[SE] If the Sun Should Fall
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 1,115
MP:
#1
It had taken no magic, only a keen eye and ear to know that the warchief wanted them out of the Sidhe village sooner, not later, and preferably immediately. Normally Jigano tried to be a gracious guest and not overstay his welcome, but he knew he would have few chances to come visit after this, out of courtesy for the Fae's ways, and so he allowed himself a few hours of selfishness to explore just a bit - just enough to get a feel for these people, how they lived, what they loved, so he would know best how to approach them in the future should shared curiosity and interest bring their peoples together again.

Had he not made friends with Eliza? As she had been quick to point out, he could not judge all Fae based on the actions of one or two, whether that one was as glorious as Arduinna or as insular as the chieftess.

His wandering steps took him upwards, as so much of the village was, high into branches and then higher still. He had thought to get a view of the forest from the top of the tallest tree in hopes of orienting himself without the woods playing such tricks on him, but what he found at the top of the tree instead was a construction that caught his imagination afire and left him breathless with delight. At the sound of a creak on the ladder behind him he turned from his awestruck study of the platform; even lit by the afternoon sun and not the stars it had been so clearly made to study it was magnificent. He grinned brightly at the sight of a familiar tawny head, reaching down a hand to help his heartsister the rest of the way up. " Amalia , have you ever seen anyplace so beautiful?"
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Amalia Chandrakant
Baker / Librarian ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 4 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 16
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
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Posts: 354
MP:
#2

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


"I have not."

Amalia, too, is reluctant to leave, having become enamored by the woods, dangerous and unforgiving as they may be. Eager to say her last goodbyes she has lingered and lasted, visiting favored places and haunts, trying to see and discover all she can before they find their way home. But the time to leave is fast approaching, and the baker knows better than to linger, to push and encroach too strongly on the hospitality of the fae. So as the day begins to wane she sets about gathering her people, collecting them for an early night that they may set out come the dawn. Jyoti delights in the game of it all; as Amalia seeks she swims behind, circling trees and vanishing behind boughs, hiding finding and playing merry games, too young to appreciate the bittersweet aching of her soulmate's mind.

The baker had spotted Jigano before, his tall figure and shock-white hair unmistakable in a place such as this. That her friend should seek refuge of the Observatory does not at all surprise the girl, though she rather expected the Undercroft to be his preferred haunt. Still, Amalia knows the appeal of this haven. Towering above the rest of the woods, it offers a vantage of haunting beauty, vistas and starlight coming together to paint a pristine panorama. In the waning sunlight it is doused in gold, radiant and splendid, warm and alive.

Amalia smiles warmly at Jigano, reaching out to accept his proffered hand. Rising onto the platform the girl inhales deeply, delighting in the clear, fresh air, relishing its pristine nature in comparison to the Hollowed Grounds. Walking toward the edge of the platform she sits upon the wood, long legs dangling over the side, her hand extending an invitation for the bard to come beside. "This whole place is beautiful." She is unafraid of the drop below her, unperturbed by the idea of falling off the platform: in her time within this forest, the girl has gained wings.

Glancing sidelong at the tree behind them, Amalia grins as she spots a flash of starlight and blue. "Jyoti is spying on you," she whispers, leaning conspiratorially toward Jigano's ear. "She thinks she is very good at hiding."

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


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Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,115
MP:
#3
She had been such a timid, shy creature when he had met her, as delicate and skittish as the luxere they had made music for. She had worried, and walked in silence, alone even when surrounded by friends - by decision and choice, not because anyone wished to exclude her, but because she had held herself apart for reasons he was only slowly beginning to untangle from this complex, curious woman who had become as close as family to him. Her head was bowed too often, her voice so soft as if she was afraid it would be heard... or at least, it had been.

Jigano was not the only one who had been changing, however. He watched the sister of his heart walk with easy confidence to the edge of the platform, inviting him to join her as if he had not arrived first, as gracious as any queen upon her throne. His lips quirked in a fond smile at how she was blossoming, and he rather thought her grandmother would be proud of the woman who sat, self-assured and confident, before him.

