Lully's Character Explorations

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Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:57 pm

Daughters of Enchancia

Princesses Willow, Alice, and Ariya had left their castle home to have a picnic in a valley of flowers. The blanket they were spread out on was decorated in red and gold. The basket of food sit opened in the farthest corner, with the various bowls and plates spread out in front of it. The food consisted of hot, rich sandwiches with melted cheese, strawberries with crème fresh, sugar glazed roasted carrots, and freshly cooked kettle chips.

Alice and Willow chatted happily as they ate, speaking of things like school, their other sisters, boys, and how boring royal parties could be. There was another one coming up and some of the sisters were excited while some were very much not.

“Oh, I’m so full, I feel like I might burst,” Willow said, falling back against the blanket and looking up at the clouds overhead, her pale green hair spreading out around her. The sky was so pretty. They always had fair weather in Enchancia during the summer.

“I look like I’m pregnant,” Alice said, poking her belly. There was a tiny food bump there. She was so amused. She brushed her blonde bangs out of her face and looked up at their youngest sister, Ariya.

She just regarded her sister quietly, her pale eyes taking everything around her in. “The food was pleasant,” she commented, her voice low with a monotone quality to it.

“It was,” Alice agreed. “We should pack up the leftovers before the bugs come to take part in our picnic.” She reached for one of the bowls and promptly knocked it over. “Oops. Sorry,” she apologized, embarrassed. Alice could sometimes be clumsy.

“Eep!” Willow said, sitting up and rolling away from the sudden food that was headed for her hair. She just managed to avoid getting the sticky stuff in it. “Oh Alice, it’s okay.” She said as she scooted off the blanket and brushed her hair out with her fingers, checking that she had indeed missed getting food in it.

“Let me do it,” Ariya said and her gift of telekinesis to float the food back into the basket. She didn’t spill anything and everything was neatly put away within seconds. Even the mess that Alice had made was cleaned up and tossed away from their blanket so as not to attract bugs.

“See? No harm, no foul,” Willow said cheerfully to Alice.

“Oh if you say so,” Alice said. She knew it was just a little accident but she had almost covered Willow in food.

Ariya was quiet but that was not unusual for her. Everything she did was careful and deliberate. The way she moved. The words she chose. She was not careless or impulsive. She suddenly tilted her head to the side, her pale eyes looking off into the distance.

“Ariya?” Willow asked.

“Something wicked this way comes,” Ariya said, sitting perfectly still and calm as she looked off into the distance.

“What?” Alice asked and looked nervously where Ariya was looking. She couldn’t see anything. The tall flowers blocked out most things. But even then, she couldn’t hear anything but the rustle of the plants around them from the breeze.

That same breeze brought them a stench so foul that Alice and Willow started to gasp and cough. A burbling sound soon followed the stench. And then a violet creature came into view. It consisted entirely of sickly purple sludge. The plants around it withered and died.

Willow shuddered and her skin took on a hue nearly as green as her hair. Her shoulders slumped and she looked like she might be ill.

“What…what is that?” Alice asked with alarm, looking from the creature to her suddenly sickening sister.

“A muk,” Ariya replied. She looked at the creature for a long moment and then at Alice. “You should take her away from here.”

Alice didn’t need to be told twice. She pulled Willow up and started running with her away from the creature. They fled through the flowers, which parted around them to let them pass. “Where to go, where to go,” Alice chanted to herself as they ran. There weren’t very many places around in the valley. They’d picked the spot for the picnic because it was so quiet. She suddenly remembered a hollow tree where fairies had lived before they’d moved on to a different tree. She raced towards it and nearly ran into it in her haste. Alice let go of Willow, who collapsed at her feet while breathing heavily. The air was becoming heavier with the Muk’s stench and it was making it harder for the grass princess to breathe.

Alice pressed her hands against the tree and it opened up to them. “Come on, Willow. You’ll be okay,” she said as she dragged her sister inside and shut the door of the tree tightly behind them. “Ariya’s got this. I’m sure.”

Their little sister might not say much but that was no reason to underestimate her. Neither was the fact that she was very slight. Willow might not have stood a chance against so disgusting and potent a poisonous beast but Ariya was the Princess of the Mind. She stood calmly in front of the Muk, well out of the reach of its poisonous body. “You shouldn’t be mean to my sister,” she said, her eyes narrowed.

Ariya reached out her hand and caused the muk to glow with a violet and blue light. The light was her psychic energy, which she used to ignight the chemicals within the creature’s toxins. The reaction caused from that was violent and destructive. She’d caused massive internal damage to the Muk and it made the most awful of noises as it destructed. Soon all that was left of the creature was a film of sludge on the ground that continued to eat at the plants around it. Ariya approached the sludge and looked at it with curious interest. Then she lifted it up with her gift and put it into one of the empty food containers.

It’s safe to come out now. Ariya’s voice rang in the little tree around Willow and Alice. “Oh thank goodness,” Alice said with relief. She didn’t know what Ariya had done but she hadn’t been too worried.

Willow was still a little too green to be in good health but she left the tree with Alice without help. “Oh our valley,” she gasped at the sight of it. The muk had left it dead and withered.

“You can fix it, can’t you?” Alice asked, not nearly as devastated as her sister but still pretty upset to see such a lovely place so utterly destroyed.

“I should be able to yes, after I’ve rested,” Willow said. She was too weak and sickly now to do the ritual justice. “But I don’t understand. Such a creature shouldn’t be here. Not in our kingdom. That wasn’t natural.”

“No?” Alice asked.

“No,” Ariya agreed as she joined her sisters. “A poisonous creature of that power is not native to these lands. It had to have been placed here.”

“Who would do such a thing?” Willow asked, bending over the once beautiful flowers. She wanted to cry to see them so withered.

“I’ll find out,” Ariya said, a dark promise.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:58 pm

Willow

One of Princess Willow’s favorite things to do was tend to the earth. Naturally, her favorite time of the year was Spring, when Winter’s frost melted away and the earth became green and colorful again. She loved to watch life be renewed and even more so she loved to take part in it.

Every year since she had first learned to dance, Willow had brought prosperity to her kingdom. She spent an entire month travelling to all the corners of Enchancia, dancing her ritual for prosperity.

She loved it. Though her muscles ached from all the use and though she went through at least a dozen pair of shoes, she was never happier than she was out beyond the castle walls and in the thick of the kingdom. Her first dance was always in the capital, though not much grew there but decorative flowers and trees. It was quite the grand affair with people watching, quiet and respectful until after when a festival was held. She never attended, always slipping away after the dance to start her journey. But from there, she was mostly on her own. The larger villages might wish to gather to watch but it was a very spiritual and private ceremony for the most part, so she danced in the night while the people slept.

She was never alone though. The flower fiends knew when she approached and they gathered to dance with her. They joined in helping to spread the golden, pollen like substance that swirled about her as she danced. It sank into the earth and it coated the plants around her, giving them new and revived life. She was always so grateful that they came to help her and she made special care to thank them.

By now she knew the route by heart and she also knew the fiends that lived near each city, each part of the kingdom. She didn’t only travel to cities, of course, for large farming areas and the wilds all had to be blessed as well. But she knew the fiends there, regardless, even recognizing some from her childhood, growing as she did. “You’re all such dears to help me,” she said to them as she passed out little treats she’d prepared herself for the coming journey to gift to the fiends. The ones in her current location favored the blue with pink sprinkles.

They gathered around her and quickly devoured their treats, rubbing their soft petals and leafy extensions against her clothes and skin to show their gratitude. She didn’t have to give them treats but she did love to spoil them. She was their Princess. What else could she do?

Suddenly, the fiends grew restless and anxious. Willow put her arms out and ushered them behind her. She could hear a rustling just ahead and squinted to see well in the moonlight. Someone was there, watching her. A man, judging from the flat chested profile.

“Hello?” Willow said, her voice confident despite her feeling of unease. She was meant to be alone and yet it seemed someone had come to watch her dance anyway. “It’s all right…I’m not crossed at your spying,” she added. But they’d gone. Had she frightened them off?

Willow stood up and walked over to where the man had been. She was careful of the little flower fiends that swarmed about her feet and followed after her, both excited and anxious. Their nervous energy was making her feel a bit nervous as well but she gestured for them to calm and they listened.

The man was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she’d only imagined him, a shadow caused by one of the trees. But no, the fiends wouldn’t have reacted to a shadow. She searched around the tree he’d been hidden behind but she saw nothing. It was far too dark for her to see too far into the distance. In fact, she nearly stepped on the small, metal sphere on the ground. There was a pink ribbon tied around it and a note. She picked it up and opened the small slip of paper.

For the flower of Enchancia.

She recognized the metal ball to be a capture sphere. She pressed the button to open it and release the fiend within. A flabebe emerged from within. It was a little fairy attached to a pure white flower.

