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Sludge and floods


Sharazhad

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[color="#2e8b57"][i][b][color="#0000ff"]PLEASE NOTE THIS IS THE STORY LINE!! IT IS NOT FOR DISCUSSIONS!!! [/color][/b]

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[/i][i]On a clear day at Raven's Peace, two young lovers sat beside the lake admiring the calm serenity. Sharazhad, mate of Loreroot's king, happened upon the young couple and offered a magical rose to the girl who graciously accepted and as they sat and chatted, Sharazhad asked if she might practice her magics. The couple Sunfire and Lintara sat watching as Sharazhad performed a fire ring around them as the flames slowly grew taller, she quickly conjured water from the lake to douse the fire, but accidentally mixing earth and water spells together. As the ground underneath them shook, she realized too late that the pressure from the spell would open a rift in the lake bottom casing a flood. The trio quickly hurried from the scene collecting what animals they could and securing them inside and atop Oak Fort. As the water raised and spread from the lake, it covered from the mistletoe bridge to the Defensive Quarters then subsided after a day had passed.

Now an eerie looking sludge has spread across the ground and water, seeping into the roots of Oak Fort and inside. It is unknown where the sludge has come from or what it truly is at the moment. Mya Celestia who has been researching and testing the sludge has come down with a mild cough and itchy nose. Darigan, upon examining the inside of the fort became trapped in the sludge, and the piece of his brain that was removed has been coated in the thick sludge causing fainting spells and fits of carnal hunger. Two days after coming into contact with the mysterious sludge Darigan awoke from a disturbed slumber turning a dark shade of emerald green and searching out the forest for food.Inside the Root of the Matter Inn he could not restrain his carnal dragons hunger as the various patrons sat and chatted, he found his former mentor Sagewoman a partial animal in her own right who'd once taken a chunk from his shoulder in her ferocious cougar form. His shoulder spasmed with the memory as his need for food consumed him, he lunged at her nearly taking off her own shoulder before being trapped in an orb of light by his wife. Her work with the sludge had weakened her greatly and unable to hold him the light orb collapsed and the dragon fell to the floor. Dazed and hungry Darigan noticed a small man who had come from the kitchen. Rumi held over his shoulder a hind quarter of deer that was meant to be dinner, racing out of the Inn, the ravaging Dragon followed pouncing on the meat as the young Rumi tossed it to the ground. Darigan grabbed hold and flew off with his food.
Beware of Oak Fort it seems that the symptoms of coming in contact with the sludge varies from one person to the next

As Mya falls deeper into sickness, the search for answers continues. Before falling ill her research into the samples of sludge uncovered something odd, a mysterious black shard picked from the pile of sludge and dropped into a vile. Sharazhad's memory, sharp as ever fades back to a time of darkness when the Taint ran rapid through the realm infecting and enslaving those it touched in their own hatred. Darigan fearing the worst sends an eager young Rumi to find answers from others that remember that dark time. As he leaves, Rumi advises Darigan that there may be a way to dim the pain and suffering of his wife, and to seek out Asterdai and an item she holds. As he sat with his ailing wife quietly reminding her of her name her friends and her surroundings, Darigan noticed a slight pain in his shoulder and upon closer inspection, a scale had fallen away landing on the floor beside him. What else could happen to these two lovers and the land they so dearly cherish?

As Mya and Darigan clung their their memories and sanity, they sat together beside the lake where it had all began. Mya attempted to reattach the scales that fell from her loving husband as he lay still from exhaustion.

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[/i][i]As Darigan recovered in Ravenhold, Sharazhad and King Firsanthalas sat inside the Defense Quarters discussing the recent events. When mentioning the strange shard, the king becomes curious. His face pales when he sees the shard. As he rubs the scar on his arm, Firs informs her that it's a remnant of the Kris Granos used to spread the taint. It had been lodged in his arm during his rescue of Mya. After digging out the piece from his arm, he'd tossed it in the lake thinking little of it. [/i][/color]
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  • 1 month later...

Rumi observed the sludge and its interactions with his friends for many days. Mya had developed a topical remedy from local plants and lake minerals that seemed to keep Darigan from falling into fits of hunger. The sludge remained in the Oak Fort, but fewer and fewer people seemed to be thinking about it and discussing it. It was clear, however, that the populace of Loreroot knew well enough to stay away from the Oak Fort.

Rumi wandered by the Oak Fort many times, and often felt a strong sense of abandonment. Where there had always been activity and joy, now there was silence. He wondered what power the Oak Fort gave to Loreroot and wondered if that power was diminished by the absence of man and beast. This drove him to great concern and he spoke with Mya to consider solutions.

As he considered his options and his concern became stronger, it occurred to Rumi that perhaps everyone had been quick to conclude that the sludge was dangerous and must be avoided. It had clearly caused difficulty for Mya and Darigan, but they had chosen to fight the infection. Rumi decided to allow himself to become infected and surrender to it. He told Mya that he was considering entering the Oak Fort and remaining inside until he had discovered the nature of the sludge or died in the process. Mya was concerned for Rumi and gave him a jar of the topical remedy she had been giving to Darigan for protection.

