The Path through Lantern Woods

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LunarLavendula, May 31, 2014.

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  1. Fantasy • Survival • Magic • Folklore

    Themes: The Surreal, Mystery, Yearning, Exploration

    Here was a place the sun never reached, a deep forest drenched in magic that only dawn, night and twilight could touch. It was the road no one sane travelled, for once the journey had begun, there was no return. This was the place the world ended, for on every map of every kind, no one had ventured past to chart it. Lantern Woods took your soul in its embrace, and with it your last life lived. For those who came to Lantern Woods could never truly die, but neither could they leave.

    And this is where our roleplay starts.

    Lantern Woods is a place beyond the touch of time. A myriad of creatures live there, and a myriad more travellers roam through. They say that Lantern Woods is limitless, they say there is no end. The creatures here are dark and strange, and every inhabitant has its own story. Sidhe, forgotten gods, cursed men, dream creatures and spectres lurk around every corner. There is nothing usual about it. Some even come to travel together. Each has their burden, their mark, and their journey. This is their story.
  2. Nissa remembered what it was like to be human. Looking back, she thought she preferred it, but the memory was so vague and muffled it was hard to tell. Her fingers curled around the lantern in her hand, the supple skin of a young maiden, pale as snow. Or it would be, had the curse not wracked her body with burns, aging and decay, encompassing her entire left side. Some price for power, she thought, and some witch. She pulled her black cloak tightly around her until it engulfed all but her face, hood down, and held the lantern higher in front of her.

    Standing straight she would have been a tall woman, striking with Celtic ancestry, looking much as if a raven had incarnated as a human. Her hair was long, straight and black, her eyes a deep stormy blue, her bone structure divulging her Celtic ancestry. Upon her right hand she bore a blood-red, circular tattoo, runic magic bled into her skin. The symbols danced around the outer circle, encasing a sign of the Sun chasing the moon, summer chasing winter. Death and Rebirth, the never-ending cycle, inescapable and absolute. Well, she thought with a half-smile, it was supposed to be.

    The trees were thick and the path was worn, but she pressed through into the dark night of the forest. She knew not where she was going or what was in store for her, but one thing she was sure of – she could never be ready. Not truly.
  3. He was vaguely aware that somewhere far away his corporeal form lay writhing in unbearable agony. It came to him as a feeling of foreboding. And was gone just as fast. Dreams were like that, nonsensical.

    He sat with his young wife. The two watched their daughter swordfight in the field with an imaginary dragon. He smiled and turned to tell his love of his plans to head south. There was an expedition going to a place that no one had gone before, they needed a cartographer.

    Then he remembered. His mind rocketed back into his body. His wretched form squirming inside a fluid filled sac. Pain, what one would liken to being stabbed, shot up both sides of his torso.

    He was out again, his mind whisking him from the present horror.
  4. Five centuries and she still hadn't learned not to trust salesmen.

    "You'll never make it through fully clothed", they said. "Lantern Woods is no place for thin cloth and tights" they said.

    Well fuck what they said. Hardly an hour had passed and already she was sick and tired of the heavy hiking gear. Who in their right mind would wear boots heavier than their feet in the first place? Who in their right mind would wear a coat thick enough to break their spine? Well she would, apparently. But she bet she wouldn't of if it hadn't been for them damn bussinessmen. Once she got back to the village, she'd burn them - every last one.

    "The branches will rip through your tights, Miss-" hissed the girl to herself in a mocking tone as she kicked a leather boot into the distance. The next boot soon followed, accompanied only by a farewell snarl and heavy cursing.

    "Your dress is so short, Miss! We wouldn't want your thighs bruising, Miss! We wouldn't want bugs nipping your delicate skin, Miss!"
    She tore a clunky brown coat from her body. Even the angry noise of her rant couldn't smother the noise of its pure girth and weight hitting the ground - sounded like a dead body.

    "I should keep the damn supplies to shove up their-"
    Only now did she stop to take a breath - once she took one she had to take another, suddenly aware of how little rest she'd gotten. Being angry was hard work. Even harder work was hiking while angry, what with the ranting and the shedding of gear she'd had to do. A small bead of sweat welled up on her forehead and ran between her eyes. As it pooled briefly under her schin and fell finally to the ground, so did the last piece of gear - a black and useless clump of protective who-knows-what. At long last she could take a fucking breath without fearing for her ribcage.

    Wind whistled by like a nod of approval, fluttering the ends of her dress against her upper thighs and blowing leaves against her shoulders. At peace, and felt good. Who needed all that cover anyways? Her dress, her tights, her hat, her cloak - that was all she'd needed and all she'd ever need. Happy her meant happy forest too - the birds could be heard chirping now - while she was angry, they seemed almost too scared to.
    Blissful, natural silence.

    At least, until a branch caught a curl of her hair and refused to let go the lock of captured blonde.
    Curses rang out loudly into the trees.
  5. Heavy buffets of breathe ripped through the raw throat of Xercei as he pumped his aching legs furiously to keep his head above the water's surface. His legs protested with each kick in the ice cold water but they didn't dare cramp nor lock up for if they did it meant certain death by drowning. Where one means to escaped death was another ambassador of death was just around the corner, at least in this dreaded woodland. All around Xercei was darkness, the cave in which he explored and now resolved to main hidden in hadn't seem to let light in it's dark submerged reaches for centuries. But no matter the amount of darkness that surrounded him Xercei was happy to have fallen from a unforeseen ledge above, falling from the reaches of whatever terrible creature had been chasing him through the darkness for what seemed like hours. It would seem that after a streak of bad luck the good was beginning to flood in for he fell into the reaches of this ice cold pool and not on hard craggy bone splitting skin shredding rocks. Finally recovering from his unexpected plunge in he cold drink Xercei allowed a slight current to pull him in whichever which way God would allow. He took solace in simply going with the currents instead of fighting against him. Had he had enough magic energy left in him this whole process would've been easier. But alas all the energy he had stored with in was used up to defend himself against the creature of four eyes, eight legs, and a exoskeleton so hard that not even several powerful fire spells had breached its natural armor. Several times one of his four tales were close to being bit off.

