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The Rabbit Emperor

Leaving Home [Moonwood]

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The forest was quiet, the wind soft against the trees causing only the most subtle of stir and wave of branches. Sitting in a large clearing Rabbit let the cool air fill his lungs in one deep breath, the winter air was only just turning into spring and the harsh chill of frigid air still lingered heavy in the Moonwood alongside the blossoming of the forest's rebirth. Rabbit's ears rotated on top of his head in response to the soft sounds of his long time home, but in those sounds was also a painful silence - the Dryads were gone. They had already taken the gate to the spirit realm, choosing what the fairies before them had chosen; to abandon the mortal realm and all it's growing changes. Rabbit could not follow them and though he had struggled with it, he knew today was the last day he could delay; today would be the last day he remained in the Moonwood, the only place he had ever known. Standing up quickly Rabbit's garish attire stood out like a sore thumb in the subtle green and browns, the patterns and colors blending into a bizarre but fitting appearance for the unusual creature that Rabbit was. His 'name' told the story of what he was in many ways, standing five foot nine inches Rabbit was a bipedal white hare, his large pointed ears making his height appear even larger and adding to a sense of unease he exuded to those who weren't used to seeing him.

In ways he felt wrong, but in others he was very inviting - to peer at Rabbit was like peering at nature itself, beautiful but also dreadful. Turning on his 'heels' Rabbit stalked toward a game path he knew lead beyond the borders of his home, his twin swords dangling at his side filling the forest with the soft jingle of loose metal in motion. As he went creatures big and small offered their goodbyes, the normally elusive denizens of the Moonwood saying a silent farewell to their constant protector - they too felt the melancholy of his departure and the loss of the Dryads, and while the animals lacked the means to truly express it they felt compelled to see Rabbit one last time. Deer stood beside wolf, hunger and territorial disputes left aside for the loss of their Knight.

"The Moonwood won't fall without me, I am but one." Rabbit reminded them as he walked, his somber expression not hiding his regret for leaving them unguarded. A part of him, the largest, considered simply staying in his home and fighting to protect it as he always did; but he knew he could not. His mothers would never forgive him for remaining when told to leave, and he had a feeling the Moonwood would function fine without him as it always had before his birth. As quickly as the woodland creatures had arrived they also vanished, returning to their constant struggle against the Moonwood itself and each other in turn. 

With each soft step he grew closer to the edge of the Moonwood, his mind focusing with clarity in turn. The world was vast, and the Moonwood would be just one place he would remember fondly in his lifetime - a lesson his mothers hoped to pass to him, to experience what the world had to offer and decide for himself if it was a place he wanted to be. The trees cleared all at once, and Rabbit for the first time viewed the wide plains and sights of Terrenus and felt the weight of the journey on his shoulders. A whole new world lay just beyond, and the excitement had Rabbit's nose twitching with anticipation and excitement! 

Adventure awaited!

Location: Western Edge, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: ??? 

OOC: (This is an Open RP, feel free to take part and bring your own stories!)

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Eleanor needed a moment away from the temple, she needed a moment to herself, outside of Coth. Since the sun rose over the hills this morning, Eleanor had not felt well. Her body ached, and her coughing fits were frequent. She would not let the Faithful see her like this today, they needed to believe that their Priestess was strong, and that her health was not failing. Most of all, she dare not let Constans or Isabelle see her this way. Making those two worry would break her heart, and they were far more important than she, and Coth needed them to be happy and strong. 

She set out after breakfast, dressing lightly in a soft white dress that did not hug her lithe frame, her long black hair was loose, and she wore a cloak, the fabric was dyed a dark green, and was embroidered with golden serpents, and when she moved, they seemed to dance along the fabric. She wore no shoes. She disliked wearing shoes, perhaps it was because she was an elf, and shoes were not made for elves. Or maybe it was because ever since she had found God, she felt deeper connected to the Earth, and wearing shoes prevented her from hearing the Earth’s songs. Each time her feet sunk into her God’s dark Earth, her soul felt lighter, as if she had grown wings and taken flight. 

She ventured further and further into the wood, letting her feet lead her, not her eyes nor her head. She had never ventured this far into the forest, but she felt at home here. She definitely never felt at home in Blairville, and Coth was where she was meant to be, but perhaps again this was an elf thing. 

The elven girl found herself in a meadow, slightly out of breath from her hike, and she leaned against a large rock, that rested just yards away from the tree line. Wind rustled and blew through her hair, sweeping the cloak behind her, and she turned her head away, shielding her eyes from the sudden gust. 

