Dawn's Cold Light


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Posting Elemental
Posting Elemental

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Post Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:52 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

She was there and she was okay and that's what was important; Astarte was next to her and just fine.

AuraSidra was leaning a little heavier against her friend than she'd intended to; she really was just tired, now. Hellion was saying something, she wasn't sure what, her mind was still going over her lesson on healing. What was coming out on the other hand seemed to have a will of its own; she wasn't particularly trying to talk.

I'm sorry, 'Tarte. I brought a bad thing. It wasn't s'pos'd to make you unsafe. 'M sorry. I don' want you hurt, I pwomise. No more bad t'ings.

Sadly, with her mind so split, she was degenerating back into baby talk. She'd worked so hard to focus her thoughts properly, to project them clearly when she spoke so everyone could understand. One little ouchie and all that work was undone. She was so silly, thinking she'd learned so much, tried so hard; how easily she was brought down.

Something happened in her shoulder while she mourned her scatterbrained state, something pleasantly soothing - an odd mixture of gentle coolness and healing warmth. She stopped squirting when she moved, which was nice, but even better was the pain lessened enough to allow her to use her mind again. It's quite difficult to command the higher functions of one's brain when the majority of one's awareness is encompassed with the base needs of survival.

Thank you, Madam Hellion, she murmured, keeping her head low. She still couldn't look at her wing again, but at least she could think. Healing herself, she knew, was not something she could do; most healers had trouble with that aspect, in all honesty. To be both giver and receiver was so paradoxical as to cause problems with the effort. But there was something she was missing, some small germ of an idea - clearly Astarte was trying to find one as well, with that determined gleam in her eye.

Her body was useless, even with the leak plugged and the pain dulled. She could sense the weakness in her limbs; she couldn't feel her wing at all, but she wasn't going to focus on that right now. No, right now she was going to go over what her options were; she may be acting all demure and genteel, but her mind was spinning in a hundred directions.

The gem - the pink shell looking thing that had done this. It was clearly an object of power, something with the old and wild magics in it. The sort of magic that ran through her veins. And it must have been a very highly refined magic at that. Holding it, dropping it, exploring it did nothing, awakened nothing, but a single kick - a small act of petulence - had awakened an attack. Not at anything in particular because it wasn't a specific item that was the object of such displeasure, but something that was random and fierce.

She knew those magics. She knew that items such as that could filter and turn things enough to make her idea work, too. And she knew that everyone was most likely very terrified of it at the moment.

She would have to act quickly.

----

He'd gotten the clay - there was a fair amount around, although it was hard to stomp out enough water to make it malleable rather than sludge. She'd stopped bleeding, but he packed the shoulder all the same, hoping to keep anything from getting in there to make it worse. Thorn thought he remembered something about agitating a wound being a bad thing, at least.

Right as he went to smooth over the unseemly lump that was trying to globulate onto her shoulder the filly lifted her head and stopped his heart cold. He'd seen that look before. He hated that look. That was the look she'd had on when she had gone face to face with Caustic - and won.

Something had been switched off inside of her, something that made her innocent and kind, something that lent her face life. There was no life in that expression; it was hard, distant, impassive. It was the face of the mare she could grow into, if the spark of love wasn't nourished in her now.

It was a face he had dreamed of.

Something was about to happen.

----

She felt funny when she did this, but it wasn't a bad funny. It was just like she stopped being AuraSidra and became nothing but magic instead. She could hear it in the gem now, deep, deep down, a bottomless ocean. She could see the faint glow around each of her companions, the small disturbances the energies of their lifeforces left in this place. She didn't have to think of her lessons, of how and why. It was simple. So simple.

The gem usually had another piece to it - she could see the ghost-shape of that piece now, a special part to channel and direct what was in the gem, much more than a mere handle. But she didn't need that extra piece. She could direct it. She directed it to be right in front of her, and it was; it was sitting there in her lap, against her chest. She directed her energies into it, willed health and love, and it was; the gem took the command, absorbed it, turned it, cast it outwards in such concentration that the light was visible.

It hurt - Gods knew how much it hurt. The spell was enough to make her mane move, though she remained on the ground. She'd seen some so strong that it made someone float before - later she would be glad that this one wasn't. She wouldn't have been able to control the gem, not then. As it was, the gem didn't ask to give her health - it simply did. It took her parts and it strung them back together, stretching and searing and knitting, knocking out the clay that had been a protective layer.

She screamed.

