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Sovereign

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The Perils of the Deep
« on: April 04, 2018, 03:07:57 pm »
The Perils of the Deep

The distant sounds of the buzzers could be heard over the gentle lapping of the river’s waves. The pale light of the Night Circle cast its silvery glow over that serene and harmonious sight as the wind waved the surrounding grass gently. The beautiful night and the beautiful moment with his friends prevented a young longneck from being able to drop the weary but wide smile from his face as he cast a quick glance behind himself, looking at his friends who one by one were returning to the realm of sleep stories. He was more than grateful to each of them for coming to share the lesson of loneliness’ futility in one of the most memorable evenings he could remember. He would join them soon himself but first he wanted to speak with his new friend for at least a while longer.

“I’ll have to go sleep soon too but thanks a lot for showing me something only a swimmer knows well, Mo! At least I now know there’s also life in places I didn’t know before.” Littlefoot said as the memory of the song he and his friends had shared circled in his mind. He had never seen star swimmers before and in many ways, they were far unlike any creatures he’d seen before. He simply marveled at the waters around him, only thinking about what else was living under the seemingly calm surface of the slowly-moving river. The bright-colored swimmer suddenly jumped into the air before diving into the depths, only to appear a few seconds later.

“Neither did Mo know a lot about land walkers before meeting you! None of my kind knows what it’s like or what lives on those hills far from the water! Swimmers can’t go there just like Littlefoot can’t go into Big Water! There could be new creatures to have fun with but Mo will never know.” The large swimmer said with a mockingly saddened expression. Littlefoot laughed at his antics, looking at the Smoking Mountains fuming in the distance. He had never thought of it before but it was true that they were something that Mo could never go to where he could. However, his mood fell somewhat as he realized that there was a clear downside to his own situation and that wasn’t something he hadn’t given a thought before.

“There sure are, Mo. The land continues far further than you can even imagine. I guess the more we try to learn about the world, the more we just realize how little we know about it. When we decided to sing to cheer ourselves up today, the song in fact was something we had sung before because Cera and Ducky feared about what monsters were living in the Big Water.” Littlefoot begun to chuckle as he thought how silly it must seem for Mo for someone to fear his home so but a lot had changed since then. The swimmer seemed exaggeratingly stunned by this revelation before he started to growl in a mock threat.

“It is so scary in the Big Water! You will be eaten even when you’re far away from the shore! Grrr!” He said as he swam quickly closer to the longneck. The latter begun to shudder heavily, as he struggled to hold back his laughter in order to avoid waking up his friends again. Mo also laughed as he thought about what his new friends had actually feared in the past. However, the larger dinosaur’s next question changed the entire course of the duo’s talk.

“That’s what we thought back then! But, Mo, I wonder when you spoke of the mountains, is the Big Water as deep as the Smoking Mountains are high? And what kinds of creatures live far under the surface? That’s something I and my friends can never find out for ourselves.” The longneck had hardly finished until Mo’s face fell completely, immediately turning into a serious, even fearful one as he turned to look into the direction of the Big Water. Littlefoot found his sudden change of behavior surprising, even worrying as the seemingly untiring swimmer began to stay still, a haunted look on his face. Littlefoot immediately spoke to him, willing to find out what was wrong.

“What is it? Did I say something wrong?” The boy asked, prompting the yellow-purple dinosaur to look at him with a bothered voice.

“It not you, Littlefoot, but… Mo’s kind never want to think about what lurk far below us. The deep parts of the Big Water are something not even my kin want to go to.” He said as he tried to fight back his own fear. It was clear that whatever was bothering Mo had unsettled him deeply in the past. The longneck gulped as he realized his mistake but he still wanted to know more about the issue. He’d probably never get another chance to know about the Big Water and he wanted to realize it now, no matter what he’d hear.

“Wh… why is that? Isn’t the whole Big Water the same everywhere? What is so bad about the deeper parts of it?” The boy asked, eager to learn ever more about the things he hadn’t heard of before. Mo looked extremely bothered but he could see the excitement in his friend’s eyes. This was a tale that he had dreaded for a long time but Littlefoot deserved to hear it if he really yearned it.

“Everything is wrong with it, Littlefoot! I can tell you about it but are you really sure you want to hear what Mo have to tell?” He asked, willing to make sure this was really something the longneck wanted to know. A small gust of wing created small waves on the water’s and made Littlefoot shiver a tiny bit as he heard his usually funny friend’s dead serious words and immediately, a certain sense of dread seemed to emanate from below the river’s surface but Littlefoot decided against surrendering to his own most likely irrational fears. With a resolute voice, he gave his answer.

“I do, Mo. I’ve seen a lot of places many wouldn’t want to go to but no longneck has ever heard about the Big Water before. Tell me what you know!” He tried to be encouraging to his aquatic friend and Mo took a deep breath before he began his story. He looked at his friends in the eyes as he did his best to remember how this particular legend of his kin went.

“Very well, Littlefoot. This is a story Mo heard when me a young swimmer as a warning why we should never dive into the distant depths before. All of this happened a long, long time ago when Mo’s kin was threatened by a big, burning cloud of smoke and hot water from a mountain beneath the waves of a distant part of the Big Water. We swimmers tried to escape that terrible place but just as it seemed everything was well, they reached the Great Water Path which is one of the places Mo’s kind want to always avoid at all costs! There were two swimmers, however, who had decided that they weren’t about to be stopped from trying to find a way through it…


The adolescent swimmer looked before himself in deep curiosity and slight worry as the powerful, swirling whirlwind of water engulfed the entire area before him in all directions. The young dinosaur looked at the rest of his water kin as they seemed to be deep in argument about which to do. The burning smoke of the terrifying fire mountain could be seen in the far horizon and even now, all of the swimmers knew they were far from safe. The lethal heat would reach them before the evening but Azurefin simply didn’t see any alternatives to the plan he had in mind. And he was more than happy that his sister seemed to agree with him on this.

