heavy metal breakdown | dnp

Check out the Court of Halcyon, holy knights of the Bleak Wilds and a growing unboarded proclan who aim to bring peace and order to Agrelos!
  • March 12, 2020

    The girl's heart aches as she turns away from her family and takes her first few steps over the Sanguine Ruins' border. She's left the territory before, had taken to doing so periodically from atop Merlot's back ever since obtaining a dual alliance, but departing entirely alone feels very different. She'd expected as much, but what she hadn't anticipated was the grief. The Sanguine Ruins wasn't her homeland, but it had quickly come to feel that way; she'd bonded with her relatives who lived here much more quickly and strongly than she had with her own littermates in Solaris Kingdom, and most of them had wound up disappearing from her life, anyway. She wouldn't miss them. It's Arya, Nadine, Cherrywine, and Merlot's faces that linger in her mind as she readies herself to take off, but Brandy resists the urge to look back at them. She has to be strong for them. For the Red God.

    She stretches her wings, a sensation she's still getting used to, and starts to run. It feels somewhat nice to exert the energy, but as she leaps up and lifts herself higher with a powerful flap of her wings, she has to blink tears from her molten eyes as she struggles to shake the thought of all she's leaving behind. Her family, her livelihood, her home. She'd felt so alone during her childhood in the Kingdom; one absent father and another who's emotionally distant never bodes well for a child's growth, and Brandy wasn't exempt. She recalls those days with little warmth, back when she was too uncertain and insecure to reach out and form connections with both her littermates and the rest of the clan. Solaris Kingdom is a vibrant place, and maybe she would flourish there now, with her newfound vivacity and love for all things lovely. But she knows she's only developed into such a person because of the Ruins; family who actually made her feel wanted brought her out of her shell and the Red God gave her a purpose. It feels amazing to have people to live for and something to believe in — it makes her feel whole. She knows that Solaris Kingdom worships another god, Helios, but she also knows that they're blind, weak. Arya once warned her that the Kingdom was safer than the Ruins; Brandy hadn't fully understood what she meant at first, but with time it had become clear: the Red God encourages strength, power, and physical domination — bloodshed — was the purest way of achieving this. Brandy has never partaken in combat herself — she lacks training and up until recently had been too lost in her own worries and insecurities to ask Arya to mentor her, as she'd intended to — but the simple act of drawing her own blood for an offering had been thrilling enough. She can only imagine how exhilarating a real battle would be, where every hit she landed on an enemy would function as an offering to her god.

    But there were other ways to worship, such as the mission she'd received. She comforts herself as she soars through the sky by thinking about how lucky she is to have been reached out to by the Red God, even if it had only been through a voiceless dream. Twice now He's acknowledged her so very intimately, and she can't help but feel very special for it. How many others could say they had the same connection with Him? Briefly she wishes she could've pursued the path of a priestess to further this bond, but she tells herself it can wait, that fulfilling her duty is far more important at the moment. Besides, maybe Nadine and Jace will reward her with a promotion to priestess for all her hard work when she returns, whenever that may be. It still feels strange to acknowledge the fact that she really doesn't know when she'll be able to come home. Once she's visited every clan in Agrelos? Once she's converted enough people?

    She supposes only time will tell.

    ━━━━━━━━ WATCH MY HEART BURN


    brandy tormenta-million | red god missionary | information

    The post was edited 2 times, last by BRANDY T.M. ().

  • March 12, 2020

    Initially, Brandy's tempted to make Shadow Veil her first stop; she hasn't seen Ver since her grandmother's abrupt departure from the Ruins, and Brandy misses her deeply. She'd been so caring and welcoming ever since Brandy found herself in the Harrow Desert, and losing her constant presence had hurt. Jace will pay for it one day, she thinks bitterly. And so will everyone else who supported it. Sometimes she catches herself wondering why the Red God never punished Jace for throwing out a loyal Regent, an excellent member of the Ruins. Ver had only acted in the clan's best interest; it isn't her fault that Jace is so restrictive, egotistical, and erratic, keen on endangering the clan for God knows what reason. Shouldn't the Red God see that? She glances upward, squinting slightly against the daylight, and guilt quickly washes over her for questioning Him. Everything happens for a reason — it's all part of His grand plan. Brandy simply has to trust that He'll take action when He deems it fit. Perhaps delaying it, waiting for just the right time to strike Jace down like he deserves, is quite smart. Maybe, if she's lucky, he'll be dead and gone by the time she returns home.

