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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Aela -- Year 216

    QOTY

    "So she smiles prettily and steals away when she can. Feels the brutal pounding of others around her with a savagery that she has never comprehended—their emotions so vast, their hearts so wicked. It warps her more than she was already warped. It presses a thumbprint of cruelty into her darkness, shaping her into a thing of shadow, a thing of longing, a thing carved from the darkness between every breath." --Baptiste, written by Laura


    maybe redemption has stories to tell; lilliana
    #11

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    Warden never had a chance.

    He had been born knowing only waking nightmares; there was no possibility for him to grow into the stallion he should have been. He is merely the man he is now because of these terrible visions and he cannot even fathom who he could have been without them. In a way, he clings to his premonitions because they are all he knows - they are the defining piece of him that gives him any semblance of familiarity; that, despite the terrors he has seen, at least it is something that belonged to him. He is, after all, the Watcher.

    I can’t do that, comes the reply and though his heart breaks for this stranger, there is a scoff in his throat. “Then you are weak,” comes his weary voice, defeated and too tired as it leaves him. But he doesn’t mean it, not in the way he intends it to pierce her, and idly wonders why he is using this opportunity to project himself onto her. He snorts, feeling disheveled from their emotional and terror-inducing conversation, finding his nostrils flaring desperately as he seeks to inhale the familiar Tephran air.

    There is nothing else for him to do; she has seen the future just as he does and now she will do with it what she wishes. Though the bone-armored girl is no longer a stranger in the way that her memories had flooded him, Warden holds no responsibility for her fate, even though he had already lived through her last gasping breaths in the future. But for some reason he continues to linger (maybe it is the starved way he can now share his visions with another that keeps him here), his dark eyes indifferent and unwavering.

    “I pray every time that I am,” he tells her honestly, but the solemnity in his gaze as it holds hers does not fade. “I have so far prayed in vain. I no longer waste my breath.” Warden pauses, falling still. His words are harsh and unfeeling, despite the turmoil of emotion that shatters in his chest. He feels for each and every one of his victims, but speaking as if he does not is somehow easier than facing all of that pain and grief. “Perhaps you should do the same.”

    Acceptance.

    Warden



    @[lilliana]
    Reply
    #12


    remember when our songs were just like prayers?
    like gospel hymns you caught in the air

    Maybe he can't see the beginnings because he only sees the end.

    He doesn't know that the mare in front of him once had a smile like sunshine. Warm, kind, illuminating. Lilliana had tried to brighten her whole world with that smile. An unspoken invitation - that if some soul found themselves lost in the dark, they were welcomed to be included in the light of hers. @[Warden] can't know that in another time and place, the chestnut mare had no magic of her own. There would have been no need for the literal glow that she can exude now; before Beqanna, Lilliana had known how to do that with a tilt of the head, the quirk of her lips, with a thoughtful word or her once-chiming laughter.

    When Warden calls her weak, Lilliana does exactly that.

    She laughs. It's an empty and hollow sound. It echoes from a cavern in her chest because Lilliana is far too scared to try and fill it.

    The painted pegasus seems to have resigned himself to the what is. And Lilliana wonders if that has been her problem all along. She has seen what could be. The vision of Brazen that lingers between them is the Ending. It's what Warden Knows. Her death will come without question (which they all will, even Lilli knows that). Maybe this is the End for Lilliana, too, because she would have once fought harder against this brooding darkness that the Seer carries with him. She would have tried harder to find the Light. (And maybe much doesn't change about her at all because neither does she leave him with it. Lilliana stays standing in the darkness with a stranger because it seems a kinder thing to do than just to leave him to suffer with it.)

    An ear flicks to him when Warden speaks of faith. He's tried praying, he admits. Lilliana laments with him and perhaps in the dark, they consecrate a shrine. "I've tried," she confesses. "I used to worry that by calling them different names, by praying to different gods than mine, would make them angry." She shares this with him because Warden speaks with a heaviness that she has carried. With a weariness, she has felt. With anger that has burned. Lilliana looks away from Warden because even though he doesn't know her, it still feels like sacrilege to speak of it.

