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Lore
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PROLOGUE: AWAKENING New

dancew/me!

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You flutter your eyes open. It's dark in here. Instinctively, you begin to catalogue the various sensations you feel, to compensate for what you can't see.

It smells like old water and metal. Rust. The floor is vibrating very slightly under your cheek with a mechanical thrum. You feel it through your jaw and into your skull, rattling around whatever might be left in there after the vicious blow to the head you suffered. Your temples throb with hatred for you and your soft, fleshy brain. There's a burning on your cheek that speaks of a cut.

After some wallowing on the ground, you fumble around yourself for something with a groan. What are you looking for?

[1] ------ A weapon.
[2] ------ Something important to you.
[3] ------ The key you stole.
[4] ------ Write in answer.
 

dancew/me!

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Going with A since I see "Eldritch" in the tags.
Your fingertips softly graze the round and cold metal grip of your weapon.

It isn't much. It's not a formidable thing, the dinky little flashlight you carry on yourself, but it makes you feel safe. The weight is heavy in your hand as you curl your stiff fingers around its handle, and slowly, drag it towards your prone form. The sound of it rolling on the metal grates is muffled by the mechanical thrumming that rattles into your teeth.

You're not sure why you know it's a weapon. It's a flashlight, and even used against someone to clart them across the head, it'd take you a lot of strength and a soft skull to do any considerable damage. Your memories feel hazy and unreachable, like a voice calling from over yonder through a thick forest fog.

You find the strength to haul yourself to your feet with a sort of prey-like adrenaline. You grip your flashlight in one hand, no bag or pocket that it'd fit into. You taste the metal in the air on your lips, and with your shoddy eyesight, follow the blurry line of white light on the ground to the cracked open door in front of you.

You don't want to stay here too long.

[1] ------ You look around the room with your flashlight. You don't know what to expect.
[2] ------ You know time is of the essence. You take to the door and leave.
[3] ------ Write in answer.
 

Calyx

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Sounds like a smart move to look around the room, so 1. You never know what might give clues into our past or if there's any additional resources.
 
ENCOUNTER: A HEAVY GAZE New

dancew/me!

awaiting ball to be thrown
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Sounds like a smart move to look around the room, so 1. You never know what might give clues into our past or if there's any additional resources.

You swish your flashlight all over the room. The source of the humming seems to be the gigantic, monstrous machinery situated in the back of the cramped walls. It is covered in rusted pipes and dials, with little handles that appear dusty and uncleaned. It has a door that is securely locked.

Upon closer inspection, the walls shine very strangely when you send your light at them. Then, you realize quickly that the walls are glass. They're windows, peering outside--into an impenetrable darkness that the bright beam of your flashlight cannot pierce.

However, there is one thing you notice: a flash of eyes outside of the walls. Looking inward. Looking at you.

There is no mistaking the sensation of someone's gaze.

You...

[1] ------ Hurry to the door and leave. Whatever that was, it knows you're in here. And it knows you're afraid.
[2] ------ Confront the eyes. Stare back, show them you will not be intimidated. Or perhaps... it can't get you while you're looking.
[3] ------ Turn off your light. If it can't see you, then it doesn't know you're there, right?
[4] ------ What are you on about? It's a trick of the light. There's nothing to be worried about. Continue exploring the room.
 

Calyx

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Hmm. Lots of risky choices here. Especially since we don't know what it feeds off of, but I'm definitely not picking four. Three would also leave us too vulnerable for my tastes. I think that move here would to be look back at it. I doubt we could see it, but hey. Maybe we can get some clues?
 

dancew/me!

awaiting ball to be thrown
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Hmm. Lots of risky choices here. Especially since we don't know what it feeds off of, but I'm definitely not picking four. Three would also leave us too vulnerable for my tastes. I think that move here would to be look back at it. I doubt we could see it, but hey. Maybe we can get some clues?

The abyss looks into you, and so do you look into it. What you briefly hoped was only a trick of your flashlight in the dark was not an image of your mind. The eyes that linger outside the window of the dark room are wet, and the shape of their irises are strange--there is a physical distortion of the surfaces, like there is something inside the eyeball itself. You want to look away, but a morbid curiosity and horror grips you. They look so human upon first inspection, but the longer you gaze into them, the more you realize that it is only something that pretends to be.

It's hard to explain. It has eyes like a human being, but there is not a trace of humanity in them.

