• Logout
  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    'Twas a long and dark December
    He is not needed. Not as much as he once was, not as much as he should. He is drifting, anchorless, floating. The warm season doesn't help: his teleportation skills are limited, so he turns to snow and drifts, drifts, drifts, and then the snow lands in the mountains, where they belong forever. Mountains that once cradled him in a period where he was the same as he was now - loosened. Away from reality. Just like now.

    He shouldn't have let them crack and scale his ice walls. The children were evidently the start of that mistake; loving them, caring for them, just being a part of their lives had been an effort that had opened him up. It had left him vulnerable. Now he realizes once again that he shouldn't have. He could have just let it be, and they'd probably be not too different from who they were now. It wouldn't have been a problem. His offspring was always better off with just their mothers.

    The snowflakes land on the peaks of Hyaline's mountains, next to the cave where Sabra once spent several nights. Or, well, her body anyway.

    They take the form of the sturdy ice mage and the now white icy flake-horse smiles a bit, remembering that time. She had almost literally asked to be killed - a forced rest if you will, even if it had been temporary. Lilliana hadn't died on purpose, but when she had, she had wanted it to stay that way, as much that it was evident in everything she did and said about it. Who was he to deny her that rest? Just because he couldn't find his own? No, it had to stop. He was going to protect his heart once and for all, this time.

    He had tried to shield it, but it wasn't enough anymore. So now, emerged in the cold of the eternal snow atop the Eastern Kingdom's mountains, the snow-horse takes out the part of his chest that is torturing him so. Bled dry as he expected it to look (or perhaps that's why), he encages it with a Magic so strong it nearly melts a glacier nearby. Whoever would get near... they wouldn't survive the cold unless they were already suited for the ice. He cannot make it any safer. He cannot shield it any longer, not while he carries it with him. So he lets the ice magic take it, lets the veins freeze, encages it in the magic that makes every fluid transition to a timeless stage.

    He copies and replaces it. It feels cold in his chest, but he is currently made of hail and snow, and to the ice-magician, it makes little difference; the ice had always been in his blood, and now he only solidifies that relationship.

    He transforms again, back into an ice dragon - the magic is easier to use than teleportation, with a kingdom full of shifters to siphon off. In this familiar shape, he takes his heart in his claws and flies north. He knows exactly where to bury this hurtful thing.

    When he returns, he curls up in his old dragon cave. If any of the kingdom members would object, well, he had belonged among them for some time now.

    The ice mage is content with his hideout, and for the first time in years, he is not worried.
    from the windows they were watching
    while we froze, down below
    Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.

    It's unusual, how icy this peak was.

    Snow in the mountains of Hyaline wasn't uncommon, even in the warmer months. Bolder had spent enough time prowling them as everything from a snow leopard to a bear in an attempt to combat the cold when he made the journey through the purple peaks. But this one, the striped grizzly thought, this one was far too cold for summer.

    (It felt like the Isle. Not that Bolder had ever been, but the way that the breeze bites his face and his lungs burn makes it easy for the young shifter to imagine this is what it must feel like on that arctic tundra. He growls against the cold, and continues to barrel on.)

    A wiser creature might have sensed that what was nearby was powerful magic. An older horse might have known to leave whatever was nearby alone. But Bolder is still young, and the adolescent pegasus is certainly not wise. He continues to climb for several hours, challenging the winter snow and the frigid chill by taking different shapes and doing whatever he has to complete his treacherous climb.

    The young shifter approaches the cave as himself, with frost edging his auburn wings and his halo barely glinting in the dull light. He enters the cave, and narrows his eyes, inwardly cursing himself for not choosing a shape with better vision. But the creature in the dark is horned and tattooed, is wrapped in the embrace of the cold in a way that is familiar to Bolder. His grandfather hadn't come to Taiga as a dragon often, but even without sophisticated sight in the dark, Bolder can make out Leilan.

    "Grumpy?" he calls out, "What are you doing here?"

    [Image: 37477440_mkk7ul7XODhpdJ7.png]
    Malik had left while Myrna had been taking a nap, and the filly knows she will be be left to her own devices for much of the day. She contemplates swimming first, but the shape of the seal was too hard to hold onto for longer than a few seconds, and the water of the mountain lake was too cold for the summer-haired filly. She dips one small hoof in again, just to check, and pulls it out with a shiver.

