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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    SOCHI -- Year 207

    QOTY

    "He will inevitably decide that it all fell apart because he had orchestrated it and he will carry the blame like a stone in his chest, too. He will add it to the pile and perhaps, someday when there are enough stones to weigh him down, he will walk into the sea and let them drown him" -- Kensley, written by Savage


    [private]  all that i'm after is a life full of laughter
    #1

    Her first thoughts before the sun rose had been of Aislynn.

    It had been a particularly restless night and though Lilliana’s days of sleeping in are long behind her, when her heavy lids had finally lifted and she managed to blink the bleariness from her eyes, her thoughts had immediately gone to her younger sister. It had been common for the girl to be up before dawn and there had been many times that Lynn even woke before Valerio had, eager to greet a day that hadn’t started yet. 

    There had been one morning she remembers.. One morning that Lilliana had woken in their Meadow and found herself alone. Valerio had long gone on a scheduled patrol and where Aletta and her younger sister had disappeared to was only revealed by the sound of wild laughter coming from a nearby clearing. The champagne girl was giggling excitedly, high-pitched and full of enthusiasm. It hadn’t taken an almost two-year-old Lilliana long to figure out why; in the middle of it all was the silver Regent kicking up her heels, arching her neck and finally twisting and spiraling her body in any carefree direction possible.

    Lilli had almost joined in their laughter then. Aletta had looked anything but regal. It had taken the copper girl a moment to reconcile Paraiso’s Queen (the one who had threatened stallions with her teeth, her hooves and their future virility, the one who had threatened to use Frostbane’s hide as a war banner by the time she was done with him) with the dappled mare who engaged her lastborn in dancing and cavorting in this small grazing area.

    She had almost giggled but the quiet presence of the gilded Guardian nearby caught her eye instead.

    Lilliana remembers the adoration on his face and the way her heart lifted to see it. She had wanted to say something (so many things) but she had been so timid and so unsure of him in those days. There had been so many stories about him but what of her? She had given her father one of those shy smiles as her mother and younger sister played and Valerio had looked at her and returned her smile with a slightly playful one of his own... and something else.

    Something that tugged at her thick growing mane.

    A warm breeze, tender and soft, wrapped in a summer gust of wind. A shared secret between father and daughter that broke the silence and made the crimson girl laugh.

    It’s something that she feels this morning as she stands here - in this small clearing. Daylight came a few hours ago but morning dew still clings to the long strands of meadow grass. A flare of her dark nostrils can smell the dawn and the damp with a crispness that foretells of colder weather creeping in. These are the last days of summer and the first frost will be here before Beqanna knows it. Lilliana gives this small clearing another periphery glance to determine she is alone before the copper mare breaks from her own secluded spot (covered by brush and tree cover) at a gallop. 

    There are many places in Taiga that she adores but not many places that she can stretch her legs - not like this. Lilliana tosses her head, twists and spins her auburn body in ways that probably aren’t befitting an Ambassador but for a few stolen moments, she simply doesn’t care. The summer breezes are sweet and in her imagination, affectionate. 

    She allows herself a few moments to pretend that this Meadow is another one entirely with laughter from another lifetime echoing in her ears. 

    Lilliana is almost untamed looking when she is done. Her sides are heaving and her slender neck is lathered in sweat when feels her hooves sinking into the damp soil. Indentations are everywhere and clods of earth litter the ground when the chestnut finally lifts her head and gives it shake, trying to return her mane to its correct position (she fails, of course, Lilliana is all windswept now). 

    A sound (the breaking of a twig, the sound of leaves crunching under hoof) comes and she stills except for the pricking of her ears and her still flaring nostrils. 

    It’s there again, a warm summer breeze, soft and tender. It passes by her, running its fingers through her wavy mane and Lilli bated, waits.

