• Mature • [Plenty, Quacia] Leaving his John Hancock

lucid: Parts in Quacia, parts in Emea.

1st of Cylus 720

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Rakvald
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[Plenty, Quacia] Leaving his John Hancock

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1st of Cylus 720

Rakvald had enough of waiting. Enough of dallying and prancing about in Pygmy form, and snipping toes, and delving into Prayer Dens and dungeons of Vice. He had enough of sleazy rat-infested rooms. He wanted to go home.

So as he laid his head to rest on his rough-spun pillow in the manger of that gods-forsaken Inn, he slept.



And when he slept, as he often did, he became lucid. He rose above the illusionary green fields of his dreamscape and entered the Veil. There, he found himself surrounded by the stark stonework of Quacia. Those magnificent edifices that had once entranced him centuries ago left him jaded when he left a year ago, and now a mix of those two mingled in nostalgia.

He did love Quacia, though. It was his home. He spoke its language, breathed its air, practiced, and celebrated the profane arts as it was done in the city of ashes and darkness. He breathed that ethereal air as he walked those streets, making his slow, and plodding way back home.

But first, he had a stop to make. He wanted to see if Ildred still resided at her home in the Gleam. He walked the rows of reddened lights that shimmered and blurred between the two layers of reality. As he walked, he felt as if he was moving through a mud mire. Had it been so long since he chanced the realm of dreams? How long had it been? He remembered his escapade, liberating the Fleshbound Tome from the Fartlord, with Balthazar. He remembered the strange fever dream where he sang in strange acapella style, rapping for an audience. And then, how could he forget the Crack in the Wall, that seemed to have started all of this chaos into motion? Too much remained to remind him of that time. Perhaps it was these thoughts that prompted his Walking to slow through the streets as if moving through thick bloodvine syrup.

Within a break, however, he did make it to Ildred's old place. There, he found a fence ajar. He moved through it, his ethereal dream-like body drifting through the open gate. Once there, he found the door and tried to reach out. He felt around for her presence for the presence of their child. The letter had told him that his child and Ildred had perished. In the wake of the cataclysm that rocked Quacia, the Fall of Emea, and the ascension of Unity.

He now bore the mark of that new deity. On his eye, it's glowing signature shone here and only in the dreamworld; In the Veil. Sensing nobody in that house, and besides, it was locked, he drifted away. Instead, he moved down the streets, still mired in a syrupy slow motion float over the cobbles.

He moved through the Veil as he had so many times before. The surrounding architecture became more craggy and ancient as he approached the gates to the Plenty. There, he saw the telltale glow of the bloodlights, signaling that the Plenty was open to migrant workers. At least if he intended to stay, he'd have no shortage of workers to find help for himself.

He moved down the slopes into the deep caverns of that mushroom infested underground. There, he saw the haphazardly repaired pillars, many of which were missing from this scene. Debris had fallen from many of them. Then there were the ruins of pillars having collapsed under the weight of the city above. Their trunks fallen like great Desnind trees, in the Pervading Darkness to the west of the woodland city.

Rakvald moved further along the more familiar paths of the Plenty. There, it took him through some narrow tunnels, new passages that he'd not noticed before. They were galleries that had been long undiscovered by the post-cataclysm civilizations ruling over Quacia, now laid bare for any to explore.

And explore Rakvald did. He traveled along the blood-red vines of the passage he felt would bring him closer to his old home. Up to the Northeast of the underground, past the filth fields where the mushrooms grew. Eventually, he found his way to the expanse where much of the city's meat supply came from.

Pigs, cows, and even domestic rats provided a bounty of meat for the city above. The din of their activity could he hear over the cavern noise. Their voices lifted to the rocky sky above them, with few skylights shining through. But those were sparse in the Cylus moonlight. Still, luminescent mushrooms and lichen glowed beneath the rays of moonlight shooting through those gaps and fissures.

Rakvald moved along the familiar path, which he now recognized almost as well as the back of his hands. He walked on and on, another break. Every step, however, grew more and more fluid as he became re-accustomed to the art of Walking.

