Unless of course, you're in FF, then you won't hear the music. But everything else is mostly the same.
Clouded Speaking| Narration/Visitor's point of view |Someone Speaking
ALRIGHT SOOO...Thommeh's page layout has been updated...maybe one of these days I'll go through and fix the content/update the headers/etc |DD~~
A chill wind stings your ears and you huddle into your Gnorbu Wool Coat. These trips to Terror Mountain would be alot more enjoyable if this cursed mountain wasn't perpetually iced over...the wind picks up again and spits snow into your face.
guest: There must be some other way to get down the mountain...A shortcut or something. You mumble to yourself as you meander in the general direction of the Ice Caves. It didn't even have to be a shortcut, you'd give an extra fifteen minutes if you could avoid the deep freezer...Then you spot it. In the freshly fallen snow, there are pawprints leading around the side of the mountain, and as you follow them around the stone corner, they seem to head off the mountain towards the bottom. Someone's pet must've gone this way...
guest: What luck! You cheer as you follow the tracks - that look like they'd come from a kougra or large xweetok - towards the bottom of the mountain.
guest: I should buy a scratchcard next...I'm feeling lucky today. Someplace warm...like the Lost Desert, You hum to yourself while following the pawprints for fifteen minutes or so...The Mountaintop Village is just a speck in the distance behind you now, but you still can't see Happy Valley, and it seems like you'd have been out of the Caves by now...
guest: Worth it, You remind yourself. Worth avoiding that... frostbite...trap..
Gusts of arctic air bite at your nose and cheeks, and the falling snow seems to be getting heavier. A quick glance at the sky confirms that a storm is on the way. There are enormous, dark grey clouds moving in overhead, eclipsing the light white ones...this can't be good. You look back towards the top of the mountain, and the speck that was barely visible in the light snowfall is now completely invisible in the heavy snowfall; and you haven't seen Happy Valley since coming up the mountain, not likely that you'd see it now. What's worse; those tracks you were following are filling in quickly. There are only a few feet of your own footprints left behind you. Just...peachy. Getting caught in a snowstorm wasn't on the agenda today.
Ever thickening, the snowfall conceals everything on the mountainside that isn't five feet from you: the trees, the rock face, the sky: it's all a hazy white. But if you hug the side of the mountain and go back the way you came, you'll eventually come back to where you started and be able to go home that way...but there's the Ice Caves, and you'd hate to waste all the effort you've spent avoiding them. Press onward and risk getting lost, or go back and risk your toes falling off in the Icebox Caves? With the windchill like this, you may lose your toes anyway. But just to be safe, you decide to stand near the rock wall and think about this. You head in the direction you think the side of the mountain was last time you checked.
...And you keep heading that direction.
You start to panic...how could it be this far? You were walking parallel to the mountainside; rock close on the left, loose forest on the right, kougra tracks leading dead ahead. So why have you taken thirty steps forward and not yet felt the wall? Your eyes dart around, looking for any point of reference...white, white white. That's all there is: uniform whiteness. No horizon, no mountain, no forest, no help.
Suddenly, you feel very weak and much colder than before. You drop to your knees and fold your arms in on your chest, teeth chattering. This is seriously bad...your eyes bore into the whiteness ahead of you, desperately looking for something that won't be there. Your senses begin to play tricks on you: the snowflakes that fall close to your face make you hope for a split second that you saw someone or something move...you hear in the distance the piling up and dropping of snow off of tree branches, maybe someone's come for you? But you spend minutes - maybe hours - in the whiteness, hoping for something...
You're still kneeling in the middle of the blank space when the falling snow starts to take shape. You blink, expecting it to be gone when you open your eyes, just like all the other abstract shapes your hopeful brain has made of the falling snow...but it's still there. You move your head to one side, maybe a different point of view will reveal the shape as what it is..but it stays there. You start to get excited...maybe it's really help? Or maybe this was the neopet that made those tracks before? The shape doesn't look human; it looks to be about the same size as you are on your knees. The shape's outline wobbles a little bit as it comes toward you, and you see first a white paw seem to materialize out of the falling snow and light mist on the ground. The paw is followed by another paw, but this one seems to be made of...ice? An ice pet? You follow the legs upward with your eyes to see a xweetok's shape taking form out of the snow and fog.
