walking far from home
for Amalia! <3
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#1
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
Her pride is wounded, and bruises are forming around the edges of her eyes. Her arm and legs are bruised, but they’re covered and far less noticeable as the ones blooming on her face are. And she’s covered with a small sheen of sweat as she makes her way through the Settlement. Auni waits for her at the Bakery, and she hopes Amalia is there without Deimos (wishing to not have this conversation of the Reaper, of how she got her ass handed to her). Her steps are quick, focused, but there’s a slight limp to them as she makes her way to the shop.

As she reaches it, she opens the door and slips in, running a hand through her hair as she closes the door behind her. At this point, Auni has appeared, and he darts for her to rub his head into her legs and let the glow of his antlers calm her. She slides down from the door to sit on the floor and lets Auni crawl into her lap, his hooves pressing into her thighs as he gets comfortable before flopping onto her, and she smiles quietly to herself as he presses into her – despite the small ooph noise she makes when he does.

So far, she hasn’t seen anyone in the dark Bakery, and she supposes that it is late of all things. Kiada slowly realizes she can’t complain too much, or expect too much when it comes to going places late at night, even one as familiar as this.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#2
Amalia
The clatter of Auni's hooves wakes Amalia from her slumber, the wounded leopard rumbling low from somewhere in the upstairs of the shop. She does not want to venture out of bed if she can help it, content to nurse her injured leg from her place beneath the blankets. Dark eyes close below heavy lashes; the feline is about to drift off again when the sound of a door closing jolts her upright.

For a moment all she knows is fear, clenching terror in her breast. They've come for me. I'm under arrest. I'm going to be dragged out into the night. Her breathing grows rapid, panicked, fast; unthinking she shifts to avian form, prepared to fly out of the window, escape into the night. It isn't what she planned, far from her methodically laid out intentions of allowing her capture, surrendering with ease. But now that she's faced with it, now that it's real, Amalia knows that-

It's Kiada!

Jyoti's mental trill is more thoughts and colors and feeling than words, but she communicates clearly nonetheless. A harpy's feather, a moonless night, a warm protective fire and the smell of wood smoke. These are the things the starwhale feels as she sings a soft song to the girl on the floor, drifting along on unseen currents to land upon Auni's back. Cooing curiously, the celestial cetacean exhales a plume of stardust into the bakery, hoping to ease whatever worry Kiada currently feels.

From the back of the shop a small figure swoops in, the owl landing awkwardly upon the wooden ground, clearly favoring her right leg as she shifts back to human form. "Kiada? It's late." There is no blame in her tone, simply caring curiosity, an eagerness to ensure she is okay. Sitting up beside the Harpy, Amalia leans gently against her shoulder as Jyoti swims across to her lap.
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#3
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
Auni is enough to keep the Harpy distracted, if only for a time before Jyoti joins them and the duo becomes a trio. Despite the bruising on her face, she smiles toward the little starwhale, thanking her quietly for her song of calm through her torrent of emotions. A combination of Jyoti’s celestial abundance in the bakery, paired with Auni’s golden glow of his antlers, keeps Kiada calm as she leans back against the door with a small sigh.

That’s when she notices the owl’s approach, then settling in beside her with her head on the Harpy’s shoulder. She leans her cheek against Amalia’s head, taking care of not placing her face exactly where her bruising is blooming. “I didn’t mean to wake you if you were sleeping.” She says quietly, moving to sit forward and look at her, having noticed the slight favor to her leg. “Are you okay?” She asks, concern flashing in her icy gaze.

Perhaps they both have had quite the eventful day, riddled with emotions and frustrations. At least Amalia’s story might be more interesting than Kiada’s ’I was training with a girl I’m certain wants me dead because I was a stupid child’ narrative. It’s at that moment that she wonders if she’s ever told Amalia about any of her time in the other worlds, in any detail. And if Deimos had maybe filled in some of the gaps of the Harpy’s existence and work beneath the Reaper of the North.

