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the 2019 pc video game called " MOONBLOOD " by lucas theodore quotation text is here is here , quote : The Moonblood Festival
by Lucas T and PJ

Special thanks to Allison Steele for sensitivity reading

This game is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.
Feel free to reuse all premises and content with attribution for any non-commercial purposes.

We have attempted to make this narrative as inclusive as possible. However, we recognize that it cannot reflect all experiences.

CN: Menstruation and blood, body shaming, transphobia, physical abuse, infertility, grief.


You are roused from your sleep by your little sister Alia, nudging you. “Wake up! I can hear the music!"

You sit up, rubbing your face, as your friends stir around you. The sway of the wagon on the dark road had lulled you all. The farmer in the driver’s seat turns around and grins. “You here for the Moonblood Fair now? I thought so. I been hauling wagonloads of kids as long as I’ve been trading with your town. Your folks know you’re going?”

You’re propped against your friend Vadhe and she elbows you out of the way as she sits up. “I’m no child, sir.” Her husband Calister loops an arm around her shoulders. She scowls at the farmer. “I need no one’s permission.”

The farmer laughs. “Course not, course not. Still, you’re all kids to me.”

You gaze down the road and see lights in the distance. “Is that a town?”

"Towns are dark tonight, friend,” says the farmer. “Everyone’s at the fair.”

You gape. You’ve never seen that much light in your entire town. “This is all…” You hush you voice in spite of yourself. “This is all for the dirty bleeding?”

“Dirty bleeding?” The farmer roars with laughter. “You’ll learn, kid. You’ll learn.”

You think of the whispered stories passed down from older teens who sneaked out to the fair. You feel…
Queasy. You start to doubt your decision to come.
Excited. You love breaking a good taboo.

You stare at the lights eagerly, hungry for forbidden adventure. You wonder if your mother ever sneaked out to this festival.

Your friend Ethine, always the one bustling sensibly about the room, somehow manages to do the same in the confines of the wagon. She checks that your bags are packed, brushes straw out of your hair, and reminds everyone to hydrate. “We’re going to be having a lot of fun and we need to be ready.”

Ethine and Calister prepare while you, Vadhe, and Alia sit transfixed by the lights.

In time the cart arrives at the gates to the fair. A group of attendants in red robes try haplessly to turn the jovial crowd into an orderly queue as they pour in the gates. Your group hangs back, taking in the fairgoers’ many shapes and sizes. You try to match them to your father’s tales. An orc is easy to spot, hulking and tusked, her face smeared with… surely warpaint, right? You look at the little fellow springing along at her knee. A halfling? A gnome?

It’s Calister who breaks the silence, clapping his hands and stepping forward. “We have a lot to do and only a single night. Let’s move.” He wraps his arm around Vadhe’s waist as they plunge into the crowd.

Ethine hurries after them. “You forgot your knapsack!”

Little Alia has eyes only for the jewel-colored candies and golden pastries in a vendor’s box, so you take her hand and tug it. “Sister, let’s go!” She follows you obediently as if sleepwalking and the river of people closes around you, sweeping you through the gates.

Once through the gates, the crowd fans out and deposits you in a courtyard. The courtyard is small but crowded, with various tents forming a circle around a main area where wandering attendants answer questions and try to manage lines, while snack vendors wander about selling various delicious smelling foods and other souveniers. Red shaded lanterns and banners hang between tents, and the sounds of conversation, chanting, singing, and laughter in many different languages fill your ears.

Ethine has corralled the others, reminding them, “We need a plan.” She is small and soft while Calister and Vadhe tower solidly over her, and it makes you laugh to see them nodding sheepishly along like naughty children. She waves you over and gently touches Alia’s face, waking her from her reverie. “Where should we go first?”

“We’ve got places to go,” says Vadhe. “You all can come or not. I don’t care.” Calister nods. Alia is pointing eagerly at a man spinning red sugar into a fluffy cloud.

Ethine sighs. “This group is like herding cats, as usual.” She brightens. "Oh, that will help you remember! If that doesn’t work out for any reason, remember we are staying the night at the Blue Cat tavern in town. Now, where is everyone going?" She looks at you.

Who do you choose to stick with?

Vadhe and Calister. Vadhe has been acting strange and you wonder where she’s going. Alia will be safe with Ethine.
Alia. She’s your little sister and you need to look out for her. This branch is not available in the prototype.
Ethine. Everybody always takes her for granted. This branch is not available in the prototype.

Ethine and Alia link arms and bound off, surely in search of something sweet to eat. You start to ask Vadhe where you’re going but she strides ahead of you, the crowd parting before her as they see her imposing figure. Calister marches behind her, lovestruck as always, and you scurry to keep up with them. “Vadhe!” you call. “Where are we going?”