----

Thorn jumped back so fast he nearly impaled himself on one of his spikes. He'd tried to reach for Astarte on his way, to drag her with him, but he couldn't get passed the spell whipping around his charge; it pressed him back, somehow. Ears flattened, he glanced at Hellion and snorted, legs tensed against this strange presence; because it wasn't the filly who marked this spell. And even worse, it wasn't only his filly that it circled. Astarte had been pressed right up against her; he couldn't see how she could have gotten free, not unless he missed something big.

----

The screaming helped; it focused her again, allowed her to put words to it. Somehow, the words were important.

Heal.

She wanted more than to fix her shoulder, her wing. She wanted to help her friend; to heal her on the inside. She hoped, most deeply, that it wouldn't hurt the way the knitting of muscle and growth of skin hurt her. It was like ripping, only in reverse. She was laughing now, she could hear it, and crying at the same time, and she knew she shouldn't do that so she stopped. She had to control herself; if she didn't control herself she couldn't control anything else she wanted to do.

Heal, she repeated, quieter this time, though with much more force. The light was brighter; it was closer, tighter, a second skin. She could hear the gem talking; it didn't want someone who could properly direct it. It wanted freedom. The powers inside wanted to rip through the world in wild abandon. She told them no. She told them they were hers, and they would tie themselves to her and listen to what she willed, because it was her right and she was of the same power, the same magic, the same blood.

They listened.

----

Heal

Right as it looked to be over he felt something. It as a breeze that wasn't there, a scent that didn't exist - and suddenly, he felt invincible. His legs weren't tired from wandering. His skin wasn't raw from too much time in the water. His lungs didn't ache from the oxygen being eaten by the spell in the gem. And, most strange of all, he wasn't scared. He wasn't angry, he had no urge to run away. He was whole, and why not? Energy, power, light, whatever it was, it poured into him, soaked into his skin, and touched places he wouldn't have thought could be touched. His strength was back, body and spirit, and hidden deep within he felt the little spark of magic in his own blood answer the call.

For the first time in generations, Thorn reveled in a moment, thrilling in the sensations that embraced him as he embraced them.

----

It was done; the gem slept now, cradled in her legs, her wing fluttering gently. They seemed to paint auroras in the sky with each stroke, but that couldn't be helped; she'd been the focus of it, the central point, and needed to burn off a little extra power before it went to her head. So she painted. She loved to paint. Pretty ribbons of pink and purple, sparks of blues and greens, gentle gold and silver freckles - they all swirled and danced. They were so pretty.

I'm sorry, she said again, finally lifting her face. She looked like a filly again; earnest, nervous, and filled with guilt. She felt so foolish. I didn't understand, she pleaded, hoping desperately for redemption, I didn't mean to cause harm by finding it. I understand now, though. I promise.

A glance at Thorn showed her she was no longer something to be resented; in fact, he looked to be a little too shiny. He stood with an ease and self confidence she'd never seen in him before; he was healed, just like she'd hoped.

She desperately wished she'd been at least partly successful with her other friends. She was so scared they would still be mad at her. She hadn't meant to endanger them.

Please let them know she'd meant no harm.

OOC| Psh, it's wonderful, never fret!
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Post Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:38 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

The baby talk frightened her. AuraSidra had been so proud of her language mastery, to be letting it slip meant--meant that this was so bad and Astarte was useless. “No, I shouldn’t have kicked at it, I should have taken more care.”

Maybe it was better to lose this gift. Fine, she’d stay powerless, magicless, if only khala’s spell worked. If AuraSidra could fly again. That would be fine. She bartered with the universe, craning her neck over to see if Hellion’s charm would take.

The flesh was still raw, but no longer leaking. AuraSidra shifted against her, her diction returned. Moments later Thorn was there, packing the wound with clay. It had worked, that was--good? But AuraSidra still wasn’t looking at her collapsed wing, and Astarte could feel the tremors of weakness running through her. She looked to Hellion; the mare’s mouth was still pressed in a thin line, as if expecting her work to fall apart at any moment.

“Elemental,” she said. Hellion twitched an ear at her. “AuraSidra, you said Elemental? Confetti is nearby, khala, maybe he could--”

“His power is not to heal.”

Astarte felt a small bite of irritation at the succinct dismissal. She was finding it was easy to be angry, when it was not for herself. “How do you know?”

Hellion made a noise through her teeth. “Even if he could, you think it would not cost you, or her?”

“But--”

Something nudged, somewhere inside her, so like that small voice that coaxed her when to notice, whispered what parts to choose. It is coming. The next moments flickered in slow-motion: AuraSidra’s face going dead, Thorn reaching out to her as he leapt away, Hellion freezing mid-dive, the gem coming to rest at her friend’s legs.

I should be afraid, she thought, as the light burst forth and AuraSidra screamed. But she wouldn’t hurt me.

