Liridon



|OPEN| we were drunk in love in tennessee

#1
None - 24 years
Played by Sam

make a wish on whispered stars

The silver eyed mare remembers her mother once told her about a pure, terrible fear that has walked the corners of her dreams, that there are monsters that are dark and deadly, that are as old as her immortality, waiting to swallow her whole the second she lets the fear in. It was so strange to hear from a mother whose only tales had been about the yawning swells of the ocean  and things plucked from daydreams.

But, Orani, for her part, she doesn't like to think about her mom anymore, because when she does, she feels the guilt jump onto her heart with a knife. She knows she has done wrong by leaving, just like she had done wrong the first time she left. But she needed to save herself this time, to do what is best for her son, for Jacob.

While she knows Cern cannot find her here, the horror comes reeling back to her from time to time, sometimes returning full force on nights that are especially dark. Jacob is asleep, a dreamless sleep, as he always has, so unlike his mother and grandmother before him. Jacob who is steady like Orani. He is scholarly like Arawn. He is imaginative and wild like Keav.

What has he gained from Cern? Will he be as cruel?

The roan mare turns to look at her son beside her. He is so dark and beautiful, aside from the white upon his face and his legs, the Sabino markings he inherited from his grandfather that he would never meet because he left, left Orani when perhaps she had needed him most. This is what she tells herself, that she needed her father, but, in reality, Orani has never needed anyone, just her friends and her dreams and the stars above her. And now, Jacob. Her little star bird.

The mare of frosted blue looks for the comfort in a half strange land. It is strange because she has never lived here, but Orani has heard so many stories about this place, about a time when her mother was happy and she didn't look to her daughter with a painful smile and fear in her eyes. She embraces this new land now and whatever it has to offer her. But still, she remains vigilant. Orani is strange like that now, trying so hard not to let others get the best of her, not since Cern. Without him, and without knowing about him, some could think Orani seems almost cold now compared to when she had been small and bright. Where her eyes used to shine (so much like Jacob’s, so much like Keav’s) there is a distance to them, as if peering through a foggy looking glass with indifference. But, for those that know Orani, know her deep to her soul, she is just as happy and strong and curious as she ever was as that dark little filly. She has grown older, more experienced, her reckless nature inherited from her mother has dimmed to a smolder.

She stands there in a land that has existed only in her dreams and in her mother’s. Orani inherited her thoughtfulness and kindness from her mother, but the rest of her personality is her father’s. She wild and jealous, she is eloquent, and Orani is studious. And she thought with all those traits she would know what to do as she stands at the edge of Ilir, but all of it kind of drifts away before she can stop it. She wonders things she probably shouldn't. Hopes things she should never. And suddenly Orani is Jacob’s age and she is wide eyed as her mother tells her the stories of Ilir and she asks ‘can we go there?’ but this question always resulted in sad smiles and distant stares.

“Mom? Is this it?” Jacob asks in that youthful voice of his. Orani turns to her growing son, who already almost stands at the same height as her, destined to live shorter than both her parents in both time and stature. She rests her head upon his shoulder, the same way a mother might wrap her arms around her child. “It is,” is all she says, her breath warms his dark ears. “Is it everything you wanted it to be?” He asks, ever the sensitive child, so attune to the needs and wants of others. “I don't know yet, bird, but maybe, maybe we will see.”

#2
Nomad - 25 years/Ageless
Played by LixyLime



“You look like you are looking for something"....

He remembers the moon-washed filly like it was only just last night when they'd stood together at the entrance of the healer's cavern, their gazes lost in a blue-black sky filled with countless glittering stars. In this moment, the stallion of bronze and black is taken back to that early spring morning when she'd said those words to him... when they'd been nothing but two young strangers searching for something and finding one another. He remembers the soft smile dancing across her dark lips as she looked at him. How easily she'd pulled a soft chuckle from his own velvetines.

"Was it that obvious?"...

He'd been searching for his pale golden twin that morning after she and their mother had gotten into an argument that was a common one for the pair to find themselves in. Brielle had stormed off as she so often did when Aletta would refuse her request to venture beyond the guarded borders of Murmuring Rivers. She was all too eager to see the world that rested past the borders of what she knew. For as long as Jay could remember, that was how she'd been. His sister, so stubborn in her desires that she didn't always understand that it was because of the dangers waiting for their family that their mother sheltered them so.

