Okotan Adventures: Spider Saga

The Lord of the Undying Storm leaned in slightly.

“Without looking up, do you know if the stars are there?” He mumbled, the deeper tones of his voice resonating in the air. “Of course they are. Tomorrow they will be in the sky as well, just as they have for all time.”

“Every time I threw my axe,” He slowly placed it back on his back. “It returned to me; not because of any promise or any ruling, but because I knew it would. There is no one alive to tell me why it does what it does, only that it must do it.”

“Simple Child of Fire. The flames bore you; they must be stoked, kept fresh and bright, lest the life leave them and their light vanish from the universe.” He glanced at the fire, frowning at it slightly. “But after the fire is gone, the cold will still be there. Fire is passion and life; ice is silent. Fire… Is temporary.”

His eyes moved back to Blaze. “Tomorrow will come. The world will always have its Betrayers, its Masks of Time. Take a lesson from the cold; what has been will be again, and what has lasted thus far is here forever.”

He glanced back towards the fire, watching the flames eat away at the wood, turning it into a powdery white ash. “Some things you wish could leave never do.”

“Wow, that’s really deep. You must be super wise!” Twenty Three replied, baring her teeth in another attempt to smile.

“Life persists, it has for countless eons.” Blaze said, nodding.

A glare was shot at Twenty-Three. I’ll cut you.

“So has death.” The Lord of the Undying Storm said to Blaze. “And last I checked, death always wins. Life has to start over; new people, new stories, new flickers of hope-”

A spark had jumped from the fire to the corner of his cape. He stomped on it violently with a slightly wild look and stared at it for a few seconds.

“For your info that was not a flicker of hope.” He huffed, trying to resume his calm. “That… Hm.”
######“I really hate fire.”

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Vra’axinni, as he walked on, soon realized that yes, what he saw was a town, with what seemed to be a dock. He continued forwards. “I believe we may have just found ourselves the way for us to take to the water.” He says hopefully.

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“It’s your elemental opposite.” Blaze said, “It would make sense you don’t like it.” Blaze added a couple stones around the outside of the fire pit/fire ring to keep the ground from catching fire from a stray ember.

Kryuna frowned when she noticed the broken bridge. Sure, she had found Tsim Krad, but what was the point if she couldn’t make it inside. The guard came up though, yet now they were gone, so there had to be another way. She began looking around for any anterior routes that might be taken. @Flux

Bramble got more nervous. “Uh, I hope it doesn’t involve too much conversation…”

He recalled the time fruit was thrown at him in the City of Mask Makers. it wasn’t a pleasant memory.

“That’s not it.” The lord of the Undying Storm grumbled. “Look at the fire; the logs are utterly destroyed for a moment’s heat. Fire consumes everything it touches; nothing is safe from its smoldering grip.”

“The ice is bitter, but it preserves.” He tightened his posture. “It destroys little.”

“Ooh, do sand next!” Twenty three replied excitedly,“Or don’t, I don’t want to come across as demanding. I mean if you feel like it. I mean, I dunno. I guess I just have sand on the brain, I guess that’s what happens when you do nothing but stare at sand for a few weeks.”

@rainsong, @Ghid, @KAI_BORG, @Runa Unbeknownst to Gladius he had not much too worry about in terms of their conversations, they weren’t exactly deep. Mostly Azure had been replying with a series of mutterings to every response from Athena, she wasn’t exactly self aware atm and she had not heard Gladius order to keep a look out behind them. Having trouble processing what was happening as is she had simply shut off mentally. Only using enough power to continue forward.

Skipper let out sounds of pain and agony as his head reached closer to the floor his hands on his mask trying to pull it of like if by instinct. He forces his head up to have his tearful eyes meet with the guard. “Please…” he utters, “Help me get this mask off.” He begs him.

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Streke woke up, bolting upright.
“Huh.” He thought. “Weird.” He didn’t have a nightmare, and as far as Streke could tell, there wasn’t anything wrong nearby.
Just in case, the red-and-blue Okotoan gripped one of his small daggers, sitting more upright and shuffling into a more balanced pose.
As he sat there, silently, scanning the darkness for threats, his mind began to trail back to what led him out here in the middle of nowhere.
“Dakron… why’d you leave me? We’ve been friends for life. I don’t understand. What could be so important that you run off without telling me?”

Dakron listened to the Lord of the Undying Storm attentively. As the powerful being spoke, he used his walking stick to illustrate the elements the LotUS was discussing.

“It destroys as much as fire, just not in the same way.” Blaze said, “Avalanches racing down mountainsides as they bury forests and creatures caught in their wake and farmers have to make stores for winter as its chill makes it nigh impossible to grow crops and it takes warmth slowly until it takes the spark of life and buries the body in a frozen grave.” He muttered.

“But it’s needed.” He said after a pause, “The cold of winter and warmth of summer need each other to be complete as Winter’s cold causes for creatures and people to take refuge so that nature may rest under a blanket of snow so that the ground may be prepared for the seeds of spring to nourish them while summer’s warmth invites creatures to tend to their environment to ensure they can prepare for the next winter and so the cycle goes on with spring bringing new life, summer encourages growth, autumn warns of winter’s chill and the harvest is done before all sleep in winter’s cold snowy blanket as the old life ends and the cycle begins anew and repeats on and on for eternity.” He paused. “My mother uses that story to teach about the importance of the seasons.” He briefly explained.

No.” He snarled. As Blaze spoke he kept a steady glare on Twenty-Three.

