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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    Wolfbane -- Year 210

    QOTY

    "She presses into him greedily, hungrily, and demands more. She does not know how to be gentle when she is with him—does not know how to quell the aching in her belly, the neediness in her touch. She would devour him whole. She would sacrifice herself completely. She would give and give and give—" --Tabytha, written by Laura


    [open]  with baited breath
    #1
    ↼ORIASH⇁

    they promised that dreams come true

    It takes her a little while to come, as if maybe she needs to gather up the nerve. Nerve isn’t quite the right word for it, but it’s the only one she can think of. There’s something both tantalizing and terrifying about the possibility of being granted a family. She’d wanted nothing more her whole life, and had found herself adrift without one. For a while she’d imagined herself unable to forget the anger and the hurt, but such emotions found no root within Ori’s heart.

    Eventually she does come, seeking Kagerus and Solace and any others who might be here, who might want to meet her. Maybe that was the crux of her hesitation, this fear that they might reject her. Perhaps then anger and bitterness might find a home in her heart; perhaps then she might be crushed beyond measure. And hasn’t she been crushed enough?

    Ori stops on the border of the kingdom, unable to bring herself to actually go in. Someone would find her, she does not doubt. So instead, for now, she waits.

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too



    Kagerus Solace and whoever else wants to come meet Ori
    Reply
    #2
    Family. There had been a time that family meant everything to Set. Born into the Chamber of old, where blood and oaths of fealty were one and the same, it had not occurred to him to think any other way. In fact, it is family that brings him to Tephra now, but he does not anticipate it being any sort of joyous reunion. In the years that had passed from the time that the fae destroyed and rebuilt Beqanna, Salomea had been Niklas’ plaything. Toted along from the mortal realm to the underworld and back again several times over. Holding no real affection for the mare, Set had done little to stop his son’s torturous antics. Though she was the daughter of one of his favorites, she was also the daughter of the creature that had been Set’s mother’s downfall. It had continued on even as she sought shelter from her uncle in the sulfuric wilds of Magnus’ kingdom and it is only when she had conceived the dark god’s foal (as so many hundreds of dozens of others have) that he finally put a stop to it. Nothing done without recompense, he has finally come to collect.

    Spring has only just slipped into summer in most of Beqanna, but you could hardly tell one season from another here, in the humid foothills of the volcano that sits off in the distance. At the border he abruptly swings north, head slung low and swinging, his bright gaze intense and footsteps silent. The vegetation is exotic and thick, coaxed to their fullest potential by just the presence of the plant magician. It is neither fear nor respect that keeps him from crossing over from no-man’s land into Tephra’s boundaries, but his reasons are his, locked behind an (mostly) impenetrable barrier.

    He can feel her energy before he sees her. Excitement mingles with trepidation but underneath it all hums a sense of … aimlessness. It is a tangy, almost-coppery smell, one he recognizes well because his own patchworked skin vibrates with the crave for purpose. Perhaps the Beqanna of old is not gone forever.

    It is a dreadlock-maned, scarred piebald that rounds a small copse of haphazard trees to greet her, his gait more predatory than equine, though it is no indication that she is his prey. He takes a moment to admire the leopard spots and antlers, and to wonder if she retains any of these creature’s characteristics, or if she only just wears their attributes. Absently, he reaches out to rip a large bit of leaf from a nearby branch, chewing thoughtfully as gold seeks blue, brushing gently against the edges of her mind. Suddenly, he grins around it, wide and genuine, jerking his head toward Tephra’s center. “Mind if I wait with you?” A beat passes before he speaks again, a careful eye accompanying his introduction – “Set,” – before he tugs the rest of the leaf from its anchor.


    Oriash
    Reply
    #3


    When Kagerus had returned from the common lands with the scent of a loved one held close against her skin, Solace had taken to the sky. The news that she brought home was enough to prompt Solace into taking up an old habit. Every morning, while the twins slept, she had stretched her wings and met the sunrise in the sky. It gave her purpose and reminded her of her days as a young queen in Hyaline. She had always found solace in ritual.

    After a week, as her wings and back grew strong again,  she had added an evening patrol to her daily routine. Eventually, her search is rewarded.

