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  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [open quest]  there's thunder in our hearts - round three

    From her safe spot outside the storm, the Cloud Fairy monitors their progress. Though she had told them the destination was what was important, was why they needed to endure what was coming their way - it is the journey itself that she needs from them. Part of her feels guilty for each flare-up of fear she feels. For the screams that she hears from them and around them. They had given up a nightmare to enter the storm but they may yet leave with more.

    And she wishes it didn’t have to be this way, wishes she could spare them all - but it will be worth it in the end.

    Perhaps not for them, these seven sacrifices with their seven rapidly beating hearts.

    When they arrive at the eye of the storm - the nightmares cease. They are still there if any of them care to look around - but more than likely she expects they’ll be focused on their destination. Perhaps all their attention will be on the very clear lack of anything waiting for them in the center. Nothing more than a wisp of cloud that momentarily detaches itself from the surrounding storm. They are in a cavern amidst the chaos they survived to get here - a hollow place utterly devoid of everything except their seven bodies.

    While they may begin to wonder about the point of this quest, the Cloud Fairy’s work has begun. She knew there would be nothing waiting for them, no secret or key to recover. It was their fear that she needed, and how better to harvest it than to toss them into a world of nightmares. It is a potent emotion and one so much easier to conjure out of strangers than love. Perhaps she could have found a pleasanter way but it would have taken time and she is tired of waiting to correct the balance.

    Though there is no one else outside of the storm to observe, her eyes darken - matching the clouds she faces - and she wields the fear she had felt from all of them. The purple stallion seeing visions of lost parents; the young mare caught by tentacles; the glowing sabino watching as someone burns alive; the dual-halos of a stallion illuminating the lake of blood he drowns in; vines choking the little chestnut; a labyrinth of darkness so thick it chokes out the white and blue boy lost in it; fire-red eyes burning in empty sockets as it hunts the young night-adorned girl.

    Each of their journeys pains her heart but the excitement has caught on too powerful for her to stop now.

    The clouds begin to swirl around her seven heroes, faster and faster - orbiting that empty place where they either stand or hover with their wings. The nightmares blend together, bleeding and mixing until they are one giant organism.

    It quickly becomes apparent, as vicious winds claw at the seven brave souls, that they are caught within a tornado. One that is so much more than just air and dust. The fairy has used their fears to ignite the storm of nightmares, to bring it to life. There have been many wondrous and terrifying things seen in Beqanna and this is something different, something new.

    Something that will bring about the change she desperately craves.

    No further instructions come from the Cloud Fairy but as this strange, twisted tornado begins to grow in intensity there is clearly only one thing to do - they need to escape. And they need to do it now.

    Congratulations on making it to the final round!

    Everyone is greeted by a big fat nothing waiting for them in the eye of the storm. Instead, the Cloud Fairy uses everyone's fear to turn the storm into a tornado. And now, after going all through that for nothing, you need to escape. It may just be wind inhibiting you as you try to get out, or there may be some remnants of the nightmares which all exist somewhere, blended into the tornado.

    In your reply, if you'd like, you can choose 1 or more traits to be scrambled by the tornado. Like in the eclipse plot, they may go up or down a space, or mutate into something entirely different. Both expressed and carried traits may be scrambled, with carried also having a chance at becoming expressed. Please clearly list any traits you'd like scrambled at the bottom of your post.

    If you don't have any traits or don't want any of your current ones scrambled, you may choose to scramble the wings that the Cloud Fairy granted for this quest (or choose not to have anything scrambled). 

    This round will end (approximately) July 9th at 11:59pm eastern and as with the last ones, you'll have until results are posted to get your replies up.
    The nightmare fades to darkness and clouds and it leaves him surging for the center of the storm, hooves pressing into mist and lightning as if it is something solid. He takes for granted that it will stay that way as he seeks the center of it all, but it doesn't. Between strides, it all evaporates. Panic wells up in him when his forehooves find nothing underneath them and he cries out, his voice carving his dismay into the shadowed walls. Blackwell falls like a stone in that vast emptiness until he remembers the incandescent wings at his sides and thrusts them outward, slowing the plummeting descent. Hovering, he peers into the storm's heart.