“I...I should rest, just for a moment.” She said under her breath, her hand on her chest and she lowered herself into the rock, her heart pounding in her chest. She shouldn’t push herself so hard, but God was sending her somewhere, she mustn’t waste time. After a few minutes of rest, Eleanor stood, still feeling quite dizzy, but she was determined to keep going. 

God had a plan for the Priestess, she knew he did. What He wanted from her at this moment, she had no clue, so, she pressed onwards. However, once she met the center of the meadow, Eleanor halted, and she felt a sharp pain in her gut. She started to cough, each sharp gasp for air sent her body into another fit. Tears clouded her bright green eyes, and streamed down her face as her fit continued. She coughed into her hand, moisture saturating her palm. Gasping, she withdrew her palm, seeing the thick, dark blood that covered it. Instead of panicking, she took a handkerchief from her sleeve, and wiped her hands and mouth clean. She tucked the soiled fabric back up her sleeve, and regained her composure. God would not have sent her out here if she couldn’t handle it. And so, she pressed onwards, further into the meadow, and into the other side of the forest. 

 

 

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Rabbit turned suddenly, his focus broken. His ears shooting to attention and turning with the motion Rabbit's eyes went skyward, the sudden rise of a small number of birds a signal he had become all too familiar with, something that wasn't of the Moonwood had ventured deep into it's midst; into the territory of the Dryad and their Knight. Hesitation gripped Rabbit, the Moonwood wasn't his domain any longer - he had sworn this day to be his last, and depending on who or what had encroached onto a land not meant for them that promise could very easily be broken. However, something nagged at Rabbit as he watched his dutiful watchers circle; they were not panicked as they often were at an intruder. Their playful dance in the sky decided it for Rabbit, whatever had come to visit was not a threat but instead a curiosity. It wouldn't hurt to take a look, and so quickly as he had decided to leave Rabbit stalked back into the Moonwood once more.

His ears were at full attention, his left hand holding his dangling blades aloft so they did not jingle wildly. He could do nothing for his garish attire, and but habit was hard to break and soon Rabbit was walking with an eerie silence, his footsteps leaving only the slightest imprint in the dirt. It took him sometime to find the source of the noise, his sense of smell finding the intruder long before his sight did - the intruder smelled of fresh blood, an easy scent to track. Eventually he came into sight line of a lithe woman, dressed in a dress as white as his own fur and with hair darker then he had seen on a human. A simple cursory look over her form told him quickly she was not a human, her frame ever so slightly different, her scent lighter - she smelled vaguely similar to the texts his mothers had given him. 

"An elf......" Rabbit said to himself in Dryad, a sub vocal language all but incomprehensible to humanoid ears. Rabbit had never encountered the former woodland dwellers, and had always assumed they had either left to the spirit realm like the Fae or otherwise died out. Rabbit could tell by her movement she was sickly, though she did not appear to be in imminent danger of death - at least not due to her sickness, but the forest was an unforgiving place and it was foolish to venture so deep in such a condition. Whatever her reasoning Rabbit knew from his old books that Elves were nature's friend and so before she could spot him and panic Rabbit made himself known. 

Stepping into her path about about sixty feet away Rabbit hesitated, he didn't know which language to address her in - Old Elven? Terric? 

"You don't seem to be healthy, Elf. What brings you to the Dryad's Grove?" Rabbit said in Terric, deciding to go with a language he knew she was likely to speak. His voice was high pitched and rapid, having a masculine undertone that almost made him sound as if he was whispering loudly. His tone was questioning but soft, it was one of curiosity over accusation - he knew full well his appearance often frightened outsiders, many drawing blade simply at the sight of him and declaring he was a 'monster'. The woman didn't appear so armed, and frankly her condition left little doubt of her possessing any threat.

Honestly Rabbit didn't know why he even showed himself, the Moonwood was not his and this intruder not a threat. The smart choice was to let her pass, but his naive curiosity far over ruled his logical thought. It was an Elf! His clothes, his sword, all of him was heavily influenced by the Old Elven texts his mothers had given him. He could not hide his excitement, and with it came the tell tale twitch of his nose. 

Location: Dryad's Grove, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: Questioning an Elf 

 OOC: (Whew I am rusty, been awhile since I actually did any collaborative writing.)

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"You don't seem to be healthy, Elf. What brings you to the Dryad's Grove?" 

Eleanor nearly jumped out of her skin she was so surprised by the sudden voice. The voice spoke so quick, and it's pitch so high, she thought she might have been followed by a spirit, or some sort of child, but it's voice had the undertones of a man, it was all so strange to hear. She turned around quickly, her hair spinning around her as she tried to take in the sight before her. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. 

