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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

    [private]  lost in the labyrinth of my mind, jack in the box
    i'll be getting over you my whole life -
    She is not entirely sure why she had decided to go into the forest, but she was beginning to regret it.

    She would not describe herself as particularly adventuresome; she preferred to keep the parts of the world that she found familiar, having grown up timid and shy in nature. But the spring sunshine had been invigorating, and the way the sunlight had streamed through the trees and created a dappled effect of shadows and light across the ground had looked so lovely that she could not help but to follow it.

    Walking with a doe-eyed kind of wonder she had tilted her head up to look at the bright blue sky that peaked through the tops of the trees, marveling at how it looked as though the trees could touch the clouds but knowing full well they could not. On the ground she admired the variety of wildflowers that were blossoming, adding splashes of color to the earthen tones that filled the forest. 

    She hadn’t noticed when the well-worn path she had been following had turned into more of a deer path, not until branches began to dig at her skin and snagged on her mane, leaving black tendrils stuck to them. She could feel the anxiety that began to constrict in her chest, and when the branches of trees began to turn into the sharp barbs of an overgrown briar patch, she knew that her only way out was to turn around.

    It is a tight spot where she finds herself, and as she tries to twist herself around the briars latch onto her tail, her mane, and a particularly cruel vine finds itself wrapped around her front leg. Somehow she has managed to become entangled, and though she wills herself not to panic she cannot hide the fear in her high, clear voice when she calls out desperately, “is there anyone that can hear me? Hello?”
    s h e e r

    @Jack in the Box
    At the break of dawn, the sun emerges over the horizon, casting its gentle glow upon the hillside. Jack awakens from his slumber, immediately sensing that something is amiss. He stifles a yawn and stretches his body, being careful not to disturb Aurora and their twins who are still peacefully asleep. With a sense of unease, he departs from their dwelling and makes his way towards the lake to quench his morning thirst.

    As he bends down to drink from the tranquil waters, he catches sight of his reflection. To his astonishment, two large, spiral horns protrude from the center of his head, nestled between his ears. His skin is adorned with scales once again. Jack's ears droop in resignation, knowing that this transformation is the mischievous work of the fairies, who seem to harbor a grudge against him. He turns his gaze towards his beloved family and chooses to walk in the opposite direction, not wanting them to witness his altered appearance. It pains him to be the subject of the fairies' ridicule, but he realizes there is little he can do to change his predicament. Perhaps he shouldn't have lost his temper with them during his time at the Mountain, but how could he have remained silent when they covered his body with scales, stripping away his dark, lustrous bay coat?

    Navigating through the rocky terrain and towering pine trees, Jack makes his way towards the Meadow. He walks for what feels like an eternity, with the sun now high in the sky, accompanied by the melodious songs of birds and the stirring of awakened animals. The serene surroundings bring him a sense of solace as the dense, dark green pines gradually give way to lighter green oaks and birch trees. However, his tranquility is interrupted by the desperate cries for help that reach his ears.

    Jack maneuvers through the entwined vines and thorny bushes, determined to locate the distressed mare. As he opens his mouth to inquire about her predicament, only a hoarse squeak escapes his lips. He rolls his eyes in exasperation at the fairies' mischief and approaches the mare with a calm demeanor, extending his nose gently to reassure her that she will be alright.

    With caution, he circles around her to assess her injuries. Her chest is stained with blood, and her mane and tail are entangled with black thorns. Jack lowers his head to locate the vine that has ensnared her front leg. Taking care not to entangle himself in the same predicament.

    He rises to his feet, a smile forming on his face as he observes the mare's panicked state, attempting to identify any other factors contributing to her entanglement.
    i'll be getting over you my whole life -
    She thinks she can hear the muffled footsteps of someone approaching, and she wills her panicked heartbeat to slow, and quiets her own quickened breath to better listen. Focusing, she is able to pick up on his thoughts as he draws nearer, and she can feel relief flood clear to her bones at the realization that it is someone that can, hopefully, help her. But when he finally comes into view through the thick branches of trees and brush, she feels her heart lurch again. Horns twist from his head, and where a coat should have been are only scales.

    Demon, she thinks to herself, but she swallows her fear away.

