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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

    [open]  isn't that real enough?


    they promised that dreams can come true

    The day breaks cool and gray, as winter days often do. The chill breeze doesn’t stop her though, doesn’t deter her from taking another trip out of Loess. Not that she has any issues with just staying put, but rather, she’s finally discovered the joy of exploring the world and she cannot bring herself to stop. Ori seems to live in extremes, going from never leaving Loess to leaving constantly. At some point, she would find the right balance of life and adventure, of stillness and movement. Perhaps. Or perhaps like her illusions, Ori would always live somewhere in between, not entirely capable of discerning illusion from reality, not entirely capable living as others do.

    She is young enough still that she doesn’t really need to have it all figured out, though old enough that perhaps she ought to have begun to have a clue. But ah, our little Ori has never really lived, and how can you learn without experience behind it? She spent her childhood painting the world, learning to manipulate the sight and sound and smells of the world around her to her liking. She created, pretending to be a goddess in hiding, and learned only that reality was not so straightforward as others thought.

    Illusions of mother’s do not plague her as they had, but still, she doesn’t always know if she’s creating the color of the sky that she sees or if it truly is that gray. Did she just expect to see a gray sky today and so, she saw a gray sky? Or was it gray for all today? These are things she can never be entirely certain of, but that again, if it is gray for her, isn’t that real enough?

    Today she spots the river, deciding to land where the meadows are wide. The grasses this time of year are dead but not entirely gone, and they scratch at her legs as she makes her way across the meadow toward the gigantic red oak. It is massive, impossible and towering even from the sky, and it seems as good a place as any to start today’s adventure. She has no plan, but she assumes soon enough something to do or someone to meet will present themselves and so, she waits.

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too.

    star pony

    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission


    It seems he’s inherited his grandmother’s blood.

    His dark coat is thick and well-insulated against the cooler months. His body doesn’t brace against the chill in the air and even when it burns his lungs, there is a clarity that Kildare thinks can only be found in the winter months. If he wasn’t in a stage of his life where his blood was filled with wanderlust, he might have found Icicle Isle appealing. But as it is, Kildare roams from place to place and lets his soul drink in the sights and places that Beqanna has to offer.

    If the days are cold and gray or warm and bright, it doesn’t seem to phase him. The young stallion shrugs it off and ventures on.

    As he had told Astana, there is a whole world out there to see and he intends to miss nothing of it.

    Another trek that has lead him to everywhere and nowhere leads him back to the River. He has followed it from the Forest to Hyaline’s mountains all the way to Taiga’s woods that seem to hold a million secrets. The woods, the mountains, even parts of Nerine (though he doesn’t know it yet) cling to his coat and tell his story of all the places he has been – the midnight wanderer.

    The day is beginning again, another day for him to see where the River will take him. Perhaps nowhere, he thinks as a frown starts to dawn on his ebony face. He wants something new, his soul calls for something more untamed than the quiet trickling water as his traveling companion. In the moments of silence like this, he thinks that he would even be content to have Astana prattle on about everything under Beqanna’s sun.

    In moments like these, Kildare reveals to his thoughts what a youth he still he is. He is all impatience and hunger and drive to do something.

    When he finally decides to break with River and move on, there is a flash of gold. Kildare’s purposeful stride slows as he cranes his head to look through the massive redwoods, peering around the corner to see the gold melt into a pretty picture of white and blue. She is a winged mare who seems to be waiting for something or someone. There is a contentment to her that Kildare hasn’t felt for some time and he envies her that. His blood has been on fire since the moment he got here, awoken by the desire to experience and see as much as he could.

    He almost hates to disturb her.

    Kildare approaches her, a roguish smile tempting to run wild and grin at her. ”I almost thought you were a tree,” he teases.

    But he doubts that a girl like her could ever be rooted to the ground.


    She would never describe herself as content, and yet, in the moment she is always content. Her soul knows hunger now, it knows wanderlust. Though as a child she was certainly content, no, complacent. And those are not exactly the same thing. As a girl she was rooted to the ground, to Loess, with no idea what the world held. She was complacent in her imprisonment - first by Castile and then simply by herself - to Loess. She did not use the wings she had been gifted, only the illusions that came so easily now.