Settling beside her he nodded agreement, eyes turned to the forest and the village that blended into its branches below them. "Beautiful... but not for us," he said softly, remembering the warchief's knife-edged smile. "We are all of us Outlanders here." Intruders, interlopers, invaders... but by choice rather than circumstance alone. He sighed, his regret a physical knot in his chest, but Amalia would not let him and he carefully did not look at the small flying whale who was trying so hard to hide. He leaned back against his sister's shoulder, smiling lightly as his eyes turned to take in the glory of gold painted against the clouds in the late afternoon light. "Isuma will be thrilled to have a baby sister," he murmured back, laughter in his voice. "I just hope she isn't jealous at no longer being the youngest!" Given the little gryphon's sweet and sunny personality he had trouble imagining it.

I was worried sick about you, my Ama, he admitted in the privacy of their thoughts, his mindvoice soft. I was terrified that I had lost you... that I had failed you. I am sorry that I could not protect you. There was deep guilt, and an aching regret beneath his words, but there was pride, too, that she had not needed to be rescued. That the leopard-girl had rescued herself, and emerged stronger for it.
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Amalia Chandrakant
Baker / Librarian ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 4 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 16
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 354
MP:
#4

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Perhaps it is true that Amalia has changed: to the sunlit girl she is not much different, still fearful, still anxious, but there is something more to her slender frame. A stronger backbone, a straighter spine, a little less weight on her narrow shoulders, a few more lines around her eyes. She smiles up at her fair-haired friend, though the smile grows troubled as she takes her seat, a shadow passing over sun. "We are," the baker agrees quietly, turning her gaze back to the horizon, a wistful longing in her voice. To be unwelcome, uprooted, uninvited- is this how all the Outlanders feel, tossed by winds of fate to a fickle new home? Though she is often lonely in the Hollowed Grounds, Amalia has at least belonged, always known herself to be part of a place.

She wishes she could find that here. It is unsettling to be an outsider, watching through a broken window, hands cut on the glass each time she tries to go inside. Jigano leans against her shoulder and the girl responds in kind, letting her head rest on his a moment, a sigh moving easily from her lungs. "I am sorry if we made you feel unwelcome," she murmurs, earnestly understanding, a mask for an unspoken vow. You belong with us now. We can not belong together.

Jigano's reply elicits a giggle, the girl turning around to glance at the starwhale, fondly teasing with a friendly smirk. "Jyoti is incorrigible. Isuma will have her work cut out." Drawn by the mention of her name, the little whale trills and coos, bursting suddenly from the trees to circle around the pair before vanishing beneath the suspended platform, once more attempting futilely to hide. Amalia laughs warmly at the antics, anxiety and uncertainty momentarily assuaged, until Jigano draws them back. Shaking her head ruefully, the girl bites her lips, pulling thoughtfully at a lock of tawny hair. "It was my fault for getting captured. I should have been more alert."

Guilt and regret ring through her voice, shame at being such a fool. She had let the anxious excitement of the moment overwhelm her, succumbed to the leopard once again, and how had it turned out? With her and Kiada and Caiside captured, and a whale child cast down from the sky, and her friends left to forge through forest to protect her, utterly and justifiably believing of her inability to save herself.

a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


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Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,115
MP:
#5
"You? You have never made me feel unwelcome," he reassured her gently, fond affection in his voice. "You have given me a home and a family, far more than I ever could have dreamed of having again. I regret nothing, least of all that I was brought here to you." Her smile, her laugh, her quiet silences, her anxious eyes, her spontaneous hugs, her teasing, her fears, her dreams... he loved them all, and cherished the connection they had forged in shared adventure, in joy and pain, and in the lives they had come to share.

"Isuma is a hard worker, never fear!" he teased back, momentarily distracted to laughter by Jyoti's antics as he tried to get a better look at the little flying whale and her star-spangled skin. He was fascinated by her, even as she slipped away again into hiding and left his laughter fading once more to quiet honesty and the truth that had gnawed holes in his heart.