You begin to feel uncomfortable, but the eyes close. You are mercifully released of the clutches it had you in. You release a large breath, realizing you hadn't even been breathing or blinking this whole time, and try to walk off the tremble in your legs.

You are mildly surprised by the coldness of the window when your back hits the wall. You hadn't realize the room was so small, backtracking from where the eyes had opened absentmindedly, trying to comprehend what you looked into, before being stopped in your tracks both mentally and physically. The cold of the glass is grounding and sobering, and you dedicate a last sweep of the room with your flashlight.

You find...

[1] ------ A small and worn book.
[2] ------ A well-loved cat doll.
[3] ------ A cool looking rock.
 

dancew/me!

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You take up that small book, the leather not cold but warm in your hands. It radiates a small heat like chest of a small animal, breathing in its own way. You feel a strange attachment to it, like you are never meant to burn it or tear its pages. To do so would be like hurting a young child. Or a small chick, a little bird that is harmless and unable to defend itself.

You…
[1] —— Open it.
[2] —— Leave it.
[3] —— Throw it.
 

dancew/me!

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Open it. I'm dying to know what's inside.
You open the book with gently trembling hands. The adrenaline that races through you is unwarranted. The danger possessing you only moments before from the gaze of a creature beyond glass is forgotten in favor of an alien emotion pressing onto you. You are both viscerally aware that this intense emotion is not yours and drowning in it anyway.

The warm leather bends smoothly under your soft fingers. The pages ripple open to their very first page, as if controlled by the book itself to reveal its secrets to you one at a time. Your eyes drink in the wonderful picture shown to you.

It is a lead smeared drawing of a train, partly lined with dark strokes of ink. It’s detailed and you can smell the smoke come off the page, hear the beating of the wheels and the rhythmic thudding of the tracks. Under the lovingly drawn picture are the words: “The Wheel of Fortune”.

Your thumb brushes against the divots in the page caused by the pencil and pen, and then you pull your tender flesh away quickly, because the page feels so hot that you have a slight blister forming on your finger. The pain snaps you out of your transfixed reverie, fear racing your heart. Why did you do that? You know better than to touch things you didn’t know enough about. The book was doing something to you, coaxing you into its demands.

And yet, you could not shake the temptation. You were so very curious.

[1] —— Turn the page.
[2] —— Close the book.

You cannot bring yourself to toss it aside, now. The picture is so beautiful. The leather so soft and smooth, almost like the touch of someone you long to hold again. The book is still so warm in your cold hands, a reminder of intimacy and love. You long to keep it close to your chest. There is no leaving it behind now.
 

Calyx

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Close the book. As fixating as it is, Wheel of Fortune when reversed usually means bad luck or mishap. It's probably for the better that we don't mess with karmic forces when we're hardly aware of where we even are.
[x] 2
 

dancew/me!

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Close the book. As fixating as it is, Wheel of Fortune when reversed usually means bad luck or mishap. It's probably for the better that we don't mess with karmic forces when we're hardly aware of where we even are.
[x] 2
You close the book, citing your lack of knowledge. Perhaps at a later date, you may consult the picture and seek what it has to offer you, but the book is a temptation that is dangerous even at its most mundane. Your finger throbs.

As if in quiet acceptance, the book pulses in your hand, like a heartbeat. The warmth fades. It is the perfect size to fit in your pocket, even though it certainly can’t have been this small before you picked it up. You decide not to press further that pondering, understanding deeply that some things simply will happen today—like smelling smoke and hearing wheels, or burning your finger on a book.

[1] —— Leave the room.
[2] —— Consult the windows one last time.
 

dancew/me!

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Leave the room. We already know what awaits us outside.

[x] 1

You feel your feet moving towards the shred of light before you register your desire to leave this wretched place. The door swings open easily, cheap wood and a fragile doorknob.

There’s a burst of darkness and sharply whistling air before you find yourself standing in a swaying, golden field, sunlight dappling green blades of grass that move hypnotically in unison. You see no sun nor feel any breeze, but the world around you acts otherwise. The boundaries of the field stretch infinitely, like the pure white sky above your head that sucks your eyes into it and the light pours into your body and makes you breathless and uncomfortable and your bones are burning in your flesh and unmaking themselves into ribbons and then into particles and then into tiny flakes of dust but you still stand here fully because your feet are becoming one with the grass and you are not afraid because you are not—

“Hey.”

