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Open Halyven 
#1
KIADA
I am unworthy but I will build and break
and destroy and create for you

It rained and rained and rained and rained, and deep down Kiada wondered if it would ever stop raining in this place. She knew it was the change in seasons, but it felt like the rain consistently poured in Halyven despite what other lands might be witnessing. She had seen some clouds, thick humidity and moisture in the air as she traveled, but every time she returned here to the ivory walls of Halyven, the rain continued to pour as though the land were in constant mourning of the losses it suffered. She kept herself warm, starting a small fire under the cover of a large ledge jutting out into the small road that was situated in the heart of Halyven, and she bore her flames along her spine that kept her somewhat dry and mostly warm as well. And aside from the constant pitter pattering of the rain and the distant rumbling thunder, the only sound she heard were the crackling of her flames as she stood like a beacon in the shadows of the flame.

The new Hope deity had called them to come here, and so she had waited in the vicinity to see if anyone would be the first to suggest the idea. When she hadn’t heard any info, she decided to take it upon herself and gather those that had gathered before. The herd, but not a herd, as they liked to call it. And much to her displeasure, she couldn’t find Otem among the rest of the group during the final days of spreading hope. She hoped that the young girl was alright – but more importantly, she hoped that the girl wouldn’t be upset if the Harpy were to start this meeting off herself. And so, she delved deep within herself, raising her ink splotched head (darker now because of the water that seemed permanently etched into her flesh) and called out across the land. Her voice echoed off the walls, bouncing around to those in the surrounding area, and if that didn’t work, she sent Khairi off to gather anyone he spotted as well.

She wanted this to work, she wanted to know what Hope had meant when she had them all gather here. And more importantly, she wanted some direction when it came to what to do in this world now. Before, it was simple. Follow the lines, spread the hope, save the world. Now, she felt like a sitting duck. Lowering her head, she tried to brush off some of the glowing goo that seeped from her chest in that blackened X marking, but it continued to ooze slowly, dripping down the front of her chest and onto her legs like a little beacon of glowing veins. And then, as if she was nervous for calling this event, she made sure her little bag of herbs were beside her. The only notable thing in it were the Sunweed, a plant which she had yet to see what the results would be of ingestion but was curious. She hadn’t seen it since and wondered perhaps if because of Drench, if the weed simply vanished. Perhaps when they did get a herd going they could make a Greenhouse like the World’s Edge and Aurora Basin had to tend to these little plants.

And then, as she drifted off in thought, she waited for those to come.

"Talk."

for you, i kneel. for you, anything.
everything, always



img


This is the start of the thread for Hope! She wanted everyone to gather in Halyven, so consider it like a second "herd" meeting from before. Feel free to PP Khairi leading you back to the gathering!


TROY FALLS A THOUSAND TIMES,
IN EVERY DREAM I DREAM.
(LIKE ASHES, LIKE ASHES,
LIKE A STAR BURNING OUT.)
#2
Rixen
Rise and rise again until lambs become lions;
Each day flowed into the next, as if all of time was just one dreadfully long day in itself. The heat of Scorch had passed, replaced by the gentle rains of Drench, the new season. The day had been rainy, but every now and then the downpour would stop as the sun briefly poked through the thick grey clouds. I was not too far from the walls of Halyven, waiting beneath a tree. Waiting for the rain to let up again so that I could admire the ruins without being soaked. This came as no surprise; a long amount of time had passed since I last visited the crumbling city, at least longer than I would have liked. Khairi’s call was not a difficult one to recognize. Immediately, I thought of the meeting that was supposed to be happening soon. It was almost time that we gathered again, and I remembered the celebration, and Hope telling us that she wanted to be there when we did. With this in mind, it was no surprise that the bird was now summoning me to Halyven. Although it was strange that it was not Otem calling this time. She had been absent as of late, and I was beginning to wonder what had become of her. After all, the autumn-colored mare was responsible for initiating and leading our first gathering, and I’d have expected her to assume a similar role in conducting the second one. Maybe Otem would show up, though. I’d just have to wait and find out.

