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  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [private]  In the morning you'll look like regret [Severe]

    It was still cold out. Winter should've been on her last leg, but she refused to make way for Spring just yet. Stubborn to the end, I guess.

    In many ways I could relate. A few weeks ago the mountain had lit up, beckoning any horse interested (or stupid) enough to try their luck, and I ignored it. There was nothing waiting for me on the other side of a quest except disappointment and possible death. I'd done what any reasonable, sensible creature would and turned my back to the beckoning light, hoping instead for a little peace and quiet.

    Though unremarkable at best, I liked my life and the simplicity it offered.

    The mountain and its temptations couldn't sway me into participating, not when there was wonder in the silence of the woods or clarity in the feeling of a good, hard flight. Both were preferable to company of any kind. I could glean more knowledge from studying rare plants or following a migrating flock of birds than engaging socially.

    I wanted for nothing and needed very little.

    Unfortunately for me, those needs trumped my innate desire to remain reclusive forever. I was only mortal, after all. Subject to age and all its problems, a slave to maintaining some measure of physical fitness and overall health so that I could travel. I had to eat and occasionally keep up appearances if I wanted to keep living in comfort. Something Beqanna (or 'new Beqanna' as I liked to call it) was making increasingly difficult for little old me.

    By late afternoon I was trekking on hoof through the Forest, foraging as I went. I knew the best spots for birch sap and avoided the darker regions of the woods, more superstitious than your average traveler might be - and for good reason. The quiet that usually calmed me felt too quiet, even for a Winter forest.

    This evening, the shadows and silence felt sinister. So sinister, in fact, that I stopped pursuing a nibble and looked up to peer into the dark heart of the wood. I couldn't pinpoint why, just that there was a feeling of being watched. I waited, finally blinked, told myself I was being silly, and then resumed the forgotten nibble.

    S E V E R E
    At first, she had found the chaos of the storms amusing. All around her she watched the world crumble to varying degrees—some only lost their homes, or became inconvenienced by the sudden down-sizing of acreage, while others lost loved ones and family—and for a girl that kept to herself and with no family to claim any closeness to, it was easy for her to think herself above being bothered by the destruction. She moved through the world as she always had, behind a veil of her own darkness, watching and learning, a predator studying its prey, though rarely did she engage.

    But after some time, the newness of it all began to wear off, and she could feel the boredom sinking in. For her, boredom felt like an arrow being pulled back—all she needed now was a target. And here in the forest, it should be simple enough to find one. She does not know why they are so drawn to this place, but many of them are, as if the monsters of the night cannot touch them in the daylight.

    As if they cannot just gather their own dark to hide themselves from view.

    Which is what she does, the black-scaled mare cloaked in her self-made shadows so that she might melt with the real ones of the forest as she quietly maneuvers between the scattered trees. Her steps are oddly quiet, though of course not silent—but that was part of the fun. To watch them nervously glance over their shoulders for the source of that twig snapping or brush rustling, to discover that beat they hear is indeed footsteps—only to find nothing. Sometimes she could almost taste their heartbeats on her tongue, frantic and sweet, and savoring their fear was enough to satisfy her that day.

    But in Beqanna you did not have to look far to find someone wicked and beautiful (though she is beautiful in an unsettling, unconventional kind of way), which made her not so different from the rest.

    The thought of being indistinguishable irritated her to no end, which is why on days like today she is not searching for someone to simply toy with; she is searching for someone to kill, to flex the power that she had to set herself apart from the others.

    How unfortunate, then, for the pale pink mare that unknowingly meets her gaze, her own silver eyes still shrouded behind a veil of darkness.

    She recognizes that suspicion in her eyes, that look of her trying to reassure herself that no one is there, that it was simply the wind. That a shifting shadow in the corner of her eye had been a trick of the graying light, and Severe latches onto that fear before she loses it. I’m right here, she speaks clearly into her mind, a voice with no body to attach to it. Several tendrils of shadows have begun to snake across the ground and reach for the mare’s legs, and while Severe does not reveal herself just yet, she sends a large stone hurtling just past her head to make it clear to the stranger that she is not alone.


    archdemon has like a billion traits available and i have them all listed in her profile but to make it easier, in this post she is using darkness manipulation, telepathy, and telekinesis <3

    I am not like the rest of ... them. "They" are the ones who came before me - the greats. The old Kings and Queens of the past, now formed to dust or covered by the sediments in the earth, sleeping out their immortality in wait for a new beginning. The magnificent magicians or the terrible demons, those creatures of the purest light or most sordid darkness. I am not like them, and I don't think I ever will be.

