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Thread: 'AFK until my experia plants are done, brb.' (Short RP Story)

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    'AFK until my experia plants are done, brb.' (Short RP Story)

    I take no responsibility for the quality of the following work, and any resemblance to actual events or individuals might be accidental. It also has nothing to do with Archeage what-so-ever, except that it was written while waiting on public experia plants to mature.

    The Legend of the Quiet Dream

    Chapter 1;


    " Under An Unexpectedly Mellow Sky "

    Amethyst. As far as this story goes, this is the place everything began. The year I spent there was quite possibly the one of the best in my life; there was danger, love, friendship and all other things making up a truly good time. I was young, yet in a sense I had never had a chance to be anything but one of the Folk who never get the chance to be young for real.. until I ended up in Amethyst I'd never really understood what it meant to be young. It wasn't until right before I took the steps into becoming man in the midst of a city with all it's sins I ever knew what innocence meant. Ironic, huh?

    I studied the Paths at the Red Sand, and gained knowledge of the world. I met the men and women who would stand at my side and become my friends. Many who taught me what I wanted to know, for which I am forever grateful, and one who could teach me what I needed to know for the odd twists and turns the story will take along long, strange road ahead -- without a doubt, probably at least, possibly one of the not longest perhaps but at least really, really strange at times, between the more normal parts in any case, stories ever told across the Eight Wandering Planes and most certainly told as well on the one most consider to be the best shot we got at something even remotely possible to consider real and if fact most people refer to as reality.. Alain'Anar, the Central Plane. Home, if you want to be more folksy about it.

    I swear, these names, man, they'll make you sound like a pretentious beaurocrat on a diplomatic mission trying to achieve diplomatic relations with a mad dictator with an inferiority complex if you don't watch yourself -- one at a time, when there's a solid seriosity in the air you can get by with multiple capital letters to the single dot but most of the time it just sounds like you need to see a proctologist about that stick up your ♥♥♥, you know?

    There are, in any case, he wrote in a desperate attempt to move the story along, at the very basic foundation of all stories about saving the world, three questions. Of course, there are more than three, but I'm writing with ink and I gotta think about my paper expenditure, you know, for the sake of the ecology, so let's go with just three. With the caveat of this being slighty wrong as far as truth or accuracy is concerned, there are three central questions to any story -- namely Where, Why, How, and When.

    Me and Cat would puzzle this out later on, since at the time everything actually happened we usually had other things than the rhetorical philosophy of exact definitions on our minds. Anyways, we came up with this solid piece of philosophical thinking resting on the Eternal Shorelines on the Azure Plane and we thought it an incredibly solid and awesome thought, presented here in full technicolor for you to gape awestruck at the brilliance and swagger of our mindpowers; all made possible through a few quality experimental intoxicants lifted from Herbie's brown briefcase.

    This does, oddly enough (or perhaps not so odd, considering it was the easiest place to find such things and he has no idea exactly how much much or even what's in there and the fact that I'm writing this down and thought it would make a nice transition) move us towards the next paragraph which, in fact, is a paragraph about that stand-up guy and not even sidetracking all that much.

    You see, without Herbie, we would not know where to begin looking for things like talking snakes to get past the gatekeeper parrot in Avia Minor or where to find answers to the endless questions of two kids barely having made it into adulthood with the entirety of the Nine Planes to play with -- a game where a thousand years of experience is considered at the most having a baseline grasp on things -- will have. Try figuring it out yourselves right now, before I reveal the solution later on. Go ahead, take your time. No rush. Now try it with the world hanging on getting it right. No pressure, bro. Just get it right or it's all over for everyone. Oh, that's unfair you say? Yeah, we ♥♥♥♥ing thought so. Lucky Herbie was there to teach us to grow some ♥♥♥♥ing mental balls or else you wouldn't even have a world to cry on. Or in, I don't know the formal wording to use for insulting someone in Schroedinger. ♥♥♥♥ it, just know you just got and didn't get insulted, bro.

    Then there is of course the fact that without Ashen'Kael we would not have understood the answers we did get or inevitably have gotten lost in the existential ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ of figuring out why things are, were or would be as they are, and that without Khalil, Nethír, Joni, Sarah or and the rest of the spectacular guys, girls and undeterminables making up the Quiet Dream we definately wouldn't have managed to get past the very mundane question of how the hell to survive all the extremely dangerous ♥♥♥♥ going on.

