merikuru: (Fanfic writer)
[personal profile] merikuru posting in [community profile] 12months_challenge
I am home and recuperating nicely, so now it's time to move on to this month's challenge! But first, our JanuAUry master list:


Egyptian history

Dynasty 18 / history -- a dynasty does not end (by [personal profile] taichara)

Gundam

Gundam SEED Astray - Elijah, Veia - 'troubled' (by [personal profile] kalloway)


Now, on to February's challenge, which is:

Februantasy!

This is the month for all things fantasy. Unicorns and magic, medieval tales of gods and goddesses, anything that uses the very breadth of the imagination to create a fantastical world - it's time to let all that come out and play. Bring out your fantasy, be it fandom or original!

If your work has spoilers, please add an [S] tag to the comment title. If it has mature content, please add an [MA] tag.

This theme challenge will end on February 29th, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time.

[original] Rose Sun and Thorn Moon -- meeting

Date: 2016-02-28 06:20 am (UTC)
taichara: (Desert's Jewelbox -- tiny)
From: [personal profile] taichara
Kephra's first hint that something was amiss was the lip-wrinkling tang of pus and infectious rot that set his ears flat against his skull in atavistic warning.

It wasn't something entirely unexpected, with all of Llorokh's Pelt coming out of what had turned out to be a brutal dry season; and yet there was something about the stench that roared of more than just carrion, something crawling and corrupting that made him want to bask in the sun until his mane felt like burning weight just to scorch the vileness out.

More to the point, Xifr's guardian glyph on his flank ached and itched. That was a bad sign if anything was. Kephra chuffed air, shook tawny bits of his mane out of his eyes -- and, claws flexing, sternly reminded himself why he was on the edge of his own Prowl and beyond to begin with.

This is why I keep volunteering. Better me than some idiot with his mane only half grown in, letting in some crazed dog pack or worse.

It doesn't mean I have to like it ...

Oh, how he didn't like it. He didn't like the overgrown mass of the Tanglelimb Prowl on the best of days; the open air, the grasses and the brilliant white stone outcrops of Sunracer, thank you very much, and none of this mazy would-be forest. A few trees here and there, that was plenty; good, strong trees, not these gnarled, stunted things that bit and grabbed at one's hide and mane. But he could already hear Ikun's rasp in his ears, telling him he was no half-grown cub, so -- as stealthily as his grey-gold bulk allowed -- Kephra eeled through the thorny undergrowth and followed his nose and his inside eyes.

As he crept along, possibilities flickered through his thoughts. It could be some hooved-walker, needing to be dispatched and just as likely to be inedible (pity), if not rotting before it even managed to expire; it could be nothing more than especially unsavoury carrion. But the broad-shouldered lion needed to know one way or the other before he returned to Three Stones with his reports.

-*-


He was nearly on top of the source before he'd managed to scent any trace of kind beneath the stench of rot and tainted soil -- and that second identification made him want to do nothing more than race as fast as he could charm himself back to the Stones and the pride with the warning. But no. Not yet. He needed to know.

The kind was feline; both kinds were feline. One twisted beyond his inner eye's ability to trace the lingering wisps, the other, leopard. What was a ringcat even doing, this far out into Tanglelimb's thorny vales to begin with? Curiouser and curiouser ...

He rounded a low ridge, scenting, and his irises disappeared into near-invisible rings of amber blue as he finally found the sources of the stench.

It was a leopard, alright. Bony spine, heaving ribs, hollow belly obvious against a tattered rose-and-honey pelt spangled with sable; the wretched thing clearly hadn't had a meal in far, far too long. And it was just as obvious that the claw marks on the ringcat's left hip, though bad enough to be sure, were not enough to cause the foulness of the wound that offended Kephra's senses. No, that was surely the work of the festering carcass some fifty strides away.

It may have been a lion, once; Kephra was not entirely sure, and was not at all thrilled with the notion of approaching any closer to the mass even though duty was duty. What remained of the thing's pelt was an unnerving, ashen green-grey fleabitten with marks like dried blood; the black bones were a warning greater still. Whoever, whatever it was, it was marked by a darkwell.

That is the last thing I want to deal with today.

Kephra's shoulders hunched. An outbreak, so soon after the dry season? How many sacrificed themselves to the creeping blackness ...? He'd have to purify the carcass, at least, and hope that he was up to the task.

One thing at a time!

