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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

    [open]  the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking
    to the lonely sea and sky

    "I am thankful you agreed to join me today," Oceane muses quietly to Isobell as they near the shoreline of Island Resort. The opaline pegasi floats in the warm thermals above the water, casting a shadow on the gently undulating sea beneath her. Her amber eyes alternate between the nearing islet and the horse-turned-kelpie who swims masterfully through the surf below, as if she had been borne of the sea and not with the four legs she had stood upon the first time she'd met Oceane.

    Watching Isobell shift into her kelpie form, her lanky two-toned legs giving way to the majestic fin she now possesses, had been a surprising gift for the pegasi. A variety of hippocampi lived (or, perhaps, still live) in Oceane's homeland, but she had never seen a shifter in Nau-Aib. The concept of existing with such duality delights and captivates the scholarly woman, and she makes a silent note to ask Isobell more about it once they have had more of a chance to bond.

    As the deeper sea moves to the shallows and the sand-dusted shores of the Resort greet them, Oceane rides the gentle winter breeze - warmer, still, than she would have expected - closer and closer to the ground until her opaline hooves thud, rhythmic and powerful, against the earth. Her wings remain extended, splashing flecks of rainbow light on her surroundings, until her momentum from landing settles into a more controlled speed.

    Oceane kicks up grains of sand as she circles back around to the shore and watches Isobell as she rises from the crystal waters.

    "I met Blue the day I arrived in Beqanna," Oceane explains to her new companion, "He opted to follow Ruinam to the Resort and I, as you know, went to Loess. But he seemed uncertain about why he was in Beqanna, so..." she pauses, contemplating why she had felt the need to travel for hours to the northwest of Loess to visit someone she'd only ever spoken to once. "I just want to make sure he is settling in comfortably."

    She turns her gilded eyes away from Isobell once she has shifted into her equine form and begins to survey the tropical island that has sprawled out before them. "Where should we start?"

    Gale Isobell & any | speech
    i must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    and all i ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

    ∙ minor powerplaying & injuries permitted ∙
    ∙ please tag in all responses ∙
    Island Resort is everything Castile had said it would be: sun and sandy beaches, peace and quiet. Though the piebald stallion's tone had been less than enthusiastic describing the place, yet it had seemed a wonderful land to Blue, and he has not been disappointed. A month of relaxation in a tropical paradise has been exactly what he needs, and as each day passes he is less and less sure that he has any intention of leaving. Ruinam is friendly, and so seem the handful of other island dwellers he has seen through the dense greenery. He falls asleep tired each night beneath an open field of stars, and wakes up to the sound of crashing waves, the scent of fresh air and ever-ripe fruit.

    For some reason, he always finds himself glancing beside when when he wakes, left and right in no particular order. For just that moment after he wakes, when he finds himself alone, there is an overwhelming sense of loss. There should be someone - no, someones - beside him. And yet there is no one, and he cannot recall who they might have been. The sensation fades through the morning, and by the time the sun reaches its peak, Blue is as happy as he can ever recall being.

    The salt breeze lifts his mane, tugging at the pale strands that grow from his poll, down his neck, across his back, and blend with his tail as it brushes the damp sand. Winter Sun is a little cooler than Summer Sun, he has been told, but the weather here is balmy when laid against the snow that falls across the mainland. Where he walks along the shore, tall trees shade the edge of the water, and while he had once thought the palm trees rather odd looking, he has since grown accustomed. He passes beneath a coconut palm, and the brief shielding of his eyes by the sun allows him to make out movement ahead that he had missed in the glare.

    A winged horse lands on the beach, and a piebald one climbs onto it from the sea. What brings Castile and Oceane here, he wonders as he draws nearer. Yet closer, he sees that the piebald is not Castile after all, but a mare that is somehow both stranger and prettier than any he has seen before. He smiles at her, and then at Oceane, who he greets with her name. "Welcome to Island Resort, Oceane and friend."

    He is no less confused about who he might be - or who he ad been - but he is certainly more at ease here, and it shows in the way he settles back, relaxed despite the company of a stranger, and the way he asks with something like a laugh in his voice: "Was Loess not to your tastes, then? I've found the island to be exactly what I was looking for."

    bottom of the deep blue sea
    Her new friend in Loess has asked her to accompany her to Island Resort to find another named Blue. The obsidian and moonstone mare slips from her equine form that that of the kelpie, legs extended with billows of fins fanning out like a sea siren looking to lure men to their deaths.

    Oceane, with her pastel glory, is above but not too far as the kelpie races her pegasus friend in jest. Iso occasionally blows a spout of water sprout at her friend or even breaching the water with the sleekness of her feminine form to launch herself and tug at the mare's tail.

    The reach the shore's edge after a quick trip and Isobell turns to her slender form with all four hooves buried in the sand. Her hair falls in wet waves, sea water gather and running down the length of her body, to collect and fall below. Pale sand sticks to her legs where she had once had a mermare's tail but Iso will wait to shake it all off when she is away from her company as it would be considered rude to drench them.

    Silver eyes meet those of Oceane's as a male of corn silk and lapis is approaching. Isobell reads her friend's features and they are welcoming of the stallion...so Iso can relax. Was this the the Blue she spoke of? Well of course, he is....blue-ish. The air is warm her and Iso blesses silently under her breath as the sun felt good across the curve of her back as her silver eyes flicker to that of the male. "I'm Isobell." Her name is offered with a smile, eyes resting easily on the male's features, watching.

