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  • 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

    [open]  skin to bone, steel to rust.
    I watch as the mare tilts her head, shielding herself from the fish with her curling dark horns. They flop to the ground, gasping for air as their silvery tails flick uselessly at the empty air. How strange this must be for them, I think, to have been plucked from their watery home and hurled through the sky. The rich pink of their gasping gills reminds me for a moment of coral, and the empathy I feel is accompanied with melancholy.

    She speaks to me then, the Queen, and I turn my bright eyes up to hers. A quiet breath of relief leaves me, grateful that she is not disturbed by my presence. Nothing about the frost-glittering monarch indicates that she might pursue me below the water, but I know better than to trust appearances. There is a bottom to this lake, after all.

    “I don’t mean to stay long,” I repeat, in case she’d not heard and thinks I might stay overlong. “Just till spring, if that’s alright?”

    I offer her a tentative smile, one that breaks only as the fish are flung back into the water and my sapphire eyes turn to watch them disappear beneath the surface. Something disturbs the water near me, and I though the resurfaced otter highlights my clear lack of belonging, I think that it had been kind to return the fish to the water.

    Or perhaps he had eaten them, says a less nereid part of me, perhaps not all company is good company. It is a very quiet part, easily drowned out by the soft clatter of pearls as I tilt my head in a submerged shrug.

    “It is beautiful here in the summer.” I reply. “Winter leaves a lot to be desired though” I remember the Queen, and add: “in the loch, anyway. I’m sure that, um, white stuff is very nice to walk on. It’s pretty. ”

    @ Set @ Kreed

    The life suffocating from the aquatic creatures thrashing about the frozen earth hardly grasps my attention, let alone a feeling.  I can't help but sense it tugs at the other finned creature just the slightest, though not enough for them to act upon it.  This observation causes my head to tilt even though my expression is impassive.

    The soft words of Orieta bring my attention back and I contemplate all she says silently.  The winter wind was beginning to strengthen, sending a chill up my spine.

    By magic, I am sure, the scaled fish are drug back into their watery home.  My silver eyes fall to watch as they twirl momentarily beneath the hyaline surface trying to regain their vitality.  I wonder what it must feel like being on the verge of death and suddenly living again just as you were.

    Soon the brown creature returns with more questions direct at the trapped water creature, along with hardly an answer to my own query. I am certain there are more tricks up the creatures pelted sleeves, but I haven't the time to find out as I have my rounds to make still.

    My silver brown body shifts as my horned skull turns to look out across the terrain.  I only hear the tail end of the nereids answer and nod at her response.  "It is not a land for the faint of heart that is for certain," a minute pause follows before I add in a monotone voice, "I would say feel free to come or go as you please Orienta, but it seems that choice is not yours... yet.  So, take your leave when you are able.  While trapped here you are under my protection."  My blood-stained face then turns back to view the pair again before settling on the magician, "Let me know if the trickster here becomes a nuisance."  There is only the faintest glint of satire in my silver gaze as I begin to draw myself away from the open flat that surrounds the loch.


    Crown of Bone and Thorn
    //Fear Illusionism-Trait Immunity-Goat Mimicry\\
    Goat Mimicry Characteristics- Goat hair, Goat horns, Cloven hooves 
    *Illusions intensity is up to player*
    -Immune to mental traits-
    It is perhaps considered by some cruel to wield the fish, living creatures, as (albeit harmless) weapons, but he does not see it as such. Not any longer, at least. When Beqanna and her fairies had shifted everyone’s magic, he’d suddenly found himself more in tune with living creatures, even more so than when he had been when shapeshifting was the only trick up his metaphorical sleeve. At first it had been overwhelming and he had lost control, drowning in a cacophony of thoughts and hopes and heartbeats. He’d left Beqanna for some time then. Fled, perhaps, being a more proper term, because even the more evolved, the changed, the different - all that resembled an animal in one way or another - had clamored and vied for his attention, threatening to drive him to madness. And maybe he had. Gone mad, that is.

    He'd learned to remaster the heavy, living, pulsing magic within him; learned to extricate himself - his essence - from the morass, and returned.

    He watches the goat-mare leave with an odd half smile, whiskers twitching once and then again. A rather uninteresting creature, that one, despite her outward appearances. Though he can empathize with the weight of the crown that sits atop her head and all the responsibilities that come with it, he finds her cold formality distasteful and her exit discourteous to her guests. No matter he’d just thrown two fish at her. He abruptly turns back to Orieta.

    “Bit rude, that one. I could help you, I think,” he says, turning in the water to scan the banks with a thoughtful expression. “It is lovely here, even in the winter,” he makes easy conversation as he probes at the sides of the lake with small threads of magic, searching. “I was born here, a long time ago.” He’s still holding on to the otter's form, his squeaks and chatters made understandable even to those who are unable to talk with the lesser animals. There. At the southern edge of the lake, he finds what he is looking for. The dry seasonal creek, where usually the Chamber’s lake, fed by the frigid northern waters and mountain snowmelt, drains south, toward what he thinks is now the Dale. His tongue slips between his teeth in concentration as he pushes at the hard-packed bed, simultaneously opening his “net” wider to channel more energy from nearby burrowing creatures.

    It’s a rare moment, this time and effort he’s taking, expending power on someone outside of his family, for something that helps rather than harms. He does not further examine the protective feelings the shy, seemingly innocent, girl elicits in him, or why, only continues his work, treading the cold lakewater and chittering away. “Have you ever been on land? Where are you from?” he asks, rather than taking from her what he can.

    Just as I have come to expect in my handful of years, an offer of aid soon follows my admission of helplessness. My few encounters with those on land had all come about from my own foolishness and the subsequent need to beckon over a stranger to keep an eye out while I dozed or give me a push toward the sea.

    The horned queen is not my usual target for such aid requests, and nor was the brawny black stallion. Nevertheless, permission to stay is accompanied by the promise that I will be safe, even from this trickster.

    I smile with relief as the queen turns away from water, and only as she continues away do I realize that she means to leave me with the shifter. Her confidence in him reassures me, a sentiment that remains even as he calls the queen ‘rude’, at which I flick one pale ear to ensure she has not heard.

    I forget my concern though, at the possibility that he might be able to help me. My blue eyes widen, but he does not immediately elaborate on how, exactly, he means to do that. The magic he wields is unseen, and without my mother’s ability to understand the chatter of aquatic life, I remain unaware of the changes he is already undertaking at the same channel I’d used to enter the Chamber’s lake.

    “Only just to enjoy the sun.” I admit, “Which there was much more of along the coast. I grew up near the mouth of the River, in the kelp beds. I’ve lived in the Dale for a while; there’s a nice lake there and it doesn’t get nearly this cold in the winter.” I glance down in the water, where the pale length of my tail and the blue-violet and gold fins are just barely visible.

    “I think I might have the ability to grow legs, but I’ve never learned.” There was nothing worth seeing on land, I had been told. There was no point in learning to walk. I do not think my mother had anticipated that I might become stranded like this, so as I have tried to shift these last months I have done it with no little frustration at her for never teaching me. She’d not anticipated me leaving her side either; we were nereids. I might have reached adulthood, with nearly a half-decade of lived experience, but we are social creatures that do not leave our kind.

    “Were you born as an otter?” I ask, imagining an even smaller iteration of the darling little creature chittering beside me. It’s difficult to do, but I smile warmly at the image, grateful for the long-missed company and intrigued by the possibility that he might be able to help me. 

    @ Set

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