(2018-04-11) PRP: Among the Stars
Among the Stars
Summary: Audgrim and Denver go in search of the second item needed for Grim's armor- water from the headwaters of the Eridanus river.
Date: IC Date (2018-04-11)
Related: Related Logs: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-03-27-the-sound-of-silence , http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-03-29-hot-date
Player Characters: Audgrim, Denver, Bea as ST

The Headwaters of the Eridanus River…There isn't much information they can find about this, beyond some vague astrological and mythological references on Wikipedia. Just that Eridanus is a constellation that has been mythologised into a river. So, Audgrim and Denver set out at sunset, to the one real hot tip they seem to be able to find- a place in the nearby hedge where, on a full moon night, a moonbeam becomes solid enough to be used as a bridge to territories in the sky.

It is not a pleasant journey. It ends up being close to midnight by the time they reach their destination, and they're a bit worse for ware. But they make it! And as they approach the area they've heard of, they see it- a single, wide moonbeam that stretches down, unbroken, from the sky, touching down to earth on a small island in the center of a pond that looks like quicksilver.

Maybe the research would've gone even smoother, had Audgrim not started by searching for a monster named Eridanus, thinking he needs to crack this monster's skull open and take the water from inside. It didn't seem more weird to him than most anything in the hedge. However, once Denver pointed out to him that it's /probably/ a River - he got a bit further and together they figured out a course to take.

Audgrim is carrying a backpack with useful items, and some food. And also he's got at least three containers that you can fill up with a bit more than 1 litre - just in case. Along the way he's pricked his finger with a thorn, so he's ready to ask the nearby hedge for advice if needed. As the two arrive, weary and with thorn clothing, he staers in awe at the moonbeam. "There it is. Guess we have to swim over?"

Trudging through with stone and a massive sword doesn't exactly leave her inconspicuous, no matter how small Denver is. When they finally make it to where they can see that little island and the beam of light, her eyes widen in surprise. "Beautiful," she murmurs before Grim mentions having to swim. "That… seems more dangerous than normal. Hard to swing a sword in water." She pokes at the top of the water with the tip of her blade. "Not to mention the whole part where I will literally just sink like a stone." Because at the moment that's what she is. A stone.

Audgrim rubs his jaw thoughtfully and nods to Denver. He walks to the edge and drops a small stick in - it barely sinks. So he tries with a pebble, which sinks a bit faster, but still slowly. Crouching down, he brushes his hands off and squints across, keen senses alert. "Maybe if we run very fast," he muses, grinning. "Look, it not real water at all. And there is a glow over there - don't know what that is." He has no idea whether this water is dangerous or not. "BUt water maybe dangerous to be in. Want to stick finger in and try?" Hey - she's the one made out of stone, after all. He stands up and starts looking around - if there's something they can build like a makeshift boat out of, or a raft.

"I'm fast, when I'm not all stoney. There's a chance I could get across quickly without sinking. But if I don't make it across and sink into this stuff, well, I'm not a swimmerskin." Denver's nose wrinkles a little bit. She reaches a foot out to press against the top of the water, her sword in the ground and providing something for her to grip and keep herself steady as she tests the waters. "I might be able to throw you that far, but it would seperate us, and that seems like a bad idea.

"Not sure I can swim in this. But I could try," Audgrim says, but he's starting to gather up any larger branches he can find, while still considering options. Maybe they at least can get a large enough pile of branches to tie together into something that doesn't sink that fast. "Maybe I tie rope around waist, I go in and try to swim over. Then if it not work, you pull me back."

Audgrim is able to find a couple of logs that look big enough, and dry enough, to act as makeshift bouys for the pair, though they definitely don't look like they'd offer much protection or comfort.

