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Aaron Highmore

"The course of true love never did run smooth." - A Midsummer Night's Dream

0 · 827 views · located in The Isle

a character in “Bloodlines”, as played by throne


Aaron David Highmore
The Omarain Bloodline


At A Glance
Full Name: Aaron David Highmore
Age: 17
Birthdate: June 23rd
Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Homosexual
Bloodline: Omarain

Likes: Flirting • Dancing • Laughter • Movement • Cloudless Days • Starry Nights • Noodles • Being Barefoot • Conversations • Music • Chivalry • The works of Shakespeare • Adventure
Dislikes: Bullies • Sadness • Boredom • Being Shirtless • Silence • Being restrained physically or feeling trapped • Liars
Fears: Rejection (it’s one of the reasons he’s never made good on any of his flirtations); Cold Iron (he’s even more sensitive to it than most Omarain, and has had near-deadly brushes with it in the past)
Goals: To complete his masterpiece, a fusion of music, dance, and illusion

There are two major components to Aaron’s personality: those parts of his mundane life that are too deeply ingrained for him to cast off, and the fae persona that he has embraced since arriving on the Isle.

Like most children with distant parents, he craves attention. His love of the performance arts is an obvious extension of that fact, but there are subtler ones as well. He wants to be liked. He wanted to be loved. He tends to find a reason to like almost everyone around him as a result, because that makes it easier for them to like him, in his mind. It isn’t really a bad thing. He is fairly likable, and his habit of looking hard for admirable virtues even in those who he doesn’t particularly care for can go a long way toward making up for some of the more undesirable elements of his psyche.

His experiences with his first love and the terror of his Awakening have left him on very shaky ground when it comes to romance. The idea of being spurned, or of somehow enthralling someone to the point of obsession accidentally, haunts him at every turn. It’s difficult for him, because he’s a natural flirt. He wants people to know that he’s interested, how he feels, but when it seems like they might reciprocate he pulls back, leading to a reputation as a pre-eminent tease. He wants love badly. He wants to be courted and then betrothed before riding off into the sunset with his beloved, but he can’t stand the thought that he might be forsaken or even rejected outright.

He’s always been extremely attuned to emotions. He seems to feel them more deeply than most. When he’s happy, he’s laughing and lighting up the world. When he’s sad, he sinks into some very dark depths and can take days to emerge from them. He doesn’t have a “normal” setting. For Aaron, there are no “meh” days. He’s also attuned to the emotions of others, and often reflects them. When he’s around happy people, he quickly becomes happy too. When faced with anger, he’ll dig in his heels and deal it right back. It isn’t anything conscious, and it’s something he can’t help. He tends to keep his distance from those who are bellicose or morose by nature as a result, because he’d much rather feel good than bad.

His Awakening shattered his human identity. When he was on the Isle picking up the pieces, he developed a profound fascination with his fae side. He scoured every book in the Library on the subject, and has found a role that calls to him: that of faerie prince.

Most of his fae characteristics are things that he has to strive for, and sometimes the results are a bit ridiculous. Some of them are becoming more natural, or are extensions of facets of his behavior that already existed. He was already somewhat dramatic; now, he’s extremely dramatic. Things like affirmed vendettas against those who have wronged him or public proclamations of love are not unusual for Aaron. His outgoingness and tendency to get excited can make him hard to handle for more introverted individuals.

He places great stock in keeping promises. He endeavors to keep his own, and does not make them lightly, for fear of the ramifications of what might happen if he fails. This can lead to difficulties with others, since most people have no problem “promising” something and no idea that to Aaron, they might as well have just sworn a solemn oath. People who betray the trust of others or break vows are the lowest sort in Aaron’s eyes- it’s one of the few instances where he’ll no longer care if a person likes him or not.

He also tends to view almost everything as an adventure, and has begun to identify his fellows with roles in the “story” that they’re all enmeshed in. He hasn’t shared these beliefs overtly with anyone, but he’ll sometimes address someone in the terms he thinks of them. It seems fairly harmless, really; most people just assume it’s his dramatic nature coming out, no different from his somewhat contrived way of speaking most of the time. He does his best to sound the part of a fae prince as well, and like any proper fae prince, he dislikes being talked down to or treated like a child.

Finally, he’s preoccupied with the idea of beauty. He values it in all its forms, and can find it in almost anything or anyone. Of course, the more obviously aesthetic aspects of life are easier for him to enjoy, and he can come off as very shallow, even insensitive, at times. He holds his singing and dancing very close to his heart, and it causes him quite a bit of sorrow when he accidentally hurts someone with the power that they can have.

Overall, he seems quite strange to most, but his good-naturedness and optimism make him easier to get along with than he might otherwise be. He tries to be as kind as he can and is a steadfast friend. He’s also extremely entertaining, always up for a conversation or a game. Awkward silences cannot exist in his presence.

Appearance Notes: His eyes are a very bright violet. He keeps them hidden, but he has straight-line scars approximately one inch thick running vertically up his back. They resemble severe burns, and stretch from the small of his back up to his shoulders, spaced a precise eight inches apart.

Bloodline Gift: Glamour. Like all Omarain, Aaron is preternaturally alluring and possesses a very definite presence. His charms are at their most potent, though, when he's performing. A sorrowful song from his lips can cause even the most hard-hearted to get a bit misty, and can drive those prone to depression into its throes. His powers of illusion are quite basic, since his fears led to him trying to gain better control of the other aspect of Glamour, but he is reasonably good at sound-based ones.
Bloodline Weakness: Bane of Iron. Aaron is terrified of iron, and much more susceptible to it than most of the Omarain. He finally discovered the reason why, not too long ago, when he was looking through old heraldry and genealogy tomes: he is descended, fairly directly, from one High King David of the fae, and most of the other Omarain who awakened in his family tree share the trait. Contact with any iron causes him excruciating pain and causes permanent scarring, and an actual injury from cold-forged iron would almost certainly be fatal.
Other Skills:
  • Triple Threat- Aaron is a skilled actor, dancer, and singer. He's trained in a variety of dance styles, supplemented by a few years of gymnastics that when coupled with his Omarain grace lead to a simply fantastic control of his own body.
  • Fencing- He actually took lessons in fencing prior to Awakening, and is fairly good at it. Of course, it isn’t the most practical sort of fighting style, but it does play to his advantages.

Aaron hails from an offshoot of an Omarain bloodline that flourished in France and managed to remain remarkably pure through the centuries thanks to a preponderance of faerie-blood accumulating in that particular country. It diverged in the late 17th century when a daughter of the bloodline eloped with a British soldier, but genealogy can be traced backward quite a ways, to a bloodline rumored to have been established by a one-time High King of the fae.

The Highmore’s are a wealthy family who manage to keep out of the public eye. Their fortune was made shortly after the American Civil War, and his since been steadily growing and diversifying without making too many waves. That wealth afforded Aaron quite a few privileges, but it also left him a bit wanting for parental affection. With his father globe-trotting for the sake of the family’s various financial interests and his mother involved in every charity group under the sun, most of his upbringing fell to a never-ending procession of nannies, house staff, tutors, and when he was lucky, his grandmother. She was a kind woman, too verging on senility to care for a young boy by herself, but when she visited she would spend hours with little Aaron on her lap or at her side, telling him fantastical stories.

Those stories, akin to the fairy tales that all children experience but different, the details a bit darker and more surreal, meant much more to Aaron than he realized. When he began his education, he saw even less of his family. The boarding school he was shipped off to was a wonderful place, but it meant that he only returned home for breaks, holidays, and birthdays.

Fortunately, he flourished in the environment. He was amongst the most popular boys in the school, with many friends from a variety of backgrounds and cliques. He was talented, even in his childhood, enthusiastically participating in the school’s chorus and theatre program. He even picked out a sport to excel at (gymnastics, since it was akin to dance, and he wasn’t fond of the more conventional ones).

He surprised absolutely no one when he came out of the closet at the age of thirteen, and doing so didn’t diminish his popularity at all. To his chagrin, there really weren’t any prospective love interests for him, but he had a lot of fun flirting with straight classmates and reigning over the school’s drama and dance programs. He did have one friend whom he was deeply in love with (in a dramatic, early teenager sort of way) named Kyle. He didn’t flirt with Kyle, for fear that his true feelings would be revealed; he didn’t want to damage their friendship with some sort of love-stricken confession.

One day, when they were both fifteen, Kyle surprised Aaron by asking him if he wanted to sneak off the school’s grounds one night to go to a lake where students often partied and swam. They’d both been there together before, but always with friends. Aaron’s mind was whirling with possibilities, but if anything, Kyle seemed more reserved around him than ever. Whatever purpose he’d had in asking Aaron to the lake he couldn’t seem to go through with, and the tension between them escalated until they finally just decided to head back to the school. Aaron was carrying his shirt and shoes, not wanting to get them wet, when they got to the gate and found it locked. An argument developed between them about who was supposed to have gotten one of their friends to open the gate, but they were really fighting about something else. Aaron, overcome with emotion, kissed Kyle, and for a few magical seconds it seemed like everything would be alright.

Kyle pulled away, aflame with confusion, and gave Aaron a rather vicious shove. Aaron stumbled, and fell back against the gate, only to find himself subject to the most intense pain he’d ever known. The bars were wrought iron, and the magic inherent to a first kiss had led to the beginning of his Awakening. He screamed bloody-murder, leaving Kyle alarmed and even more baffled, and then fell to the ground, so overcome by the blinding pain that he lost consciousness.

He awoke in a hospital three days later. The doctors were calling it a “severe allergic reaction”, but obviously had no idea what they were dealing with. Whatever the case, Aaron would bear the scars of that day, physical and emotional alike, for the rest of his life. The places on his back where flesh had met iron were marred by two perfectly straight one inch thick scars, angry looking and painful to the touch for weeks afterward. They were ugly and shameful to Aaron, who had previously loved showing off his body. Thereafter, he was the sort of boy who would go swimming with a shirt on and never change in front of anyone else.

When he went back to school, things only began to get more strange. Occasionally, he’d glimpse strange lights that no one else could see, or hear whispers on the wind. Convinced that he was losing it, he threw himself into classes and extra-curriculars. He’d had some training in stage-fighting, and elected to join the school’s fencing team as well. He began spending more and more time alone, reading and re-reading his favorite plays and devoting himself to stagecraft and hours of dance and voice practice. It helped, but only so much.

The strangeness reached a boiling point when he took to the stage in a performance of Brigadoon. In the midst of the musical’s love ballad, things got very weird. The entire auditorium went incredibly silent. The orchestra had stopped playing. Even his fellow actors were frozen in place, gaping at him. The girl playing Fiona suddenly kissed him, hard on the mouth, and then people were getting up out of their seats, women mostly, but a few men as well, some students, some the parents of students. They were shouting to him, proclaiming their love, begging him to choose them. It was like a nightmare come to life, and Aaron fled the stage in tears. He took refuge in the prop closet, locking the door, and caught sight of his reflection in a mirror from an old set. His eyes, formerly brown, had become an incredibly vibrant purple.

Confused, terrified, and hurt, he huddled in a corner and wept. Someone knocked on the door, but he ignored it only to have an unknown woman step through a few seconds later. She was beautiful, with eyes of silver, and she simply knelt beside him, rubbing his shoulders and reassuring him that everything would be alright. When he’d calmed down, Michaela explained the situation to him in brief and asked if he wanted to go with her to a place where people like him could be themselves without fear. She was so reassuring and convincing that he agreed readily, hardly suspecting that he’d just fallen prey to the same Glamour that had so enthralled his audience.

Michaela made the arrangements with his family and then they were off. He arrived on the Isle about four months ago, and saw his seventeenth birthday pass just a few weeks ago. It took a while for his shock to wear off. He was afraid of being around the other charges, afraid of what might happen if his Gift ran amok again, and so he spent a lot of time in The Library, reading far more accurate “fairy tales” and poring over genealogy books. He traced his family line back centuries, and came to embrace the much more alien accounts of the fae in the same way that he embraced Shakespeare or Wilde in school.

He emerged from the Library transformed, no longer a sorrowful boy afraid of interaction. He was a faerie prince, after all, and the tale of his own adventures was only beginning.

So begins...

Aaron Highmore's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot
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#, as written by throne

Chapter 1 - Convocation

When the call went out , the sun had just begun its final descent for the evening, dipping partway under the horizon and splashing bands of red, orange and then finally violet across the sky. It had been a warm day, though not uncomfortably so, the first untouched by a series of careless thunderstorms that had darkened The Isle for days. To their chagrin, the charges who had largely been trapped indoors for days had been instructed that morning to remain close to The Compound that had become their home. There had been no lessons today, nothing formal, at least.

Arietta had secluded herself away in the library, taking over an entire table with a score of books. Anyone passing through wouldn’t even draw her attention as she flipped through pages, referencing and cross-referencing several tomes at once. She was making notes in a mixture of Greek and Hebrew, the characters so small that they were barely legible, and still she’d managed to fill three pages by midafternoon.

