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Rêves à Deux [Closed]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Tavan Race
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Rêves à Deux [Closed]

Postby The Tavan Race » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:29 pm

Vos doemikada top klelain,
Donemeikadail eka nei

Sha fisde'werise hevain
Mi whe lyuefenva tluasei.
When this night I lay down to sleep,
I never guessed I'd find that which

Would threaten so the life I knew
In such a liberating way.





I look up, and I see Light: that which brings hope to lost ones, and that which brings life to the dying.

I look to my feet, suspended above infinite blackness. There, no light shines, yet still things live, their very existence perverse and against the will of the Gods. I shudder, for this endless sea of hell waits to envelop me, as it has so many before me. My hearts beat more slowly, contemplating the truth of their own weakness. I know there is no escaping the void, and the void knows this too, taunts me with its restraint.

My lungs are crying, the life being sucked out of them by the cold, oppressive black. They are not meant for this netherworld, nor am I.

Yet being one of the Gifted, I have no choice but to hope, to hope that somehow I might escape death's grip for another minute. Each minute must I think of his power, and as many times must I deny that he holds me in his claws. Thus, I look to the Sun once more, and I kick my feet and undulate my tail, knowing at once that I will and won't break the surface.

I am right on both counts.

Stepping onto the soft golden shores of this alien place, I realize that the Sun I had trusted knows me not, and I know not it. For it wears a cloak of orange, not one of blue, and I know that a star has no will to deceive. This Sun's, no, this Star's, indifferent honesty is like a blow to the jaw, and bitterness spreads across my tongue.

When finally I look once more to the land, my gaze falls upon something the likes of which I have never beheld. It seems as though a false God wishes to torment me, for that which I see is incomprehensible, and so it is profound, and so it is also terrifying. What it is, I cannot say, and this is far worse than knowing it a Demon. Whether its will is holy, I cannot know, and this is far worse than knowing it to loathe me.

I know not why I feel as I now do, for surely this monster has been sent by the depths of the Void as fodder for many nightmares to come. Nor can I describe my feelings to any breathing being, except to say that this creature evokes in me that which I feel when Omenuetilin himself stands before me. Without taking my eyes from the creature's, I tear off a shred of my nightgown and tie it across my mouth, for that feels like what must be done. Never shall it be said that I disrespected a God, even if it is said of something with an unfathomable nature such as this.

Then, a thought occurs to me: I have already committed a grave sin, in that this being has yet gone without greeting or pleasantry.

In hasty remedy, I fall forward, holding my own chest and kneeling so that my face might touch the ground. Hello, I think, and the words which exit my lips convey this simple word's nuances better than any language might. Be you God or Devil, may you know this much: My name is Kidanlera di Kidayale Vesal, and I kneel in awe of you.




If you wouldn't mind posting what happens for your character immediately beforehand, as I have. I would like to know.
Last edited by The Tavan Race on Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby 1000 Cats » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:10 am

There's not anything very strange about it. I'd gone to sleep, once again, in a field of what we know as OCÉ. It's a drug, plain and simple, and a very common one at that. Everyone grows it. So for most of my life, I had gone from place to place - places in which I am unwelcome - and taken refuge in the places that ironically should have been the most coveted: in these fields of óce, my scent was masked, my light coat was hidden at both midnight and noon, and from this practice, I had earned two things:

The first thing is my name. I won't say it. Not here, anyway. If I say it while I'm awake, it will just sound like a very ill queen in heat. It's not a very nice-sounding name, even by our standards, but it means something like, "Mouth-full-of-trees". Or, as I can confirm was the intended meaning, "óce-breath". That's how long I've spent here, or in some other narcotic field, sleeping away my days in between brief recollections that I must eat, or drink, or move somewhere else if I want to survive. That should give you an idea of just how integral this next won attribute is.

Óce has two effects on its user: the first is that it makes them sleepy. That works just fine for me. Life is always better when you're asleep. The second is the visions it grants, usually as the user sleeps. These are dreams, of course, but they are dreams at the very heart of the Dreaming. It's more vivid, more real, and, for one such as myself who has had more experience with such things than anyone rightly should, it goes beyond the individual. Sometimes even beyond the reality. Individuals all across the world, across the stars, can have these visions at once, and have the same one. Visions of each other. Whole new existences can be discovered, and traveled.

I've been doing this for as long as I can remember. Every night of my life, I've gone to new places by merit of that which is not by any stretch of the imagination mine. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that the present circumstance would eventually occur.





K Crz:örí:i särí:inˑíí K crz:örnhú: cŷˑnhú:nˑíí K ssí:ä crz:ö ìxá K ziˑ ssì: rezu:éz
"A small thing does not dream a small dream. A large cat does not dream a large dream. Sometimes dreaming is a mistake.
Like fighting the wind."

-Anonymous


Oh. That's embarrassing.

I'm no stranger to embarrassment, but allowing someone to get close to you - especially someone so ungainly and so unlike a cat - without taking notice is something that should simply never happen. Even in a place like this, it would be like, oh, coming back home to realize that you not only left your front door unlocked, but wide open; when for a brief moment you think to yourself, "If I go in there and find that my television is gone, I'll have deserved it." Not that I've ever seen a television before. Or a house. Or a door. But I've dreamed them, here. I know about them, as I said, and I know about dreams.

That is, I thought I did. I don't know this creature, after all.

I lift my paw hesitantly and look down at it just about lying face down in the grass. Although I could, I almost had no need of understanding what it had said. It doesn't know this place, this part of the Dreaming, the part that so resembles the world I know well when my eyes are open. It fell - or perhaps climbed - probably in pain and fright from the dreams things like it are meant to dream. It doesn't belong here, though I take perhaps just a little too long in telling it so - why? I'll admit, at least privately: I'm amused.

Kidanlera di Kidayale Vesal it is. A young traveler - and such piety! This is almost certainly a form of cruelty, but some convoluted humour, or perhaps curiosity, has me prolong this tragic act. Tell me, what interests you in the ground an ear's length from your nose? What respect is paid by closing your eyes? Smell the world that you are in. How else may you know it? See it - how else may you be awestruck? Is it then not more beautiful? Am I, Ùoöhŷx:x, not more exalted by the senses you instead obscure?
Last edited by 1000 Cats on Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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Postby The Tavan Race » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:12 pm

At the Unknown Thing's request, I pick myself up and stand upright, opening both sets of my eyes so that Its glory might be observed more thoroughly. The Thing has a point; I feel even more blessed to be in Its presence now. Its coat, like quills, but much softer-looking, gathers the Light and imbues it with holiness, radiating the warmth of the Star for all who come near It to bask in. Its eyes glint with an intelligence I cannot claim to have seen even in my own. And, perhaps not in spite of these things, It yet fills me with a profound dread, for I know that my death is at Its fingertips.

Though I am aware, in some corner of my mind, that this world cannot be that which my body shares, I also know that this realm has a power over all who take up temporary residence in it, for in a vision, one's emotions speak only truth.

Because it is the will of the Thing, I observe my surroundings, breathing in air that I know to be toxic. The golden sands are gone now, having been replaced with a green field of some velvet-leaved plant. The sky, once blue, has turned to pink and orange, and despite my initial fear I purr heartily. Objectivity might be easily abandoned here, for truth is unimportant in comparison to having met this Thing.

And, for now, the Void has left us be. My Soul, new to this nebulous dimension, must seem paltry compensation for watching me flounder before what is, I allow myself to assume, a native thereof.

No, I do It a disservice. I should be calling It by name, which of course may not be shortened without punishment.

I choose to repeat the Thing's name, so as not to offend it by forgetting later. Though I cannot form the sounds with grace, as It can, I find that still I have no trouble pronouncing the alien name, for what I am doing, I now realize cannot be anything like speech. Ùoöhŷx:x, may I speak in my own defense? The feeling of being wrong in my actions is not a pleasant one, especially in the sight of someone so righteous as yourself.



