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Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

The Joining

After excusing herself from Harmodius' presence, Illisia left into the direction he had pointed to her. Toward the building. It led upward, just as she had been told, and the upper hall seemed to stretch on endlessly. No matter how much she squinted, she could not see an end on it.

How... particular.

She walked down that hallway for what felt like a long time, passing many a curious door – one was made of teeth ! – before she saw what she had been told about. The shape of the familiar tree on wood that still seemed to breathe life. This... this was her's, then.

Or perhaps theirs was accurate, as she was reminded by the weight of the gem and silver dragon figure in her palm.

It was still so much to take in.

Her left arm rose, hand pushing the wooden door open. And inside there was... nothing. White on white, almost dizzying as she stepped inside, the sensation of vertigo having her lean against one of the undefined surface that made a 'wall'. It was her will for something different that spun it all into action – and the room changed. Wooden floors, with the same feeling of life than the door possessed, dark purples for the walls, the atmosphere turning darker, more fit for a nocturnal being. It was not much, but it was already better, and not quite as nausea-inducing. Illisia finally let go of the wall, and stepped inside. It was one simple room, small, but it did well for now. One more subconscious need summoned piles of cushions similar to the ones of the teahouse, making one long feathered eyebrow rise. Well... she might as well, then – and she let herself fall into them, raising the gem in the air to better study it.

Even now, it seemed to 'speak' – words without words, a silent calling made of impressions rather than actual speech. It pulsed in between her fingers, gently. She was careful to keep it cradled in her palm, using only the tips of her fingers to keep it steady. That it could have simply bust though the leather of her glove to bury there had he wanted to never occurred to her.

Gods and dragons... Hosts and flames. It was much to take in, indeed. Should she do this, then it was too evident she would cease to exist as she was now. That much was clear. And yet, there was no fear at that knowledge, in that realization. She had lived for times beyond mortal comprehension, and many other mortal races would have simply went insane if they had lived for so long, had so many memories and as many experiences as she had. Her life had been a long one, full of twists and turns, of love and pain, of twists and lies. The love of a wife and the love of a mother. But it was all gone now, likely never to return. She had what, maybe one, maybe two thousand years if she was lucky, before her body would wear out, and she would die.

A blink of the eye, for someone who had lived over ten thousand years. Her sudden mortality had always been a source of worry for her, has it had been for those of her brethren that had lived as long as she did. The younger ones, like her son, had accepted it much more easily.

Was this not a better alternative ? If she was fated to die, then why not end while bring something else in her place, something stronger, more powerful, able to right out great wrong ? A god, a dragon ?

It was a better end than all the other things she had imagined, to be honest. Her only regret was Elik, her Elik – but he was an adult, looking more like her brother than her son to those unaware of a night elf's former immortality to time. He had stopped ageing in his young adulthood, just as she had. He would have to deal with this one day...

And then, perhaps, there was a chance he might understand.

Her mind had finally caught up with her subconscious on the matter, it seemed, and she spun the jewel in her hand skillfully as she pondered... locations. There was not much on her that would have it be invisible, so that matter was discarded immediately. Not that it mattered. She found no reason to hide it from view.

The stomach area was a no go, as it would likely hinder her movement. The upper chest would hinder her getting clothed, and while she certainly had no shame with going about naked, most human-like races did. Odd customs, these lots.

The night elf thought some more, and then finally seemed to settle. The gem twisted upright into her hand one last time, and she pressed it against her upper right arm, the metal cold against lavender skin. It seemed to instinctively know, and it was only then that it started to attach itself. The pain was sharp, making her grit her teeth, but nothing she could not bear – she had gotten worse battle wounds. More surprisingly, the dragon's tail shifted, twisting in and out of her skin as it curled around her arm, as if accessing that she was, indeed, now his'.

And there was something, so faint that she might very well have imagined it, words in her head that did not belong to her, whispering against her consciousness as, all of sudden, her eyelids seemed to grow heavier and heavier, just like if something had just sapped all the strength she had.

Thank you...

And then, the world went dark, and she curled onto the pile of cushion, welcoming that loss of her senses as her mind drifted into sleep.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Neighbours... ?

He'd wandered back to the Pantheon after a short absence, finding the outdoors far more welcoming then the small, ragged towns that surrounded the god's headquarters. Even the Pantheon, despite its airy architecture and soaring columns, wasn't as comfortable to Forest as the wilds around it. However, he'd developed something of a guilty conscience for not at least checking in with his Aoidei who were most likely fretting at the lack of contact.

Glyph had paused at the Noticeboard, a legacy of his resourceful host, and had smiled despite there being no notes for him. The mortal had done much for him and those around him... was a cherished memory and sacrifice.

Seeking his door afterwards, he'd paused before another door, this one depicting a nameless, great tree and he wondered at it. It had not been there the past time he'd passed by this way and its proximity to his own rooms - right next door - made him rather curious. Who could dwell behind that one? Someone with some influence that was similar to his own domain?

Undaunted, the sociable god knocked upon its wood and stood there with a slight smile, hoping that someone was indeed home.

Zero Dream
It was that knock, the first sound to truly reach her ears in days, that startled the elven woman right out of her slumber, her long ears having made her hearing rather keen. She jerked upward, suddenly disoriented. Where was...

Oh, Right. Creation. That room. The gem... She'd put it on her arm, and then she must have fallen asleep, as if there had been two senses of exhaustion wearing her down instead of one.

There was that taste in her mouth, however, the one she got when she slept for much too long. How long... ?

In her daze, it took her a moment to realize that the sound she had heard had been a knock. Who... ?


The night elf worked herself onto her feet, straightening her dress as she finally stepped forward to open the door, reguarding Glyph with the rather bemused expression a barely-awoken person often poccessed.

Apparently night elves were not morning persons.

"Hn... ?" It was then, finally, that recognition seemed to hit. "Glyph... ?"

Glyph, for his part blinked at the disheveled night elf when opened the door, rather obviously surprised, "Illisia...?" He couldn't help the soft chuckle that escaped him at the sleep expression that clouded her silvery eyes. And though he couldn't see the gem, he could sense something different about her and knew she'd taken on another of Gods.

Sighing softly then, a spike of possessive upset was quickly suppressed before it blossomed into anything greater. Another god was on its way to rebirth and he would not begrudge him or her that. However that that was her calling bid sadness to settle into the void the shot of possession had left behind. The frown was quickly suppressed as well, though his voice was soft as he tilted his head, neither stepping away nor closer, "I'm sorry. Did I wake you? Your rooms are simply next door to mine..."

Zero Dream
"...They are ?" She asked, peeking her head out to look. She hadn't noticed... not that she would had known what to look for. Hair was starting to break free from her braid, only adding to her dishevelment. "Hn."

"Well, come in. There's not much in here but there's cushions." She let go of the door then, turning to go back inside.

Not a morning person indeed, though one could hit worse. At least she was coherent.

He nodded, smiling, "Indeed. The Grove, see?" Glyph inclined his head to the double set of doors depicting an old growth forest etched in golden relief against rich wood.

Moving forward a few paces, he paused at the threshold, "Are you sure? I can come back later... I would not want to disturb the both of you. If it is slumber you need, simply send a message to my Aoidei when you feel better up to it."

Zero Dream
"No, come in... I get the feeling I've slept for much too long, anyway." She grumbled, flopping against the cushions again and undoing the length of leather cord that kept her braid in place, a large movement of her head undoing the whole, leaving her with a full mane of slightly wavy, dark purple hair.

The room was small and cramped - four walls, a floor, a ceiling, and a large pile of cushions. She hadn't had much opportunity to do more yet. It was rather dark inside, suited for a creature with night vision, but there was thankfully little that Glyph could trip on.

"...And what is an aoidei, anyway... ?" She asked, clearly a little confused.

She moved to gather her hair again, and something on her right arm glimmered silver.

"Mn." He replied, entering the room properly then and found it a small, dark place so different from his own airy, light rooms. It wasn't bad but he was careful in how he moved as not to inadvertently stumble on something that would send him sprawling onto his face. That... would be most embarrassing.

"An Aoide?" He blinked then realized she wouldn't know that and smiled as he lowered himself into the cushions and lounged comfortably, no stranger to such a set up. "An Aoidei is an immortal... though truly immortal. They served us in the past... and some reconnect with their lords and ladies once they've been reborn. Personally, my three are Natasha, Aisling, and Aelondrael. They are dear friends and servants and they help in everything that is asked. They... hmn..." He pursed his lips thinking, "I'm not sure what they would be equivalent to for your people... representatives of the gods, perhaps?"

He fell quiet when he caught a glimpse of the silver, tilted his head to the side at the visual confirmation his senses had eluded to, "You do bear one of us now..." As she moved, he recognized the insignia that curled about her arm and a look of surprise settled into his features. He bowed his head, "You shelter a Dragon King now? Another is returned. That is good news... Who have you welcomed into yourself?" He spoke softly, not entirely able to hide the sadness from his voice, though it was intermingled with relief. She would not be the sacrifice to a child of Destruction then... that was good. He would not to worry about her well being then. The dragon king would, hopefully, treat her kindly.

Zero Dream
"Hn..." It was her turn to ponder out loud. "Avatar ?" No, that did not seem quite yet. An avatar meant an actual personification, did it not ? Her common english definitively lacked in places. "No... a priest, maybe ? Representative ?"

His next statement interrupted that string of thought, as well as the movement of her hands. "Yes, a dragon, Lord Harmodius told me... Ti Lung. Something about water and earth and scales."

It was hard not to notice the sadness in his voice, and her ears drooped slightly. "I did... what felt right." It was the only explanation she could give. "I will die eventually, and if I this dragon can help to right what went wrong... Then it will not be a waste." Would Glyph understand ? She was not sure.

"Perhaps a Priest... though that isn't quite right either. Perhaps when you have met a few you will understand." He smiled, not overly worried about it, "Visit me and mine some day, I will introduce you."

"Ti Lung...?" He echoed, pursing his lips as the name seemed familiar, toying at his mind where memories had faded. It was familiar... and yet, the harder he sought the answer the more ellusive it seemed to become, "I know the name, though I do not know to which King it belongs... has he not yet spoken to you?"

Glyph's expression turned from one of curiosity to one of apology, "I did not mean to guilt you, Illisia. It saddens me that you will be the lifespark of another - we have only met recently but you are one of my first true followers that I have encountered, I cannot help but be a little possessive of those that give me strength, can I? I do care for you, my friend." He smiled fondly, "You are an ally and welcome in company as a follower, but I admire and am grateful for your willingness to give yourself to one of my kinsmen. I do not frown upon your choices, do not worry. Though I do insist that you treat her well, Dragon King Ti Lung." Glyph arched a brow, obviously speaking beyond Illisia and to the king himself, hoping the god would register the words even if he did not speak yet.

Zero Dream
"Not really..." There had been that effect, when the gem had been put, but that had been so faint... it was likely only her imagination.

There was no answer, mental or otherwise, at Forest's last statement, only the loose feeling of coils in her mind, rolling softly as if in slumber, the vaguest sensation of something that had not been here previously. That sensation made one long, feather-like eyebrow rise slowly in puzzlement.

"...I do not know why he chose me, though." She had not known that dragons were something special, per-se... but Glyph's reaction spoke of such things. "Something that he needs that only me has..."

"Hmn... would you tell me when he does then?" Glyph asked, "I would like to know into who's care you've been given." He winked, grinning to show he was not concerned.

"It... is something unique to each of us..." He spoke then, taking a moment to think on his opinions of Malh'reth, "My own host, Malh'reth, was a mage... an entertainer and summoner of sorts. Kind, gentle, and driven to do something to help the kin that had cast him out. I cannot say why, exactly, I found myself needing him but... it is there, that unique spark. Perhaps it makes us whole again... or heals old wounds. It is an opportunity to regain ourselves, I believe, and I find myself cherishing life all the more - and I've developed an strong appreciation for bonbons but that is neither here nor there. If I had to give words to the things that Malh'reth gave to me, however, I would say a greater appreciation of existence and a deeper wonder of the world." He chuckled, "It might seem odd to you that I might say that... but it's like looking through a child's eyes and seeing infinite promise. I can and do stand in awe of creation, especially now when renewal is coaxing life back into the land and the mortals, ever determined and inspiring, work at piecing together their lives. It is difficult to word, I am sorry." He sighed, puffing out his cheeks as he found himself unable to fully express what Malh'reth meant to him and how it might relate to her and her god.

"There is something truly heroic about giving up your very being to another... and I assure you, the one you bear will appreciate your sacrifice for there is something within you that makes him better."

Zero Dream
Illisia listened with interest, gray eyes focused on Glyph as he spoke, even as she had resumed her motion and had started to weave her hair back into a much neater braid. She was not quite sure she understood completely, to be honest... But maybe it was one of those things one needed to go through to understand.

"I see..." She said when he had drifted off into silence. "How long does it usually take for..." She wasn't quite sure how to word this. "gems to speak ?"

He shook his head, "I have no idea. I would think it depends on the personality of the god you bear. If they prefer silence, they may not speak much at all." Glyph laughed softly, "I would hope they would at least tell you who they are."

Zero Dream
Illisia moved her hands to tie the braid with the leather cord she had discarded on her lap, expression thoughtful. "I don't think he's... awake." That barely seemed to make sense, but it was the impression she got from the other presence within her. Alongside her.

It definitively ranked way up there on the list of the wierdest things she had experienced.

"Oh." Glyph shrugged slightly, "A sleepy dragon then? You can talk to him, you know. I doubt he'll answer if he's slumbering but... it's not a one-way connection." It didn't seem odd to Forest that a gem might sleep, especially if he'd only recently found a host. "You could also probably nudge him too..."

Zero Dream
Apparently, Illisia seemed to take that rather literally - one finger rose to poke at the surface of the gem. It was a little odd, she had expected the area to be rather painful, especially with the burrying of the figurine's tail in and out of her skin, but it was not so. There was also no bruising or wound on her skin at all, almost as if the gem had simply already been there. But both the elf and the god in front of her knew better.

"Hn..." Nope, that didn't seem to do it.

Glyph's brow furrowed in confusion as Illisia moved to literally prod her gem and he had to bite his lip to keep from chuckling, "Ah... that's not what I meant. You share your very being with him now. Reach with your spirit....? I can't imagine prodding his gem would do much..." He arched a brow, the mirth of friendly laughter dancing in his eyes if not his voice.

Apparently he wasn't doing a very good job of explaining communication.... hm.

Zero Dream


She wasn't exactly sure how to do that. This kind of... spirit stuff had always eluded her. She was a druid, not an arcanist !

But she tried, at least.

The other consciousness shifted a bit under her mental prod, almost as if confused itself, before it settled again. There was a strange feeling of stretching, of someone reaching out though the whole of her own body, to see though her eyes and listen through her ears.

Ah... Thank you, my dear.

The look on the night elf's face was downright priceless. "Uh... Hi ?"

The look her face was, indeed, priceless and Forest found himself laughing despite himself, "Oh, you figured it out?" There was praise in his voice as he tried not to insult the elf but, really, that was a most entertaining expression.

Until it dawned on him the greeting meant the dragon had woken and it fell, turning into a look of embarrassment, "And woke him up? Apologies." He nodded a little, fluffy ears laid back against his head, "I didn't actually mean to wake him up, m'dear..." Oh well.

Zero Dream
Illisia only nodded, that expression of shock not leaving her face.There was a voice in her head !

And what else were you expecting ? The voice - very male indeed, rather rich and deep - sounded much more amused than insulted, and her expression turned into a pout.

"I don't think he's mad." She pointed out.

I have certainly slept for long enough, my dear.

Glyph's amusement returned when she informed him that the king wasn't upset. "You look so surprised..." He pointed out, though he did not say much more then that. They were likely conversing and making introductions of some sort and he didn't want to bother them if he needn't.

So, instead, Forest waited, only offering a simple, "Talk to him?"

Zero Dream
"I didn't expect that." But to be honest... she was not quite sure what she had expected to begin with.

Talk to him, hm ? "So you are..."

The dragon, yes. You may call me Xun Jiang, my dear. You are certainly beyond using titles. The voice was still weak, rough around the edges. There is no need to speak out loud to reach me... Ah, I see we have a guest ? Or perhaps... There was a strange impression in her mind again, of brows furrowing, or pages of a book being turned as the dragon sought the knowledge he needed. I see... Can you speak for me, my dear ?

There was a moment of silence before the elven woman spoke once more. "...He says he's sorry. He didn't know I... belonged to another."

Glyph tilted his head at that and simply smiled, "Thank-you. But it is your choice, not mine, Illisia, and you'll find no enemy in me, Dragon King. Greetings from Forest." He seemed comfortable with the situation, he was speaking to two entities now, and not two, even if felt bad for having facilitated waking a sleeping dragon.

Zero Dream
Ah... Forest, then... The dragon seemed to ponder this for a moment, going silent once more, but she could still feel him here, awake, looking and listening though her.

"...This is really weird." The woman let out, sighing a little. Well, no where to go but forward from there.

"That's normal. You'll get used to it, I think." He replied, smiling at her as their conversation seemed to peter out into silence. For a moment he considered staying then shook his head and rose, "Perhaps I should take my leave? I've imposed for long enough, I think."

He patted Illisia's shoulder as he moved past her, "If you need anything, remember my door is next to yours."

Zero Dream
She didn't especially want him to go, but... perhaps he had other matters to tend to. And truth to be told, she was rather hungry after sleeping for so long. How long exactly ? Xun Jiang wasn't talking. Maybe he did not know either.

"Im not far either, if you need me." She said, her voice soft, almost motherly.

He smiled and nodded, "I won't forget. Take care."

Padding across the room then, he slipped outside and took care in shutting the door so the light in the hallway wouldn't spill into her shadowy bower. Squinting, Glyph yawned as he glanced around for a moment before heading into his own rooms. Illisia's quarters really did inspire a sense of quiet sleepiness and he found himself waving to the Aoidei as he slipped into his own bed and curled up to nap.

Perhaps he'd check on the night elf before he next wandered into the wilds.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper


Illisia slept, once more, after her visit from Glyph – apparently still in need of it. The dragon, however, did not. Slowly he was becoming more aware, stronger in her own mind as he stretched to stay alongside hers. It was an odd analogy, but it was the only way he could explain this feeling – which was just as alien for him as it was for her. Xun Jiang had much to think about, and his host being asleep gave him a window of opportunity to look though her mind as he needed. It was dishonorable, the dragon had to admit, but there were answers he needed. Ti Lung had not yet seen the outside world though the night elf's pale eyes, but what he saw though her memories was enough to alert him, and make him think such a act had likely need necessary.

The skies above gone, Universe dead... The events before that, the waves of influences, what she referred to as the cataclysm. Something had happened, something big, that much was evident. And while she held answers that satisfied her, she did not hold answers that satisfied him.

