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Age: 32 | Height: 6' 1" / 185 cm | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 0 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 8 - Luck: 5
IRMA - Regular - Snowy Owl DIEGO - Regular - Eurasian Eagle-owl
Played by: Neowulf Offline
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Posts: 3
MP:
#1
like breaking diamonds with your hands
Mauja had begun to hate portals.

There had only been one good portal in his life, and that was the one that had taken him back in time. There, centuries in the past, he had been given an egg, but we'll get back to that.

The rest? One placed him in timestreams, a long, harrowing experience before his return (he was not foolish enough to think of it as an 'escape', as it had been entirely by accident on his part). Another he was forced through after witnessing a destructive god-entity slaughter anyone who refused. And this last one, well...

He was an unkempt, disheveled creature back in the Bloodmountains, two-thirds of a whole: just Mauja and Diego, two lost souls. Being immortal had made him careless, though it wasn't one of his deaths just yet. He was just underfed and demoralized, until the missing piece had begun to show up on his event horizon.

Just a little light—

Like an itch you can't scratch; like a sudden scent reminding you of a heart-wrenching memory, perhaps because who you loved is now dead, or it's a place you can't return to.

Something that swelled, and swelled, and swelled, until you were overflowing, and ready to explode: something that grew so bright and brilliant and radiant, eclipsing all else—

The rush of complete, utter euphoria in your veins.

Like the fool he was he had probably shrieked her name and jumped off whatever he had been standing on; risky business in mountains, and especially when your immortality only kept you from dying, not from being horribly injured.

But that's where the portal came into the equation.

He only remembered the feeling of leaping, of nothing but air beneath his hooves, the sight of those white-and-blue wings beating in the sky, the feeling of her in his heart, the sensation of her mind drifting across his: the lovelovelovelovelove beating in three hearts, joining them as they fell.

And...fell, for longer than they should've.

At some point physics stopped mattering, and the euphoria stopped mattering, and there was just the reflection that something was very, very wrong.

The closest thing he could describe it to was what Sarazheha, his younger brother, did when transporting others: he became the gale, the storm, and he blew them like tumbleweeds across the earth.

But Sarazheha was nowhere near, and this wasn't his doing: this was pure light and weightlessness, not the wind in his veins.

Then he fell in a rain of possessions and owls; his shoulder hit the snowy slope and gracelessly he tumbled head over heels until jealous gravity let him slide to a stop. The owls circled above him, feeling his body just as he did: feeling the angular jut of his hips and the narrowness of his waist, the thinness of his otherwise so regal neck, the wholeness of every bone and organ. He felt more offended and confused than battered, though he was lying with his back facing the downslope. Inelegantly, the white horse struggled for a moment before managing to roll over, striped hooves digging into the loose, powdery snow and sending off a shower as he got up and shook himself vigorously.

Now the question was: where the fuck was he?

(Because for one painful moment the mountains looked like familiar mountains—the Heimasborg the Rift had stolen, perhaps, or the Aurora Basin, and it hurt so badly but they were not his mountains. They were just mountains, sharp and cold and unforgiving.)

[ please keep in mind that he does not currently have his horn. ]
angels, they fell first, but I'm still here
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Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 37
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
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Posts: 1,402
MP:
#2
WESSEX
She’s never seen a horse like that before. They’ve only got the little shaggy ponies, the kind that can carry and carry and carry and endure winters and famines. The hardy kind. This guy - fuck - he’s beautiful. And how lucky is he, that Wessex is returning to the Ground just now? Otherwise he might be lost to the bears (the Ursurs, the book had said?) or the Giants, or the natives of this land. Dinner. A beast of burden. She shakes her head disdainfully. No, this beautifully wrought beast couldn’t be lost to the snowy expanses of Halo.

It technically belongs to Neron… but what the Warden doesn’t know won’t kill him.

Out of the blinding white outside comes the bare-skinned woman - looking more like she’s armed for a fight than anything else. Her hands go up as if to placate the horse, lowering her voice to a soothing volume and talking sweetly, imitating Rory as he talks to his ponies.

“Hey there, big boy… where’d you come from, huh?”

The woman advances slowly and cautiously, wishing she had something edible to offer the creature, who must be cold and hungry and perhaps very, very confused.

“It’s all right… I’m not going to hurt you.”

Her hands extend further - devoid of both food and weapons - to offer herself peacefully to the stallion, hoping he'll do some snuffling and whuffling and maybe, just... stay put long enough for her to figure out what to do with him and how to get him home.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply


Age: 32 | Height: 6' 1" / 185 cm | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 0 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 8 - Luck: 5
IRMA - Regular - Snowy Owl DIEGO - Regular - Eurasian Eagle-owl
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3
MP:
#3
like breaking diamonds with your hands
There was one moment of utter stillness, of what tasted like peace—it was just him and the owls and the snowy mountains. The peculiar scent of northern spring lingered in the cold air, a season not like any other, and the world spread out before his blue, blue eyes. Lights flickered in the distance, and the owls glided on silent wings, drinking in this strange but familiar scene.

