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Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:54 pm
by Songhue
As Sparkle's eye refocused it landed on Breeze. The sight of their Horsefeathers tucking his mate under his chin protectively brought a smile; if anyone knew about change as much as he himself did, it would be Breeze.

He walked over and nudged his friend, nodding towards Nova as she smiled in greeting. It was so rare to see either without the other that none could remember the last it time it'd happened.

I hear you've moved up in the herd, Horsefeathers, Sparkle said, grinning as Breeze rested his chin between Nova's ears. You proud of him, Glimmer?

I've been proud of him for a long time, she grinned, and nestled closer under his wing. She loved knowing she could rely on him.

Just under the Soldier now, Breeze confirmed.

That's quite the difference from following our quiet Dryad.

He finally realized that he is reliable for more than his mate, Nova grinned, and Breeze nipped at her ear.

It wasn't my idea, he admitted. I hadn't thought about it much, myself. Most wouldn't have thought anything more of me than being a clown when I came here; now, most wouldn't think beyond me being mated to Glimmer. She always has seen more, though; she saw I was running. And she saw it's more than love for her. I've grown, Firefly; I'm protective over that which is mine.

There's steel in him now, Nova said, her own voice strengthening with her certainty, He's stronger. He found his core and there's no reason he can't use it for the good of everyone.

I've been there, Sparkle confided. I ran; then I grew. It was hard for me, leaving me uncomfortable in my own skin. We're lucky to find mares that make us more than we were.

It works both ways, Nova told him, He's helped me grow as well. I'm more than I was.

All you needed was someone to believe in you, he declaired, and someone that could see you. Once you were comfortable you blossomed.

Blossoms in my lands are rare.

Maybe, but they're also magnificent to see. Remember when we found the dust-flowers?

Dust flowers?

Most things in her home grow from other things - there's old logs from an ancient forest that was once there that usually serve. But these flowers were straight in the ground and we found them on their blooming day. When the blossoms opened it was with a small explosion of fluff and inner petals. It seemed to rain flowers. Once it all settled down the flowers had small waterfalls of nectar streaming from them.

I think yours is the most unique land, Glimmer.

Fit for a unique mare. It was a hard trip, but most tend to be; once you leave the river you have to be careful and the light can play strange tricks on the eyes to mask sudden falls.

It prooves safe enough, with someone to help look out for you. No more dangerous than the blizzards you get on your mountain.

I heard y'all got snowed in, once.

Well how else did ya think she got this round, laddy?

They laughed at that, real warmth showing in both their eyes. For all his easy-going stability, Breeze was still one to laugh when he could; he'd just grown enough that the others had learned to listen to him. He looked after what was his and he was utterly reliable. Only those with strong personalities, like his mate, would be heeded before him.

It was a strange and wonderful thing, finding the stone that lay at the bottom of the river - and the fire that runs through veins.

Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:53 pm
by Songhue
She was here - she was named - and she was walking chaos.

Or at the very least, her arrival had put the entire bondherd into a state of flux that had mirrored chaos.

Nova was now the proud mother of a mare named AuraSidra, called Sidhe for short (as it sounded like 'she', and also because she was very fiercely as alien as her mother so it seemed a fitting namesake). And AuraSidra was very proudly the most insanely bold Serian they had ever met.

Then again, she was also known to hang upside down by her back legs, so perhaps simply "insane" would fit.

That was not, however, the source of the chaos she'd brought; it wasn't even her mischievous sense of adventure or the many ways her charm led the others around by their tail. It was the strange cruel streak that ran underneath it all; she was not afraid to tell anywhere just where they could stick it, including the fierce Caustic.

Hardly old enough to even be walking, she still staged a confrontation the likes of which few had ever thought to witness.

Greetings, little one, Caustic has smirked, looking down at the frail and rather helpless looking newborn foal. You'll be safe as long as you do as you're told.

You'll be safe as long as you keep out of my way, she'd countered, and everyone had gone still.

