The sands shift

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Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#21 Post by Feruka » Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:04 pm

Choices.
Is there a choice when vows have been made?
When the balance of the holy ones is at stake?
Technically, yes. Both the Irenya Leafshade and the Meriwether confirm. Yet that any other choice than following the path would mean living with being an oathbreaker, does not seem to come across.

Also both are naming friendships.
A tangled web this has become.
Now there is an understanding why the Wildering would not want this one connected with others. There are different expectations when one is dubbed friendly. There are so many more ways to look at other than the simple line in the sands. There is speaking on all sides of this one remaining, returning, belonging.

Ra-den, keep this one whole. There is such learning needing to be done in order to honor these bonds! There is much confusion between the words of the holy ones. Surely this is something the mind simply has to get into order. It can be done. It will be done. The words will all fit together once the picture is clear.
It has to.
The head cannot fathom it. The body is tired. Something has to happen soon before there is no reserves left. There is no time to leave the days. Each passing of the sun must be used. There needs to be instructing the provider or there can be no leaving!

Ra-den, keep the Wildering whole. Let this one be succesful so the Rose will be with the holy one! With the extinction of the Keepers new paths will have to be sought. Perhaps the Wildering can see that path may be here, in Ra-den's own city!
Perhaps there will not be a duality.
Perhaps there will be openness and with that, options.

Ra-den, hear this plea.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#22 Post by Feruka » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:14 pm

Pack.
Was this a joke too?
Somehow, no.
It resonates with the words from the others yet again.

Pack.
True?
The Zacharia has a tribe.
The Wilsby, the Irenya Leafshade and the watcher have the stars' light.
The Meriwether speaks of 'we'. So there is tribe too.

How does this one fit.
A cloak, healing, teachings. There cannot be denying.
But can there be connecting?

There is flow. But it is hard to read, the Wilsby says.
Not an answer.
No answer to the push.
The answer must lie in the Rose.
It is the lost balance that must be the cause of it.

Pack.
There can be no disappointing.
It must be worked out.
Worked at.

It will all fit.
It will come together.
It must.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#23 Post by Feruka » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:56 pm

It is quite possible that jokes are not being recognized. There are questions on how a troll threatening an ancient is considered a joke. There has been recruiting of the Zacharia Cronnwell to support against the threat. Yet the sun-touched had it right: it was not true.
Confirmed in less kind words by the man behind the door.
There is understanding for a lack of patience when it is not customary to wake up at such a time.

There is less understanding for these jokes.
It makes one look very incompetent.
It feels...wrong...to have involved the Zacharia over nothing. There is enough ongoing without adding unnecessary actions.

Perhaps there is impatience here too.
The tiredness is not leaving.
The arm still does not allow for much.
There must be speaking with the Wildering on many things.
There is a feeling of slipping.
Time to set things right again.
Talking will be good.
---

The Wildering watches the desert girl close in.
He frowns.
There is a difference in her stance, in her attitude. He tries to sniff out the situation.
And is rewarded by an invasion up the nose from a firm dose of lemon soap.

A large sneezing session further he can finally catch his breath. "What is the meaning of this!" He barks.

Feruka bows, going down on one knee. "There is the need to neutralize a scent dangerous to the holy ones." She offers.

"Then why are you involved with that." Comes the low answer.

"A direct request from the provider."

It sounds so matter of factly that it stirs up a suspicion. “Tell me more.”

The veiled discontent almost makes the girl wince. “There has been a call for a Keeper.” She starts. This will undoubtedly explain. No call can go unheeded.

A low growl. “Are...you...” His claws curl up. “...taking up the call?”

“Of course.” This is what she has been taught. The call cannot be ignored. It will upset the balance in many ways. This is why she is in the world. This is her task. And with the Wildering not wishing to see her in daytime hours, it works out well enough time-wise. If anything it makes her feel useful when trainings go beyond her.
It is good.

A roar!

She stiffens. Not good?

“You are not focussed!” He growls. The worgen notices her breath and heartbeat speeding up. Good. She should know who has the last word in this. “How can...” He smirks at her with something akin to pity. “...an incomplete Keeper think to hold two holy ones? Hm? Have you made the pact yet?”

He sincerely doubts it. Unless there is a worgen out there with the same skill set.

Feruka frowns. “There...is learning of the folding and unfolding.” She states carefully.

“Has the provider succeeded yet?” He pushes.

She bows her head. “Not yet.”

“Then he never will.” It sounds very satisfied.

Feruka moves her head, obviously questioning this statement.

Her demeanour is good enough as it is. Time to show understanding again. The Wildering lowers himself. “Tell me again what you have learned.” His voice is soft now, coaxing.

