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  • Beqanna


    Reave -- Year 219


    "She did not wake up one day healed, she was simply moving and she realized that somewhere along the way grief had stopped stabbing her every motion. It’s a strange feeling. She is lighter and heavier at once. She doesn’t know what to do with the time that’s opened before her, what to do without wounds to claw open." --Cordis, written by Cassi

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    [open]  i got a secret starting to rust
    For decades, he has slept.
    (And he remembers now, when some cosmic shift finally rouses him, how sleep had been his only reprieve as a child.

    Isn’t it peculiar to think now that he had ever been young? 
    That he had ever been weak?)

    He blinks now into the sun.
    There has been some change, though he has no interest in examining it now. The limbs unfurl and solidify. He had slept as a shadow, as a ghost, as nothing at all. He is not only a thing waking but a thing coming back to life. 

    He had slept in the forest. (Serendipitous, was it not? For Pangea has fallen and he might have fallen with it.) He had tethered himself to the nymph in the water, drawing steadily from her life force, though he hadn’t needed to. He had gone to see her and how her face had lit up at the sight of him. He had feasted on the hope that had blossomed in the empty space around that heart. He had grinned, flashed those lethal teeth, and then curled himself into the earth.

    He does not return to her shores now. Instead, he steps out into the light. Into the new ruins.
    And he grins, draws in a long, rasping breath. 

    There has been much death in the time he spent sleeping.
    He gathers the shadows around him, remembering.


    all things are poisons

    for there is nothing without poisonous qualities.

    Being a child did not amount to being weak. Being alive did not require reprieve. This is not something Iris understands, but then again, she was born to power. Her mother was a magic entity, a piece of Beqanna in a sense now. Some of that magic belongs to Iris now, and the dead have always been more of a comfort than a torment to the black mare. She has enjoyed their company, leaning into the whispers, having conversations, seeking revenge on their behalf. The wicked and guilty made for a good outlet to practice her poison manipulation on, and it pleased her ghostly friends.

    Though some might say that Iris has taken her own type of reprieve, avoiding the company of the living for so long. Nothing strange or magical had kept her away, she simply preferred the company of the dead to the living. But like moths to a flame, it seems everyone is brought back to Beqanna eventually.

    Perhaps then, as death himself unfurls from sleep, it is no accident that Iris finds herself led to him. The dead whisper, chittering in excitement and fear in her ear, leading her on. Iris has learned to trust the dead - they are not trustworthy, mind you, but they like her and have long since stopped trying to lead her into danger.
    It comes as no shock that she finds death in the ruins. The dead here do not know her - they are not Beqanna’s dead, and they are not her friends. They are different, and their voices edge out the ones she is familiar with. Hatred roils in their words, pleas for revenge or simply for peace. Warnings echo from the kinder ones - warnings to flee this place and its destruction. Iris does no such thing.

    Even with these new dead crowding out her familiar friends, she finds him, the man of shadow who seems even more at home in this place than she does. Flickers of its history come to her from the dead, though she focuses on the living for once. ”I haven’t seen you around here before,” she says, and there’s an implication in that that suggests she would have been led to him no matter what.

    it is only the dose that matters


    photo by cottonbro

    @jamie (hi I couldn't resist)
    He turns at the sound of her voice. 
    She, too, is a dark thing. (And his assessment has nothing to do with her appearance, though she comes swimming through the shadows as if she is part of them. 

    Perhaps there is some small moment where he wonders if he has somehow conjured her, too.)

    He turns his sharp gaze from her then, casting it beyond the edges of the shadows to the ruins beyond. 

    Before, she says.
    As if she has made her home here.
    As if it had been her home before it had been brought to ruin.

    “No,” he muses and allows himself to dissolve then into the shadows.
    (He had been born a shadow thing and it is in this form that he feels most comfortable, most himself.)
    He grins and the razor-edged teeth glint in the dark, the stark yellow eyes flitting back to her as he considers this. 

    He draws in a breath that clatters in the cage of his ribs, casting a question out to the ghosts that surround them. He reaches then into her head, for he has never had any qualms about taking things that do not belong to her, finds the memory where she is given a name. “No, Iris, I suppose you wouldn’t have.” 

    But he offers no explanation, only stares at her through the clamoring dark, grinning.

    “Yet you’ve found me here all the same, how peculiar.”


    all things are poisons

    for there is nothing without poisonous qualities.

    Sometimes the places she went felt like her home. The dead chittered in her ear, telling her story after story, painting pictures in her mind until she could imagine herself standing there in the midst of the scene. The places she went - even dead places like this (especially dead places like this) - came alive as the past haunted her in such a lovely, beautiful way. So many feared the dead, and yet Iris could not figure why. There was nothing to fear from a life lived and past.

    He dissolves into the shadows as he speaks, and she wonders faintly if he does it out of habit or in some vain attempt to spook her. If the latter, it does not work. If the former, then she does not blame him. He grins like the Cheshire Cat, teeth and eyes glowing from the shadows, the only indication he is still there. Well that, and his magic poking around in her mind.

    Her mother had taught her this sensation too, and moreover, had taught her how to construct walls should the need arise. Without the proper trait, there was only so much Iris could block, but she had no secrets to hide and did not really care. He could poke around all he wanted - there was nothing exciting to find. Still, because she cannot let him do so as if she were some unsuspecting fool, she lets her own poison creep into her head, wondering if her power would work on such an intangible thing as magic. There’s no effort to make him sick, or even uncomfortable, just a desire to make sure he knows that she is not a thing to be toyed with. She may not be stronger than him, but that did not make her weak.

    ”The ghosts found you. You…excite them. Though apparently not enough that they know your name. Perhaps you would care to share it?”

    it is only the dose that matters


    photo by cottonbro

    How it delights him to feel that flicker of poison.
    The grin deepens around something sinister as he searches her face for a thing that might give her away. Some set of her jaw that might show determination, flared nostrils that might indicate insubordination. But there is none, her expression remains smooth, her gaze steady. 

    He wants to draw it out of her, make himself sick with it. It reminds him that he had been a child once, that he had been weak. Perhaps he could lie down at her feet and let her push it through his veins.

    He sinks back into his own head (what a miserable place).
    “Jamie,” he tells her, because there is nothing he feels the need to hide either, certainly not this.

    He had believed once that he had been the bringer of the darkness, that Beyza’s sacrifice had plunged the world into that terrible black as soon as he’d been crowned the Alliance’s winner. He knows now that there had been greater forces at play, just as there are now, but that does not change the fact that he’d been born a monster and a monster he’d remained.

    “I kept ghosts as companions once, too,” he says. He sees them still, turning those strange, yellow eyes on the apparitions crowding in around them. “Though I can’t say that they were quite as fond of me as they seem to be of you.”

    Because he knows that to be excited about something does not necessarily mean that you like it. He knows that his use to them comes almost exclusively in the form of necromancy, the idea that he might resurrect them. And he might have if he’d been something kinder. 

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