i think i’m okay
Deimos and Hotaru!
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: 679
MP:
#1
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
It wasn’t really a total goodbye. She doesn’t think it is, anyway. And she’s trying to remain positive for as much as she can. Trying not to dive into the possibilities that she might not return. That she might be Isla, gone in an instant. A bright light snuffed out too soon. So she tries to pull it together, ominous looking in furs and leathers to stay warm beneath the armor she’ll donn soon enough, leaned against the wall as she sharpens her favorite set of throwing knives — a gift, a gift from the closest person she has.

Setting her things aside for Auni to watch, she slips from her little corner, seeking him out. It doesn’t take her long to find him, she’d know him anywhere, after all. And she drifts toward him like a ghost on the wind, a smile crossing her face to hide the anxiety within. “So.” She begins, all flare of young adult arrogance. “I think we did a great job at getting this place together for Longnight.” She announces, flashing him a grin.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
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
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#2
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
The Sword had far more at stake during this LongNight than last year’s; he wasn’t shadowed and cloaked amidst ignorance this time, glancing into the void, the unknown, and pondering what would stare back at him. He’d seen death hundreds of times, kin, comrades, enemies, and adversaries alike, had those close to him ripped apart or silently taken, incapable of doing anything to cease the calamity. It was a powerless stretch he loathed, condemned, and hated, that he swallowed and choked upon, allowed to slowly drown him beneath the weight of no control, no precision, no prowess for the intervals of upcoming dominion. For the most part, he’d stuck to his routines, his preparations, striving to riddle and root it all away in the back of his mind (Amalia’s lifeless body, Kiada’s rush with monsters), but they trickled in, the closer, the closer, the closer they meandered towards LongNight, and now it continually smacked him in the face, as they were all tucked away in the hall, winding their way towards the inevitable.

His features were stone and marble, cast-iron forges as he remained a brooding ghost on the fringes. With nothing left to do, nothing left to prepare, nothing left to amount to but sink into melancholy or harpooning apprehension, he thought about wiling away the hours by pacing up and down and stretching his predacious senses across the void, the expanse, along the cluster of noise. Kiada’s approach could be seen from her corner, because he always made certain he could pinpoint those he cherished, a wraith parting along the seas, his eyes drifting down to her, a sigh laying somewhere in his chest, clambering to be freed. He couldn’t imagine what she’d be smiling about – until she spoke and he had half an inclination to argue the point. Not enough he wanted to say, as it slid along his throat and intertwined in his lungs, graceless and chilling. It will not be enough; no matter how hard they tried, the foreboding discord would press upon them – and he could remember a time where he relished the chaos, the bedlam, the distortions of man and beast. Perhaps that had been when he was in command, and knew exactly what to wield. “We will see,” he proffered instead, an arch of his brow and the slightest shrug to his shoulders, absorbing her grin with the barest outline of his own, eyes wandering from her and to the door, over the outskirts and throng of people.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
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#3
HOTARU
It is her first LongNight, and she is far too on edge, hating her lack of experience as her sharp two-tones gaze flickers over the gathered bodies in the Guild. She is a very patient woman, but the idea of a week of this? Crammed together, restless and fearful? She knows only too well what kind of troubles can erupt inside with those ingredients for disaster. Never mind whatever dangers lay beyond their fortified doors.

Hotaru sighs, twisting her wrists to try and loosen the tension building in her body. Movement of dark hair and bright eyes captures her attention, and Hotaru watches from afar as Kiada moves to find Deimos, tracking her path almost habitually. Her protectiveness is at an all-time high, and she cannot help her bitterness over how weak and burdensome she is on her family, newly-arrived as she is.

Lifting gracefully from where she had been sitting, the woman wanders after them, needing to assure herself of their safety beyond what her eyes can provide. Smiling, she sidles up alongside Kiada, one hand reaching to smooth over her cheek and down her raven hair, fingers gently curling the ends. "Not inviting me to the little party?" She teases, a warmth and sincerity to her eyes and motions that only these two are privy to.
so everything you thought you knew, like no one being there for you
just trust me that it isn't true
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: 679
MP:
#4
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
She knows him well enough by now that her simple words and attempts to lighten the inevitable aren’t working. But she tries anyway, taking the very small grace of a smile from Deimos as a win. And she settles in briefly before Hotaru joins, giving a pointed smile back to the Sword. “I think if anything it won’t be the walls that let them in if they do.” She adds, glancing around the room to the varying people milling about.