“Oh,” Willow said in surprise. While those adorable little things attached to many different colored flowers, the white ones were the rarest of them all. Some went their whole life without ever seeing one. “What a little treasure you are,” she said, cupping the fiend gently in her hands. She was rather touched by the gift. Still, she wished she known who had sent it. But then again, a little mystery in life made things fun.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:58 pm

Alice

Alice was bored. Her head was tilted to the side against her hand, propped up on the little desk. She lazily turned the page of the book she’d been assigned to read. She could barely focus on it. The subject was utterly boring and the way it had been written didn’t do a thing to help increase her interest. It was so dry, so dull, that she just couldn’t get into it. She ended up reading the same parts over and over because she hadn’t registered anything that the written words had said.

After the fifth time of rereading the same paragraph, she decided enough was enough. She glanced up from the page to see if anyone was paying attention to her. They weren’t. This wasn’t an official lesson. It was just designated as study time. Well, she had studied and now her eyes were tired. She wasn’t sure she’d learned anything but there would be time for that later. She couldn’t take being cooped up any longer.

Alice decisively, though quietly, closed the book. She dropped it into her black and gold bag and then in one swift motion stood up and slung the bag over her shoulder. She headed for the door, her head held high. She walked with purpose. Hopefully no one would question her.

They didn’t.

She slipped out of the room and moved even faster once she was in the hallways. Out of sight of the servants and staff, she dug into her bag and pulled out a map she was creating of the secret passageways and doors within the castle. Obviously a place as old as theirs had some but no one knew them all. She was creating the very first complete map. Alice put the map against the wall to look over while a little morelull poked its head out of her bag.

“Which passage should we explore today?” she asked it. “Perhaps this one behind the golden statue? Or there’s the one by the fountain. That might be doable…”

The morelull made a little sound as it shook itself.

“Yes, I know they could be dangerous but that’s part of the fun,” Alice said.

It made another sound.

“Oh you just want to go outside and play.” Alice almost pouted. “That’s fun at all, you know. Not for me.” She caved a little bit. “Fine, after we’re done exploring we can go outside. Are you happy?”

The morelull nodded.

“Good, now let’s get going before they notice we’ve slipped off.” She packed up the map and headed for the courtyard fountain.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:58 pm

Princess of Earth

Even while on break, the daughters of Enchancia still had to do their lessons. Three times a week they had a study period. They were allowed to pursue any avenue of knowledge they wished, whichever topic they wanted. So long as they were learning, that was enough for their father.

Today’s study lesson took place in the library. Willow was curled up in a large armchair with a book on different kinds of flowers found in Kalos on her lap. She didn’t mind the quiet study time.

Alice was restless. The library had as many secrets as it did books and she wanted to uncover them all. But that was hard to do when she actually had to prove that she had studied something and retained the knowledge. She had grabbed a book on the history of Enchancia but she was finding it hard to get through. Some of it was interesting and some of it was downright dull.

Ariya absorbed information faster and easier than either of her sisters. She had already finished three books in the time that it had taken Alice to get through one chapter of her own. She sat down on the table next to Alice’s book and looked down at the page to see if it held anything interesting.

Jingle.

The sound of a little bell caught her ear. Neither of her sisters seemed to hear it.

Jingle. Jingle.

Ariya’s icy eyes narrowed as she searched for the source of the sound. She hopped off the table and started to walk through the stacks. She followed the faint sound of the jingle until she found a book. It pulsed with a golden glow. No shadows resulted from the glow. She was fairly certain that only she could see it, if any of her sisters had been close enough to look at it.

Ariya took the book off the shelf and opened it. The light that flashed blinded her.

- - -

Enchancia 50 years prior.

A princess of the kingdom raced across the land on the back of a large, brown steed. She urged him to go faster, her dark hair escaping its ribbon and flapping in the wind behind her.

“Naima! Not so fast!” her younger brother called after her.

She ignored him, stopping only when she had no other choice. She pulled steed to a stop just a few feet before the ground suddenly dropped off. She did not wait for her little brother to catch up before dismounting and carefully walking to the edge. She peered over the edge to the dark abyss below. The sun was high in the sky but she could not see the bottom of the sinkhole.

“Naima!” her brother called when he finally caught up on his own steed, a dusky brown color. “Why didn’t you wait for me? It’s not like this thing is going anywhere.”

“This is the third sinkhole in the past month,” Naima said, not answering his question. “They’re getting closer to civilized areas…”

“Can’t you just…make it stop?” he asked as he too dismounted. He didn’t get as close as her to the edge.

“If I had such a power, don’t think I would have already?” Naima asked and appeared to be resisting rolling her eyes. “Something is happening within the earth, Finn.”

“Something bad?” Finn asked, looking down just a moment and then quickly backing away.

“Well, you don’t think this would be caused by something good, do you?” Naima asked. She started to walk along the edge. She bent down and touched something that looked a little different from the sand around it. “Hm….” It sparkled oddly in the sand. “Metal shavings?” She took a sample and then kept walking. She found more odd things, like volcanic rock, and took samples of those too.

“Stop fretting, Finn,” Naima said as she returned to him and got back up on her horse. “We can report back to father now.”

“Did you find something then?” Finn asked.

“I don’t know yet,” Naima said. She turned her horse back towards the castle. The single earring she wore jingled as her head turned.

- - -

The light from the book faded and with it, the images it had projected into Ariya’s mind. She closed the book decisively and with force and replaced it back on the shelf.

Jingle.

The sound came again, this time from another stack.

Ariya paused only for a moment before she began the hunt again. The next book with the golden glow seemed even older than the first one she had taken from the shelf. It jingled once more as she took a breath and pulled it off the shelf.

- - -

Naima removed the old book from the shelf and blew the dust off its cover. She brought it over to the table by the roaring fire and opened it. The pages smelled musty and the dust tickled her nose. She flipped through, her dark eyes scanning the pages until she came across a picture of a horrific beast. It looked like a tortoise crossed with a ram, made of hardening lava and melting metal. The creature was not alone, with lots of smaller versions of itself around it. There were so many. They stuck to the walls and the ceiling above it.

“Heatran…the fiend of lava,” Naima read. “Vicious to the extreme and dangerous to approach even with heat-proof armor, Heatran are powerful beasts that can effectively incinerate anything and everything that dares to get in their way.” That didn’t sound good. She continued on. “Heatran are able to channel their excess internal heat into a devastating stream of fire: by combining this blast with a cyclonic burst from their lungs, Heatran are able to engulf any target in front of them in a razing maelstrom of fire that not only deals catastrophic damage but continues to inflict damage afterwards, making it the most powerful of all attacks that can trap opponents in a painful string of after-strikes. The move is certainly not the most accurate, but its potential to literally incinerate anything it touches is more than enough of a threat to make engaging these beasts in battle an extremely unwise decision.”

She flipped the page and continued to read on. The legend written on the next few pages detailed how Heatran desired nothing but to engross the earth in fire and lava. She read on how it was sealed within the earth, its greatest weakness, and kept there with a system of seals and guardians.

Naima turned the pages back to the picture. Her fingers trailed down to the page to the eyes. She tilted her head to the side as she focused on them. Her fingers came together and her hands blocked out the rest of the page, all except the eyes. “I know your eyes…” she said, her voice but a quiet breath. “Are you what’s been haunting me?”
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Ariya closed the book once the glow faded. She listened very carefully to hear if there would be another jingle. She wasn’t sure what she was seeing or why it was being revealed to her now. But she knew that it must be important in some way. Finn… Wasn’t that the shortened version of her father’s name? She thought of going to him and asking him what it was that she was seeing.

Jingle.

This time the sound came not from a book but from a door. The throne room. No one was in there at that time. Her father did not take audiences into much later in the day. The door pulsed with the same golden glow. She pushed it open.

- - -

“Father!” Naima said as she ran into the throne room, a book clutched in her hands. She paused only a moment as she saw that he was not alone. But then she squared her shoulders and continued forward. “I’ve figured it out. What’s happening to our kingdom.”

Her father was a strong man, old and weathered. He had seen things in his time as a king and it showed on his face and in his eyes. Still, he tried to be a patient and good father. He dismissed those he’d been meeting with as his daughter approached the throne. Neither noticed Finn slip into the room through the door the others left through, behind the curtains near the throne.

“What have you found?” the old king asked.

Naima presented him with the book. “What’s happening to Enchancia is not an attack nor is it an action of malicious intent. It’s the side effects of the earth fighting to contain an old and powerful destructive force. The heatran. The creature is fighting to be free of its bonds and seals. The sinkholes, the earthquakes, the tremors…none of them will stop until we quell it.”

“And how do we accomplish that?” her father asked.

“With the sword of Gaea,” Naima answered.

