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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 78 — Threads: 15
Signos: 315
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 40 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#1

A S P A R A

I was so used to being one of the youngest members of Denocte. The baby. As much as I thought of that word with derision, there was definitely a comfort to it, a freedom in knowing that if you did anything wrong-- anything at all-- ah, well. You could not really hold a baby accountable, could you?

But time marches on. I grew tall and narrow like a reed. More babies were born, and the brief specialness I experienced was eventually passed on to someone else. I should not have felt resentful for someone younger than me, I didn’t want to, but controlling my emotions was beyond me. When I saw the younger girl at the lake, I’m ashamed to say my first reaction was jealousy.

Maeve was pretty, and so very small, and she had the joyful spark of youth which I recognized in myself as fading fast. (I wanted to cling to my spark, but the harder I tried the faster it slipped through my grasp. I don’t understand why life is so heavy, even when it is so wonderful; I had everything I could ever ask for, but still that spark slowly bled from me.) I wanted to ignore her, because ignoring her was the easiest way to ignore my own discomfort. But I could not ignore the way she struggled to light the candle in her lantern.

I glanced around and saw no one to help her, no parental guidance, and I sighed. At this rate she was going to burn herself, or-- knowing what I do now of her lineage-- set the hillside on fire. “Hey there! Here, let me help you.” I plucked my pale blue lantern from the lake’s surface and trotted over to the girl. I leaned in and picked up my candle to light hers. “I like your lantern,” I murmured as I worked, and I hated the vague tone of motherly approval in my voice. Why must I always be so nice?! The girl didn't even need to be placated. “Ready? Make your wish-- now!” I lowered the flame to the unlit wick and-- I couldn’t help myself-- I smiled warmly.

- - -
@Maeve I hope this works! <3






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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 6
Signos: 15
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 0 [Year 505 Fall] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Fire Healing // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Rory (Cooper's Hawk)
#2

— the fire healer —


I was nervous to come here with all the fire involved, but Momma Morr insisted. She said it would be fun and I could make a wish for something. I didn't really understand why I needed fire to do that, but I also didn't like to argue much with her either. I wanted to make her proud too, so maybe if I tried to get over my fear, it would work out?

But when Momma had to leave to deal with some Regent stuff, I found the fear creeping back in. I didn't know what to do. Is there a way to light the lantern without getting so close to a flame?

I'm about to give up when a girl comes over. I think her name is Spara? Asparga? Something like that, but I know I've seen her around before. Momma told me she's the daughter of the lady with the dragon (I forget her name, but that's how I remember her). She comes over to me with a willingness to help and I breathe a sigh of relief.

As she lights the candle, it's as if the flame is giving me a judgmental gaze. For a small candle, the heat it gives off is quite strong and it makes me cringe. Then Spara compliments my lantern and it makes me forget for a moment. I look at it more closely and I remember why I picked it out. It reminds me of the kind of purple you see during a sunset and I thought it was pretty.

"Thank you!" I say with clear relief in my voice. "I like yours too." Her's reminds me of a bright blue sky with no clouds in sight.

Both our lanterns are lit now and ready to be set out across the lake. She tells me to make a wish and I close my eyes. I wish for… I wish for…

It takes me a moment, but I wish for courage.

When I open my eyes, it reminds me of the river with Zahra and the fireflies. My jaw drops at how breathtaking the sight is and I nudge Spara to look too. "So pretty!" I exclaim, all wide-eyed. I look around for Momma, but she must not be back yet. She's going to end up missing it all.

"What's your name? I'm Maeve," I say, admiring how pretty she is. She seems much older than me, but I hope I can grow to be as strong and confident as her.

"Speaking."
credits


@Aspara <3





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 78 — Threads: 15
Signos: 315
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 40 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#3

A S P A R A

I wanted very very much to ask the girl what she had wished for. The tales went that if you told someone your lantern wish, it wouldn’t come true, but of course I didn’t believe in that. I had a deep respect for secrets, but I didn’t delude myself. A secret-- or in this case a wish-- was not magic. It was just a bundle of words and thoughts and feelings, and while it required a delicate touch it was not going to fade away just because it was shared with someone.

In fact the more I thought about it the more it seemed to me that wishes should be said aloud. Sometimes words had a power that came to life on the tongue. But I felt I should not share any of my thoughts with the girl-- it was too beautiful and light a night, and the child probably uninterested in philosophizing.

