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Author Topic: The confluence of dreams and nightmares.  (Read 820 times)

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Offline SomniferousTopic starter

  • Lord
  • Threesomer
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  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Location: Slumbering at the junction point between two gates; one of sawn ivory and the other of polished horn.
  • Gender: Male
  • Vividly dreaming and drifting into the aether.
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The confluence of dreams and nightmares.
« on: March 17, 2012, 05:26:30 am »
Hello everyone! I haven't had the time to fine-tune all of my interests etc, but I will eventually get around to doing this. I spent an hour here and there the past couple of days writing a bit of an introductory piece that I am hoping will give you an insight into my personal style. It's a spur of the moment piece so please be gentle... Only if you want to be though *laugh*. I am looking for female RP partners only please. I appreciate detail and I am not restricted to fantasy type plots - I am very flexible in regards to the type of roleplay. Send me one of your requests or ask me to propose an idea and I will be happy to do so if you send me enough information to start with. I am fairly busy most of the time unfortunately, so I can only guarantee 1 reply a week, but it is possible I may reply up to 3 times. Other times I may have obligations that prevent me from replying in a week. Read my introduction below and decide whether or not you want to message me afterwards.

     The unrelenting rain starts to make you reconsider your journey to this forsaken realm, as the ashen drops streak down your upturned face. “Even the blasted rain is contaminated!” you exclaim to yourself as you wipe the charcoal-flecked precipitation from your weary brow.  Spotting an overhanging ledge, you duck beneath it for a moment's respite to consider your next move. Your frustration invokes a memory of the porcine merchant that beckoned you over to his squalid stand  back in the rough and tumble trading outpost of Atharale, where you had arrived after sailing across the perilous waters of the Maelstrom Sea. The grotesquely proportioned vendor had peered at you suspiciously until he spotted the bulging coinpurse on your belt, at which point his eyes glinted with a gleam of avarice and he ushered you behind the counter; promising to show you something that you would be unable to resist.  You immediately regretted acting so interested, but you asked to inspect the scrap of yellowed parchment that was tightly gripped in the merchant's flaccid fist and he obliged you by reverently placing it in your outstretched palm. The repugnant little man literally squealed in delight as you tried to decipher the archaic runes that were scrawled across the paper in a chaotic fashion. The runes started to contort before your very eyes until they twisted themselves into a rude semblance of a map. Utterly amazed, you feigned disinterest and emphasized the deteriorating condition of the scroll, but the keen shopkeeper was too savvy and he recognized the look of wonder on your face. Snatching the mysterious paper from your hand, he had it locked up in his strongbox before you could even protest and he snarled something about coming back when you were serious.
    The landmark that figured most prominently on the map had been familiar to you; a large escarpment called the “Precipice of Dreams”. Many years ago you had been traversing a wasted expanse of land in the far east in search of precious minerals and gems that were rumoured to exist in abundance beneath the scorched landscape.  The area was avoided by the locals, as it was thought to be cursed, but a group of nomadic barbarians called the Kyrstani roamed the borderlands in search of gems, which they attributed religious significance to, due to their belief that the gems were the tears of their ancestors. You set up camp in a desolate valley that harboured a small forest of scrub pine – perfect for starting a fire and it was the first serviceable shelter area you had found all day. After eating some meager trail rations, you laid your head down and fell asleep to the hypnotic crackling of your small fire. Awakened suddenly in the middle of the night, you fumbled for the pommel of your well-honed longsword after seeing a hulking tattooed monstrosity of a man looming over your prostrate form. Clad in an assortment of animal skins, some of which were unrecognizable to you, the ominous figure did not move at all, but instead continued to intently observe you. You were unsure if it was a conscious decision or not, but you eased your hand away from your weapon. After what seemed like an interminable period of time, but was likely only a few moments, you broke the silence with an attempt to parley. The formidable stranger did not respond, but he smiled enigmatically and gathered you up in a crushing embrace. Your consciousness faded away, but your spiritual essence rose from your body, coalesced with the stranger's lifeforce, and transcended into the heavens above. You felt your individuality merging with the collective universe and an earth-shattering feeling of boundless ecstacy washed in waves through every inch of your consciousness until you reached the point of exhaustion.