Simon was not his eminently approachable self. He’d apparently traded out his usual easy jocularity for surliness to rival Matthew’s, and spent most of the day hiding out in the small office where he held his confidential sessions. The Balaren Guardian was as solemn as ever, and shortly after dinner (which none of the Guardians had been present for), he enlisted Fleet and any charges willing to assist him in transporting quite a bit of firewood from the stores to the center of the courtyard, where he proceeded to build what looked to be the beginnings of a massive bonfire, neatly stacking the wood like Lincoln Logs until the resulting cube-like structure was nearly as tall as he was. He was characteristically laconic, only speaking to explain the need for proper draft if the fire was to burn all night, and other such survivalist tidbits.

Only Michaela was unaccounted for. Normally, she popped up periodically throughout the day, but she’d presumably consigned herself to the former officer’s quarters that the Guardians used for their more-and-more frequent, at least of late, meetings.

It had been a strange year by The Isle’s standards, though precious few of the current charges would understand that completely. In the past month alone, more than a half-dozen young men and women who had Awakened to their Bloodline had appeared. Most of them would have at least an idea of the fact that a half-dozen was a large number of charges for The Compound. All told, they numbered more than a score now, a fact which the Evincal would likely feel resonant with portent.

The instant that work on the tower of wood was complete, Fleet whipped his head about to regard Matthew with wide eyes. ”Is it time?!” he asked, his excitement even more vibrant than his usual insane baseline. Matthew merely nodded, and anyone in the immediate vicinity would be buffeted by a blast of breeze as the Wind-Born Navarene seemingly vanished. Most would be by now aware of his ability to become wind, rather than merely affect or create it, and in the form of a zephyr, Fleet raced throughout the grounds to give the call.

”Meeting in the courtyard!” He manifested physically for only just long enough to deliver his message before zipping off to find another young man or woman to inform. He scoured The Compound and the area surrounding it, stirring up leaves and dust in his wake as he flitted about, appearing before groups who had come together to talk, in dorm rooms, in the common area, even in the library and everywhere in between. ”Meeting in the courtyard! Meeting in the courtyard! Meeting in the courtyard!” He didn’t stop until every last soul on the island was aware of the convocation that would soon take place.

By the time the charges had begun filtering into the courtyard, the Guardians had all assembled save for Michaela. Arietta, looking as weary as ever, was seated in the lotus position with her eyes closed, not far from the pyre that Matthew had constructed. Fleet reappeared, frowning when he realized that he’d somehow lost his favored white fedora in his rapid fit of transformation and exclamation. Matthew was leaning to the left of The Compound’s main entrance, his arms crossed over his chest and his features blank. Simon had emerged from his office, and was currently pacing back and forth in front of the officer’s quarters, his agitation more than evident in the form of some low-toned self-muttering.

It was only after each and every one of the young men and women had gathered about the courtyard that Michaela emerged from the officers’ quarters. A simple white cotton dress draped her form, and her bright smile was a beacon of reassurance. She maintained it even when Simon bee-lined for her, and stopped to engage in a terse conversation with him. Their words would go unheard, but there was no mistaking that the exchange was anything but pleasant, if only for the fact that the air around them began to show ripples, reflecting the Omarain Guardian’s agitation in visual form. It was concluded quickly enough. Simon’s expression was even bleaker as he stalked off to lean beside Matthew, who was carefully avoiding making eye contact with the Mori.

Michaela drew a single breath, and in that span regained her composure utterly. The distortions surrounding her ironed themselves out, replaced by a warm aura of soft white light. As she walked directly toward the pyre, illusory flowers, poppies in white and crème and egg-shell sprung up in her wake, creating a path behind her. The trail of flowers followed her, then pooled out around her when she came to a stop, as if she had simply come to stand in the center of a thick patch of them.

”Everyone, gather ‘round please.” She was too dignified to shout, but her voice carried remarkably, reaching every ear and tugging at every mind. It was little more than a simple request, but it was difficult to deny. Arietta tried to catch her eye, and when she did, Michaela shook her head succinctly. The Evincal Guardian just nodded a tired nod and closed her eyes, remaining completely still upon the ground.

”This won’t take very long at all,” she explained, panning her gaze to draw in each of them, address each of them. ”I know you’re all probably wondering why you’re here, in this courtyard, but more than that, why you’re here. On The Isle. With everyone finally settled in, it’s high time that you learn the purpose of this place, one of the world’s last bastions of magic, and your purpose in this place.” She was a perfect admixture of solemnity and wisdom as she began her speech, but she dazzled them with a vibrant grin. ”I also have a surprise for all of you, but that will have to wait till after the end of the story.”

* * *


The faerie prince was uncharacteristically alone when the messenger arrived.

Aaron did not normally seek out solitude. Generally, he fled it. He was seldom in his room, save to sleep, change his clothes, and shower, but when he was simply there, he tended to leave his door open, a standing invitation to all the courtiers who had reason to petition him (there had never been an actual petition, of course, but he eagerly awaited the day that the first of many came). Tonight, though, the door stood closed and even locked. His endeavor was a private one, and distractions were the mortal foes of such work- foes that the faerie prince had no defense against save for seclusion.

He’d been at it since just after dinner, though not to great success. The idea, like most of his, had sprung fully formed but elusive from his mind, and he was having difficulty getting his mental hands upon it now that it was free. He already had pen and paper, used for sending missives to his family, which was all he truly needed for the task at hand: to begin to commit to ink on paper the story of the faerie prince. His story.

It was proving a challenge that might ironically be termed princely. Words came easily to him, when speaking, but catching them with the nib of a pen and then sticking them fast to paper was proving an entirely different matter. Thus far, he’d managed after three attempts to arrive at a working title (the appropriate but not particularly inspired Tales of The Faerie Prince), and nothing else worth keeping. He’d tried speaking aloud, saying words and then writing them down afterwards in effort hopes of fooling the fickle Muses into helping him. They were apparently cannier than he’d suspected. He’d tried making lists with bullet points to organize his thoughts, but his thoughts were not made for such a static, rigid template. From the small graveyard of balled up sheets that were now scattered about the floor around and beneath his desk, an observer might have thought him in the midst of penning a novel full, but fortunately, there were no observers to bear witness to the fitful process.

At least, there weren’t until Fleet arrived. His gusty entrance sent the crumpled pages skittering, and Aaron had to lunge, using his forearm to trap the almost-empty expanse of white paper that he’d been staring at intently for the past ten minutes while thinking instead of what Graham might be up to, or if Renn was busy with Erin, or if Milo would like the title he’d come up with, or… well, of anything but the task at hand, really, in order to keep it from flying away from him. Startled and embarrassed (though he’d never admit the latter), he wheeled around in his seat (literally, it had wheels) to face the intruder.

”Meeting in the courtyard!” He heard the call before he saw the speaker.

His wroth fled when he noted it was Fleet. The Navarene Guardian never failed to bring a bright grin to Aaron’s full lips. Lifting a hand to brush down a bit of fitfulness that his spun-gold hair seemed to have engaged in thanks to the miniature localized windstorm that was Fleet, he relaxed in his seat and regarded the man. ”How now, spirit? Whither wander you?” His voice rang out like music, the first part of an exchange that he never failed to encourage. The words had come to mind immediately when he’d first met Fleet, and like most of the words that came into his mind, they had exited soon thereafter through his mouth. Fleet had been confused, but after a few encounters, had begun to respond, creating something of an inside joke between the two that the elemental didn’t quite comprehend but enjoyed nevertheless.

”Sorry Aaron, very busy. Something about a girdle! Gotta go!” With that he was gone, and this time, a somewhat dejected Aaron was unable to stop the first page of his great work from sailing from his desk to under his bed. A meeting, in the courtyard? Only in the messenger’s absence did he process the message. Such an event wasn’t unprecedented, but neither then was it ordinary. Aaron’s affinity for all things out of ordinary abolished his frustrations with the Muses from his mind. He hopped to his feet, arching his back in feline fashion to stretch. He glimpsed himself in the glass (he’d read a story that had referred to mirrors as glasses, which had initially confused him, but now he’d adopted the terminology into his increasingly archaic vocabulary) to ascertain that he was ready for a public appearance.

He was already wearing his favorite shirt, one that he’d found in the cache of spare clothing (a simple white linen peasant’s shirt with billowing sleeves and a plunging neckline that showed off a great deal of his pale chest), along with a pair of breeches (really, they were simple dark khakis, but he rolled the legs up to his mid-calves and insisted they were breeches). He waxed and waned on wearing shoes and decided that he’d prefer his feet bare. The sound of them slapping the concrete floor of the hallway that led out of the dorm area in a rapid rhythm would announce the faerie prince’s timely departure. It wasn’t quite a run, or a skip, or a dance, but something that sat fixed squarely between the three, as playful, impatient, and amusing to watch as Aaron himself.

He was among the last to arrive, which only meant that he didn’t have time to sort out who he meant to stand with around the bonfire. His violet eyes flitted about, evaluating the prospects, and he started towards Renn, eager to see if the Earth-Born might know what was going on.

”Everyone, gather ‘round, please.”

Michaela’s voice drew his attention to her immediately, in a way that her mastery of illusion never could. The boy was as susceptible to Glamour as anyone, maybe even moreso, and a smile scrawled itself across his features as he simply stopped moving, standing in place to listen. His eyes lit up and did a rather remarkable saucer impression at the revelation that followed her introduction: a story AND a surprise. There were few things that Aaron enjoyed more than either, and he was hard-pressed to decide which he preferred (never mind that he had no idea what the surprise was). Fortunately, he needn’t decide at all; he was getting both!

With story-time looming, he assumed his favorite position for tale-telling; he lowered himself with aplomb into an “Indian” style of sitting, his legs folded up above and beneath one another, and then balanced his elbows on his knees and his chin in his palms, leaning forward in a show of eagerness for what was to come.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Seph was always a little astounded by how many books were in the library.

She walked slowly up one of the aisles, running a finger along the spines of the books. Sonja had never had anything that could have been called a library, back at her big house in Anchorage. She did have this one bookcase, and it was filled top to bottom with all sorts of old things, but just the first floor of this library could fit hundreds of those! Seph had heard that there were much bigger ones in other places of the world, but she still felt that this place was impressive. That said, Seph didn't much feel like reading at the moment. She'd already read a good amount today, and whenever she read something, she undoubtedly had a hundred questions afterwards. It got a little tiring at some point. She was absorbing knowledge so quickly, but there was only so much she could absorb in a day.

Still, she much preferred reading to what some of her fellow Balaren did with their time. They loved their wolf forms, loved to spend time in the wild, be the princes of the forest that they were. Maybe it made sense, though. All of them desired to be that which they were not.

Seph let her mind wander. What are we going to do tomorrow? Would any of these books make a good gift for anyone? No, of course not, they're not even yours to give. Aaron's a wonderful dancer. I wonder if he'd teach me sometime? No, I'm not nearly as graceful as he is. He wasn't born with four legs, and then forced to learn to walk on two. But still, maybe he could teach me something. Where is Sinry? She had come here for Sinry, so she could see how she was doing. She did that a lot, since Sinry seemed so much more comfortable around her than most of the others. It also made Seph feel more comfortable. The knowledge that she could help people, and not the other way around, was very reassuring.

Maybe she was on the second level. It was supposed to be for the Evincal charges, so Seph didn't usually go up there. "Sinry?" she called out softly. It was always so quiet in here, she hated making too much noise.

The Cloistered Witch

No, no, no, no... nada. Nope, not there either. Oh wait-... nope. With her chin in her hand, Soren was sitting at a small desk by herself up in the Evincal level of the library, and her little area was hidden behind a few bookcases. Open before her were at least three different books, and several others that were closed, and clearly a bit ruffled, at the edges of the table.

The necromancer was poring over the book immediately in front of her, the pages a bit weathered and a relaxing shade of silvery yellow. In her other hand was a slate grey mechanical pencil which she was tapping against her cheek in immersed thought. There were clear signs that she had been in the library for quite a few hours, and the girl allowed a small yawn to escape her lips, pausing her pencil action and taking two seconds to rub her eyes before resuming it.

However, she jumped a bit, hearing a faint noise that sounded all too much like a voice, but somewhat far away. And Sinry thought she had caught a bit of her name. Her pencil had dropped from her hand, and began rolling towards the stairs. "Oh shoot." She muttered very quietly, quickly getting up to chase after it before she remembered the very important book she had just been leafing through.

Sinry turned back quickly, leaning over the table and snatching the book up into her arms, quickly scurrying towards the stairs and racing down after her pencil, which, by now, had made it down a couple of the stairs. She was constantly dropping the writing utensils, and knew all too well how they seemingly disappeared into Narnia, showing up again in the strangest places if she was even lucky enough to find them in the first place.