    There's nothing.

    Nothing at all. The center of it is quiet and still, its dull sides vaguely echoing the nightmares that feed into its body, but its heart holds nothing. He doesn't know what to make of this, is something wrong? This is not what he was told to expect.

    There's a rumble above his head. What he thought was the heart he realizes is a stomach instead. Its sides begin to collapse around them, the wind swirling like acid, plucking those bright sunlight feathers from him and turning them dark. Like the belly of a serpent, it seeks to crush them, shifting its lightning ribs to pierce and break them and pull the yolk from the shell of their skin.


    Blackwell ducks sizzling lightning but the wind catches him up and throws him back again into the rain and the hail and the softly screaming nightmares that make his heart race and his eyes flash.

    "No--" his mouth fills with air like a gag. The storm tries to fill him with itself, to tear him apart with its fingers but with a wretched scream, he calls up fire and fury, loosening the whirlwind grip long enough to break free. It's chaos. He cannot see if the others are surviving or not, everything is dark except for the livid fire and lightning and he pumps the golden wings wildly, desperately, legs clawing at the air spinning 'round him. There is no through, no down, there is only up, and so he goes, chasing after the brightness ahead without knowing what it might be. 

    The nightmare storm is collapsing around him, crushing him with blind panic and a familiar voice that calls him back again and again. Beryl's son hesitates at her call and the storm drags him back down, below the surface of that bloody lake. He chokes and flails, the taste of iron on his tongue like a memory when he parts his lips to speak.

    "This is not real," the gold-dashes stallion says, wasting his last bubbling breath on defiance. The reminder breaks the nightmare's spell, the blood becomes cloud again and he lunges upward, up and - at last - out, panting in the thin blue air so far above the mountains and the horrific boiling storm. 

    Image by Lark.Bliss

    please SCROMBL his skeleton vision, and darkness manipulation

    She thinks she won’t make it, the way that her heartbeat accelerates in her chest.

    She thinks the pumping organ might explode before she has a chance to even reach the center of the storm, the way she moves as if her life depends on it.

    All the while, nightmares play around her.  A grizzled muzzle snaps inches from her face.  A scream follows, amplified and echoing in the narrowing tunnel of stormcloud she travels.  Her ragged breath is the most prominent sound of all.  She is used to the hitching way her breath catches, used to the heaving of her ribs as they struggle against what nature has given her.  But she is not used to the stakes being so high if she fails.

    The tunnel narrows even more so that she feels the wispy clouds pressing in on her.  The end is just ahead, she sees the hazy darkness that must be the center of this harrowing storm.  But she isn’t sure there will be enough space for her to pass through.  Like a kaleidoscope from hell, the images along the walls become twisted and spin faster as Glaw hurries along.  It’s dizzying, disorienting; the young mare trips and falls through the closing hole at the end of the tunnel.

    The eye of the storm seems blessedly free of nightmares, she sees as she rights herself and tries to catch a breath that will hardly come.  The others are here, though, and she ducks her head despite herself when she realizes that the sound of her haggard breathing will likely annoy them at best.  She flutters her translucent wings in hopes that it will draw some of the attention away.  Their buzzing reminds her of a gentle summer morning in a field of bees and wildflowers.  The image in her mind’s eye slows her racing heart.  She wishes she could project her memory onto the dark walls and brighten it for the others.

    She wishes she could replace the nightmares that will plague them instead.

    All at once, just when the chestnut girl thinks their trial is over, something tugs at a long lock of her red hair.  Whether it is another nightmare or a stirring of the wind, it soon doesn’t matter.  The dark clouds begin to move again around them.  Small gusts quickly become forceful gales as their sanctuary becomes a prison instead. 