    It’s cold like ice, she thinks. Her mother says it flows down from the mountains, where the snow never stops falling. The natural barrier has kept Myrna in Hyaline more than a few times. She still lacks the perseverance - and wings - of those who move in and out of the mountainous kingdom, but she has never felt trapped. Not even now, as she raises her blue-grey eyes to the peaks, where she imagines the wind never stops howling.

    A ripple of snow shimmers across the nearest grey cliff  as she watches, swept up and carried - glittering - by the wind. Myrna smiles, and thinks it might be nice to be a snowflake, all shimmering and shining and free in the wind.

    She didn’t mean to turn herself into a snowflake.

    But once she does, she cannot figure out how to turn herself back into a filly. She’s never been something non-sentient before. It is an odd sensation, but as exhilarating as she’d imagined. Carried through the air, she somersaults and tumbles and spins, dancing and twirling about. Sometimes she collides with another snowflake and they flip together for a while until she pirouettes off by herself again.

    Lost in the joy of being a snowflake, she doesn’t even notice that she’s floating back up the mountain. Not until she sees Bolder, far below, recognizable only by the colors of his coat, does she even remember she’s Myrna. She opens her mouth to call out a greeting, only to realize she doesn’t have one.

    Her shock at this is enough to transfigure her back into a filly, one who falls through the air, then many feet of snow, to land on the mountain some distance away from Bolder, and far from his sight.

    “That really hurt,” she says aloud when she clambors out of the snowbank and back onto solid ground. Falling those fifty feet is probably her new record, but it is not one she wants to break. She’d just been broken quite enough for one day, even if her magic has knit her bones back together an instant after they’d shattered.

    Shaking out her still-sparse spinal mane, Myrna stamps her hooves in the snow. After a moment, they split, and a few seconds late a small goat (the only shift she’s any good at yet) takes off on Bolder’s trail. The kid arrives just after he speaks, standing at the mouth of the cave with a curious expression on her pale gold face. She trots a little closer to Bolder when she realizes what the dark shape is, and tucks her body between his striped forelegs. He doesn’t seem worried, so Myrna is not worried, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a little hesitant about a dragon that is not her mother.
    He remembers Hyaline, fond of it and it’s previous ruler. Before that, he remembers it was something else entirely, tied to Nerine if he’s not mistaken. Child exchange and such, though that must have been decades ago when he had just about returned to Beqanna, to find his dead mother alive and the lands shifted due to some sort of Reckoning. The Plague had changed many things, including the mountainous kingdom, including himself, including, well, what not?

    These days, his semi-adopted kids have children that call him Grumpa, or even Grumpy it seems. He lives up to the name right now, opening one eye and snorting like a horse would, only covering the young shifter in a misty cloud of ice and snow. ”That’s great-great-granduncle Grumpy to you, young man.” he corrects him. It’d make him feel old if he didn’t already.

    He always had a name for being rude, so he doesn’t bother softening. When the previous-snowflake arrives with the coat of a goat - he’d heard her, so he had waited - he finally does answer Nashua’s kid. ”Being harassed by Wolfbane’s grandkids, apparently.” He eyes them both and chuckles humourlessly. ”What an irony.” The latter is said more or less to himself, rather than to them.
    from the windows they were watching
    while we froze, down below

    @bolder @ Viszla
    Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.

    That familiar grin that Bolder has worn since childhood (and regardless of what shape he wears these days) emerges as the dragon clouds him in a plume of ice. It's cold - colder even than the weather outside - but the familiarity of the form before him warms the young shifter and striped pegasus smiles up at the only grandfather he has ever known. The winged boy even takes a step forward, before he hears a shout behind him and the copper horse turns his moon-marked face to the source of the sound.

    He doesn't have to look behind him long, because Myrna is between his forelegs before he can even blink his silver eyes.

    Lowering his copper head, he bumps his nose against the top of the kid's spinal mane. The form that she wears now is familiar, and Bolder has contemplated a time or two taking her to Taiga to show the similarities between his youngest cousin and the other ones they share in the Silver-Green Forest. Surely, that would help things there. (And his young mind thinks what would be the worst that could happen if he brought Myrna there looking as she does now? Their Uncle Yan might even laugh at the resemblance.)

    Despite all the chill in the air, Leilan's laugh seems even colder.

