It starts not with a bang, but a tear.
She feels a shift in her home—it’s brighter, somehow. After she died, hurtling herself off a cliff, she awoke in this place, reminiscent of the Deserts, only dimmer. Muted.
She, too, felt dimmer; no Craft, no Sappho, no children. Only she and her desert—the sand dunes and the oasis, the cacti and wildflowers. She used to hesitate to call it her home, this faux desert, but the hundreds of years of solitude eventually wore her down.
But now her home begins to brighten around her, until it’s blinding, until—
When the light fades, the black mare does not recognize where she is. Snow falls around her, but her coat is thin, unprepared. The trees surround her and perhaps a lifetime ago, after her years in the desert, they would have suffocated her, but instead all she feels is her own heartbeat. A foreign feeling.
She takes a step deeper into the forest.
It’s Beqanna, she assumes, though she has never been anywhere that looks quite like this. A herdland, perhaps. She continues on, looking for a way out or some hint of recognition to cling to, until—
she sees a body in the distance.
I don't feel enough for you to cry here's a lullaby to close your eyes
Since he first entered Beqanna he had made these trees his home, he lingered in this forest like a ghost refusing to leave its haunts. Winter had settled across the land and the bright snow hurt his eyes, and the sun reflected off of it and danced in such bright colours, he felt as if it was mocking him. Kradle avoided the sunlight at all costs, hiding below the trees and travelling only in the dark, fearful of the bright rays that taunted him when the sun rose.
He had paused here only for a moment, gently placing the Wise One upon the frosted forest floor as he scavenged for some bones and other curious objects to offer to his new friend. Once and a while he could be heard asking the badger if he liked this or that, there was of course no response, but regardless he tossed items and stashed others as if he were getting some sort of feedback from the deceased animal.
Curved ears pricked up and swiveled behind him as he heard movement behind him, and he was quick to turn around to leer at the figure in the distance. The stallion deftly moved his legs around the Wise One and stood over him, his muscles tensed as he prepared to guard his ally, letting out a loud snort towards the distant being.
and your eyes are tired and hungry, waiting on a sunny day looking out the cloudy window at the never ending rain
She had to tread carefully for the frozen mud throbbed her nearly numb feet. Without the split toed glass hooves she typically wore, she could feel every dried branch, every dead acorn and how it ached! Merewen is unsure if she is more exhausted by picking her way through the deer trails of an unknown forest or just by avoiding sharp little pebbles.
Ungracefully, she moves till she is able to find a soft path of moss to ease her tired feet. The seaglass antlered mare is at least happy to have retained that of her kirin nature and it made her feel less vulnerable out in the wilds of this new land. Cold air fills her lungs, thankful it no longer burns, the sunlight illuminating the plume of ehr exhale and the clearness of her glass antlers.
Tap...tap, each hoof fall is deliberate abs slow as she winces with a gritted jaw through her pain. Ho did these horses survive? Did they all move in such awkward way as she? Would she ever grow used to this? Oh how she wished for her glass hooves and scales again!
Just ahead with less care, a stallion moves. Mere is on the downwind so it is unlikely he would notice the snow white mare but anything is possible. Pale green eyes observe the way he dip between shreds of sunlight, attempting to use thickened branches (though naked) as a cover and Mere wonders why he avoids the warm bars of light until he places something on the ground...
Merewen opens her mouth to call to the painted man but he is looking ahead...something someone is just beyond him. "Hello?" Her voice is filtered lightly from between her pale lips, ears lifted forward as she is unsure if the stallion or the other (they're too far to identify just yet) will answer...if they even would. Mere, nearly blinding with her white skin, appears harshly against the grey and brown of an empty forest. Plae green eyes are wide and watching, unknowing is she was interrupting something.
but i’ve seen you light on fire, and I know you will again it’s just the way your heart is wired, just the way you’ve always been
Beulah was not lost.
A welcome change in the little pink girl’s life.
Her sense of direction had improved, somewhat, with age but certainly wouldn’t win her any prizes. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt so much more grown up after coming back from Atlantis. She wasn’t sure if it was the experience as a whole, or the fact that she’d (sort of) flown for the first time - but she made her way through the thick forest without reservation.
It was nice that it wasn’t so dark, now. Lala had always been wary of the darkness - but she’d come back from Atlantis different. Now the light never left her, which made the little pink girl happier than she could explain. Not only had it helped her conquer her fear - but it reminded her of her birth mother. It felt like she carried her mother with her now, and she could finally give up searching for her.
The forest was no longer daunting, and the little pink girl wove deftly through the trees. She was well practiced after calling Sylva home. However something catches her eyes through the trees - so the angel-child changes paths immediately - wondering who else was wandering the woods in the snow. What she finds is a tall black mare. And she seems...confused? She must be confused, Lala thinks, for there are no footprints in the snow around the mare so she had to have been standing there awhile.
“Hi there! I’m Lala!” she pauses for only a moment - just long enough to suck in a breath - before she’s speaking again. “Are you lost? Can I help?” the little pink girl quips, as a small smile flickers across her lips.