“I can help you, you know....... Jay"....

The first time that his name had fallen from her lips, even before he'd offered his own in reply to hers. She'd looked to the stars then for a fleeting moment before turning those hauntingly beautiful silvered eyes back to him, a sweet and youthful laugh that twinkling much like the fading stars hanging in the lightening pre-dawn sky above them... This is the first memory that he has of her, and it was one that the bay stallion held close to his heart despite the years that came and went. Even when she'd gone from his eyes, he needed only to visit this memory as he watched the starry heavens, and suddenly she wouldn't feel so far away anymore. She was out there somewhere, his heart knew this to be true.

"Orani...", he whispers quietly to himself as the memory fades, leaving behind the familiar yearning which always came. Soft and slow steps carry him deeper into forest. He wanders beneath the brightening sky, the sun not quite touching the eastern horizon to shed its golden light upon the foreign realms beneath it. And yet, already there are birds waking, their lilted voices starting to fill the canopies above the bay stallion whom has no true understanding why he'd ventured here. All he does know is that just ahead, in a low-hanging branch of an oak, he can see the silhouette of Carpo perched and waiting patiently for Jay to catch up to him. As strange as it might seem to others for a stallion to follow a barn owl through a strange land, it was the very reason that Jay was here at all. If it had not been for Carpo to urge the bay stallion thus far, there was little doubt that he would have sought out a path back home, back to the family that he so missed.

Even though the owl could not speak to the stallion, there was something about Carpo that kept Jay going. Ever since that winter afternoon when Jay had found him as a fledgling shivering and alone in the snows that covered the ancient realm of Paraiso, there had been something... special and perhaps even otherworldly about his feathered friend that always seemed to call to some part of the bay's soul. It was difficult to really describe, the feeling that tugged at Jay when Carpo grew restless or called to him. It wasn't like the barn owl to make much sound outside of the unusual instance. So, when Jay had nearly reached the bowing limb and Carpo's rasping screech came forth only moments before he launches himself into the air once again, flying with eerie silence deeper into the forest, the bay stallion knows that, wherever it was Carpo was guiding him, they were getting closer.

"Carpo, where exactly are we going?", tenor tones call out as strong limbs begin to move from a steady walk to a slower trot, Jay being careful to lift his knees as to avoid any hidden risen tree roots or vegetation that might cause him to stumble. It almost seems as though the stallion is prancing at this point, but considering he did not know the path ahead as he did the woodlands surrounding his ancestral home, Jay did not wish to take any chances. Again, Carpo calls out, and this time, Jay cannot see the owl. Twin harks are pressed forward amidst sabled tendrils adorned by that single feather, well-defined muscle rippling beneath bronzed skin as he moves further up the trail, weaving where he needs to. Suddenly, he nearly slides to a halt, nostrils quivering as a familiar scent on the wind is now strong enough to detect. Orani? He is almost frozen in place then, only the black of his tendrils stirring in a passing breeze. Is it even possible?

He resumes the same pace he'd been moving at but moments earlier, his heart suddenly beating faster within his broad chest as the scent grows stronger. He ducks his head to avoid a low-hanging branch once more, and suddenly the forest opens into a small glade. There... standing just on the other side of the clearing... a moon-washed figure that he could never forget or un-see in a thousand lifetimes... "Orani?", he whispers quietly, almost hesitantly. This land was strange to him, how was he to  know that this might not be some trick or some sort of magic he was being subjected to? What were the odds that he would find her here after having crossed so many other tribelands and kingdoms? Carpo swoops down from wherever he'd been sitting in the canopy, only to land on a tree stump beside the star-gazer and her son, dark eyes shifting from the pair and back to Jay as if to say "I found her"....

Jay cannot find his voice now, standing there on the far end of the glade, unsure of what to say or do in this moment. Would she be happy to see him, or just as baffled as he was to find her here, countless miles from where they'd last seen one another? His gaze falls onto the youth beside her, curious and yet he is speechless still, his eyes finding those silvered eyes of the moon-washed maiden once more, a sea of unspoken questions and unshared emotion.