Her father did not look pleased. “You are not strong enough to wield such an artifact,” he said with a shake of his head.

“It is my right and duty as a Princess of the Earth to do so,” Naima said, standing tall and firm on the issue. “I am the only one who can. Please,” she added in a softer voice. “You must have faith in me. I can do this.”

“If you can recover the weapon from its resting place…then we shall see,” her father finally decided.

“Thank you. I will do so right away.” Naima turned and walked out of the room, leaving her father presumably alone with the book in his hands, still open to the page with the picture of the fearsome beast who sought its freedom.

Finn stayed quietly behind the current as the wheels turned in his head. And then he too left the throne room.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Ariya followed the sound of jingling out of the throne room and to a display case where a sword that looked to be made of polished stone was displayed. She could not touch it for it was protected by crystal. Or…was that ice? Was crystal so cold to the touch? The sword flashed with a golden light at her touch.

- - -

Naima emerged from the Resplendent Caverns with the Sword of Gaea clutched in her hands. There was dirt in her dark hair in places. Her black clothes and boots were dusty and slightly torn in certain areas but she was otherwise unscathed. The trial to retrieve the sword had been far more difficult than she had anticipated. But if she hadn’t been able to pass it then she’d never be able to do the far harder task that lay ahead.

She took a moment to rest against the stone columns that stood tall on either side of the entrance to the caverns. Though the air below the earth did not bother her as it did others, she still appreciated the scent and taste of the fresh air above. She could have stood there forever, taking a rest and appreciating how much stronger she’d become in so little a time, but tremors in the earth far beyond brought her back to reality.

Enchancia was running out of time.

Naima looked up at the mountains above. The source of the tremors. That was where she needed to go to assist the earth in keeping Heatran sealed deep within. It would not be an easy climb. She thought of the paths she had memorized from the maps back at the palace.

The palace…Now that she had the sword, she was meant to return to present it to her father and get his official blessing. That would take more time than she liked but things had to be done in the proper ways. They got messy otherwise and that could go poorly. Besides, she could use the rest and food before she headed out to confront the mountain.

She turned and walked to where she had left her horse only to find that it wasn’t alone. “Renaud?” she asked, surprised by the sight of the handsome prince to whom she was pledged. “What are you doing here?”

“Did you really think I wouldn’t find out what you were planning to do?” Renaud asked her in response.

“Father wouldn’t have told you…” Naima replied, stepping back as she realized he’d come to try to talk her out of it.

“I did,” her brother said as he stepped out from behind Renaud.

“Finn! How could you?” Naima gasped.

“What else was I supposed to do? You wouldn’t listen to me and father wasn’t going to try to stop you!” Finn said. “Maybe you’ll listen to him. It doesn’t have to be you!”

“Of course it does,” Naima said, feeling angry that no one seemed to have faith in her. “I’m the only one that can do this. And I can do this, Finn!” She immediately regretted yelling at him. He seemed so small to her then. He was a little boy, really, faced with things he couldn’t fully understand and wasn’t big enough to try to change. He wasn’t the Prince of Enchancia in that moment. He was just a little boy scared of losing his big sister. “I’m sorry…” she said quietly.

“I’ve already contacted the Master,” Renaud said. “You can wait for him to arrive at the palace.” He spoke with the authority of someone who was used to getting what they wanted when they ordered it. But he’d never spoken like that to her before and it threw her off.

“I will do no such thing,” Naima said defiantly. “The Master of Earth will never make it in time. Our kingdom and its people will have fallen into the earth by then. There will be nothing left to save.”

“Naima I will not hear of you doing this,” Renaud said. “I know you. I know that you are strong but that thing you hold will destroy you. You cannot control its power. Not on your own. You will wait for the Master.”

“You are not yet my husband to command anything of me,” Naima continued defiantly, hurt and angry.

Renaud’s icy eyes softened then. “I’m sorry…” he said as he stepped towards her. They were standing between the columns once more, at the entrance to the caverns. “I just…I can’t lose you…”

“You won’t lose me,” Naima replied, feeling her anger disappear as quickly as it had come. “Have faith in me, love. I can do this. I know I can.”

Renaud didn’t answer. Her brought her into his arms and pressed his lips against hers.

Finn turned away as they kissed, still too little to see what the appeal of such affection was between adults like that. He didn’t make a sound like “ew” as he usually did when they kissed in front of him. He told himself he didn’t care what it took to get his sister not to go by herself to the mountain.

Naima’s breath came out cold and misty as the kiss ended.

“Forgive me,” Renaud said quietly. And then he pushed her away into the cavern. Ice formed between the columns and swiftly built up into a wall, thick and unyielding, trapping her inside.

“No!” Naima gasped, pounding her fists against the thick ice. She struck at it with her powers but it did not fall. She struck at it again, this time with the sword, but still the wall of ice did not fall. A sliver broke off and sliced against her arm. It left only a little cut but it was enough to break her out of the desperate state of mind she’d entered when the wall had gone up.

She stopped fighting, her hand gripping the sword tighter as she looked at her beloved on the other side of the ice wall. Then she turned away to go deeper into the caverns. She’d find another way out.

“What have you done?” Finn asked, eyes wide, as his sister turned away from them.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Ariya removed her hand from the ice encased sword. She was nearing the end of the story. She could just tell. She still didn’t know why she was being shown this tale. Perhaps the ending would make things a little clearer.

Jingle.

She could hear the sound of her aunt’s earring. Once more she followed the noise until she reached a wall covered by a thick, black sheet. The jingling sound came again from behind the sheet. Ariya gripped the thick, black cloth and pulled it down. It pooled at her feet, revealing a large painting hanging on the wall.

The painting depicted a monster made of stone and blue fire standing over a woman as she directed a sword into the ground. Ariya realized it was showing the moment Naima had quelled the beast and saved Enchancia. All the children of Enchancia knew the story. It was a legend. But Ariya remembered how it had ended. Or at least, how she’d been told that it had ended.

The painting pulsed with a golden light. She touched it lightly with her fingers, eager to see the end.

- - -

The side of the mountain exploded out with dust and rock. Naima emerged from the gaping hole and raced to climb up the path. The mountain shook with tremors that came faster and lasted longer the closer she got to the top.

She slipped on the soft sound and went backwards down the mountain a bit. Climbing was not easy on its own without also holding onto the sword. If she lost it then her kingdom would be lost as well.

Naima struggled up the mountain. It seemed to take too long. She was afraid that at any moment the whole of the kingdom would collapse, swallowed into the earth. But that moment didn’t come. And finally she reached the top. It was completely flat, a perfect circle. There was no obvious place to insert the sword. She figured that the middle would do.

The princess pulled herself up onto the flattop. She stood uneasily on aching legs and moved quickly forward. Almost to the center. She shifted the sword her hands to ready it for the plunge into the earth. But as she approached the center, it exploded upwards, sending rocks to shower down upon her. Naima brought up a wall of sand and earth to block the rocks hitting her body. As soon as the debris stopped falling, she dropped the wall. She immediately wished she hadn’t.

A goliath of stone with blue fire in its eyes and mouth towered above her. It was not yet fully emerged from within the earth but already it stood taller than she did. As its arms were freed, it slowly reached out towards her. One of its fingers alone was taller than the whole of her body.

She gasped and stepped back. Every instinct told her to run. But she fought against that. She could not defeat such a beast. But she could send it back before it could be fully freed. Naima turned around so as not to focus on the creature that continued to rise from the earth. It roared as she held the sword in front of her and let go, focusing on the magic within it and within herself to float it down into the earth. The roar caused her knees to buckle but it did not shake her concentration. She had to focus or she would lose control of the sword.

After long, drawn out feeling seconds, the sword connected with the earth. Its power shot out away from it. Into her it went, into the ground, and all over Enchancia. Her eyes widened and a gasp escaped her pale lips at the shock of the immense power. She quickly shut her eyes and concentrated. It was painful to wield such power but she was able to do it. She was the Princess of Earth. They alone could wield the Elemental Artifacts.

I can do this, she reminded herself. I have to do this.

She felt like she was pushing through sludge as she used the power to seal back the earth. The monster behind her continued to roar as it started to sink. Its claws snapped together but just missed catching her up within them. It didn’t matter that she felt less than graceful in how she wielded the power. She was doing it. The mountain trembled beneath her but it would not fall.

Using the Sword of Gaia, she was able to heal the sinkholes that covered her land. She was able to return order from the chaos. She restored her kingdom. But the longer it took, the more she weakened. Wielding such a power was draining and it was hard to maintain control when she did not feel at her best.

Almost there. Only the top of the monster’s head could be seen now. It looked like nothing more than a spiky rock. Excitement quickened within her chest. She was going to succeed. She had done it.

A sharp pain in her arm broke her concentration. Her eyes flew open. She looked down and saw that her arm was encased in ice. The ice began to spread up her arm. It wouldn’t be long until it covered her whole body.

