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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening


    LILLIANA -- Year 206


    "There is still something of himself - something of the Wolfbane who would always love her - that rallies against the slime. It says, 'lie in the bed you’ve made'. So he gathers the covers and tucks himself in." -- Wolfbane, written by Calcifer

    and I will wait for you tonight; sabra

    Magnus has not ventured outside of Tephra for some time now.

    Perhaps it is because of the safety afforded to him within the borders of his volcanic kingdom, although he has never been one to cling to a safety net in any way. Perhaps it is because the field has been so quiet; every time he has made the journey toward it, there have only been a few mingling souls and nothing else. Perhaps it is because all of Beqanna has been quiet, settled, and for the first time in years, he has felt confident and comfortable enough to simply enjoy his life, enjoy his land, enjoy his people.

    Regardless, it almost feels strange to step out of it now, the autumn air biting in comparison to the warm weather in Tephra. It is soothing, for a moment, and then almost uncomfortable, but he adjust as quickly as he can, launching himself forward so that he can catapult across the kingdoms, skirting across their borders and losing himself in the feel of his muscles aching and lungs stinging. He loves to run like this—has always loved to run like this—and a fierce joy seizes at him as he continues to rush forward. 

    He doesn’t stop until he finds his way into the trees, and by then, his coat has turned to crushed gold. He can feel the dampness beneath the tangles and dreadlocks of his mane, and he tips his handsome head back to gulp in air—breathing it in deep. When he lowers his head again, he catches a glimpse of rainbow and wings. Curious, intrigued, he moves forward, his inky lips tilting into a crooked, lopsided smile.

    “Hello there,” he greets, his whiskey-voice showing the barest hints of strain and exertion. “My name is Magnus.” A flash of white as his teeth show against his muzzle and then a nod. “How are you today?”

    MAGNUS | I don't belong to anyone, but everybody knows my name

    I could still feel it, the way the rain had scattered into my coat, soaked me to the bone. I hadn't sought  to  shelter when Kagerus left. Instead, I had stood on the beach, watching the moon fade from view and drops of water fracture the stars reflected on the bay. I had stood there until the rain stopped, not thinking, just feeling. 

    The rain flowed down and around my body, cleaning away scents of brimstone and shame, replacing them with clean ozone and fresh air. When dawn filled the clouds with cacophony color, I was freezing, shivering, sickening, but I could breath again. I could breath. With breathing came thinking, and I found myself able to reflect without much pain. I could know my worth, even if others didn't. Live and learn, isn't that what they say? I had lived, I didn't regret any of it. Not really. But I had learned as well. Learned well enough to know that I would not be used again. 

    Kagerus and Solace, paired queens whose generosity had saved me more than once. I owed them much for allowing me asylum in dark times, and for the love and care I now knew my son to be recieving in their land. Raul had done me proud in his life away from my side, finding a home and perhaps a heart to care for. I had seen him briefly some days since my arrival, and we had exchanged stories of where fate had led us in the last year. I was satisfied with his contentment. 

    I am not like my son. 

    Home does not drag at my feet. Even here, where I have friends and now a son to draw me back, I cannot call it mine. The wind and sky call me softly, and louder when I cannot sleep. I am not grounded in Silver Cove long before I'm once more drawn into the air, flying in any direction but west. South, then. Until the trees grow thick and gilded, and the scent of decaying leaves bedecks the breeze. Lungs full of the odor expand my chest to bursting until my feet once more touch earth. 

    This time of year I can't help but think of my time in Sylva when i walk the woods. The marbled colors fill my vision and bring a sense of peace to my tumultuous heart. After a while, something like happiness begins to raise its head, sniffing the air with hope. The glimmer of emotion scurried back into its hole as an unfamiliar voice broke the stillness. 

    Glittering blue eyes focused sharply on the form emerging from the wood, as golden-dark as our surroundings. Immediate anxiety pulses through me at the sight of him, preparedness to take flight should he prove unfriendly. But it is only a greeting he offers me. Just that. I sternly order myself to relax, my face thawing from frigid scowl to an uneasy smile. It does not quite reach my eyes. He may well be a harmless passerby making conversation, but I would not bet anything valuable on it. 

    Still, I suppose the niceties must be observed. My head dips slightly, not breaking eye contact when I do. The lattice scars along my face and shoulders flicker nervously, making my skin itch with unspent energy. "Magnus. My name is Sabra, and I am well. How do you fare?" I asked, politely mirroring his own question. Stimulating conversation, wasn't it? 


    There is something about her that screams of pain, of armor and distrust. It reminds him of Isle. It reminds him of himself and stirs something like empathy in his belly. She is not unkind but neither is she overly warm, and he takes that into mind. Settling into a more comfortable position, still breathing heavily from his run, he angles his head slightly, watching as she fidgets just barely, the energy trapped beneath the surface of her. There is the barest raising of brows at her formal greeting, the hint of a crooked smile teasing the corner of his lacerated lips. “What a pleasure to meet you, Sabra.”

    He doesn’t answer her question, at least not immediately, but instead turns his gold-flecked gaze to the horizon of the meadow, contemplating for a moment as a muscle jumps in his jaw. “This is one of the few places in Beqanna that remain from my youth,” he says suddenly. “I feel like a child here sometimes. I can’t decide if I like the feeling; nostalgia cuts both ways. Memories can be both sweet and burn painful.”

    A husky laugh as he shakes his head, rolling his shoulders. Magnus draws his gaze back to her, studying her face for a moment. “I suppose I am contemplative today, Sabra.” Perhaps it was more than she had bargained for when she had asked him how he was doing, but Magnus had never been afraid of being vulnerable, of being honest. “As fast as I run, I can’t always outrun my demons.”

    A frown briefly crosses his face, his neck still gleaming with sweat.

    “But that wasn’t exactly what you asked, was it?” Another flash of teeth, a hint of self-self-detracting humor touching his features. “I am doing well. What brings you to the meadow today?”

    MAGNUS | I don't belong to anyone, but everybody knows my name


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