Blackfeather Woods and there is time to kill today
All Welcome  September 28, 2018, 07:45 PM

@Mou <3

A shrine to Peryite. The rotting carcass of a mouse untouched, left to waste at the bottom of a cache. There were maggots in it, and Maegi had wanted to vomit even dragging it here--but she thought it would be a suitable offering to the god for whom she'd been named. She placed it in front of the Altar instead of on top of it, afraid to soil the sacred place.

She stepped back, bowing her head in solemn prayer, and began to speak:

"Peryite, lord of the plague, bringer of death
Receive my prayer,
Cast a plague upon my enemies
And your love upon the scorned,
For I, Maegi, am your devoted servant
Forever and for always."

She had composed it upon the island, but it held more weight here, among the daedra. Their voices hummed and whispered in her mind, one louder than the rest. That sly, sinister tone--she knew it was Peryite, she knew she was heard. Her lips curved in a faint smile, and she dipped her nose toward the mouse, breathing shallowly through her mouth.

"I bring to you this offering, O Peryite," she declared softly. "May it please you."

A maggot emerged from the tiny eyelid, writhing in senseless bliss.
September 29, 2018, 12:54 PM

Vaguely referencing his injury from here which I'm using to explain my lag.

        Physical therapy was doing wonders for him. It seemed as if Mou would be in and out of some kind of therapy for his entire life, destined to be weak, silent, and useless. Those first few hours after finding the ghost should have been frightening; the feeling in his lower back had almost entirely vanished and yet, at that point, he had been too high to realize any difference between the poppies and a damaged vertebrae. But that had been a week ago, at least.

        He'd been treated, and he could still walk, which was itself a blessing—but he was so slow now that it felt pointless for him to travel far. He was bound to this forest physically; it was like the woods were trying to corner him, manipulate him for their own purpose, but that made no sense. He'd never leave the woods without Maegi anyways. 

        Thinking of her, Mou decided that he could brave an hour or two of struggle if it meant he could look at her face, or hear her voice. So he began to search for her—thankfully, fortuitously perhaps, she was not hard to find. He followed the sound of her voice until it became too quiet to find among the whispering trees; then, as he came upon her with head bowed, he waited a few minutes before huffing softly. Should she turn around she'd see pathetic little Mou, his hind legs struggling to stay "awake" and retaining a tremble; his tail hung limply behind them, likely never to move again.

September 29, 2018, 01:55 PM

Even before he chuffed, she knew he was there. He could have come as silent as a wraith and she would still know, for his presence cut through the din of voices like a knife--a disturbance. Perhaps an unwelcome one, for the gods, but Maegi cared not. With one last bow toward the altar, she turned with a smile on her face, which faded as she noticed the awkward way he stood.

"Mou," she breathed, stumbling over to him. His back legs trembled in such an odd fashion, so unlike him. She circled him quickly, looking for injuries and finding none. Just the inexplicable, weak stance of his hindquarters. "What happened? What hurts?"

Internal injuries were a thing, she knew. After all, her own hind leg was still mending from the muscle tear in the other forest. But this was different--this felt different. And she didn't know what to do for him. She didn't even know if he could explain it to her adequately enough for a solution to be found. Her mouth trembled, a wave of despair rippling over her.
September 29, 2018, 07:16 PM

        The poppies had become something of a necessity with this one. He almost didn't notice the tremble in his limbs as he stood there, and certainly hadn't noticed the sluggish quality of his gait as he'd sought Maegi out. When she turned to regard him, he looked at her with a dull expression, and opened his mouth as if to speak—temporarily forgetting that he couldn't—and went so far as to say, Ghost, which came out sounding more like goad, not that he noticed. Mou was lethargic about the entire thing, finding his current situation as unremarkable as the last—with him, there was always something wrong, and he had become accustomed to the heavy hand of fate.

        He peered beyond her for a long minute, and gradually came back to himself. Enough, anyways, to ask about the shrine and the tiny offering. Wha dah? He motioned with a lazy dip of his nose at the mouse and looked as if he were about to bowl forwards, but didn't. Clearly Mou was still under the heavy influence of his medicine.

September 29, 2018, 09:57 PM

Goat? Maegi's face scrunched in confusion, staring at him. He was sluggish anyhow, the familiar haze of poppies clouding his eyes. Probably in some pain, then, unless he just wanted to feel numb, like she sometimes did. Sighing, she pressed her muzzle into his shoulder, gently, pulling back when he asked his question (and lurching forward herself, so as to block the fall that never came).

"A gift for Peryite," she said proudly, smiling once more. "Peryite is the god I'm named for; Peryite is pestilence and plague, ruler of ugly things. Broken things. Like me. . .like us." Her voice grew soft near the end, gaze returning to his face. She needed him to know that she didn't love him in spite of his flaws, she loved him because of them, and so much more, too.

She blinked slowly, wishing she had a poppy or two herself. "There are many gods that watch over our forest," she explained. "Mephala and Sithis rule over them. But they are the Night Mother and Dread Father--and since I've never had a mother or father myself, it seems weird to worship the idea. So Peryite it is," she finished, dipping her muzzle at the rotten carcass, which had attracted a small swarm of flies.
September 29, 2018, 10:51 PM

        He stared blankly at the altar as she explained, leaning in to her touch whenever she offered it. She was named for a god - he knew that, she'd said that before. What was he named after? Dimly he recalled surfacing on the coast of Undersea; images of Seelie and her sighing voice came next, and he absent-mindedly blurted, Mou... more as a sigh of his own, barely audible over Maegi's explanation of Mephala and Sithis. But when he heard that name, he became louder. Mou Sithis— and his good eye flashed with surprising clarity.