     You can barely remember the stranger laying you down gently on a hard surface and then pausing briefly before shedding a tear that landed  in your open blouse pocket. When you awoke, you quickly realized that all of your possessions were missing and you were dressed in a simple cotton peasant's blouse, which was far less utilitarian than the leather trail garments that you were wearing before. You were also surprised to discover that you were completely exposed on the edge of a soaring basalt cliff that stretched outwards over a deep rift in the mountain's centre. A ring of equally lofty peaks encircled and enclosed the bottomless chasm below. Glancing into the yawning abyss, you heartily thanked the gods for the good fortune to have not rolled off while you were asleep.  Confused, but strangely invigorated, you paused to inspect a bulge in your breast pocket where the stranger's tear had landed and to your amazement you found a scintillating jewel nestled in the fabric. The gemstone was amber-hued and the size of a small plum. You were momentarily elated, as the answer to your financial woes had just literally materialized in your pocket, but the prospect of getting back with minimal gear and no bearings was sobering. It took almost an entire day to find your way off of the accursed mountainside, but when you had finally made it to the bottom you noticed a smooth section of rock face that was clearly gouged and marred by human tools. Upon closer inspection, you could make out several distinct runes that appeared to be of Kyrstani origin. A flush of warmth passed through your body and without even understanding the language, you knew that this place was known as the Precipice of Dreams. You had barely made it back to town, but you managed to make a small fortune from the gem you had recovered, which meant you could now make the journey back across the Maelstrom Sea.
      After parting with a significant portion of your recently acquired wealth, you paid the vile merchant and confidently left Atharale with the intention of returning to the far east where the precipice seemed to be calling out to you. Maybe you were beginning to descend into madness, but the map even seemed to whisper words of encouragement that spurred you across the many miles at an uncanny … nay – unnatural speed. Needing little nourishment and stopping only to occasionally orientate yourself, you hastened through the thickets and fens that bordered the lands near the coastline. Arriving at the bustling sea port of Drayva, you managed to find a berth on the  'Debauched Selkie'; the same conservatively priced, yet barely seaworthy ship that you initially travelled over on. Captain Tarven was renowned for his knowledge of the Maelstrom Sea and his prowess in avoiding the perils of the Maelstrom's murky waters. Captain Tarven was also infamous for his profligacy, which was why his ship was usually in such a state of disrepair. On the original voyage over, you overheard the eccentric captain talking about how he hoped he could find someone willing to part with some Nasfir - a potent hallucinogen favoured by the berserkers of Atharale. Nasfir is painstakingly prepared from the aromatic rootbark of the Gilded Emperor Crocus; an exceedingly rare flower that grows in sporadic clusters across the vast steppes of Atharale's North District. The  final product is a dark grey powder that is redolent of citrus and … oddly enough - decaying flesh. The sensation of insufflating Nasfir is rumoured to be comparable to snorting crushed glass mixed with powdered Ember Peppers, but the level of euphoria achieved is reported to be unrivalled. However, the user quickly becomes fixated on whatever is occupying their minds the most and they are overcome with an irresistable urge to destroy anyone that stands to oppose their zealous onslaught. The Atharali berserkers prize the substance for its mind-altering properties because it allows them to disconnect themselves from pain, it increases their battle focus and it compartmentalizes their rage ability. Habitual use of the substance enables the user to control and channel the force of their anger, but it takes immense willpower and chronic exposure. The euphoric feelings intensify during the heat of battle, compounding the user's dependence on the substance.  Having heard of the value of the herb, you did not hesitate to purchase some when you spotted it at a streetside Apothecary in Atharale's Spice District. Pouch of Nasfir in hand, you persuasively  haggled with the Captain and managed to secure a bunk for a fraction of the price that you originally paid.
      The 'Debauched Selkie' groaned audibly and listed to the starboard side when it limped into the port of Darfan. Not even stopping to pause, you leapt over the siderails of the ship and hit the deck running on your way to Darfan's dilapidated stables to find a steed for the rest of your journey. Looking over the neglected equines, you snorted derisively and waited impatiently to negotiate a price, but no one appeared, so you decided to commandeer the fleetest looking nag out of the lot. After galloping out of the wooden palisade gates of Darfan into the vast plains of the border lands, you could feel the map start to writhe and grow warmer in your breast pocket. Unnerved by the activity, you retrieved the crumpled scroll from your pocket and your jaw promptly went slack when you realized the source of the disturbance. The once jet black ink on the paper started to glow with a dull sanguine luminescence and it began emitting an audible thumping noise. The shade of claret became increasingly brilliant in synchrony with the cadence of the arterial drums and a ray of dazzling ruby coloured light erupted into the heavens above. Just as quickly as it had appeared, the radiant beam twinkled out of existence and you took a moment to ponder what had just happened. In your contemplative state, you didn't notice the network of veins, arteries, and capillaries that were emerging from the ground until they had already started snaking  over the first dune; stretching out towards the horizon and your destination – the precipice... Your horse appeared to be unfazed by the unnatural vessels that visibly coursed and rippled with exertion, as they gurgled and strained under the volume of iquid they were transporting. You questioned your sanity for a moment and you desparately tried to remember whether or not you may have accidentally exposed yourself to any of the Nasfir. Shaking off the notion, you dug your heels into your horse's flanks and used the bridle to direct your recalcitrant mount towards the now clearly distinguishable route.