No Life Can Escape Being Blown About By The Winds Of Change And Chance...
...Though You'll Never Know All The Steps, You Must Learn To Join The Dance

image by amigogirl

#3
None - 24 years
Played by Sam
They have always said that Orani is lonely. That she will never recover from her father’s abandonment, that Cern had torn the remaining pieces behind until they were all but recognizable. Oh, but Orani is far from lonely. Orani is quiet, reserved, but she is not sad. Not when there is good in the world. Something she is reminded of whenever silver eyes find his of blue.

Jacob.

Oh yes, there is good in the world yet. Every mother thinks their child beautiful, but Orani has never seen something quite like Jacob. He was so…wise, wise like Orani will never be. The star kissed mare has been far too foolish. When he had been born, Orani had ached for her mother, for the guiding hand upon her back to tell her what to do, where to go. But when Jacob blinked ocean eyes, Orani knew then and there she had the next best thing to her mother—her son.

She has told stories of him, of her Jay Bird, to her son, Jacob. He had wanted to know more about this godfather he heard so much about but would never meet. Orani has told him how they found a baby owl, how he gave her roses every day upon her mountain top, how he loved the stars just as they did.

She told him about the time he went away, and Orani stood there remembering she has always been alone and it was silly to think otherwise.

“He had come to me, and told me  that he needed to make a journey, a journey of great importance, perhaps the most important journey that anyone could make.” Orani always set the stage to be great when she would tell stories to Jacob. “Can I come?’ I had asked, but Jay had said it was a journey that needed to be made alone, it was a rescue mission. And then we looked together up into the night sky and all there was was starlight and darkness. ‘I am going to bring back the moon.’ He spoke with such resolution I knew it had to be true, and in the same breath I believed he could do it. Calling upon the nymphs of the night sky, Jay transformed before my eyes, from the boy of bronze into a large owl, with feathered wings and eyes as dark obsidian, and to the moon he flew.” Orani would look to the sky then, to the moon, Jacob would follow with his own. “And that is why we are underneath the moonlight today.” Jacob tilted his head then, curious. “But, the moon is back, so why isn’t he?” Orani stumbles for a moment, her heart aches, because she has wondered the same thoughts for different reasons. “Well, you know those dark night without any moon to light our way?” Jacob nods. “It is because once more it has been stolen, and that is why Jay stays, to always bring back the light.”

The star shine girl has her lips in Jacob’s dark little mane, fussing hopelessly with those wild, silken strands as she laughs softly. “What do you think?” She asks him. He tilts his head back to look at his mother with ocean eyes. “I love it,” he says and Orani lets her head come to lay on the top of his. She has never and will never do anything to deserve Jacob. Jay may bring them light, but Jacob was her Iight, and always would be.

And then his voice drops into the air like a raindrop on the leaf, chilling, yet not unwelcoming. Her head rises from the spot she has found on top of her son and turns around to see the boy standing there that she never thought she would see again. Her name is on his lips and Orani feels he sounds too quiet and too loud all at once. “Hello Jay Bird,” she says and is surprised how foreign it feels on her tongue.

Jacob has turned around by now, and young and determined he moves towards the stallion, dark ears fluttered forwards, smiling the same smile as his mother had shown when she had been his age. He recognizes the name on his mother’s mouth, has grown up hearing stories about this man. “So,” he says only when he reaches him. “Did you bring the moon with you?”

make a wish on whispered stars



{image by Javardh on unsplash}
@Jay
#4
Nomad - 25 years/Ageless
Played by LixyLime



They'd been so young when they'd met. So young even, that Jay hadn't seen her beauty through the eyes of a colt coming into stallionhood. Back then, their friendship and been pure and without any intent other than to talk about the stars together. And, when the day came that the family returned to Paraiso, Orani had joined them there much to his excitement. He could remember LoveLace's cavern, how they would help the healer find and collect the herbs and berries she needed to dry and store should an illness strike the ancient valley. They'd see who could find the most chamomile or who could carry the most rose hips. They would explore the woodlands together and talk about what the birds were singing of that afternoon or perhaps enjoy a cool midday swim in the glistening lake which rested at the heart of his ancestral home. Back then, it had been nothing beyond childish adventuring and enjoying one another's companionship. In truth, the once-prince of bronze and sable had always been fond of the star-whisperer. There was something about her, the way that her eyes shone with something he could never quite explain, something almost surreal... the way she would smile so brightly when she would look at him...