Within hours the two had faced off properly; in the end, the filly had managed to outsmart the warrior, tricking him into using his own talent against himself so that he landed flat on his back with a certain young'un sitting on his stomach in smug triumph. She'd goaded him into action, taunting and daring and challenging; when he'd finally made a move it was to have it reversed with the result being his own stunned surprise.

While she wasn't faster and she couldn't hope to outmaneuver him - he was the Warrior, after all - she had outsmarted him. And she'd made it clear that she didn't take him seriously.

AuraSidra was very clearly a bold little foal.

Once the new order had been fully established - or, to be more blunt, everyone had figured out just who they were honestly willing to tell to get bent - a calmer state of chaos soon revealed itself. The new filly was bold in more ways than her powerful personality. Apparently, she shared her father's sense of adventure and easy laugh; within moments she was swiping honey and sneaking up to view elemental experiments she'd been warned would be dangerous to be near.

Thankfully, she also revealed a marvelous imagination; she was just as happy to play at being the bear-pirates that her mother got the honey from as she was to steal the honey itself. Few, if any, proved able to resist her charms - soon, all of them had taken turns being her play partners.

By the end of it all she was found chasing after her father and nipping at his heels, only to wheel about and flee as he chased her in turn; they were pretending to chase each other away from a stash of the shiny 'treasures' that Tribe was known to find, playing at being explorers themselves.

Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:35 am
by Songhue
Once the commotion settled the new family found itself standing apart from the others - a moment of privacy, spent just out of sight of the main Gathering.

Breeze found himself worrying, which was rather unlike him in most aspects. Yet as he watched his little Sidhe-foal poking around he considered the vast amount of energy she seemed to have; and the distinct lack of others her size and age.

Who could be her playmate? Growing up around adults would deprive her of that youthful best friend. Not that Darroch had seemed troubled by it... If anything, his adoration for Hybrid had evolved into a healthy friendship as they'd grown. But he was rather strange to begin with; he was Path's son, after all.

So far, other than being royally feisty, he hadn't noticed anything particularly different about his little filly. Which, in a whole other way, troubled him. Nova was a very different mare; very foreign. Where was the alien reservation when it came to this overly bold filly?

Stop overthinking, Nova admonished, and nipped at his mane. I know that look, and I tell you; she will be as she shall be.

I suppose you'd know, he grinned uncertainly, as you've done this before.

It makes no difference, she said with a trace of that subtle humor she had, I haven't raised AuraSidra before, and that is our current task.

Amused, and through that slightly relieved, Breeze nodded and went back to watching their foal. She was right, of course; there was no course in worrying over things. He'd just do for her what he could, as they all would.

Nova had been watching him as he watched their foal, which is how she knew of his worries. His nose crinkled a certain way whenever he grew too somber. She found it adorable, but she'd not tell him that; he was being somber, after all, so to say as much would be insensitive to his mindset.

Once he seemed to have settled she looked to their filly as well and couldn't help but smile; their Sidhe-filly was doing that same nose crinkle. She'd found a grasshopper and was trying her best to get a close look at it; but it kept hopping away.

She makes the most adorable expressions, Breeze observed, and Nova found herself biting back a laugh. If he only knew!

AuraSidra, meanwhile, was indeed trying her best to get a look at the darn hoppy-bug. What was this little thing that had nearly climbed up her nose so many times already? It wasn't snow or ice, she knew that from her home; and it wasn't a mongoose. She had friends who were mongooses, so she knew what they were. Was it only good for climbing up noses, or could she get it to help her sneak some honey?

She really loved honey.

She also chose to ignore how hard her parents would laugh if they knew her thoughts, for whenever she went off in this manner they invariably smiled at her at the very least. She was already tired of being found adorable. It was very hard to be taken seriously when serians just kept smiling at you.

And she seriously wanted this little hopper to help her get some honey.

Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:57 pm
by Songhue
She wandered, as foals were wont to do; curiousity over the hoppy-bug didn't last for too long. Neither did her notice of the watchful gazes her parents held on her.

Before long AuraSidra had created her own adventure, one in which the hoppy-bugs were just the very first faction of a massive invasion that was due to start. Within minutes she was battling unseen foes; before too much longer she had 'won the battle' and wandered farther away in an effort to 'see what was left.'

That soon evolved into being in a strange and hard land - the ravages of her epic battles - and in turn became settling an alien world, this time as the visitor herself as things 'weren't fit to live in' any longer.

She was completely oblivious to the silent laughter that rolled over her father as she flopped on the ground and crawled along on her belly, completely starving and ravished for water. And had no concept of the amused fondness her mother reflected while she dragged herself to her feet and 'marshaled those that were left.'

This little foal was quite a force to be reckoned with, or so it seemed as she conquered the land of the invaders she'd previously driven off and settled her invisible bandmates into building new lives.

The concept of her having a partner in crime was very nearly unnerving.

Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:41 am
by Songhue
He was studying again, as was usual.

Or at least he had been, until a certain sidhe-foal collided with his face and grave him a roaring headache.

WindStar! he scolded, using his unique pet name for her as she tumbled sideways at his hooves. I told you about romping around and trampling my work.

She'd been nearly insufferable ever since she'd been allowed out on her own. The filly had visited a 'neighbor,' one who shared their realm under another bonded, on the way back home; some kind of babble about pretty glowing crystals. In the few weeks that had passed since she'd grown and changed as might be expected; but she'd yet to lose her exuberance.

Whachu doin? she asked, rolling onto her hooves and sticking her nose down near the dirt in an imitation of her 'hero.' Darroch thought it was merely because he was the youngest, or had been up until she came around.

Experimenting, he said, and cast her a look out of the corner of his eye as he added and don't talk like a fool. You might find it useful to be mistaken as one, but if it is to be a tool then use it as such.

Properly abashed, AuraSidra stood up straight and squinted hard at the dirt, trying her best to see what he did. After a long moment of failing at this task she finally said What is this esperyyment?

Dirt, Darroch said simply, and once again pointedly refused to comment on her habit of dropping contractions while around him; he wasn't sure if it was a mockery of his speech or not.

Dirt?

Yes, he sighed, and finally broke concentration to look at her properly; he wasn't going to get any peace until he'd properly entertained his 'little sister.' Dirt. Repeat after me: Experiment.

Es-perry-ment.

No. Again. I've told you, slow down your thoughts. Experiment.

Es... Experry...

Ex-spear-uh-ment.

Ex... Ex-spear-iment.

Experiment.

Experiment.

Good! he said, and with a ruffle of her forelock he pawed at the grass and had sweet clover pop up, grinning in spite of himself as she eagerly cropped every last leaf.

She had a serious sweet tooth on her, that one.

What is my Elemental ability? he asked as soon as she lifted her nose.

Her head shot up with a grin and she pranced a little bit, shuffling her hooves around; she loved these things. Nature.

What is nature?

All that lives or grows.

No matter the size?

However big or small.

That is my experiment. You see, he clarified, trying not to smile at the confused look she gave him, I have an idea I have played with for most of my life. Some dirt is nourishing; it has things that help plants to grow strong. There are tiny living things in this dirt and I am attempting to determine my abilities regarding their growth and influence.

So your goal is to see if you can infloo-...

Slow your thoughts.

In... Influence the richness of soil that plants grow in?

Yes. I know that the soil itself isn't part of my abilities, but I should still be able to influence the soil. I can reshape landscapes and redirect streams by using the plants which grow to push things where I desire.

Can you really change the plants, too?

Of course. Colors and shapes are all things that are determined within the plant itself. I have an oak tree that has knotwork growing directly from the trunk back home.

And you fly?

Is that so difficult to believe?