Oh, right, for future reference, this format represents a dream / vision, and I shall post a new poem at the beginning of each distinct one. Otherwise what occurs is reality.
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Postby 1000 Cats » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:35 pm

I purr in spite of myself. It is often that I've glimpsed other places, and been appropriately awed or terrified, but this creature's reaction, although so alien, is not so dissimilar to mine. Only, on second glance, far more tangible: it was though it had believed itself dead, and had only just now rediscovered its pulse.

And - when it spoke! No matter what dialect one speaks, any word denoting someone who eats trees will sound demeaning, if not outright disgusting, but this little thing, in this place full of possibilities, had spoken it with dignity and finesse. Perhaps this is what leads me to continue humoring the creature. I had never confirmed that I was a deity, had I? And fairly, I think now, doing so would be nothing short of insulting. To myself, I mean, not to the deity. Unpleasant individuals at the best of times, they are.

Whether I deal in righteousness, I say, happy with how easily such speech came here, or whether you are wrong, are of little consequence here. This is my world... and it is not. The fact that you are here, though, is excuse enough. Walk with me, Kidanlera di Kidayale Vesal. Tell me about yourself, and from where you've come.

I am indeed curious, as would be anyone so caught off guard by such an odd individual. Slowly, hopefully imperceptibly, I lower my paw to one side and turn, gesturing beyond the field in which I might well have lay sleeping at one point, towards the slowly dipping sun.




Updated last post. Sorry, didn't see your OOC back there the first time.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:26 pm

I fold my arms across my chest, the habits of the Overworld reaching down to control my actions, even here. Of course I want to oblige, for who wouldn't want the chance to represent their race to a divine being? Yet, though I planned to do so, hearing Dream-Mist phrase it in such a manner softens my resolve, and I change my mind.

In the Overworld, words are only a vessel on which true meaning stows away. In the world of vision we now share, words can only muddle the true meaning of our simultaneous presence therein. And so, I lower my lower jaw, my teeth still modestly covered by my lips, to show this Thing that I am not ignorant of the truth It proclaims. I, too, know that we must be here for a reason, and I would rather walk in pensive silence than distract myself from truth with conversation.

That may come in time. For now, I silently agree to follow the Thing into Its field, walking comfortably on hands and feet. I look briefly into the Thing's indivinable eyes, wanting to speak grandly of my homeworld, then back down at the grass, wondering why I would be chosen to do so.

For a time, I struggle to think of any reason, for it seems as though the Void wants this not. Dream-Mist waits a generous time for me, and finally I can no longer bear its accommodating gaze. I stand upright, with pride and humility at once, slowing my gait considerably upon doing so. Averting my nervous eyes from the Thing's, I begin to tell It of Tava, my home.

Where I live, the treetops obscure the Sun, and the trees themselves are grand, and we live in, around and among them. The ground is to be avoided, the sky, to be equally shunned. For my race is one not of extremes, but of fear. Fear is in our nature, our Prey-Attitude, we call it. Even you can tell our size is unimpressive, and were you to see our superiors, even you would be dwarfed. It is for this reason that our species is weak, and we could never attain self-sufficiency.

Here, I stand a little taller, my lungs ablaze with my newly remembered pride. Yet we stand above every creature on Tava, as their masters and caretakers. It is not due to our intelligence, nay, that is unimpressive, too. The reason I am still alive, still here to be speaking with you, is because a great power watches over my body and Soul. His name is Deity-of-Pure-Will, though others may call him differently. He is my God and my Savior, and to him it is that I owe the privilege of life.

I knelt before you because it is in my nature to do so, my nature being one of a great Society, not a significant One in my own right. It is this knowledge, that I myself have no great claim to existence, which brings me such humility. I covered my breath because it is a representation of all that makes us the Gifted, and our Lord cannot bear to see or feel it, for it brings him great suffering. I flick my tail, brushing it cautiously against Dream-Mist's coat, before finishing:

I believed you to be a God, like him, for you bring me the same feeling as one might. I still know not whether this is true.



Dream-Mist is a loose and more elegant wording of Drug-Breath, and stems from the fact that tavans exhale water vapor. Kidanlera translates to "She Who is Above Anger", and I think it would flow nicely if you started using something akin to this for her name. Just a suggestion, though.
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Postby 1000 Cats » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:52 pm

Even as the little creature Kidanlera presents itself with such clear pride that it seemed to ignite it from within, I feel little but pity and a sort of sick satisfaction, two emotions that are not often present apart in individuals such as myself. Living in trees, indeed! Well, perhaps one may take it in humour and say that one with a name like mine can be little better, but in all honesty? This is a being who lives in fear of treading on the ground. Its reaction to the mere sight of me suddenly makes far more sense than it did before. It is prey, like a monkey, or a human, only smart enough to attempt to make itself useful to its superiors in an effort to avoid its otherwise inevitable fate as an evening snack.

A god, allowing it and its kind to survive so long in such a state? No. Gods don't care. They certainly don't go about entertaining inept species and driving them to the top of the world for a lark. Not at all. There must be something else about this little morsel, something that's made the bigger, quicker, smarter things of its world, to fear going near them, at least in the plural, as much as they fear, well, everything else, by the looks of it. Something dangerous that perhaps even they themselves don't know about... It takes every bit of me not to leap out of my fur when its tail brushes my side. I surreptitiously flex and wrinkle the place the creature touched me, although I know that no such thing could affect me in this dream. This nearly skipped beat in dignity pushes me to respond.

A god? No, little sùcschŷx, I am not just the same as your Deity-of-pure-will. The name for her species, I'll confess, is my own, and the most flattering way I could describe it still would simply be, "Lizard-people that live in trees." Tree-lizard-people. There is a reason, I am sure, that I am seldom invited to speak by even the most magnanimous of evictors. A god's power, I continue, rests in his belief, and in the power he exerts upon his believers. A god may tell you to conceal your breath, or he may tell you to stop breathing altogether. I am no such being. Unless your breath actually is toxic, I think to myself.

Nor, however, do I regard any such being with any more fear than I do for your small self. I did not make this world, but I am its master. To emphasize this, I tear into a nearby tree, leaving long scores of claw and scent there. A god may have authority, and tree-dwellers may have protection, but neither has what I have: Freedom, Kidanlera. Freedom from responsibility. Freedom from punishment. To just live... and watch.

And to finish, we reach, as I knew we would, the peak of the foothill that gazes off into the west, where the sun bleaches the whole visionary world, sprawled out below us - this pure, ethereal world - a victorious magenta that ushers in the evening. I sit, beholding it, to act for one brilliant instant as though it were all mine.



Capitalization in transliterations doesn't matter much in cat. I'm just experimenting. Don't mind me.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:12 pm

I feel Dream-Mist's tension as my tail flicks against it, and I worry that, just as covering my breath did not please this being, so, too, has a friendly gesture gone unnoticed. It is unfortunate that in this world, actions are not translated like words. Worse, I may have offended this being, though this shame passes upon the passing of its next words.

My God's power exists only as belief?!, I think, and with this notion comes a distinct empathy for what Dream-Mist displayed just a moment ago. I can feel the venom in my teeth being to stir in blind, instinctual reaction, though I know it would be of little reason to defend someone so powerful. Surely if Pure-Will took offense he would strike this being down where he lay, and I would wake.

A moment passes, with the thing still perfectly unharmed, and still blissfully unaware of the danger it faces.

So, then, there must be some reason why my God does not mind this offense from a Neglected. Perhaps it is true, that He only holds power over me because I grant it him. If this were true, it would explain why Dream-Mist is unaffected by what I assume to be His wrath.

Though having seen Pure-Will before I knew of him, there must be some other explanation. Belief without knowledge cannot transpire.

I think for a moment, still walking in silence, and I come across another idea in my mental wanderings. It could well be that Pure-Will simply cares not for what occurs to me, or to anyone around me. I have heard, a few times, of those whom their God had forsaken on grounds of some awful offense. These people ne'er saw His light in any aspect of their existence again, a worse fate, some say, than being shortly smitten.