Her eyes locked onto the small object, and she realized, much to her horror, that it was heading straight for a crack in the flooring. It was her favorite pencil, so she wasn't just about to let it go without a fight, so she picked up her pace. However, what Soren didn't intend was her shoe tip to get stuck on the flat of her step as she made a misstep, tripping forward and the book going flying out of her hands.

She remained fairly silent other than a gasp as she plummeted, hitting a few of the stairs on the way down before coming to a stop right in front of Seph. Quickly, Sinry reached out, catching the slow moving pencil before it could disappear into the darkness of wherever that bloody hole went.

The Evincal had successfully skinned up her knees a bit, being as she was wearing cargo shorts, and she looked up at Seph with a comically dazed, though small smile. The book had flipped open and was currently sliding across the floor. It then hit the side of a bookshelf and ceased in its motion.

The wolfborn girl gaped in absolute horror as one of her best friends went crashing down the stairs. Her book went sliding across the floor, and Sinry had somehow managed to recapture her pencil even despite falling down the stairs, but Seph wasn't concerned about that in the slightest. She was supposed to be the one who occasionally forgot how to walk around, not Sinry.

"Oh no," she said worriedly, quickly moving to Sinry's side and helping her get up. "That was my fault, wasn't it? I scared you, and then made you fall down the stairs, didn't I? I am so, so sorry!"

When she was back on her feet, Seph hurried to grab the book that had slid away, and bring it back to her. She didn't bother to look at what it was or anything. Probably something to do with her necromancy. Seph wasn't bothered by Sinry's power like some of the other people were. She didn't know why... it just didn't really creep her out like it did for some of the others.

After returning the book to her, Seph carefully examined her. Other than the skinned knees, she looked fine. Maybe just a little flustered. "You're alright, aren't you? I didn't mean to scare you or anything. You know I wouldn't try to do that." That was quite true. Seph hated being scared or startled, and didn't think it would be any fun, unlike some of the charges here.

Sinry looked up at one of her closest friends, quickly picking herself up off of the ground and into a sitting position, rubbing her head with a tiny sheepish smile. "No... that's alright. It wasn't you who made me dive off of the stairs like a crazy person. But no, you didn't scare me, I just didn't expect you to be in the library. I mean... well, I mean that, I don't really expect anyone to come calling on me, y'know? So I was surprised by that aspect."

She then leaned forward, examining her knees carefully, poking at the skin softly. "This is alright too, I think. I can use it too in some of my training, so you didn't do too bad there either. Eventually I'd have to draw some of my own blood, and it's always really weird when you do it to yourself, if that makes sense."

Soren tilted her head back up, watching as the Balaren scurried to recover her book, keeping it somewhat open on that page. Meanwhile, Sinry replaced the pencil to the safety of her shirt pocket. She put one hand on her kneecap, the other reaching up for the precious book. As she lowered it to herself and briefly scanned over the page, she looked back up to her friend, about to say something else when her attention snapped back to the page.

Underlining the words with her finger as she quickly read over it, she brought the hand that was previously on her knee up in the air, snapping her fingers together. "That's where the little bugger was hiding!" She met Seph's eyes, a shy grin on her face. "I'm really fine. I've catapulted myself off of worse after these bloody pencils." Once more her gaze flickered down to the pencil, her lower lip sucked in a bit and her eyes dilated from the somewhat dimmer lighting in the building.

"Anyway, I was looking for this all morning." Sinry turned the book around, pointing to the picture of a wisp. "These are relatively rare, but they do live on the island. I need it for my training, but I didn't know any of its stats or where it resided. But now, thanks to you, I got the information I needed. I'm going to start hunting these as soon as possible." She gave a fractional nod of her head, resolute in what she wanted to do for the day.

Seph still couldn't help but feel bad. Scared, surprised... what was the difference again? Either way, she'd come into the library, and then poor Sinry had taken a tumble down the stairs. But... all things considered, it didn't seem to have worked out too poorly. Sinry was alright. Apparently it would help some in her training? Seph didn't really understand, but of course, she wasn't an Evincal, she was a wolfborn Balaren. Her ability was to become a human. Looking at it that way, pretty much every moment of every day was training her ability.

And apparently Seph had helped her somehow? She'd helped her find something. Huh. Seph looked at the picture of the wisp that Sinry was pointing to with interest. And Sinry was going to go hunting for them? "I could help you with that, if you wanted," she began, before quickly deciding to backtrack. "Actually, I've never been much good at hunting anything. I might just end up scaring them away." She thought for a moment. "Unless... maybe I could help you more as a wolf? I'd be quicker that way, and I could smell and hear better."

Seph could already smell and hear better than most everyone, being wolfborn, but in her natural wolf form, it was even moreso. And while she was telling the truth about being a poor hunter, that was relative to the other wolves. She was still likely quicker than most of the others when she was a wolf. That said, she really had no idea what hunting wisps entailed, and was more interested in just helping Sinry, to make herself feel better for causing her to fall down the stairs.

Before either of them could say anything more, however, there was a gust of wind. Seph instinctively tensed as Fleet blew into the library, shouted at the top of his lungs about the meeting in the courtyard, and then vanished. Cringing, Seph slowly relaxed before fixing the hair that Fleet had blown around. The wind born Navarene always startled her when he whipped around on the air like that.

"I hate it when he does that," she remarked to Sinry. She quite liked Fleet, of course, and found him very enjoyable to be around, but that particular trick tended to sneak up on her. "We should probably go." Seph led the way from the library, and to the courtyard, where a few of the charges had already gathered. When Aaron arrived, she happily plopped down beside him, giving him a warm smile in greeting. She too was quite interested in whatever Michaela had to say, as she felt that the woman was speaking directly to her when she said 'your purpose'. Purpose had been something Seph struggled to find since discovering her human form, and while she had certainly made some amazing friends since arriving on the Isle, she felt no closer to finding a place in the world, something that she could do with her life.

But perhaps small steps were still in order. Learning how to better function as a person would probably be a good first step.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Attie
At this point in the afternoon, Renn has brought Darcy out to the beach of the Isle in a whim of frustration and desire. Since it's very unusual for him to act out from his routine, he's very frustrated with the whole idea, and second-guessing himself the whole time. Darcy, who's just as confused as he is for bringing her out here, then not talking, then when he does speak, being blunt, unfiltered, and socially awkward, has pulled down a few walls of her own, letting him in. They're both in a very dangerous point, because her walls of defense are down, and his words seem to ring with nothing but blunt, unemotional desires due to his Bloodline tendencies. Yet, somehow, things seem to be going very well. At least for now.


"Thank you."

He was sure that at some point she'd said it, but once again, his mind was too wrapped around the physical touch he'd just received to hear her words at first. The way she reached for his arm, pulling him closer - it sent up shocks through his system, and he could feel the slightest tremor beneath his weight on the rock. Was it the ground? Was it happening again? Or was it, in fact, him. Just as his mind began to wonder about training more with her around to better prepare himself for these kind of circumstances, she interrupted his whole psyche once more. Stop that! I have a routine. A system. It works. I'm talking more. What am I doing wrong? She keeps ruining it. -- No.. No, she's not. This is fine. This is progress. It's only frustrating because you're inadept. It's jus---

She kissed him. Granted, the kiss was planted on his cheek, but that was more than enough for him. In four years of celibacy and complete and total isolation from human contact, let alone from a person of the opposite sex, Darcy Lilith Ratri just kissed him. The rock beneath him appeared to shudder again, but it was so subtle that he assumed he was just falling off of it from weak knees.

"I like to pretend like my 'gift' is the ability to be calm, but it frustrates me a lot. I want to be able to develope with people as easily as it seems others can do." That's right. Talk. Keep the conversation. You're better at that. Maybe she won't touch you again. - But I want her to.

He looked over at her nervously, arching a brow as her whole demeanor changed a little more serious in tone.

"I think your gift offers more than you think." She grabbed the Beach Pea, twirling it in her fingers. "It brought me happiness because of you," giving the slightest shrug. "Which means you brought me happiness with it. You made me happy, not the beach. You did."

For Renn, it was beginning to be a little too much, a little too fast; however, it was intoxicating, and he was drawn in. His defenses? His bloodline ability to remain calm, sedated, and at all times at peace? He'd never once found a weakness until now. Darcy. He knew he cared, but for her to reciprocate it like this... Well, that was what I had expected, right? When I brought her out here? What was I thinking!

He jumped up from the rock, taking his distance carefully in to consideration. He didn't walk off, he didn't flee to the water line and blow it off like he was playful. Instead, he just simply stood and remained near her. He was close enough that with her legs dangling off of the rock, her knees met his elbows. His body shuddered at the slightest breeze of her leg hitting him. An earthquake was erupting. Somewhere. Maybe it was him. He looked down, checking his hands, his skin. He mentally checked his pulse - fast beats. He was getting worked up. There was something inside of him that was making it's way to the surface. He wouldn't hurt her, would he? He certainly didn't want to, but he'd never experienced such a work up since his awakening.

He turned around and looked at her. She'd said something. Remember it. She'd said, specifically, that he was the cause of her current happiness. He'd succeeded. There was no more trial. He'd already won. Get a hold of yourself before you knock off all this progress. But what if he startled her? What if it was too much, too fast for her?

This was going to get real awkward, real fast, but he had a plan. He ran his fingers through his hair, letting out a breath.

"I made you happy." He repeated, though rather than his tone sounding reassuring to himself, it was a statement, a reminder spoken to her. He drew closer, turning to face her and stare in to her eyes intently. "I wanted to." He nodded. Keep going. You've got this. She isn't going to run. She won't run. He drew even closer, leaning against his palms on either side of her legs, the rock as his support so that he didn't quite touch her yet. "I want to." He spoke more clearly, this time definite and strong. His breath was still shaking, but determination and sincerity mixed to create the colors in his eyes before he shut them, bringing up a hand to gently cup the back of her head and pull her to him. At first, his lips found her cheek, then her jawline. You can do this. You won't hurt her.

He finally found her lips, and if she didn't resist him, he would have found desperation there, but it would only last a matter of seconds. His courage would be short-lived. When all was said and done, he would have stopped himself abruptly, staggered backwards as if in a drunken state, and turned around, facing the waves. He brought up a hand to wipe his brow and sit down. He didn't care now, if she was going to run or stay. He found his ground, he felt it beneath his fingers as they caressed the sand before reaching up and running his hands through his hair, as if trying to push out the frustration and stress caused by the whole encounter.

Flashes of the earthquake, the car's weight falling with them inside of it, the crushing of the metal and frame.. The piercing of the girl's chest with the twists and turns that the split ground had created. No. We're not going there. Don't even think about it. He shut his eyes tight and laid back on the sand, letting out a sigh and a laugh - something often found together when one just relieved them self with sex. As if I will let it even get that close.

She was going to be the end of him, but the part of him that just showed himself welcomed it with open arms.

The reaction Darcy had gotten from Renn was unexpected, but she couldn't judge him for backing away. Everyone had always done that to her, so now was unlike any other time. This was the moment for her to excuse herself and go find something better to do. The thought of something better didn't exist though because this was the better of the Isle; Renn. Looking down at him, she knew that him staying close to her meant something. If he didn't like her, he wouldn't have even brought her here. She wanted to reach down to him and let him know that she was still here because the silence was beginning to get to her.

The beach offered the most welcoming breeze that seemed to take over Darcy's hair as she leaned back letting the silence appear more peaceful than anything. When she finally leaned forward, she managed to push her hair out of her eyes just in time for Renn to turn back around. "I made you happy." She nodded once more to confirm what he said. "I wanted to." Everything on the beach seemed to be at a stand still as his arms seemed to trap her between him and the rock. Her breathing had slowed as she watched him speak, "I want to."

Darcy's breathing completely stopped when she felt herself being brought towards Renn. She wanted to run in this moment. She didn't want to get close to him. This wasn't how things were suppose to be here at all. She was suppose to be alone the rest of her life. She didn't deserve happiness, but the second his lips touched her cheek her whole world seemed to fade. As his lips found her jawline, she sunk deeper into the grasp of Renn until finally she felt his lips against her own. Feeling their lips part, she wanted to open her eyes to see that he felt what she did in that short amount of time, but instead all she saw was his back.

The moment seemed so perfect until she opened her eye's, so she quickly closed them again hoping that when they once again peered out in front of her he would have returned. Instead as her eyes were closed, she heard the laugh come from across the beach. Eyes shooting open, she saw Renn with his back to the ground. Did he regret this? He definitely regrets it. Leave. Go. Now. Her mind was going a million miles a minutes until she felt her feet on the ground. Her body found the path that led back to the Compound and all she had to do was start taking it.

Go. Don't look back. He's not worth it. Her mind was seeming to get the best of her until she did turn around. He still remained on the sandy beach in the same position seeming happier than ever. Don't even think about it. Her mind was now screaming at her as she seemed to be practically running across the beach. He was worth it. He was worth having to fight herself over. When she found herself hovering over his body, Darcy dropped to her knees. She brushed his hair from his eyes, looking deep within them. "I no longer want to run, especially from you."

