[open SE] let me tell you about the sun...
Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 5 - Strg: 33 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 33
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#1
WESSEX
The days grow longer and the nights grow shorter. Like any other Ascended, she is slightly weaker during the summer, but these days it is significantly less than it was last year. It must be that aging thing the Voice was talking about. Wessex still wears her cloak for protection, but one might see her out and about during the day more often - when she isn’t busy in Halo, that is.

If she were still Accepted, if the world had not imploded a scant two years ago, she might have found herself sitting on a tree stump, telling children about the Capture the Sun myth. At 40 years, she’s older than half the population and has lived longer than many of their parents have. So it would have been her job to pass on lessons and information - even customs that are not originally theirs.

This year… there are significantly fewer children, and none of them are being sent to her to learn. There were so many small bodies in the mud... Even if Wessex had wanted to teach the kids, had felt an obligation to perform ‘elder’ duties -  they’re at home - recovering, mourning, kept close by parents who can’t bear to let them out of their sight for longer than necessary, because they know, how lucky they are and don’t want to tempt fate again.

With every passing season, the Grounds feels less and less like her home. The Naturals know her, but they fear and respect her - there’s nothing she would really call love, maybe just a preference for her over the Outlanders. Sitting on a tree stump, in a flattened area in the Outskirts, Wessex is silent - thinking about their world and how it’s changed. No ‘Catching the Sun’ will ever change what happened with Safrin and Ronin in the Temple. Or fix Amalia’s legs.
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
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Libbs Walzek
Lockpick

Age: 21 | Height: 5'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 6 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 17
Played by: Firebirb Offline
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#2
LIBBS
The last few weeks for the lil' scrapper were proving to be highly educational and exciting! Arguably, she still didn't remember much about what she was doing before it all- but now that she's been talked out of her disbelief? The world offered so much and so little at the same time. In a weird, twisted sense, Libbs felt a stronger sense of purpose that seemed oddly foreign, and in that she felt pleased.

Purpose was what took her to the outskirts. Curiosity, however, always took priority in Libb's brain. She saw the stoic structure's silhouette standing quietly against the horizon. She almost missed it at first! But a careful stare, a shielded gaze confirmed that like many other things she has seen lately she is indeed - not crazy. And a few minutes of her time surely wouldn't hurt to figure out what it was.. right? Right?

.. well a few minutes took around a few hours. Libbs stood at the steps of this foreboding destination. A sack full of weird bits and bobbles that the scavenger prodded from the nearby landscape. Her head craned back to look at the aged architecture, a few thoughtful, mindless thoughts clouding her head as she moved again. What was this place for? And why did no one tell her about it? Seemed a bit.. big to be missed?

Her lips pushed together. Well, surely, it wouldn't hurt to look inside.. right?
let's run off to costa rica
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
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Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 23 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
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#3
MAEA
Maea had been taking a shortcut across the Spire wasteland, moving from one end of the Grounds to the other when she noticed a figure poking about the ancient structure. Frowning, she made her way over there, and found a woman, some years younger than herself, eying the place curiously. Knowing from personal experience how dangerous it could be to enter, she hurried over and waved to catch the attention of the person.

"I wouldn't go in there if I were you! she warned, with as much of a disarming smile as she could manage. "Not a very healthy place to be. If you're up for some exploring, there are far less lethal spots to choose. Want me to show you around?"

If Libbs allowed it, Maea would put an arm about her shoulders and gently steer her away. Introducing herself, she would talk about the weather and the different regions of this place, all while guiding the newcomer towards the Woodlands. Not exactly safe either, as far as potential for gruesome death went, but at least the odds for survival were slightly better in the forest.

Moving in beneath the canopy, Maea felt the heat of the day ease off somewhat. The undergrowth had yet to completely dry out and the sun-dappled air felt pleasant against the skin, moist and easy to breathe. Birds chirped overhead, and as she practically dragged Libby along - just to make sure she didn't try to go back to the Spire right away - Maea pointed out things in the surroundings to look out for.

"The snakes are not so bad, really, if you just leave them alone. The Wicker Women are what you really want to stay away from. They'll lure you in, catch you, and never let go. Quite literally never, let, go. And..."

She interrupted herself. On a log up ahead, Maea spotted Wessex. The Ascended sat alone, completely quiet, and looked to be deep in thought. Hesitating, she slowed her steps and considered. Was it worth bothering her, or should they just go around? But they were already close enough to be heard and seen, and to simply turn and leave would be... exceedingly rude.

"Hello Wessex," she offered, attempting a smile. "I hope we're not bothering you?"
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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Libbs Walzek
Lockpick

Age: 21 | Height: 5'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 6 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 17
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#4
LIBBS
Holy snow! Libbs whipped around and scratched her head, gasping a bit sharply. That girl was whiter than a marshmallow on top of vanilla ice cream! Swear, everywhere she turned there was something more new, and more interesting to be seen. And she seemed friendly enough, enough to trigger Libb's inner sparrow. A bright smile would form from one corner of her face to the other. "Oh, hey!"