    It is a cloudless day, and she spots her daughter as the antlered mare crosses into Tephra. Involuntarily, a gasp escapes her, but she is far too high for anyone to hear it or see the delight that colors her face. The pegasus begins her decent in large sweeping circles, sending off a single beam of blue light in the direction of where she had left her wife. Kagerus would know what it meant.

    The effervescence of her expression is dampened, but not erased when she sees the dark outline of a stranger. His tall form comes between her and her daughter as she lands. But she doesn't let the feeling linger. It was too wonderful of a day for that. The frost swirls around her as her hooves touch the ground, mixing with the summer grasses. Solace is a different woman from the one who tore through the woods, her mind and magic in shambles, on the hunt for her young children so many years ago.

    Today, her smile is wide and genuine, her eyes are clear and her soul is at ease.

    She steps up just in time to catch the stranger's name, but her intended greeting for him is forgotten now that the hope she had harbored for so long is coming true.

    "Oriash," she uses her daughter's full name as she closes the space between them. She reaches to embrace her, savoring the peace that her nearness brings. Maybe it was only a short visit, or maybe it would be something more permanent, but she is content at this moment and without expectations for the future. The pain of Valdis' death was still a needle in her heart that twisted in her most joyous moments. A pain that served as a reminder that if the ones she loved were alive and flourishing, even if she rarely saw them, that was still more than she was promised.

    "You look well, my love." Her voice is low and tender, she hadn't meant to use that little intimacy that she so often gave to the youngest of her brood. She didn't want to make Ori feel uncomfortable, but it escapes her and she lets it go. She didn't work so hard to hide her every feeling these days, she didn't have to.

    Growing more aware of the stallion standing nearby, Solace folds her wings back over her topline. With another gentle smile to Ori, she turns her ageless face and blue eyes to Set, giving him a small nod. He is someone she has not seen before, and his dark scent is foreign. "I'm Solace, a resident here," she begins. "Is this your first visit to Tephra?

    S
    olace
        we're reeling through an endless fall
    we are the ever-living ghost of what once was
    Solghostdoll2

    Reply
    #4
    ↼ORIASH⇁

    they promised that dreams come true

    She waits, not minding the waiting, because that has been her life. What had she been waiting for though? Encouragement, purpose, love, acceptance. Ah, but those things don’t actually come to those who do not try, and had she ever truly tried?

    Though the first to find her is not a Tephran, and she is not sure she is actually pleased by the company. He is...ah well, she ought not to assume based on appearances alone. Though he moves like a predator, his behavior is otherwise polite and harmless. “No,” she says, in that characteristic lack of words. She has never been one for speaking much and certainly not one for small talk. “I’m Ori,” she offers, though there no need for more as Solace touches down in front of them.

    Ori’s lip quirk into a smile, finding that she cannot help it. The sight of her mother looking healthy and strong, far more than when they’d last met, brings her some quiet joy. She doesn’t even mind the sound of her full name - a name she has long since given up - on Solace’s lips, or the way she says ‘my love’. “You as well,” she says, with something that might be joy lighting her words. What a strange feeling, and she does not entirely know what to do with it.

    Attention shifts back to the stallion, and Ori finds herself perhaps annoyed that her family reunion has been interrupted, but maybe it is for the best this way. Maybe it gives them the ability to ease into something that is so foreign, something that she still fears will go sideways or flip upside down. As Solace turns her attention to Set, Ori does the same, curious what brings him here.

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too



    Set

    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission

    Reply
    #5
    and in my dreams...
    i've kissed your lips a thousand times

    Her beam alights upon my shoulders just as the babes awaken from their afternoon nap. I bask in the tender blue for a moment as I try to decipher its meaning, bleary from my own little nap (motherhood sans queenhood leads me to softer and softer habits, not that I'm complaining) until, all at once, the meaning becomes apparent. Oriash! I jostle the twins to their hooves without much ceremony, poking and prodding their growing bodies until they move enough for me to lurch to my own, larger hooves. Indius, huge compared to his younger siblings but still tiny and adorable by my standards, takes no such jostling and instead bounces on his tip toes, his excitement tantamount.