Before, he'd simply believed that it was the love of a friend which stirred within his chest whenever he was with her. It was hard to think that she would not be around always, perhaps the only friend he'd ever made who was not part of his family in some way. For most of his life, it has always just been family which he was surrounded by. He was the one who watched over his little sisters, Lilliana and Aislynn. His older brother was often busy patrolling the borders or spending time with his mate, Kalina. And, when his father returned, it seemed that he and mother were always strolling through the trees together, whispering softly to one another, that long-forgotten smile of his mother once again lighting up the world with her beloved guardian of brandished gold beside her. Bri was always off with Roland, the two having been close just as he and Orani were. And Elena, she often joined in whichever games Lilli and Lynn would come up with. Then, once they'd journeyed to their one true home, Jay was allowed to wander - even if that meant wandering his ancestral home for things that LoveLace needed. So, it was easy to understand why the bay colt hadn't thought any further than friendship with the moon-washed star-gazer with eyes made of starlight, his beloved friend.

Now, as the stallion of bronze and sable looks back into those days of their youth together, he understands now that his feelings had been so much more than he realized. It was impossible for him to forget the yearnings he'd felt when Orani had left the deep valley and returned to her mountains. After all their days spent together within them healer's cavern, after finding Carpo and nursing him, Paraiso felt a little less full somehow when she hadn't been there. An ache grew in his heart, and he had taken up the ritual of finding a rose each evening for Carpo to carry to his star-gazer. Each and every night, until the valley was divided from the rest of Beyond, Jay had asked the barn owl to send a single budding rose to the girl who felt as far away as the stars which glittered and shone above the open valley floor. He'd whisper to those celestial beings, hopeful that they would hear him talk about his day and tell the moon-washed maiden so that she would visit him someday soon. She never did come back to see him. Then, when the guardians of the past enshrouded the ancient valley in a mist that only those guided could find their way through, Jay felt certain that he would never know her smile again save for within his dreams that she so often walked.

And yet, here she was before him. For real. However, something was... different. There is no smile dancing upon her lips now, and her eyes... they do not seem to shine as brightly as they once did for him. He can feel a change in the star-teller that unsettles him for a moment. He looks only briefly to the colt as dark as midnight save for the splashings of ivory that paint him, and he wonders who his father was. Jay was not foolish, he could see it in the colt that he was Orani's. But, his thoughts do not linger there. There would be a time and place for that later. Well, maybe. Her voice is soft as he remembers, though they don't sound the same to the bay stallion now. Has time really changed that much? He supposed that it was possible, considering that her beauty has only grown since the last time he'd seen her. Still, though... there was something here that wasn't quite right he thinks to himself. Of course, this does not change his own warm smile as he looks at the pair, nor does it lessen the happiness in his own heart. He found her, after once thinking he would never find her again. No matter what has changed, he is simply happy that she is here now. He would never ask the gods for more than that, this chance to see her again after all this time.

"I didn't expect to find you here, so far away from Beyond. But I am happy to see you again", he says then, remaining where he stood while Carpo, with but only a few strong strokes of soft feathered wings, settles there upon Orani's back. Jay wonders then if Orani knew he would be here, if that was why she was also here. She'd always had a way of knowing things before they'd come to be. It is then that the yearling colt begins to close the distance between himself and the bay stallion, dark ocean-blue eyes gazing up at molten milk chocolates, a smile so very much like the one Orani once wielded placed upon his young face. His young voice ushers into the quiet night air, and at first, the question puzzles Jay. And then, he smiles warmly to the black sabino colt."I did. He rests upon your mother's back at the moment, as he has always been quite fond of her", tenor tones answer back. After all, did they not name dear Carpo after the moon? Or, a moon, as it were? Was that what Orani had told the boy? If not, the stallion of bronze and sable was unsure what else he would be speaking of. As if the owl knew that Jay was speaking of him to the colt, he spreads large wings and flies silently through the air to rest upon the youth's withers now, a soft almost frog-like croaking sound barn owls were known to make in instances where they were returning to a nest.