He turned his attention back to the leopard, wrenching his gaze away from the dead horror, and rumbled the song for swift endings deep in his throat, feeling his teeth and his claws harden with pearly light. One clean strike and it would be finished ...

Then the leopard cracked crusted green eyes open, and lifted his chin from the bloodstained soil.

"... come to end it, manecat ...?"

Resigned, almost conversational -- the papery voice scratched down Kephra's spine like claws across hard stone. Quickly he closed the distance between them, paws carefully velveted and posture as relaxed as he could manage. If the ringcat could still speak, then there was hope --

"If that's what you wish?

"Wouldn't you rather live on, though, if only to spite that bone-pile you've been keeping company with? I can scent you, and check you for a darkwell's touch. What happened?"

"do my failing ears deceive me? in this time of hunger and trial, a lion offers aid?"

Kephra didn't quite succeed in keeping a snarl of affront from his muzzle, but his claws remained sheathed. The strange ringcat was halfway to the bone grounds, no doubt in agony, and quite possibly out of mind. It would be poor grace to completely take offense.

"A leopard travels nearly onto the grasslands and into Sunracer territory, is that what you meant to say?"

Lowering his head, he stared into the smaller cat's glittering eyes. Not threatening, not really, but his tail did lash once or twice ...

"Look, nameless one, this gets us nowhere. I don't know how far you've traveled or what the prides there have done. I am Kephra, on patrol, on the edge of my Prowl, and here you are with a dead thing that needs dealing with before its taint spreads through our lands; I can help you -- because you surely seem to need help, even if that wound doesn't seem enough to drop you -- or I can end you peacefully. Please choose."

The green eyes closed for a breath. The leopard sighed, turned his head away, ears flattening, tail limp.

"... I am rightfully shamed. For my words, and for my failure, because I was and am not enough to end that blight. The season worked against me; that is my only defense.

"My name is A'heri, and even though I've poured my half-starved spirit into the work I have failed and you arrive within a hair of catastrophe. The thing could not be purified -- guard yourself --!"

A'heri's last words were all but swallowed whole by the rattling wail that shook the ground beneath them, and the sun's warmth seemed to drain from the air around them. The second wail shattered thorns and split the earth; knowing what was coming Kephra whirled, claws out and gleaming, mane and spinal ridge alright with pale fires as he reared up and struck --

-- barely in time to beat back the rotting, black-boned paws of the very dead, and very agile, deathcat. Smoking where his claws had touched, the thing backed away, roaring its eerie wail, and Kephra's hindquarters bunched to launch him at his unnatural foe. The darkwell's puppet echoed him, empty eye sockets aglow with green balefires.

"A'heri, if you have any worldly wisdom this is the moment to share it --"

"Claws only! Don't bite it! You'll give an opening to corruption!"

-- the collision as they charged made Kephra's eyes blur. The tiny part of his self not focused on tearing his foe to pieces wondered at that -- what made a rotted, dead thing that powerful? -- but there was no time, no time for that now. Now was the time for ending.

Lunging, rearing, he lashed out with glowing claws and roared the songs of summer's victory, tearing away at black bones and mottled pelt and doing his best to ignore the black-nothingness teeth that dug into his grey-gold fur, the searing cold of the balefire claws, the siren ennui calling to his spirit from somewhere deep in the abomination's dead husk. It wanted him, oh how it wanted him.

In a wave of tainted flesh the deathcat bowled him over, leaped for his throat. Kephra met it with all four paws, digging, kicking, slashing, scrambled to his feet, lunged in turn. Xifr's ward burned like a grassfire -- he'd be scarred for certain -- but it held, surely it held. For now. But he was flagging, and the thing didn't seem to know how to be tired ...

Over the rush in his ears he heard A'heri's cough.

"Bring it down in front of me ...

"Expose the head, lend me your power ..."

If it gets rid of this thing --!

Batting, roaring, Kephra swung time and again, circling, leading, pushing; the deathcat fought wildly, leaving blackened scores in his flesh, and he ignored it all to keep the thing pushed steadily towards the leopard and whatever awaited there. The earth shuddered and blackened; he kept going. One more body-length ... almost, almost ...

Now!

Sensing the flickering life of its former tormentor, the deathcat whirled from Kephra and struck -- too slowly. Kephra's forepaws came down on it like a rockfall, pinning its neck to the battered earth and tearing the flesh from the oily black skull. It thrashed, screaming and wailing, and coils of black-blooded power seeped through the ragged flesh.

