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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Wolfbane -- Year 210

    QOTY

    "She presses into him greedily, hungrily, and demands more. She does not know how to be gentle when she is with him—does not know how to quell the aching in her belly, the neediness in her touch. She would devour him whole. She would sacrifice herself completely. She would give and give and give—" --Tabytha, written by Laura


    got a devil on your back so shake it out
    #1


    Aela has always felt that the North was always a bit too… confining. 

    When she had been small, she didn’t have much of say on the matter. As she got older, she and Kota moved around - even venturing to the Common Lands! - but they always came back to the North, like some invisible tether that kept bringing them back. Aela had never understood the pull. There was nothing… wrong with Taiga but there was nothing endearing about it, either. 

    (How was she ever going to show her lovely golden sheen if she was perpetually hidden by fog? Or worse, damp? What does a girl do with damp?) 

    Her only other option had been Nerine but that was where the boy had come from and Aela had no more desire to see him again than she had to be perpetually soaked by Taigan mist. So imagine if you can (and it really isn’t hard), her delight when they came cloaked in Magic and wonders. As the wildfire blazed through the Forest and drove most of the residents towards the Nerinian border, Aela arrived just in time to see the dazzling display of what Magic might achieve in Beqanna. 

    They had meant to knock down Brennen’s barrier and when they had, they had offered Aela her first true glimpse of freedom. So imagine again if you can (and it still isn't hard), where she went as the rain came down and the debris in Nerine settled. She tried to follow the woman who commanded with a raven’s wing. She had tried to follow Beyza, the white mare she encountered from her time in the Common Lands. She had tried but Aela has no traveling Magic of her own and so she was left to the mercy of making the journey on hoof. 

    It had taken her longer than she wished (thanks to the ram-horned stallion). But as she comes to stop outside the sandstone kingdom, Aela peers into the distance to admire the canyons. An ear flicks back to an unfamiliar sound and she wonders if anybody would notice her arrival, would notice that there was a strange (but lovely) girl at their border. 

    The mare with the wings that commanded the sky to rain immediately comes to her mind and Aela decides they will. She would know.


    AELA


    for Straia but open to any!
    [Image: 3f5E0A.png]
    you've got your roots
    and i've got the wind in my soul
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    #2

    sometimes we want what we want --
        -- even if we know it’s going to kill us.

    Straia had never minded the fog of the pine forests, though it had not been a perpetual thing. She had loved the shadows of her forests, had spent countless childhood afternoons making friends with the squirrels there. Hard to believe such a thing looking at her now, but once she was indeed a child. A child who played with the wildlife of this world and loved her home. She had loved it so much she’d given everything for it, and in the end, the fairies had ripped it away from her.

    And so, she would begin again. Again, she would give everything to build the Chamber, but not just the Chamber. She wanted more this time. That was the problem with living - you always wanted more.

    Straia, of course, knows when someone stops on the border of her home. Her magic is always at work here and there, and she uses it to keep tabs on Pangea. It doesn’t take much to simply get a small alert when a new presence appears at the border. It was not the sort of magic Brennen had used to keep others out, which takes far more energy. A useless waste of energy, for that matter. Such a border always falls. Better to be prepared rather than a coward.

    Straia, in her usual fashion, simply appears near the new arrival. ”I believe you are looking for me?” She doesn’t steal too many thoughts, but she does tend to skim the surface for useful things, and whether or not she’s wanted is one of those useful things. ”What can I do for you, child?” Her voice is deep and smoky, but there’s something kind in the way she says child, something almost loving. She was not so cruel as some might think.

    -- straia

    the raven queen



    Aela

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

    Reply
    #3

    She isn't wrong. Though this isn't the first time, Aela is finding she quite likes the notion of being right. There had been plenty for the blue-eyed girl to look at so even if Straia had taken her time, the golden yearling wouldn't have minded. Pangea was something new and exciting; Pangea was gilded to Aela and her first impression of the kingdom to the East left the filly with that sense again.

    Aela knew she was right to come here.
    Just as she knew that if she came, so would she.

    There are many questions lurking beneath the golden lashes of the girl. When Straia appears - from where? - the filly tilts her head, briefly mystified by the presence of the painted woman. Aela had known she would come but there is still something that awes her about that notion of Magic, how some things are just known, and how where there had been thin air before, Magic manifests itself into shape. Aela, who has been tucked and secured away in the North for reasons she never knew, who may have been one of the reasons for Brennen's barricade, watches the Magician come forward and her expression turns from modest to honest excitement.