    Glaw’s eyes instinctively search out the others, but they are all soon lost in the swirling storm.  Wind tears at her buzzing wings that struggle to keep her aloft.  She sees the tail of another participant and tries to follow it up and away from their once-safe spot.  Her shoulders scream with the effort as the air batters her to and fro.  “Wait!”  The tail is slurped up into the living storm like a bird to a worm.  A pointed tongue licks the now empty air in apparent satisfaction.  She doesn’t know if it had been real or another nightmare.  She doesn’t know even if any of it is real anymore. 

    Maybe she is in the meadow now, having a bad dream?  Perhaps she will wake up and she will see how silly this had all been, something bad that her head made up to forget the real nightmares she had already lived.  Maybe she should let herself wake up.  And how do you normally wake up from nightmares?

    If she dies in the dream, she will wake up and it will be over.  Glaw suddenly gives herself over to the violence of the howling storm.  She loosens her muscles and lets her wings hang limp.  It yanks her midair from one side of the storm to the other like a puppet.  She feels the very wind pummeling and bruising her.  This is the way, she thinks at first, this isn’t real, can’t be.  Because the storm no longer feels like just a storm.  It feels sentient, the way it seeks to hurt her.  It feels alive in a way that rattles her to her bones.  I have to die to wake up, she thinks, but her confidence begins to slip as her will to live - to survive as she always has - starts to take over.

    She had been falling deeper into the center of the tornado without using her wings, but now she pumps them with everything that she has. She grits her teeth so hard she thinks they will crack and crumble in her mouth.  Little progress is made upward.  The storm is relentless in trying to push her down.  Her muscles scream against it.  She screams, too, in futility into the howling, hurricane air.  It is clear she will never make it up and out. Then the answer comes to her.

    Glaw gives in for the second time and falls.

    She controls the drop this time, as much as she can, fights against the wind to avoid the worst of the violence.  As if reading her mind, the tornado throws everything it can at her.  Gruesome images flash one after the other at her in blinding speed as she descends madly into the growing gloom.  At the end, when she thinks her wings will snap from the force, she sees her mother’s face reflecting back at her.
    She cries out and falls through the tornado’s dark, angry clouds. 


    She has dragonfly wings (from the quest) that can be scrambled or sunny side up (egg humor)
    The last of the scream is still in Myrna’s throat when she breaks through the heart of the storm. Her heart is racing, and adrenaline has expanded her pupils so her eyes are wild black, with only the thinnest line of blue grey iris against the sea of rolling white. The muscles of her wings and shoulders ache with exhaustion from flight, and the sudden dead air is a shock.

    She stops, or perhaps is stopped.

    Ahead of her is a fairy, and around her are six others. She does not have time to look at them, to ask what is happening, why there is nothing here at all. Instead, her attention is fixed on the spinning creation ahead. She feels within it a sickeningly familiar tentacles and a nauseating wrongness. The sensation grows as the tornado swells, and Myrna realizes that she has been moving back in the still air without thought.

    By the time the cyclone spins toward her, Myrna is ready. She folds her wings and dives, angling her body away from the funnel shaped storm, diving through the still column of air. Her body protests, wings sore even before these strenuous stunts.

    There is no time at all for her to process what had happened, what the fairy had done, not when she is fighting for her life. Not when the wind rips at her body, or when a gust turns instead to black vines, tangling her left foreleg with her wing, sending her spiraling and tumbling through the air and burns in the fire lit by eyes in hollow sockets.

    Myrna’s eyes roll back.


    The taunting name startles her awake and why is the ground coming toward her so quickly and poof she was instead the tiniest of snowflakes, a shape from her childhood. A good shape to survive a massive fall, but a poor one in when pursued by a demonic, fear-fueled tornado that whips her immediately back upward.

    Myrna nearly loses herself a half dozen times before she can shift completely. But when she does there is the inescapable sense that something has changed. Something of herself, though the form she takes is the same winged palomino as before. This time she heads straight back through the storm, for even nightmares are easier to face than whatever that…thing is that the Fairy had made.