    She's too lost in her thoughts to turn around and head for the Whispering Pines before she's flown far enough that she can barely make out the desert behind her. Brandy hovers in the air for a moment, staying afloat with repeated flaps of her dark wings as she wonders what to do. It would be a while before she reached Shadow Veil, and then she'd have to double back to... where, exactly? Her face grows warm and her heart begins to pound as it occurs to her that she hasn't exactly put a lot of thought into how she's going to approach this missionary work; she's been so caught up in the excitement of receiving the mission and learning to utilize her gifted wings that the technicalities have slipped her mind until now. Maybe she should go back and talk to Hebe, and ask the priestess how she would go about all this. But then her grand exit will have been for naught, and she'll have to see Jace and Bluepaw and Alakseij again to boot. Plus, despite her nerves, she hadn't expected striking out alone to feel so freeing; it hits her that she's able to go wherever she wants on her own terms, unfollowed by the scent of decay, and she no longer has to worry about walking on eggshells around Jace, who she strongly suspects may want her dead. The landscape is beautiful, too, and the temperature is so mild in comparison to what she's used to in the most refreshing way.

    Excitement suddenly bubbles up within her and, with a smile, she let her wings grow still. Immediately the young savannah plummets down, faster and faster, and the wind feels amazing as it slicks her fur and ears back. Falling is an exhilarating sensation and she squints her eyes against the force of the air pressing down on her. The ground is starting to approach and she tucks her forelegs against her body, bracing herself. She feels so alive.

    Then she flaps her wings as forcefully as she can, and the motion yanks her right back up into the air. Her lips are still peeled back in a wide grin as she continues to fly upward, and laughter bubbles up as she tells herself that she is free. No more stress, no more fear, no more insecurity. She doesn't have to think about the internal conflict raging on at home, doesn't have to deal with any of that anymore. It's just her and the Red God, and she suddenly feels very confident in her ability to adapt and figure out what she has to do along the way. Her God will guide her down the right path; maybe He'll even speak further with her through signs and dreams, instructing her, and she knows that she'll be a very different, very strong person when she finally returns to the Sanguine Ruins. A respected priestess. Grandma Nadine'll be so proud of me.

    A while passes, filled solely with mirthful flight and general sightseeing. It's interesting to fly across Orcadia and see everything from a bird's eye view like this; she's flown before, yes, but Merlot always stuck to a specific route when they traveled between clans. She isn't used to seeing so much color, either, and so much variation. Solaris Kingdom's camp is tucked into an oasis, but it covers barely any ground in relatively to an entire continent.

    She descends a bit but remains airborn, simply wishing to take everything in from a bit of a shorter distance in order to make out more details. She sees a mountain range in the distance, and beyond it a vast desert: the Derelict Expanse. Furrowing her brow, she veers left, away from her native land.

    Her wings are growing tired by the time she catches sight of the largest bridge she's ever seen, made entirely of earth. It's absolutely massive, with numerous extensions that connect it to both Orcadia and Delos, the latter a continent she's never set foot upon. She knows that's where the Exiles reside, however, and a sour feeling blossoms within her. Instead of focusing on them, however, she steers herself downward and alights at one of the entrances to the bridge, stumbling as her paws touch the ground.

    She's met with more animals in one place than she's ever seen, larger even than the Ruins' population. Her first thought was that a clan must live here, but then it occurs to her that it's a stupid notion; obviously a bridge is here to make traveling between the two continents possible without wings. But as she heads deeper in, passing numerous creatures of all ages, she notices stalls in the most central area of the bridge. They're lined with various goods and resources, and vendors are calling out loud advertisements. Maybe I should get some supplies? she thinks to herself. It isn't something she's considered until this very moment, but as soon as it crosses her mind she feels a little silly for only thinking of it now. She supposes stocking up on food and water isn't a necessity, seeing as she can hunt and look for rivers and streams, but having things to eat and drink immediately on hand will certainly save her plenty of time. She figures she should try to get her paws on a map as well — that feels like the most important thing, considering how untraveled she is.

    She approaches the closest stall, run by a towering wolf. "Hi," she says brightly, donning a smile. "Can I please have a waterskin? Maybe food that'll last a while, if you have any? I'm a traveler."

    The wolf doesn't seem impressed by her little add-on; he simply stares down at her with an expression bordering on blank. "What've you got to trade?" His tone is gruff, but Brandy's used to that on account of living with clanmates like Elian and Arya. What does throw her off somewhat is the realization that she has nothing to offer him.

    "I... don't have anything," she admits, and though her smile turns sheepish she maintains her characteristic demeanor. "I only just left home today. I just need basic stuff, nothing super valuable."

    In her mind, a waterskin and some dried meat can't be worth much; she's struggling to understand the wolf's thought process as his expression twists into a scowl. "Get lost, kid," he says. There's a very soft growl behind his words.

