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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Assailant -- Year 226

    QOTY

    "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]  a war inside my head
    #1
    my crown is in my heart
    Oaks’ energy has been properly drained ever since his last encounter with Zain.

    It has puzzled him, the odd exhaustion he had borne since that day on the Pangean beach. It had been a rather dismal sort of event, with grayish clouds casting gloom over the coppery canyons of the territory while the ocean waves had been equally pallid. Zain had been his usual self, eerie and decrepit and sinister in spite of their fairly tame conversation, lackluster and plain in its course. Until of course the larger stallion had parted ways with him, now playing host to an unknown disease that Oaks had created with his unfortunate power. The image of the creature they had observed (so malformed and disfigured by its miserable affliction – the inspiration behind his grim magic’s creation of the festering pustules and diseased lesions within his friend’s major organs) still burns in his mind’s eye even now as he wanders toward the greener expanse of the Meadow.

    Another pitiable image to add to his collection of a litany of others, animals and plants alike, whose lives ended in misfortune.

    Oaks has not made a habit of leaving Pangea, largely for fear that his curse might reappear at any moment to steal the life of someone or something around him. But the desert air had been too harsh in his lungs since that encounter; his feet have felt heavy, his shoulders have ached. He presumes himself to be afflicted by some sort of illness, all the while unaware that his energy has been sapped by the very mutation in his veins, that touch of oddity inherited from his father and passed on by the faeries. Creating that new disease had required a heavy debt of energy, an unseen swell of effort despite his being wholly ignorant of the magic’s actions and unaware that it had ultimately killed his only friend.

    Zain had wandered off, appearing just as well as a man like him could despite playing host to the fast-acting killer that the oblivious reaper had brought to life inside him.

    Equally, Oaks now pays the price for his actions, even if they had not been intentional or even known.

    As he looks upon the Meadow now, drawing a deep breath of the wetter, heavier air here, he can still feel the ache in his bones. His ribs protest the expansion, one of his shoulders pops uncomfortably. The different clime does not seem an immediate solution to the waning strength within him, but he lingers all the same. His ghostly wings droop a bit at his sides – if corporeal, their primary feathers would be trailing the ground – and his head hangs a bit lower than usual, especially as he comes to stand beneath the naked arms of the tree he and his tutor had encountered before. Its once-beautiful blooms have not returned this season, even in the flush of summer, and it stirs against his mournful heart.

    Raising his head takes some effort, but eventually he stands there looking up at the barren boughs, the fingers of their limbs touching against the clear sky like feeble claws. A heavy, rattling sort of breath leaves him in a sigh that scratches at his throat and rouses a brief fit of coughing; a dull ache begins to throb at the back of his head. The sun bears down upon his reddened back strong enough to elicit patches of sweat on his flanks and withers while he debates in silence whether to even bother trying to harness his magic in an attempt to revive the old arboreal life. He’d nearly managed to control his magic enough last time, before death had taken it over… could that have been a sign that his powers were changing?

    His focus is so fixated that he does not notice, at first, when someone else approaches him beneath the deadened branches.

    my crown is called torment
    OAKS



    ooc: this is going to be one of Oaks' quest threads dealing with healing a disease ;)
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    #2
    The thick trees of the forest in which she awoke began to break apart the farther they traveled, allowing more light to reach the leaf covered floor.

    Her path followed the great blue butterfly that had greeted her in her dream. Convinced she was still in one, she traversed happily behind its wayward flittering, eyes peering up at the canopy then back to the ground on which she walked.  Examining the foreign lands mythical attributes.

    With light steps the dried leaves hardly crunch under her weight.  A light breeze begins to scatter them about, tossing her chestnut forelock to cover her right eye.  She shakes her head gently, brushing it back into place before noticing a break in the distant trees. 

    Curious, she departs from her travel companion's side and heads towards the ethereal light.  Her steps are slow and cautious as she approaches the edge of the bark covered pillars.

    In another few strides she reaches the tree line and steps out into the unfiltered light, ducking beneath a deadened branch that snags her mane.  The light is blinding, disorienting her as she tugs against its entrapment.  It breaks free with a snap, sending her tumbling into the open and nearly colliding with an unrecognizable figure.

    Finding her balance once more she spins around to view whatever it was she had come across in her dreamworld.  With a gentle shake of her head she tries to uncloud her mind, but when her eyes open the spotted form is still there.  Stunned, she stops, splay legged and perhaps dumbfounded in expression. 

