Revelation of Nature

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Revelation of Nature The Black Forest Wills A Dream
Characters
Baby Rockhorn
Rockhorn
???
Backgrounds
Dark Forest
1
Cold Forest
2
Underground Rubble
3
Forest
4
Quagmire
5
Typhon teaches Magallan the wisdom of the hunter, and the laws of Sami's Eternal Hunt. They encounter a rockhorn that has been gravely wounded by a demon, and the accompanying shaman apprentice ends its suffering, but it can no longer nourish nature.
<Background black>
[A faint call of an animal can be heard.]
??? Hiss—
Huff—
<Background 1>
Magallan Hiss—
Santalla You can take off the breather, Magallan. There are no spores here.
Magallan Oh, okay.
Whew... hah...
I've never been so scared of mushrooms in my life.
Typhon I warned you, Maggy: Don't touch anything, don't touch anything, and don't touch anything.
Now you know why.
Magallan M-My—
Typhon The empty box you gave me? I put the mushrooms inside and sealed it. Here.
Magallan Th-Thanks.
*pant*—*pant*—
I didn't expect the spore density to be so high, or that it could paralyze the respiratory system.
Typhon It's a carnivorous mushroom. Where do you think its food comes from?
Magallan Ugh...
So how come you aren't affected at all?
Typhon We hunters have ways to deal with them.
If I died in one of those mushroom swamps, I'd never live it down.
Santalla (Sami) Typhon, the sacrifice.
[Santalla goes ahead.]
Typhon (Sami) Sacrifice... are we there?
(Takes a deep breath)
You're right.
[Typhon follows her.]
Magallan Where are you going? Wait for me!
[Magallan runs to the others.]
Magallan And what do you by "sacrifice"? Me?
[Magallan walks next to Typhon.]
Typhon Of course not, you birdbrain.
This is the heart of Sami, the First Forest.
Santalla Where we come from, and where we go.
Typhon Prepare some food as tribute to Sami, and we can enter.
Magallan Would bad things happen if we don't?
Typhon Who knows? Do you want to find out?
Magallan Er, never mind.
Is hardtack okay?
Typhon No idea.
Santalla Crush it and spread it on the ground.
Magallan A-Alright.
Santalla (Sami) Great land, we ask your leave to pass over you.
(Sami) We offer you this sacrifice, that you may watch over us, and protect us from bloodshed, from being hunted.
??? (Sami) Sami says it's okay, ladies.
[A young male Elafia appears.]
??? (Sami) It will eat well thanks to your generosity.
Santalla Isn't that a little... casual? Young shaman.
...Apprentice shaman.
??? This isn't really a formal occasion, after all. Sami wouldn't mind the presence of a child of the Santalla Tree.
...Oh?
A shaman, a hunter, and an outlander? That's a rare sight.
I don't suppose you're here just for the experience?
Santalla We're in a hurry to head south, and don't have time to go around the First Land.
??? I see. My teacher often takes this shortcut too.
Not this time, though. He left me here alone to "experience the Samivilinn."
I've been here for days, wandering the woods without a sliver of revelation to be found.
You should know what I mean, child of the tree.
Santalla Please, call me Santalla.
??? Very well, Santalla. Can you tell me what our teachers expect us to bring back from here?
Santalla I do not know, oak-child. I have only been here to witness. This is not where my trial was.
??? Is that so? What a shame.
Santalla We have a long road ahead of us. Let's hurry.
??? Hmm...
Wait!
I'll come with you.
I know the trees with the best shade, the cleanest streams, and the safest animal trails.
I can be your guide!
There's no one more qualified!
Let me come with you, Santalla. I'm so bored here I could turn into a tree.
What do you think, great shaman?
And what about you, hunter? Or our outlander friend?
Magallan I guess I don't mind...
??? We're all agreed, then?
Let's go, then! Welcome to the First Forest!
Typhon ......
Santalla Hmph...
One more question, oak-child.
??? Hm? What is it?
Santalla What should we call you?
??? Me? Hm...
My Sami name might be a little hard to remember... My teacher calls me Oakcup, so you can too.
Typhon ......
Magallan May I ask how you got that name?
Oakcup Because he always grabs my horn and tries to drink from it when he's drunk.
Magallan Oh...
<Background 2>
[After walking through the forest for a while, Magallan runs to Typhon.]
Magallan Hey, are we being watched?
Like, by a deity...?
Typhon Big predators. One on the tree, one behind Simone in the bushes, and one behind that tree to the left.
