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Author Topic: [ WP-001 ] The First Obelisk [Pestilence]  (Read 146 times)

Blinded By Silence

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[ WP-001 ] The First Obelisk [Pestilence]
« on: June 09, 2020, 08:38:02 PM »
The first few nights that he and Guardian spent back in the cave were restless. He was beyond relieved to have his mate back, but still, nightmares plagued him and he often found himself waking with a start, checking to see if she was still there beside him, whole and alive, before settling in once more. He was doing his best to recover, at her request, but there was this fear inside him. That she would leave again on some grand journey and never return. After all, the MotherFather had called her...

And so, as he curled up beside her in their nest with a heavy sigh, he looked out of the mouth of his cave, seemingly past the trees and pools and the storm that brewed above them, to something beyond. For a moment, he allowed himself to wonder just what was out there. What could be so interesting that it could pull her away? He felt a strange pull, a sense of unease. There was a flash of lightning and when he blinked, the sudden silhouette of a spire cut his vision. But as the thunder rolled out into the distance, it too faded. His eyes felt heavy, and with a quiet word of good night to his love, he slept.

- - - - -

His eyes opened moments later and all was silent. There was no rain, no thunder. In fact, the sky was clear. His eyebrows furrowed as he looked skyward. It was mid-day, somehow, and the once-blue of above was now a strange washed-out grey. Even more worrisome were the clouds. They hung there, still, unmoving. There was no breeze, no bird or insect song. The dark buck blinked slowly and when he did, the eerie spire appeared again, burned into his vision.

Startled, he opened his eyes and a gasp pulled the breath from his lungs. There it was, looming before him like a blackened bone jutting from the flesh of the swamp. The Obelisk.

He shuddered. He had heard whisperings of the thing. Hearing its name always left him feeling sick. And yet, here he was, staring up at it, his soul rattling in his bones. He felt the desire to run, to go back home where he was safe. But his hooves seemed planted in place. He could not move. In fact, he realized he could barely breathe.

'We should look around. Explore, but be wary. We don't know what it does, or where it came from.'

Pestilence suddenly gasped, finding his breath again quite quickly. Spinning around, he saw a sandy-colored stag with a mane the color of sun-dried grass. He towered over Pestilence both in body and in presence. From within him, the dark buck felt the firefly's light of the MotherFather. He could see Her presence in the stag's glowing blue eyes. As the living Legend moved forward towards him, Pestilence, stumbled backward on to his haunches. The long-legged stag ignored him, and before the piecemaker could say anything, his great sandy legs passed right through him.

He blinked rapidly, his mouth opening and closing in confusion. He spun around to see where the stag had gone and instead found more. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large group of kin of all races stood, haggard and worn, as if from a long journey. He stood, watching as they nodded and began to wander. Was this...?

He had heard stories of the kin who had found the first Obelisk. Of the puzzle it had held, of the questions it answered and the so many more that it brought to light. This was a dream then, he was almost sure. And these, well... These were them. Those kin who had traveled the swamp with Legends at their side, searching for this... thing.

'How long has this been here?' He heard another voice ask, this time, he noticed a faint echo to her words. It was muffled as if heard from far away.

He watched with wide eyes as the soft grey doe touched one of the strange circular stones that now surrounded the spire. Once more his brows tented, had... had they been there before? He was unsure. Suddenly, he felt a yank, as if a tether of some sort were attached to his sternum and was pulling him forward. Towards the doe, towards the Obelisk. He resisted, at first, but it seemed his legs no longer belonged to him and, despite the deep-seated fear and unease building within him the closer he became, he found himself circling the Obelisk, his gaze locked upon the stones. There were strange carvings etched into them.

'The sharpest beaks would have taken ages to carve these markings,' He found himself thinking, only to realize that it wasn't his voice he had heard within his mind, but that of the grey doe from before. He shook his head and inhaled deeply, trying to calm his nerves. Pestilence stared hard at the symbols as if trying to burn them into his memory. What were they?

'Be mindful of what it is -- why it might be here,' Another voice echoed, this time belonging to a fretful Kiokote who also held the Swamp within her.

He lifted his eyes just in time to see one of the impossibly straight sides of the Obelisk swell with an eerie light, illuminating a bright red buck. He tried desperately to read them but yielded nothing. He felt his breath hitch and suddenly there were more thoughts flooding his mind.

'I'm fairly certain this is a crane, and there must be a cheetah and a dog, there... The other two had to be a bat and an eagle, right?'

'Someone, scrape your hoof against a stone!'

But this time, despite so many of them trying their best, the lights dim until the spire is black once more.

'How strange. Maybe it needs to be done in a certain way, or order?'

He found himself nodded in agreement. Yes, that made sense... Didn't it? He wasn't sure why, but he felt it was. Still, he followed them, unable to help, only to bear witness. He waited through their trial and error, a growing sense of doom rising within him. First the crane, Pestilence watched as the doe traced its shape with her hooves, the facet of the Obelisk began to shine. Then the cheetah, the sand dog, the eagle and finally, the bat. Once all five races are represented, the obelisk seems to be torn apart by its own light. Panic flooded his veins with ice as the terrifying brightness washed over them in a wave of energy. He couldn't see, couldn't hear. He tried to breathe, but it felt like he was drowning. Could one drown in light?

But just as quickly as it appeared, just as quickly did it dissipate. Suddenly, his lungs were full and his senses returned to him, although currently all he could hear was the blood pounding in his ears. He looked around and once more, the grove was empty, save for him and the Obelisk. His eyes traveled up its impossibly tall frame until widening at the sight he saw above it.

The sky was black as tar and slicing through it like claws through flesh were eleven streaks of light, each one headed endlessly into another direction.

Pestilence stared at them for what felt like years, endless years. And within him felt a yearning he had never known.