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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening


    GHAUL -- Year 209


    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby

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    [open]  Bloodfeather || Lilliana, Noah ||


    On the opposite side of Loess’ hills was Sylva, and nestled like a dry riverbed between the two was a path that lead any traveler from the doorstep of Taiga directly south to the Pampas. This was where Wolfbane convinced Lilliana to follow him, under the very thin disguise of a diplomatic visit to meet Noah. He led her away from the haze and dim of the redwoods, two travelers pushing off from an island where Celina and Lepis lived, out to where the desert and prairie blended together alongside a sentry forest. And just like the sea their journey went along peacefully in the beginning; they rarely met another horse along the way, everything in autumn appeared pleasantly silent. Wolfbane relaxed and enjoyed the easy company of a mare who’d been on his mind far too often lately.

    “Are you enjoying Taiga so far?” He asked her. They were nearing the very edge of where all three lands bordered one another, and his shoulders began to ache from the added weight of his wings. Considering her quietly, he listened while musing over how she’d react to seeing them shrink away. If he hesitated to shift any part of himself in front of her, it was only because the proud side of Bane didn’t want to see a flash of anxiety in Lilliana’s eyes at the grotesque transformation.

    There was something so innately pure about her that he admired. When the showy chestnut mare looked at him, Wolfbane could see a similar admiration reflecting back. That sort of gaze felt phenomenal, thrilling as well. He’d be pissed at himself if he went and screwed it all up over a fragile little thing like sore shoulders. Then he remembered exactly what he was capable of, and as the two came to a crossroads in their journey he paused and flexed his withers.

    Heavy wings needed stronger, defined muscles to support them. Wolfbane simply adjusted the width and girth of his fore-end, solving the problem as quickly as he could smile.

    “I’m glad I convinced you to come along on this extremely uneventful, excessively long walk.” The Commandant of Taiga teased his blue-eyed companion, “You’ll like the Pampas - and Noah.” He added, “Actually I’m worried you might not come back to Taiga at all, that’s how convinced I am you’ll love it.”

    Wolfbane laughed in a warm tone, picturing Lilli there already. The scene in his mind was vivid and lovely: Lilliana stationed at the center in a meadow of endless flowers, bathing in their complicated perfumes... I was wrong to do this, he knows, but his heart’s already slamming against his thick-er chest. They’re here, anyways.

    Pointless to turn around and go back.



    lilliana Noah
    [Image: Wolfbane2.png][Image: 3bCHvj.png]
    Lilliana has been raised with a set of principles that tell her she should know better. She does know better. Every fiber in her being screams that as she smiles to the Commandant of Taiga, completely unable to help the heady feeling he gives her.

    When he asks her to accompany him on a diplomatic mission to the Brilliant Pampas, she can’t help the trill of her heart. It rises and skips and it takes everything in her to keep it from flying out of her chest. In the back of her mind, there is a warning. She should say no. She should come up with a thousand reasons as to why she shouldn’t agree to this and yet, she does.

    It is entirely too easy to tell him yes.

    Lilli follows him through Taiga’s guarded woods, past the empire Redwoods that seem to touch the wild blue sky above. Autumn casts a spell above and the leaves have turned. The pair journey between Sylva’s forests and the hills of Loess, away from the only path that Lilli knows – a well-worn trail to Hyaline. Curiosity has piqued her blue eyes as she manages to observe the lands that parallel them on both sides. Beqanna isn’t so much of a riddle as it once was but there something to admire in the loveliness of Sylva’s woods, in the way the leaves all blaze such demanding hues of reds, yellows, and oranges. The density of those woods reminds Lilli somewhat of Taiga but for some reason, her woods don’t feel so... foreboding.

    On the other side is Loess and every once in a while, the chestnut mare will gaze out on its rocky hills. It is Loess that reminds her of Paraiso, the ancestral seat of her family. The thought oddly enough doesn’t bring the familiar ache of longing, only an observation or recollection to her brief time in the ancient valley nestled among the mountains. Lilli loses herself for a while in the quiet. The trail is empty except for them and part of her thinks, searches for something to say but the silence seems the safest.

    The golden stallion broaches the silence first and Lilli glances to him, taking a moment to contemplate his question. It’s an easy one, something that she doesn’t have to think much about. ”Yes,” and then unable to help herself, she smiles. ”I haven't been getting lost on a regular basis so that's been nice.” It’s a deprecating joke with some truth in it. Taiga and her woods have been somewhat daunting to the chestnut as she has tried to learn her way around them and to learn the faces that dwell beneath them. She knows a few but the territory is growing and there is always a new one to be found, an indication that the forest isn’t as empty as it seems.