    Please mother, let's go! come the cries from my three youngest children as I tease them with a biiiiig stretch in the name of flexibility and youthfulness, first with forelegs way out in front of me and then with back legs pressing towards the earth. I give out with a hearty laugh at long last, wanting just as much as they to get to the place where Solace's light shon. And yes, before I shake the last remnants of the nap's dream, I wish Iridian goodbye and promise to bring her tales and pictures of her big sister Oriash as soon as I can.

    With that, we are off! The boys woop their joy and alight into the air, Indius with great shows of acrobatics and agility, Oberyn with some more concentration but no less delight. Little Olena must travel alongside me, weak as she is, but I make this mode of travel as fun as I can for the sweet angel. Pops of coloured sparks and the skittering of small tropical animals appear with some frequency as we journey to the border of Tephra; though Olena's weakness pains my heart, the expression on her face when I treat her to little gifts like this when no one else watches brings me a special kind of joy that I know I will only ever share with her.

    Soon enough, however, we emerge from the treeline. The boys zoom towards the three adult horses we can now see with a good deal of clarity; the elder alights with skill while the younger fumbles due to the speed of his landing but manages to save himself at the last. Good boy! I cheer to him from within myself. A minute or two later, my daughter and I arrive upon the scene, the shy girl pressed into my side. I bathe her in vibrating particles, warming her cool skin in the hopes of bolstering her confidence in front of these two strangers.

    Before Indius launches into a passionate monologue in which he references his dreamlocked sister (this being a practical unavoidability with the star-clad lad), I take up Oriash's gaze with tenderness.

    "Hello, Oriash," I say "I am so glad you came." I step forward to press my nose to her cheek. Not quite an embrace yet but a step closer to that intimacy, given that when last we met we but exchanged breaths. After breathing in her scent and exhaling warmth back upon her, I step back to brush sides with Solace, my wife. "Thank you for the summons," I murmur to her, the twinkle in my eye quite apparent.

    "I'm Indius!" explodes the black-and-white overo boy, his skin vibrating with excitement. "My twin sister Iridian and I have been dying to meet you and well, all of our siblings, but you especially since mother just found you! Not to be weird but you are very beautiful and I am glad we got to meet even if you can't stay, but I hope you can stay, I--"

    "Indius," I say not unkindly and with a chuckle, "Let your sister breathe." Kissing his teenaged and well-intentioned cheek from overtop of little Olena, I bring him to heel, eyes sent heavenward for a moment as I pray for the development of the boy's waggling tongue. Such a sweet boy; he speaks for himself and his sister, I suppose.

    I then listen to the younger two introduce themselves, a soft smile adorning my features. With that accomplished, I look then to the strange stallion who stands astride, having noticed him earlier but having had greater concerns on my mind, including the wellbeing and manners of my three youngest. Despite what I believed in my youth, motherhood is a full time job. Hah!

    My head lowers to him in polite deference. "And hello to you, sir. I am Kagerus. Well-intentioned strangers are granted free passage into this land, if you are interested in seeing more than sentimental family gatherings." I smile at him, tone kind and well-meaning, before turning back to the situation at hand.

    kagerus

    Enjoying Middle-Age in Tephra | Lover of Solace | Immortal, Dreamweaving Fantasist



    Turns out that writing four characters in one post involves many words, lol. Lav and Radar will take over their respective characters henceforth! Let me know if anything needs changing!
    Oriash
    [Image: kag]
    dreamweaver
    Reply
    #6

    She is stirred to life with gentle nudges and whuffling of a familiar dark muzzle. Olena breathes in sharply, though it is not as deep as her lungs would have liked, and her exhale is ragged and desperate. There has been a soft blue beam of light that has graced them all but Olena has missed it, her deep navy eyes blinking wearily into the afternoon sun, attempting to find her breath and rise to her feet. It was always a challenge to go from sleeping to waking, and she leans to her leopard bay mother for support as she rises gently to her slender feet, sighing roughly against the familiar slope of Kagerus’ auburn shoulder, leaning more than she should for a girl her age.

