2017-05-20: Nightmare Past

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  • Cutscene: Nightmare Past
  • Cast: Mariel
  • Where: Adlehyde Besieged
  • Date: 21 May 2017
  • Summary: Mariel flees from a nightmare she hasn't seen in hundreds of years.

The day of the invasion, Mariel had been selling flowers, just as she had for the last two weeks.

She'd brought more than usual to Adlehyde in the hopes of spreading them far and wide. She hoped that travellers would come, and see them, and maybe have a spot of colour while they were here; Mariel enjoyed seeing people's eyes light up when they saw some of her brighter blooms. Cooks bought herbs and nuts and spices, and doctors bought different herbs and roots and some tinctures and extracts she'd made. Some people even bought seeds to take back with them.

Her most popular sales, though, were common flowers. Filgaia's nature meant that they did not grow well everywhere anymore, and most people didn't have her touch with greenery. So people bought small flowers from her - for themselves for good luck, or to give to a lover or a child.

Mariel's prices varied because she hated to say no, and frequently let them go for less when people couldn't pay. Just before the sky broke, she'd been asked for a bunch of flowers by a twelve-year-old boy who couldn't give her anything except a newspaper he was supposed to be selling; she'd turned the paper down, but gave him the flowers anyway. She watched him turn around, tie them into a bouquet with a scrap of ribbon, and give them to a girl perhaps a year older two stalls down; she was thrilled by the gift, and Mariel smiled to see it. That was the Filgaia she wanted to see: bright and green and happy again.

Afterwards, she'd looked up. When she thought about it later, she couldn't remember why she had, only that she felt - something. But it meant she'd been looking straight at it when clouds formed. To someone as attuned to the world as she is, she felt it as much as saw it. It felt like ice in her heart. She'd felt it before, hundreds of years ago.

"...Run!"

People looked at Mariel like she was crazy. She almost never spoke loudly, and she knew what she looked like - a young woman, thirteen or fourteen years old and short even for her age, with long soft ears like a dog's that fell to her shoulders. Few people took her seriously. Surely there was nothing to run from, whatever the little Beastman said. It was clouding quickly, but little else.

Mariel jammed as many flowers as she could reach back in her satchel. She couldn't do anything for all of her blooms but she could gather some of them, although the rough handling would be bad for them - but she was more interested in survival. Mariel tried to juggle both her satchel of flowers and a different bag that contained her ointments, tinctures, and medical herbs and berries. "Run," she repeated, more quietly, as she looked up again.

The sky cracked like a broken pane of glass, showing chaotic energy behind it. That... and monsters. Metal Beasts.

"Guardians, protect them..." Mariel hadn't spoken to the Guardians much lately, either. She had the vague feeling they might have a grudge against her, and so she didn't ask for herself in those murmured words, but everyone else around her. But surely they'd listen, if they could, now that the Metal Demons had come again. The Metal Demons had been her nightmares for nearly a thousand years. To see them for a third time was too much.

As the bombardment of Adlehyde started... she ran, her two bags bouncing wildly as she tried to keep them under control. She couldn't stop what was happening. Nobody could stop what was happening. Every time someone had tried, things had only gotten worse.

All they could do was pick up the pieces.