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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Beyza -- Year 211

    QOTY

    "She kills him because no matter how far she has come from the bitter, angry young girl she had been, she is still Starsin, and if he wants to make her world burn, she will be certain that he burns with it." --Starsin, written by Colby


    [open]  hear that lonesome whipporwill
    #1

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    Lepis’ request had been a simple one: seek out a good-natured magician. Nerine is a welcome, mostly familiar landscape, but Elio cannot say he is particularly ecstatic about braving the land’s reputable weather to find a man he does not know. Still, he puts on a well-mannered face and heads to the neighboring kingdom, certain that whatever his mother needs from Brennen is important enough for him to not sully it with a bad attitude.

    Elio takes his time through Taiga, stopping beneath a particularly tight grouping of trees to peer at an old indent. The years have changed his childhood summer napping spot. Where there was once soft soil and pillow of pale vines, there are now pine needles and only the barest hint of a child’s sheltered body. Elio allows himself to fold into the memory of Taiga’s relieving shade on a hot day, then opens his eyes to find an opening in the canopy big enough for him to fly through.

    Wings make his trip much faster, but heavy gray rain clouds loom ominously over Nerine’s rocky terrain. Elio stumbles to a landing upon a dark green patch of grass, steely eyes looking to the sky just as rain begins to fall. The air smells of a coming downpour, so Elio shakes out his already dampened and tangled mane before trotting to what might be a rocky outcropping. There he takes shelter beneath a thin overhang, everything around him deafened by the weather and the crash of the angry ocean beneath him.

    “Welp,” Elio says loudly to himself, eyes flitting first to the dark stone above him then second to the fickle pebbles beneath him. He laughs and pulls his crimson wings tight to his side, wondering if he thinks hard enough he can grab this magician’s attention without soaking himself in some vain search.



    Brennen and any!
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
    Reply
    #2
    a light came on when you sang that song and
    i want you to sing it again

    I don’t usually leave my little island. I can’t remember the last time I did, in truth. It had been for that dark-eyed man, I knew, but I had wished the memory of him (of all of them) away. Keeping an uncluttered mind is vital for one as I, and small things like emotional attachments get in the way of lighthearted fun.

    That is what I tell myself, at least, when I appear on the Nerenian mainland in front of a brightly colored colt.

    He’s looking for someone, but he won’t find him in this storm. Brennen is likely tucked in tightly with his family, dry and warm. I’m not sure if the bay magician will begrudge me this distraction of a potential supplicant, but I do not intend for him to ever find out. Still, the horse that appears in front of Elio is a bay stallion, not too tall, not too old, with inky black wings. I’d not added the scars (I couldn’t force myself to be that unappealing) but perhaps he’ll assume the magician finally got rid of them himself, or perhaps he’s never even met the man.

    I do not make the perfect copy of Brennen – My coat and build are lighter, my face fine and dished where his is bold and prominent. In truth, I’ve kept most of my own natural appearance, save the color and sex. Perhaps I need to practice my disguises more, I think. I’ve certainly perfected other things – like how to shape my craft and remain dry without performing obvious feats of magic. The trck is wishing to stay dry rather than for it to stop raining. A single dry horse in a large kingdom draws much less unwanted attention than the storms vanishing without a trace.

    Wishing to know the relationship between the fire-colored pegasus and Brennen would probably come with too much superfluous knowledge, and I am not interested in sorting through it. Instead I wait quietly, my head slightly tilted. I’m not entirely certain I can mimic Brennen’s voice without wishing it, and I am wary of performing magic without knowing if the young horse in front of me might be able to sense it.



    DJINNI
    could i be the one you sing about in all your stories


    elio
    Reply
    #3

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    Beneath the overhang, Elio sways from side to side, black hooves occasionally sending a pebble flying over the edge. He tracks the descent of the rock with eyes that match the cloudy sky above, little droplets of water seeping into his forehead and mane as he peers over. He looks strange, muted - like his vibrant golds and reds aren't meant to exist among the dreary Nerine air. But the look on his face isn't, muted; no, he is curious and focused, purposeful -

    hopeful?

    Not necessarily hopeful, Elio says to himself, taking a few steps back from the edge and leaning his hindquarters into the dark rock. The rough surface creates an itch he didn't know he had and he leans harder, eyes closed as his skin relaxes beneath the scratching.

    "Oh," Elio says with a start (as he seems to so often do).  He opens his eyes to find the gaze of a winged dark bay stallion. Elio's face falls to something serious, levelling the Brennen-clone with a clear gaze.