Magallan Oh, is that all?
After all the weird stuff we've encountered, dealing with carnivorous wildlife seems almost quaint.
Should I be ready for a fight then?
Typhon No need. They're not hungry enough to risk attacking.
So stop worrying about their dinner and start worrying about ours—!
[Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tuskbeast attacks both of them, but Typhon quickly shoots it with an arrow.]
Magallan Huh? Look out!
[Santalla comes to their aid.]
Santalla Need help?
Typhon No thanks, I'm done.
A tuskbeast lies prone on the ground, glaring at Typhon.
A gaping wound stretches from its cheek all the way to its foreleg.
Typhon I guess one of them was hungry enough. Terrible choice of prey, though.
Go. Your meat tastes terrible anyway.
The tuskbeast does not seem willing to leave. It crouches down in the shadows, ready to attack again.
Bang!
A loud bang rings out in the air before it, sending it scampering into the distance and leaving behind only a scattered trail of blood.
[The tuskbeast disappears in the forest.]
Magallan Did you just shoot something with your finger, Typhon?
Typhon Yeah, for scaring away big guys like these.
Magallan A roll of leaves?
Typhon You wrap up air with leaves until it forms a ball.
[Magallan takes out her notebook.]
Magallan (Takes notes)
But how do you wrap air with leaves?
Typhon Don't ask. I've tried to teach others, but no one's ever been able to learn it.
[An animal can be heard growling.]
Magallan —!
Typhon Easy, it's just an unlucky hornbeast that got its neck bitten in half. Maybe by the one that attacked us, maybe by another.
Magallan Hm.
Oakcup Looks like our outlander friend has grown accustomed to the ways of this land.
Typhon A few more weeks of this, and she'll be a fully-fledged Sami.
Magallan Ahaha...
Oakcup An outlander who understands Sami. How nice.
I remember working as a guide for some Columbian tourists while on a pilgrimage.
They started screaming when they saw some carnivores doing their carnivoring. Apparently, they thought it was too bloody and uncivilized.
Not that I'd call myself civilized, but didn't they pay good money to come here and see the "untamed wilderness"?
One of them even tried to stop the beasts, and nearly ended up as their next meal.
Their clothes were dignified enough, but certainly not the people wearing them.
Magallan You have quite a mastery of Columbian.
Oakcup (Ursine) Not just Columbian! I just can't keep my mouth shut. Guess I'm a natural-born chatterbox.
And I suppose my teacher was a weird old man for teaching me all that.
Magallan (Broken Sami) Know.. a bit... ah, yes, true.
Oakcup The folks back home hate it when I just strike up a conversation with southerners. One time, there was a regular Ursus caravan that passed through the tribal market, and...
[Santalla starts walking slower.]
Santalla (When was the last time I returned?)
(The breath of the wild continues to echo through this place...)
(Does Amma still watch over this forest?)
(Something isn't right.)
(The influence of Amma lingers... but it's not alone.)
(The Black Mark of Ursus...)
[Magallan runs to Santalla.]
Magallan What is it, Simone?
Santalla Nothing.
Has our guide found somewhere we can spend the night?
Magallan Yup, inside that tree up ahead.
Cup says it's hollow, with enough room for the four of us.
I've never seen a hollow tree before.
Santalla Then now's your chance.
<Background black>
[The wind can be heard blowing.]
<Background 3>
[Magallan runs to the hollow tree.]
Magallan Wow, we could easily fit another person or two in here!
Oakcup It's the largest tree house around. Could hold close to a dozen.
Magallan Where's Typhon?
Oakcup The hunter? She went looking for musbeast fruit stashes. She wanted something extra for dinner.
Santalla You should rest. I'll set up some protection.
Oakcup Is that really necessary? The tree's already been blessed, and there are even talismans hanging off of it.
Santalla ......
[Santalla walks away.]
Oakcup She's so serious.
Magallan That's how Simone is. I'd have frozen to death three, maybe four times by now if she weren't here to help.
Oakcup Simone? Hm... Simone... Santalla... I think I've heard that name.
Magallan Is she someone famous in Sami?
Oakcup Oh... No, not at all. I must be remembering wrong.
I have a hard time keeping track of anything I haven't seen for myself on my pilgrimage.
So maybe I'm mixing her up with someone else.
Magallan Mm.
[Magallan takes out her notebook.]
Magallan (Opens notebook)
You seem to know a lot, Cup. Mind if I ask a few questions?
Oakcup Shoot.
Magallan I picked up two pieces of bark from a tree. And they had symbols on them.