Naima let out a strangled sound of panic. The energy around the sword started to crackle like reddish-brown lightning. She was losing control. “No,” she pleaded. “No, no, no.” The creature behind her continued to struggle and started to emerge once more. She strained against losing her control and pushed it back in.

Finally, when she felt like she might black out from how hard she was pushing, the creature was finally sealed. The land was saved. But the ice by this point had encased more than half of her body. She could not move. She struggled to pull the sword from the ground but it would not give. It came up only a little and slowly at that. The energy around it continued to crackle wildly.

Naima knew then that she could not make it out. But if she didn’t pull the sword out before the ice fully encased her body, then the land would be in danger. The earthquakes that would come would destroy every living thing in Enchancia.

With all she had, she lifted the sword out of the ground. It too became encased in ice a fell from the mountain with a clatter. By the time it reached the bottom, the earth had taken her, the ice forming a protective cocoon around her. Her earring, flung free during the struggle, clattered to the now perfectly smooth ground again with one last jingle.

- - -

The last of the golden glow faded. Ariya’s eyes focused on the painting once more. She noticed then that it had changed. There had been no ice in the painting before but it was there now. She could just make it out in the dim light of the room.

The princess did not expect to hear the jingle again. But it came once more, quiet and from a far distance. She walked out of the room and to the nearest window, throwing it open and listening. The sound came only one more time. She turned her head and saw the high mountain in the distance.

She looked at it for a long time and then closed her eyes, searching with her other senses for something her eyes could not tell her. And there she found it. Within the mountain, there was the golden pulse of light. A life was trapped, contained within. Everyone had assumed that Princess Naima had died when the earth had taken her. But they’d been wrong.

She lived.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Kalos

The Forest of Silence. Magic that was born outside of the forest did not work within it. Only the natural magic from within could be found there and it was a very special kind of magic indeed.

Life.

Here is where the God of Life rested, dormant, in the shape of a great tree. It towered over the many trees of the forest, in the very center, where it could not be easily seen or found. Not many ventured into the forest for it was considered sacred. To disturb what rested there would be a great sin.

But the God of Life was not the only power within the forest, dormant or active. There were others, hidden away from the world and what lay beyond the forest. For if they were ever known, if they ever ventured out, there would be very little that could keep them safe.

Humans desired a great many things when it came to life: eternal youth, beauty, happiness. They wanted to live forever, to cheat death. They wanted a second chance. They wanted to create life themselves. Or even to bring back those whose lives had been lost.

But none of those things were within the humans’ abilities. So they searched to find those who could grant them such wishes. But the Forest of Silence protected its powers and secrets well. They remained hidden for years and years.

But that time was coming to an end.




Ladon rested in one of the branches of the largest tree in the Forest of Silence. Although it was not the same, it sort of felt like being held by his father. He stared up into the sky, the wind lightly playing with his blue hair. The forest was quiet. Calm. Nothing had changed. But something hung in the air, a feeling that Ladon did not much care for. Something was going to happen. Soon.

But nothing really ever happened in the forest beyond what they could predict and react to. The two great powers within it lay dormant. He turned, adjusting his body on the branch and rested his hand on the trunk of the great tree.

No change.

Perhaps he was just imagining things. Perhaps the pressure that he sensed was only a coming storm. He turned again, his back resting once more against the trunk, and he drifted off to sleep. Nothing wrong with taking an afternoon nap, after all.

Ladon awoke, startled, to the sound of cracking. His first thought was that a limb from the tree was breaking but when the sound came again he realized very quickly that it was not wood making that sound.

It was crystal.

Ladon quickly descended, going from branch to branch with speed and accuracy. He landed lightly on the ground and circled to the front of the tree. There in the middle rested what looked to be a coffin made entirely of crystal. Inside the coffin was a fiend in the shape of a man. He wore black clothing and had long, black hair. His skin was pale, as if the sun had never touched it. His eyes, currently closed, were blood red.

Ladon watched as the crystal cracked again, just along the bottom right corner. The crack spread all the way up to the very top. Part of the crystal started to break off and fall to the forest floor. “No, no,” Ladon whispered to himself. “Why are you waking up?” The one inside the crystal could not hear him, could not answer. He still slept, peacefully oblivious as the crystal continued to shatter around him.

Too soon it had all fallen away, exposing the man inside to the fresh air of the forest. The wind played with his hair and clothes. Only then did he open his eyes. Ladon could only stare at him, nervous that he was awake. Nervous about what it meant. If he was awake then the forest, or those who lived within it, were in danger. “Krei?” he asked, breaking the silence that had fallen once the crystal had finished shattering.

The newly awakened one looked at his brother and smiled a decidedly evil grin. He then looked past him, off into the distance. “Something wicked this way comes,” he whispered.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:00 pm

It was the weekend. Normally Bryna would be out with her friends doing something but today she’d not felt like it. Sometimes she just needed to be alone with her thoughts. And on those days she’d go off on her own and look for the dark fae, just to watch and observe them. Sometimes she would join in their games, if they were nice ones, but other times she’d just be happy to sketch them and take notes, things she’d deliver to Braxton as part of her training.

Bryna was currently lounging by a river bank just below the school. She wasn’t alone anymore though. Chase had a way of finding her and the river wasn’t too far from the school dorms where he lived, having come from a different kingdom.

It was easy to be around him. Well, easy now that things had changed. Her “father’s” death had triggered a lot of change, not just in her but in the people he had influenced and corrupted. Most of them were still nasty. They always would be. What he’d done didn’t just go away with his death. Some of them had managed to recover but only to a point. But for Chase, the person he had influenced and coveted the most, it was like they’d never even met. Bryna didn’t know how he had erased the headmaster’s influence but he had.

She’d denounced all the people when she’d been freed, of course. All of her circle. It had been one of the hardest things she’d ever done, confronting those she’d collected and telling them straight how things really were, how she really felt, and what would likely become of them thanks to the headmaster. They had all in return denounced her as well and she’d been rather fine with that once she’d recovered from the fear of being open and herself.

But not Chase.

She’d tried pushing him away, knowing he might be the most difficult or react the most violently to the illusions being dropped and the dark fae magic being gone. But he’d just quietly and calmly followed after her. It had made her nervous at first but now, some time much later, she was happy that he had.

“What is that thing?” Chase asked. He could just see a flat, green head peeking out at them through the reeds along the riverbank.

“A kappa,” Bryna answered as she continued to sketch it. Sometimes it would move and they’d get a better view of it but more often than not it was well blended in with the reeds.

“It’s ugly as fuck,” Chase commented.

A laugh escaped Bryna as she gave him a look. “Oh, right, because all your fiends are gorgeous little things, aren’t they?” They both knew they weren’t. Poison was not often pretty.

“At least they look badass,” Chase said. “That thing looks like a duck crossed with Frankenstein’s monster.”

“That’s so mean,” Bryna said, laughing again. It wasn’t entirely untrue though.

“I’m not sorry,” Chase said with a grin. “So what’s its thing? What’s it do?”

“It likes to lure people into the water and drown them,” Bryna said. “Well, I don’t know about this one specifically. But that’s generally what they do. They can just be mischievous of course, like looking up the skirts of women. But they can be bad too, in drowning people or horses. They tend to have a thing for horses.”

“Charming, aren’t they?” Chase asked and fell back from where he was sitting to lay down and looked up at the clouds. He was clearly not that bothered about the kappa though it watched them with suspicious eyes.

Bryna sketched in silence for some time. She’d thought at one point that Chase might have fallen asleep. She didn’t bother him. But if he had napped, it hadn’t been for very long. “I’m going to miss this,” she commented.

“Hm?” he asked, turning his head to look up at her.

“When we graduate, I mean,” she said. “Because everything will change again then.”

“Yeah…that’s true…” Chase said.

“What will you do?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Go home, I guess. If I have to,” Chase answered. He didn’t look very happy about it.

But she knew his secret. When she’d dropped her illusions and had been herself with him, he’d done the same for her. Not right away but it had happened. She’d always wanted to but things had been so complicated. Now they were easier. “Would they make you come back once you’d finished school? Your folks.”

“I don’t know,” Chase said. “They’ve sort of just been humoring me all this time. But I think they were happy that I left. Saved them having to lock me up in a tower for the good of the people.” Which had been on the table when he was small and not as in control of his poison gifts. So he’d left, disappeared, and by the time they’d found where he’d gone, he was already in a school that would teach him how to properly handle his gifts without hurting anyone. They’d left him alone and he’d pretended that he was free. But he knew that it was just an illusion. He wasn’t really and one day he’d have to return and play the role that had been written for him when he was born.

“You’d think they would have panicked, having misplaced a child they were so worry about,” Bryna said.