This had not been natural. That much was evident. The balance had tilted, dramatically...

But how, and why, remained out of his reach, out of the elf's knowledge, and therefore out of his own knowing. The dragon king felt her consciousness stir under his, even the touch of his own irritation, and he had to let go, else he possibly awaken her. He wished for answers, certainly, but there was not immediate need to force her awake and seek them right at this moment. She needed the rest - their joining had sapped much of her strength in order to make it his', to bring him back from the brink of non-existence.

And he certainly could not be upset at her for not knowing what he sought. In fact, he wondered if he could even be truly upset, or angry, at her to begin with. Illisia. His Illisia. How long as he called for her, longed for her and her alone ? He did not know, and perhaps it was better that way. There has been desperation in his longing for her, though... he could not rightfully identify the source, and in a way that bothered him.

There were things that were... missing. He could tell. Blanks in his memories that were not the same as the dark space that represented the distant past - something much closer, fresher than that, but lost as well, mental wounds scarred over and closed off completely. There were things he ought to know, but did not, for one reason or another. It bothered him, but not as much as the parts of him, something much more tangible than memories, part of what had once been himself, of his own essence, his own self, that were gone.

This downright scared him, to be honest. Much moreso than memories being gone. He would need to do something about this.

But it did not matter quite yet. She was here now, and there was comfort at being with her, at feeling her close, in being in her presence, listening to her even, soft breathing, the slow stream of her thoughts and dreams as she slept. Illisia. Bold and strong, willing to do what had to be done no matter the price, no matter the consequences. He could indeed learn much from her, his beloved Lord had been right indeed. All he had to know was to open his eyes and look. He would not be blind to such thing... Especially if those holes in himself were to be filled with something. They would need to be.

He was a god, after all. A dragon, even more so. He would not settle so easily at being fragmented without doing something about it. Xun Jiang had to focus on what was most important, and now the present and the future was more important than the past.

A part of him, always impatient, already longed to be out, to be free, to feel the clear waters rush over his scales... Memories of such thing remained rather vivid, as did knowledge of his brothers and his sister, of who they were and what they did. Little else, however, rose to the call of remembrance. This impatience would do him little good, he knew all too well, so he forced himself to remain as it was. He could not shake the feeling that he had to be careful with this, to take his time, to not force himself though Illisia. That if he did... the consequence would be dire. As if instinct remembered something his mind did not, allowing him to be pinned down by his own fears.

The elf's consciousness stirred again from within unseen coils, and he soothed her once more.

Rest, my dear. There is nothing that require our attention of the moment.

The sound of his voice seemed enough to calm her, and the dragon king could only wonder if she felt the same about all this than he did. This sense of completeness that hadn't been here before, this comfort in having the other so close at last.

Probably not, but he could only hope that he would be able to communicate it to her in return, this warmth, this care. He owed her that much, for what she would do for him. So many things, and so little of them she was actually aware of.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Brothers Re-United

Zero Dream
A night elf could not be kept in between four walls for too long. It had not taken long for Illisia to go outside once more, drawn to the forest nearby rather than to the streets near the pantheon. It was still within nature that she felt best, and the dragon she bore did not seem to mind of her were abouts.

Maybe if she found a lake nearby, she could fish... That did not seem like a bad idea, even if she was not very familiar as to what kind of fish might inhabit this world. She had survived mostly on berries, and even bark when times got rough, since her arrival here.

Her steps did indeed lead her to a lake - and the elven woman perched onto a rock to rest a moment before contemplating her meal.

The lake, as it happened, was occupied.

While the surface had seemed calm as the night elf approached, a few moments after she sat down on the rock, the lake suddenly erupted in a surge of water as a long, scaled form broke the surface. It wasn't a tidal wave, but it certainly did send water sloshing onto the shore...

It took the Dragon a moment to realize he was no longer alone, so content was he in the excellent swim he'd just enjoyed. He stared lazily at the shore for a long moment, his eyes half-lidded, before he snorted suddenly and lifted his head out of the water, beard and whiskers dripping. "Ah! My apologi-"

His words stopped as quickly as they'd begun, and his eyes narrowed slightly as he scrutinized the figure before him. Something seemed so... familiar...

Zero Dream
It was a little bit like a scene straight from an horror movie, but unfortunaltely Illisia lacked means to make that comparison.

When Tian Yue emerged, the elf very nearly bolted up the nearest tree in pure reflex. She had seen dragons before, of course, but never quite like this.

And never quite this big.


Xun Jiang, for his part, seemed more excited than anything else. Ah... !!! He could indeed recognize a brother when he saw one. Do not fear. He will not harm you.

...If you're sure about that... She wasn't so certain, expecially with the look he (well, the voice sounded male) was giving her at the moment.

"Ah... um..."

The gem, clearly visible on her arm, would thankfully answer that question for her.

The Dragon King realized, after a moment, that he'd been staring - and that being stared at by such a very large creature, especially one that had suddenly emerged from a formerly placid lake, was bound to be startling. Yet he'd found what he was looking for; a glint of brightness that drew his gaze back. A gem, a familiar gem, embedded in twilight-tinted flesh...

"... Kawagiri?"

The dragon reached out his long neck and scooped up a bundle of cloth sitting on the beach, which was now soaked through. A moment later, the great scaled form in the water seemed to melt away, leaving in its place a human shape, a man paddling somewhat incongruously. Still, he moved towards the shore after a moment, shrugging into the clothing he'd just retrieved as he emerged from the lake proper. He shook the last drops from his fan-tipped tail as he moved to stand in front of the night elf.

"You are family, I think - I am Tian Yue, the Dragon King Tien Lung." He gave her a soft smile. "I'm sorry for scaring you."

Zero Dream
Kawagiri... ?

Xun Jiang seemed just as every bit as lost as she was. That could never be a good sign.

It was her turn to stare as the large dragon seemed to melt away into nothi- ah, no, not nothing, but into a man that, while still rather tall, certainly was not quite as intimidating. Still, the night elf looked rather bemused.

"...I am Illisia." She finally managed, after having to swallow the lump that had been forming in her throat. "And, hm, Xun Jiang. Ti-Lung." Another dragon. How many were there ?

Nine. Eight others. The dragon answered automatically. You will need to be my voice again, my dear.

"He sends his greetings." She repeated the words he told her.

"Ti Lung..." Tian Yue looked at her closely. "I have met you before, my brother, though not enfleshed in this fair one... yet you are not the only Dragon to require a host made of sterner stuff." He gave Illisia another smile, this one clearly meant for her and not only for the Dragon within her. "Illisia. When did you come to hold my brother inside your soul?"

Zero Dream
Excuse me ?

I... have no idea howsoever.

It would have been much easier for her to be mad had his consciousness not been within her own - she could tell he was just as every bit as confused as she was.

"...He has no idea what you're talking about." And neither do I, really.

The last question required some more thought. "...Im not too sure. It hasn't been very long."

"It does not matter now," Tian Yue said, quickly, realizing that he was only confusing both dragon and host; after he had left Ti Lung and Auri, he had never been able to find that river-marked door in the Pantheon again, no matter how hard he searched. Another brother vanished away, like Shen Lung and Mang...

And now he has returned, like Futs Lung, enfleshed in a new host. He had never asked Jin Huang about what had happened. "It seems I'm not doing too well today," he said, a bit sheepish. "First I startle you, then I confuse you - perhaps my delight at seeing one of my dear brothers returned to flesh has addled my wits." He chuckled, softly. "Thank you for what you have done, Illisia."

Zero Dream
Illisia seemed rather happy to let go of that subject, even as Xun Jiang continued to ponder it. Even she had started to figure it out, to be honest, but going down that train of thought held nothing good.

So there had been another before her and... it hadn't worked out. That was scary in itself.

It was disturbing to the one within her as well, but perhaps more so that it had not been the only one. It will not happen. He attempted the quell his host's fear as it rose.

I certainly hope not... The mere thought sent a shiver down her spine. No, bad idea. Think about something else, she told herself sharply.

"...He needed me." It was all she could say, really. "I... could not ignore that."

"I know," Tian Yue said, quietly. "I remember... the call, the need, the decision. It is no easy thing."

Zero Dream
This seemed to confuse her again, if the look at the crossed her face was to be of any indication. This was clearly a god, she could feel it, very strongly - the energies of those she had met so far were very different, but had enough in similar for her to be able to recognize a god from something else, but he spoke as if he had been the host ?

Most curious indeed... The dragon pondered this for a moment, but figured explanation would come if his brother wished to give it - he would not force one of his own kin, not over such trivial matters. Illisia... Ask him, please. I must know.

"...He would like to know what happened. He feels something is wrong..." An understatement. They all knew something was wrong, all it took was one look upward. "I... know some things, but I don't know enough."

Tian Yue sighed, then sat on the nearest large rock, curling his tail lightly against the cool, rough surface. "Much has happened, host of Many Waters. I will explain all as best I can, though it may take time. Do you remember, my brother... the name Gehenna? The unbridled release of Destruction's nature? The End?"

Zero Dream
There was no immediate answer from the dragon, who seemed deep in thought. It took only a few seconds for him to answer his host, the mental conversation lightning quick.

"There is familiarity. Vague, but there." It was the host that answered for him, but the mention of such a thing had the elven woman frowning in though. This could not possibly heading to anything pleasant, and she would have been able to guess so even if she had not seen the effects with her own eyes.

"It was the Grigori who began it," Tian Yue said, quietly. "Their Queen, Samyaza, somehow escaped the land set apart for them. Destruction was already precarious, in sore need of balance; she took his Name, destroyed balance completely. The unravelling was great and terrible. While in the end we stopped it, brought Creation back from the brink... there were many, many casualties. Mortal... and immortal."

He tilted his head up to the empty sky for a moment. "Universe is Eaten; the Sky is no more." It was said simply, without any echo of the pain that had once colored his voice at the thought; the time of that news being a fresh shock, a new revelation every time it was spoken, was long since gone. He had made his peace, as best he could.

The loss was no less for all that.

Zero Dream
"I know of this." Illisia spoke, head tilted toward the ground. "I... My people... worship the stars. Lord Harmodius told me of it." She would need to somehow get word back to her world, to her people, of such thing... but that there were also other gods to turn to. Others that needed them, in a way.

"So this had indeed been very nearly the end of the worlds..."

Xun Jiang took in all that the best he could. There was little he could remember, and the words Grigori or Samyaza rose nothing within him, but he understood enough. Enough to know he had been absent in a time where he would have been sorely needed, and shame overtook him.

Tell him I am sorry, my dear.

You're being stupid. This wasn't your fault ! Illisia announced in brutal honesty, but the dragon would not relent.

"..He wants you to know he is sorry. That he should have been there, with the rest of you, to face this..."

Tian Yue smiled, gently. "Be at ease, my brother... I, too, was absent at times when I was sorely needed. Yet what could we do, trapped in gems as we both were? You are here now, and the voices of flowing waters, the life of rivers... all very much needed. Now is the blossoming of Rebirth."

"And," he added, "you are not the only among the Dragons to take host and..." He hesitated, aware that this was a strange subject, one worrying and unfamiliar to both god and host. "Require another. Futs Lung and Yu Five Claws were both such, and they stand among us now whole and new."

Zero Dream
This seemed to comfort the dragon, if only slightly. The second matter, however, made Illisia shake her head. "...I hadn't thought about that being a possibility, to be honest." It just seemed odd that one could call for the wrong host. If that was what happened at all.

"I... don't want to give my life for nothing." She finally admired what was bothering her, ever since he had mentioned that there had been another before her. Giving her life willingly to the dragon she bore she was fine with. To have it be a waste... not so much.

What had happened to the one that had been before her ? And was she a wrong choice, as well ?

You are not, my dear. I know it so.

Xun Jiang's belief of this was rock solid, she could hear it as well as feel it, in the way they both knew how the other felt independently from weither or not they voiced it to the other, and it was her turn to draw comfort from his own certainty.

"I am sure you are not - even the one who came before you, I am sure, gave of herself to the benefit of the god you bear. To the benefit of All." Tian Yue bowed his head in a gesture of respect. "The divine cannot root in an unwilling heart, in a heart that can provide no blessing or succor."

Zero Dream
"I guess so." She had to admit, even if that did not really reassure her much. Well... there was little that could be done about that now - she would have to trust the dragon's judgment.

This was still a bit of an odd concept, that gods needed them just as much as the mortals needed them. Not once in her life had she actually thought of it this way, but then she had also never been a priestess. Illisia had been guard for her fair share, certainly, but she had never questioned them, or her faith.

In a sense, all those things suddenly becoming different made her even more uneasy.

"So." She was a little desperate for something else to speak about, now. "You were... taking a bath ?"

Certainly swims with all the ease and grace of... ah, yes, a brick, thank you for the mental imagery my dear. Xun Jiang stepped back in then, his mental voice colored with gentle mischief.

Illisia, for her part, had to clamp her hand on her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. I won't be the one to tell him that !

A very faint blush of embarrassment came over the dragon's features. "Yes, I was. A recent journey taught me some of the pleasures of swimming - up until now, the world had been under first Destruction's sway, then Gehenna's, so pure and untainted water was rare, and I would not dream of bathing in a precious uncontaminated resource. Now, though... I can indulge myself in that luxury. It's not precisely like flying, but it's close enough... and its limits are natural, unlike those imposed on the air." He glanced upwards.

Zero Dream
"Oh ?" That was indeed very interesting indeed, especially the comparison he made. "I have always considered the two were quite different but... You are right, there are certainly similarities."

An interesting thought indeed. Not that she was about to go try to swim in her raven shape. That certainly would not end well.

"Certainly, the mortals speak of seas and rivers of stars. Many cultures hold such myths. No, we need not be separated, Sky and Water. We are brothers." Tian Yue smiled and sat back more comfortably on his rock. "As are you, Ilisia. There are none among the divine - well, almost none - who would not honor you on sight."

Zero Dream
"Rivers of stars..." She certainly had not heard something like this before, and was now curious which cultures those would be - perhaps she would be able to figure it out, in time.

"I... have noticed." Somewhat. Glyph had certainly acted like she was bearing something important indeed. "It had not quite occurred to me that you brothers were... rarer ?" She was not sure how to explain herself without possibly upsetting Tian Yue. "There are many dragons where I come from, children of the Aspects, but they are certainly quite different... and quite smaller. It had not occurred to me that things could be different here." She certainly was old and set in her ways somewhat, even if she certainly did not look like it.

Tian Yue laughed, though not unkindly. "I suppose we could be called rare. We are not precisely like the other deities that rule over All. There are nine of us, all sworn to the Twin Crown's service, bound to him more nearly than almost any other god could be. We are limited, in a sense - or, perhaps, you could say we are honed to one specific purpose, one task or sphere in which we excel above all others. We are His scales," he said, pride evident in his tone.

Zero Dream
Indeed. There is certainly no better fate than to be His. Xun Jiang chimed in, a very similar pride in his voice.

That made her lips quirk up slightly in amusement - praise in stereo, indeed. "I see... That is helpful, I do understand a little better now." Perhaps it was that which... made them so hard to host. Three failures out of nine...

She frowned a bit, and shoved the dark thoughts away again, shaking her head.

Tian Yue tilted his head to one side. "Be at ease, sister."

Zero Dream
Illisia shook her head again, and forced a smile on her face. "It's fine."


"You know." She mused out loud. "I certainly could go for a swim myself. I havn't seen waters this clear for a long time. I am quite sure your brother would appreciate as well, wouldn't he ?"

Tian Yue chuckled. "Doubtless, he would." He gave the water a speculative look, then turned away from Ilisia and slipped his robe up over his shoulders. An instant later the great Dragon was on the beach, dipping his head down to sniff at the water before turning back to look at the night elf.

Zero Dream
Illisia followed, carefully - not so much out of fear of anything that the dragon could do, but of what the dragon could accidentally do. She had some base knowledge than sometimes things just happened when there were more of one self to manage.

"Are your brothers all as big as you are ?" She'd figured they had to be called dragon kings for a reason, yes, but Tian Yue was certainly the biggest dragon she had ever seen. And she had seen a few in her long life, but certainly not from so close.

Tian Yue seemed... a little shy (how amusing !) so she refrained from stripping out of her clothing, sliding one foot in the water experimentally. It was a little cold, but certainly not so bad.

"I am the largest," Tian Yue said, proudly, puffing up his chest a bit and stretching to his full height. "Or... I am at the moment. I am fully ascended once more, you see. Once Great Chien-Tang has ascended, he will be larger than I am. We two are the largest of the Kings."

"Though," he added, "it can be a bit inconvenient. I can no longer fit into my bedroom in this shape."

Zero Dream
"I imagine that would be a problem." Forget the bedroom, he probably... wouldn't fit in most buildings like this. That was probably why they also had more... human-like forms to begin with. Maybe ?

Hm. That was something to ponder over.

For now, however, the water was more tempting, and she dived smoothly into the lake.

Tian Yue rumbled with amused agreement, then ducked down to follow her.

A little more swimming couldn't hurt.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

The Wanderer And The Forest

Zero Dream
She was getting closer now.

Closer to what... This was what the elven woman was not so sure of. She had been following the line of renewal, so to speak, seeking it's source, with the indistinct feeling that there was something there awaiting her.

Answers, perhaps.

She would rather like to have those, after so long.

The forest was lush and alive, though still showed signs of the previous struggle there and there. On that day, that day she remembered so much, so vividly, everything had changed, almost as if the air itself had been cleaned from it's taint and the vegetation had started to thrive again.

Almost too quickly for it to be natural. It puzzled her, and she wanted to know. She wanted to know why the sky was gone, and she wanted to find her son. With some luck, Elik would have the same idea than she had.

The night elf had stopped, sitting upon a rock to take a sip out of her water jug.

It had been several days since Forest had returned to the Pantheon, having left his Aoidei behind to tend to matters in his stead there while he immersed himself in the growing wilderness that was stretching further and further around the Pantheon.

In particular, a restored forest had drawn his attention and while the old trees were beginning to rouse themselves from fitful hibernation forced on them during the events of Gehenna, there were many saplings in the spaces that had opened up between the ancient sentinels. The underbrush had grown in thickly as well, obscuring the pathways now mostly abandoned by the animals. And it was here, among the resurgence of life that Glyph had taken up residence in for the past few days. Fallen logs everywhere were now nursery trees, the seeds having been encouraged and cared for so that they were now well established. Forest's touch a gentle and sheltering one as he sped them along, halving the time it took for the fragile new growth to get a foot hold in the world. Canvasing the forest, the renewal seemed to become more prevalent the deeper into the wood one went.

