The memories of that summer were some of the happiest in his life.
“Darling,” called the lilting voice of his mother. He knew he should come when called, but the petals of the bud he’d been watching were beginning to unfurl. He so desperately wanted to see who would emerge. He’d been waiting all day, after all.
“Hang on!” he calls back, creeping slowly towards the bud in bloom. Soon a newborn would emerge, their legs still clumsy and their name unsaid. Beyond the petals lay secrets, a new life that could perhaps become a fri–
–”Now, little prince,” the voice no longer lilted. With a sigh, the bloom rose from his vigil, sulking away from the bud as the first curl of fur revealed itself. Peach! He smiles, a skip to his step as he caught up to his mother. He’d come back later to greet the newborn bloom himself!
“Come along, darling,” his mother lowered her head to blow a kiss into his hair. “There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
He saw the noble then at the end of the row, his great curling horns a sight to behold. A moment of nervousness seizes him. “...Who?”
“A friend,” his mother assures him.
A girl sat at the end of the lane, sheltering behind the noble’s hooves. The adults spoke of things he neither cared about nor understood.
“What’s your name?” he asked as the sun began to set, cascading rays filtering through the reds, pinks, greens and blues.
“...Nouvel,” the girl answered.
That was then, a far off glance through the looking glass. Let’s return to now.
Across reality, dozens of guards face uncomfortable odds. Tenuous threads, weak and fraying, come together. They weave through the depths of space and time, carrying in their fibers the answer to a question no person alone should have ever been asked. Together they tow their burden, sewing fracturing pieces back together. A choice is made– the alternative spirals away.
It’s not too late. You can still reach. You can still dream. Fate is malleable.
Yet, you bet on compassion. How could that ever be wrong?
You made the right choice. You’re absolutely sure of it.
Sink back into the reds, pinks, greens and blues.
You give the prisoner water. They drink long and deep, shuffling in the darkness. The longer you look, the clearer they become. The first bell has yet to toll. The night stretches on, threatening to be uncomfortably long.
“...Thank you,” the voice beyond the bars echoes. “You’re kind.” It sounds stronger than before. “...I won’t forget this.”
The choice rests in the silence between captive and jailer. In the quiet the torches crackle and the runes on the bars hum with the arcane. The prisoner comes nearer, the clink and scrape of a chain a reminder of the gulf between.
“...No one has been kind to me, not for many years,” the voice laments, the whites of their eyes catching the dim light. They swim with stars. “You have good in you… please… no one has spoken to me in so long, I–...”
With a rattle, they withdraw again, the slope of their shoulders downtrod. Low hangs the head bearing such a strange horn– proud, with three points. “Do you… remember me?” they inquire at last, approaching the door once more. Close, but not too close.
“No… you wouldn’t, would you,” bitterness creeps in with an unexpected bite. “They will have made sure of that. Please, I beg you– just. You don’t have to speak, if only you’ll listen. You’re kind. I have nearly forgotten how that feels…”
The door crackles the nearer they draw. A warning. “You care for this city, don’t you? It’s in terrible danger– I beg you… just listen a moment longer, kind stranger!”
The chain rattles and the prisoner coughs, spitting up something terrible, a miasma compounding upon an unclean floor.
“...I care about it too. I’ve been forgotten, but I care… I do… I do…” they mumble to themselves. “You may have forgotten too, but it’s alright… it’s alright… I’ll tell you…”
Once again they come close, the firelight washing over their face as the door sizzles, a torturous magic burn sweeping across the room. The chain pulls taut. You can see it, secured to a runed collar around the prisoner’s neck. They lift their head as high as they can, dingy fur curling unbrushed across a tarnished golden runic.
“I am…” this part seems challenging, but they set their jaw and fight the forces pulling tightly at their throat. Between clenched teeth, they hiss, “P.. puh… Prince Terryn… Prince Terryn!”
With a gasp, the prince stumbles back from the door, chain coiling like a snake around his hooves. His chest heaves as he lowers his head once more. “Please…” he puffs. “Please believe me. I shouldn’t… I shouldn’t be here.”
Silence rises once more, painfully punctuated by his shaky breathing. His ribs jut from beneath his pelt. It’s clear, now, how frail the person confined truly is.
“...Help me,” he begs at last, his head held low. “Chry…Chrysanthos was mine once, I love her– ruin will come, help me stop it.” A plip, from the far side of the chasm. Golden blood trickles from the prince’s nose. “I did not deserve this,” he asserts quietly. “Are the sins of my father my own? Do you remember them?”
A challenging question, without an easy answer.
“...The queen has put me here to protect herself. Ask yourself… is this… justice?” He coughs again, heaving himself to the far corner of the cell. The star at the tip of his tail drags behind him. “...I will not deny… that King Vieux was wrong. I will carry… the burden of his misdeeds my whole life! Is that just? Is that fair?”
It clings to him like a stain. The war. The murder. The terrors inflicted. A memory hangs just out of reach. How terrible, how cruel, that the prince should look so much like his father.
“Your queen was my betrothed… she betrayed me. You may… ask her yourself. Has she ever…” he laughs, the sound harsh and bitter. “...Has… has she ever come clean about who her precious child is?”
The implication hangs heavy.