    Admittedly, our helplessly hopeless tendency to ignore the carefully laid out and strategically sound plans our companions came up with -- there was even a pretty clear prophecy we, in hindsight, really should've paid more attention to -- in favor taking things on faith and making it up as we went along.

    And spending that time free from the responsibilities I had had in the Reach and the ones that would follow with such a good crowd made laying the foundation easy, made it strong enough to withstand anything and would become the that upon which I built the confidence and strength I would need to later on.

    That’s why I begin the story here in Amethyst, he said, in a smooth move towards continuing the story. You see, he said, again very smoothly, it was there the Quiet Dream was born and it’s from there the story will begin it's long, strange and most of all strange journey.

    I think it’s best to tell the story in chronological order, though, to make the rambling nature of the protagonists a little less chaotic, a little easier to follow. At least doing so might impart a vague understanding of the realities of the situation when the choices we made and conclusions we drew. Remember, we don't know exactly where what was going to happen. We had no legends except the one we made, which for the most part was four parts mistake to the one part that was just us ♥♥♥♥ing up in a progressive way. If it fails to do so, at least it might build a little suspense. Let’s move on then, shall we?

    As with all good legends, it begins with a dragon..


    * Chapter One
    " Enter Amethyst, queue lights. "

    *


    Before I left Barstow, Ashen’Kael told me:

    ‘The best way to learn anything is to dive headfirst in. If you make it a necessity to understand what you need to understand you achieve understanding sooner.’
    He paused for a brief moment here, apparantly thinking of times he got all Zen about it and came up with that.

    ‘You have everything you need to survive, boy. Now go make sure you understand how to stop others from doing so with them as well " you’re not gonna make any sort of good legends without a little sword-swinging, are you? Magic and women and swords, a few good friends and some good enemies, that’s the recipe for legends worth telling, I’ve always said.’

    With those words ringing in my head, I left the Emerald Reach who had been my home for so long. I headed on down the dusty road leading to the capital of the Jeweled Kingdoms, Amethyst, where the legend of the Quiet Dream begins.
    I entered the city from the southwest, having taken the North Road out of the Reach like the wandering tinkers coming to trade with the Folk. Of course, my journey was quite the opposite of theirs, so to speak. The road had become paved a day or two back, growing increasingly wider as I came closer to the city.

    Two fair-sized wagons could easily cross side-by-side over the faded yellow sandstone now, quite the feat considering it had been just a humble path barely two steps across when I began following it back in the Reach. Standing just past the archway standing guard over the gates of the city, I looked around in dumb-struck awe. For a second, before gathering up the remnants of my pride I looked like the hillbilly-gone-to-town I was.

    Back then I’d never really seen a true city, so seeing the capital of Amethyst definitely ranked as an experience. The outposts of the Folk never grew large like this, since if you needed a house all you had to do was wait for the next one to Fall; the houses were built to last, but who lived in them changed quickly.

    I asked an old man in a bright yellow toga passing by where I stood at the corner of Merchant’s Road and the Plaza del Nethír for directions to the Arena. Coming from the corner where a baker and a tailor’s shop shared the sunlight with a small tree and a bed of flowers -- the rich scents mingled beautifully.

    The hearty laughter I received after posing the question of where the Arena could be found formed a pleasant backdrop to the smells and sounds of food being prepared; something which two days on thin rations sought to replace into the leading concern of the day.

    So I didn’t mind terribly listening to the grey-bearded grandfather meander through a impromptu sermon of the dangers I would face, pointing out I seemed awfully young and asking me if I was sure of what I was doing before giving me the directions I’d asked for.

    When he finally understood I was serious, he gave me a look saying clearly he thought my life expectancy short enough not to make me have to spend more of it looking for directions. With a little sigh, he said ‘Take the next right along this road, boy. That will get you to the Silver Rose Avenue. Just follow that until it you see the Arena, You’ll want to take the a little dirt road on your left hand side and not the paved road when you get there " it will get you to the student and faculty entrance. May Ahmanera guide your soul home safely, kid.’

    ‘I don’t think I will be needing passage across the Eralith anytime soon,’ I said, with the confidence of sixteen years in the Reach.

    ‘No one ever does, kid,’ he said as he started walking away, ‘but for your sake I hope you’re right.’

    ‘Thank you, old man!’ I called out to his back as he turned the corner before following the directions he’d given.

    The Silver Rose Avenue turned out to be interspersed with fountains, trees and a thousand different little shops, most of which seemed prosperous and well-kept. It was beautiful, in the soft-spoken way things were beautiful in the Jeweled Kingdoms. I had never seen anything quite like it, and I probably looked pretty peasant-in-the-city for a while before composing myself into just looking odd again.