He hadn't even realized he'd migrated towards the center, setting up a sort of camp in the heart of forest that more closely resembled the bower of Shakespearean fairies then a metropolitan vacation. Moss covered nearly every available surface, and vines sprawled across one side of the small clearing he'd taken as his own, their leaves mottled and broad, a berry bush had taken up residence on the other side, it's thorns warding off unwelcome visitors even as it tempted with ripening berries. He was particularly proud of that - having nursed the bush back to health and even incited it to begin to produce berries.

Glyph himself, however, was currently passed out in his 'bed', curled against a fallen log he used as a wall. The time he'd spent in the forest was draining and he slept for many hours when he finally drew away from his experimentation and, as he saw it, duties. Whuffling as he snored softly, the god was quite oblivious to the world around him.

Zero Dream
It was the soft sound of snoring that caught Illisia's attention, one long ear perking slightly in the direction of the sound. She was not alone here... ? Someone needing aid, perhaps ?

She was up on her bare feet again, following the direction and sidestepping every sapling and the torny bush with obvious care - these tiny lives were fragile, a fact that she knew all too well.

But she was not quite expecting what she saw once she had made her way to the small glade proper. A lone man there... Most of all the people of this world she had met had clung to the ruins of those stone, brick and concrete-made cities which tended to make her uncomfortable, and also clung in numbers.

"Ah..." She whispered, pale silver eyes looking over Glyph. Where these... branches in his head ? They looked much too solid and alive to be twigs that had gotten stuck there.

"Ah...?" The word echoed, sounding slightly confused as the god shifted and flopped over onto his back, blinking bleary eyes as he roused himself from sleep. Ah..? That wasn't a normal sound, and it wasn't something he'd said... Yawning hugely, he sat up and leaned against the tree as he ran a hand through his hair. Ears flicked and the leaves rustled in the light breeze, his gaze unfocused for a moment as he yawned once more.

When he saw Illisia, he blinked and made an 'oh' sound. "I... wasn't expecting anyone here... Are you lost?" He asked, tilting head to the side, noting her slightly puzzled expression and the bare feet. "Be careful, there's still a lot of sharp, dead debris littering the ground - I don't know much of the healing arts if you hurt yourself." Rising then, he stretched arms up high and rolled his shoulders as he flexed his toes, enjoying the feel of moss between them.

Zero Dream
Well, there she had to go and awaken him. There... was something about this man, though, something she could not quite understand or explain to herself. A sense of... power, perhaps. Whatever it was, Glyph had her complete attention.

"I- I did not mean to awaken you..." She apologized, before a slightly akward smile settled on her face, silver eyes surveying the area. "You could say I am lost, but... I am not sure what I am looking for, to be honest. You need not to worry for me, though."

"It's alright." He smiled kindly, "I simply have not heard another's voice for a few days. I thought perhaps one of my retainers had need of me - I'm quite surprised they haven't come looking for me yet to be honest." Striding towards her, his brows arched in a look of 'really now?'

"If you are lost and on a search I will guide you out if you like. Your well being is hardly not of my concern, elf. You are in my domain and I will aid as I can." Glyph chuckled softly, "Are you searching for the other pilgrims? The Pantheon itself?" When he drew nearer her, he found himself looking up rather far and blinked, bemused. She was awfully tall... but she did not possess the same kind of feeling a host had, she was not among the Edelsteine. "What is your name? I am Glyph, Silvim Illustirre, God of Forests. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Zero Dream
Pantheon ? His domain... gods ? Illisia was silent at first. In her long life, she had met many who had pretended to be gods. But this... this Glyph... he certainly felt different than any of them. So she was, at the very least, inclined to believe him. Long, feather-like eyebrows fluttered lightly with her surprise. God or not, this man... seemed kind.

"I am Illisia. Illisia Shadowmoon. I seek not a place or people, maybe, but... answers. I have come from a far-away world to find them for my people, as the world seemed to spiral into it's end... I do not plan to return without them." Or without her son, but... she had no idea where he was, her Elik. But he was a strong man, not a little boy - she held the belief that wherever he was, he was alive. He had to be. She had lost everything else... she could not lose her son. "And I want to... help, wherever I can. I am skilled in the healing arts, and have been taking care of those I can find on my way here... But I feel a longing to go in this direction. Like if I am... needed, there." Sure enough, the direction she pointed toward was where the Pantheon was.

Even if she could not go home, she had to find a way to be useful.

"Well met then, Illisia Shadowmoon." He nodded, "You've come far then, and answers are something I understand the need for. My source is rooted in a likewise quest. I do not know the whole story but I know enough to perhaps soothe your mind." Turning away, he went and checked on the berry bush, caressing it lovingly as he inspected the berries. It would not be long now before they ripened on their own and they would be sweeter for that, unhurried by his hand. "Come sit with me and ask your questions, the trip to the Pantheon will be only a few days from here if I guide you so take some rest. Are you hungry? I can find some food if you like? Mostly berries and nuts for now... there are few fruit trees in this forest and those that are, are still to young to bloom."

He glanced up when she pointed in the direction of the Pantheon and blinked, "That... is indeed the direction of the Pantheon. Your skills will be most useful then, if you are a healer. We are recovering now that Creation is returned but there are many who are still feeling the shock of Gehenna - the end you said you felt. You will find much work there, and you will be safe as well, though I would steer clear of Greed."

Zero Dream
Creation ? Gehenna ? Had she not already been confused, that would have done it quite nicely. Still, she moved, with the innate grace elves as a whole tended to possess, to sit beside him, gathering the cloth of her skirt in her lap so that it would not take too much space. "I would not be adverse to something to eat... I-if you do not mind, of course." She had been feeding from the fruits of the forests in her travels, and it had never dawned on her that they might belong to someone. Though the idea of a god of Forests was not an odd one - her people had worshipped such a figure, once. Come to think of it, had she not dreamed, one time as she had slept... about gods ?

"...Are we safe, now ? Or..." It was the first thing that came to her mind. She certainly felt much safer than she used to be. "The priestesses... They said that the world was ending... So I was sent here, with my son. I... do not know where he is. We were separated, a few days before the sky..." She did not complete her sentence. Could not.

"I do not mind." He chuckled softly, "You are welcome to take from me as you need. We are safe here, yes. But I am young yet and my powers are hardly offensive as they stand now." The god shrugged slightly, "There is nothing here that will harm you, but there are those who wish to strike at the gods and you are safest among my brethren. Safety in numbers, after all."

He paused as she spoke of the sky and her son and sighed, glancing up at the darkness that hung over head. "I am sorry for your son, if I find him, I will direct him to the Pantheon." He pursed his lips, sadness creeping into his posture, "I mourn as you do, Illisia. Universe was undone, lost to the End that we narrowly avoided. I miss the sun and moon, and stars. I have been told, however, that there are those endeavoring to restore the sky. I do not know details, but I have faith they will succeed."

Glyph moved a little away, tending a seedling that had drooped for some reason and coaxed it back into standing firm. "I will be right back then, there are acorns and blackberries not too far from here." With that the forest seemed to shift, almost like an illusion, as he stepped into it proper.

He was gone upwards of ten minutes before he returned, impromptu baskets made of leaves and thin twigs cradled in his arms, and a jug he'd brought along was filled with spring water. One was filled with acorns, and the other with large, ripe blackberries. "Here we are. Eat. Drink." Sinking down to sit beside the night elf, he reclined comfortably against the fallen tree.

Zero Dream
This was alot of information to take in at once, and she did so silently and gratefully. No one had been able to answer her questions before, and for that she was grateful. She nodded once when he left, and held her questions until he returned, helping herself to some of the berries.

"Universe... undone ?" That she could readily believe. The darkness over her head seemed... absolute, more so than the night time she called home. That was worrying in itself. That gods could... come undone.

A terrifying propect.

"...And the other deities of the skies ? The moon... ?" That was another worrying thought in itself. The more Glyph spoke, the more inclined she was to believe him. She liked to think herself good at reading others, at figuring out if others were lying, and Forest seemed completely honest to her.

"Hmn... well, Tian Yue, the World Shield is alive and well.... I'm not sure about the other sky deities. Universe is gone, but I have not met a Lunar god yet. There is Light, however, but no Sun gods that I know of." He pursed his lips, thinking, "Hrm... the ones that I know of are these: Wind and Fire have both returned, as has Hunt. Light, as I mentioned, and Shadow too. Some of the Dragon Kings, Judgement, Underworld, and he peer the Spirit Guide. Music, Laughter, and Mystery as well, and Numbers. And Gaia though I have not met the Empress as of yet." He smiled as he took an acorn or two and nibbled on them, "There is a good chance I have not met the others, or that the gods you are concerned about have found their chance to be reborn." He ticked the domains off on his long fingers as he repeated them to himself, making sure he did not forget anyone. He saw no reason to lie, saw no shame in their return to life. The mortals had a right to exist, did the gods not as well?

"You could ask Harmodius, if you like. He is the Twin Crown and knows far more then I. Perhaps he knows if your Moon is returned, and by what name he or she goes by now." He tilted his head, "Are you a worshiper of the lunar gods then? A holy person as well as a healer?"

Zero Dream
...That was a rather long list of... no, not names, but things, domains perhaps, or spheres of influences ? She doubted she could remember them all, but she tried to remember what she could, bringing the water jug to her lips. She had her own water, but... it seemed rude to deny what he had taken the time to gather.

"In a sense, yes. My people worship the moon goddess, Elune. We are known as night elves, but I do not think there are any in this... this place, this world. I come from far away, as I said." But in a sense, it would make her son easy to find - it made it easier to keep hope. "I am not a priestess, no - but I am a druid."

Forest idly toyed with the little plants that were growing on the fallen tree, using it as an arm rest as he listened to her. However, when she admitted to being a druid, that arm fell and he leaned forward slightly, surprise and admiration plain in his eyes, "A druid? I did not think I... well no, that can't be right. You defer to the lunar deities. Do you..." He frowned, suddenly rather unsure of how to ask such a thing. It wasn't like he was trying collect the mortal after all, "Er, well, that is to say, do you hold the Forest sacred as well?"

It was an unexpected find for Glyph, really, to come across someone who worshiped him even after had faded and gave him hope for the future. That was if she held the Forest as sacred as well, that is. She would not strengthen him if she did not pray to him after all.

Zero Dream
It had not occurred to Illisia that Glyph did not remember, and so she interpreted his statement in a completely different way than he had likely intended. "Druids are traditionally male, yes... But much has changed for us, in the recent years. I was one of the first."

She smiled then, shaking her head to toss her braid back. "The forests are our homes, our lives and our soul... Beloved as well, of course." But ah, did he not already know that ?

"You spoke of... rebirth." She asked now, one long eyebrow rising with interest. "Would this be why you do not seem to remember such... ?"

"Oh... your society divided the genders into specific roles?" He replied, tilting his head to the side, "I do not differentiate between male and female worshipers... that would be rather unwise, all things considered. Belief in the gods should not be bound to a mortal's form, only their beliefs." Glyph smiled then, approving of her decision, "That you went against the norm, then, to seek your own path is admirable, Illisia. And much appreciated."

He coloured when she spoke his lack of knowledge and glanced away as he nodded slowly, "Aye. Awakening, rebirth... we Faded long ago and only recently have the gods begun to return. I am not fully restored quite yet, but it is faith like yours that enables my re-ascension. It has been countless years since I was last awake... and I do not remember as much as I perhaps should." He sighed and glanced out across the clearing, "I can do so little as of yet... please forgive the neglect. But take heart in that Creation seeks to restore what was broken."

Zero Dream
And that seemed to prove it for her. Even very skilled liars would have likely stumbled over such a direct questions, but Glyph had spoke of it as he had done everything else. It was easy to believe him, even as he spoke of things that seemed impossible. But the events of the last few years... the slow decent into decay, followed by what seemed to have been the end of everything, and then the sudden revitalization of the nature around her...

She had longed to find a more logical reason, but the more she learned and the more she thought of it, the more it seemed that divine intervention was the answer. These gods, them, only recently awakened... The mention of that fading make her frown in a mix of thought and worry.

"It takes a long time for open wounds to close again." It was all that she said about Forest's last statement. He was... interesting, she had to admit. Not at all like how she would have expected a creature of divine power to be. This was not a bad thing, just... unexpected.

"It used to be so." She finally remembered his first question. "But much has changed in the past few years... as I have said. Nature had always seemed to call for her, and once she, at last, had the opportunity... she could not ignore it's call any longer.

He smiled at that, bemused that she should strike so close to the truth unwittingly. "They will close... though I am not certain of the time frame. I trust in Harmodius, however, and can only hope to do my small part in aiding Creation's efforts." Shifting, he leaned back against the tree once more with a soft, tired yawn, "There are others with more knowledge than I at the Pantheon, and more experience with recent events. I would speak to Ankou, who has proven to be quite helpful in keeping me informed, and with Tian Yue as well. He is the Worldshield, a Dragon King. He should have more answers for you and if not, one of his brothers might."

Curling toes in the moss of his bed, Glyph smiled once more, a soft expression and curious, "Much might have changed but I know nothing of your race. Are all as beautiful and graceful as you? My host knew only..." He pursed his lips, trying to remember the designation, "lesser elves... mostly mingled with human races, and my own travels have encountered only human mortals thus far. What is your world like?" There was a slight plea in his voice, as if asking something he might be afraid of the answer for... she had come seeking answers, but... had her world weathered impending annihilation well? It bothered him whenever he thought of those worlds, so far from the Edelsteines' touch - even Ankou and Tian Yue had only mapped a few realms along the limbs of the World Tree.

Zero Dream
Illisia was silent for a moment, slowly taking in the information once more as she did her best to remember everything that she could. Her race would need to know of this world, of these gods. They would need to know in order to rebuild their civilization.

"I come from a world called Azeroth." She started, eyes slowly drifting closed in introspection. "We lived much of our time hidden in the forests, withdrawn from the humans and other race of that world, minding our own business... But all that changed radically so many years ago. I am not too sure what is going on right now - but war was asunder once more when I left, the alliances with our allies dissolving swiftly... and that was saying nothing of the horde" She sneered a bit in disgust at that last word, but overall kept herself vague - there was much, much more than this, but it was not her wish to bore the god of Forests. "I have no mean to know what has happened beyond that."

"I see." He replied quietly, somewhat disappointed that she would be so vague, "Azeroth, hmn...? I shall remember that. Perhaps I find it one day, along the routes of Yggdrasil. If I do, I will call you Illisia and you can return to your world. With Universe gone, I believe the only way between worlds is through Gaia herself... which should prove to be an interesting trip." Speaking more to himself, his thoughts wandered far from their location as he tried to imagine this Azeroth.

"Do not lose faith, my friend." He spoke softly when his gaze returned to the night elf, "If it weathered Gehenna, it is most likely still viable, if shaken." Taking the jar he sipped from it as he watched her, frowning slightly at her summarized responses and almost formal manner of carrying herself. Unlike others, he was not so strict on ritual and formality... peoples worshiped in different ways and really, keeping him company and respecting his domain was all that he asked. "You do not have to be so worried about placating me, Illisia. Your words to not bore and I am not bothered by your company. Another's presence is much appreciated."

Zero Dream
"...I would like that." She had to admit. She wanted to go home, of course. This place was similar in some ways, but completely aliens in others. But seeing it revive... had given her hope, that hopefully the same thing would have happened everywhere else.

He spoke of a world tree... but no, she doubted that he meant the same thing that she thought of. Not if it could be used to cross words.

Her eyes, a complete silver all over which seemed to glow slightly in the darkness that surrounded them, finally seemed to settle on him for the first time since she had awoken him. She had always thoughts gods watched from on high, mostly disinterested in the matters of mortals. Perhaps... it was not the case.

"...It has been a long time since I have actually been in lengthy company with another." If that had been meant as an apology or a statement, was somewhat unclear.

But well... then...

"...We are one of the oldest race of Azeroth, starting out primitive as with anything else, but as my ancestors settled near a well of magic called the Well of Eternity, it all started to change. The magic started to change us, with each generation living to be older than the one that came before it, until finally... we became immortal to time. My ancestors called themselves kaldorei - children of the stars." This was old knowledge - much older than she herself was - but she knew it well.

"Things remained peaceful for a long time, until... our queen was corrupted by demons and they used the well to enter Azeroth. In the end... it was destroyed, with such a force that it split the world into two continents, and caused a similar split among my people - those who still wished to use magic were exiled to the newly-created eastern continent, away from those that wished to turn their back upon such a dangerous force. They came to be called high elves, and their appearances changed in turn, to become much like the elves you have likely seen." She had seen some of the elven beings of this world, and there were strong similarities. "I choose to forsake the arcane - my first husband, however, did not." And there it was, the proof that she was much, much more ancient than her young body would make her look to be. "We chose to go into seclusion from the mortal races, to live our lives in the forests of the western continent. In time, the people of the east forgot that there was even a west continent at all... and we thrived, as silent protectors, striving to protect Azeroth from the demonic threat we had accidentally unleashed onto it, with out world tree allowing us to keep our immortality and keeping Azeroth safe from the burning legion. It was like this for ten thousand years... But eventually the tree was destroyed. Our immortality was lost, and while a new world tree had been grown... it never returned. This was the time were our society began to shift, where I became a druid like my father, my husband and my son. It was the start of the turn for the worse to be honest... and that is pretty much the jist of it. We are much different than we once have been..." And that made her uncomfortable, to some extent.

When he felt her gaze finally settle on him, he caught it and offered a smile, a small gesture of thank-you. As she began to speak of her history and her people, he fell silent, listening with much interest and nodding at points.

"You've endured much then, Illisia Shadowmoon. And seen many ages, if your people were immune to Time's touch." He spoke slowly, thoughtfully, "My domain is yours to wander, I do hope you realize. Rest and shelter and food are yours as you need, I do not begrudge the survival of others and it seems to me that a friend might be of more value to you then a patron god. If you have need of me, druid, call me. I will answer as best I can. I only ask that you continue to ward the woods you travel, protect and cherish them as you've no doubt been." It went without saying that in doing so, she also protected and cherished their essence embodied.

"I do hope the destruction of your world tree reflects not on your world's connection to Gaia... It will be most difficult returning there if that is so." Pursing his lips, he glanced away as he thought, "I do not think you can sever your link so easily, perhaps that is something to ask Gaia if you see her... Or I will ask should I come across the Empress."

Zero Dream
"I will." The night elf answered, with no hesitation. She was a druid, after all - she knew very well of these things. Their powers granted from the very earth... and it could very easily take everything away. Nature was a powerful force, often unpredictable.

"I do not think we are talking about the same thing here." Illisia shook her head. "Our world trees... do not allow people to cross in between worlds." Only the arcane could do such thing... at least, from what she had known. She had come to realize that much of the things she had known did not hold true here, and while it was to be expected, it still left her feeling rather... unstable. Like if the ground had been pulled from under her feet unexpectedly.

