Open [Winter Blaze] Winter Wonderland

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Winter Blaze] Winter Wonderland

Postby Lian Windrunner on January 28th, 2016, 4:36 am

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10th Day of Winter, 515 AV

I want to go, too.

Lian stared at his strider incredulously. Why would Talise even want to go to the festival? It wasn't like she could really do anything there. The food definitely wouldn't be geared towards striders. Nor was there likely to be much grass there for her to graze on if she got hungry. It would be hard for her to move about freely with the crowd that was likely to be there. And the close quarters might well make her nervous.

"I'm sorry, Talise. You can't come with me."

I want to go! Please, Lian? If we were back home, you'd let me go!

Lian gave Talise's "words" some thought. Would he have allowed her to go if they were in Endrykas? He had so few memories of his life there that he couldn't be certain. But it seemed likely that he would, given what he knew about his people. They welcomed striders among them in ways that horses would never be welcome here.

How could he explain to her why she couldn't come with him? This wasn't Endrykas. To the people here, she was just another horse. Most non Drykas were unlikely to understand the difference between a normal horse, and a strider. Or care, more likely than not. And they were unlikely to welcome Talise among them the way the Drykas would.

"You'd be a lot more comfortable if you stay here, Talise. Most people here don't understand striders the was Drykas do. You wouldn't be welcome at the festival. And you wouldn't be happy there. It's going to be loud, and crowded."

And if I'm not careful, I'll convince myself that I don't want to go, either. he thought ruefully.

Well...I guess that I don't want to go, then. But you have to brush me before you leave, okay?

"Now that I can promise." Lian said with a chuckle.

Lian headed into the barn, and got a curry comb. When he returned, he began brushing Talise's neck. Using small, circular motions, he gradually moved down towards back, and sides. His strider leaned into his touch, clearly enjoying the attention. And Lian loved brushing her. It was calming, and soothing for them both. By the time he was done, Talise was fully relaxed.

Lian led the mare into the east pasture where she could relax while he was gone. Then he walked to his room so he could change into his costume. It was a simple enough outfit. Golden brown shirt and pants, with a bright red cloak. The edge of the cloak was shaped in a way that was reminiscent of flames. And it had a flame pattern, with little red flames everywhere you looked. The costume reflected an event that held deep meaning to Lian as well as fitting in with the fire aspect of the festival's theme.

When Lian was ready, he took one of the pies that he had helped make as his food offering for the party. Then he made his way outside, and towards the main gate. The walk to the city seemed shorter than it usually did because Lian spent much of it deep in thought. He wavered between excitement and anticipation at the thought of the festival, and nervousness at the thought of being surrounded by so many strangers whose ways were unknown to him. His missing memories of his past left him feeling incomplete, and uncertain. That in turn made him feel vulnerable. But he was determined to have fun. And with luck, he would meet some of the people he knew there.

Lian handed the pie he had brought to someone standing near the door who offered to take it. Then he moved further into the room. As he did so, he looked around, marveling at the decorations, and the costumes that the other people were wearing.


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[Winter Blaze] Winter Wonderland

Postby Ayatah on January 31st, 2016, 9:22 pm

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“Kuame? Is that you?”

Worryingly, no-one answered. Ayatah turned from the mirror in which she had been inspecting her appearance and searched for the boy. He wasn’t there, but the sense of someone lingering nearby her could not be shaken off. Perhaps she was merely acclimatising to having someone else additional to her son in her life. It had been a mere five days since she met Skyard, and already the Kelvic had become a monumental part of her life. She was unused to having someone so close to her, physically and emotionally. So perhaps, just perhaps, that sense of a lingering presence was due to that?

But even as she considered this idea, deep down Ayatah knew it to be false. Sure, it had been a while since she had taken a lover, but she wasn’t a complete hermit. In fact, the half-Eypharian enjoyed the presence of others and the closeness of such friendships. Her social circle had widened exponentially since the move to Riverfall, incorporating her work colleagues, the other mother’s from Kuame’s school, and then just random people she spoke to in the street.

No, the sensation she had felt was not out of loneliness, or a unfamiliarity with having a dedicated lover. It was something… else. A memory flickered into her mind, that of the jungle and hunting with her family. It was easy to hide in the thick overgrowth, and she and her cousins had constantly pranked each other, disappearing into the shadows before leaping out like a Myrian tiger. The sensation she had felt was akin to that: someone was watching her, someone nearby, and they were planning to jump out and scare at any moment.

“Aya! Are you ready?”

“Yes, almost.” Clawing her fingers through her dark hair, Aya inspected her face yet again. She’d brushed on a fine dusting of face powder onto her skin to even out her skin tone — though nowhere near as much as the cosmetologist had promised her. Petching shopkeep, Aya thought irritably as she critically stared at her pores and cheekbones. Her lips were painted red, as well, and the tips of her almost black hair had been chalked red and oranges.

She was trying to personify fire itself, and though her attempt was not poor, Ayatah herself felt more like a doused flame.

“C’mon!” Kuame called out again, his voice high and excited with the promise of a party. This festival had been all the boy had spoken about for the past few days, and he was just itching to get going.

One last look at the mirror, one final tug of the figure-hugging silky red dress she was wearing, and Ayatah turned from the mirror to inspect her son. The six-year old was wearing the blue outfit Aya had designed and made him a few days ago. With her being fire the fire, and Skyard being the ice, Kaume had decided to be the water. “It’s what happens when fire and ice meet, anyway.” He’d said with the simple decision typical of a child.

“Let’s go then,” Ayatah replied wearily, leading the lad out of their apartment door and starting the journey towards the festivities. That earlier bizarre sensation of someone else sharing her personal space had been forgotten. For now.
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