But I cannot care so much about this now, for I have the opportunity to discuss my God without fear. Whether he cares not for me or has no power thereover, I cannot care about. This being must explain itself further, what its great gift of Freedom means, and why Pure-Will cannot touch it.

Surely you-- I begin, but quickly falter as the magnificent Dream-World is revealed in all its majesty before me. I gaze at the star without fear of reprisal, forgetting what I wished to say. When I remember, I look back to Dream-Mist to speak it, though, by some misfortune, all I can see now is light. The strange being is gone.





Soon enough, my vision fills out again, the brightness now tinged with a horrible blue. I remember where I am, and also that in this world, no one is master but the hunter. This in mind, I feel the urge to replenish the parts of me that died this past asain1, and there being no need to repress it, I allow this urge to take control of me.

I roll over, even this motion enough to trigger my leaping-mind into breaching the dangerous gap between myself and the next nearest tree. I continue in this fashion for a while, pushing the events of last tya'hado2 to the back of my mind. I must eat, and though I come late to the table of plenty, I do not come helpless.

Within the minute my black eyes spot prey, a svaita3 and svaitaworain4 hanging their own prey on a thorny nest for safekeeping. Their own thorns do not discourage me, for I am tavanielesi5, and no danger may keep me from what is mine. I leap at the adult, who hears my fall and turns to battle. Its infants rightly flee, for their weapons are not yet full, and their deaths would come too easily. Yet the parent stands to fight, a decision I will make it regret.



1 - Sunrise, or what for a tavan's circadian rhythm is midnight.
2 - Time When Dreams Are Had, since night would not be fitting.
3 - Spiny omnivore, about twice the size of a tavan.
4 - Children thereof
5 - Bestowed With The Aspects Of Tavankind
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Postby 1000 Cats » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:58 pm

As the sun's nearly sunk completely beneath the horizon, with just its fiery corona visible over the glowing treetops, I realize that my anxious companion had yet to respond. Had it been overawed? I turn to find myself alone on the hilltop. Of course, such beings' dreams cannot be expected to last so long as that of a cat, a predator with little to accomplish in its long life. And certainly not a cat such as myself, with, if anything, less to accomplish. I may indeed remain here for-



"E ùoohŷx:x! N: rcka:az:!"1

The abnormally stretched tones of what I know must be the sub-Saharan owner of the óce that had briefly enough served as my bed and carnal pleasure source are met with a reaction quicker than a bolt of lightning: I'm gone before the large and furious fellow can get anything in his claws but the unpleasant fluid distraction I've trained myself over the years to immediately discharge on these occasions. Once I can no longer hear or scent the Nhx2, I do a quick check on my anatomy (czhuêhzaän,3 as the less feminine half of the species may say), then gaze at the sun. What the bastard was doing sniffing about his óce fields at this time, I don't quite understand: where in my dream, the sun had just set, it was just past noon in the world of prey and territorial cats.

My dream... yes, that curious little waif. I could never even think of how I pronounced its name there, in the Dreaming, but there's nothing strange about that: language is something we are all capable of as we sleep, but whether or not we have use of that talent when we are awake is another matter. Sùcschŷx... the word I invented for the thing rolls off the tongue anyhow. I wonder briefly if it might recall me when it awoke. Well, as it is now awake, no doubt. Is it writhing in envy for my clear superiority in this existence? Or is it furious, perhaps pleading with its god to wreak vengeance upon me for my insult? I twitch an ear in brief anxiety; perhaps I had overstepped. Gods are by nature lazy, but I didn't want to take the chance of getting a cranky one on my tail.

But then again, it may not remember anything at all. And that may be for the better: it was quite clear that it was not at all accustomed to - or meant to be accustomed to, for that matter - to such vivid dreaming on that plane. We, being cats, are typically on the Dream-King's good side, presuming he has one. We're at home in his world, that inner sanctum where sleeping visions come together and a dreamer can travel and meet others, as I so often did. Other beings, perhaps not so much. It's possible.

And then again, I hope that this is not how it is; for one reason or another, I hoped to see the little sùcschŷx again. And as I walk aimlessly towards my own tiny shadow, to the next marked piece of land, the next óce field that did not belong to me in the first place, I struggle with this: the only, and thus most important dilemma of my current way of life. Eventually, as I sniff about the border of a family of fellow 4, I settle on a conclusion. Certainly, if the creature were to appear to me again, I would indeed be glad. I would compose myself better. Perhaps be a little kinder. After all, kindness in the waking world may be scarce, and for fine reason, but it's only so often one comes across such a singular dreamer.


1Ack, it's Ùoohŷx:x! You, get out!
2Member of a culture native to much of Africa, where our heroine is presumably spending wasting her time these days.
3"My balls are still there." Idiom similar to, "I can't complain."
4"Main" culture that exists in some form or fashion across most of the globe.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:16 pm

As my prey's infants flee, she and I begin the ritual of combat that is intimidation. For her part, she flexes the spines on her back and shoulders, making soft rattling sounds with what I know could skewer my chest. She raises her lips and hisses, exposing an array of ridgelike teeth at me. I reply in kind, showing her my own venom-filled knives.

Of course, neither of us backs down, and why would we? If I fled I would abandon what is probably the easiest meal I'll get today, and she cannot abandon her ikasevain1 to their demise. Even if she loses, they'll have time to escape.

I make the first move, leaping at her belly in an attempt to break her stance. This effort is rewarded with a sharp pain in my chest as her tail slams into my ribcage, throwing me to the ground and leaving a score of blue lines down my side. I try to stand, but the devilish creature sinks her teeth into the fresh wounds, tearing off strips of flesh as her teeth are designed to do. I find that, as always, the feeling of injury brings no unpleasantness beyond shame, and, invigorated, I kick the vaels2 off of me and use the momentum to land on top of her.

Instinctively, the first thing I do is flinch, and thus do I avoid a blinding slash from the vaelsok3 claws. Quickly, knowing my window of opportunity is small, I sink my teeth into her neck, the rush from the loss of venom all I can feel for a moment.

I stare intently into the dying animal's eyes, watching the life reluctantly flee therefrom. Then, still exhilarated from the brief struggle, I begin tearing into the animal's soft belly, feeling the skin on my side begin to knit itself back into place.

A soft chuckle snaps my attention to the treetops. There, easily circling in the trees above me, is a pair of the creatures I fear most on this Earth. Ileyenta'win4. Probably a mated pair, and fresh with the energy of togetherness, for I see no ileyenta'worain. Their reflective black skin conceals a body meant for fighting, and their leering gold eyes mask an intelligence that rivals my own.

Now, my bravery falters. The rush of invincibility that comes with being tavanielesi is replaced by a waning confidence. Though I have no option but to fight, I hardly believe I can. But I must try, and so, I break off a pair of quills from the dead svaita and brandish them, stepping back as the first of the pair lands in front of me.



1 - Genetic Futures
2 - Derogatory term for a non-sapient animal
3 - Possessive thereof
4 - literally "Our Rivals". They are the only creatures that habitually prey upon the tavan race, as they are completely immune to a tavan's poisonous skin. They are also stronger and faster than a tavan, which is why Kidanlera can't flee from them.

Incidentally, their form resembles a tavan's in many ways, because they are the tavans' distant evolutionary ancestors.
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Postby 1000 Cats » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:03 pm

I spy the family dining royally on a gazelle, in the shade of an ash. I approach cautiously, head low, ears forward, tail straight behind me. Of the four of them, the smallest, a young female, looks up at me. I halt, with the wind blowing the scent of both the cats and the delicious fresh meat towards me. More importantly, not blowing my narcotic smell towards them. For the time being, they seem fooled.