    LILLIANA

    light me up, i will blaze
    like a soul you have saved





    Shezira rambles as promised

    and anybody else who wants to jump in!
    [Image: sTAi2f.th.png]
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    #2

    For as long as the sunfire woman could remember, she has always loved the sunrise. She has never really been able to explain, where this desire to watch the very first light of day illuminate the eastern horizon in a soft halo of gold came from, and frankly, she doesn't really try to understand it. Not anymore, anyway. Some would look at her skin, how the brilliant hues of citrine and dark amber were reminiscent of the setting summer sun, and simply assume that it was an affinity for the burning star that gave life to all things upon the earth. And, perhaps, this might be true to some degree. But, there were many things that she admired, like how dew could sparkle like small diamonds scattered across a field of wildflowers as the first light of dawn would embrace the world below or even how those same blossoms would open their petals in salutations to the sun and its warm touch after having endured a chilly spring night. There was wonderment to be found in many things, one needed only to look. So little compared to fleeting moments where she has watched a fledgling take flight for the very first time, unsure of those feathered appendages and yet knowing that the sky had been made just them to swim in much like the silver-scaled trout knew the streams and rivers were theirs to live in. She simply reveled in the everyday wonders so many took for granted.

    So, to simply assume that she loved the sun for the appearance she had been given by the gods was small-minded. Could she not love the rising and setting of the great star for more than a reason so vain and shallow? Was it too much to believe that the sunfire femme saw the beginning of a new day as another chance to discover something she hasn't in the realms she's wandered through, or find peace in the last rays of sunset and allow herself to wonder what awaited her tomorrow? In the end, the answer to any of these questions did not matter. Whether those who walked this mortal world with her believed she was in love with the sun for any single reason or another was neither here nor there, really. She'd learned quite some time ago that her speculators would judge her for how they saw her, drawing their own thoughts and opinions, but that was far from meaning any of these... observations and reservations were true to her nature. Even her own herd, who had cast her aside simply for being different in her appearance, hadn't been able to understand her. And, when she had been a young filly, it had hurt to see the way that others looked at her. She'd grown up with a mother determined to hide her from the rest of the herd, no father, and no friends. Life had been hard for her in the beginning, testing her spirit from the very beginning.

    But, she has only allowed for her trials and tribulations to make her into the strong-hearted mare that she was now. She'd since left behind those who only saw her for the strange colors of her skin and glimmering ruby gaze nowhere to be found within her homelands and set out to chase the sun. She wonders where it set each evening, if perhaps her desire to follow it might mean anything - or nothing - at all. And so, that is what she has done for the days, weeks, and months that have passed. As she stands there at the edge of this strange new world, watching the sun's light silhouette distant and jagged peaks to the east from her place upon a small ridge, Shezira can feel the thrumming within her chest quicken like it so often did at sunrise. She knew not the name of this realm she has found, and she knows none of the faces scattered across the vast grasslands that stretch out before her. Nares quiver, drinking in the scents tinging the crisp morning air, pupil-less ruby eyes glittering with excitement in the early morning light. She does not know what awaits her here nor how long she may linger. Days? Weeks? Would this be just another world she passes through as another nameless face? Or, was this feeling within her chest perhaps hope that she may have found a world that would see her for more than what she appeared? She cannot say for certain, but she is dying to find out.

    Suddenly, she is still upon her ridge no longer, slender amber limbs striking out against the soft soil beneath her, carrying the wandering femme down the small incline at a brisk trot, lean muscle rippling beneath her bright skin as she moves across open land and into a strand of trees, following the distant and soft trickling voice of a creek. She does not mind her graceful steps, if anything enjoying the soft crunching of fallen leaves beneath her obsidians as she moves through the trees, simply eager to explore this unfamiliar terrain. However, when she can finally see morning light gleaming against water ahead, the sound of another nearby catches her attention. Shezira pauses in her strides, twin harks swivel atop her head to find the direction of the sounds, the small chain of white attached to her ear and crest clinking lightly with this small movement. When she believes she knows where they are coming from, she abandons her previous venture and moves towards the soft thudding of hooves against earth, quick in their rhythm and her curiosity only grows. She draws nearer, her own steps soft though they still do not avoid the leaves and twigs under-foot, and as she does, the sound ceases. Has she startled the maker of these dancing steps? Or have they perhaps moved away? Maybe she had been imagining them altogether, she does not know - not yet.