    Perhaps that’s where her peace in each moment stems from. The world is a canvas to her, and she can make of it what she will. Her paintings aren’t real, but they feel real, and those two things are close enough to the same that the difference in indiscernible.

    She spends some time by herself, though not much, before someone else finds her. In her recent explorations, she’s quickly learning that it’s easy to find others to talk to, harder though to find friends that truly matter. There is only one she would consider a friend.

    Her ears flicker in his direction as her gaze finds the black stallion. A laugh escapes her, a real thing, and she grins playfully. “I could be one,” she says, and she turns her skin to bark. Her legs grow into the ground like roots, and she lengthens, stretching with many arms to the sky before growing leaves. To the touch, she would feel like a tree, and yet in truth Ori still stand exactly where and as she was just a moment ago. A trick of the mind, and nothing more.

    Her soul, for all its complacency and contentment once, longs for more now though. Once she tasted the sky, tasted freedom, tasted what Beqanna has to offer, she could not be satiated with just Loess. It’s why she finds herself here, and this stranger is certainly not disturbing her. Better yet, the first words out of his mouth were not her mother’s name.

    After a moment, she lets the tree go, and she is herself again before him. “Oriash,” she offers. “Or just Ori is fine.”


    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission


    He shouldn't smile as broadly at her as he does. It shows his youth, if not his full enthusiasm, for meeting Oriash. Kildare is normally better at keeping these emotions in check, in keeping himself in check but Ori simply brings out the colt in him. She goes from a filly (a pretty one, he has noticed) and she shifts, changes into something entirely. That golden skin of hers morphs as he watches stunned, going from that gleaming hide of hers and it becomes.. wooden. She stretches and reaches, rises and rises and rises until..

    She is a tree?

    Kildare stands, mute and stunned. The midnight colt has been humbled into silence.

    He waits for her to shift back, to become a girl again. He waits for only a moment (though it feels like lifetimes to him) and Kildare takes one hesitant step, followed by another and then another. Slowly - very slowly - he comes closer. Closer and closer still, almost ready to reach out and touch when the tree dissolves before his green eyes. Well, he thinks, this is definitely one way to start a morning.

    "You were a tree," he adds. Realizing how obvious (and moronic) his statement sounds, he amends to it, "You were a very intriguing tree. But I think I prefer you this way." Regaining his composure, he grins at her. "Ori," he tries out her name, "Kildare. I wish I had a nickname to offer you but I'm afraid that's as good as it gets."

    Teasing her still and emerald eyes flashing mischievously, he tilts his head. "Do you do that often? Hang out in forests as a tree?"


    i am SO SO SORRY that it took this long to reply to you.



    they promised that dreams can come true

    “I only looked like a tree,” she clarifies, laughing slightly at the ridiculousness of being a tree. Though perhaps in Beqanna it’s not so very ridiculous. Surely someone can shift into a tree. Ori has heard stories of far weirder traits than becoming a tree, and she knows well of the nature magician who recently ruled Tephra. After all, Ori had been caught in the maze of vines and flowers and plants that had suddenly erupted across Loess, a maze that had nearly killed a few of the children that called the place home.

    I think I prefer you this way, he says, and she suddenly realizes that he prefers her for her. If he knows her parents, he has not mentioned them, and she is struck by the idea that someone might actually like her simply for her. That is a new concept in her life, except for Petron who, though he knew her mothers, did not judge her based on her mothers. Did not judge her based on Kagerus. Her mother’s shadow loomed so large when Ori was still a child that she had doubted there was any escape from it, and yet as time passes, it grows smaller.

    At least, she assumes her mother’s shadow must finally be growing smaller because Ori hasn’t grown any larger, figuratively speaking. She hasn’t quite sorted out how. How does one become something, become more, become known? How does one break out of the shadow two parents who had loomed so very large?

    “Kildare is a good name. It doesn’t need a nickname,” she says, realizing she’d probably been silent for a moment too long. Funny how an unintended kindness can strike her silent and dumb, not that Ori ever tends to talk very much. “No, I am not usually a tree. But I often paint,” she grins, a little mischievous, and around them the trees shift and change, reaching impossibly high into the air, their trunks growing so large around they cannot see past one. It is a redwood forest now, but more impressive than the redwoods of Sylva, for these redwoods are not limited by reality but only by Ori’s imagination.