I trust her.

--

Hellion cursed at the rising wind, the impenetrable storm of magic surrounding the two fillies. She’d meant to jump in, she had, to shove AuraSidra away or to drag Astarte to her side, anything to get her away from that accursed jewel--but too late. Too blasted late.

She could make out her niece, just barely through the blaze. Her face was set in the same stubborn determination Hellion had seen on Hinote many a time, her form taut as she weathered the wild magic. If she could just get, a little closer--

But the spell was a savage thing, the light lashing out as if to flay her. “Astarte!”

The youngling turned to her, as much as she could. Her eyes seemed lit from behind, the spell scouring through her veins and setting them alight through her skin. Hellion could see her blood move in her, a map of gold against the sunset of her hide. She’d never looked more lovely, nor more fragile.

‘Heal.’

--

Astarte was not a magical creature, save the small gifts in her blood. Her reserve was small, proven by the over-exertion that had left her drained and damaged. She’d done no great workings, nor even considered them. Avi had little magic in him, and Amma had surrendered her power long before her birth. They’d been content with her being unremarkable--and she’d been as well.

The magic wasn’t painful as much as uncomfortable. It ran through her hungrily, eager to find the places untouched and settle there. There were no physical wounds in her to heal, not like AuraSidra, only hollows to flood with raw power. She felt full, too full, as if her skin would burst and all her pieces would scatter with the magic raging wild. Perhaps it would not be so bad, that intoxicating freedom, but Amma and Avi would be sad--their daughter melted into the stray enchantments scattered about the land.

‘Enough.’

That sounded like Amma’s voice, but it wasn’t. For one, Amma wasn’t here, and she’d never spoken like that before. That was an old word, a word Astarte shouldn’t even have understood; she’d felt the meaning more than heard it. And the spell did too. It wrenched away from her to shimmer over AuraSidra’s skin, leaving her feeling as if all the blood in her body was fire running backwards.

But she was ok. At least, she didn’t feel as if she was dying, just oddly warm.

--

For a moment it seemed the light would tear Astarte apart, but then--well, Hellion couldn’t be sure exactly what had happened. Magic was irritating like that, all metaphysical enigma, slippery and ungrounded. She couldn’t kill magic, couldn’t grasp it nor understand it. She couldn’t get past it to save one of the only precious things left to her.

And then, suddenly, Astarte had grown wings, just for a moment, wings like her mother’s but blindingly brilliant. They folded around her--then through her--sweeping out the invasive spell and spinning it away to cloak the filly at her side. Then they vanished, leaving the girl shuddering, but unscathed.

‘Heal.’

It tried. Hellion could feel its eagerness as it flowed over her, wanting to sink into her, do as it was bid. To heal her, as it was doing with the stallion. She almost wished that it could--AuraSidra’s intent was pure enough, and she was not so heartless as to dismiss her good will. There was simply nothing for it to do.

She glanced down at her briefly translucent skin, unsurprised to see the darkness swarming underneath. Her mistress’s magic--knitted into all the splintered bones, flowing through old blood coaxed back into shredded veins, woven into new flesh and new organs, threaded into the beats of a resuscitated heart. There was no space for that light, no part of her that hadn't been damaged then restored by that selfish, relentless love. If she could call it that; she'd never been sure.

Still, it tried. Small tendrils wormed as far as they could, swallowed in the broiling dark. She felt their touch remotely, probing into vague, cold places and flaring briefly before they died. Perhaps they worked, or they didn’t. It mattered not, either way. She’d made her peace with being a broken thing.

--

AuraSidra was painting again. It was nice to look at, comfortingly familiar after whatever great enchantment had run its course. Astarte smiled at the sky, taking a breath to still and settle her body. She felt--emptier than before, but not necessarily in a bad way. Like she’d found her room was bigger than she’d though it to be. What she’d had before seemed--small, and far away.

But she was glad to see her friend, to see her face return to bright animation--regardless that it was mostly guilt and worry that moved it. And the wing, the wing flexing lightly in the settling breeze--that made everything right.

“Next time,” she said, after a pause. “Next time, we’ll be more careful. I think, that should be alright?”

She looked to Hellion, not shimmering like Thorn nor seeming much changed at all. But that would be khala, always steady, always solid. Her touchstone, she supposed. Wait, behind her--

“Hello, Dayi Confetti,” she called. It was the first time she’d ever called the Elemental by a family endearment, but the magic had left her giddy.

Hellion stiffened, whipped her head around. The stallion stood a little ways behind her, leaning easily against the cliffside. At Astarte’s greeting, he stood and trotted languidly towards them, the air getting colder as he drew close. The mare shifted as he stopped at her side, wincing as his ever-present wind sent her earring straining wildly against its mooring.

