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Post by Hakuri Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:30 am

With every step she took, twigs and uneven earth crackled underfoot. The path the Anthro followed was much narrower than it once was. Reliable nature always reclaimed what was taken, if given enough time, and such was the case for the path to the chapel. Bushes and brambles had encroached from each side, snagging and ripping at the delicate fabric of a long, tattered skirt. The woman, fox ears graying at the tips to match the muted terracotta of her two tails, ambled along, occasionally swatting away the forest growth eager to swallow up the path she walked entirely. A basket hung on her free arm, filled with herbs, spices, and matches.

Though her children had begged her not to go, they didn't accompany her. The god she was visiting today was not one known to them, and though they could have simply walked with her in mindfulness of her advancing age, they were busy folk who hadn't endured what she had in her lengthy lifetime. Though her life had begun after the treaty was signed, the world hadn't changed in an instant once the war was over. Many Anthros remained slaves in secret, just as mistreated as in the old days. Her parents never tasted freedom, and such seemed to be her fate, as well. They taught her about an old god, one they prayed to along with others who suffered in life. Generation upon generation of her family had prayed to this god for the strength to endure their hardships, patience for relief, and perseverance that, one day, freedom would come. The god offered them peace where possible, even if it was just in the treks to the small chapel and a moment of quiet. The path had been kept wide and clean, and the dirt had been tamped smooth by the walk of suffering. She was free now, but that didn't mean she no longer needed the kind dragon spirit's grace.

The road to freedom had left its deep and permanent scars. No master commanded her now, but she was poor and frail. Her body did its best to fail her, and she barely had enough money for food, let alone medical care. Her knees ached and her spine was twisted, hence the cane and shuffling steps. Worse yet, she knew this would be her final trip. Disease riddled her beneath the skin. Soon her freedom would be taken from her again, at least physically. One last trip to burn incense for Vytr'valost and ask for the fortitude to endure her last days in as much comfort as possible would have to do.


It'd been a while since the last believer had come to visit.

Years had passed without a single tingle coursing through the lengthy spine buried beneath thick scales of brown and gold. Though the appearance of such a being was that of a fearsome dragon, benevolence sprung up like the cool waters of Fleuve'ir's river to those who burned incense in the name of Vytr'valost in the chapels, yet no seemed to need it anymore. Vytr'valost adored the herbs they brought from their gardens even though the deity suffered along with them with every tear. It was a bittersweet exchange, for the god wished to ease their suffering, but doing so silenced their voices and blew away the coveted scented smoke. It was a sacrifice Vytr'valost would make and had made apparently very well.

How was that elderly Kitsune that last visited? The god mulled that over in the deafening silence, her last pleas echoing endlessly without answer. Vytr'valost wasn't even sure how much time had passed, as time meant a good deal less to him than it did to the mortals he served. She was still alive, that much could be felt, but did she still suffer?

Just as the prayers used to course through the bones of the god's body, Vytr'valost felt it the day his chapel fell. The path to it was gone. There were no priests or priestesses to maintain it, nor any believers to repair it. It hurt as if the dragon's body were the rotten planks that crumpled alone in the forest, shaded by thick trees and unheard. Vytr'valost felt sorrow. Cavernous and lonesome, though it had been looming on the horizon for some time, the arrival of such a moment coiled the deity's body in on itself. Forgotten. The god had been forgotten. There was joy that Vyldermire seemed to be suffering no longer, but what did that mean for the minor deity? What would happen to a spirit to whom no one prayed?

It was then that Vytr'valost had an idea. If no one needed an ally on the other side of the supernatural veil, then it wouldn't hurt to pay a visit, would it? The dragon manifested into the mortal world, appearing in front of his ruined altar. The monstrous length of scales nearly leveled the emerald sea, but quickly took on the form of a mortal male. Fleshy and frail, the man stood and admired his abandoned place of worship with a wistful expression. It looked peaceful in its brokenness. It had served its purpose. He ran his fingers along the moss, marveling at the texture. Every experience was new and exciting. The breeze on his skin, the sound of leaves hushing each other, the scent of petrichor, it was all different in a human-esque body. He spent a lot of time there, adjusting to his new body and mourning with the sky in front of the rubble, but once the rain stopped, he rose and began his trek out of the woods.

The man, tall and perfectly pale with long, dark hair that fades to gold at the tips, emerged at the edge of Tilbur Village. He was naked as a newborn and with about as much knowledge of how to be a person as one. All he had was knowledge of Vyldermire's history, a few godly secrets, and a command of the spoken language. Everything else would be a fresh experience for the forgotten god!

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