Before her, stood a rabbit, roughly around six feet tall, with fur as white as bone. His amber eyes were large and intelligent, and they stared her down with such an intense curiosity, she couldn't look away. She recognized his clothing instantly, it was something her father had in his closet when he was alive, but she never learned what it was for. He had told her once it was passed down to him from her Grandfather, but the tradition behind the garment had been lost to time. Thankfully this rabbit didn't speak to her in Old Elven, for she only knew a few words and some simple phrases. 

She didn't know what to say at first, he seemed to know she wasn't well. Hesitantly, she tucked the handkerchief deeper into her sleeve, and she smiled up at the bipedal rabbit, and she bowed deeply, clearly embarrassed to actually have been caught wandering. Was this what God had intended? For her to run into this graceful creature? She straightened herself, and placed a delicate hand up against a tree trunk to balance herself. 

"Oh, I don't mean to intrude. If this is your home then, I can leave if you wish." She said. She wanted to assure this sprite that she was of no threat to him. Clearly he saw that she was weak, and had no way to attack him even if she wanted too. He was well armed it seemed, from the look of the two swords hanging from his hips. Was he a trained swordsman, or were they just for show? She wasn't sure. She didn't want to find out either way, that was for certain. 

A brisk wind rolled through the trees, and Eleanor brought the cloak tighter against her lithe frame to shield herself from the chill. Surely the breeze didn't bother the Rabbit, he stood as if nothing could ever bother him. The twitch of his nose however, was kinda cute, but also slightly intimidating. It would have been much cuter if he was the size of a normal rabbit, like the one's she's seen nibbling flowers around the temple, before the Acolytes would scare them away. 

"If you don't mind me asking, what is your name? My name is Eleanor." She left off any other titles a Cothite would use when addressing her, this man wasn't a Cothite, therefore, she didn't need to use her honorifics with him. It had been a long while someone had addressed her as just Eleanor. 

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Rabbit tilted his head slightly as she bowed, unsure of what the significance of the action was but assuming it was some sort of greeting. He had seen humans grasp each others hands, but he had never seen someone lower their head in such a manner; it reminded him a bit of how a male wolf would prostrate for the alpha, a sign one came without threat. Eventually his curiosity at her actions was replaced with a focus on her words, while he was fluent in Terric he rarely spoke it and rarer still had a conversation in it. Her speech was smooth, and if she was frightened she hid it well in her tone and timber. "Worry not, Elf kin. Respect the wood and you are welcome, the Dryad have ventured beyond." Rabbit motioned his hands outward, spreading his fingers as he did; his hands were bizarrely human, very different from his rabbit like feet. 

Her question of his name brought hesitation, Rabbit had no 'name' - his native tongue of Dryad was a non-vocal language and he was known by scent, sight or action. A long pause passed between them as struggled internally about what to call himself, knowing a 'name' would be important if he was to venture into the lands of man. "I am Rabbit." It was a desperately simple name, the Terric word for what his appearance often evoked in others but creativity was not something cultivated in his upbringing.

Ignorant of the basics of introduction or pleasantries Rabbit said little else, instead returning to the matter at hand without delay. "Yet my question still stands, Eleanor - why is one in your condition in the Wood? You smell of blood and..." Rabbit motioned to her steadying hand against the trunk of a tree. " You are clearly not well, the Wood is not so kind a place - you are liable to be prey." Rabbit decided whatever her reason it was unwise to leave her alone, for while he didn't shy from the cruelty of nature he was not obligated to allow it to run it's course. 

With that simple thought on his mind Rabbit broke his gaze with hers for the first time, his gaze instead scanning the wood itself. Rabbit expressed, in motion, scent and gaze - in the language of the Dryad which would be passed through the trees to all denizens intelligent or simple. Eleanor was in his company, and none would dare harm his company - for with the Dryads gone Rabbit was Emperor. It was unlikely Eleanor would ever notice that Rabbit had 'spoken' in Dryad, the motions and scent so intrinsically linked into what it was to be a denizen of the wood that few humanoids even knew the trees themselves could 'speak'. 

Location: Dryad's Grove, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: Commanding the Wood 

 OOC: (I apologize for the delay, I am sometimes quite a slow writer.)