She did let herself be lead away by Maea, halting just for a few moments to look over the somber architecture oncemore. But continued to indulge in the ongoings of the conversation. She'd nod her head slowly at every new thing she show'd them, and follow it up with even more questions. "Well, what's a Wicker Woman? What do they look like? Are they made of wicker? And how do they catch you? And why don't they let go? I feel like something called a wicker woman should probably be focused on.. wicker." she paused momentarily, seeing that her new friend had come to a halt.

In the distance, another pale figure sat, looking off. She paused too, raising a hand to wave it, but caught Maea's wariness, slowly sinking her arm back down, and closing her mouth. Oh. Welp.

Was this one of those 'wicker women' she was talking about?
let's run off to costa rica
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
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Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 5 - Strg: 33 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 33
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#5
WESSEX
It’s not Maea herself that annoys Wessex rather right off the bat, it’s the way she overly cautious. If an Outlander wants to walk into a decrepit old house, or into the Greatwood, or go into an empty clearing with a lone figure on a tree stump - let them. Just because she lives her life in needless fear and anxiety doesn’t mean that others have to.

Turning her head to watch the two women, she is content to remain quiet, on the off-chance they’ll pass her by and she can return to her thoughts. Except they don't and Wessex frowns, though that may not be visible to either of them. “Yes, but then there are landsharks that strike in the Field and a boggart in the Labryinth. Sentient books in the Atheneum. ROUS in the Underground. Should she not go those places, either?” They have all sorts of potentially dangerous creatures here in their little bubble-less bubble (nevermind the rest of Caido), but one cannot live their life in fear. It's wasteful.  

They could go even further and talk about LongNight, rip the band-aid of illusion newbies often have off in one fell swoop.

As for the other question, she shakes her head, staying put, eyeing the two women with mild curiosity. “No bother.” Then to the stranger, to be polite (in her head - the statement itself might be a tad rude) “You’re new.” It’s not a question. She knows the all Naturals, so by process of elimination, even if she is a Halovian, she is new to the Grounds.


{sorry ya\'ll... wasn\'t entirely sure what was going on x.x}
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
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 23 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
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#6
MAEA
The smile faltered. Wessex had always unnerved her. It was the straightness of her gaze, the matter of fact tone that threw her off. There was no room for compromise there, at least none that Maea had ever noticed... but then, she'd always done her best to stay out of the womans notice, to the best of her abilities. Had never tried to see if there was anything more behind it, or indeed dared to face the possible conflicts such an attempt might have brought on. Ever, she had avoided confrontations.

Ever cautious, indeed.

Except, she was leaving that kind of attitude behind her. And standing up to Wessex was another small proof of that.

"At the very least, it would be good to bring someone else along," Maea countered,"and I think it would be cruel of me to ler her go without at least revealing what I know of the place first."  She made herself meet the woman's gaze without looking away. "Protecting people can get too far, but so too can indifference."

Turning to Libbs, she explained; "Wicker Women are trees, with gnarled branches that grab you if you come too close. They hold you to the trunk, and getting out of their grasp is nearly impossible. It's not unheard of for people to die of exposure or starvation like that.

"The sap has some interesting properties though,"
she added, "so it can be worth the risk to get hold of it."
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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Libbs Walzek
Lockpick

Age: 21 | Height: 5'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 6 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 17
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#7
LIBBS
Did the air just get colder in here, or was it just her? The new woman on the scene could downright pierce a hole right through Libbs. Felt like she was getting shot by a high caliber rifle. Libbs stiffened as a result, looking towards Maea with a bit of caution and confusion. It was good that she was doing all of the talking here, Libbs probably would have tried dodging this one with all of her power. Which, wasn't a lot. But something was better than nothing. Though, was it really wise to be picking a fight with her? Libbs didn't know much about the etiquette of this place but Maea seemed to be.. very defensive.

She whipped her head back to Wessex. "Heh, yeah. I'm new. My name is Libbs." she introduced herself to Wessex. "It's nice to meet you." offering a simple smile. Because surely, introducing herself shouldn't hurt too much, right?

