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[Open] A burned bridge, a lost hound.

A scream interrupted the otherworldly silence of the nexus as Feran materialised before the fountain, the wolfhound drew his sword from his back and struck in one swift motion, a metallic clang ringing out as his blade struck the fountain of infinity. He stood still for a few moments as the ringing died out, his hands clamped tightly around the handle of his sword. 

"That bastard..." he snarled before turning away from the fountain to gaze at the pure white plane of the nexus. "What...is this place?" he asked himself. All he could see was a blank white expanse, although if he focused, in the distance he could make out arches. Gates, maybe? He wasn't sure. 

What he was sure of, is that this wasn't Annwn. 

Feran could feel his anger swelling within him again as the thought crossed his mind. He should have  been in Annwn, where the colours were brighter, sounds clearer, smells sweeter, where his father, the hound he had spent his life longing to see, waited for him. How had this happened? Well, he knew how that damned creature that called itself Omni had ripped him away from his promised afterlife and dragged him to this cursed plane. What confused him was the question of why. The creature had said something about it taking an interest in him...

Was it all for Omni's amusement? 

With a huff the hound put his blade back into it's holder and looked around the vast, seemingly infinite white plane. It was at this point that he noticed something else...it was quiet. Not just in the literal sense, but spiritually, for lack of a better word. Usually Feran could hear the whispers of Cernunnos, lord of the wyld, in the back of his mind, telling him to hunt, to embrace the beast within. He couldn't hear the whispers in this place. 

"What sort of place is this...if ancestors can't even reach their followers here?" He muttered to himself. To be honest he was a little lost, he had always planned to wait in Annwn for those that he left behind once he died, before passing on to join Cernunnos' hunting pack. Now that he was stuck in this strange realm, he was at a lost, he had no direction, nothing to drive him onward any more. 

So he started to walk, mostly aimlessly in the direction of one of the gates, which, even though he didn't know it, would lead to tangled trees. 

Perhaps the wyld still held some sway in this strange world.

Feran continued to look around as he slowly made his way towards one of the distant gates.  Normally he'd run, or at least jog, but it seemed like he was the only person there, and it wasn't like he was hard pressed for time. He was already dead, he figured that he could take things slow for the first time in his life. 

"White, white, more white...it's maddening" He muttered to himself as he gazed across the endless expanse of the nexus. The Nexus unnerved him, it felt like it was...dead, for lack of a better word.  He should have been able to smell and hear so much more, but it seemed that his senses had been dulled somewhat, or, it was possible that it really was a dead realm. He couldn't see any plants, animals, any other forms of life, so it wasn't a massive leap in logic to come to that conclusion. 

"Oisin would probably know what this place is...or at least know someone who does" The hound chuckled. "He'd probably have some story related to something like this too..." A sigh escaped his mouth. He missed Oisin's stories already...he missed everyone, he was almost desperate to hear someone yell 'Pup' at him, for all of this to turn out to just be a bad dream that he was having after being knocked out during battle. He'd just wake up, while being healed, and before he knew it he'd be fighting shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the warband again.  

Of course, this wasn't the case, but he clung to the hope. 

This continued for about half an hour, wandering and wondering, before Feran realised something. 

He was hungry.  

"Nothing around to hunt" He muttered "And I don't have any food with me..." He sighed and sat down. In his mind he could see the sort of food he wanted, a nice hunk of meat. Probably deer, deer had always been his favourite. He daydreamed like this for about three mintues, before he realised that in his hand he had exactly what he had envisioned. It was a chunk of meat, and it definitely smelt like deer...come to think of it, it smelt exactly like the kind that he used to hunt in Kappa forest during his life. It smelt and looked delicious.

"Did I...summon food?" He asked himself, perplexed by what had just happened. Cautiously, the hound took a bite, and let out a satisfied groan. Yep, it was perfect, the meat was raw and bloody, just the way he liked it. 

"It'd be better if I had hunted it, but it'll do for now" he said with a smile on his face as he continued to eat, sitting cross-legged on the plain white ground of the nexus.

If there was one thing that Feran could still appreciate, it was food. At least food still tasted the same in this strange place. He let out a contented sort of purr as he ate, feeling the blood fill his mouth and drip down into his fur.  "If Gwen could see me now..." the hound said with a chuckle "She'd probably say something about using cutlery...always acting like my mum...". His ears flattened and a frown appeared on his face, he missed Gwen too...possibly most of all. She was the one he loved the most out of all of the people he had known in life. Cousin Gwen, the 'Totally-not-a-queen' of the Demete. She'd always had a soft spot for him, and he for her. He'd always said that he'd lay down his life for her. 

He just hadn't expected it would happen so soon.

He wished that he could see her one more time, that he could see all of his family one more time. He had so many things left to say, so many questions left to ask, truths left to confess, oaths left to swear. "I never got to do that band of brothers rite...I'm sorry, Ivar" 

A tear formed in his eye and he quickly wiped it away. 

"I'm so sorry...everyone..." quickly his sadness turned to rage, his balled up fist slamming into the ground, causing a dull throbbing pain to fill his hand. Why had he been so fucking stupid as to go toe-to-toe with The thorn, the chosen champion of a creature such as the Queen of thorns. He'd seen what it had done to Ghostwise, how brutal their duel had been, he'd seen one of his faction's greatest fighters, a man who had literally been blessed by the ancestors themselves, fall to the demon with little effort. 