With Otem nowhere to be found, and Khairi calling me to our designated meeting place, the next horse to cross my mind was Kiada. She must have assumed the role of initiating the meeting and sent the vulture out to gather myself and the others. I looked forward to seeing her again, and had no trouble setting off toward the city at a swift pace, even though the rain I'd been hoping to wait out was in fact still falling. Halyven rose out of the darkness, out of the silent charcoal curtain that was the horizon. The blurred outlines of the few spires that still stood came into focus as I neared the city, growing larger and larger with every stride, until the great stone structures loomed before me, ominous yet somehow alluring against the darkened sky. My tiger-striped pelt was damp with water, but I paid no notice. My thoughts were fixated on the gathering, who would be there, and what sort of things we’d be discussing. These meetings had been a good idea. They offered us structure, unity, and safety in numbers without having the commitment of a herd, and there seemed to be no reason why any horse would turn those things down, certainly not when living in a place such as the Rift. 

I stepped into the walls of Halyven, a pleasant bounce in my step, visible evidence of my gladness to be there and to see familiar faces. The walls, though decaying, were just as comforting as I last remembered. Staring at them couldn’t be helped, even though most other horses would probably scoff at my fascination with the piles of crumbling stones. We could not have chosen a better meeting place. Not in all the world.

Kiada was standing in the clearing, bright golden figure impossible to miss given her rather colorless surroundings. A nicker escaped my throat in greeting, and I couldn’t help but smile as my hooves closed the gap between us. "It is good to see you again, Kiada." My voice was rich and warm, each of my breaths forming a small cloud in the cool air. When there was a comfortable distance between us, I came to a halt, adding in a polite tip of my antlers. "It seems like just yesterday we were all discussing the idea of gathering in this place and, well, here we finally are." As I spoke, my emerald gaze ran briefly across Kiada and then moved to the surrounding walls, examining them thoughtfully, before glancing back in the direction I'd entered from to see if anyone else had arrived behind me.

"TALK HERE"

image


@Kiada
#3

He lingers here. He leaves, sometimes, but he lingers just as often: waiting for whoever it is Kiada told him about. For a revelation. For something. The white spires remind him a little of things he's known, so he is content to stand in their shadows when he wants for rest. It seems safe enough, for a place Seiji fails to trust at all. Often, only the echoes of his own hooves occupy the space. Or the constant drumming of rain... But he's a little cheered by this, even if it chills him to the bone when he's foolish enough to stand out in it for long. Rain fell often during the wettest months on the island; he recalls standing out in the garden and laughing, recalls being told to come inside, Seiji, what the hell are you doing. So he's moving out amongst the buildings when he hears her call: her voice a fragile thing competing with the downpour.

He pauses just a moment, thinking. He has no real reason to go, but the pull to be with others shoves him onward. He doesn't know them; they are not his. He misses so badly the warmth of companionship he goes to them anyway, his gait quickening up into a sharp trot. He remains as fit as he ever was, comprised almost entirely of muscle and bone, even narrower and darker in the downpour than he might otherwise be.

He spies just two of them on his arrival. Quickly, he breaks to a walk. Stops himself a distance away from Kiada, though he gives her a friendly nod. His gaze sweeps briefly to the antlered man, whom he recognizes but doesn't know well. He nods to that one, too, and then he waits — for whatever might occur. In the back of his mind, still the treacherous thought: perhaps this time he might learn something.

img by Tildae @ flickr
#4
After your quick foray into the North, you've returned to the southern reaches. It's not discomfort or a longing for the familiar that drives you—on the contrary, you've been filled with a heedless need for plunging yourself into the icy wastes, as if the sharp slap of the cold and the unfamiliar vistas might save you—but two other things: curiosity, and duty. When Otem called the straying and the lost together on top of the Pinnacle, you pledged yourself to those gathered. To stand with them, to fight with them should you find them in need, and to return for a second meeting. On top of that, Hope asked you all to gather, so.. here you are, in the pouring rain, a wet shadow with an aching heart.