Rumi pondered the idea of entering the Oak Fort for several days as he sat in meditation at the Meeting of the Roads. He was sitting in sense meditation one day and heard the familiar sound of a finch that he had followed into Loreroot once before on the day he first spoke with Amoran K Kol. He followed the finch into Loreroot again and found the bird sitting atop a branch of the Oak Fort, singing. He realized that the time had come to enter the Oak Fort. Amoran came to the Oak Fort to meet with Rumi before his entrance and offered to come in to rescue him if necessary. He offered her thanks and prepared to enter.

Rumi slipped off all his clothes and piled them neatly at the base of the tree and dove into Green Lake. He swam out into the lake and back to shore, where he got out and began to apply Mya's topical remedy to his entire body. When he was completely covered, he walked naked into the Oak Fort and sat in a lotus position in the center of the tree.

It did not take long before he became host to the infestation. He sat still, breathing deeply as darkness surrounded his entire body until he could no longer see. The singing finch faded away as a steady pounding beat filled his ears. The air he breathed became thick and foul. He felt an earthward pressure that became more and more intense and his nerves began to feel an intense penetrating pain like fire and ice. This experience became more and more intense until Rumi fell unconscious, remaining in stasis in a lotus position in the center of the tree.

For two weeks Rumi sat inside the tree, periodically regaining consciousness and losing it again. He would wake up to relive a memory from his past before becoming aware that he was inside the Oak Fort. With every realization of his present reality inside the Oak Fort came the onslaught of the pounding and the pressure and the pain. Initially this would quickly send him straight back into unconsciousness, but with each experience, he remained aware for longer periods of time. As he learned to surrender his body and mind, he would experience sensations of euphoria before being dragged back to the agony as his mind tried to retake control.

After some time and practice, the periods of euphoria transformed into a subtle communication from the invader of his body and the Oak Fort. Through these auditory and visionary communications, he slowly came to understand that the sludge was the reproductive gamete mass of an underwater being, similar to the pollen of the land plants. The mass was in the process of seeking its counterpart for the purpose of reproductive creation when it was swept from the deep up onto the land. It sought to return to the deep.

Rumi struggled to communicate his understanding to the invader before falling unconscious again. The next time he became aware, he observed that the darkness and pressure and pain and pounding were rapidly dissipating as the sludge slowly retreated from around his body and the Oak Fort into his lungs through his mouth and nose. Rumi regained his vision and movement as his breathing became increasingly stressed. He struggled to pull himself up to his feet by latching onto the inner wall of the tree. He managed to pull himself out of the entrance of the Oak Fort to see Mya, Darigan, and Amoran K Kol waiting outside, before collapsing on the ground from lack of oxygen. With the last air in his lungs, he tried to convey the location where the gamete mass could escape his body and reproduce. He barely made out the word "Peace" before falling unconscious.

Mya and Darigan and Amoran K Kol struggled to help the unconscious Rumi. They wondered what he could have meant by "Peace", considering if perhaps he was calling for Lady Peace of Necrovion. They attempted to manually clear his airway and found the sludge had formed a solid plug in his throat. His heart was beating, but appeared to be slowing. Darigan tried dangling him upside down and shaking him. Mya attempted a healing spell and Amoran called forth a great rainstorm to attempt to help. Nothing seemed to work. Darigan held Rumi close to his face at one point and the unconscious Rumi suddenly made eye contact with him. His mouth opened and the sludge that remained in Darigan came forth from him and into Rumi's open mouth, rejoining the rest of the gamete mass. During this process the solid plug in Rumi's throat opened to bring in this sludge and Rumi became conscious and was able to take a breath and make out the word "Peace" once more before losing consciousness again.

Darigan had the idea that perhaps Rumi referred to Raven's Peace, the place where Sharazhad had originally cast the spell that caused the flood. Mya and Amoran agreed it was possible and they walked and flew to Raven's Peace with Rumi still clutched in Darigan's talons. Darigan flew with Rumi over the water and Mya suggested he place him in the water. Darigan lowered the unconscious Rumi to the water and immediately the downward force of Rumi's body was far greater than that of gravity. Darigan told Mya that Rumi became incredibly heavy upon touching the water, and Mya suggested that Darigan hold Rumi and dive deep, allowing Rumi's body to lead.

Darigan carried Rumi down into the lake. As they dove deeper and deeper, Rumi's belly seemed to light up a brilliant fluorescent color. They reached the lakebottom and Rumi's mouth opened. The fluorescent goo began to stream out from Rumi's mouth and across the lakebottom toward another fluorescent point of light. After a minute the last of the fluorescent sludge had gone out from Rumi and was beginning to connect with and swirl around the distant point of light. Rumi regained consciousness long enough to watch the coming together of the lights with Darigan. His lungs filled with water and he gave a deep smile before passing out again.

Darigan carried Rumi to the surface and set him down on the land. Mya pressed his chest until the water came spewing out his mouth, and he began to cough and gasp for air. Soon after, Rumi woke up. He confirmed that he was fine and exhausted. Everyone asked him what had happened and his only response was asking Darigan if he saw the coming together of the lights in the deep. He said it was beautiful. They walked to the Oak Fort and Rumi put his clothes back on, which were wet from Amoran's rainstorm. He briefly spoke to the group about his experience in the Oak Fort and the memories that surfaced. Then he went to sleep.

-Fin

(Yes I know, more detail than you all might have liked...but that's how the story goes.)

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