    The stallion flexes his withers and Lilli tries to pretend that her attention is anywhere but him - that she isn’t aware of his posture, of the strength of his back, of the proud way he holds his head. The way he changes his shape reminds that this land and its inhabitants are so impossibly full of magic. They seem to wield as easy as they do breathing. And still, it mystifies her. The question hangs on the tip of her tongue and she wants to know what exactly he can do. But she stops herself, not quite sure if Wolfbane would consider that a prying and personal question.

    He teases her and as much as Lilli tries to help it, as much as she tries to hide every part of her that wants to glow, she fails. There is something so completely arresting about Wolfbane and the tug that she feels towards him is magnetic, always pulling her a little closer, always bringing her a little closer to the flame. ”I’m happy to oblige,” she teases back, falling into this regular rhythm they seem to be finding.

    The closer they get to the Brilliant Pampas, the more this land brings recollections of where Lilli had been born. The scent of running water, of wildflowers, fill her nostrils and longing comes across her crimson features. For a moment, it is so easy to imagine that this place might have been home. Her ear tips back to Bane, listening to his next words but of all the things he says, the only thing she hears is this: that he worries she might not come back to Taiga.

    Everything in her goes silent and she knows this is wrong. This is all completely and horribly wrong. But her head shakes gently, trying to fill the void that is growing inside her and trying to steady heat that boils in her veins. "I doubt it," she says. And somehow, from somewhere, she finds the courage to meet his hazel eyes. "Taiga suits me just fine." It's meant as another joke, a silly reply. But it doesn't feel that way - it feels like a confession.

    She swallows and then looks away, turns her blue eyes to the wildflowers that adorn the landscape here. The chestnut mare thinks and tries to turn her attention to the reason why Wolfbane asked her to accompany him. Lilli finds a sliver of will and irons herself to that, clings to it like a lifeline and sets herself to the task at hand. Another exhale, another release of whatever thoughts whirl around in her mind and she looks back to Wolfbane again, sincere in her questions. "What is Noah like? And the Pampas? It's lovely.. but what is its history?"

    Wolfbane Noah
    [Image: sTAi2f.png]

    that's all there is

    Sometime in the aftermath of the war, her two oldest friends had left Loess. In the immediate confusion of how it could possibly have come to be that a senseless war had pitted half of her extended family – Bane, Lepis, and Castile – against Leliana, with whom she’d only just reconnected, she hadn’t even know where they went or had the time to find them. Now more than ever, still feeling battered and reeling from her fight, she wishes they were just a short flight away over the border. She’d stopped on the way home and her visit with Castile had been reassuring, but it wasn’t quite the same. Wolfbane had been her first King, the first friend she made after her father’s death left her alone.

    At the first hint of his familiar scent, the little red mare is sure it’s a wishful figment of her imagination. But she lifts her head from the sun-warmed autumn grass and stands anyway, curious, turning hazel eyes towards their shared borders with Sylva and Loess, the only borders they share with the rest of the mainland. It’s too far to see clearly but there is definitely a shape there…the little mare starts in that direction with a definite spring in her step, hoping her senses aren’t wrong. The joy emanates from her in the most natural way, and the wildflowers are even denser in her wake.

    When the indistinct shapes resolve and she is sure it is Bane, Noah nickers. It will carry across the distance in a way that her soft voice simply doesn’t. Her gliding strides close the distance quickly, though she doesn’t hear the words that pass between the golden stallion and his unfamiliar companion. “My friend,” she says when she does halt before them, green eyes bright. “I missed you,” She lets herself say it to just him, before turning to look at his companion also, her small smile shyer and her voice even softer. “Hello, I’m Noah.”


    Wolfbane lilliana


    Lilliana could smell something alluring on the winds that flowed across Brilliant Pampas’ open fields. Watching her copper-bright skin flash in the daylight, Wolfbane saw how she gently flared the dark, sensitive skin around her mouth and nose to inhale, before he felt a twinge of curiosity at her expression. To the blue-striped stallion who was watching her, the look appeared to be grief. Bane wasn’t an empath; he couldn’t sense exactly what Lilli felt when the scented breeze hit their faces for the first time, though he could guess. He wondered why the bouquet of a hundred thousand different types of flowers could make her sad.

    Just like the first time at the River crossing he feels it again: a quiet urge to reach out and touch her. A few loose strands of glinting wire had slipped loose from her mane. They were twirling and coiling against the bare side of her arched neck and he wanted to put them right again. I’d comfort you if I knew how, he thought. Then he blinked.

    Lilliana’s head was shaking that no, no she would not leave Taiga… or him. She doubted it at least, and he smiled at the back of her head. Taiga suited her just fine, which sounded as good as he could’ve hoped for. Wolfbane met her gaze like staring down the gaping mouth of monster, smiling and eyeing her behind a dark mask that never flinched. Now that he knew - and he was fairly certain that he knew what she’d meant to say - Bane wasn’t afraid of indulging himself further.