"O àrüe?" asks the little queen. "A prophet?" Her parents, both of noble stock, their coats a speckled tan, their limbs lithe, gaze over at me now as well. I give a twitch of my ear and blink: a loose affirmative. Were these Nhx, it would be immediately demanded that I approach and speak, but these more tentative individuals just stared on for now, giving me time to think. I am not àrüe: they are respectable cats; intelligent, benevolent. They had seen and experienced that which no cat envies, and had gained knowledge worth far more than land, and so had the ears and admiration - and food and homes - of all those they came across, in exchange for their story. I, of course, have no such claim. Or no such honest claim. But don't I have a story? Why, yes I do, and a story that may well win me a seat at this family's supper.

"My delusions go beyond that which young cats should know," I tell them, after a minute. "Do not approach!" The little cat moves up against her mother, now sitting to stare squarely at me, in what might have been fear, but I could see her whiskers twitching with anticipation. I bite back a note of laughter; perhaps spending so much time in the fields of the overly social Nhx has helped me in the long run, but it's more likely that this family is just too easily impressed.

"My story," I begin, "is one of godhood, and a vision of a far-off land. Here dwell creatures in trees. Wise as cats, but enslaved..."

As the shadows crept along the ground, I weave my story, filling in parts that I don't remember, don't know, or don't understand. And I tell it well, I realize with a welcome twinge of narcissism: my words flow almost as if I were dreaming once more. Thousands and thousands of these creatures, I say, each hunting and building only for one another, and for fear of their deity, all their world a giant family of tiny reptilian things who, as a group, cover entire islands, but as individuals, tremble before a single cat as she merely washes herself. I cannot gauge their reactions; they simple stare at me, occasionally glancing at one another, or shifting, perhaps in excitement, perhaps in discomfort. But, as the day threatens to give way to the evening, I draw my tale to a close.

"It told me: my nature is to exist as part of a great entirety. For this, I am saved and protected by my deity. But, what is my deity when compared to one such as you?"

I lay in silence, watching from the dimming light under the ashes. The family watches me in return. Then, the tom rises, and chirps in approval. The little one does so immediately after, and I see a light in her eyes that could not possibly all shine from the fading sun behind me. Then they all, as a unit, leave their kill; the tom wraps his tail around it briefly, then follows his family. I watch them stalk away until they are completely lost to me in the hills and tall grass. Then I turn my eyes to what's left of the meat. Payment, for a hard night's work. And I think to myself while I scarf it down: what a pleasant family. Perhaps it will not be they who find me in their gardens come midnight.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:44 pm

No sooner have I plucked my weapons from my kill than they are knocked from my grasp, the ileyenta'wok reflexes making a mockery of my stab at life. It knows I have expended my supply of venom, and this knowledge gives it the confidence to leap at me.

I exhale sharply as my back is thrown against a nearby tree, the difficulty of recovering my breath exacerbated by the knowledge that my life will soon be over. I stare into the full eyes of my killer, refusing to surrender to the fear they elicit. In a desperate attempt to break free of the predator's grip, I spit in its eyes, hoping that this will buy me enough time to escape.

Alas, the creature is too quick for that, and I click softly as I watch it flinch to one side. The maneuver eerily resembles that which I pulled on the svaita not five minutes ago.

I close my eyes and ears, knowing that the golden eyes of death will be the last thing I see in this world. Having made peace with my impending doom, I send out one final prayer to my God. There is yet a chance that he cares for me, and if this be true, I promise myself that I shall dedicate the remainder of my life to his service.

A moment passes, and I find myself still alive.

Then, voices. Above me, in the trees. They sound triumphant, as if God himself has been vanquished. Curious, I open my eyes and ears, looking for the sign of their rejoicing.

I have to look only for a moment, as the answer quite literally stares me in the face. Those golden eyes, which I was sure would be my last visual imprint, now stare back at me with empty apathy. A well-aimed spear through its temple shows me why I still live. Now, I look to the trees, watching as the ileyenta'wok mate is butchered for good measure. Instinctively, I join in the celebration, whooping and whistling in happiness and in gratitude.

_chemewen'non!_ I cry, my speech garnering the attention of those above me. _nu, cheme'ha omenuetilin, siol lanjemeikada'ha tuetu arevavi, u tenaetuwen unon!_

This is met with the usual enthusiasm. One, probably the party leader, calls back: _wome'ha eku!_

But something nags at the back of my mind, something sensed like the onset of illness in another. There is something wrong with this tribe, as if they are not entirely as one. Perhaps I am exaggerating some minute flaw, yet still I feel the force of curiosity push me to ask.

_unemese sha hok ta naseinva di tohipa tsevalnos._ My solemn tone ends their good mood as quickly as if I'd thrown something at them. Yet the looks on their faces tell me that I am not wrong.

The party leader, whom I am now certain is such by his demeanor, invites me onto his level. I accept gratefully. He suggests that I come with him back to the place of his village, an offer I accept with equal gratitude. While we stride along the lengths of branches, occasionally leaping to clear a space between, the generous tavan begins to speak. He tells me of his tribe's woes, and I, in turn, listen.




A very long time ago, the tavan race was threatened with extinction. The skies bore the weight of a hundred mountains, which descended ever closer to our tiny world. Many tribes believed it to be Omenuetilin's will that we die, for he made no move to stop the mountains' fall. Each day, our demise became more certain, and some tribes chose death rather than face what God had in store for them.

But there were a few amongst the despairing who rejected these ideas, instead thinking that the cause of this phenomenon was merely unknown to Omenuetilin. These few gathered and formed their own tribe, one determined to stop the mountains' fall and save our kind.

For months, they put their best scientists' heads together, to figure out what was really threatening us so. Though their final result has been lost over the centuries, it is certain that they discovered the answer, for our race lives on in God's spite.

Then, it is said, a day before the mountains were believed to wipe the life from our world's face, this ancient tribe gathered at the lip of a crater, their eyes white with knowledge. That was the day that they knew, or thought they knew, that their own beliefs carried more weight than God's, and this knowledge saved our species. For the divine power of God was not his own, not for that fateful day. It became the property of that tribe, and so it was used to turn back the mountains and save the planet from sure destruction.

Whether it was or was not the will of God that our species' light be extinguished, no one knows.

What we do know, however, is that our tribe, descendants of the ancient ones, has ne'er been able yet to offer honest praise or prayer to our God without some retribution. And worse, each new Prophet of the Sea whom we name dies soon thereafter, the prey of some horrible illness. It is this that has once again happened: he who would devote his life to Omenuetilin's service has died, and we fear for the protection of our tribe.

For we dare not neglect our God's worship, and yet, our praise goes strangely unnoticed.... It is as if he has forsaken us.





As the party leader's story ends, I notice that we have arrived at his village, a collection of simple huts arranged around the trunks of trees a few decimeters in the air. I am invited to light the evening fire, which I know to be an invitation to join them. I accept, and my new tribemates and I sit around it solemnly, they examining me cautiously while I digest what I have heard.

I wonder now if my rescue was, in fact, not an act of God, but rather, only the will of Fate. The feeling of being forsaken seems to match my current state eerily closely.

Perhaps my promise to Omenuetilin was a mistake. If what they say is true, and descendants of the ancients are cursed from birth, I wouldn't want to find myself one of them through death. Yet, if I am not as abandoned as it seems, neglecting this vow would spell death just as surely.

I request to speak to the Deep Ocean Prophet the next day. He may be able to help me in my decision. But for now, as the stars begin to emerge from the Sun's cloak, I must rest. For a brief moment, I remember something that would, just maybe, explain the events of the day:

"A god may have authority, and tree-dwellers may have protection, but neither has what I have: Freedom, Kidanlera. Freedom from responsibility. Freedom from punishment."

Then, just as quickly, those words are gone, to be replaced simply with a desire to meet with this creature again.

I say my ritual farewells to my tribemates, thanking each in turn for taking me in. Then, feeling Sleep's first advance upon me, I leave, to find a suitable tree to lie down on.



"Thanks be unto you! Or, rather, thanks be unto Omenuetilin, for I requested his help, and he sent you!"

"Glory be unto him!"

