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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening


    Wolfbane -- Year 210


    "She presses into him greedily, hungrily, and demands more. She does not know how to be gentle when she is with him—does not know how to quell the aching in her belly, the neediness in her touch. She would devour him whole. She would sacrifice herself completely. She would give and give and give—" --Tabytha, written by Laura

    wrynn, ramiel, kellyn, rhy.

    there's no religion that could save me

    no matter how long my knees are on the floor

    i'll pick up these broken pieces 'til i'm bleeding

    if that'll make it right

    He’s been perhaps the most distant of the after-lifers. Hiding in the Tundra, burrowing in the snow. He’s older now, no longer the child they would envision. Nothing too much has changed on the other hand; his bay coat glistens darkly, the ivory bark adorning his legs glimmer impressively, and when he is not horse, rabbit or rain, he visits them.

    Gail likes his visits, as do some of the others among the dead, ones only he could name now. Well, perhaps the others could; but that’s why he’s here now, gracing the high grasses of the meadow.

    Perhaps I should explain.

    Upon his last visit to the afterlife, Nihlus made a point of speaking with Gail. Well, he’s always speaking with her on his visits; but that time, he had a special request. "Ask them to meet me in the meadow on the night of the full moon,” He murmured to her, holding her gaze courageously. And though she spoke little to him, Nihlus trusted Gail. He trusted her.

    And so, he’s here now, gracing the high grasses of the meadow. The moonlight shimmers against his shadowy fur, glinting in his glowing blue eyes. The breeze caresses his forelock gently, and carries his scent on the wind. It shouldn’t be long now.

    rain manipulating, rabbit shifting son of Sinder & Noori

    Ramiel Wrynn Kellyn Rhy
    I wish I could feel it all for you, I wish I could do it all for you

    Nihlus may think he was the most distant of the ghost children, but Kellyn is pretty sure she has the title of came-closest-to-going-insane in the bag. But finally she has settled back into herself, back into reality, and back into society is coming.

    For the most part, her ghost-uncle has kept them away from her. The spirits that tugged her through time, in and out of her own mind; Sorenson had chased them off, protected her from them when they threatened to overwhelm her. But he had passed on one message, despite the frown that had tugged on his face and the glance he shot over his shoulder. The strawberry girl asked him why he was frowning. He said he wasn’t sure she was ready to immerse herself back into the ghost world, and what else would come of meeting them?

    Kellyn laughed at that. The mad laugh, the one that made Cagney smile and think of Elite, and made Brennen look at his granddaughter out of the corner of his vision and wonder if someday she would snap like her mother. Sorenson’s face looked more like Brennen’s, concerned and wary, but he told her where and when they were meeting.

    It’s dark, but the full moon offers plenty of light. She picks her way across the meadow, head low, wary. Of course, if the two of them were each less reclusive, they could have traveled together. Nihlus had been hiding in the snow, while Kellyn had been hiding in the caves she’d grown up in. But they have been hiding too well, even from each other. Still, the strawberry girl knows him on sight. The other youngsters – children, even – who had been in the underworld with her feature prominently in her nightmares. Their names and faces are permanently engraved in her memories.

    A quick glance confirms that she is the first to join him, and she picks a place to stand though she doesn’t quite settle. Despite what she told Sorenson, she isn’t sure her hold on reality is as strong as it once was. It’s not like time, which comes naturally to her. This is a thing that has a life of its own, a will that she must work to overcome. “You’re the one who called us?” Kellyn flicks her hazel eyes up and down the man who was so recently a boy. “Why?”

    Few words. But then, she has never used many.

    the girl who walks in time and talks to ghosts
    daughter of cagney and elite

    He feels like he has bent the rules.

    Wrynn had told him it wasn’t possible, wasn’t right to mess with the walls separating the living and dead. They have their own world; their heels belong firmly entrenched in the sand of that Other Beach. It had bothered him then, but he had begrudgingly agreed. He had hated leaving Gail as an anchor. They had moved her, yes, but not far enough. She was still stuck, though this time, she had traded the company of the clanking langoliers for her own memories. Maybe it was an improvement she could live with. Ramiel doubted it, though. They had failed Carnage, but he didn’t really care about the dark god – he wanted the black mare back for her own sake.

    So at first, he left the matter alone. His father and the Dale had needed him in a way that he had known was coming all along. Responsibilities at home had weighed him down, but all the while, he thought of that other place. He remembered the hazy shapes of the dead, remembered the way the salt air tasted just like it had in Beqanna proper. He remembered his grandmother’s disbelief at her own state of not being alive; his grandfather’s soft but sure voice as he consoled her. He thought of Gail still waiting, an ever-patient shadow on the shoreline. Eventually, he could no longer stand his pressing thoughts.