She looked back to Maea, listening to her conversation points about the Wicker Woman. FINALLY. Someone FINALLY explained it. Here she was thinking this was some sort of basket woman that just randomly showed up and trapped you like a cat underneath a laundry basket, and you magically died. But it did leave a couple of questions. "Ah! Thank you, Maea! I was confused on it for a while.. so is it a particular type of tree I should look out for? Or can it be any kind of tree? 'Cause lots of trees have gnarled branches. Maples.. oaks.." she listed off.
let's run off to costa rica
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
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Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 5 - Strg: 33 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 33
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#8
WESSEX
It’s a pity that Libb’s first impressions of Wessex will always be colored by the demi-god’s personal opinions of Maea and her inability to simply leave a situation alone.. Had the albino girl not been there, things might have gone quite differently. For if Maea feels the need to ‘defend’ herself against a person who’s mostly just ignored the weird white girl for most of her life - well, that’s on Maea and her sense of self-worth. Wessex was playing Devil’s Advocate: if the Naturals tend to let their own children wander freely, why shouldn’t grown Outlander women?

Halfway through Maea’s rebuttal, Wessex turns a cool gaze from her with a little shrug and focuses it on the Outlander. Cute little thing. Pity the Voice never portalled in people her own age, she’s getting a tad tired of young’uns.

“Wessex,” she says, stretching out a hand in cordial greeting. It doesn’t have to be shaken, but the politeness is there. “It is its own species. Watch out for a tree with branches with lots of knots and long extensions and you’ll be fine.” Wessex can’t recall ever actually seeing one herself, but hey, fear-mongering is a part of traditional Caidonean life.
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
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 23 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
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#9
MAEA
Finding herself thoroughly dismissed, Maea quieted and pressed her lips together, nostrils flaring under the strain of keeping her mouth shut. She'd almost managed to forget this. The disinterest, being overlooked in favor of others. How her words made no connection what so ever. She crossed her arms over the chest, as if she could somehow shield herself against the awful sinking feeling that roiled through her gut, and remained silent while Wessex spoke. At least she listened to the end, rather than rudely turning away.

Already she was thoroughly regretting initiating this conversation. A lot. Even if the tone Wessex took with Libbs was entirely different... Perhaps she should just leave, and let the two of them at it alone. It was tempting... but no. No running away.

"What are you doing out here, Wessex?" she made herself ask, though did not try to feign any sort of real interest. Courtesy was what made her stop to chat, and courtesy would see her remain there until she was satisfied.
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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Libbs Walzek
Lockpick

Age: 21 | Height: 5'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 6 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 17
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#10
LIBBS
Libbs took things at face value. That's just the type of gal she was. So when Wessex offered her hand, Libbs very happily took it with a nice, firm handshake. "Wessex. That's.. actually really neat sounding!" she mentioned, looking up to the sky as if she was genuinely considering it for a moment, before she let go, returning her limbs back to the sides of her body, swinging gently. "I'll make sure to watch out for them then. Don't wanna go too early. There's too much to see." She then turned to Maea who seemed, angry? Still?

Libbs brows raised, then furrowed, as if she was contemplating something. What was she upset about? Did.. did she miss something? She blinked around her surroundings for a moment, to see if she could find the root of Maea's dissatisfaction, but wasn't able to connect the dots. Whatever was upsetting Maea, she hoped that perhaps that something would resolve itself somehow.
let's run off to costa rica
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
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Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 5 - Strg: 33 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 33
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
Played by: Astor Offline
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#11
WESSEX
Well, that’s nice - a compliment she’s never heard before. A brief smile flashes across the Ascended’s face as she shrugs. “Thank you. My family name is even better, if I do say so myself.” She suppose it has a certain ring to it. Her parents, at least, succeeded in anticipating some traits about their children accurately. She’s always been non-traditional. Magrethe has always been traditional. Their names suited them.

Wessex is about to ask Libbs more questions when Maea speaks up again. What is she doing in the Outskirts? In the place she’s always lived (minus a brief stay at the current town hall as Queen)? Like Wessex needs a reason to do anything. “Whatever I want,” she responds mildly, tilting her head a little. See, she heard the question as a challenge - the phrasing, it kind of rubbed her the wrong way. What would be the right way to phrase it? Dunno. But it is quickly followed by a glance to the empty area around her, and then a descent into memory.

“I turned forty a few days ago. If It weren’t for the Fiat Lux monster, I might have been… imparting wisdom or something. Teaching kids how to skin a rabbit.” A shrug, and then she runs some fingers through her short hair. Forty may not seem old to many, but it was an accomplishment in their community. Once, she’d had the scars to prove her mettle; Wessex would have been a specific kind of elder - not the story-telling kind - the strategic, war-council kind. If they’d ever had someone to go to war with.  