“Well, well.” His smile was easy enough, but it never managed to quite reach his eyes. “What fresh hell is this?”
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Posting Elemental
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Post Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:28 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

No one had tried to rip her apart - she half expected it, for all the trouble. As Astarte vowed that they would simply have to be more careful she began to relax, giving her friend a grin that looked more than a little haggard. She felt good, and she was at least knowledgable enough to paint so as not to get drunk on being the nexus of the spell, but Gods below was she ever tired.

She understood the magic, the energies involved; she knew enough basics to paint and to heal small wounds or to make smaller, vital repairs. Her power was her personality, not any particular talent; it was her strength of will and nothing else that had allowed her to be the conduit for that gem. Until they found the missing piece, that gem would be a horrible bit of danger; it was untethered, free to react. The missing part is what keyed it to whomever claimed it; it must be, it was the only thing to make sense to her.

And the blasted thing was still sitting in her lap, still humming like a puppy wagging its tail. She would have to be very, very careful until they managed to either get rid of it or find the stabilizing component. She wasn't sure how to do either; hurling it back into the cove seemed a danger as she couldn't be sure the emotion behind the act wouldn't precipitate another attack. And finding missing parts, fixing them - that was far beyond her territory. She could trade for things, she couldn't create them. Maybe if she offered some of her gummy-grasses in thanks she could get some help with that particular quest - though rather Hellion would be willing to allow Astarte to even remain in her company didn't seem too certain at the moment. At the very least AuraSidra wouldn't blame the mare too much. She'd found a bad thing - but she'd tried to fix it.

And then a stranger was here, someone who brought blessed, refreshing cold following him. Her body instantly welcomed it; although it was still cool this far north, it was still quite warm for her. The sun wasn't even high in the sky yet; it would get hotter. Hopefully it would get brighter as well; things still seemed dim and a touch blurred to her. They probably always would, outside palaces of shimmering ice and blazing double suns searing glittering snow.

She looked up when she felt her wing brush against something. It was Thorn - still a bit too shiny, but different in other ways too. His face was still hard, his muscles still taught; he would always be a rough stallion, someone made for challenge and defiance. He would never want to be responsible for others; let them learn to become tough themselves. The worlds were harsh. One had to be harsher.

But his eyes - yes, there was the difference. The eyes. Gleaming bronze, they were no longer shut away, a veil between Thorn and the world around him. The hermit wasn't hiding any longer.

Why he had to be practically standing on top of her she didn't know. The stranger looked pretty fun, actually, with that funny necklace and his long tail unfurling in the ever-present breeze. He must be killer at a party; he looked strong and moved with an easy grace that she'd only seen in either Elementals or Rogues - who were essentially Elementals who could also fight, to her mind, although she supposed some would think of them as Warriors who still had magic. He had strong legs and a short, sturdy spine, but he was missing the casual power of a true fighter; she had watched Eternal and Caustic close enough to see the difference.

She felt the gem stirring as she studied the stranger, trying to reach towards him, and had to quell a small flair of panic. Making her mind go quiet made the trinket quiet; she had to be more self-contained than ever while it sat in her lap. In looking him over she had invited the gem to take the measure of his magic; and she wasn't certain she could stop it if it decided it liked what it tasted. It was hungry.

An unusual greeting, she observed, and smiled deep inside as Thorn gave her a surprised look. Since an appropriate reply evades me I offer my own in place. You are merrily met, for you must be the Confetti my darling Astarte mentioned but moments ago. I am AuraSidra, and this is Thorn, my guardian for the day. We were going to practice swimming; the better we get, the harder it is to drown us.

----

So this is what the squirt was like when she properly focused herself. She was usually so full of life that it was hard for her to contain herself to a single thing at a time. Then again she really wasn't focusing on one thing alone; the filly 'painted' still, the colors and shapes a road map to what went through her head. He had no idea how to read this map, but he knew it for what it was. Then again, he wasn't altogether certain her father would be able to read all of it either - there were parts of her that she shared with her mother alone, parts that only the tiny Nova would ever truly understand. One royal to another.

He knew one other thing, too. Hellion's guard had gone up the moment this stranger appeared, and he was pegging her to be a bit less than smothering overprotective. She'd been a good one to take his cues from so far and while he wouldn't go so far as to say he particularly trusted her he did believe her plenty capable - if slightly deluded. She thought herself hardened - he still saw the tenderness. He hadn't missed the shadow of dark magic that had claimed her; nor did he miss the depth of love in her eyes when she gazed at the filly that AuraSidra remained next to as though dried honey bound them together. This Astarte must be quite remarkable.