    The young king had slipped into his new pale skin. It was so easy now, so simple to be alive one moment and dead the next. The ghost moved through the cliffs that had given him safe passageway the first time. He emerged onto the beach, saw the walking dead and heard the spatter of the sea against the sand. It was possible to return, but could he make the trip in reverse with another at his side? Ramiel had found Gail and the girl, Graveling (the one who was not quite as transparent as the others; she was somewhat warmer, more vibrant – he knew she wasn’t meant for the place). The black woman who had been their holy grail regretfully parted with Graveling, sending her back to the land of the living. To Ramiel’s shock, she hadn’t tried to come with them. It had worked – Graveling was now (mostly) alive – but it made him wonder about the others, too.

    Who else can he give another chance to? And why not Gail?

    She had told him about the full moon rendezvous, at least. Perhaps the others would have the answers he was unable to learn just yet. He watched the sky every night as the moon grew, his golden gaze trained to the heavens. When it floated over the Dalean hills as a complete orb (like the single eye of some omniscient god) he made his way to the meadow.

    He moves now, invisible, as he weaves his way through the few bodies present this late in the night. The air is chilly but not cold – he shivers anyway. They’ve all survived so much in their short lives (a curiosity that they had been so young, as if their new blood had been advantageous – or even required - on their quest). Ramiel wonders how they’ve dealt with the fallout. He spots the boy’s (man’s, now) glowing blue eyes first, remembering the way they darted around in hopes of spotting a deceased relative on the beach. Once he was steps away from them, the grey came back to visibility slowly and not all the way. Knowing the extent of his abilities as a ghost, he found himself almost more comfortable as one these days.

    “Hello,” he says to the brown man and the red woman. He smiles because it’s a simple greeting – too simple, when they can bypass it for more meaty conversation. There’s a bond that he feels towards the other four, and though they hadn’t really spoken along Carnage’s mad journey, he already feels closer to them than most. He thinks Kellyn must not feel the same by her question. That, or she’s hesitant to admit it. He waits for Nihlus to answer her (because they might be bonded, but that doesn’t explain the exact purpose of this meeting, if there is one) and the others to show up before adding to the conversation. If it’s only a meeting of the minds, he will share whatever knowledge he can with them. “ I brought Gail’s daughter back. It’s possible to,” he says, vaguely knowing they will understand what he means. He wishes she was here with them now. The former dead girl would have more insight than any of them, surely.

    r a m i e l

    what a day to begin again


    and when i breathed

    my breath was lightning

    Leaving Gail behind didn’t bother her. Gail never really wanted to live. She wanted to die at the end of the world, but she hadn’t for them. And so Rhy had continued to live, for Gail. Because Gail gave something up for them, and it would be a waste to throw it away. Nor was she bothered by the sound of the langoliers, though it still haunts her dreams now and again, in the rare moments where the Jungle is mostly quiet. She didn’t even mind the monsters that she fought and killed. The first things she had ever killed. They do not haunt her. No, in some way they made her more alive than ever. Allowed her, for once, to be her. Because she may lead a peace caste, may be against war, but in the end, she is deadly.

    What had gotten to Rhy was finding her parents. They were supposed to be alive, off in some other land enjoying one another’s company. They were supposed to come back one day. But instead, they had been in the afterlife. They were gone. And she had to be the one to tell her sister. It had taken her some time to find the courage for that conversation, and when they finally spoke, the words spilled out in a waterfall and something between them finally clicked. And if nothing else, Rhy finally got to know what it’s like to have a sister. Really, truly have one.

    They returned to the afterlife to see their parents, and it was Riagan who gave her the message. She comes, though she is not as young as the others. She was not old, but they had been children in that quest. And she cannot imagine what it had done to them. She does not come as a ghost, though she has become comfortable in that second skin. She wears it as often as she wears the electric sparks on her skin.

    She comes in the air this time, wings made of solidified electric at her sides, beating against the night sky that is lit both by the moon and her wings. When she had tumbled out of the sky, from one beach to the other, she had discovered that she could solidify electric, could surf through the air on it. Otherwise she would have survived the end of the world afterlife only to hurtle to her death in the real word.

    There aren’t many horses out this evening, and she can see a small group gathering. She descending, guessing it must be them, though she cannot make out the details from this far above. When she lands, some distance away from the group, she knows it is them. And she makes her way over, though everything she might have asked has already been said. She wants to know why they have been called together. As best as she can, she has moved on. She lives to serve the Jungle again with a few extra skills, and she isn’t sure she wants to dreg up this experience.

    Though she does note Ramiel and his ghost form, and she nods just slightly in his direction. He, more than anyone, could understand what it was like to be both alive and dead. Something she would always contend with. And sometimes, she wondered why she so often preferred being dead.


    the electric lioness of riagan and rayelle


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