    Reaching the edge of a small clearing, she can now see a chestnut figure at the heart of it, long and flowing mane windswept as the stranger lingers there. It almost seems as though she were waiting for something to happen... Although, the more likely possibility was that this unknown femme had heard the sunfire woman's approach. Shezira steps easily from the trees, a warm and friendly smile upon her lips."Please don't stop enjoying yourself on my account", she says to the stranger, her cropped amber tresses stirring in the playful breeze that blows."Apologies for startling you if I had. I was simply exploring this place", she adds in lilted and kind tones as she comes to stand a respectful distance from the chestnut maiden, dipping her head politely as was the common custom in most realms she has visited."I am Shezira, but you can call me Shezi if you'd like", the sunfire woman offers, the friendly smile still lingering upon her features. She wonders if this mare was a native here, or perhaps almost as new and unsure of this world as she was. Perhaps she knows the name of this realm, of those who do call this home. Patiently, the woman painted of the sun waits, curious to see if the other would be willing to help her understand where they were or not.


    ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎ | S  H  E  Z  I  R  A | ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎
    here's to the rest of us, to all the ones who never felt they were good enough

    image by empluvie

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    #3

    Was she waiting?

    She stands still (or at least as still as one can stand with a humming heart and blood that refuses to slow down in adrenaline-fed veins). Her blue eyes are searching, scanning the shadows where the previous night still lingers. What was waiting in the darkness? Once, she might have found that thought captivating. She might have searched the dark as she and Orani once searched the moonless sky when it vanished (and how she had loved that story, that Jay had been gifted wings crafted of stardust and starlight, that he and Carpo had traveled to the cosmos to help bring the moon back cycle after lunar cycle).

    The mare steps from the shadows easily enough and Lilliana wonders how she missed her. She is a drop of sunlight, a sunbeam that has been crafted into a citrine form of supple and lovely curves. She holds the radiating glow of every sunrise and sunset that Lilli has ever known and her blue eyes sweep over the mare with open admiration. The wanderer has caught the Taigan mare off her guard and there is no time for her to catch her reaction, for her to guard it.

    When she sees the pale trojan-like mane of the mare, she wishes she had.

    (When had she learned to be afraid?)

    Lilliana remains poised where she stands and the chestnut mare follows the stranger with her eyes, waiting and suddenly made unsure of herself. The fever that had been in hooves flees and instead, she is rooted to the soil. It’s only the reassuring (familiar) touch of the wind that reminds her to move. Something,  her ancestors whisper in her copper-tipped ears, do something.

    ”I can’t fly,” she says. It’s a rather distinct truth that can be confirmed by the lack of wings on her back. That had been one of her greatest fillyhood sorrows, that she couldn’t take to the skies like her friends the bluejays and sparrows had. They would spend a whole springtide and summer with her but come autumn, they had always left her for places unknown. It hadn’t been the faraway places that had called her but still.. Lilliana had wondered. She wondered and dreamed and tried to imagine if the world would look different from the clouds.

    The copper swallows, realizing that she hasn’t elaborated on what she was trying to say.

    "I like to run.. to-,” she cuts off, still feeling uncertain. And then she shakes her head, swallowing her explanation.

    "Are you not from here then?” Lilli asks, swiftly coursing the conversation away from her running and her dreams of flying. Her blue eyes study the figure of the sun-kissed mare again and her mind wonders if she had been like Broch, wandering the world with a travelers’ desire. Going wherever they might with no clear destination in mind. "Lilliana,” she finally smiles before adding, "But please, call me Lilli.”

    Shezira <3

    [Image: sTAi2f.th.png]
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    #4

    Only fleetingly did the sun-kissed femme wonder what it was that had caused the chestnut to stop her beautiful display of wild abandon. Shezira can remember countless times where she would feel the same music in her own heart that begged her to run. To where, she never really knew. She simply kept running until the her breaths were ragged and her arched nape was lathered with glistening sweat. Whether it was to the tallest of hills within her birthlands, or even through the trees of the grove her home was named after, it never really mattered for the sunfire maiden. For her, it wasn't always out of pure, unbridled joy. It had been an outlet for her as a filly, a way to escape the questioning glances of her mother's herd as they watched the odd girl whom did not bear the same pale champagne skin as a vast majority of them did. While there was perhaps one or two of the newborns given skin of brandished gold or perhaps brilliant and shining crimson much like the unfamiliar face Shezira has found today, many of the mares were either a pale gold champagne, palomino ranging from light to sooty, or even ivory champagne, they all shared the same long and flowing tresses of milky white save for the sparse few who sported locks of dark rich cocoa or inky black like a moonless night.