Mauja stood with his head raised, vaguely aware of that something felt different but unsure of what it was; too distracted by the sight of snow and lights mingling, transported back to a lost childhood, a stolen place. Sometimes he missed the easy days of just being a soldier, of knowing his place in those stone caverns and outlooks, taking refuge from the cold and the dark by a fire...

But there he was, standing on the foreign slopes of a foreign mountain range on a foreign world, and something he had never seen before (which was saying something) approached him through the snow.

It was...

He tried to think of what it reminded him of.

He tried to think of all the things he had seen in his long and wild and wondrous life, especially the twisted and wicked things in the Rift, but the closest he came anyway were the Magnar: the tribal polar bears, enemies of his ancestors. They, too, possessed the ability to walk upright in such a fashion, wore armor and weapons (those he recognized; he had a knife of his own, somewhere around here), but where they were thick and sturdy and covered in white fur, this one was, well, rather mediocre by those standards, and furless.

Wasn't that cold?

It was testament of his life lived as a powerful and magical being that he stayed put, just watching her with a horse's wariness: his head was raised, his eyes and ears displaying a certain disdain, yet the muscles in his hind end contracted slightly, ready to propel him out of there.

Mauja was a horse, meeting life nose-first, and though he was curious to a fault this fell outside of the known boundaries. He would run from a wolf, if the wolf proved too stubborn. He would run from this, if it turned out the same.

Or just impale her on an ice spike.

(Oh, you don't know about that loss yet, and believe me, it'll hit you hard.)

The thing raised its hands—he noticed a deceptive lack of claws or weaponry. It did not comfort him.

“Hey there, big boy… where’d you come from, huh?”

Mauja had been addressed by all manner of creatures over the years. That he somehow understood her surprised him less than her choice of words: big boy? Unbidden, his black-lined ears flicked forward. He was.. bemused. Intrigued. Unsure, because the way she spoke was so... Well. She was a snake, singing a sweet song.

If only you knew he thought in response, but whatever allowed him to understand did not allow him to speak. Uncertainly, he leaned back when she advanced further, wondering just how fast she could draw any of those impressive weapons and attack him. Faster than he could stab her?

Could he trust her? Could he trust a stranger, showing up in his face, and telling him that everything was alright?

Nothing was alright.

But Mauja had always been a composed creature. Mauja had always been the devil hiding behind a smile. So when her hands extended in what seemed a greeting, he put his great head forward, sharp, blue eyes on hers, and pushed his plush, black muzzle against her palm.
angels, they fell first, but I'm still here
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 37
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,402
MP:
#4
WESSEX
Oddly enough, Wessex thinks something similar, isn’t the horse cold? She can’t feel the extremes, or even anything resembling hot or cold (she lives in a pleasantly temperate world all day, every day), so her only clues are the location of Halo, the snow, the wind, and a memory of what the worst winters in the Grounds were like. Even then, they probably weren’t like this: hemmed in by vicious peaks and buffeted by skin-striping gales, where the white is so white and utterly disorienting.

Furless, yes. Also peculiarly, unnaturally suited for such an environment as hostile as this. The more time she spends here, the more Wessex comes to think that she needs to find the next portal entry - or unlock it - or something. Because no one’s going to want to leave the Grounds for this, and she’s kind of counting on that to save her ass.

With all these thoughts zooming around her head, it’s reasonable to assume that she might not recognize an Attuned, especially if they take no offense at her cooing and efforts to approach. Any true non-animal would make an effort to communicate back.

Unless… unless the beast is meant for her? As a companion?

She pulls back for a moment, looking for the stallion’s eyes, gray-blue to -  
(are they supposed to be that blue?)
(No, that should have been her first hint that this was no ordinary horse)

But there’s no mental connection, no click that says I am yours and you are mine. Well. Perhaps that’s a good thing. She kind of thought any companion of hers would be more… ferocious. Less pretty. There’s disappointment as the realization comes because at times she feels so very much alone, but it quickly passes, replaced by genuine delight as a black nose pushes into her hands and exhales. Its breath billows around her palms and she looks up to its eyes again as she, too, sighs.

One hand gently runs up the stallion’s nose if it lets her, feeling the transition from smooth skin to coarser fur and the whorls between its eyes. What long lashes!