“That arguing will go nowhere, Azurefin! Wol more than ready to go now!” He turned to look at the speaker who was an orange-colored, slightly larger swimmer. The two siblings had gone through much together and despite their relatively young age, both of them were respected swimmers within their herd and they were known as extremely capable and brave dinosaurs among the others. The blue-colored male turned to look at his sister who seemed just as impatient as he was even if both of them knew that it was very possible that neither of them would return from this journey.

“You’re right! I just want to escape from that cursed cloud of death but are you ready for this? I don’t know what is going to wait us in there but once we go into the quick flow of water, we cannot turn back. But if we survive, we’ll be more than heroes!” He tried to smile expectantly, a gesture which was returned by his sister. She looked at the tube-like formation of water which could be seen in the distance and it was the one which could help the two find their way through the dangerous flux of fighting and conflicting flows of water. The others were true afraid to enter those treacherous flows but the two siblings were more than ready for this challenge.

“It isn’t everyday when we can try to move through such challenging waters, Azurefin. But it could be fun!” She said with an expectant smile before she turned around and emitted a long, ear-screeching call to the rest of the herd of swimmers. They immediately stopped their seemingly never-ending arguments before they immediately headed for the interrupting swimmer. They immediately begun to circle around her, bombarding her with annoyed questions.  

“Why you interrupt the meeting? Things already bad enough, Wol!”

“Stop shouting! We don’t have much time!”

“If you don’t want to join the talk, then at least stay silent!”
Wol looked in growing annoyance as the other swimmers gathered round her and her brother, shouting at them without any real goal in mind. She had always hated the others’ never-ending banter and arguing. True, it was mostly playful jabber which usually ended in a consensus so she didn’t usually mind those arguments that much. However, she still didn’t want to listen to these accusations so she span around and raised her voice to catch the others’ attention.

“If you only listen, you’d already know that me and Azurefin are going to find a way for us all through that crazy whirlpool!” She declared with a slight smile as all of her kind were, despite the many dangers in their lives, fun-loving and optimistic dinosaurs. Even on this hour which potentially preceded her death, she wanted to keep her calm and happy composure. However, the others immediately flinched in fear and moved quickly deeper away from the duo, one of them beginning to stutter in clear astonishment and fear.

“B… but you cannot! None of us is strong or smart enough to brave that swirl! You’d be crazy to even try!” She declared, looking at the others and it was clear that all of them seemed to agree with her. The two hadn’t told the others of this plan yet and the rest of the herd had immediately dismissed that possibility as a complete folly. However, the two brave siblings seemed to be mostly amused by the others’ reaction. Wol answered to the others as she thought at their expressions when they’d return. Of course, even a bright-colored swimmer like her knew fear but when it came to trying new challenges, she and her brother were ready for nearly anything.

“Maybe but we think there is a way through the circling water path! There seem to be a small stream which heads into it safely and then we can try to force our way to the other side! It’ll be great!” She declared, already willing to get to work. However, she was momentarily taken aback when an older female approached her and spoke in an unusually serious voice to their kind.

“And that small stream can immediately crash you against a cliff and make you all flat and dead! Or a sharptooth who knows these waters can catch you before you even know it! I know young ones want to try to do everything to prove their worth but don’t do this! We still have time to go another way!” The speaker was a red-colored, elderly swimmer who clearly seemed worried for the duo’s safety. There was no one who could stop them from this endeavor but she still wanted to persuade them to abandon their insane plan. Azurefin felt a moment of doubt flicker into his consciousness as he thought about those words but before long, he knew the siblings’ decision had already been made. He moved closer to the older swimmer and spoke to her in a soft but still playful voice.

“Don’t worry! We’ll be back before you know it! There have been many places we thought we couldn’t swim in but it was always okay! We just have to get into the fast water and…” At this point, he was quickly interrupted by the elderly flyer whose seriousness silenced everyone else for a short while.

“Azurefin is too young to know it but the Great Water Path is one of the scariest places our kind has seen! It is filled with dangerous turns and treacherous side flows! Many have tried to swim through it but they haven’t returned from its swirling waters! You don’t have to join them!” She pleaded but at this point, Wol decided that she had already spoken enough. She quickly snapped back at the elder swimmer and ended the argument.

“Wol and Azurefin already made up their minds! We’ll leave very soon and then you’ll see there’s nothing to fear! You just wait!” She declared, earning a fearful but accepting nod from the older dinosaur. The other swimmers relaxed their composures somewhat when one of them quickly approached the two again.

“You two are very brave to try this! Because of that, we wait for you until the Bright Circle’s rays reach the deepest depths it can reach. After that, we will swim away without you if the others agree.” There was a chorus of cries from the gathered swimmers, all of them intrigued to find out whether the two were ready to go where no swimmer had gone before. The two siblings glanced at each other, knowing there was no turning back now. Yet, all that they felt was appreciation for each other’s presence on the hour of this ultimate challenge.



Many frowns appeared on Littlefoot’s face as he looked at the Night Circle’s rays casting its light on the calm river slowly flowing towards the Big Water. No matter how he tried to see it, Azurefin and Wol’s reasoning didn’t make any sense to him. They didn’t sound like stupid swimmers at all but he couldn’t come up with an explanation to their willingness to take a seemingly unnecessary risk. Noticing that Mo took a brief pause, the longneck momentarily rose from his lying position and asked his friend the question swirling in his mind.

“Thanks for telling me this but… there’s something I don’t quite get.” He said, earning a curious look from the swimmer.