    It was not just a visual experience, either, I thought with a philosophical sort of expression spreading from my thoughts into my face, making it clear to everyone there was some deep thinking under construction inside my head. There was plenty of things that looked beautiful in the Emerald Reach, too. The panoramic views you could see up in the Khairin’Anar mountains to the north to the grace of an Ashim’ra panther hunting in the Waiting Hour’s fading light was arguably more beautiful than this, at least speaking from a strict level-of-intensity point of view.

    The difference between that beauty and this one was that the element of lethality, the feeling of the being in very close and imminent danger that always followed seeing something beautiful in the Reach " where beauty often was meant as a warning sign " was missing. Here, the need to pay attention to the world around you was less crucial to your immediate survival. A basic awareness of your surroundings was sufficient to ensure your life expectancy didn’t make any sudden drops, which lent a considerably more relaxed feeling to the entire thing.

    I spent a while contemplating the relative nature of beauty, walking at a leisurely pace along the well-lit road. It wasn’t too long, maybe twenty minutes withe Arena in the distance, but before I got there I found myself standing near-but-not-yet-at the end of the road, I remembered now named for the infamous Rose Silverhand, who were the first of the Shifters to enter the Hall of Memories. I could see the small off-shoot road that according to the old man’s directions would lead up to the student-and-faculty entrance, rather than the grand gates on the other side of the road through which the paying customers entered.

    This is where I drew to to mind the time I’d read “Saint Stephen and the Rose”, which in a certain way was another little beginning of this story, since if I'd not pestered Ashen'Kael with questions about dragons for a week until he ran out of ways to answer questions like "what do dragons do for fun?" and "can they fly upsidedown?" for a week which the old man would come to call "the most annoying damn week in a life over four hundred years long".

    It was the reason for his completely arbitrary, unreasonable, and in my opinion very one-sided ban on all things dragon from that point on. Before slamming the ban hammer down though, he had told me of a statue that if I remembered correctly should be somewhere here around. "Just before you get to to the Arena, in a little garden on your right hand side if you took the Silver Rose like you should," I believed he'd said, right before he also told me that unless I was at least ninety-five percent sure I would run into one in the next day or so, the ban was eternal and that he would turn me into a juju beetle if I disregarded the ban even once.

    This indicated that I should look to the right at this point, which lead to the immediate sighting of a what had to be either a dragon in a garden or someone's artistic rendition of a fat snake with wings in a salad -- I ventured to guess the likelihood of the latter was probably an overestimation of the level of imagination possessed by any person born outside of the Gypsy Reign, though, and thus at least four fifths less likely.

    Muttering what sounded like “the damn boy will probably ask the damn dragon questions until it eats him out of sheer annoyance” to himself, he had then walked over to and opened one of the windows in the little alcove of the library and sent “Saint Stephen” out flying of it -- probably the only time in his life he ever but the safety of a book aside and one of the six instances in his life he will admit it's possible he'd been or done been wrong.

    An anecdote you might find interesting is that as an unexpected side effect to this was that the book felt quite exhilarated by this sudden flight " something which for a book containing vivid descriptions of dragons is not very much of a surprising sort of reaction -- and since Ashen’Kael often got distracted and forgot to put a barrier up when he used magic for the every-day stuff it would later end up to be part of the morning routine to go fetch it from the garden after it’s nightly leap out the window.
    We thought about just locking up the window, of course, but since it wasn’t hurting itself, the window or the garden by it’s little leaps of faith and the little bother of returning it to the shelf was much of a bother really, we decided there was no need to meddle with what was just a little book about dragons having a little bit of innocent fun.

    ‘That must be the one he was talking about,’ I mumbled to myself having scouted what from afar looked a lot like a fat snake with legs with chicken wings on it standing in a grove of whisperleaf trees to my left. Getting across the surprisingly sparingly populated road, considering it’s size, proved easy enough and I soon found myself passing through at a little ironwork gate into the little garden surrounding the statue.

    Looking around I could see lanterns hanging in the silvery branches of the whisperleaf trees, making the many-colored flowerbeds and dark red yoshi-bush appear to glow from within. The statue itself, standing very still the way statues do, looked at this point of the late-late part of the evening just before the Waiting Hour like it wished it could tag along when the sun is getting ready to go see what’s going on the other side the horizon.