Relief and encouragement made the god relax a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. While he might make clear his status easily enough... he could not and would not force someone to worship him, that was a choice of their own. A flush of warmth spread through him with her agreement and he smiled quite broadly at her, "Thank-you." He had at least one confirmed follower now... and many more in her world it seemed.

It said something of himself, he thought with a flash of pride, that after countless aeons of slumber, mortals still believed in him. Reconnecting with those places then would be a priority as he came properly back into power. He shifted slightly, anxious for the time were he would be able to reassert his presence to the faithful.

Her words drew him out of his reverie and he nodded, "I agree. I think they are things of different origins and different scales, so I am not overly worried. It does beg the question, however, that if your world trees are not the link then what is?" That was something to investigate later on, after she had her answers from the Pantheon.

Speaking of the Pantheon... Glyph glanced at the berries and nuts he'd collected, found them mostly gone and smiled, "If you are rested, I will guide you to the Pantheon now if you like. I do not want to keep you from your answers, I know how important they are."

Zero Dream
In truth, Illisia was eager to get moving - not that she found Glyph or his company boring, but now that it seemed like she would finally be able to find a place where she could be given answers that were not completely vague and useless... She found herself eager to move.

The elven woman nodded, working herself to her feet with ease. "You said it was not too far... ?"

"A few days' trek," he answered as he started towards the Pantheon's direction, pausing at the edge of the clearing, "Walk with me and we'll be out of the forest soon enough." Gesturing, he then turned and moved on without looking back.

The forest was quiet, sleepy perhaps, as the inner clocks of the creatures that had survived demanded sleep be had. The undergrowth was think here in the heart of the wood, but the way seemed surprisingly easy as Glyph moved along. Their path was straight and when it seemed they might be forced to turn aside, the forest seemed to shift slightly, making way for the god in what could be described as more of an illusion than an actual change for when one looked back, the forest had not truly changed at all.

Thus, Glyph would dramatically reduce travel time within his realm and his sure sense of direction meant his steps were confident even if he was simply strolling through the woods.

Zero Dream
Illisia nodded, getting up in turn to follow Glyph, not expecting this would be so difficult. She was used to rough, natural terrain, after all, and had a whole lot of stamina left over from her days as a sentinel.

And yet, the found it rather hard to keep up with the god of Forests in his own element. Many times she had prepared to turn or leap over something, only to suddenly find that she did not need to do so - and that everything seemed back in it's place when she looked back. Which had caused her to lose quite a bit of ground and have to break into a run to actually keep up.

It was like the forest itself moved to bend about his will.. something she had never seen even the strongest druid accomplish.

Her surprise amused the god and he stopped at one, watching as she ran to keep up, "I did say keep close." The soft chuckle that escaped was easy enough to read and he winked as he continued forward, again looking to ease her passage through the woods. Had she been an enemy, however, she would have found that every branch, every root, and every pothole had seemed to gather along her path, blocking and tripping at every opportunity.

Glyph paused again later on and gestured for her to follow him, "One moment... I've something to tend to." It was proving to be an almost compulsive thing with him, to renew that which had managed to survive, to sew seeds and encourage their growth.

Off the path he'd chosen, a particularly large tree had fallen, its root ball a vast wall that had opened up some great space where its base once was. In the tumbled earth, several shoots were growing and it was here that Glyph knelt. "There has been so much destruction wrought... I am surprised more has not fallen." He murmured, glancing up to the once-great monarch.

"I've been trying to help this place regain a foothold... it is not much but each little bit helps, I think." As he spoke, he cupped his hands over the shoot and concentrated on it, willing it to grow more firm and resilient. Beneath his hands, he felt its tiny leafs brush against skin and drew away, pleased to see the shoot had grown straighter and stronger. Experimentally, he expanded his influence to cover the little gathering of shoots immediately in front of him and was equally pleased to see the young plants visibly straighten up. "I cannot do much now, only encourage their growth, but I believe there is progress being made."

He sounded a tad winded and when he rose, he inhaled deeply as if after a run. "My apologies. Let us continue."

Zero Dream
Well, indeed he has. She could not argue that at all, so she kept silent. The elven woman had never thought something like that could even be possible, however.

Illisia slowed down when he swerved, finally getting her true chance at catching up with him without having to transform, dried pine needles cracking under her weight, and she stopped when she was a few steps away, watching with great interest, and mulling things over for a moment, almost afraid that he might find offence in it.

The night elf seemed to finally decide that that was foolish, and stepped closer, calling upon her own power. Stardust seemed to follow her steps, and it finally rose, fluttering upward, eventually dissapairing into the blank sky. It left the grass and the stems it had ran across just slightly more green, more alive. Her power did not match his, not in the slightest, but there was a faint difference.

He paused as the stardust swirled up and he felt a tug of something on some inner core of himself. It was an odd sensation, intensified by his proximity to the druid, that made him think of the mana lines he'd once been able to see. A soft gasp escaped him then as the tug grew a little stronger and she bolstered his work, healing the area further.

A silly little smile of earnest thanks settled on his features then and he bowed to her, "Thank-you." Experimentally, he focused on that tug and tried to feed power into it as he had the plants. It worked and the flow of energy became stronger but... what would happen? It never occured to him he might overload the mortal he was using so little power. "Hmn..."

Zero Dream
There was another strange flutter in her awareness, right then. Similar to the one thing she had felt pulling her toward the direction of the pantheon, but at the same time completely different.

She blinked in surprise, but did not really seem harmed. Just... a little startled, really.

Glyph perked at the elf's reaction and grew curious, stepping closer to her, "Did you feel that...?" He sounded hopeful especially since she did no seem at all worse for wear. It was exciting to suddenly have the opportunity to explore his ties to someone who worshiped him.

Zero Dream
So that had been... ?

"Yes," She finally said. "...It was kind of like what I've been feeling at this time but... completely different at the same time. It's... kind of hard to explain, really." Feather-like eyebrow rose a bit in curiosity. "So you did... ?"

"I don't know..." He replied thoughtfully, "But apparently I did. It was like... I was trying to help the seedlings but not directly... it's hard to describe. Something tugged on me so I answered it." And that had apparently meant he'd empowered the elf.

"Try it again?" Glyph asked, obviously intrigued.

Zero Dream
She nodded, then focused once more. The stardust returned... with just the slightest green tint to the small, glowing substance. It rose again, fluttering off to sky and fading into nothing far above the top of the trees...

And again, the plantlife seemed renewed. More than Illisia's sole power had accomplished, but the elf wobbled a bit, ending up having to use a nearby tree for support. The tips of her fingers felt like they had been ablaze, for a short moment.

She only barely had controlled her own power.

He caught the slight tug when he felt it, ready for it this time, and paid more attention to it, focusing his reach.

When she wobbled, however, he broke off and caught her, bracing her back with one hand as he looked at her in concern. "Are you alright?" He felt responsible, for he knew his control was not infallible yet, still testing his bounds as he was, "I think, perhaps, such an experiment is for another time... when I am more sure of myself. Yes? My apologies Illisia." He didn't move, however, not until she'd recovered herself and he was certain she was not harmed.

Zero Dream
"T-That might be a good idea." She managed to answer, finally, still willing the sensation of dizziness to leave it. It was almost like if the world around her had been turning on it's orbit much faster than it actually did.

She had never quite experienced something like this before... which was saying something, for someone who has lived as long as she had.

It took a few more minutes before she finally let go, and dared step away from the tree she had used as support. She could walk, at the very least.

He nodded when she spoke and walked slowly as she moved away, keeping close. "I am sorry..." he murmured again, actively easing their path through the undergrowth so she would not trip or stumble further. It was one skill that came to him easily, this knowledge of direction and 'finding' the best path.

"Did you want to sit? I really did not mean for that to happen..." He was doting without realizing it, still happily surprised at having found a follower and loathe to hurt the mortal.

Zero Dream
"I am fine." She replied, softly and patiently. That kind of dotting... oh, she knew it well. She still laid it on thick onto her son, and well, anyone that looked like they needed protection.

She did not expecially like to think she was the latter, but did her best to find no offense in it. She definitively was walking a little slower, though, which meant Glyph would need to let her a chance to catch up.

"If you are sure." He replied, giving her space after a moment though he continued to walk slowly. Watchful, he would move off a little bit then look back to ensure her safety. He really did not want to break a follower... that would be entirely counterproductive.

When he was certain of her recovery, he moved onward without pausing every few moments once more. The trip through the forest would take the better part of the day and travel to pantheon at least another day after that. The least he could do was ensure she got to where she was going without frying her further.

Zero Dream
It took her some more time after that to recover more or less completely, where she was finally able to mostly keep up with him again. As long as she had him in her sight, really, she could not really get lost.

And given that she was a nocturnal creature, the constant darkness was working in her advantage at the moment. She definitively had one hell of a physical constitution, that was for sure. But then, prancing though forests was what night elves did.

Leave her alone in a town and she would likely get lost three times in the same direction.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Final Destination

The travel time had taken about as long as Glyph had told her it would – somewhat long, but not especially hard, not with how the forests simply seemed to shift to allow them to pass. The travel was made longer with her having to stop once or twice to need to rest, but the god had never seemed to mind.


Certainly the existence of deities was not a foreign thing to the night elf. While not as devoted as the priestesses and priests of Elune, she certain held that particular faith in her heart as well, like most night elves did, even the druids. There had to be other deities, of course, but she knew little of them. And certainly had not thought that she would meet one face to face.

Forest certainly did not act like what she expected a god would act – they certainly had much more to do than to bother themselves with one lone mortal, right ? Especially not someone like her, who was average in about every way for her species. But then, what did the night elf know of gods ? Very little, of course. She had certainly never met one before, not face to face. One just didn't meet gods face to face.

Right ?

Well, apparently this world was different. Who was she to attempt to deny that ? It seemed commonplace here, at the very least, from what she had heard on her way here. Different worlds certainly were not bound with the same rules than her own. Maybe those gods ruled this place only ? She had never heard of a god of Forest named Glyph, after all, and he had not seemed to know of her goddess.

It was certainly much to think about, and to be honest her mind was growing a little hazy for such thinking. She had only slept in small, quick naps since she had came to follow the god of Forests, not wishing to have him lose too much time on her behalf. It was certainly sweet of him to decide to lead her to safety and she could not bear to ask more of him than that. They had finally parted ways upon arriving to the place he had called the Pantheon, and she had wandered around the gardens since then, trying to familiarize herself with the buildings and their surroundings, as well as seeing where it was that she could rest at without bothering anyone. She certainly did not wish to impose, and would probably take back to the nearby forests soon enough, but for now she wished to stay close, until she could find the answers she sought.

The night elf had come this far, crossed worlds and lost her son, for exactly just that. Answers. It was only when she finally had those, and had found what had happened to Elik, that she would allow herself to begin to think about how to go back and return to Azeroth. For now, this was not really an option in her mind. She had gotten some answers, certainly, but not all of what she sought, of what she had been tasked to find. Until then...

She stopped by one of the teahouses and peered inside. It certainly looked cozy, and she had not slept onto anything soft for at least months. It also looked unoccupied... maybe no one would mind if she just took a quick nap ?

Illisia stepped inside carefully, brushing the leaves and twigs out of her hair and skirt before doing so, and took place onto the cushions that were laid there. They were certainly soft and comfortable... Definitively would make a comfortable sleeping area.

And then, when she awoke, perhaps she could find someone who would give her answers.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Second Chances

Zero Dream
Now that she had gotten some rest after her journey here, Illisia was more than willing to explore and figure out this place. This pantheon. Time and exposure only made it easier to believe it as such, even if she had only now started to unearth some of the answers she was looking for.

The night elf slipped out of the tea house she had taken over to sleep in, not wishing to impose herself on Glyph, and wandered, bare feet brushing against the grass which seemed to have no issue growing and living even with the lack of sun in the sky. This was curious in itself, but again, how could she be able to truly explain divine influence ? Being a creature of the night, the darkness did little to hinder her, but the absence of moon and stars over her head still sent chills down her spine if she thought about it too much.

And even here, she could not shake it - that impression that had guided her toward this place, that impression that there was someone that needed her, a lure that, while weak, had managed to reach out to her and guide her steps.

Little did Illisia knew, that the answer to that question was soon to be given to her.

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Creation stood aside one of the gardens paths, wings rampant, looking up beyond the empty space to whatever beyonds remained. The path he had taken was plain, littered over with an abundance of growth where his footfalls had been while small, new creatures made their skitter or fluttering way off into the world. A few small faewylds fluttered closer about the Eldest in a ring dance of languageless praise, but there were other objects as well, glowing softly in heartbeat undulations. Shapes of metal or stone or glass of many kinds and sizes.

Zero Dream
It was the growth that caught her attention first of all - in patches... The elven woman had never quite seen anything like that before. It was certainly curious, as were the objects glowing softly.

And then...

She stopped suddenly, very nearly tripping all over herself when she saw Creation. A man, skin white as the freshest snow and hairs of rainbow... no, not a man, not something so simple. She had felt something similar with Glyph, but it was much, much stronger in the figure in front of her. Overwhelming. The feel of power, of forces that only waited it's time to be unleashed at will.

For a moment, she pondered simply turning and going onto her way, not wishing to disturb a god of all things - but in the end, it seemed not the best course of action.

Instead, she knelt, the sound of leather and cloth bending accompanying her motion, gray eyes focused on the blades of grass in front of her. Respect, at least, she had to give.

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Ungodlike though the gesture be, one of the Eldest's ears twitched at the nearby sound and turned his attention from skyward to source. Kaldorei.

"Ishnu-alah, thero’shan."

"Far are these paths and branches for a child of the stars. You will not find Elune here, there is no answer....for blessings upon you, however great our mutual love for the body of the heavens."

Zero Dream
The elven woman did not rise, not yet. But there was surprise on her face, to hear her own tongue spoken to her.

And then shock, at what he had to tell her.

"I had thought so, Lord... but I think I have refused to believe it, Shan'do." If only because it meant that even more of what she knew was now different.

"What has happened... if I may ask ? I have come from far indeed, but we have felt it all. The weeping of the sky and the cataclysm before it..."

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"You have come to a well of worlds, the centerhome of the Gods of Many Names. The True Gods. Elune is the darnassian name for Universe, my first borne. My lost one, swallowed in the cataclysm of the Near End. It has been averted, but the heavens are dead. "

"Many call me Harmodius, a name I wore before the disaster for many ages of mortal kind. How best would you be named, traveler? "

Zero Dream
It was still very much something inconceivable, something shocking and worrying beyond all kind of comprention... the death of a goddess...

"I am named Illisia. Illisia Shadowmoon. I am come this far seeking answers, which I am grateful to be given."

The woman paused, for a few fleeting seconds, before she spoke again.

"...Is there anything I can do to aid in these times ? Andu-falah-dor." What there anything she, a mere mortal, could do when faced with gods, almost all foreign to her ? If she got to know of them, then perhaps she could return bearing knowledge of them to her kind.

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"As you have already thought to do, so it is you may best help the repair of all worlds. Learn of those whom you find, whom you meet. True Gods, you may name them and take story of them to your people, the first prophet of them in time longer then the Great Sundering and Sargeras. From the first footfalls of the older race, before the estrangement of tongues to Thalassian and Darnassian. "

He considered her moments before speaking again, and came nearer to crouch before her, "Unless it is differing purpose that drew you here, even in these moments when I stood and gave into these stones what I could of my own life. Come you traveler and scholar, or come you Called, to hither shore?" The stones that circled him slowly stopped and aligned upon the ground between them, all more fired then any cabochon or star of hand's cutting.

Zero Dream
When she finally dared to look up, he was right there, in front of her, blue and red eyes looking into her own gray one. They seemed bottomless, infinite, and it brought a chill down her spine.

And that question...

"Someone here needs me." She answered, gaze going to the stone that aligned in front of her. "...But I do not know who or what. Still, I cannot shake that feeling... that calling that brought me here. It guided my steps from far away, until one of your own finally took me here."

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"In these are others of our number. Long ago all but one of the True Gods faded, their power dispersed into the cosmos without guidance of intention or thought. Now I gather the last vestiges slowly and make these threads of memory and power into these gems. They are like seeds, and search for the perfect vessel to take them in. A mortal flame, which ...is consumed or drawn into the greater bonfire, serves as the matchstick for their rebirth. "

"You feel called, this is the stone of a Dragon, a King of Kings, Protectors of the hierarchy and peace of the Gods. Ti Lung, whose scales are hidden in the plates of the earth and whose tears and blood helped nourish life as extra waters when Gaia's bounty was withdrawn, diminished, or supplanted. "

"You must understand what your help would mean before choosing to offer it. Eternity of memory, cherished would be your Name until the Final End of this Being Time. But that is not the immortality all wish to possess. Most would rather live for themselves then for the restoration of others. "

"It is not a choice that must be made now, or even today. But until the choice is made, you will still hear the call."

Zero Dream
The elven woman listened, silent and focused. It was much to take at once, but threads of understandings were weaving into her mind. Glyph had spoke of such things, of hosts and rebirth, but she had not considered it in the way that was presented to her now.

All but one, faded and gone, leaving only... echoes. And a dragon... Even from where she was from, dragon were powerful influences, Aspects of life, death, time, and magics beyond the wildest mortal understanding. But even these aspects paled when compared to what she was faced with now.

And she... the once-immortal being faced with the decision to bear such thing. To return such thing to life, at great personal cost certainly.

Illisia looked over the many stones in front of her, each seeming aglow with something that betrayed them as more than mere minerals. Were all these gems calling, ever now, to others like hers ? Silent unless for the one person who felt their voices ?

She mulled those thoughts over silently, even though, in her heart, she already knew what she had to do. What was one long-lived life against the possibility of better times for her son, eventual grand-children that might be born for him, for her people, for the worlds as a whole ?

"...Are any of these his, Shan'do ? I wish to see." She had came so far, and even as she weighted it all in her mind, it felt wrong to simply go without at least seeing it... him. That one gem.

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He lifted the likeness of a dragon, fashioned of glinting mithril, which clutched and coiled its tail around a nameless stone of blue-in-blue.
"Even as they aligned, this which lay before you is the dragon whom you hear. "

Zero Dream
Harmodius held out the stone to her, and she looked at it. It seemed to glimmer more than the others did, the surface of the blue gem rippling as if it was the surface of a bottomless ocean, wide beyond any kind of imagination. Slow, gentle and peaceful ripples of tranquil waters.

She could not look away. It still called, wordlessly.

"...And if I chose to take him, knowing full well what will happen, then what must I do ?" She knew she could not leave it here. Simply could not.