“And what that, Littlefoot? Mo tell everything Mo know about this.” He asked, willing to hear what bothered his landwalker friend. Litllefoot tok a quick breath before opening his mouth.
“I… I just don’t realize what made the two insist on making their decision. After all, they had no reason to… I mean they didn’t need to take that risk. I can tell this story doesn’t have a happy ending so why did the two get themselves in that danger if they didn’t need to?” Littlefoot felt somewhat awkward at the thought but if they were anything like Mo, he could understand the rest of his kind acting strangely but not like this. The swimmer looked at the other dinosaur for a moment before he remembered longnecks didn’t think like his kind did.

“That because we often do what we think is the funkiest way to do things! Mo’s kind doesn’t think fear the most important thing and every now and then, we like to see what we are capable of! Still, swimmers no search for danger and Azurefin and Wol made a mistake because their kin feared the Great Water Path. But Mo still understand that they only wanted to help and earn the others’ appreciation while showing what they can do!” The bright-yellow swimmer declared as he jumped into the air once again, trying to put more emphasis on his words. Littlefoot raised his gaze to the skies and shook his head slightly with a weak smile in reaction to the swimmer’s antics before returning to look at his friend.

“I still don’t understand, Mo. We’ve always been told to stay as safe as we can and to never search for anything which could become dangerous. But I guess that’s just us landwalkers.” Littlefoot chuckled as he once again thought how different Mo’s kind’s view of life was to his own. He couldn’t understand how someone wouldn’t do his or her all to live as long life as they only could but then again, as the rainbowfaces had said, there was so much for him to learn about the world and other dinosaurs too, it seemed. Mo nodded deeply before he whispered his answer.

“Mo think so too as we swimmers want to live as fully as we can but we’d also like to grow old in time! But if Littlefoot want, Mo wish to continue the story!” He said in expectation, prompting the longneck to immediately realize ow badly he had interrupted his friend.

“Oh, please go on. I really look forward to hearing what happened, even if I fear I’m not going to like the ending.” He said, his mind wandering in the possible continuations for Mo’s tale. The haunted look returned to Mo’s eyes as he prepared to resume his tale.

“So, Azurefin and Wol waste no time preparing for their journey! The Bright Circle shine deepest in the water when it highest in the sky so the two have only more than… was it called an hoooour?.... to call the others. But neither of them have any fear when they see the mighty water path under the surface of that distant part of the Big Water…


The roaring sound hummed in her eyes as Wol looked into the circle-shaped fast water. She could already feel its pull but she still felt no remorse for her situation. She quickly looked behind herself and saw all of her family and friends looking at her in a mixture of pride and worry. But there was no time to waste as every second that passed made the siblings’ success ever more unlikely. She quickly turned around and addressed them for the very last time.

“We call water kin when we find the way through the Great Water Path! Wol promise!” She said as a chorus of encouraging words greeted her ears. Azurefin looked at her in expectation as he whispered to her silently.

“It time to go, sister. Let’s give it our all!” He said and the female answered to him with a smile. Both of them remembering the time they were given, the two took long breaths and quickly headed towards the swirling, fast-moving current of water. At first, it seemed like a gentle pull of a wave had grabbed them and guided them forward but after a moment, the pull only intensified and seemed to close them into a tunnel-like space. This was to be expected but it was at this point that both of the siblings realized there was no turning back anymore. The current had them in its grasp and it was far too powerful for them to even dream of escaping from its grip. Yet, that was of no concern to the two.

Azurefin’s teeth gritted together as he followed his sister, taking utmost care that he’d be able to fight against any surprising pulls that could catch him off-guard this quickly. Simply keeping his calm and trying to stay in course for now were the easiest part of the ordeal. At this point, they were only swimming in line, looking as the world around them turned into a raging flux of swirling water and bubbles.

His sister felt her heart pound in her chest in excitement as her speed only increased the deeper she got into the water path. The initial flow that pulled them inside slowly started to dissipate and gradually, she felt the sheltering tunnel around her disappear and the scene around her to turn into the mighty flurry of dancing streams, each of them only waiting to pull her and her brother down. But she wasn’t about to let that happen. All that she’s have o do was to swim to the other end of the water path and then search for a place to exit it. She quickly called to Azurefin who seemed somewhat battered by the intense pull of the current.

“It’s not that far, brother! Let’s just try to force our way out and that’ll be that! We can do this!” She cried as she slowly but surely pulled her way forward, the other side of the massive tunnel-like current, the great pressure of the water making her advance extremely forced. Every now and then, she shortly let the current take her further in order to gather more speed. For a few times, she thought she had heard her brother call to her but the humming, violent stream made any communication impossible. Here, it was every swimmer for themselves.

Yet, against all expectations, the other side of the current drew quickly closer and Azurefin stayed on her side the whole time. As she looked at the approaching edge of this hellish whirlwind, she begun to think why in earth other swimmers feared this place so. It would be only a few, short moments before she’d be able to get away from here and claim her reward. Only a few more bashes and…

One second Wol was pushing her way forward and the next another, treacherous current hit her like a boulder, completely catching both her and Azurefin off-guard. Her whole world seemed to turn upside down as the new fast water threw her everywhere like a small leaf in the wind. In a matter of mere moments, she had lost all control of her own movements, now only able to watch as her speed only increased as she was taken away by the current.

Neither was the other swimmer in any better situation. The male floundered in growing panic as he saw his sister to be in the same situation as him, on their way to some unknown place. However, the duo’s horrifying wait didn’t last long before something slowly appeared in the horizon. It was immediately clear that it was something massive and dark but it was even worse than they initially had expected. It was a terrifyingly high cliff beyond which lied an endless expanse of darkness. Another step into the endless abyss which lied far beyond the safe, hospitable waters of the Big Water. Azurefin’s eyes widened in fear as the current seemed to fly over the abyssal depths below but that wasn’t even the worst part of this whole disaster.