Rain is no stranger to you: it rained a lot on the plains, everything between warm summer rain (your favorite) to the cold sleet of your brief and pitiful winters. This is something in between, devoid of warmth and thunder, but not icy cold either. It slicks your fur to your skin, turns your long mane and forelock to ropy tendrils, plastering them against your contours. The constant motion of flying in the downpour keeps you warm.

Knowing how your body will shiver once you stop is good incentive to not stop.

If you could, you'd never get back down on the ground; you'd spend the rest of your life in the sky, in the rain, until your heart gives up and you fall like some over-sized, lost bird.

It's a morbid thought, and uncharacteristic for you, so you bury it somewhere for later examination; the row of graves of thoughts unfinished has grown long lately. Guiltily, you think that you need to start thinking them, to pull them into the light so you can understand them and heal from them, but for now, it's still easier to just turn away.

Kiada's vulture suddenly looms in the false dusk of the rainy day, and her voice echoes among the broken spires. It is muted, swallowed by the downpour, but you get the gist of the direction. You tip down, not quite plummeting, slowing as you near the ground; it looks gray and slick and not at all as pristine as it does in sunlight. Your ears flick back, and then you land, drawn by the fire she's started under a ledge—and the one burning down her spine. You've seen it before, at the Blood Falls, but it still makes you a little unsettled.

Three things surprise you: that you are the fourth on the scene, that the sleek, dark stranger is here, and that Otem isn't. You haven't seen her since last you were in this place, and you hope that nothing ill has befallen her.

"Hi," you say as you step in under the cover of the ledge. Your soaked body steams, the warmth of exertion meeting the cool, moist air around you; water drips from your fetlocks, your chin, your tail, your wings, so you remain by the edge, where the wind and gravity has already let the water darken the floor.
#5
VALKYRIE
She stood in the storm


She’d arrived in the Rift purely by accident, purged from the idealistic comforts of her imagined, preconceived reality, in Loorien, into a turbulent, alien underworld which defied the laws and logic she understood, and further challenged the luxury she enjoyed in control. The Shieldmaiden was no longer the apex predator, shrewd, feared for the reputation of her Sisters; here, she was unknown… as trivial as a parrot’s prate.

For months on end Valkyrie had traipsed and flounced about the forests and the fields, exerting her narcissistic opinions and narrow-minded beliefs upon any misfortunate enough to crossed her path; the confidence she carried for all to see, like an opulent mink shrug around her shoulders, had been rather ill-received. The few (women, of course, ), however, who had attracted her fancy, were treated to a polar type of character through which magnanimous respect, gifts and unbridled admiration, were swiftly pledged. The born warrior was ignorant, perhaps, but not stupid or blind to the value of alliances in a world of adversity.

By the river she had separated from the unhealthy child, which was probably for the better - although, she still dwelled on the idea of taking the unwary, needy thing and raising it into a more worthy future of bondage. The Shieldmaiden could absolutely see the benefit in holding a slave: it would convey her position above this menial society, provide an outlet for pent-up frustration and better still, the urchin could perform domestic chores which would free up her own, very valuable time. How handy it would be to have the waif groom the unavoidable filth from her skin, while she paid proper tribute to her beloved K’yarie.

Valkyrie was biding her time.

In the meantime, with the rain cleansing her legs of their awful, desert-orange stain, she came upon the crumbling white walls of the ancient city, Halyven, which lay beneath spires that were visible, even as one stood at the fringe of the rainforest, colouring the distant south. The winged Sister had visited once before, not too long ago, and talked at length with the patterned girl Kiada (and her pet…). She strode amid the rain-soaked rubble of the fallen realm with a quiet heart and soft breath, for there was a solemn, sobering beauty about the place, even as it lay in ruins, which struck a chord in her heart.

