[Ashen Snow] Epilogue [All]

edited February 2013 in In-Game
Some time has passed since Harridan's legion was decimated and Yurd was replaced. The valley has changed a great deal since then. The spring has grown into a small creek, the volcanoes have subsided for a while. Ashen snow comes as rarely as the rain once did and now the rains come almost once a month, like a holiday.

What has happened to each of you? What do we see as we approach the end credits of the movie version of this epic story?


  • [Grekkor]

    “Maybe under that one?” She pointed her small finger uncertain at a large rock.
    He put his feet along it’s side. On his back, laying in the lush grass, leveraging he pushed the small boulder. It slurked with a muck-suck sound, then popped out of the moist soil and rolled down into the gully below. Crashing into branches and plants on it’s way down.

    They both crawled over to look at the new cavity. Worms, moist soils of various colors. Warm, rich smell of compost.
    “There,” he pointed in a shadowed corner where the mud seemed lighter, more tan.
    “No, that is not it at all.”
    “Yes it is.”
    “No, it isn’t. Winona said it was dry and cold and harsh. This won’t do. This won’t do at all. We’ll have to dig deeper.”
    “You should just punch Topper in the nose. Putting dust in her drink is a stupid way to get revenge. Nobody believes Winona and her stories of the old ash.”
    “The ash is magic and will do more than just burn her. She deserves the worst for what she did.”

    He stood and looked at her. A little afraid of her iron like ferocity and conviction.

    Then a dog bark.
    It echoed from down the gully.
    Another bark, different dog.
    Young, excited puppy barks.

    He drew his pistol; she her knife. They crouched low, practiced eyes alert and deadly. They advanced.

    In the gully, what seemed a mound of rotting cloth and mold-caked leather with arms and legs wrapped in custom armor made its way toward them. Two puppies romped. An exhausted mother dog panting.

    “You, go now! This is not your valley --”
    “Or we will call the Protectors.”

    She held a bone whistle to her lips in threat.

    “Do you mean the Pryers, child?”

    The smallest dog moved toward her. She hesitated. They looked on, cautious and perplexed.

    “Well, mother says no one calls them that anymore.”

    She took a step away from the animal, its coat sleek, healthy, near reflective.

    “Have you ever seen a Mesovin hound?”

    They both stared silent.

    “Their mother is sick. I once knew a healer that lived here. Emmy was her name.”

    They starred cold, revealing nothing.

    The mass of cloth and dirt and slime walked slowly toward them. A rank stench hit in waves.

    “If you promise to take the mother to the healer you can have the pups.” A gnarled greasy hand extended with a leash. The old dog shuffled along, a happy face that masked a deeper pain. “Pups can sometimes make it without a parent.”

    He dropped the leash and the mother-dog lumbered to the twin children.

    “But I would not want to risk it. It would bring me peace if she could be healed so she could raise her young. After that, you two can have these pups. I think I would like that too.”

    He turned his youthful eyes to his sister, bent and lifted the leash. The young pups fell in line, intuitive to the change of master. When they turned their eyes once more to the filthy visitor he had fallen into retreat. Wobbling along. The dogs looked too, seeming glad to be done with him.
  • She sits. She lays. She doesn't speak, or move. Not voluntarily. For a while, they walked her around the baths. Fed her. They realized she didn't eat, didn't have any normal biological function at all. She probably didn't need to breathe if she didn't want to. She did breathe though, and if someone guided her, she moved. Only the once when they tried to take her through the door did she become like stone, utterly immovable.

    They still wash her. Brush her hair. Her friends. They talk to her too. Tell them about their lives. She see them anyway. Sees through them. Especially those who were connected when it happened. Some of them didn't take it well. Poor Logic, who's feelings ran deeper than she suspected, added what happened to her to the discovery and death of his son and the terrible trauma of his past into one mass of pain.

    In ten years she doesn't appear to have aged a day. Her eyes are solid implacable white, with the slightest movement in them, like thick clouds drifting across the sky. No one looks into those eyes. Almost no one. They say you'll fall in. Her body, delicate as ever, hasn't changed at all.

    She keeps it alive. Her body. She is much more than that now, she's so big, her perception so broad, thoughts much more alien, but she keeps it for the connection. To remember her human self. To remember compassion. So much power washes away compassion and understanding like water wears away rock.

    She cries, sometimes. Silent tears rolling down a still face. Her friends take note of it, but don't know why.
  • There was a ceremony all those years ago. A white veil over her chestnut hair, and flowers picked fresh from the field. The dreams of an idealistic young girl turned into the hopes and dreams of a grown woman. Friends both old and new — short one, who she could not find after the chaos of the battle — gathered to celebrate the little bit of happiness they'd carved out of the world for themselves. They kissed by the running water, and he carried her to her new home. She spent the years working for the new hardholder as a representative of Evan's; brokering peace with the neighboring holds. She was sad when Fitteen left for the city — but the girl was destined for greatness, and there wasn't a woman on Earth who deserved the happiness her lover brought her more. They still talk whenever she's in town — reminiscing about all the memories they'd built together. All the back-room deals they've made to end the fighting... It would never be enough for peace, but it would at least be enough to survive.