Why was he so fucking stupid? 

His tenacity, his one useful trait, had also been his downfall. If he'd just known when to quit and realise that he had not chance, then he wouldn't have died like a fucking idiot. He wouldn't have been sent to the bridge, he wouldn't have been stolen by Omni, he wouldn't be stuck in this plain white hellscape. 

He'd still be able to see his family. 

He'd still be with her...

With a pained snarl he struck the ground again, and again, and again. It achieved little other than venting some of his anger, it took him a few moments to calm down. "No...I need to save my strength. As Oisin always said, sharpen my claws, let the rage build..."

With that Feran stood up, the wolfhound taking a deep breath as he looked onwards, one of the many mysterious gates ahead of him, far in the distance. 

Once more he continued his slow journey towards it.

About another half an hour of walking later, Feran could more clearly see the distant arch. Not much, saying that,but enough to get a better idea of it. It was large, and if he concentrated, it looked as if it shimmered a little, almost like a star on a clear night, twinkling mysteriously.

"Magical?" He asked nobody in particular. Most of the time when Feran was unsure of something he attributed it to magic. He had never spent the time required to master any kind of magic, and thus knew little of the inner workings of such things. Where he came from, if something could not be explained, then it was safe to assume that it was the result of powerful magic. "Safe to assume it leads somewhere else...hopefully somewhere with some life, somewhere that isn't so dead..." Silently Feran hoped that one of the gates lead to Annwn, or Cernunnos' endless hunting grounds, or maybe even Valhalla. He chuckled, there were many in Valhalla he had hoped to speak to, and who would pass up the chance to drink with odin? 

"Speaking of drinks...if I can make food, then I can make drinks" Upon saying this his ears perked up "Infinite mead...infinite free mead..." There was another thing he could hopefully still enjoy; getting horrifically drunk.

Although it would have been better with friends...with the Dragons. 

He shook his head. "I've dwelt enough, I need to keep moving. I have no idea what this place is, what I can do. Am I stronger than on Erdreja? Am I weaker? My senses definitely seem to be..." The hound mumbled to himself as he continued to walked towards the gate. The entire process was somewhat mind numbing, he had very little to look at, just an endless white expanse and a few gates. Pretty much all he had to occupy himself with was his own thoughts, and those weren't all too pleasant, given the fact that he had just, you know, died. 

The hound hoped that he'd happen upon someone, or something, before he got to the gate. A sign that he wasn't the only being in this strange realm would do wonders, that, and he secretly hoped that if he did happen upon anything, it would be stronger than him. Maybe if he died here he could go back, he could cross the bridge of swords and wait there for those that he loved, becoming a Cu Annwn, a hound of Arawn. 

He longed to see Gwen cross the bridge...it would be the greatest honour to be the first to welcome her to the other side. 

It was entirely possible that if he did find something, that he could be stronger than it. In which case it would be much like when he was alive; the Son of Maddyn would unleash his fury upon his foes. 

But, those were questions for another time, bridges to cross when he came to them. 

And so, Feran continued to walk.

Another hour of walking. Another hour in the plain whiteness of the Nexus, and Feran was finally stood before the gate that he had seen when he first came to the Omniverse. An immense shimmering wall that he could just about see through, if he tried. There seemed to be a slight green hue to the gate. "Reassuring...probably means grass, or trees...it better not be that damned forest in Erin, if I walk in and see my own corpse I'm not gonna be happy".  The wolfhound stood for a few moments, staring at the shimmering wall of magic which almost seemed to shift and morph unnaturally. "It probably goes somewhere. Is it like a void gate?" Silently he hoped it wasn't a void gate, very few people went into those and came out in one piece. 

Either way he decided that he'd earned himself a small respite before charging headfirst into the unknown. The wolfhound laid down on the ground, propping himself up with his elbow, and spent about three minutes concentrating. He envisioned a drinking horn full of mead, specifically that wonderful mead that Mormead and Scipio had given him. What was it called again? He couldn't exactly remember, it was named after some strange holiday they had in Albion during December. Either way, he could definitely remember the taste. It had that usual Mead sweetness, but with a bit of ginger and some other assorted flavours. Before too long the wolfhound had in his hand the very drinking horn he had seen in his mind.

"Dilly Dilly!" He half-heartedly shouted with a chuckle before taking a swig from the horn. The taste brought back memories of sitting around the campfire with his pack, drinking, roasting food, telling stories, all punctuated with the odd brawl. "Never a dull moment around the fire eh?" Feran muttered to himself as he drank some more. His mind was cast back to many nights that he had spent before battle drinking mead similar to the drink he had in his hand, the memories, the friendships, jokes, scraps, and even the occasional heartfelt conversation. 

All gone, out of reach. It was like trying to catch mist in his hands. 

With a slightly heavier heart the wolfhound downed the last of his mead and threw the horn aside. It seemed that he could create whatever he wanted in this strange world, so he saw no reason to keep it. He stood before the gate and gingerly pushed an outstretched hand into it, and as he did he heard something. 

A deep, guttural snarl that he was all too familiar with. 

'Hunt...'  It commanded. 

He withdrew his hand in surprise, a grin spread across his face. "I can hear him! Cernunnos!" The stump of what was once his tail began to twitch back and forth. The hound chuckled. "No wonder I was drawn to this one..." Feran said before striding into the shimmering barrier, leaving the desolate Nexus behind.

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