10:02 ST
[The Walk of Three] The Bone Monster: Gift or Gallop
The second group, most of which are the young and bold Mycenians, travel to the cave entrance to thank the Bone Monster for guarding their home. There, they leave treats for the Bone Monster and decorate the entrance with garlands and wreaths. The most daring of Mycenians play a game to see who can get the closest to the entrance without stirring the beast.
The Walk of Three, Mycenian Tradition submission by sweaters
The Bone Monster: Gift or Gallop

Write or draw a piece (or do a small RP) about one or more of your Mycenians partaking in the holiday tradition outlined above. You may focus on the benevolent leaving of offerings, or perhaps your characters are more the type to make a dash for the entrance. It’s up to you whether you brighten the Bone Monster’s day or darken his doorstep! (Between you and us, we’re pretty sure he actually likes chasing errant Mycenians!)

  • Drawn pieces may be in any medium - traditional or digital - as long as it fits the prompt! Make sure your username and ID is somewhere on the piece.
  • Artistic submissions should be at least the level of a clean sketch.
  • Written entries may be in any style - if your submission is on the shorter side (haiku length, calligraphy, or similar), we’ll require several haiku-length poems to accept a submission.
  • You may mix and match styles and mediums as you like! There’s no restriction here - get creative!
  • Your entry should take approximately 30 minutes of effort.


Participation Rewards
  • All players who complete this activity will be rewarded with:
    • An Arcane Scars item
    • Choice of one past event item of their choice (coats, mushrooms, and event bags not included)!
  • Participation in at least one Walk of Three activity will receive the activity sticker!

Posted 01/23/22

Trove‘s whiskers trembled with excitement. This was the first year that their parents let them come along to this part of the Walk of Three festivities alone. They had attended with their parents in the past, Klee was always a fan of the excitement of this part of the festivities, but now, Trove was on their own. They puffed up their chest as they walked towards the mouth of the cave, they could see the shadows of other mycenians, drasillis, ineki, and Kelph of all ages lurked in the shadows. Some left their offerings and left quietly, others sat to the side to watch the games. Every so often, one of the brave souls would bound forward, seeing how close to the exit they could get (and the beast that guards it) before turning tail and running away.

Trove sized up the mycenians around them, one Kelph in particular seemed to be one of the bravest in the bunch. He strutted out into the open, Trove watched as he hurtled towards the bone monster. The beast shifted in its slumber, causing the Kelph to let out a high pitched yelp of fear before turning back around and running away, fins flared in panic.

Trove hastily deposited the gifts from their bag, Holly and Aster insisted that Trove take an offering to the bone monster,  Holly had baked some goodies, and Aster had gathered some beautiful and aromatic plants. Trove all but dumped the pile of gifts next to a few others,  then they bounded on all fours over to the Kelph. The kelph was regaling some of the younger mycenians hiding in the shadows about his attempt to run past the bone monster.

The kelph saw Trove approaching and he raised his head to look down on the ineki. “Have you come to see how it’s done?”

Trove smiled up at the kelph, “I’ve done it before when I was younger, but I’m going to get closer than EVERYONE this year.”

The kelph laughed once. “Well, good luck, small stuff.  Let’s see what you can do.”

Trove grinned and dropped down onto all fours. They stalked closer to the edge of the shadows, peering around a boulder to look at the hulking beast. It seemed to be sleeping, not that it had a chest to rise and fall, but it sat very still, the glowing eyes dulled. Trove readjusted their bag to be closer to their body and made sure their bandana was secured around their neck, then digging in their paws, they dashed. Trove bounded towards the entrance, their legs pumping hard they saw the bone monster stir, but that didn’t stop them, they bounded on, pushing with everything they had. They were getting close when all of the sudden, with a mighty thud the bone monster landed in front of the entrance, eyes blazing.

Trove skidded to a halt in front of the bone monster,  eyes wide and fur fluffed. The monster let out a bone-chilling roar and took a swipe at Trove with a claw. Trove stumbled backwards as quickly as they could, paws desperately clawing at the ground. Trove could feel the beast’s snapping jaws on the back of their heels, the adrenaline coursing through their veins. The dove behind one of the far rocks, fur still fluffed. Standing up on their hind legs again, they loosened their bag and started defluffing their fur, trying to get it to lay flat again.

As they were doing that, they were met with various mycenians from before, including the kelph. Trove basked in their praise, grinning wide from ear to ear. They couldn’t wait until next year, they could get even further!

Trove stayed for most of the day, hanging out with the other mycenians there. At the end, when they were packing up their stuff, they caught a glimpse of the bone monster rummaging through the offerings. Trove could have sworn they saw a mischievous glint in the beast’s eyes.

Posted 01/23/22

Chess watched from a small distance away as the group of Mycenians he came with left small gifts at the entrance one by one. He had long ago added his carefully selected flowers to the collection of wreaths, so now he was just waiting for everyone to finish. Initially, he had tried to poke someone into playing with him, but his whole group was so serious.

He sighed and laid his head down on his paws, eyes flicking over to the apparently slumbering Bone Monster. That seemed like a good idea suddenly with the pace everyone else was moving at.