    Anxiety begins to set in as she meets his icy, impatient stare, and as much as she wants to argue with him she's unable to find her voice. "I— okay," she mutters, heart pounding as she turns around and walks off.


    She turns her head as a new voice, still masculine, calls out to her over the murmur of the crowd. Molten eyes meet those of a sleek-looking caracal, who beckons her to his stall with a jerk of his head. Brandy approaches with pricked ears, still shaken from her encounter with the wolf but relieved to meet someone who actually seemed to have some decency. "Don't let that guy get you down — he's a real asswipe, always givin' people a hard time," the caracal scoffs. "Name's Finn. You said you only just left home, huh? Big stuff. How old are you?" He looks her up and down as he speaks.

    "Six months," she replies, and after a moment adds on, "But I'll be seven soon! And my name's Brandy." She is pretty young to be traveling alone, isn't she?

    His brows shoot up. "Jesus, what're you doing out here by yourself, then?" he asks with a lash of his tail. "Your parents kick you out or something? If you need to stay with me for a while, you're more than welcome."

    "I'm fine, actually!" she assures him. "The Red God'll look out for me."

    A beat passes in silence as Finn regards her in confusion. "The what now?"

    It's easy to forget that the Sanguine Ruins is the only group of people who worships Him, but this only serves to remind her how important her mission is. "My God. I'm a missionary; my job is to spread His holy message and convert people to the faith."

    "That's cute," Finn says with a smile as he paws at his wares. "Sounds like a big task. My offer still stands if you ever need it, okay kid? But in the meantime, I've got free supplies for you. I ain't heartless like some merchants here."

    "It's not cute," she says, "it's important work. But... thank you." Irritation almost seeps into her tone, but she's careful to sound as sunny as possible; he's offering her free supplies and Brandy's smart enough to make sure she doesn't annoy him into changing his mind. "I can tell you about it, maybe. The Red God changed my life." Instances like this only fuel her desire to convert nonbelievers; she can only imagine how satisfying it would be to see someone like Finn ultimately become a fervent worshipper. And everyone would be so proud of her for making it happen.

    He exhales a quiet huff of amusement. "Business hours ain't the best time," he says, handing her a small satchel. Its weighted, evidently containing what he's offered. "Here, I threw in a map of Agrelos, too. Whenever you find yourself back here you should pay me a visit, and we can hang out when I ain't working."

    It doesn't take long for Brandy to decide that this is good enough. "Alright, sounds good!" she chirps, slinging the satchel over her thin frame. "Thank you for the supplies!"

    "Sure thing, kiddo." There's a smile on Finn's face and a glint in his eyes as he watches her trot off.

    ━━━━━━━━ WATCH MY HEART BURN


    brandy tormenta-million | red god missionary | information

    The post was edited 2 times, last by BRANDY T.M. ().

  • March 12, 2020

    She feels much more confident now that she has supplies. Upon reaching the outskirts of the bridge, she sits down by the shore and pulls out her map. The parchment is crisp and nothing is faded; it must be new. Everything is drawn and labeled very neatly, almost painstakingly. She looks it over carefully, taking it all in, trying to decide where she should go first. The Chief Canyon is home to the Exiles — she's glad she knows where exactly they're located now, so she can steer clear of them. Why did their territory have to be so large, though, and so central? Not that it was a huge deal, considering she could fly over the canyon with ease, but still... she was sure everyone in Agrelos would appreciate if they were tucked into a little corner or something. It was the Ruins who should be so central, so impossible to ignore. Maybe one day they can take over the canyon for themselves. Maybe if she can infiltrate them and spread the Red God's message from within, she can gain their trust and loyalty before passing them along to the priests and her leaders to manage; the Ruins can simply absorb the Exiles into their own ranks. All because of Brandy's cunning. What a nice thought that was.

    But as she fantasizes, it occurs to her again that she still doesn't know how to approach spreading her god's message. Would waltzing up and simply telling a random clan how great the Red God is really do much of anything? Maybe if she says the right thing, but what exactly does that entail? To her knowledge, she's the first Ruiner to take up missionary work; there isn't exactly a blueprint for her to follow. The prospect of creating that blueprint for her clanmates is an exciting one, but nervewracking at the same time. She has to make everything up as she goes — maybe Hebe wouldn't even be able to help her, should she go back and ask. It's up to me, she thinks proudly, gazing out into the sea. Cherrywine will be so impressed when she returns; she always seems to be, any time Brandy communes with the Red God. She can't blame her.

