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Gunhilde
Dusk Court Youth
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Age:

2 [Year 504 Winter]

Gender:

Female

Pronouns:

She/Her/Hers

Orientation:

???

Breed:

Andalusian/Camargue x

Height:

15.3 hh

Health:

13

Attack:

7

Experience:

19
Offline

Last Visit:

03-09-2021, 01:43 AM

Joined:

06-08-2020
Signos: 60 (Donate)
Total Posts: 6 (Find All Posts)
Total Threads: 2 (Find All Threads)

Seven years of bad luck: I broke the first mirror I looked in. My mother tells me not to worry about it, just sends someone in to sweep the glass off the floor. But I know the story that the Ilati tell: those who look at themselves in the mirror before they’re supposed to, while they’re still children and their souls are undeveloped, are destined to remain children forever and always speak with a stutter.

Seven years of bad luck, if I make it that far.
When I am very young I beg my mother to let me wear her warpaint. This is the first time I get in real trouble. She chastises me for even asking, and her lips turn down in a frown so mild it’s somehow worse than being screamed at. To wear the paint, she says, is an honor that one must earn instead of asking for; and I have certainly not done anything to deserve it, at least not yet. I cry for a day, then two, then a third. I can’t swallow it down at all. Everyone looks at me differently afterward, and that’s the worst part.

But a cadet overhears the debacle and offers to paint it on me instead. She is young, my age, and comes up to me with large, dark eyes outside the barracks to ask, would I like to painted? I tell her that my mother would not allow it. Well, she says, and pauses. Your mother isn’t here.

It’s the first time I’ve heard someone willing to defy Queen Marisol, and for some reason it makes me shiver. I say yes.

I do not learn her name that day. She pulls me into her room and I forget to ask, too distracted by the warm darkness, by the way her eyes narrow when she focuses, the sound of her breathing and the paintbrushes splashing in water, and for many hours I am still as a statue, waiting patiently to see. It feels like eons before she lets me look, and before I can remember I’m not supposed to see myself, before I argue that I have a bad history with mirrors, before I can ask to go look in the lake instead, I catch my reflection.

My right eye is undercut with two white triangles and a line of three dots. A large arc of red paint, trimmed on the bottom by sharp points, sweeps from one cheek over the bridge of my nose onto the other, and another crimson line slashes my dark lips in half vertically. My throat has been split down the middle by symmetrical eddies of white, curled up and in like clouds or gusts of wind. I turn, and gasp. On my right shoulder is a bright red sun half-dissolved by waves of purple that stretch up to meet it all the way from my ankle: my mother, I think, and father.

I tell her I will never wear any other pattern. Then she smiles at me, and I know that I will never love another smile, either.
Aeneas has my mother’s broad wings, her dark skin; my father’s white hair, his sunlit dapples. People look at him and know he is their child. I don’t have that privilege.

I do have wings—sooty gray at the top fading into dark brown at the tips, a color like ash at the place they meet in the middle. But unlike either of my parents, I am a soft, stormy silver, almost everywhere. The exception is the mottled web of dark brown spots that cover my legs from hoof to knee and my face from cheek to cheek, making something almost like a bandit’s mask; and in a few places, mostly my face and hindquarters, I am flecked with a color like gold, which matches the amber of my eyes. My mouth is crowded by two unwieldy, predator-sharp canines. (I think those are my mother’s, but I know better than to ask.)

Maybe my tail is the most unique of my features. Prehensile and naked like a lion’s, the only hair is a long tuft of white that spills from its very end, which I keep cropped in a straight line (though not very short) and tied with a gold ribbon. My mane, too, is kept long but cut into a blunt fringe, which Sitri often pulls into a loose braid for me and ties with the same kind of metallic streamer.

People look at me and have no idea I am my parents’ daughter. I can never decide if that is a disappointment or a privilege.

I don’t know much of anything about myself except that I want to be loved.

More than the average person; more than anyone I know. My mother says she sees herself in that part of me. But I have never seen her cry, or wear any expression of real emotion, except perhaps when she looks at me or Aeneas or our father, and goes soft like the belly of a fish. I feel that soft all the time. I think I probably look it, too.

I want to be loved. I want to love, too, and Mother calls that “altruistic”. I know I’m supposed to be training or learning something every moment I’m awake, but I still get caught sneaking out almost daily to distribute food to the poor, or clean up garbage in the slums. I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t. I know the Halycon are important; and I know Terrastella needs a leader. But sometimes I can’t help wondering if my mother’s time, like mine, would be better spent elsewhere.

Maybe it’s just childhood. But I feel over-sensitive, too. Aeneas does things sometimes that he calls playing that have sent me almost into tears. I’m happier watching the spars my mom organizes than participating in them, and when I can get away from the barracks, it soothes me far more to hide away in the Fosters’ library than to follow my family to some stuffy social event. My head is all fairytales. The one I think the most about is Ole Lukøje, because I’m almost sure that he really does visit me, and spreads the umbrella with no pictures over my drowsy head so I always have a dreamless sleep.

The world is so loud. I feel nervous all the time, like prey being stalked in some dark forest, and sometimes my blood rings in my ears like church bells loud enough to make me cry. But I have my father’s saltwater soul; my mother’s mind of iron. And when it comes down to it, little øjesten (as I’ve goaded Sitri into calling me), when she’s backed into a corner, still knows how to fight. Still knows how to close herself off. For me it is like drawing curtains over a stage, and to my mother I think it is more like closing the door behind her, out of habit. But I can do it—get cold—almost as well as she can.

I just like it less.

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Played by:

RB (PM Player)

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08/17/20 Character application accepted; +20 signos for visual reference. -SID
12/21/20 +9EXP for RB's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year OOC anniversaries (06/19/17). -INKBONE