But many had died at the Festival. Their oldest. Their youngest. It was sobering.
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
Maea Valair
Loreseeker

Age: 23 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Attuned x Abandoned | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Hollowed Grounds
Level: 5 (Level 1 Attuned) - Strg: 13 - Dext: 17 - Endr: 21 - Luck: 11
SHII - Regular - Will-o-Wisp
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#12
MAEA
Watching the exchange between Libbs and Wessex, Maea compared it to the response she garnered from the older woman and wondered what it was about her that irked the ascended so much. In so many ways, she and the outlander girl were polar opposites. Where Maea was cautious and reserved, Libbs were open and outgoing. Was that the reason? But the albino had once been open and inviting too. It had been beaten out of her quickly, by the constant rejection of others until only her closest family ever saw her cry or laugh easy and without restraint. Was it the unthinking curiosity, the daring audacity to tumble headlong into the unknown? That too had been taken out of her as a small child, because too much daring meant you wouldn't live long. And living was all that mattered on a farm. To survive another day, another year. Work the fields, reap the harvest, seed and plant and endure the terrors of Deepfrost until the sun returned and it would start again. Live the simple life, the quiet life, the life where you did not stick your head out or draw attention - because it was never a good thing to be different. Different got you killed.

In the end, she was only a product of her environment. Someone who stood out when she shouldn't, who had not been able to pull her weight for too many years. Different, weak, Abandoned.  A hammer to be nailed back down - and oh, how well the hammer had struck. Escaping the mold she had been pressed down into was a slow and painful process, and in moments like these when she came face to face with the old crowd, Maea felt as though she was slipping all the way back to how she used to be. She wanted to withdraw, pull away, leave the conversation to these two who seemed to speak the same language. It would be so easy.

But she had decided to change. What would be the point of all the training and hard work if she couldn't even withstand this? Wessex was formidable in every sense, but she was still only one person. A bit more than human, perhaps, but... still mortal. And this was only a conversation in the woods, not a battle to the death.

Bowing her head in grudging respect at the revealed age, Maea considered the former Queen. "Perhaps children aren't the only ones who would benefit from that wisdom. I'm sure you have more to offer than skinned rabbits, Wise One." Forcing her hands down, Maea made herself actually look at the other. Meet her gaze, try to understand what she was seeing. Why things were the way the were between them.
Permission granted for magic/violence, short of killing.
Unless otherwise stated, Maea is always wearing Ludo's Rags around her shoulders.
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Libbs Walzek
Lockpick

Age: 21 | Height: 5'3" | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 2 - Strg: 16 - Dext: 6 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 17
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#13
LIBBS
"You don't look forty.. and what's a fiat.. what monster?" she asked, her brows furrowed, and she looked to Maea in confusion.

It was only momentary, however, because Libbs then proceeded to hear Wessex talk about imparting wisdom and skinning rabbits. And that was probably the most badass thing she has heard someone say. Yeah, she was used to guys being all.. huntery and stuff. But she could do all that too?! That was amazing! To be honest, Wessex definitely had her own level of appeal to Libbs. She seemed so cool, and confident, like she knew everything she was doing. Calculated. Unlike her clutzy self, which couldn't figure out how to tie her shoes let alone put them on.

Libbs continued to let Maea talk, probing the mysterious pale hunter-lady. And back at the frail ghost girl beside her. The natives of this land seemed.. odd. To say the least. Languages and subtlety that didn't seem to process in the mind of the Outlander. It was cold. It was hurt. And Libbs couldn't figure out exactly where her place was in the grand scheme of things. However, she wasn't afraid to chime in with comments, regardless of how appropriate they may have been..

"Yeah! I think you could still impart wisdom! I, for one, uh.. wouldn't mind learning how to skin a rabbit or two.." she offered, following up to Maea.
let's run off to costa rica
BASE INSPIRED BY ODD <3
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Wessex Theskyra
the Wraith
Explorer

Age: 40 | Height: 5'8'' | Race: Demi-god | Nationality: Natural | Citizenship: Nomadic
Level: 5 - Strg: 33 - Dext: 33 - Endr: 32 - Luck: 33
LOKI - Mythical - Dragon (Energy Blast)
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#14
WESSEX
Ah, she’s hit the nail on the head - it’s the weak part of Maea that Wessex dislikes, nay, finds it almost criminal that she’s survived when people like Rishima and Magrethe and her own mother have died. It’s a baseless grudge, locked in something similar to ‘survival of the fittest,’ but no one ever said people were rational all the time. Wessex is like… 90% rational, 10% not. If one were to guess. As for abandoned - oh, that doesn’t matter at all. It never has. Abandoned and Ascended ought to stick together, in her humble opinion.

Maea’s next words, however, do earn a bit of a chuckle from Wessex and she begins to soften from Ice Queen to just plain old frosty bitch. “Hardly wise. Brash and bold. Smart. But wise is… not something many would call me.” Though the honorific is welcome. She looks down at her hands, her fingernails, and then at the empty area around her again. “You two are kind. Thank you.” And then an idea springs to mind, and she moves as if on an inhale (though we all know she isn’t actually inhaling). “Have you heard about the Fae’s Capture the Sun tradition yet?”
No, I’ll be the stone
I’ll be the hunter, a tower that casts the shade
I lie awake and watch it all
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