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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


    And home before dark // Yanhua
    #1



    Tornados from a butterfly's wing


    Where were they? Trying to get home, to their children, to the safety of the redwoods, the pair now stumbled through the darkness. The gentle golden glow that Yan emitted was a solace, but it didn't illuminate very much at all. Not enough to navigate by. Not enough to know if they were on the track they'd followed to get to the Mountain in the first place. 

    It was a struggle for Ama to not project Panic in every direction. If she'd been utterly alone, she'd have lost that struggle very early on. As it was, it was only by walking so close by the chestnut stallion that she could feel the heat radiating off of him that she managed to keep herself in check. 

    "I think we're going the wrong way," she spoke at last, voicing the worry that had settled in her mind some minutes ago. There were trees, too many trees that they had to keep turning to avoid. But they were not the large redwoods of Taiga. Mere saplings by comparison, but still obstacles between the pair and a true path. 

    Her wings kept catching on low hanging branches, and she cursed them for the thousandth time. If they suddenly started to shine brightly enough to see by, only then would she consider forgiving their existence. Until then... She came to a halt, face set in grim lines that could be felt more than seen. "Yan, stop please," she called out, unsure if he'd realize she was no longer at his side without the verbal cue. "We need a plan." Anything that would get her back to the twins, the sooner the better.

    ...Amarine





    Yanhua
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    #2
    Every step Yanhua had taken down the mountain was a step that left him grimacing in pain. The stumble at the summit had sliced open his knee, though the blood had clotted and frozen because of the plummeting temperatures in the dark. The wound still burned and swelled, leaving the stallion with a limp as he and Amarine wound their way carefully back down towards Beqanna’s meadowlands.

    Something the fairy has said stuck with him - that there were more important things happening in Beqanna right now, which Yanhua clearly couldn’t deny. The sun was gone, for heaven’s sake. They’d all been cast into eternal night. Even the fairy herself had seemed… tired. He limped, grit his teeth, and took another step through the woods at the base of the mountain, his mind far away from where they were headed or even where they were going right now. Faintly, he recognized that Amarine had said something, but Yanhua was miles away from the butterfly mare. The words went directly over his head.

    He limped again and stopped, blinking through the murk of his thoughts as her desperate plea slowly roused him to his senses. Yan looked up and then back, realizing just how bare and cold his side had become from the instant loss of her breathing over his skin, and he hobbled around to limp back to where she stood waiting.

    “I’m sorry.” He apologized, bumping his nose against hers in the dark. He hadn’t meant to disappear into himself like that. “You’re right. We need a plan. The twins…” He trailed off at a loss for words. The twins were in the playground, weren’t they? Waiting for their parents. He didn’t have to look around to see that they weren’t anywhere near the common lands. The woods at the base of the Mountain should’ve thinned out long ago.

    He crooked his damaged knee and thought for a second or two. Splitting up was out of the picture. There was simply no way he was leaving Amarine right now, knowing (without the aid of his echoes) that she’d been on edge and not her usually tempered self. Besides, Yanhua was worried about how far he’d actually make it on this hobby-horse knee of his.

    “You remember where you dropped Reynard off?” Yanhua asked rhetorically before continuing. “We should start there.” He sounded confident in the assessment. “Cheri should’ve found him by now; they’re probably together at this very moment, waiting on us.” The goat-horned male told his mate, trying to assuage her fears.

    But how to find their way? How to tell left from right in a place like this?

    “Can you fly?” He wondered quietly, ears flicking at the sound of rustling in the dark. He looked up and around, then when nothing showed itself he looked back to his companion. “My only idea is for you to try and make it up and have a look around…” Yan suggested quietly, already feeling the hopelessness of such a thing. He’d never actually seen Ama use her wings before, and the branches (though bare) were woven together above them.


    Amarine word vom, sorry <3
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    #3



    Tornados from a butterfly's wing


    She could feel Pain knifing through him with every step. Like forks of crimson lightning, so bright it made her vaguely nauseous. He was injured, and walking was only making it worse, even if he wouldn't say so aloud. There was no way to see it though. No way to assess damages or find a bloody healer. They were paying for their trip to the mountain in spades already, and they had only just descended it. 

    Ama wanted her children tucked safe by her side more than anything else in the world. Until she and Yan staggered to a halt, that had been her only driving force. Otherwise, they may as well have found some sheltered grove to wait things out in. To rest Yan's wounded limb and to give both of their mountain-weary bodies a chance to revive. She couldn't rest though. Not with her son and daughter somewhere out there, caught in the dark. 

    Another stab of Pain struck her, and Ama winced at the sensation. At the very least, pausing gave her a moment to think somewhat more clearly. "Oh, Yan," she murmured, wishing she could do something more to help him. All she could do was place a thin layer of Indifference between him and the jagged Misery he was stuck with. She couldn't remove the pain, or its source. Only how he felt about it. 

    "It's temporary," she warned, knowing she couldn't keep it up forever. Not even close. But hopefully long enough that they could get a plan in place, and start doing something about it. 

    She nodded when he asked about the playground, then stopped when she realized he wouldn't be able to see it. "Yes, pretty sure." It might be a challenge to find her way in the dark now, though. Heart sinking, her mind began to tally how very many things the dark was going to make difficult. She stared at the vague glow of Yanhua's chest, tried to ground herself in the knowledge that everything still existed, even if she couldn't see it. 

    His next question was enough to shake her from her existential dread, and into something much more tangibly unpleasant. Blood rushed to her face as the awkward subject of the useless, humongous sails on her back was brought up. "I, er, have never actually used them." She admitted, very quietly. 

    Big, gaudy flaps of chitin, and she had never screwed up enough courage to actually use them. There was no way they'd work like nice, normal pegasus wings, oh no. She'd watched butterflies. Those things couldn't fly in a straight line, she didn't know how they landed or took off and she was terrified to find out. So she'd been endowed with paper thin decorations, and they didn't even glow. 

    Ama swallowed hard. "I'm sorry." She paused, emotion getting the better of her for a moment. She had no light, couldn't heal, couldn't fly. In that moment, she felt like the least useful horse to ever exist. They couldn't stop, though. It had already been too long. "We have to keep moving, we have to-" she stopped, a thought niggling in the back of her mind. Trees. They kept running into trees. Trees meant a forest. 

    "We went the wrong way, coming off the mountain." She realized, blinking into the dark. The path, there was only one going up the mountain, must have split at the base. And they'd been so tired and disoriented...

    ...Amarine






    Yanhua
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