    But I am not nothing. I have not succumbed to the great evils of this treacherous world, even as it broke apart and reformed itself. What I mean to say is that I'm not normal, and that should be obvious with one look. Like a clever prey animal, I'm disguised to look like "them" - pink and black all over, screaming out with color that I'm poisonous - but it's mostly a ruse. A clever disguise bred into me from previous generations, the result of an unusual pairing meant to help with my adaptation in an unforgiving world. The disguise, for the most part, is just that: a false threat.

    The only strength I have is defensive.

    But I certainly won't be telling my enemy that. I've never stuck around in a difficult situation long enough to find out what could happen in that scenario. In my brief encounters with the others I'm quick to spread my little wings and flutter away, and most times that's more than enough. I zip out of a tight spot and keep zipping, until the danger is days behind me, and then I continue like I always have. I'm nothing exciting or unique, but I have always, always been just enough. This time, that may not cut it.

    How do I know? I realize it the moment that voice enters my head and disrupts my benign thoughts. I'm aware of the very real danger lurking out there, somewhere in the darkness that I can't distinguish from the twilight, and it disturbs me enough that I forget all about foraging for tree sap and instead, focus my entire being on the quiet forest entrapping me. For the first time in years, I can feel my pulse quicken in dread. The loneliness and singularity I craved would be my undoing unless I reacted or tried to save myself.

    Something told me casual conversation was off the table today.

    I don't bother trying to respond. My wings are already somewhat aloft, spread apart to prepare for an immediate liftoff, but I realize just as quickly that I'm in a tricky spot for attempting any kind of escape; The Forest is a web of branches and thick canopy. I'd just as quickly entangle myself and make the killing (my thoughts have already turned this into a worst-case scenario) that much easier. Stay calm, I tell myself. Yea right. My version of calm is panicking.

    Fuck it. I decide to bolt. I'll go as far as my legs will take me through this convoluted mess of overgrown thicket, I just had to come to the Forest today. For a second I actually think I'll get away, too.

    A shame that one second doesn't last very long.

    @Severe I wanted to throw this up, short and sweet, so you could get to the fun part. No need to DM me with specifics unless you have questions, just go with what feels right/fun for you!
    S E V E R E
    She likes betting on which they are going to choose—fight or run.

    She’s learned that it’s difficult to predict, and that first impressions can often be wrong when their life is on the line. There is really no telling whether someone is going to choose to flee or turn to fight, though she supposes when the enemy is invisible (a little bit of cheating on her part, she must admit, but fairness has never been a priority for her) that makes it rather difficult to fight.

    The thoughts seem to flash across the other mare’s face: when her wings move as if to fly, and then taking into account the networking of branches up ahead, and, finally, the decision to run.

    The shadows that had concealed Severe fall away now, revealing the uncanny glow of her silver eyes, and the kudu horns that twist from her head. She is nearly entirely equine in shape, save for the fact that she is covered in black scales, and the spade-shaped tail that now flicks in anticipation behind her. She was never worried about the mare seeing who she is—she doesn’t plan on letting her live, after all—and also it’s less fun to finish a kill without at least someone (even if they’re going to die) witnessing you do it.

    She sends out a wall of darkness that envelopes the entire area, effectively blinding them both, and she uses her prey’s frantic thoughts as a way to track her movement (which will, she assumes, become slower and less certain now that she can’t see). Tightening her hold on the shadows she forces them closer to the pale pink mare, until they are almost a physical thing pressing against her, on her, around her.

    She could suffocate her with shadows—send darkness down into her lungs until she drowns on it—or disintegrate her heart inside of her chest, but tonight Severe opts for something brighter, and something she doesn’t use as often as the others.

    Opening her mouth, she sends out a stream of fire, the orange flames lighting up the dark.


    totally up to you on if she gets burnt/how burnt she gets. i was thinking either the pressing darkness or the fire or both would work lmao

    What's the last thing you think you'll remember before you die?

    For myself, it wasn't memories of a loving family or laughter I shared with my friends over the years. There wasn't a particular wish or final request, no "would've could've should've". I don't take the time to appreciate my surroundings or try to take one last, deep breath.

    For me, the last thing I remember clearly seeing was the face of my attacker.