She swallows, finding her mouth quite dry again. There is nothing to be afraid of. He wishes her to improve, to learn. To be a Keeper. “There is a need for the Keeper to keep the balance. There is a need for the Keeper to anchor the holy ones. For this the anchor shall be tested. Only when proven to unfold, will the anchoring work. This ensures the rightness of the bond. This ensures the true balance and will keep the false...” She stops.

“Go on.”

“ It will keep the false prophets at bay.” She swallows, realizing the words are much more than a phrase. “But the shifters...”

“Are all as the Anubisathians visage, I know.” He almost purrs. “But there are differences that we had no chance to discuss yet. It seems we will have to speed up your learning if we are to succeed.”

Differences.
This sounds much like what the Meriwether has been teaching her.
Trying to show the Wildering that she has not been lacking learning, she tries: “There are lines. The Anubisathians on the one end of the line do not touch the world of the mortals. Or at least they are not anchored in it. There may be interactions, but the far ones are not bound by these laws.”

She peeks up to see if she can continue. The Wildering folds his arms, listening. She takes it as confirmation: “There are those walking the line, as the Wildering is, wishing to help this world but needing the anchor not to slip away to the other realm. Then there are those who have gotten lost in this mortal world for reasons unknown. They disappear in dispair for what they have lost.”

Feruka nods. It is as close to a translation into what she knows to be true from the Meriwether’s words as she can manage.

A rumble sounds from the Wildering. Is it laughter? Something else?

“Well..that is one way of putting it. And where did you pick up this piece of knowledge, hm?” Actually, it’s a pretty fair representation. Not even a lie either. It suits the large worgen. It suits him very well.

“There is one....” Feruka hesitates. “The trader has no Keeper. There is no need for a Keeper. There is balance. There is transcending the lines. This is where the knowledge has been shared.”

His jaw drops. That bit of interpretation is not exactly what he expected. Of course the other worgen might not understand Feruka’s talk of Keepers and they might deny needing one, but to have his desert dweller fall straight into a translation that places this trader on equal footing?
His mind is going fast. No, she is actually placing him in a completely different field! Work needs to be done on securing his own connections now, or he might risk the entire story.

“No keeper needed. Such an honor.” He grits his teeth. “Such an honor for the Keeper to be able to talk to one of such status. A shame they won’t understand mortals. They do not keep to the same rules, after all. Be careful, Keeper. Be very ,very careful that you are not blinded by the divine. Not all those in the immortal realm have the same goals. It might be you would be used for something that will cost you more than your life. Be aware. Stay alert. It is a good thing that we have the Pact, hm? The anchor works both ways, after all.”

He huffs. A line to the Rose. He needs to reinforce the importance. She has not mentioned it once this talk. “It is good you are going after the Rose soon.” With a groan he sits down. “You will have noticed the shift, hm? It’s been too long.” A slow shake of his head. “Keeper...I do not know how long I can hold on to this realm. And I can tell...I can tell that you too are feeling the burden grow. Tell me...”

A claw lands on her shoulder. Why does he pick the wrong one each time? She clenches her jaws.

“Tell me, do you feel tired a lot?” He sounds so sincere, his voice so worried.

Feruka nods. There is no denying that. There are days she feels like her head will burst from trying to piece all the information together.

“The lines are fading. If we cannot fold the rose soon, all will have been for nothing. All the sacrifices...” He leaves the rest of the remark hanging.
He does not need to fill it in.
She knows the rest.

Feruka breathes in deeply. “But...”

Almost he groans. There she goes again! Will she ever just accept his wisdom?

“If the anchor ...if the pact will not work with the provider...”

“It means he is a false one!” The Wildering snarls. If he cannot get her to doubt about the one, he will damn well get her away from the next.

She blinks. Her mind rebels. “Or perhaps the city of Storms has different goals for those who have their homeplace here.” She muses out loud. The girl wants to understand how this works. The Philias can’t be a false one. It does not add up. Not with the care for all others. Not when he is with all the others who are clearly on the lines or beyond! He could have just...not asked to have a Keeper and get away with it.
No, it does not add up.

It is time for the worgen to clench his jaws. He needs to work this carefully. Too many questions in this one. Too damn many. “It is true...the city can have an impact, certainly one which has been named for the Lord of Storms. Perhaps anchors work differently here. But...again...be aware, Keeper. You are attuned to Tarvalion. None other.”

She bites her lip, unseen under the veil. It is a good thing she has not spoken of the challenge the Meriwether posed, or his knowing of the other holy one.

“None other.” She echoes. Yet her mind is working overtime. The provider has asked for help. He needs the anchor. She will find a way. If this is the city of change, then this is the city where it can happen! The Wildering just said so!

“So there would be only Keeper to this one.” She moves her good arm to point at the Wildering. “But there could be supporting another.” She’s not letting it go. Answers need to be gotten.