    Isobell lifts her tails slightly and the water droplets fall in crystalline moments before burying into the sand. She can feel the sun drying her skin tight but it wasn't uncomfortable. A single leg cocks as she shifts her weight from one hip to the other, the easy smile still on her lips as her attention drifts to the coconut trees with a slight twinge of homesickness for Ischia (though she doesn't regret being in Loess). "I do believe this is the first time I've been here-", the pied mare's words roll easily from her pink tongue, "I'd love to see more of it." The suggestion is punctuated with the press of her dark lips into the same easy smile.

    to the lonely sea and sky

    Bright, unbridled laughter falls from Oceane's ajar lips as she performs her best evasive maneuvers in the air to avoid Isobell's aquatic projectiles. There's something carefree about the sound as it tumbles from her, as if she hadn't only recently run away from her homeland under the inky obsidian protection of a moonless night. How fortunate she feels in this moment, soaring through a bright blue sky and fostering a new friendship.

    It's not long after the two women have settled themselves comfortably in the sand of the Resort's shore that Blue appears at the edge of the tropical oasis and casually continues in their direction. His lope is paced leisurely and there's less tension in his face and shoulders than she'd seen when they'd met in the Field, prompting a smile from the opaline pegasi.

    "Thank you, Blue," Oceane responds with a polite nod of her head before pausing for Isobell to introduce herself to the brindled stallion, though she keeps her amber gaze on the stallion's countenance throughout. Earnestly intrigued by Blue's complete change in demeanor, the blue-purple woman is caught off guard by his brief moment of jest and snorts her amusement through flared nostrils.

    "Actually, I'm quite enjoying Loess," she says through her beguiled grin, "but I was curious to see how you were enjoying the island life." Turning her sharp eyes away from the stallion, Oceane ruffles her satin wings against her sides and assesses the milieu from whence Blue had come. Verdant foliage sprouts from the sand, reaching sky high for the sparse ivory clouds that dot the heavens.

    It's beautiful, as the woman had expected it to be, and quiet just as Castile had said it would be. "Care to give us a tour?" she asks demurely on the coattails of Isobell's comment of her desire to see more.

    Gale & Isobell | speech
    i must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    and all i ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

    ∙ minor powerplaying & injuries permitted ∙
    ∙ please tag in all responses ∙
    He has been someone before, Blue knows – surely not even in Beqanna do horses rise (fully formed) from the dirt. He is no plant, grown from a seed. There is some sort of magic to him, he knows, something that gives him the ability to see himself quick as flash from Oceane’s eyes and then from Isobell’s. He looks happy, Blue realizes, and as he smiles at the realization, recognizes it to be true. Blue can only attribute that to the Resort, and so he does. (Somewhere, in his other life, he had been equally joyous, never needing the assistance of his mother or siblings to emote the very best bits of his life). Strange, that some things come through his memories – warm olive eyes and smiling blue-grey – but never anything more substantial, never anything real.

    Ther eis no time to dwell on what he has, not when two shimmering – one with light, the other seawater – mares stand before him. Blue still balances at the edge of adolescence, and thrills in the huff of amusement that he manages to startle from Oceane. She is enjoying Loess, she says, and not for the first time he thinks that perhaps the opalescent mare might find enjoyment wherever she went. She had no trouble juggling the three of them in the Field, and it seems that even in their month of separation she has found a close companion. At Isobell, Blue does not look for too long, having found that his mouth felt rather dry and his pale eyes were reluctant to leave her.

    Does she know, he wonders? Is she aware that every bit of her sends every bit of him that is male ablaze? Blue had heard chatter of Nereids and Kelpies on the neighboring island, impossibly beautiful sirens who would lure the land-bound into the water. The trouble was telling them apart, he knows – one might laugh at his floundering attempts to swim and the other pull him by his throat to her underground lair. Oceane is les ethereal than her companion but no less striking, and Blue assumes that it had been his own confusion that had blinded him to her in the Field. It was no surprise she had such a crowd of courtiers, he decides, and with a quick blink of his eyes he replaces both of them with soft grey blurs.

    Yes. Much less distracting, he thinks with a smile.

    Both women announce that they’d like to see more of the island, and Blue bobs his head happily. Looking away from them will be easier than holding the mental obstruction, he decides, and give him time to get a better hold of himself.

    “The island is famous for its carvings but,” he takes a step forward, ducking beneath the low-hanging bow of the coconut palm, “I think that perhaps whomever decided that wasn’t as fond of eating as I am. The groves at the heart of the island have more fruits than we have names for. Many more than there are even in Loess.” The words fall from his mouth before he has time to consider them, and he barely resist drawing up short. More than Loess? How can he know what grows in Loess? Another bit of memory, that, one that he holds on to and hopes the women he is leading do not notice. “Both are this way; which would you rather see first?”

    Blue glances back over his shoulder. It is early in the morning yet, and no one ever seems as perpetually ready to eat as Blue is. He thinks perhaps the carvings and then the groves, but he glances back and forth to them both as he waits for a reply. Grey blurs, he reminds himself, and they become nothing but soft shapes in his own vision.


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