    Not one other within Chrysó Álsos shared the same radiant shades of amber and citrine, nor did they have the same ruby red gaze or unusually short and seemingly cropped mane. Shezira didn't even look in the slightest like her mother. While Merelli was one of the few whose skin gleamed almost like that of a saltwater pearl, a beautiful ivory with silken tresses to match and depths of winter frost, her one and only daughter was a startling opposite to the mare she called mother. In most worlds, something as unique as the sunfire filly may have been looked upon with admiration. Perhaps, if she had been born to any other herd in any other part of the world, the colts would have strutted about and done anything possible just to catch her eye in passing. She may have been fawned over, and maybe her gentle yet timid mother would have been showered in countless compliments about how beautiful her daughter was. It was a fantasy that she'd had many times as a young girl left wondering why it was that the other foals taunted and teased, why their own mothers refused to let them play with her when she only ever wanted a friend to run and play with more than anything else in the whole world. Instead, she was left to play alone, and that often meant chasing the sun each morning and evening.

    She pushes away those less than pleasant memories, though. Those days were far behind her now, just as the very grove she once called her home was countless miles from this new world she'd stumbled upon. She knows that she is not missed in the least, and though there would always be a part of the sunfire femme that wished things between her and her mother had been different, she also knows that there was nothing left for her there, and thus there was no reason for her to return. She would continue to follow the sun, an unknown spirit guiding her... well, somewhere. Maybe here! She didn't know quite yet where she was going, but something within her beating heart and burning soul was certain to tell her when she was where she belonged, right? That was the hope, anyway. However, for now, she puts aside those questions that often flicker across her mind. Instead, she tilts her refined head ever so slightly to one side, that white gold chain tinkering faintly in the afternoon as she watches the other mare curiously when she says that she cannot fly."Maybe not like a bird does in the sky, but you fly beautifully across the meadow I'm sure", she says then, a kind smile dancing upon her lips.

    No, Shezira hadn't missed the way that those sky blue eyes traced over her brightly colored skin, but she also hardly minds the curious gesture. There was once I time where she would have flinched beneath the mares gaze, but that had been before she embrace her own unique appearance with pride. Now, the whole world could watch her if they so pleased! Hell, let them gossip and whisper among themselves even! Shezira knew who she was, and that was all that would ever really matter. The mare carries on for only a small breath about how it was she liked to run, and it seems as though she changes her mind on what it was she was about to say. Was she truly that taken aback by the sunfire mare? She shakes her head and Shezira allows for the chestnut to gather herself. The conversation shifts to the sunfire mare, a question poised upon her afternoon companion, and she nods."No, I'm not. Would you happen to know where 'here' is, by chance?", she replies, though her own revelation is also followed by what many would consider a natural question. Considering this was the sun-kissed mare's first encounter with anyone for, it seemed like a good starting point.

    Again, the chestnut woman has taken to studying Shezira, and again, the brightly colored femme acts as though she is hardly aware of such a thing occurring. If it helped the stranger feel, perhaps, more comfortable with her, then she was content to allow it. After all, there was hardly a sneer or disapproving look flickering within those eyes of clear summer skies. Only a small note of silence befell the pair before, at last, Shezira has a name for her company on this beautiful new day."It's nice to meet you, Lilli", she says warmly, a kind smile dancing upon amber lips as she dips her head lightly to Lilliana. It was a lovely name, but it was Lilli's smile that has Shezira's own becoming slightly brighter. It seems that whatever it was that she'd been thinking or feeling since the sunfire woman's approach has now loosened its hold over her, allowing for the welsh cob to see that there is in fact a warmth there, whispering like the gentle breeze that blows through the trees."Are you a native here? Or are you also newer to this world?", she inquires curiously. Lilli carries the scent of mountains and forest more so than open grassland, and it had Shezira wondering just how vast this world she'd found was.

    Besides, there was something about Lilli that she liked, and she was hopeful to learn more about the woman before her.




    ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎ | S  H  E  Z  I  R  A | ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎
    here's to the rest of us, to all the ones who never felt they were good enough

    image by empluvie

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    #5

    Oh, the things Lilliana remembers.

    (Those first lovely Lupines that adorned the riverbanks of Murmuring Rivers. Bri’s smile when Lilli had finally learned to angle her shoulder just so during one of their (very) few sparring lessons. Malachi’s laughter, something that could rival the warmth of the daylight and the bubbling of their brooks. Jay and his infinite wisdom, the way he could find a story for every situation and how his gift for telling made it seem like he was generations older than he was.)