The smaller current which had grabbed the swimmers inside it wasn’t about to follow the tunnel of swirling water into the distant parts of the Big Water, rather it soon took its own course. It was like a small ray which shot out of the colossal submerged flow of water, one that seemed to be drawn away from it by some mysterious force. Immediately, the two were pulled away from the Great Water Path, only to be drawn into another smaller but just as violent stream which instantly headed downwards into the newly-opened dark. Only now, Azurefin realized the folly of their initial quest as it was told that the Great Water Path had countless of tricks which would surely surprise even the most vigilant of swimmers given the chance. Would he and his sister become the next victims of this terrible place? Or would they survive this and only make their quest that much more famous?

Regardless of what would happen later, the two swimmers knew they’d have to regain some sort of balance and control over their bodies. It took herculean efforts for the male to keep his calm as the welcoming cliff behind him grew ever more distant and his surroundings that much darker… and colder. He slowly managed to turn his face into the right direction and against the mighty pull of the underwater river, he begun to move his fins to see if he could someway affect his own movement. To his immense surprise, his tail’s movements managed to slightly change his direction, just enough for him to have some hope of attempting to guide his quick advance. Still, he looked in fear as the slowly disappearing form of his sister was still unable to regain her balance and the stream still silenced anything he would try to tell the female. Unless…

Azurefin suddenly put all of his efforts into moving to his sister’s side before they’d get too far from the surface. His efforts managed to increase his speed only marginally as his own efforts were nothing compared to the raw, brutal force of the world. Yet, he slowly caught up to his sister whose struggles seemed to be losing all of their focus. He quickly slapped her with his fin, catching her attention. Seeing that he had managed to gather himself, she immediately begun her own efforts to replicate his achievement. However, there was still one thing she forgot completely. To mind her surroundings.

“Wol! Look out!” He cried as he saw the stream slowly starting to move to a more stable position. Apparently, the two were reaching the bottom for now and… Suddenly, a sight that made his blood run cold met his eyes. Out of the darkness suddenly appeared a massive wall and it stood immediately on the duo’s path! He looked at the horrifying sight in fear, fully knowing that even if his sister managed to regain control of herself, there would be no escape. Except if…

“Get hold of yourself now, sister! We’re in for a ride!” He cried as he saw a darker part in the middle of the wall which could only mean that some kind of cave opened before them. Wol turned to look at the spot immediately and to her shock, she realized what her brother had meant. It would be only a few more seconds before she’d be crushed against the rock if she wouldn’t be able to gather herself. With one, mighty push, she pulled her body upwards as a final effort to enter the cave alongside her brother. She already expected to feel the unspeakable pain of her body being crushed to nothing by the sharp stones of the underwater mountain and to know that it would be the last time that awaited her in this world… but it never came.

To her immense surprise, Wol suddenly realized she had made it. Her one effort had sent her upwards, towards her brother who was likewise overjoyed by this development. At this point, neither of the two could see anything but they could here and feel each other’s location at all times. Even then, her momentary sense of safety was as fleeting as her li9fe in the case she had failed in her last ordeal. Judging by the way the water flowed around her, there were some kind of sharp obstacles on her way, ones that could finally end this folly of a mission for good. Knowing Azurefin was on her side, she’d give her all to make it true this journey.

The male was likewise glad to see that his headstrong sister was still alive but he realized that they were still far from safe. Completely blind in an unknown cave moved by the merciless fast water wasn’t one thing any swimmer would want to go through. He violently pulled to his left to escape a formation of sharp rocks, only to be forced to immediately be forced into another tunnel which led ever deeper into the unknown. Another sharp turn took extreme care and luck for the two swimmers to avoid clashing against each other and potentially losing their balance for the last time.

Their faces turned into masks of terrible horror, the two moved through the long cave flawlessly, only barely able to make their way through the narrow pathway. Yet, slowly Wol was able to feel the current beginning to weaken slightly but only when a wave of calmer water hit her fin did she realize why. The tunnel’s mouth was approaching quickly and the quickly weakening grip of the fast water could perhaps offer them a chance to escape this madness. Hoping at least the message would reach Azurefin, she cried to him with all her might.

“Brother, leave the current when we come out of the cave! It’s our chance to escape the fast water!” She cried and even if it was clear that Azurefin didn’t hear her words, he realized something was about to happen and when he noticed the same things his sister had, he knew what he had to do. However, the utter darkness caused additional worry to the two swimmers as there was no way to see that there were sharp rocks hanging from the mouth of the cave, positioned perfectly to open a massive, lethal wound to a poor fool who had already thought he had managed to survive the stream. However, both of the siblings realized them just in time to manage to pull their bodies downwards and after that force themselves to the left in order to escape this horrifying mess they had gotten themselves in.

Azurefin’s breath was completely spent as he realized he had managed to escape from the nightmarish current. The sense of freedom and the lack of all-encompassing pressure waas gone but soon he remembered something important. The fast water’s roar was still powerful but it no longer drowned every sound under its violent force.

“Wol, are you there? Say something if you’re okay!” The swimmer looked at the darkness around him, feeling increasingly worried how he and his sister were going to escape this place. However, a tiny bit of his fear was washed away as he heard a weak and shocked voice near him.

“I am, I am, brother. I wouldn’t want to go near any fast waters again for weeks after that!” Her voice sounded mostly dizzy after the terrifying ride but it was clear that she wasn’t hurt, at least seriously. Azurefin moved towards her voice, willing to make sure the two wouldn’t get separated in these abyssal depths. His voice wavered as he spoke, full well knowing that there was no way of telling what horrors lay around them, only waiting for the right moment to strike and end the swimmers’ struggles forever. He whispered to the female as he was quite confident they were as close to each other as normal.

“W… we in the deepest parts of the Big Water now! We have to get away from here before some creature notices we’re here!” He said, looking above himself in distinct longing. There wasn’t the slightest trace of light to be seen even above him which cast an extremely ghastly and terrifying feeling for the young dinosaur. As an additional curse of this place, he only know realized he was shuddering heavily from the cold, the frigid waters’ cold grip creeping its way deep into him. After a few seconds, he heard his sister answer to him.