He thought... no, he knew he saw pigs on his farm. A new fence, freshly manured fields?! What was this? They told him his farm had been destroyed, and the child and Ildred crushed beneath the devastation!

He found her, carrying a child on a basket on her back... Was that... His son?! Rakvald almost awoke in his shock. Yet he maintained his hold on lucidity and firmly above the Veil. He would not get sucked under by her deception. Not ever, not again.

He strode over toward her and glowered at the sight he saw. She was humming some god-awful Scalveen nursery rhyme to their son... HIS SON!

He could strangle the woman. Was she responsible for sending that lie of a letter? Was that intended to draw him back here?! Well, it'd worked. But he would be sure that it would not go to her benefit. He would throttle the harlot, and take their child for his own, put all her vile swine to the slaughter... He'd...

Then he remembered the words and promise he'd made to Zarik. A frown creased his ethereal brow. He thought about it a moment and then shook himself out of his passionate anger.

Instead, he seethed as he watched her about her business. He lingered for about five breaks more until she herself slept.

He followed her to the old living room, which was in far better condition than he remembered. She laid the child down in a basket crib. Then she left to go to her room, to Rakvald's old room! He shook with anger still, but once she'd left, it fled with the look on his son's face. The boy stared at the ceiling, smiling as if he saw Rakvald himself.

It was too much. Rakvald had to see him in the flesh. He had to hold his son!

He crossed and landed in the old living room of his farmhouse. Once there, he smiled and cooed at his son. "I shall call you, Rakvald the Younger!" He whispered, as he tickled the boy in his blanket. Then he lifted the blanket, curiosity overruling caution. Then he saw... what did he see?

"The fuck did that bitch do with his tacklebox?!" He swore if she castrated his son! Then he realized... it wasn't a boy. It was a girl! "But... that's impossible..."

He shook his head. As unlikely as it was, it was still a remote possibility that Rakvald's genes weren't up to the task fo the Lotharro. He grumbled in anger and threw the blanket fully over the child.

He turned and began storming over toward Ildred's room. There he found her peacefully sleeping. There were no guard boars around or glasses of poison wine to save her this time.

He walked over toward her bed and looked at her, sleeping for a moment. As he did so, he saw some of his of their daughter in her. Too much. His hands shook, but he couldn't bring himself to do what he'd decided only moments before.

Instead, he unlaced his breeches and began relieving himself on the bed. She wanted to fool him, to treat him as a pawn! Well, he would make sure she'd never be rid of him. He'd bind this bedroom to his dreamwalking soul!

A high-pitched scream sounded from the bed. The flash of steel and thud of a wooden shaft...

Shunk!

"Ooof... ow... you..." She'd stabbed him with a pitchfork that she kept by the bed. She stabbed him right in the tacklebox of little Rakvald.

He squeaked out the words, "You... bitch... You stabbed little Rakvald!"

"You pissed on my leg, you fucking oaf." She snarled through her sneering lips.

"Oh, by the way," She laughed savagely, "Welcome home."
word count: 1472

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Oberan
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Re: [Plenty, Quacia] Leaving his John Hancock

Review Rewards

Rakvalius the Profane

Points awarded: 10

Knowledge:

[*]Endurance: Taking one for the team.
[*]Endurance: Little Rakvald can only take so much.
[*]Meditation: Calming one's anger in the face of your nemesis.
[*]Meditation: Calming your passions and thinking clearly.
[*]Meditation: Remembering a friend's advice.
[*]Meditation: Remembering your promise, and finding your resolve through that mantra.

Magic: No magic exp

Other: Little Rakvald is severely damaged, and will need quick, miraculous, and intense treatment to survive.
+1 Brand (NPC: Ildred)
+1 Brand the bedroom of Rakvald's Quacian farmhouse.

Notes:
Well, if your aim was to confuse, you certainly succeeded! I have no idea which parts are real and which are a dream, and rereading the thread multiple times didn't help. Still, that's not a bad thing, per se. The only thing I was somewhat certain of is the end being set in Idalos. Either way, getting stabbed while Dreamwalking results in injury, so it wouldn't really matter, I suppose?

A good, though confusing read!

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word count: 212
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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