“Your mother is wrong.” He said, slowly turning back towards Blaze. “Fire is not as cowardly as you make it out to be. Left unchecked it will inevitably destroy everything, and all other elements lie in between.”

“Tap the ground. Tap it deep enough, and you will find fire, hiding at the core of the world.” He tapped the dirt for emphasis. “What happens if it reaches up here? That,” He swung his arm in the general direction of the volcano. “That is what happens.”

“Do not attempt to lecture me on the necessity of the elements, boy. I have seen - orchestrated - worse monstrosities than your nightmares could ever conceive, and how do you think I accomplished it? By the crushing power of water, confined to our borders? Or perhaps the plantlife, which sits so docile and refuses to defend itself?” He kicked very slightly at the stones around the campfire. “What about the soil, which hardly moves on its own? Or perhaps I used the sand of the sea, which depends upon the water for existence?”

“No.” He reached forward and gingerly took up the end of a flaming log, holding it a foot from Blaze’s face before half of it fell back into the fire. “Fire destroys everything it touches; it wipes the land clean of any sort of life and leaves behind a blackened mess of ruin, tortured souls, and barren ground. Fire embodies life as much as it takes it.”

“The cold only takes those who tread in it.” He gingerly set the log back down, drawing his hand back quickly as the flames leapt out at him. “Explain this to your mother.”

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“All the elements are united but separate in this world and they exist in a balance, a harmony.” Blaze said, “Fire may destroy but the ashes can be used to fertilize the ground so new growth may come and even become stronger.”

“Each element can symbolize an aspect of life, both in its capacity to create and destroy.” He said, carefully tending to the fire, taking care to keep embers contained with the rest of the fire.

I never said fire was cowardly, it has limits and only spreads where it’s able to and thus can be controlled. He thought.

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His arm tensed. How desperately he wanted to bring his hand down on that stone by the fire, and shatter it into a thousand pieces!

“Ashes are devoid of life. They are the very definition of a lack of renewing; how could you illustrate them as such?”

“You say each element has a capacity to create and destroy. What does the jungle destroy? It simply grows and grows; nothing is tarnished by it, and every fruit sprouts under its shadowy canopy. You cannot claim the sand destroys without the wind to move it, nor the earth without fire bellowing from beneath.”

“The ice only destroys what interferes,” He said, forcing himself to relax slightly. “Whatever creeps into its threshold. Only the water destroys as callously as the fire.”

“Are you presuming the stones are protecting us, valiantly, from this fire in between us?” He swept his arm towards the fire. “No, child of embers. It is you who moved the stones; you who commanded them to be your guardian, and you who lit the fire.”

Finding himself leaning forward more and more, he pushed himself back upright. “Touch the cold, and you will recover. Touch the water, and you will be cleansed. Touch the fire… And you die.”


Blaze looked at the Lord of the Undying Storm and quietly removes his mask to show the scars on his face from his experiments, “I know the destructive capabilities of the elements very well.” He said seriously, “And because of that, I have begun to learn a better respect for their potential to create.”

“A forest may be leveled by a fire but the seeds that survive, whether by their hardiness or being already buried, can then grow to heal the forest and restore it.” He said. “If fire has nothing to consume, it extinguishes and thus, like ice, it only consumes that which gets in its path.” He puts his mask back on and resumes tending to the campfire.

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The Lord of the Undying Storm stared quietly at Blaze for a moment. The silence at the campfire was only interrupted by the popping of the logs. Then he raised his hands to his helmet and drew it off.

The face underneath was partially obscured due to the armour and the shadow of the helmet, but what was visible was vastly different from the usual Okotan head. The metal skin was more stone-like in appearance than metal, and the dark pits of his eyes seemed to extend back far into his skull. Deep scars and cracks were scattered innumerably across his skin, glowing a soft blue wherever it was thinnest.

“Whatever your name was… Blaze?” He said, the sad metallic brow arching slightly in dismay. “Listen to the cry of your ancestors. Hear their feet as they trample their young in terror, trying to outrun the element you so religiously defend. Feel the ground shudder as those seeds you promised to survive are swallowed up in an instant; as those poor fools realize far too late that the world is a candle for fire to devour.”

He wasn’t looking at Blaze now, but more past him, to something only he had seen. “Tell me how many more of that element had to die before the fire was sated. Tell me how many more would die containing it, forcing it back at the cost of their towns, their villages, all swept away in an instant by the all-compelling Lord they so diligently served.”

“Go back to that day and then you may preach,” He placed his helmet back on and shoved it into place. “About the qualities of fire. Then you can lecture me and others here about how all the elements must occur to support the seasons, refresh the forests… How the elements exist in ‘Harmony’.”

He stared back down at the fire. “That day will be forgotten, as will this one, and the next, and the next… But the cold endures. The cold will never be forgotten.”


Dakron tilted his head, thinking.
He stood up and began to write in the dirt.
“Ashes bring forth new life. There are forests that depend on heat for their seeds to grow. Fire brings warmth and comfort when controlled. It’s not as… reckless and uncontrolled as you say.”


Blaze reads what Dakron wrote and nods in agreement.


The angle made it difficult for the Lord of the Undying Storm to properly read what Dakron wrote, so he slowly stood and walked to where Dakron was before squinting at the writing.

“Who is there to control it?” He said, heading back towards his seat. “The heat those plants require comes from the sky, and partially from the fire below the earth. Never from an open flame.”

He resumed his seat with a massive thud. “But the fire below is never content in its place, hence the volcano. It is never satisfied to be still and it must keep burning, consuming, until there is nothing left. One wonders why it has not consumed this entire island in its vigor.”

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