        M'gee puh, p.. Peyrigh, an' Mou, M-Mou Sithis. He wanted a name too, and found himself once again drawn to the Dread Father.

September 29, 2018, 10:59 PM

She stared over at him as he spoke, clearly pleased. An idea came to her mind. "Mou Sithis. . .Melonii. It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" she asked, butting her head gently against his shoulder. Her gaze met his, candid and sad. "Melonii is my family name, but you're the only family I have left. You might as well use it, too."

She would take his own name, if she wasn't both fiercely proud of her own and completely certain that he had forgotten his long ago.

Maegi drew in a breath, looking back at the altar. "Sithis the Dread Father, Ruler of the Void," she murmured absently. "Appeased by death--though you've escaped that many times, I think," Maegi added, glancing over at Mou with a half-smile. "Sometimes I think that I died long ago, and this is the Void, and that you are Sithis. Have I told you that?"

She died when she had let her brothers leave without her--existentially, if not physically. They had taken a part of her with them and it would never return, not even if they did.
September 29, 2018, 11:34 PM

        Even as drugged up as he was, Mou could tell when his friend was happy, and he thought he could feel it through the fog of the poppies. Maybe he only wished he coudl feel it. But then she pressed against his shoulder and that he could feel; he leaned in to it, listening as best he could within his current state.

        Sometimes I think that I died long ago, and this is the Void, and that you are Sithis. She explained.

Mou's eyes stopped watching the altar and the mouse with its host of maggots, and looked at her, then. Have I told you that?

        He shook his head, and with a small sigh his rear end plopped down. He began to sprawl out beside her. Then he began to nose at her, nuzzling with the tip of his snout and lightly, playfully, tugging at her coat as if to say, sit with me. Whether she did or not, Mou licked his lips and asked, teach me?

September 30, 2018, 12:02 AM

ahhhhh thank you for the kudos darling!!

She was delighted that he wanted to learn, and settled down beside him, trying to think of where to start. She knew many short verses to Mephala, sure. . .but Sithis was Mou's chosen god, and he must know prayers for him. Even if he didn't say them out loud: the knowledge of them would surely suffice.

"I don't know many prayers to Sithis, actually," she admitted sheepishly, casting her eyes downward. "I don't know many prayers at all. I left in the midst of my training. But let me see. . ."

She fell silent with a small hum, trying to summon the words to the forefront of her mind. Paused, eyes narrowed in concentration. Then her lips parted and she spoke:

"Sithis, Bless us for your cause
Make ready your wrath,
For our purpose we have no pause,
For we battle for his wrath."

Maegi looked over at Mou. "I said that prayer on the eve of a great war between Blackfeather and our enemies," she explained. "My uncle died in that battle. Sithis took him in. . .he is with the Void, now. Perhaps we will see him, sometime." There was so much confusion surrounding everything she knew or thought she knew.

What was real? What was not? Who was living; who was dead?

These feelings had come to her on the island, but they were only magnified here, so close to the daedra. And now that Mou had chosen Sithis for a name, she felt the pull of the Void once more. The yawning, screaming emptiness that had opened up when Skullchaser had wounded her. Had she fallen in then? How many times had she died--was it just an endless cycle of death and rebirth, and she didn't even know it?
September 30, 2018, 12:19 AM

        The more she spoke, the more grounded he felt. The efficacy of the poppies remained strong but it felt like he could see her, he could hear her as if witnessing her for the first time. Then Maegi began to recite the prayer and he became much more intense. The air around her seemed to shimmer; no doubt an effect of his high, but at the moment Mou couldn't tell what was real and what was the drug.

        He saw a shadow creeping close, rising, lifting over the two of them. The shadow took on the shape of Maegi but it was blackness, a giant shadow he could see through but at the same time, he was looking in to her eyes and its eyes. They flashed, and he thought he saw red when she said wrath the first time; he blinks, and the shadow is gone.

        She spoke of a battle—and maybe somewhere, the remnants of Titmouse Redhawk recognized the vagaries she referenced. Maybe a part of him was screaming deep inside of him. But Mou wasn't that person anymore and if any part of his mind retained that information, it did not surface here. The boy basked in the story that Maegi told him and found himself easily smiling. Whatever darkness she held within herself, he shared with her. They were both ruined creatures living in a place of blackness, but they were together and he couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

        Then, he abruptly slurred, I love you Maegi. He looked like he was half asleep, but happy.

September 30, 2018, 01:54 PM

aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! also you have 777 posts and 7 kudos rn which is aesthetic AF

He was smiling, and that was good. She loved to see him smile. And then he said something that nearly brought her to her knees; emotion swelled up thick in her chest, and she tried to blink back tears before they came, gently rolling down her cheeks. Maegi pressed her face into his neck, curving her body into his, the two of them pale, thin wraiths in the land of the dead.

"I love you, Mou," she whispered, telling him true. For how many times had someone told her those three words? Her brothers, yes, but who else? Coelacanth had said it with her eyes, and Venninne, too, she supposed. It was all she craved, and now she had it, and from a kindred spirit, no less. Mou and Maegi against the world, against all who had wanted them dead.

'Twas fate had brought them together, and fate would make them inseparable, even in death.