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The Pale - A story of Spirits

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Author Topic: The Pale - A story of Spirits  (Read 119 times)
Vansalon
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« on: March 08, 2013, 11:02:41 pm »

~Prologue~
A Pale Dream

I ducked into the alley and pressed my back against the wall, trying to moderate the sound of my breathing. The Kindly Ones had been so close to us I could smell their essence, writhing in this world's pale light, as they lacked Achsi. "I...think we lost them." I told Ayrie quietly. The poor girl was trembling, her white dress billowing slightly and her cyan hair tossed by the perpetual breeze in this place.
"Ryan..What...What if they catch us?" She asked me, taking my hand.
"I'm not sure." I answered truthfully. "Considering where they're from, they'll probably destroy my Corprus. I don't think they could harm you though, because...You know." Before my friend could answer, I heard an all too familiar sound: Nuelar burning in the snow. "Run!" I dashed off, moderating my pace as much as I dared, considering Ayrie was still holding my hand, and she wasn't as fast as I was. But I couldn't let the Kindly Ones catch up to us. That would be bad, to say the least. I looked around, looking for a place to hide in the blasted city. The tall gray spires rose up in the harsh white light around us, cold and forbidding. Not mysterious and wonderful as I thought when I first saw them. There were few alleys nearby, and since most of the residents couldn't even see me, and wouldn't aid Ayrie, we couldn't hide in any of the buildings. That left one choice.
Into the forest.
I could hear the Kindly Ones getting closer, hissing in pain as their Nuelar burned. I heard Ayrie gasp as I turned away from the street and towards the Palewood, the most dangerous place in this world. "Ryan! W-what are you doing?"
"Securing our escape, I hope." I replied shortly. It loomed ahead of us, growing closer with every step. In a world of gray and white, the Palewood provided the shades of black. The trees stood dark and silent, the bleached white leaves and shadowy trunks seeming to regard us with scorn and amusement as we raced toward our likely doom. But even the Palewood was better than being caught by a Fury. I raced into a gap between the trees, running heedlessly into this world's only true darkness. I still don't remember how long I and Ayrie ran, jumping over fallen branches, weaving around the twisted visages of the trees, while the Furies flew behind us. It was at least minutes, at most hours. But finally the endless darkness...ended. As we reached the center of the forest, I could see a little better, since there was now snow flitting through the air, glowing with it's characteristic Pale luminescence. I was beginning to think we'd lost the Kindly Ones, but a hiss and flap of wings quickly relieved me of that misconception. Suddenly, just behind me, I heard Ayrie cry out. Her hand slipped out of mine. I stopped and quickly turned, to see she'd tripped on a damned root. Her left foot was twisted at an angle that turned my stomach. Now of all times... I hastily picked her up, startling her, I think, but it was the fastest way. My progress was slower then, of course, since I was carrying her. She remained mute, her face despairing.
After another Eternity (Not literally of course. This isn't the Spirit World.) we emerged into the heart of the Palewood. (Also not literally. Despite how it may seem, that forest isn't a creature, and has no Achsi.) The largest tree in the forest stood at the center of a large clearing. I began to go around it, only to see two Furies had managed to fly ahead. Two lady wraiths flew toward me. The third approached from the another direction, surrounding us. I put my back to the tree.
"Ayrie..."

~~~~~~~~~~

If you're reading this, then I couldn't return from my final expedition on the thirteenth like I planned. Most likely the worst has happened. Expect further emails as the system I set up sends them. They'll explain everything.

---------------------

Forwarded here is the first of Ryan's emails, as you requested, good sir. I know it doesn't make very much sense, but this is how you asked us to order them. Included is a transcript of Ryan's first account of his adventure to the Pale. You'll start to understand after reading it, if only barely.
                -With best wishes, Prof. Anorthen






I said I wouldn't post it until it was finished, but I guess I lied. I'm impatient like that. I have no idea how fast I'll put out updates, so I won't give you an ETA for Chapter One. I'll write it at some point, is all I can say.