However, just as Chess began to close his eyes, he felt a poke on his shoulder. He rolled onto his side and glanced up at the Ineki invading his personal space. Immediately, their eyes widened upon being acknowledged.

“Hey, I’m Zed. You finished with the decoratin’ thing, too?” Zed spoke so loudly a couple heads turned to glare at them.

“Yeah?” Chess wasn’t sure where this conversation was going.

“Wanna play a game?” Zed’s ears flicked toward the Bone Monster and it immediately clicked for Chess what Zed was looking for. Still, he wanted to tease the other Ineki a bit.

“Hmm, I don’t know. This patch of the ground is preeeeeetty comfortable.” Chess stretched lazily to drive home the point.

“What? Chicken or something?” Zed gave Chess a toothy grin and poked Chess so hard he rolled onto his back.

Chess’ eyes glinted. “Not a chance.” He darted past Zed, rapidly approaching the Bone Monster. However, as he drew closer, he slowed, stopped, and crouched close to the ground—He’d certainly be able to get closer if he just had a little patience…

Zed sped by in a blur of neon, causing Chess’ fur to blow in the other direction. He gawped as they showed no signs of slowing down and charged straight at the Bone Monster, who suddenly seemed a lot less asleep. The Bone Monster stood and roared, causing all the Mycenians in the area to step back a pace, still Zed continued their approach until finally the Bone Monster deigned it necessary to put a stop to this nonsense. The Bone Monster moved to stop Zed in their tracks by lunging at them, but Zed skidded and hopped back. Having realized they had pushed their run to its limit, Zed gave a happy cry and ran back toward safety, zig zagging a bit to play around.

While the Bone Monster continued to watch Zed, making sure they wouldn’t double back, Chess darted forward to try his own luck. He didn’t move as quick, but his steps were practically silent under the noise of Zed’s laughter and paw-steps. However, the Bone Monster’s senses were not to be underestimated. With a glare that causes Chess’ fur to stand on end, the Bone Monster suddenly turned on him.

Feeling like it wasn’t worth the pride (and realizing beating Zed’s record was practically impossible at this point), Chess turned and fled. He felt his blood rushing in his ears, but the adrenaline felt… good. He whooped and Zed joined in, dancing around him.

Behind him, the Bone Monster roared out again—though this time it sounded different. If Chess were to hazard a guess why that was, he might have even identified it as laughter.

Posted 01/23/22, edited 01/23/22
Posted 01/23/22, edited 01/24/22

Galactic‘s eyes shone, and her fur was fluffed to twice it’s size. This was the first time she was allowed to take part in this festival, and she was always fascinated by the stories that her friends told her about it.

Galactic cautiously padded up to the Cave entrance. She felt all eyes on her, and she thought she heard the whispers of random Mycenians. It was her turn to try to run past the Bone Monster. A few minutes before, she was brimming wiith confidence and pride, but now she was starting to get more than a little nervous - the Bone Monster was even bigger up close, and who knew what it would do to her if she got too close? Pushing those thoughts away, she ducked below a rock as the Bone Monster shifted to another position. It seemed to be a pretty heavy sleeper… Quickly an silently Galactic ran over to the beast, praying that it wouldn’t wake up. “Yeah! Go Galactic! You can do thiiiissss!!!!” a dog Ineki yelled. Galactic froze. What were they thinking?! She was almost past the monster, she could even see the light from behind it. Awoken, it rose up to it’s full height, it’s eyes glowing icy blue. “Oh. Uh, hi?” Galactic managed to whisper. Even through the Bone Monster’s fury and scariness, it looked… beautiful, against the light. Roaring, it rose on it’s back legs (or bones, perhaps?) and swiped at Galactic with heavy, clawed, and giant paw. Frozen and not able to move in her terror, Galactic, wide-eyed, stared at the claws that were coming toward her. At the lat moment, she regained consciousness and sprinted away, her tail tucked between her legs. She would never, never do this again. Better leave some gifts.