Darcy remained on her knees, welcoming Renn's head into her lap as she began stroking his hair. Her gaze had remained on the water for a long time before she spoke up again. She had been gathering her words carefully because she felt the whole situation was still on edge. Stroking Renn's hair seemed to calm her more than anything, so she continued doing it for quiet some time before sliding away from him. "Let's go swimming." She whispered to him, making her way to the water. "To be honest, I've never actually been in the water." She said as she made her way to where the tide seemed to be coming up.


She was going to be the end of him, but the part of him that just showed himself welcomed it with open arms.

To sum up the most recent, note-worthy events of Renn's life would be to tell someone about the most boring person in the universe -- even for a Navarene. Try explaining to someone that there is a man who's socially in-adept to even a woman's curves, her body language, and carrying on a conversation with her about anything related to emotions and personality, desires and dreams, ... Add in the part where his moods seem to never change, regardless of what you try to pull out of him with her verbal abuse or flattery, and then finish off with that in the 4 years he'd been on the Isle, he'd managed not to touch a girl until the anniversary of his stay... and you would have Renn, the Earth manipulating Navarene.

Some would cheer him on, some would apply their palms to the face, and then there were others, like Renn himself, who saw it as simply... nothing. It wasn't that he wasn't attracted to her - the attraction was there. It's just that it had all seemed so monumentous, the moment he'd just shared with her on the beach, and despite that, he honestly couldn't have been happier to hear the calling, ”Meeting in the courtyard!” It was like someone handing him a "Get out of jail free!" card.

As the voice and breeze passed, Renn looked over at Darcy, who'd indulged in a bit of fun in the water while he stood with his pants rolled up to his shins, his sandals back behind him as his bare feet sunk in to the ground as the water washed him away. She was enjoying herself - or so she seemed to be. She had one of those grins on her face, and part of him was worried that the notion of a meeting would turn off the whole thing and she'd go back to... well, the way she normally was. Either way, Renn shrugged and waved her over, relaying the message.

"There's a meeting in the courtyard. Bye." Renn stated, flatly. His smile was present from before through the statement - despite that the tone and expression were as different as night and day - and turned on his heel, collecting his sandals and making his way up the sidewalk. He didn't bother offering her an arm, it didn't even cross his mind to think of asking her if she needed a lift over the sand so that she wouldn't get it stuck to her wet feet. Instead, his focus has completely shifted from Darcy to the meeting, and he was needed somewhere else. His routine returned like clockwork. Their moment had never happened. He'd never tapped on her window, frustrated with the social barrier that wedged itself between them, and he'd certainly never lead her down to the beach for a confession and kiss.

Not a single emotion carried with him from that moment in time to the place he stood now. His expression was neutral, if not welcoming in the presence of the other charges, and he looked up to the speaker - Michaela. With as much respect he had for any of the guardians, he nodded to her his attention and then found himself standing just behind Aaron, almost like a guard dog. Not that Aaron was ever in danger in this place, but as he was his only real friend here, if you'd call it that, he felt the most comfortable in his presence of a crowd. Aaron could handle crowds, he charmed them without effort. Renn, on the other hand, didn't like gatherings of large people. If he could focus on Aaron and standing next to him while Michaela's voice rung through his ears, then everything would be alright. It didn't even bother him that Seph was also present. He did his best to crack a smile in the corner of his mouth at her, but he wasn't sure she saw it in all the excitement.

He looked down at Aaron with a slight waving gesture of just a flick of his wrist and then stood firm, looking up at the others.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait:
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the fool

Milo had been sleeping quite happily under a tree all day. He'd meant to come out here to read up on his powers, learn more about Restoration, all that other mumbo jumbo. He'd gotten about three pages in before flopping the book aside and "resting his eyes for just a moment". In fact, he had no idea there was a meeting going on at all. Fleet had of course come to get him, telling him all about the meeting in the courtyard. Milo had sat up, nodded to him, told him he'd be there, and promptly dozed off again. If you asked him if the exchange had ever happened, Milo would tell you no. He could never remember the things that happened when someone attempted to wake him up. Luckily, only a few minutes later, he awoke to a sudden gust of wind and had sleepily plucked himself off the ground, rubbing the corners of his eyes and yawning. "Mmm," he'd hummed as he patted his skinny little butt. It had fallen asleep.

Without purpose or aim, he began to wandering around until he'd only kind of stumbled upon the meeting by chance. He was a lucky kid. He got out of most of his trouble by subtle accidents like these. Seeing the huge congregation of people, he assumed something must have been happening, so he approached in his slow, steady, lackadaisical pace. His eyes flashed around everyone there, deciding who to affront, before he saw Aaron and Seph sitting down already. "Sweet," he mumured, happy that he had friends he could sit next to, though he didn't even note all the other people who crowded around them, too. Smacking his lips and still trying to rid the sleepiness from his being, he slowly crouched down next to them on his haunches, nodding in their direction as a friendly greeting. He began to contemplate moths. Were they the same as butterflies, only uglier? Did they start as catepillars? Did they go into coccoons? Could they bite-

Then Michaela's beautiful voice was ringing in his ear, and his attention was, for once, directed towards one specific thing. ”I know you’re all probably wondering why you’re here, in this courtyard," that much he could say he agreed with for certain, seeing as how he had just sort of found this congregation, "but more than that, why you’re here. On The Isle. With everyone finally settled in, it’s high time that you learn the purpose of this place, one of the world’s last bastions of magic, and your purpose in this place.” she had said. Milo looked around at the other people gingerly, looking lost and confused. Is that something people were worried about? Did anyone actually care about that kind of stuff? Based on the intense gazes and curt nods, he guessed that was, in fact, a thing. Huh. He plopped down onto his butt and curled his arms around his legs, placing his chin atop his knees.


Elvis was writing, cooped up in his top bunk bed and scribbling furiously onto paper, hunched over, hair messy, one sock off. Elvis did this a lot, but no one was aware of this fact. Not a single soul on the Isle had seen this side of the fae blooded boy - the side that had vanquished mostly all of his well-tuned control. If someone were around, certainly he'd be poised and refined, and his sock would still very much so be on. He did this routine everyday, going out and acting as Elvis did, telling tall tales and spouting out erroneous compliments, before he'd eventurally have to go back to his room and recharge. The only time he told the truth was when he wrote. Metaphors spilled from his pen onto parchment, and he felt a little piece of him go back normal. He wrote almost as a way to prove that he existed- to show that despite all his pretending, he was still his own being.

Elvis wasn't shy about publishing his work. He had no qualms about sharing it once it'd been edited and presentable. But he didn't think he could ever trust another person enough to let them watch him as he wrote. That said, when Fleet appeared before him, hollering about a meeting in the courtyard, he practically spit venom at him. He didn't even dignify the man with an answer, only scowling and curtly nodding his response. After stashing his journal under his pillow, in one move, he swung from the top of the bed and landed the several feet below with ease. He pawed through his hair, spritzed on some deodarant, rolled on a sock and put on his shoes. Then he was out the door and on his way to the courtyard.

He got there relatively early, and sighed a deep, heavy, unamused sigh. This had better be worth it. He coudln't think of a single thing they could say to him that they hadn't said time and time again in the past three months. His gaze pricked through the crowd, searching for anything remotely interesting to toy with, and was left empty handed. No one seemed, at this particular interest, to catch his attention. "How boring," he thought to himself with another heavy sigh, pocketing his hands and glancing at his peers with distaste. Normally he would have had a field day with these people, but when he was just out of writing mode, he had a hard time getting out of it. Then Markus appeared, looking damp and uninterested. The smallest of smirks trailed its way onto his face, glad that in the moment he had arrived, so had someone interesting. He slunk over to where the other man stood, and said nothing - no hello, or "how are you?" - merely co-existing next to him during the presentation. When Michaela began to talk, her charms blasting at the students, Elvis turned to Markus and murmured wryly "Damn faeries and their glitter." referring to all the pizzazz Michaela was currently shoveling down her student's throats. The flowers were a nice touch. He found himself scoffing at the show, though somewhat amused by Michaela's way of manipulating those around her while still seeming like the sugar plum princess. Still, he was interested and listening to what she had to say. His intrigue had been especially piqued by the promise of a surprise. He loved a good surprise. Hopefully it was something catastrophic.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The Disgraced Lord

Artemis was not difficult to find, he was where he always was, sitting under the wide awning that covered his table and chair in the Garden. Of course the term his may be a misnomer as that implies his procession of it however it was more or less his own in the minds of most due to the substantial amount of time he spent in it. He was, as was his custom, simply sitting there, a small tape recorder on the table and his eyes glancing lightly through the rife of paper that he held in his hand with a fountain pen in the other. He made small notes on several sheets as he read quietly and contently to himself yet this was not a forgone notion as normally he would think aloud to himself or anyone that would listen but to the contrast of custom.

His silence could easily be attributed to several things each more varied than the last and spanning everything from his skipping breakfast to the abnormally dark circles under his eyes form lack of sleep or due to his slightly irritated brow that while relaxed and subversive now had for the most part of the morning been furrowed in frustration at something. Whatever the reason for his silence it remained as he continued to quietly read over his pages, forcing concentration on the material in his hand. This was not he favourite activity, rather to the contrary this was his least, he always loathed reading over the editors manuscript of his works.

The pages were all neatly stacked and bound simply with six through ties of brass, a classic manuscript, the pages in a small courier type seemingly spaced to be devoid of all emotion, he always hated these manuscripts but that was the publishing world, it lacked the intricate nuances that the work itself exposed to the world in its painfully industrious efficiency. Thankfully his contract permitted him some choice on the final products font and spacing, he’d have to determine that before the final draft was due.

“Damn.” He cursed as he took the pen’s cap from his mouth and made several marks on a page near the rear quarter of the manuscript, “I like that dialogue… I don’t care if it’s grammatically incorrect… editors.” He mentally made note to ensure that he got the chance to talk with his editor again, the first time he was being scouted for publishing the editor had read several of his more grammatically sparse dialogue exchanges with a sneer and made a point to chastise Artemis for them.

”Have you even been through middle school kid?” the man had asked, forcing Artemis to stifle a frown and several memories, the short answer was no of course.

“Well uh… I was just taking a, umm… a literary license.” Artemis had explained with more than one nervous gesture.

The elder woman glanced up over the brims of her reading glasses causing Artemis to gulp at the time due to her rather imposing nature, “Hemingway had a literary license… you’ve got a learners permit.” That was her most memorable rebuttal that caused him to smile even now.

“Wonder if I’ve graduated yet?” he muttered aloud, of course one would hear it, that one being Fleet, who had just arrived to inform Artemis of a meeting in the Courtyard. Unfortunately the gust of air caused Artemis to leave a streak across his notations before the air blew the page he was on away making him lose his place. However, rather than get frustrated he breathed out and nodded to allow the very dedicated Guardian to move on, Artemis knowing he wouldn’t until he was sure that he had been heard. “Got it, be there in a few moments.” With a smile cast to the man before he left Artemis managed to keep up the façade long enough for no one to see the furrowing of his brow as he looked at the manuscript. He’d intended to finish proofreading it that evening so as to afford a day to himself tomorrow, though with this interruption he highly doubted that would still be possible.

Artemis arrived in his typical garb of levis lean cut jeans (dark wash, matching belt shoes, a button down white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and a simple brown vest to match his black shoes. After arriving a few moments following Aaron and the others he moved gently through the aft grouping of charges to settle nearest his preferred Guardian, Simon. He smiled and greeted a few without making a scene before moving to stand near the back closer to the other Guardians, more specifically he leaned against a nearby tree adjacent to Simon. He caught the exchange, something those who were less adjusted to the Isle might miss, and his brow furrowed yet again. However Artemis was no fool, far from it, and knew not to question it, not here, not now. Yet as the head of the island made such theatrics he had to wonder if it was at all necessary to be so flamboyant for a story. Even for an Omarian? “Insert ironic joke here.” He muttered to himself as he thought of the catch twenty two of an author judging flamboyant storytelling. He couldn't help but blink several times as her power washed over him, he hated the fact that it clouded his rampant thoughts, but he relaxed knowing the futility of resistance and just let the stroy begin.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Xylea stretched languidly in the sun, her toes and fingers digging into the yoga mat she'd pulled out of her closet at the first sign of sunlight. She'd gone through her sun salutations with renewed vigor today, beaming to herself as she welcomed the warmth and light of the bright orb back into her life and thanking it for it's glow. She'd gotten through a good 40 minutes of un-distracted yoga, most likely because it is the only thing she can fully focus on due to it's constantly flowing and changing nature, when a sound to her far right caught her attention. Standing and looking over, she noticed Milo meandering toward the tree line. A large smile spread across her face as she started towards him, her mat forgotten on the ground behind her.