But then he'd been deluded as well, thinking himself hardened and beyond love when he was truly hurt and running away. He could neither blame nor condemn the mare; but he could stand with her. And he could believe in her. He'd take his cues from her. Even if she wasn't willing to act directly on the Princess's behalf she could show him how he could protect her.

You still want to swim, then? he asked, flicking an ear towards the fillies. He hadn't missed that the gem in her lap hadn't once been mentioned. I think it's Astarte's turn to choose a game, he continued, turning to Confetti as he tried to find a way to explain the anomaly of learning to swim so far outside the haven provided by the Fields. She always did like to explore, he said lamely.

He looked back at the fillies as he did, knowing he still wasn't great with words or even gentleness, but at least he was no longer bitter. He had been healed, just as she'd wanted; and her friend, for a moment, had even been granted wings. He wondered about that. He'd seen no phantom images on anyone else - and more than that, Astarte looked to have been given just a bit more in other ways. If anyone currently seemed in danger of waking up with a hangover from too much magic, it was that filly there.

He'd seen his bonded go through it before. It really sucked; channeling more magic than one was meant for tends to leave one stripped raw. But then, perhaps that's what made that filly so very special - perhaps she has the most potential for what she could become, what she could learn. Her boundaries may grow passed what any of the rest could even dream of.

Potential could be a very dangerous component to add to magic.
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Post Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:04 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

Fireflies and bubbles. That’s what her thoughts felt like, popping and fizzing about her brain. Astarte could swear she felt each of her impulses ricocheting down the her stripped nerves, hyper-aware of the organic mechanism of her body. She was a living trinket--she could see the blueprint, could take it apart, put it together, maybe even make it work again. Anything. Everything.

She’d never been drunk before. She imagined this might be like that. Perhaps. Or not. Experimentation may be necessary.

The gem had been babbling to her, for quite some time, but she’d failed to notice as it blended so cleanly into the rapid lightning of her sensory overload. It was only when it took a moment to break away, to reach out for Confetti, that she noticed the shift. It seemed to want its channel quite badly. The Elemental grinned and reached out a tendril of his wind--odd she could almost see it, she never had before, but then Confetti was little more than a stranger to her--but AuraSidra pulled the magic back. Astarte thought that was sweet of her, but her odd dayi’s eyes grew a touch flinty.

“It’s dangerous, sort of,” she supplied. She should not be so casual. She could not stop. “I made it flare, and it hurt AuraSidra. I wanted to get you, but she healed herself. I think it’s rather tied to her now, right now, anyways.”

Khala was studying her as if she’d been turned inside out. Or maybe she didn’t like Thorn being so close to her, or Confetti even being in the same breathing space. Astarte hoped she wasn’t worrying her. She nodded sagely at AuraSidra’s introduction, preening slightly to the ‘my darling’ affixed before her name.

“Dayi speaks like that all the time,” she tried to confide, except the volume of her voice was being quite unmanageable. “Avi said maybe his head got sort of broken when his old bond was. I rather think it suits him.”

Khala visibly winced at that. Astarte had never seen her do that before, and so missed Confetti’s smile growing ever sharper. “My, you are a charming thing without your filters. But enough of that, doll, better seen than heard.”

He stomped, once. Astarte gasped as the cold ripped through her, shredding her odd elation and slamming her back into herself. Her thoughts became clearer, but the emptiness inside her took on a hollow feel. She didn’t--exactly know what to do with it. It worried her that there was so much. Her muscles jumped violently and erratically under her skin, jittery with the extreme temperature changes and the remnants of magic.

--

Hellion’s eyes were sparking. “What did you do?”

“Easy now, I just killed her high.” Confetti paused, then spoke again with dripping condescension. “Or did you intend to let her flop around the ocean blitzed out on magic?”

The mare made a sharp sound through her teeth. But Astarte did look more like herself now, a bit shaky but slowly regaining her composure. Still, she couldn’t trust anything the Elemental did; bonded they may be, however loosely, but his motivations were anyone’s guess. She hadn’t wanted him anywhere nearby, but of course he would be drawn in--that enchantment had been no small thing. If she was irritated at AuraSidra for anything, it would be for the extravagance of her magic. But she couldn’t really guilt a child for taking measures to save her own life. She’d been in a somewhat similar place before, after all, and paid her price.

“Where’s Dayi Id?” Astarte’s voice was quavering slightly, but the clarity had returned, edged with a hint of worry. Hellion did another sweep with her eyes, and was slightly relieved to see there was no sign of the other stallion. Of course, she probably wouldn’t have been able to sense him if he were nearby; blasted Warriors.