    Please scramble her enhanced beauty, glowing markings, kelpie mimicry, and happiness induction!
    cause if we don’t leave this town
    we might never make it out --

    He is not sure what he had expected to find at the center of the storm, but the way his heart had begun to beat harder in anticipation told him that he was not expecting it to be anything good.

    It’s why he is surprised when the nightmares begin to loosen their hold on him just slightly, his moonlit wings thrusting him into the eye of the storm, and into the eerie calm. A soft exhale loosens the tightness in his chest, but the relief is short-lived. It could not possibly be this simple. Daring to survey his surroundings, he half expects some kind of monster to explode into the center with them, but instead only the uneasy quiet remains.

    It does not last long.

    He almost does not notice the change at first. The nightmares continue to churn around them, a medley of indistinguishable sounds that spin together. But above the voices there soon comes another sound — wind, dull at first, but gathering in volume as the spinning of the nightmares does the same. The sanctuary of tranquility begins to shrink, and he feels himself being sucked in by the vortex of nightmares and the tornado-force winds. He can no longer decipher the individual nightmares now as they clamor around him, washing over him in a tidal wave of fear and panic, of monstrous growls and screams of terror. The strength of the wind only further feeds into the chaos, and he can feel a swell of panic rising in his chest.

    All around him is darkness, save for the silver glow of his moonlit wings. He looks up, searching for where the funnel widens up into the sky. He cannot tell from down here if it is daylight or night, the sky appearing to be only a pinprick from down here where he drowns beneath the nightmare and wind. But he thrust upwards with his wings, ignoring the feel of everything that tries to drag him back down—shadowed claws and writhing tentacles, the feeling of something trying to tear at the magic in his veins. It prods at the lunar protection as if trying to grab hold of it, and something in him shifts, a moment of clarity in the chaos.

    He pulls at the light from his wings, and though it is weaker than if he were to use light from the moon itself, he wraps himself in a shield. It is enough to slow the assault of nightmares, to dull the strength of the wind trying to suck him back down to the bottom of the twisting tornado. Exhaustion once more threatens to turn his bones to lead and his muscles to rubber, but he continues to force his way through the churning mass that had seemingly taken on a life of its own. He thought he had caught a glimpse of the others traveling upwards—the logical route, of course, to that bright dot of sky where the clouds were still angry but not a seemingly living entity of terror. But Tiernen instead uses his shield to force his way through the direct mass of the storm, that predatory drive and need to overpower rising above the urge to run. His eyes harden and his teeth grow sharp, an almost feral snarl pushing down the panic and the urge to kill taking its place.

    Only he does not have a live prey to focus his anger on, only the storm.

    When he finally bursts from the side of the tornado his skin is once more drenched in sweat, the lunar shield fading away almost immediately due to the already meager control he'd had of it, and it takes all of his strength to keep himself hovering on his ever weakening wings.

    -- tiernen.

    listen, i did not proofread this at all, so if it doesnt make sense, he used his lunar protection to create a shield and just forced his way out of the tornado.

    also pretty please scramble his carnivore and love illusionism, thank you!

    I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
    tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife

    He keeps moving, trying not to look at anything, trying not to hear anything. Focusing on his steps. He reaches the center, and while he doesn’t know what he expected, it certainly wasn’t this…this nothing. He stands quietly, unsure how to proceed. He looks back, but the trail behind him is gone, the clouds merged back together, and he thinks if he tries to run back the way he came, he would find something solid blocking his path.
    And then the clouds move. And keep moving, faster now, and there are glimpses of more things in the rapidly-growing wind – tornado? – and Sleaze forces himself to look, to watch. The temptation to close his eyes against the nightmares is thick in him, but he ignores it.
    The tornado swells, and the feathers on his new wings ruffle, his mane tossing against his neck. It’s almost pleasant, for a moment, and then the strength of the wind increases, and Sleaze has to fight to stay upright. He knows this is a fight he will lose, eventually, but he fights nonetheless.