Maeve nudged me as though I was not already looking at the lanterns as they slowly bobbed in the lake, moving to currents unknown. It was like a strange slow dance, orchestrated by the slightest kiss of the wind or the eddies of fish swimming just below the surface. Captivated, I took a step into the water, and then another. The water was cold but not uncomfortably so. It was orange with lantern light, and as I stepped deeper my skin brightened with the glow. Lanterns bobbed at my knees, bumping into each other in the wake of my steps.

I know,” I said with a grin when the girl introduced herself. Maeve was the regent’s daughter, the court’s newest baby. Of course I knew who she was. “I’m Aspara.” I glanced over my shoulder, and beckoned to the younger girl with a mischievous smile. “Come on, the lake is pretty shallow on the edges.” I took a few steps further, careful to make sure we would never go deeper than Maeve could touch.

When I was little my sister and I practically lived in the lake.” Little fish. The memories made my heart do something funny I couldn’t quite describe. Not a pain, not a joy. Not even nostalgia. Just-- something. (what a poor storyteller I am! Mother, I don’t mean to fail you, I promise…) “We pretended to be kelpies. Do you know what a kelpie is?

- - -
@Maeve






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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 6
Signos: 15
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 0 [Year 505 Fall] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Fire Healing // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Rory (Cooper's Hawk)
#4

— the fire healer —


Aspara- that was her name. I feel better knowing I wasn't too far off before. I've found myself to be a little bad at names, so I try to tuck it away in my mind for later. Hopefully I'll remember right this time.

I've been watching as she slowly steps into the lake and I see the way the water ripples with her touch. I tried swimming before but wasn't good at it, so I've just avoided it since. Watching how pretty water looks from afar is a lot easier (and safer). Yet, Aspara wants me to follow her and assures me that it's shallow enough. I suppose if we just stick to the edge, it should be okay, right? I also feel like I can trust her, so I take a step forward.

The water feels a little cold against my skin, but it's actually kind of nice since I've always felt warmer than most. I take another few steps until I'm standing closely by Aspara. I don't want to stray too far from her in case I fall or go too far in, so I let my shoulder brush up against her's.

She tells me of a story about her sister and how they lived in the lake. I tilt my head out of curiosity as I wonder just how she could do that. Wouldn't they get cold from being wet all the time? What would they do during the bad weather without any shelter in the lake? I think of asking all these questions, but then she asks me if I know about kelpies. The word is strange to me.

"No, but I know what kelp is," I say, thinking about how some had washed ashore one day and looked like a sea monster. It made me jump, but then Momma Morr explained. It smelled funny too, so I just let it be. "Are they made of kelp?" It makes me wonder if my thoughts were right and the kelp really was a sea monster, or there's just simply a sea monster made of kelp. I blink a few times and look out nervously at the lake. "Do they live out here?" I know she said they only pretended to be kelpies, but that had to mean they were real in some way or another. It makes me rethink if standing in this water is a good idea.

"Speaking."
credits


@Aspara <3





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 78 — Threads: 15
Signos: 315
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 40 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#5

A S P A R A

It made my heart ache when Maeve’s shoulder brushed gently against mine. It should have been Avesta there at my side. I should have never let us be separated. But we were separated-- my fault for staying-- and the heartache was entirely my own doing. I smiled, sad and thoughtful, and for a moment I was… elsewhere. Far above the lake full of lanterns, far above the rolling prairie and jagged mountains of my youth. I was above the clouds, above the stars. I was far enough away that I could see my sister, a tiny grey blur somewhere across the sea, and I could see myself far below, and I told myself we weren’t really that far apart. It was just a matter of perspective, and I was too close to the matter to see things as they were.

This thought lasted just a moment before I returned, with no small disappointment, to my body and its heartache. Maeve at my side seemingly careless as a butterfly as we walked step by step into the water.

No, but I know what kelp is. Are they made of kelp?

It was actually a very logical conclusion to come to, and while ridiculous to imagine a kelpie made of actual kelp, one did have to wonder at the origins of the name. I did not laugh, although the idea was charming. “From what I’ve heard, they aren’t made of kelp. Just flesh and blood like the rest of us.” My smile was warm-- despite my reluctance I began to like Maeve. Being around a younger girl felt… easier, somehow, than the company of most strangers. Maybe it was because looking at her was almost like looking at a younger version of myself. Maybe because I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove to her.

No, I don’t think they live in the lake.” My nose wrinkled with amusement at the thought. “At least, I’ve personally never seen one here. But there are tales of them surfacing on nights when the moon is full and low, and the water still as glass.” My voice had drawn low and dramatic, my words infused with a drama that was unlike me. I loved a story that was-- if not quite scary-- full of mystery. “It is said that kelpies are more shark than horse, although they look very much like us. Some tribes are known for their extreme beauty, luring unsuspecting mares and stallions into the water where-” I swallowed the graphic details. “they’re never seen again.