Denver's foot, when pressed into the water, does meet with some resistance, but not much, and she notices a tingling sensation as the liquid soaks into her footware. It doesn't quite burn, but…were she a bit less stony, it might well, and even with her stone skin, the sensation might get uncomfortable after a while…

"Oh!" Denver yanks her foot back quickly as soon as she realizes what's happening. "That's probably not going to work either," she offers with a glance back towards Audgrim. "You probably don't want to touch the water with your bare skin, it doesn't feel so good." She gives a little shiver and yanks the blade out of the ground to walk towards Grim and his collection. "Can I help?"

"Why never water I can swim in?" Audgrim mutters, glaring at the lake accusingly. But, he perks up immediately - he's not prone to fall into despair that fast. He digs out rope from his backpack and scratches the back of his neck. "We tie logs together, make something to… push water with. Thing in boats, long stick?" He doesn't know what oars are called.

As the pair discuss the pros and cons of late-night water sports, they begin to notice a sound from afar, coming closer very swiftly. It's a pounding sort of noise, as it grows closer it even begins to rumble the earth a little under their feet. It sounds, just a bit, like galloping horses.

As attuned as he is to the environment right now, Audgrim moves his feet to stand more anchored, alarmed. "What is this now," he says, forgetting all about raft-bilding; he puts the rope back in the pack quickly and looks towards that sound. "Best be ready for trouble now."

"A raft? That's a great idea!" Denver nods as she listens to the plan, taking a quick glance around to try to figure out something that they can use for oars. That's about the time the sound of hooves hits her ears and her attention immediately shifts. "That can't be a good thing," she murmurs as the grip on her sword shifts, her eyes drifting towards where the sound is coming from.

Coming up with amazing speed, Audgrim and Denver suddenly find themselves in the midst of a strange herd of horses. Though they all maintain a rather 'standard' horse shape, they each have a strange, uniquely horrifying look to them- one a skeleton with glowing red eyes, another an ephemeral ghost, another shrowded in flames, still another oozing blood. They all have a strangely intangible quality to them, though as they surround the two, it's clear that they are in fact quite solid. The herd seems to be heading toward the moonbeam bridge across the water.

"No raft - horse!" Audgrim says, surrounded by animals that he barely wants to touch - but they do run straight for the island. It's a gamble, but he runs alongside one that looks like a ghost and manages to grab the mane and swing up; it bucks to get rid of him but he clings on for dear life and growls into its ears and squeezes legs tightly around its back with a firm grip of what mane there is to hold on to. "You won't get rid of me." He glances quickly to see how Denver is doing.

"Oh my god," Denver whispers as the herd of strange horses come up on them. "I want one for myself," she whispers, looking at the blood covered horse with wide eyes. She quickly pulls herself up onto it, giving a little warning growl when it looks like it might buck her off. It submits after the growl, but the noise cuts off a second later as the wide eyed look turns from wonder to horror. Her entire body freezes up on top of the horse, to the point where it seems like she's struggling to breath. Or maybe there's another reason for the sharp, strangled noises that are trying to escape her throat.

The two horses that are now being ridden startle and seem ready to buck off the pair at first, but their growling manages to cause them to settle somewhat, though they swerve and sway, falling behind the rest of the herd just a bit, though remaining on track toward the island. Denver, frozen with terror, manages to hang on for some time, her limbs reflexively clenching on the horses mane. But eventually the adrenaline doesn't keep hold of her muscles, and she begins to slip from the horses back.

Watching Denver's terror and seeing that she's about to slip off the horse, Audgrim digs his heels into the side of the horse, tugs hard on its mane and steers it with a loud "That way!" with a few growls and hollers added; his voice carries above the thumping of gallopping hooves and the horse finds itself obeying. Just as Denver's about to slip, he grabs hold of the neck of her coat and heaves her close to himself, trying to pull her up enough so she won't fall. It'll be a bumpy ride for the tiny ogre. "Denver, it will be alright - hold on!"