    This sense of wistful longing made the in a pale sort of way it shimmered seem very reminiscent of moonlight reflecting in a still lake late at night like up in the mountains; a peaceful, introspective sort of glimmer making you think the world is holding it’s breath.


    Ahead of me the statue of the presumed-to-be dragon looked like it was curled up and fast asleep. It seemed to keep one silverstone eye on me as I walked up to the inscription on the foundation. though, wondering if I possibly happened had some treasure on me and if I could be convinced to part with some. On it the little sheet of gilded metal I could read the words “Casiro Elvindahar Ahren Ahar” and then the number fourty-two , but I had no idea what either meant. I didn’t even know which language it was, or if it was the name of the sculptor or of the creation itself. It could for all I know be the name and number of the street you could find the person responsible for making the plaque itself, although the first two options were probably more likely.

    My attention soon wandered towards the guy who were sitting on it, though. More exactly, he was sitting at the base of the dragon’s neck where it made a gentle curve that looked most comfortable. I didn’t know for sure, but if pressed to make a guess I would say this wasn’t exactly the most common sort of behaviour, even in a capital city. At least he knows how to seat himself, I’ll give him that, but if I’d seen Daedri or Joni sit on the statue of old Bleeding Barstow back home I’d wonder if they’d found a place those purple mushrooms grow that hasn’t been picked clean by the stranglehogs.

    Deciding I’d talk to the guy, mostly because I had been walking since morning and it was now moving towards the late-late part of the evening " in fact it was probably more accurate to call it night at this point " but also because someone sitting on a dragon aught to be an interesting sort of fellow and I wanted to see if he possibly might know of something interesting going on. I’d always thought that the kind of people who made good aquaintances, especially if you were new in town and looking to get settled without enduring an overly long grace period of boredom, were people who had a little element of surprise going on to them, after all.

    ‘I reckon any guy sitting on a dragon watching the sky in the evenings like this is bound to be either poet or musician, since less creative souls usually go for the bench right there,’ I said to the white-haired young man on the dragon, pointing at the bench in front of the statue. ‘But I guess I could be wrong, seeing as you carry a sword and not a guitar. You could probably put strings on that big-♥♥♥ sword and play an acceptable drinking song, though, I guess. You happen to know anywhere something’s going on, by the way?’

    The young man was leaning his head against the dragon’s shoulders and had his legs crossed over the slender neck of the dragon. After a little while, during which I considered the possibility the statue was just really life-like but very, very odd, rather than there being an actual person on it, a notion I quickly discarded when the young, white-haired kid made a lazy motion with one of his hands, followed shortly by a more explanatory ‘It’s up here things happen, man. Come join me and see for yourself, if you want. There’s room for us both. Probably. I might have to move my sword.. if I try right now I’m just gonna fall down. Come on up, man, I’ll let you touch my sword if you promise to help me string it later on.. but it only plays sharp notes, though. We’ll make it work, though.’


    Since being invited to join someone to hang out on top of a dragon up until this point had been somewhat of a neglected possibility, the decision to climb the dragon came easy. In a way that decision could be considered one of the things that set me on the path to come.. but of course, back then I didn’t know the strange white-haired kid about to introduce himself would end up playing a key part in the story about to unfold. Back then we were just two kids with talent trying to make it on our own, with no idea of what would come.

    Philosophers will argue about fate here, of chance and predetermination and ♥♥♥♥ like that..
    Me, I just think we were two pretty odd guys in an odd situation, right, which is not really odd at all considering odd people tend to sort of gravitate towards each other on their own if left to their own devices.

    Anyways, having gotten up the dragon and found a place to lie down, I shot a glance upwards. Finding a purple-tinged horizon where the few clouds waiting for the night seemed content sailing the skies without a set destination in mind while the Angel Sky, as Ashen’Kael called the Waiting Hour once when we had spoken about the Memorial Plane all night long, came and went; at peace with the day fading into night like it always does.

    ‘They appear almost like their color have been inverted along the edges, don’t they? Outlined in the the darkness of the night, perhaps, or in mourning.. wonder what kind of sorrow a cloud feels,’ the strange kid said in a way that to anyone even remotely experienced in the field of inebriation created a shift in your basic understanding of the other guy’s perspective on things.

    To someone like me, even back then before I got serious about avant-garde intoxication, it was bonfires and glow-in-the-dark paint on black canvas with edgework in Gypsy ink that this guy was in a state of mind created out of Gypsy grass and wishful thinking.

    It also should be noted that an innocent statement was protected from being deemed pretentious beyond redemption based on this understanding of the realities of the situation.

