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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Svedka -- Year 212

    QOTY

    “He only knows home in his dreams and even those dreams do not mimic large, centuries-old redwoods. Lio doesn't remember the last time he laid his head down and truly felt comfortable.” --Elio, written by Phaetra


    show me the sun; warden
    #1
    take my soul & make it undone
    be the one, be the one to take me home and show me the sun. i know, i know you can bring the fire, i can bring the bones. i know, i know you'll make the fire, my bones will make it grow.
    Summer has transitioned into autumn and Wishbone still needs to meet the newest king of Tephra. She assumes that Warden has been busy with the responsibilities of running a kingdom; she can remember how her father had made time for his children among the overwhelming duties of leadership. Svedka had mentioned their younger brother during their reunion, and even Lilliana had been looking for Warden when they had met by chance.

    So the onyx mare plans her mission to find this fabled, unfamiliar brother.

    The overnight fog that often rolls off the sea is beginning to succumb to the brisk morning’s sunlight. As Wishbone walks, hazy memories pass through her mind’s eye like dancing ghosts. Her mother’s limping figure wanders through a clearing where early morning sunlight shines on her silvery head. Her father’s voice laughs behind her shoulder and she smells the comforting aromas of sun, wind, and feather. A young golden face peeks between two large fronds, daring her to race down the beach.

    It has been a long time since she has been in Tephra last; she remembers only a few brief visits once she became Khaleesi. Walking among the winding trails and leaping over lava-streams feels like a daydream, but Wishbone settles into her walk after a few moments. Her amber gaze scans frequently over the landscape as she moves with smooth, elegant steps. She doesn’t know what Warden looks like, but Wishbone is certain she will know him when she spots him.
    credit to eliza of adoxography.



    Warden
    #2

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    The bay pegasus had always taken it upon himself to venture through the deep jungles of his home as well as find his hooves sinking into the black sand of Tephra’s beaches, or idly following the trails of the lava flows as they splinter through the landscape, bordered by cooling obsidian and then edged with the green-gold inland grasses. Now, however, it is not as simple as meandering through what has always been a familiar place - it is a patrol now, under his watchful gaze.

    Perhaps the new title suits him far better than he had ever imagined; he is forced to place his thoughts elsewhere (in the present, particularly) and to use his neutral tone in a way that would benefit a kingdom. Since his succession, however, no visions have blinded his sight and showed him any sort of future events. In another time, Warden thinks bitterly, this would be a happy occurrence. But with the recent visit from the dragons of the East, the horned pegasus finds himself nearly wishing for his third eye to lend him some insight - however devastating the vision may be.

    He is rather distracted, be it by his own inclination or the fact that his worries have grown tenfold. Either way, he nearly doesn’t catch the glimpse of dark shadow along with the inland grasses as he soars through warm thermals above Tephra. With barely a flinch of the lithe bones in his ivory wings, the stallion dips to the left and plummets downwards.

    The ground shakes solidly as the weight of him lands upon it, his lope stuttering into a choppy trot while his wings remain outspread for a moment before fluttering them into the patched white and mahogany of his sides. His face appears proud and indifferent beneath the long spirals of horns that jut from his crown, sparkling a deep blue-black in the warm sunlight while the gemstones across his chest glint fiercely in the same way. His hooves are the same color but are hidden in the long grasses that nearly brush his underbelly as he makes his way towards her.

    As he makes eye contact, he once again thinks of how only one autumn ago he would never approach a stranger if it could be avoided. But here he is (though it is without a smile and with a shadow across his brow), making his way towards her as if he had been made for such greetings and conversations. The horned stallion snorts softly as he comes to a halt, the wind around him stirring with the scent of sea and sun. Warden surveys her for a moment, just a breath, before he comments: “You weave through these lava flows with the ease of a native.” It would seem it is a compliment, but the expression his face currently holds is hard to decipher. He is perhaps about to say something else but decides to fall silent as the muscles in his jaw tighten.

    Warden



    Wishbone
    #3
    take my soul & make it undone
    be the one, be the one to take me home and show me the sun. i know, i know you can bring the fire, i can bring the bones. i know, i know you'll make the fire, my bones will make it grow.
    Wishbone can remember the weight of Nerine’s crown upon her young head well. It had felt too heavy then; the throne did not suit the ambitions of her reckless mind. She had spent hours beneath Scorch’s wise, harsh judgement, falling asleep on many nights with thoughts of politics and battle strategies and history. No amount of training could have truly prepared her for the responsibilities that come with leading a kingdom. The effort it took to rule Nerine had rubbed her young, impulsive edges the wrong way.

