within her.

The two women. Marion had very nearly forgotten they even existed. They seemed out of place to her, as if she'd gone through some portal of time and space and was expecting the world around her to have changed just as much as it felt like she had in the past few ticks. But had she really changed at all? She supposed not. She'd just gotten more... crowded.

They hadn't been speaking long, and Marion didn't need them to be before she was overwhelmed with some measure of disgust at how calmly each of them seemed to be evaluating the situation. She rolled suddenly, pain be damned, flinging sand from her body in a fury as she scrambled to her feet. There was a sureness in her footing that had previously been lost to her, fueled by whatever it was that set her blood to boiling, as she stomped forward through the sand. "Oh!" she cried sharply, derisively, affecting a mockingly pleasant tone as she continued, "Why don't we discuss this positively peculiar development --" then, her voice cracking harshly as she bit out the next words "-- over a cup of gods-damned tea!?" She gesticulated wildly as she spoke, flinging her arms, and it occurred to her distantly that she somehow felt both inebriated and more sober than she'd ever been before. She assumed this was what people called delirium, but she was too overcome with rage to truly notice, or care.

Rage because they were handling this whole situation better than she could. Rage because this whole situation was unbelievable and ridiculous and painful and she had never wanted it in the first place. Rage because she had woken angry anyway, and that was the whole reason she'd come out here. Rage because she was dead and she hadn't been able to save her family. And rage because the appropriate reaction was fear, and when her body was denied that route, the next best thing was fury.

"What does it matter, what you saw? Who cares?" Marion yelled at both of them and yet no one in particular. She'd stood up too fast -- there was a ringing in her ears and a blackness closing in at the edge of her vision. "And why are you so damn calm?!"

She spun away, paying no close attention to whatever their reactions may be to her outburst as she braced both of her hands against her forehead and meandered toward the water. "A doctor. I need a doctor." She mumbled, chancing a glance over a shoulder at the other women and correcting herself, "We need a doctor. We're going mad. Absolutely bonkers." She was an Alvad after all, no matter how much she hated to admit it. It was ingrained in her, to be unflappable in the face of odd encounters. But this was more than odd, wasn't it? And wouldn't she, out of anyone here, be able to recognize insanity over some simple trick?
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.
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