“Maybe we should but don’t you realize what this means? We survived the Great Water Path and we even found a way through it!” She cried in slow realization, the eeriness of the depth not bothering her as heavily as her brother. Azurefin frowned at her words, however, and disbelief dipped from his words as he answered.

“And? The others won’t want to go through what we did and…” His answer was cut in short as Wol decided it wasn’t worth finishing.

“Of course not, silly, but we know in which direction it is and we cannot be too far from the others yet! There could be a way back under the Water Path we just don’t know yet!” She said, realizing the implications of their success. With a bit of patience and perseverance, they could still do this.

“And then again there might not be! Don’t you realize there could be a sharptooth just behind you right now? It could just swallow you and you’d never know it! Is it a risk we’re willing to take?” He asked, wanting to believe his sister’s words but fear was getting a grip of his heart. Wol snorted in answer as she began to make her way towards the direction where the Water Path most likely was.

“At least I am! Wol didn’t come this far to turn away now! I’ll do my all to see this to the…” Suddenly, her voice was buried under an unspeakable bellow which suddenly seemed to drown the whole area around it. The surrounding cliffs only made it ever louder and the sickening voice seemed to only become stronger the longer it lingered. Even the female swimmer felt sick as she looked at the direction of the voice but even she couldn’t see anything. She had heard the voices of massive swimming sharpteeth in her life but they were nothing when compared to the monstrosity which swam in these same waters. Yet, she wasn’t giving up yet. She merely whispered in a more restrained voice to
Azurefin who was utterly devastated by the voice.

“Let’s go. The longer we linger here, the more likely it is to find us.” She whispered, earning a quick nod from her brother. The two knew their very lives hung in the balance but the hope of glory pushed them forward in this scene of utter darkness.



Mo’s words made Littlefoot shiver as his mind’s eye imagined the endless darkness and coldness of those depths. The swimmer’s tale was even worse than something he had imagined the Big Water to be in his worst sleep stories. A place of eternal blackness and freeze which was home to the creatures Petrie and Ducky had once been so afraid of. He could only imagine what was to come in his friend’s tale.

The swimmer, on the other hand, had taken another short break to gather his thoughts and catch his breath. The first parts of his story were something he could imagine going through if he ever could return to his home again but it
was here where the tales of those distant depths began. He asked one, brief question from the longneck before he’d continue to recount this feared myth of his kin.

“You see, Littlefoot? The Big Water full of dangers if one doesn’t know how to avoid them! By the way, how much of this did you know before? Do landwalkers know anything about Mo’s home?” The swimmer asked, interested to hear if all he had told at this point was new to Littlefoot. The landwalker looked at the swimmer before looking a distant flying rock which momentarily lighted the night sky.

“Nothing really, Mo. In fact, I didn’t even know that it gets darker the deeper you go in those waters. We kinda knew there were massive swimmers down there but all of those are only tales of our own. Still, I’m more than happy I cannot go there as it sounds terrifying. No offense. B… but I’ve been wondering… what if you get even deeper than that? Is it even possible?” He said, momentarily shaking the feeling of fear from his shoulders. He was willing to hear the rest of the tale but the question about whether the two siblings had reached deepest of depths rose to his mind. To his surprise, Mo shook his head before the faraway look returned to his eyes.

“Mo will get to that later but nobody knows about that. Wol and Azurefin sure thought back then they were at the lowest point beneath the waves at this point but… well, Littlefoot will hear soon. They began their journey back to the rest of the swimmers but it wasn’t easy down there…”


Even swimming itself was slowly becoming a struggle as the waters around her felt increasingly heavy and the constant moving by the cliffside made the duo’s advance extremely slow. The Great Water Path was most likely far above the two which proved that Wol’s theory could indeed be correct. There could well be one small spot in the upper parts of the bottom that could go under the current safely. There was no way to tell how much time had passed since their departure as there was no trace of the Bright Circle to be seen but it was unlikely that more than half of the promised time had passed. At this pace, they could soon…

RUMBLE!!!

Instinctually, the swimmer shot up as the massive sound suddenly engulfed the whole area, followed by a hissing sound that seemed to stretch forever. The following sound resembled that of swimming belly slider but the voice preceding that changed everything. She quickly stopped to speak to her brother as the hissing didn’t seem to stop at all.

“Wh… what’s that? It come from below us!” She asked as Azurefin seemed to try at the surrounding water. Even if the female didn’t see, his face turned into a frown as he turned to look downwards.

“And it feels warmer than before. Could it be…” He asked himself as he moved quickly downwards, willing to see what lied below. All the while, his surroundings shed any remnants of the earlier cold. Suddenly he stopped as the water around him begun to smell pungent and bitter. He began to look around himself, realizing by the way the water behaved that the entire area around him would be filled with the same warmth which would have in any normal situation given him courage but now, his heart sank as he realized where he had smelled this reek before.

“Let’s get away from here quickly, Wol! They are smaller fire mountains than the ones that destroyed our home but we cannot know when they are going to spit their fire at us!” He cried as he headed towards the direction they had formerly been heading towards. Most often the fire mountains lurked in depths even the swimmers couldn’t find them but apparently this was one such place. Even if it wasn’t a lethal threat right now, Azurefin completely dreaded the mere thought of those monstrous things being this close to him.

Wol looked into the dark below her and decided there was nothing to be gained from lingering in this dangerous place. She headed after her brother before she suddenly noticed slight movement from somewhere before her. She suddenly stayed still, just in time to avoid being seen by this mysterious creature. She slowly continued to head after her brother before she whispered to him shortly.