    Her childhood hadn’t been an unhappy one; the opposite. She had grown up surrounded in love. Lilli had thrived and learned to dream on it. She might not have had the gift of flight but she had learned to soar with their love and she learned how to laugh without fear or hesitation.

    A gift and those memories are something she keeps tucked close to her always. 

    The sunfire mare smiles at her - something wrapped in sunbeams and kindness - and Lilliana smiles back. What the other mare shares with her is an infectious feeling and the chestnut will always catch on to it.  The Taigan is rarely seen without a smile but this one softens her face and for a moment, makes her girlish - makes her look very much like the youth who had wandered into Beqanna almost five years prior. (And she doesn’t look much older from those days - something she still hasn’t yet realized.)

    Her own blue eyes dance in response to her comment and then they light up with amusement. Lilli’s earlier uncertainty of the traveler has started to thaw like frost and the copper mare comes closer, tilting her own head in reply. "My parents used to compare me to the birds,” her smile curves with the edge of a secret. "Lillibird was what they used to call me.”

    Lilliana waits a moment, watching for her reaction and wondering if Shezira had any childhood nicknames. (What does one call a ray of sunshine?) Her ears prick forward and the crimson mare takes another step forward, finding herself growing more comfortable (and sure) in the company of the blonde wanderer.

    ”Beqanna,” Lilli offers with all the grace and accomplishment of narrating as her mother and brother are. She studies the other mare and then feels her head tilting inquisitively, ”Have you heard of it?” She had grown up with stories of it - of the Jungle that was no longer, of the Falls that no longer existed, of the Dale that her bloodline had once claimed as home.

    But there are many worlds besides this one and she wonders what one Shezira has flowed in from. What her story is.

    Warmly, she adds with her never-failing politeness, "And you, Shezira.”

    Her next question causes the red mare to shake her head and Lilli contemplates her next words. "No,” she says gently, "I was born a long way from here. But I’ve been here… for,” it takes her a moment to recount the years and the memories, "going on five years.” Had that much time passed? How had it passed so quickly? It felt as if it all trickled by like those creeks she used to run alongside in her youth.

    The chestnut mare thinks for a minute, trying to think of what she would have wanted a native Beqannian to have told her about this place when she first stumbled across her borders. "I’m not sure where you're from, Shezi,” Lilli adds lightly, "but this land is.. unique." Given the chance, Lilliana will elaborate but there is much (almost too much) to say about the wide array of characters who call the land of the Sunrise home. "What brings you here?”

    And she finally accepts that there are no words to prepare any outsider for Beqanna - it is an adventure individual to each horse. What Shezira makes of the wild characters, the rampant magic, the political stage is entirely for her to realize and decide. 

    i didn't proofread this... your welcome XD

    [Image: sTAi2f.th.png]
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    #6

    As a filly, she’d wanted nothing but friendship, to feel like she belonged within the very herd she’d been born. Most children were fortunate to know those things. She’d seen it from her hiding place where the grove’s vegetation was the thickest, ruby-red eyes watching with all the wishful yearning of any lonely child as the other foals chased one another. Their laughter and squeals of delight, how they’d beckoned like a siren’s song to the youth’s heart! She remembers asking her timid and quiet mother if she could go and play with the other foals. And, like with most other things, the pearlescent mare had told her no. What Shezira had been too young and naïve to understand at first was why she and her mother lingered on their furthest outskirts of the herd, why it was that they did not join the others to watch the sunset or enjoy a lazy afternoon by the river with them. At first, she’d believed that her mother was just wanting to keep her safe from the others. After all, her very earliest memories were shocked and weary gazes, the taunting giggles and whispers among the other fillies as they stared at her like she’d been born with some sort of deformity that they might catch if they weren’t careful.