    As her amber eyes scan the long grasses and thick undergrowth, she wonders if the crown would fit better now. The severity of dying and then living again has brought her closer to reality, controlling Wishbone’s wilderness so she has settled into someone better suited for politics and queenship. She cannot ever deny that spark of adventure that glows within her, but she can certainly admit her experiences of having children (though she did not have the opportunity to raise them), dying and spending years in the Afterlife, and returning to life in an entirely different body have played a role in subduing her chaotic tendencies.

    Yet Wishbone is not a queen now — in fact, she can barely even consider herself a resident of any land. But Tephra is familiar to her and its geography is a perfect map in her mind. Her attention is focused on the structures of the land, but the sound of wings draws her eyes upward. For a moment the figure looks like Warrick, outlined in morning sunlight and colored in a familiar shade of red-brown. Warmth spreads in Wishbone’s chest, even after she recognizes the differences between this stranger and her father.

    When Warden lands, the onyx-and-gold mare is certain this is her youngest half-brother. The glittering blue of his horns and the splashes of white upon his body are different, but the mahogany that darkens his sides is characteristic of their family. The way his red-brown glints in the morning sun gives her a soft ache just beside her heart; although she has spent six years in this dark body, she misses the red that wrapped around her original frame. Wishbone had lived with that ache for too long and she had vowed to ignore it when she finally left the sheltered, shadowy corners.

    So she pushes the feeling away, replacing it with a wild smile that brings enough life to compensate for Warden’s stoicism. “I am a native,” she says, and her voice is both husky and soft. “I’m Wishbone and you must be Warden.” Wishbone takes a step closer, the length of her long leg gracefully sweeping away the distance. “I was hoping to find you at some point. You seem to have quite the reputation.” Her tune is honest, yet there is humor in the final sentence as she aligns her eyes with his gaze.
    credit to eliza of adoxography.



    Warden
    #4

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    The Watcher’s brow quirks upward slightly, pursing the pale pink of his lips thoughtfully. She hadn’t come across any of his recent visions and is more apt to relax upon realizing this; not seeing her means that perhaps nothing ill follows her, at least not yet. 

    He snorts softly and gently tosses his head, finding that her warm smile is enough to convince him that she isn’t here for anything more than reminiscing and travel, as most are. “Welcome back, then,” he replies with a small dip of his head, the deep navy of his eyes finding something about her familiar - though he couldn’t quite place it.

    “Wishbone,” Warden repeats with a soft sigh, realizing that he can now put a name to the face of which he had heard stories. He had been fairly young, of course, but his elder brother never filtered himself for anyone - not even a child - and Warden faintly remembers the stories of Wishbone and how she might have been as energetic as Svedka, if not more. The King visibly relaxes a bit more, the great white of his wings fluttering softly against his sides. “It’s about time that we finally meet.”

    Warden steps forward, stretching his neck towards her to lightly bump the ivory of his muzzle against the dark of her own. “A reputation, already?” He brings his horned head back to him with a curl of his muscular neck, the pillaring spirals prominently pointing into the air above him. “You know you can’t believe a word Svedka says, right?” There is humor in his voice and even the hint of a smile finds the stallion’s lips as he tilts a back hoof with a flick of his onyx tail against his dark legs.

    Warden



    Wishbone
    #5
    take my soul & make it undone
    be the one, be the one to take me home and show me the sun. i know, i know you can bring the fire, i can bring the bones. i know, i know you'll make the fire, my bones will make it grow.
    “He seemed pretty convincing this time,” she says, her eyes glittering with amusement. Wishbone can feel the fractured pieces of her soul gently healing back together and her chest feels warm with the glow of family. The Afterlife had been isolating, and even though Svedka had been there momentarily she hadn’t found him (or anyone else she knew). Reuniting with family brings life into the places of her that ached for connection.

    The handsome white of his wings and regal spirals of his horns make Warden look as much a king as any. Wishbone can see why Lilliana would be searching for him; her brother has the look of a leader as well as the manners for it, from what she can tell so far. But looking past Warden’s kingship, she can see fragments of their father in his face and attitude. Her face softens at this thought, her mouth relaxing into a gentle smile. “You look so much like Dad.”

    For a moment grief tightens in her chest — she had seen him in the Afterlife — before she lets herself melt into the relief she had felt with Svedka. Warrick’s bones hadn’t been among the voices of the Dead (she had even tried later when she was alone) and that certainly meant that he was alive. But his absence in Tephra leaves an ache in her chest as if she won’t feel completely settled until she sees his strong, familiar face again.