“...Ask her… ask her yourself. But, please… I beg of you. Open this dreadful door. I fear… something terrible will happen to the city before dawn. Please. I am no threat.”
He pauses. “I can show you how to disarm the runes… I cannot do it from this side. Please.”
The choice yawns before you once more. The door lies ahead, the stairwell behind.
The votes are in: you’ve chosen to Break Protocol. The next part of our event quest is live, [ Sins of the Father ]! This quest, once again, presents you with a choice: Open the Door or Sound the Alarm. Your choice matters and will directly impact the future of this storyline… and Bellacoste. Choose wisely.
Your choice in Deep Below has revealed the true nature of Chrysanthos’ captive– that is, if you believe him, of course! Our masterlist has been updated with an entry for [ Prince Terryn ].
Sins of the Father will run through April 30th (11:59:59PM EST) and can be completed once per character, just like Deep Below. The next part of the story– whatever it may be!-- will be released in May. The time table will depend on how clear the choice is in the weeks leading up to May!
The first quest, Deep Below, is still active! If you were unable to complete it for whatever reason or would like to return to it with another character as the storyline unravels, you may do so for the duration of this event! However, votes will no longer be counted and the quest will ONLY reward coins moving forward.
Spring has sprung and so has one BIG party! Our spring seasonal event, The [ Cradle of Crocus ], has returned! There’s a plethora of returning event, monthly and seasonal prompts to get into! I hope you brought a blanket and picnic basket– let’s dive in!
Are you ready to celebrate the Cradle of Crocus? Visit our [ Event Quests ] to frolic through central Bellacoste in our returning event prompts St Ambrose Sighting, Jousting Tourney and Merry Maypole!
Renew vows to your loved one in our returning [ Monthly Quests ], Hornfasting– or find a special, seasonal flower in Blossoms-O-Plenty!
Spring means it’s time for new [ Seasonal Prompts ]! Rain or shine, there’s something for everylon between April Showers and Pippet Picnic!
The Cradle of Crocus has ushered in it’s own special [ Shop ] where a plethora of seasonal items are now available! Did you spend all your coins in the Winter Coin Auction? Never fear– all March seasonal items are now available in our [ Cash Shop ] as well.
Take a peek in the [ Pippet Shop ] before you spend what coins you have! Spring seasonal pippets have returned until summer!
The events aren’t the only things new this month! The team has been working hard for months to bring a massive update to Knight and Mage Quests to life. This update includes new NPCs, new paths, new quests and new callings!
This update is far too big to go into here– to learn about all the new and exciting things, please continue reading [ here ].
A huge thank you to Pix for spearheading this update, and the rest of the Pouflons team for their help along the way!
Hey, has anyone looked at their [ Heartwood Piece ] lately? Since leaving Firsden, its sprouted fresh branches and needles... this calls for extra study!
There’s more in store for us down the pipeline, including some much needed site updates. Starting in April the team will be working hard on implementing a new trait system! This process is very intensive and will require a lot of hours, so for the duration of this work submissions will be temporarily closed. We estimate that this update will be done in 2 - 3 weeks. Trust me when I say it will be worth it! Don’t worry– your favorite traits aren’t going away. We’re going to improve our current system as well as really flesh out the Lorekeeper encyclopedia. I can’t wait for you to see the end result!
There will be more information about this update as we get closer to April.
After much ado, we've added a number of new artists to our team! Please welcome our new Guest Artists: Hev, Kamodo030, Heavendeluxe, LunaEden, Buffbears, Peregyr, Teadino, puppysmooch and CrystalGryphon!
Thank you to everyone that applied! There were so many wonderful artists! Never fear if you weren't selected this time, there will be more opportunities! Applications will open again in 2023.
I'm happy to announce that there WILL be a Cradle of Crocus advent later this month! See you then!
This winter we expanded ursuki lore and traits, explored Firsden and embarked on a new adventure in Deep Below. It's time for our seasonal feedback form! [ Let us know how we did this winter! ]
Hey there! Did you know we have our own [ Ko-fi ]? Ko-fi members get access to a lot of cool perks, including on site rewards, monthly streams, and sneak peaks at what’s coming! Your support directly helps us continue making updates like this one, as well as creating new merch to sell in…
Our [ Etsy Shop ]! Our stock is currently limited, but we’re always hard at work concepting and getting new items made.
Your support means everything to us! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Did you know we have our own [ Discord ]? Stop by to receive updates as they happen, not to mention hang with the coolest community around!
There aren’t too many reminders this month!
The [ February Raffle ] ends on March 7th, make sure to get your entries in!
The [ Crown Cafe ] will be cycling it’s stock on March 7th, be sure to make any purchases you’ve been waiting on before then!
The Legend Shop will not be opening this month in lieu of the [ March Shop ]. Chester and Mochi need a breaaaaak, let them sleep! The Legend Shop will return in April.
Want to keep up with changes in real time? Join our [ Discord ] and select the changelog role!
February Change Log:
Feb 1st: Minimum requirements for the Mini Prompt prompt have been lowered for both drawing and writing, as such the coin payout has ALSO lowered!
Feb 8th: Wings have been updated on pouflons.com to distinguish between Legendary and Event rarity!
Feb 18th: As a heads up, you might see some traits moving and shifting around starting today. We'll be giving a comprehensive changelog update once we get everything settled!
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