Her hero! Denver manages not to hit the water as Audgrim swoops in to grab hold of her and pull her up towards him. She's doing a strange sort of dangling, half on the horse, half off. It's hard to tell what it is that cuts through the terror, but the look is starting to fade from glowing eyes as they suddenly dart up as the Ogress realizes what's going on. "Shi—" Denver scrambles to keep herself on the horse draped by Audgrim's side. "Thank you," she whispers as she clings.

The ghostly horse, now carrying two passengers, is definitely slower than the rest of the herd, which has pulled far ahead at this point, galloping almost as one up the silvery bridge to the sky. The ghost horse, instinctually following the same path, begins to clamber higher and higher, the air getting noticably thin as they move above a thin layer of silver-lined clouds. Up here, the stars twinkle brightly, and the constellations, somehow both familiar and alien, seem to have a life of their own. To their left, the giant Orion moves in slow motion, raising his sword from the famous scabbard. Far off in front of them, The lion, Leo, roars at a pair of twins. And off to the right, a string of stars twinkle and shift as if trying to emulate the ripple of light on water, the pair can almost hear the sound of splashing. They can't see, from their current position, the source of that 'river', but, it would seem, they may have at least found the Eridanus.

Pulling Denver up as best as he can, Audgrim grins down at her, relief filling his yellow eyes as she wakes up from her terror. "You're alright," he says, half for his own sake - and then he focuses on riding the horse. He enjoys this now, now that he feels like he can control the ghostly animal. So when they go up, and they reach the stars almost literally - he is amazed by its beauty. The hedge is both horrifying and beautiful after all. "You hear that? River, over there. But I don't think we can jump off? Are we going in right direction." He's confused - but what else is new.

Denver tries to move and wiggle into an easier position for the both of them, not to mention for the horse itself. Her grey-stone knuckles are almost white as she holds tight, letting her gaze sweep over the area in quiet awe. "Not many girls get to say that their third date with a guy involved riding haunted horses and running on a bridge made of moonlight into the stars." She laughs softly, maybe trying to shake off the rest of that terror that still lingers. She pauses, trying to pinpoint where the river noise is coming from. "I hear it."

You both notice that there seems to be some large clouds ahead, that seem to be where the horse is heading naturally. It seems oddly large and meandering, both dark gray like a heavy thundercloud, and yet luminous as it harnesses the silvery moonlight. It's clear that here, in this particular part of the hedge, the constellations are alive and conscious, though they seem to be going through some almost scripted routine, like a play that's been given a rough outline, but allows for improvisation as long as the main plot points are hit. Cassiopia clings to her chair, Aquarius dips a vessle into the water…As they get farther and father along the moonlight road, they seem to take on a certain solidity, more easily seen, the details of their form- largely imagined in a human sky- fill out to fully formed, if ephemeral, creatures.
You paged Audgrim with ‘You notice a large creature…like /real/ large (think size of a bus) that looks like some medieval illustration of what someone who had never seen one imagines a whale looks like. It seems to 'breach' out of the water, mostly visible in a strange extra-dark patch in the starry river and a spray of star-dust as it lets out a breath before diving down again.’
Audgrim pages: Alright, and it's off where we heard the water/light on water?
Audgrim pages: or is it like, below us?
You paged Audgrim with ‘Sorry, where you saw/heard the watery light.’

"I take my girl to the stars?" Audgrim jokes - he smiles at Denver, then looks around with every sense on alertness. He's flooded with sensations - it's wonderful and alarming at the same time, not knowing where they're going exactly but being in such a wonderfully strange environment. Shifting Denver up a bit further, so the two can sit as comfortably as possible, he inhales sharply; "I saw a whale," he breathes, nodding over at where they saw and heard the watery light. "I think we have to go that way. I don't know how - unless we follow bridge to end and can walk back. Or someting fly that we jump on top…"

"I've never seen anything like this before," Denver whispers almost breathily as she watches the constellations play out their rolls right in front of her eyes. She smiles back towards Audgrim for just a moment before returning her attention towards the sky. She's almost forgotten for a moment that they're actually here to do something, so caught up in the beauty of it. "A whale?" That causes her to start looking around towards where his head nods in the direction of. "We follow until we can't anymore. I'm sure we'll figure something out."