I let the sentence sit dramatically between us for a long second, and then I flicked my tail to splash water on the younger girl. “But don’t worry. Even if there was a kelpie hiding in the deep, we’re protected by all these wishes.” The lanterns bobbed around us, a rainbow of hues all lit with a warm, flickering glow.

What did you wish for?” I asked finally, because I had been wanting to ever since we set our lanterns afloat-- and I never could resist a good question.

- - -
@Maeve






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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 6
Signos: 15
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 0 [Year 505 Fall] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Fire Healing // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Rory (Cooper's Hawk)
#6

— the fire healer —


I breathe a sigh of relief when Aspara says they don't live in the lake. I was worried for a moment that we'd have to watch ourselves out here or we were disturbing their home. Although, I'm a bit surprised they're not made of kelp with their name and all. In fact, as she tells me the story of them, it's all very new to me. I listen carefully.

The way she tells stories holds my attention even more than most stories do. I can imagine a creature coming out of the water with the moonlight shining on their coat. Then as she describes them more, they turn into more of a monster with sharp shark-like teeth. It all sends shivers down my spine.

I think maybe she picked up on my fear because she splashes some water at me with her tail. She says the wishes will protect us and it makes me feel better. I flick some water back at her though because I don't let others get away that easily. I giggle as it becomes a bit of a game.

Then, she asks me what I wished for. I have to think back for a moment because I almost forgot, but then it pops back into my head. "Courage," I say simply, although the word has a much stronger meaning than I know yet. For now, I just know that I want to be stronger in many ways. Telling Aspara my wish ends up making me think about it more, so I decide to tell her like it's our little secret. "I want to be as great as Momma, as both of them. Momma Zahra is carefree and Momma Morr is so brave. I… well I don't want to hurt anyone, but I just want to be as great as them. Like the good things about them."

I find myself feeling a bit sad and nervous, so I quickly change the subject. "What about you?" Hopefully it's something cooler than what I wished for.

"Speaking."
credits


@Aspara <3





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 78 — Threads: 15
Signos: 315
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 40 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#7

A S P A R A

We splashed water at each other, giggling and harmless, surrounded by multicolored lanterns, and although it was a lovely scene I didn’t wholly feel myself. Like I was just pretending to be a girl when really I felt more like a tree, or a stone, or a pile of moss. I guess I had forgotten what it felt like to play, even though I was still practically a baby. But I forced myself to do it for Maeve, and as I repeated the actions they became easier. More natural.

It made me feel good to make her smile. Sadness didn’t suit little Maeve. Maybe it didn’t suit any young girl, myself included, but what could I do. I’d say it wasn’t up to me-- I didn’t want to be sad-- but to be honest I think every emotion is a choice. You can feel it, or you can’t. And to be alive meant to feel, so I threw myself into the feeling.

Well I think you’re already on the right track, you seem pretty courageous to me.” In terms of courage we both paled in comparison to Avesta, but I wasn’t about to say that out loud. My sister was so courageous, sometimes when I was scared or uncertain I just pictured her there next to me, and I instantly felt safer. Stronger.

Maeve asked me what my wish was, and I smiled sadly. “I wished for the safety of my family.” It was a small lie, and it came out easily. In truth I had wished for my family to be brought back to me. It didn’t even occur to me to specify that they be brought back alive and well, healthy and whole. I felt selfish for leaving out those details, so I fudged the truth a little. “Gods forgive me,” I thought with a glance to the sky and a  little smirk, knowing they couldn’t care less. “They went across the sea to bring light to a dark place,” I explained in case she didn’t already know.

It was my turn to change the subject, and I did so swiftly and without remorse. “Want to know a secret? Your momma Morr kind of scares me.” I laughed, remembering the time she had followed Avesta and I into the strange maze. Thinking of how I avoided her (not just her but the others too: Antiope, Moira, Sloane. All the not-Isras) as I slunk around the court like a villain, quiet and brooding. I turned to look behind us at the shoreline, wondering with amusement who the regent was bullying this time. Whatever she was doing, she was out of sight.