"Though, I cannot help but notice that there is something wrong with your tribe."
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Postby 1000 Cats » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:31 pm

Full, sleepy, and more self-satisfied than any cat should conceivably ever be, I start to press down the óce that will soon make up my bed for the night. I destroy the plants surrounding me: biting them, pressing them down, lying on top of them, all the while reveling in the sleepy silliness they kindly release for their killer until at last, exhausted, I pass out mid-roll.




Ê rci:nˑi Ê rcu éz
"You've returned. Is it a fight you want?"

-Ìˑcxhý:, to his son Hý:rí:i


The shimmering sands of Èˑs:söhý:nhú:1 drift around my paws. The sun himself beats down, scorching everything around me: the rocks, the ground, the air itself; but I am in my element, and so feel nothing but a serene comfort as I walk aimlessly across the scalding plains, over unstable dunes; with a gust of wind, the entire terrain changes and, at once, nothing ever changes. Such is the way of the desert.

Èˑs:söhý:nhú: is, quite honestly, one of my favourite places. Not to visit while awake, certainly not; even the Nhx, so suited to this terrain in their great units and golden coats, cannot live far from the grasslands bordering this dead place. But while I sleep, why, my feet needn't burn as I tread the sands; I needn't thirst from the heat, or wish for the meat of a scampering thing. And here, I am alone. Perpetually alone. And the desert is impossibly huge. I can walk it, walk it all: from the east to the west and back, each step carrying me the distance of a day's walk while I wake, and see nothing new. Want nothing new. So you see, Èˑs:söhý:nhú: represents the epitome of freedom: a freedom that can only be had with death.

I chose the setting of this dream purposefully tonight, though. Should Kidanlera - ah, that name again, so strange that I cannot even imagine how it must be spoke, but all the more beautiful for its impossibility. Like the desert itself. Should it return again, that is, I hope to further impress that delicious sense of awe and unease. This last half-day has been one that has served my ego like a human serves its master, and it is not in my nature to let go of opportunity.




1"Desert with a Large (or Powerful) Sun" or, perhaps, "Great Desert of the Sun" - the Sahara. A term likely originating from Nhx culture, which commonly holds the belief that the sun is a full-maned cat: the father of themselves and ultimately all of catkind, and who diligently guards each day his claimed territory in the desert.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:56 pm

Lyenva tenaika, vi teve:
Luneaka nos, val ome?

Ilu ine'yau sha yense,
Illune luneva vi she.
Fortune given, fortune taken:
Who may judge, but he who taketh?

Though we may believe it matters,
Perhaps our own guess matters more.





Though I could, were I so inclined, stay awake a good deal longer, I choose to send myself off to sleep as soon as my head touches the branch I have laid it on. I want, nay, I need, to know what it is that intrigues me so about that creature....




I awaken, as it were, in a dilapidated building, the only Light tapping politely on a nearby window. It bid me walk about under its care, as I normally would, and forge what I would under its protection, something I only now decline to do. Though its offer is as generous as always, circumstance dictates my response, and I stand with the knowledge that I will not be subtracting from this world's entropy.

I have seen this world, in fact, it is my own creation. But that is not something that interests me now, despite the comfort it brings. I seek not comfort now.

I seek insight.

Despair being pushed aside by Determination, I climb to the roof of the building, surveying my kingdom for any sign of the mysterious Being. Though many creatures stir here, none are that which I want to see. I decide that it could not reside here, for this is not its realm. Just as I was not in mine last we met.

I raise my arms to the Heavens, summoning all my memories of Dream-Mist and its world. The ease of this hardly surprises me, for now that I am back in the realm of sleep, it is as if I had never left. As I concentrate on that one diamond in the sea of the Void, it appears to me, as if through a window in reality. I rejoice, for I behold Dream-Mist in what I know to be its own dream, its own escape from the Overworld. With a leap and a roll, I leave behind my fantasies so that I might join its own.

I marvel at this place, for I have never seen any biome this desolate in my life. But, as before, my intrigue at the surroundings quickly fades, and I find myself once again consumed by the question I came here to ask.

Forgetting my proper greetings in my feverish desire to know, I blurt out: What freedom did you speak of ere I left, and why is it that my God-of-Pure-Will cannot touch it?



In case you were wondering, the Accompaniment is whatever song I happened to be listening to while I wrote the post, and thus that song influences the post's content. So, I post it here in order for you to be able to be infused with the same mood I was while typing.

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Postby 1000 Cats » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:12 pm

I don't jump. I don't even bristle. I knew it was coming, had known it would be here.

I am a god.

What is freedom? Ask the sun what the sky is. Ask the roots of a tree about the earth it explores. A god of preparation. I may ask you, little Kidanlera, of the place that you are now in. What do you see here, in these burning sands? Perhaps you see a vast plain, empty and hostile. A place in which to die. It is frightening. But it is also a place in which travelers such as yourself are without boundaries. You can walk in any direction, for any length. Nothing will stop you.

More importantly, no one will stop you. Apart from me, you are alone here. You have no obligations to obey, you have no one to care for. You can just exist, for no other reason than the one you choose.

This is how I live, just beyond this very desert. I need care for nothing but my own easily won survival, and pleasure: something your Pure-Will cannot claims. For is he not obliged to aid you? Must he not care for your people? It is for this reason that gods such as he abandon those he swore he never would: he desires freedom from the responsibility that comes from the power you so admire. That power comes from without: from your belief. My power comes from freedom: that which I have won for myself. Of his enslavement, your god will become bored, for he has no claim to this power: power over himself.



I don't tend to listen to music while I write. I find it distracting, not being a very auditory individual, but feel free to continue posting the accompaniments. Also, sorry for the somewhat quick post; I've been busy today, and will continue to be busy for the rest of it. Tomorrow should be freer.

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Postby The Tavan Race » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:53 pm

As I listen to what Dream-Mist has to say, I realize that, though its knowledge of Pure-Will may be limited, it is willing to promote this freedom it has as if it outshone any God, anywhere. Perhaps it says what it does because its life is easy. A proverb jumps to mind, though from where I know it, I cannot say:

Nos te aleshika'wail te imenuva di ta Ome, vil shalki.
Those who have no need of God's guidance cannot appreciate it.

This being, this Dream-Mist, must think all to be privileged with its easy life. How many scars did you receive yesterday trying to get a meal? I demand of it, though I can already see the answer written on its unmarked coat.

Then, as quickly as they had been forgotten, my manners come rushing back to me from wheresoever I had left them.

Forgive me, you must think my actions so adverse. I... the reason I wished to speak to you is....

I falter, unsure of how to express the dilemma I face without slumping to the ground in frustration. I think quickly, as the being's gaze upon me feels like the lick of fire. Before I can arrange my whirling thoughts, however, I am interrupted by the familiar sound of wood upon flesh.

I stand, glance about, and the previously moving scene around the two of us ceases to do so. I now face a still-life of infinite meaning: a perfect replica of what I wish to express. I begin to rejoice at the fortune of this, but my frenzied movements soon still. There is something beyond the mere symbolic here, something that tugs at the strings of my mind like something you desperately want to see. Yet it is hidden. Just out of sight.

I take a step back, and it becomes apparent. The trees and vines that once composed a mere backdrop now compose the unmistakable shape of my Deity: eight arms outstretched, feet and tail curled in.

I forget all but this image for a moment, leaping at it with fangs exposed. Try as might to tear its constituent parts asunder, the image will not leave my sight, and I find myself wondering if Dream-Mist can read my actions. Does it even see the picture at all?

No matter. This taunting, something I might abide by in the Overworld, will not stand here. I scream and curse at the image, cruel in its scope of kindness. I keep tearing madly at it, unconcerned with what Dream-Mist may think of me for it.

Why here?! I cry at the trees, as much in bewilderment as in anguish.

Eventually, I come to the realization that my reaction makes no difference to Pure-Will, as neither image nor surroundings falter. Glancing at my companion to see if it has left, I attempt to calm myself. I hope dearly that it can relate to my outburst, despite the look of alien confusion in its eyes. This feeling bleeds into my own mind, as well, and I find I have no words to excuse my outburst.