Edited by The Rabbit Emperor

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The humanoid rabbit assured her that as long as she respected the wood, she was welcomed here, for the Dryad's had gone. Departed were his words, and she wondered what he had meant. Had the Dryad's died? Or have they simply ascended? The curious fact of the matter was, how had this rabbit known she was here? He was not human, that was for certain, yet he wasn't simply a rabbit either. He had to be some sort of Fae perhaps. A Nymph? Some sort of Guardian Spirit? The latter made more sense to her, for a Forest Guardian to take shape of a rabbit, was the most likely. Fae often took animalistic shapes, or so she had read. She hadn't had the pleasure to see one in person. 

When he revealed his name, she couldn't help but be a bit underwhelmed. A rabbit named Rabbit wasn't very creative, but perhaps creativity wasn't his forte. It was his name all the same however, and she would not treat it as any less. 

"It is very nice to make your acquaintance, Rabbit." Eleanor smiled, her face as bright as she could manage it, despite how she felt. He watched her, observing her movements, and then he spoke, bringing up her illness, and the blood. Then there was the question of her becoming prey. She didn't want to think about befalling a horrible fate such as that, so she kept it at the back of her mind. 

"Oh, yes, it's true I am unwell, and it seemed to hit me worse today than usual. However, I am in no danger of dying, so please, do not worry." She said, her feet digging into the dark earth, each breath dragging through her lungs, but she maintained a calm and steady appearance. "As too my purpose in your wood, I am uncertain. I feel as if I was lead here by a higher power." She said with a smile. She would not mention her God right away, perhaps he knew of Him, or perhaps he would not care. However, Rabbit was an interesting fellow, one she'd like to know more of. 

 

(OOC: You're totally fine hun, everyone has their own pace!) 

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'Higher power' was not a turn of phrase Rabbit was intimately familiar with, context seemed to suggest it meant some sort of leader had commanded her to come to the Wood - yet even that wasn't exactly correct, for her presence here was based on feeling. Rabbit's brain worked hard to piece together the context with his experiences, recalling all his encounters with humanoids before this before it clicked. Occasionally humans would mutter pleas to someone or something when faced with his swords, and it seemed integral to many of their very characters in their moments before their death. It was the idea of a deity, something Rabbit himself had never really bothered to consider but the Dryad's had briefly told him the humanoids oft relied on, a great spirit which guided them.

"Hmm, does this power often send you on vague journeys?" Rabbit meant it not as a mocking acquisition as so often it was with such a question, but an honest question.

The idea of a God was very foreign to Rabbit, and his curiosity was causing his mind to race through dozens of questions - all of them kept at bay behind the twitching of his nose and soft pat of his right foot against the dirt. 

Location: Dryad's Grove, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: Talking to Eleanor

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Eleanor giggled at Rabbit's question, nodding her head a bit. It must've been strange for Rabbit to hear her talk about her God like this, she wasn't sure if he was some sort of deity himself. There were many Gods, that she was are of, she's witnessed many people say their prayers to different Gods in Blaireville. She had lived in the slums, she and her sister had. Their parents had died, and she remembered the two of them kneeling side by side praying to any God that would hear them. But now she had a God that would hear her, and she loved that God with all her heart. However, she would not push Him on anyone who was unwilling to listen. Was Rabbit willing? Was he interested? 

"Yes, he often sends me on strange journeys. Sometimes they don't make sense in the beginning, but they always do in the end." She said, and she felt a familiar sharp pain in her chest, but she ignored it, and she put a hand to her mouth, trying to swallow her discomfort. 

She removed her hand from the tree trunk, and she found a rock to rest upon, and she let out a sigh. She raised her head to look up at Rabbit, and she tilted her head slightly to the side. The young woman smiled at him, wordlessly asking him to excuse her for sitting, and she straightened herself. 

"What about you Rabbit, why are you here all alone?" She asked him. 

 

 

(OOC: Sorry if it's bad! I feel like it's bad) 

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Rabbit understood in his own way what it was like to be given task to a journey one wasn't sure of - it was something his 'mothers' had tasked him with, and with it Rabbit felt a bit closer to understanding Eleanor. Her worsening condition wasn't lost on Rabbit, but her assurance she was fine from earlier was not a subject he had an interest in broaching again. Looking down on her now seated position Rabbit angled his head slightly as she spoke, trying his best to hide any expression from showing on his face; while it was unlikely she could fully grasp his facial structures emotional range he wasn't keen on letting her known the nature of her question pained him slightly. 