“Just...stay alert.” He nods. Nothing much he can do in one go. But the seed of doubt has been planted. Of that he is certain. “Stay alert and come to me in times of doubt. You will know to find me. I just...I can’t promise to travel to the Sands with you, child. You may feel the tiredness...to me...it is like a fading. At least here, near Ra-den’s own city, I may find enough to hold on to until the Rose has been found.

Feruka perks up as far as that is possible under the weight of the large claw. Now this is good information! That means...if the Rose cannot be found as the Irenya Leafshade has mentioned, there is still a chance of finding another solution! Maybe then he will finally allow her to bring him in to the other shifters. There is so much to learn there, so much skill and wisdom! They could teach him how to live on the line without being drained!
Without her being drained.
Ra-den’s might, she feels even more exhausted than before, even if this talk may have given her something to hold on to.

There is a shift under his claw. The Wildering narrows his eyes. This is an obvious sign of thinking going on. Does he want to know?
Probably not.

“Now, go. Make this happen, Keeper. Save us both.”

Shakily she gets up and bows. Her arm is aching, her head spinning. But in her heart lies hope.
Hope for a balance in her own life.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#24 Post by Feruka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:56 am

Feruka blinks once.
Twice.
And then the trader is gone.

Taint?
Fel?

It was predicted. It has come to pass: the two holy ones are locked in challenge, contradicting each other directly.
Feruka's mind is going haywire. Does this mean the entire expedition is off? No, she will go alone if need be. But...fel? She knows it is a bad thing, for the trader has been working on cleansing said weeds. His reaction says the rest.

The Wildering warned her. He warned her she would be used for other purposes. Of false prophets
Yet the Meriwether warned her of the exact same thing!
How?
She has been with the Wildering since birth! It has always been a clear path!
Is this the difference between the anchored ones and the free ones? But then how does it work? They both seem to want to balance the world.
The provider mentioned not to scare her. The Wilsby did not say anything at all. It would probably not have helped if anything else was said.
Too much to think on.
Too much.
The Meriwether was so angry! There was much resemblance to the Wildering in that moment. It only serves to confuse the situation more.

If this is the ultimate test, she is not very succesful at tackling it yet. She can't go back to the barracks now! If there is an actual taint, it would mean a danger to them. She can't risk it. But how? Was it the plant after all?
Her mind is going in endless circles while her feet bring her to the one place where she knows she will encounter no worgen: the abbey.

Next to the rose bush she promised to protect the girl sags down, cloak pulled around her against the night's cold. Trying to go back to the beginning of the conversations tonight all she can do is come to the conclusion she knows nothing.
Absolutely nothing.
With all she has learned in the homelands, she is like a newborn in these lands. Gilneas is up north, in the Eastern Kingdoms. It is apparently not a place in the Sands. In fact, the Philias has only been to the sands a few times as a visitor.
It did not agree with him.
How?
What else has she misinterpreted, thinking it all made sense in what she does know?
Nothing is certain.
Her entire being is drawn to return to the Wildering right now.
But the challenge is out.
She is the Keeper.
And if there is a taint, she cannot infect any of the shifters!
There will need to be speaking with one of the ancients instead.

Her head is hurting bad.
She can't stop shaking.
Sleep is hard to come by this night.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#25 Post by Feruka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:47 pm

So.
Apologies will be made.
Many.
For things spoken and assumed.
For taking truth-searching for anger in the Meriwether.
For assuming a position that does not exist.
For taking ...so much wrong.

The watcher has spoken.
The watcher has taught.
Now
There is no Feruka'l Tarvalion.
And yet the Rose shall be found.
And more answers.
Before this one ruins more.

The Meriwether had it right: balance has been lost.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#26 Post by Feruka » Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:04 pm

It has never been with a more heavier step that Feruka finds her way back to the Wildering. So many conversations have followed the initial questioning from the Meriwether. So many shifts in the balance, if there was any to begin with.
More concrete questions have formed after the conversations with three druids, The Leafshade, the watcher, the trader; three such different people, yet all pointing her in the same direction.
Falsehoods.
A false life.

It is with great fear that she approaches the area.
Fear for what she might discover.
Fear for reactions.
Fear for emptiness after.

There has been a checking for new fel contamination after several meets. Nothing came of it. Now...she needs to face the Wildering.

She is tired.
So very, very tired.
There has been no time to actually sit down and think, feel what this all means. With the timeline and the plans ahead she needs to stay concrete, active. It is no use looking at all the information she apparently missed. She needs to work with what she’s got right now.

A deep breath.

“Keeper.” The familiar voice growls low. “You have been absent. There was a need.”

She cringes a little. The roots of old formalities run deep.

“There were situations.” She bows her head.

“Do you have the people to reclaim the Rose?” He demands to know.

