[MON PLOT] Chapter 1: Hiraeth
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#1





MONSTERS OF THE NIGHT
Chapter One
Morbus



One day, all of the inhabitants of the forest seemed to have just...disappeared.

Perhaps it is the smell that hangs throughout the woods, worse in some places than others. Has a plague descended on the All-Mother’s land? It is what the crows seem to chant, arriving in Hiraeth in flocks of hundreds.

Silver blood lays in pools among the fields of flowers. The flowers themselves seem to be dying, withering away. With each passing day, more blood appears and in other parts of the territory. The only place that seems to provide safety from the smell is the area around the statue of the All-Mother herself. Perhaps she is trying to stop all of this?

But nothing lasts forever, as each night the blood appears closer and closer to her.





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Valen she/they
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#2

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Speech:#669999

Hiraeth was a place of lush forest and many creatures. It was not unlikely that creatures migrated during the change of the seasons.

But this? This was wrong.

The wildlife had all but left and found itself replaced by crows that called out omen after omen of death and destruction. This was...not how Valen had hoped to begin her time as Queen of the pack, but it was never the less a serious matter that needed attending to. It was one thing for crows to appear every now and again and caw out their feeble tales but it was another to see them arrive by the hundreds.

The Queen stood out at the edge of the wood as morning arose, a dreary and cloudy day ready and waiting to greet her. Crows stood in the fields once green and lush, cawing and screaming as they hopped over dead grass and flowers. She stood out over her land with a look of disbelief and terror as large pools of silver blood dotted their way from the edge of the field inward. But it wasn't just one line. No, she had looked in to that. There were many pools- and they kept appearing. The pack had to be put on lock down; families were ushered to the center of the Heartland where they held their gatherings; it seemed to be the only place the All Mother had power from this evil that plagued her lands. She inhaled sharply as the wretched smells churned her stomach. Something was very wrong, and it was something that needed to be fixed. If her homeland was to survive this plight, they would need all the help they could get.

Somewhere in the distance, the Queen heard footsteps fast approaching. The Raven Queen stiffened as she steeled herself from whatever terror and fear ate at her stomach and heart.

"Something evil has disrupted the All Mother and her Grace. It must be stopped." she began, voice cold and curt. The Queen looked behind her to the newcomer before lifting her head and howling. She'd call for every member willing to step up and fight.

Whatever this was, it was not welcome in her home.




Spirits white as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
when' ere they espied me.


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Tá mo chroí istigh ionat
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Charley She/Her
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#3

As sentry it was his job to survey and watch. But this had crept in without notice and he hadn't been able to find out where it started. It seemed the only prey available for miles were crows, and he really didn't like the thought of crow for a meal in any capacity. They were just too smart, the idea felt too much akin to eating his own kind.

He was literally on his way to the newly appointed Queen Valen, though he could have easily just reported to Kit. Though he had wanted to check in on his childhood friend Valen anyway, and Kit was probably on her way anyhow, when Valen's panicked rallying cry rang through the echoing woods. It brought speed and alacrity to his large paws and in a moment he was by her side, well, towering over her, ready to attack whatever was coming toward them.

"Hey, Kiddo, Welcome back and all." He muttered through his teeth, fur bristling, stance ready.


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#4

Something was wrong in the lands of the All Mother.

Kit knew something was different the moment she rose from the roots of her willow tree, golden eyes bleary with the rare few hours of sleep she only sometimes got. Her eyes widened when a putrid scent hit her nose, jumping to her feet and startling crows from the branches of the willow. She eyed them with surprise. Crows don't normally perch here, she thought, storing the experience at the back of her mind before looking around for the origin of the scent that assaulted her keen sense of smell.

Near her willow flowed a small creek, just shy of being too wide to jump across. Near the banks grew shade lotuses and, as Kit grew closer, she found the smell's source. Blood, surely, but not at all the right color. It was silver, metallic and murky as it lay atop dying flowers and seeped into the creek. She stepped onto the bank, treading close toward the blood and spotting silver slivers from the corner of her eye. Turning, she noted that the normal creek fish that darted through the chilly water were absent and, if one looked close enough, they could spot their bodies collecting near the edge of the water.

Leaning close toward the blood on the nearest lotus, Kit recoiled quickly at the smell. She huffed, backing away and hopping up onto the nearby grasses before heading toward the center of the forest.

It was not the first time she had spotted the blood. Some of her sentries had reported it to her, warranting investigation. She had gone to seen it but the blood was a dead-end. They hadn't known the origin and, at the time, it had been scarce and insignificant. Now, however, it was a problem. Too many crows, too much silver blood, too few animals in the luscious lands of the All Mother. Never before had the blood been so close to her home. How had something--or someone--gotten so close without her noticing?

Scolding herself, the Chief Sentry continued on her way toward the All Mother's statue. She normally prayed every morning (or dawn or night or whenever she could) and at twilight, and sometimes even more often during times of stress. The All Mother was her savior, her lands a sanctuary that it was Kit's duty to protect. And she was failing; she had to beg forgiveness.

However, mid-stride, the Hiraeth Dire spotted the distant form of the new Queen from the corner of her eye. She paused, changing direction quickly when the young Queen howled and arriving just after one of her most annoying sentries, Emrys, did. Her ear twitched when he didn't refer to the former heir to by her proper title, earning him a piercing glare that only lasted a half a second before she came to her queen's side, head bowed and ears turned slightly back as she gazed up at Valen. "I'll increase patrols and do some personal investigating, Your Majesty," she said, "If it is desired, I can also give a few sentries to aid the warriors in gathering civilians into the Heartland."
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Orlaith she/her
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#5
(This post was last modified: January 11, 2019, 12:08:28 AM by Orlaith.)






Blood was flowing. Like sentient rivers, it streamed with life through veins and vessels of those Orlaith called family. All would be dry and barren without All Mother's gifts of water, and nothing would be molded to Her ideas of perfection without clay. Everything that held Hireath together was of Her doing, and it was the life of Hiraethi to uphold their gifts. After all, it was all they ever knew.

But none of them ever imagined waking up to all of their blessings revoked. The chief hobbled out of her den that day, fatigued and confused. A cold prickle swept down her spine as she surveyed her home. Decay and fluids had swept across the land, eating and consuming anything in its path. All that was left behind was a reminder of what once was. Her eyes drifted to the sky, noting that she had found herself in such desperate positions more often than not, and begged her god to meet her gaze. Why are you so silent? Why now?

Perhaps the only way she could show Her unconditional love through all this death and corruption was by creating a circle of purity around Herself. Orlaith found herself here naturally of course, seeking guidance and a reason for why all this was happening, and immediately felt a sense of protection and the Hiraeth she always knew when she approached the statue. Her eyes somberly fell on the face of All Mother, her heart pounding. "Lend us your strength. Do not lose faith in your children. I know that your voices will sound when the time is right. But for the sake of our home... please, don't abandon Hireath. Our people wouldn't outlive the loss. I know, because... because I know without you, we are weak."

Her head lowered in shame as she turned away. With a heavy heart, she climbed up a leaning stone pillar and released a guttural call for any that were nearby and needed sanctuary from the plague. She would ensure that this would be a temporary gathering spot and everyone could make it here safely. Wherever Valen was, Orlaith prayed that she would be swift and cunning. Hiraeth could not be unprepared for anything that might transpire. This was a test; a challenge to strengthen the bond between the new Queen and their All Mother. Blood was flowing.

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