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Old Dreams
(2013-08-09 - 2013-08-10)
Skoll re-lives some of his dreams of the Golden Wolf.
Golden Wolf Restful sleep seems rare these days. It's only some small comfort that the storms outside of Traverse Town have kept Skoll from taking Zia onward towards Castle Oblivion. Even so, there have only been sparse leads to the locations of the other Cloisters, and it seems like there are always other troubles lurking on the horizon.

It's day, and without her crystal, Zia is a statue, crouched in a traditional pose, claws out, seeming fierce against the green walls of the hotel room. It's as good a time to sleep as any, because tonight, the search will continue.

Tonight, there is no peace for Skoll's dreams. Instead, they come with an eerie feeling of deja vu. Hadn't he been here once before? There are smaller footprints that seem to be his own but from another time and place. The world seems sepia-toned, like a memory brought back from somewhere long forgotten.

He was so young the first time this dream came, long before he knew anything about the story of the Sky Wolves. It was this dream that had been the omen that he might be a wolf of legend. At once, he's both the boy in the dream, and himself as an adult... reliving the moment.

The sun is rising...

The man knows that she'll come soon, as she had before. Yet, the boy seems oblivious to the first meeting that is about to change his life. The dream itself is a wonder.
Skoll Ulfang It would appear that Skoll just gained the Nostalgic trait. All these dreams and memories coming to him from years long past. The werewolf doesn't even remember the last time he saw something sepia colored other than those silly people who use Instagram. Why is that a thing anyhow?

He watches the dream from up close in a ways. It's odd to realize you are watching a past memory, yet be reliving the moment. It's a sensation that can't be truly described. Yet in the realm of dreams, such things are far too commonplace. Moments where time is out of synch.

As a boy, he sat there waiting without knowing what he was waiting for. Watching that sunrise. In the future, he'd constantly go out of his way to watch the sunrise and sundown - and even as a child he did without knowing what he was looking for. There's a strange excitement in his chest as he watches that beautiful red spread across the horizon of the hilled and grassy plains.
Golden Wolf As the sun stretches over the horizon, it casts gorgeous shades of pink and red across the clouds, lighting the black of night with the first hints of morning. Where the first light of the golden sun touches, there is a small, fledgling wolf, just blinking into the dawn. The sun plays in her golden fur, making her look as if she were part of it. Then, as if it were some fated thread calling her, the young wolf looks to him, eyes bright.

As a child, there had been no complex meaning to the moment that she bounded up to him, or the play that raced the two of them across the grass and through the trees. It had felt natural, like a long lost friend that he'd always known. It had been the joy of finding someone his own age to play with, and in the end, the two young wolves lay sprawled in the shade of a big tree. The Golden Wolf lays on her back, paws up, looking up at him and pawing at his chin, a childish sort of giggle in her voice.

"You're fun." She states, and even then, her voice had been strange. It was a mix of every female he'd ever met, and yet none of them at the same time. "I wish you were real, instead of this being just a dream." It had seemed odd then, for a dream to state that he was a dream. Yet, she seemed to believe it. "Maybe if you were real, I wouldn't be so alone." The wolf flops over onto her side, then leans forward to bump her head into his shoulder.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll remembers faintly how much fun he'd had in that dream. It'd been so different from the real world, where expectations already began to dawn on his life. Yet, when they are lying down like that, the little child Skoll seems to just be happy ans too enthused to even think of such things. He's in his own little world.

"So are you!" Skoll chirps happily, turning his head and smiling at her with the biggest and stupidest grin one can imagine. When she comments that she wishes he were real, he doesn't even consider it an insult or a weird thing. He just goes right along with it; "Well! Good news! I am real!" Skoll tells her. "Yeah, it sucks that this is just a dream. But you can always come visit! And we can run and play as much as we want." He's so incredibly chipper.

"You're not alone, I'm here!" The young wolf touches the fuzzy belly of the shewolf and chuckles. "I'm real you silly. Just gotta find me is all! It's like one big game of hide and seek. Only... we're both 'it'!"
Golden Wolf The she-wolf looks at him for a moment, trying to decide if this is just her dream trying to trick her, or if he really could be real. "But... this isn't real." She states, sounding uncertain. The sun seems to have passed to high above them, time passing far too quickly here.

