Solo Birds of a Feather (Part II)

Searching for answers and delving into the past.

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Birds of a Feather (Part II)

Postby Asterope on August 30th, 2020, 10:21 pm

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31st of summer, 520 AV

(Continued from Birds of a Feather Part I*)

Aster had made her way back to the Reading Room and thrown herself back into her investigation with enthusiasm. She had picked up a few more books that mentioned Kelvics that she had thought would be useful, but considering how vital an aspect bondmates seemed to be in their lives, the books made little mention of them. So she had turned to journals and diaries, hoping to find one penned by a Kelvic. It was a long shot, she knew, but worth a try in her opinion.

She flipped through books before replacing them in their stack, searching for any mention of the word 'Kelvic'. One mentioned the race, and she perked up, then made a face of disgust when it only casually mentioned having bought a Kelvic slave as a gift. "Gross," Aster mumbled, putting the book back perhaps more forcefully than necessary.

A few more books revealed nothing useful. It was getting late, and she was quickly becoming frustrated. Turning to search the next stack, her hip clipped the top of a shorter stack of books behind her, sending the top three books tumbling. Flushing heavily, Aster winced, motioning an apology as best as she could to the gazes that turned to her accusingly. Bending over, she picked up the books; two of them had fallen open, and her eyes skimmed the pages as she picked them up.

One discussed the troubles of being a new mother. The other talked about a day out hunting, but a particular sentence caught her attention. Not even a full sentence, but two words. The ink stared up at her, stark against the pale, yellowed paper. My bondmate, the sentence began.

Aster put the other book back on the stack, and stared at the one in her hands. She'd been so busy looking for a journal written by a Kelvic that she hadn't considered the possibility of one written by a Kelvic's bondmate. Clutching the book in her hands, Aster hurried back over to the couches, sinking down onto one and flipping the book open to the first page.

The first half of the book was rifled through impatiently, with no mention of any Kelvics or of a bondmate; it was just the daily ramblings of a man living in Riverfall, sometimes talking about his weapons or hunting or noting a recipe in the margins. But finally, Aster found what she was looking for.

I rescued a creature today that turned out to be more than I thought it was. The man didn't go into details, but he discussed his discovery, his shock at finding out the hurt animal was not only that, but a beautiful young woman as well, fleeing from Zith that wanted to enslave or eat her, or perhaps both.

Does it always have to come back to slavery, Aster wondered, but she kept reading. The man took the Kelvic woman back to Riverfall to treat her wounds and for her to repay the debt she owed him for saving her life. Aster frowned heavily at that. She couldn't imagine someone ever owing her a debt because she saved their life. She wasn't sure she liked this mysterious, anonymous man, whoever he was.
Last edited by Asterope on September 1st, 2020, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Asterope
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Birds of a Feather (Part II)

Postby Asterope on September 1st, 2020, 11:02 am

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The woman took a few days to heal; luckily, I intervened soon enough that her injuries were not severe. Even among an exotic race, she is an exotic beauty. My mother tells me I should give her a few days more to adjust to her new living conditions before I broach the subject of her debt. While I am impatient to discuss it, I understand the reasoning. I will keep my mouth shut, and hopefully my brother will as well, and in the meantime I will show her around our beautiful city.

Aster hadn't stayed in Riverfall for long, leaving with the Drykas not long after she washed up on the beach by the city, but it had been quite beautiful. Still, she didn't know much about it, its inhabitants, or its customers and culture. Curious, Aster kept reading.

She tells me her name is Lucerna, but that those close to her call her Lucy. I asked her if I may also have that honour. She seemed quite embarrassed, but she agreed. I'm pleased by this; while I know she has no choice but to repay my debt, I do not want her to feel forced. I value the Kelvics that serve us, and she in particular makes me smile. She is someone special.

The man went on to discuss that apparently, the subject of repaying Lucerna's debt had not gone over as well as he had hoped, and as Aster read on, she understood why. She didn't at first; the term used in the diary was unfamiliar to her. 'Nakivak', it said, but as the man described it slightly more, Aster realized what it was. A glorified slave, waited upon in exchange for producing children. The disgust she felt was palpable. No wonder the Kelvic woman wasn't pleased. She wouldn't have been either.

Lucerna still refuses to speak to me, yet she remains in the city. I don't understand. I have tried explaining myself to her, but she will not listen. I have become...very fond of her. It pains my heart for me to have hurt her in this way. I wish there was a simple way for me to make her understand.

It was never simple, but as Aster continued to flip through the journal entries, it seemed that the man did somehow win Lucerna back around, and she agreed to repay the debt she owed him. The two grew closer and closer, and despite her reservations, it seemed Lucerna fell in love as well.

I have heard stories of the bonds people can forge with Kelvics. But today, I learned the truth of it, and I realized that they were not mere stories or exaggerations; they were the opposite, for words cannot explain the depth of the love I feel for Lucerna. She and I are one now, entwined in a way I have no words for. Today, she has granted me the greatest honour of taking me as her bondmate.