    Despite this, there is simple joy on her face as her eyes rest on her brothers, desperate to join their rambunctiousness as they flit and flutter before her. Her own wings rustle at her withers, thin and weak compared to that of her twin brother. She giggles, an airy and quiet breath, as Oberyn takes flight with Indius, a sort of melancholy in her face as they float just before her - just out of reach, much like how each moment of her life seems to be. She immediately turns to her mother, however, and is pleased with the gentleness in her loving gaze, and the smile that finds Olena’s mouth is genuine though it is small and feeble. She would always have her mother - one of them or both, which was better - to ensure her happiness and the buckskin filly curls into Kagerus, weary already but excited to see where the afternoon leads them.

    Olena’s deep blue eyes sparkle with the reflection of Kagerus’ magic, occupying herself with the view before her and that of her brothers, instead of the way her lungs seem to gasp for more oxygen than she can give them and the way her muscles shout for rest. There is laughter that bubbles in her throat but is choked by her inability to catch her breath, coughing gently but nevertheless grinning, her eyes sparkling. She coos softly into her mother’s skin - a gentle and tender moment that was only meant for them, a hum in her throat of true happiness despite the fragility that disparages the little tri-colored buckskin.

    The filly’s eyes depart from the sparkles that Kagerus has made just for her to rest on Solace, devotion and adoration welling in the deep navy irises. She hadn’t even noticed Oriash yet, or even the strange stallion next to her, when a shrill and warbling whinny departs from her mouth, soft and rattling and barely audible. The noise is enough to stir her twin’s attention and he glances to her for a moment, ensuring everything is alright, before reacting to the scene before him. Olena finds his gaze for a tender second, before tucking herself closer into Kagerus though she wishes to greet Solace, feeling small and unimportant amidst the larger and stronger group that surrounds her. Her small nose nuzzles into the auburn crook of Kagerus’ shoulder, whuffling her nostrils to soothe herself and to steady the soft wheeze that is apparent in her mouth.

    Olena nickers gently, her wide eyes sweeping from Solace to Oriash with a smooth tip of her chin. The unfamiliar woman is her sister, she realizes and despite the broad antlers that spread from her forehead, the two looked rather similar, and even with the shadow of the dark stranger beside her, Olena felt herself drawn to Oriash in a way she could not explain. It was enough to cause the little, weak filly to peek from behind her mother’s protection, blinking eyes set curiously on her sister, her little face looking up at her with wonder and bashfulness.

    When Kagerus greets the dark stranger, however, Olena finds herself feeling small and helpless, so naturally she skitters towards the shelter of Solace’s blue wings, seeking shelter beneath their downy softness and to shield her with their willowy embrace. “I’m Olena,” she chirps softly from beneath sky blue feathers and after Kagerus’ conclusion, her ocean eyes peeking to linger on the dark man for a second before resting gently on Oriash, comfortable with the way their familiar depths appeared to her.

    OLENA
    if the whole world just stops singing
    & all the stars go dark
    i turn the light on in my soul

    Reply
    #7
    Set watches as they come, family drawn together like different pieces of the same body. Treating Oriash with a slow, enigmatic grin and a wink, he fades away into the humid air.


    Solace
    Oriash
    ooc – I just don’t want to hold the family reunion up anymore xD
    Reply
    #8


    With Kagerus' arrival, the relative calm is shattered, but Solace doesn't mind. The trio of children (well, the pair of boys mostly) infuses a sense of chaotic energy into the scene. It is something that Solace has grown used to, and even find comfort in. As they each vie for attention and Indi steals the stage, Solace extends her wing to brush the tips of her sky-tinted feathers across her wife's shoulder in a wordless greeting as their eyes meet.

    The reunion seems to be not quite what Set expected, and Solace's eyes narrow slightly as she watches him make his unconventional departure. Not that she was bothered by the decision, but something about its execution sends a red flag waving in her mind. Regardless, it is a thread she doesn't intend to follow, not now at least, and she enjoys greeting each of her children with equal affection as they eventually look to her one by one. Olena bolts for the shelter of her mother's wings and Solace is happy to provide the girl with a downy tent of blue, and her already glowing heart feels a little warmer as her smallest child presses their sides together.