It's a very solid looking form, with bangs like icicles on one side of its face and eyes the color of red wine. It was very clearly there, and yet you sensed no presence like you would with any other living thing. If you closed your eyes, you'd be all alone again. You could see his breath turning to fog and floating away, yet you couldn't feel it, as close as he was; nor could you hear the snow under his feet as he shuffled them.
His voice startled you, and it takes you a moment to answer.
He dips his head in understanding. There seems to be a freezing cold air coming from him...it couldn't just be his leg. You feel like the moisture in your eyes is going to freeze if you get any closer.
I can lead you down the mountain. It's not safe for a human to be up here for very long. He locks eyes with you again, as if he were asking your permission.
You nod once, your jaw slammed shut to keep your teeth from chattering with only partial success.
Alright. My name is Thomason, and I'll be happy to take you to the village. Just take hold of my fur and we can get out of the snow.
Thomason: I'm sure your fingers are cold; they'll be warm under my fur. Trust me.
Thomason's smile gets a little bigger. Thomason: Then let's be off.
As the two of you walk, this uneasy feeling starts to creep up on you. The shock from feeling cold and lost fades away, and at the same time your perception starts to return to normal. You realize that the crunching of snow is coming from only your feet, that his body feels strangely unreal, and your hand feels the need to grasp tighter around his fur because at times it doesn't seem to be there at all. He had always had a dreamlike quality to him, without a real presence...but help was help, so the fear didn't register in your mind when you were just wanting to get out of the cold. Now the pit of your stomach writhed with the realization that this Thomason was simply not normal...not real at all.
It crosses your mind that you know nothing about this strange creature. He could be leading you to safety, but he could be leading you to a cave somewhere to eat you and pick his teeth with your bones. You shudder, and he glances backwards.
Looking at his face, you can't imagine that Thomason could ever mean any harm. His eyes tell of unspeakable sadness, but he wears a small smile on his face. He's so gentle and calm, and kind to offer his help...if he'd wanted to eat you, he could've just left you to die in the snowstorm. The clouds continuted to drop buckets of thick snow from their undersides. You try to silence your doubts and that uneasy feeling in your stomach, but your body feels the urge to run in the opposite direction. You eventually convince yourself (convince your mind, anyway; that feeling of dread refuses to leave from the pit of your bones) that you're just recovering from hypothermia or something. Why question a good thing, anyway? You'd been walking for a while, the two of you must be close to the bottom of the mountain.
You see a dark spot amidst the white...grey, like stone. Who knows what it is, but it's something besides white, and you were starting to think that your eyes had become incapable of seeing anything else. As you walk, the spot gains dimension, and you're able to tell that it's a cave...an area devoid of snow! Finally! You press forward, and Thomason speeds up to keep pace with you.
The grey spot turns into a black spot as you get up close. You're within four or five steps of the opening when you let go of Thomason's fur-the shock of cold air was almost crippling. Oops. But you walk forward into the cave anyway.
The transition from all white to all blackness makes your eyes ache, so you concentrate on the deep grey stones that are lit by the reflection of the snow outside. Your teeth start chattering as you glance back for Thomason—what's taking him?—and spot the tiny bit of pink and red amidst the white. He's hesitating for some reason. That worry flares up again.
Thomason: You doubted about me, didn't you? he mutters.
You're confused about what he means, before you realize that he didn't intend for you to hear...Your brain tries to peice together what he could mean...besides knowing what you were thinking earlier...that's too creepy to handle.
Thomason seems to tense as he steps onto the cave floor, and you can see his body against the rock face. You can compare the two objects, you have a point of reference. A...very well lit point of reference.
That feeling of dread springs from your bones and overtakes your whole body, threatening to pull your footing out from under you, but you lean against a rock while looking over the xweetok's form for the first real time.