Posted 01/24/22
Posted 01/24/22

As soon as Forest heard of this “Bone Monster” and the traditions surrounding him, she knew she had to see it all. He was infamous in every area of the cave, along with this sorcerer and wanderer. Such were the negatives of being stuck in a cavern closed off from the rest with its only stone-carver never seen. Forest had never known how they’d gotten down there, nor had anyone in their town. All they knew was waking up and holding their breath as they were dragged down the underwater caverns.
This story, this legend, it all seemed so surreal to her. To have an answer for anything, let alone being able to see part of it. She felt her heart thrum with every footstep as she followed the group through the cave. Forest had chosen their offerings carefully, taking painstaking detail from what little they knew of the Bone Monster and the tradition of three. She knew her way around flowers well enough, being a spell-caster of components, and lined the basket with the most powerful that she could find in hopes that a beast of magic might find use for them. Treats, on the other hand, were difficult for her to figure out. She had spent more time than she liked to mingling with the locals, observing their preparations and listening to their excited bustle. Even after this, Forest lacked any confidence that they could choose anything notable, and enlisted the advice of a very kind baker which helped them pick good pastries and assured them that the Bone Monster would appreciate all gifts.
Still, she was nervous. Most others seemed entirely confident in their stride, filled with excitement and merriness as they conversed amongst each other, but she found it hard to draw from the energy that they put out. When everyone else reached the cavern’s entrance, spreading out and leaving their gifts, she couldn’t bring herself to budge any further. They scanned the room until they spotted him. A subtle but massive pile of bones, resting amongst the rock where the spires made his silhouette harder to spot. The thrum of her heartbeat coursed stronger through her veins, filling her form with an energy she’d never experienced before. How would he wake? Would his spirit rise from the bones? Would his flesh return in a rejuvenating magic? They awaited eagerly, knowing that others would partake in a game to pass him. They could already see the shadows of bold Mycenians traveling closer through the rock.
She was so focused on this, of course, that she didn’t notice the others drawing back, those who didn’t want to be caught amongst the darers. It was a drasillis that caught his attention first, kicking a rock out into the open and gasping with the accident. Forest watched as the bones began to stir, moving with magic as a living beast might. He rose to tower over the cavern and swatted at those close to the entrance. As Mycenians yelped in terror or glee and ran past Forest, he turned back to make sure they were leaving, and his eyes, they lit. Blue flames flickered from his skull and flared from his tail as he moved. It was a powerful display of magic, one that Forest envied deeply.
They heard hushed whispers, cheers, and loud boasting from behind them, but they couldn’t take their eyes off of him as he moved forth, strength rumbling in each footstep, and they realized that he was approaching them. He stopped, far enough that they knew he wouldn’t travel further than that point but close enough to tower over them, and they stared into his eyes. The twin flames glinted with an emotion she couldn’t quite place. Anger? Discipline? She stretched her neck to look closer, and she realized. . . playfulness. A cautious one, as he still had a duty to fulfill.
She carefully crept closer under his gaze, placing her offering where he could reach. And then she bolted past him.
She heard the surprised yelps and whooping from the other Mycenians and wondered if maybe participating in this game of dares after everyone else had backed out would bring more attention to her than she liked, but the challenging roar of the Bone Monster was swift to put her focus into her footsteps. He passed her in an instant. The swiping of his claws was difficult to avoid, Forest only getting past by a hairsbreadth, but they managed to maneuver as close to the entrance as their respect of the creature would allow them before they turned back. They leapt towards the others right before getting head-butted by the Bone Monster, sending them tumbling rather disgracefully to a stop just in front of everyone else. Their trust of the beast was not displaced, they realized, as that must have been a gentle touch compared to what he could do.
Her return was met with many cheers, the Mycenians congratulating her on her boldness and how far she’d gotten, while some muttered about irresponsibility.
“Crazy lady!” the drasillis from before laughed, helping Forest to her feet and giving her an encouraging pat on the back.
Everyone welcomed her so warmly into the crowd, chatting as they began to return. She couldn’t help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, she could trust the people too.

Posted 01/24/22

Pencils, pens, rulers and various scrolls and bits of paper where strewn across the floor of the twins’ room. The one on the top was the least crinkled and on the top it read “The Plan” in pink glitter. Underneath was fairly detailed map that lead from the twins’ room right to the cave entrance. Two glittered chess pieces had made their way through the map and were sitting next to a detailed drawing of the Bone Monster.

One of the glittered chess pieces is knocked off the map with a swish of an angry tail.

“It was my idea” Pollux whispered angrily.

“That doesn’t mean you get to boss me around Pol” Castor’s glare was wasted as Pollux had noticed the rogue chess piece and was trying to fish it out from under the bed. Castor’s face darkened even further.

“I’m the oldest. It’s my job to protect you.” Castor readied their best glare as Pollux turned back to face them chess piece in hand.

“By two whole minutes, Cas.” Pollux placed the chess piece back on the map and wiping the stray glitter on their fur.

“Still-” Castor was cut off by a paw on his mouth.

“We don’t have time to have this same old argument if we want to be the first up there”

Castor removed the paw from their mouth with another glare. He walked across the room and began to rummage through a chest next to their bed. Pollux watched confused knowing there was no way Castor was just gonna back down. They checked to see how much time before sunrise. The garlands were done and carefully warped in their bag but one more check wouldn’t hurt. They had just pulled the bag shut and were in the process of tying it when Castor let out a loud “AH” which earned them a hard glare. 

Castor had the decency to look a bit sheepish as they smiled and whispered “Found them”. Holding up a soft brown bag. Pollux frowned a bit but nodded. “You’re right. A dice roll. The only fair way to choose”. Pollux looked apprehensive at Castor’s roll, then crushed as they got a 3. “Fine you win. Let’s just go” Castor patted Pollux on the back. “Next year it can be your turn.”

The twins sneaked through the cave making very little sound. They didn’t really have a need for their elaborate map but it looked really cool when they were making “The Plan”. As they got near the entrance of the cave they nodded at each other. Castor headed toward the Bone Monster creeping past the tail as the sun started to light the sky outside the entrance. Pollux crept close to the tail and stopped opening their bag. As they got the garland out a small jingle could be heard. Castor looked back at Pollux more than a bit alarmed.

“I’m gonna escape the cave” Castor yelled. Well he attempted to yell but really it was a horse whisper that cracked in the middle.