As Hotaru slides in, she makes room and gives a beaming, ferocious smile to her. “Auntie!” She chimes, leaning into her touch briefly before she settles and gives a grin toward Deimos. “Hope you brought blankets, it’s a pretty cold party. I guess we’ve got to warm him up again.” She says easily, a devious, teenage-esque smile crossing her lips as she looks to Deimos. He can brood all he wants, but she’s gonna do her best to get a true smile out of him before she goes.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
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
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#5
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
Deimos would’ve liked to have become the Reaper all over again in those taut, tightened spaces, in the alcoves, blending into the shadowed corners, left to his own devices because everyone was either afraid of him or didn’t want to bother with him. But detachment was long since gone, too many things, lives, devoted arches at stake, and he was forced to remain stalwart and steadfast in a realm of chaos, where previously he would’ve unfurled and joined the waking masses of monsters and mayhem (there’d been a time where they had been the tempestuous demons, mercurial infidels, and seething abominations). Being on the other side, with the scathing unknown at their threshold, was obnoxious; made him testy, made him irritated, bristled against his bones. No, not the walls he began to concur with a singular nod; it would be the door itself, opening and closing as some left, as some blended in, as some allowed the world to unravel in the murky midst.

The familiar head of blonde hair slid into their orbit, and he pondered if it was going to be the devilish intricacies of her fringes they’d all have to succumb to. Not so much a party as a going away debacle, and he clenched his jaw to ensure nothing bitter or rancorous managed to seethe its way from his mouth. The Sword’s gaze slipped to Kiada’s mischievous features, and despite not being in the mood for any sort of amusement or diversion, he could see that the choice may no longer be in his control or composure. “What are we celebrating?” was only the hint, the ghost, of a grin, his rolling eyes significant. Parties were for fun, for laughter, for spectacles; this troupe was headed straight for disaster-

Oh. A thought curled its way into his foundations, one of peaks, one of eternal snow, and the smile threatening to breech and sear along his face suddenly came alive. “We have news for you,” he inclined towards Hotaru, with a steady glance towards the Harpy.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#6
HOTARU
Kiada bends into her touch like a sapling to the wind, her joyous title flowing forth, and Hotaru leans in to press a kiss to her temple, full of love and fondness that swells like tidal waves inside her. It feels almost like old times, back in Helovia. Her family at her side, facing the dark armed with knives and teeth, ready to give their lives in protection of those within their borders. This land is not so different.

"I have my ways of keeping warm, but I'm sure Deimos will be perfectly fine beneath all that fur and blubber." A teasing grin, knowing there is little to no fat on the man's body but finding it impossible not to poke fun at his size. His face does not reveal his reticence, far too adept at hiding his emotions from those around him, but she can almost feel the tension he exudes. Kiada's mischief cuts through it stubbornly, and though Hotaru temporarily wonders if it's the right course of action, the tiny smile pulling at Deimos' lips at least implies he's willing to play along for now.

A hand reaches to settle on Deimos' shoulder, connecting the three of them in a row. It settles something twisting and anxious inside her, and her teasing smile's sharp edges soften. "Is our presence not enough to celebrate for you?" Her small hand squeezes at his elbow subtly nonetheless. She prays that he knows she is there for him, no matter how twisted and dark this sunless time gets. That his worries are welcome on her shoulders, though Hotaru knows he'd never deign to place them there. It is the offer that matters.

His words do spark interest however, and she tilts her golden head his way, intrigue lighting up her two-toned eyes. "Oh? Don't keep me in suspense, what is it?" It didn't seem as if it would be bad news at least, which is the most she can ask for.
so everything you thought you knew, like no one being there for you
just trust me that it isn't true
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: 679
MP:
#7
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
She leans into her aunt’s touch with a childish tenderness, before her fierce eyes land on Deimos, catching that grin – breaking through the ice, the cold, the brooding exterior of the man she’s known nearly all her life. And she snorts when he asks what they’re celebrating, catching the glint of a hint edging on his features, a ghost of a grin, rolling eyes. “We have news for you.” Seems ominous, but she smirks and tucks her legs up underneath her in a sort of crisscross way to sit before she leans forward toward Hotaru.