    She is not entirely unfamiliar with dark things; her father could control darkness, could cover a land in shadow when he felt like it, or craft all sorts of creatures from it. That was not a side of him that Sheer often saw, but rather stories from his youth that she had been told. To come face to face with what she thinks might be a monster was entirely different than hearing a story about it.

    Reflexively she grows tense, watching uneasily as he continues to step closer. He does not say anything — she notices though that he tries — but a quick, fleeting look inside of his mind tells her that he is not actively considering harming her. She did not much care for reading minds; not the way her grandmother did, how Starsin had loved to use it as a weapon, pocketing away secrets for later use. To her reading minds always felt like she was intruding, and so after she assures herself that he is not going to use her predicament against her she averts her gaze elsewhere, as if he might have felt her listening to his thoughts even though they never did.

    “Thank you for coming,” she tells him, her voice soft and still uncertain. His demonic appearance was a bit unsettling, and it contradicted his benign thoughts and actions, and so she was not entirely sure how to take him. Unwilling to question it right now, though, she tries once more to step forward, only for the thorns to pull tighter at her mane. “Do you think you could maybe just…get my mane untangled?” She hopes that if she could only move her head better she could gain better leverage to free the rest of herself.
    s h e e r

    @Jack in the Box
    The once magnificent dark stallion, now disfigured by the enchantment of the fairies, gazes tenderly at the frightened mare, attempting to convey that he means no harm despite his monstrous appearance. His terrifying visage sends shivers down the mare's spine, a stark contrast to his heartfelt desire to regain his former beauty and return to his family without instilling fear in them.

    He attempts to respond to her gentle words with a reassuring nod, but only trembling breaths and soft whimpers escape his scaled throat. Frustration flickers in his eyes as he longs to speak but finds himself unable to articulate his thoughts. It seems that the fairies are not on his side at this moment.

    Approaching the thorns ensnaring the mare, he carefully assesses the best approach to free her from their grasp. With a determined effort, he grasps the vines between his jaws, being mindful not to cause her any harm, and pulls them away from her mane, breaking a few of the stubborn tendrils as she also lends her strength to the task.

    Once the mare is finally liberated, he gazes at her, his head tilted slightly as if to ask, "Are you free now?"
    i'll be getting over you my whole life -
    She can sense his frustration, and another quick glance into his mind tells her that he can speak, but that something is inhibiting him from doing so. There is the fleeting thought of ‘fairies ‘ that she just barely grabs hold of, but she isn’t sure what to make of it. She does not have any kind of experience with the fairies, or even the magic of Beqanna in general, other than what she had been born with. She is only vaguely aware of the idea of going to the mountain with requests, but she did not know how it worked, or that the fairies sometimes toyed with those who made the trek.

    All she needed to know — and exactly what she had gathered — is that he is here to help, and not take advantage of her in her current state.

    She goes still as he begins to unravel her hair from the mess of briars, as she can feel more of herself become free she is able to twist her head, breaking off long threads of mane in the process. With her head no longer trapped in such an awkward position she is able to look down to see exactly how to maneuver to get herself out of the vine that had been wrapped around her leg, and finally at long last she is able to stumble away from the wretched trap of brush.

    Her eyes go to his, reflecting back the relief that also escapes her on a sigh. “Thank you for helping me. I shouldn’t have been out all this way, I don’t know what I was thinking. My name is Sheer, by the way.” Even though he cannot speak she did not think it was right for him to not at least know the name of the stranger he had so kindly helped.
    s h e e r

    @Jack in the Box
    Jack looks over to her and the brambles that held her hostage, for however long before he got there. He lowers his head, nipping any loops in half, trying to prevent anymore snares.

    He hopes that he soon can speak again and finally get his lush coat back, the one that Aurora had come to love and that the twins know him by. He’s tired of being the fairies toy. He looks to Sheer as she stands still so he can ensure she is no longer trapped. With a yank of her head and neck, he hears a rip of a chunk of mane ripping from her crest. He looks at her sadly, feeling bad that her beautiful mane was tainted. He holds the vines of thorns down to allow her to step out and free herself from the prickly patch.

    He looks to her, trying to say his name, but again, he is mute. “I’m Jack,” he mouths, but unsure she would understand him. He reaches his nose out to her in response to her thanking him.

    With a slight swish of his tail, he watches her walk off into the distance as he looks to himself, seeing the blood dripping from his legs. He makes his way back towards the Mountain, limping to show all efforts to free his new friend.


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