No Life Can Escape Being Blown About By The Winds Of Change And Chance...
...Though You'll Never Know All The Steps, You Must Learn To Join The Dance

image by amigogirl

#5
None - 24 years
Played by Sam

make a wish on whispered stars

There is a softness in his eyes that speaks volumes of the naivety that lingers within him. He clings to hope, a vestigial feature perhaps. But he thinks it to be a beautiful thing: hope. Because he has watched as others have cast their hope aside.

He can see it in some of their dimmed eyes; eyes that were probably once sparkling with vitality and assurance are now sucked dry of their light. He is aware that age and passing years can change another for the worst. Maybe they had had a purpose before – maybe they had loved and lost, and that loss was simply too much for them to bear – but for many, it is clear that their calling is long behind them. They haunt the open lands, some gaunt and staring. But Jacob, Jacob brings enough light to shine it upon all he meets.

While his mother may be the moon and Jay may be the protector, Jacob was the starlight that glittered down below even on the darkest of nights.

***

Orani has stopped allowing herself to get attached to things. She has cried over too many sunsets, and lost sleep over too many star showers.

She will not have her heartbroken by such pretty things any longer.

Here he is. He is here and Orani isn't sure of the order of things anymore. It is like if a story character came to life, or if an invisible friend were suddenly sitting at your kitchen table. There is something about him that she finds incredibly mesmerizing, perhaps even more so than the twinkling of stars, and more than the snow that glitters around like diamond in winter. It is not just the soft way the moonlight illuminates his features, or the way he looks at her, like she is the only one here. She is almost naive enough to believe it – to believe that she is captivating enough to earn such attention, from someone like him. But she has already learned that nothing that anyone does will ever be enough to make someone stay. She had watched her father—her intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful father— leave so many times; she has seen the look on her mother’s face when she does to draw close and he slips away. She had been born of love, a timeless, never-ending love, but sometimes love just wasn’t enough.

She had realized that far too soon.

That didn't keep her from smiling back at him like he was the only face she has been waiting for this entire time. And, in truth, with Jay standing there, she finally felt like her waiting was over, and she breathes a sigh into the midnight air because she is no longer standing on the edge of a cliff waiting to fall below.

“I never thought I would see you again,” she says, admits. It is a confession that she has tucked away into her and though Jay is hardly the same as Cern, (he is so far different from the bay beast, that Orani cannot picture them on the same place of existence) she had found him in the same box that the antlered monster had been in. It was a box never meant to remerge, and yet she finds herself rummaging through it like a mother in a midlife crisis clutching her child’s baby blanket.

She lets her smile and her dreamy eyes do the talking for her before Carpo flies over to her to perch himself upon her shoulders. “I searched the stars for you—so much, but all I saw was mist,” she says shaking her head. Oh, but his dreams, Orani had found him, they were vivid and bright, full of stars and roses and wisdom and love. Jay’s dreams, now those were some of her favorites.

Jacob breaks her focus, striding over to Jay, knowing exactly who he was, but perhaps not exactly why he was there. Orani cannot help but smile softly at the question that is asked, growing only somber upon Jay’s own response. “He has heard stories,” she says gently. She follows her son now, moving close to Jay until she can almost smell that old familiar scent of pine and waterfall. “This is Jacob, your godson,” she says. “How long has it been?” She asks.

How long since when star talker?
Since he disappeared into the mists and took a piece of you with him?

“How long, Jay Bird?” Because she had been keeping tallies upon the stone wall until the chalk all but ran out.