In answer, AuraSidra merely craned her neck and looked at the inch-thick leaf appendages that served as his wings. After following her gaze Darroch gave a snort of laughter, the two of them sharing a grin as they shared a moment.

Very well, it may seem difficult to believe, he conceded, and with another fond nip at her forelock he trotted forward and began to flutter those same unlikely wings. A high buzzing hum filled the air and within moments he was hovering, his wings a green blur seen at the end of his 'branches.' His back end was hanging a little lower than the rest of him at first, yet with a mild adjustment of the angle his 'branches' were holding his wings he leveled out, circled her twice and landed once again.

Now it is time for our trade, he said, flicking his tail and arching his neck to look down at her as all four hooves touched ground again. You know the deal; whatever you ask me must be answered in turn. You know what I am up to; what trouble are you seeking?

AuraSidra didn't even try to deny his accusation of seeking out trouble. She merely gave him a large, toothy grin and said I am pestering my big brother.

With a scowl and another flick of his tail a root shot out of the ground and promptly snapped against her fetlock, earning him a quiet squeal of surprise as she pranced sideways.

This time he was the one to offer an insolent grin while she glared at him, ears flicking back in a quick show of temper. Heaving a sigh, her ears tilted back in irritation, she gave in to the inevitable.

I have a deal set up, she admitted, stomping a hoof as she quit playing around, There is a place in our realm where beautiful lights can be found; moss that glows and reflects through crystals.

Moss will not grow on crystals, he snorted, giving her a look of disdain, I am not a fool, WindStar. The surface is not porous enough.

But we made it porous, she said earnestly, and in her sincerity gained his full attention, We put small chips in it and the moss took to the patterns we made, soaking up the water that collected in the tiny holes and grabbing onto the little crevasses.

Clever. Am I to assume you wish to trade some of these glowing moss-crystals with me?

You get one free, she blurted, and then shook herself off hard. It was a deal she hadn't offered anyone else, but hey - she liked him. He was her most constant playmate.

I am honored, I assure you, he said drily, and grinned as she stuck her tongue out. What am I to do with this glowing moss-crystal?

Whatever you want, she said, and he perked his ears as her eyes lit up in true joy when she added Mine will be worked into my ice palace.

Hmmm...

What?

I'll think about it, he said dismissively, brushing aside the moment. He'd stared at her and turned thoughtful, reflecting about this love of light she'd revealed; a glowing ice spire certainly did put a whole other sort of light in her eye. He could work with that; even with her grand sense of adventure he found that she could be far too serious for a young filly. He spent almost as much time looking for ways to make her squeal or laugh as he did in his experimenting.

Tag! he cried, and had a fresh plant sprout shoot up to tickle her stomach, grinning victoriously as she bucked and squealed.

I will make you pay for that, OakHeart! she declared, and pumped her wings as hard as she could. It was her favorite game; plant-tag. He could use his Elemental powers and she could practice her flying as they chased each other around and around.

And just as quick as that, everything was forgotten except laughter.

Re: The Gathering

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:37 pm
by Songhue
Thorn watched, unmoved, as the others mingled and spoke, some playing small games of chase and others sharing mild touches.

He was apart from them; it was why he held the place he did within the bond-herd. It had to do with protection, and none of them trusted him to watch their backs. Only Shiro was guaranteed to be safely guarded; and that simply because the gentle stallion brought out those instincts in everyone.

Eternal would give her life for any of them, but she was more willing to take another for their sake; and, being Rogue, that was well within her abilities. AuraSidra was a mere filly, yet she had a shrewdness about her that underlined cunning and possession; any she deemed as hers would be kept safe for life. Caustic simply enjoyed battle and killing, yet his special trigger was that which he protected; few could fight better, so he protected almost all of them. Darroch was, Thorn thought, quite possibly insane - his insatiable curiosity (a gift from his father, no doubt) mixed with an abnormal amount of dedication (that clearly came from his mother) and an obscure sense of honor (credit to Hybrid) left a stallion that seemed to be erratic. And yet even his odd experiments had been known to focus on the defense of others from time to time; as much as he loved playing with his talents he was more than willing to use them on behalf of the others.