We went into the Spire, and we found a book on Portals. And Deimos here, disappeared. And I went after him because you know I couldn’t just let him go alone.” There’s a hint of a grin at this, but she trudges on. “And we saw through a window to another place.” So of course she’s gonna leave her aunt in suspense, eyes specifically shifting toward Deimos with another wider grin.

For a man that prefers not to talk much, she’s going to make him tell Hotaru what they found. She’s just lead him into it with every ounce of childhood fire he and Hotaru can recall.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
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
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#8
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
He didn’t deign to even lean into the blubber comment, ignoring it entirely at her teasing grin, in recognition of her antics, of days long since passed and strangely renewed again. It was easier to simply revel and exist in those temporal, tangible states, grasp and clench upon what he could, before everything fell apart again and again and again. So the beast allowed himself to settle into it, with the teasing ruses and the embarking grins, striving not to chase down those moments before they were gone. They must’ve known how much these instances meant to him, to the icy shoal and the glacial expanse, to the ramparts and fortifications he’d so carefully built up, to all the summits he’d rested upon, trying to get away, away, away from anything and anyone. He breathed, released the inward upheaval, unfurled the marks of tension, postured himself to regale instead of sink deeper into the mire of trepidation and trials, for the Harpy, for anyone else wandering out in the abyss. “On rare occasions,” but there was a wink tucked in his depths for Hotaru, the twitch of his smile becoming a bit more carefree, boyish, mischievous interludes, instead of the forlorn or apathetic debacles. He’d celebrated both of their appearances with shock and awe, with an emboldened fortune he never thought would sear and settle along his wake again. It was why he sought to harpoon and wreak havoc upon any threat to their existence. It was why he tensed and devoured, consumed and threatened, why there were touches and fringes of the Reaper brooding in his blood.

But they’d done their part; the suspicion and intrigue flickering in Hotaru’s stare was enough to set the curiosity aflame, the depths of his grin becoming completely Cheshire – shrugging off the inclinations of him disappearing for a bit (worth it, no harm, no foul), and the windows to another place his cue. “Mountains. There are mountains out there.” The streaks of endless snow and summits, not quite the same as the Aurora Basin, because in his view nothing could compare, but just the notion, just the sights, just the idea of them beyond these walls, these woods, these forests, was enough. Perhaps it was partially why he was restless, endeavoring to claw his way out of this threshold. “We think the portal is being guarded by the Fae.” But without a notion or reason why.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
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Posts: 268
MP:
#9
HOTARU
Deimos' wink inspires a crinkle of her nose, a mischievous little smile, little reactions of sincerity that she can't control. There is no need for guards, walls, and fortresses here. Not ensconced among the warmth of her family. His teasing only makes her laugh softly, conscious of her decibel even now at her most comfortable. Silence was a friend of hers, but it doesn't make it any easier on her nerves to have it enforced.

Kiada's eagerness and amusement however does nothing to conceal Hotaru's crinkled brow and pervasive worry at the contents of her words. They had disappeared? "You know I'm going to have far more questions about this disappearing Kiada, but continue." If Rexanna and Amalia - from what she knew of the woman through Deimos' reluctant spill at his dinner table - are not enough to remind her of her value, of how much she would be missed if she was killed, then Hotaru will be that iron-clad reminder. Hotaru had scolded the girl plenty in her youth, taking her aunt duties seriously even as she reminded Kiada every time that her love would never waver no matter what errors Kiada made. It seemed she'd have to impress the importance of self-preservation on the young woman again. Not that it ever seemed to stick with her.

But then Deimos is taking over, and Hotaru feels like time is slowing as she turns to look at him, something bare and wanting in her gaze. Starved, homesick. And though she knows they'd never lie to her - and certainly not about this - she can't help but be terrified that it's all some kind of joke. The Basin, the mountains, it had been home for her in ways they would never understand. Freedom from her oppressive loneliness, her absent family. She had left as soon as the Grey had taken over land, and no other place would ever be home. Not to her.

