one heartbeat less, the silence is deafening

Sol Nidri

of

9 y/o large Male
© etkri

He awoke from the gleam of pre-dawn glow peeking through the canopies, and wished he hadn’t. The strain of their exodus seemed to compound with each passing day, and the Griffin found it an endless struggle to combat the pessimism that kept looping around back to them. Shadows curled and caressed them, passive and relentless, and the flames necessary to keep hope alive required active effort. There was no room for a lapse in strength.

But the further they ventured from their homelands, the less Xuihcoatl’s fire protected them. Leaving them here, on the cusp of a new land, and the last of their souls being ripped away in the dead of night.

Sol Nidri had carried the body carefully, tenderly, to the mossy bed alongside a small creek that weaved against the descending face of the mountains. The chill of the fading evening battled the creeping sunlight that stole through the holes in the tree line and canopies. That soft orange glow against the deep blue-green of the forest would’ve painted a stunning view, had it not been for the still mass of white feathers at his forepaws.

Every ounce of will was concentrated in the sheer effort to keep those tears in his eyes. N’aniru had been a steadfast and loyal friend, partner, and part of his life, a corvid unlike any others. Granted to him from the Phoenix himself, raised from fledgling, he’d known no other companion than Sol Nidri. 

Here he lay, on a bed of freshly torn grasses formed into the softest of resting places, next to a small kindling breathed to life from the eternal fire the group has brought with them. He deserved this ritual, and more. His passing marked the most recent of dozens since they’d departed.

Dipping his head low, Sol made contact nose to beak, and held it there for a solid minute. Eyes closed. Breaths deep, resisting the quivering sensation of repressed weeping. ”Fly high, soul companion...” How horrible it was for these disciples of the sun to pass in strange lands. Would the gods see them and extend their divine invitations to the flames of the afterlife? 

Pulling back, Sol Nidri sat in silence, for how long he did not know. Small flames licked higher up, starting to wrap around the grasses that encircled the albino raven, casting such a warm and reassuring light onto the sheen of those feathers. It should’ve been enough, to know that soon those flames would consume him and bring his spirit home. 

But it wasn’t.
The emptiness was still there. Overwhelming.

He would never say that though. Devout, the pillar of faith and order sat still, vigilant. Mourning.




set in a dense, temperate mountainside forest about 50 miles east of the Obsidian Cliffs. all Syn Cardrys members welcome, as well as other outsiders. time is vaguely set in early august, early morning, mild weather with a slight chill in the morning air.


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Azar

of

7 y/o large Male
© Kii
This was all just another job to him. He did not understand the ways these wolves thought or acted. Their beliefs were a mystery to him and best left that way. He was not looking to be converted in to some nutjob religion. He was here to get paid and that was it. He could ignore the bullshit that went on in the meantime, even though it was a lot at times. Who'd have thought there would be so much blubbering over a bunch of prey animals anyways?

Shifting his weight, Azar moved forward, patrolling their campsite to ensure there was no danger that threatened to lurk on those unsuspecting wolves. Speaking of crying over prey animals, there was one now. Blue eyes narrowing at the flame colored man, there were no tears that he could see but there didn't need to be any present to see the anguish there. Why? It made no sense at all. Eyes shifting to the flames that consumed the dead creature, an irritated sigh left him.

Stepping forward, his own control over fire made those sacred flames that fed on the deceased turn azure for just a moment to announce his presence. "Bit much, don't you think? Could attract unwanted attention." His words, although unkind, were not entirely harsh either. He just simply did not care for how things were handled, mostly due to not understanding, but these were also his true thoughts. If he was to protect them from whatever they were running from, this seemed like it would only make his job harder.


"Speaking." "Speaking."


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Aulë

of

4 y/o medium Male
© Rare
D
awn had risen, its gilded array of light and blinding colors a thing he had never witnessed before, at least, not as those who lived beneath a stars grace did. It was a moment in which he was caught in a pull of both awe and sadness; to see the night given way to day, where the light and songs of his brethren could not be seen. It had been the first blade, swift and true to his heart when the constellations fell beyond his sight. Even though he knew they remained, knew where each was like the surest of knowledge as one would his own body, it had been a terrible thing. The final severance to what had once been all he knew. A choice, one he did not regret, but a painful one nonetheless.

He knew he would never return.

The warming touch, tender grief of farewell and joy, twas the last sensations he held before there was heat, and brightness, and burning, ringing noise; all around, everywhere. Then cold, stifling stillness, the need, to desperation to get out! This too had been a startling moment of clarity; so many new senses, seeing far duller and yet, so much at once. New sensations of taste and sound, the brush of grass upon paws, the chill in the air where frost yet lingered before warmth crept over like a solar flare, a haze in the night, clear and unfathomably distant, but able to cross that infinite space all the same.

And time; such a strange concept, one that had once meant little to entities that lived forever. To feel lethargy, pain; aching bones after walking, watching the passing of days, a cycle that was both intriguing and strange; alien. It all was... too much. And so, the star wandered, a streaking light in infinite darkness, embraced by nebulous energy by night, phasing through the plane as though he did not belong at all, and seeking connection by day; bound in mortal flesh. With the red bands painting the skys bright, the last of his own aura was fading, sinking into his body until it laid long, hazy strokes against his back.

The brilliant contrast, sharp and bold amongst the trees, made his night eyes naive, but it was the bitter, broiling, salty scent of pain and loss and burning fury that made him aware of them. Most he had encountered were cautious, careful, heavy scented; untrusting in strife that hung torrid upon the earth. The land he had chosen had been a quieter sort, isolated from the wars and terror that seemed all too familiar wherever he looked; yet, it would seem that in the previous days he had passed its borders for the scarred place. Would it have been correct, to pass them by. It was the scent of fire, that drew him; something he had come to know as danger here, where far too many things fell to its teeth. Quiet in his approach, Aulë came close enough to break the cover of the deep foliage, a creature of starlight there at the edge of the suns reach, lilac eyes drawn upon the two wolves, and their coveted fire, licking away at blackened feathers. 
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