“They probably did. But I’m fine now, aren’t I?” Chase said. His control was second to none. It wasn’t so hard either. But maybe he really was an unlocked Master. “What will you do?” he asked, changing the subject.

“I don’t really know either,” Bryna said. “Mom and I haven’t talked about it too much. I could do things with Braxton. But I don’t know what she wants to do either. She didn’t really get to live her life or do the things she wanted and I don’t want to be the one to restrict her now. So I guess we just have to talk about it but…I don’t know. I don’t want to think about graduating yet.”

“You hate it here,” Chase commented.

“It’s not as bad now. I’ll be relieved to get away, for sure, but it’s nice to have actual friends. I think it’ll just be easier when it’s over, you know? Because no one will have any idea of what I was like before. They won’t be judging me on what he made me do or how I had to present myself. I can be me and see how people really respond to me,” she said.

“Well, you are what you are. People are always going to be wary of you,” Chase warned her. “Us darker elements aren’t exactly the most welcomed. But you’re pretty, so I don’t think you’ll have as much of an issue as some others.”

“Thanks?” Bryna said. “I’m also a fiend now so I suppose that will change things to.”

“Yeah, I’m still getting used to that,” Chase said, looking up at the cute little antlers set up with flowers in her hair.

“So am I,” Bryna said. “It’s weird, you know? I don’t dislike it but I haven’t gotten a hang of it yet either.”

“You will,” Chase said with confidence.

“You’ll be okay too,” Bryna said. She really felt he would be.

“Yeah…I know.”
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:01 pm

At Unity Prep, there were two social groups that made up the most popular of the students. They held sway over the students and split the school into two groups. You were either in the Fairy Court or the Dark Fairy Court. Each group was headed by their respective princesses. Predictably, the nice and the lighter elements followed the Fairy Court while those with less cares about others or moral lines, the darker elements, followed the Dark Fairy Court. But sometimes it wasn’t as easy to choose and there were those who denounced both and did their own thing.

Chase had once been such a student. He was the brightest and the best of the poison Tamers, a natural Miasmic, and as such he was far too important to the Headmaster’s plans to simply be left as a neutral party. He was the unlocked Master of Poison. He didn’t know it but it was suspected and spoken about at the school. His mastery over his element at such a young age was too good to be anything but that, or so people said. In whispers.

You always wanted to whisper when you were around Chase. Or perhaps it would be best if you didn’t talk at all. For Chase didn’t just poison people physically, he did it emotionally and socially as well. Now, just because he could didn’t mean that he would. But when it came to someone like that, you were best keeping your skeletons deep in the closet where he could never see them or hear of them. Because you never knew what would happen if he found out. He could completely ruin you. Or he could decide to keep your secret and even help guard it. Chase was not easily predictable and while he was definitely not a force of good in the school, he wasn’t exactly a villain per se either.

Or at least, not until Bryna got a hold of him. Pushed by her adopted father, Bryna spent long, countless hours working on Chase. She gained his friendship and eventually his loyalty. And in the end, he became her right hand man, the one she used when she wanted to get things done and get them done right, by whatever means she wanted. Often times she only had to voice that she had a wish and she would find it granted. She loved that about Chase. But she also worried. He was a powerful Miasmic. And what he would eventually be used for, the death of the Fairy Princess, would send him down a path he wouldn’t easily be able to come out of. And while his poison could and would serve “her” ambitions well, it was a double edged sword that could be turned on her just as easily should he be angered. Chase was, for all intents and purposes, her very best friend at the school. But he also had the great potential to be her downfall.

- - -

It was after nine in the evening. Bryna had retired to her room after having done her homework and had dinner with her father. She was dressed for bed so that he would leave her alone but she was not asleep. Not so early. The nighttime was always her favorite time and she would stay up all night if she didn’t need to be so on point during the day. She sat on her bed with a book in her hand, a cup of hot tea on her nightstand. A breeze from the open window billowed the curtains into her room and then let them settle. She didn’t pay much attention, choosing instead to focus on the story in front of her of some far away place where dark fairies didn’t even exist.

He was suddenly sitting beside her on the bed. He could literally ooze into the room and rematerialize, a messy process that he somehow had mastered, leaving no trace of such form of himself behind. Chase was a very hard person to miss with his black and neon green hair. He wore black and neon color clothing and his arms were covered in tattoos, each with a meaning that he kept secret. But at the moment he was dressed in fancy clothing, all black, and a hat that covered the green of his hair. “You’re incredibly easy to sneak up on for a dark fae princess,” he commented casually as he picked up a piece of paper from her nightstand.

Bryna, to her credit, didn’t jump. But her heartbeat went wild in her chest and she swallowed hard. “What are you doing here?” she asked with a bit of a hiss.

“I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by,” Chase said innocently while his expression looked anything but.

“You were just having a walk in this neighborhood?” Bryna asked. “I don’t buy it.”

“Maybe I just wanted to see you,” Chase said.

Bryna didn’t say anything. Her lips thinned. “If my father catches you…”

“He won’t do anything,” Chase said dismissively. “He likes me.” He looked around her room, his eyes falling on the empty birdcage near the window. “You don’t like that very much though…Why is that?”

“I’d prefer if he wasn’t so open about his favoritism of you,” Bryna answered after a moment. Dark fae didn’t really speak in lies, per se, but they didn’t speak in full truths either.

“You’re not jealous though,” Chase commented. She was hard for most everyone to read but him. How he didn’t know her secret already was beyond her. Or maybe he did and was just acting like he didn’t. She couldn’t really be sure. “What happened to the bird I gave you?” he asked.

She glanced at the birdcage. “It got out and flew away,” she said.

“You’re meant to clip their wings so they can’t do that,” Chase reminded her.

“I know…” Bryna looked down at her book rather than meet his eyes. “I didn’t want to. It felt…cruel.” She expected him to tease her for being soft like everyone else would have. She was no stranger to cruelty.

But Chase did no such thing. “No, I suppose it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” he said in quiet agreement. “I’ll just have to get you another one.”

“If you must,” Bryna said. He would give her what he wanted to regardless of her protests. She liked to be spoiled too so she wouldn’t often tell him to not.

“You seem tense,” Chase commented.

“I’m nervous about tomorrow.”

“The fundraiser? I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” Chase said.

“No? I can’t let her win. She won the last one. She can’t do that again. I can’t afford to have another defeat. Not this close to the Winter Ball,” Bryna said.

“Like I said, I wouldn’t worry about it,” Chase repeated. Something in his voice clued her in that he knew something.

“Why? Tell me she’s had a clumsy moment and broke something,” Bryna said. “Or not. That will just make her look more pathetic and people will donate more out of sympathy.”

“Oh no, she won’t be there,” Chase said. “Actually, most of her group is at the hospital right now.”

“So she did hurt herself? Well there’s that,” Bryna said with some relief.

“A minor coma,” Chase said. “She should wake up in a few days. You’ll have the run of the fundraiser this weekend.”

“A coma? Chase…you didn’t,” Bryna asked in shocked surprise.

Chase only shrugged. “Turns out she has a thing for bad boys. Don’t worry about it too much. There won’t be any permanent damage. This time.” He gave her a look. “Now you are jealous.”

Bryna only laughed. “What did I do to deserve you, hm?”

“Oh I don’t know,” Chase answered. “But I’ll find out.”
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:01 pm

Cursed by Moonlight

Serenity could not sleep. She hadn’t slept well since the start of the Games. At first, it had seemed like a fun way for the Princes to compete and show off their skills for all the kingdoms to see. But she’d been feeling uneasy about it from the beginning and she hadn’t been able to say why. There hadn’t been any reason. Not until now.

The tasks had gotten progressively darker but were kept secret from everyone but the royal families. Serenity knew what her brother had to do, what would have to happen, else their kingdom and family would be left cursed.

It just didn’t sit well with her. How could they do that to their sweet cousin? And why on earth would a goddess ever demand such a thing? She didn’t understand what was happening and she didn’t at all like it. She left her room and ventured out into one of the gardens with the small pond and lily pads. She watched the glowflies dance above the flowers and tried to think peaceful thoughts. They just wouldn’t come. She felt sick inside. Her brother was in such a poor position and she couldn’t not support him. She would do anything to make sure that nothing happened to him or their people. But even worse, Nuala had vanished. She hadn’t been seen or heard from since the queen had called her away for a personal audience, presumably to find out where her brother was so that he might report for his role in the Games. She could only imagine what her brother was going through.

Serenity sighed. She just didn’t know how to help him. She zoned out a bit and went back to watching the glowlfies. A swanna landed lightly in the pond as the moon began to rise in the sky, the last rays of the sun fading away. Serenity just watched it for a moment before letting her thoughts take her away again. That didn’t last long, for with the rise of the moon, the swanna began to glow. And then it changed and was replaced by a young woman with pale skin and blue eyes. She wore nothing but the simplest of near sheer black dresses and a crown that floated above her long, straight hair. It was as white as freshly fallen snow.