I want to know what they mean.
Oakcup It's a code that Sami uses to communicate with us.
They could be messages about the past, the future, or about nature.
The same symbols can also mean very different things, depending on who is receiving them and when.
May I have a look?
Magallan I have them right here.
Oakcup This is... the old tree's bark...
"Snowpriest"... "Delight"...
Looks like a message from a clan tree to its shaman. You can have them back.
[Magallan takes notes.]
Magallan Mm-hm.
What's the difference between a "Snowpriest" and "shaman"?
Oakcup Think of a Snowpriest as the head shaman or a greater shaman. He may not be the oldest, but he's certainly the highest in status, the most powerful, and the local leader.
Incidentally, my teacher is a Snowpriest.
Magallan Will... you become one too?
Oakcup Nah, it's such a pain taking care of the tribe and solving all their problems. Leave that to someone who wants the job.
Magallan So... are you a shaman now?
Oakcup Nope, just an apprentice. I have no idea what Sami wants, or even what it wants from me.
Which is why my teacher made me come here to feel the Samivilinn.
Magallan And have you felt it?
Oakcup Nope.
Leaves fall, rivers flow. It's all the same. I don't feel anything unusual.
I have plenty of complaints for him the next time I see him.
[Santalla returns.]
Magallan You're back, Simone!
Santalla Mhm.
Oakcup Let me have a look.
[Oakcup goes to the protection symbols Santalla made.]
Oakcup Wow. You can really do that with ground frost?
By the way, I heard that the one who serves the old tree can control the wind and snow, making them dance at her fingertips.
Santalla The old tree takes no servants, nor does it need one like me.
Oakcup Well, if you don't want to talk, I'm not going to press the matter.
Magallan Old tree... Is there a difference between the clan trees?
Oakcup There's only one tree that can be called old in Sami.
It represents the Past, and often appears with the heralds of the Present and the Future.
The three are separate but one, transcending Sami.
Magallan The Past...
Oakcup By your outfit, I thought you were an explorer.
Magallan I am.
Oakcup You seem more like—
What's the word?
A folklorist?
Magallan As an explorer, it's always good to learn more about an unfamiliar place.
Oakcup I'll bring you some Sami books if we ever meet again, explorer.
Magallan That'd be great!
On the other hand, there's only so much I can carry in extreme environments... Maybe the equivalent of two volumes of the "Encyclopedia Columbiana."
It's about this long, this wide, and this thick... hardcover.
Oakcup Yeah, not sure why you thought that'd help me at all. Just give me your luggage and let me feel the weight.
Magallan Oh, it's all bundled up to be carried on my back. One second.
There.
[Magallan takes off her backpack.]
Magallan It's all on the ground.
Oakcup Hm. Good, looks like you can fit it.
Magallan Huh?
Oakcup That's about the same weight as two Sami books.
Magallan Oh.
Er... what sort of books?
Oakcup Legends, tribal history, that sort of thing.
But a full tribal history takes up enough wooden tablets to fill an entire tree house, so I'll spare you that.
Magallan I-I thought the paper books I saw in the Cyclops's cave were Sami books...
[Typhon comes in.]
Typhon Maggy!
Magallan Oh, welcome back.
Typhon Do you have any more of those flare sticks?
Magallan Yeah, why?
Typhon I tried one when I was picking the fruits, and it worked even better than the leaf ball.
Magallan You mean you ran into a tuskbeast?
Typhon Why wouldn't I? I was walking alone in the forest and they're hungry.
Anyway, do you have any?
Magallan Half a bundle. How many do you need?
Typhon Give me two for now.
And here, fruit from a musbeast stash. I've washed them with water.
Magallan Thanks!
Typhon Let's eat together and get to bed early. I don't want to wake up and find the door blocked by a bunch of hungry beasts.
Santalla I'll take the night watch.
Typhon You already stayed up the other night. It should be my turn.
Santalla It's safer here, and I won't be up all night. Consider it a chance for me to relax.
Typhon Alright... if you say so.
(Whisper) Be careful. There are demons in the forest.
Santalla I know.
Magallan Let's make a campfire, Simone.
Typhon Absolutely not!
Do you want to draw the attention of every predator in the forest?!
Magallan A-A lamp, then?
Oakcup Not much difference between a lamp and a fire, light-wise.
If you can't sleep, then try this.
A dreamcatcher. Helps you pass the night in peace, with no dreams of becoming prey.
Magallan Thank you.
I'll be going to bed, then.