"I cannot venture beyond..." Rabbit motioned loosely in the direction of the golden gate which lay hidden beyond the trees. "I am not an entirely spiritual entity like the Dryad, I am something in between the mortal and the spirit." Rabbit struggled with how to properly explain his situation, not familiar enough with the lexicon of Terric to fully grasp the more complex and disused words. In truth Rabbit was a demi-spirit, a creation born of a spirit but not an offspring - in simplest terms Rabbit was a mortal, trapped like all mortals in the material till his body saw fit to rest. 

"You are the last intruder I will confront, in truth. My time in the Moonwood has passed, I aim to venture beyond." Rabbit spoke with a somber, uneasy tone - his confidence in facing the unknown was not high, and he struggled with it still despite knowing he must. 

"Perhaps you have a recommendation as where to see first?" Rabbit asked suddenly, deciding there was no better a person to ask then who had come from outside the Moonwood. Wandering aimlessly was not appealing, a destination would add confidence to his journey, a visible purpose and a clear goal. 

Location: Dryad's Grove, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: Talking to Eleanor 

 OOC: (Don't worry about it, your doing great at keeping the story flowing! Also I apologize for the delay again.)

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As he explained his situation to her, she sat silently and took it all in. She noticed the smallest twitch in his face when she asked her question, and she narrowed it down, she thought. The Dryads were his family, and because he was not like them, he couldn’t join them in the Great Beyond. It must be really hard for Rabbit to be away from his family like this. She didn’t know what she’d do without her sister, as big as a pain she was. 

Family is important, she knew that, and now Rabbit spoke of leaving the woods to venture out, to explore. He must not speak the common tongue so often, for his words jumbled, and he paused to think, searching for words. This creature, this mixture of heaven and earth was clearly a spectacle to behold. She was glad she was brought here to meet him. She stood, and she took one of his hands in her own, wrapping the second hand on top, to envelop the furry hand completely. She gave it a light squeeze, and looked up at him. 

“I am so sorry you had to go through the pain of not being able to join your family. It must’ve been difficult, and I’m sorry you’ve been left alone here for all this time.” She said softly, heartache pounding in her chest. “And as for a place to go, you might consider where I live?” She paused, and shuddered as another cold gust of wind rolled through. The trees bowed to it, their leaves dancing, and singing their silent song. Pine needles and leaves rolled along the ground, swirling around them for a mere moment or so before falling back to the ground silently, leaving the two alone again. She smiled again, her hand gripping his tighter. “There’s a village in the hills, called Coth. It’s not too far, and Father Constans is always welcoming to visitors, no matter who they may be. We would love to have you visit us, Rabbit.” 

She would love to have Rabbit visit, perhaps a meeting with Father Constans might even get him to stay. Despite only knowing Rabbit for less than an hour, she wanted to help him, and she would very much like to consider him a friend. And even if he didn’t want to linger, she hoped he would visit. She would have dinner prepared at the temple, show him the baths, and then help him prepare for his next journey. She hoped he’d agree, it would make her so happy. 

(OCC: Aw, thank you! And again, no worries!)

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"I see no reason to refuse." Rabbit stated, his tone stronger now. "If you are feeling strong enough I'd have you lead me, I must admit my sense of direction is likely to be inadequate outside this woods." Rabbit chuckled a bit at the gross understatement, for until earlier today he had never even looked beyond the border of the Moonwood. The idea of meeting other outsiders was an intriguing one, but also a somewhat worrisome one. In Rabbit's experience most humanoids were destructive and he had killed many, it was hard to set aside such a prejudice after so long. Only the Elves were a race Rabbit had been raised to respect, and Rabbit hoped any Eleanor would associate with would share her magnanimous personality. 

Thinking hard on Eleanor's words Rabbit sorted through the terms, but found himself stuck on one 'Father' - he knew the term, it meant male parent. However as far as he understood 'Father' was not to be used alongside their name, and less so in the tone Eleanor seemed to refer to him in. "If I may, tell me more of this 'Father Constans'." Rabbit said, deciding to simply ask for more information as a way to get a better context on who, or what the seeming leader of 'Coth' was. "What of the others in this 'Coth', are you all Elves?" In truth Rabbit had always wanted to visit an Elven village, the writings of the Ancient Elves painting a wonderful picture of their homes - though he knew from what the Dryads had told him that Elves were no longer a great people as they once were. 

More and more questions raced through Rabbit's mind, but he knew it would be foolish to bombard Eleanor with questions and leave her unable to effectively answer them all. There would be plenty of time on their journey to this 'Coth' to learn more, and with each passing moment Rabbit grew more excited. 

His adventure was about to begin. 

Location: Dryad's Grove, Moonwood, Terrenus

Destination: Planning a trip 

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