“Oh, you know, here and there.” Confetti laughed at the vaguely horrified look that crossed Astarte’s face. “Please, darling, as if I’d be so crude. I left him at the mountains, miles away--he’s off his game after your little display here. I simply had to drag myself away to check up on you, you know, just to ease his mind. What’s left of it, anyhoo.”

Hellion watched the girl relax, slightly, and turn her face to Thorn as he mentioned her choice for a game. The stallion’s gaze still made her uneasy--not so much for its odd intuition any longer, but for the newfound clarity, the budding belief. No longer just looking through her, but to her. How and why she suspected had to do with the princess’ healing, though she wondered if that healing had made him as loose in the head as Astarte had been. One would have to be, to judge her example worth following.

“I would not mind swimming, it might be good to do something--a bit normal?” Astarte smiled at her friend, then looked to Hellion, her eyes pleading. The mare sighed.

“All’s well now,” she said, turning to Confetti. She grit her teeth against the sting of the wind. “Best be off with you.”

Confetti flicked an ear toward her. “I would, really, but there’s still a matter of the thing little lady blue is trying so hard to control.” He nodded at the gem, a subtle hunger warping the edges of his grin. “I can take that off your hands. It’ll be ever so much easier for you to swim or explore or whatever you kids do nowadays, hm?”

Astarte bit her lip as she glanced at the gem, at AuraSidra, and then back to Hellion. Well, at least she was in her right mind enough to be a little wary. Hellion shrugged; as far as she knew, the Elemental was all wild magic and well enough suited to handle the danger of that stone. Still, if it was still ‘tied’ to the princess as Astarte had said earlier, it was up to her to decide what to do with it. All Hellion was certain of was that the thing was deadly and she didn’t want Astarte around it any longer than necessary.
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Posting Elemental
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Post Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:11 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

He did talk funny; and he didn't seem quite so fun any more. It more sounded as if his fun came at others' expense, even pain. AuraSidra didn't think she wanted him at any parties, now.

And then the offer came - casual, almost veiled, and awkward for her to understand. The phrase "off your hands" was foreign to her, although she was able to intuit the general meaning. He wanted to take the shell-gem. It sent her mind whirling, dozens of things dashing through her head:

It's hungry; it wants its' other part, but that might not be good. If it gets it, it could be safer, easier to control; it won't randomly tie into energies. It must just be chittering at me now because it used me for a spell; and a big one! I hope it helped, at least a little bit. But if it's easier to control it, wouldn't that be bad too; rather than being wild and alive it would really belong to someone. I don't trust it; it's hungry and doesn't know good and bad or even really care, it's just a big pool of sparking powers and it makes my skin itch and needs controlled. I think I like it, though; there's something innocent about the whole thing. It's not bad by itself, it's just a bad thing because it can hurt someone. I don't know if I want this one to have it either though; I don't know if he knows what's right any more than the shiny does. Astarte would know; she's so bold and kind and smart. I wonder if I gave it to her, to fix and keep safe, if they would get mad? I don't suppose that matters, though. I don't want it; it's not meant for me. I just paint, I'm not supposed to be tastey for something like this! Crud, I never thought of that!! If it does find me tastey, it might start taking things from me. If it can use it's energy-power to give important things it could go backwards too, couldn't it? Gods below, don't let that happen, I don't want to be hurt, I- Grr! I can't be scared either. Scared will make it do something. It won't eat me up if I can just keep it quiet. I'm not sure how, I can't ask it like Astarte can, I can just feel it watching me and reaching for - something. The part that links what it is to whoever has it, I guess, because why would anything make a thing that was so wild and alive and random? There has to be a way to really have it want to be yours; and there must be a reason for that circle bit on the one side. Maybe it needs legs. Like the spiders in Thorn's place; something to stand on so it doesn't flop around. I'm not supposed to know of the spiders though, he doesn't know I've gone to his woods, so I have to make sure not to say anything. Golly this really is itching my chest; it's humming tickles! Is this what Astarte means when she says that the broken things talk to her? Can she hear the life in everything? How cool is that! I'm a little scared of her dayi though; she told me what that meant once, I think, what was it? Something like uncle, right? She seems scared of him too. He better be nice to her! Maybe he really shouldn't get it, I don't want the gem to try and hurt her again and if he likes to be mean to others I'm not going to let him have something that helps him be mean to her. He seems really strong though; if there wasn't so much inside this thing I'd almost think he could really squish it into being still and behaving for him. But it's so huge in there! There's no way he'd be able to handle all that wildness. Unless he's like Thorn and really loves to challenge himself. Thorn likes to test himself though, and I think he used to be halfway trying to die; I hope he stops that. It's quite selfish and very stupid. Confetti doesn't seem stupid though, he knew Astarte had been given a heavy hit of this stuff. I wonder why it liked her so much? Maybe that's the answer - it wanted her anyway, right? It lashed out because of her discontentment - I think that's how I'm supposed to use that word, Hybrid told me it was like being unhappy - but maybe the thingy did the big light because it loves her. It didn't do anything when I was in the water with it. Does water make it not work? Is that a thing? Does the way the water moves make the energies move wrong in the shell-gem? I wish Momma was here; she would really know what to do. Or at least who to ask. I really think it likes her, though... It feels right.

