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  • Beqanna


    Aela -- Year 216


    "So she smiles prettily and steals away when she can. Feels the brutal pounding of others around her with a savagery that she has never comprehended—their emotions so vast, their hearts so wicked. It warps her more than she was already warped. It presses a thumbprint of cruelty into her darkness, shaping her into a thing of shadow, a thing of longing, a thing carved from the darkness between every breath." --Baptiste, written by Laura

    [private]  What fickle flame - (Phae pony)
    There was a whole world for Tiberios to discover, but the only place he truly wanted to go didn’t exist. How screwy was that? An entire island-contient to explore, countless new lands and horses to encounter, but all he dreamed of was a memory long gone. The Falls and their crashing beauty had been wiped away. The Dale and its angels, part of history now. He was sure that somewhere out there a physical landmass existed that was similar, but Tib reasoned that finding it wouldn’t put those aching memories to rest where they belonged. He should start over, try making a new life since he’d been given a second chance, and the most he’d done since returning was meandering along the twisted river or hanging out in the Forest like the nomad he was.

    Winter didn’t really bother him. He could rough it out here for weeks in the most bitter cold since the very essence of his blood seemed alive and burning. His skin, one-half a beautiful blend of black and pepper-white markings, the other half a raw stretch of bare horse hide, ran warm to the touch at all times. If the temperature dropped he could always draw out the fire and wrap himself in its strange, pearly white flame. A gift, given to him many years ago. Stolen and now returned to the rightful owner.

    At the thought of it, Tiberios’ memories slipped back to a place of resentment. He thought of the wolf-shifter for the thousandth time, lamenting that he’d missed the opportunity to right an egregious wrongdoing. It pained him to know that generations of kin had been born to that monster, carrying on a lineage that should’ve been his by birthright. “The fucker.” Tib cursed that long-dead spirit again, leaning back against a rough tree trunk as he mentally shaped a ball of flame in front of himself. The fire dipped and flittered, molding itself to his thoughts at whim while hovering midair in the frigid night. It cast an eerie sort of gleam across Tiberios’ face, causing rainbow colors to flash and shimmer from his holographic blaze.

    He looked past it, out to the shadowy woods that creaked from an unseen wind, and then the flame sputtered out in a flash. “I saw your eyes, stranger.” The sabino stallion announced gruffly, pushing himself off the tree to stand at the ready. “Trust me - you don’t want me coming after you, so you might as well slither out now.” He stated plainly.

    @[phaetra] I really should make him some html, shouldn't I?  Blush

    What's happening?

    A gasp, sweet and gentle, of true surprise. Brunhilde snaps her head up from where it lay tucked into her side. Her eyes, wild and bright, latch onto the world that warps around her. Trees, once too dark and too tall to be noticed, now illuminated by the brilliance of an even more powerful sun. Ferns and flowers, little scurrying mice and squirrels - no monsters.

    No monsters.

    "What's happening?" Brun moans the words of the dream that dragged her from her sleep. She closes dull and frustrated eyes (eyes that used to be so glittering topaz they sometimes appeared to be actual gemstones). The soil beneath her bends to her hooves as she stumbles to a stand, head hanging low and eyes only opening every few seconds to adjust to the light. She leans into the wall of the cave around her, wondering if she'll ever muster the strength to see what wild ways Beqanna has changed now.

    Brunhilde, comes a low voice and a pale face. Brunhilde, wake up, it's safe. Brun thinks she can see the wavering, concerned face of her father above her, but the exertion of standing combined with the shock of the sun is too much. She falling back to her knees, eyes shutting, jutting ribs rubbing harshly against the side of the cave wall.

    Brunhilde . . .


    They come to her often, now: visions of the past. Waking visions, sleeping visions, daydreams and nightmares. Brunhilde can hardly remember the evernight, thanks to her own waxing and waning mental health and he protective layer of shadow her father kept around her at all times.

    She arose from the cave eventually. She ate eventually. She gained weight eventually. She thought of Vastra and Chel. She slept and she walked and found no desire to much else. Her new routine in the new world become just that: routine. Monotonous and easy, quiet and simple. Litotes checked in on her occasionally, her demon brother in tow. That was not routine and perhaps one of the strangest parts of waking up to the sun: a brother she had spoken to a handful of times suddenly watching over her. His red eyes unsettled her and when he told she looked disheveled and unkempt, she felt just uncomfortable enough to wash in the river.

    But she will pay that no mind, now. Brun is feeling impatient today, far too impatient for time her flashbacks steal from her.

    The little flame did get lost, though; and before she knew it, night had come. Which way was the River? The Cove? How did she end up here? The last thing she can remember is a sour-faced from her father and a taunting look in Draco's red eyes. But no, that's not right, that happened a week ago - where was she, now? Which way was the River? The Cove?

    "Oh," Brun says, not realizing she had stopped walking. Golden eyes that once lost their light flash upward and out, toward the voice just beyond the small grouping of trees she shelters behind.