    “Who are you?” She says in a kind but confused voice.  “Wh-where am I?” The doe mare looks upon him and notes something amiss in the way he carries himself.  “Are you ok?”  A funny question to ask for someone who thought they were still dreaming only moments ago.
    ~ Awi ~
    Cast All Your Worries Upon The Winds


    @ Oaks
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    #3

    I would take a whisper if that’s all you had to give

    He had sworn he’d heard a voice nearby, though perhaps that was just his sleep-addled mind. It had been an age since he’d been awake, after all. Still, Quetzalli was always one to trust his instincts. There was life nearby - not just the life that surrounded him in the flora and fauna of the forest. Atop his delicately chiseled head, ears swiveled around as he waited for another indication that he wasn’t going crazy.

    If he hadn’t been alert, he might have missed the soft whisper upon the winds that carried to him from elsewhere in the forest. A question, a concern, that set his feet moving in the direction of the mysterious voice. The thick moss and limbs of trees began to slowly dissipate. The light around him began to brighten until suddenly the dappled light gave way to glorious sun. Quetzalli blinked rapidly to clear the haze from his eyes. As his vision cleared, he looked upon a pair that stood in the clearing. Another male, covered in sweat and looking for all the world like he’d been through hell. Before him a delicate female - likely the voice he’d followed on the breeze - was sprawled as if she had tripped through the doorway to one world and into the next. Perhaps, like he, she had. Though neither looked as though they were dangerous, and in fact Quetzalli was pleased to have found he was not the only life in this new, strange world he’d ended up in, he approached with caution.

    ”Is everything ok here?” Keeping his body relaxed, his wings tucked against his speckled hide, the young stallion stepped further into the meadow. He looked around them, taking in the dead limbs that snagged his feathers and tail and the state that the two others were in. This new world was definitely full of a strange and intangible magic, one that he would need to investigate further. Stopping a respectful distance from the other male, he turned his gaze back to his newfound companions and posed another question. ”Where is here exactly?”

    ~ Quetzalli

    Kornari




    @Awi @ Oaks
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    #4
    my crown is in my heart
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, he is not left alone for very long. While Beqanna is a quiet place, much calmer than he remembers from his youth, there seems to have begun a gentle stirring of life upon his return from his self-imposed isolation. His initial meeting with Zain and Beyza had marked a new chapter of his life and, apparently, added a mild new flavor to the continued peaceful phase their world currently endures. As days pass, it seems even more life returns to the land in quiet trickles and streams, a subtle new voice here and there.

    Oaks can only hope this will continue (and that his curse will not silence any of these new additions to the world’s choir).

    He stands there staring with a rattle to his breath, an audible cue to the fluid pooling in the back of his throat, fully unaware of the illness brewing in his chest. The unintentional exertion from before, when his magic had worked without his knowledge to claim the life of his only friend, had inadvertently recoiled upon himself as well. While not as severe as the afflictions it had put upon Zain, the rebound of magic upon itself has left its host with a sickness rapidly maturing in his lungs. Although he can feel it, he does not identify it outright as a disease of its own making – ever oblivious, he thinks it something minimal and easily fixed.

    But any passing thoughts on the matter are soon swept aside by the arrival of Awi.

    The distinctive crack of a fractured tree limb alerts him to the sudden arrival of the small mare behind him and he turns. It hurts a little, shifting his weight to the protest of his fevered joints and lowering his head which feels decidedly heavier than it ever has before, but he moves slowly to face her as she fumbles to gather her feet beneath her. She looks the epitome of ‘lost’ and it brings a gentle smile to his face, for he is certain he’s worn that same expression at some point before. Her words back up this impression, a soft voice laced with bewilderment and uncertainty, and he nods reassuringly in response (though the motion is a bit stiff and shortened).

    “I…” he begins to answer, but further movement from his right side draws his attention and he turns his heavy eyes to observe the male approaching. A silver-red male with enviably brilliant wings has also emerged from the treeline not far from the deadened tree which Oaks had been lamenting, curiosity tracing the edges of his expression. Joining them, his question falls into a similar vein as the spotted girl’s words and Oaks tries to nod again. Normally he might have drawn away from them, wary of bringing harm upon them with his mere presence, but exhaustion has wound its way too firmly into his muscles to warrant any form of expeditious movement.

    So he stands to face them and remains surprisingly close (at least, anyone who knows him well enough might have been alarmed by the sudden change in his predilections) as he answers them both.