Therefore, this divine offering will have to do, loath though I may be to show reliance on it. May I show you something? I ask, tentatively, fearing the reply.



I can see, even now, that this post's wording might cause confusion when read, so in the event that you don't fully understand what's going on, I beseech you to ask rather than post in ignorance. And in the event that you understand the content perfectly, I apologize for underestimating your ability to do so.
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Postby 1000 Cats » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:19 pm

The desert had suddenly given way to something like jungle: complex, convoluted, and exuding an inescapable sense of danger. Never before had I seen a dream morph this way, apparently of its own volition rather than that of the occupants; it seemed unlikely that Dream himself would take such an interest, either. Perhaps this is what bred such fear and fury in Kidanlera; it lacked any grace or controlled intent that one sees in a hunt or a defence. Its clear terror sets the fur on my back on end, though I do not understand what there was to fear, apart from the foreboding setting itself. As the little creature at last relents and turns to me, I instantly resolve to keep a wary eye upon it. For a moment I wonder if I could outrun it if I had to, but an aimless curiosity that I embody as well as any overpowers the lingering distress. Nervously considering the trees and the claustrophobic shadows they set across the ragged ground, I chirp a hesitant affirmative.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Dream-Mist's apparent lack of fear, rather than being insulting as it might be under a different circumstance, is, rather, reassuring. It is kindness, surely, that it makes itself a stone upon which I can rest my nervous mind. I resolve that neither Nature's forbidding display nor the opaque will of my God will set me on edge again. Out of innocent instinct, I hold my hand in front of my face, bringing it in to rest flat upon my face. Despite my lack of immature joy at this, the symbolism is still there, and if anything I can do will break the stillness, this is it.

As I expected, the familiar, childish act sets the scene in motion once more.




As I watch this version of events play out in front of us, I am pleased with the authenticity of it all. Though I do feel as though I am seeing a retelling of my quandary rather than replaying a memory of it. There are some things that do not seem quite right, for example: my tribemates' figures. Of course, their appearances are unimportant to the story, and just as irrelevant to my quandary, but I cannot help but feel that their countenance has been modified.

Specifically their eyes: they are all covered in a nigh imperceptible translucent film, as if a second eyelid were present, forever closed. This seems like a particularly random touch on the part of my God, though as soon as I think this, I realize that it cannot be so.

He always has a reason.

Always.

Directing my attention back to the environment, I begin to lose myself in the goings-on, as if I were reliving the scene for a second time. I wonder in passing how Dream-Mist is taking all of this in: does it understand what is occurring? The passing conversation: does it understand the words being traded?

And now, as the subtle acceptance and acknowledgment of equality is given me, can it relate to my situation?

And now, as we walk along the tree-limbs back to our village, will it understand the story I am being told?

And now, as the hunting party's leader turns to look at me, right in my eyes, does it know why his pupils gleam red?

Immediately I realize that I don't know what that means, either, and a half-second later I realize that of course, no tavan has red pupils. It would not be able to see; that is, it would be blinded to the outside world. It is another touch added after the fact, something that, I realize, is intended to aid my understanding more than that of my confidant.

It is especially frustrating, then, that my comprehension of these events is far less than when they were actually occurring. Indeed, now I wonder if these events have any great significance at all. If Pure-Will were simply toying with me, I suspect that it would look much like this.

To begin with, why is this tribe's eye color different in the dream than in the Overworld? Is it that their real selves deceive me? Or perhaps they hide something that even they themselves are not aware of. Why, then, should I be cursed with this cruel enigma, when they themselves walk in blissful ignorance? Not for the first time, I wish I knew less than I do, for I can no longer rely on my own instincts to guide my apperception.

Information is not always helpful.

Now, I find that I have missed a good deal of the story being told before me, further insight lost to my agonizing deliberation. I try to remember when the events I see took place, and come to the conclusion that the meaningful part of the play has passed. Now, all that remains is a flickering fire, a burning symbol of the dilemma I've gotten myself into.

I turn to Dream-Mist, quietly explaining the promise I've made to my Deity. A humble request for guidance follows hesitantly after.



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Postby 1000 Cats » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:50 pm

As the vision ends, I start washing myself. I like to be clean, and so clean I always am in my dream, but I don't want the sùcschŷx to see my confusion. I'm calm now; the fire reminds me of my time with the Kèc1 years ago, but in watching the events that were shown to me - and they were shown explicitly for me, on top of it all - of these sùcschŷxx, trees, and creature after creature attempting to kill- well, that wasn't even the most distressing aspect. What's most terrible of all is that little Kidanlera was rescued. Even though I know nothing about the verbose and tonguey language that makes even the Nhx seem like stoic natives, it's clear that these rescuers were strangers, but were accepted as friends regardless.

I look up at the little one in front of me for the briefest of moments over my feigned act of hygiene. Is this part of this promise she speaks of? That she would not only be placed in danger after danger, but would then need to be rescued each time? I imagine, for that tiny fragment of time, that her eyes too glowed red in the flickering firelight, but not so brightly as the others I had seen of her species. For a cat, the sight of glowing eyes is a fine thing. Some would say not, for it means the moon is to your back, and you are silhouetted against the sky and visible to even those not looking for you. I, however, would say that it's far better than not seeing glowing eyes. Somehow, I don't think the context is quite the same. There was no moon, no fire at the time; the glow came from inside the creatures. Or perhaps simply from their eyes themselves, like it was they who were on fire in the first place.

I don't know what to make of this. All I've seen is danger, trust in others for the delivery from said danger... perhaps this little creature knows more about my life than I have told it, and knows how contrary its existence must seem. I look up again into its eyes, now back to the hue they were before, and wonder how long it would wait. I need to respond sometime. I stop washing and sigh with what I hope is dignity.

In the waking world I travel, I say, promises made are kept. We are free, but we retain our honour. Most of us, I think to myself. But to even the most hungry of wanderers, the promise to rely on another seems contradictory. What is there to be gained from such a thing? For living things that die, very little. But for a god, power itself comes from such promises. In return, they offer protection, as you have stated, but if your world had no danger, for what would you need protection? Why would you be inclined to have faith? A god is deceitful. He promises to bring you meat, but brings it from the places you yourself have already hidden it, so that you are happy upon eating, but dismayed to find the meat you have hidden gone; and instead of wondering where it might have gone, you only think to wish your god would bring you more.

It occurs to me that the metaphor may be lost on this one. Such things come naturally to me, especially being known for talking my way out of scraps, and also to my kind, who would rather say something completely meaningless in an effort to sound insightful than simply create a new word for what they actually mean, but such an ineffective way of communicating cannot be universal in a world where honesty and trust seem so important. (Can it?) I resolve to play on her level, if she need it.

I can show you what I mean: a life with no fear of death or deities. Mine, if you wish.


1Colourful, reclusive, and large-bodied culture inhabiting much of Asia, Oceania, and parts of South America.
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Postby The Tavan Race » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:07 pm

My language has no words to describe the feeling that envelops my soul at the creature's words. Though I try for a moment, I cannot think of a way to phrase my reply. The frustration that comes next is not born of anything Dream-Mist has told me, but rather, emerges eagerly from my unrelenting desire to express my newfound clear-mindedness.

So, unwilling to bottle the feeling up any longer, I turn away from the creature and let out a primal scream, punctuated with clicks and underlined with a deep, sibilant rush of air. It is one of those rare cries which stem from an emotional state so extreme and unfamiliar that words cannot give it shape.

In the Overworld, it is a command that drives away our fellows, something that says: I see your purpose now. Be gone.

Here, it means something else, related yet fundamentally different. Something more like a change of being, as if my true identity were surrounded with concrete that only just now has been shattered.

I owe Dream-Mist my new mindset, and as such, I feel it deserves an explanation. I attempt to give it one.

I remember a time, perhaps the very first time I do remember, when I broke out of the tiny, insulated universe that was all I knew at the time, and stared up at the sky. I feel now as I do then, as if the world was mine to conquer, to shape to my will. I have since come to abandon this way of thinking, for I believed I knew something about our species that I now see is false.