    The tornado grows, as do the nightmares. The wind whips at his face as his eyes water. A gust hits him, hard, and he stumbles sideways – right into something solid.
    He looks, and meets the figure’s orange eyes.
    Garbage – his dream-father, his nightmare-father – stands and looks at him. Garbage’s mane is unmoving, and he stands unaffected by the tornado around him.
    “Sleaze,” his father murmurs softly, and Sleaze shouldn’t be able to hear it, not against the howl of wind and screams that the tornado shrieks out, but he does. Because Garbage is a dream, isn’t he? A nightmare?
    “Follow me,” Garbage says, and he turns, begins to walk, and Sleaze follows. He fights for each step, but he manages it.
    The clouds part for Garbage in a way they did not for Sleaze. Because Garbage belongs here, in this strange world of nightmares. Sleaze wonders, briefly, if it was because Garbage was always so plagued by nightmares, or because he caused plenty himself.
    (Certainly Sleaze had many a night where he dreamed, again and again, of waking up to find his father gone. He will never forget how hard his heart had pounded in his chest, how he had shouted his father’s name until the words crumbled to dust in his mouth.)
    They continue to move, and eventually they are far enough away that the wind doesn’t reach them.
    “You look different,” Garbage says, and Sleaze barks a laugh at the casual absurdity of this remark. He does, of course – he was black when his father left, not purple, and the wings are still new even to him.
    “You don’t,” Sleaze says, unsure how to properly make small talk with the dream-slash-nightmare manifestation of his father in this nightmare-cloud.
    A few steps more, and Sleaze asks the question that’s been rattling in his mind ever since he first saw his father here.
    “Are you dead?” he asks. This time it’s Garbage who laughs.
    “I don’t know,” he says, “I die here. Over and over again. But I come back and live it again.”
    Sleaze shudders. Garbage keeps talking.
    “I don’t usually…it’s the same. I’m with Agetta and then there’s monsters and the river. And we can’t change it. Neither of us can. Usually we don’t…realize it’s happening again. And again. But something’s different here. With you.”
    Sleaze doesn’t know how to respond to his father’s purgatorial existence. He wonders if all the nightmares are sentient in this way. He wonders if somewhere there is a version or versions of him, living out different horrors on repeat. He walks faster.
    “Where are we going?” he asks.
    “The edge,” Garbage responds. Sleaze decides not to inquire further.

    They reach a small clearing that looks much like the center Sleaze had stumbled into, but this place is quiet. Sleaze strains for the sound of the nightmares, but they sound distant, far away. He looks at his father, whose form has begun to flicker.
    “Here,” Garbage says. His voice is quiet and Sleaze has to strain to hear him. Garbage’s form fritzes out again, for several seconds this time, and then he reappears.
    “I love you,” Garbage says, and there is a distortion to the words now, a warping. Sleaze moves forward, tries to touch his father, embrace him, but he passes through him, feeling only a faint charge, like the shock of static electricity.
    “I love you too,” Sleaze says, pulling back, looking at his father’s flicking shape.
    “I-” Garbage begins, but then the form flickers again and this time it doesn’t return. Sleaze lets out a cry, moves into the space where his father had been, but there is nothing, no shock, no form. Garbage is gone, and Sleaze is at the edge.
    He squeezes his eyes shut against the tears.
    He steps forward, and then he’s falling, tumbling back to earth.


    please scramble his electric induction, acid generation, and jaguar mimicry (carried)

    The stillness that had settled, that they had all seemed to find after surviving the storm of nightmares, feels wrong. The air that hangs around seems to cloy at her dark skin, already damp with sweat of the excursion that they had just endured. Something in Areane wants to believe that after something so terrible, surely what comes after can’t be worse.

    Her amethyst eyes glance around those gathered within the eye of the storm, searching for some kind of assurance to this thought. They all look like her, dazed and unbelieving, haggard and tired. It has to be over, she thinks. They survived the worst and now the storm must dissipate.

    She finally looks to the Fairy that had summoned them all, hoping that what she would find waiting there would be a comfort. It’s all she wants now, to fly away from the nightmares and seek out the embrace of something solid. A shoulder, the ground, just something that isn’t a wild wind full of horrors.