    "Grumpy, this is Myrna." He says, deciding to address the kid between his knees first. Bolder knows that his cousin is familiar with dragons; Mazikeen could be regularly seen stalking the borders of Hyaline as one. What would she make of this one? But his grandsire isn't a threat to the Pack. Bolder is certain of that, and the way he carefully moves forward to the resting dragon shows that, as he allows room for Myrna to move freely forward as he does.

    "My, this is my grandfather, Leilan."

    Bolder wondered briefly if she might be related to him as well, but refrained from asking (at least for now).

    His brow furrows slightly but his chestnut ears prick forward, catching the last few sentences that the former Freyr was saying. "Isn't that something your not supposed to eat?" he asks, visibly confused, thinking of the plant that Borderline and Memorie had once taught him about and knowing nothing more of the name.

    @ Viszla

    [Image: 37477440_mkk7ul7XODhpdJ7.png]
    She stretches up into Bolder’s affectionate greeting, and the familiar way he addresses the dragon eases her trepidation. That, and the very horselike way the dragon had snorted, a telltale sign even for the young girl of someone (or something) being a shifter.

    Grumpy, Bolder calls him, and Myrna frowns. Is he grumpy? The dragon’s demeanor is most certainly far from warm. His grandfather? Had he come to visit? None of Bolder’s family has ever come to visit, but Myrna knows that they exist. They exist and have long titles, it seems, for this Grumpy Leilan is also a Great Great Grand Uncle, which sounds like a very important thing to be.

    She will have to ask her mother if perhaps he might be a Great Great Grand Myrna someday, the girl decides, following her cousin to get just a little bit closer to look at the dragon. Despite his several acknowledged relations, he does not seem especially pleased to see Bolder. While the copper colt focuses on potential reference to food, Myrna (who tries very hard to be good) huffs softly at the accusation of harassment, and stops a good distance away

    Though she is too young to care about borders and intruders, the filly is rather adept at non-answers, having heard her brother give them to their mother countless times. She looks at Bolder to see if he’d noticed this too, and while doing so exchanges her goatling’s shape for something closer to her own equine body.

    She is closer to Bolder’s height now, a two-year old rather than her weanling size. She has practiced this shape for adventures, and she thinks that meeting a strange dragon would qualify as an adventure. Growing her opalescent adult horns hadn’t come with additional adult courage though, so she keeps the space between them and tucks her blue-patterned wings closer to her sides.

    “How come you’re sleeping in this cave?” She asks.

    "Myrna," he tastes the name like it is a foreign, should-not-be taste. Like tasting blood instead of grass when biting down, and perhaps realizing that one of your teeth got dislodged in the meantime. But he shakes off the idea. Not her fault that he doesn't feel too attached to her any more - with Bolder, there is that previously-cared-for thing, as he once allowed any and all family to tie a string to his heart. His heart may not be what it was before, but the string, even loose, is still somewhat there. Theoretically, he remembers the feeling, even if he can't actively access it. Like one remembers a dream.

    With Myrna, there is no such old connection, and perhaps that is why it feels strange to meet her. She still has that spinal mane that runs in her family, and he acknowledges it but doesn't comment - these children don't know of their shared grandfather, as is evident by their reaction to his name, and perhaps that is better for the both of them. So he nods when Bolder asks if that isn't something he should not eat, grins even, for humor was always a part of him and is so ingrained that he automatically appreciates the irony for what it is. Who said not caring meant there was no humor left? Not Leilan - he's stuffed away feelings behind a humorous wall long enough to know the difference between the ever-present sarcasm of life, and getting attached to people. "You should definitely not eat that," he agrees and with that, ends the topic if they'll let him.

    Little Myrna though, doesn't let go of the other topic - the one any good resident should not let go of, but then, Bolder is only stolen so he probably shouldn't play guard anyway. For that, she receives his full attention, his draconic eyes scanning the little girl as she asks about his sleeping location. "I like the cold," he shrugs a little, "and I was tired." It shows, indeed, how little he cares for the borders of this land - of any land's borders, that is, but Hyaline seems to be the location now. "Besides, I lived here some time ago. Not for long, but this was my place for a bit." He moves his head up and then nods to the cold cave that he's in; indicating the general area. "It's not what it was, though." It does miss the people - but then again, he can do without. People can be bothering. Feelings and such were attached once, and perhaps that's what made this home. Now, it's just one of the approximately three places in Beqanna where he is most comfortable. A change of view is nice.
    told you I'd change
    even when I knew I never could

    @ Viszla
    Sorry it took so long (:
    Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.