    After another moment, she lets the illusion go. “Do you often stare at trees? Or mare’s that look like trees?” There’s a playful tone in her voice at the question though, finding it easy and pleasant to talk to the young stallion. He doesn’t seem like the type to be easily offended, and she likes that.

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too.

    kildare oh look, I'm just as slow if not slower...whoops

    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission

    His smile broadens.

    He can't help himself. She goes from being a tree to being a girl in a breathe and then speaks the ridiculousness of it. That smile broadens and quirks lopsided at her, appreciative of all the hypocrisy and absurdity that Beqanna and her magic have to offer. Whatever Ori is, Kildare finds her fascinating in the way that he finds all unknown places fascinating. She is something uncharted and so the smile he gives her is that of an explorer - he means to find the mystery of her.

    "I'll remember that next time somebody tries to call me Dare," he says, hints of a bemused smile returning to his dark lips.

    Her eyes gleam mischievously and they speak Kildare's language. He takes another step forward and tilts his head slightly at the reference of 'painting'. "An artist, are you?" he queries and studies her behind laughing eyes. They settle on hers and he wonders if she will elaborate more, explain exactly what kind of canvas she uses, what brushes she prefers. 

    And she doesn't disappoint. 

    The forest around them changes like a ripple on a glassy lake. What had been there moments before is gone and Kildare looks away from her to gaze appreciatively at the tops of trees that could only be found in the mind of an immortal - in a place where trees are allowed to live all their days and are not felled by weather, rot and change. 

    When Kildare looks back at Ori, it is there again - that boyish grin that tilts at the edge of boisterous, hoping to encourage her on. "I like to stare at pretty girls too. But trees work just fine."



    they promised that dreams can come true

    It is a strange thing to be called pretty in the way he says it. She knows, in some part of her, that she is a strange but pretty thing. Though she has never worn beauty as armor, never wielded it as a weapon. She is used to the appraising stare of another woman who sees her as a rival (for what, Ori never has a clue); she is used to the stare of those that see Kagerus in her spots and antlers, Solace in her wings and the blue of her.

    She is not used to boys who call her pretty and simply seem to mean it.

    Beneath his words she can find no ulterior motive, no malice. It seems like simple flirting, perhaps in the way Pteron flirts (which is to say just as easily as he breathes), but even Pteron seems sincere. She does not doubt Kildare’s sincerity.

    If she were capable of it, she would blush. She is very thankful she is not capable of it.

    Instead she focuses on his grin, that look in his eye that eggs her on. The possibilities stretch before her and she doesn’t feel uncomfortable anymore, finding herself able to meet his eyes with excitement rather than embarrassment. “Would you like a forest of pretty girls to stare at?” she says, finding a boldness she didn’t know herself capable of.

    Though she doesn’t actually paint a forest of pretty girls. Instead she takes them somewhere else, to a place she’s heard of but never seen. It is not the real place, of course, because she doesn’t know what it once looked like, but still tales inspire her illusions all the same.

    Around them the trees change, more springing up to fill the space. Everything is green, green, green. Shrubs and vines tangle around their feet. The canopy above blocks out the sun. Flowers of all shapes and sizes bloom in the greenery she creates, and the temperature warms and the air becomes damp and sticky. It is a jungle, and it is stunning.

    “I am either an artist or a dreamer, I suppose. Maybe both. I would paints worlds if I could, but I can only manage smaller pieces of the world. Like this. I’ve heard that once, there was an all mare land in Beqanna called the Amazons. It was a jungle of sorts. I suppose I imagine it looked like this.” She is surprised to find herself talking so freely to him. Once she barely spoke, and though that has begun to change she still communicates better through illusions than words. And yet truth pours out of her now.

    The illusions is also exhausting to hold though, and so she doesn’t keep it up for long. She lets him see it, enjoy it, and then the illusion fades. “Tell me, what would you like to see?” It is her favorite thing, to paint what others dream and tell her.

    but they forgot that nightmares are dreams too.


    Use of mild power playing is allowed; no injuries without permission


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