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"You hold the gem against your skin where it will join into you. Then...you would feel the sleeping dragon. Then you would begin the journey of feeling the gaining strength, of working with or against the God to better it for all mortal and immortal kind. There is something within you that is not within others, something which Ti Lung needs and does not have. With the temper in you, growing with you and into you, through your life and deeds would this True God be made anew and greater. "

Zero Dream
Illisia nodded at that, and then again was silent and still for a moment. What would a god of all beings need from her, she had no idea. But perhaps she was not meant to understand just yet.

Time flowed, for what seemed to be forever, until one hand finally rose to grasp the gem. It felt light of being, but rather heavy in meaning.

"I will think about it." A bold statement, from one who's mind seemed to already be made. The conviction in her eyes and the way she grasped the gem betrayed her. "...Is there some place where I might be able to stay, in the meanwhile, Shan'do ? I wish not to impose myself on others unduly." Child of the forests she was indeed, and could be again if needed. But would it be the same for the dragon ?

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"That way, " he pointed to the primary structure of the compound,
"Within you will find a set of stairs. The stairs lead to a hall of doors, beyond which are the apartments and dwellings of many others. Seek the door with Teldrassil carved into the living wood. Whatever you will, the inside of the space will become a haven for your rest. "

Zero Dream
She seemed able to tear her gaze from the gem-bound dragon at last, to look in the direction Creation pointed toward. And it was then, and only then, that the woman dared to rise.

"Thank you, Lord. Do you need anything else of me, before I go ?" She had... much to think about and figure out, indeed.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

One Room Upgrade, Coming Up

They had returned to their room in silence, beside the odd few words there and there. Uncomfortable silence, as the two of them had much to think about indeed. Illisia was certainly thinking deeply, and while he did not look, wanting to allow his host some sort of privacy at least, it was not hard to know that she had been thinking about what Tian Yue had told them both. Of Gehenna. But most likely of the fact that there had been... another before her.

He was grateful for having been told, at least it somewhat filled the small block of nothing, in between the past and the present, and he could certainly not lay blame in his brother for such, but it had worried his host about as much as it had worried him. Ti Lung did not want her to worry – it should be of no concern to his fair host, what had happened before.

Even if he did not know what had happened, the dragon had decided he would put the blame upon himself. It would have been all too easily to blame the former host, but he refused to do so. That was the easy way out... and certainly dishonorable to the mortal's memory.

He did not want Illisia to worry, and certainly did not want her to be afraid of him and what could happen. He would not repeat the same mistake twice, at least he certainly hoped he would not. There was something, however, that he wished to bring up, something he had noticed within her, a different kind of unease that flared up once more as she sat on the cushions in the middle of the bare, dark room. It would likely take her mind away from his former host, at the very least, so it served a dual purpose.

Are you honestly comfortable here, my dear ?

That seemed to snap her out of her thoughts well enough.

It's a room. She answered him, shrugging physically even though there was no one here to see it. It was a room burred deep inside another room in a building and she had never done very well when confined. It did not help that it was so small and cramped.

Indeed, but it is meant to be comfortable. A haven for you and I. There is certainly no need to have it so cramped.

Illisia blinked at that statement. But it was that big when I came in...

And it adapted to what you wanted, did it not ?

Well, yes...

You took it for what it was, a room, and left it at that. Creation's magic is within these walls, so they can become whatever we wish them to be. The dragon laughed, the sound playful rather than mocking, as he projected warmth and kindness to her. We can do much better than this, my dear. To be honest I am not very comfortable here either. Just this once more, however, as I wish not to put strain on our Lord unduly. He only held the uttermost respect in his voice when he spoke of Harmodius.

They thought each of what they wanted, pinging images and ideas to each other, with the dragon encouraging his host to truly open her mind and not go for what she thought was possible, but what she wanted. This continued for several minutes, the two communicating in this way, before they settled on something that suited them both – their needs being much the same, in the end. And then, Xun Jiang gently guided his host's hand and made it all happen.

The first thing that happened was that the room stretched – wider and wider, beyond anything that seemed possible for the night elf – until it formed a rather large, completely open area. There was no need for any kind of closed-off area when it was only the two of them, sharing one body even. Later on... well, that would be later on. The large space would be easy to divide with curtains, or other mundane ways.

It was not wooden floor that came into being, but grass, and earth, as well as a rock trail. That trailed off eventually into water, forming a large lake, deep enough to allow someone to dive down and have enough space to swim. The water curled upward, forming a large waterfall that fell from the ceiling. The colors of the now distant walls remained the same, and the relative darkness of the room remained, for the night elf's comfort. As he saw though her own eyes, the dragon had no issues with the darkness either. A pathway made itself, underwater, toward another large room hidden below the ground level. That was Xun Jiang's addition.

What is that for ? Illisia asked him, confused. This caused another rumble-like laugh to echo in her mind.

Just a little investment for the future, my dear. After all, dragons were dragons, and as such, dragons needed hoards. He was not sure she would understand, however. He had seen it, in her memories, that dragons were somewhat different in her world.

Illisia pouted, but let it go. She knew that he probably was doing it just to get a reaction out of her – gentle teasing, nothing malicious to it. The elven woman could feel it rather clearly. She certainly felt better now, she had to admit. The place did not feel as constricting now, and the feel of grass under her bare feet did give her the impression of being outside. The ceiling was higher now, too, as she belatedly noticed, and it certainly helped as well. She wondered if one could plant something in that soil and have it grow...

Certainly. It is earth, after all. Xun Jiang's voice cut though her thoughts again. This is certainly better, isn't it, my dear ?

Indeed... I rather like it. It fit the both of them rather nicely.

I am glad. He announced. Ti Lung promised to himself that he would not let his beloved Illisia down, would not let the past repeat itself. He simply would not allow it to happen.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Where Have You Been ?!

Zhijian lounged beside the waters that wound near the Pantheon, unclothed and half-wet. He had hunted and fed well, but had needed a bit of a bath after. Now he was dozing, stretched out comfortably in the grass while he waited for his fur and wings to dry. It would have helped if the sun were visible, but he was hardly going to complain. He was perfectly content to air dry. If nothing else, the time it took was a good excuse to have a nice nap. Then he'd get back to...well, important dragon things. Yes.

Zero Dream
It just so happened that Illisia was passing nearby, unaware of the lounging dragon king nearby. She had stopped on her way a bit further upward the same lake to catch a drink of the clear waters. There had been this odd thing back in the main building, metal that let water out when small knobs were turned, and to be honest she wasn't sure she really trusted it.

What was wrong with getting water from it's source ?

This world really was odd indeed.

Her thirst sated, the elf wandered off again, straight in Zhjian's direction.

Zhijian was a difficult person to sneak up on, even when he was asleep. He had to be exhausted before he slept very deeply at all. His rounded ears flicked at the sound of an approach, and he cracked one eye open to see who it was. No one he knew, as it turned out, and as it wasn't one of his brothers, not worth getting up for. But as he sniffed a little, curious, he thought he smelled - maybe, just maybe - a touch of dragon.

Still, he wasn't sure, and so he rumbled, "Who are you?"

Zero Dream
It was his voice that stopped the night elf - she hadn't even noticed him laying there, and apparently his nakedness did little to phase her. She could recognize the feel of a god in him, though, and inclined her head with respect. "I am Illisia. I apologize, I was simply passing though."

The telltale sign of her being something more would be the gem - in plain sight on her arm, the dragon figurine giving her away rather nicely.

Xun Jiang, for his part, perked with sudden interest. He hadn't especially been keeping attention on the outside so far, today.

No one in particular, then, although she was kind of pretty...but her eyebrows were quite strange. He might have rolled over and gone back to sleep, curiosity satisfied, but then he happened to notice her arm. Not only did she have a gem, it was very clearly a dragon. One of his brothers! He hadn't a clue which, but it didn't really matter - a brother was a brother!

Just like that, Zhijian sprang up and pounced upon the poor night elf.

Zero Dream
Illisia had expected many things, but that hadn't been one of them. Maybe if she had gotten the time to position herself correctly, she might have a chance to remain upward. But she didn't get that, and instead staggered and felt right down on the grass.

"Hey !" She protested, wriggleling a bit under his hold. What was THAT for ?!

Ti lung, however, was apparently much too amused to help out his oblivious host - his laugh ringing though her mind, clear and true. This seemed so familiar, somehow, but he couldn't truly explain why.

Can I get some help here ?!

He is a brother, my dear. He will not hurt you.

Completely unbothered by the host's protests or possible discomfort, he sniffed busily at the dragon-gem, his tail lashing with excitement. "Who is it?" he demanded, "Who do you have? May I speak to him?"

Zero Dream
Illisia wriggled a bit more, but there was no getting out of that pin, it seemed - and it didn't seem like Xun Jiang wanted her to, anyway, and if she wasn't in danger, then maybe it wasn't so bad. The night elf had certainly been in less pleasant situations, and this dragon was acting more like an hyperactive kitty than anything else.

"Xun Jiang, Ti Lung." She answered, not waiting for the dragon to do so. "I don't think he can speak... but ill relay things for you if you want."

Ti Lung! Ti Lung was here! Well, almost. For the Fangbridle, who had all but given up on seeing said missing brother (along with Mang and Shen Lung), it was more than enough. He wilted slightly upon learning that he couldn't speak to Xun Jiang directly, and released Illisia...mostly. He rubbed his furry cheek against her arm, where Xun's jewel sat.

"Where have you been?" he asked, of host and dragon both.

Zero Dream
He really, really did behave like a cat. That was odd, and Illisia had to resist the irrational urge to pet the dragon king. Was it her own, or Xun Jiang's, was up to the question.

He would probably love it. Said dragon pointed out, his voice heavy with amusement.

Ill'd rather not come out with a few less fingers.

It was only after that exchange, lightning-quick, that she settled down to sit, and answer him. "We have only recently crossed paths... Tian Yue told us that he had an host before but... that it failed, And that he was not the only one, unfortunately." She relayed for the dragon, word for word, only changing the I for He. "He has also told us what has happened, and he... is ashamed that he was not here when it could have mattered the most."

While he had chosen to devour his host rather than fuse with her, her catlike behaviour had stubbornly remained with him...not that he wouldn't have been so enthusiastically affectionate with his siblings anyway. It just affected the manner of display somewhat. Though he was gradually returning to a dignified state, he remained close to Illisia, to his brother. He wanted to take to him, but this was better than nothing.

"I thought he would never come," he admitted. "Tell me, do you know anything of Mang or Shen Lung?" If Ti Lung was here, then perhaps...

Zero Dream
Mang and Shen Lung... These names meant something to the dragon within, of course, who could tell her of who they were and what they represented, but they were unknown to her, and so she had to shake her head. "I don't know... I have only met Tian Yue so far. And you. As far as dragons go, anyway. And you would be ?" It was her turn to ask questions, for her benefit and the benefit of the dragon king she bore. He seemed to know who he was - titles, yes, but not what name he might have chosen in this incarnation.

"We were the only ones, for quite some time," he said of Tian Yue, his voice slightly sad. Still, at least there had been two of them; a Dragon King alone would have been sad indeed. "I am Zhijian, Ying Long and Fangbridle."

Zero Dream
"The only ones ?" She parroted Xun Jiang's question almost in perfect sync with him asking it. That... felt wrong, very wrong, somehow.

Very wrong indeed, my dear. The dragon rumbled inside her mind, giving the impression of circling it back and forth. They were brothers... siblings... meant to stand united. Where had everyone else been ? Where had he been ? Had he found his first host back then ? Many questions that he lacked the means to find answer to.

"Where were anyone else ?" She asked again, after a pause.

Zhijian nodded sadly before answering, "I'm not certain. It has been...most distressing. But Yu, Futs Lung, and Chien Tang came in time. And now you are here. It is...closer to the way it is meant to be."

Zero Dream
"I see..." Illisia could not quite say she understood the sentiments - she did not have any siblings, as births were certainly rare in her race of immortals, and multiple births even rarer still, outside twins. But to be mostly alone, with those you held dear unaccounted for... This kind of pain, she could relate to.

This seemed odd to the dragon. He would have thought they would have been reborn close to each other, as they meant to be. But then... Tian Yue had said he had not been the only one to fail. Yu and Futs as well... Even now, he was aware of a large part of him that was missing, gone, and he would have wished that onto no one, even less so onto his brothers.

"We hope that they are well, wherever they are." It was the only thing the two could say, really. "But he is here now... and he assure you he isn't going anywhere this time around. We... will not fail again."

Zhijian nodded approvingly. He had not known Xun's first host, but this one seemed suitable. His had probably been the best of all, of course, although he wasn't going to rub it in. For now, he was just happy to have another brother back. "Have you met our Lord?"

Zero Dream
There was no confusion at such a vague statement - the elf knew, very well, what the Fangbridle meant. "I have. He was the one to give the jewel to me." There was awe in her voice, as she remembered that day. Harmodius had been... unlike anything she had ever seen.

Larger than life in the truest sense of the word.

Our Lord certainly knows how to make an impression, indeed.

"Good," Zhijian rumbled, running clawed fingers through his pale mane. "You will do well, then." It also meant that she had a place to stay; He would not have given her a gem and not a home to keep her safe. "What door is yours?"

New ones did appear from time to time, to house gods and hosts, and it wasn't always obvious to whom they belonged.

Zero Dream
The elf nodded to the first statement, unable to think of a way to truly answer without betraying her inner fear. She was doing better at keeping it in check, now that it had time to all sink in, but it was still a source of worry.

She could only hope that they were right - all of them.

"Teldrassil." She answered on reflex, and then it occurred to her that Zhijian might not know what that was. "A large tree, basically... the door itself is living wood."

It was a good thing Illisia clarified, because Zhijian really didn't have any idea what 'Teldrassil' was, although it did share a couple of syllables with the World-Tree's name. "Oh," he said after a moment, understanding, "Like Yggdrasil, then. Mine is the jade door, with mountains and waterfalls and travellers, if you ever wish to visit."

Zero Dream
"Yes, like that." Even if she would be the first to admit she was not quite sure how. Both were called world trees, but they were very drastically different, from what she could gather.

"We will keep it in mind." She said with a smile. "Feel free to drop by, too..." Through, she figured a god certainly did not need permission. "But I am not in here very often - I prefer to be outside."

"I am often outside as well." The dragon nodded, understanding.

"If you do visit and I'm not there, don't trust the three-eyed creature," Zhijian warned as an afterthought, "She's my servant's daughter, but she bites."

Zero Dream
Three-eyed... creature ? Well. That was certainly something new. "I will keep it in mind." But then, she tended to do well with children, having raised a son nearly by her lonesome, as her husband slept within the Emerald Dream.

And being able to look in nearly all direction was a skill that went hand in hand with motherhood, really. Illisia doubted she would have much trouble.

"If I do hear about Mang and Shen-Lung, I will let you know ?" She offered.

"I would be grateful," he answered, with a dip of his head, "And I will let you know the same." After all, Xun was likely just as interested as he in the whereabouts and condition of their still-missing siblings.

Zero Dream
Indeed, the dragon was very interested... as well as hopeful that they had not suffered a fate like his own. But then... where were they ? What else could keep them from their Lord in a time of need ?

"It's the least I can do, really. I... don't have any siblings, but I know what it's like... to not know where the ones you care for are, and if they are well." She sighed. She had known it in her father and her husband, mostly, and now knew it in the form of her missing son. It occured to her to ask him to let her know if he saw Elik... but she let it go. Zhijian had certainly better to do than to go around looking for missing people.

Zhijian was rarely concerned with the wellbeing of any given mortal, and would probably have left Illisia's comment be were she not host to one of his beloved brothers. But as she was, and as he knew first-hand the importance of hosts'...connections, he felt somewhat compelled to prompt, "Is that so?"

Zero Dream
"Yes. I have... lost many in the dark times before this." She sighed. Almost her entire family line, actually, save her son. "Only one of my family remain, and I lost sight of him when he came here. I trust that he is well... but I am not sure where he is." He could be anywhere on this planet, really. Another country, another continent...

"But he will understand, I think, if he ever finds his way here. I have raised him in my own convictions." Everything about Illisia, from her calm tone of voice, to her demeanor down to the location of the jewel, showed that she was a willing host.

Hmm, interesting. He was fortunate in that none of his host's maternal instincts seemed to have transferred to him. That would have been tricky indeed, not to mention unpleasant. "You could ask my servant, if you like. She has certain...talents, and may be able to tell you something of him."

Zero Dream
"She could... ?" The elf pondered this for a moment. "Would it be much of a bother... ?" Sure, she had some amount of certainty that her son was alive, but she had to true mean to be sure. Even if all she would get was that her son was alive, that would still be enough.

"Not at all," he assured her. While Ashoka's abilities had certainly made her...well, odd, they never seemed to take any real toll on her, at least not that anyone could tell. "She can be a little vague, but if you wish, I may be able to fetch another who could tell you something of your son's whereabouts. That one is not mine, however, so I cannot command him."

Most of the pards were varying degrees of...suspicious of him, give the circumstances of his rebirth, but he had managed to rope the seer, Narasingh, into helping him once before.

Zero Dream
"We could see with your servant, first ?" Illisia liked to think that she was good at deciphering vague hints. And, well, she was not wishing to make things difficult for Zhijian - who was doing her quite a favor indeed, for no reason other than the fact she bore one of his brothers in her flesh and mind.

In the end... it would indeed be one less worry.

Zhijian nodded, rising to his feet with a stretch. He was still damp, but that could be easily cured inside with a towel. With his nap quite happily interrupted, there wasn't much point in waiting to air-dry. "...if you will follow me, then."

Zero Dream
Illisia shifted to stand on her bare feet again, then, following Zhijian as she led him back inside, silent as she did so.

Xun Jiang remained silent as well, but could only hope that the answer she would be given would be one of the mother's liking.

Zhijian was quiet as he led the way, up the stairs and to his jade door. He opened it to his rooms, which were considerably less bare-looking than they had once been. He even had a bed now, as opposed to a pile of furs in the middle of the floor. On said bed was Dan, uncaring as always that it was his and she was not supposed to be there. He didn't reprimand her, as it simply didn't work; if he wanted her off, he'd have to quite literally throw her off, and he couldn't be bothered to do so just now. Instead, he let the huge hybrid lie.

No sooner had they entered than Ashoka popped in from another room, smiling brightly and naked as ever. Clothes were optional, where the dragon and his servant were concerned. "Hello!" she chirped. "You found your river-brother, huh?"

Zero Dream
Once more, Illisia did not seem fazed in the least by the fact that Ashoka showed up naked. Her own clothes were mostly for the comfort of others and not her own. But when submerged completely in other cultures, one did her best to adapt.

More curious was the fact that she seemed to know exactly who she bore, one long eyebrow rising in surprise. But then, the Fangbridle had said she was gifted - a prophet of sort. "Yes, that would be it. I have... a question for you, if you would have the time... ?"