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It's like your on the road to being a goth and you're mostly there, but are perpetuallly stopped at an Ice Cream Parlour or something

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Vansalon
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 04:51:58 pm »

~Chapter One~
The Palestone

It was a normal day. A very pleasant, normal day. The sun was shining brightly, reflecting off the deep blue, sparkling surface of the lake I could see in the distance. I stood on top of a ridge I had just climbed. Outdoor activity is sort of my hobby. Climbing, hiking, backpacking, that sort of thing. That's what I was doing on this fine day. Hiking, in one of my favorite spots. I usually went off the beaten trails. I encounter less people that way. This area in particular had that nice, good sized lake to the east. It had lots of hills around for me to climb, most of which were easy enough that I didn't need gear, even wearing a backpack. I did have climbing gear today, however. My purpose was to climb the largest hill here, the one with the thicket on the very top. Not because I thought I'd find anything there, (I did, but we'll get to that.) but because I hadn't climbed that one yet. I hadn't seen the view from the top. It was only a little ways away now, that ridge. I could see it, that clump of trees sitting on the top. This should be fun. I thought. I had no idea how right I was, but it wasn't the climbing that was especially fun. Of course, after I got past the "discovery" phase and into the "exploring a creepy spirit world with no apparent way out" phase, it stopped being fun. But I'm trailing off here, aren't I? I should really only talk about the stone once I get to that part. Right, moving on. The path to that hill was a little more difficult than I remembered which I found upon climbing down and heading that way. Thorns. EVERYWHERE. It was horrible. But I suppose I came through mostly unscathed. Finally, there I was, at the foot of the highest hill. I know I didn't really need it, but, force of habit from earlier climbing trips compelled me to pull out my grappling hook. I hooked it's lines up to my climbing vest, and swung the rope around my head, gaining momentum, then tossed it. It snagged nicely a ways up, on just the spot I was aiming for. A good ledge I could climb up to, unhook it, and toss it farther up. I made sure my vest was all in order, and finally, finding it was satisfactory, I pulled on my climbing claws, one of my favorite tools. I just found it cool to have three inch long metal claws designed to dig into stone on my hands. Maybe it's just me. I began climbing up the side of the hill, easily finding footholds, and where I couldn't find handholds, I dug into the rock with the claws and kept going. It didn't take long to reach the ledge I had tossed the grappling hook on. I sat down for a minute, leaning against the hill and looking down. I still wasn't that high up, though. I turned my gaze upward and looked at the thicket on the top of a hill. I thought I saw something gray in the trees, but I passed it off as a rock at the time.
After a few minutes, I undid my grappling hook and tossed it up again, latching it around a sturdy looking branch on top of the hill. I tugged on it a couple times, and, satisfied, continued up. Everything went fine until about three fourths of the way up, where I stabbed a claw in between a couple loose rocks without realizing it. They fell out, and I lost my grip, and a rock fell on my shoulder to add insult to injury. I cursed my carelessness and took hold of a sturdier rock. It held, and I continued up to the top without further problems.
I undid my grappling hook ropes from my vest, but left the hook hanging there. I could use it to get down later. I glanced into the trees and thought I saw something. Curious, I left looking at the view from high up to investigating it. I pushed aside a couple branches and shouldered my way in, to find a small clearing at the center of the thicket.
"What in...."
Standing before me, perhaps a couple feet taller and wider, was a gray stone arch. When I say gray I don't mean a dirty yellowish gray, like some rocks, I mean smooth gray. Incredibly old looking gray. The corners of the arch were perfectly rounded off, and spherical white gems the size of my fist were embedded in the stone at spaced intervals. On the top part of the arch was a vague, weathered inscription. I leaned in and looked at it closely, and could make out these letters:
Pa-e-t--e
The rest was too old and scratched to make out. I wondered what this thing was supposed to be. It was obviously very old, and it didn't look like anyone had messed with it in a long time.  What was the purpose of a random old stone arch in the middle of nowhere? That's when I first had the idea of ringing up a professor of Archaeology or something. I sat there for a while, pondering it, and eventually climbed back down and headed back to my house to make a few phone calls and do some research.
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It's like your on the road to being a goth and you're mostly there, but are perpetuallly stopped at an Ice Cream Parlour or something
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 10:19:42 pm »

~Chapter Two~
Shades of Gray


Ryan never wrote what happened right before his first adventure into the Pale, but since I took part in those events I will outline them here.