      The passage of time blurred and the rhythmic motions of your horse trotting determinedly lulled you into a state of near automatism, but the sight of the stars twinkling overhead in the vast inky canopy of the night sky reminded you that you must be coming close to your destination. The last time you had been here the journey out of the border lands had taken an arduous five days on foot, but you were severely depleted and were not provisioned for the elements after your unforgettable encounter with the ethereal stranger, so you hazarded a guess that a hard days ride with infallible bearings  would bring you to the foot of the jagged ring of basaltic peaks where the precipice could be found. You realized that your calculations had been correct when you spotted the familiar silhouettes of  an unmistakable cluster of  mountain ridges in the distance that were blotting out the stars behind them. Squinting into the distance, you could just barely make out the unnaturally illuminated blood vessels clinging to the distant base of the range and disappearing out of sight. You prompted your horse to pick up the pace by landing an expertly placed tap on its hindquarters and it obeyed your command accordingly.
     Finally arriving at the foot of the towering black monoliths, you dismounted from your horse, stripped the leather tack from its back and threw it on the ground. Turning your back on your horse, you figured it had a much better chance of reaching water and food than you had the last time you were here. Anyways, you had studied maps of the region after you had returned the last time and you now knew that there was a string of oases directly to the west, which was less than a days march, or a half day of trotting for a horse. Part of your plan was to utilize the sanctuary of the oases after you finished investigating whatever the precipice held in store for you. Navigating easily through numerous patches of loose scree, you only paused to circumvent the dislodged boulders of varying sizes that were strewn periodically across the  hardly visible goat trail. Thankfully you still had the light and guidance of the mysterious blood vessels that seemed to follow the path of least resistance over and around the mountain's obstacles. After climbing for  what felt like hours, several explosive peals of thunder that sounded overhead made you cringe, as you knew what was likely to come next. The wind started to howl and moan and fat drops of rain started plummeting out of the sky.
        The bone penetrating chill of the lashing black rain finally jars you out of your reverie; causing you to return to the present. The direction of the wind has shifted and the rain is now slanting under the overhang you are huddled underneath. Gathering all of your resolve, you shoulder your trail pack, fasten the oilcloth hoodstrap across the pommel of your longsword and start to trudge up the mountain towards your destination. “This had better be worth all the hassle!” you mutter to yourself, but at the back of your mind you somehow know that it will be. Tapping in to your innermost reserves of willpower, you inexorably make your way ever upwards. One by one, you start to notice that the glowing capillaries are disconnecting themselves from the bundle of vessels and are burrowing out of sight into the rock face. Several hundred paces further and the veins too start to peel off and drill into nearby columns of volcanic rock. You can see the last two arteries disappear over a crest ahead and you know the precipice is waiting there for you. “What in the hell is that noise” you wonder aloud as a wet slapping noise and a gushing sound become increasingly audible. Scrambling the last dozen feet to the top, you discover the source of the strange sounds. The arteries you have been following are neatly severed here at the top and they are slapping against the rock with the force of their contractions. Blood alternately sprays and gushes from the lacerated arteries, creating grisly patterns that transform the cliff top into a macabre canvas.
        Rays of early morning light lance through the cumulus clouds above to dance playfully across the shimmering surface of the precipice. Slick with blood, you choose each step carefully and make your way towards the edge. Rivulets of blood cascade into the darkness below and you hear a familiar whisper in your ear, which reassures you the conditions are perfect. The stranger...Without even questioning the rationality of your actions, you hurl yourself off the edge of the cliff and vanish into the darkness below.
   The sensation of falling starts to subside and it feels as though you are drifting aimlessly though empty space. Years … Days … Maybe minutes later... You are now conscious of your surroundings. You find yourself at a critical junction point where an immaculate ivory cobbled path meets with another path that appears to be made of polished ebony horn. Your eyes are drawn to a four poster bed of mythic proportions in the center of the room where the stranger from your earlier encounter is dozing fitfully. His eyes flutter open and he beckons you to join him on a luxurious mound of silken pillows that are generously heaped atop the bed. Compelled and intrigued, you make your way to the edge of the bed and demurely stretch out a calculated distance away. The stranger smiles warmly at you and his countenance ripples and shifts through a thousand different faces. Taken aback, you recoil slightly, but the stranger's visage stabilizes and he stretches his arms out towards you. “The choice is yours; you can depart from this place by taking the white path to the gate of polished ivory that leads to the realm of  pleasant dreams and pure intentions, or you may choose to walk down the ebony path that will lead you to the dark feverish realm of nightmares. Alternatively you may stay here and slumber with me for as long as you like and we shall dream vividly together and drift into the aether.”