"Of course!" Ashoka answered Illisia.

Zhijian's ears cast back slightly, and he gave Ashoka a long look. "You knew he was here?"

"No," the pard said, unphased, "I didn't see him at all until just now. You know how fuzzy you gods can be sometimes. You're always so complicated!"

Zero Dream
The elf certainly felt like Ashoka had a point. Gods were complicated. "It is not a god I seek, thankfully." She hesitated a moment, pondering how to best put this. "I... seek what happened to my son. His name is Elik... He came to this world with me, but the magics that sent us here went haywire and we ended up separated... just before the sky was gone." Her ears pinned back slightly as she remembered that day. "I... have not heard of him since."

"Hmmmm," she considered aloud, tilting her head to one side. Everyone, god or mortal or otherwise, was all full of bits and pieces of things - things that had happened, things that would, things that might, and then there were all the little pieces of all the people they knew, and they all liked to run together. Sometimes things jumped out, and sometimes you had to start by finding one piece and then another and then another.

Ashoka plunked herself unceremoniously on the floor to pick at her toes while she thought about it. There were demons and dragons and lost loved ones - the dead kind of lost - and Dragons and the elf's inevitable end. But that was not what she wanted. After deliberating for several minutes, following this piece here and that one there, she nodded to herself and announced triumphantly, "He'll come here."

Zero Dream
Illisia remained quiet, even as time stretched on, apparently not minding the pardess' quirks. Prophets and seers tended to be odd, after all, because of what they saw.

But then, at last, Ashoka spoke.

He'll come here.

That was not much, but it was enough to make assumptions. If he would come here, it meant that he was alive. And would be well enough to travel, if he was not quite yet. The elf tilted her head forward in thanks. "Thank you. It... is a relief to know this." But then... if she was the servant that Zhijian said she had children, then perhaps she would come to know such thing.

Illisia had not quite looked around - that was a little rude - and hadn't spotted the bed. Or Dan.

By the time Ashoka gave her answer, Dan had begun to stir. Sure, there was the delightful comfort of sleeping where she wasn't supposed to, but then there was curiosity. First one eye opened, then the other two, and finally she all but oozed off the bed. The elf was far from the most interesting person she had ever seen; to Dan, looks were everything. Well, almost. People also got more interesting if they had food. This lady was just sort of purple, and the only funny thing about her was her eyebrows. Hmm.

"You're welcome!" Ashoka was always happy to help, especially the dragons. She liked all the gods, really, because they were so often confusing, but she'd fixated somewhat on the Dragon Kings, as they were the first she'd had anything to do with. "If you ever need anything else, just let me know."

"...no biting." This apparent non sequitur was directed at her troublesome daughter.

Zhijian was content to stand back and watch. He had, as far as he was concerned, performed his brotherly duties, and Illisia could linger or not as she pleased.

Zero Dream
It was only when Dan made her spectacular exit from the bed that Illisia noticed her - and could not help but be a little curious. "Is that your child ?" She asked, uncertain of the gender by simply looking at her. Three eyes.... Hm. She could only wonder what was the father, but she refrained from asking such question.

She seemed to remember the warning about biting, however, as she made no movement toward the little one.

"Mm-hm! This is Dan. Her father was the five-clawed's host."

Dan tilted her horned head, regarding Illisia carefully. She did have very long ears, which was sort of interesting; she'd never seen ears quite so long before. But there were no fancy wings, or horns, or tails or anything like that. Nothing particularly fun to copy. And yet...there was something else, past the readily visible.

With a deliberative rumble, the pardmentling changed into something all feline, trading away the canine traits she'd inherited from her father. Her horns, coloring, and eyes she kept, but otherwise...her form would now be much more familiar to the druid.

"...hmm," Ashoka mused, "That's new."

Zero Dream
The five-clawed's... ...What kind of host had his brother chosen ? That... was an odd notion.

Unfortunately for Ti Lung, Illisia was no longer attentive to his voice, regarding the dark being's shapeshifting with a raised eyebrow... but then finally placed the form and laughed, crouching down to eye level. "You're very clever, Dan." The night elf stated with obvious praise. How she had managed to mimic something she had not seen was beyond Illisia.

Her own form started to shift and twist as well, her body shifting with ease and with little to no pain, leaving a larger, but purple cat where the night elf had once stood. "Just like so~"

Praised, Dan struck a pose and all but preened. She'd gotten it right - well, mostly - and in the process had shifted more completely than ever. When Illisia shifted as well, the young creature observed the process and result, then made a few corrections to her imitation. Away went her four horns, leaving her with only her coloring and eyes: things she had yet to puzzle out how to change, or if she could at all.

She clacked her jaw curiously, testing the feel of these much larger canines. These were an especially exciting development - now she would be able to bite even better! She looked forward to trying it on Joss.

"Good," she proclaimed with an awkward, growly voice.

Zero Dream
"Very good !" Illisia praised again, having no hindrance with talking with a maw, by all appearances. Perhaps this was also a good idea on her end, to have shifted such - she was a little tougher in this form, which would do her well if she was to become a chewtoy. The dragon's gem had remained in it's location, but partly obscured by light purple fur.

...How did you do this ? Xun Jiang asked, clearly taken back by such a development. Apparently there were yet things about his host which he had not known. But he had to admit that a body used to shifting had it's advantages.

Illisia had to bite back her laugh. I am a druid. was the answer she gave, as if that explained everything. "Can you try to change your color, Dan ?" She encouraged the young one gently.

Dan only spoke rarely, and usually only in fragments. She was capable of more, but for whatever reason chose not to say much of anything. Perhaps if she bothered to speak more, she would sound more normal, but as it was, that was unlikely. She had no particular interest in conversation.

At the druid's question, she peered down at her one white paw, eyes narrowing. She had tried to change her color on many occasions, hoping to imitate Zhijian or her mother or some other pard, but it had yet to work. But now that someone was asking her to, well, it became a matter of wanting to show off!

Still, no matter how hard she seemed to concentrate at that pale fur, it stubbornly refused to turn purple.

Zero Dream
Well, apparently not, if the look on the young one's face was to be believed. "That's fine." She rose her own paw and furrowed her long brows in apparent concentration. "Nope. Can't change colors either. And I most certainly cannot grow horns, so you are much better than me at this. If you do ever figure out how, I would like to see ?" No matter the fact that she might not be here long enough. Dan didn't need to know that... and Illisia was not quite sure she would understand. It was hard to tell how old the pardmentling was.

The truth was, Dan wouldn't care whether or not Illisia was around for long. She hadn't even been phased when Yu had morphed. Her emotions were few and far between, and her attachments fewer still. People were interesting, and that was about it. Now that she had found what was most interesting about the elf, she was more or less finished, and so Dan ambled back to the bed and returned to her spot.

"She's not very polite," Ashoka explained, "But she didn't bite you at least?" And that was saying something.

Zero Dream
"Children are rarely so." Illisia did not seem vexed, at least, tail going back and forth idely along the floor. Apparently she'd stopped being interesting and shiny. Oh well.

There was a nagging feeling in her stomach that reminded her that she hadn't eaten yet, however. "Well, I've probably taken enough of your time as it is. Thank you again, Ashoka. And... ill keep an eye out." That statement was meant for the dragon king, who would know what she meant.

Zhijian nodded, straightening from where he'd leaned back against the wall. How wonderful it was that Dan had discovered she could have bigger teeth...not. But that was hardly Illisia's fault.

The dragon opened the door, in case his brother's host didn't care to shift back just yet. "I will see you again, I'm sure."

Zero Dream
"Of course. Feel free to seek me out if you wish." She gave a grateful nod of the head and padded her way out, remaining in her feline shape just as the Fangbridle had thought she would.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Watching And Learning

It was mostly while Illisia was sleeping that Xun Jiang made his true moves.

It was certainly dishonourable, in a way, but it seemed the best way. The elf was already worried about what the future might hold, if this would be a success or another failure, and if this would mean anything, or if her sacrifice would be a waste. The druid had gotten better at hiding these things, but she could not hide them from him. Her mind was much like an open book for the dragon, and this was what allowed him to do what he was doing now. She did not recent him, thankfully, but she was afraid, much in the same way that he was afraid, even as he kept it tightly locked away from her. It was only what he projected to her – thoughts and feelings – that she could sense. Being able to sense his own fear would only make Illisia's worse.

He had to come across as certain and convinced, if only for her sake.

There was a time where he had once been called Kawagiri. Had this been his name in the far past as well ? He was not quite sure. It felt wrong to refer to himself by that name now, and so he did not, and he would not take it again. He was Xun Jiang now, and he... had lost much. The knowledge of that life as Kawagiri for instance, but perhaps that was an hidden blessing. Perhaps some things were better left buried and forgotten.

But more so than this lack of knowledge, it was the obvious holes in his very self that were of worry. There were things that were missing, were gone. Spaces in his self where there had once been something. This was likely the most upsetting part of this whole thing, now that he could identify it for what it was.

This would not do, of course. He was a Dragon – and he had things to do. He needed his brothers, and his brothers needed him. Ti Lung was not Tien Lung, who balanced All That Is carefully within his protective scales, or Yu the Five Claws and the Fangbridle with the direct task and honor of supporting their Lord and Emperor in their own ways, or his lovely sister Qian Lung who did much the same for the Empress.

But he was the waters of the earth, the rivers that broke from the vast sea to nourish the land, a bringer of life – the worlds were certainly recovering nicely due to his Beloved Lord's influence, but he would be needed.

And he would be needed as whole as it was possible for him to be. Some of his essence was lost in the failing of his first host, and there was nothing he could do about that. But he could fill these holes again with new things. New traits that he appreciated of the woman who bore his essence. There was, indeed, much he had to learn from Illisia – but perhaps not in the same way than most did. Xun had a plan, but he was not yet quite sure if it could work out...

He did not take – had no wish or want to harm his host this way – but he observed her, constantly. Observed the way she interacted with others, the way she spoke, the way she thought. The small things and reactions that not even her likely noticed. Filed what he liked away and made it his the best he could, and could only hope that it would stick. It seemed to, filling some of those holes in his very self.

He had always been observant, easily focused on smaller details – this came in handy right now.

The first thing had been patience – some amount of it, at least. Ti Lung was prone to action and spontaneous and wished to remain this way. But some amount of that would certainly make much good. Make this wait a little more bearable for instance. But now that he was focused on something, it was not so bad. It was certainly something.... unique... and he had already come to cherish that closeness with the elf. It was... comforting, in a way.

Illisia likely thought that her life would end as his own began, but circumstance willing... Ti Lung had other plans.

Not all immortality was obvious, after all.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Flowers For A Friend
In which Glyph faceplant in Illy's boobs, news at 11 !

The pot of snapdragons he'd collected were in full bloom by the time he'd chosen to stop by Illisia and Xun's quarters. There had been many buds to start but he rather thought the plant looked more appealing with a multitude of little blossoms along the stalks and so had spent time encouraging the gift to bloom.

Glyph knocked on the door then and held the offering of friendship up so it would be easily seen when the door opened. Or, at least, he rather hoped it would be seen - Illisia was awfully tall. He eyed the gift skeptically then lifted it a little further, obscuring his face with the result that only his horn and furry ears were visible.

Zero Dream
The knock on the door caught Illisia's attention, away from simply lounging and listening to the sound of the waterfall after a dip into the lake. One long eyebrow rose sightly, and the elf got up, taking her clothes and putting them on quickly before she went to the door.

She still remembered the first time she'd showed up in front of an human naked. That hadn't been very pleasant.

The door opened about a minute or so after Glyph had knocked, and she wound up with... a faceful of flowers. Still, she knew to who those ears belonged to. "I think you need a bigger plant if you're trying to hide." She teased.

Glyph blinked as he looked over the top of the flowers and shook his head, "I'm not trying to hide. These are for you. They're called snapdragons." He nodded sagely, "Reminded me of you... I thought a house-warming gift of sorts might be appropriate. Besides, your room had so little in the way of plant life and I thought this might help make you, and Xun, more comfortable."

He offered a smile as he held the pot out to her, "Have you been well? I left hastily last time but I did not want to impose upon conversation between you and... the Dragon King." He'd paused as he tried to reach for Xun's 'title' and found he did not know it, causing him to purse his lips in thought. Which king was Xun?

Zero Dream
...Well, by all appearances, night elves blushed a deep purple instead of red, if Illisia was to be of any indication. "Ah... ?" She certainly was not used to such things...

An amused, deep chuckle at the back of her mind reminded her that she was no longer alone, and one ear twitched in response.

"They are lovely." What an odd name for a flower, indeed... "We've been fine, and to be honest you weren't exactly intruding much." She gave a light chuckle, and stepped aside to allow him to come inside. "No hightailing it out this time, hm ?"

The room was just as dark as it had been when Forest had first been in it, but it was bigger - much bigger - and the sound of the waterfall would betray the presence of water.

He beamed when she blushed, pleased that she enjoyed her gift, "Ah, if you insist. And no, I won't be 'high-tailing' it out of here unless you wish me to leave or other matters come to light." Glyph's attention shifted into the room as she stepped aside and he blinked once more, "Oh~ You did some redecorating, hmn? This is quite nice."

Pausing a few steps inside, he flexed his toes in the grass and smiled at the feel of it - cool and slightly moist, as if after a morning dew. He never wore shoes any more - there was no need - and he much enjoyed the feel of soil and grass beneath his feet. The sound of the waterfall did indeed betray the water and he glanced in the direction, "Do you have a fountain as well?"

"There was a young woman planting many snap dragons along the edge of the forest I was tending, she gave me a pot. Her name's Adrienne." He smiled, "She complained about not being to grow things but... I suggested she speak to you to learn some of the druid arts if that is alright. She seemed to enjoy gardening."

Zero Dream
"Well, I guess you could say it like that." She stepped forward, clearly unhindered by the darkness as she followed the rock path. "I didn't really like how it was before, and Xun didn't really either, so... we changed it."

She grinned as she heard the mention of a fountain. "Ah... not really." Illisia stopped, turning to face him again. One thought was all that was needed for the area to light up just enough to reveal the lake and the massive waterfall.

"Oh ?" There was obvious interest in her tone and in her expression as he told her of Adrienne."That might be an idea... I am not sure how much I will be able to teach her, however. I am... not the best skilled myself." Not to mention that she probably did not have enough time left to teach her of the whole druidic arts.

"Ooh!" He turned towards the direction of the rumble when the lights came up and found himself looking at a waterfall... and a lake...? Glancing to Illisia for a moment he then moved towards it, "This is beautiful, running water is such a comforting sound." Coming to a stop near the edge of the water, he dipped a toe in and laughed, "A little cold though."

He scoffed at her comment, shaking his head, "You've made it far under your own prowess. Your skills are similar to my own right now... probably stronger, all told, and I cannot teach what I am. I've faith in you, Illisia." He gave a little shrug and arched a brow, smile wry, "You are skilled enough to have my approval, my friend. I should think that's proof enough."

Zero Dream
"It is." He agreed. "Xun had to have some water around, apparently. It was his idea." She certainly had not thought it possible, until she had seen it done with her own eyes.

"I... will do my best." She said again. If she found the girl, and if she was willing to learn... well, it would not be much, but it would be something, at least. She certainly did not agree that her power went beyond his, but that was such a silly thing to argue about. She'd certainly never cared about how powerful she was or was not, before. As long as her skill was enough to do what needed to be done, well, all was good.

Illisia seemed to finally decide on a spot, shifting to sit on the ground and held her arms up to take the potted plant from him. It would certainly do better outside of a pot. "And what have you been up to ?"

"Oh? What is his aspect? It occurs to me that I do not know." He seemed slightly embarrassed about that but handed over the potted plant as he sat down beside her. Her agreement to at least consider the mentoring made him smile with appreciation and the embarrassment slid away, "Thank you Illisia."

"I have been trying to improve as I can. Testing the bounds of my restrictions as it were." He glanced at his hands then, fanning the over-long fingers as he inspected them, "As grateful as I am for form once more, it isn't quite right yet. And there is so very much to do... I have been trying to restore the forest we first met so that the mortals at least some kind of fresh, clean resource to rebuild with rather then simply just reusing what wasn't turned to dust during Gehenna." Curling his hand into a fist then, he sprawled out, supporting his head with said hand as he lay alongside Illisia.

"It's amazing wow quickly the people around the Pantheon are recovering. Children are actually laughing again." He smiled, "It's very encouraging."

Zero Dream
She took the potted snapdragon and settled it beside her, and started to dig a hole, with only her hands as tools. The soil was soft and rich, and easily dug up even with her lack of claws. "He is... the Lifewater of Worlds. He... controls water on earth, I think ? So... Rivers and lakes, I guess ?" She still wasn't quite sure she understood all that.

That is certainly accurate, my dear. The dragon rumbled in approval. You have a keen attention to detail.

It helps that you're in my head, I guess. She replied, amused in turn. Illisia could not read his thoughts as he did with her's, but she certainly knew a few things - from what he actively projected to her.

"Well..." She paused for a moment, as if wondering if she should speak her mind or not. "You... have been gone for a long time, yes ?" All these gods, faded and returned... "It will get better in time, I am sure. You are having a lasting effect... and it's certainly more than most can say." Her attempts at renewing never lasted long, before... before things started recovering again.

He blinked, "Aah, Lifewater. I understand." Glyph nodded then, "Perhaps we will work together then, Xun. Teamwork would prove most beneficial I think." So that was why the name had felt familiar... rivers and lakes were something associated with forests from most any mortal point of view. He chuckled, it was a good thing he liked Illisia and what he'd learned of Xun thus far. It would make co-existing difficult if they did not at least get along.

Glyph smiled at her, "Thank-you. It should get better in time - it is simply frustrating sometimes, to know you can do more but cannot achieve that yet. Ask Xun if you wonder at my words." He nodded then shrugged a little, "It will come, I know. I am simply impatient. Better then loosing track of time, I suppose."

"So, have you spoken to very many others since being here?" He asked, curious enough about her and her well being to gossip.

Zero Dream
I will look forward to this.

"Oh, I know that." She answered. If Xun actually could pace in her mind, she was sure he would spend his time doing such. But all things took time.

After all, how long in the time of an immortal was spent waiting ? But these had certainly forgotten such. It made her wonder just how much else had been, but Ti Lung had not shared such matters yet, and the druid knew better than to ask such delicate questions to Forest.

"Hm..." She stopped digging for a moment, looking over the hole she had made, then back at the pot to gauge if the hole was wide and deep enough. "I've met a few... mostly other dragons. They seem to be able to... sense each other, I think ?" Come to think of it, she had yet to meet a godess, hadn't she ?

