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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    GHAUL -- Year 209

    QOTY

    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby


    Starsin;
    #1
    and underneath the layers, I find myself asking what's left
    a hollowed out form, the skeleton of a ghost, the pitiful echo of what once was
    ”Starsin,” his voice crawls across the forest floor like ominous fog, coiling around the tree trunks. His eyes glimmer much like the constellations across her skin as the late afternoon shadows deepen and engulf him.

    Loess is far at his back as he dives into the deciduous forest, depending on his acute senses to steer him through the ranks of vegetation until he sees her in the near distance. Nothing has changed – not her body, her temperament, her trust – and Castile can nearly grasp the solidity of their developed friendship as he edges closer until his breath reaches across her like tendrils of smoldering sulfur. ”I miss you,” he comments as a lopsided, boyish grin slants across his lips, ”and the quick wit.” Starsin has always been a figure of Loess, a branch of power without ever needing a crown. She will forever be one of his strongest allies, a deep confidant, as the waves across Beqanna begin to shuffle and stir once more.

    Slipping to her side, Castile observes the forest and listens to the voices that carry through the tangled branches. ”Thank you for taking Sylva after all that mess.” The gentleness of his voice is rare among outsiders, but he has come to treasure Starsin, and holds her in a higher respect than most outside of his kin. With an inquisitive tilt of his head, he quietly asks, ”Do you want to return to Loess?” Even before she answers, Castile knows that her greater interests have always lied with Loess. It runs thickly through her veins; it’s where she truthfully belongs. ”I’m thinking that if Mary succeeds in her little mission to Tephra, that she could maybe take Sylva from you, but I would want someone appointed as either her equal or a step below to keep her in check and be the tether between our two lands. What do you think?” There’s a fleeting pause as a wind sighs across their bodies, carrying a spring’s kiss to their skin. ”We have certainly… humbled her. Who could be the envoy, of sorts? Any recommendations?” A sly grin replaces the boyish amusement from previously as he searches her face for answers. 

    castile



    Starsin
    Reply
    #2

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    Her name on his lips causes her head to turn, and when she finds his mismatched eyes with hers, she offers him a smile. “Castile,” she says as she turns, her body following the curve of her neck until she is facing him. “What a pleasant surprise,” comes the rolling purr of her voice as she steps across the ground littered with vibrant leaves to meet him half way. They draw alongside of each other, and something about his presence seems to relax her. There were so few that she felt like she could be herself around, and even though Castile would never see her entirely stripped and unfiltered, he knew her better than any non-lover could claim.

    “Well, of course you miss me, what’s not to miss?” She says with a knowing quirk of a brow, and she reaches to graze her teeth against the skin of his shoulder. “But, I miss you, too. And Loess,” she says with a twinge in her breast at the thought of her home – her real home. Sylva was beautiful, and there was a small side of her that was irritated with herself for not being able to develop an attachment to it. It was important to her because it was an extension of the kingdom, and it was far more tolerable now that Ophanim was with her, but it was not home.

    She listens to him then with a quiet, thoughtful expression. She cannot hide the almost eye roll when he mentions Mary, and a noisy sigh rattles from her chest and through her lips at the thought of the previous Sylvan leader. But she lets him finish, and she is silent for a moment as she gathers her thoughts. “I mean, I suppose if you think you see a reason to give her a second chance, I could dig down really, really, really deep and….also give her a second chance.” She does not say forgive, because that was unlikely. And she certainly would never forget. “I would feel better about this idea if she comes and stays here for awhile before I just pass things off to her. And maybe after whatever unrest is going on with Heartfire, Lepis, and Wolfbane passes.” She casts him a sideways glance, before tipping her head and asking curiously, “Have you heard about that? I’m not entirely sure what’s going on but I think they want the power switched to Taiga.”

    There is a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders as she speaks of it. Her personal life had clouded much of her thoughts and taken up most of her spare time, but she recalls some of her encounter with Heartfire. “Heartfire didn’t seem too concerned with it, but, you know how these things can be. If Loess decides to get involved, I would rather not have to worry about Sylva.”