Eventually they do reach the end of the moonbeam bridge, the ghostly horse joining her fellow night mares in a cloudy paddock, of sorts. Under them, she snuffles and snorts, clearly unhappy at having the continued burden of the pair, even more now that she's not moving. The clouds, at least to the horses, seems solid, and it becomes clear that the high, dark clouds are, in fact, some sort of structure, about the size of a large mansion, with the paddock the horses are in, and a courtyard that leads into the dark, misty interior. In the sky nearby, the giant Orion, and Ursa, the bear, seem to be on the move, heading toward a meeting that may not be far from where the pair are currently perched.

Audgrim pats the horse's neck firmly - it's done them good after all. As they slow down and he gets his bearings, he slides carefully off the horse but keeps a hand in its mane, just in case the ground isn't that solid to them. "Should we worry about them?" he asks, hiking a thumb at Orion and Ursa. He looks towards the direction where he saw the whale, to see if he can see a natural path to move along.

"Sorry," Denver murmurs towards the horse as she moves with Audgrim to slide off of it's back. "If there was a way to not be terrified riding on those things, I would want one for a stead. The blood covered one. Because how awesome and intimidating would that be?" She tests the 'ground' under her feet for a moment before putting her full weight down, making sure it will actually hold her. "I don't know enough about the stars to say. Probably best to stay out of their way. I would love to see inside that mansion though. Some day." She reaches out for Grim's hand, giving it a squeeze. "Thanks again," she offers him with a smile before following him as he leads the way.

Taking Denver's hand in his, as it seems appropriate, Audgrim gestures vaguely towards the mansion. "Maybe we go look there? I don't see path to river - but maybe that way. Maybe someone /in/ mansion can tell us? If someone lives there." It's as good as any path, far as he's concerned.

Fingers wrapping into Audgrim's, Denver glances towards the mansion again. Her head suddenly tilts as she gestures upwards. "Did you see that? There's someone way up near the top of the fortress. I don't know if they saw us or not, or whether they're friendly or not. But it's probably our best chance," she agrees.

As you head into the cloud fortress, it is almost disconcerting, the emptiness. Chilly rooms and open halls made of solidified mist, all devoid of furniture or decoration. Eventually they reach the top of the fortress, to where Denver caught a glimpse of a face, and they find a humanoid hob, slim and withered, with large wings that are singed to the point of disfiguration. He sits in the center of the room, which is more of a rooftop patio, crouched defensively with dirty claws out, a warning hiss the only greeting they get.

Reaching this room, Audgrim pauses at a safe enough distance and lets go of Denver's hand - just in case they have to fight. He raises one hand in a friendly greeting and tries to keep his voice as calm and friendly as possible as well. "Hello - we not come for trouble. We bring some gifts - here." He digs out an apple from his pack. Not a hedge apple, just the regular garden variety. "We look for head of Eridanus river."

Can't blame the hob for being defensive, since they're the ones invading his space, after all. So Denver releases Audgrim's hand and takes a step back. That way she's still ready to lunge in if she needs to, but for now is a safe distance from the creature. Hopefully far enough that it doesn't feel like she's a threat. "We're not here to fight," she assures. "Just hoping for a little help."

The hob doesn't seem to quite know what to do with this friendly approach. Its scorched wings twitch as it eyes Audgrim, then Denver, and finally that apple. It's quick as lightening, scrabbling forward and snatching the apple from Audgrim's hand, retreating once more. He devours the apple quickly, loudly, and messily. One gets the impression he's not had food in quite some time. Once the apple is consumed, he finally speaks, a scratchy, rusty sound, hesitant and clearly out of pratice. "River? Help?" He waves the core of the apple toward Audgrim and Denver before devouring it and demanding, "More."

