• 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

    Thread Rating:
    • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    [open]  I would hold on for all it's worth

    Not even he could say what had roused him from his hazy existence. The earthquakes hadn’t done it, or the floods, the tornado, the eclipse, or any number of natural or chaotic-character-caused disasters that had rattled this world since the moment of his birth.

    Okay - that makes it sound like he had caused any or all of those disasters which - for the record - he hadn’t even caused a single one of them. His disasters were more of the personal variety and even then they were relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

    Whatever the triggering event had been, though, Clopin had crawled his way out of hazy obscurity and was now here. Alive and awake and... relatively interested in re-integrating himself into the world at large. He wouldn't say he was particularly ambitious about doing so - there were no fantastic dreams about becoming king or anything like that. There was not even any intention of swooping into some land and causing political unrest - unless things got really, really boring. He just wanted something new. The absolute vagueness about that desire intrigued him. He would not know until it happened whether he was satisfied with the new thing being something small or something large - for now, the only thing that mattered was that it was different.

    There was a general sense that his talents were wasted just harassing his family from time to time and it was time to see what the generations were up to now.

    Like any good recluse, Clopin does not just waltz right into the thick of it and try to make a friend with the first horse he sees. He does some reconnaissance first. As a bronze eagle, because even if he's spying he might as well do so in style. In this form Clopin spends a few days soaring around Beqanna. Watching the horses move around in their little lives, being absolutely fascinated by the utter ridiculousness of the coat colours that existed - any and every shade he could ever think of! He was old enough to remember when the population had been various shades of brown, white, and black. And that was about it. It had been shocking to see his first purple horse, or to see the small flecks of colour that decorated his sister’s (and his own) face, but beneath the boughs of one of the oak trees stood a vibrant, galaxy-painted mare and another with flames dancing on the top of their horns walked on by as though this were an every day occurrence.

    And, apparently it was.

    When Clopin needed a break from spying he would explore. Some lands were familiar, which he appreciated, and others were interesting and new. He spent some time harassing the less-pretty eagles roosting in the mountains, where they were preparing for the coming of spring. One awkward moment occurred where he seemed to be coming in the middle of a mated pair - and he is forced to teleport out of there before he is forced to either choose between them or become a third in their couple.

    Without caring where he appears on the other side of the teleport, just so long as it gets him away from the bickering couple, Clopin finds himself flying head-first into a stony ruin. The shock of the impact sends him falling to the earth, landing in the snow and sending a small cloud of flakes up into the afternoon air. He is too stunned to do anything but lay there, wings spread and still in his bronze eagle form, and stare with blurry brown eyes up at the offending structure.

    1/2 for an autoquest

    and also open for anyone to reply to!
    ‘Magic just happens’, the gray stallion had said, ‘You get used to it.’

    I’d scoffed when I’d heard it, as dubious as I was terrified by the thought. Magic had limits, I'd thought. Everyone knew it had limits. It was bound by bloodlines, by rules. It was predictable.

    Yet as the months of my time here in Beqanna stretched on, I began to realize what he had meant.

    There were no rules for magic here.

    Some of the residents here lived in the actual sky, on solid floating clouds. Some had antlers as wide as I was long, and they glowed. Some could manipulate health, or summon fire, or turn into horrific monstrosities in the shadows.

    Magic just happens, and it has made me cautious. I try each morning to Drift back home, and avoid others when I can.

    The Ruins are a good place for that - something about the place tends to ward others off in the same eerie way the heart of the Forest does. Expecting silence as I make my way south along an animal trail, I am startled by the sound of impact nearby.

    Lifting my head quickly, I see the shape of a large tawny bird falling toward the ground. A cloud of glittering snow highlights its point of impact, and I pick my way carefully through the shallow snow on legs the same colorless shade.

    The bird - an eagle - is lying on its back. Its chest rises and falls, and the brown eyes are open and bright. Not dead then.

    “You’ve got to be the worst flyer I’ve ever seen,” I tell the eagle with a relieved smile, some of the tension falling from my shoulders. I dare not get closer, not with that wicked beak and the potential for savagery in injured animals, but there’s no scent of blood, no bones at odd angles.