    Wishbone shifts her weight into her hip, allowing a dark hoof to tip into the soil. “In all honesty, Svedka spoke of you fondly. Have you always been in Tephra, Warden?”
    credit to eliza of adoxography.


    Warden
    #6

    resurrect the saint within the wretch

    “He’s pretty convincing most of the time,” Warden replies with a fond laugh, thinking of his elder brother with a soft smile. The two were as different as night and day, but Warden still found it easy to care and love the bold, fun-loving overo stallion. They fall into silence for a moment and, as always, Warden is content with it. She mentions Warrick and the horned stallion’s brow furrows slightly, as if the thought had never occurred to him and this was the first time he had actually heard it. “Really?” he asks, glancing down briefly at the large patches of white that splash across his chest (from his mother, no doubt) and the jewels that reside there, nestled like bone and spreading up his neck.

    He smiles then, lifting his ivory face towards Wishbone, and wonders silently if others have the same thought - that he is truly his father’s son. There is a moment of hesitation on his face, glancing at his half-sister and wishing he could return the compliment. But she is as dark as obsidian, with gold markings framing her face - he does not know Wishbone’s story (or that in reality she actually appeared to look more like their father than Warden currently does), and so his face falls and he attempts to keep the conversation moving forward.

    The Watcher does not need to worry, for Wishbone carries on. He flexes his wings a bit - a habit of his - and stretches the lithe bone before settling them back against his ivory and auburn sides. “I have. I’ve known nothing else.” He pauses, realizing that only recently has he felt the need to take such a position in Tephra, whereas in years past he couldn’t have cared less for the volcanic peninsula or what happens to it.

    Seeing the future had once marred his goals in life but, perhaps now, it highlights exactly where he is needed.

    “Perhaps it’ll always be that way.” His comment is far off, almost as if more to himself than to Wishbone. With a rise of his brows his gaze falls back to her, a deep inhale accompanied by a gentle smile. “Are you planning on staying with us, Wishbone? Or are you only visiting?” He pauses briefly, then adds: “I could really use all the help I could get, seeing as you’ve ruled a kingdom and this would be my first attempt.”

    Warden



    Wishbone
    #7
    it's a mystery to me
    we have a greed with which we have agreed. you think you have to want more than you need; until you have it all you won't be free. and when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
    Wishbone knows what he is thinking. How could a daughter look so different from her father? There is not one inch of Wishbone that looks similar to their father; she is lean and long, blanketed in the deep colors of midnight with only a flash of gold across her face. Not even her eyes — which have remained unchanged — reflect Warrick, for he had been warm and brown where she is fierce and amber. Perhaps the only thing that might remind them of Warrick is the thin scar that travels from her eyebrow down her left cheekbone, narrowly missing her eye. Wishbone can remember her small, fuzzy nose tracing the lines of their father’s scars, her mouth bubbling with questions about their origin.

    But this minor detail proves more about the challenges of life than it does her heritage.

    Her eyes remain friendly, even while she watches Warden’s pale face frown with the thoughts she knows he’s having. She’s struggled with this new body for many years, and now that she finally feels comfortable in this skin, Wishbone finds herself unaffected by the opinions of others (though has she ever really been affected by such things?). As their conversation shifts, she moves with it. Perhaps she will tell her story another day, but it isn’t exactly material for a first meeting.

    “Tephra is one of my favorite places in our world,” she says with fondness, and her eyes jump to the scenery around them briefly. Even her journeys through strange lands full of unfamiliar flora and fauna had paled in comparison to the mighty strength and warm comforts of Tephra. “It isn’t a bad thing to call it home forever.” Wishbone has wandered far and wide, calling many places home, but she has grown in her understanding that this lifestyle is not for everyone. In fact, she is beginning to wonder if she has changed into someone different, someone who prefers settling into one place until her bones melt into the soil.

    Warden’s next question fits nicely with her train of thought. Warmth spreads in her chest, seeping into the corners of her body and reminding her that leaving those forgotten shadows of Beqanna had been a good idea. Her amber eyes look into Warden’s face, past the ivory patches and into the deep navy of his eyes. “I’d like to stay if you’ll have me.” She laughs then, and it is both rough and sweet. “I was young and immature when I was Khaleesi, and I’ve learned a lot since then. I can’t say how well I ruled Nerine, but I would love to help as much as you need me.”
    credit to eliza of adoxography.

    Warden




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