Audgrim tenses up a bit but manages to remain still as the hob snatches the apple - he doesn't want to startle him. "Yes, we want to find head of river - if you can help us. I will give you all the food we can give." He does dig out another treat now, a cinnamon roll - he holds it out. "You can have this for free, but if you show us head of river, we give you much more. Deal?" He glances at Denver, hoping she got some food too, gesturing subtly at her pack.

Denver lifts a brow when Audgrim turns that look on her. Has he met her? Of course she has food on her. "I don't have apples, but I do have meat," she says, pulling out a bag of chicken thighs and looking at it mournfully. Goodbye sweet chicken, with your tender meat and your tastiness. There's absolutely more food in her bag, but atleast she's willing to had that over for now. She offers is towards Grim, to help with the bribing. "What are you doing up here all by yourself? You should be down where the food is!"

The hob peers at the pair of Lost, seeming to have to work to understand them. But eventually he seems to figure it out, licking his lips at the chicken thighs, quivering like an over-excited chihuaha. "No go river." He moves quickly again, however, to the edge of the fortress, pointing down below, "Call Cetus." he points to himself, to make sure that it's clear he will do the calling, and then to the chicken, to show that that is the reward he expects for it. Denver's question simly gets a shrug and a scowl, "Stuck. Feed mares." He then hops on the edge of the fortress wall, and lets out a loud, low call. Over and over, a strange, spine-shivering sort of sound. Slowly, from out of the distant river, that starry, giant of a creature breaches once more, then seems to leap from the darkness that makes up the depths of the 'water' and moves slowly through the sky, returning the hob's call in kind.

It's not quite a whale, though it has elements that put it in a similar family- the wide tail, the size, but it has giant paws instead of funs, and a strange round head with big, bovine-like muzzle. It's like some medieval imagining of what a whale looks like from a drunken description.

"…Cetus?" Audgrim breathes - he's not sure what the hell is going on now, his tail flicking agitatedly as the hob starts making that sound. With his senses so alert, he puts his hand to one ear and turns the other away meanwhile, staring in befuddlement at Denver. Until that whale comes close enough - then it dawns on him. His tail now flicks excitedly, instead. "I think maybe we can get a ride."

Is chicken worth trading for a ride on a hedge-whale? With Denver, it's really hard to tell, but her eyes do light up a little bit as she realizes what's going on. There's no hesitation in turning over the chicken now, so that answers that. But then she pauses, her brows knitting together and lips falling into a thin line. "What do you mean stuck? Who stuck you here? What is it that they eat that they are well fed while you starve?"

"Yes, real shame you are stuck here," Audgrim murmurs. Hey, Denver cares, he's shamed into doing the same.

He points to Audgrim, "Like him," this seems to be in response to Denver's question about what it is the horses eat. And then, once again, so quick it's almost easy to miss, he leaps off the fortress wall and snatches the chicken from Denver, moving to the corner to eat it. He stretches his burnt wings, wincing with obvious pain. "Stuck," he says again, then shrugs as he crunches a bone, like that's just the way it is, his lot in life. The giant whale has made its way close enough that it is now hovering, with eye level to the wall so it can just peek over at the tiny Lost. It gives another long, bone-shaking noise and seems to be waiting.

"What? No, they can't eat me," Audgrim protests - he shuffles nervously towards the whale, which seem such a nice animal now. He digs out some more food hurriedly, some more buns, a can of beans of all things, and some sandwiches in a container, leaving it on the ground. "Thank you," he tells the hob, and then moves to climb up on the whale if possible. "We best go now."

"Do you want to be unstuck?" Some creatures don't want to be, after all. Denver notices that the wings are injured, her eyes narrowing. "I can try to come back, with something to help your wings so they don't hurt. I'll bring some food too. Then, if you want to be unstuck, I will help you." Apparently she's chosen a new cause, and it's the injured little hob stuck in a tower. She takes out another bag of meat, adding it to the pile before she moves towards Audgrim and the whale. "Alright, let's do this."

