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5 [Year 500 Summer]










16 hh







Last Visit:

04-03-2020, 01:26 PM


Signos: 70 (Donate)
Total Posts: 9 (Find All Posts)
Total Threads: 1 (Find All Threads)

“It's the colors that will make you stray”

Before, she's always dreaming of before--

Before her skin, her true-skin, was much the same as it now-- red and bone-white marble, smeared together as if the tide formed her from two pieces instead of one. Through it all are darker spots that she has since learned to name as the color of fresh cedar after it's been cut in two and the bark peeled off. Sometimes, when she's walking among the vine in the dawn, the sun makes her look like nothing but a smear of new-day caught in the fist of fog.

Her hair is much the same, tangled locks off the same color that are always snagged on a vine. Sometimes, when she passes under the low beams of the cellar, cobwebs tangle between her ears and glimmer like a crown when she moves out of the damp into the sunlight.

She knows, oh she knows, that this body is a work of art. Legs long with a stride like a deer, eyes greener than an oak leaf in spring, and a form made for running with the wind fairies and their wicked songs. Old Galloway has told her time and time again, that it's a gift to walk on land and seem like she's crawled free from the old cedar trees and the dogwoods. It's why he called her 'Red', the first time he spotted her on the shoreline by the vineyard (he had called her lost too, but that's another memory).

And even though she knows she should be thankful for this form made to inspire love.....

She hates it. Oh she hates it with every sweet, fermented breath she breathes into these earthen lungs.

“Perhaps it was that siren song that called to her
when she saw the edge where the water met the sky.”

There are so many words Horace Galloway might have used to describe the young mare he found at the shore of the sea. And there are just as many words Red would have told him were nothing more than the fancies of an old stallion's mind (one long left with the vineyard as his only love).

Red would describe herself, if she took any time to think on it, as nothing more than a wave rushing towards the shore. She would look in the pond between the vines and see only the endless longing in her green eyes, only the dark desolation of a hope withering up like a leaf in the winter. Perhaps she might comment on the way her soul still feels like it's searching for the endless deep and the sun upon her thick skin as she curled up to sleep on a rock. Maybe she even would have talked about how her selkie name, which has sounds in it no horse's tongue could learn, means lost wandering dreamer.

Her tongue has always known the song of poetry, the wonder of it, the way words are so much brighter in sound instead of ink. Sometimes the grapes listen to the way her tongue shapes the word love, and sometimes the earth knows the way she's lost with no skin and no love to take away the sting of missing her soul. In poetry all the legends aren't wrong, in poetry she is not lost but found. Perhaps she wouldn't say anything about her love for all that melodic sound, but it would be in the way her lips would smile shyly even as she ducked her head into the shadow of her wild mane.

Horace, if he was still here to ease the endless ache of her loneliness, would have spoken on the way she darts from shadows on a full moon night. He would have said, there is something in that girl that acts like prey, it's in the way she trembles each time the foxes, wolves and coyotes start to howl.. But then he might have spoken about the way her eyes pool up with tears to see a hare limp broken legged to the flower box beneath her window. He would have talked about the way she dances in the dawn, like her skin might never know the taste of sunlight in the creases of it again. Maybe too, if it was the right ear, he would have said with a sad smile, I always knew the room facing the sea was waiting for her.

And always, always, they would both talk about the way the grapes whispered secrets to them both, the lost girl without her real skin and the old stallion who's love drowned in the sea.

“My thoughts are drowned,
and shipwreck seems sweet to me in this sea.”

It has been said, or at least she thinks it has, that a selkie without her skin would become a wife. The stories, all those haunting stories, never say what happens if a selkie loses her skin and feels so no pull in the direction of it. Those stories never told her how to survive with no skin, and no way to return to the sea.

She knows she should remember how her story started in the sea, or how it is supposed to end in the sea. But those are sharp memories hungrier than any blade.

So every time anyone asks where the red girl came from, both her and Horace might only smile a secret smile and whisper something about fate too softly for anyone to here. And those stories go like this--

There was a storm, summer maybe (or was it fall), that was the worst the vineyard had ever seen. The wind was screaming strong enough that the grapes trembled down from their vines as if the wet sod had any protection to offer them. The stones of the house didn't seem so sturdy that night, nor did the cliffs on which they stood. Maybe it wasn't just the storm that came screaming in, maybe the earth rose up off her bones to bellow right back at the sky. Maybe it was a fight. No one will ever know.

It lasted until the dawn.

It was the loveliest dawn anyone had ever seen rise over the horizon to brush a kiss against the stone-sharp lips of Terrastella's cliffs. Everything was fog touched and pale-pink until it came to the shore. Ship bones littered the sand, like specks of blackness on a dragon's golden scales. There were treasures dashed against the rocks-- porcelain and gold, silver and satin. It looked like a wasteland of broken dreams. An aftermath, perhaps, of too much living.

And in the middle of it, surrounded by pearls and streams of silk that looked like a shark had thought of it as dinner instead of cloth, there she was-- my Red.

Here Red might smile softly, like a daughter might, at old Horace when his eyes teared up with all the loss and hope he remembers feeling that morning. It had been like finding his Opal again, like waking up, like feeling death turn its head for the first time in so very long. Maybe he would even have settled down to lean against Red as a cough caught him and reminded him how long he's been tending the vineyard and the cliff-side.