“No, wait! What is that thing?” She said as the sight faded again into the blackness but slowly she moved towards the direction she had seen the small trace of life. However, the sounds that soon reached her ears froze her still. It was a sound of something being slowly dragged away, accompanied by a soft, gurgling voice which made the swimmer’s blood run cold. The smell that reached her nostrils reminded her from something but she couldn’t quite close her mind around what that something was. Maybe… yes, that’s right!

It was a similar smell to those small, many limbed creatures lying in the deeper waters which mostly waited for something to reach them and then close those limbs around them to catch the prey. If she remembered right, they were called Inkspewers due to their defense but all she had seen before had been far smaller. She could only follow in horror as the scent of the apparent of the creature’s next meal faded away. Realizing there was no way of knowing whether the creature was sated, she headed after her brother, attempting to shake the image of some swimmer like here being chewed to pieces by such monstrous creatures, never to rejoin her kin again. Knowing she wouldn’t be allowed to lose her focus for even a moment, she put all of her concentration into shielding the core of her mind from the horrors of this unknown world.


The minutes passed slowly as the two swimmers made their way through the pitch-black expanse of water, listening to the Great Water Path raging far above them. At this point, both of them only hoped to survive this most terrifying day of their lives. Occasionally, some terrifying roar or odd sight made the two search shelter within the many caves of the cliff but still, ever so slowly, the two approached the other end of the powerful current above them. The two had apparently found some kind of small underwater canyon moving below the Water Path which had apparently been hidden from many others because their fear of this place of nature’s wrath. Maybe, just maybe, they’d be able to make their way back home and tell the others that there was another chance to escape from the rage of the fire mountain. But all of that was unsure until the path through this abyss was finally found. Yet, as the moments slowly passed and the canyon started to open into the wide, seemingly endless expanse of water once again, the duo’s hopes began to really rise again.

“We almost there, Wol! It’s time for us to rise to the surface again and to tell the others that we found the way!” Azurefin spoke in great relief, willing to believe he had been through the worst on this quest. His sister’s expression told without a doubt that she was pondering about her brother’s proposition. It was true that they had already passed the massive current above them so there was no real reason for them to linger here any longer. She turned at her brother’s direction and answered to him in similar hopes.

“You’re right, brother. It shouldn’t take too long to reach…” Suddenly, the same voice the two hard earlier returned, the otherworldly cry immediately prompting the duo to quickly escape into the crevices of the cliff, praying that the unknown creature would just leave them in peace, whatever its intentions. The two looked into the complete, endless darkness, their blood roaring in their ears. However, it was nothing when compared to the sight of a distant, dark fin quickly passing by in the distance. Azurefin looked in horror at its mere size as it was something his kind had never seen before. The fin had only flashed in the distance but he had already seen enough. The creature had to be countless of times bigger than even the mightiest of swimming sharpteeth at the upper reaches of the Big Water and even the longnecks were nothing when compared to this monster. Azurefin would have wanted to close his eyes and imagine to be once again in his home, spending one of those endless happy days with his kin. However, he knew better than to escape the reality he had voluntarily got himself in. After a minute had passed, he quickly whispered to his sister who was just as panicked as he was.

 “Let’s go before that creature returns. I wouldn’t want to face it again.” He said as he slowly moved away from the tiny cave and with a terrifying feeling, began to head straight upwards. Wol concentrated all of her willpower into following him as the two prayed in their minds that nothing would stop their flight at this point. For the first time in their lives, the two felt completely hopeless hanging in this utter darkness without being able to do anything to defend themselves. There was no trace of that mysterious creature anywhere but it was more than clear that it didn’t mean it wasn’t lurking somewhere nearby. Yet, even in this moment, something caught Wol’s eye, something she hadn’t wanted to see.

“Look there, Azurefin. Tell me that it isn’t true.” In the middle of the darkness opened a wide cliff, one they hadn’t seen before. But it was the realization about what lied beyond it that shocked her greatly. There was no ground there, meaning it was yet another step into the depths of the Big Water which only pointed into one possibility: the two weren’t nearly even at the Big Water’s lowest floor and there was no way to tell what monstrosities lied down there. Maybe it was something she wasn’t even supposed to know but even her small moment of fear and wonder was one thing she couldn’t have afforded in this merciless place. The last thing she heard was a panicked gasp from her brother, but the following warning never reached her ears. He immediately tried to reach her but the shadow fell upon her far too quickly for him to be able to do anything to help her. Wol, for the briefest of moments, could feel a warm embrace around her before the massive jaws of the sharptooth cut her small, frail body into two before then closing the mouth that would her tomb forever.

Azurefin tried his all to get his dear sister out of the harm’s way but there was nothing he could do. Just as he was about to reach her, the row of teeth close and the male was left looking at the sight, completely in loss of what to do. Only a few, short seconds earlier, Wol had been here and just like that, it was all over. The realization came slowly to him and a flicker of unimaginable pain hit his heart. A few tears formed in his eyes as he looked into the monster’s face, devoid of any emotion or thought whatsoever. Even then, he knew he didn’t have time to linger here any longer as the grey-colored, flat-headed creature turned its attention at him, prompting the smaller swimmer to turn around and make his escape and carry on the fruits of his and his sister’s last day together. Everything felt like some kind of bad dream to Azurefin and no sensible thoughts rose to his mind before he felt a blow to his left side.

Three of the beast’s teeth sank into the swimmer’s underbelly but instinctually he moved he dashed away from the death’s embrace. His body twitched in endless pain but no matter what, he’d pass on the knowledge of this place to the others. He had never swam this quickly before in his life and knew that he’d never do so again either. At all times, he feared that his chaser would catch him and cut his escape for good. But it never came. Slowly but surely, careful flickers of light started to again smile on his face but it served only to reveal a tear-filled, broken swimmer who already begun to feel his body beginning to weaken.