The bone monster twitched. Both twins screamed. This time for real. A garland was throw and by sheer luck landed on it’s target bell chiming merrily, as the twins ran back the way they had come as fast as their legs could carry them. They didn’t stop for the questions of the baker. They didn’t stop for Chibale’s annoyed glare. They didn’t stop until they were safely back in their room. When they were they burst into giggles.

“We did it!” they laughed as they high fived.

Back at the entrance of the cave sat the Bone Monster. A merry chime sounding as they moved their tail back and forth.

-The End. 

Posted 01/24/22

Treading cautiously, not wanting to awake the beast, if only he could prod at the bone monster without him noticing…I wonder where could he be? the Inkei thinks to himself.

Then the ground shakes, and little does he realize a massive shadow looming over the ineki’s back. A deliberate creak of the rock behind gives him a cold shudder. Only two thoughts flood his mind. He knows he has been misbehaving.

And he is in deep trouble.


Where do you think you are going?

Back to safety. NOW!

Posted 01/25/22, edited 01/25/22

Nezuko was scared. Pippin could tell.
“‘C’mon, we didn’t bring these decorations and treats up here for no reason, did we?” Pippin teased.
“N-n-n-n-o…” Nezuko squeaked out.
The trees were more scary looking over here, not as much light filtered down through them. Up ahead was a huge cave entrance.
“Look, we’re almost there!” Pippin exclaimed, as he ran up ahead.
Nezuko was not as excited. But they did both bring packs of decorations and tasty treats to give to the Bone Monster. So she picked up her pace to catch up to Pippin. Pippin had stopped and was staring.
“Wow, look at all these cool decorations! Let’s add ours!” He ran to a bare spot on the cave’s entrance.
Pippin and Nezuko took out their decorations. They had each made their own wreaths. Pippin’s was made from pine needles, pine cones, acorns, and walnuts. Nezuko’s was made out of smooth river rocks, shiny gems, and a few bits of pyrite to make it sparkly. They each found an empty spot to hand their wreaths.
Each of them had also made garlands out of paper circles. On the circles, they thanked the Bone Monster for protecting them. Pippin drew some scary monsters that the Bone Monster presumably kept at bay. Nezuko decorated hers with shiny things.
Each also had drawn a picture for the Bone Monster that they placed under their wreaths, so that the picture was in the middle of the wreath. It was like the wreath was a picture frame. Each of them drew their pictures separately, before they met up to go to the cave. They had drawn similar pictures of both of them having an adventure somewhere. Pippin’s picture was them playing and finding cool things in the woods. Nezuko had drawn them playing and searching for cool stones in a creek.
Finally they unpacked their treats. Pippin had made a pizza. The pizza had mushrooms and cheese on it. Nezuko had baked a dessert. She made a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. There was a long table set up to place their treats on. The table was right in front of the cave entrance and you could see the Bone Monster inside his cave. Nezuko got a little scared again.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to be scared.” No one in particular had said this, and Nezuko didn’t even think Pippin had heard it. She was instantly calmed down and sat her cake on the table. Pippin placed his pizza right next to her cake.
They had decorated the cave and brought their treats to the Bone Monster. Nezuko was not scared on the way home. Even though the trees were still thick and there wasn’t much light coming through, she knew it was the Bone Monster that was talking to her. She knew he’d protect everyone and there was no need to be scared.

Posted 01/25/22

“Anfi, Anfi, Anfi!” There were a flurry of knocks at her bedroom door that morning, rousing Anfisa from slumber - and from a particularly pleasant dream. “Fisa, it’s the festival - come on, you have to get up, you have to see all the decorations! Everything looks so lovely!”

She groaned and rolled out of bed slowly, taking her time to savor the last few bits of warmth she’d get to enjoy before she was dragged outside to face the icy winds and snow that January brought. Sure, she’d been promising Sumerie she would go with her to enjoy the festivities the Walk of Three festival brought this year, and she was going to honor that promise, but that dream about living life in some sort of academy or perhaps boarding school had been fascinating and she’d been roused during the best part - right before she was given her third rank superpower!

With a sigh, she finished dressing herself and opened her door to Sumerie pacing back and forth down the hallway. “Can we at least get breakfast first?” she asked with a yawn.

“No! Come on, rise and shine, Fisa. It’s already almost nine in the morning, we’ll never make it at this rate!”

Anfisa let herself be pulled along as Sumerie led the way to the festivities.

They spent time going to and from the various festival stalls - first to an art display stall with hand blown glass lanterns meant to hold magical spells to light the Sorceress’ way back home. A treat stall, where a baker peddled hand pies made in honor of the Wanderer, full of assorted fillings and serving as a perfect food to take on the road… or run around the festival while snacking. A group of particularly crafty foxes selling various magically infused tea blends designed to evoke specific emotions - glee, anger, giddiness, and confusion were among the ones that caught her eye.

“It’s a festival tradition to make a visit to the Bone Monster,” said Sumerie as they continued towards the end of a row of tents. “We should bring him some kind of present - oh, maybe a treat, he might enjoy a snack! It’s got to be cold at the cave entrance, and even if he’s as magical as I am he’ll probably be lonely,” she added.