    Lost in the blissful world of muscle relaxation the Kitsune male had not notice the faint threads of light up ahead nor the sight sound of water falling. It goes with out saying that when he suddenly found himself plummeting once again his heart almost jumped from his chest. Suddenly he was dunked again in chilly waters and quickly raced to the viewable surface. His fox ears which sat a top his head were the first to breach the water and next was his head as it looked with a great smile at the great open of the cave. The yellow pupils on his cat like eyes were restricted to the suddenly rise in light but that hadn't stopped him from swimming straight ahead. Soon he found himself ashore on his back as he took pleasure in the solid ground. He looked up at the cloudy skies that sun had no luck in penetrating sense Xercei had wondered into the woods tweeks ago in the name of exploration and map making. Two weeks ago he had a full pack of equipment, fresh water and food, and no scars to speak of. But now! He was gearless foodless and was around more water than he knew what to do with! He continued to look up at the sky as he thought about the hell he just went through in the name of exploration!

  6. Nissa paused, her pupils darting left and right. Had she heard something? She turned around slowly, trying to place this... feeling of unease. No, not here, no, this direction feels fine. Ahh. She stopped. Lantern Woods was a dark place, but this was rediculous. Nissa was staring straight into a mass of writhing blackness. Tendrils of thick, inky shadow reached out towards her, but the light of her lantern forbid them foreward. Drip drip drip. Little splatters of it hit the floor, before inching themselves away back into the darkness.

    "Where did you come from?" she murmured softly, a low tone that held a slight edge that demanded attention. Whatever it was it had certainly not been there a minute ago. She knew better, of course, then to walk straight into some... gaping, sentient blackness. Nissa turned to continue on her path. And then...
    that feeling again, the sort of gnawing sensation that begged for your attention, that unknown calling that got under your skin until you could either follow it's impulses or stew in it forever. The mark on her hand ached. She sighed. "Very Well."

    Nissa took a tentative step towards the dark. It curled around her like a bubble, not wanting anything to do with her light. She was sure if she didn't have it with her, she would of been consumed before she had even noticed the thing. With a slow breath she made her way foreward, letting her instincts guide her as she followed a slope down, down down...

    She wasn't sure how long she'd been walking when she noticed a single dim, greeny-yellowish glow in the distance. Honestly she'd started to question her sanity, walking straight in like this, but now she sensed she was getting close to her goal... whatever it was. Her pace quickened towards the light. She entered what seemed like a cavern, or so she thought. Before the darkness had been a little claustrophobic, pressing down on you from all directions but now there seemed a little more space to breathe. Far against a wall of dark was some sort of sac.

    She approached it, holding her hand over her mouth at the smell of it. The darkness was still thick all around, and she couldn't tell what else was nearby, whether it belonged to a beast, or if this darkness was somehow... incubating this thing, for some reason. She still didn't know what the darkness was, or what on earth this sac was, but both seemed equally suspicious and she knew she shouldn't be here. Ugh. What was there to be scared of? Death? No, but an excruciatingly painful one was still something she'd like to avoid. Death was not pleasant.

    Nissa's hand continued to ache, the force ebbing around her body with her heartbeat. Fine, she thought. I'll deal with this and then I'll go. She pointed her good hand dead in front of the thing, deciding she was probably here to destroy it.

    Wait, was something in there? It had only been for a moment, but she swore she could see a shadow inside, twitching, flailing. She peered a bit closer. Her eyes grew wide.
    Oh my god, someone was in there, and they were trying to get out.

    Without a second thought Nissa pointed her hand towards the top of the sac, her eyes flashed dangerously as a thin colomn of flame shot forth from her palm.
  7. He was warm, sitting in front of the hearth he'd spent nearly the entire summer constructing. His wife was beside him, saying something to their daughter. He turned his eyes from his handy work to see she was explaining a picture in some book. He leaned forward thinking he knew the tale. When he peered to the page a tiny spot if orange appeared, and he squinted. Suddenly the spot spread with unnatural quickness, flames leaping from the page to consume the book. He opened his mouth to shout and it filled with smoke. Then the floor fell away.

    He landed on the floor of the cavern, his shattered mind struggling to come to grips with the sudden change. Instincts urged him to yell for help, and he realized he could not. His mouth had been removed? No replaced. His mind spun again, he struggled to maintain his grasp on consciousness, and failed.

    The twisted thing that had once been a master cartographer lay in a heap upon the cold rock. In an attempt to explain this wretched creature one might draw similarities with an insect. Human mouth had been replaced by two set of mandibles. His nose was gone, not as if it had been sliced off and a hole left, just gone. A set of what appeared to legs or arms now protruded from his lower rib cage, those coming to pointed ends. Normal legs and arms had been left in place, but three fingered hands and two toed feet replaced the originals. His skin was a mottled pale green, that would harden into a chitin in time.
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