It wouldn't be useful for swimming, but then it really isn't for that, she said, buying herself a little time while everything churned around in her head. It's heavier than it looks though, and it isn't something I can find much of a use for even within the means of what it's meant to do. I think you should keep it, Astarte. I did find it for you. Besides, it's a broken thing that needs to be fixed; and I do believe it simply likes you.

Control, control. Cold as the wind that slammed through her, hip-to-hip as she was with Astarte. Calm. Keep the power in her lap from exploding everywhere.

----

The filly certainly knew her element; the harsh, biting winds that made his skin twitch simply made her smile as her mane fluffed around her like a cloud of misted sunlight. He didn't like the subtext that Confetti was throwing out, nor did he like how uncomfortable Hellion seemed to be; yet he had to admire that the squirt looked the stranger dead in the eye. Not one to be intimidated, apparently.

She kept her head up, although her chin was tucked in just a bit; keeping tabs on the thing in her lap. He wasn't scared of it, somehow. It might have to do with his faith in the one holding it; it might have to do with a general lack of magical knowledge. Either way, he figured that as long as they could all stand (or lay) around talking then things couldn't really be too dire.

He held his silence, for the moment; he hadn't been directly addressed yet and that was just fine for him. He was still watching Hellion, prepared to follow suit if she decided action was required, but until then; well, best that he be overlooked. After the first few minutes it would be easy to discard him. If one waited long enough, they were often ignored as a threat.

Thorn could be their hidden advantage, if he could just be still and silent enough; forgotten until the moment he was needed.

That suited him just fine.
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Post Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:00 pm

Re: Dawn's Cold Light

Astarte wished that she could summon her fireglow; the cold was dreadfully sharp, but she was glad that AuraSidra was not bothered by it. She remembered that her friend lived in a place of cold, in castles of ice and a blinding clear sky, and drew a kindling of strength from her unruffled demeanor in the face of Confetti’s winds. If the Elemental was bothered at all by the filly’s regal bearing and refusal to cower, it showed not--but the stallion had never shown much interest in those ‘below’ him. It was a sore spot with Avi; Confetti courting only the Warriors and blatantly disregarding the trials he and Lock had undergone to keep up with them. But Astarte had been glad of it, a bit, for she hadn’t come to love her odd dayi as easily as she had the rest of Sive and Sanguine’s bonded and was content to keep her respectful distance until she sorted herself out. She’d been afraid as she’d lost her fledgling magic, that the Elemental’s easy disregard might turn itself into blatant scorn. The former did not bother her so, the latter made her uneasy. Almost everything about the Elemental made her uneasy, but she comforted herself in knowing that he was probably only here for the gem.

The gem. She studied it as AuraSidra sorted through her thoughts, shifting absently against her friend in easy comfort. It wasn’t really ‘speaking’, not like she’d thought she’d heard it before. No words, only impressions flickering about her mind just as AuraSidra’s lights flitted about the sky. The clearest thing was the longing, the hunger. She didn’t know exactly what for, and it irked her slightly because she had, just moments ago. It was like trying to remember the important parts of a fading dream. But it was lost now, gone with that bitter blast of wind. Maybe with some time and quiet, it may come clearer. Maybe when she was feeling more like herself again.

But--what if she never did?

AuraSidra’s words interrupted the growing tide of uncertainty. Astarte cocked her head at the filly’s decision. “It likes me?” She gave the gem another sidelong glance, feeling just as blind as before. “It has an odd way of showing it. I don’t know, AuraSidra, it’s--more magic than I’ve ever dealt with, before. I don’t know if I could handle it.”

“Ah, but you aren’t what you were before, girly.” She didn’t dare look at the Elemental as easily as she had done, only the briefest flicker of her eyes. Still, in that moment he seemed pleased with her deference. “There’s the rub.”

“...what do you mean?” Hellion, voicing Astarte’s hidden fears.