    Bolder was stolen from Taiga to Hyaline.

    He hasn't forgotten that. But he has come of age with the Pack. He has been mentored and encouraged here, where he hadn't been in Taiga (at least in the ways of shapeshifting). There is something in him that knows one day he should go back - if only to explain to his parents and siblings why he had never returned. But that day has not yet come, and there is still much for Bolder to learn before he makes that journey.

    The young pegasus might be more like his grandsire than he realizes. Because just as Leilan doesn't explain why he is in Hyaline, Bolder doesn't press for an answer. He'd rather not think about the North and the family he left there. He'd definitely rather not talk about it, and so won't ask again.

    If something truly horrible had happened, Leilan would be here to bring him home.

    Snorting softly, a plume of silver smoke emerges from his flaring nostrils. Bolder doesn't bother fighting a grin as the dragon mentions his affinity for the cold. (Though it falters for a moment when he admits that he is tired. It was hard to imagine his Grandfather as anything but invincible.) His head tilts to one side at the mention of living in Hyaline before, that he had dwelled in this very cave. "Was there no Pack back then?" Bolder asks. He knows that it hadn't started with his Aunt Maze. The pack had existed before its current Alpha (though that is hard for Bolder to imagine in his youth, and even harder to imagine without her).

    Myrna comes beside him, appearing older and larger than she actually was, and so Bolder changes as well. He comes something smaller, a mimic to the dragon before them. A small bronze-and-gold-striped lizard, that if permitted, will come to rest in the space where his younger cousin's horns should be and flick his reptilian tongue in Leilan's direction.

    @ Viszla

    [Image: 37477440_mkk7ul7XODhpdJ7.png]
    Bolder has been a permanent presence in Myrna’s life, as much an older brother as a cousin. If he trusts this strange dragon, then surely the dragon is trustworthy. He says he’s lived here before too, and surely her mother wouldn’t ever let something dangerous live in Hyaline. Not even way high up here in the mountains.

    So she accepts his answer with a nod, and looks up at Bolder. No, she looks down, for he’s become a lizard, and Myrna laughs and lowers her head so he might settle atop her poll. He’d done it so quickly, with a speed that the golden filly envies. Someday she’ll be that fast, she knows, as long as she keeps practicing. He’s just had more time.

    Later, she’ll ask him to show her how to be a lizard. The shifting that they share runs in the family, though Myrna has begun to realize that her powers are more like those of her mother than of her brother and cousin. Maybe her abilities come from the other side of the family, from the set of grandparents that she has tried - and failed - to find.

    The reminder of that brings a faint frown to the girl’s pale face, and she focuses instead on the question that Bolder asks. She knows only that the mountains are her home, and has never wondered at their history. What had they been before her mother had been here? And Breach?

    Will it be a good story?

    She hopes so, and resttles her hind end into a feline shape, one that is more suited to sit and listen to what she expects to be a grand tale. Maybe it will involve fire as well as dragons.

    In hindsight he has gone about this conversation terribly wrong. His short answers lead to questions, and answering those leads to expectations.

    The dragon blinks as both the younglings get comfortable around him - a strange sensation, echo of what once was, tries to settle in his chest but opts for his brain instead, when it finds the icy thing that barely passes for a heart. He shakes his head lightly in attempt to rid himself of the feeling, then eyes them, one to the other. Sighs.

    ”Fine. Only because I’m bored and you won’t leave otherwise.” He mumbles, groans more than speaks.

    He makes a show of rising, turning, then alters his breath with the magic of the cold nearby. Ice crystals reflect light to create and become a blue flame, cold to the touch if they’d try. There is no heat to be found from the ice mage, but light and illusion all the more. The cave wall comes to life with blue light and misty shadows as he weaves his tale. He doesn’t bother speaking though; this information comes right into their heads as soon as the images appear. If all else it is more practical and faster, and perhaps more permanent (he didn’t really think this through). He weaves two stories at once; one is the one he wishes to tell them, and one is his own point of view: it comes with the mind-connection, a thing that can’t really be helped.

    Before Hyaline, before any of the current kingdoms, there was Beqanna, and her lands were magical. Kingdoms granted boons as much as any of the Entities now, and people would be either greedily at war to confiscate more land, thus magic, or to make pacts ensuring much of the same.