Lala approaches from the opposite direction - so for a moment she doesn’t see the others. It is only after she speaks that she catches movement out of the corner of her eye. “Oh,” she breathes, equal parts surprised and abashed. “Sorry I didn’t see you!” she quips, her gaze flickering to the other two. “I like your antlers!” she says to the pale mare. The antlers remind her of Atlantis, which brings a little smile to the pink girl’s lips. Her gaze then flickers to the stallion. “And your markings!” she quips, happily, though she was entirely unwilling to admit that his markings were actually sort of scary.
I don't feel enough for you to cry here's a lullaby to close your eyes
It became increasingly obvious that this part of the forest was more densely populated than the depths he was used to, and Kradle began to wonder if it was a good idea to wander this close to the lighter areas of the forest. The Wise One beneath him said nothing, yet Kradle's ears moved in such a way that it seemed like he was hearing something.
When the pale equine with strange antlers appeared, it was already bad news. He had a feeling there were more around him than just the dark figure in the distance, but now his fears were confirmed.
"Yes, I see there's more. What? No, I didn't invite them. Yes, yes we should have stayed at the stump. What? I'd love to but currently-" His chat with the badger was interrupted by yet another brightly coloured horse, this time it came with a few extra limbs of the feathered variety. His stomach growled as he eyed the glowing equine's wings, his teeth getting sharper for only a moment before he quickly conceals them. His ears flattened at the cheerful noises it seemed to make, it reminded him of a cheerful child, and his expression clearly showed his annoyance at their compliment.
"Thanks, I like your wings, they look like a nice sized snack." He snapped his teeth at the end of his sentence before returning his attention to the other two beings and grumbling in irritation, wondering if he should just scoop up the Wise One and run back home before more company arrived.
11-06-2019, 01:42 AM (This post was last modified: 11-06-2019, 01:44 AM by Leilan.)
You’re uncontrollable and we are unlovable
It had been a great idea. Go south with the girl, perhaps run into her mother (those odds were super slim but who new, right), and in the meantime find out if there was anything in the forest the girl could eat. She’s smelled a tiny bit of a large cat, but if that meant she had been around one, around a shifter, had a companion, was one…
Sure, he’d been able to paw some small blubbery patches of grass out of the snow and ice, just about soft enough for a foal to at least try. But it was not enough, and so he’d ventured out. He’d thought of leaving the girl alone, debated if the cold could still kill her - but she follows along easily wherever he goes. And so they’re in the forest, where he hopes they have the best odds of finding horse-like food that is edible for one who should actually have a mother’s milk. Sadly no-one on the Isle or in Nerine had foaled this year.
Yet halfway through, they stumble upon a bit of a crowd. What’s he saying? A large crowd. If the mares weren’t immediately talking -loudly-, he might have guessed they were a group, but it seemed they were introducing and such.
He eyes the filly - then edges on forward, approaching them from a bit of a sideway in comparison to the last directions they came from. ”What’s all this about? Is there a party going on?” he asks them, tilting his head at the man with the badger - his tone had indicated otherwise - then scanning the rest of the horses.
and I don’t want you to think that I care I never would, I never could again
no. 7 | ice forged in fire
Beryl here goes! anatomy and a tag for you since I think it’s your turn / you wanted a crowd, you got it
Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.
As she approaches the body, it hears her and turns to face her. They are both on high alert—the black and white stallion protectively, though of what she isn’t yet sure, and her muscles tense as she senses his unfriendliness. She stops far enough away as to not seem threatening, but close enough to see what he’s guarding.
For a moment, she forgets who she is—staring at this black and white creature, hovering over a dead animal.
“I hate to interrupt whatever the fuck this is—” she begins, only to be interrupted herself by a rustling and more bodies approaching her from every side. She can barely make out a figure behind him, though their white coat is a stark contrast to the rest of the forest. Hello, the small voice says, and before Anatomy can respond, a small pink child is next to her, glowing and angelic.
“Lost, yes, thank you Lala,” she says, softening towards the child. Her voice is still strong, unchanged by the hundreds of years of disuse, and despite her plain appearance, she still has an air of regality. She hears the black and white stallion murmuring to himself, but she ignores him until he snaps his teeth at the pink child. Narrowing her eyes at him, she steps forward protectively.
“I’m Anatomy, but you,” she says pointedly to Lala, “can call me Ana.”
Two more have approached then, a roan, scaled stallion and a small palomino child with stars on her shoulder. She wonders for a moment if she really is in Beqanna, or if her memory of the old land is faulty, but those around her seem so be very different than she remembers most being.
“I am in Beqanna,” she states, perhaps to comfort herself, “I’m looking for the Deserts—that’s my home. I hate the cold.”
Where she stands, then, the thick layer of snow begins to melt beneath her.
A giggle escapes the little pink girl’s lips at the black and white stallion’s joke. “You can’t eat my wings, silly, I’ve only just figured out how to use them!” It doesn’t register in Beulah’s mind that perhaps he hadn’t been kidding and perhaps he meant something more nefarious. The threat never registeres, so her attention immediately flickers back to the mare that’d drawn her attention in the first place.