    However, as she grew older, she began to understand. The other mares disowned herself and her mother. They’d been cast to the outskirts, all for Shezira’s birth and unusual heritage. All because her mother had fallen in love with an outsider from a world that was not like the one Merelli knew. The sunfinre mare remembers asking her quiet, distant mother about the father she didn’t know, why it was that he did not live with them or why they were not with him. While the pearlescent mare didn’t speak much of the mysterious man, she’d told Shezira a little about him. He had been passing through, a vagabond venturing for things unknown when he’d happened upon Chryso Alsos. He, too, had been unwelcome by the harem and the stallion who guarded them from danger. And, to this herd, anything that was not familiar was dangerous. The sunfire stallion was refused refuge by the lead stallion and lead mare with ears pinned and teeth bared to show that they meant their words of unwelcoming. But, Merelli had been captivated by the strange man, and so she’d followed him to the furthest reaches of the grove. That was where she found him. And, that was where a love affair was born.

    Because of the choices she’d made to follow the man borne of the sun, because they had talked a while and a spark had been ignited which would inevitably lead to Shezira’s creation, this was why the girl with so many questions in her heart had come to understand what her and her mother were to the herd – outcasts. Her mother had been punished for eloping with the vagabond, and her father had been chased off, threatened that his return would bring injury to himself should he dare to try and come for Merelli and his unborn child. There’d been hope that the girl would be born to look like her mother, or perhaps even her ancestors who all bore skin of pale or radiant gold. And yet, all hope had been shattered when she’d made her way into the world as the spitting image of her father. From that day forth, Merelli was shunned and cast aside, and Shezira’s fate as an outcast and misfit was sealed before she’d even been able to speak. This was why she could not play with the other foals, why the others were cruel to her and her mother. This, sadly, was why she’d never once felt as though she’d been truly loved by her own mother or like she could ever hope to find a place within a herd who would not accept her. Once upon a time, it broke her heart to realize this.

    That was the past, though. She was stronger for it, and that was all that mattered.

    She is given a smile from the chestnut mare in exchange for one of her own, and the sun-kissed woman knows that this world is already better than the one she’d grown up in. She watches as eyes of a clear spring afternoon dance with amusement, and she knows then that she likes Lilli. There was something that reminded Shezira of herself in a way, but she keeps this thought to herself for now. The chestnut femme speaks of the nickname her parents had given her as a child, and the sunfire mare’s smile grows.”It suits you. I only wish I’d had such a name as a child that was as kind as Lillibird”, she remarks warmly, admiration and perhaps even a note of wistfulness flickering over her words. Perhaps, if Shezira had been born with a jealous heart rather than the open, kind, and spirited one that beats there within her breast, she may have envied Lilli for the love that she’d grown up knowing. Once upon a time, there was so little that she wouldn’t have done or given for her mother to love her enough to bestow a fond nickname upon the girl. Again, this was some nothing more than water under the bridge for Shezira, and she is only happy to hear that her companion has been raised as any child should.

    Beqanna. The name echoes within perked twin harks, and she searches for any recognition she might have of this name. However, she finds none. So, she shakes her head gently.”I can’t say that I have”, she answers simply. It was a truthful statement, but Shezira is curious about this place, this kingdom called Beqanna. The warmth that is shared between the two women does not go unnoticed as Lilli reciprocates those mannerisms instilled upon them both likely as children. But, the sun-kissed mare’s thoughts are taken by the answer Lilli offers, and she finds it interesting that someone so loved by her family would have wandered so far. Although, perhaps they weren’t far away? Either way, she simply smiles with warmth.”Then you must be quite familiar with this world” she remarks, for surely five years in one placed made certain that one would have learned at least a majority of this realm. She hardly desires to make any assumptions of the woman with whom she shares this afternoon, though, hopeful that she was not stepping over any lines or boundaries that the chestnut femme might have. There have surely been stranger things the eyes of the gods have seen beyond staying in one place and only seeing a fraction of the world those immortal beings have created she supposed.

    There is a contemplative expression that finds her companion now, and for a moment, the mare with sun-kissed skin and gradient locks wonders what it was Lilli was thinking of. It does not last long, though, the chestnut with spring sky eyes speaks of how this world was unique. But, Shezira was unique in every sense of the word. Perhaps there were others out there that might be stranger than her, and that was entirely alright. But, if a place like Beqanna could be home to someone stranger than her, then why couldn't it be hers as well? Lilli's next words fall into the air between them, and they were truthfully expected at some point in this conversation. Shezira rolls her shoulders ever so slightly in an equine shrug then."I don't know. I'm just happy to be anywhere but home, honestly", she replies casually. The sunfire mare was hardly one to lie, and it seemed like a perfectly normal thing for someone to wonder about their company."I just follow the sun. Wherever it takes me is where I go", she adds warmly then, her ruby-red gaze lifting up to where the sunlight broke through the canopy above them, its rays dappling her amber and citrine back in a soft warmth that she often imagined it as a loving and nurturing mother hugging her child gently might feel like.

