Sunday, May 4, 2014
2014 Fantasy Faire: Mourningvale Thicket
I'm not sure what happened next.
As I walked toward the mushrooms they shimmered, and I felt the heat of a sudden desert which was blinding, and a step or two later I was walking through damp, cool trees with thorny bushes catching at my clothes. Mourningvale Thicket. I knew the name the way you know things in dreams, without context.The mist was like a veil which clung to my edges as I picked my way along a confusing tangle of stone paths and muddy edges where the stones vanished for nefarious purposes.The fifth time I saw the same patch of red leaves in the muddy path I made a heart from them, and two hearts later I knew I was lost.
At some point, limbs heavy with sweat and exhaustion, I collapsed on the steps cage cart. As if out of no where, red and orange flared to life in a circle of stone, and before long I was huddled beside it on a box, the box having given up the blankets it was concealing. For one moment I thought I heard the ghostly roar of a lion, saw it's shape form out of the mists in the nearby cage, and then all was silent. I slept, and then woke, and no time or all the time in the world had passed.
There were no people here, no buildings waiting to take my piles of nothing in my pockets, no food or clothing to succor me. I walked, and found more circles and more fires, and slept and walked again, my insides becoming as hollow as the abandoned yet unmolested carts which littered the landscape. It was several bouts of waking and sleeping before I heard a faint, shimmering sound, saw some hint of color besides the ubiquitous red of the dying leaves; smoke, purple as a dream filtered up through the mists over a building with uneven, ruined walls.
The nightmare wept in the doorway, a body dried and stiff with unexpectedly red blood, as if the tree leaves had been cut open and spilled about, before an altar of a kind. Upon it, a small jar or tea pot spilled out endless waves of brilliantly purple smoke, the scent of it strong and somehow familiar. I saw drawn to it, my foot smearing the red which covered the ground, incongruously drawn like artwork of a murderer. It enveloped me, singing to me of the past, and in a blind panic I fled across the hills and through woods grown familiar with time, tripping over my toes and the toes of trees as I went. A final trip sent me sprawling, starved and shaken, and a voice above my head said, "Welcome, cousin. It has been a long time since one of your kind came through these woods."
( More pictures here. )
Location: Fantasy Faire: Mourningvale Thicket
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only