So the two kept an eye out as they made another circuit of the festival, looking for anything that they could bring him.

Sumerie settled on a bouquet of enchanted flowers, supposedly guaranteed to stay fresh until the next year’s festivities. Anfisa didn’t buy the guarantee, and she wanted something the Bone Monster could keep around longer than a year if he wanted, so she bought one of the magic-holding lanterns she’d spotted earlier. Its wick was specially designed to feed any flame with magic drawn from the environment, so there shouldn’t be any way it would burn out anytime soon.

The lantern she chose was two feet tall, its glass colored a clear sky blue speckled with bits of a much deeper ultramarine. It was expensive, but as she cast a fire spell into the lantern and set the wick ablaze, she immediately felt her purchase had been worth it.

Off to the Bone Monster they went, chatting the entire way there about nothing in particular. When they finally began to draw near, they noticed a small group of Mycenians preparing to charge the Bone Monster in hopes of escape.

“Wait,” cried out Anfisa. “Before you piss him off, can we have a chance to bring him our offerings?”

The group parted and let her and Sumerie through, and carefully, they approached him.

He raised his head as they got closer. Sumerie went first:

“Hello,” she said gently, the flowers extended to him. “Thank you for guarding us and keeping us safe. I wanted to bring you a thank you present,” she said, and with a gentle step she placed the bouquet by the Bone Monster’s skeletal paws. She turned and hurried back behind Anfisa, giving her a gentle nudge forward.

“Hello, too,” Anfisa said with a little wave. “I know none of us remember the Sorceress, but you still must. These are meant to light the way home for her, if she ever gets lost - I wanted you to have one by you, if she ever comes this way.” She placed the lantern down by his other paw and immediately turned to run with Sumerie, the two giggling as they went.

When they returned to the festival’s main hub, Anfisa took the time to purchase another lantern that she and Sumerie could keep outside of their house. Together they hung it up by the front door, and when Anfisa went back to her warm bed that night it was with a smile on her face.

Posted 01/25/22

There was almost nothing Candy loved more than a good festival.  She didn’t travel very much, preferring to keep to her own little section of the Cave, but that was the exception.  She’d start packing in an instant if informed of some new grand celebration happening, no matter where in the Cave she had to go to get to it!

But of all the festivals she liked to celebrate, from the small to the Cave-wide, The Walk of Three was definitely her favorite.  Probably.  Well, it was up there, at least.

Candy’s preparations started almost a week prior, when she travelled to the main settlement so she could get a good room to stay in ahead of the rush.  She always set up a stall at the festival itself, filled with treats and bread and savory dishes she’d spent the entire day before making.  She never accepted any coin for any of it, giving everything away in honor of those three who had given them their lives as they knew it in the Cave.

Though she stayed open from dawn until as late as she possibly could, Candy would never dare to miss out on the most important part of the traditions: giving back to those very three.  She tried to switch up which of the journies she’d undertake each year, and this year, she was going to visit the Bone Monster.

Many Mycenens found Ol’ Boney various shades of terrifying, or at least unpleasant, but Candy had never seen him so.  To her, he was a true guardian, and if he came across as fierce it was only because he cared so much about all of those under his protection.  When it was time to close up shop, Candy carefully selected from among the things she’d made that had not been claimed.  She ended up putting a couple of fruit tarts and a roasted mushroom in a basket, covering the whole thing with a cloth, and went to join one of the three groups gathering at the edges of town.

She travelled with them, too tired to join in the conversation, much, but appreciating the chatter of the others as background noise, cheerfully echoing off the walls of the caverns around them.  She stuck close to the group since she hadn’t brought any light of her own to see by, and she didn’t want to get lost in the Cave at night.  Someone would have to light a lantern for her to find her way back, then!

When the group reached the entrance of the Cave, a hush seemed to fall across the crowd.  There was the light streaming in from outside, and there was the Bone Monster himself, standing guard, twin eyelights looking over the group.  It seemed an earlier group may have been here already, as some garlands and flowers had been hung up nearby.

There seemed to be some hesitance as to who would approach first, with those eyes on them, steady and unwavering.  Some youths were having a whispered dialogue behind Candy, to the tone of which of them would dare to try and dart past the wakeful guardian first.  Not wanting to start the night on that note, Candy slowly moved forward, basket held up in her mouth.  She bowed low as she got near the Bone Monster, and then deposited the basket on the ground and pushed it toeward him.

“Thank you for guarding us and keeping us safe,” she intoned.

For a moment, the Bone Monster’s eyes seemed to meet hers, and Candy went still.  Not with fear, but with a certain sort of awe that tingled in her toes.  But before she coud say anything else, or puzzle out what the look meant, the Bone Monster let out a roar and turned abruptly in another direction.  Apparently, those kids had tried to sneak past while he was distracted.

Candy couldn’t help but grin fondly, at the sight.  “You’re doing great, Boney,” she said, a laugh in her voice, and then she turned to start the walk back toward town, feeling somehow both light and heavy at the same time.  It was an odd feeling, but certainly not a bad one.  Candy thought, perhaps, it was the feeling of satisfaction for another successful festival.