By the time you catch up with her, she is talking intently with a serene-faced elf while Calister peers queasily at an anatomical-looking statue. “I know that look in your eyes,” the elf is saying. “You need to speak with our elders.”

“I told you, I need to see a healer! If you’re not going to help me…” Vadhe starts to pull away, and the elf woman steps into her path. Normally unafraid to bowl people over, Vadhe stops short as the woman lays a hand on her arm.

The elf murmurs, “I will show you to the healer. There will be time for the elders later.”

Calister scowls and kicks at the dirt. “I want to be done and out of here. This is no place for a man.” The elf shoots him an amused look.

“Where are we going?” you ask again.

“I need help,” Vadhe says more softly than you’ve ever heard her speak. “To carry a child.” She lays a hand on her stomach and Calister laces his fingers through hers. “Tell me,” she orders the elf, “Who can fix my womb?”

The elf sighs with a tired smile. “Young people, always looking for fixing. That’s the gnomes’ specialty.”

“You said you’d take us to them.”

“I will.” The woman begins to drift through the crowd and you trail after her, Vadhe and Calister hovering impatiently at her side.

You find yourself in a clearing that looks like it’s been used as an arena previously, with the grass stomped down to the earth. Torches light the way to a large tent with a wide opening, so the stars may be seen from within, where a circle of large Orcish women sit, loudly arguing and eating hearty bowls of delicious smelling stew. Teams of orcs work on various projects, whether that be working on carving a recently felled tree into a sculpture of the Orcish Moon Goddess, or hanging up banners and singing gruff chants.

A series of cloths hang flutter in the breeze, each bearing a large rust-colored streak. Calister halts, while Vadhe and the elf stride ahead without noticing. “Is that…” He looks faint.

A burly orc with elaborate braids steps up and slaps him on the back. “What’s the matter, son? You’re afraid of a little blood?”

Calister straightens up indignantly, bringing himself eye level with her chin. “I’m not afraid of blood! My wife and I are the youngest members of our town militia. I’ve seen buckets of blood. I’m not afraid of my own or anyone else’s.”

“Wonderful!” The orc throws an arm around his shoulders and pulls him towards the cloth. “This was my bedcover before my first big battle. A great sign, my parents told me, to bleed with such vigor.” She sighs and points at a cloth whose stain dwarfs the rest. “Ah, but my brother! Such a flow we had never seen. He slew seven warriors before being cut down.” She dabs at her eyes with the edge of her cloth. Calister watches her raptly. “We had hoped that one day he could offer enough blood for the dwarves to quench a sword. The blood of your enemies is fine for charms but greater still is blood freely offered from one you love.”

Vadhe and the elf had paused to argue, but now they are disappearing into the crowd. You urge Calister to follow.

“Walk with us!” he calls back to the orc as you lead him away. “I want to know more about the sword charms!” She just smiles and waves.

“I thought you wanted to be done and out of here?” you needle Calister. He grumbles and hurries ahead.

You catch up to Vadhe at the Gnomish bureau for science and anatomy instruction tent. Your first impression is just how busy it is, with charts, diagrams, handwritten notes, and various other informational pieces peppering the area in no apparent order. Despite this, a crowd has formed at multiple areas of the presentation, listening to gnomes give lectures on various esoteric subjects relating to wombs and bleeding.

A gnome is perched on the edge of a cluttered table, listening intently to Vadhe. Vadhe stops talking abruptly as she notices Calister approaching. You hang back to watch their exchange.

All material from the American Pregnancy Association

“Oh, this must be your fellow!” chirps the gnome. “You’re just in time. I was just explaining the cycle to your lovely lady here. You village humans, they don’t teach you anything…” She points at an elaborate chart and begins rambling, as Vadhe and Calister both turn red and shift uncomfortably. “Now, some time between eleven and twenty-one days after your cycle, your body produces an egg.”

Calister’s brow furrows. “An egg?” he asks, holding up his hands to make the shape of a hen’s egg.

The gnome sighs. “My goodness, my goodness. Okay… like a chicken egg, but no shell. And really tiny. Coming from the ovaries…” She points at Vadhe’s stomach, “down the fallopian tube, and into the uterus.”