    Who is she without hope?

    (Who is she?)

    "It didn't matter," she finally says. A finality in the tone of her voice that says she no longer prays to her ancestors, to Legado or the Winds. She asks nothing of the Sisters or the Stars or the River. What she does for Brazen - what she will try to do - will be done without them. Maybe the revelation should have been a freeing one but it elicits a knife-twist in her gut instead. An empty part of her seems to resound even louder now, crying out against the void.

    "There's comfort in knowing you're alone." Lilliana offers him what little she has, recalling that moment at the portal when Craft had faltered before returning to this life. She shares it with Warden now because what else can be said between them? They've spoken about forsaking Gods and doomsday prophecies before speaking names. She knows that she isn't alone anymore, not in the way she had once spoken this to Craft.

    But they've both known the Dark and it is important to Lilliana that Warden knows that: "If we're all alone, then we're together in that."


    doodle by the lovely bru<3 | html by castlegraphics


    this post is brought to you by Grammarly: 'uncertain' and 'joyful'
    but it's all in the past, love
    it's all gone with the wind
    Reply
    #13

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    The laughter that finds her throat only warrants a gentle click of Warden’s deep navy eyes into hers, a wary look in their depths. It doesn’t occur to him that she might be laughing at his proclamation but more so that she cannot accept what fate has laid out before them so plainly. He doesn’t blame her for being quick to reach for solutions - that somehow their actions could change destiny and its design. This is her first time peering into such a future like the one he has accidentally shown her. He remembers the first time and how he had reacted. It had been much like the scene before him.

    The Watcher does what he does best; he waits patiently, his face expressionless yet somehow soft in its stoicism. Had he known that her inner thoughts were battling the dark and the light, he would mention how the light has yet to save him, and how dark is the only thing that is even vaguely familiar, the only thing that grips him tight within the loneliness and the despair - the only thing that, even in its toxicity, reaches out for him.

    “It will never matter,” he replies stonily with a gentle snort, “what is done, is done.”

    His words are not meant to be in jest but in understanding. The gods and their infinite wisdom and knowledge will not step down to intercede on their behalf - no amount of prayers or wishes will rouse them awake. And even if they heard, they will not reply, for they have not answered him and Warden has asked and asked until his knees were bloody and he had gone blind from all the tears in his eyes. They are as silent and watchful as the stars.

    The stars.

    The thought brings a twitch across his pale lips, but that is all.

    Warden offers her a small nod of his horned head, the blue opal of their texture shining in the light. “Maybe we are,” he agrees with a gentle roll of his shoulder. Together. The idea, though he isn’t sure if it’s true, feels true. “Maybe that is the reason that you have been able to see your friend’s death when you were not meant to.” He pauses, thoughtful and contemplative, and it darkens his features. “My name is Warden. I expect to see you again.” Not that he had seen it, of course, for his premonitions are only that of death and destruction. “When she dies, I fear I may be the only one who may understand such grief.” His face is sorrowful even as the shadows cross the ivory of his skin.

    “I am sorry we could not have met under different circumstances.”

    Warden



    @[lilliana]
    lol here is 'formal' and 'joyful'
    Reply
    #14


    remember when our songs were just like prayers?
    like gospel hymns you caught in the air

    She clenches her jaw and keeps to herself what she might have said.

    In another time.

    It's what she tells herself - will continue to tell herself - now and in the days that will come. When her mind wants to wander down the paths not taken and the decisions already made, she will remember @[Warden]. (She has always been good at borrowing Elena's golden courage. And maybe that has been her problem. What was burrowed eventually has to be returned. There is none of that gilded glory here. It is all darkness and desolation between them. Maybe in the days that come, she'll borrow Warden's certainty. When her heart wants to twinge and twist in her chest between beats, she'll remember this moment. She'll remember forsaking her old faith, shedding it in exchange for the certainty that the antlered stallion exudes. She has never had that, has never known that, and now she thinks it comes from hoping.)