    That was when time slowed down and my instincts kicked in. It could've been adrenaline, but I could see so clearly despite the dark and those unusual shadows. She had horns and scales, (how original) and her eyes - those eyes! - gleaming silver in the dark. She was so determined and so sure of herself that even I felt the inevitability of my death creeping ever closer. There was no hope in fighting my way out; she was too powerful.

    She was everything I had never been. She was everything I thought I could live without, come to prove me wrong in the most wretched way imaginable.

    I remembered that face before the world went entirely dark.
    Is this destiny? The thought came, forbidden. I sounded bitter.

    Was this all I was meant for? To become chattel for another being? For fucks sake, who even knew that she would actually eat me once I died? Maybe this was all just some twisted sport for her. I'd heard stories like this before.

    I thought I would be scared.
    I thought I would break apart under pressure, which is why I so often avoided it.
    I thought I would cry, or scream, or howl over the injustice being done to me.

    Instead, I'm pissed.

    I'm fucking mad as hell, and I hope she can feel that. Whatever fear is left has cornered itself in the back of my mind where it stays, feeding me epinephrine. The rest of me is shivering with rage, trying to summon the only power I ever knew I could make ... without much success. It sparks to life weakly, sensing my need but unable to fully form because I'm an idiot and hardly ever practiced summoning. I just barely manage to create blue sparks of light sputtering out around me.

    Flick, flick, flick. Useless thing. Useless Apothica.

    Not like the horned mare who is so quiet and patient during my frantic last few seconds. She who builds the darkness like a plaything, pushing it onto me with a physical weight that holds me in one spot. She's probably laughing at me, the witch. She's probably enjoying this. Meanwhile I can feel the physical darkness like doom, counting the pressure as it builds like seconds of my life slowly ticking away.

    Tick, tick, tick.

    Fire replaces the darkness, and I can only think enough to react. I throw my wings up in front of me, shielding myself from the heat that pours out of my enemy's mouth, but the fire is quick to latch onto my feathers. It eats them, devours the lovely black tips and turns the hollow center points to ash while my skin melts around it, and I am left screaming and writhing in the most unimaginable, horrible pain. I want to die. Anything would be better than this.

    Trapped in her cage made of shadows, I'm left to wail as the flesh bubbles and sloughs away. Perhaps by now every part of me is accentuated by flame, like a striking picture of horror. Maybe even beautiful. "The final scene of a lonely girl trapped and tortured to death", her muscles shriveled from the heat and her mouth open but unable to make sound anymore. A light in the dark.

    Who knows how long I'm left roasting. My skin is burnt away; I can't fucking tell anymore. I don't have wings. I can't move. I can't think. If I'm conscious, it's only my brain keeping me alive before the smoke inhalation does the rest.

    She could do whatever she liked, now.
    I was finished the moment she picked me.



    Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, and seven in a learned one

    Annoying kids.

    Brats in the Forest again, screaming their stupid heads off. Vadar tried to close his eyes and ignore the grating sound, but the noise just wouldn't let up. They were interrupting his sleep and he was damn near sick of it.

    Immortal and still having to deal with childish pranks, he grumbled and took off at a trot, why anyone would think of breeding more milksuckers at a time like this escapes me. And then he didn't think about it anymore. He had a plan to chase the irritants out.

    White-lipped, the old black stallion came across an unusually dark patch of forest and sussed about quietly as he could, quickly working to make a creature of stone and stick that would do his bidding.

    He spoke runic, gave it a task, and breathed life into the golem that gathered itself together in a tornado of creation. Branches snapped free of their bearings and clung to the center of the creature, stones too. Vines created limbs and it groaned as it grew, larger and larger still. There was nothing quiet about the affair once it began, but Vadar could hardly be bothered.

    He sat aside and watched with glowing red eyes, murmuring to himself and the Golem before finally releasing its havoc on the forest. Its purpose (the singular one he'd given it) was a fear and disgust of the dark, and so when it gained control and basic sentience, the thing flailed its arms and fists made of stone toward the darkest areas it could find.

    Poor, stupid thing.

    But it was Vadar's poor, stupid thing - and he smiled to see it at work completely out of his control. His eyes flashed happily, ruby red. If that was not enough to scare the brats away, he would blast whoever was out here making noise and leave them lighter than a damn feather. All he needed to do was stand nearby and wait for them to show face.

    Come on. He thought impatiently. Move on, already. You're cutting into my slumber.


    @Severe Plot twist for the culture. And because I went too hard on Apothica <3 Oops.

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