She'd almost reached him when she noticed the book in his hand, and stopped. Unsure what to do, a scowl crossed her face and she tilted her head. He hadn't said hi or acknowledged her in any way, which confused her. She was aware of him, why wasn't he aware of her? Cocking her head to the other side she watched as he sat and opened the book. A bird chirped to her left and she turned, searching the trees with her eyes. A small movement, and she was off, turning to the left she wandered into the tree line, looking above and around, trying to find the source of the sound. Sighing, she shook her head quickly when she couldn't find the bird. "Curses!" She stomped her bare foot softly, and her eyes widened. She hadn't been paying attention before, but the feel of the ground beneath her feet was something to behold. Wiggling her toes she giggled as dirt and pine needles worked their ways through the cracks in between them. Xylea shuffled along then, in a circle, letting the natural floor sift it's way over and through her toes, until she stubbed her toe against a larger rock embedded in the ground. "Skatá!" She stood on one foot as she massaged the offended large toe of her other, her nose scrunched up in pain.

Huffily, she decided she didn't want to go through the pain anymore so she took a moment, breathing in and out to compose herself, then turned back the way she'd come and quickly scaled a tree. She saw that Milo had fallen asleep, his book discarded to the side, and a warmth balled in her stomach, bringing a feminine smile to her face. She thought to herself how peaceful he looked as a friendly breeze tugged at her hair and ran through her toes. Smiling, she turned to her left before he'd even appeared. "Fleet!" She giggled as he materialized on the branch next to her, "Hi! It's a beautiful day isn't it?" He smiled back at her warmly, and simply stated, "Can't chat little one, meeting in the courtyard." He patted her hand and with a quick gust moved over to Milo. She felt so close to Fleet, being that he was not only her guardian but also a fellow Air Navarene. He was like an older brother or a twin or a dog or a surrogate father or grandfather... Whatever. Fleet was simply the world to her. She watched as he informed Milo of the meeting, and began to climb down the tree.

As Xylea headed toward the courtyard she turned and waited for Milo, hoping to be able to walk with him. He always brought a smile to her face and made her laugh. When he didn't join her, she turned, confused and found him asleep again. Giggling to herself she stepped behind a tree and calmed her mind. Her eyes grew silvery as they unfocused and, clapping her hands together softly she created a pocket of fresh air. She manipulated it, let it grow and churn, then, sent it shooting towards Milo. Most of it passed over him, pushing his clothes away from her, but she pulled on a couple of strands, having them dance through his hair and ruffle his shirt. Biting her lip to stifle her laughter she watched as he woke and wandered off toward the courtyard. Once he was out of earshot, she allowed her body to give way to the laughter that had been shuddering through her. She clutched her stomach as she chuckled heartily, then noticed something pink off to her right, "Oh! My mat!" She ran over and rolled it up quickly. She suddenly remembered that a vast majority of The Compound's students had amassed at the courtyard. Extremely curious now, she jogged over, and noticed Aaron. Plopping down next to him happily, she moved onto her stomach, using her mat as a pillow. She caught Milo's eye then and winked with a smile, happy to see him notice her, finally. She wasn't invisible after all!

Then Michaela walked up and all of Xylea's attention was pulled into the ethereal beauty. She couldn't help herself when the Omarain was around, it was impossible for her to be distracted. Perhaps it was something to do with her glamour, but Xylea's full attention was always stuck to Michaela like glue until she was dismissed in every encounter she ever had had with the beautiful, powerful woman. She listened intently, a serenity falling over her face even as the increasingly interesting words poured fourth.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait:
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Darcy Lilith Ratri

The day had been everything but what Darcy had even thought would happen. From the second Renn appeared up at her window to being brought down to the beach to feeling Renn's lips touch her own, she was in utter disbelief. This wasn't the Renn she had grown to know on the Isle. He was completely different in the sense that he had shown her that he cared for her rather than bury the feeling like she often did with her own. She was feeling happier than she had her entire time on the Isle. The second he joined her in the water, Darcy felt like they had found a reason to be happy again. Renn had barely gotten in the water, but Darcy had worked with the effort by splashing him on occasion. The smile that Renn had put on her face had remained throughout the evening. The sun had already set by now, but they would have plenty more together at the rate their happiness for each other provided. She had just tripped back into the water when she heard the message flow across the Isle. "Meeting in the courtyard."

Darcy found herself by Renn's side expecting the two to walk to the courtyard together. When she offered out a hand for him to help her out, she expected to feel his hand quickly swoop her out of the water, but instead while she was glancing back at the water one last time, she heard Renn's voice. "There's a meeting in the courtyard. Bye." She glanced up to see what had come over him, but his back was already towards her and moving further away with every step. She stood there for a few more seconds hoping he would turn around, but he never once glanced back at her. "What the hell!"
She had manage to pull herself from the sand, where she now stood staring out to where Renn had headed off to. A mixture of anger and disappointment ran through her as the shadows casted by the rocks began to grow. She begged herself to gather control, but instead the shadows now took over the entire beach. She took several deep breaths until the beach was back to the normal state of shadows.

How could he just walk away? Darcy's breathing was irregular as she found herself inside her dorm room. Why am I here? Why.. Why? The dripping from her clothes reminded her why she had came to her dorm first. The sound of each drip that fell from her shirt was matched by a tear from herself. She had opened up to him. She had let him in. She let nobody in, and the first person just walks away. She gave her left eye a rough rub, trying to remove all the tears that were now building before they could fall. She stripped to her bare self as she searched for something to wear. She couldn't let Renn see that he had broken her again. She quickly put together an outfit that she felt would show that the moments today didn't phase her. When she looked in the mirror, she gave a small nod to herself for what she managed to pull together. Now to just seem like my old self. That shouldn't be too hard for her considering all she had to do was not smile.

It made her actually smile at the idea of not smiling to be herself. She shook her head as she grabbed her guitar, swinging the strap over her shoulder. It was a good enough excuse to explain why she was one of the last to arrive at the courtyard. She gave herself one last glance in the mirror before leaving the dorm room. She had been walking for only a few minutes when the crowd came into view. She didn't even bother looking for Renn because she knew where he'd be. That meant she didn't need to look for Aaron because then she'd more than likely find herself spotting Renn close behind the Omarain. She decided that being on the outer lining of the group was the better route to take, but the idea of Renn thinking she was hiding made her push through some fellow Isle members. Finding herself near the center made her happy until she did finally manage to see Renn. Seeing him indifferent made Darcy clinch her first, until a few shadows began to grow.

She had no choice, but to go near him due to Xylea being beside Aaron. "Fan-fucking-tastic," she spoke under her breath as she sat next to her fellow Navarene that she felt very connected with. "Hi." The only word that came out of her mouth as she sat close to her friend, letting her head rest on the friend's shoulder. "You look lovely as--" She stopped when she realized Xylea's attention was drawn to Michaela and rolled her eyes. Darcy knew Michaela was beautiful like every other student on campus, but most didn't realize that Michaela didn't even have to use her glamour to come off as beautiful as she was now. She envied the beauty Michaela brought to a crowd, but looked up to Omarain Guardian as if she was Darcy's.

She leaned back glancing at Renn, turning her face into the most stern one she could manage. "How has your day been?" Her question was directed at Renn, but considering neither of the three present in the area were looking at her they could all answer if they wanted.

Harvey Mak Chinnen

"I'm coming as soon as I'm accepted! I gotta be reviewed, bitches."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn
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#, as written by Nori

Audibly expressing his boredom through a variety of melodramatic grunts, sighs, and groans, Graham lay sprawled out on the floor of his room, stretching and curling his fingers absently towards the faint glow of the light twirling overhead...Reduced to playing with fragments of light...surely at some point, he must have slipped from moderately bored to completely out of his mind with tedium, there was no other practical explanation for such otherwise. Another deep sigh to add to the rooms growing collection of such, and Graham lazily rolled into a sitting position, chin resting on his hand as he contemplated what he could possibly do, yet again

Under normal circumstances, he'd probably go seek out Aaron, but the boy had wanted to be left to his own devices for the night and there seemed little point to bother him--most things done alone tended towards the dull-er side of things, anyways. His usual back-up plans of Seph and Soren had fallen through as well, both having disappeared off to who knows where, probably the library or some likewise monotonous location he was likely to never enter. There wasn't any senseless flattery to be reaped from Hazel, she'd likewise disappeared before he'd even awoken--halfway into the day, of course, practically nocturnal as he was. The frigid Mori girl had shut herself off from all and any this fine afternoon, sealed away in her cave of a room painting or some trite--monopolizing that adorable kitten of hers all to herself, the audacity! Last he'd seen him, Milo had been napping quite peacefully all day and far be it from Graham to disturb a man's rest, he had some standards. The glorious Vendi had taken to carrying lumber on behalf of the moody old wolf, which had proved a show in itself up until the point he had to follow to keep watching; far, far too much effort for it to be worth it by then, so he too was not a viable distraction. Even Graham's own dashing counterpart, Markus, was hardly viable entertainment as of the moment, prancing about as he was, doing exercise, ugh, no way would the lazed Graham ever partake of such activities--watch for a bit, to admire the sheen of sweat on muscle and all, sure, but actually exercise just for the sake of it, that was sheer madness!...and really, really boring, ugh, not to mention the smell, how distasteful.

Essentially everyone, who mattered to Graham at least, was indisposed in some form or another and so still he remained, horribly, terribly bored, lounging on the floor with absolutely nothing to do. It wasn't even like he could go explore the isle himself either, not because he felt some responsibility to obey the whims of the Guardians, but rather as he was sure there had to be something interesting happening today for everyone to be making such a hassle--he was waiting for the show. A show he was sure to not miss, even if he would have to endure an hour of mind-numbing, agonizing monotony until then. Again, a dramatic sigh, and again Graham plops down forcefully on the ground beneath him to twirl his fingers 'round the specks of light. If something didn't happen soon, he was going to burst, he was sure of it, little bits of Graham Confetti everywhere and'd be a hassle to clean up, at the very least.

It was then, as though the forces that be realized the danger a ridiculously bored Graham would present to the fabric of reality--or just by chance, that Fleet made his way into the previously locked chambers of Graham. "Meeting in the Courtyard!" the Navarene called once and then was gone, leaving a furiously blinking Graham in his wake to ponder how exactly he'd gone about opening the doors...Eh, oh well, probably best to not fret over such things, 'twas what news he was after anyways. With a speed uncharacteristic of the normally fairly languid Graham, he lunged from his sprawled position on the floor, in one fluid motion back on his feet and already on his way out the door. What little piqued the interest of Graham really did so, as his practical giddy prance down the corridors of the compound would attest.

In little to no time, he'd emerged in the courtyard where most had already by then gathered, scanning for the familiar faces of those previously preoccupied with painfully dull happenings, before spotting his preferred targets company; Aaron, Soren, Seph, Hazel, Milo, and even lame little Daniel--he'd tolerate Ren's being there, figuring the male to be as impassive and silent as usual 'round him and Darcy hardly even registered as being there at all in his mind. Trotting his way over, Graham made one gesture to the group, half peace-sign half-wave, took the spot directly in front of Aaron, and for the umpteenth time that day plopped onto the floor, and sprawled, reclining on his elbows just tall enough to catch sight of the show imminent to unfold.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot
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#, as written by throne

Michaela’s grin abated, and she let her eyes slipped closed. As serenity settled into place on her features, dusk truly descended. It was no illusion, no trick of glamour, but it hardly seemed a coincidence that the shadowy terminator was just now creeping over the westernmost of the tumbled-down fort’s walls. Twilight was upon them, and gravely, as the Omarain prepared herself, Matthew pushed himself away from his perch and stalked toward the wood he’d earlier stacked, choosing a path that steered him clear of clumped charges. He used a plain Zippo lighter to ignite a torch, and then thrust it into the tinder and kindling that had been arranged at the base of the soon-to-be-bonfire. Flames caught quickly, streaming smoke into the sky, and hungry fire began to taste the sturdier plinths of wood with flickering tongues. Matthew retreated, his duty discharged, but continued along in a circular path around the courtyard, using his captive flame to light braziers and standing torches that were used to light the fort by night.

As the last of daylight died, Michaela, eyes hidden away as if in repose, began to breathe deeply, rhythmically. Her chest swelled, making her breasts all the more obvious beneath the thin white cotton that veiled them. The fire crackled as it climbed the scaffold made for just that purpose, and then the luminous corona of white light that ensconced her began to spread out in every direction. At first it crept inches, and then feet, until every soul attendant was seemingly bathed in that light as well. Before their eyes, the light would seem to congeal, separating into motes that left impenetrable blackness between them, so dark all that would be visible aside from the pricks of white were their fellow charges and Guardians- each other, and the fire, which continued to burn. So potent was her gift that it might be a moment before some realized they were under the sway of an Omarain illusion, each and every one.