Real and unreal, now you know why that comparison kept coming to mind earlier. The very real presence of the cave wall contrasts greatly with the questionable existence of Thomason's body. A soft white glow is coming from him, and you can look straight through some parts of his...non-body. A mist comes from around his paws, and the one thing that hadn't been present up until now finally makes itself apparent to you: his presence itself. What you couldn't feel before is now quite obvious, stronger than you'd ever felt before.
A very unsettling ironic smile appears on his lips. Though the look on his face by itself still calms you, everything else about the spectre makes you feel like you really will be eaten...or whatever it is whatever he is does to poor unsuspecting neopians.
Thomason: Do you still want me to take you down the mountain?
Well when he put it that way...
guest: What... are you? Your voice trembles a little, and the shivering now isn't just from the cold—though you do feel like the cold air that was rolling off him when you met has returned stronger than ever.
Suddenly he looks very ancient, like he's seen eternity a thousand times over. And you feel bad for accusing him with your thoughts. He takes a few steps deeper into the cave, illuminating the way ahead, and looks back at you, almost pleadingly.
Thomason: Can I tell you?
guest: ...Please do.
Thomason: No, if I...tell you everything, about me, about...her?
You think you recognize the incredibly faint light of hope in his dull eyes, and that feeling of dread starts to fade. You stand up and steady yourself. Facing him, you try not to worry about the dark cave and undetermined distance alone in the dark with this relative stranger, whom may or not be among the living. You try, but achieve only partial success. There is still a small chance that you could end up dead or scared out of your wits, but out there in the cold, there is only a small chance of your survival. You don't really have too many options.
guest: I'll go with you, You say, walking over and placing your hand on his shoulder, finding that he's even less solid than he was outside. The warmth floods your body again though, so it doesn't make much of a difference at this point.
Thomason's face explains all you need to know about his gratitude, and you wonder what it is he's so anxious to tell you about...The two of you begin walking again.
Thomason: First, let me ask you your name, He begins. I just realized that I haven't asked you.
guest: Call me guest.
Thomason: Alright, guest. His voice echoes off the walls in an grand way as the cave mouth disappears behind a corner. The path ahead is now completely illuminated by the glow that comes from his body.
Thomason: Now where should I start...the beginning, I suppose...
Thomason: First, you should know a little about myself.
Age at Death: Sixteen Seasons (Approximately 20 in human years)
Current Age: Immeasurable
Personality: Quiet, Friendly, Protective, Strong
Family: Naomi (mother, deceased); Tarak (father, deceased); Marin (sister, deceased); Baron (brother, deceased)
Love: Sella (deceased)
Other Pride-Mates: Rodek, Arlem, Kara, Tole, Sura
Species: Lesser Arctic Xweetok
(Cover draft of the novel, if it becomes one 83)
Alright, so you won't find his entire polished story here. |D; But I am making exciting progress on it and expect the first draft to be finished by November (if I make the challenge, haha) And the finished to be absolutely perfect by about February or so. :3 But here are a few of my favorite parts so far from the first draft, just so you can get a taste of my writing style and the general tone of the novel. :3 (But excluding part 6, for some reason, my favorite parts so far are the 60% in, solemn mood selections. 8D;; IT'S NOT ALL EMO, TRUST ME~)
15.Security And Patrol
23.Time And Its Passage
Just as he concludes his story, the cave starts to brighten just a little. You come into an open room, with makeshift natural shelving formed out of the cave walls. Stacks of paper, notebooks and art supplies are shoved haphazardly onto the ledge, and another nook holds a few blankets, plus a flashlight and some candles. The basket in the corner looks like it was meant for a picnic.
Thomason takes the mess in fondly.
Thomason: Clouded must've been here today...I guess I missed her.
guest: Does someone live here?
Thomason shakes his head. Thomason:I met a girl recently on the mountain...she was out in the snow, claiming she wasn't lost. But she allowed me to take her back down the mountain anyway, and she seemed to take a liking to me. The xweetok laughs ever so slightly.