I received a call one day from a young man claiming he had found something that seemed to be of archeological significance. I thought that he was lying, for I had received several such calls before, most of them false. When I told him I had no time for games, he said he would e-mail me a picture of what he had found as proof. I expected either the picture never to come or to be found on the internet. However, when it arrived later that day, it was like nothing I had seen. He has already described the stone in his previous account, so I will make no effort to here. Needless to say, I was interested. I drove to the address he had given me the next day, and that's the first time I met Ryan.
He looked normal enough. A tall young man with ruffled brown hair and brown eyes. He looked about seventeen, maybe eighteen. He explained to me, briefly, how he found the stone. I wondered that it had not already been discovered. He agreed to take me there, and I must say I did not particularly enjoy the climb. But we finally made it up there, and I got my first look in person at the Palestone.
I won't go into detail about my research on it, for most of the details are irrelevant. Needless to say it was interesting. I made a few phone calls and got permission from the state to set up equipment there. Nothing all that notable happened, until the third day.
We found something that had escaped notice before. There were tiny words carved into one of the gems, which was embedded in a central position. They definitely were in a different language.
Heros fylia ta pakos mag Achsi. Forbidoss alktro herio norios Corprus.
I looked in all the foreign language texts I could find that night, but to no avail. It seemed such a language did not exist. the only clue I found was the word corprus, which apparently meant 'mortal' in an old tribesmen tongue. However, that tribe had no connection with this area. I began to think that perhaps we may obtain more information on the tribesmen that lived here before we settled through this artifact. As it turned out, it had nothing to do with them, however.
The next day we again returned to the stone, and Ryan seemed to be totally focused on the inscribed gem. So was I, I admit. We found nothing for most of the day.
Most.
We were going to head out soon when Ryan irritably attempted to twist the gem, to my dismay. It did not seemed to move, but began to glow, to our puzzlement. The light was bleached white. Ryan was excited. I admit to being somewhat frightened. Ryan walked toward the stone, stepping beneath the arch.
And vanished.
-Prof Anorthen

-----------------------

Ahead is what Ryan told me of his first expedition into the Pale. Excuse his storytelling style. I believe he is an author at heart.

-----------------------

At first, when I stepped beneath the arch, I couldn't see. My vision was shrouded by a harsh white light. It oddly didn't really hurt my eyes however. When I could see again, I stood in a strange place.
It seemed to be a plain, but everything was an odd color. The grass was white, like it had been bleached. The flowers were all gray or white or black. The sky didn't really seem to be there... Just whiteness. The strangest thing was the light. With no sun, it emanated from these weird white puffs drifting around me. They reminded me of snow, so I ended I up calling them that. I looked around. The only notable things were what seemed to be a city in the distance, and somewhat near it, a forest. I figured the city was my best bet. Better than the forest anyway. I walked dazedly in that direction. As I got closer, I could make out the buildings easier. There were fewer than I thought, but they were tall. Most were at least three stories, and there was one particularly impressive one on the opposite side from me that looked at least five stories. They were all gray in color, some light, some dark. They were all unusual shapes, ranging from perfectly round to triangular. They looked weird, but pretty cool. After a minute I could see people, which was easily where things got the strangest. They all wore white clothing. No exceptions. Their hair was all light colored, most often white or unnaturally pale blond, sometimes lavender or stranger colors. I finally reached the city myself and wandered in. No one reacted to my presence. I walked up to one and almost asked him a question before I realized that he was almost transparent. Like, it felt like you should be able to see through them, but you can't. I don't know the word for it. Opaque maybe?
Anyhow, I lurched back and looked around, more than a little creeped out by now. Still no one gave any indication that they knew I was there. I walked up to someone and waved my hand in front of their face. No reaction. Weird. I wandered the city for a few minutes, which had a confusing layout, before someone finally saw me. As I turned a corner, I almost ran into a girl who looked about my age, though I wasn't sure if I'd have walked right through her. To my surprise, she stumbled back as I did. She was a little shorter than me, and had long and curly cyan colored hair and lavender eyes. She wore a white dress, like most of the women here did. She looked at me for a second, then shrieked, turned, and ran. Not knowing why she could see me and no one else could, I did the only thing I could think of.
I ran after her.
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