@Jay
#6
Nomad - 25 years/Ageless
Played by LixyLime



Unlike his older brother and his older half-brother, the once-prince knew that he didn't really have much to offer. He was not a knight like so many of the stallions in his family were. They were strong and fierce, bold and brave. Jay was... well, he was a gatherer of herbs and berries for the healer, an apprentice to the woman dressed in black whose earthen eyes foretold of countless years that her slender and beautiful frame did not speak of. He did not carry upon sloped shoulders large, feathered wings with which he might be able to curl around a woman to keep her warm against a bitter winter gust. In fact, unlike most of his kin, the stallion of bronze and sable was not even a wielder of the air elements. While his forefathers were able to harness this element to create anything from the gentlest whispering breeze to the strongest hurricane able to uproot even the biggest and oldest of trees, he had nothing beyond his feathered feathered companion and the gift of story-telling. While everything about him whispered of strength, told the world that he could hold his own in a battle should he ever need to, Jay was not like his brothers or even his nephews hell-bent on leaving behind a legacy all their own. The utter truth of it all was that Jay was almost as ordinary as they came. His skin was the most commonly found, devoid of any white splashings to make him different.

Beyond patience and kindness and love, there was little he had to offer anyone.

He was not some valiant stallion looking to build a just kingdom to act as a beacon of light in a dark world, and he was not flashy or bearing some great gift beyond what his heart could offer. When one had so little to give, how could one ever hope to give the world to someone they loved when it wasn't theirs to give? Perhaps these are the reasons that Jay has never told her how he realized what he felt for her. It was easy to dismiss it as a crush, and really, it would never be more than that. Orani was special, something otherworldly and ethereal. She deserved so much more than he could ever provide her. She'd never look at him the way that he has her, and that was perfectly okay with the bay stallion. So much time had come to pass between them.... perhaps too much time. She was a mother now, to a handsome young colt that would be able to protect and love her in a way that Jay never could, and as he looks at the moon-washed maiden who would always mean so much to him, he knows that he will never take back how he loves her more than the friend she was to him. Now, he only ever wanted to be there for her however he could, whenever she might need him. While he didn't have the slightest idea what he could do for her, that certainly did not mean he wouldn't try to do all that he could for her. As long as he could make her smile as brightly as she once did, nothing else mattered.

When she does smile, it is brighter this time than the first had been, and it warms his heart and soul in a way the sun in winter never could. Despite there being something undeniably different about Orani, just her smile in this moment is enough to assure the bay stallion that the filly he'd met all those years ago was still there somewhere. She may be a little lost, but he wanted to help her find the light again if it were possible. Her voice is quiet, and there is something in those words that sadden the once-prince."And I thought I would never see you again...", he confesses in turn. She carries on softly now, and he knows that it was because of the Guardians of Old stealing away the ancient valley from the rest of the world that had separated her and him from one another. Carpo had not been able to fly through the mist to deliver those roses as he had before, and Jay's heart aches a little more."I am sorry if you felt that I'd left you alone. I hadn't intended to leave. Nor had I really wanted to", tenor tones usher into the night air between them, his obsidians refusing to carry him over to her."I still thought of you every day, and every night", he continues after a small pause, a weight to his words as he remembers those starlit evenings outside LoveLace's cavern, searching for that one shining soul seven stars above the tallest peak, the bright star he'd always imagined as Orani.

He does not know the colt that strides over to him, despite the light that seems to illuminate his dark face like he has known Jay all his life. And, perhaps he has. It is not long after Jay answers the youth's question, Carpo leaving Orani's back and landing upon the black sabino, that the moon-washed maiden is the one who weakens the distance between them. The bay stallion nearly forgets to breathe, a soft smile now dancing upon her lips as she explains why it was that her son has asked such an unusual question. There is no personal space between Jay and Orani now -  there never has been before when they were so much younger - and he realizes now just how much he'd truly missed her. She offers her son's name to Jay, and he smiles gently, looking to the colt for only a moment. My godson... He'd never imagined he would have ever had any children of his own like Malachi and Alvaro, but, in a strange way, he feels as though that is no longer true."That is a good, strong name", he remarks thoughtfully then, but he hardly has a moment more to dwell on the colt and who his father might be before Orani asks him another question... one that reminds him of the heartache. He is silent for a moment, soft earthen eyes meeting hers and lingering there now..."Too long, Orani....", he whispers achingly, unable to find any other words to answer her with.

And, suddenly, he cannot remember how long it has been, those years having felt infinitely longer than they really were. How cruel time could be to those divided by distance...



No Life Can Escape Being Blown About By The Winds Of Change And Chance...
...Though You'll Never Know All The Steps, You Must Learn To Join The Dance

image by amigogirl




                                                                                                                                                                       @Orani