Kephra spared a glance towards A'heri and nearly let the thing go.

The ringcat had heaved himself, staggering, to his feet; with surprising grace for one half in the grave he closed the five-pace distance, and planted a forepaw, glowing with dawn's colours, on the thrashing thing's bare skull, digging in his claws like he was puncturing an overripe fruit.

With a final soul-destroying wail, the deathcat shuddered and fell into shattered bones. Kephra backed away from the decaying mass as fast as his feet would move him; just as well, as it turned out, as A'heri sank against his bloodied bulk as his own legs failed him. Panting, he didn't bother to fight it.

"... and now, Kephra, I ask you to lend yourself to me ..."

"After that display? I'd be a fool not to!"

Quickly, he began to scratch the life-transfer glyphs into the ground. If A'heri's shallow breaths were any indication, there was no time to lose.

"I'll share what I can, and then we're off to Three Stones. Both of us, I'm not taking no for an answer. Ikun Skypacer's going to want to hear about this -- and he'll make a place for you. He won't be able not to after this gets sung at the night's gathering.

"Just don't die before we get there, got it?"
taichara: (Desert's Jewelbox -- ^_^)
From: [personal profile] taichara
Thank ye kindly! :3 <3 ~

[Original - Agassia] Shore

Date: 2016-03-01 01:34 am (UTC)
kalloway: (Ayatane Tonelico)
From: [personal profile] kalloway
With only a single lantern in hand, the Lady Ammeia descended the dark, narrow stairs of her castle on the shore. The sun had not yet painted the sky a single shade, but the goddess did not falter. She knew each step so well that she doubted that she needed the lantern. Her castle was in a constant state of disrepair - stones fallen, windows cracked, wood rotting - but she could not remember if it had ever been any other way. Surely, she had built the castle once, a very long time ago. No one else would have picked such a strange, difficult place to live. There was no road, only water and a small sandy beach bordered by rocks and thick woods.

Ammeia did not think about why she was there. She knew.

She was the Truth of Agassia, after all.

The first streaks of color cut through the sky as she set foot on the cold sand. The mist was already there and waiting for her, thick where the waves lapped gently at the sand. Ammeia set the lantern on the same flat rock she always set it on and after making sure her long, near-colorless hair was still secured back, she went out to grab the mist that she would need.

There were three bodies on the beach, each one on low, flat stones just the right size for Ammeia's work. Three was always enough. Sometimes, her work took years. Her first had taken a decade. These...

Her mistborn Spectirs were her true joy, for she did not Know much of anything about them. They took a tiny bit of her power and did her work in the world, but she did not Know them in the same way that she Knew other things.

The first one was a girl, young like in her early teens, her body still soft and only recently had Ammeia stopped sculpting her. She had baked in long sunsets and was nearly ready to paint. Perhaps Ammeia could start, if she had time, before the sun burned all the mist away. She would paint the girl the colors of spring flowers and bright sunsets. Maybe she would be a surrogate daughter. Ammeia did not know.

She smiled. She did not Know and truly, Ammeia liked surprises.

With a bundle of thick mist beneath one arm like a misshapen pillow, Ammeia slipped to the next body. This one was a woman, half-sculpted and raw, her limbs still somewhat shapeless and her curves undefined. This, Ammeia found frustrating. She longed for the time when she could gently sculpt soft breasts and fine fingers and perfectly curved ears. But for now, she had rough work...

With a bit of a sad glance at the last body - a young man half-painted with darker skin and deep blue hair like the depths of Onala's Ocean - Ammeia knelt and began to work. There would be no painting just yet. Just raw, rough sculpting. Hands, feet, even shoulders...

By the time the sun burned away the last of the loose mist from her fingers, the beach was bright and clear. Ammeia's frustration was gone - she had made good progress, after all - and it was time to go back to the castle and meet the day properly. She already Knew that it would be a busy one. The mist bodies would bake. They would wait until they were ready. And then she would give them a bit of her immortal life and they would do her work in the world...

Ammeia took her lantern from the rock it had been sitting on and after one last look, she started up the beach and toward the stairs.

Re: [Original - Agassia] Shore

Date: 2016-03-05 02:53 pm (UTC)
kalloway: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalloway
Thank you. Alas, Amma doesn't show up in much of the Agassia stuff I have posted, since she mainly keeps to herself and her work.

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