“The Trio Arrives”, by Vamuria

As Lupar gave way to Phaestian, reality dawned on my addled mind as it did for so many of us afflicted by the ailment of narcolepsy. This story was far from complete. In part two of my continuing coverage, we continue to unravel the tragic events surrounding the Wildfather, Lupus. And so once more I set off on the open road, a papyrus scroll and quill my only company as I sought the story of a lifetime.

Narcoleptics continued to fall upon the floor, though what transpired next varied greatly from previous experiences as they felt their bodies physically waking up from an agonising sleep. “It was honestly the most excruciating feeling I’ve ever felt in my entire life,” laments one victim. “I cannot imagine the true depth of pain if mine was but a shadow.”

For three months a cascading nimbus of pain had fallen upon their slumbering forms. Blood rushing into limbs, fingers slashing, the sensation of desiccated muscle and withered bone resuming their rightful position. And through it all the underlying and persistent notes of rage and loss. It came to a head as adventurers from all walks of life converged on the slumbering form of Lupus, all eager to witness the reawakening of a God.

With a feral snarl, their wishes were realised. Amber eyes opened for the first time in centuries as a bloodied visage reared back and unleashed an ear-shattering roar to the Heavens. “I was expecting to die that day,” claims one onlooker. “But my curiosity got the better of me.” Rather than lashing out at those crowding Him, as many expected, He sniffed at the air and disappeared into the depths of His Hunting Grounds.

What transpired next was difficult to witness. For months on end, and with nary a thought, the Wildfather unleashed unbridled fury upon His own. They howled, they fought with tooth and claw but inevitably, they all fell before His might, ripped and torn beyond recognition. Even in death there was no respite, for He simply revived them and continued the slaughter. Before long all they could manage were whimpers of acquiescence as He crushed their skulls against the crimson walls and ripped their spines free.

His bloodlust momentarily satisfied, the Wild God of the Beasts emerged from the Hunting Grounds with nothing but silent carnage in His wake. Forlorn eyes fell upon the Temple of Beauty and the bloodied and enraged God disappeared within. Concurrently, Vinceres Ebonheart and Aelyn Le’Yuet led a contingent of Villagers searching for a solution. Onorol held no answers, and neither did Vixen. Their search eventually led them to the Dryad Queen, Titania. Their plan was simple, a ritual to reach the heart of the Wildfather and let it be known they knew of His pain and were willing to share His burden if He would only let them.

On the third of Daedalan a host of Eleusians accompanied by onlookers converged in the Northreach Forest. The Lupine Vinceres spoke earnestly and with passion as participants spilt blood and emotion at his behest, a tenuous trail of verdant energy drifting towards Lake Orestis. The viridian motes lingered in the air, a frail lifeline of hope and reverence, before being consumed by an amber flash. A snarl rumbled from the bowels of the Temple, and the Wild God of the Beasts emerged. Titania staggered as she sensed His intentions and spurred the Eleusians back to their Village, dismay and pain writ across her features.

As Eleusis huddled around their gatehouse the Wildfather watched. And then He moved. Blood welled in our mouths as we sensed the coming slaughter, and I wept.

It is difficult to encapsulate the despair that drove me to my knees at this moment, but it can only be compared to the joy I felt myself incapable of grasping a moment later.

With a furious eruption, the Dun Valley volcano exploded as emerald aurae rose and coalesced. I stared up in awe as my mind refused to accept what my eyes were seeing.

They had come. Lady Artemis, Goddess of the Cataclysm and Lady Gaia, the Wildwood Queen had come to save us. My eyes and heart welled as Their voices called out to Him, receiving only a terrifying howl in response as He disappeared into Lady Selene’s Temple once more. The Huntress moved to look down upon Lake Orestis, the sadness evident in Her expression mirrored in every Eleusian’s heart, as the trailing of umber spores marked the Earthmother’s glorious descent into the Village.

These most recent events have proven far more difficult to cope with than I ever anticipated, and I feel myself experiencing each sensation anew with every stroke of the quill. Pain, hurt, and loss but also joy, pride, and hope mingling in my chest. My eyes have dried and I find myself staring into an uncertain future. It is a future that I know likely contains both hurt and anguish, but I cannot help but hold out for hope and joy. And isn’t that the way with Nature, in the end? The Cycle continues through the lowest valleys and the highest peaks, and we will always carry on, as will Nature.

Summary: Lord Lupus awoke amidst pain and fury, tearing His way through the Lupine Hunting Grounds before locking Himself away in the Temple of Beauty. Eleusis attempted a ritual to share His pain which only served to enrage Him further. Emerging from the Temple and with eyes locked onto the Eleusians, He moved to strike, before being stopped by both Lady Artemis, the Great Wrath and Lady Gaia, the Earthmother. Howling wildly, He withdrew to Selene’s Temple once more.