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  • Beqanna


    Reave -- Year 219


    "She did not wake up one day healed, she was simply moving and she realized that somewhere along the way grief had stopped stabbing her every motion. It’s a strange feeling. She is lighter and heavier at once. She doesn’t know what to do with the time that’s opened before her, what to do without wounds to claw open." --Cordis, written by Cassi

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    [open]  just running from the demons in your mind
    The wolf’s pace increases when the trail becomes visible to the naked eye, relying less on the keen sense of smell that has guided him this far.

    Early morning sunlight illuminates the grassy meadow, turning the dew-heavy meadow grass into a glistening sea. The path his quarry has taken is a dark slash through the glittering silver grass. Malik follows as quickly as he can, grateful for the clawed feet at the end of his black legs and the traction they give him on the damp footing as he increases speed. Relying less now on his nose than he had before, the black wolf’s tongue lolls freely between sharp white teeth as his trot becomes a steady lope.

    He’d caught the scent just before dawn. Recognizing it instantly, Malik had found himself shifting shapes without even consciously thinking about it. The horse form in which he felt most at home had quickly become smaller - and more dangerous as well. The dark-haired wolf that Malik had become lowered itself to the ground, lips raised in a snarl even as he’d turned his head to better catch the fading scent in the air.

    It has grown stronger as he left the familiar areas of the Pampas and traveled deeper into the forest, and then the riverlands. Now he lopes alongside the sparkling water, following the trail that has become a set of hoofprints.

    And then the trail vanishes.

    Malik skids to a stop. Turning, he doubles back to where he had last seen the hoofprints, his pointed head low to the ground. There - just before the river bends - the trail ends. His quarry had been there, traveling the same trail he had been, and then simply vanished.

    In a less magical world, Malik might have remained hopeful. But in Beqanna? His quarry might have spread wings and flown away, shrunk to the size of a bee, or simply ceased existing in this place only to arrive in another. As this is not the first time he’s lost this quarry, he does not raise his head in a plaintive howl as he had many times before. Instead, he curses his own lack of speed, and turns away.

    By the time he returns to the Pampas, he is a horse again, and it is midmorning. Malik ambles along a path well-used by the residents of the quiet land, and hopes to find someone - or something - to distract himself from a failed hunt.
    I L I A N A

    She is tired of hunting these same grasslands.
    She is tired of stalking these same shores.

    There is a selfish part of her that wants to blame her mother, since she is the leader of this desolate place. But that is a childish thought, and not only that, but an entirely baseless one. She knows Ryatah would have preferred to still be in Hyaline, if it hadn't been destroyed. None of them had come here by choice. And maybe that is where most of Iliana’s frustration is born from — she has no choice but to be here.

    There is no other kingdom.
    There is hardly any other land at all.

    She longed for the time when she had thought Hyaline was beginning to feel small. When she had decided she was ready to explore the other mountaintops and treelines, when the various coasts called to her and there was truly a whole world waiting for her.

    Now there is grass, and water, and more water, and resentment.

    This morning she finds herself stalking through the meadow grass in her familiar panther form, the sunlight catching the rose-gold markings that laced across her black fur. The constant irritation that now seemed to be her closest companion felt lesser in this form, the more predatory instincts taking its place. Her rose-gold eyes slowly scanned her surroundings as she slank through the territory undisturbed, not exactly sure what she is searching for. She is not really after prey today; at least, not to eat.

    Because now her eyes had locked on a familiar target up ahead, halting her movements briefly to better judge the path the dark stallion was taking. Iliana has mostly kept to herself over the past several months, but she could not deny that seeing the shapeshifter from Hyaline around the Pampas occasionally had at least eased some of her discontent about the state of the world.

    While she is pretty sure he had not seen her yet, she knows that she will not be able to trail him for long without going undetected, and so she hastens her stride as much as she can without raising alarm. Once she is several paces behind she surges forward, gathering her hindquarters to launch herself in a leap that lands herself alongside him with a flourish. “Good morning, Malik,” she purrs the emphasis on his name, her white teeth glinting in a brief smile. A little reluctantly, she shifts into her own equine form to match his. “Where are you off to on this fine morning?”
    -- the shadow is mine, and so is the valley

    @Malik i took a sleeping pill and then wrote this so im sorry if it doesnt make sense
    The cool wind is in her favor, and Malik relies on his sharp bicolored eyes to identify the dark shape that moves toward him. Even wilted by the cold, the pampas grass provides more than adequate cover. Malik slows his pace, and his dark ears flick backward to pinpoint the approacher so that he can turn his head toward them just as they draw near.

    Having hoped for a distraction, his expression is open and curious as he meets the dark mare’s eyes. Recognizing her, his smile widens further still.

    “Iliana.” She is a familiar part of the Pampas, though Malik realizes he cannot recall the last time they’d spoken. She asks where he is off too, and he finds that “Returning from a failed hunt,” comes both quickly and truthfully to his lips. He hopes for empathy from his fellow predator, to not probe at his failure.

    He also has enough sisters to know not to place too much faith in hope, so he turns the question back to Iliana.
    “And you? Any grand plans this morning?”

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