Smothering in Shadows [Event]

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By Sylphier
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The darkness over the Vale felt never ending, as Beloved continued the slow trudge along that he had begun earlier in the day with Alice at his side. The pair had been rattled by the appearance and cryptic words of Freyja when she appeared before them earlier, urging them to find others lost within and lead them out. Her confidence in them had given Beloved a lingering steadiness as she left them, though it seemed to have the opposite effect on Alice as she paced as close as possible next to him through the once lively Vale. The dwarf male held his lantern aloft with determination, though his paws and eyes were beginning to tire from the slow careful walk with his attention fixed on the small bubble of ground the light provided, giving him brief glimpses of a variety of flowers and thick grass that looked tired, starved. Spring had just begun and everything had been starting to bloom until this darkness took hold, and now it choked off every source of life these plants relied on to grow. Alice had taken notice of the flowers struggling and stared at them as they walked, muttering about the wrongness she felt from them. Beloved let his shoulder brush against hers to try and offer some reassurance. Though he had come up with a plan to keep them from being separated by looping a length of rope around each of their necks to stretch between them and give a tug should one stray too far away, the pair moved almost as one in their little pocket of light and let the rope hang slack between them - neither wanted to move even a few inches away lest the darkness swallow them.

To Beloved, the darkness felt like an almost living, malevolent thing as he pressed on through it. Clearly the flora here was affected by this oppressive feeling as well, as the blossoms of various flowers he waded through were already beginning to wilt despite how recently this unnatural blackness had taken over. Not sure why, he walked with care to avoid stepping on any of the struggling blooms unless it was absolutely unavoidable. Perhaps it was something within him that knew they deserved to live, and that they had just barely begun their life - it wasn’t fair for the magical night to drain them of the future they held. Just as it wasn’t right that any other living being should be lost within this cursed shadow, and so on he walked hoping to spot any signs at all of life that he could trace to any of those vargs missing within the Vale. Glancing out of the corner of his eye at Alice, he saw that she had set her jaw and was also peering around them at what little the lantern illuminated for them in the hopes of spotting some kind of clue that would bring them to anyone needing help. Good - maybe she had just needed some time to work through the despairing feeling that this cloud of light consuming blackness gave off. Avoiding the flowers was causing them to keep up a rather slow and weaving pace, and he hoped that it was not setting them too far off their intended course - in the darkness this thick, with no sign of sky through it, they could only pick a direction and hope that they kept a straight line. If luck was with them they might find a landmark which they could use to change direction, but he wasn’t holding his breath on that.

The silence of the darkness pressed down on his ears, giving him a feeling like they needed to pop to relieve pressure despite knowing he was not at a height this should happen. Twitching them in irritation, Alice gave him a questioning glance at the movement but then nodded slightly when she saw what he was doing - her own ears were set back against her skull from the discomfort as well. How long could they tolerate being in this place, in this unnatural darkness, before it started to affect them mentally? Beloved worried for those lost within this - how long had some been trapped here? He had heard that some made their homes within this vale, so had they been present since the black cloud first crept in? Their pack had also sent out several other pairings, as many as could be put together to help in the search - would they encounter any of those others as they worked through the dark? Surely eventually he and Alice had to come across someone else. Lost in his thoughts, he had not been paying as much attention to his path as before and he was jolted back to reality as his paw settled over a flower, crushing the velvet petals between his toes. He let out a small noise of disappointment in himself, causing Alice to startle and look about in alarm. “Sorry… stepped on a flower…” Beloved muttered, feeling guilty both for the destruction of the small plant and startling his partner. He couldn’t explain why he was so reluctant to harm the plants here, it simply felt wrong. Perhaps it was because they were the only other signs of life he could find in the tiny bubble of light from his lantern - even the bugs appeared to have left this place, and there was no sound of the small game wildlife one would usually find here.

Focusing once more on the path he trod, and squinting ahead through the darkness to try and find some sign of life ahead, Beloved continued on with Alice pacing beside him, every few steps their shoulders bumped softly together and he wasn’t sure if this was intentional on his part, or on Alice’s part, or just by chance but the regular brush of another living thing touching him helped keep the small male steady. He wished more and more that they could at least see some hint of the sun above, to know how long they had been walking. His mouth was beginning to feel dry and he wasn’t sure if it was true thirst or just the stress of the task before them weighing on him. The water supply he carried in his satchel, along with a small amount of hard tack and dried meats, would not last them forever and he wanted to conserve it as best they could should they end up truly lost within this cursed Vale. 

1,082 WC

Event piece for myself and Inkasaurus-Rex 

Link to import/ID#: ID#4036 Beloved
Link to Tracker: Felvarg Activity Tracker 2.0
Activity: Love is in the Air - Darkness Over the Vale

Link to import/ID#: ID#767 Alice
Link to Tracker: Felvarg Activities Tracker
Activity: Love is in the Air - Darkness Over the Vale
© 2020 Sylphier
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