Perhaps, in a way, it reminded her of Sunnmōre: a stonework city forged into the very heart of a frozen mountain, breathtaking, unshakable…

Hope had suggested they all make the journey here and Valkyrie approached the group already gathered, with cupped ears pressed forward and her taut, compact body, ready for response. Each step was tentative and measured as her eyes slithered between the familiar images of some she had come across before: Kiada (she wasn’t surprised; the mare was still on fire) and the idiot with tourettes and the bird shit on his shoulder. “Kiada,” she nodded to the other woman briefly, deferentially enough, and came to rest on the far side of the foursome without any true intention of injecting herself into their conversation. The ledge was large enough it seemed, to accommodate them all

To the three men present she gave nothing; no smile, no nod, not even the standard, irked flick of her glorious tail. Instead, she lowered her lovely, pallid face to her knee and brushed away gently the rain that had glued together her lashes.      

and when the wind did not blow her way,
she adjusted her sails.



img


Regards Kiada, ignores the rest.
#6
KIADA
I am unworthy but I will build and break
and destroy and create for you

The first to arrive caused her heart to swell with pride as she landed her gaze on her friend. She offered Rixen a brilliant smile as he nickered to her in greeting before speaking. There was something about his words that caused that happy feeling in her chest to grow larger and fluttery as the flames dancing along her back shifted into butterflies as she dipped her head to him. “It’s good to see you too, Rixen.” She beamed another smile to him. Then, as he came to a stop he continued to speak and she nodded gently to him with a small chuckle. “Yes, though I’m sad that I haven’t seen Otem around recently. I do hope she’s doing alright wherever she is.” The Harpy mentioned.

Soon Seiji came into the gathering and she nodded to him in greeting as he had done to her. “Seiji! Welcome. I’m glad you’re here again.” She offered with a small humorous wink with a joke to their last encounter in this land. But they aren’t alone for long as Waker also appears, offering a gentle hi in greeting and Kiada began to wonder if she’d ever actually spoken to the blue and black stallion before. She nodded her head to him with a smile. “Hello.” She greeted him too.

Valkyrie joined the party as well, seemingly ignoring everyone else except for her which was a curious thought to the Harpy, but she nodded to the smaller woman with another smile of greeting. “Valkyrie.” Then, Kiada glanced to the faces of all those that had gathered so far and offered them all a welcoming, beaming smile, despite her gaze lingering on Rixen a bit longer than the others. “I hoped to gather you all here today because Hope told us to meet here at some point. I’m not sure why, but I figured now was as good a time as any. We haven’t officially met here yet, either, so it’s good to know that the information has retained with everyone knowing where to meet and what not.” She announced, before turning her head and gesturing to the small moss plants laid out beside her on a small ledge. “I haven’t really done too much exploring, but I found this interesting plant that I haven’t seen this season yet but I found it nearly everywhere in Scorch. I’m not sure what it does, either, but based on herbs I found in Helovia I think it might be of some use. We’d have to try it out of course, but if it ends up being useful perhaps constructing a greenhouse of sorts to grow it all year round might be a good idea.” Her voice was thoughtful as she spoke. Then, with her inky ears perked forward, she looked to those gathered. “Do any of you have any interesting finds or information?” She questioned, tilting her head slightly.

"Talk."

for you, i kneel. for you, anything.
everything, always



img


Mentions @Rixen @Seiji @Waker @Valkyrie :D She found Sunweed, uncertain of what it does but she thinks it might be useful. Then she asks if anyone has any interesting finds or information!


TROY FALLS A THOUSAND TIMES,
IN EVERY DREAM I DREAM.
(LIKE ASHES, LIKE ASHES,
LIKE A STAR BURNING OUT.)
#7
Roscorro
Smoke danced in the rain. It swayed, swirled and twisted as it rose, disturbed by the droplets of water and battered against it. Stoll the dark vapor persisted to rise, like steam from a warm body on a cold morning. It wafted off of the towering figure of Roscorro as he moved through the city streets. His imposing form made all the more intimidating by the many spines that line his neck, the horns upon his face, and the fierce draconic feet that made up his forelegs. His body, what was not covered by the protective cloak and armor that added a more rugged look to the already fearsome looking man, glistened in the light of Kaida's fire as he drew near.