For now, she waits to see how Amalia feels first, deciding that if she’d rather go back and lay in bed Kiada would understand. At least it’s warm in the bakery, and the company of both the Baker, the Starwhale, and the Luxere are enough to keep her from spiraling and reaching for the neck of a bottle of something strong.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#4
Amalia
"It's alright," Amalia murmurs. "I'd just gotten into bed." She leans back as the girl sits forward, the light of starwhales and luxere antlers casting cold luminescence through the shop. Through the faint glow the baker can make out a bit of darkness at the edges of her eyes, something too large to be a shadow, too deep to be a cut.

The question about her own well-being catches Amalia by surprise. She blinks, her injury momentarily forgotten, and looks down at her hip. "Just a burn. We went to investigate another storm. It's healing well." Vervain had spun welcome magic on it, though the ache and scarring still remain. "We found a girl in it. The one who brought Ronin back from the dead."

Now it is her turn for question. Gentle fingers skate over the Harpy's cheek, a question in her onyx eyes. "You look a little worse for wear." She tries to keep her tone light, but the concern is genuine. Pushing herself up with her hands, Amalia rises to her feet, wincing as weight makes her hurt leg throb. "Tell me about it over a midnight snack?"
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#5
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
The comfort of Amalia’s presence soothes Kiada unlike anything else, and she’s so thankful for the leopardess for everything she’s done – from that first night they met in the infirmary, when Ru’in had just died and left that note, when her heart felt as though it had been ripped through each and every rib until there was nothing within her left. Amalia had helped her get out of her shell, the darkness that had settled over the silence. If it weren’t for her, Deimos, and Seiji, she didn’t know where she’d be.

Her concern drifts away as she nods in response to Amalia. “Oh, really?” She asks, turning her attention back toward Amalia rather than Auni and the starwhale as a brow lifts interested. “Is she okay?” She asks, not moving to inspect Amalia’s injuries. If she says it’s healing, all the girl can do is nod and agree. Amalia was too fiery of a spirit to let Kiada worry and dwell on her, and so the Harpy doesn’t. She does, however, wince a small amount as Amalia’s fingertips skate over her bruising cheekbone and she gives a small cheeky smile in response, nodding in agreement as Amalia pushes up and moves toward the kitchen.

Auni moves away to spend more time with Jyoti, and Kiada moves toward the kitchen to follow Amalia. “I was training.” She begins, but she can’t end there. It’s got too much of a history, too much of a reason for the major bruising along her body. She shrugs out of her jacket, leaving her arms and part of her chest visible – welts are along her chest up to her collarbone and bruises begin to bloom along her forearms as she folds the jacket and sets it aside. “But it was with a girl who was from both my previous worlds. And we don’t… We don’t get along very well.” She admits, offering a small sheepish smile as she moves to grab the items she’s sure Amalia is aiming for.

I was a very stupid child and made huge mistakes that got many people killed, and her family was part of it. I can’t blame her, but I’ve tried to show her that I’m learning from those mistakes and that I'm trying so hard to be better. But. It will take time.” She offers with a quiet sigh, bringing the ingredients over toward Amalia and setting them out for her so she doesn’t have to move so much.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#6
Amalia
"She... she will be." Amalia nibbles at her lip, remembering the broken wing, the delicate hummingbird and hardy wolf. To have survived so long in the storms, alone and afraid and lost... the girl does not think she could manage. She does not have the strength.

Rising up and walking toward the kitchen, the baker listens carefully to Kiada, a worried frown pressing between her brows. She pauses to light a couple lanterns, casting the room in a warm yellow glow, before beginning to fetch the supplies for tea and honey-coated scones. It is a pleasant surprise when she turns around to find Kiada already working, half the ingredients assembled on the counter, all appropriate for their needs, showing a degree of skill and talent. "We'll make a baker of you yet." She smiles at the Harpy, affection in her face.

Affection which fades back into concern as the girl's tail continues to unfurl, and the light shows the bruises in greater clarity. A protective ferocity rises in her breast, feline and feral, the memory of that night still tearing, her adoration for the girl outweighing the strangeness of the tale. Amalia has made enough stupid mistakes, too many to ever possibly judge.