“See?” she asks, rhetorically. “I’m not gonna hurt ya.” She moves to peer around it’s great, speckled body, to see where the portal should be. “So now the question is… where did you come from?” Cause she finds it nigh impossible to believe that he is native to Halo, that he could survive here long enough to grow so big and strong.

God, wouldn’t Rory love to see this guy?
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply


Age: 32 | Height: 6' 1" / 185 cm | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 0 - Strg: 11 - Dext: 11 - Endr: 8 - Luck: 5
IRMA - Regular - Snowy Owl DIEGO - Regular - Eurasian Eagle-owl
Played by: Neowulf Offline
Change author:
Posts: 3
MP:
#5
like breaking diamonds with your hands
They sighed together, a language that transcended words and bodies—peace and good intentions (or, well, the lack of immediately bad ones; Mauja had lived with snakes long enough to know the difference).

And yet they were both predators: their eyes met again, an awkward affair between their species. Perhaps that, too, should've told her that he was no ordinary horse, that he was something more, but it was not a difference that he understood. It was not a difference that mattered to him. He was simply Mauja: glacial, distant, lost on some mountainside or another.

So he was content to inspect her hands, to take in her peculiar scent, and to still underneath her foreign touch. Those dexterous and clawless appendages stroked the soft skin of his warm nose, traveled up the straight profile of his head, soothing and so utterly unlike anything he had ever experienced before—

What was this? It was so unlike the only touch he had known—seduction and violence, both like fire—that he didn't know whether to be offended or pleased. As her fingers traced patterns around his forehead he labeled it dangerous, yet he made no effort to stop her. He figured he had the advantage at this distance anyway, because—

Because

Because everything in him froze, a sudden breath of winter and everything iced over.

Because her hands had so expertly trailed across the space where his horn should've grown, where it would've spiraled out of his skull, one of two weapons never denied to him: and it was not there and he didn't remember it breaking and there was no blood, no pain, no nothing, just like Irma had been nothing—

She swept in lower, and he saw himself through her eyes: tall, underfed, off-white, hornless.

His first thought was of Ulrik, d'Artagnan, Crowley, even Psyche—hers had been broken, the rest would laugh at him. Taunt him. Doubt him? Kill him?

Somewhere, there was a painful irony. He, the Bane of the Plague, had had his horn nicked by whatever had put him there.

Time did not care about the unraveling of his reality, though; it kept on ticking, flowing, and with it, his heart kept on beating, his lungs breathing. Slowly, imperceptibly, Mauja returned to life, his ears moving to the slightest sounds, his eyes roving from detail to detail, veins clogged with dread.

But oh, how he wished to die in that moment, to sink through snow and rock into the mountain's heart, saved from his trials and his shame and ended in the bliss of a stranger's far too intimate touch. It made him want to bury his head in her arms and fall asleep. Unnerved by such an impulse he lifted his head away from her touch, hiding behind the answer to compose himself; he peered meaningfully up the slope and the disturbed snow.

Without a voice, it was the best answer he could give.
angels, they fell first, but I'm still here
Reply
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 7 - Strg: 37 - Dext: 37 - Endr: 37 - Luck: 37
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
Change author:
Posts: 1,402
MP:
#6
WESSEX
In another universe, an alternate reality unreachable by her Lady’s portals, she might have pitied the loss of his horn. Having multiples of them herself, she would know what the plucking of one from the ring around her head might feel like, how it would tear at the silken fibers of her identity as a self-proclaimed mutant.

(Remember that, Rikyn?)

Monster-mutant then.  Robot-vamp now.
Perhaps her lives aren’t that different after all.

And loss is universal. If there is a switch in the stallion’s demeanor, she cannot feel it under her fingertips. It isn’t in the way he pulls his head from her hands and looks towards the mountains. It’s a shift of energy. Even if Magrethe was the animal whisperer of the two Theskyra girls, even if cats seemed to hate her, even Wessex can understand the gesture as the horse looks back and up at the mountains. Her hands drop to her sides and she, too, glances through the opening of the cave to where the rest of the barren peaks can be seen - masses of dark rock a stark contrast against the ever-present snow.

His gestures is too obvious to ignore. “Really?” she asks, and then another thought hits her. “That - So can you understand me?” Without waiting for a response, the Wraith plows forward, assuming that his next response - or lack thereof - will give her the answer she needs, and she can move forward with either a yes or a no.

Her head tilts to one side and takes a step back to examine the large, white beast again. There is nothing to indicate he would be able to survive out there. His hooves are useless on ice, his speed hindered by snow and switchbacks, and he has nothing to defend himself with. What would he eat? She shakes her head and crosses her arms. “You’ll have to forgive me if I’m skeptical. Of you living in those mountains.”
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
Reply


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