    "Are you Brennen? You look how Lepis described," he questions, very quickly flicking his eyes from elegant head down to the black-dipped hooves. After a moment, Elio says, "Lepis is my mother. She sent me here to see what you know of controlling shifters and curses."



    Djinni
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
    Reply
    #4
    a light came on when you sang that song and
    i want you to sing it again

    I’d taken the idea from Brennen, the tracking of my kin, though I will never share that with him. While my eyes do widen at the sheer number of offspring (are women in this age stronger than they were in mine to have borne so many at once?), it takes a short time for me to place the golden boy in front of me as the youngest child of my son’s first daughter. (If I am honest with myself, I had stopped counting the times that son made me a grandmother long ago. Its better to not think of such things, and of the sloe-eyed man who’d started it.)

    Are you Brennen, the boy asks, unceremoniously ruining my fun.

    “No,” I tell him crisply. “But I certainly know more about shifting than he does.”

    As if to prove this, I let the color of Brennen and his too-big wings fall away. Instead of a dark bay, by thing summer-hide is a pale and dusky pink. The darker barring and stripes of dun are remarkably like those of the boy in front of me.

    “What need to do you and your mother have to control shifters?” I ask him curiously. I am always wary of traps, and have no intention of helping to set one up that might in time be used to capture me. The rings in my ears are symbolic; I broke free of their restraint eons ago and have no desire to ever return. “Are you the one who is cursed?” I ask curiously. “Or is it your mother?”

    elio



    DJINNI
    could i be the one you sing about in all your stories
    D J I N N I
    genie | rose gold tobiano dun | trickster
    Reply
    #5

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    Perhaps Elio is not observant enough to realize the horse before him is not actually Brennen. If he had known the magician, maybe the build and lack of greeting would have tipped him off. But Elio CAN be rather obtuse sometimes, when lost in his head or feeling distracted by rare happiness. His good mood buzzes just beneath the skin, so obviously this stranger couldn't be anyone other than who he appears to be.

    "Oh," Elio states in surprise, blinking. He looks a little silly, staring wide-eyed as Djinni returns to her preferred form. "Then maybe you can help me," he says, though the ending comes out more like a question than a statement.

    The genie fires off three questions, two of which leave Lio taken aback. He blinks, eyes sharpening and levelling Djinni with a curious (maybe suspicious) gaze. "How do you . . ." he starts, but trails off as he accepts that magicians can just pull what they desire out of thin air. The way of Beqanna, a lesson the boy continues to learn.

    "No, I am not the one that's cursed," Lio states slowly, chewing on his words to make sure they have the right taste. "And neither is my mother . . ." he finishes, or at least he thinks he does, for he quickly adds, "My father is."

    Rain continues to fall outside of the overhang, and Elio finally notices that Djinni is totally dry. He frowns, mildly jealous and waiting a beat too long before answering the genie's first question:

    "My father is a shifter. A cursed one," he begins, then finishes with the shortest version of Bane's story he can muster (because Djinni doesn't necessarily need to know but also because reiterating the tale in his own words hurts).



    Djinni
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
    Reply
    #6
    a light came on when you sang that song and
    i want you to sing it again

    I tap my tongue against the roof of my mouth, little click click sounds as I look over the boy in front of me while he speaks. There does not appear to be any inherent risk in this opportunity, I think, which is rather divine. This child has no idea who I am; he’ll never to be able to rat on me even if someone catches him and makes him squeal. What he has proposed would be worth it even if I introduced myself, truth be told.

    The chance to meddle in the lives of my descendents?
    To be a true powerful ancestor?

    It is something I could never dream of passing up.

    The Cursed creature is even someone married into the family – could my luck truly be any better? On the slim chance I make a mistake, it will not be one of my progeny to pay the blood price. Curses do have a nasty way of weaving themselves into the bone after too long. It’s always possible to rip them off in the end, but sometimes they dig deep in the heart and soul, taking bits off when they go, and leaving the creature forever changed.

    “Sounds like dark magic.” I tell him without further ado. “Sometimes a magician’s trick goes awry, catches up some unfortunate soul. Those run out eventually though, usually in days. Your curse though…” The pause is heavy , but only with the things I consider. “That’s something stronger. Something blacker. That’s god magic, I’d bet.”