    The fallen goddess' words haunted her for so long... There were complications when they started trying for children, and there were a few close calls that nearly ended her. Time and time again there would be joy followed by sadness, and anger. It could have consumed them, and cast them into the fires that almost consumed the Element; but his patience was plentiful, and it never did. They tried for years, with much fear and trepidation, only to end up empty handed ... empty, until she spoke to Emmy. She truly was the Angel the people worked her up to be — her touch a miracle that brought so much more than life, and was filled with the love Ami had bestowed upon her all those years ago. It brought a forgiveness and fulfillment she'd been missing, and the understanding to close that dark chapter of her life. It rained the day Lilly came to them, and it felt like the entire world came to witness her arrival.

    The rains remind her of the tears a fragile young woman once shed — the woman who gave herself to save the people she loved — and so when the droplets start falling from the grey sky, she finds herself drawn to the baths. She sits on the floor, cradling Lilly — who has her mother's flowing chestnut hair, and her father's caring blue eyes — and relates the developments of the day like old friends do. She'd finally found her place in the world; and in spite of all the horrible things this world can do to its denizens, she is happy to have known such wonderful people in her time.
  • The sun was beginning to set, casting long shadows from sapling trees. The tall grass of the meadow waved lazily in the breeze. The air was clear and cool. Before them an old church rose from the tangled foliage.

    The tall, lanky man cleared his throat gruffly. His dark hair had grayed around his temples. A young boy of five stood solemnly at his side. The man’s dark eyes met a matching pair of dark eyes across the circle of people. The second pair of dark eyes belonged to a woman in a yellow dress. She smiled, a soft, sad smile, and nodded.

    “To Scar.” The tall man said quietly.
    “To Jin.” Said a slender woman with long blonde hair
    “To Manx.” Said the woman in the yellow dress.
    “To Nuff.” Said the man with one arm wrapped around her shoulders.
    “To Jersey.” Said a one-legged man with bright red hair.

    They let the names linger in the silence that followed. The woman with long blonde hair brushed a thin hand across her eyes. The one-legged man put a hand on her shoulder. The tall man pulled his son just a little bit closer. The woman in the yellow dress let out a shaky breath, placing both hands on her slightly swollen stomach. The man holding her bent slightly to kiss the top of her head.

    Later, around a crackling fire, there were stories. They were the same stories, retold on this night every year. Stories to remember with both laughter and tears. Stories to keep those names and their sacrifice from ever being forgotten.

    The little boy approached the woman in the yellow dress, pulling a handful of crumpled buttercups out of his pocket.

    “I forgot-ed to give these to you before, Emmy.” He said with a worried frown.

    “Oh, Dune.” Emmy smiled with brimming eyes and reached up to pull him, flowers and all, into her lap. “They’re beautiful. Thank you.”

    “You didn’t bring me any flowers?” The man beside her teased.

    “Nooooooo! Roth!” Dune giggled. “Pa says only pretty girls like flowers!”

    “Yer raisin’ ‘im all wrong, Wolf.” Said the one-legged man with a laugh as the blonde haired woman smirked.

    “Tell your Aunt what you told me, Dune.” Said Wolf, grinning from across the fire. “About the baby.”

    Dune twisted in Emmy’s lap, looking up at her, full of excitement. “It’s a girl. Spector told me.”

    Emmy blinked, and then laughed, shaking her head. “That’s...yes. You’re right, Dune.” She exchanged a tender smile with Roth and then looked up at the rest of them, her family. “I’m havin’ a girl. An’ we’re naming her Ami.”

    She smiled as she said it, her free hand brushing gently through the grass. Ami. The wind carried the name through the grass, the plants, over the spring, high above the valley that flourished with life. It was a good name.
  • The old man stood and brushed dirt and grass from his knees. His morning ritual complete he started the walk down into Evan.

    He lived there for a time, once. He didn't count the second time; it was so brief. He wanted to stay, after the war. War? Was it a war? It lasted for one day really. Can one day be a war? He wanted to stay but the ghosts wouldn't leave him in peace. And the living were worse. He tried to stay and build the future he had dreamed, but it was a bad fit. He was a warrior-prophet, not a politician; invaluable during a war, useless during peacetime.

    Now, most call him Rainmaker, thinking he brings the rain. Maybe he does.

    Sometimes they come to his cave. They want counsel and they leave food. Mostly he prays for them, the living and the dead. But every few weeks he comes down from the mountain for supplies. He sees so many new faces. Healthy faces, happy faces, young faces. And he smiles. They usually don't smile back, their mommas and poppas don't remember him.

    "Go to sleep or the Rainmaker will carry you back to his cave! Quit teasing your brother or the Rainmaker will put a spell on you."
Sign In or Register to comment.