Only a few minutes earlier, seeing the sweet rays of the Bright Circle again had been his greatest wish but now, it didn’t bring him any happiness. His sister was gone and so would he soon enough. He didn’t even want to watch at his wound but he could very well tell it was lethal. After a dash which seemed to last for an eternity, he finally landed on the same cliff near the Great Water Path where the treacherous current had swept them into the abyss only less than an hour ago. Azurefin panted heavily as he fell into the soft sand, the warmth of the water around him bringing him some relief in this dark hour. He then released the loudest call he could at this point, hoping it would reach his herd and enabling him to ensure the two swimmers’ search hadn’t been for nothing.

The following wait was filled with fleeting images of his life and friends he’d possibly never see again. Even the death of his beloved sister seemed nothing more like a dream at this point and deep down, he was relieved that the sharptooth’s hit would reunite him with her soon enough. In a way, the two had succeeded in traversing a place no swimmer like him had never before. Maybe, just maybe, that was something to be grateful for. He seemed to slowly be drifting away when he heard a shocked voice above him.

“Azurefin, you made it! B… but where’s Wol? Is… is she…?” The red-colored swimmer was the first one of the group of his fellow herd members who saw him but she couldn’t see what was wrong with the male. Azurefin’s gaze rose upwards and he was more than relieved to hear most of the herd arriving around him. Their happy yet concerned faces made him feel slightly better but his voice’s weakness surprised even the swimmer himself.

“Wol’s gone. A sharptooth got her down there and… and Azurefin too. My whole belly is sliced open.” He said as the others finally noticed the pools of blood around him which were quickly drawn away by the currents around him. The others gasped audibly, only now realizing he didn’t have much time left. One of them, the same older and purple-colored female who had warned him earlier, moved closer to him, willing to give Azurefin a chance to tell what he had to tell.

“What happened? Did you find the way through the Great Water Path?” Those were the obvious questions which Azurefin had of course expected. Slowly and with an increasingly forced voice, he slowly recounted his tale to the others whose gazes communicated disbelief and compassion to the young male. None of them could have imagined their home being surrounded by such a hellish place. It seemed like they were supposed to stay here, near the surface after all. Also, it seemed like their fear of the Great Water Path had always been correct. Just as he had finished his tale, one of the other swimmers asked one question to clarify Azurefin’s point.

“I’m so sorry, Azurefin, but at least you found the way through the current! You managed to do it after…” At this point, the injured swimmer glanced at the speaker in clear anger and disapproval. It hurt him to speak this quickly but he had already made up his mind about this. If anything, he and his sister had only found an answer to the question why no swimmer should venture back there, no matter what. This one warning would be the two siblings’ legacy.

“No we didn’t. I ask of you, go the way you were planning to go. Down in the depths wait only horrors and monstrous swimmers. We… you must never return there. Wol and I already paid for our mistakes. Please… don’t do the same.” After those words, the horribly maimed swimmer breathed deeply, moving his fin for the very last time before his head fell to the sandy ground, the latest victim of the mysterious depths under the calm surface of the Big Water.


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Sovereign

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The Perils of the Deep
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 03:08:14 pm »
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“After that day, none of Mo’s kind has gone back there just as Azurefin wanted. We swimmers may often be careless but we also know when there’s something we must not do. Mo love Big Water but I would never go to that place no matter what.” He finished, looking around himself in slight shudder. The whole mysterious blackness and invisible sharpteeth were too much for the swimmer. Littlefoot, too, looked at the water before himself, compassion for the two deceased swimmers filling his mind. All they had wanted was to help and all they had gotten out of it was an unfair, early death. Even worse, all of his fears about the Big Water were proven to be true.

“I… I understand, Mo. But it’s just so wrong. Wol and Azurefin were good swimmers but once again, they were taken away because of one mistake. You’re right that this was a story that didn’t make me happy at all but I’m glad you told me this. At least now I know what creatures really lurk down there. That’s something even Mr. Thicknose has never heard about.” Littlefoot instinctually pulled a bit further from the waters, its calm waves suddenly taking countless threatening shapes and forms. The swimmer noticed this gesture but he couldn’t really blame the longneck for his reaction.

“You right, Littlefoot. No one has seen that big, bad swimmer after that but it still down there and we still haven’t seen what is even deeper. There are many sharpteeth near the surface but nothing as terrifying as the one Wol and Azurefin met. But don’t worry. We are here and they down there. They won’t hurt us here.” He spoke silently, almost as a whisper, to the other boy who turned to look at him in worry. There was still one area where his curiosity wasn’t completely sated.

“B… but what if the sharptooth that got the two was the only one of his kind? I mean… what if most of the deep Big Water is actually nice?” He tried to come up with an explanation that could make that place at least a bit better than in Mo’s tale. He was a curious soul and even through all of his fear and sadness, a tiny flicker of his mind would have wanted to explore those new places as the first of his kind, even if he knew the very concept was ludicrous. Mo’s shaking of his head only reinforced that conclusion.

“Nope. If Littlefoot listened to Mo, you’d knew there were other creatures of bad sleep stories there and the darkness and coldness are alone enough Mo’s kind from going down there again. Azurefin and Wol were good swimmers and even they didn’t make it back from there.” Mo said, willing to make sure Littlefoot took his warning seriously. The longneck looked at him with a bothered look and he simply couldn’t deny the wisdom that there were certain places and secrets better left alone. However, those thoughts were soon cut short as he heard a brief snore behind him. His brief talk with Mo had stretched greatly and it was time for him to join his friends in the realm of sleep stories.

“Well, thanks a lot, Mo. Your tale was a great one but now it’s time for us to go to sleep. It’ll be a long day tomorrow to get you back home.” The boy said while yawning, preparing to turn around and join his friends in the friendly longneck’s nest. A smile appeared on Mo’s face at the mere mention of their journey’s goal and he, too, felt the beginnings of weariness creep their way into his fins.