It got a little murky for him after that. Nova, he knew, was a princess in her own right and could be counted on to look after any of them equally (even those who would just as soon look after her). Hybrid was a slave to his honor; he would protect willingly enough, yet he wouldn't often volunteer. It was mostly in the other realms they wandered to that the threats could be found, and he knew that when it came to most Serian vrs Serian fights his comrades could hold their own. Indicating otherwise would merely insult them.

Breeze was an interesting case, his own place having shifted greatly as he grew and became solidly reliable. Thorn had to sneer at the changes in him; he was of the air, and yet he was as grounded as a redwood when it came to his responsibilities. It was only his frivolities that revealed his airy and playful nature now. Flint had gone through just as much change, finally forced to admit that it was a need to control rather than any sense of possessive protection; he wasn't stable enough to be in charge of too many of them, much less driven by a need to give his life for theirs if needed.

Caelum was a fellow who just gave Thorn a headache; mercurial, transient, distant, he still kept a weather eye on the rest of them. He was too airy to be reliable for most things, but he could be counted on to be there if there was a serious need - very far from Eternal's constant state of readiness when it came to supporting others. BlackIce was nearly as bad, not good for much other than watching little ones frolic - he had, for all intents and purposes, retired from his days of chasing off monsters. The same could be said for Path, content to look after affairs at home and scold rude little fillies more than fending off the bullies of the world; still, she could be relied on to be a source of comfort and safety from those same bullies.

Sparkle wasn't much interested in protecting anyone, but he would always be relied on to be there should any have need; a true and steady friend. Frolic, now that she wasn't insane, made a good option for whenever one of them needed a little commiseration. She'd always listen and empathize; she'd proven to be compassionate that way. Tribe simply enjoyed having a home to return to, yet she was still fiercely loyal to that home and all who dwelt there. However much she traveled, she belonged to them and (in a way) they belonged to her as well. Home and all it entailed would always come first.

Thyme was too gentle to be of much good to anyone, other than a source of peace and to act as a sort of haven from the worlds. Sign was even more tranquil; she couldn't even prove a haven, honestly, merely a source of peace, love, and acceptance. Shiro was the only one seen as even less reliable than he was; that gentle-souled stallion was to be protected and cherished, not to protect any other.

Thorn was, at least, good for that much. He couldn't help his instinct to look after the weakest of them, the one that was to be kept safe by all others. Yet none of them were his; he didn't belong to any of them either, not to his mind, no matter how much they were set on his safety and wellbeing. He belonged to their Bonded; only to her. She shared his head, whispered through the winds in his desolate forest home, and let him know he wasn't alone. That he'd never have to be alone again.

That was all he needed. He had no desire for the sense of inter-connected unity these others seemed to crave.

Deep thoughts, my friend?

He would ask that. Thyme was well-known for his meditations.

Just observations.

It surprised him, sometimes, how smooth and compelling his own voice was; it didn't seem to suit the prickly interior all that well. For some reason, either his answer or some other thought, Thyme smiled at him; maybe he'd picked up on the spiked stallion's disconcertment. Thyme was good at that, too.

I made a few myself, Thyme answered, making Thorn flick an ear as it seemed the other stallion would insist on attempting to start a conversation, such as the fact that you haven't had anything to drink today.

He walked away after that, which was just as well; Thorn didn't have a reply. He was surprised to realize that the other stallion had been correct, at that; water was scarce in his wood, though he needed it as much as any other. Being thirsty was a natural state for him; often times he forgot that he could do something about that. Especially when there was a watering hole not ten feet to his left.

As he turned to rectify the dehydration he could now recognize as settling over him, it occurred to him that perhaps it wasn't so horrible having others care enough to look after you.