And they may not be her mountains, but she'll be damned if anyone else takes them either. "I can't believe it," she whispers, voice choked. Brings her hand up to her face, hides her trembling lips and tries to conceal how this news has shaken her. Hope, grief, a pressing, insistent desire to get out there and find it immediately. Except it's apparently guarded, which is something Hotaru can latch onto and focus on. "Well I've heard they're not exactly fans of us, but what lies beyond that portal is likely not their land, even if the portal itself is in their realm." Already her mind spins with machinations, plots and plans that bring a glint to her eye. Ah, isn't this familiar? It's like they never even left home. A slow-spreading grin crawls over her face as she turns to Deimos. "Sounds like we're gonna have to do some investigating." She would find her way to those mountains or die trying.
so everything you thought you knew, like no one being there for you
just trust me that it isn't true
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: 679
MP:
#10
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
She gives Hotaru a sheepish grin at the announcement, a childish shrug granted her way. She has much to explain for, but she’s always been one to head straight into the troubles and darkness soon to be both for the sake of protecting those she cared about. No matter how many talks with her aunt she has, that’s who she is. And she continues.

When Deimos announces what they found, and the news hits Hotaru, Kiada reaches around to grab onto he left aunt, to revel and smile among the possibilities. To go home. But it’s short lived as Deimos brings up the Fae and she nods along with them. “I almost won the Cloister… Perhaps we could speak to Delah? I’m still welcome in the Greatwood.” She recalls from before the blight, before the darkness had settled in her bones.

And the gears are moving, only to stop short as she focuses back on when LongNight is over and the things she must do. Would she even remain to be able to make those diplomatic questions? Would she succeed in her quest to find Ru’in? She tries to not let it cross her face at the uncertainty, by giving Deimos a rogue grin, aiming to hide the sorrow and small amount of fear that lies beneath.

We could go as close to home as we can get here. Like it should have been.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
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
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#11
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
The mountains were something to hope for, out of the darkness, out of the pestilence, out of the blighted means they’ve exposed themselves too. It was a notion eclipsing and outweighing the integral stiletto, staccato ramparts of the longest nights, because beyond those overbearing shards, nettles, thorns, and barbarity, were summits, were valleys, were pockets of moments they once had. Not the same, no, because they couldn’t be the Basin, couldn’t be the auroras, couldn’t be the dual monoliths, but it was better, far better, than this, shirking and lurking in the threads of the demonic. And it spurred him on, unraveled all those greedy, rapacious edges again, called and clamored for them to take, to unfurl, to unleash, to have the mountains for themselves. It was as close to hope as he’d allowed himself – more faith in their convictions, in their abilities, in their emboldened barbarity and obstinance. “Could they stop us?” He whispered, the slightest grin on his face, the barbaric twist and turn usually buried underneath suddenly hastening just below the surface, because no, he would blast his way just as the Reaper had before him, teeth bared and sword in hand.

The last time he’d entered the Fae village had been to collect Amalia, Kiada, and anyone else associated and tossed into the pit. Delah had been with them during one of the Spire onslaughts; otherwise, he left well enough alone, didn’t bother to rankle, to raise any ire. Perhaps they wouldn’t need to. Perhaps it wouldn’t matter. Perhaps they had to wait and see – when the veils and shrouds were pulled back, on their race to the Mathair’s remains. Hotaru’s reaction was what he wanted, savoring the relish, the notions, the spark towards more revolution – casting rebellion where it could instigate and burn.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
Hotaru Kaito
Glassblower / Seamstress

Age: 26 | Height: 5'2 | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 17 - Luck: 10
Played by: Brit Offline
Change author:
Posts: 268
MP:
#12
HOTARU
Hotaru gives her niece a knowing look, reaching to tug on her earlobe in gentle punishment. She knows that Kiada - much like herself at that age, and all her children after her - cannot be stopped from running headlong into danger. But it's her job as the girl's aunt, as family, to chide her for her boldness nonetheless. Hotaru may still walk straight into the dark herself, but age had made her wise to everything she stood to lose when she did it. Had experienced nearly every loss possible, and felt the pain of each fracture. Kiada didn't deserve to follow in those footsteps, but if she did, Hotaru would be two steps behind following her into the dark. Ready to make that sacrifice in her place if it came to it.