Your words have, for reasons I'm not sure I can explain, brought that immature ambition back to me, the drive to succeed not in the eyes of one's Deity, but in the eyes of oneself. It is not service to their God that brought so many and so plentiful of lives to our heroes of legend, our Jakt and our Melyna. They are not praised for their devotion to Pure-Will, rather, for the good they have done our species.

Not everyone can bring such light to their kind, yet their limitations lie not in their own souls. They lie in the fact that they wish to please too many people. The great societal revolutions to which I refer were, and could not be, a result of obligation. They were a result of ambition, the desire to improve the world in which they lived for themselves.

As I explain to Dream-Mist my behavior, new thoughts come rushing into my head as fast as I can let them out my mouth. Why does it speak so little of my life's value, yet proclaim its own existence to be so desirable?

I feel you have insulted my race, however, I tell it without a trace of apprehension. There is much we mortals have to gain from cooperation. All I shall allow you to mean is that many of us do not truly know what sort of cooperation brings gain. For explaining this to me, I am in your debt. I need not now to envision what your life may be like, for you have shown me the purpose of my own. Though, I must say I would like to see, if only out of simple curiosity. I am not lying; this creature's existence intrigues me. What must it be like to live in a world where no Deity obscures your calling, where no Rivals can end a life prematurely?

I have no idea, but I know that it fills me with a sense of potential. For the first time since I was an infant, I feel as though I might balance a world on the tip of a claw. Though my own planet, I realize with profound sadness, is too ensconced in its preconceptions for true greatness, what might I achieve starting over? If it is anything like the content of legend, it would be worth risking my chance at a new life....

I interrupt my thought process, for Dream-Mist is giving me an odd look.

You will take back what you said earlier, I tell it, by way of regaining my composure, for you have no idea what my species is capable of. I stare into Dream-Mist's eyes, letting the full extent of my comprehension show in them.

And let it ne'er be said that, in that moment, I was any less of a God than Pure-Will.



Actually, I wrote this one in silence, but here's some fitting music anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6b3OYRKQ9Q.

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1000 Cats
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Postby 1000 Cats » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:57 pm

My eyes shoot open at the scream. It does not frighten me; it surprises me, perhaps, shocks me, but the reason for this is only vaguely related to anything fearful, and that is that the tone seemed so far beyond anything I had heard from it before: so close to what I often heard when I was awake: the cries and disjointed speech of cats. I imagine for a moment it as a northerner, a member of one of the tiny but gregarious and enigmatic tribes of the snow, whose screaming and whistling cries echo around the tundra, inspiring beasts of legend; for the moment, I feel almost as though I can recognize it from an ancient story, or a vision of a frozen wasteland.

I stare vaguely and listen as it delivers its own interpretation of what I have said. At first, I must fight the urge to snicker, but as it continue: speaking not of some lofty greatness like some sex-starved, óce-addled tom, but of individual prosperity and survival; a new feeling arises in me, as though I had, these last two sleeps, been raising a child from birth, and just now had it chosen to at last hunt for itself. Or perhaps I was àrüe, spreading new ideas to old places, and creating that way some sort of brief unity, ironically from individuality. My whiskers twitch at the thought, which is not even put from my mind as it makes its demand.

Something had certainly changed in its tone, that I will admit set me on edge, but this only prevents me from responding with mockery. Though I know, despite the start it had given me before, that no inexperienced thing might harm me here, in this realm I know so well, some instinct tells me that further taunting would be unwise. The look in its eyes, perhaps: the first time they have truly met mine. I steel myself; I am, as I say, as are so many others like me, nothing if not stubborn and staunchly dignified in the eyes of others. My only response, then, is to stand up, give it a blink of simple and slightly patronizing recognition, and turn to walk away, into that reflection of the waking world, my world, beyond Èˑs:söhý:nhú:. I lower my tail, letting it hover just above the ground as a silent and apathetic invitation to follow.
Last edited by 1000 Cats on Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby The Tavan Race » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:05 pm

I click softly at my confidant's reaction. Though I can see the start of prey-thought forming in its eyes, and the lowered tail does not escape my notice, it still retains enough pride to keep silent. There is something in that I admire. However, abandoning this endeavor when it has only just left the harbor would prove my words meaningless, and I am too convinced of their truth for that.

Deride me if you must, but I will prove to you that I mean what I say. I begin to lope alongside Dream-Mist as it leaves, wondering why it had decided to renege its previous offer. I decide to finish my sentence before returning to the Overworld to prove it. The play I had shown it drew out, and the waking hour now draws near.

Verily do I say unto you that I, Kidanlera di Kidayale Vesal, will convince your species that Unity and Fraternity are not without their purpose. Should I fail in this endeavor, may my name be remembered as the name of a thief and an ingrate. You have my word on this, I conclude with what I hope is finality, Dream-Mist and its Dream-World fading from around me.





When I wake, I find that my tribe has left me alone for a good while: the galneros1 is already aflame, and the first solukuer2 is brought back. I am touched by my new tribe's ever-increasing generosity, and thank them each in turn. This somewhat lengthy process completed, I decline to partake of the meat which I had no part in earning and ask where the sick Prophet resides. One tells me that he lives on the village outskirts, so that he may be away from commotion and noise.

Nodding, I head off in that direction. As I traverse the branches, my thoughts begin to drift back towards the events of the preceding night. Alas, as last time, I can barely remember any of what took place, though I do feel as though I promised the creature something.

It would have to wait. More pressing matters demand my attention.



I know that your invitation was to a replication of ÙOOHŶX:X's life, but Kidanlera doesn't think as I do.
1 - Fire Pit
2 - literally "Death by Unity". Refers to a kill obtained through technology and cooperation, rather than through the venomous bite demonstrated earlier.
Last edited by The Tavan Race on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby 1000 Cats » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:41 pm

I keep walking, even as I feel the agitated shape of the little sùcschŷx fade out of this existence. It's as though it was never there in the first place. Cats, in their wisdom, or perhaps in their naïvety, hold fast to dreams. They always have, and I, being either wiser or more naïve than most, live them; so even as my companion, the architect of this conflict, awakens, I remain, and I walk.

Through dirt and vines and tree stumps and accompanying undergrowth, I walk. As they give way way to scalding sands and biting winds and rolling dunes, I walk. The desert drifts into to tall, dry grass, lonely trees, and smell... what smell? The smell of friends? Victims? Rivals? Or simply of other animals, that may be loved or left or misled as the situation dictates?

Àrüe?

One cannot live as I do for as long as I have without becoming...

Àrüe!

...something else. Asking these questions, finding the answers and giving while taking, or else dying. Being àrüe...

Àrüeâˑ!1

Kidanlera's thanks? Or congratulations? What of fraternity?

"Àrüeâˑ!"



I open my eyes to, for the second time tonight, two smaller ones. For one insane moment, I thought that they had been those of the sùcschŷx, that it had somehow crossed into the waking world, but the fuzzy, mottled face and oversized whiskers betrayed in the moonlight the small child whom I had so enraptured the evening before. She arches in comical fright as I twitch back to life. "I'm sorry!" she exclaims.

I yawn and look warily around, "What are you doing here? Where are your mother and father?"

"They're asleep. I followed your scent and came here. I was there when you told-"

"I know. This isn't your home." Her eyes shoot open with a pitiful sharp intake of breath. I give my chest a brief wash. "You can't have been eating meat for more than a month. It's not safe out here."

The little queen is trembling now. "I-" she stutters. "I know. But you-I-had-"

"You should always," I murmur, hesitantly, "always stay close to dam." She squeaks and presses herself close to the ground, covered in óce.

At this point, I can't help it: I cross the two tail-lengths between her and myself and give her a couple swift licks along her ear. You're safe, I tell her. She bristles and looks back up at me in surprise; I can see clearly the constellations gathering in her eyes. After a while, she averts her gaze to them, just over my shoulder as I sit. I can recognize so much in her. More than I like to admit.