    Sure, she was without a home, but anywhere felt more like home than her birthlands.
    For her, that was enough.


    ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎ | S  H  E  Z  I  R  A | ▪︎ ¤ ▪︎
    here's to the rest of us, to all the ones who never felt they were good enough

    image by empluvie

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    #7
    What had Lilliana wanted as a filly?

    Those days seem so far away now and she finds it harder and harder to revisit them (though she will always hold those memories close). The River in Beqanna never seems to bubble with laughter the right way and there is no waterfall here that could ever compare to the magnificence of the beacon that had been in Paraiso. Even Hyaline - so similar to the ancient valley that it had achingly tugged at the heartstrings of the two Legacy girls that came to the land of the Sunrise - never manifested as the place that Lilli wanted

    Still, what had she wanted?

    There had been days playing as a damsel who was rescued by knights that came in the forms of her noble brothers. There had been days of leaving flowers where Alvaro might find them and know Lilli had found another one of his “secret” places. Days of listening to Jay carve out stories from the cosmos about their creation and pulling legends from the depths of the deepest seas about what dwelled underneath the waves. There had been days with Malachi and Brielle and Aislynn. There had been days with her parents and Orani and Elena.

    Days with them.
    A narrowed vision, she knows - especially given the wide scope that Beqanna gives her residents in the power they might achieve - for a politician.

    Days with them, that was what Lilliana had wanted. In the end, she had (and has) only ever wanted them.

    Her ears prick forward and the copper mare smiles good-naturedly at her sun-kissed companion. There is an admission in her words that if Shezira had been given any nickname in her youth, it perhaps hadn’t been kind and that does cause her expression to hesitate. Lilliana can’t picture any reason why the beautiful woman wouldn’t have been given anything but praise. From their albeit brief interaction, there is nothing unkind that she can perceive and the mare is lovely in the wild way that many of the inhabitants here are. There is more to Shezi’s story - like most horses, she reminds herself - and Lilli makes the quiet decision that if the citrine mare ever decides to reveal more, she would like to know it.

    Despite her inner thoughts, Lilli smiles rather impishly. "Perhaps you’d like a nickname then?” Her head tilts and the smile turns to a grin, "You could be the Dawn. Or perhaps an Aurora?”

    When Shezira shrugs her golden shoulders and speaks of being anywhere home, it ripples through the soul of the chestnut with a fierce ache. "Home,” the copper mare exhales softly. For Lilli, what did it mean? Was it Nerine or was it Taiga? Could it be both? A stubborn part of her still remains true to what she once said - that things shouldn’t have to be this or that. Why couldn’t she belong to two places?

    But the answer the wanderer gives is so like the one Lilliana gave once upon a time to a man who dropped from the sky. She had wanted to be anywhere but Beyond that had become filled with the voids of everyone she had loved. "I’m sorry for whatever made you leave,” the Taigan mare offers. She doesn’t mean for it to drop so heavy from her lilting voice and so she tries to uplift the conversation, "But I’m glad to have met you today.” Her features warm with genuine gratitude towards the other mare.

    Lilli looks to the shadows that cast longer as the day has gone on and regards them, briefly turning her attention away from the Fjord-like mare. Her words of following the sun is something that the chestnut understands, resonates with her even. When Lilliana turns her head to smile at Shezira again, it is with a look full of appreciation. The mare is looking at the sun but Lilli looks at the mare, not even attempting to hide her admiration.

    "I know that,” catching Shezira’s warmth and letting it flood her voice. "My father used to say to listen to the Wind. There was much you could learn from its whisperings.” Her blue eyes lift to the sky then, observing the haloed clouds from the daylight that Shezira seemed to be descended from. "Learning to listen can be hard," she admits before dropping her gaze and looking to her companion again, "But it seems you and the Sun have an understanding."

    LILLIANA

    all that i'm after is a life full of laughter
    (as long as i'm laughing with you)


    art by vhitany

    me: i will not write lix a novel
    also me: this post.
    [Image: sTAi2f.th.png]
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