Serenity watched as the swan now turned girl just stood there on the surface of the water, poised, vulnerable and sad. The swan girl lifted her head and looked up at Serenity. Their eyes met and Serenity realized that she knew those eyes. “Nuala?” she gasped, her hand going up to her mouth in shock. It couldn’t be her. She looked so different.

“Reni,” the swan girl answered with a smile that didn’t reach her sad eyes.

Serenity felt like someone had thrown a rock at her head. She was stunned. She started to get up to run over to Nuala and hug her, so relieved that she was alive until she realized that she couldn’t walk on water. She just managed to stop herself in time. “You’re okay!” she gasped. “Okay, maybe not okay, but you’re alive,” she corrected herself. “What happened to you? We’ve all been so worried…”

“I can’t say,” Naula answered. “The spell will not let me.”

“Spell…” Serenity repeated. “You’ve been cursed…” She felt that sinking feeling return to replace the relief she felt at seeing Nuala again, even so changed as she was. She turned her head to look back at the palace and saw the light on in her brother’s room. “Syncere…He has to know that you’re okay.” He’d be so happy. Well, he wouldn’t be happy that his fiancé was cursed but he was the Master of Fairies. Blessings were kind of in his realm. He might know one that could free Nuala.

“Reni, no!” Nuala called out before the girl could get very far. “You can’t bring him here. If she were to find out that I was near him…”

“If who found out?” Serenity asked, pausing. “I don’t understand.”

But Nuala could not answer her. She only shook her head again. “I know what Syncere has been asked to do for his next task.”

“Oh…” Serenity went quiet. “He doesn’t want to,” she said. But she knew that Nuala would never believe that Syncere would ever want to do something like that. “I don’t think we get much of a choice.”

“You won’t,” Nuala confirmed. “I know of the consequences of his refusal or failure as well. I wish to help, in what ever way I can.”

“You can help me to help him then,” Serenity decided. “Although…I do not yet know how to do that.”
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:01 pm

Cursed by Moonlight Pt 2

Serenity sat with Nuala in the little garden by the pool. The moon shone so brightly that they needed no other light to see each other by. Their secret meetings were risky but neither girl felt guilty over them. Serenity had of course told her brother that his fiancé was alive but not exactly well. And she’d hated it. She wished that he could be there to see Nuala but at least until this difficult task was done, it was probably for the best.

“I don’t know what to do,” Serenity confessed to Nuala. “He’s broken. He hasn’t even taken any steps towards completing the task and he’s already broken. Why would they ask him to do something like this?”

“Because it’s a test,” Nuala said. “A very personal one. Fairy magic is the source of life in the world. To take away someone’s ability to create and give life is the very antithesis of what he is. This test was designed to break him.”

“Well it’s working,” Reni said. “She’s our cousin. Our family. He grew up with her. I just don’t think that he can do this,” she said. “I don’t want him to either. Is that so wrong?”

“But if he doesn’t…” Nuala trailed off.

“I know. Everyone will suffer. Our land will lose its fairy magic. The life will be drained right out of it. There will be no color, no joy….all the people and fiends here will suffer,” Reni lamented. “It’s just not fair!” she said, crying against it with frustration and rage that she kept pent up while around her family. “He can’t do this. He’d never recover. And he was going to be such a good king.”

“He still will be,” Nuala said, placing a cold hand onto Reni’s warm one. “But you’re absolutely right, Reni. Syncere cannot complete this task. He mustn’t for it would taint him at his very core. He would never be the same. And we cannot allow that to happen. Nor for your kingdom and its people to fall.”

“I’ve tried to find another way but I don’t think there is one,” Serenity said.

“We can do this for him,” Nuala decided. “There’s nothing in the rules that say he cannot receive help. The wording was not that he physically had to be the one to remove her womb, only that he had to be the one to present it. It’s implied and we can leave it to be implied that he did it.”

“Okay…” Reni said quietly. She liked the idea of her brother not being the one to do it. He could remain pure, clean and innocent as he should be. “I don’t think that I can do it. I don’t know how. We need a doctor for something like this,” she said. “Or Kyria could die…” And she didn’t think she could live with that. None of them would be able to.

“I can handle that part, somehow,” Nuala said. “My artifacts might do well in this part…”

Serenity looked at the blue gem that hung on a silver chain around Nuala’s neck and then up at the jagged crown that floated above her head like a halo. “You think that you could compel a doctor?”

“His body if not his heart and mind,” Nuala said. “It cannot hurt to try. And we will have a back up plan in case it does not work. But you’re right. We need a doctor. This has to be done with expert care so that your cousin doesn’t suffer more than she has to.”

“They’re not going to just let us do this,” Serenity said. Every now and then she’d look up at her brother’s room to see if the light was on. “It’s not like we can just walk in there, knock her out, and take her womb.”

“Well we know the palace pretty well,” Nuala said. “Or you know it better than I. We’ll come up with a plan too. It wouldn’t be difficult for you to put her to sleep and we’d need…say an hour to do it right?”

“Nuala, she’s not at the palace,” Serenity said. “She moved into Blackthorn Manor after the wedding. With Drake and Hikari.”

“Oh…” Nuala said. “Well that does complicate things…A little.” She looked actually concerned then. But she didn’t look any less determined.

“A little? They’re amazing. Do you remember the things that they do? All the time? We can’t beat them,” Serenity said, feeling panicked.

“Can we lure her away somehow?” Nuala asked. “You are family. Surely…”

“No,” Serenity said and shook her head. “All the royal families are sort of on lockdown with everyone after what happened to you…”

“Ah,” Nuala said. “Yes, that makes sense…” She had disappeared. “Okay so how do we do serious surgery on Kyria while she’s in the same place as Drake and Hikari…”

“They’ll know. We can’t. And they’re better than us,” Serenity said. “By a lot.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Nuala said. “You are selling yourself short. But they do have experience at thwarting evil plots and this…well this definitely counts.”

“I don’t want to be evil,” Serenity lamented. “I don’t want to fight them.”

“Neither do I,” Nuala said. “We’re not going to fight them. Neither of us could stomach that. We’ll just have to use our wits and find a way. Like…your magic,” she said. “Hikari and Drake can and will best us in a fight but we don’t have to fight them. You can put them to sleep.”

“Put them to sleep?” Serenity asked.

“Put everyone to sleep,” Nuala said. “Like in the fairy tales. The whole kingdom. That would give us plenty of time to do this the right and safe way and no one would even have to know that anything happened at all.”

“Okay…yeah…” Serenity said as she thought about that. “I could use my glowflies. I know just the dance to accomplish this.”

“Do you think you’re up to it? It won’t be easy to put an entire kingdom to sleep,” Nuala said. “And I won’t be able to help you until the moon rises.”

“I can do this. For my brother,” Serenity said.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:05 pm

Sirius was not your typical fifteen year old. He was special. He wouldn’t learn of just how special he was until a little later in his life. For now, he knew he wasn’t normal. Not many teenagers could say that they’d landed an internship with one of the hottest label companies in the world, studying under the best of the best when it came to costumes and effects at the young age of thirteen. By fourteen he was no longer an intern but an employee. For the past nine months he’d been dividing his time doing the outfits for three of the hottest bands in the label. Everything from music videos, to concerts, to interviews and events. He designed and handmade everything but the accessories. And on top of that, he did all the special effects that made the concerts and videos pop. He had a real talent for it, as a Prism.

Some would say that Sirius was living the dream. He would agree with them. But dreams ended when you woke up. And for Sirius that was when he had to leave the fast paced and exciting world of music to go back home.

The red haired boy stepped off the bus onto the street of a nice neighborhood. He was old enough to be dressing the stars but not to own or drive a car. The neighborhood was a middle class suburban paradise. Nice houses with well manicured lawns and white picket fences. He watched the bus drive away and then he started walking.

He walked passed the nice houses. He continued block after block until the houses became less nice. The lawns became less well kept and eventually disappeared completely. He walked until he reached the part of town that everyone like to forget existed. The slums.

Sirius stopped at an old phone booth that had long stopped working. Just on the outskirts of the slums, he went inside and changed out of his nice clothes to plain jeans and a sport shirt. He stuffed his outfit and accessories into his backpack, the kind that looked like one every other kid his age would own, and stepped back out.

He kept walking. In the far distance he could hear sirens. He barely registered them. He kept his eyes down as he passed houses that were falling apart and abandoned. Sometimes they were occupied but just looked abandoned. He never looked close enough anymore to see which was which. He hadn’t always lived in this part of the town. Once he’d lived in that nice, clean suburban place. But that was before his Aunt had passed away unexpectedly. That was before his dad had lost his job in a company wide lay off. That was before his parents had fallen back on bad habits. Now he lived here. But no one knew it. No one in the glamorous world of music had even met his parents. He planned to keep it that way.

The hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood on end. He had that feeling that something was watching him, following him as he walked through the mostly quiet streets. He stopped and looked around. It was hard to see the thing in the dark but he knew what he was looking for.

On the other side of the street was a large, black dog. A houndour. A delvil. Most everyone knew those were the special servants of the Lord of the Dead, the creatures that collected damned and doomed souls and dragged them down to the Underworld.

“Hey, Grim,” Sirius greeted and set his bag down. He knelt down and pulled out a wrapped up package of meat. He unwrapped it and left it there on the ground. Then he kept walking. The was not the first time he had seen the delvil. The first time he’d nearly had a heart attack. But there were a lot of damned and doomed souls living in the slums. He got used to seeing the thing.

Grim, having eaten the treat that had been left for him, fell into step beside Sirius as he walked home. The boy reached out his hand and pet the large dog’s short, black fur. It was soft, clean. Grim was the only dog that he knew that smelled good. He would have thought that the dog would smell like death or something. But no, he just smelled like a dog.

Sirius liked walking with Grim. Sometimes he felt like Grim was the only one that got him. He was the only one that saw the real Sirius. At work, he acted like an eager, excited teenager. He put himself out there, involved himself with everyone and everything. He made friends, connections, and did everything he could to help and be involved. He always seemed excited, upbeat and passionate. But at home, that wasn’t the case. He was deeply depressed. He worked in the colorful and exciting world of pop music but his reality was anything but colorful. He made explosions of color for the bands but inside he didn’t feel like he had any color within. There was no color outside of the music.

There was only Grim.

He didn’t know why Grim walked with him. Maybe he’d been sent to collect the boy. Sirius didn’t think about that too much. It wasn’t like they could really talk to each other properly. Only certain humans possessed an ability to talk with fiends like that. He was not one of those. But Grim didn’t just give him friendship, he gave him protection too. No one was going to mess with the teen while a delvil was walking beside him.

Grim always escorted him home. Sirius could always count on him.

The only other thing he could count on was that his parents would be trashed when he walked through the door. Drugs or alcohol. Whatever vice of choice it was for the day. Mostly he’d come back and they’d still be in their pajamas, sprawled out on the couch or on the floor in their little two bedroom place. They lived on whatever his father brought home from his gambles and his mother from her waitress gig at the local dive.

Sirius was lucky that night. They were passed out already. Their snores almost drowned out the sounds coming from the tv. He carefully walked over their sprawled bodies and made his way to his room. He shut the door. There was no lock, no promise of privacy, but he felt better to have the wooden barrier there anyway. He looked around his room and took stock of what wasn’t in it any longer. His parents had a nasty habit of selling his things if they thought they had any value. It wasn’t their worst habit when it came to their son though. It was actually the least harmless but Sirius still found it annoying. He didn’t say anything anymore. He just shoved his bag under his bed, changed, and opened his window.

Grim slid into his room and settled on his bed. There weren’t any sheets but for the one covering the mattress. He walked into the bathroom, brushed his teeth, got a glass of water and returned to the bed. Grim was half fire. He kept the boy warm while he slept. Sirius hadn’t felt so bad about the lack of blankets once Grim had started sleeping with him.
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Re: Lully's Character Explorations

Post by Cedahlia on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:23 pm

Bits and Pieces of You

There were some moments in time that never faded from your memory no matter how much time had passed.  Some moments remained within your heart and mind with perfect clarity. Sometimes those moments were strikingly obvious, how important they were to your life, and sometimes you didn’t realize their impact until the time passed where they could never be repeated, only revisited in your mind.

For Eden, the young, up-and-coming researcher and explorer, those moments centered around his once assistant: Jo.  Jo was also a young researcher, sharing Eden’s passion for studying the people and fiends of old, the myths and legends that surrounded each culture, and figuring out what they meant and where they came from.  Jo looked every part a son of Valeria and took after his famous grandfather in both looks and demeanor. He was always, always happy, and even in bad moments he could find the silver lining to make things not seem so bad. He was talented with music, often staying up in the night when they couldn’t sleep and coming up with little songs on his guitar.

Eden loved nothing more than laying with Jo on the pillows and blankets under the stars, drinking wine and discussing/debating ancient history and myths.  Their talks would go on into the wee hours of the night and were some of Eden’s most relaxed, happiest times.

Those were the kind of moments that Eden loved. They weren’t exciting, they weren’t adventurous, and to others they might be utterly boring. But to him they were perfect. He never thought the day would come where they’d be over.

- - -

“You’re so serious tonight,” Jo commented, his fingers softly strumming the strings of his guitar.  Above them the stars shone as brightly as they could ever remember.  Normally they would be inside the tent but tonight there was an eclipse that neither wanted to miss even if it was late in the evening.

“Just in my head,” Eden commented.  He watched Jo as he spoke, just looking at the way the flames from the fire pit cast light and shadows over Jo’s figure as he sat there. Eden had always had an eye for small details, small beauties that weren’t lost on him.  Jo in firelight was one of those small beauties.

“I feel stuck,” Eden continued.  “Like no matter how close I get to the answers, they keep eluding me.”

“Hm,” Jo said, a smile on his lips as he started to turn his music playing to something with more focus and purpose. Eden had a way of getting lost in his thoughts, brooding over this or that when he it came to the mystery that was his past and the memories of his youth that were locked up tight by magic they had yet to conquer.  And when that happened, there was nothing to be done to pull him out of it, except perhaps to play music.

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman's control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don't see myself upon that list


Jo’s voice was just the right volume, echoing through the ruins around their little camp.  It filled the cold night air with warmth and whimsy.  And he smiled when he played, finding joy in both the words and feeling behind the song.

But she said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

Jo leaned against Eden, the two of them getting more comfortable as he took Eden’s thoughts away from the dark and brooding place they’d been to somewhere else, a different realm full of possibility and promise

Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
The testaments they told
The moon and its eclipse
And Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I'm not the kind of person that it fits

She said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

I want something just like this
I want something just like this…


Eden could perfectly recall the feeling of the wood of Jo’s guitar under his fingers as he pushed it down gently.  He could remember how soft the small hairs on the back of Jo’s neck were and how warm his lips were as they kissed under the eclipse.

You never forgot your first kiss from your first love.  Eden’s might not have been all fire, passion and fireworks but it was peace, it was clarity, it was calm.  It was perfect.  He lay under the stars with Jo in his arms that night and felt nothing but the warmth and quiet peace within and the desire for the moment to never end.

- - -

Eden and Jo ran through the shallow waters of the temple gutters, their feet pounding as they went at top speed, slipping, recovering and continuing forward as their hearts pounded in their chests.  “I’m in so much trouble with your family if I ever get us out of here, huh?” Eden asked as they bailed away from the golems that protected the temple.

“Let’s worry about that once we’re out, yeah?” Jo asked, laughing as he pushed Eden forward.  The golems were catching up too quickly. For such large things made out of rock and stone, they were surprisingly fast.

The shallow, water filled path they were running through suddenly dropped steeply down ahead.  “Hold on!” Eden said as he pulled Jo down, using the water gutters as a sort of water slide. His psychic gift allowed him to know what was coming ahead before they reached it and he maneuvered properly in response until the water path deposited them into the river below with a splash.

“Well that was a trip,” Jo said, laughing as he coughed up some water onto the river’s shore.

“Oh yeah!” Eden said, completely agreeing as he laughed while gasping for breath.  “Ah. Too bad we didn’t get it…”  He’d gotten a pretty good clue towards his family’s past and he’d lost it in the scuffle to get away from the golems.

“Yeah, that would have been nice, right? Hate to think we did all that for nothing,” Jo commented. “What are you going to do then?” he asked, smiling as he looked at Eden.

Another one of those moments. Eden could perfectly remember the way Jo looked, water dripping from his blond hair onto his fair skin, the way his blue eyes sparkled with mischief and happiness.  

“When you look at me like that…Well I can’t give up, can I?” Eden asked, smiling in response to Jo’s own smile.  So maybe he’d failed today. What did that matter when Jo looked at him with such happiness and faith?

“Hm…I kind of thought you’d say that,” Jo said. “Lucky for you, I’m not a klutz,” Jo said and pulled something out of his jacket pocket.

“Oh you little trickster!” Eden gasped as he picked up the prize.  “You caught this when I dropped it?”

“Well yeah,” Jo said, grinning. “Someone has to take care of you. Other than Runa,” he added with a thought.

Eden’s hands grasped either side of Jo’s face as he pulled him forward to kiss him.  He got lost in that kiss, as perfect and wonderful as their first one had been.  For a moment the world melted away.  Excitement and adrenaline coursed continued to course through them as they became lost in each other, the discomfort of being wet and the lingering fear of nearly being caught by the golems gone.