All material from the American Pregnancy Association

Vadhe and Calister both stare at her blankly. The elf pats the gnome’s shoulder. “Let me try.” Brushing the gnome’s hand away, she points at Vadhe’s stomach. “You have one day when the egg-spark for a baby is in your womb. We don’t know exactly when, but it will usually be eleven to twenty-one days after the bleeding stops. Calister will need to put his sperm-seed in at that time. Do you know how to do that?” Calister sputters incoherently. Vadhe leans in to whisper to the elf, who nods. “Okay, good. The sperm-seed can wait in the womb for two to five days, so you want to put it in there early.” She smiles slyly at them. “Every other day if you can. Do you think you can manage that?” Vadhe smiles while Calister stares into the distance.

All material from the American Pregnancy Association

“How often do you bleed?” pipes the gnome. Vadhe takes a step back and puts up her fists.

The elf smoothly steps in again. “Perhaps you can just explain the calendar, dear.”

The gnome pushes a scroll at Vadhe, who hesitates and then accepts it. The gnome says, “If you have more than 28 days between first bleeding one month to first bleeding the next, then the… the egg-spark may be in your womb at a different time. Use this calendar to write down the first day of your bleeding each month, so you know how often it comes. Then you can use these charts to know when… when he should put in his sperm-seed.”

All material from the American Pregnancy Association

Vadhe kicks at the ground. “I… was not taught how to read.”

The gnome looks at Calister. “Were you taught?” Calister nods and the gnome claps her hands. “It looks like you have a project to do together!” Vadhe and Calister glance shyly at each other, then Calister takes Vadhe’s hand. “Oh, lovebirds,” sighs the gnome. “Eat healthy, avoid drinking and pipe-smoking, and come right back here next year if you’re still having troubles.”

“A year?” yelps Vadhe.

"How long have you been trying?"

Vadhe flushes. “Three months…” She lifts her chin. “My sister was with child immediately, and I’m at least as good as her.” She punches the air. “This lady said that gnomes are good at fixing things! I need you to fix my womb!”

“Goodness, goodness, child,” sighs the gnome. “The best thing I can prescribe you right now is patience.” She hands Vadhe and Calister another scroll. “And information for knowing the early signs. You could be with child already and not even know it.”

A mixture of emotions pass over the couple’s faces—deflated, hopeful, perplexed. The elf lays a hand on each of their shoulders. “Now are you ready for to hear from our elders?” They nod meekly and she leads you into the trees.

You follow the signs near the edge of the fair deeper and deeper away from the clearing, and further into a dense forest. It seems to slowly turn into more and more of a hike until you find yourself at a sudden clearing, carefully manicured to have a velvety moss circle near the center, with a small tent in the middle. Sitting in front of it is a dark-eyed elf, looking at you with a somewhat melancholic, but also serene expression. He stands and clasps the hands of the elf accompanying you as you arrive.

“I think my new friends here are in need of some perspective,” she says. “I hoped we could visit the Terrace of the Elders.”

The dark-eyed elf leads you through the clearing. The visitors are sparser here, and quieter, taking time to enjoy the flow-inspired sculptures and paintings that have been set out for their perusal. You had no idea anything so beautiful could come from such a reprehended topic. You pass by a dramatic scene as actors tell of a sinister plot, a warlord spreading tales of bloodborne plagues to tear apart the harmony of the festival. Did this really happen? You want to stay and see the conclusion, but your guides walk steadily onward.

At last they lead you into a shallow valley, where you find elders of all shapes and sizes sipping tea at delicately wrought tables. A few appear to be much younger, and you look at your guides quizzically but are too shy to ask. Your guide stops you at the edge of the gathering. “This place is for those who have ceased their flow,” she says. “Our Lady brings us an ending and a beginning.” She nods towards a small group of younger people. “And of course, women who were born without wombs, or with wombs that never flowed. Visited by Our Lady from their very moment of creation.”

Do you belong on on this terrace?

Yes, you are a woman born without a womb.
Yes, your flow stopped at an early age.
No, you still flow each month.
No, you are not a woman nor have you ever flowed.

The elf steps in and confers briefly with a small group of varied elders, who follow her back to you. “My young friends here want a child,” she says. “But the waiting is so hard.”

“It is,” says a wizened elf. “I waited two hundred years.” Vadhe’s eyes widen. The woman continues, “But it was worth every moment of waiting for the moment I held my son in my arms.”

“I was born without a womb,” says a small woman. You are still unsure of the difference between gnomes and halflings. “While I do wish at times that I could have carried my daughter in my body, I would not trade her for anything.” She takes a case from her pocket and opens it to show you a delicately painted portrait of a very pregnant orc.

A hearty dwarf says, “I waited with hope every month. I felt like my flow was my enemy and wished I could fight it off. We refer to the cessation of flow as the Age of Ending and Beginning, and it truly was that.” Her voice becomes quiet and solemn. “Letting go of my dreams also meant my dreams let go of me. I would that my old life were otherwise, but I also thank the Great Mother for the start of my new life.”