The walls of the erstwhile fortress were drowned in black. The library faded away as well, then the officer’s quarters, then The Compound itself, leaving nothing but endless darkness punctuated with little bits of light. It might be dizzying, or even frightful, to have the entire world as they knew it slip away from them, replaced with what might be the night sky, or the endless depths of space, or something else. Whatever it was or soon would be, the Omarain among them would know better than most how exacting the illusion must have been on Michaela. The other charges too; none of them, not even Renn, would ever have seen her display her power on such a scale before. Even the other Guardians seemed awed to behold it, all save for Simon, who simply folded his arms across his chest and made his face a still mask.

Adrift in blackness, they would hear her voice, but not from her lips. It seemed to come from all around them like the music of the stars that her motes of light were no doubt meant to represent.

”You have learned of your bloodlines, sweet ones, but most of you have been taught little of the ancestors from whom that blood flows. Most of what you have heard you learned away from this sacred place; lies, perversions, bastardizations meant to pollute what was once real magic, to reduce it to simple, commercial entertainment, to sanitize and slay it. Tonight you will learn more.”

The “stars” began to re-order themselves once more. They were legion now, great swarms of light particles in a silent dance with one another. They separated into five distinct-yet-shapeless clouds, leaving vast tracks of void beneath them, and then took their places behind the rough circles that the charges and Guardians described around the growing bonfire.

The largest free-wheeling constellation came to a stop between Michaela and Arietta, nearly between them but set lightyears back. Another settled into place 72 degrees to the first’s left, and another 72 degrees to the left of that, and so on until the five points of a star, or perhaps a pentagram, had been defined in the space around them. Some might have to crane their necks or turn about to see them all, and if they did, they’d note that the specks of light had begun a new dance, one that only lasted until they had taken on a new shape. The largest spread out, thrice as tall as Michaela (for in the illusion, sizes could really only be compared in a relative sense), and then grew even more massive as it unfurled its starry wings. The next separated into the three distinct forms, tall and slender. The next dance around the pentagram yielded two large shapes, one that seemed to walk on four legs and one that walked on two. After that, another large shape, but it was escorted by many smaller ones, and finally, to the right of the first, four distinct shapes of vaguely human size.

Michaela’s voice hummed like a leyline again, and as it did, the masses of stars, the tiny galaxies, would continue their dances, taking more distinct and recognizable shapes.

”The mighty dragons were fire and magic made flesh. They were old when the world was young. Their claws dug rivers, their breath stirred storms, and their battles raised the mountains and scorched the land into deserts. Their ways are mostly lost to us, but we know that they began primordial and will not end until the last Evincal is ended. The last true dragon was named Snowscale; she fled to the deepest reaches of the icy parts of the Earth after men had slain her brothers and sons. When the envoys came she agreed that it was the only way and shed a single frozen tear, the only component needed for the ritual that would make the blood of one strong mortal line draconic evermore.”

The largest shape was fully formed by the time she took a pause. The star-dragon was not a static thing. Its tail stirred through the deep blackness, its wings buffeted cosmic currents, and its head lowered, as if in a courtly bow, toward the circle.

”The envoys were the true fae, creatures either born of dreams or responsible for them. The truth will never be known, for they are all gone now, all sealed away in their own kingdoms to save themselves from the iron and church bells and saucers of cream that men learned were their banes. They were the architects of the Bloodlines, and stole away young men and women from a noble family for the turn of a single moon. They returned with lighter step and faerie blood and Omarain children in their wombs. The fae did not return, though. They locked the gate and melted down the key, consigning themselves forever more to dreams, until men are gone and their dreams with them.”

The three slender shapes resolved themselves into three fae, tall and willowy, with features that resembled those of humans, but too perfect to be anything but alien. They wore swords and finery of stars, and they too bowed, deep and courtly, toward the charges.

”The children of the moon had lost more and most to humankind. Their domains were the wyld places, untouched until civilization began its inevitable spread. They fought back with tooth and claw, but the advantage of men has always been numbers. The war of attrition dwindled them to almost nothing, but it made them remember that they were half-man themselves. Repentant rather than wroth, they chose a dozen humans and a dozen wolves, calling them The First Pack, and thus the Balaren were born.”

One part of the next set of stars became a dire-wolf so large that a grown man standing would barely reach its shoulders while all four of its paws touched earth. The other became a thing of nightmare, muscle and fur and claws and teeth. Both of the stellar apparitions lifted their head in an eerie, silent howl. The one on two legs declined its head toward the charges, and the one on four bent the knees of its forelegs, a lupine bow. The tale continued.

”The lords of the pit regarded humanity as little more than sustenance, things to be played with. They were the terror born of the darkness, the evil things that stalked the night, but they too were offered the chance to bind their fate more meaningfully to the races of men. Most balked or laughed, but one wise pit-lord agreed, abandoning the council of his enemy-brethren and infusing the most cunning and dangerous mortals he could find with his hellfire blood. The Mori would need his strength and their own as the centuries stretched into millennia, for there are cracks in the prison that was forged for demonkind.”

The demon lord that resulted of the dancing stars was nearly as tall as the dragon, powerfully muscled, with cloven hooves and a supple tail. In one hand he held a whip, and in the other a sword that glowed with starfire. He did not bow, but instead regarded the charges coldly with eyes made black by lack of stars.

”The spirits of nature only revealed themselves truly for the first time in the course of a single evening. They had always been there, perhaps for even longer than dragonkind, though it is not for me to say which came first, fire or dragon. They had sought harmony with men and beast alike, but men were too clever by far. Rather than being content with the gifts of the elementals, they found ways to trap them and bend them to their will without ever knowing the pain they caused. Still the elemental ones sought harmony, and bonded with a people who had never once enslaved them willingly that the Navarene might one day bring about the balance that was lost.”

The final four became fire, water, wind, and earth. Their shapes were vaguely human at best. Fire was the brightest, a burning crucible of stars. Water’s shape ebbed and flowed. The stars that formed Wind raced ‘round one another in vortices. Earth was more solid, compact and strong. As one, the joined what might pass for hands and bowed deeply.

In silence save for the crackling of the bonfire, the darkness receded, returning control of their senses to those assembled. The constellations remained, though, like an afterimage, and in the last light of dusk could be seen briefly in all their glory before they too faded. Snowscale’s armoring was gleaming alabaster, her eyes brimming with sorrow and intellect. The finery of the fae stole every color of the rainbow, and their skin was pale and far too smooth. The standing wolf had fur that was black as coal and eyes like slivers of the moon; its companion on all fours had fur of mottled gray and brown, and it was laying with its belly against the grass. The demon stood tall still, its skin burnished and rough looking, its features sinister but proud, its whip and sword forged of hellfire. The nature spirits were all the colors that they should have been, flickering or flowing or blowing or standing stalwart.

And then, they were all simply gone. The courtyard was restored to reality, and anyone who chanced to look upon Michaela would see her looking very tired, and very, very old. She drew a single breath, and in that span was young and beautiful again. She managed a smile, the weariness of which would match Arietta on her worst day. The Omarain spoke again, only just audible above the feast of flames gnawing at the wood.

”Humans are forgetting their magic.” She opened her vibrant eyes again, and let her gaze pan once more along the circle of charges and Guardians alike, Omarain and Evincal and Mori and Balaren and Navarene. ”It is the natural state of all things, even men. Remember childhood, when all the world seemed new and bright and exciting? When imagination weaved spells all its own upon you? Man has been squandering his magic, though. It is not enough for him to lift a stick from the ground and make it, just by thought, into a cane, or shelter, or a pretend-sword. Now he must cut the tree open and count the rings, must abolish every secret of nature in the name of Progress.”

Her survey of them all was done. She brought her hands together, clasping them in front of her with a gentle clap. ”There is hope for magic though. It is here, not around you, but in you. It is you. History cannot reveal a time when so many have Awakened to their blood at once, been found and brought together. Such things happened once; they were called Convocations, and the Bloodlines would meet and squabble and boast and the world continued to suffer for their arrogance. They had forgotten, but we must not forget.”

She spread her hands, as if to gather all of them in her arms. ”We must come together, not ignoring each other’s differences but embracing them. The days ahead will be different than the days behind. We have lapsed, in order to bring you all here safe and whole, but on the morrow, we begin in earnest to help you become what you must. I know to some of you, this sounds fanciful, but think of what you have learned to do already, what you have seen your fellows do. On the morrow, we begin in earnest…”

With a flick of her wrist, she sent something that glittered as it flew through the air catching firelight toward Renn: a set of keys. Where she’d hidden them on her pocketless person was anyone’s guess, as was how she’d managed to produce them, but they were there. ”Tonight, though, we revel.” Her warm smile became a grin. ”Or, I should say, you revel. It would hardly be a party with a bunch of stodgy grown-ups about, would it? Enjoy yourselves. Learn of one another. Relax for one final evening and make merry together…” One of her eyebrows lifted to form a perfect arch, as she continued. ”But try not to overdo it. I meant what I said about the morrow. You won’t want to still be feeling tonight when you awaken.”

Her fellow Guardians were not unaffected by the display; like many charges, most of them were still recovering from both the power of the vision and the strangeness of being made to see what had been so long ago. Simon had already slipped off, possibly in the midst of the presentation. Arietta was smiling softly, her expression cast thoughtful, as she rose to her feet and dusted herself off, preparing to return to the library. Matthew was frowning, but shook his head and stretched out, nodding curtly to anyone who met his eye before he took his wolf shape without a single cry of pain and raced off beyond the walls.

Poor Fleet looked positively a mess, his lower lip jutting out as he directed his attention, eyes wide, toward Michaela. She laughed, and the sound was the tinkling of bells more than it was laughter. ”Sweet Fleet, you are less a stodgy grown-up than many of our charges. Of course you may stay.” The Navarene Guardian let loose a cheer, jumping several feet into the air and then floating back down, as if gravity showed him favor just as the Omarain had. ”I need to find my hat!” he exclaimed before taking off at a run and then dissipating into wind once more.

”Good night,” Michaela called, her smile sweet as she turned to make her way back toward the officers’ quarters. No poppies followed her now; indeed, it seemed that she might have strained herself with the display. With her gone, none but the charges were left around the fire, which was now a roaring blaze.

The night was theirs.

* * *


Faerie princes were used to being attended, and so it bothered Aaron not at all when so many valued friends joined him prior to the presentation. Seph was gifted with a warm smile, and absently, his hand. He reached out, taking hers in his in simple, friendly fashion. When Renn’s shadow fell over him, he craned his neck to look up at his most beloved advisor, craning his neck back so far that his smile for the Navarene would essentially be upside-down.

Daniel and Hazel came to sit beside them as well, and Aaron lifted his free hand in a wave to the two, slight and courtly. He said no words, for it seemed a time for silence, though delight danced on his features, almost moving him to an excited greeting when Milo came to crouch at his other side. He grinned at the boy’s bafflement, before his attention was again stolen, this time by the advent of the Western Wind, bringing spring with her as always.

He heard a question, and only then noted that Darcy was among them as well. His brow creased and his eyes hardened just a little when he gleaned distress from her demeanor, but there was no time to find the cause with Michaela drawing them all in. Then Graham was there, so close at hand, and the hand that wasn’t linked with the wolf-born maid came forward to comb fingers through the demon prince’s hair, affectionately and absently, as one might stroke a cat. The realization of who was near cast light on who was not, and he glanced about quickly, finding the others in their small clumps or solitude. He had no hands to wave with, so instead, he fought back the falling dusk with a dazzling grin.

When Michaela began in earnest, he was still and silent (save for his hand teasing through Graham’s soft locks and the slight rise and fall of his chest), captivated. Snakes might be immune to their own venom, but the fae-blooded were far from immune to Glamour. Aaron in particular was more inclined to fall under its sway than most, his resistances stripped bare in the course of embracing what he could of the fae so eagerly. As her words and phantasms enfolded them, even his hand grew restive, to slowly slide from the Mori and into his lap; his hold on Seph remained, but slackened. It was eerie, that darkness. Unreal. Even though there was still earth as firm and sturdy as Renn beneath him, he could almost feel himself floating through it, the persistent whisper of vertigo in his ear.

The swarms of stars brought movement, his head whipping this way and that to mark them and track their progress while their leader described to them their forebears, codified the images that had been dancing through his head. The fae he knew of well, but he knew little of the dragons, the demons, the spirit-folk, the wolves. They all had their secrets, that was the way of it, but Michaela had elected to lay some of them bare in a fantastic showing.

He wanted to weep when it was done, when the shadows of the fae had faded, when stark reality reigned once more. Not so stark, though. Nothing seemed entirely real when limned only by firelight, and he drew comfort from that even as he struggled not to shed a tear. The impact of the presentation on Aaron was obvious; his despair might well have been written on his face in glowing ink. They’re all gone, but we remain, he told himself. A faerie prince must only cry for love.