Posted 01/25/22

It was early morning, and the snow leading up to the Bone Monsters cave was already covered in paw prints. Adding to the path walked Charwa and Telaio, both covered in warm gear as they made their way to the lair of the beast. The two had wanted to sneak in early, just in case there would be other folks who were tempted on sneaking inside to spook the monster into making him roar.

In front marched Telaio with a gift wrapped in a blanket on her back. It took up most of the length of her body, but it wasn’t heavy for the experienced traveller. Behind her was Charwa, similarly carrying a basket, though it was a lot smaller and more a treat for the two of them when they reached the cave. The walk up wasn’t too hard for either of them, but the darkness of winter morning and quiet anticipation stirred in their chests. Some young kid might already be up there, trumpets to their mouths ready to scare the Bone Monster from his slumber, so the thought that at any moment there could be a massive sound and a scampering of feet.

Though to their delight, everything seemed quiet and content. Even between them both, there wasn’t much chatter as they made their way up — just enough to make sure they each were content and still comfortable making the journey. It was a bit away from where they lived, but they both were active enough and enjoyed the winters weather that it would be more challenging for them to sit out the tradition unless it was needed.

Just as they approached their target, they noticed a small group of Ineki setting up their displays, and the one most brightly adorned bounced up and began waving at the two coming up the climb. Telaio had seen them first and began to pick up the pace, mentioning to Charwa there were some Mycenians already waiting for them at the entrance. Excitedly, Charwa tried to walk next to Telaio to wave back at them and before long, the groups met up with smiles and delight.

“Here, have some tea!” one of the Ineki said, grabbing some old teacups from their bag and adding the warm drink to serve to the newcomers and setting it down on a wooden plank they had been using as a sort of table.

“Thank you!” Charwa said, setting her basket down and opening it up to show some homemade bars, placing them in the centre of the plank, “Help yourself!”

Telaio had shuffled the blanket off of her back and admired the decorations already set up at the entrance, mentally deciding where to add her contribution. Her partner rushed to her side, ready to make sure Telaio had support whenever she was ready to set up the offering. Passing Telaio her cup of tea, Charwa turned back to the group at their table.

“Has anyone else been up since you guys have been here?” she asked, sipping on her hot drink.

“We passed a few who were here late at night, but we expect more once the sun comes up,” one mentioned, pushing her nose in the direction of the soon-to-be sunrise.

“Oh, for sure,” Charwa nodded, “Weather’s nice enough, should be a lot coming today,”

Telaio smiled. Charwa was always ready for small talk, as obvious as her statements might be. Telaio on the other hand wasn’t much for chit chat with strangers, but took the tea with a smile and drank some before unwrapping the rest of what she had carried up. Inside was a garland; its base was made of dried pine boughs and weaved throughout were dried fruit slices and feathers. There were already a few wreaths and ribbons set up around the entrance, and Telaio was trying to find a perfect spot for her handmade offering. Off to the side was a rock jutting out and causing an old tree to lean in its presence. It was out of the way but before long the whole cave side would be covered. Eagerly, Telaio picked up one end of the branches, Charwa swift to follow suit.

Draping it over a low-hanging branch of the tree and letting it fall naturally onto the rock below, the pair set it up firmly in place with hopes that it wouldn’t give way to the breeze. A few sprinkles of snow fell on Telaio’s shoulders as she set the decor up with pride.

“It looks great!” an Ineki said softly, understanding that no one here had intentions of waking the beast in the cave. Telaio smiled thanks and the pair stepped back to admire their work. It was challenging in the dark to really notice how it sat, but the whole idea in the tradition was less about visuals and more about thanks.

“Which one is yours?” asked Telaio softly, picking up her teacup and bringing it back to the group, Charwa right behind.

“Just a small wreath, set it just inside with some potpourri,” one smiled, taking a bite off of a fruit bar.

“That’s lovely,” Charwa smiled, “You guys want to journey back town together?”

“No, we wanted to stay a bit, make sure the early morning folks have some help in case they’re coming up on their own.”

“Wow, how thoughtful!” Charwa said, looking back at the path they took to get up to the cave. The sunrise was just starting to illuminate the horizon and bring a soft light blue to the scene as it bounced off the white snow. Knowing Telaio’s anxiousness, Charwa finished her tea and got up, “My toes are starting to get cold, so I think the both of us will head out here.”

Telaio drank the rest of her tea as well, thanking them gently as she handed the cup back over. “And keep the snacks! Make sure you guys are eating, and if anyone else coming up needs some they can ah - have snacks as well, right?”

She rushed to the blanket, folding it properly as everyone wished each other well and started her journey back down the side towards home, knowing Charwa will be following in no time at all. Telaio was a bit embarrassed stumbling over her words, but hoped her gesture was understood.

Just as Telaio was sure they didn’t mind her stuttering, an echoing snore rumbled down the hill and Charwa’s quick footsteps giggling as she rushed past, “It wasn’t me!”

Posted 01/25/22

Noel baked the Bone Monster a cake! With a butter cream Bone Monster head on top!

Posted 01/26/22

Prism just wanted to bring the Bone Monster some treats… but didn’t expect him to be quite so big. Or quite so scary. :(
Even if Boney clearly has no intention of hurting him.