He swept into the gathering like a ghastly shadow trailing the smoke of hell. Though for those gathered here they would know he was not nearly the monster he appeared. His massive wings were tucked at his side as he drew up to the edge of the group, his long ears catching the mare's words as she spoke. He had not been in time to share in her warm greetings, but that did not stop him from flashing her a friendly smile. He contemplated the question. Had he truly learned of anything useful while traveling? Though he explored the land he wasn't entirely sure he had found anything that compared to a plant that may be worth growing. He had encountered terrible little creatures that could freeze a horse with their bone chilling shriek. "When completing a trail in the Green Labyrinth I ran into some creatures that could paralyze a horse with their cry and then proceed to suck their blood from them. They travel in a massive pack and hide among the bamboo and mist. It was my light of hope that had scared them away, when they attacked another lost in the mist. I do not know if they could drain your blood entirely, but they are none the less." He said, hoping the information may help.


talk talk talk talk
In your hands, there's a touch that can heal
But in those same hands, is the power to kill
Are you a man, or a monster?

image by Tech
You have my permission to use magic/force against Roscorro.
Maiming and killing is not allowed, though. 
#8
K'yarie
It was the scent of her loyal maiden, Valkyrie, that brought her to the meeting point. Too late to hear what was spoken between them all as she emerged from the shadows. Her powers aided her well when wishing to escape the dampness of this world. It was with her powers that she seemed to materialize from the darkness cast by the mare's flames. Her elegant form gliding to stand beside her dear girl as she gazed upon the gathering of faces.

Some, like Waker, Seiji, and Roscorro she knew and she spared them a familiar nod of greeting. She was familiar with Kiada and Rixen, having seen them when they were helping bring hope to her world. Though she had yet to truly meet them. She didn't even know their names. Her quiet poise settled over her as she waited for the meeting to go on, her nose lowering to brush the soft feather of Val's wings in a tenderly familiar gesture. A wordless apology for being late, though a woman arrives in her own time.

talk talk talk talk
Moon dust in your lungs, stars in your eyes
You are the child of the cosmos
A ruler of the Skies.
image credit to Achiha-Azteca.
#9
They had gathered, and she watched them with her glowing eyes hidden in similar folds of fate that Kisamoa often did. Except where his were rough and full of a dark fabric, hers were suave and nearly blinding as she moved between the world and throughout, but she had always pointed an ear this way just for this exact moment when they summoned one another. She admired the thoughts they shared amongst one another – speaking of danger, of helpful things, of warm wishes and greetings. She watched them quietly, wondering why they hadn’t already declared themselves a herd yet. For everything they had done screamed to the creature of light that they had found a home.

But they didn’t even have a name to call themselves, and their numbers were fairly small. Hope didn’t mind, however, but she wondered if because of themselves not calling themselves a herd that others didn’t think gathering like this was worth their time. Then there was the fact of who would lead them. Curiously, she watched the painted mare who had gathered them – yes she was headstrong but she gave off a vibe of wanting to follow directions, not lead. And the others…. As she watched them further, she realized who might be the better picks for the Halyven Herd.

And so she stepped through the folds, of the light to stand among them in the rain. Her body glowed a warm ethereal aura, and she simply looked like something made of sunshine and warm summer mornings, even as her thick soft fur became mottled with dark droplets of the everlasting rain. She surveyed them all with her glowing eyes, a smile gracing her features as though she hadn’t just been listening to their conversation thus far.

”I’m glad you’ve all gathered here. I’ve had time to survey the damage to the land and figure out the best course of action.” She began, flitting those glowing eyes over everyone gathered. ”And I’ve determined that the first step is with all of you, here. Of course, others may come as they wish, but for now… I think it’s time for the Rift to have an official herd.” She grinned to them, scanning their faces for any sort of reaction.

