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The Low-Tide Festival! (Open Event!)

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M'yr continued to gasp and wheeze. His lungs burned. He clenched his fists by his sides, struggling to breathe. It felt as if the air had suddenly grown too thin to breathe. He managed to stay upright, turning his head upward as his eyes began to burn. The tears welling in his eyes streaked down his face behind the mask and down his chin. The edges of his vision blurred, his eyes throbbed in their sockets.

He gasped. He gasped, again.

It hurt to breathe.

He needed...water. M'yr scratched at his neck, as if trying to make a whole in his neck to breathe through.

And yet, he never got there, as Pallas was close by, and paying attention.

On 11/19/2019 at 10:08 AM, Csl said:

Pallas' eyebrows drew together. Such a fragile creature he was, really. He took hold of the acolyte's arm, and in the motion, sent a pulse of wildlight into the man's veins - a wave of energy that would reinvigorate, if the magic held. Pallas gave M'yr a nudge towards the stage. "Almost there."

His eyes cleared--as did his mind as, for a few precious moments M'yr was given clarity. He blinked--his face and chin were dry behind the mask, there were no tears. No scratches on his neck, nothing, again. He didn't expect anything different, by now; for a few moments at least, M'yr was well aware that his afflictions were all in his head and his head alone. He stooped and grabbed the clapper. It was smooth and worn in his hand, and comfortable, too. He slung it over his shoulder again, and nodded, gratefully, at Pallas.

"Yeah, you'll need to excuse me, this isn't exactly..." He took a deep breath, grateful for oxygen, apparently. Overhead, thunder rumbled threateningly, yet there were no clouds to be seen. Beyond that, the lull of the festival continued droning onward, emitting a comforting background noise. M'yr was at ease, for at least a little while. He suspected it wouldn't last.

"We aren't exactly meant to know this stuff, you know? We're like, glass bottles or orbs. We can hold just about anything we're shown, that we're given." He explained. For the first time in a short while, his voice was even and firm. He didn't hesitate, or stutter or falter for that matter.

"You can put almost anything into a bottle, but only so much. What we're dealing with here is either too much information for us to deal with, or something that actively...cracks the glass, you know?" He pantomimed a glass bottle exploding outward, holding the clapper between his arm and his side.

Somewhere, the waves surged forth again, and M'yr could hear it in his ears again. Behind the driftwood mask, his gaze dropped, and he stared at the earth instead of at Pallas.

"I think that we're broken." He tried to explain. Was he asking for help? Pity? Maybe what he really wanted was a mercy killing. "I mean, I was, I was broken before, and I think I still am. That skull--it was the skull, I think! It! Made things a little less painful, like I was given a secret. The world was going to break, and I had a chance to help the people it would hurt. But I don't know what I'm doing anymore," He gestured uselessly to the clapper. "I don't know what this does, I don't know what the bell is going to do. It's all I've got, man."

However, M'yr never said any of that. His ravings, his desperate attempts to explain himself and his actions never left his lips. Instead, he did...he didn't know what. Perhaps just stood there, having said "You can put almost anything into a bottle, but only so much." and nothing else.

Why? Why hadn't he said anything then? M'yr didn't know. And now, with the tide so close to him again, he didn't have time to wonder, either. "Anyway," He straightened his shoulders, and stood upright, clutching the bell clapper tightly. M'yr nodded at Pallas before making his intentions plain. "It's about time to do this, right? Let's get going."

M'yr, with little else to say, moved towards the stage. Overhead, the bell awaited him, grand and looming. Terrifying, towering. The acolyte stepped forward, and bent low, low enough to climb under the rim of the bell and within. The interior of the bell smelled strongly of saltwater and dried fish. Instead of the slow ringing of the bell, that dull resonance as it vibrated gently in the still air, the sound within was different, somehow. It sounded almost like shifting flesh, or scales, perhaps, like a massive serpent moving around. He reached up, ignoring the sound as best as he could, and affixed the clapper. M'yr stepped back, and bowed out of the bell. He nudged the bell only slightly, and it swayed slowly, creaking as it did. 

M'yr turned around. For some odd reason, people were paying attention to him. He stood uncertainly on the stage, unsure of himself for a moment. Then, he realized what he was doing.

"Uh..." He sort of raised his hands in the air in greeting. "Hi."

He got a few greetings, and a few cheers, somewhere. In the distance, flood warning sirens droned out of nowhere.

"I hope you guys are having fun? If I'm being honest, this was kind of last minute," He said. "We weren't actually sure when the tide would come in again, so this was sprung on us out of nowhere."

He paused, and added, almost dryly. "Imagine the ocean sneaking up on you, right?"

A few laughs. It felt good. 

He swallowed his nerves, and steeled himself. "So anyway, the festivities are gonna keep going for a few more hours, but before we worry about all that, we have one important thing to do." He gestured at the bell behind him. Everybody watched, rapt. 

He understood completely. It was a massive, curious thing; everyone could see it, everyone had a chance to look at it, examine it, touch it, listen to it. Now, it was time to hear the bell ring. Of course the party goers were eager for it. 

He saw no reason to keep them waiting, then. M'yr reached for the rope close by, and gave it a slow, firm tug. As he did, the bell twisted and rolled, creaking as it did. When M'yr released the rope, the bell swung backwards into its position again.

The bell rang.

Immediately, M'yr realized that they'd been standing in the rain this whole time. With the sudden clarity afforded him, he realized he was chilled to the bone, soaking wet and still on stage. The audience realized it too, and with a few soft cries of surprise, and some mild shouting and cursing, they all pulled up their hoods or ran for cover. Massive puddles flooded much of the streets and square, water rolled off the roofs in heavy streams. The sky was dark and inky--no light pierced through it. Thunder rumbled overhead, terrifying and loud and close. 

Behind him, the bell howled as wind swept around it, ringing constantly. It swung on its own now, ringing constantly as M'yr backed off of the stage. He stumbled and fell into a puddle, then struggled to his feet.

The bell continued to ring, flood warning sirens grew louder and louder and louder until M'yr could no longer hear anything save for the droning of the rain. He clutched at his ears, and shut his eyes, howling into the abyss.

Around him, other people began to do just the same. People pointed to the heavens, awestruck. Some screamed and fled from the rain. Others, obviously unwilling to remain in the rain in such wet clothes, stripped in the street and discarded their attire, before resuming their festivities.

Firm hands on his body pulled him to his feet. M'yr stood up and saw himself, wearing their mask and hoodie. Relieved, M'yr clutched himself, cold and shivvering.

"What the fuck did we do?" He whispered to himself. 

M'yr didn't answer because there was no M'yr. It was just himself again.

The ringing of the ancient bell brings to mind terrifying vistas of rising water and crashing waves, pitch black skies and rolling thunder. A sickly yellow eye looms in the sky overhead in the place of a sun, basking the earth in a sickly green hue. Those that have heard the bell ring now perceive illusions of varying intensity, in addition to the constant rain and thunder at all times. The frequency and severity of these illusions is up to writer discretion, and are not constant across all listeners.

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