The hob definitely isn't going to refuse the extra food, and seems intent on gorging himself into a stupor as quickly as possible. He nods to Denver as he swallows one of the chicken bones, choking and gagging for a minute as it gets stuck in his throat, before apparently dislodging it enough that it can complete the route to his stomach.

Meanwhile, the whale waits. It's as large as a public bus, so there's plenty of room for the pair to settle in for a ride, and it seems more or less okay with having them use it for transport. Once they are settled, the hob makes another low noise at the giant beast, and it begins to move, a surprisingly jerky movement for something that appears to move so fluidly.

Grimly watching Denver, Audgrim seem to think this rescue idea is a bad one - but then he sighs and takes her hand, eyes warm as he watches her. He shifts so he sits in a lotus position, steadily. He leans in to talk to the whale, soothing noises - he scritches carefully with his claws and tries his best to relay what he wants - to go to the river.

"Oh, don't give me that look. You were a slave once too, remember? What makes it okay to do it to hobs? From the look of it he was injured to prevent him escaping." Denver gestures to the wings. Granted, she's making a lot of assumptions. She takes Audgrim's hand and lets him help guide her up onto the whale's back. "Hey beautiful," she coos, petting along its back.

The whale does indeed head back for the watery darkness and bright stars that make up the Eridanus, and takes a deep dive as it returns to its home territory. It's a short dive, but an odd sensation- all the pressure, distorted sounds and visuals, and lack of air of water, without any of the wetness. Perhaps it's what it feels like to spend a moment unprotected in deep space. Luckily, it doesn't last long, just a few short moments, then Cetus breaches the darkness again, the starts twinkling like beacons all around you both as it makes swift progress up the river, passing under the flowing water of Aquarius' jug, sneaking between the ever-dancing pair of fish that make up the constellation of Pisces, negotiating its way around the deep cave where the clacking of Cancer's crabby claws can be heard…It takes some time, and the moon is low in the sky, close to setting when river begins to narrow. Eventually, Cetus can swim no further, but up ahead they see a deep darkness, a spot so black that it seems almost invisible, from which the dark waters of the river in the sky seems to flow.

Around this well of absolute darkness, a thin silver line, much like the bridge they rode in on was made of. Though they notice that, as the moon moves closer to the horizon, the less substantial it seems to be.

Audgrim grips Denver's hand tightly and keeps swiveling his head as he tries to take in all details of this wondrous hedge adventure. It's like nothing else, nowhere near what he's experienced before. When the whale dives, he holds his breath and is alarmed for awhile - he can hold his breath for a long time if in water, but is this water? And he looks at Denver in worry, before they breach the 'surface' again and they can breathe. Then he settles back down and enjoys the ride - it's romantic, in a sense. "I hope we get back in time - if moon goes away, will bridge go away?" he wonders quietly. But it's too late to worry now - they've got to get off the whale or go no further. He stands up and looks at that silvery walkway around the dark water up ahead. "We can jump to that. Or you jump - I ride on your back." He grins.

Sometimes having a robust stamina is a great thing. Having to hold your breath for awhile is one of those times. This is no doubt one of the most magical places that she's every been, her eyes wide and curious as she watches everything pass by. The concern in Audgrim's voice is noted, her hand tightening in his. "If it goes away, then we'll just wait it out a day until it comes back with the next moon. We're survivors, it's what we do, right?" She follows him into a stand, trying to judge the distance of the jump. "We can make it."

When the pair leap from the back of the giant whale-creature to the moonbeam, the notice that it's quite thin, about the width of a particularly thick rope, and with an unnerving amount of give. It's rather like walking on a slackline, requiring a particular amount of balance and effort to remain on the path. As they approach the the dark pool, they notice that the air gets more and more chilly, and the stars seem to blink out one by one, until they are soon enveloped in that same inky blackness, almost blind, save the thin silvery line they walk on.