Apology was met with apology, and he reached up to loosen his braid, slowly working the plaiting out to let his hair fall rumpled and wavy against his back. "Not your fault at all, dear one. I've seen how the Fae can hide among the trees, their illusions making them one with the forest. We had no chance, no way of knowing... They are a strong, fierce people with magics we've never seen before. No, I was a fool for not keeping us close together once Ianto mentioned that there were 'Fae' in the woods, but I am glad beyond words that I my mistakes were survivable." Tentatively, still learning how to reach out and initiate such contact, he shifted to wrap an arm around Amalia's shoulders and pull her gently against his side in a half-hug. "But you were here for two nights and days, held among these new people. Neighbors... whether they wish to be or not. Have you learned much of them? Or were you captive most of that time?"
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Amalia Chandrakant
Baker / Librarian ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 21 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 4 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 16
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 354
MP:
#6

YOU SAID THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE MOON
IT ROSE TOO SOON
AND WE'RE DOING WHAT WE SHOULD


Amalia smiles at Jigano's reassurance, dropping her head to hide her gratitude behind a curtain of tawny hair. Reaching silently for his hand, she squeezes it gently within her own, dark eyes still on the far horizon, seeking the edge of a world she can finally see. "It's beautiful," she reiterates wistfully, aching to think of an unclouded sky, the potential of a kingdom without end. How easy it would be to simply fly, spread her wings and leave this behind, set off for the furthest point from the epicenter of her life.

She used to dream of that escape, first as a child and then an adult, lonely and anxious, chafing and bewildered, surrounded by nothing but cruel memories and a brittle heart. What happiness might she find out there, what mirth and adventure, what freedom, what life?

But what would she have to leave behind, to gain that chance at redemption? Time was no so long ago that Amalia could count on very few ties, some tenuous threads but nothing quite lasting to bind her to this place. Now she has friends, family, love- and so once again she squeezes Jigano, leaning in willingly against his embrace despite the raging guilt and shame which writhes within her breast. Sighing, the girl chuckles slightly, gently shaking her golden head. "The important thing is that everyone is safe."

Have you learned much? How to answer such a question, except with another lilting laugh, another poignant sigh? "Has it only been two days?" She runs a hand through her hair, reaching down with pointed toes to scratch at Jyoti, who now swims about their feet. "I escaped - well - was allowed out the first night, when Jyoti fell. I spent the second day trying to learn about the fae, and talking to Ianto. They're such an interesting people- they have a custom where they catch the sun in a basket, so it doesn't go away again at LongNight." The baker has become particularly enamored with this fact, given her dislike of that bitter week. There are so many things she wants to learn, to discover from the people who have made her their unwilling guest. Yes, Amalia will return, no matter Delah's warnings. It goes against her curious nature to do anything else.


a m a l i a
You said it's life that moves too much
We're losing touch
But I'm not losing you


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Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 28 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 6 - Strg: 10 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 25 - Luck: 21
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,115
MP:
#7
”Freedom always is,” came the contentedly murmured response to Amalia’s words, the bard turning his attention to the vista before them, the world painted in brilliance and light, life and vitality. Vitality that would, with time, return to the Hollowed Grounds now that seeds and animals and rain could cross the barrier again… but it would be a slow process unless Rae or Vi could be convinced to speed it along. For now he would settle for the renewed hopes and dreams of his friends and found-family, and Jigano smiled with relief and joy at the warm body beside him and the strong heart of the woman who leaned into his embrace.

He nodded silent agreement, his own priorities having shifted swiftly from exploration to rescue, and now to simply seeing his lost ones home safely. There would be other adventures in the future, other explorations, other dangers they would face, together and separately… but for now he had much to be grateful for, not least that his friends were whole and well. And his family had unexpectedly grown with the addition of Jyoti! He peered down at the little calf, watching her play with Amalia’s feet with bemused delight as he studied the pattern of stars, the echo of the distant cosmos, that sparkled throughout her skin. The mention of Ianto had him frowning slightly, however, raising his head to arch a brow at his companion. ”Catching the sun in a basket? However do they do that?” But there was something else she said that put a chill in his bones, and Jigano’s frown deepened. ”But… Ianto was here after all? So he did lead us into that ambush?” The question held a hint of steel behind it, a flicker of cold anger as the uncertainty of the red fox’s treachery gave way to surety. Things may have turned out well in the end, but the fear and pain the bard had felt in the two days he had drowned in his failure to protect his people would not so easily be washed away.
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