Posted 01/26/22

Iris walked toward the entrance of the cave, fidgeting with the clasp on her bag as the went. She had been to the entrance before, but never alone; a friend or two had usually tagged along with her, cheering her on as they visited the Bone Monster. She had even played the game once, daring to run toward the entrance and challenge the beast, but that was when she had a group to fall back on. This year, everyone else was paying their respects to the Sorceress or tagging along with family to thank the Wanderer, while Iris wanted to visit the Bone Monster once again. So they had parted ways today, with plans to gather and share stories once the festivities drew to a close.

Iris had made a collection of gifts for the Bone Monster this year. She had made the cookies her and her friends had prepared together last year, the bone-shaped treats lined with glittering icing to represent the sky outside the cave. Since she was visiting solo this time, however, she had felt the urge to make more than just one thing; she wanted to thank the Bone Monster through a series of gifts rather than a single treat.

Iris didn’t consider herself a talented artist, but she had made some small wreaths and garlands from repurposed newspapers, cans, and other things she had lying around the house that she hadn’t wanted to throw away. She felt a little silly now as she pulled them out of her bag. The decorations other Mycenians had put up around the entrance seemed so much more well-crafted and elaborate than the things she had brought, so she started to second-guess her own handiwork. Still, she reasoned, the Bone Monster would appreciate any gift, right? He didn’t seem like the type to be pretentious about the art others shared with him, and he would probably appreciate anything that the Mycenians shared with him as long as it showed effort and love.

Iris drew closer to the entrance as she reasoned with herself and fought the self-doubt that kept creeping up on her. It made the most sense, she told herself, to go ahead and give the Bone Monster her gifts before she kept second-guessing herself. She stopped a reasonable distance away from the Bone Monster and raised a tentative paw in greeting. Then, she set the cookies on a plate of woven grass and nudged it toward the collection of other treats and baked goods that Mycenians had left for him. She set a small thank-you note beside the plate which included signatures and short notes from her friends who had gone elsewhere, so everyone could pay their respects to the Bone Monster even if they weren’t present in person.

After arranging and re-arranging the cookies to her satisfaction, Iris looked to the entrance to decide where to display her wreaths and garlands. She assessed the space from a distance, then went to a part of the entrance that seemed a bit more sparse compared to the other spots, though she was sure the whole wall of the cave would be covered in offerings by the end of the night. Iris struggled to untangle her garlands for a few minutes — she chastised herself, making a mental note to keep her gifts from getting tangled together when next year’s festival rolls around. When she had separated the wreaths and garlands from each other, fluffed up the spots that had been squished along the journey, and prepared each decoration for displaying, Iris set to hanging each piece up.

As she arranged them along the wall, she thought about what it must be like to be the Bone Monster. How many Mycenians had he seen over the years — how many drasilis, ineki, and kelph had ventured toward the entrance of the cave that he had stopped from running out into danger? What might he have seen that the rest of the cave didn’t know of yet? Were there other species deep in the caverns that had ventured up here, members of civilizations who were still mostly unknown to the rest of the Mycena Cave public? The search for Nautalis and the ventures into the Soup had reminded Iris that there was still so much to learn and explore within the cave, so much more to learn about the history of the place where they lived. And the Bone Monster had been here through it all, spending all his days protecting all the residents of their home.

Iris tucked the edges of her last garland into some rocky holes in the wall and stepped away from her decorations. She didn’t know how many of her questions would be answered in the months and years to come, or if they would ever be answered, but her rambling thoughts had led her toward a renewed appreciation for the guardian of their cave. As she stood up and prepared to leave, Iris turned toward the Bone Monster once again. “I know I’ve said this again and again, but thank you for guarding us. Please say hello and thank you to the Sorceress, too, if you ever see her.” Having spoken her piece, Iris set off for her venture back home, thinking about the Bone Monster and all the mysteries of the cave still yet to be discovered.

Posted 01/27/22, edited 01/27/22

Sonya was afraid to come closer to the exit of the cave and so she left her offering not far from the exit.
She likes to read books, but her library clearly lacks cookbooks.

Posted 01/28/22

Mornah and Eirem putting up garlands!

Posted 01/28/22
Dear Mr. Boney, we decided to put together this card for you to thank you for all you do to protect our caves. In addition to this card we’d love to sing you a song or two, and Camellia brought her entire cauldron with her so you could have an appropriately sized spiced tea! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and again, we thank you for all you do to keep us safe. Love, your grateful mycenians.

Posted 01/29/22

Pix and Mully baked skeleton puzzle cookies for Belobog and Chernobog to leave for the Bone Monster. Chernobog subsequently dropped and scattered them when he tried to leave them right under the Bone Monster’s nose. Boney waited until Chernobog was inches from him to erupt from his post, startling the goat-like ineki and sending him hurtling back to where his brother waited a safe distance away. My, what a puzzle it is now.