Thomason: She's a strange one, but company nonetheless. She likes coming to the mountain and asking me about my life before.
This person must be strange, if she enjoyes trips to the mountain. You look around at the clutter.
guest: So these are all her things?
Thomason: Yes, Clouded likes keeping supplies up here for whenever she needs them, and the rest are entertainment for her whenever she waits for me to meet her here.
You glance at the mess, noticing that alot of the papers have drawings on them. You sift through them.
guest: These are...of you?
Thomason laughs lightly again. Thomason: Clouded always has her nose shoved in a sketchbook. She seems to have some odd infatuation with me too, and these are all the things she's collected for me. Feel free to sift through those things. Clouded's quite proud of the collection, I think.
Click and drag to your address bar for fullview!
Art by Me
Art by others
Thomason: Clouded likes getting others to draw me, too. I enjoy looking through them, it seems Clouded associates with some talented people.
First things first: the difference between the mortal world and the world of the afterlife, plus a few realms that don't actually count as realms.
Self explanitory, really. Where mortals live and die, where the struggle of life wages on and time marches forward indefinitely. This is where Thomason's conciousness resides for most of the story, as well as where he and his family live.
Purgatory doesn't count as a realm technically, because it's merely a state of conciousness, a product of a dying mind merging back with the mortal world's energy. While that world and whatever appears within it (sometimes family or friends, or complete strangers; a mysterious voice, a light in the darkness, or sometimes no one at all;) are ficticious, the consequences of what your conciousness decides while in that state affects what happens to your awareness next. If you are strong enough to retain your sense of self, then depending on your strength and desires, either you will return to the mortal world as a reincarnated soul (this rarely happens); or you will return to the mortal world with a chance to bind yourself to that world for eternity (this happens slightly more often than the former option, but is still very rare). If you are not strong enough to hold yourself together, it is said that your conciousness moves on into whatever is waiting in the Afterlife.
The reason the option to decide your fate becomes available in the Purgatory state is that is the moment that your physical body is discarded. Your body ties you down to whatever world you're in, once the body dies you can no longer exist in that world without a substitute. At the same time, if you have a body (real or substitute) in one world, you don't have the option to leave the world.
The world of the Afterlife is never visited by Thomason, nor is it explained from the point of view of anyone in his story, so Thomason can not be sure of its reality. But as it is understood by Thomason's pride, The Afterlife is a "heaven" of sorts. It is a place of resting, where all the souls of the living go after they've died. In the story, Thomason must choose between the questionable afterlife and staying in the mortal realm with his family.
Here you'll find an explanation of the different forms Thomason takes throughout his journey of the different realms.
The simplest form. A vessel of flesh and bone, that is affected by the elements of a world as well as being able to affect them. Others will react to this form the way they react to any other element of the world. They will feel your presence, they will feel your touch, and they won't feel the exchange of energy between you.
This form only exists in Purgatory. This is where you don't have any senses besides the very basic sense of awareness, and can feel the flow of energy between your own life and that of the world.
Also called a "Substitute" body or form. This is the artificial merging of your energy/spirit with your surroundings. Thomason uses the snow and ice of the mortal realm to create for himself a makeshift visible form. When his strength wavers, so does the seeming "reality" of his body (this accounts for all the reality comparisons in the intro narrative.)
While in the makeshift form, energy will be drawn from the surrounding enteties to remain stabilized. The attributes of Thomason's form while in this world (after he loses his physical body) can all be accounted for if you look at his energy level: the "cold air" that seems to come from his body in the intro narrative is actually the feeling of energy being taken from you. (This also accounts for the sudden weak feeling when you first drop to your knees in the snowstorm. Thomason's invisible spirit manifested itself nearby you and was drawing energy out of you.) The reason he seems less solid when you get to the cave is because his strength is waning, as it's difficult to keep up such a visible solid form for any period of time.