    He wasn’t hesitant to return her courage with an animal-like hunger just before she looked away again. What he felt for Lilli in those seconds while Noah approached was intensely primal and extremely passionate, it surged through him with a violent aching. When she sighed the very fibre of him threatened to shred apart at the seams from wanting her so badly, and had he not been ripped away from the blue of her eyes for the green of Noah’s, Wolfbane would’ve spilled his guts there and then instead of telling her about the Pampas and his history here.

    “Noah,” He breathed confidently, managing to wipe away any residual traces of forbidden lust as he beheld the peppered, familiar face, “the loveliest bloom of them all. I’m sorry for not coming sooner.” He replied jovially. He meant the sentiment even if it was said with a grin. Across the span of their world only a few horses had ever really settled into the bone and marrow of Bane’s life, (not that he made it easy) and Noah was one of them. It was clearly obvious by the way he shifted, naturally allowing room for the strawberry roan mare on his right, that Bane was thrilled to be reunited.

    “Noah this is Lilliana.” His deep voice swept over the trio, colored by warm affection. He ground the sandy trail and it crackled when he shifted again, tilting a ruggedly dashing nose towards the chestnut with him. “She lives with Lepis and myself in Taiga.” He explained quickly. “Noah and I go way back -” He laughed this time to Lilliana, maybe sheepishly, “- she’s a perfect friend. And one of the kindest, most patient souls.” Bane passively complimented.

    They could hear the sharp snapping sound of his tail when it licked against his hide, blotting out the irregular slashes of blue that ran jagged across his hind legs. Wolfbane shrugged as if asking forgiveness was better than permission, dragging his wings up and down like heavy weights while underneath, the coils of muscle running along his neck and back jumped, writhing. “I thought I would introduce Lilliana to the best Beqanna has to offer, by way of both horse and home.” The gilded pegasus explained to the other winged creature, “Could I steal some of your time?” He begged her shamelessly.



    lilliana Noah
    [Image: Wolfbane2.png][Image: 3bCHvj.png]
    It is the scent of a hundred thousand flowers that fills her nostrils. 

    The smell dances forward, bringing forth a hundred thousand memories. Days when kingdoms were made in the clouds, when Lilli could hear the meaning and magic behind birdsong, when she hadn’t learned yet exactly how cruel life could be. Her story had been a much simpler one then without all the knots and tangles that time can bring. The embrace of the wind softens her as it plays and teases those curling tendrils. It’s a familiar touch in a world that still remains so much of a mystery to the young mare.

    Like the stallion who stands beside her.

    When the admission (because what else can she call it?) slips through her lips, when the blue meets the intense green of Wolfbane, Lilli feels the rush of heat beneath her skin. It’s more than that – a wildfire comes to life underneath her crimson coat. All it takes is a look from him to ignite the flame, to bring it roaring to life.

    When the winged mare approaches, Lilli averts her gaze respectfully. Her eyes drop to the gravel below them until she notices the flowers that seem to follow so closely in Noah’s wake. Lilli uses this chance to study them: the delicate pinks, gentle blues, saintly whites that sway gently in the autumn breeze. She marvels at their creation, at what kind of lovely creature Noah must be if even the flowers can’t bear to part from her. An ear swivels to Noah’s soft voice but Lilli, feeling intrusive, tries to give them the time they deserve to exchange their greetings. The crimson girl doesn’t have Bane’s experiences or his ability to change emotions so swiftly and she needs the time to contain the firestorm that still crackles and flares within her.

    She can hear Bane’s warm humor and she feels it as he greets Noah. His affection for her is heard in every syllable and Lilli lifts those laughing eyes to smile at her, eager to meet the mare that he describes as his friend. ”It’s wonderful to meet you, Noah.” The stallion tilts his nose towards Lilliana and the corner of her lips tug upward more as her gaze dances curiously between the pair. There was history here and the russet mare found herself wondering what that was. Foalhood playmates perhaps? More pieces of a never-ending puzzle, she thinks.

    ”Brilliant Pampas is stunning,” she adds when Wolfbane finishes his compliment. ”I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many wildflowers in one place.” Lilliana means it. It rivals any meadow she has seen and the expression on her face is bright with the earnestness of her words. She takes one more sweeping glance of the beauty that seems to come from every corner before her gaze settles on Noah and Wolfbane. The golden stallion speaks again and Lilli tilts her head to him, wondering where he intends to take the conversation. She studies Wolfbane for just a moment and then afraid to let her gaze linger any longer, she looks to Noah intrigued to learn more about the land of wildflowers and its leader.

    i left home on account of snow
    (buried all the things i know)

    Noah Wolfbane
    [Image: sTAi2f.png]

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