    “Everything is fine.” A lie, of course, for he knows that he is unwell (just not how unwell, not yet). Surmising that they must be newcomers here, unfamiliar with the peculiar world around them, he continues: “We are in the lands of a place called Beqanna. In the Meadow, to be more precise.” His voice is slightly more roughened than usual, a definitive hoarseness chipping at the edges of his almost-too-deep tenor. “Horses come here mostly to socialize… at least in my experience.”

    He is left vaguely breathless by the effort of speaking, another new development, but he presses on even after a faint shiver licks over his body. “You two must be new here,” he observes with another soft smile. “Allow me to welcome you. My name is Oaks.”

    In the back of his somewhat addled mind, he wonders whether he should apologize for the state of the tree that reaches around them. Its downfall had been his doing, after all… but in the interest of preserving his energy, he decides against it.

    my crown is called torment
    OAKS


    @Awi @Quetzalli
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    #5
    There are few things the young mare knows, but dreams are one of those few things.  A dreamer by heart, the doe like mare has spent much of this short life in dreams of both day and night.  See, there wasn't much else to do in my reality besides eat and survive, so I often escaped to the forests to play with the fauna and dream.  So as I stumble into the open meadow and am greeted by another, I realize now that this is anything but my child like fantasies.

    Having just regained my balance, sienna eyes wide and staring at the spotted stranger, another stumbles from the same forest I had exited only moments ago.  My head turns to view the other with my dumbfounded expression, remnants of the forest trees tangled within my red mane.

    I can't help but noticed the bright plumage he holds to his sides, wings by the look of it, like the birds of the sky.  No birds that I had ever seen held such bright colors, but the feathers hinted towards bird regardless.  The spotted stallion looked about as normal as I did, but seeing the winged being I am not so certain I am not dreaming once again.

    It is only when the first stranger I encounter begins to speak that my attention shifts.  His proclamation of being ok is slighted by the crackle in his lungs and heaviness of his head.  It was as clear as the shock on my face he was ill.  I had been raised by many wise horses that had natural remedies for every sickness imaginable.  It is only now I wish I had spent less time dreaming and more time learning.

    "Beqanna," I whisper to myself as if hearing my own voice say it would make it more believable.

    He offers a welcoming and his name with few details of this foreign land.  I blink, having realized as my vision became clouded that I hadn't blinked in some time.  I straighten as if to gain some sort of composure before offering my own name, "My name is Awi, daughter of Nvgi and Agowatiha of the Great Mountain herds."  My gaze shifts between the strangers with ears turned forwards eagerly waiting for more information on where I have come to be.
    ~ Awi ~
    Cast All Your Worries Upon The Winds


    @ Oaks 
    @Quetzalli
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    #6

    I would take a whisper if that’s all you had to give

    The other male did not sound good, even to Quetzalli’s uneducated ears. He had a feeling even the newest healers of his people would be deeply concerned over the wet rattle that lurked in the back of his throat, the lack of strength in his stance. In that, Quetzalli knew that his initial statement was a lie - but he could also recognize the need to placate and soothe. Clearly the female was as new here as Quetzalli himself, both having been thrust into this new world - apparently called Bequanna - at nearly the name time.

    The other two introduced themselves, and so Quetzalli bowed his head and did the same. ”I am Quetzalli. A pleasure, Awi and Oaks.” Now, he felt as though the atmosphere had become a little less tense. They were at least familiar, and so he stepped out of the grasp of the deadened limbs and approached his newfound companions. ”I am not sure how I came to be here… I simply awoke nearby and followed-“ He paused, realizing that they may think him crazy if he said he followed a voice here. Even though it was likely Awi’s voice, Quetzalli had no idea if that was true. So he quickly adjusted his response. ”I followed a butterfly and the path brought me to the two of you.”

    As Oaks spoke, though, it was visible that he was afflicted with something that was making him weak. Concern pulled at Quetzalli’s lips. He looked once again to the tree that hung limp and lifeless above the compared to the lush and vibrant landscape he had just emerged from. Was there some blight upon this land? He had heard of such things in other lands, though the island he hailed from had been insulated from much of the outside worlds. Absently, his feathers ruffled and he decided that if he had found himself in this strange land, likely with no way to return home, he had best know what to expect. ”Oaks, forgive me if this is crass but… you sound terrible. And this tree,” He turns his gaze upward, ”It is the only one in this area that is dead. Is there some sort of infection afflicting Bequanna? Should Awi and I be worried we’ve been brought here?” Quetzalli hated the directness, he was rarely so forward especially when he had only just met these two. But a decision had been made, and the words could not be taken back. If he was to be stuck here, he had to know.

    ~ Quetzalli

    Kornari



    @Awi @ Oaks
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