    She puts her map away, rises to her paws, and heads back to the central area of the bridge. The sheer number of animals filing in and out of the marketplace is favorable — it gives her easy access to nonterritorial people to speak with and practice on before moving on to the more stubborn, set in stone clans. The people with real political influence. Though Brandy hadn't attended the Thunderlands takeover due to her own personal issues, she recalls hearing about it from Cherrywine. The proclan had been beaten into submission, but they'd still been extremely resistant to the Ruins' teachings. In the wake of her first personal encounter with Bluepaw, recalling the story she'd been told of the girl's failed attempt at pushing their religion onto the Thunderlanders elicits a quiet snicker. It's an important lesson that she plans on keeping in mind; a clan won't just blindly accept the Red God into their hearts, especially if you go about it so bluntly and thoughtlessly. You need to be careful and cunning, and Brandy plans on doing just that. She's excited to see the look on robot Bluepaw's face when she returns home and brings clans of subjugated enemies with her.

    But she has to start small. Which... proves to be more difficult than she'd expected. She calls out to passerby, donning a bright smile, but hardly anyone spares her more than a disinterested or irritated glance. It's a strange feeling, being ignored, and she doesn't like it. Brandy stares after a departing jaguar through icy eyes, lashing her tail restlessly. After a moment, she takes a breath and tries again, picking out a coyote who doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry. "Excuse me!"

    The coyote's ears prick up and, to Brandy's suprise, she actually approaches after a moment of thought. She looks inquisitive, maybe a little confused as to what a young girl's doing at the Trade Center on her own. Is it really so unusual for children to be independent beyond the desert's borders?

    Heart pounding with excitement, Brandy greets her cheerily before she can question her. "Hi! I'm here to talk about the Red God."

    The coyote cocks her head, quirking a brow. "Is that so?" She doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic, but at this point Brandy will take what she can get.

    Brandy nods. "Yep! My clan, the Sanguine Ruins, worships Him. He—"

    "Hold on a sec," the coyote cuts in. "This is all very interesting. Let me go grab my friend; I think she'd like to hear this." Brandy watches with a smile as her first listener hurries off, but as she disappears into the crowd it becomes obvious that she isn't coming back. She furrows her brow, her frustration steadily rising.

    "You seem like you really have a handle on things."

    She looks up to see Finn standing over her with a smirk on his face. "Shouldn't you be at your stall?" Brandy asked a tad sharply.

    He chuckles. "I heard some people talkin' about a weird little girl yellin' about God and figured I should check in."

    "It's not weird," she huffs. "It's a serious mission! The Red God's really important to my clan. Outsiders just... don't get it. But I'm gonna fix that!"

    "Hey, I never criticized it. I'm just tellin' you what I heard," he defends himself. His tone is light and she can still see the amusement in his gaze, though, and knows he isn't taking this seriously. Then again, she's learned not to expect much from non-Ruiners in the way of reverence. He glances upward. "Sun's gonna set soon. Where're you headin' next, little miss missionary? Since you obviously have a plan and all."

    She's quiet for a moment as she stares up at Finn, eyes narrowed in indignation. Eventually, though, she deflates a bit. "I don't know," admits the girl. "I was so excited to get out and do this that I... kinda forgot to make a plan." Saying it aloud makes her feel even more foolish, but Finn doesn't look judgmental. Just playfully smug.

    "Well," he says, "there's no use wandering around without a plan in the middle of the night — it ain't safe for a little girl." She tenses up at that, certain she's more capable than he realizes, but says nothing and lets him continue. "Come back to my den and you can spend a few days figuring out what you wanna do. You can practice your preaching on me if you want, too."

    It's certainly a convienent offer, and it isn't as though she has anywhere else to go. Besides, it's nice to have a friend other than her family members; as attached as she is to the Ruins, she has to admit that it's difficult for her to make connections outside of the Tormenta-Millions. She can't help but notice a sort of bias against them, perhaps on account of Ver's "treachery." They were all blind idiots.

    "Sure, thank you," she replies after a moment of thought. "Do you need to, uh, close up shop?" She quirks a brow. "How do you move all your products to your den so nobody steals it?"

    Finn shakes his head. "That ain't a problem." He raises a forepaw, and a mound of solid-looking earth rises up below it, as though he's pulling it by a chord. "I just encase the stand before I leave and get rid of the dirt and rock whenever I wanna sell again."

    Her eyes widen as she watches the mound of dirt take form. "That's so cool!" Sensing an opportunity, she continues, "I have a power, too. Look." As she speaks, she returns her gaze to the mound and concentrates on it, smiling as a daisy sprouts from its cap.

    "Huh, neat," he replies with a quirked brow, studying the blossom.

    "The Red God gave me my powers," she tells him pointedly.

    "How nice of him. Now c'mon, let's get going." With that, he turns around and starts padding off. With a huff, Brandy trots after him.

    ━━━━━━━━ WATCH MY HEART BURN


    brandy tormenta-million | red god missionary | information