You look away from the burning sky that you are not afraid of, sweating so much that it drips down your shirt. The doorknob squeaks under your hand, wet with perspiration. You let go of it, and the door to the dark room you were in swings shut behind you. You briefly register that the door had just been awkwardly floating there, unattached to any frame, five inches off the ground. Then, the door disappears.

“You have a very limited attention span, don’t you?”

You turn back around to the voice. A figure addresses you.

It looks like…
[1] —— An innocuous, shaggy black hound. They’re up to your ribs, a certainly big dog.
[2] —— A tall man who shifts suspiciously. His large, dark coat and boots are covered in oil. His eyes are shadowed by his sharply brimmed hat.
[3] —— A normal person.
 

Calyx

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One. You wonder who the hound is. After all, what is a protagonist without their dog companion?
 

dancew/me!

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One. You wonder who the hound is. After all, what is a protagonist without their dog companion?

The black hound is stark against the colorful and bold field, like an ink blot on a white page. The dog snuffles and sits very politely, their tail sweeping lazily through the grass. Even sitting it comes up to your hips very sizably.

You stand in place cautiously, the two of you both sizing one another up.

“Not especially talkative. That’s fine with me. I like a little peace and quiet.” The dog makes a noise that is not human or dog, but you can only infer that it means amusement. They also begin to lick their hairy paw, much in the style of a cat. It is unusual to watch, but maybe dogs are just like this and you are confused, because you had taken an especial knock to the head.

[1] —— Be polite and ask their name.
[2] —— Ask where you are.
[3] —— Ask what they are.
[4] —— Ask who you are.
 

Calyx

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Let's be polite and ask their name. It seems like it doesn't recognize us anyway.
 

dancew/me!

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Let's be polite and ask their name. It seems like it doesn't recognize us anyway.
Though you don’t remember much, you do know enough to have manners. You ask for their name, and the shaggy hound grins at you with yellow teeth. The teeth are not a dog’s teeth.

“They call me Moddey Dhoo.” Their eyes squint, red and bright like cherries and apples. The grin falls away, and the dog looks innocent again. No strange glowing eyes in sight. No sharp human teeth.

“But you can call me Friend. I am a lonely old dog, you see, and prefer games of racing and exploring the fields now. I like eating fruit that falls off of trees, because it is soft and succulent and a little sour, but you can help me reach the ones up in the branches.”

[1] —— Ask what they are.
[2] —— Ask who you are.
[3] —— Ask where you are.
 

dancew/me!

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We should ask Moddey Dhoo where we are. Maybe they know. .

Moddey Dhoo stretches their haunches, keening a sharp and high pitched whine that would sound dog-like from afar. The whistle is more bird-like, if anything, and you begin to wonder if Moddey Dhoo really is a dog at all. That would be ridiculous, though.

“We are in the Field. The Empty Field. Field of White.” They say the name in French, as well. Just to show you they can. “This place is huge and empty, but there is a lot of room to run and every now and then, you will be lucky to find a fruit tree. Occasionally, I will have visitors like you and smell your ankles, then usher you on your way to the next room, where greater horrors than my aching bones await.”

The dog bounds through the tall grass, but not a single sound comes from their movement. They race around you in circles while talking, but the voice remains in front of you. “But I have not had a lot of visitors in very long, so I am much excited to smell you and show you good places to eat fruit. Perhaps I will even gain your trust, and show you the stream that flows through this world and drops into the fast fog below.” Their tail wags in excitement.

[1] —— You are in a rush.
[2] —— You would like a new companion.
 

Calyx

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One. We should probably get moving. Moddey Dhoo is a little odd, but they seem harmless. For now.
 

dancew/me!

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One. We should probably get moving. Moddey Dhoo is a little odd, but they seem harmless. For now.
Moddey Dhoo whines, this time truly like a dog, at your polite refusal to spend more time with them. But they move on quickly, and prance about the grass. "A shame! A shame, person-thing! I will show you to the other side, as I must do, as I do for all visitors..." Moddey Dhoo rambles on as they leap in great steps through the field, causing you to quicken your pace to some kind of fast walk. The field is peaceful, in a lonely and desolate way, like an empty building after hours of service still lit. Like a body still breathing but not awake.

You feel as though something still watches you here, but it is far away.

[1] ---- Look into the distance for what is following you.
[2] ---- Do not look.
[3] ---- Tell Moddey Dhoo you are being followed.
[4] ---- Write in answer.
 

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