- - -
@Maeve <3






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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 6
Signos: 15
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 0 [Year 505 Fall] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Fire Healing // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Rory (Cooper's Hawk)
#8

— the fire healer —


When Aspara calls me courageous, it makes me smile even brighter. I never really thought to be, but if she says so, then I believe her. I just hope that I can keep it going, whatever it is that I'm doing right. Maybe she could teach me if we're able to hang out more? She could be my big sister and I could follow her around and learn all of the things. It sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

I realize just how much Aspara might need me as she talks about what she wished for. I knew that Isra left, but I didn't know them all very well. It sounds like her whole family had gone away on this trip and left her behind. But why? Did she not want to go with them? Either way, I can tell she's sad and worried. I press into her shoulder again to offer some form of comfort in case she needed it.

"That sounds hard," I reply after she tells me why they had left. I don't understand why she stayed behind for that, but for all I know it's because of what it takes to bring out light.

I can't help but laugh when she confesses that Momma Morr scares her. It's not news to me, that's for sure. "She scares me too," I say, but keep my voice low in case she's nearby to hear. "Mostly her fire."

I think back to my wish and why I want to be courageous. "Momma told me that magic can be passed down through the family…" I whisper since I definitely don't want anyone else to be hearing this. "I kind of hope they skip over me."

There are many I've met so far with cool magical powers, but unless I could get theirs instead, I don't know that I want any part of it. I've seen what Momma does and it scares me. It seems like too much of a burden. I don't know if Aspara has magic, but I hope maybe in some way she could understand and I don't feel silly for saying these things.

"Speaking."
credits


@Aspara <3





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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 78 — Threads: 15
Signos: 315
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 503 Winter] // 16 hh // Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 40 // Active Magic: Psychometry // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Furfur (Wraith Wolf)
#9

A S P A R A

I didn’t realize how starved for touch I was until Maeve leaned into me just a little harder. It took me back to before Avesta left- we were always tangled up in each other like roots, so close sometimes it was hard to distinguish where I ended and she began. We often slept hip to hip, love happily strangled where all our soft edges pressed against each other.

The last time anyone touched me was Charlie, as we cut through the court like shooting stars, shoulders occasionally bumping in testament to how very nearly out of control we were. We clattered over cobblestone streets that spoke to me of what it was like to watch the time pass.

It’s fine,” I said with a brave smile, trying not to think of how my loneliness felt even heavier in contrast to the company Maeve provided. It’s temporary, whispered some cruel voice in the back of my head. You’ll only have her for so long, and then she’ll be gone. I tried to ignore that constant sense of impending doom by throwing myself into the conversation, into my body, into the night. “Magic is a wonderful thing, though!” I felt that my magic had so critically shaped my identity, without it I would be someone else entirely. Magic had saved our wolves, transformed our home to magic, opened doors to me and my sister that normally (for better or worse) would have been locked. “It’s only as good or bad as the person wielding it.” I didn’t really like spitting out wisdom like that… it didn’t feel like me, and I surely was not under the impression that I was wise. But something in Maeve brought out a big-sister kind of attitude in me.

Hey, wanna get out of here before she comes back?” I was not usually what others would consider a bad influence. But I was getting restless and my shoulder was growing hot where it was pressed against hers. I stepped away and began to splash back to the shoreline. “Come on, I want to show you the church tree where I was born!” I felt bad for not giving her any time to protest, but I was confident at the end of the night she would be happy that she chose to go on a little adventure instead of standing around all alone at the lake, waiting for her scary mother to return.

- - -
@Maeve bloop! this was such a fun thread <3






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Played by Offline Layla [PM] Posts: 45 — Threads: 6
Signos: 15
Night Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 0 [Year 505 Fall] // 15 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 16 // Active Magic: Fire Healing // Secondary Magic: // Bonded: Rory (Cooper's Hawk)
#10

— the fire healer —


"I guess so…" I say, trailing off. Aspara's words do make me feel a little better. I know in my heart that if I ever did get magic, I would only ever use it for good. Though, it makes me wonder if that means Momma is "bad" for the way she uses her magic. Maybe she just needs some help.

I want to ask her if she has magic of her own and what that's like, but the thought escapes me when she talks about getting out of here. The idea of sneaking off sounds really fun, even if Momma might be mad at me for it later. I know I'm safe with Aspara and it sounds like Momma knows her too. I don't see any problem with it.

I jump up, my sadness washing away almost instantly. "Sure!" In my excitement, I accidentally splash some water around but Aspara doesn't seem to mind as she bounds away. A new adventure definitely beats being bored and waiting for Momma to be done whatever stuff she's doing. Plus, it's an excuse to spend more time with my new friend and I'll definitely take that chance.

I chase after her, water going everywhere, and leave all my worries behind in the lake.

"Speaking."
credits


@Aspara I love them and I can't wait for their next thread <3





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