She laughs then, wiggling at the touch to her belly, pushing a paw against his face. "I wouldn't know where to start looking." The wolf is smiling though, her ears up, enthusiastic about this new sort of game if it could bring her a friend at the end of it. "And..." She hesitates then, looking down at her paws, "I don't usually remember my dreams. What... what if I don't remember you, or that I'm supposed to be looking?"

The girl looks up at him, hesitant and uncertain.
Skoll Ulfang "Sure it is!" Skoll chipperly replies. "I mean, sure, /this/ is a dream. But what's wrong with dreams? They're awesome. Except for the nightmares. But what better time to have someone with you - you know? Someone to keep the scary away." The wolf never changed in that regards really. Always looking on the bright side of life.

"Well... I dunno. I'm currently in a nice tundra area." Skoll answers her. "North of the Ifrit mountains. My daddy says this place is lush because of the... eh... what's the word." He ponders this for a moment, and then shrugs. "When the mountain goes 'kaboooom!' and all that fire comes out." He reaches his hands into the air and then flomps down as her paw comes onto his face.

"Well... I dunno. I look like this I suppose." Skoll answers her. He then glances around for a moment, and then has a brilliant idea. Forgetting that she might not remember him at all, he taps on his back. "I got this scar on my back that looks like an eight. I don't know where I got it. Probably fell down some rocks or something stupid. But hey, it's something you might remember!"
Golden Wolf "There's nothing wrong with dreams, I just don't like going to sleep." The little Golden Wolf replies. Pushing herself to her feet, the girl manages to smile though, caught in his infectious optimism. Leaning over, she scratches at her neck, ears flopping this way and that. "I guess, if you can keep the bad things away, then you're a pretty good friend, huh?"

As he goes on to try to describe where he's at, the girl just watches him with a blank expression. "I don't know that place. I live by the big cliffs and the sea, where the salt sprays up off the ocean. At least... I used to live there. I can't stay there, anymore, so maybe I should try to find you. If I remember..."

As he shows off the strange scar, the girl looks at it, twitching her nose. "I'll try." Then, in the distance of the wood, an owl hoots. The wolf turns her head, "Oh no..." How did the sun manage to set quite so quickly? "I... I have to go." And with that, the girl darts off into the trees, vanishing with the last rays of the setting sun, leaving Skoll behind in the darkness.
Skoll Ulfang Skoll smirks. "Heck yeeeaaah! Of course I'm a good friend!" Skoll declares with an air of certainty, nudging his head underneath the Golden Wolf in order to help them up. "The big cliffs and sea? OH oh oh! I think I know that place! That must be near Bismark's Ocean." Skoll declares. "Maaan... we're not bound to go there for a long time more. Bummeeeeer." Skoll pouts, even puckering his lips and showing a big frown on his face. "Maaaan."

The wolf then looks up as the girl suddenly tilts her head up. "Awww, so soon!? Come back tomorrow okay!?" The werewolf calls after her... and then she's gone.
Golden Wolf Where one memory ends, another begins. It wouldn't be the last time that he saw the Golden Wolf. She would come and play many times over the following weeks. Then, nothing. It was like she had vanished from his dreams, even as his mother insisted on the old legends, retelling the tale of the wolf that chased the sun. Could that be why she only appeared as sunlight in his dreams, and never night? His father wouldn't tolerate talk of some fictional girl, as his beliefs were firmly in reality. The Golden Wolf meant prosperity for the pack, and he had already determined who that would be.

Then, things changed. It began with a whimper. He was older then. Hati had vanished, and Odin had become more and more insistant about his proper path as heir to the pack. Yet, the dream called none the less.

The room was dark, lit only by a single shred of light that peeks through a slit of a window. The details are lost, but this is certainly no place that he had ever been. Stone bricks make up the walls, and there is no earth beneath his feet. Around the room are tools of some dark trade, ancient tomes and cruel instruments. Along one wall is the stretched out pelt of an adult werewolf.

In the corner, the Golden wolf is crouched, her arms around herself, legs drawn up. She's older than when he last had seen her, fear causing her to tremble slightly. There are sounds of footsteps above, and each one makes her flinch.
Skoll Ulfang This memory and dream has Skoll much older than before. A strong and strapping lad with a mane of silver and a powerful physique. It is around this time, that Skoll has grown enough to best his father in the art of combat and just about anything else. Yet he still listens and is subservient to the man's will. It is at this point that darkness has drawn into his heart, for the way he's come to call upon the Spirits. It's a faint darkness, yet it is most certainly his own.