Fortunately, there was more. In his consternation he had forgotten the surprise! His mind was practically tripping over Michaela’s songbird words until it came at last: a revel. The eldest Omarain was retreating, leaving them to their own devices. He had known parties in his time, everything ranging from the boring but beautiful galas of his parents’ world to the crowded teenage affairs that happened behind closed doors in boarding schools, but never had he enjoyed a party on The Isle, before…

… and the faerie prince hardly needed a pretext to dance. He already had Seph by the hand, and his grip strengthened even as he lashed out with his other for one of Milo’s. ”M’lord,” he spoke, looking left, and then ”M’lady,”, looking right. It was courtesy, plain and simple, but in a show of absurd dexterity he untangled his legs and rose in one fluid bit of worship to the god of movement, drawing them up to stand with him. As he did, the music began. Organ music, oddly enough, to compete with the crackling flames and the murmurs that would no doubt follow Michaela’s departure. It was the only remotely impressive trick of illusion that Aaron had mastered as of yet, to bring music with him wherever he went. Female voices in harmony broke in over the electronic organ, making known the unspoken command of the faerie prince: let the beat control you, let the beat control you…

His Gift was only so strong, though. Artemis, alone across the courtyard after Simon’s departure, would be the only one outside the range of the song, but he might still know what the youth was up to (Aaron often provided soundtracks for their fencing practice to join the clash of foil on foil). Everyone else would hear the song, growing more and more cheerful, infectious as a pox one caught from overeating sweets.

Tethered to Seph and Milo, he kept things simple at the onset, shoulders swaying, head bobbing to the rhythm, arms swinging so that his friends’ would swing as well. He was well aware that neither were dancers, not like him (but then, who was?), but he was content to simply drag them however clumsily they might along with him into the embrace of music and motion. He turned to glance at Graham, his eyebrows providing gesture that his busy hands could not. Up, up, slugabed! they exclaimed, bouncing up toward his hairline. Just you and me, let’s break it down!

Even as simple as he was keeping it for now, there was undeniable Glamour in the performance. His grin, broad and goofy, beckoned any who beheld it to give in to the joyous imperative that the song professed. He just looked to be having so much fun that only an enemy of fun wouldn’t wish to join in. He let loose delighted, musical laughter as he began to sing along, leaning in close to Milo, to Seph, to anyone who came near enough, as if his words were meant only to serenade them.

With song and dance, the revelry was begun. Leave it to a faerie prince to conjure a celebration from the very air.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Skwidge
The Cloistered Witch

Sinry had done her best to ignore most everyone else as she and Seph had made their way to the courtyards. She herself had decided to sit down by a broken down stone pillar, bringing out a pocket knife which had been stored in her, well, pocket. She had been about to set to work on her knees when Michaela decided to get things started way too quickly for her taste.

So as surroundings receded to pitch black, she successfully managed to stab herself. Soren winced, but made no noise otherwise, blood pooling just a bit, trickling down her shin. It hadn’t been a big cut thankfully, but it would still pose a bother.

But she was soon enveloped by the stars and the lights playing against her eyes. She leaned forward, crossing her arms over her knees, and her head resting atop her arms. She was immediately captured by the dragon, her eyes only leaving it to scarcely flicker across the other four.
The Evincal remained silent even after the visions had subsided. Now, she wasn’t at all too happy about being under the command of a Fae’s power, but she trusted Michaela (somewhat) to keep it only educational.

So when she gave them free reign of the night, Sinry wasn’t one to stick around. Though she took a second to briefly look over and watch the smoke filter up from the wood, soon being whisked away by a small breeze. Not only that smoke, but also Harvey's cigarettes.

By then her small wound had pretty much sealed up, though there were dried blood stains at her socks and along the skin of her shin. This wasn’t her forte anyway. She wasn’t social, so this, much like herself, would grow quickly awkward, and only make her feel terrible about herself anyway.
So without a peep, she slipped away from the campfire, knife in hand, and headed straight for the ghostyard, hoping not to be seen and not approached, but since when did such hopes ever stay fulfilled? Besides, the ghosts would like to hear what happened. Maybe she could even find a wisp or two…. Unlikely, but hey, she could at least look forward against faith that they’d show up.

She’d lost her chance to go look for them that day anyway. There was a small throbbing to her leg, but she wasn’t too worried about the leg injury. If anything, she was worried that the knife would rust, which was highly unlikely anyway. She made one last forlorn glance back to where everyone was still gathered, but decided to stay with what she wanted to do. She surely wouldn’t bother Seph, that’s for certain.

So Sinry shoved her hands in the pockets of her shorts, letting out a calm breath of air, turning and walking silently along the grounds, head tilted down and eyes focused on the ground towards her place of solitude.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson
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Seph had to admit, she did seem to have made quite a few good friends since arriving. The setting in courtyard was much more usual for her than her meetings with Sinry in the library. Aaron had taken her hand, which had caused a momentary quickening of her heartbeat for some odd reason. It usually happened like that, and it went away quickly enough, especially with the distraction from all the others.

Daniel had come up and sat near her, asking her how she'd been. However, she gave him a shush motion with her pointer finger of her free hand even as she smiled cheerily at him. "No time, I'll tell you later," she whispered, in a playful tone. "She's about to start!" Hazel approached as well, slipping in between them. Seph returned the hug warmly. Hugs were perhaps her favorite human gestures of kindness, apart from gift giving, but gifts weren't nearly so common or easy to give as hugs.

She barely had enough time to give cheery waves to Milo, Xylea, and Graham, before Michaela began her story, and her powers took over. Seph was actually very fond of the illusions the Omarain could create, and this one was on another level from anything she'd seen before. She found herself entranced, by the darkness, the fire, the stars and the formations that Michaela willed them to form. The Omarain Guardian's voice echoed around her, or perhaps through her, she wasn't sure, but Seph soon found herself falling backwards, to lay comfortably on the ground, staring up at the constellations with a peaceful, blissful expression etched across her face.

She relaxed her small body as Michaela spoke of dragons and the fae, demons and elementals, and of course her kind, the kin born of the wolves. One of her hands dangled loosely in Aaron's, her other gently laid on her stomach. Her legs were outstretched, her dark hair falling in a beautiful mess on the ground around her head. Her breathing was slowed and calmed, and she felt she'd be content to simply lay there and listen and watch and feel whatever was going on for forever.

Most of what she said about the others Bloodlines was more or less lost upon her, but it certainly sounded exciting, if not somewhat sad. From the sounds of it, all of their kind had been far more prevalent in older days, and that things were certainly not as they once were. But her brief story of the children of the moon, those who had come to be known as the Balaren, resonated within her, even though she did not feel a part of the story. The warriors, the battles, the losing struggle that they fought against the humans. Seph had never been strong, never been a warrior. She never would have had a part in that story. But she wanted to. Oh, how she wanted to live up to the seeming honor of being wolfborn, of being closer to the wild, and her Bloodline's heritage, than any of the others. She would have to work hard to improve, or even to come close to the level the others had already achieved, but she was more than willing to try. Letting everyone down was not something Seph had in mind.

When the illusion ended, and Seph had returned to her previous sitting position, Michaela's next words proved the opportunity she was looking for. The morrow would bring challenges, chances to improve. Matthew was a strong teacher, and he would push Seph to her limits, she knew, but he was not unkind, nor was he unfair. It was what set him apart from the wolves she had known before, and what endeared him to her above all else. He understood her struggle, how things were more difficult for her than for the others. But he didn't treat her like a child for it; he didn't coddle her. He was going to help her overcome it, even if all the odds were stacked against her.

But, as Michaela declared, those were troubles for tomorrow. Tonight, they would enjoy themselves. Seph had been looking forward to a chance to connect with everyone, now that they were all finally here. With the Guardians gone save for Fleet, the revelry began in earnest, led by none other than Aaron, of course. She took a firmer grip on the boy's hand as he pulled her smoothly to her feet, and they started dancing. At first it was just her, Aaron, and Milo, and in fact, Seph wouldn't have even cared if no one else joined in, though she was sure many of the others would.

Seph had occasionally had the privilege of watching Aaron really dance, but even now, with this simple, loose, fun dance, she found herself somewhat in awe of his grace, how he seemed to put his physical beauty into motion. Seph herself was not nearly so graceful; her human body was even still awkward for her on occasion, though she was improving quickly. Her dance moves left something to be desired, but she expected if anyone was watching the dancing, they'd be watching Aaron, not her.

So she let Aaron's music envelop her, let his smile warm her, let his laughter elate her, and she ended up giving in the music, and into Aaron's infectious charm, more than she thought she would. She was soon laughing herself. On one spin, her eyes caught Harvey's gaze, and she beamed at him. Even he couldn't get her to feel negatively about anything at the moment.

There'd be trials and obstacles tomorrow, but tonight? Tonight would be simple, and fun.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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Others arrived and despite his view of them he made sure to greet them with a smile or a friendly gesture, such was his way, though he stood by Simon for the opening festivities. Michaela was always rather cinematic and this was no exception in Artemis’ eyes, though as she began her speech and the pyre was lit he couldn’t help but notice that this encompassed a great deal more effort than her typical displays. He was as entranced as the others but it was hard even for Michaela to hold his minds complete attention. Inevitably random firings of electric signals in his brain drew his eye from her and over to the others, an odd thought had occurred to him and his eyes made to investigate as a slight bit of fog from his frontal lobe cleared. The students were entranced, that was no surprise, and Fleet, but then Artemis considered him less of a Full Guardian and more of an Initiate Guardian(not that there was anything wrong with such) but the surprise was that the other, more experienced elders where also enthralled. Not by some spell, no that was too simple an explanation, but rather by the scale of the illusion and the effort she put forth, nothing could more impress upon young Artemis the importance of this dialogue.

”You have learned of your bloodlines, sweet ones, but most of you have been taught little of the ancestors from whom that blood flows. Most of what you have heard you learned away from this sacred place; lies, perversions, bastardizations meant to pollute what was once real magic, to reduce it to simple, commercial entertainment, to sanitize and slay it. Tonight you will learn more.”

First as she spoke Artemis listened intently, but he couldn’t help but wonder if she had cast an acidic glare his way when she spoke of this and the content smile on his face faded for but a moment as their eye’s met. Whether she intended to speak to him, or of him was inconsequential at that point as she certainly caught the look on his face at this. They’d have words he was sure, civil ones, but words all the same, as Artemis sought to not “Bastardize” his fellows world like others would. But he returned to listening to her story and made mental note to speak to her later.

He strained to keep his mind from moving on to a related yet objective task yet in the same course of focusing on her words he also found his eyes glance at see the one person’s reaction he hadn’t other than his own, Simon’s. That was where his attention would dwell for a few seconds, though he still heard her words as the stars began to gather his peripheral vision still guided his thoughts. Simon was stoic, something he never really was, and seemed undaunted unlike the others which lead Artemis to one conclusion. There was precedence for this display; it was not some flight of Omarian fancy that she drew such power to a simple speech, and most importantly the fact that jovial Simon stood as a stalwart and masked man made it all the more clear to Artemis that something much deeper than others might see was being put forth in this speech. Finally Artemis found the strength to devout all his mind to the task at hand and as his eyes met Michaela’s yet again a calm washed over his mind which clouded to all but her voice, probably on her effort as she’d know how difficult it could be for him to not let his mind wander.

Now to believe Artemis was as a child with ADHD or some other affliction would be foolish, he heard every word of her speech and catalogued it all. He saw ever move of the stars, and noted their subtle differences, and he noted every nuance of her wording in the back of his mind to be later autopsied by his keen intellect. He issue was not hearing her or knowing her motions, it was in not hearing or knowing everyone else’s. It would make his night sleepless to be sure. To put it simply he heard it all, and noticed more. It was not that he couldn’t focus on her, it was that he could focus on everything, and random firings in his brain led his subconscious to strange and withdrawn conclusions that while he would be careful to ignore would undoubtedly make for strange instances later where his mind will have miss assumed.

As the display closed and the fog began to recede his mind broke free from her glamour before some of the others, actively shaking his head to clear it. He enjoyed her display but he wanted as little of it remaining as possible. Glancing up he saw her in her aged forum as the others gazed at nothing, though to them it was the remnants of the figures, and Artemis swallowed hard. He knew it was not his place to be concerned for her though, but he still was, and now he understood or at least assumed he understood Simon’s concerns. Did this display cause her pain? Did it leave her with less than she started? It was not his place but he felt something akin to pity to her for having to expend such power for them. She breathed and returned to her beautiful and young self and Artemis smiled, aware or at least believing that she was more than beautiful to the eye, that was secondary, she was Michaela and a beautiful person beyond the surface. The others had also come around and as Michaela told them to revel Artemis chuckled and nodded in agreement. He was about to turn and say something to Simon but instead found him gone, vanished in the illusion, and at this Artemis’ eyes narrowed to look into the distance for a sign of him. Perhaps there was more going on. The various Guardians had to pass him to leave and he smiled at them all and did consider pulling Michaela aside for a moment as the others began to revel, but thought better of it seeing the exhaustion in her eyes, it could wait.