“Mm? Your great magic, surely you didn’t think you’d walk away from that unchanged.” Confetti’s voice was taking a flat edge, from boredom, probably. “You and the girl. Whatever. So, what’s the deal now? Like you it may, but that little precious is still a ways above where you are. You think you can take it? It’ll be interesting to watch, but you won’t have your mother’s blessing this time ‘round.”

Is that what the wings had been? But Astarte shuddered to remember that feeling, that desire to melt into the magic rampaging inside her. No, she wasn’t--this wasn’t for her. Not yet, anyways. But it wanted something still, and she didn’t think she wanted that something to be pulled from AuraSidra. Confetti could step into that need, for now. And she--no matter what she thought of the Elemental, she knew how things fit together. For now, the stallion wanted it, and it was longing to be tied.

“I think--” she drew a breath, and looked into her odd dayi’s face, as she would her other dear ones. “Would you do me the honor of keeping it for me, for a spell? I will--make it up to you, in time.”

The lordly language sat oddly on her tongue. Would it please him, her offhanded lessons in courtesy? For she must be courteous to him, if nothing else. His eyes were so strange to her; she couldn't read them, but she had to try. She hoped she was doing the right thing, with AuraSidra’s gift, with her trust.

“I’d be delighted,” came the reply, and Astarte could hear the hunger, matched with that of the gem. “Anything for you, my dear.”

--

Deals with devils. It hit a sour chord in her memory, but Astarte was better than her, better than she’d ever been. Maybe if she’d had a modicum of what that girl had, her life would’ve taken a far different path. No use in thinking on that now. Astarte’s life was not hers; there’d been a time when Hellion had wondered if that’s where the protectiveness stemmed from, a desire to undo her mistakes, a stab at redemption. But she knew now what that deeper root was, and knew her place in the scheme of things. She was a guardian, not a guide--she’d hold with Astarte’s decisions, save her from the physical consequences, if she could.

“What then?” Confetti and Astarte both looked at her as if they’d forgotten she was there. Typical. “Gem’s still tied to AuraSidra, you said. I would gather you are not simply going to tear it away from her.”

That Elemental would, in a heartbeat, but Astarte blanched at the mention. “Oh, no! I couldn’t!”

And by the way Thorn was standing over the girls, he likely wasn’t going to let that happen either. The aftermath had turned out neatly for the princess--her wing mended and a knight in the bargain. Hellion hoped that she and Astarte were so lucky. Confetti heaved an exaggerated sigh. “I suppose that would be out of the question. Always so difficult when collateral is involved. So, girly, you were a tinker before, right?”

“Erm, yes.” Astarte straightened a little, moving slightly between Confetti and AuraSidra. “I fixed things.”

“Good, at least you’re not a complete loss.” Confetti tossed his head, and Hellion again felt the winds take on a bite. “Call your hands. You’ve got enough to do that, and to see the threads if you’re actually trying. Take it from her, tie it to me. A novice could do it.”

A challenge. The stallion was probably getting a thrill off this. Hellion sighed, looked at her niece. “Is is within you?”

But there was that look again, Hinote’s look. Hellion had always thought the girl took more after her mother, but maybe she’d gotten more of her father’s fire than she’d thought. “I will try.”

Astarte turned to AuraSidra. “Would it be alright if--if I untangle it? I sort of see it, I never have before. I think you know a lot more about this than I do, so just tell me if I’m doing something wrong?”

Magic, once again. Hellion would give a king’s ransom to be done with it, but it seemed it was not to be--perhaps they’d have to live with it, from now on, judging by Confetti’s cryptic comments. But everything out of the stallion’s mouth was a thrice-blasted enigma; just like Lucid, in that respect, but at least she knew that malice was at Lucid’s core. She didn’t know what lay in Confetti, and she didn’t care to find out. The sooner the he was off, and the gem with him, the sooner she could breathe easy.

“Master Thorn.” Astarte was looking up at the spiked stallion. “You will protect AuraSidra, should this go wrong? I have khala.”

She needn’t ask, as far as Hellion could tell. Thorn seemed to have found what he’d asked her about before, a reason to tie him to his duty. He’d settled quite well into the silent guardian role, might be quite intimidating if it was anyone else besides the Elemental. Still, his eyes rested on her, but she’d bear the discomfort of his gaze, of Confetti’s winds, of all the magic entangled about this outing. She’d bear it, for Astarte to do as she needed.

Her niece was murmuring the start of that hand spell, as she hadn’t done in a long while. Hellion readied herself--for what, she couldn’t be sure, but she was not one to to face the unknown with passivity.
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