Good night.
[Magallan goes to sleep.]
<Background black>
As Oakcup promised, Magallan was not troubled by nightmares that night.
Instead, she dreamed another dream.
In it, she is still in the forest at night.
But she is not alone.
She is a creature like Emperor.
Ammaniehku.png
Beside her, a massive white hornbeast slumbers in the dream of another.
It was serene and beautiful. Magallan could not help but reach out to caress It.
But It is so dignified and solemn that her hand stops in mid-air.
She decides to lay down next to It and dream together with It.
A dream within a dream.
......
<Background black>
[The wind blows silently.]
<Background 2>
[Someone can be heard walking.]
In it, a dark shadow shambles towards the tree hole where the group is sleeping.
Behind it is a trail of darkness and filth.
Black snow falls from the sky, burning away Santalla's frost and creating a gap.
The shadow walks towards the gap, leaving its vile trail on the ground.
Suddenly, a hornbeast catches its attention.
The hornbeast leaps and disappears. By the time the shadow turns around, the gap is filled with frost again.
It gazes upon the frost, and shambles towards where the hornbeast disappeared.
[It walks away.]
......
<Background black>
The hornbeast is still by Magallan when she wakes up.
But Its horn had begun to melt.
Then Its body, then the forest.
Magallan sits upon the snow, snowflakes falling on her beak.
For some reason, she feels regret.
She never sees the hornbeast's eyes, until the dream vanishes.
<Background 3>
[Magallan hastily sits up.]
Magallan Oh!
......
[Typhon approaches Magallan.]
Typhon You're up early today.
Magallan I just happened to wake up...
Perhaps that was not the entire story. Her sleeping bag is wet near the pocket.
She remembers pulling the pocket's zipper shut before sleeping, but it is open now, as if something fell out.
There was nothing missing though—
Except a little Sami souvenir.
Magallan Typhon...
Typhon What's the matter? Got out the wrong side of bed?
Magallan Does Amma's Affection disappear?
Typhon Mother has to take care of so many. She can't stay by your side forever.
Did the Affection I gave you melt?
Magallan Yeah...
Typhon Maybe that's a good thing.
Maybe she took care of a big problem for us, without us even realizing.
Magallan If possible, I'd have liked to keep it with me.
Typhon Well, we can always find another. It's not that hard.
Magallan Oh, okay!
<Background black>
[Fowlbeasts can be heard chirping.]
<Background 4>
Magallan That's... the beast that attacked us the other day.
Typhon Hasn't been dead for long.
Looks like it was rammed to death by a large herbivore.
Magallan Self-defense, to avoid being eaten?
Typhon No, it came for revenge while the predator was weakened.
Maybe it lost a friend or family when it was little, and sought vengeance once it grew up.
Magallan Animals, seeking revenge...
[Oakcup approaches them.]
Oakcup The hunter kills its prey, and the offspring takes revenge. Humans do that, and so do animals.
We're not as different from them as you "civilized" folk believe.
But that aside... hunter, shaman, over here. We have a bigger problem.
<Background fades out and in>
Typhon Simone... this rockhorn...
Santalla Yes, a demon did this.
Take the foal away, oak-child. Don't let it lick the mother's blood.
Oakcup Gotcha.
(Imitates a rockhorn cry)
The foal hears the call and staggers away from its mother and towards Oakcup.
Baby Rockhorn (Sobbing cry)
Oakcup It's scared. Don't worry, I'm here.
(Licks the baby rockhorn's forehead)
Magallan (Picks up her camera)
[Magallan takes a photo.]
<Background flashes.>
Click—
Magallan looks at the photo.
With her own eyes, she can clearly see the rockhorn bleeding blood as black as ink.
But the blood doesn't appear in the photo at all.
Santalla It wasn't caused directly by a demon, just a corrupted creature, some kind of beast.
It won't be turned.
Can you save it, oak-child?
Oakcup One second. Watch over the baby for a bit, Magallan.
(Imitates a rockhorn cry)
[Oakcup walks towards Magallan.]
Oakcup leads the foal to Magallan, then heads towards the injured rockhorn.
Magallan H-Hello?
Magallan stretches out her hand, and the foal happily rubs its head against her palm.
Magallan Hehe...
Oakcup (Low cry)
Rockhorn (Pained cry)
Oakcup Not good... We might've had a chance if we'd arrived earlier, but now...
All we can do is ease its pain.
Stand aside, hunter.
Don't let the foal see.
Typhon Hmm...