"The Kings? Or gods?" Glyph queried, "It does not surprise me that the Dragon Kings would know their brothers. We also know our own kind, however. You feel something about another, something familiar. If you are looking for the Dragon Kings, however, Futs Lung dwells in a house outside the Pantheon with at least one rather snippy demoness. I spoke to him when Harmodius asked Judgement and myself or gather glass for Him. Yu should be somewhere in the Pantheon, near the Twin Crown."

He tapped his fingers on the grass thoughtfully for a moment before shaking his head, "I... do not actually know where the other Kings are, or the other nature gods like myself: Desert, Prairie, and the rest. You are the first new Dragon King since I have returned... "

"Though, if I were to recommend others to meet, I would suggest Glaucon who is Judgement, we were comrades in our effort to quell Gehenna and I hold a great deal of respect for him." He smiled, "And Ankou, Spirit Guide, a friend for whom I am tending crows. He travels much, however, so I do not know if you would find him all that easily."

Zero Dream
"I have met two.... Tian Yue and Zhijian." She mused out loud. She frowned a bit when he spoke of her being the only dragon king to return since he had, but she did not say a thing. There was no need for Glyph to know... that. It was worrying enough for her to begin with, there was no need to worrying Forest as well.

Xun Jiang, for his part, carefully took note of the information given to him - the location of two more brothers. The two that... he perhaps could truly ask guidance of, the two that had went though the same thing as he had.

"Xun wants you to know he is glad for the information." She settled for a smile again. "He wishes to visit them in the future, and that makes it easier. But you know, I am starting to wonder if there are any goddesses about." The elf teased lightly, returning to this task of digging. She knew better, of course - after all, Xun had mentioned a sister.

"Ah. I haven't spoken to Tian Yue in person, though my host painted a portrait of Zhijian." He noted the frown but mistook it for a thought likely related to the topic at hand - that of meeting other dragon kings.

"You're welcome Xun." He smiled a little, "Especially if you plan to seek out Futs Lung - I hadn't even known he'd taken residence there when I happened upon the home." Amused at the stroke of luck, Glyph blinked when she spoke of meeting no goddesses yet. "Ah. Hmn... Goddesses then. Music, Laughter, Numbers - Echo, Lisana, and Cosine respectively - come to mind. And Karaskis, Lady Fire. I'm sure there are others but those are the goddesses I've met," He paused, "Of course there is Gaia, though I do not know what name she goes by now or where she dwells. The Mother was injured from what I understand..."

He trailed off a little guiltily. If any deity would be one he would visit it would be Gaia... if only to check up on her, and present himself.

Zero Dream
"They were both very kind and helpful to me... in different ways." Illisia looked over the hole once more, then stood again, sliding the plant out of it's pot and leaving it carefully aside as she took the pot to the lake to gather water.

Xun wasn't sure if he liked to have his name shortened like that, by someone other than his brother or Illisia, but there was little he could do about it, so he let it slide. Forest did not mean it as an insult, at least.

"One of Zhijian's servants is a prophet... She told me Elik would come here one day." She lowered herself to sit again, pouring the water in the hole before setting the snapdragon there. There was gladness in her tone, but also a certain amount of worry. "She... could not tell me when, however."

"Oh?" Glyph echoed, ears flicking to attention at news of her son, "It means the devastation of Gehenna did not claim him. I am relieved to hear that. One can only hope he returns to you soon..." He trailed off as he realized the reason for the worry in her voice and cast his gaze down. That was right... if he did not arrive before Lifewater claimed her fully they would not be able to say good bye.

Sighing softly, Forest returned his gaze to her, "Did she say where from? Perhaps you could search for him if you knew the general direction from which he was coming."

Zero Dream
"She didn't. All she could tell me was that he would come one day." Illisia was certain that Ashoka would have told her if she had seen something else - the pardness seemed to have been glad to help.

She moved earth around to settle the snapdragon at it's new home, filling what part of the hole the earth that the flower had been potted inside hadn't. "But still... I know for sure that he is alive. It's... relieving."

"Ah, that's a shame. Still, that information alone is something to work from." He smiled, "I have been looking as I work but I have haven't come across another like you yet. Let's hope his arrival is sooner rather then later. I am quite interested in meeting your son. Does he follow the same discipline as you?" When she had finished settling the plant, he reached over and toyed with the flowers as he spoke.

Zero Dream
"Same discipline as his father and grandfather before him might be more accurate." She mused out loud, pressing the earth around the plant and looking over her handiwork. The open skylight above would guarantee the plant some sunlight... if such things were to be again. It occurred to Illisia that she was not quite sure. "I have learned quite a long time after he has, but... yes. He is a druid as well, but he excels more at direct combat than I do. Which is a little odd, considering that I used to be a sentinel."

Druids were very versatile, which always made it good to have one around.

Glyph chuckled, "I see. Even so, you are both likely skilled in the art of combat then I. My host knew very little in the way of physical martial arts... and I cannot wield the same power as he once did. You would probably defeat me quite soundly." The though amused him and he laughed again.

"Do the more combative druids follow a different regime of training? How does your craft get passed down from generation to generation?" He pursed his lips in curiosity, thinking of questions, "Are the only druids where you come from Night Elves as well?"

Zero Dream
Well, Illisia had quite the life experience backing her, which only made it more unfair for the reborn forest. He was all curiosity and questions again, however, and she chuckled.

"A different training, yes. They are more skilled at shapeshifting." She could shapeshift indeed, and defend herself that way, but it was a little awkward. She certainly preferred to fall back on her sentinel training and defend herself the old fashioned way, so to say. "Males were traditionally the only druids, and so mostly they pass on the art - my father and my husband taught me, once they awoke. Many druid sleep, for a long time, within the Dream, but there are also a great deal who remain awake as well. There are other druids in other races... but their culture varies greatly from ours."

Forest blinked, "Shapeshifting? You can alter your form?" The tone of his voice almost seemed to ask a third, silent question of 'can you show me?' but he held his tongue - at least as far as that went. "The Dream? Why do your people sleep?" Hers was a fascinating race, the more he learned of it... and the more he wished to travel to see the Night Elves.

"Mn, I imagine druids would differ across races and worlds." He nodded at her comment as he bit his lower lip, thinking. That would be something to consider when explored Yggdrasil at some point in the future... not all of the peoples he encountered would have the same views when it came to their spiritual practices. The people of Baadris were certainly an example of that. He huffed at that, a frown ghosting across his lips. They had been a stubborn people.

Zero Dream
"They sleep to guard it... as far as I know, only my own people do such thing." to be honest, Illisia did not know much of that - had never been expected to sleep that long sleep, and therefore had not known much about it... or what happened within. It had to do with the green dragonflight... but that would only serve to confuse Glyph. "I was never expected to sleep, so I do not know much about what happens within. Druids often sleep for a long time... centuries... before they awaken again, and others take their place."

The silent question was not lost on the night elf, and she chuckled a bit, evening the earth and finishing the planting before she stood and stretched a bit. It was always best that way. Tension in her muscles and shapeshifting did not mix to become a pleasant result. But then her body started to twist and change rather rapidly, the woman showing little in pain even as her body rearranged itself. Mere seconds later there was a feline-like creature where Illisia had been, which sat once more, tail curling into the grass. She'd kept her coloration, her face marking and her characteristic ears, but the rest was distinctly feline.

"They sleep to guard a dream..." The idea was odd to him, but not unbelievable. Perhaps dreams were a connective thing for the Night Elves... and thus worth of being guarded like that. He trailed off, however, as Illisia's forms twisted and shifted and he found himself staring at a rather exotic looking feline.

Suspicious at first - having known only illusions of such things thus far - he reached out to smooth fingers over the feline's head. Blinking when he felt fur and it did not pass through some sort of magical image he chuckled softly, "I see! You're beautiful like this too." After a moment, he moved to scritch an ear - it felt good when he did that to his own fuzzy ears, perhaps she would not mind it either.

Zero Dream
"And what were you expecting ?" Came the rather amused inquiry as he laid his hand on her head and looked just the slightest bit surprised. Having to speak through a maw did not seem to hinder her speech much at all.

She flicked that hair a bit, but found herself leaning into the touch, a low purr becoming audible.

Not only did his host shapeshift, but she did indeed purr. How very feline. As long as she didn't start acting like an overgrown house cat and flopped all over Glyph's lap... that would be a little unbecoming, really.

He paused when she spoke and chuckled, "Not this, certainly." A pleased smile settled into his features as she leaned into his touch and he let out a quiet, happy sigh while he petted her, "Are there other forms you can take?"

Zero Dream
"A bear and a smaller, faster cat - a cheetah. And a seal-like form for swimming." Those were about those she was good at. Beside the tree. Very quirky of a healer perhaps, but she didn't like the tree. Or being immobile. She was much different from most other druids in that way.

Beside, that would be a little ironic, keeping in mind who she was talking to.

A... tree. Really. He could not help himself - he laughed at that.

Hush, you. Illisia gave the mental equivalent of a pout. Thankfully it was hard to do so with a muzzle, so the gesture did not translate to the physical.

"Ooh." He nodded, "Adaptable to whatever you're doing, yes? What's it like to swim? I... haven't tried to learn yet." Continuing to pet her, he glanced over at the lake with a chuckle.

Zero Dream
"Yes. I can adapt to pretty much any situation I might face." Such was the adaptability of a druid.

His last comment, however, seemed to have quite the effect in itself - her lower jaw went slack. "You... don't... ?" Apparently to the elf, that was rather impossible. Glyph didn't know how to swim ? He might as well have admired he didn't know how to walk ! "I..." She shook her head, in an attempt to make the moment pass. "...could teach you ?"

Glyph couldn't help but chuckle at her response and shook his head, "Ah, I'm Forest, not something watery my friend. I simply haven't had the chance to learn yet." He pursed his lips, embarrassed. It wasn't his fault that that wasn't high on the list of things to do! He'd rather not drown himself so soon after returning.... that was really kind of counterproductive.

He almost missed her offer as he pouted and it was a moment before he nodded, "Ah... alright." Glyph smiled uncertainly, wondering if that was a good idea. He'd also rather not make a fool of himself in front of anyone.

Zero Dream
But forests had lakes ! And that was still a little ridiculous. Unfortunately for Glyph, that had settled Illisia in mother-mode, and she was not going to let him off the hook easily. Something had to be done about it and she would do something about it, thank you.

"Good thing there's a lake, hm ? And only you and I here, of course." The druid padded over to the lake, shifting back into her own self in mid-step, not quite realizing that she had left her clothes behind in the first shift. "Come with me, it isn't hard, I promise. The lake's not very deep either unless you get too far in."

He blinked, uncertain about her comment about it being just the two of them. That wasn't really true and besides, did it matter? Scratching his head as he furrowed one brow. "You are aware that I can drown... yes?" Glyph had to remind himself to finish the sentence when she shifted back and he found himself staring at a comely night elf backside. He averted his gaze for a moment, thinking she might take issue with the lack of clothing - most did - but when she seemed just as comfortable naked as she was clothed, Forest let out a (relieved) sigh.

Nudity was not an issue for him... he wore clothing to keep warm for the time being, and to keep certain mementos close. After a moment, and having managed to force the slight blush down, he rose and lingered to strip off his shirt, ensuring it - and the treasures within its pockets - was safely set aside where water would not damage his possessions. "It's also cold. I'm not too fond of the cold, reminds me of Winter."

The complaint was weak, however, and he knew it.

He only hoped he didn't prove too inept at this 'swimming' thing.

Zero Dream
Indeed, clothes were mostly more the comfort of others and not her own. And for protection when traveling and such. Certainly not a requirement in the comfort of her own home ! Illisia kept on walking, unhindered by Forest's gaze, and turned to look at him, one long eyebrow risen. "And I assume you are very well aware I would not let you drown, yes ?"


"Honestly." She spoke with the patience of a mother. "You are more fussy than my son was when he was one hundred. It isn't that cold." She could not quite pick up and carry Glyph in, like she had done for Elik, which would be a little problematic.

...Or perhaps...

Glyph laughed, "I should hope not. It would be a sad day indeed if a druid would allow the Lord of the Forest to drown." Puffing out his cheeks he regarded the water as one might a daunting task. For someone unfamiliar with swimming, deep water was an imposing thing and Glyph was no exception. At least here, he knew, there would be no dangers unless Lifewater had chosen to stock his lake with predatory fish.

He shook his head, "Hey. I am not fussy. Simply mindful of my safety. I rather enjoy being alive again, thank-you." As if to prove his point, Forest stepped into the water until it came to his ankles and peered at Illisia with a glint of challenge in his gaze, "See? I'm not fussing." Unfortunately, with the shadows of the shallows hiding his feet and the woody substance of his lower legs, it appeared he was some sort of plant-man that had been set in the water so the roots could soak.

Zero Dream
By all appearances, males were certainly similar no matter the species or status. Prod at their ego just a little bit and... "I find your lack of trust in me keeping you alive a little disheartening, really. The lake's not going to split in two to eat you."

There was an unseen spectator to this whole scene, and Xun Jiang was definitively amused indeed, watching this unfold with great interest.

Progress, certainly, but... oh, was he ever fussy indeed. "Yes, that is certainly the most amazing display of ankle swimming I have ever witnessed." Oh, now she was pushing it, and her luck, quite a bit - it was a god she was talking to, after all, and had it been anyone other than Glyph, she probably would not have dared. Illisia reached out her hand to take. "Come on here. It's not deep enough for you to loose footing but there'll be enough water to show you how to move." Indeed, the water only reached to her waist where she was standing.

"Stranger things have happened." He replied with a shrug, a wry smile playing across his lips, "And I do trust you. I've no reason not to - unless you're implying I shouldn't?"

As her comment however, he flushed and scoffed as he dipped into a bow, "Why thank you my dear, your approval means a great deal." A touch of sarcasm and embarrassment flavored his tone as he straightened. While the water might be up to her waist, it would several inches higher on him, their height difference were so pronounced. "I must also point out that you're a head taller the me, Illisia..."

And now he felt particularly short in addition to feeling awkward. Sighing, he waded forward until the water hit his waist. "Will this do?"

Zero Dream
Bah. Alright. She'll have to relent at least on some things. "Yes." This would have to do.

"To swim, basically, you move your arms and legs to move yourself in the water." She could have likened it to flying, really, but Glyph... didn't do flying either.

Which at least was a little less baffeling than not being able to swim.

"Just like that." She moved, swimming back and forth. She was much better at showing than trying to explain things with words, really. "Try it ? Just stay along that line or go back toward the sides and you can always just put your feet down again if it doesn't work out."

He watched as he demonstrated, attentive and focused as she paddled back and forth. Nodding after a moment, he let himself sink into the water more so it supported him more fully, and experimented with swooshing his arms about in mimicry of her motions.

What his efforts got, however, was the typical novice swimmer's more splashing then stream-lined swimming. He moved to stand after his attempt and slipped off a large rock, unbalancing him so much he tipped over and fell against her with an awkward yelp. Trying to catch himself, he twisted and tilted his head to the side so he wouldn't gore the night elf. The motion was successful but not without consequences.

Face firmly planted in bosom, and foliage shoved in Illisia's face, he froze - unsure of how, or what, to apologize for first. Sorry I shoved my face into your breasts was just as awkward as I hope I didn't stab you with my twigs.

He chose, instead to close his eyes and hoped he wouldn't make more a fool of himself as he murmured, "'m sorry...."

Zero Dream
The situation had been humorous before. But now it had transcended into downright hysterical. He probably should have felt upset. Truly.

But all that Xun Jiang, Dragon King Ti Lung did at this very moment of his rebirth was laugh his head off.

And you're certainly very helpful. She grumbled toward her dragon, them moved carefully to avoid twigs and to support Glyph with one arm instead of


her chest.

"Are you okay ?" Illisia didn't sound livid, and she had yet to catapult him right out of the lake. That could have gone worse, all things considered.

It was probably a good thing that Glyph could not hear their conversation for as much as he might be flushed now, he would have likely wanted to retreated. With her help, he righted himself and, rather mortified, gingerly brushed the stray leaves that had settled and stuck to her shoulders from the moisture on her skin. "Ah... I..." He brushed her again and backed away, unable to meet her gaze or settled on anything to say, "Uh... You have very... uh, soft skin. I- my deepest apologies."

Dipping into a stiff-backed, formal bow, he kept his gaze on everything but her, and her chest. And the leaves he'd shed on her.

"Apologies." Mopping his face with a wet hand, his ears were tilted back, exaggerating his expression. With some distance between them, he stopped and stood dumbly, unsure of what to do now. He didn't want to leave but he would not blame Illisia for kicking him out of the room either. Letting a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding, Glyph silently offered thanks for the fact that they were alone.

Zero Dream
"...I think you broke a twig..."


Well, okay, she'd certainly had worse down to herself (human perverts came to mind) but she figured trying to turn it into a joke would probably send him bolting for the nearest forest, from which he just might never dislodge himself from.

"....That wasn't bad, really ! Just gotta practice a little more, yes ?" Hey, then in doubt, pretend it never happened, right ?

She still wasn't screaming his leaves clean off his head, which at least offered hope in the situation.

"I did!?" He echoed, sounding thoroughly concerned as he reached up to check his branches and did indeed find one hanging at an odd angle. Wincing as he broke it cleanly off, he sighed, "I did. Hmn..." He hadn't tried to reshape his body since he'd taken it over, not conciously at any rate.

With a frown of concentration, entirely distracted for the moment, he wrapped fingers about the wounded limb and slowly managed to 'stretch' the twig back into it's previous form. The buds of small leaves quickly appeared after that and a moment later they unfurled so that his crown was restored once more. That... was surprisingly simply. But then again, he'd only been reforming had been there before. Shaking his head, he smiled then, "There."

Clearing his throat, he was grateful for the change in subject and shoved the piece of himself into his pocket - to be figured out later. He wasn't exactly in the habit of leaving sticks around.

"I... guess so." He replied, still red, "But I will try away from you, I think. I... honestly did not mean to that Illisia. My sincerest apologies..." True to his word, he stepped away from her, making very sure to avoid the rock that had caused all this.

Zero Dream
The regrowth made her blink in surprise, but then... Illisia had to figure it made sense. If he could influence plants to grow, why couldn't he be able to do so with his own self ?

"It's fine." Really. Seesh. It wasn't like he had stabbed her or anything. And that was still better than falling straight in the water, which probably would have sent him into panic. And while she was still hellbent that he would not drown in her presence, dragging a flailing tree out of a lake was not high on her list of priorities.

Illisia brushed the few leaves that had fallen on her off, almost comically, then ducked into the water to observe. There, if he fell again, this time she would catch him with her head.

Or something like that.

He nodded then, noting her choice to sink into the water and could not honestly blame her - even if he'd make sure he'd not fall into her again. Glyph would rather not gore a friend.

