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    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

    then you're left in the dust, bru pony
    After her encounter with Velkan, the girl finds that she craves more contact with other horses. The skeletal, inky black stallion had been intriguing and kind, and their nighttime conversation had left her hungry for more. She hasn’t met many other horses outside of Litotes, and while the lion had been something curious himself, she wants to know how many others there are that are strange and unique and different. She wants to be proven that she is not the only oddball out there, that she is not alone in this world that has only been cruel to her from the start. 

    She finds herself along the banks of the river in midday, having slept entirely through the night for once and well into the morning before stirring. Her mind wanders back to that night with Velkan, and how she had wondered how the water would feel as it extinguishes her flames, and she splashes into the shallows, the fire at her ankles snuffing out painlessly as she wades deeper. When the water threatens to cover her back and reach the flames that dance upon her topline she pauses, almost a tad nervous as the current plays with her tail and tries to snag her wings in its flow. 

    Suddenly chickening out she lunges for the shoreline, the river water running off of her scales in rivulets as she thrashes for land. Once on the shore she stops, breathing heavily and looking back to the river behind her, eyes wild. She doesn’t want to know anymore what the water feels like – she doesn’t want her flames to ever be extinguished. Why, oh why, had she thought that was such a fabulous idea? Shivering, she drops to her knees in the grass, pulling her wings up and around her so that they shield most of her body from the invasive sunlight.  

    Stupid girl. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    Bruja :D
    As strange a creature as she'd ever witnessed appeared at the edge of the river. She'd been sticking to the watery byway purely out of convenience, swimming and walking as the terrain allowed. She'd been going north steadily for a few days, taking in the sights of a frozen world. It was such a foreign thing, ice and snow. 

    Salt water didn't freeze in this climate, and it wasn't even a close thing in Ischia. This river, however, was edged in cold, sharp crystals. Some places were even encased in thin sheets of the stuff, making it mandatory that she go by way of the shore until it flowed freely once more. It was in one of these places that she witnessed an odd sight. 

    This was a strange creature, the horse ahead of her. At least, she was pretty sure it was a house. Her polar opposite, if it was, even if both of their hides glittered with fine scales. A wry smile lifted the corners of her golden lips as she watched the other creature's hesitant entry and resultant hasty exit from the edge of the river, hidden by a stony bend in the current. 

    "Are you okay?" She asked, finally emerging from her scant hiding place. The rigid frill of her mane perked inquisitivly as she approached, thoroughly intrigued by the dark female before her. From her broad, scaled wings to the little flames that flickered and flared along her back, this new horse was as different from the sea mare as could be. What she'd been doing trying to submerge herself in the river, Aquaria couldn't begin to guess. 

    The idea that there are horses out there that are the polar opposite of her – water, where she is all fire – has never even crossed dear Ember’s mind, even though she has seen a few oddities in her few years here in Beqanna. Lions and wendigos and wings and scales (dragons seem to be quite popular, she’s noticed) and even once, a horse that glowed so brightly she could’ve sworn they were an angel. Maybe they are, who is she to know? But aside from those few, she hasn’t met many others, and her imagination for these sorts of things is limited.

    She doesn’t realize that she is being watched as she struggles back to shore and falls to her knees to hide from the water, and so she is quite embarrassed when she hears the voice from beyond a bend. Pulling her wings back from her face, her red eyes fall on the water-horse as she approaches, and Ember scrambles to her cloven hooves, the flames decorating her spine flickering nervously. “I’m so sorry you had to see that,” she says sheepishly, dipping her head in greeting to the other woman.

    “I’ve never been, uh, very good at swimming,” she lies quickly, not wanting to tell the finned mare her true reasons for wading into the freezing waters. “I lived for a time along a pretty beach, but I never really got the hang of it, I guess.” With a giggle she finally looks up, meeting the stranger’s pretty violet eyes with red. She smiles carefully, knowing that this woman is certainly more suited for water than her and is probably looking right through her lies. Can’t swim? she thinks to herself, tail flicking nervously over her haunches. Couldn’t think of anything better than ‘I can’t swim’? You moron.

    Tossing her mane as nonchalantly as possible, she glances back towards the river before meeting the stranger’s eyes again. “I’m Ember, by the way,” she says. “If you couldn’t tell by the name, I’m not as suited for rivers and oceans as some.”

    Aquaria this only took 1000 years i'm so sorry <3
    The stranger's rueful reaction to being caught in what seemed to be an ill fated experiment brought a sympathetic smile to the nereid's lips. As at home as she was in the water, this girl seemed like she'd be far more comfortable in a volcano or bone dry desert. However, she was never one to discourage trying new things. 

    Swimming was as natural as breathing to the nereid, and it had taken a while for her to realize that not all horses were as suited to it as she and her family. The water was where she belonged, just as her winged friends belonged to the sky, and the warmly coated ones belonged to their icy domain. She had met such a wide variety of equids in her travels, and had found something to love about all of them. 

    "Well if you ever want lessons, I'd be happy to assist." She offered with a warm smile. If there was one thing she was good at, it was swimming. "I live in Ischia, it's pretty much all beaches there." Her tail flipped happily as she thought of her beautiful, warm home. And while this fiery girl might not be so adapted to the oceanic aspect of the islands, she figured you'd have to be made of stone to not enjoy the land itself. 

    Upon hearing the glittering girl's introduction, the nereid couldn't help but laugh. The mirth bubbled up from her belly and danced out in joy. "Oh my. Both of our parents must have a talent for getting things on the nose. My name is Aquaria." She giggled, eyes bright. Polar opposites, right down to their names, yet the sea horse felt the giddy sensation of kinship with the winged girl. Ember and Aquaria, with nothing but scales and a sense of humor between them. 


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