Reaching out for an unbruised part of Kiada's shoulder, Amalia squeezes reassuringly. "All we can ever do is be better," she murmurs, empathetic and ardent. Vi, I try. "As long as we try and push ourselves, it is enough. And Kiada you are wonderful, as strong and brave and kind a young woman as I have ever known."
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#7
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
There’s a soft breath of thankfulness that leaves Kiada’s lips as Amalia mentions Ashetta’s recovery. She nods, but says nothing more – making it a point to meet the woman at some point, to ensure her recovery is easy. She thinks that if anyone understands, it’s likely her, Amalia, and Adam – those that have been trapped without a way to get home before. She leaves the conversation of the woman as is, though, as she stands and grabs some ingredients to help Amalia and waits for the return.

Affection blooms across Amalia’s face, and Kiada preens within it. “I’ve watched a thing or two.” She says quietly, as though it’s nothing, but the Harpy hasn’t really been good at anything before, and the praise that comes from something so small means the world to her – it gives her something else to do other than picking up sharp weapons and fighting until her knuckles bleed. A different outlet, one more creative and delicious.

But she explains her situation to Amalia, watching as they begin to work on making something, her eyes remaining on the task at hand – afraid to spot disappointment in Amalia’s dark gaze. But there’s none, not as Amalia reaches over and touches her shoulder and squeezes reassuringly. Her next words make her feel better about it all, but there’s still a part of her that wants to hear Amalia say that after her entire history has been let out. Sure, the leopardess could say it now, having only known her for a short amount of time.

But if she knew the true, lengthy, bloody history – would her family still look at her the same? She turns her gaze toward Amalia, a small sad smile on her lips. “Thank you.” She says quietly, pausing to think. “Deimos is really the only one that knows everything I’ve been through, and even he doesn’t know about the second world I fell into. Melita saw that part of me a lot. It's a never ending battle.” She says with a quiet sigh of defeat.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#8
Amalia
"Well, I know who I'll ask the next time I need help." The comment is lighthearted but also sincere: the idea of a protege fills Amalia with strange pride, purpose in leadership, in guiding another as she once was led. Who would the girl have been, if not for the guiding hands of her grandmother, the firm direction of her grandmother, the soft acceptance of her gods? Once she had nearly fallen into ruin, and even now she can feel it at her edges, threatening always to creep in closer, fill the empty gaps of her soul.

It is why she needs the ones like Kiada: to keep in light where the darkness would touch, to remind herself that there is more to life, that she is not alone.

Amalia cannot besmirch Kiada her darkness, her mistakes. Who is she to judge another: broken and ill-formed herself, guilty of her own set of sins? Besides, she decided months ago that the histories of the Outlanders are just that: histories, stories that do not define, do not make them who they are.

She must judge them by their actions now, rather than who they were.

As Kiada continues to work on the scones, Amalia limps her way toward the back of the shop in search of balms for the bruises. The mention of Melita sends a flicker of surprise across the baker's face, making her pause, her eyebrows drawn together. Could that be the one who left these bruises, the bright, fiery girl with a demon queen's mask? Biting her lip, the Shield composes herself carefully, wanting to hear Kiada's side, to support and soothe, to be a friend.

She makes her way back, comfrey salve in hand, and pulls up a stool behind the counter. "Would you like to tell me about it?" An open invitation, an eagerness for stories, a promise not to judge too harshly. She takes some cool goop on her fingers, gesturing for Kiada to show the worst bruises, that Amalia might tend to them as the harpy speaks.
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#9
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
She snorts in response to Amalia’s comment, but the soft spot within Kiada preens at the attention, at the opportunity to learn something new, to become something. Perhaps to create, rather than destroy, with her scar flecked hands and darkened heart. And the Harpy explains a small amount, while she begins to put the scones together, watching from the corner of her eyes as Amalia moves into the back of the bakery and grabs a few more things. Instead of following, Kiada begins to mix the ingredients together.

And when Amalia returns, pulls up a stool, and asks, Kiada pauses for a moment. Nobody has actually asked for her to tell it, even if Amalia’s was a bit on the fence. She knew the leopardess, the shield would never pressure her into telling her. But, well, if she could explain to someone and still have them support her, to know her darkness and show her the signs of its return, was it really so bad? Would it be so bad to have someone know the deepest, darkest parts of you, and still accept you?

She didn’t think it did.

