Sky Fall

Posted 3 months ago :: Last edited 3 months ago by rhiow

[ Read Part One? ] [ Read Part Two? ] [ Read Part Three? ]

“Nouvel, you made it,” the ursuki says warmly, approaching the queen and her delegation. Guards stiffen as St. Veti comes closer, but with a flick of her wing Nouvel sets them at ease. She permits the ursuki to come right up to them, his arms wide. She leans into his brief embrace like an old friend would, sighing before she looks up at him.

“In one piece, Veti. Let’s hope we all stay that way. It’s been too long, hasn’t it?”

“Indeed it has, your highness. If you’ll come with me, I’ll take you to the others.”

“...They’re already here?” the queen couldn’t disguise her surprise.

“As of a few hours ago, yes. This way,” the ursuki beckons the pouflon delegation onward through snow already muddied by a number of different tracks. At the end of the trail, a vast number of ursuki and vespires already sit, waiting.

“Welcome,” St. Veti spreads his arms, beckoning the gathered pouflons, vespires and ursuki closer. “Thank you for joining me here-- I apologize for the accommodations, I know they’re unsuitable, but time is short.” 

Dignitaries share uneasy glances. An emergency meeting between the denizens of Bellacoste hadn’t been called in years. It had been so long that they’d forgotten how to talk to one another. Long, uncomfortable silence fills the spaces between, and finally one of the queen’s retainers speaks, “Her Majesty Queen Nouvel extends the olive branch. We seek peaceful discussion.”

Vespires stare impassively, the Arbiter looming behind them all. Her head tilts, mouth parting a bit as pneumir wafts out into the open air. After an unpleasant pause, she speaks, “We accept.”

Let the discussion begin.

 

[ Recommended listening. ]

Somelon was pounding on Amaryllis’ door. “Amaryllis! Open up!”

The plucky soothes her ichigato, who yowls and dives under the covers as the knocking grows louder. “Hold on, hold on! Goodness,” Amaryllis calls, staring hard at the shivering lump under her covers before she moves to her door, flinging the top half open.

Kit stood on the other side, glancing over his shoulder. He looks back, balking for a moment when he noticed Amaryllis looking back at him. “Oh, thank the stars! You’re okay.” The other pouflon audibly breathes a sigh of relief.

“...Yes?” Amaryllis murmurs, tilting her head. Her hair flops into her eyes. “Last I checked… Kit, what’s going on?”

“Nothing good. Listen, pack your things, quick. It isn’t safe here. I don’t have time to explain.” The other pouflon stamps his hoof before turning away from the door, looking over the surrounding fields. 

“...Kit?” the alchemist responds, brow furrowed.

“Now… please, Amaryllis, as fast as you can.”

The concern in Kit’s voice drives the urgency home. The other pouflon was always polite, but not one for house calls outside of work. The plucky turns from the door and rushes to gather her things. “Can you tell me anything?” she asks, furtively glancing at the door where Kit still stood.

“Something’s very wrong. Have you seen the sky?” the unicorn glances over his shoulder. “There’s something out there, I don’t know… I’m not sure what it is.” He shifts uneasily as Amaryllis hastily throws food into a knapsack. “Come out when you’re done. You’ll see.”

After some gentle coaxing, Amaryllis pries her ichigato from the bed, carefully nestling it between her wings. “The pippets are scared,” she comments with a frown.

“Yeah,” Kit responds. “They are.”

Something in his tone sparked urgency again, kickstarting Amaryllis out of her house. Knapsack packed and ichigato on her back, she steps out into the sun, allowing her eyes to adjust to the world outside.

Something was… no. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t right at all. “Kit?” asks Amaryllis, gazing out over the once lush fields of Goldfair, now swathed with a path of rot. “What…”

“We need to fly. Follow me.”

The plucky glances back at her pippet to make sure it was secure before trotting after Kit, wings unfurling to follow him up into the sky. The damage from above was clearer-- everywhere she looked the sickness spread, green and gold turned brown, black, red. It came so close to her home… too close. 