“Good night, Littlefoot. Mo hope you sleep well!” The swimmer said as Littlefoot looked at him in approval for the last time tonight. Yet, the longneck was happy to get away from the water as the knowledge of what lurked down there already made him feel worried beyond measure. All of his earlier fears about the Big Water were proven true and on this night, the waves of even this small river turned dark and menacing, each of them possibly hiding a creature which would spell doom for any other dinosaur near them, whereas only a short while earlier he had marveled at the new creatures Mo had shown him. Yet, not even these fears could hold back the young longneck’s happiness and growing fatigue as he curled next to his friends, more than grateful to be able to share another night with them under the brilliant star-filled sky.

This is my offering for the March prompt challenge. I'm actually surprised how few LBT fics try to tread into the unexplored areas of the Big Water but I decided to give it a try with this story. I hope to have managed to shed some light into the backstory of Mo's herd but I'll leave that for you to decide. This is my longest short story thus far and feel free to share your thoughts about it!

rhombus

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The Perils of the Deep
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 01:22:04 am »
This was quite a welcome surprise to read.  Though a prompt such as March's would tend to lend itself for a shorter story, you have managed to not only take an incredibly original concept that to my knowledge has not been explored in the fandom (the Big Water and Mo's herd) but have also crafted a longer story that made me truly feel for our two protagonists.  Throughout the entire story I was quite concerned for both Wol and Azurefin (for good reason it turns out) as they continued to descend into the dark depths. As soon as the story mentioned the cliffs and their elation at thinking that they were close to home, I knew what was about to happen.  The confirmation that they were actually looking at the deeper portions of the continental shelf, and then the coming of the sharptooth, only added to the growing dread.  Though Wol finally found his way to his herd, it was a Pyrrhic victory. His sister was gone and he was fading, only surviving long enough to tell his story.  A story that doubled as his epitaph.

Besides the well-made tale within the story, the interactions between Mo and Littlefoot were also interesting.  In particular I found the differences in the longneck and swimmer mentality to be a nice example of cultural dissonance in the LBT universe.  In many ways the swimmers seem to have an element of the Bronze Age mentality in them, in that the need to secure a reputation for oneself could overwhelm other considerations, such as safety.  In the end Wol and Azurefin succeeded in doing so, securing their names in story-form forever, but their adventurous swim was their last.  A cautionary tale for the descendants in their herd.

Very nicely done.  :) This is a truly strong showing for the March prompt, and it easily exceeds what I expected from this prompt.  Though I hope to post my own attempt at this prompt in the next week, I highly doubt that it will get close to rivaling this offering.  :yes


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
Mender's Tale.

Ducky123

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The Perils of the Deep
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 11:23:02 pm »
Wow, that was a good read! :wow

To see a story about Mo was a really pleasant surprise although his role was a passive one in this story.

Mo's species appears to be the sort of swimmer who would live in shallow waters so it is only natural that they view the depths of the abyssian ocean as dangerous and off-topic. The characterization of their kind to be funky in some ways is also spot on yet even a kind such as Mo's knows its limits and boundaries.

I really liked the two main characters. Reading about young and energetic characters struggling against established rules and taboos is always refreshing. Their objective seems to be ridiculous but what if they're indeed right?

Turns out though in this case it would have been better to listen. I think they almost died a couple times within the current alone. Down in the depths of the abyss (which isn't even the bottom) where darkness reigns, they realize how terrible it really is down there and, ultimately, the both pay the prize.

It's not easy to write takes with an unhappy ending but I think you did a very good job here. :)

A really excellent short story, you keep coming up with such interesting tales yep yep yep! :)littlefoot
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

Sovereign

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The Perils of the Deep
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 02:50:00 pm »
Thanks for the reviews you two. :) I'm glad you liked this fic as it took quite a bit of brainstorming to come up with it.

Quote
His sister was gone and he was fading, only surviving long enough to tell his story. A story that doubled as his epitaph.

Indeed. This was meant to be a morbid fic but one that would hold some justice or hope for the characters. In the end, the duo managed to prove that a way could be forged through the Water Path but it wasn't worth the price. About Littlefoot and Mo, that was another issue I wanted to explore as Mo seemed extremely lighthearted most of the times but he didn't seem to be stupid. I wanted to light the differences in their kinds' line of thinking and that offered another nice aspect to this fic in addition to the idea of telling Littlefoot about the mythical places he'll never be able to visit. It's great to hear that you liked this story as I'm quite glad of it myself. :yes

Quote
Mo's species appears to be the sort of swimmer who would live in shallow waters so it is only natural that they view the depths of the abyssian ocean as dangerous and off-topic. The characterization of their kind to be funky in some ways is also spot on yet even a kind such as Mo's knows its limits and boundaries.

I really liked the two main characters. Reading about young and energetic characters struggling against established rules and taboos is always refreshing. Their objective seems to be ridiculous but what if they're indeed right?

Turns out though in this case it would have been better to listen. I think they almost died a couple times within the current alone. Down in the depths of the abyss (which isn't even the bottom) where darkness reigns, they realize how terrible it really is down there and, ultimately, the both pay the prize.

It's not easy to write takes with an unhappy ending but I think you did a very good job here.

The characterizations were a bit of a problem as I initially started writing Azurefin and Wol with rather ordinary personalities but I realized very soon they needed some additional color, alongside with their herd. In the end, I made them somewhat similar to Mo who I found a satisfying mix between a comic relief and a serious character and I'm glad you found that compromise well done. As for your later comment, the duo's herd didn't see the depth off-limits per se but they avoided it out of fear which our heroes tried to break. In this case, the two should have listened to their kind's natural fear about this issue even if they managed to make themselves immortal in a way.

Again, thanks a lot about your kind reviews! Unfortunately, I think I won't be taking part in the April prompt this one took so much time and I'll be having a trip in a few weeks. But I'll try to return in time for the May prompt. :yes