Kiada inhales quietly and nods with a soft smile. But before she begins, she pauses in making the scones to take her jacket off, to show the welts and dark bruises that cling to her collarbone as well as the side of her face as she leans toward Amalia to apply the balm. “I was born in a place with red rivers and waterfalls, with my twin brother Kianzo, to start.” She begins, bracing herself for the gut wrenching feeling of remembering her brother and how he’s gone from her grasp. The sun to her moon. “And things were fine for a time, my mother worked beneath Deimos. She was his Thief, his spy of sorts. And we lived in a wonderful place of mountains and cold, with beautiful lights that danced overhead. It was home. But our father, he wasn’t from Deimos’ rule. He was the King of another neighboring land.” Her shoulders roll in a slight shrug.

And my mother, she broke her promise to Deimos on one of our nation’s festivals, wanted to take us to live with our father. But my twin had gone missing. And I couldn’t find him, and we still left. I raged against most things, became angry and frustrated in the search for my brother, and that’s when I met Kisamoa. At first, I thought he was a smaller god, like Ludo or Safrin compared to Vi and Mort.” She says, glancing to Amalia to say she’s been listening to the Shield of Safrin, even despite not having met a single god. “And I had asked him for help, to help find my brother and bring him back to me. He gave me a necklace, an amulet of sorts, promised me power and strength. And my brother came back.

But Kisamoa, he turned out to be Kaos. And he killed our gods, opened a portal, and told us to go through to the next world. Many tried to fight back, many died. But my mother, she pushed me through it. I lost my brother again, lost my father too. I lost Ru’in the first time, that way.” She says quietly, remembering the leopardess’ comfort in the Temple over Longnight. “And when I passed through the portal, the necklace exploded. It’s why I have the scar on the side of my neck.” Her eyes lift to look over at Amalia, a tender softness to her gaze that’s never been there before.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#10
Amalia
Amalia applies the balm dilligently, fingers working over the bruises as though they were kneading a delicate bread. There are so many, and scars, too- are all the people from their world so marked? How cruel a place it must have been.

Twins, another half of a soul- Amallia wonders what it might be like, to share oneself with another from birth. She listens intently to Kiads's story, nodding at the parts she knows - Rexanna serving under Deimos, the mountains, the move. Most of it she does not know, and so she listens, her almond eyes curious and empathetic all at once.

Would she have done the same? Made a deal with a god to save someone she loves? She thinks of Wessex making that choice. She thinks of Drinks, of Rory, of Jigano. At least Amalia knows her gods, who to trust and where to place her faith. But for Kiada to be so betrayed...

She shudders.

She continues to listen while also compelling the owl on her roof to fetch a length of Willow bark. When at last Kiada quiets down, there are tears in the baker's eyes, a fierce protection for her cub. Unsure what to say, the baker says nothing, continuing to apply the salve,  now on the Harpy's bacm. "And after?"
Kiada Njovu-Reyes
Guild Master/Mercenary

Age: 23 | Height: 5’7 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 5 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 18 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 16
AUNI - Regular - Luxere
Played by: Skylark Offline
Change author:
Posts: 693
MP:
#11
KIADA
your battleworn tongue doesn't say the truth anymore
that you are ruined
It is a lengthy tale, and she’s thankful for the scones needing time to bake and be prepared and cool in order for her to keep it short – the terrible and great things that had happened. She prepares them and lets Amalia place the balm in all her sore spots, eyes drifting to the floor through parts of her tale. But she doesn’t notice the tears that prickle Amalia’s eyes as she moves toward her back and the Harpy reaches up to remove her jacket and her shirt (she trusts Amalia, far more than anyone else).

This is where the most of her scars lie, scratches and barbs, gnarled skin along shoulderblades where a specific vulture companion had sat and scarred. And a few burn marks that align her spine, the entirety of it. Her magic from her previous world had left a mark. Her head tilts forward as Amalia begins to apply the balm and questions her as to what happens after. “After… Everything had changed. The world was dark, with creatures throughout it all. Some were friendly, most were not. It’s like… It’s like Longnight, but all the time.” She recalls, finding a way to make it relatable, to try and make it better for Amalia to understand.