    But the clouds begin to shift in warning, circling around them like a predator might. It is the first time that she has ever felt trapped in the sky and her chest tightens, constricting her earlier hope. It comes closer and closer, wrapping around them tighter and tighter, unforgiving in the choice that it offers them: wait to be swallowed or decide to brave the vortex. It will come for her either way.

    So Areane dives down, thinking for a moment that she might slip low enough to escape the harsher currents. But it yanks her, turning her sleek form around and around, almost taunting her for believing that she had any control in this situation. Her body twists and turns in so many directions it feels impossible that she could still be whole. When she gains the ability to open her dark wings again, Areane does her best to push herself up.

    For every stroke that lifts her, there is another gust of air that sends her tumbling down further.

    Tears have begun to form and they leak from her eyes, moving down her face as fast and furious as she wished could fly. This is how it ends, she thinks. Her first real adventure - her first chance at proving that she was ready to be something more than just a daughter or a sister - and she is failing. She is failing and falling; it is a descent towards doom and her beginning will be gone before she has even had a chance to know any sort of ending.

    This is her true nightmare: she will never amount to anything.

    There are tentacles that wrap themselves around her forelegs. The glowing eyes of a monster still torment her from the shadowy walls of the storm. Something strikes her and Areane can smell her blood in the damp and angry air. It would be easier to fall than to keep suffering from this. Defeat is so close, and she is so tired.

    Areane begins to close her eyes, letting her body succumb to the gale swirling all around her. Now, the sensation prickling at the edges of her tired wings seems to say. She keeps spinning, having no notion of what was up and what was down. The world was a blur. It was swallowing her whole, and yet, the awareness came again. Go, it seemed to say.

    These feelings were always fleeting, never lasting more than a moment. But Areane had never fought them before, and having such little fight left in her, she gives one last effort. Her onyx wings open wide and she follows the feeling, battling against the sense of drowning despite being in the air.

    Up (or perhaps down) she goes, struggling until the darkness leeches away and the storm rages without her.

    please scramble her lunar glowing and immortality!


    She flies with a desperation borne of a fear she had never known before today. That desperation drives her, spurring her forward until she reaches the eye of the storm of nightmares. She nearly flies through it in her blind haste to escape, but the sudden lack of resistance brings a semblance of clarity to her.

    With her breath a harsh rasp in her lungs, she looks around her, eyes still wide and wild. It takes an embarrassingly long moment for the confusion to register. Empty. The eye is devoid of any secrets, empty of anything that looks like it could assist in fixing her home. In the wake of that confusion, a strange sort of hollowness settles low in her stomach, her chest curiously heavy in the revelation that there truly is nothing.

    A part of her wants to believe she had simply been too slow, but another part of her that she isn’t sure she wants to acknowledge understands there likely never had been anything to begin with.

    Illis’s disquiet is not so great that it leaves her insensate however. Her attention is swiftly caught when the clouds around her begin to swirl faster, compressing into deadly spirals. Her dread returns with a vengeance as she turns, frantic gaze seeking any break in the thick wall of spinning nightmares.

    Except there is none. No break in the clouds, no opening to release her from certain death.

    In her panic, she almost forgets where she is at. The eye of the storm. When realization dawns, she quickly jerks her gaze up, heart pounding as though it could leap straight through her ribcage. Yes! Far above her, the eye stretches, offering brief glimpses of freedom.

    She jerks upwards, wings straining as she pumps them with as much strength and speed as she can muster. The eye narrows the further up she flies, stray gusts of wind threatening to buffet her right into spiraling walls of the tornado. Her breath grows thin inside her chest, but still she flies. She flies until, abruptly, she breaks free from the storm’s tenacious clutches. And then she flies some more.

    It isn’t until her head has grown so light from the fading air of the heavens she fears she might faint that she begins her descent. As she drifts downwards, she gives a wide berth to the storm that had given her far too much knowledge of the world she inhabits.


    Please scramble her expressed glowing markings and wings and her carried shadow creature and panther shifting. Thank you!!! <3

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