At last, she finds her voice. "Àrüeâˑ, I came to ask something."

I indicate that she has my full attention. And she does. Although I cannot say why, I fear for her, as though she might be my own sister or niece.

"Where is the god of the sùcschŷx?"


1A suffix indicating the sex of the subject (in this case, female) is an honorific that may be translated to indicate respect or nobility.
Yeah, I left it open so you could take or leave it if you wanted to save that for suspense.
Last edited by 1000 Cats on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby The Tavan Race » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:20 pm

My rhythmic climbing slows as through the dense forest I spot a clearing. It is just as my fellow described it, a black, multi-chambered tent covered in wandering lines of white paint. The foliage is held back by ropes leading to nearby tree trunks, and the ground has recently been cleared of debris. The site, though modest in size, exudes an aura of distance from, even a disdain for, other life, and I approach the entrance with reverence and a mite of caution. I daren't molest he who could best advise me.

As I pull back the flap that serves as the structure's entrance, I am confronted with the overpowering scent of wenla'wet1, burning over many dozens of tluane'wetin2. The calming effects of the drug in combination with the room's complete silence brings back memories in a flood, memories which were but impulses moments ago.

I recall what I promised Ùoohŷx:x, and why I promised it.

I recall the fear I felt at seeing my Deity's image, though no harm befell me.

And I recall the stories I had learned in that night, stories which received but the briefest of allusions, and yet, stories which instilled in me these ideas. Ideas of grandeur, though not unrealistic. Ideas of power, which by God's gift were within my reach. And most importantly, that one Idea that defined my species and gave us new life: The concept that all may come to greatness of their own merit.

Though there is much still to be answered, I know now that this is not the place to search. For I can say with the utmost of certainty that I have never heard a tale of Jakt, or of Melyna, in my life. Just as the air I take in is not that which I give out, these tales which so drastically changed my thinking are not mine to lay claim to, nor are they without expectation. Omenuetilin has not been toying with me, nor have I spent a moment when I was not under his care. For there is something he wants from me, and it is not something I could have done well in his name. Ironically, no action committed under his guidance could match what I plan to do for myself.

These were not tavans devoted to the service of their Deity, but rather to the betterment of their kind and of themselves. It is no coincidence that these goals were in alignment. They still are. But I had not seen this until now, for my own Gifted nature prevented me.

It is true, what they say, then, that God and Tava are not of one mind. And it gives me pleasure to know that I think as a God.

I hesitantly enter the tent's innermost chamber, where I see the Prophet swathed in black and hanging inverted from the ceiling. The folds of the tent wrap around him in such a way that the roof is pulled down by his weight. This alignment has long been valued for its benefits to the mind and spirit; it clears the head, as the incense does.

The Prophet himself is motionless, his face painted to match the tent. His eyes, too, are closed and painted over with black and white.

_pipaemeikada'ha tohip imenuva, val streka ta yajeva idesivei,_ I whisper softly, by way of explaining my intrusion.

Slowly, as if the effort needed is that needed to move a mountain, the Prophet opens his eyes. I recoil in shock and in a certain fear that comes from the realization that you have only just avoided something awful.

My fellow's pupils shine with a crimson hue, and silver irises frame them.

How, or even if, he sees with these eyes, I know not, but the sight of this unfortunate soul moves me to act. I begin to unravel the cocoon in which he rests, already thinking of which way to run when I am finished. This Prophet has been cheated by God while I bask in his good graces, and it is only right that I repay my debt to society in this manner. Later, I must tell my tribemates of this condition's meaning, but that is in the distant future.

Right now, the frail creature in my arms needs help.



Indeed, how your character lives will become immensely relevant very soon.
1 - literally "Calming Substance", a type of relaxant incense.
2 - Incense Burners

"I came here in order to ask for your advice, but I have since found what I was looking for within myself."
Last edited by The Tavan Race on Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby 1000 Cats » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:56 am

No cat ever questions the existence of a god. We know they are there. Perhaps, as I have, we see them, but even if we don't, we believe we have. The question is never if, but who, why. Where. I stare at the little queen for a moment before responding. She stares back, unblinkingly, eyes full of unwavering curiosity and starlight. "What are you called?" I ask. I am not stalling, for I know what I will say.

"Nˑkooäzàrüe.1"

I twitch an ear at the name she gives me. It's not her real one, the one by which she's called by her family, that's certain. "The god of the sùcschŷx," I tell her, "is sitting in an óce field."

Her little eyes widen again, but this time with intelligence and amazement. I avert my gaze from them.

"I am a poor àrüe," I say. "You do not want to be like me. Let's get you home."

"Stay!"

Nˑkooäzàrüe nearly leaps out of her fur; I spin around to see a giant tom: a Nhx, circling his way around the field, watching us. Any other time, I would have bolted, but leaving behind the little queen is unthinkable; somehow, it would seem like abandoning a younger part of myself: a possibility; and by how her tiny claws dig into the earth, I know she will not be able to follow. I glare at the golden shape pushing its way towards us.

"I live here," he says, without a hint of verbosity.

"We are àrüe," I reply.

"I see no àrüe," growls the Nhx. "I see a young queen and another whom I suspect to be Ùoöhŷx:x."

There is no way around this. I can see the confidence in his eyes; he'd been watching us for longer than he let on, his scent masked by the plant. I stretch, hoping to give an air of indifference. "You suspect rightly," I say coolly. Nˑkooäzàrüe's eyes flicker at me.

"Leave. The young queen stays." I smelled this coming. The way he approached belied a despicable intent. "She is not your daughter."

I raise my lip and lock eyes with the giant. I can feel my charge trembling next to me, as I wonder just what on earth I'm doing.


1"Prophet Who Has Not Yet Spoken"
Last edited by 1000 Cats on Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby The Tavan Race » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:00 am

Though I know not how to hold back the tides of my God's vengeance, I know where to look for someone who does: Meseri Sal, the place I occasionally visit to trade and converse with the allin. Though I have found these people unpleasant and somewhat tavanielesil, I cannot care about such things now. There will surely be a medic there with enough knowledge of the Prophet's plight to help.

Holding my dying fellow in both arms, I exit the tent and take off running, my innate sense of direction telling me where to go. I am forced to remain on the ground, unable to use my mobility to its full extent, and I pray that no tsaer elevosi1 lives near.




It is a good while later that the trees begin to thin out around me, and I see the first signs of ilwheva'llisi2. They are only a few merchants, but their inability to assist is forgivable, because they herald the proximity of those who can. Newly invigorated, I rush past them and onward, ignoring their greetings in the name of the Prophet's survival. The buildings continue to increase in size and technological development, and I quickly find myself amongst a forest of steel and glass. I press on.

Soon, I find what I am searching for: a building marked with the image of a tongue of flame. The universal symbol of hope does its job, and I enter the building fully convinced that the Prophet in my arms will live.

_heiletuwen! nesaneme sha lekuikaise,_ I breathlessly tell the tavan whose job it is to listen. Now that my body believes itself safe from retribution, it not shy about telling me how much energy I've expended, and I can barely speak from breathing so hard.

_te taele bahama hoku aivesi,_ she tells me in a pleasant, sympathetic tone, seeing how tired I am. I count myself lucky that this room is on the first floor, and more so that my fellow saw fit to accommodate this. However, there are more important matters than thanks to attend to, so a quick tilt of the head will have to suffice.

Barely managing to keep the Prophet's body from dragging on the floor, I walk down the polished hallway from which the twenty-sixth room may be accessed. Glancing down at the Prophet's body one more time before I enter, I see that his eyes are closed once more.

May you see fit to reconsider, I pray, and slide past the room's curtain.



1 - literally "Predator of Discerning Taste", refers either to something capable of telling tavan sexes apart or something immune to the females' poison. In this case, it is the latter.
2 - Civilization of the Allin

"This man needs help, now! He will soon die of some horrible illness."
"Room 26 is currently available."

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