Landing precariously, Audgrim's arms flail a few moments before he catches his balance and holds his arms out to the sides. He exhales air he didn't realise he was holding and looks to be sure Denver's doing alright too. He walks carefully towards the darkness, glancing to see if the whale remains bfore he does. He takes out one of those flasks, to be ready. Can he tell for sure this is the place now?

There's obvious wobbling on Denver's part as she tries to catch herself and keep herself from tumbling over the side and into the water. "Ooooh my god," she whispers as she finally manages to find her bearing. She lets out a slow breath, giving Audgrim a reassuring bob of her head when he glances back to check on her. "I'm okay," she murmurs. "You think this is the place? It seems like it could be."

This must be what being blind is like…It's so pitch black that, other than that ribbon of light at your feet, there is nothing. It's more than a little disortienting.

Audgrim can see - faintly. Well enough to make out details and to see that goal. "It's there," he breathes and excitedly catches Denver's hand, almost forgetting they're near walking on a tightrope. "It's right there - the head water of Eridanus. Black as the sky at night. Darker than dark." He squints. "Denver - never thought I'd ask this - but need you to grab my tail or back of pants and hold me - I need to lean out and get water. It should work."

Denver yelps as he grabs her hand, other hand, the one with the sword, waggling in the air to fight to keep her balance. "I don't see it, but I trust your eyes in the dark better than mine." She releases his hand to move her grip towards his tail. Her sword hand slips the blade back into its holster on her back so that both hands can be used for this. "Hopefully this isn't going to hurt you, and you'd better not be part lizard. Because if it pops off in my hand, I -will- throw up." Teasing to help with the nerves. "Be careful."

Normally, this would be humiliating - but it seems a wise course this time around. Of course, they could use the rope, but he's in a hurry now and don't want to juggle bag and rope on that thin walkway. He opens the flask and begins leaning out, legs straight against the ledge, one arm reaching out as far as he can to dip the flask into the water. It's not very pleasant to be held like that, but it'll definitely give a better reach. Holding his breath, the container is lowered into the water while he strains with his feet against the walkway…

The dark 'water' is icy cold, numbing Audgrim's fingers as it flows almost unnoticably into the flask. Soon enough, Audgrim can tell it is full, more from the slight shift in the container's weight than anything. It's a good thing the job is done too, as it's easily apparent that the narrow path they are standing on is getting less and less substantial with each passing minute.

"Got it. Pull me up," Audgrim says - barely wanting to breathe as he puts the cork back onto the flask. He holds it with both hands, so afraid of losing it.

Denver's grip is strong and steady, keeping Audgrim as still as she can manage given that her grip is on his tail alone. When he gives the go ahead, she quickly reels him back in, offering a soft noise of relief. Once he's upright again, she gives him a quick hug. "Got what we need? I say we get out of here, go watch the stars until morning, and then head back. What do you say?"

Audgrim hugs Denver back - careful with the flask. Then he puts it in his backpack, balancing precariously while trying to hurry. "I think we need to go back now - bridge only there on full moon," he reminds her. "I would like to stay, but we can go back, other time." He takes a breath, and starts walking back on the very narrow path, as hurriedly as he can.

As they hurry away from the dark well that is the headwaters of the Eridanus river, the light becomes almost blinding. This is not only because of the extreme darkness they've just come out of, but the impending dawn that is just starting to make itself known. The giant whale creature waits for them, and moves with an urgency that wasn't there before, returning them to the cloud fortress just as the golden light of dawn breaks over the horizon. As it does so, all the stars, all the players in the night sky seem to fade away, the pale silvery light that makes them visible in the dark night no match for the bright glow of the sun. Even the horror-show mares they rode in on seem to fade a bit, falling into a deep slumber in their cloudy paddock. They are just able to make it back to the relative safety of the cloud fortress before the denizens of the night sky fade away entirely.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License