So when the dream comes again, and he remembers this... it makes him wonder about himself. This dark room. With heavy steps, the barefooted young man walks up to the crack of light at first, trying to see the outside world. But his touch to the gap halts when he hears that whimper once more - and the realization dawns that he is not alone in this room.

Skoll slowly turns, and notices the massive werewolf pelt. His eyes widen in surprise, his heart almost seeming to stop for a moment. What is this place? He's never been in a place like this. Everything is so square and... stone made. Yet this is no cave.

And then he spots her. The Golden wolf. Skoll opens his mouth and calls out to her, before quickly moving to her side, landing on his knees. It's been years... /years/ since he'd seen her. Yet, here she is - and he recognizes her immediately. His ears perk at the sound of the footsteps, and his yellow eyes shift his gaze towards her as he notices her flinch.

"Hey... hey." Skoll reaches a hand out towards her leg. "It's okay. I'm here now." Skoll whispers.
Golden Wolf The pelt up on the wall seems far too close to the color of the girl's own fur, though she seems to be intact. It's impossible to tell what had happened between then and now. The smaller wolf is thin, her fur ragged, and when her eyes find him, they bring fear with them. At first, she draws back from him, too. It takes time for her to recognise him.

"It's not okay..." Her voice is a whimper, and when she moves, there is the jingle of a chain, enough to draw attention to a cuff that has her held to the wall. Though she's afraid, the girl doesn't quite seem broken. Her hand reaches out, slowly, warm fingers on the side of his face. "I've missed you."

There's something different in the way she speaks, in the tenderness of her touch. This is a childhood memory that has grown up, longing changing into something else. The Golden Wolf leans towards him, burying her head in against his shoulder and neck. "I don't know how I brought you here, but you need to go." She whispers, clearly keeping her voice down. "It's not safe. If he catches you..."

This time, she isn't speaking as if this were a dream. It seems that the fear is all too real from the wolf leaning against him. "
Skoll Ulfang Was the pelt related to the Golden Wolf? Like a parent? Skoll doesn't know of course. He's more concentrated on the feminine Golden Wolf. "I'm here now." Skoll answers her in regarsd to things being okay. That's when he notices the chain she's tied to. He quickly reaches both hands out towards the chain... but her warm fingers touching his cheeks surprise him.

"Aurum..." Another name for the Golden Wolf - as good a name as anything in the realm of the dreams. "I've missed you too." Skoll moves one hand tenderly against the back of the wolf's hand. "It's safe now." He tells her. "Remember, long ago? This is clearly a nightmare..."

Skoll then moves his hand off of hers. "Whoever did this - I'll pummel him. But not before I pummel these!" Skoll declares, and starts pulling on the chain, trying to rip it from the wall.
Golden Wolf Somewhere along the line, she'd taken on that name. The Golden Wolf couldn't remember her own within the dream. Fate couldn't make things too easy. If he knew her name, maybe he would be able to find her, wherever she exists. Maybe he would be able to prove to his father that there was no point in being betrothed to that girl from the other pack.

"I don't know that it's a nightmare I can escape from." She explains, one hand losing itself in the fur of his chest. Then, the footsteps start again, coming closer as if the owner of them were coming down the spiral steps. The Golden Wolf freezes in place. "You have to go."

The tug against the chain does manage to pull it free, but the Wolf leaning against him doesn't move. Her eyes are on something else entirely. While one dark form comes from the stairs, a second appears in the doorway. They resemble people, but without details. Inky shadows of foul smelling tar.

"Please..." She whispers to him, "Go, I'll be okay. You can't fight a dream." It doesn't make sense, at first. Why doesn't she get up, or move to follow him. Then, it becomes clear that something worse than just chains holds her. The same thick black liquid covers her paws, smeared on his cheek and chest where she'd touched him. It hadn't been there a moment ago, but the murky darkness holds her now, like night trying to extinguish the sunlight.
Skoll Ulfang "What? Aurum, no, I don't understand. It's just a nightmare." Skoll answers her, refusing to believe this. He looks down at the inky darkness, and then glances up at the figures. "I don't understand this. But I refuse to go. Haven't you come to know me better than that?" Skoll asks her.