“Why are you all telling me this?” Vadhe clenches her jaw, looking for a moment like she is going to cry, but instead she punches the air. “I can make my body do anything. I can climb a tree like a squirrel. I can stand on my hands. I can lift a wagon. But I can’t… control… my womb…” The tears start to flow. The elf who has been guiding you puts her arms out and Vadhe collapses into them.

“Oh darling,” she says, patting Vadhe on the back. “Who has been teaching you to battle Fate like she is an enemy warlord? Do you plan to battle a child in the same way?” She steps back and puts her hands on Vadhe’s shoulders. Glancing at the others, she says, “I think this child needs guidance from a higher authority than us.” The others murmur assent and you are led up a winding path.

At last, you reach tall rock face with a cave set in it. You see Alia and Ethine in line and hurry to join them. The line moves very quickly and you soon reach the entrance, and see that it splits into many narrow tunnels. Each member of your group is pointed in a separate direction.

At last, you reach tall rock face with a cave set in it. You see Alia and Ethine in line and hurry to join them. The line moves very quickly and you soon reach the entrance, and see that it splits into many narrow tunnels. Each member of your group is pointed in a separate direction.

You walk deeper into the darkness, feeling your way along the pebbled cave wall. The cave gets darker and darker, eventually turning pitch black, like your eyes have been plucked out. You close your eyes and gently touch your eyelids, assuring yourself that the soft globes are still there. You look back the way you came but no hint of a door remains. Yet you do not feel afraid. As you take another step the curve of the wall veers sharply away from you, and you can tell from the echo of your footsteps that you have entered a great chamber. Somehow you know just what to do: you take ten steps forward and then stop. Memories begin to well up.

You remember the first time you bled, soaking through your trousers unaware, and the urgency with which Vadhe hurried you away from your playmates. You remember picking your way through the briars in the wood to wash your rags in the faraway hidden stream. Encountering your neighbor there, turning away from each other and scrubbing in silence. The disgust curling your father’s lip when he noticed a stain on your sheets. Hot shame floods you and you hang your head. In the center of the chamber—or is it in your mind’s eye? You see a river flowing black with sludge.

“Why are you showing me this?” you ask the chamber. “Why are you tormenting me?"

A hooting laugh echoes through the chamber. “What were you hoping to see in here, child? More pretty lies?” The voice seems to come from all directions and inside you at once. “You and I know the truth, the blood that flows from within you is filthy and no amount of song and poetry can change that."

The poetry and song. Newer memories grapple with the old ones, struggling to push their way to the surface. The elves’ garden of art. The orc and her proudly waving sheets. The shining faces in the glow of the lantern-light.

“It’s sad, yes? Embarrassing, really. Pretending like bleeding makes you special. Like there’s magic to it.”

A second presence rises quietly in your ear. “It’s true, there is nothing truly special about the bleeding, anymore than any action of the body is a miracle. Eating. Breathing. And yet it has a great power, because people have given it one. It can drive people apart or bring them together You decide for yourself.”

You hold the memories of the night tightly to you, focusing on the black river. For a moment—just a moment, you can see it running a clean and healthy red. Then the sludge returns and the cruel voice laughs again. “You know that your people are right. This event is a disgrace, people playing in their own filth. The river is black again, yes? You see through the illusions."

You concentrate again on the twinkling lights of the festival, the illuminated, happy faces of the fairgoers. Again the river flickers an elegant ruby red, but only for a moment. Tears stream down your face in frustration. “That’s it,” the voice tells you. “Despite what the stories would have us believe, the darkness is not driven out in one strike. But the threads are not gone, only invisible to you for now--you have planted a seed of light that you will carry with you always. Feel the connection.”

You close your eyes one more time and see not only the purity of the river, but infinite strands of light streaming into the darkness. You can’t see the ends but you know each connects you to another person. A warmth fills you—and then it all flickers out again. But you know it will be there when you need it.

“Now go,” urges the voice. “There is no point to standing and arguing with the darkness. Spread the light to those who lack it.”

A door opens before you and warm lantern light streams in. You walk out and somehow find yourself near the entrance of the fair. Your sister and friends are there too, dazed and blinking. Calister steadies himself with an arm around Vadhe’s waist. Alia and Ethine clutch each other’s hands. You are greeted with faraway smiles as you approach.

Calister begins, “Do you think they need a couple of warriors…” and then trails off. Alia and Vadhe take your hands and you all begin walking. There will be time, later, for talking about what you have heard and seen. But for now you enjoy the glow, carried along by the warm current of the crowd, together.

The End


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