But then that moment ended and reality returned, ugly and painful, as a voice familiar to both of them coughed.  Eden and Jo broke apart to look at Bradley Hawkes, a rival explorer.  Bradley wore expensive cargo pants, with a matching hat that shaded his hazel eyes from the harsh sun.  He had medium length black hair and dark skin.  His voice was smooth and his accent sexy but it did nothing for either man he addressed.  “Is that what you call working?”

Eden just rolled his eyes. “Why is it you’re always behind us, hm Bradley?”

“I like to let you get most of the dirty work out of the way for me,” Bradley replied.  Their banter was normal and biting. True frenemies they were.  Eden paid little attention to the men behind Bradley, dressed all in black with their eyes hidden behind sunshades.

“Well we warmed up the golems for you,” Eden said.  “Good luck with that, eh?”

“Tch,” Bradley said and waggled a finger at Eden. “Eden, Eden, Eden. What am I to do with you, hm? You were warned to stay off this path.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Eden replied, his blue eyes narrowing ever so slightly.

Jo, standing behind Eden now, pressed on his shoulder softly. “Look at his eyes. They’re all black. Something’s wrong,” he whispered.

Eden tilted his head slightly towards Jo to listen and then looked back at Bradley. Sure enough, his once amber eyes were jet black.  Now that wasn’t normal.  “What’s gotten into you?” he asked.

Bradley only grinned.  “I think it’s time you handed over what’s in your pocket.  Consider this your last warning. Keep going down this path and the blood that will be spilled will be on your hands.”

“Got nothing for you, Bradley,” Eden said, not one to back down, even if he wasn’t sure on the odds.

Bradley sighed. “Well you were warned,” he said and gestured to the men behind him. They started to shift, to change into something large, imposing and dark. A dragon of some sort with nasty teeth and fiery breath.

Eden whispered something to Jo, who nodded, and they both took off, splitting up.  Jo was no tamer but he knew where to go if things went south. He knew that Eden could distract the beast, take it down just enough to teleport to the meeting place and get them both out of there. But the creature had to be disabled first. There were not many creatures that could follow the path of a teleportation but some dragons could and as neither was sure, they’d rather be safe than sorry.

Jo took the low path while Eden took the high path. The creature and Bradley followed Eden as he slid up the dusty dirt path.  But there wasn’t really anywhere for him to go. Only the cliff edge that stopped below the raging river. He skidded to a halt in front of it, turning around and standing his ground as he released Runa from her capture sphere. She appeared in front of him, erecting a shield the immediately protected him from the fire that rained down on him from the ravenous beast under Bradley’s control.

“Last chance, Eden. There’s nowhere to go,” Bradley said from where he stood behind the beast.

“Bring it,” Eden replied.

“As you wish,” Bradley said and uttered a command in an old language that Eden knew Bradley didn’t/shouldn’t know.

The dragon burst upwards and hovered in the sky above Eden.

He drew up the magic inside that he commanded, ready to fling the dragon’s attack back at itself.

The dragon unleashed what could only be described as an unholy meteor of death towards the earth. But it wasn’t aimed in the direction of Eden.  By the time he realized that horrifying fact, he was too late to react.

The meteor of fiery doom impacted into the ground right in front of Jo.  It flung the blonde’s body into the raging river. Smoke and debris obscured the landing site.

“No!” Eden shrieked and flung himself off the cliff’s edge. He could feel Runa’s arms wrap around him as he dove for the water below. So far up, he’d never survive such an impact. Before he could touch the water he was teleported back to camp in the desert ruins. He crashed into the hot, soft sand and skidded to a stop.

Runa only let him go long enough to help him sit up.

“Jo!” Eden insisted as he grasped her arms.

Runa shook her head. It was her way of telling him that he could not be saved.

Eden bent his head down and broke into wracking sobs. Once the tears started he couldn’t find a way to stop them.  In that sort of moment, when someone was feeling that level of pain and grief, there is nothing you can do to help them but to provide support and comfort. Runa wrapped her arms around Eden and held him close, letting him cry until her dress was soaked from his tears. And when he finally finished, his body and mind weak and exhausted, she carried him to bed as she’d done when he was just a child, tucking him in and singing him to sleep.

- - -

When Eden woke, he found that his camp was in ruins.  It had been ransacked before they’d been approached at the riverside. He hadn’t noticed the night before, in too much mental and emotional anguish to notice anything around him other than Runa’s comforting touch and presence.  

Eden wandered the camp in a sort of daze, looking at what remained intact and what was broken beyond repair.  Something caught his eye and he picked up the broken guitar that had been Jo’s favorite. He stared at it. He knew every carving, every pattern.  Jo had put so much work into making it himself. It had been his most prized belonging. And now it was shattered, tossed aside like so much trash.

He broke down again, clutching the broken pieces to his chest as his knees gave out. And once more, she was there.

Time passed. And with every stage of grief he went through, she was there. Every time grief threatened to consume him, every time he wavered or lost himself, he was there.  Life changes when you lose someone you love. It changes you. And Eden changed with the death of Jo. But with Runa there, she guided him to become stronger, not weaker. To become more resolved, not broken.

Until a year had passed, when Eden once more stood tall, no longer bent down by the weight of the pain in his broken heart.  He set the guitar in a little boat on the river and set it aflame like a proper Viking funeral pyre on the water.  His hand went into his pocket and he clutched the pick that Jo had always used.  He kept that as his one reminder of what he had lost and what the cost of his digging could be.

“This is my fault,” he said quietly, breaking the silence.

“You can’t blame yourself for what happened to Jo,” Runa said. “It was his choice to help you. And it was their choice to take his life.  That is not on you.”

Eden’s hand tightened into a fist, the pick digging into his skin until it broke the surface layer. The pain brought him out of his thoughts and he relaxed. “I’m not giving up,” he said, his voice full of resolve.  “I will find out the truth. And I will destroy anyone and everyone involved in covering it up.  I will avenge Jo.”

“No matter your choice, no matter what path you decide to take, I will be there for you,” Runa said.

“I know,” Eden said quietly.

- - -

Epilogue

High up in the mountains, hidden from most of the world, was a temple. It was pure black and just as intimidating on the outside as the god to which it was dedicated.  In the darkness, illuminated by only the light of the full moon, this proved to be even truer.  

At that hour, so late at night, all those who served the god were fast asleep in their beds.  Only one still stalked the quiet hallways, weaving in and out between the pews and stepping under the intimidating shadow of the god’s statue.

Requiem.

He was a cat type fiend with fur as black as the night sky devoid of stars.  His eyes were the very shade of green one’s mind might conjure at the thought of envy.  Even his soft paw pads were black. There was no color in him at all other than the green of his eyes.

He made no sound as he stalked the empty temple. He might as well have been a ghost, slinking in and out of the darkness.  He stopped at the altar, poised and graceful as his eyes scanned the empty temple for anything that was amiss or out of place.  But with nothing going at all, they soon glazed over as his thoughts wandered.

He could not recall the event that had caused him to lose his first of nine lives.  He remembered nothing at all but the helplessness in his father’s eyes and the cold but gentle expression on his grandfather’s face as he banished him to serve the God in the temple on the mountain.

Requiem shook himself and jumped upon the steps below the altar to look through the offered gifts to the god to make sure there was nothing insulting or unsuitable there.  The usual foods, wines, jewels, and the like were present. They held no interest for him. No, only one thing belatedly caught his eye. A black Gibson with a small leather bag leaning against it.  Something stirred inside Requiem. He took human form, his hands softly caressing the beautiful instrument before he took the leather bag and opened it. Dragon’s heart picks lay inside. He took one out and held it up to the light of the moon shining through the clear windows above.

The boy that was a cat picked up the guitar and pick and brought them over to the first pew. He sat down, bathed in the steadily disappearing light of the moon. It was an eclipse tonight.

“The moon and its eclipse…” Requiem sang the words softly, his fingers beginning to use the pick to strum the guitar.

“Where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts.
Some superhero.
Some fairytale bliss.
Just something I can turn to,
Somebody I can miss.
I want something just like…like…”

Completely in darkness, the moon eclipsed, Requiem’s voice stammered. Tears fell down his cheeks as his heart struggled to remember something that it missed, something that it longed for. He longed for something warm and peaceful. But then the moment was gone. The light returned as the eclipse slowly ended.  Requiem’s arms went slack as cold filled his heart once more and the longing he felt vanished as if it had never been. Cold returned to his emerald green eyes.

He put the guitar and pick back on the altar, returning to his fiend form, and continuing to stalk the temple. The desire to sing and play left him for good as he put the moment forever behind him. Well, that is, until the next eclipse.
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