    "Coming," she sings to the stranger, low and almost sweet. "Though I've had plenty of monsters after me, and you're not nearly the scariest." Brun tilts her head, forcing her faze to focus on the holographic stallion. "The name's Brunhilde, monster. Why would you come after a stranger for merely standing near you?"

    The visions hover at the edge of her sight, but for the first time in a long time, her mind begins to clear.

    @[Tiberios] she wanted to come out very badly??????????? enjoy this weird thing

    I can see the fire's still alight

    Tiberios was only waiting for the other horse to disappear. Instead, he listened to the sound of hooves trampling dry leaves and a body making its way through the tangled web of the forest. The tread sounded light to him; it’d been years since Tib had relied on sense and situation alone but once upon a time he had been a warrior, more than that he’d been the subject of a good maiming. Some habits never died, even if the body did. “Light tread, light voice.” He thought of the stranger, ears tipped curiously in her direction as the brightly-colored mare strode past the sentry trees to confront him … obediently.

    What an odd bird! Who assumes the worst of another horse and then defies logic to greet them anyways? Tiberios observed her silently, half-amused and half in disbelief at the way she spoke. Monster? Him a monster? “Laughable, but she’s serious.” He scoffed inwardly.

    “Why would you approach a monster in the first place?” He shoots back at her in the dark, his tone as perplexed as his expression gives away. Even if he wasn’t this so-called creature she claimed him to be, why would any mare risk the chance of being hunted down by a stranger in the woods, at night? “Either she’s stronger than she looks,” Tiberios assessed her glow, the flickering insects circling her, and her mannerisms with a half-smile, “or she’s delusional.”

    He considered the second option as the most logical.

    “Brunhilde.” He shook his mane and stretched the stiff side of his neck, amused that he’d thought she might’ve been a threat lurking in the shadows. “Are you purposefully naive or just out of your head?” He wondered aloud, sighing. “I’m no monster, and I find it hard to believe you’ve ever faced one before.”


    She'd lost her sense and sheer sense of self to the visions today. It feels as if they come more frequently. If Brun can focus just right, she can see her father's furrowed brow and his lips forming around the question, "Are you going to be okay?" But she focuses that hard, she'll lose herself again. To where the present mingles with the past but never the future.

    While Tiberios thinks Brun strange and out of her mind, Brun thinks he is terribly serious and far too still. The stranger may be right about her - how she lives in a reality solely her own - but that is simply the beauty of creating one's own reality: she has no idea he is right, nor care for what he thinks of her. Her perception is her own and for moments like these, her perception is her companion's, as well.

    "Because I've seen them all before," she murmurs, mostly to herself, lips lifting to a faded smile. He looks just like her first monster, the golden man with the devilish instinct. They're all the same, these monsters. Every last one of them. And Brunhilde, when lost to fake-clarity of her visions, thinks she can take them all on one by one.

    "You're a fool, then, to look a woman in the face and tell her she's never faced a monster." Brunhilde lifts her head to its fullest height, setting a suddenly sharp gaze on the man. A flash of the woman she once was shines beautifully in her face. "To be a woman is to face monsters, monster. I think you might be one for not realizing that," she answers clearly, articulately, tail swishing irritably back and forth.

    But it's only a glimmer, a glimpse. A creature she once was and might be again, with perserverance and time.

    Brun lets her head drift slowly back down, batting long lashes in a girlish way, quite the learned defense mechanism.

    "Your name, monster?"


    I can see the fire's still alight

    He’d been studying her expression in the dark shadows cast by the glow coming off her pelt. Something about the childishness in her tone and manner didn’t quite add up to the maturity written into her lovely skin. She frowned, a bit distant in the eye whenever Tib tried to catch its focus, and her soft reply to his statement only led him to further believe that all of the pieces of her were scattered around in her head.

    But then she surprised him, as horses often did.

    The haze cleared, leading her to bite back at Tib with as much force and alacrity as he’d come to expect from a petulant yearling. He considered her argument for half a second and dismissed it quickly, unamused and unimpressed with the flare that was meant to wound or emasculate him. Her words were like dry sparks falling haplessly against him; their burn weakened by a truth he knows - and Tiberios tells her as much.

    “Monsters don’t have names.” He reminded her quietly when the theatrics had passed and her head returned to its indifferent state. Tiberios had one because he was not a monster, but Brunhilde was clearly unwilling to admit that. He then reserved the right to keep it hidden from her, and school her in the same sentence. “And you?” He scoffed, unfinished.

    “You’re no woman.” Tiberios frowned at the mare, turning afterwards to face the dark beyond them with a movement of his head that revealed the ruined part of his shoulder and neck.

    Once upon a time he had loved such a mare. A woman so true to the word that even her bodily form could not be tarnished by the hooves of those who would see her undone. Talulah had won him over completely; Tiberios had given her his soul and known from the first aching glance that he had loved and been loved by her, and that inside of her lay a home all its own. Only a woman could do that. She would’ve never pitted her experiences against a stranger’s. Brunhilde was a child and she spoke like one, even if she didn’t look the part.

    “You must be lost.” He guessed randomly, turning back to face the ire of the moment. “Why else would you be out here?”