It might also be missing some pieces, oops
Posted 01/29/22

Shigure‘s nerves were hitting entirely new levels - they simply refused to calm down, no matter how much heavy breathing he did in an attempt to calm down. Near brimming in his arms were a stack of manuscripts clutched tightly to his chest as he tiptoed nervously towards the cave entrance. Many Mycenians before him have already left their offerings a respectable distance away from the cave entrance before hastily retreating back into the cave. Shigure was about to do the same, when his foot suddenly connected to a rock that has no right to be luxuriating in the middle of his path - and he tripped and fell letting out an intelligent sound that sounded like ‘Myerfm!’ as he fell spontaneously flat on his face. His manuscripts scattered wildly around him in all directions, and made dramatic fluttering noises as they descended.
‘No, my manuscripts!’ Shigure picked himself up and stumbled about inelegantly as he attempted to catch the falling papers. If things couldn’t get any worse, a large gust of wind blew past him, causing the papers to pick up wind and fly towards an entirely new direction…
...right through the entrance.
‘Eek!’ Shigure let out a high-pitched squeak as he watched his manuscripts disappear into the darkness at full mast, like they hadn’t a care in the world. After the last of the papers have yeeted themselves out of his sight, everything went silent. Shigure stood rooted to the spot, too stunned by the flow of events to think or speak.
It was then the ground began to tremble, and a terribly huge beast with fiery eyes made its entrance. For the third time that evening, Shigure squeaked in horror.
‘Were you the little devil who woke me from my slumber?’ The Bone Monster’s voice rumbled through the cave, and it was enough to make Shigure stumble. The Bone Monster raised a long, slender hand to reveal his yeeted manuscripts. The beast narrowed his eyes at them. ‘And whatever are these?’
‘Er… erm…’ Shigure tried to find his voice. T-this was his chance! Wasn’t it?

‘I… I wrote you a few poems!’

‘A few?’
The Bone Monster folded his arms and raised an eyebrow.

  ‘An entire stack of essays flew right into my face, and you call it a few?

‘Well…! I, erm, kind of meant it as a figure of speech but I wrote them to you from the bottom of my heart! And, and if you’d like, I can recite some of them to you right now!’
Shigure didn’t know when he started yelling like a fledgling soldier, but at least it seemed to be working.

The Bone Monster sat down and a heavy thump echoed across the cave. ‘I shouldn’t be entertaining you lot, but I admit, you got me rather curious. Amused, even. Well?’

Beaming internally at his temporary success, Shigure cleared his throat, and began reciting the poems by heart. He didn’t need to refer to the manuscripts, for he remembered every word and syllable, every stroke of ink on paper, every picture he painted with his stories. Indeed, he was oddly good at writing and remembering things he’s passionate about, and terrible at everything else.

The Bone Monster sat in silence and listened as he spoke. When he finished, the Bone Monster nodded once.

‘Thank you. Now go back where you came from or I’ll start getting riled.’

Shigure realised that he had been in the Bone Monster’s presence for a considerably lengthy period of time, and his irrational nerves were kicking up again. He gave a hasty bow and retreated back into the cave, not before glancing over his shoulder and seeing the Bone Monster giving him a thoughtful look.

Shigure smiled as he left. He wondered how he should go about crafting his adventurous tale today.

Posted 01/29/22, edited 01/30/22
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Posted 01/31/22

Lesbun has made a lovingly-home-baked cake for the Bone Monster to thank him for protecting the cave! It remains to be seen if she’ll be brave enough to go back to retrieve her plate and tea towel after the festivities are over…

Posted 02/01/22

Yolk in full gallop

Posted 02/01/22

Seren hated tradition, though if there was anything she hated more, it was simply that she couldn’t get away from it. Holidays within the cave were like that, dragging you in whether you wanted it or not.

Some of it was just children, a whole bunch of them running up to the cave entrance and causing a mess on the way. They were particularly loud during the festivities, going on about competitions, and who would get the closest this year. That kind of foolishness.

Some of it came from her own friends, which was far more frustrating. They’d prepare gifts, whilst simultaneously chiding her for not being in the spirit. It was largely in jest of course, though sometimes she couldn’t help but wonder how hard it would be to simply accept her indifference on the matter. The joke was growing a little stale.

These events were the same every year, when spring would roll around and everyone around her would start to babble on about the three - despite not caring about them any other time. They were too busy with their own lives then… Though perhaps it was petty to think like that.

Still, Seren at least had to do some level of appeasing. It would be a social faux pas if she declined entirely, one which was not worth the bothersome remarks from others. She wasn’t exactly popular amongst her fellow townsfolk already, no need to exacerbate that.

So she made a small batch of bread, setting it all aside to return to later, aside from a single roll. It would suffice. The bone monster received far too much from the town for her to considering giving the whole lot, only for it to go to waste. After all, how could such a beast even eat?

Shaking her head of the thought, Seren packed up to leave, her pace brisk as she walked out her door and towards where the bone monster would be. She would like to be home as soon as possible, away from the yelling and excitement.

Despite herself, Seren could at least admit that the bone monster’s cave was pretty as she approached it, wreaths and garlands twinkling slightly as the tiny rocks they’d been studded with caught the light. She dropped off the bread roll, giving a curt nod to the creature as he slept.

She knew his eyes would only crack open when the children became particularly rowdy, and she planned to be home by then.

Posted 02/01/22, edited 02/01/22
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Posted 02/02/22