    “Well that’s not very nice.” Without moving from his sprawled out spot, Clopin turns his head to the side to regard the mare that’s decided to come over and insult him. She’s smiling, which is nice, and is a much prettier colour than some of the others he’s seen around but it’s still so wild to him that there could be an orange horse around at all. You got used to the pink ones, and the green ones, and that was basically all there was for a while until - well until who knows what happened. A rainbow exploded all over Beqanna or something, just another in a long line of disasters.

    That tattoo is interesting - but his mind circles back to the fact that he should be insulted and also, he hurts.

    “And to be fair - I was actually teleporting. So if you want to be rude and accurate - you can tell me I’m the worst teleporter you’ve ever seen.”

    He gets up then. He intends to hop to his talons in a fluttering display but what actually happens is more of an awkward, rolling and flailing moment as he uses his large bronze wings to stabilize himself. His head spins but his ego feels better once he is standing. There is every intention to turn back into a horse at that very moment, all the better to look this mare in the eye, but there is no response from his magic at all. He frowns (or as best as he can frown when he’s got a beak).

    A lot in his life, just by the nature of things and his ability in particular, didn’t make sense. And Clopin had gotten pretty good at just accepting, and embracing that fact. But really - if nothing else, he was actually a horse so wouldn’t it make more sense to have changed back immediately and not be able to do anything else?

    Clopin’s been around for a very long time - it isn’t often his abilities fail him. But every once in a while there is an entertaining quirk. That must be what this is - not to mention he hit that… well whatever that was that he hit, he hit it pretty hard. He looks down at his feathered body and then puffs out those feathers when he looks back up at the mare. “Hm. And a pretty bad shapeshifter too, while we’re at it.”

    The bird answers me, and I gasp. If I had the ability to Drift, I surely would have in that moment, anything I could do to get as far away as possible from a bird that could talk.

    Despite all the other magic, I’d not yet run into any cursed. I had even begun to hope that they did not exist here in this new world. They are monsters, after all, terrible and bloodthirsty and…very bad flyers?

    That didn’t seem quite right.

    I know my expression has changed as quickly as my emotions: concerned, relieved, shocked, and now: wary intrigue. I have never been good at hiding what I am feeling; years of lessons at it had made me no better at the skill than I am at Drifting. I had always been more focused on other, more interesting things.

    Things like tales about curses, and how they were punishments for fiends incapable of speaking the truth, all of them also guilty of the most wicked deeds. I’d always imagined them as something like a bear or maybe even a grimclaw, and to see this (admittedly impressive but still just a) bird is not what I expected.

    Equally unexpected is the scolding for not being nice. Nice? None of the stories I’d heard mentioned that the cursed cared about niceties. In fact, I didn’t think they were supposed to talk at all. It is not cursed, I realize suddenly. This is more magic, a kind of magic I don’t know, one that gives animals the ability to speak and apparently to teleport.

    I had been rather rude, I realize.

    “You actually aren’t the worst teleporter I’ve ever seen,” I answer truthfully, knowing that I’m flushed with embarrassment on multiple levels. “But I am sorry. For being rude, I mean. I just thought you were a bird.” I’d thought he wouldn’t understand me, goes unsaid

    I watch as the bird struggles to rise, balancing awkwardly on its large bronze wings, and then glance quickly away, remembering that I’d just apologized for being rude and that staring was only going to compound that first impression.

    “A bad…what?” I ask when I look back, trying to understand as a frown obscures the bring of green around my amber eyes. He has more magic? The bright colors of the strangers I’ve come across had been odd enough, and it hasn’t ever  occurred to me that a being might change themselves entirely. “Like you can change yourself into something else?” What does the bird become? A rock? A thought?

    Peraps nothing, currently, I realize. Just a bird. Is he as bad a shapeshifter as I am a Drifter? 

    “I’m Nizhonii, by the way.”  As soon as I say it, I realize that it’s no longer true. In a world where my home does not exist, it feels somehow wrong to mention it. “Nee. You can call me Nee.”