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )



    Castile

    Hi sorry this took so long AND its all over the place. I remember we had talked about Starsin letting Castile know there was something going on with Nerine/Taiga so he wasn't entirely in the dark so I tossed that in, but I also did not re-read any of that drama so I didn't go into detail lmfao
    Reply
    #3
    and underneath the layers, I find myself asking what's left
    a hollowed out form, the skeleton of a ghost, the pitiful echo of what once was
    ”And that’s exactly what I miss,” he jests with an angled tilt of his head in response to the sassiness that she is renowned for. Despite how busily voices hum through Loess, there’s an emptiness at his side that Starsin fills - the one voice that is a mountain above all the molehills. As the tides churn restlessly, it seems almost wrong to allow her to remain here, confined to the deciduous trees. He wants to take her back, to grab her wrist and jerk her back home, but he cannot – will not – force her hand. A treasured friendship, he obliges to respect her wishes.

    It is with hidden joy, however, that Castile hears her confession. A lopsided grin lifts a corner of his mouth.

    She misses him. She misses Loess.

    It will only be a matter of time then, he predicts, until she can fully return to the kingdom’s walls and leave Sylva in her wake. He offers her an option, but he can already see how her eyes harden and how she doesn’t entirely accept it on a whim. This, he thinks, is one of the many reasons he has come to enjoy her company and her opinions. ”It’s only an idea to give you relief. Is there someone else you would find more fitting? There’s always the choice of having two leaders to balance the stakes,” a shrug ripples through his shoulders as he mulls over the Loessian faces, groping for someone suitable to lead – someone that has been loyal.

    Someone that can face the looming storm.

    Castile’s eyes ignite to life when Starsin confirms the brewing unrest. He knows only traces of the unraveling events. ”Lepis came to me saying that she wants Taiga as the kingdom, yes,” his confirmation is flat but strengthens as he feeds Starsin further information, filling in any gaps. ”She stated that Taiga is stronger than Nerine, that it is flourishing and surpassing Nerine. She feels that Heartfire and Nerine would be unable to protect its two territories with so few numbers. I agreed. A kingdom should be strong and capable of defending the herds and territories beneath it. I support the idea of the strongest land being a kingdom.” There is no shame in that. Whether it is his predatory nature that dominance and strength work hand-in-hand or a perspective relating to survival of the fittest. Either way, he supports Lepis if Taiga is supreme.

    ”Heartfire I’m sure is pissed, but she doesn’t like to show much. It’s part of her intimidation tactic she uses on others – makes it seem like nothing bothers her, like she has no weaknesses or emotions,” he shrugs, unfazed by his pseudo-aunt. She can try to persuade him with silence and jaded comments, but he is accustomed to her maneuvers and brooding thoughts. ”I imagine there may be some trouble ahead. I want to ensure that Loess, Sylva, and the Pampas are prepared.” He pauses to look around, remembering his brief time in the forest when he was just a boy, stolen from Hyaline by his friend. ”I want our families safe.” He adds quietly before meeting her eyes, searching them for more answers as to what she knows. 


    castile



    Starsin
    Reply
    #4

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    She was not a girl where loyalty came naturally to her. She was so accustomed to pretending to be someone else — anyone, really, anyone besides herself — that it was hard for her to recognize when she cared about something. It was not until just before the Tephra-Loess war that she realized she truly felt a connection to Loess and that she was no longer having to fake it. It was how most of her emotions were discovered; they were nearly non-existent until they were suddenly crashing over top of her. It made staying in Sylva difficult, but she was not one to leave a job half-done, and so she would stay until there was someone trustworthy enough to pass it over to.

    “There’s no one else I trust, honestly. Besides Brigade, but, I don’t think he’s interested.” There is a brief, nearly invisible flicker of concern in her dark blue eyes when she realizes she hasn’t actually seen Brigade recently. Not that she had looked for him, but still. “I’m okay here, for now. I have Ophie with me and that matters the most.” As much as she loved the kingdom of Loess she would always love him and their family more. She could tolerate Sylva for a little while longer if need be.

    The topic turns back to Nerine and Taiga, and for a moment her face is marred by a frown. “I think it’s good for us to be prepared, but, this also feels like Nerine and Taiga’s fight. Unless one of them specifically asks for Loess to get involved I think staying in the background is wise.” She does not reveal the personal issues that she knows have transpired between Wolfbane and Lepis. Even if she does not feel especially close to a Lepis she still liked her enough to not drag her through anymore unnecessary pain by treating her relationship like just another political puzzle piece. And, she suspects that if things further fell apart she might come back to Loess and if she wanted to tell Castile all the reasons why, then that would be her choice.

    “How is your family, Castile?” She asks lightly as a shift in conversation. “Reia was here not long ago, but other than that, I haven’t seen anyone since coming here.”

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )



    Castile
    Reply




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