Prisoners & Poisoners
« on: November 02, 2019, 08:02:06 AM »

It was a curious sensation. Licking her lips, Harrow tipped her face skyward, widespread nostrils testing the air. Tongue and nose both tasting the change in the ether. But the change didn't come from the clouds. And even her Ebon-grey could not sense its source in the soil, though it tried. Her craft spreading in a spiral, outward from the center of her village to the land beyond.

Growing weaker the farther it spun from what was hers. A little pocket of forest that most avoided without understanding why. Every blade of grass and twitching leaf proclaiming fealty to one queen. Beyond her fringe forces the land belonged to someone else. It made Harrow smirk, annoyance twisting her lips in a mockery of annoyance. Foolish, since that queen was weaker than she in Jewel depth.

But this was not about her. This was about the change that rode on different Winds. Like a storm. "Tempest." Harrow's fingers reached to cling, a thread snaring her warlord prince from his hunting from afar. *Bannick.* The summons half swallowed by wayward craft. Snapping and snarling despite her precise application. As usual. Cursing, Harrow turned away from her failure and began weaving a shield together instead.

Strand upon strand of power, twisted and stacked around what was hers. Impregnated with her scent. Glutted on her craft. The sapphire tipped nubs of her antlers seeking comfort against a strong body as a shudder ran down her webs. "Something is breaking." She whined like a frightened child just as the monster howled through the gap in her shield.

Harrow screamed, more craft racing in to help her seal the shield against the storm. Houses and psyches trembling in its wake. Babies wailed and trees shed leaves like tears. Somewhere Bannick was roaring. And the Jewel toned threads that saw the world connected between home and shield were torn away. Their absence like a gap in her memory. A missing finger on her hand. Felt, and too slowly understood.

Beyond it something else stretched. Harrow stretched too. Chasing the new border outward as it expanded. Eyes wide and cloudy. Their usual haze deepening as she stretched her power to its limits, and then pressed beyond them. Beyond where the border of the territory had always stood. Into new places. Far away places.

"Can you feel it?" Her lips parted in a smile. Eyes slowly coming back into focus. A heart at their center first, before her vision expanded. The hollow place was quickly filled. Possibility rushing inward to flood the gap left by the Winds absence. The shield was down. "I must go see the queen." The time was ripe. All their walls had been ripped away and the world was waiting.

For her.