With an inhale and something like an exhalation of fate, he would have continued...

I knew then that I was supposed to find her. How could I not have, when she washed up so close to the shore by my vineyard? And the moment she opened her eyes, green as the grape-leaves in spring, I knew I was waiting for her. For years there had been a worry in me, nagging like a tear in my heart, that there was no one to carry on Galloway Wines. But looking at her I knew I didn't have to worry anymore. And well-- that tear sew itself right back up. So I brought her home with me and she picked the room by the sea. The rest....

Well the rest....

You'll have to learn by tasting the wine.

If anyone ever asked where Red came from, or why she was called Red instead of something more like a real name, Horace will only close his eyes and pretend that the time had come for his nap by the old oak tree.

It went on, just like this, for almost two years.

Until the rains came on the whisper of a god. Rains that never seemed like they never wanted to end, almost like the storm that might have brought Red to the shore. But when the rains cleared, and the dawn came rosy and bright over the horizon, old man Horace wasn't there to greet the sun.

And some days after the vineyard has been tended too, Red can still be found starting at the sinkhole that opened up and swallowed the old oak tree whole.

Active & Parvus Magic


If you asked Red to describe the magic that found her the moment she stepped through the iron gate with a sign saying 'Galloway', she would never be able to find the words. To her it's nothing more than the touch of home pressing into the sea-soaked pieces of her soul.

But to an observer it might seem as if the vineyard and the house knows, in a way deeper than roots and dirt, that the skinless selkie was made to take over the legacy old Horace left behind. The grapes sometimes lift up to greet her, and the vines are sometimes found curling towards the cliff-side house instead of the sun. A fire might spark in the fireplace if she comes in shivering and cold from a day of tending to the earth, and the barrels buried deep in the earth. And as much as his bit of land knows Red, the rest of the earth always seems to tell she's of the sea and not the forests-- because the moment she crosses that iron gate all the magic leaks from her veins.

Parvus Magic

Anytime she walks through her property each piece of it seems to be reaching out towards her. The wine in a barrel might slosh against the wood if it's ready to be bottled. A vine might brush against her shoulder if she lingers underneath if it's wanting to be harvested. Each nuance in the wine seems to her like a bright, bold letter (and she sometimes wonder how no one else can feel the flavors blazing electric across their minds).

i. Discipuli

Red might find that the fire in the house will spark to life if she's shivering. It's hardly an inferno but enough that all she has to do it toss more wood of for the flames to catch. A vine might grow quicker in spring and summer if she takes the time to whisper to it. A winter grape might fight a frost if she buries a bit of cloth soaked in a certain vintage at the roots. The animals living on the vineyard might gather around her window, although she hardly knows why they come. And always the moment she crosses through the boundary of the vineyard the connection with the earth and the house leeches from her veins like rain from a cloud.

ii. Vexillum

A vine might start to grow out of season if she spends two hours under the full moon reading sonnet to it. A grape might discover a new flavor if she hangs wind-chime of cedar, dogwood and glass off a vine. An infection in the roots and the leaves might be chased away by nothing more than a single hour curled beneath the leaves with a prayer in her heart to the dirt and the worms. Everything about tending the grapes seems simple to her, a magic she wonders at sometimes if she pauses long enough to think deeply about it.

Animals living on the vineyard still gravitate towards her. But sometimes she might understand what it is they are looking for. A squirrel in winter might come with a thought of acorns and seed blazing in it's mind. A rabbit might come seeking shelter she's always ready to give. Wolves might bed down in the vineyards and never once be tempted to hunt between the vines and the little bit of forest that has encroached on the edges of her property. And like always the moment she crosses the property line all the magic is lost to her.

iii. Periti

While the vineyard has always been eager to give away it's secrets, the house is only just starting to respond to her. What might have been only a spark of fire becomes an inferno the moment she shivers. Tea might start whistling even though she never remembers setting it to heart. Windows open themselves the moment she longs for the sea-breeze and they might close themselves if a rainstorm rushes in from the sea overnight. The house seems to finally love her as much as she has always loved it (especially that room facing the sea).

The wildlife on the vineyard has become closer than any horse. The wolves follow her in the winter with the rabbits and the mice. She might set to healing one of their wounds and finds that it heals faster than it should. If she thinks of something she's forgotten to bring a hawk much hurry through the storage barn to find it for it. Or a squirrel might leave an offering of nuts and berries on the kitchen window.

Although horses always seems a strange thing to her, they don't belong to this bit of earth the same way the wildlife does. She understands them no more than the way she understands why her magic still refuses to go further than that iron gate.

iii. Dominus

Finally, after so much time she has forgotten to long for it, her magic reaches beyond the gate. It's weaker than it inside the vineyard but it's there like a comforting memory on a long trip. She can discover the secrets of any vineyard, and what 'magic' might bring it back to life. Wine from another vintner might age beyond it's potential if she spends time with the barrels below the earth. Grapes might start to bloom far out of season and long after she's stopped spending moonlight nights with them, or reading them sonnets.

Small prey animals might still gravitate towards her, although she cannot think to ponder on their thoughts and needs. And houses, any home but her stone house facing the sea, are a mystery she cannot even begin to dream of unraveling.

Passive Magic


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Played by:

nestle (PM Player)


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nestle #5513