    ‘Do you think they have had enough of the sorrowful white and decided it was time for a change?’ I asked the psychonaut beside me. I had some vague hope he might actually come up with an answer; you never know when insight strikes the inebriated mind. In any case I was certain asking him that was better than say, asking him for the time or which day tomorrow was.

    Although the remote possibility of an answer figured into the equation, the main reason for posing a question of more hallucinogenic nature was mostly based on not wanting to send reality his way before it would head that way on it’s own. If it could be avoided I preferred letting a high run it’s course with as little outside interruption or interference as possible.

    Although there are few things truly holy in the world, not ♥♥♥♥ing with someone’s high is rated high among things that could be considered very close to it. Except in times of desperate need, or when circumstances are at their most dire, of course. Let me explain that in a longwinded and overly detailed sidetrack not at all relevant to the story, please.

    I heard you loud and clear there in the back, there, excellent form bro. Oh, even if you said yes to something else you did say yes, truth or not? No, it doesn't really matter if you say no now if you opened with a yes, it's first come first serve here, just like in the bar where you got that beer you seem to be about to thro.. hey, don't actually thro-- ow, that hurt! No, not enough to stop this from happenening, no.

    I survived being tortured at the Infernal Plane by a band of dwarf minotaur amazon warriors, a beer bottle or tw-- hey, cut it out! At least throw them unopened, bro, that way we both get something out it Don't be selfish about it, very bad form that.

    Well then, hmmhrrm, let's get on with it shall we?

    Examples of what can be considered circumstance include anything number of things, really, but to be dire they have to be sort of severe or else they're not really worth much are they? You have to really feel a bit like you're in danger all on-your-lonesome-like to to warrant calling a circumstance or series of events dire, or else the definition is different from mine and probably thus less arbitrary but also less correct, from my point of view, that's how I see it.

    Examples of truly the diresome include realizing you’ve forgotten where you put the wake-me-up lines at the end of a week-long bender on redeye and mescaline, and the less immediate danger of a situation like, say, a band of marauders charging your tent way too ♥♥♥♥ing early in the morning or the risk of self-euthanasial leanings if you the friend who's trip you just messed up doesn't know where the lines are either and you've ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ looked everywhere and you can feel the tarantulas of the comedown begin their Danse Macabre up and down the inside your spine.. very diresome, indeed.

    The most common, though, would be when you gotten hold of one of them magical mystery tour lighters. Ingenious bastards, crafty as hell, probably moonlights as fencers (no, not the twack-twack-twack kind with the bendy-stick swords, the kind who buys stuff "from uncle", if-you-know-what-I-mean -- riiiight, like hell you don't)

    From time to time you’ll find yourself every unincapacitated braincell available not to be enough, and that's when you call in the reserve guard, the mental equivalent to the competitive knitting team of Avia Minor (who, being birds and thus, except in one very particular case, not only not in possession of opposable thumbs that seem to sort of struggling very hard completely in vain at the very fundamental concept of knitting, like having hands, to join the brainstorm.

    That is when you call your friend down from the peyote clouds he's sailing and proceed to very slowly and carefully explain you’ve lost the lighter and that he should look for it, making completely sure he understand that he should look in this reality, not the other ones.

    The reasoning why this is an acceptable tactic lies in the fact that since there's a finite amount of logical places to look, after which the the likelihood of the functional braincells to find it becomes hampered by spatial reasoning or get caught up in attempts to use Occam's Razor to deduce where the ♥♥♥♥ it might’ve gone, both completely useless when faced with the bizarre and illogical, they usually end up going '♥♥♥♥ this, I'll go buy another lighter' and then, being reasonably inebriated of mind, forgetting to do so and half an hour later, starting the entire process over again.

    The advantage to utilizing the brain of the stoned ♥♥♥♥♥♥ated is that even if he has just a vague idea what's he's doing and draws an absolute blank on the why, he or she will keep searching until it either finds the damn lighter or in the rare cases the slightly-more-functional guy comes back from the store with another one and tells him he can go back up Peyote Mountain.

    That, my friend, concludes that. Now, for the next chapter can begin.

    Like all good chapters, it begins with a breakfast..
    It is the great philosophical concept of trying to find a way beyond the horizon knowing full well you never actually will; the essence of a journey measured not by when but by why and how. Beyond that, I won't explain myself further. Those on the bus will understand, those who isn't will probably not. I'm good with that.

  2. #2
    Personally, I like it. Thank you for sharing.

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