"I would like Rixen and Roscorro to lead you.” Her head shifted as she stepped toward the antlered man and the dragon man with a broad smile. ”Of course, if you’ve never led a herd before that’s fine. You are the first, here, in the Rift in many years. Learning from your mistakes will be your best course of action. Do decide about tiers, however. You’ll need to consult with one another to see who will do what. You will also need to find out what to call yourselves and where you’d like to call home if Halyven isn’t the place you want.” She offered them quietly, thoughtfully.

Then she stepped back, outside of the gathering to let them talk amongst themselves. ”I will be here when you decide, let me know the name of the herd and where you wish to stay and it shall be done.” And then, Hope waited.

“Talk.”
HOPE
changes everything

Congrats!! You've become the first herd of the Rift :) Hope has promoted @Rixen and @Roscorro to be the two leaders. You can dish out the duties of everything a herd has (like crafters, thieves, healers, warriors, etc, or leave it open for now until more things get figured out) and create the name of your herd and location (if you want to stay in Halyven, that's fine too)!

Please let us know in the Discord what the name of the herd is and what color you'd like your herd to be so we can get a discord section set up as well as adjust all of you here with a rank are part of the herd as well. There's no rush to get it figured out, as Hope is remaining for your answers, but feel free to speak with each other in discord or on here to get the idea of names and stuff done so we can get you all a rank and what not! You can have your characters talk with one another here to decide as well, but Hope won't post again until a decision is made, though you can ask her questions and she'll respond after. And as always, feel free to PM staff if you have any questions about this :)

Again, congratulations to you all!
HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING
#10
Eira...

Her arrival through the rain between the crumbling silver walls of old Halyven, was accompanied by jagged volts of electricity (curious, for there was no rumbling storm to produce them) and consequential bursts of startled movement. Least of all did it seem at all shy or unassuming, which far better suited her nervously unassertive nature. Eira regarded the pretty gathering of horses with a wearily curious eye, tracing the visible outline of each stranger at hand, before any intention to move among them and find shelter shelter crossed her young mind.

Though some she quickly recognised: Kiada, Roscorro and the strange woman Valkyrie, there were others standing beneath that jutting rock, who’s particularly imposing presence caused her stride to falter altogether. While the rain beat steadily down upon her already saturated figure, starving Eira began the fierce battle against reluctance - the want to blend away and hide alone in the dreary shadows of this alien ivory world nagged incessantly.

There were two slender looking stallions (easily, as they stood in the company of her gargantuan friend from the southern beach), one with antler, one with wings. They were coloured brightly, no uniquely, the first in  a wash of inscrutable black - though she could just see lovely elements of sapphire blue illuminated only by the warrior’s fire. The second, the absorbed yearling noted, was cloaked in double tone, both pale and warmly lit, and towards his tail appeared striping over silvery blue (the latter a hue she thought was similar to her own).

Eira couldn’t helped the rising swell of intimidation, needling the lining of her stomach.

So she moved forward across awkwardly twisted knees, with careful amount of measure, sliding her eyes across the dazzlingly detailed mare who was standing in an aura of much grandeur, beside the apparently much plainer Valkyrie. The wondering filly found a place to stand just shy of the weather barely beneath the overhang, so that if it all became too much, she could slip into the eerie ivory city well away of their notice.

As the orphan lingered, the soft hum of their conversation she found soothing, and as the lines of wariness began to melt out of her healing flesh, the deer-figure Hope appeared beside her. Even despite the deities pacifying impression, Eira found herself sliding suddenly sideways - towards the steamy warmth of the dragon-stallion @Roscorro, if he would have her. Against him or standing alongside with the slippery breeze stroking that side (should he expect a little more space), the stunted girl listened as the gentle murmur of Hope’s words touched her ears.

"I am a book of snow,
a spacious hand, an open meadow,
a circle that waits,
I belong to the earth and its winter."

- Pablo Neruda, Winter Garden