Escape from Artazia
Ash put one foot in front of the other, the way they'd been doing it for the last 5 days, as an "emigration guide" lead them across the treacherous mountain slopes. The goal was to avoid getting too close to the Zone of War
, as Avartarian
had been on a tear lately, endlessly rampaging. Ahead of Ash was Momma Caroline, and trailing a short ways behind them was Mama Hannah, and with her, Evan.
Mama Hannah had been making the trip almost
tolerable for the entire group with her constant story-telling, despite the harsh weather and utterly exhausting journey. Ash had wanted to rent some Glacier Crawlers
, but Momma Caroline gave Ash such a look that they decided to never bring it up again. So instead they trudged through deep snow, listening to Hannah's tales of long past battles, wonders of the ancient world, and how the gods used to meet and interact and work together... before they all died, of course.
At the moment, Hannah was telling Evan all about The Seven Day War
. It was Evan's favourite
thing to learn about, almost always pestering Hannah for more information on it.
"Do you think Avartarian could've survived if he had attacked Qur
earlier?" Evan's question drifted up to Ash.
Ash liked hearing about the Seven Day War as much as any other young historian, though not nearly to the extent that Evan did. Ash also did not
get his fascination with Avartarian -- frankly, the patron God-husk of Artazia gave them the creeps. Even just thinking about the titanic monster now made Ash tremble -- though they weren't totally sure if that was from cold, or from fear.
Or was the rumble originating from somewhere else? The trembling wasn't really coming from inside of Ash as they had initially thought, it was instead reverberating up their legs, coming from the ground below.
The ground shook, as what sounded like a massive explosion burst through the air.
Ash looked up from their feet, and saw everyone in the small traveling party glancing around too. As the echo faded, the icy air grew deathly calm once more, despite the rumbling from underneath. Caroline looked to their guide for instruction, and Hannah and Evan, who were a stretch behind still, called up to them.
"What was that?"
A second massive impact shook them harder than the first.
"He'an help us," swore the guide. "It must be Avartarian! Shit! Blasted snake
sold me lies-- he's near, he... he must be just on the other side of this mountain. We're WAY too close -- we've got to get into cover, now! Follow me to the overhangs!"
A third impact shook the entire mountain on which they stood, and it was accompanied by a titanic screech echoing over the valley -- inhumanly deep, filled with rage, pain, and suffering. The rumbling grew cacophonous.
Ash looked up just in time to see the the avalanche that would change their life forever, as it brought the mountainside down upon Hannah and Evan; still too far behind, still out of reach, unwittingly standing directly in the path of death.
In moments, they were gone -- but there was no time to grieve. Caroline grabbed Ash's hand, and they ran to follow the guide.
I love them. Such an interesting and well-rounded character! I share their love for He'an and distaste for Avatarian as well, I feel like I could invite Ash for a coffee and listen to them talk for hours. They sound like they have A LOT of amazing stuff to tell. It leaves me wondering what happened when this "friend" was let know about the private collection. Sounds like I will not like that person. Amazing article all around!
Thank you so much Nae! <3 I'm slowly getting more confidence with writing characters (that aren't big dead gods xD). I'm glad you like them, and I agree, I think they'd be lovely to spend time with! As for the friend, they've definitely never been trusted with sensitive information again >:| I haven't really decided what ACTUALLY happened, but it's fun to leave up to people's imagination!
I want to know the story of the vase too!
Let's just say that Ash very often over-estimates how well they're holding onto something, which also very often results in said thing they're holding being dropped, and smashing D:
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
This is such a beautiful and well done character article. I love the extra little bits too that you can click on. I'm intrigued about the 'friend'.
Thank you Emy! They were really fun to write, even if it took months to do. I'm proud to finally have it done :) I mentioned it in another reply too, but I haven't actually really decided what really happened there... it's fun to leave it up to the imagination :o
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
Great article, you've made incredible work with it :D I really loved following Ash's journey and getting small excerpts directly from their voice.
Thank you so much Amélie! I'm glad all the work paid off :D I got a lot of inspiration from Q's Amelia article for those direct voice excerpts. I'm so looking forward to placing those all over Cathedris >:)
I love them! I enjoyed how you tell their story through different elements. The mix of explanations, prose, and trivia worked together very well. The little secrets gave me a better insight into how Ash is as a person. Of course, the design of the layout and art is beautiful!
omg I just noticed I missed this comment, I'm so sorry Julian D: But thank you so much!! I'm really proud of Ash, and I'm glad you liked them. It's been a joy using those secrets to really showcase their personality and have fun with them talking to the reader :D
I love this look at the life of a relatively normal person in your world of god-husks. I particularly enjoyed the bit of first-person writing and the cool interactives that you built with CSS. Your work is always amazing.
My world and three articles have been nominated for World Anvil's Worldbuilding Awards 2022. Please look over the candidates and I'd love your vote if you like my work!
Thank you Chris! It's always so much fun to delve into the lives of people after spending time developing the big and wild things of a world, and seeing how that affects their lives. Thanks for the comment <3