Oakcup (Long call)
[The rockhorn cries out.]
Rockhorn (Stifled moan)
Oakcup No need to be afraid. It won't hurt.
Santalla ......
Oakcup (Waves staff)
<Background black>
Oakcup Sleep now. Roam free in dream.
Rockhorn ......
Oakcup Over hills, over swamp♪
(Puts down staff and takes out dagger)
Rest in Amma's woods, for she watches over you♪
No more pain, no more suffering♪
With the souls of all life—
[Oakcup stabs the rockhorn with the dagger.]
Oakcup (Pierces the rockhorn's throat with the dagger)
[Blood drips out of the wound.]
Oakcup Roam free on Sami's back♪
<Background 4>
Oakcup ......
Rest now, soul of the land...
Oo... (imitates rockhorn mother's cry)
Magallan Oh...
Hearing the call, the foal hurries to Oakcup's side.
Oakcup (Low cry)
(High-pitched call)
[Oakcup pulls out the dagger.]
Oakcup Fear not. Your mother is with you.
With her blood... her tears...
[Oakcup points with the dagger at the rockhorn's corpse.]
Oakcup (Draws the bloodied dagger across the mother rockhorn's eye)
Her horn.
[Oakcup moves the dagger around.]
Oakcup (Criss-crosses with the dagger)
Stopping at your...?
The foal lightly kicks Oakcup's knee with its hoof.
Oakcup (Hoof.)
[Oakcup points the dagger at the baby rockhorn's hoof.]
Oakcup (Draws a mark on the hoof with the dagger)
Go, friend. Your life has just begun.
The foal continues to circle Oakcup, seemingly seeing him as its new family.
Oakcup Well... I suppose that works.
Only until we take care of your mother, though.
The foal does not answer, only rubbing itself against Oakcup.
Santalla What's the plan?
Oakcup This is more than an apprentice can handle.
(Sharp whistle)
Screw training. I'll let my teacher take care of it.
That way will take you out of the forest towards a nearby marshfolk village. They'll give you a warm welcome.
I'll stay here with the kid and stop the rockhorn's bleeding until my teacher arrives. I can't let it become food for scavengers.
Santalla Say hello to the Canopy Sage for me.
Oakcup Oh, so you knew—
Santalla Tell him that this is connected to the Black Mark of Ursus.
Oakcup Black Mark of Ursus? Alright, I'll pass it on.
Nothing good ever comes of Ursus being involved.
Typhon Do you have enough rations?
Oakcup I'm not about to become the first apprentice shaman to starve to death in the forest.
Magallan Here, take this.
Oakcup A flashlight?
I can see well enough in the dark, but it might be useful to the old man. Thanks.
Farewell, friends.
May Sami keep you safe.
<Background 5>
Magallan Finally, out of the woods!
Hey, I think I'm getting a signal.
Typhon The marshfolk trade with you guys a lot, so they've got some of your metal things set up.
Magallan What will Cup do with the rockhorn's carcass?
Typhon Cleanse the corrupted soil and blood, clean the wound, then leave it.
Magallan Shouldn't it be buried?
Typhon No point. Scavengers would just dig it out.
Magallan Is it the same with people?
Typhon More or less.
Like Oakcup said, here in Sami there's not much difference between humans and beasts.
Hunt and be hunted. Eat and be eaten.
The best we can do is show our prey a bit of kindness and make sure they're dead before we eat them.
That's the law of nature, the will of the north, the Samivilinn.
Magallan ......
Typhon If you want to change that, there's only one way.
Magallan What's that?
Typhon Become Sami itself. Become the All-Father.
Of course, that's just a legend. No one's ever seen it happen, haha.
Magallan Stop messing with me...
[Santalla walks away from the others. Suddenly, her communicator gets a signal.]
??? "Checking status of Black Mark. Liebafowl is about to trade with those upon water."
Santalla ......
<Background black>
[A faint call of an animal can be heard.]
<Background 1>
Another carcass, another victim.
The hunter steps over the hunted, with no intention to feed.
This was not to satiate hunger, nor for revenge, but pure and simple killing.
It is a hornbeast, a corrupted one, with an empty hole on its abdomen, but it is still "alive."
[The hornbeast lets out a call.]
Its blood, tears, and saliva are all black as ink.
The hunter roams the animal trail, looking for a new victim.
There is a figure swaying at the same frequency, not far away.
It is clearly human.
Its unique and rhythmic breathing can be heard clearly, even without approaching.
[The human is walking through the forest.]
Hiss... huff...