    I made sure my voice grew more ominous as a I spoke, and while I think it might be a little overkill, I wish a bit of storm dramatics behind me (a crash of thunder and a streak of lightning flash over the ocean behind me.

    “I can’t help with that bit,” I continue flippantly, all the while watching him from beneath rose-colored lashes. “But the shapeshifting? That I can do something about. I can make your shifter stick to a single form with no trouble at all.” My confidence is without compare, and I fix him with a flat and doe-brown stare as I continue almost menacingly: “Of course, I would need something in exchange, something to make it worth my time…”

    elio



    D J I N N I
    rose gold dun tobiano genie
    Reply
    #7
    Djinni isn’t at all like the horses Elio has encountered before. While not necessarily sheltered (anyone with a cursed father will mature quickly), he is secretive and reclusive, and that nature has kept him from exploring Beqanna—with the consequence of not having many connections. He wonders if Djinni might be a good connection to have.

    Though something about the gleam in her eye else tells him that the mare is not into favors.

    “Oh!” Elio gasps, as he so often does, when lightning and thunder threaten the pair’s shelter. He frowns, casting eyes that match the color of the sky up where the lightning seemed to strike from. Djinni’s ominous magic worked: Lio shuffles uncomfortably and sucks in a strained breath. Wolfbane already makes him nervous but this—he thinks the universe is warming him of something.

    Of course, as that inkling Elio felt earlier suggested, Djinni’s offer does not come without a price. The golden boy, so muted by the weather, releases his strained breath and looks away, out into the crashing ocean. He feels the waves in his chest, allows the strange, somber sensation to pass over him; then turns to the genie with a grin flippant enough to match her attitude.

    “Do you want my feathers?” Lio quips. He tilts his  head then stretches his wings out just a tad. The feathers suddenly disappear (a little trick for Djinni, as a treat), revealing naked and pink flesh. Elio holds back a laugh and releases his invisibility, returning his eyes from the ocean and back to the genie’s face.

    “They’ll probably grow back but . . . I’ll sure look funny for a while.”


    Djinni
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
    Reply
    #8
    a light came on when you sang that song and
    i want you to sing it again

    I hum quietly to myself as I consider the boy in front of me. The sound is tuneless, but I’m hardly aware that I am the source of the noise at all. Once picks up strange habits living alone by the sea, but I am old enough to be entitled to my quirks and fancies. He does seem appropriately cowed by the display I’d wished us up, and takes a long time to look out at the horizon and think. While he does that, I try out a few different widths of blazes on my pale pink face, settling with a thin crooked slash just as Elio turns back.

    The grin is unexpected, as is the offer. I smile, because I do like the unexpected. Feathers? His certainly are a lovely shade, and quite unlike any I have ever seen before. But he looks pleased about it. Too pleased, as if looking funny might not be an equitable trade for what I offer him. I enjoy the playing of tricks, but I do not like being the butt of them. My eyes narrow, but I still nod.

    “I’ll take the feathers,” I tell him, and in an instant they’re gone. “As half payment. When you’ve gotten what you want from your father, come back with the rest of what you owe me. If you don’t, I will take more than just the feathers of your wings. ” I lean forward with a cheerful smile and press a kiss to his cheek. It is as grandmotherly and affectionate as it is unexpected, but I do like to keep my descendants on their toes. It’s one of the better things about living so long.

    “Now tell me where you want to go and I’ll take you there and show you how to keep a shifter from shifting.” I step back, nodding decisively, and wait for an answer from the bare-winged stallion. I’d taken his method of transportation from him; the least I could do was make his journey shorter.

    elio


    D J I N N I
    could i be the one you sing about in all your stories
    Reply
    #9
    Elio doesn't mind Djinni's quirks. She may hum but he hardly notices. What he does notice is the cool air on his bare wings. He immediately wants to make them invisible, and finds that he regrets offering them in the first place. Little pebbles clatter quietly as Lio shuffles uncomfortably. For the sake of the genie's favor, he will not make his naked wings disappear.

    "A second half?" he questions, though not indignantly. It's more of a slow statement, one that indicates he is trying to discern what more he could offer her.

    Of course, Elio has plenty to offer. A full life, so much love, and countless individuals to care about - but he doesn't want the genie to have those things. The kiss she had pressed to his cheek was soothing, in a strange way, but he still wonders. He doesn't mention his doubts, though, instead settling on allotting time to think of what he could give her later on, and nods his head in agreement.

    "I - actually," Lio begins, "I just need to get to the border of Taiga."

    Djinni
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
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