But instead of loss, in this moment there is hope. Brittle, tentative hope that blossoms like an ice-flower in her throat. It sends a shiver down her spine, skin rising in prickles of flesh at the idea of going anywhere remotely close to home. And Deimos' thoughts are only too true - it will never be the Basin, but perhaps it can still be theirs.

A proud look overtakes her at Kiada's mention of the Cloister, regretting that she had not been there to see it happen. But Deimos' words spur her own devilish countenance to rise from beneath the mires of beauty and feigned innocence. Could they stop them? "Not forever," unfurls on her tongue, a pleased purr that speaks of a history of toppled empires and smoldering ruins beneath their bloodied palms. Ready to resort to such measures again if it meant securing those mountains for these two wonderful souls who deserved more than Hotaru could ever give them in one lifetime.

But they had been granted more than one. And she would not hesitate to dirty her hands to ensure this one was better than the last.
so everything you thought you knew, like no one being there for you
just trust me that it isn't true
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: 679
MP:
#13
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
Ah, she knows where she gets her tendencies from. If it’s not from Hotaru’s gentle knowing squeeze of Kiada’s intentions, then it’s from Deimos’ rogue idea of asking whether or not they could be stopped. As her aunt agrees, she has half a mind to remind them how helpless Amalia and her had been when they’d been captured in the Greatwood. But given the bigger idea in her mind, she shakes her head.

LongNight is here, and she needs to be prepared for it if things don’t go well for her.

And so she focuses on Hotaru and Deimos, head turning to each with a vibrant smile along her face. “I would like to see them try, wouldn’t you?” She announces, a wolfish smirk to her face.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?
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
Deimos Ignatius
the Resurrected Sword
Militia General of the Hollowed Grounds / Guildmaster

Age: 26 | Height: 6'4" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 8 - Strg: 28 - Dext: 28 - Endr: 33 - Luck: 27
ZURIEL - Mythical - Unicorn (Healing)
Played by: Heather Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,618
MP:
#14
DEIMOS & KIADA
your name will be known
a promise, a dare
Oh, he wouldn’t need to be reminded about the Greatwood misadventures – loss and treachery had a way of carving its exploits into his skull. This didn’t need to be an act of impulsivity – he’d never been entirely drawn to those aspects. It could be emboldened, it could be chaotic, it could be orchestrated with Machiavellian tendencies in mind, given time, given resources, given known contortions. Perhaps a portion of him simply wanted to savor the land outside those portal halls and mystic void, appreciated clarity out of the darker fumes and plumes; a promise, a conviction, a certainty, a platitude, that had served them well before, before, before. Before Kiada was born. Before Hotaru had traced over the Aurora Basin. When they’d lost the Edge, when his violence wasn’t enough, when walls were toppled and the moon-lands were no longer theirs, when they spent their winter as refugees within the Steppe, biding the hours, rattling at bones. He was patient. He was calculating. He was every bit the Reaper in those infernal moments, the beast who swarmed grounds of infidels and fiends and learned exactly what it meant to wait, to wait, to wait, for the right opportunity, the right moment, to strike, to unfurl, to unleash.

Not forever. I would like to see them try.

Maybe it was an eventuality. Maybe they would sear and smolder, brew and brood, beneath the halls, corridors, and summits that weren’t theirs. It wouldn’t be the Basin, it wouldn’t be the auroras, cast in gradient lights. It wouldn’t be the twin monoliths, staring down intruders at the borders. It wouldn’t be the unfreezing lake, a refuge even in the harshest of glacial voids and winds. It wouldn’t be the hot springs, a world of soothing, assuaging tones over maimed muscles and rippling scars.

But the resurgence of predacious smirks, of minatory endeavors, was enough – a recollection so deep in the pit and pendulums of his memories, renewed, reborn, in the pinnacles of his nefarious, avaricious mind. “So we shall see,” he commented, because they would, they would, they would.
they'll speak of my name,
of my battles and wars
but here's the thing,
what's my name without yours?


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