And I was furious. Kisamoa called a meeting, gathered us all there, and I went straight up to him and spit in his face. I told him that I had fought so hard for him and he rewarded me with nothing.” She inhales deeply as she remembers the rumble of his voice in her mind. “He apologized to me, like an attuned link. He told me he was fond of me, and infused my armor with magic. More magic than I had before.” She reaches up to rub her temple briefly. “Before I came here, I had magic that allowed me to wield flames. I could make tornadoes of them, my spine lit in shapes of animals depending on my emotions. I had armor that would expand and collapse at the press of a button to cover my entire body. I was formidable. I had a companion like Auni but he was a vulture like my attuned form. His name was Khairi, and I lost him when I came here too. I think we might have merged, because I couldn’t shift before.” She recalls, almost as though she’s picturing it all in her mind.

But the portal changed things, like with the amulet. My magic became brutal, my armor was infused into my spine and when I’d call upon it in lieu of a button, it would erupt from me to cover me.” She says, quietly, as if Amalia can see the puncture wounds that healed jaggedly along the length of her spine. “Kisamoa gained a conscious though, seeing as he tried to right his wrongs, and tried to summon the dead back to life. But they, like everything else, came back wrong. And he fell into the river of the dead. I thought he was going to die, and like an idiot child I dashed in after him.” She pauses, eyes shutting tight. “I watched myself die, suffocating on my own flames. And then suddenly, I was there in the underworld or whatever it was there, and I found Kisamoa and I raised him back.” Her shoulders roll in a slight shrug.

And then, someone arrived. Told us to gather hope, these little orbs of light and bring them to the darkness and blight, to fight the terrible monsters in the night and I did. We all did, we did the best we could.” She turns her head to look over her shoulder at Amalia. “I fell in love again, this time with a kind man named Rixen. And we formed a small country within the light, and he was named King. And things were nice, for a time. But… I never got to tell him I loved him before I got thrown here. I lost Khairi as I arrived, I lost him too.
and you wonder why he lets you
the butcher
touch him,
the sun
Kiada has a large X scar on the right side of her neck.
No permission needed for power play!
Feel free to use magic/force on Kiada, without killing her <3
Amalia Chandrakant
the Shield of Safrin
Hand of the Queen / Baker
Portal Guardian
Age: 22 | Height: 5'6 | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 12 - Strg: 34 - Dext: 34 - Endr: 35 - Luck: 34
JYOTI - Mythical - Starwhale (Humpback)
Played by: charks Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,949
MP:
#12
Amalia
It's like Long Night, but all the time. Amalia cannot think of a greater horror; again she shudders, empathy for the girl who stands strong before her rising again in her chest. The Kiada she knows is quiet and impassioned, guarded and intense; the warrior she describes who wears fierce armor and wields flames seems a brighter, more dangerous version, of which the Harpy has become a pale shade. Is it better this way, Amalia wonders, to be subdued rather than run wild? To be a banked housefire, rather than an inferno?

She does not know the answer.

Amalia only interrupts once, when the owl swoops in, willow in its beak. "Chew this," the baker instructs softly, passing it to the wounded girl. "It will help with the pain." To the owl she offers a silent thank-you, pulling out a handful of seed for it to peck off of the counter, reaching down to run her fingers through the feathers on its back.

Finished applying salve to Kiada, the baker returns to working on scones, shaping them silently as the other speaks on. What a life to have lived- Amalia cannot imagine it at all, and suddenly her sheltered experience in the Hollowed Grounds feels very trivial, very small. Life and death, portals and demons, love and loss and loss again. She thinks of how she would feel, losing Deimos. Losing Jyoti.

Losing everything she knows.

The scones in the oven, Amalia returns to Kiada's side just as the girl falls quiet again, turning back to face her. There are no words that the blonde can say, nothing she can voice that means enough- but perhaps she does not have to. Silently, softly, the baker reaches up, slender fingers cupping Kiada's cheek, head leaning forward so their foreheads touch as Amalia shuts her eyes and opens her mind, willing her feelings through the Attuned bond, hoping Kiada can understand. Love, sadness, sympathy, empathy; pride, protection, a solemn vow. You're not alone anymore, and I will always be here for you. You are strong. You are radiant. You have been wounded more than you deserve, and I am so, so sorry.

If the Harpy can be strong through all of that trauma, the very least the Shield can do is carry some of that strength now. And together maybe they can find that fire again- find it and tame it into something productive, a purpose for the lost girl to pursue.


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