Feruka nods. “There will be speaking with the travellers later on the day.”

“Then what was the situation?” He lifts his large head.

“New information leads to questions.” Her heart is beating faster. Is she imagining it or are his fangs now more visible than before?

“Ask.” There is nothing much he can do to stop her anyway.

Another deep, deep breath. “Where is Gilneas?”

Silence.
Cold silence.
“Ah.” He is thinking fast. The girl is a follower. There are ways to turn this. He should beware of how he fits this in. “Gilneas...where the lesser ones went...yes... I know of the place.” He nods sagely. “It is far to the north from here. What of it? Did you encounter some of the lost ones?”

“What makes a lesser one?”

He frowns. “You have learned that already. Those lost to the Keepers.”

“The Ancients were their Keepers. There was bringing of balance.” Feruka insists.

“Then why are they not still there!” He snaps.

“There has been meeting of the Gilneas shifters.” Once on a path, she has been taught to pursue. By the Wildering.

“Then you must have noticed the vast differences.” The Wildering grits his teeth. What has gotten into her? He should have taken her away from here when he had the chance! Much easier back in the Sands to keep the world a small, stable place!

“Indeed.” Feruka frowns.

The worgen interprets her frown differently, believing he is pulling her back in. He kneels down in front of her. “I...would not ask you to sacrifice your time and skills if it was not necessary, Keeper. I know how important you are to me. You...know how important you are to me. Without you, I would not be able to walk this realm.”

The frown remains. “Why?”

“Huh?”

“Why would there be walking this realm when the divine can accomplish so much more.”

“I would not be allowed.” He counters.

“Why?”

“Because it is the way of things! We are not supposed to meddle in mortal affairs!”

“Then why is the Wildering here?”

“Because I CARE!” He hisses. “Don’t you remember? Hm? The Rose was lost and the world went dark! I know the workings of the balance.” He stops, taking a deep breath. Her questions are getting to him. There is a different undertone.

Feruka swallows. She remembers the dark.

He pushes through: “Why do we keep moving?”

She takes a deep breath: “The essence of life is movement, for without movement, there is no life.”

“We allow for that essence, Keeper. Without it, life is lost.”

Feruka continues, stubbornly, rigidly afraid: “The essence of movement is time, for everything moves through time.”

The Wildering frowns now. “Your point?”

“The essence of time is life, for without life, who would notice time moving?” She finishes the saying, tilting her head.

“Yes. Good. Now then. You see the importance.”

“The essence of the divine...”

“Yes?”Caution creeps in his voice.

“Without life, who would notice the divine?” She quearies. “Is there not a vested interest for the divine to restore balance to the Sands?”

He snorts.
He actually snorts. “I do not think there will be much care for those no longer invested in the mortal world.”

It all sits unease with the girl. There are no satisfying answers. Perhaps she is asking the wrong questions. “What will happen when the Rose returns?”

“We will restore balance with it.”

“There...hm.”She ponders how to phrase this. “The Rose is not here, yet the Wildering is. How?”

He narrows his eyes. A claw lands on her shoulder. “Because of you. You are my Keeper. You are my anchor. With the Rose we will accomplish so much more. We are both...out of balance, wavering, obviously. The Rose will grant clear focus. It will bring us back to strength.” His grip tightens.

The girl winces. Pain shoots through her shoulder down. It is so hard to think with that heavy weight on the healing arm. Somehow her questions disappear. She is just...tired.

Feruka
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:20 am

Re: The sands shift

#27 Post by Feruka » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:46 pm

It has been confirmed.
There is fel involved.
Yet how much of it is conscious? There would never be harming from the Wildering. This is a certainty. There has been no chance to speak of it.
There has been no chance created to speak of it.
The coward's way.
There is no wish to bring the Wildering down. None at all.
There has been care and teaching all these years.
Now the Rose shall be returned and then...then there shall be seeing about a future.

The arm is finally healing. Training has been taken up. There is much to catch up on, but it is not allowed to do it all just yet. So, more observing. And some training.
Including the spear.
The words of the watcher and of the Leafshade are taken to heart. Even if the Wildering demands it and the Zacharia Cronnwell clearly approves, the warhammers are still not as effective as the spear.
So there shall simply be double learning.

There has been no chance for an observed meeting.
This...is a good thing.
It felt like betrayal.
There is gladness the Wildering has already moved. Also a sense of pressing time. There must be moving soon.

Would the Rose truly be tainted in the hands of another? What if this one would hold it for the watcher and the trader to explore? It would still be delivered to the Wildering.
It would still be whole.
Or is this another fel-situation, but with a different energy?

There was a difference in touch last time.
A gentle one.
So soft.
Yes, there is gladness the observed meet did not happen. There are things to speak of once the pressure is gone.
Time to move.

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