    Straia comes from behind a wall of sandstone and Aela smiles up at her, delighted that she's been found.

    The yearling nods her elegant head once, answering the Dominus' first question. It's the next ones that require more thinking and the golden girl feels her brow furrow slightly, wondering the best way to go about answering. Not all realize that Aela can't speak; she has only recently found her voice thanks to Beyza and that was part of the reason why the filly was here. Aela flashes the memory first, the moment when Straia had first caught her attention. Her flanks had been lathered with sweat and Aela had smelt of ash and cinders (how dreadful) by the time she had reached the 'safety' of Nerine but when she had, there had been Straia with an upturned wing and she commanded the sky.

    And the sky had answered her.

    Her head tilts again, studying the fine lines on the face that meets her own, and Aela wonders if Straia had 'heard' her. There are easier ways of communicating and the gold-striped filly wonders if putting her memories into a sentence might make her thoughts clearer, maybe the Magician could hear her the same way that her great-grandmother could. I saw you, tries the girl, turning that bright gaze up to the Pangean leader. And I wanted to know how you opened the sky.

    The girl is far, far too bold in asking and the shy smile that comes is far too belying of her true nature. I think I'd like to do that, too.


    image credit to footybandit
    [Image: 3f5E0A.png]
    you've got your roots
    and i've got the wind in my soul
    Reply
    #4

    sometimes we want what we want --
        -- even if we know it’s going to kill us.

    Straia catches the memory shared with her, and a smile curves onto her lips. She rather likes the image of herself painting in this girl’s memory. It is the image she wanted all to see. So many saw only that she burned Brennen’s barrier, that she allowed destruction (and yet, had she not protected the children? Had she not sent rain to stop the fires?). She was so much more than that, but so few could look past the surface. That was their loss, of course.

    Aela was not one of them.

    Straia too can hear Aela’s thoughts. She can hear all thoughts, whether they are directed at her or not, if she so chooses. Usually she does little more than take a bit from the surface. She rarely pries when uninvited though, at least not too deeply. But still, it is no matter for her to hear a thought given freely, as Aela’s are. And Straia likes her boldness.

    She chuckles slightly, speaking back in her mind simply because it feels correct to do so. I can do more than open the sky, she says with a wry grin. Though in truth, it is not my strongest skill. Long ago, when Beqanna was different, I was granted raven magic. A strange magic back then, for magic was not channelled as it is now. On her back appears a large raven, its beady black eyes looking at Aela intently. The tips of its wings burn with fire. When the faeries brought me back, I was made into something more. My power is...not limitless, but deeply connected to Beqanna, and vastly more than it was. Though she can control the sky, she will always prefer her ravens.

    I cannot give you traits, at least not ones that you can keep. For that, you must ask the faeries. But if you gain such a power, I can teach you to use it. It is the best offer she can make, and the raven on her back takes off, winging into the sky before bursting into smoke and disappearing. But you did not come all the way from the North simply to tell me you’d like such a power, did you?

    -- straia

    the raven queen



    Aela

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

    Reply
    #5
    That shy smile (even if it is false) shines up at Straia and it lights up with wonder. Not only could Straia open up the sky but she could do more. At that moment, Aela thinks that Straia could do much than just open up the sky. She remembers the rain and the way that it fell for hours afterward in the North. It had kept her company as she slipped out past the borders and towards the Common Lands.

    Straia had left and yet that command she had given was still obeyed.

    Aela admired that. It was the thing that resonated with the young filly so strongly, that kept playing over in her mind as she tried to find the trail that would take her towards Pangea (and she didn’t doubt that was the reason her journey went undisturbed; the kind of power that Straia exuded was terrifying but Aela found it thrilling). Her golden ears prick foward as she listens to the painted mare speak and then with that Magic she mentions, a raven appears suddenly on her back.

    The shy smile vanishes and in its place comes a wild grin.

    Why ravens? she wonders, eyeing the blue-black iridescent bird with open admiration. There was intelligence behind the creature’s dark gaze. Is their Magic stronger than others? She knows little of ravens. Aela has seen them from time to time, stealing brightly-colored flowers and glittering pieces of quartz from Nerine.

    Her mind goes to imagining that perhaps the ravens steal their own trinkets and toys, maybe even different types of Magic.