The reason you feel warm once you touch Thomason's body is because while you're connected by touch, you've become a part of his energy, therefore you're absorbing energy from the surrounding area as well. Just a side effect of his makeshift form, but quite useful when rescuing wandering tourists on Terror Mountain. ;)
Those are the more complicated aspects of Thomason's story, but if there's anything not covered here that you're having trouble understanding, just mail me telling me that I'm confusing and that I need to add *insert topic here* to this section. |D
Darn snow," I grumbled as my black paws were held chest and belly high just to get over the snow and continue on. Like most wolves, I can normally walk on the top of snow, but this has yet to settle and it was too soft to walk on top of. Black ears pinned to my skull, looking like black markings in my iron blue fur rather then ears. The mist of my breathe seemed to warm my exposed nose for a heartbeat or two before it seemed to freeze anymore. I wonder if the wetness on your nose could ever freeze... A snap crackled above my head and plop of snow burried me. I struggled and dug my self out. "Damnit." I growled as I slid my body out of the snow. I glanced around and finally noticed my surroudings. The forest line was drawn out in front of me. Ahead the snow wasn't as thick due to the evergreen trees shielding much of snow from hitting the ground. With releif in sight, I bounded forwards, nearly tipping in the snow. Once at the base of a tree I sighed and laid down among it's roots. My black tail wrapped around my blue hanches, trying to keep them a bit warmer.
I skidded to a hault as faint noise reached my ears. There shouldn't be anyone around, and it could very well be just a squirrel, but it sounded like a voice to me. I cautiously moved slightly off course towards the disturbance. I may have been just begging for an incident, but the recent hunting missions had gone farther out of our territory than ever before, and the accomplishment made me more confident in my skills than was hardly nessecary. I raised my nose to the air to catch the scent of whatever it was that I'd heard, and the unfamiliar smell immediately sobered me up. It certainly wasn't a squirrel, and was unlike anything I'd ever encountered around these parts. I continued, trying to make my footfalls lighter than before.
With a yawn I stretched out now, pratically wrapping my back around the trunk. I froze, my position awkward and very exposed. I had to force myself to casually sit up and glance about. The sight caught me before the scent. A wolf! I thought at first as I stood up to greet the other creature. It took me a moment to realize the difference between this wolf and I. It face was much shorter and it had a tuff of long fur down it's back, merging into his tail. On arm was armed with hard ice. Perhaps he had followen into a river earlier? His body was short and his legs were long. I spotted his dull red eyes watching me, framed by pink skin and white fur. His nose was pink as were the bottom of his paws and the tips of his ears. Such an odd creater. I stood up higher. I was a good sized wolf and knew how to protect myelf. My blue fur bristled slightly. What was this creature. I stared in uncertainty.
I got a good look at the thing as I glanced around...it looked almost like one of my kind, only with a longer muzzle and longer legs, maybe a distant relative? The strangely colored fur on its back bristled, and I made sure to posture my body in an unthreatening way. I would fight this enemy if I had to, but I certainly wasn't asking for a fight. No time today. "Hello, you there," I called, coming forward slowly. Friend or foe, I was interested in these new creatures.
So he speaks! Well isn't that new. My fur started to flatten along my spine now. At least he wouldn't be a foe. "Hello," I greeted back, letting my voice be as soft as sweet as possible. I allowed a small friendly smile to rest upon my lips now. My tail wagged a bit, brushing against my lowering heels.
I smiled warmly, walking towards her. I wasn't quite in the mood for a fight either, and now that I knew, I didn't make a habit out of fighting females. "Might I ask where you're from?" To satisfy my curiosity. "I've never quite seen someone like you before, no offense meant if it could be taken that way." I came to a stop a few feet infront of her.
I let my rump slid to the floor slowly as I sat, my tail wrapping around my hind paws agian. "A day's or so walk away from the trees. My pack's prey is running threateningly short. My father fears this may be the last for the pack. I and several others have been sent out as scouts," I said, as if it was rehearsed. I've told this story to a few as I found a new wolf to talk to. I studdied him again. "No offence, but what are you exactly?" I pondered aloud as I stood up and closed the small disance between us enough for me to get a few good sniffs at him, though being mindful to keep my distance. My pack has never seen a creature like this, I'm sure. I normally learn what to avoid and what is fine to befriend from my den mates. I stood back a bit and continued to watch him, my dark brown eyes trying to find something reconizable in him to spark some memory to some story my elders have told me but nothing matched up. Unsatisfied, I sat down and waited for his response.