That was all the man spoke of in regards to the 'how' and 'why'. That was frustrating; Aster was looking for more than that. But she was curious now, so she kept flipping through the pages. Lucerna did indeed become pregnant, it seemed, a true honour according to the diary's author. But she didn't seem to make it through childbirth.
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Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
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Birds of a Feather (Part II)

Postby Asterope on September 1st, 2020, 11:04 am

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Aster felt the pain and sorrow of the last journal entry deep in his heart as the man lamented his loss, weeping bittersweet tears over the loss of his love and bondmate, but the joy of his newborn son. And then she read the words that nearly made her drop the book in shock.

You have given me the greatest gift and honour anyone could, and I will never forget you, Lucerna my love. There will never be another like you, my feathered rose; not in spirit, and certainly not in beauty, and I will hold your last rosy feathers close to my heart always to remind me of you, your smell and spirit and wonderful rosy hair and eyes.

And I will tell our son stories of the most beautiful bird I ever did see, bright pink in a field of dying green, and the best decision I made in my life to rescue it from the perils of the Sea of Grass.


Rosy feathers? Rosy hair and eyes? Pink bird? It was impossible. There was no way, right? Aster reread the passage multiple times, not realizing that her hands were trembling. Could it be possible? But what were the chances? But...what were the chances it was also just a coincidence? Aster closed the journal harder than she meant to, but ignored the annoyed glares from other reads, staring down at the simple red leather cover of the book in her hands.

The world was a strange place, and fate a stranger thing. Could it be true that she was, or had been, Lucerna, the pink-feathered Kelvic bird? Bondmate of the man who had written the journal she now held in her hands? She wondered how old it was. There were days written before the entries, but never a year. The pages were yellowed enough that she knew it must be a few decades at least. Could her...Lucerna's bondmate still be alive somewhere? If not her bondmate, then maybe her son?

The thought stirred up a whole host of complex emotions, bewilderment chief among them. Aster had no idea how to feel about the information she was still processing. Standing slowly, she returned the book to where it belonged, fingers lingering on the leather cover before she abandoned it back to its stack, to sit and wait until the next curious person picked it up to read its contents, to read the beautiful and tragic story of Lucerna and the unnamed man who had been her bondmate.

How did the diary end up in the Reading Room in the Outpost, she wondered? Passed down and eventually brought her instead of kept? Sold off as junk? Stolen and discarded? There were hundreds of possibilities. It was nearly nightfall when Aster left the library, slowly meandering through the streets back to her house. She undressed, then stood and waited.
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Asterope
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Posts: 519
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Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
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Birds of a Feather (Part II)

Postby Asterope on September 1st, 2020, 11:05 am

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It didn't take long. A few moments later, the sun dipped below the horizon, and she changed into the woman who was very likely once Lucerna. Aster looked down at herself, running her hands over smooth, pale skin. There were a few small scars; nothing horrendous, but perhaps evidence of the ordeal that sent her into the arms of her bondmate? A few pale silvery lines etched up her stomach in the shape of jagged stripes, more marks she had previously dismissed as small scars, not particularly noteworthy.

Looking at them again, she recognized them as stretchmarks, the scars of a rapidly changing body, the proof of change etched into skin. She traced them with her fingertips, pressing her palm flat against her stomach, staring down at it in a mix of awe and uncertainty, trying to imagine carrying a child, a whole new life, inside of her.

The thought was alien and uncertain and quite frankly, uncomfortable. Aster dropped her hand, tearing her gaze away from her own body and forcing herself into her nightclothes, crawling into bed.

"How is it possible that I am, have been, so many people, do you think?" She whispered to Cressida in the dark, curled up on the pillow beside her head. "Is it even true?" The winged serpent, of course, had no answer for her. Aster fell asleep uneasily, and dreamed of flying over plains of grass, clouds of pink feathers floating through the air and the muffled cries of a child coming from far below.

She woke feeling lonely; more so than usual. Aster stared up at the ceiling, the feeling of warm, strong arms wrapped around her fading with her dreams. She had never considered romance before; she'd had no need for it, hadn't been interested. But now a new type of loneliness had settled in her chest, and she wondered if she'd ever feel a love as mortal and deeply profound and intense as Lucerna had felt for her bondmate.

A new determination filled her. She was going to find her bondmate, whether he was still alive or not, and see what had become of him after Lucerna's death. It was what felt right. She knew who she was, now, or at least who she had been; but with so little information about such a key figure in Lucerna's life, the story still felt somehow incomplete. She wasn't sure how she was going to find out, or even where to start; but she would. Somehow. Eventually.

Aster sighed, easing out of bed. It was becoming difficult to keep up with all of these changes. She was beginning to lose track of who was who, past lives muddling themselves with her current one, and she sometimes wasn't sure who she really was anymore. Perhaps it would be easier to ignore these changes, pretend they didn't exist, didn't bother her, didn't matter.

But she couldn't. It was a part of her now, for better or for worse, and she would be damned if she wasn't going to find out.
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The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 519
Words: 529979
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


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