Settling back down, he tucked his legs up and spread arms, slowly rolling so he was floating in the water on his back. It wasn't so hard, really, once you concentrated - and he seemed to float rather well. That was a good sign.

Again, he kicked and waved his arms, and managed a semi-controlled direction of movement. "This... isn't that hard." He sounded surprised as he spun in circles, toying with motion control. "Feels good too - one you get used to the chill of the water."

Zero Dream
"I told you so, didn't I ?" The elf replied, more than a little amused. That was always how it went, really. First they acted like babies then all was fine and dandy.

Boob-planting was optional in most cases, however.

"And see, one day you'll need to swim, and you will think 'Oh, what would I have ever done without Illisia !' Or something like that." She grinned. The elf was more than willing to bet on that one, even if she would likely not be there to see the result for herself.

Laughing, Glyph nodded then tilted his head back to look at her upsidedown, "I definitely will. I can go swimming at the lake now~" Sounding pleased, he sat up and carefully found his footing, amused, "I wonder what your kin would say if you told them you taught Forest to swim. Probably not believe you..."

It sometimes struck him amusing at how the gods here acted and reacted with the mortals among whom they lived with the same intensity of emotion... wanted and wished like the mortals they depended upon and yet, from what he understood, such concepts were awfully hard for mortals to swallow. After all, who would believe you dined with one god or enjoyed a passionate debate with another?

He shrugged then, letting his thoughts fade back into the recesses of his mind and moved forward, "I hardly think that being able to float on my back like a lotus constitutes swimming." He splashed her playfully, "Surely there's more to learn?"

Really, what good did it do to be all high and mighty when he owed his existence to individuals like her? Better to be allies and make his appreciation known then to sit on high and direct from afar in his opinion.

"You've my thanks, Illisia." He said suddenly, more seriously, before he dipped into the water once more to practice swimming.

Zero Dream
"They would probably ask me just how many times I bumped my head on the way." The druid answered with a light laugh. Nope, no one would believe her. And if she had not seen it firsthand, then she probably would not have believed it either.

"Oh, there is certainly more." She kicked water back at him in retribution. "But we have to start somewhere easy, hm ?"

"Heh, the only one to have bumped their head is me." He spun around, apparently fond of the one thing he could do decently so far, and watched, "Oh? Then what's the next step my teacher?" Smiling, he waited for her to demonstrate the other strokes and kicks of swimming.

Zero Dream
"Well, you flip around and stop pretending you're a lilypad, for one." She teased a bit, suddenly pondering if Glyph's twigs actually flowered in the spring. Then he would truly have been a lilypad. Kind of.

Well, that was a little silly.

"And then you do wider movements with your legs and arms, This makes you go faster." The elf then demonstrated, darting back and forth.

"I'd need to bloom if I were a lilypad," He returned, shaking his head, "And that's a way's off... Spring is some time away. I'm actually loosing leaves right now." Glyph seemed to frown at that as he gazed at the cast off leaves floating in the water. Even if the environment outside seemed to respond only marginally to the seasons, he could feel winter's touch drawing near and he really did have things to do. Working through the lethargy would be difficult.

Brought out of his thoughts, he blinked as she zipped across the water and laughed softly, "I see..." Still needful of air, he wondered how well this attempt would go... if he started to drown himself at least Illisia was there to help him. Thus, he settled into floating face down then turned his head sideways, ears flicking a couple times at the odd half-submerged, half-above water feeling.

He kicked then, limbs slapping the water rather then cutting the surface but it was a only a moment before he figured that part out. Soon enough, he was blowing bubbles as he moved around, more novice playing then experienced swimming but it was a good enough start.

Zero Dream
So he did actually bloom. Hm. She wasn't sure if it made sense, or if it was weird. Abandon every preconceived notion, he who enter here.

But then gods had do use for such notions, wouldn't they ?

"Yeah, that's it !" Illisia chirped, encouragingly. Sure, it was lacking in finesse, but that was what practice was for. She could do little about that, really. At least now if he fell in a lake or something he wouldn't sink like a rock, and that was a good start really.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper

Druids and Dragons and Werewolves, Oh My !

Illisia meets Adrienne, Love's daughter and the caretaker of the snapdragon that she had been gifted by Glyph, and is promptly smitten by the cute werewolf. Adventures happen !

rp located here due to length.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper


Illisia Shadowmoon had never quite thought about leaving a legacy behind.

At least, the Illisia of old hadn't. The one that had been immortal and not quite feared death. Death was something that happened, of course – she could have very well died in combat, or from illness – but it was not something tangible, and certainly not something one prepared for. Death for her was something that one could not quite predict, or see coming. It happened, rarely perhaps, but it happened – the survivors grieved, shortly but very deeply. And then life went on as life should.

All that had changed very recently. About 10 years ago, give or take. Much like death, Illisia was not used to keep track of years beyond being able to give a vague number as estimate of passed years. It was during that time that her life had been thrown upside down, where her people came out of hiding, where the continent she had called her home had been rediscovered by the younger races of Azeroth. Where the Burning Legion came again.

Where she lost her immortality.

The young ones, like her son, had taken it well – as well as one could take such a thing, really. They did say that young one adjusted to change better, after all. Illisia was inclined to believe it.

But to her, to the sentinel that had lived lifetimes far out of the reach of the other races, it was the scariest prospect she had ever faced. Scarier than the War of the Ancients, scarier than facing a queen gone mad. She had lived, loved, cried and mourned for so long that many minds unaccustomed to such thing would have caved in under the strain of millennium of memories... And all of sudden, one fateful day, it all threatened to end all too easily.

Death was no longer a barely-tangible thing at the back of her mind. It was a shadow-spectre that loomed over her every single day, and all it had to do was to wait for the perfect second to strike.

More than anything else, death was now the thing Illisia feared the most. Still, she lived the best she could – became one of the first female druids known to her brethren, got to know the father she had barely seen, spent time with her awakened husband, watched him get to know his own son. The absence of two of the three most important male figures in her life had never bothered her before, for it was simply the way things were. But then, Illisia found herself almost desperate to spend as much time as possible with them, get to know them, love them before it was too late.

And even that had been taken from her in an instant, mere months – a blink of the eye. It was perhaps the pain of the loss of her father and husband that had her agree to come here, to this world. Why Elik had followed her... well, she was the only family he had left.

But now, things were completely different again. She was soaking into an indoor lake, leaning onto one large rock and lost in thought, her son alive somewhere on this plane, this foreign world, and with her bearing a god, a dragon onto her arm, her body, her mind and her soul. And one day, all that would be his.

That was still scary in a way, especially since she now knew another had tried before her... and failed. What did she have that this first person did not, and what had happened to that person ? Death, most likely. At least this was what she thought. Xun wouldn't tell her anything about it, but sometimes she could feel him in the back of her mind, quietly brooding to himself. She was still scared, and she could not deny it. But in a sense, this was better this way. If it worked out, then... yes, she would be gone, but she would have been one day anyway. But instead of nothing, there would be another in her place, someone with the power to change things for the better. It was awkward to think about, really, but at the same time it was calming, in a way.

If she was to die, then it would not be in vain. And it was then, in the midst of all these thoughts, that it occurred to her. She had a legacy, of sort. Her son, of course, but there was also Adrienne who, maybe one day, grow to take the place she would leave behind as a druid. She still needed to learn much, yes, but her heart was there. If she wished it, and if another could step in, it was not impossible.

And then there was Glyph. She liked to hope that she would perhaps live in his heart and memories forever, their laugh and sadness and awkward moments never to be forgotten. He certainly seemed the sort, at any rate. The first god she had ever met... she had led him here, of course, not knowing what would happen, why exactly she felt called, but... she could not blame him for it. Illisia would have found her way on her own, and all that Forest did was hasten the process. He had been the one to show her that gods were much different than she thought – at least that some of them were.

And then there was the dragon himself, who even now floated about her thought, and told her gently that no, he would never forget her. How could he possibly forget her ? He told her all that, and more, but not with words, but with images, with warmth and with feelings. Ti Lung told her all these things in a way no one else would have been able to.

And it was comforting, to know this. To feel him at the back of her mind, always there to some extent. To know that she was no longer alone in her hopes and fears.

And now, perhaps, she finally understood why humans felt it was important to leave something behind. She would continue to do so.
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Anxious Gatekeeper

Ebon eclipse

User Image Brushing aside a thought, Eva closed her eyes and tried to grasp the scents with them tried to grasp the trail, the scent had changed but it was still recognizable enough.

Coming back should have felt like a mistake, but it felt like home.

Barefoot and showing a lot of pale violet skin, freckled with pyrite an almost spartan white leather loin clothe and bra, she strolled. No-one would have mistaken her for her host. She was as the mountain and stone itself. Cold and unfeeling, and filled with churning heat and energy just beneath the surface.

Looking out across the valley, the cold decay, though unlike before it had a natural feeling to it, like bud and blossum were about to spring forth from dormant shoots.

Amethyst eyes glittered in the darkness, the moon hanging overhead envoloped by a halo of clouds, too close to the color of blood her cupids bow mouth tilted up at the corner, there was the place to start crafting the foundation of her power.

Zero Dream
This land had suffered much.

But then, had there been some place, anywhere, that had not suffered ? No, Illisia was quite certain it wasn't the case. Even the sky itself...

But it was better not to think about that, really. To just keep faith that maybe, if she was lucky, she would see moon and stars once more before she would be gone.

Until then, however, the druid did what she could. The land had healed itself for the most part, with the grass being green and fresh under her bare feet. But there were still things she could do, young saplings to strengthen and flowers to help bloom. It was better than just sitting and waiting for the inevitable, really.

The sound of steps was what caught her attention, silver eyes looking back toward the path. "Hello... ?"

User Image Spotting the slim figured swathed in shadows, Eva gave pause at the tentative greeting, and pondered alloud, pitching her soft voice to carry. "Have you wondered... how one can know its day or night when that which we use to determine time has been stolen?"

Continuing along, her bare feet making a whisper of noise as gravel and dirt shifted beneath her, acomodating her paces.

"No sky, no stars, and with them the moon and sun... In their place we have... what?"

Slowing as to keep herself obscured by gloom.

"The answer... The sun an moon are still there. We could not survive without a sky. Its just being kept from us, and needs to be taken back. Rash thoughts, no?"

Zero Dream
Being obscured by gloom would have certainly worked had it not been that it was Illisia right there - who saw the goddess as clearly as if she had been standing in daytime. She was a night elf, after all.

"Rarsh indeed." The druid pondered out loud. "But perhaps not untrue." She hadn't really thought of it this way, to be honest. That the sun, the moon and the stars could very well still be here... and that it was what was between them that was missing.

"Not only the sky... much indeed has been taken, from what I could understand of it."

User Image Finally coming close enough that she could be see, for all of her violet skin and pyrite freckles, Eva smiled. "You're smart aren't you?" Gesturing to the valley, and beyond where snow covered peaks once would have been visible in the distance, she introduced herself. "Evadne."

Glancing about lazily she murmured, "and hunting somewhere near is my companion Jennis."

Not even remotely interested in the identity of her current companion Eva smiled, "Tell me smart one, how familiar are you with the recent goings... I have kept myself detatched." Leveling cold amethyst eyes on her she inquired, "Is it true Creation has reclaimed the twin throne?"

The winds of change had been playing hard and loose with Gaia. Finding a place where she felt at home was near impossible, and like Trivii she felt the call to come back, again and again.

Mountains were supposed to be unmovable, she did not like to be compelled beyond her nature, and only half of it could be blamed on Trivii.... After all she did owe her some small gratitude for being the vesel of her rebirth.

Zero Dream
This goddess - she could tell easily now, was getting better at recognizing the powers behind them - was more akin to what she had been taught of higher powers, at least more so than those she had met so far. "I am Illisia." She introduced herself in answer. "Host to the Dragon King Xun Jiang." She added, after the dragon pressed on. He was listening closely, she could tell, but for what reason she could not quite tell just yet.

"He has." She answered with a nod, keeping her head low in respect. She knew that much, after all - Creation had been the one to give her the gem. Xun Jiang could only confirm it. "Universe, however... is gone, and from what I gathered is beyond return. Ence, the sky..."

User Image Nodding cooly she turned her gaze on what had once been a shodowy country lane leading to the shop... Now Pantheon and smiled. "Truly? A Dragon King, I had thought they were all... lost." There were traces of fang in that smile, where the predetary fang of her feline host remained.

Turning to Illisia she bowed her head gracefully, "I am of the Mountains, and don't venture out often, I have been.... at war with my host, but that is resolved and I want nothing more than to reclaim what was mine, if that is to say, Destruction has left me anything at all."

Reaching out a soft, yet tallened hand she cupped Illisia by the chin and looked into her eyes, knowing without a doubt that she could never hope to find a servent there. She would have to go back... to find them. The thought made her smile. "Illisia then, thank you." Releasing her the Goddess dropped to sprawl on a large rock. "I can only tell you, that no God worthy of such lofty titles as Universe, should be capable of true death as long as he is remembered... and its hard to forget such beauty, I can't forget and Universe never conversed with me, nor did Harmodius.... I am much the witness."

Straightening her back she allowed the crystals to settle, a comforting weight at her back.

"But not fo much longer, I suspect the others are planning something, Surely Wind can no more stand the sight of our skies now than we." Obviously thinking out loud the Goddess was not expecting a reply.

"Certainly, Xun Jiang has been prompting you yes? How does it feel? Knowing he will consume you?"

Zero Dream
Illisia stilled when the goddess cupped her chin, silver eyes locked into the opal colored ones of Evadne. They looked normal enough if one was not looking directly into them, but as it was they seemed unbelievably deep, without true end.

"They have been around." Was all she could really answer about it, and Evadne finally let her go, causing the druid to struggle a bit to regain her balance.

At war with her host... ?

Not all are akin to those you have met so far, Illisia. As not all hosts were likely willing, he had to think. It was simply not in the nature of certain to seek someone willing. Some just took what they needed.

But then... Mountains. Another natural power. How many were there ? Probably one for everything she could think of. "What I have seen so far still mostly stands, but I cannot speak for other words beside my own and this one." Mountain could weather so many things that could destroy other natural landmarks outright.

Illisia did not answer the rest - was not quite sure how to, in fact, but the last question made her frown slightly. That... There was just some things people didn't ask !

And neither are you required to answer. The dragon knew very well of what had been bothering his host, and certainly did not wish for certain things to be told to other gods - his brothers could knew of such things certainly, but not the pantheon as a whole.

Thankfully for him, Illisia was aware of this - and certainly had no wish to recount such things as well. Down that mind track laid dragons...

...The irony of that thought caught up with her late.

"Most things eventually end. I am not an exception." Was the only thing she said about that particular question. Her insecurities she would keep to herself.

User Image A still moment was all Eva needed to obsorb the happenings.

"It seams both sides are ready for my return if that is the case. The Pantheon is ready, and reluctantly I am as well. You did well in evading my question Illisia, it was rude and poorly phrased, but the entire reason I had such difficulties with Trivii, she was willing to accept me, until she started to change."

Lifting a hand she absently snapped her fingers a few times and listened to the natural sounds of the world arround her, smiling on hearing the gentle crack of a branch, knowing her companion was not far.

"I think I shall like you. More than smart, you are wise." Rising slowly, for being such a stable force, the Goddess herself seamed always in motion teaming with energy just beneath the surface. "Hopefully, I shall like you both."

Brushing hair the color that moonlight had once been, back from her face, eyes shifting between the pale of opals in full light and the internal glow of amethysts, no pupils to be seen.

"I have seen much in the outlands near my mountain keep, there is more trouble coming before this storm passes, knowing me may bring some of those troubles on you... But you will find that I don't care, for you are right, all that lives must someday die."

A flash of a smile and the hint of pointed white teeth lit the gloomy night as she pressed a quick kiss to the night elfs cheek, and the ground trembled almost imperceptibly, but not to the Goddess.

"Now my dear, I suggest you run along as it appears some of my troubles have found me."

Zero Dream
That's kind of an understatement. Illisia grumbled mentally to herself (and the dragon within). There were some things people just shouldn't go prodding into, unless they were offered first.

But still, Illisia knew better than to let that annoyance make the best of her. Especially in front of a goddess. "I see." Things and people always changed, after all. Perhaps she had regretted her decision for some reason ?

Still, the whole thing made her uncomfortable. She had the feeling that she did not like Evadne as much as the goddess pretended to like her.

The mention of trouble did little to phase the night elf, visibly or otherwise. Illisia had seen much in term of trouble, after all, and she was quite certain Xun would not allow her to die even if she had wanted to. The kiss, however, did, and Illisia stiffened a bit under Evadne's touch.

The druid knew a warning when she heard one, or perhaps it was the shaking of the earth at her feet that did it, but she nodded, and moved down the path once more.
Zero Dream's avatar

Anxious Gatekeeper



Even now that she had been far gone from that place, Illisia was still mentally grumbling to herself, rubbing her cheek where she had been kissed as if she could somehow peel off the remaining sensation this way, and kicking at poor innocent rocks. She felt literally violated by that last gesture, more so really than the fact she'd obviously been used for information. She didn't care much about the latter, it was the former that had truly invoked her wrath. One didn't just KISS someone else like that !

Even less so another woman !

You need to remember that gods do not usually hold themselves to these kind of restriction... Xun Jiang offered helpfully, but she scowled, ears pinning back slightly. But... no, no. She was annoyed, angry even, but the dragon was not deserving of becoming punching bag of that anger, and neither did he deserve to have to put up with it.

Being angry would not help anything anyway, and the night elf instead chose to sit a moment on a large rock nearby to the path.

It doesn't mean I have to free myself of my values. And Elune help the dragon if he decided to say otherwise. She was his host, and willingly at that, but Illisia would not change the very core of who she was.

Of course not. The dragon answered, his voice still level and even. It rocked along in her mind like calm waves, ran down like a small stream. It was oddly soothing, but she had never realized it before now. That was only an explanation, my dear. And part warning that such things are likely common here.

It was a valid thing, really, and Illisia was fairly open-minded – girls could go kissing girls for all she really cared as long as they didn't try to kiss her. She was very... straight, thank you. She better not do this s**t again if I see her again.

Goddess or not, Illisia was likely to apply a thick layer of fist on the face if that even happened again. Shock had, thankfully, kept her from truly reacting beyond simply leaving at the first opportunity.

There are better things for you to worry yourself about, my dear. Xun sighed in his mind. He did not really agree with Evadne's demeanour as a whole, but Illisia was blowing this whole thing way out of proportion. The last thing he needed was to make enemies before even being reborn.

....Yeah, you're right. Her mental 'voice' was still rather angry, but at least she was no longer grumbling and going onto mental rants.

She needed to get back to her rooms... the urge to sleep was starting to grow strong, and the night elf was not quite sure just how long she had been awake.

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