To be continued
You finish browsing and set everything down, perhaps a little neater than it was. Thomason is standing, behind you, facing the way out of the room.
Thomason: Ready to go?
You nod and place your hand on his fur again, and the two of you continue walking for a few minutes.
You come around a sharp corner to see the blinding light of day greet you once again, along with...trees! The snow is only lightly dusting the ground now, and as you release Thomason's fur and head farther into the open, you can see Happy Valley not too far into the distance AND handle the temperature, as the clouds are parting to reveal the sun.
Thomason walks up to your side, and he smiles up at you.
Thomason: Not much farther now.
You begin walking down the path, Thomason slightly ahead of you now that you don't have to cling to him for dear warmth. You keep at a fair pace.
guest: So does this Clouded have any pets of her own?
Thomason: Clouded has a large family. Few are actually blood related, but the rest seem to be a random collection of...unique characters.
He pauses, as if he were preparing himself for telling you about his strange friend's adopted family.
Thomason: I've only met a few of them, but I'm sure I'll encounter more as time goes on.
What little I've heard about this moehog has always been good things. From what I hear she keeps Clouded's sanity in check, as well as keeping the rest of Clouded's pets from tearing the place down. She seems like a very nice person to me.
Perhaps the opposite of her sister, this Anjhelah isn't kind at all. She makes a habit of stealing from others, and it isn't any kind of secret, either. I met her once when she came to Terror Mountain, and besides being generally rude, I only realized that the pack she carried was stolen after she left my company. I wouldn't like to meet her again.
This sad little eyrie lives in Neopia Central, and as far as I understand has lived there since before the city was built. He's seen less time on this world than I have, but we are the same in the fact that the world just passes infront of our eyes. We are different in that he is still living, though never aging. I'd like to meet him, just to speak with him and see what he thinks about all that.
As you break the trees, you notice a small white airax sitting on a branch of a small bush. It sings in recognition as Thomason approaches.
Thomason: Hello, Eirwyn,
The petpet springs into the air, her feathers unfurled like dazzling snow white ribbons as she lands on Thomason's back.
Thomason: This is Eirwyn, an airax I befriended several months back.
Eirwyn looks at you curiously as you examine her from a distance.
Thomason: I've always enjoyed the birdsongs on the mountain, particularly of the few airax you'll find around here. So several months ago, I'd started keeping tabs on a family of airax that lived in the forest. Her dazzling white plumage was unlike any I'd seen before, so she intrigued me, and when she laid eggs I was curious to see if her chicks would have the same interesting coloration.
You come around one last snowy corner before seeing it. Happy Valley suddenly seems so mundane compared to the trek you were just on, listening to the tales of life and death of the Lesser Arctic Xweetoks from the point of view of someone who lived it.
Thomason: Here it is, Happy Valley. This is where we part ways. Thomason looks up at you with that same tired smile before taking a few steps back.
As eager as you are to get out of the snow, leaving him alone is the last thing you want to do.
guest: Would you mind if I came to visit again?
He looks slightly surprised, though pleasantly.
Thomason: Not at all. Please, have something to remember me by.
You take a few steps towards Happy Valley, the token in your pocket, when a sudden blast of freezing snowy wind comes from behind you.
guest: Thomason? You turn to see the place he was standing in gone, and only your footsteps are visible coming off the mountain. Eirwyn, who had been hopping from tree to tree trailing you, chirped once then took flight. You were alone.
You shove your hands in your pockets and make your way into the main plaza of Happy Valley. All the smiles and laughter of pets and people bolden the line between Thomason's life and this one. You turn again to check where the two of you had been standing, to find the spot still empty.
As the last tiny snowflakes drift to earth, you begin to wonder if Thomason was ever really there at all.
guest: Now...where to next?
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