    In this time, there was a Jungle, where Amazons would gather. Men were not allowed, or only as slaves as they were called. Here to do the dirty work or to be loved by queens in secret. It was there that amidst five sisters, a son was born and raised. He didn’t stay long, for his Princely title was an empty promise of nothing.

    All of this continued until one day, the fairies didn’t put up with it any longer. A line was crossed one too many times, and the kingdoms were destroyed and combined into the Mountain, where the magic remains stored until now. This was called the Reckoning. The boy wasn’t around for this, but he’s heard the tales. All started in Taiga, which at the time was wrecked with every element. The shadows on the wall show the devastation of Taiga: earth, wind, water and fire laying waste to the giant trees.

    After the Reckoning, new land was created on the condition of harmony. Mares of stature would now group together without allowing a stallion in their ranks, and they were strong. Strength they had in many ways, perhaps more so than the stallions of the old Tundra Brotherhood, their opposites and likes.

    It was this group, called Amazons, who banded together quickly after the Reckoning, in a land vastly different than they knew before the Reckoning: Nerine was the new Jungle, made of sturdy rocky that stood against the wind and sea. He recalls boldly entering the moors, defiant in his youth, sure that his mother’s name would protect him. His heartjump at being attacked by his hairless mother when she didn’t recognise him with her dragon sight, allowing only the heat signatures to spot him; their emotionless emotional reunion, for neither would admit how much they cared.

    For some, Nerine alone was not enough. Even Amazons have children now or then, proof of which being right in front of you, and they confiscated a mountain vale named Hyaline directly to their south, to raise and train aspiring novices. For a time, the Amazonian would-be empire worked. But the people in Hyaline grew up and would have their freedom, and Hyaline grew independent. A Sanctuary was created in it’s state, a place for all, but especially for the young, or the weak, to be a safe haven and training ground. A place of growth if you will. There were close ties to Tephra, and after a time, to Nerine again as well. Those three kingdoms became tied by blood (this was my own mother’s scheming, I’ll have you know). Kagerus comes to mind, as well as his mother, and then Wishbone, the Tephran Amazon.

    Then there was a Plague, (another band of terrorsome images follows) and the lands shifted again to what they look like today. The Isle is a safe haven, but others come to claim it. Is no place safe for his wife to have their child? There’s shouting, fighting, demons and magicians, and Heartfire splitting rock. Brennen trying to shield them in the chaos. Death for the immortal defender. This is mine. Prince of the Isle. A hoof comes down. King in the North. Hyaline was separated from the north, with Taiga appearing in between, and became as free as they always would. This is where things shifted, for Pangea and the Silver Cove were both new lands and new neighbors. Someone decided to make the Cove the Kingdom’s seat as it was Plague-free; this was the time in which I settled here in the mountains. A woman named Kensa ruled Hyaline then, well-tied with Pangea, and prone to a little mischief now or then. The sanctuary did not function as it had, and the Pangeans became leader instead. I didn’t really pay attention to it, as it didn’t concern me. No wife and child now: he’s hiding from the world. She left, she left, she left: distraction, distraction, let’s kill it. Fish slushy made by dragon teeth, a pearlescent winged woman wishes to drown and he complies. A Taigan child visits. Perhaps she could be kept. Understanding between a leader and her lieutenant.

    I believe when Kensa disappeared, it was Breach who followed in her footsteps, out of Pangea. Her mother Sochi had won the favor of an entity, and so Sochi’s dream to create a pack became reality over time. Hyaline became a kingdom for shifters, which Breach handed to Mazikeen at some point in time. She’s been queen of Hyaline for some time now.

    The images stop abruptly when Mazikeen the dragon bares her teeth against a still unknown threat, one that takes no shape as of yet. This is not done on purpose, for Leilan truly has no idea of what Gale is other than a shapeshifter, but the vagueness serves it’s purpose.

    ”Off you go now.” His voices croaks a little as if from disuse; with the last remnant of magic, he creates a careful teleport below them, which drops them a few inches above the lakeshore. The mage is done talking, and if they were to try and find him again, they’ll find a long-abandoned cave.
    while we froze
    down below

    @ Viszla @bolder
    Something happened in which he became that shaman of Brother Bear or something. Hope you like the show.
    Two things I know I can make: pretty kids, and people mad.

    Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)