“Ana,” she parrots, looking at the dark mare with a smile both on her lips and dancing in her eyes. Nicknames were special to Lala. She very rarely used her given name in favor of her own nickname, and often gifted them to her friends. So that put Ana in good company, as far as Lala was concerned. Others arrived, but Lala found herself utterly distracted by this mare. She seemed different somehow, but Lala couldn’t understand how or why. Not that it mattered.
However, at her next words, the little pink girl’s brow furrows. Deserts.
”The only desert that I know of is Pangea. Is that what you’re looking for?” she asks, cocking her haloed head, hoping that she could be helpful to her new friend. Lala was a creature of the new Beqanna. She knew nothing of the old kingdoms or their allegiances. New nothing of what had happened to transform Beqanna into what it is now. Lala had never been to Pangea, if that was the place Ana was looking for, but at least she knew the way.
“I don’t like the cold either,” she added, unhelpfully. It was almost as if she hadn’t realized just how cold it was until it was mentioned. In response, she pulled her wings tighter to her sides and struggled to suppress a shiver. However, she remained blissfully ignorant of the fact that the snow under Ana’s hooves had melted away.
11-06-2019, 10:55 PM (This post was last modified: 11-07-2019, 08:11 PM by Beryl.)
The idea of swimming the very channel that she had nearly drowned in filled her with immeasurable dread, but the roan was already stepping into the water. Unprepared and unwilling to be alone, Beryl had screwed up her courage and followed him into the icy water, small teeth holding tight to his tail. She barely swam, tugged along by the stallion's strength and surrounded, if anyone had cared to see, by darkness and shifting yellow eyes. Her own eyes are shut tight and her breath short and quick, but the darkness holds her aloft in the water no matter the depth or cresting of wild waves. In this manner, she survives the crossing, and when they reach the far shore, she is barely even wet.
Which, perhaps, is just as well, because in the North, and even here, in the forests of the Southeast, it is still winter, and not an ideal time to be damp and exposed. That it has no effect on Leilan is astonishing, even dry she shivers, her coat thin, but the rime of frost over his scales does nothing but add to the appearance of roaning. When he is not looking, she blows softly on his icy shoulder and watches the smoke of her breath cloud and freeze upon it, leaving a softly opaque spot there.
Small as it is, the laugh makes her cough, though it is less than the day before.
The forest's yields are mildly disappointing, but a few dried apples found clinging to a leafless tree serve admirably for the time. Something else, however, has caught his attention and, grabbing one withered, leathery fruit, she chases after Leilan as he veers away to a disparate group of horses milling in a loose circle. The sabino is strange and... hungry? She keeps hidden on the other side of Leilan from the stallion. The three mares are less frightening, but a quick glance proves none to be her mother. Her disappointment is a shroud across those chocolate eyes.
Anatomy says she is looking for the desert and hates the cold, to which Beryl nods as solemnly as one her age can - this is an understandable sentiment, the cold has been no friend to her. And yet...
Warm eyes angle back up to Leilan. He must feel differently, living as he does, with ice growing on his skin. The snow beneath the dark mare melts and a flame of panic builds in Beryl's young heart. Will she melt everything? Will she melt him? She stamps a small hoof and squeals - though it is breathy and almost noiseless through the rawness of her throat - dropping her apple to the ground where it bounces once and rolls into the darkness of the forest. The filly's curled ears pin back and she snorts pointedly at Anatomy.
From the shadows where no one stands, a dried apple takes flight, the raven mare its target.
I don't feel enough for you to cry here's a lullaby to close your eyes
A sinister smile creeps onto Kradle's ghostly features at the young pegasus, "well then, that just means they'll be extra tender."
He laughs at his own joke quietly to himself for a moment before returning his attention to the dark mare, who he could now tell was...lost? As much as he hated the company, the more logical side of his brain kicked in. If he could tell this stranger where the lands she seeks are, perhaps the crowd will leave and he can return to searching for offerings; however, he does not know of any deserts. For a moment he wonders why anyone would want to go to such a bright, hot place. Wasn't the blinding snow of the winter season bad enough? Nevertheless, he can't seem to wrack any memories of anywhere sandy, since he had not been far out of the forest. As the pink mare suggested a place he had never heard of himself, he decided to attempt to put on his best "friendly" voice and pretend to help as well. Perhaps, if he went along with the conversation, it will be over quicker and he can return to his tasks.
"I'm afraid I've also never heard of any deserts." His voice was low and scratchy, but he tried his best to speak gently and in a manner that would not suggest any threat, "but you may try this..."Pangea" for a start? Perhaps the lands you're looking for are near there, it wouldn't hurt to look at least, yes?" He mustered the best kind looking smile he could manage, but his constant twitching still made him appear mildly unsettling.
"The fool is horrible at this." His ghosts teased, and he angrily murmured something back at them under his breath, unamused by their unwanted commentary.
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