    There is a brief breath of silence, and her crystalline eyes return to Ori. The mother of eleven wasn't in the habit of apologizing for her children, but as Oberyn flaps his wings and yells "Watch this!"  before taking flight in a flurry of feathers and flying hooves, she feels the need to give an apologetic laugh to her full-grown daughter.

    With the little pegasus colt clear and floating above them, Solace lifts her wing a little to encourage Olena into the gathering of family. "We keep to ourselves these days," the frost-kissed mare volunteers. Since returning to Tephra, both of her pregnancies had been touched by a misfortune of some sort, and despite her apparent lack of age, she felt her years in her bones. But these things were not enough for her to overlook the gifts she had been given in recent years. Her former life was a story slowly being lost to time, and although a part of her soul would always long for the mountains, she wasn't sure she would have it any other way.

    All of this passes unsaid, and only half-understood by the Solace. Instead, she only smiles, that smile forever tinted with the bittersweet, and she draws a deep breath into her lungs. "It feels like home now though."

    S
    olace
        we're reeling through an endless fall
    we are the ever-living ghost of what once was


    Oriash
    Solghostdoll2

    Reply
    #9
    ↼ORIASH⇁

    they promised that dreams come true

    It isn’t long before Kagerus and three children join them. There is a moment of sheer panic. There are so many of them, and it feels like too much at once. Three children? It does not even cross her mind to be mad at them, to be envious of them, because they were given the life she was not. Even if the thought did cross her mind, it was not their fault. Instead though, it is only worry and fear that gnaws at her, something dark that slithers at the edges of her magic. What if they do not like her? What if, after all this time, they would deny her yet again?

    But then the boys land before her, one well and one with a bit of a fumble and Ori chuckles slightly, remembering her own attempts to learn to fly. A thing she had done with Pteron’s urging, but she had learned on her own. ”Well done,” she says to both the boys, unfurling her own wings slightly with a grin. ”Perhaps we can go flying together later?” She asks, and there is such obvious hopefulness in the question that she almost hates herself for it.

    Why does she care what they think? Why does she care that they love her, when they had once so easily deserted her? But the children had not, and even still, she wants to be loved. She wants to belong. Is that such a big thing to ask for?

    Soon enough Kagerus and the last child, a girl, are there. Ori returns the gesture, pressing her own nose back into Kagerus, willing to accept the small comfort. For it is a comfort, despite all the hurts of the past. They do not seem to matter in that moment, and perhaps it is possible that they never will. Before she can utter a word though, one of the boys bursts out talking and all her fear, whatever might have been left of it, melts away. Her smile is large and genuine, and perhaps for the first time in her entire life, she can begin to imagine who she was meant to be.

    ”It is a pleasure to meet you too, Indius. I admit, I don’t have anywhere else to stay, so perhaps...perhaps I will stay?” she says, though it is half question and half statement. Still, she cannot imagine leaving, not when there were so many faces before her eager, as far as she could tell, to get to know her better. Why leave when she had finally found what she was seeking?

    Set takes his leave with a tantalizing grin on his face, like a dare or a promise or a threat. Perhaps all of them. For now, she pays it little mind, though her power stir and tuck the sight away as they so often do of their own volition. Ori’s attention is drawn back to Solace and Olena at they speak, and she lowers her head to greet Olena, not pressing too close, but simply to see the girl better and offer her a smile. They do look alike, and though Olena does not know it, they perhaps are the most alike here. Ori has always been quiet and shy as well, and she still struggles to find words even now. ”I am glad to meet you, Olena. You are quite beautiful,” she says, her words soft and kind, finding it impossible not to understand this girl. No, not this girl, her sister. What a beautiful realization.

    She turns her attention back to Solace as her mother speaks, and she nods in understanding. ”Nowhere has ever felt like home,” she admits, voice soft, not entirely sure why she is admitting it to them. She feels like a child before her parents, a scared and uncertain little girl in need of her mothers. But then again, has she ever been anything else?

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too



    Kagerus Solace Olena ....that was a lot, sorry for the book. I tried to catch everything but I assume I missed stuff, haha

    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission

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