"Please..." He grabs her hand trying to lay it to his chest. "Trust in the light in my heart. You are the Sun - Aurum. You are the Sun - the Golden Wolf. This darkness can't faze you." Skoll is just confused, uncertain, worried. And his heart is almost beating out of his chest.

He starts clawing at the darkness that holds her, in a faint attempt at getting rid of it. To pull it off of her. "Come on, don't just give up like this. I don't like this!"
Golden Wolf The Golden Wolf's hand lays where he had put it against his heart, drawing her eyes up to his, "Sometimes, dreams are more than dreams. If you're real, and I'm real, then maybe the darkness is real, too." Her pale ears tip back slightly, but at his encouragement, she does manage to push to her feet.

The room starts to flicker, shifting, changing. The two wolves are left standing on a platform in darkness, the ground little more than gray silt. The two dark figures still advance on one side, but a third approaches from yet another. As they move, trails of the thick tar are left behind by their steps. In this dream, there seems to be nowhere to run.

Soundlessly, a rope of darkness snakes out, lashing around Skoll's throat. "Soon, you'll belong to us." The voice seems to come from inside his head, radiating through him. Two similar ropes reach out for the Golden Wolf, one catching her neck, while the other pulls her hand away from him. Now, after so many years, he might recognise that feeling that tugs at him. The darkness that the Gaudium Lords would find within him and feed upon.

Together, these three dark forces pull the two apart, tugging the Golden Wolf to the ground. There's nothing more for her to say now, her voice cut off by the darkness binding her, and yet, she still reaches a hand towards him even if there is no way to reach it.
Skoll Ulfang "What are you talking about?" Skoll doesn't get it until the dark figures advance and tangle their ropes of darkness around his throat. "Wh... no wa~..." Hi voice is cut off before he manages to say much else. He immediately reaches a hand out towards Aurum, but she's already being pulled away from him.

'No!' Skoll thinks out loud, trying to get to her. He tries to move forward with his legs in an attempt to get to her; as if getting to her right now is more important than to take care of those monsters. With his hand he reaches out towards the rope around her throat.

Somehow, she's more important than him in that moment. And in a moment of desperation, in his dreams, he calls out to Carbuncle!
Golden Wolf The two figures holding the Golden Wolf seem to merge together, as if they were becoming one enity. It leaves one of those moments where her fingers almost touch his before they're pulled away again.

It's impossible to tell how much of this is real and how much is simply nightmare. Everything about it feels wrong. Even his call to Carbuncle falls on deaf ears, although it would leave a quite confused Esper in the real world, wondering at just why he'd been summoned by someone who's sleeping.

This is how the dream always ends. The Golden Wolf vanishes into the darkness, and all he's left with is the laughter of those who hold his own chain tightly in their grasp.

In the years that followed, she would only ever appear in his dreams like a ghost. He would see movement in the corner of his eye, and turn to see nothing. It wasn't until after the fall of the worlds that he would see her again. The Golden Wolf stood at a distance, watching him, but always out of reach. Her voice never spoke, and whenever he drew close, she would vanish into the ether.

It wasn't until he started to fight back against the darkness of the Gaudium Lords that she seemed to become 'real' again. In that dream, they had forced him to choose who to die and who to live... and she had pulled him back from the nightmare, her fur achingly close to his fingers, but the leash of darkness still kept the two apart.
Skoll Ulfang Soon enough, Skoll would wake from the Sepia colored dream with his heart still beating fast. He remembers very clearly the history of his dreams in that moment - and the pain it caused him to not be able to interact with his Golden Wolf. His eyes lazily open to the real world. For as much as he dreamt, he still feels tired though. "Hrrrn..." Skoll mutters, noticing a weight laying on his chest.

He glances down towards his chest. And there's a white little fuzzball snoozing. "Carbuncle?" Skoll mutters in confusion, before he lays his head back in confusion. "Weird dreams..."

The youth glances to his side, finding Zia still there being a statue. He'd come here over the evening in order to play some games and make her some food. But it's still daylight. He presses his fingers against his nosebridge, and then steals a pillow other than the one he's resting his head on and pulls it over his head. He doesn't wanna wake up yet.

And so the youth falls right back to sleep, wondering just why the hell Carbuncle is sleeping on his chest.

This scene contained 18 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Golden Wolf