‘Design a scene where tranquillity is unnerving. What makes it eerie? Can you impart the feeling without using the words unnerving eerie or their synonyms?’
OK, gonna use GW2 RP character to try this.
The silence was complete.
The forest was never quiet. There was always something making noise. Maguuma was alive in a very real sense. Even the chasms in the ground contained vines that were shifting and slithering.
Birds called out in the day, a myriad of rainbow colours. Wild boar and other rooting animals shuffled through the undergrowth. The peoples of the forest were a reflection of the environment. Despite the nightly assaults they found time to sing, dance, play.
The remaining Pact forces in the jungle worked tirelessly during lulls in the fighting to repair weapons and defences. Varicose swarms of pocket raptors brought down screaming prey. Tigers growled and roared to affirm territory and ward off any that might stray near them.
At night, the minions came. Gaining strength in the darkness. The jungle rang with battle cries and fleeing animals caught in the crossfire.
The dragon whispered…
It was all gone… silence, total and utter.
It was wrong.
The tall blue sylvari, hidden in the foliage, edged out of cover. It was night and she was swathed in black and green, hiding her glow from those that may target her. Her footfalls sounded over loud in the night. Her ears twitched and she froze, waiting for the inevitable attack that must come, yet it did not. Her eyes swept over the tree line then scanned the ground.
Nothing stirred, nothing moved. Senses strained. Nothing, oppressive and thick nothing. There should have been relief, but she felt only tension and stain. The jungle was holding it’s breath. Every creature waiting for a monumental- something to happen.
Her nerves began to fray. Pulled taut, they unravelled. The silence in her mind was the most disturbing. What was keeping the dragon so occupied? The lack of sound pressed round her ears. She could hear her own sap pulsing through her body.
She bolted. Instinct born from hard lessons in Orr pushed her on. Her magic came in a rush, she jumped, blinked and even vanished utterly at times. Anything to get her back to camp as swiftly as possible.
Something was coming and she did not want to be in the open when it-
The roar that echoed through her mind made her fall to her knees. Momentum carried her on, skidding across moss and slamming into a tree.
She screamed, so did everything else around her. The noise thrummed through her, then it came. Wave after wave of wild, raw magic.
Barriers, so carefully constructed round the needy and gaping maw within her, shattered. She remained still, mouth open, now not even able to scream as the reservoir within her was filled and overflowed. She was found insensible and burbling nonsense just outside base camp.
It took a long time for her to come back to herself. Weeks. When she was told the dragon was dead she began to weep. The world was changed for her. The threat was gone but had been replaced by something far more personal, even vindictive. When would she stop having to pay for a mistake made four years past?
A gnarled hand, strong and twisted with age took hers and she looked up at the rugged bark of her dearheart. He had a patch over his eye. When had that happened? She would later learn that the patch was her fault also. More consequences from the death of the dragon.
“Do not cry,” he told her in his gruff tone. “While you live there is hope.” He sounded unsure, was he panicking at seeing her cry?
Perhaps, but his words, as usual, held wisdom. She was too stubborn to give in. Though it was clear she could no longer serve the order as she once had. Was she useless now? What of her half remembered hunt? Her pride stung.
As if sensing her thoughts, she was abruptly pulled into a lingering hug.
He had never needed words to get his point across. She would endure, for his sake if for no other reason.