    There are other questions floating in her mind and her youth makes her brazenly inquisitive. She has so much she wants to know about Straia but aware that the painted Magician has a presence in her mind, Aela tries to be polite enough to keep her questions ar a minimum. (She knows what it is to be overwhelmed by another’s memories. Aela assumes that mind-reading would work much the same way.)

    But the mention of the faeries jars a memory of the Mountain itself. The blonde girl blinks, almost startled herself at its clarity but she remembers what the fairy had asked of her, and rather than explain it to Straia, she shows it to her. (Learn what it’s like to live, the Magical being had said.) Her dainty ears prick and she glances back to the raven again before peering up at the Dominus, imagining that living as the Fairy had described must be like that day in Nerine.

    It must be like breaking magical barriers and controlling the elements. (At least, that is what Aela is starting to think that she’d like for her version of living.)  The raven on Straia’s back jumps into the sky before vanishing in a haze of smoke and Aela’s fascination returns. No, she thinks clearly and collects her thoughts so they form words instead of images. I didn’t want to stay in the North anymore. Aela thinks with a careful shrug of her shoulders. I wanted to see where you and Beyza and the others had gone. The practiced way she had held herself starts to fade when looks up to Straia again, I think I’d like to stay here.



    image credit to footybandit
    [Image: 3f5E0A.png]
    you've got your roots
    and i've got the wind in my soul
    Reply
    #6

    sometimes we want what we want --
        -- even if we know it’s going to kill us.

    Straia chuckles slightly at the question, not offended. Her smile turns almost motherly as she looks toward the raven on her back. “I’ve always been fond of them, above all, I suspect. But they are useful. Clever things, and so often overlooked. It is easy to have eyes everywhere that no one seems bothered by.” Besides which there was, admittedly, something dramatic about a burning raven flying into battle. Though I do not believe they are any more magical than the next thing in Beqanna.

    The topic shifts, and Straia follows the story of Aela’s encounter on the mountain. Perhaps this is why the faeries chose her. Straia believes, as they do, that choices must be understood before made. In this, she was not a typical magician. She did not simply assume, but asked. She cannot help but think of how Ana had given Gar no such luxury, though Ana had been their protector long enough that Straia had no right to judge. It seems to me you are well on your way to succeeding in that task. But they are right. To feel the emotions of others is no small thing. To have power is no small thing, and so many do not truly understand what they are asking for.

    The topic shifts though, and Straia smiles slightly. You are more than welcome to call Pangea home. I would be glad to have you. Are you interested in a job? Not a requirement, but Aela strikes Straia as a child with plans and a desire for purpose. If she did not have such things, she would not be here, would not stand in awe of the power Straia wields and long for her own.

    -- straia

    the raven queen



    Aela

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

    Reply
    #7

    Aela still can't quite believe her luck. She is a girl familiar with the quiet. She had grown up with the quiet hum of the sun rising and then setting through the imperial slant of Taiga's towering trees. Her days were measured by the steady fog that rolled in with the tide in spring and stayed until the summer sun could burn some of it away. Her acquaintances hadn't extended beyond her mother, Kota, and the occasional 'visit' from her grandmother, Heartfire.

    And yet here was Straia, speaking to Aela as if she had always been familiar with the ravines of Pangea and the ravens that adorned the Dominus.

    Her blue eyes linger on the bird resting on Straia's back and some part of her wants to test the logic (but then this very much who Aela is; she was born to dare and tempt and dazzle). Could they be? She asks curiously before looking up to Straia again. It was true that the creature was smaller than other birds and bigger than some. It wasn't perhaps as graceful of a flyer as some kinds and maybe it couldn't cut through the winds as she had seen some species dive off the Nerinian coast. Still, she wonders as her brilliant eyes flick back to the raven. They already were so much more because of Straia and yet as Aela studies the bird, she wonders if there could be more still.

    The question goes unasked but it shines clearly enough on her young face and her thoughts momentarily run away with her, with thoughts of ravens flocking to the Beqanna skies, shifting magic like flickering flames. All at Straia's command; all to do as the Raven queen pleased. It makes the almost-palomino filly light up with a thousand ideas, all burning bright in her young mind.

    When she glances up at the Dominus again, she is smiling and Aela smiles back. Her eyes widen - momentarily shocked - before the small smile blossoms into something much more radiant. Yes, she beams excitedly back to the painted mare, what would you have me do?


    image credit to footybandit
    [Image: 3f5E0A.png]
    you've got your roots
    and i've got the wind in my soul
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