    She isn't alone. She knows that. She is a mother of three and for them, she'd bleed herself dry for a shred of the stoic way that Warden stands before her. All Lilliana does is bleed and bleed and bleed, giving everything away without question and never asking who takes from her. There is Neverwhere and Brazen and Eurwen to think of.

    Lilliana tries to catch her expression against the shadows because she can feel her face fall (and she loathes herself for that). It breaks apart at the mention of Brazen. He speaks of her death in the future - something always hazy, something she has never been able to conjure clearly - as an absolute. The future finally comes. It finally comes as something she can see and this is what it reveals: desolation, agony, death.

    The chestnut mare doesn't need to tell him that she wished she hadn't seen it. She has never known her future or what it might hold (back when it had been a bright, beautiful thing; back when even if it had been a beautiful disaster, there might be some joy, some happiness, some light to find). The red mare of Taiga - fire-flecked and flame-marked - is not invincible. She may be Immortal but she is not immune to the pain that this knowledge brings. Lilliana feels it acutely, a visceral ache in her chest that doesn't leave her. That will keep her company all the way back to North and stay through the days and nights, weeks and months to come.

    "She won't be alone," the copper mare tells him. It doesn't change or alter futures. She'll try to find a way to heal her. She'll try to find a way to stop this, her quiet resolution says. It will just be done without everything she has ever believed in. It will just be done without the guidance of everything she has been taught to look to.

    "Lilliana," she tells the Dark so that Warden doesn't have to stand in it alone.
    (Something in her soul turns to dusk, a setting sun before finally falling into the velvet embrace of night.)

    "And you won't be alone with that grief." Lilliana has seen this ending with him. A burden that is shared between them. There is weight behind her eyes - a phantom bruising behind the sky blue - when they raise to meet his ocean-like ones. He is the only one that will know what this has taken from her; the first who will see the metamorphosis from the woman who apologized before. If what comes to pass what they have seen, they will both share that grief. Alone in that, together.

    "What is done, is done," she tells him.

    Because there is no changing the way they met.


    doodle by the lovely bru<3 | html by castlegraphics


    well now we are formal with a touch of appreciative.
    but it's all in the past, love
    it's all gone with the wind
    Reply
    #15

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    He can’t hear her thoughts, but he knows the determination that simmers quietly in Lilliana’s blue eyes - it’s familiar and he is nearly jealous of it. Long ago his own determination had withered into nothing, now just scraps in the cavern of his chest. For a moment he is motivated by the strength in the chestnut’s voice and he attempts to scrounge whatever is left but it is so brief as he realizes there is nothing to hold onto, only empty wishes that echo hollowly in his mind.

    She offers him a bit more reprieve - he would not have to hold this anguish alone. Warden remains expressionless at this fact but accepts it with a gentle nod of his horned head, the blue opaled spirals sparkling in the light. It does not ease the burden any less - it is still a crushing weight that he struggles to breathe beneath, but there is some solace in the fact that she understood.

    Does she know how much weight her words have? What is done, is done. They are solemn words but ones that ring true to this Night Watcher who sees no difference between the past and the future. His brows crease above his dark eyes, creating a shadow across the ivory of his ghostly face. There is so much truth in that phrase and he wonders if she knows that, or only is telling him in an attempt to soothe the pain that is so rampant between the two of them.

    “I do not know when I’ll see you next, Lilliana,” he reminds her gently, his voice firm and unwavering, “though do not take offense when I say I do not look forward to it.” Sorrow turns his eyes glassy once again, knowing that the next time he sees this blue-eyed woman, death will have come hard and fast to her friend. He did not look forward to that revelation and, perhaps, as he grasps as a sliver of hope, he will not have to - if the future is as unsteady as she claims it to be.

    He wonders if she’d be able to find him again when the time comes. But if he had known how her powers work, then he would realize that the sheer amount of emotion and guilt that pours through him so effortlessly, that there would not be any way she could not find him again. “Until then,” Warden gives her a deep nod that bows his head to his chest. His great, white wings unfurl in a single snap - the position she had found him in when their conversation began - and with a few strides, the Watcher takes to the velvet night skies in a swirl of smoke-tinged wind.

    Warden



    @[lilliana]
    Reply




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