    The expressions that pass across the mare’s face are so incredibly entertaining that Clopin rather forgets his pain and the fact that he’s quite frustrated at the moment. He wished he had been paying more attention when she did that little gasp after he first spoke. But unfortunately it didn’t really filter through his brain until it was too late to respond properly - that’s just how it all goes, though.

    His entertainment does not fade, however, and even his small little bird eyes are bright with it as she responds. He thinks she’s telling the truth about him not being the worst teleporter - and he wants to ask more about that - but then she apologizes and he laughs. It’s not a cruel sound, at least he does not intend it to be. But it is loud - Clopin never was one for quiet chuckles if he could help it.

    She seems surprised by him being a shapeshifter - and this is delightfully endearing. Where had she crawled out from, where she didn’t know such a thing - which maybe once was interesting - was now about as common place as seeing someone with wings?

    “I am a horse, believe it or not.” He opts to be honest - conducting some great tale felt like far too much effort at the moment. “I just can’t quite prove it to you right now.” He stretches out his wings, testing them, before beating them and bringing himself up high enough to land on a nearby ledge helpfully provided by these weird ruins. Now at least they could look at each other more easily.

    His eagle head tilts to the side as he regards her - voice bright with a teasing smile. “I’m Clopin though. It’s nice to meet you - Nee - even if you have a bad habit of berating birds.”

    Where I had come from, Magic was used for Seeing and Drifting. It followed rules, was summoned by precise rituals, and could do nothing at all like the wonders that I have witnessed here in Beqanna. Wrapping my head around the myriad of tricks and traits possessed by the natives and residents of this new world has been the most fascinating experience of my short life, and the large bronze eagle is the most recent captivator of my interest. My ears flick forward at the sound of the bird’s laugh, and then away at the suddenly silent woods around us.

    The real birds, reminded of an eagle’s presence, had fallen silent, leaving only the sound of leaves and grass rustling in the warm breeze as it passes through the Ruins. The screech of a cicada sounds eerily loudly in an elm to my right, the ‘all clear’ to the world around us, and my attention refocuses on the bright-eyed eagle that flaps onto a higher perch and the birdsong resumes.

    A horse, he replies, and I nod.

    I know that Magic is most often attached to horses in Beqanna, the way it had been to wolves and horses in my world. He can shift into a bird, he can Drift, his name is Clopin, and I’ve already started off on the wrong hoof by being rude.

    But he’s not really upset, his tone implies, and he said it was nice to meet me. Having not done anything especially nice and that I should correct that, what instead comes out is: “How bad are you really at Dr- at Teleporting?” Feeling the lack of tact even as I say it, I carry on quickly with: “ I mean, can you teach me? I can, no - I did, once. I think I could do it again, but…”

    Clopin can wear the shape of a bird or a horse, yet he is stuck in this shape. And he can Drift, yet he’d landed on a collision course. Magic just happens, Lautner had said, but perhaps it is not always happening to everyone all at once.


    The sparkle that displays Clopin’s entertainment shines bright as Nee speaks again, asking about - how bad he was at teleporting (which makes his hooked beak part in a sharp smile) and then quickly continuing on to ask if he could teach her. Well wasn’t that interesting? No one had asked Clopin to teach them anything before. It wasn’t exactly something he would normally do. Unless it was to teach bad words to someone too young to know them or something equally pointless yet hilarious.

    Besides, it might be fun to try it for a little bit - the whole teaching thing. Surely there will be a lark to uncover in there somewhere.

    The bronze eagle ruffles his feathers just a little, giving a perfectly timed pause (as though he were giving it some consideration) and nods. “Well, I am… usually passable at it. I think I could teach you. I learned with my sister… which is kind of like teaching someone?” Who really taught who, though? The memory for their early days has faded into the cotton-candy-spider-webbing of his mind, blurred by time and indifference. If he needed a memory he could simply falsify one that suited the occasion.

    Like right now, he enjoyed the idea of being helpful so it suited him to imagine a past where he had already taught someone and therefore knew how to do it.

    He was not entirely sure how he was going to do that but… well he did not need to figure that out right this second.

    “It may have to wait until I am a horse again but we can certainly try.” That sounded reasonable, right? And his interest is not feigned when he asks. “How did it go last time?”


    Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)