The land was dying. Everywhere she looked, crops had wilted. The path of destruction weaved this way and that, seemingly having neither rhyme nor reason-- “Kit, what did this? The sky?”

“No,” the other pouflon responds. “To our right-- look. Let’s land, but be careful.”

Something immense was moving below them, spearheading the trail. It’s form shifts under her gaze, hard to pinpoint. The plucky’s heart jumps into her throat again as she follows Kit’s direction, spiraling downward with gentle wingbeats as her ichigato digs claws into her back.

“Kit, are you…” the other pouflon lands lightly on an untouched knoll. “...Sure,” Amaryllis finishes, landing beside him and looking with horror at the seething path of rot to their left. It slips like oil under her vision. It hurt to look at. Worse still was the thing at the end of the trail, cresting the next hill over.

It was more massive than she could comprehend-- several times larger than herself or any other pouflon she’d ever seen. With each step the ground beneath it pulsed, corruption spreading in its wake. “What is that,” exhales Amaryllis.

“Bad news,” Kit responds. The form of the creature shifts before them, a cloud of smaller creatures swarming around it. But something was wrong-- they looked like little pieces, broken off, but... 

“Those are pippets,” Amaryllis gasps, taking a step back in horror. Dozens of them whirled around the giant in Goldfair, shifting uncomfortably over the eyes just like the corruption all around them.

“Look,” says Kit, indicating a patch of disturbed earth nearby. There a melodon lay, breathing labored as the rot creeped across its skin. “There are others like it all over the place… we need to get to Chrysanthos. They have to know about this.”

Amaryllis stares with horror as the melodon writhes, lifting its head to keen weakly at her. Her ichigato stiffens, bristling on her back as she takes a step towards the afflicted creatures. “Can’t we help it…”

“No,” Kit says firmly. “It harms us too.” He pauses. “I’m sorry Amaryllis.”

The plucky continues to stare at the corrupted pippet, eyes welling as it reached out for her before collapsing back down into the grass. It was too much. She forces herself to look away, eyes drawn again to the gargantuan creature on the other hill.

Then her ichigato digs its claws in hard, a fearful yowl stirring in its throat. The swarm around the creature breaks apart suddenly as its head whips around towards them. Amaryllis freezes as her pippet continues to scream.

“Fly, Amaryllis, go! GO NOW!” shouts Kit, ramming her with his head when she didn’t respond. “FLY NOW!”

Shaken, the plucky snaps around, and the pair launch back into the sky as the Entity roars, sound cut with static.

This was bad. Really bad.

The Skyfall event is now live! This is PART ONE of the event-- there will be more to come! A number of special quests are now available-- and they have special rewards. Be sure to read each carefully!

Players who participate in at least THREE PROMPTS from PART ONE will be eligible for a big prize in Part Two. No spoilers, but you want to get in on this!

There are a number of rewards associated with these quests that are unique and will never be handed out again-- introducing TITLES, a new system that will tag your character with a special title for participating in specific events. These are cosmetic, think of them as a badge of honor that says “I was here!”.

All over Bellacoste, it’s denizens are in need of help. Will you stand behind Perth in Chrysanthos? Is your mage already researching the crack in the sky? Perhaps you attended the diplomatic meeting between world leaders? Or maybe your calling is to help with the problem in Goldfair… but beware:

D̵O̷ ̵N̴O̴T̶ ̸T̶O̶U̷C̴H̴ ̸T̶H̸E̴ ̸C̶O̸R̶R̸U̷P̷T̸I̶O̵N̴

Characters that directly interact with the corrupted ground or the Entity will become CORRUPTED, and will remain so until they are CLEANSED by another party (an NPC, another player character, or another character of your own). CORRUPTED characters are unable to use their magic and for all intents and purposes lose their sense of self. TREAD CAREFULLY!

Bellacoste needs your help! The time is now! Get out there, everylon!

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