    Monsters don't have names.

    Brunhilde feels unwarranted anger burble up inside of her. She's known plenty of monsters with names. Beelzebub's golden and white face flashes behind her eyes. Draco's glowing, taunting red eyes are burned into her memory. All the dark creatures her father chose to surround himself with and lie to himself about. Monsters have names, they almost always have names.

    Eyes, slitting to suspicious lines, observe every inch of Tiberios. Brun's head still hangs low, demure; but her chest is volcanic, boiling with magma and bouncing rocks. The visions of the past blur the edges of her gaze, threatening to take over every inch of her. The anger is purifying, though, and its heat washes her anew. Suddenly, a little burst of flame flits from her mouth.

    "You don't have the authority to tell me what I am," the wildfire states simply, lifting her head to what one might perceive as a proud height. For the first time since before the Eclipse, she feels shame. Not quite for accosting this man (though he did open their interaction with a threat), but for appearing unkempt and out of her head. She clears her throat and shakes out her mane and surprisingly, tells the truth.

    "I was lost," she begins, stamping a single back hoof. "Why are you out here, then? Are you lost?" Brun turns her head as she asks, observing their surroundings with what feels like new eyes. How did she get here? Was she heading to the River? To the Cove? The crackling wings at her side are drawn closer in, as if to provide some vague comfort. She can't remember why she came out here, but at the very least she knows where she is; and she clings to that knowledge in an attempt to keep her sane.

    "Will you tell me your name, at least? Since we've clarified you're not a monster and I'm not a woman."


    I can see the fire's still alight

    Laughable. That she would claim he had no authority to tell her what she was when she’d done the very same to him since the beginning of their interaction. Every time she opened her mouth, Brunhilde only served to deepen the hole she was digging. That was fine with Tiberios, though. He would watch from the edge as she sunk further and further away. Even the fire she wields is more of a beauty than a threat to him, though it certainly could bite. He’d tasted that heat before and wanted nothing more of it, and the last thing he desired was to watch her writhe underneath the liquid plasma of his own powers so similar to hers.

    Similar, but worse.

    He’d much rather admire her as she was: cloaked in resplendent orange and yellow, wings of flame covering her back like a heavenly entity. As if the gods on high had commanded her spirit to be anchored to the earth in this life, but as an apology for having done so they’d allowed her to soar into the sky with those wrathful limbs of light.

    He had eyes (as insistent as they were on looking down at her with a mixture of pity and contempt,) he could clearly see the beauty in her lines. The careful, deadly grace in the creator’s thoughts where she was concerned. But he had no drive to pursue it, nor did Tiberios long for company the way most nomadic stallions did. He had his own purpose, which he kept in mind when answering her question about why he was in the forest.

    “I am not lost.” He told her matter-of-factly, in a way that wouldn’t prickle her already over-sensitive nerves. “And since you seem hellbent on asking, I’ll give in- ” The patchwork horse sighed.

    “My name is Tiberios. I’ve been living here for a little while, but I intend on heading north to a place called Silver Cove.” He explained. “News spread around that a horse who could speak to the dead lived there, and I have some questions that need answering.” Tib told the little flame.

    As far as he was concerned, he couldn’t be of much help to her or remedy her … predicament. She’d said she was lost, not that she currently suffered from the same affliction (though he had a good idea as to how she might’ve ended up in a sticky situation of her own making.) And even if that were true, Tib had no modern knowledge of this world or where specific places were. He would make his way to the Cove in good time, with the help of anyone willing to aid him with direction.

    But Brunhilde? If she wanted help, he’d suggest she work on her approach a bit more.


    "Hm," Brunhilde murmurs to herself, eying Tiberios. She thinks to herself, I live in the Cove, but doesn't immediately offer the information to him. Would it matter if she did, though, anyway? As the stallion has written her off as some beautiful fool (not that she knows, and perhaps if she knew just how baselessly pretentious he is, she'd scorn him with the very fire he wants no more of).

    Somewhere deep, in the dark, turning part of Brun's brain, she hopes that Tiberios experiences something like this. Memory loss and trauma so strong he cannot make sense of the beginning or the end. Then perhaps he might see how his own actions set the scene, as well, and he is not some haughty bystander making scoffing comments the players will never hear.

    Brunhilde is no fool, no; and she can sense an idiot man even in her most wild distress. Her topaz eyes circle in on him and all thoughts of the visions dissipate as she thinks, Huh, fuck this guy.

    "Tiberios," she states with smile, that same distant gleam in both her eyes and her grin. "I live in the Cove. My whole family does, in fact." She cocks her head, a thick strip of tri-colored mane falling over a single eye. Brun doesn't know of a horse that speaks to the dead but she nods her head anyway and states firmly, "Yes, those are quite common where we live." Which isn't exactly a lie. Soul summoners live all over the East.

    "Can you tell me . . ." Brun trails off, hums. "Tibby, if I may dare, why you are such a prick when you threatened me first?" She grins again, thinks, I hope I run into this mother fucker in the Cove.


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