And so Artemis just smiled and gently grasped her hand as she passed, giving it an endearing squeeze in a “you did good” kind of way; she didn’t need his approval, but he’d give it anyway. But he was unsure if he could join in the festivities, he had to finish proof reading the manuscript before it was too late or both his and the Isle’s finances would be penalties. However the longer he thought on it the more he realized he wasn’t going to sleep anyway and that he had very little left to do, so he decided to take a chance and moved to a near-by metal post that was stuck in the ground. Its official purpose was to hold a torch however Artemis had found a better use for them as he reached out to it. His hand enclosed the bar and before his skin actually touched it a fury of small sparks arced between his skin and the cold steel. His hand quickly grasped around it hard and silenced any sound associated with the sparks as his fist shook from the heat the bar grew to as he expelled his energy into the metal. The bar was grounded and soon his muscles on his forearm stopped throbbing and his grip relaxed as the twitching from the electricity that had flown through him ended. This was his standard ritual before making contact with his fellows toward the end of the day, he was always careful about where his power sat and tried to ensure that there was no stale energy within him to unconditionally expend without consent when he did make person to person contact.

So the night began and Aaron, God bless his soul, began the festivities and by the look on their faces he was probably using his abilities to grant music to the air. Artemis couldn’t hear it but he knew what he was doing from their fencing practice and the body language of the others. Artemis walked forward with purpose, careful not to miss the fun and moved to the group, he went to Xylea first, someone he knew well and got along with. As he passed toward her he moved behind Renn and with a tap on his head deliberately sent a small amount of static shock into his scalp, making his already spikey hair stand even more on end and giving Artemis a reason to grin mischievously at his friend as he passed. He walked right past Xylea at first but in his stride to cross her and his hand grasped hers to pull her up and along with him, “Up we go! Time to dance!” he told her as the music had finally reached him several strides back and pulled her into the fray with the others and a bright smile on his face. One would find it hard to believe if they were told of his past because he was so very good at putting his mind to other things and enjoying good times with friends. Perhaps it was because of his past he could do this.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait:
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The Conflicted Knight

As Michaela told her tale, Daniel listened with a calm attention. He wasn't affected as easily by the Glamour's of the Omarian as others were, due to his scientific background. That part of him that told him to question everything, to find the reasons. As such, he just took in the information of the various bloodlines that surrounded him. The part about the Mori, however, caught his attention as the star-demon that took form seemed to stare right at him, and he knew he recognized that Pit Lord in particular. That was his ancestor, the Pit Lord that had been trying to influence him every night since the young man's awakening.

Once everything was settled down, he outright laughed at Aaron suddenly snatching up Seph and twirling away with her. He had to hand it to that Omarian, Aaron certainly knew how to lighten up a crowd. He then noticed out of the corner of his eye, Erin and more specifically her cat. Why is it rubbing up against Markus? He wondered before he saw Erin walking over to it. Oh...that sneaky Not going to happen. He could feel his anger rising, the taint in his blood just egging it on as the iris of his normally bright emerald eyes started to smolder with hints of ebon. The power of his Pit Lord ancestor burned strongly in him as glared at that damn cat and decided to speak with Erin who was walking nearby.

Walking over, he stood next to Erin and smiled to her. "Hey there Erin. Nice to see you." He chatted in a friendly manner. He knew about her torments, as she'd confided in him about them before. He stood there to listen to whatever she had to say, even if it was to bite his head off, but he just smiled and took it in, letting her vent if she needed too. Once she finished he just chuckled before waving as he moved off to snatch up Seph as she was dancing with Aaron.

"Hope you don't mind!" He called joyously as he lead the she-wolf in a dance or two, enjoying the time he spent with his friends. Daniel remembered when she first came to the island, looking lost and confused in the sea of faces. Seeing her vulnerability, he took the young woman under his wing and treated her like a dear friend, and a mentor if the need arose. He tapped her nose with a finger as he lead her into one of the two dances, taking them close to where Aaron was. "So, you never told me how your day was Seph." Giving her a cheeky grin he listened to her reply before chuckling and finishing off the dance they were a part of. Once that had finished, he gave her a friendly hug. "You have fun Seph!" The young Mori then passed her to Aaron and poked his shoulder. "Take care of her." He grinned at the Omarian before moving off once more into the party.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Vendicare took a step back as Matt began to wander around the pyre they'd created, lighting it. It caught well and blazed forth, causing Vendi to scowl and take another step back. The blackening wood's scent drifted to him and he could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end, memories that were just on the outside of his ability to remember tingled at the edges of his mind as he watched the oranges and reds flick against the deep brown, almost black wood. He stood, arms crossed over his chest, eyes boring into the fire, until something pulled him back to Michaela, the beautiful guardian.

From a young age, Vendi had always found the male form in all it's intricacy and power attractive. He'd admired men from afar, finding that a small thrill shot through him whenever one of these men approached him, though he'd never let himself outwardly reciprocate. He'd known that, without a doubt, men were remarkable creatures and he was drawn to them. As Michaela began to breathe slowly, her chest rising and falling, he found this same drawing force pulling him to her. Stepping forward once he felt his stomach form a tight ball as he curled his hands into fists, every molecule of his body seemingly screaming to run to her, grab her, hold her close. The heat of the fire washed against him and he blinked and shook his head, confused by his reaction he let his eyes wander and dropped to a crouch as the surreal feeling of floating struck him. The world as he knew it had disappeared and all that remained was him and Michaela. To say he was jarred would be an understatement. His brain began to fly, trying to understand what had happened, trying to put two and two together, grasping at ideas on how to escape whatever floating fortress he'd been transported to. He clenched his teeth as he prepared to run, when a calm washed warmly over him.

He scowled in confusion as his body slowly un-tensed, each sinewy muscle relaxing and returning to it's natural state. He stood slowly as his eyes found Michaela again and he found he couldn't look away this time. His mind refused to focus on anything but her and the light that radiated about her. Then it came to him, a soft whisper, a loud echo, a chill tidal wave, a snug bubble bath. Her voice. It enveloped him, vibrated within him, it told a story, described and explained as images dominated his vision. When the night around him split into five points, then again into different pictures, he found his eyes drawn to the four-legged and two-legged star patterns. He listened intently, the back of his mind storing away information, but it wasn't until Michaela's story turned to the Balaren that his ears truly perked up and he felt a tingle shiver down his spine as it did whenever his tail had wagged. He watched as the two figures morphed into what might have been terrifying images to some, but simply created a kinship deep in the center of his being. He watched as the two raised sights upwards and, although the howl was silent, could hear it within his soul. The call reached him as it had many nights over the past few years and he felt his larynx tremble at the urge to join in on their song, to lend his voice to the chorus. He withheld, but found himself nodding his head in return to their ethereal bows.

The tale came to a close and Vendicare's full body ached for more, just a tiny bit more, as the starry images dissipated. He turned to the Omarain guardian now, and listened carefully. He wasn't sure how he felt about "starting in earnest" tomorrow, especially having not technically "started" yet at all himself. He'd had so many unanswered questions upon arriving at the isle. Some had been answered by Michaela's lesson, but many more had risen. Had it been a month ago, his ears would have flattened back against his head. Expelling air, he looked to Matt when Michaela basically told the students to party. Matt's eyes caught Vendi's, and he could read them well enough to know that something important was to be learned tonight. He nodded in response to Matt's nod and watched in subtle awe as his mentor swiftly changed form and ran off into the woods. His gut instinct was to change and follow, but his attention was caught by a passing scent, sea water. Turning instinctively, his curious eyes caught a genuine smile from the girl he'd noted was as infantile to the isle as he was. The corner of his lip turned up ever so slightly in response as he nodded to her slowly.

He began to follow her with his eyes when movement to the left caught his attention. Instinctively tensing for the chase he looked over and realized that many of the other blood-children had begun to... dance. It was then that he fully realized a beat and female vocals had begun thumping through his head. He felt a momentary surge of excitement and cheerfulness float up his chest and he frowned. Vendicare tilted his head from one side to the other as he watched the dance in momentary confusion, then caught sight of the blonde Omarain. Whatever it was the fae's did made no sense to Vendi, he just knew that it probably had something to do with the bouncing boy and a tiny urge to dance bubbling in his stomach. Vendi quickly extinguished the urge, he did not dance, ever. Secure in his diagnosis of the situation, he settled; the party had begun then. He stood grounded, unsure what his next step should be, simply watching the group and debating what would be best. What he wanted to do was go and lay down in the grass and think. Or even to go for a good long run.

Footsteps approaching to his right and the faint scent of cigarettes had his attention away from the spectacle before the voice reached his ears, "Ello, Vendi. Fancy the show?" Vendi glanced sidelong at the one person he felt semi-comfortable talking to and smirked. "Piacere, Elvis." He nodded and uncrossed his arms, adopting the same pose of hands in pockets as a habitual "no threat" body language style. His rich Italian accent thick, he cocked an eyebrow, "I think it is... interesting?" He looked to Elvis full on now, "You are planning, non?"


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Vendicare
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#, as written by Attie

He caught the keys in one swift motion, nodding to Michaela as she left. The keys she'd provided only went to a few select things, things that Renn wasn't sure the charges needed on a night that they'd have to wake up in the morning - early no doubt, but it wasn't his call to make. In addition, Fleet would be staying as well, so he wouldn't be alone in helping maintain the peace between them and ensuring everyone had a pleasant, safe evening.

As if trying to wake him from his thoughts, or just his own way of a friendly gesture, Artemis had made his way behind him, waking him with his touch. Renn laughed a bit, looking over his shoulder at his friend as passed because it had tickled in a sense - and now his hair was shocked and ready for a party. Perhaps it was that reason he'd done it. Had he messed it up back there on the beach with Darcy? Darcy... There would no doubt be a point in the evening in which Renn would get Artemis back - maybe he'd raise a piece of the ground just to trip him or something. Nothing dangerous. He wasn't sure, but the game was on.

As he turned on his heel, Renn had apparently been oblivious to the people who'd sprung in to dance. While he understood the notion as an entertaining passtime, it wasn't in his ... Well, he certainly wouldn't be joining without some alcohol. -- Speaking of, Elvis seemed to be on the same page as he overheard, "Oh no. No, no, no. I dont do parties unless hard liquor is involved.". Watching Elvis move, he found himself next to Vendicare. Renn had no problem with either of them, as he knew the pair just about as much as he bothered to get to know anyone, but there was a first for everything, and with someone with two solid feet on the ground, it wasn't as if he lived off of their approval. He headed in their direction, nodding up at the pair to get their attention with a jingle of the keys in his hand.

"I don't do parties without the alcohol either." He'd heard the thick Italian accent respond to whatever Elvis had spoken to him, but he shook the thought to intervene from his mind. It didn't matter. "Come help me lift all of it out here, yeah?"

With that, he breezed past the bunch with (hopefully) the pair behind him for additional heavy lifting. They'd passed Darcy on the way, and Renn offered her a smile only to be matched with... Well, whatever it was, he hadn't expected it. Was everything okay? Was he supposed to be reading in to this? Was it nothing? Fuck this social barrier.. It wouldn't matter anyway. After a few drinks in him, he could loosen up and.. Well, he'd never been drinking after his power's awakening. Who knew what could happened?

They found their way through the darkened kitchen and Renn flipped on the lights so they could make their way to the walk-in fridge. Upon entrance, there was a metal door that led to a cellar of sorts. You could see everything on the inside from the fridge, as it was barred like a jail. One could see exactly what they wanted before the lock clicked open and allowed passage, and once it did, Renn found himself at least three different kinds of tequila, whiskey, and a box to fit it all in. Once that box was filled, he pointed over to a keg so that one of the other two could grab it. Behind it was a rack of bottles - various wines, maybe some more liquor, he wasn't sure but with their addition, there was certainly more than enough to entertain the party tonight.

After the three men juggled who would carry what, they brought it out, locked the door behind them, and made their way back to the party. Renn's voice called out like the announcement of an earthquake, the ground hardening beneath them to grab their attention after a few staggered here and there. "Listen up! You heard what Michaela said... Tomorrow we'll all be training more intensely than those of us who have been here for a while will have ever performed. What you do tonight sets the tone for the new lives we lead tomorrow. Handle this information with care.- With that in mind... Have a great evening! We are the Bloodlines!"

His moment of attention came and went as quickly as he'd demanded it. He set up the keg for the easiest dispersement for others, scattered the bottles and various drinks on a nearby table barrel or two, and then left it sitting there. Thanking the pair who'd helped him before taking his leave, he made his way from the others beginning to gather at the alcohol to a corner across the way. Isolated, watching, and calm. That's what he wanted, but as he watched the others enjoying themselves and the others that would head for the alcohol, he couldn't help but wonder:

Will we even wake up tomorrow?


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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the fool
[size=95]Milo didn't dance.

Or, rather, he couldn't.

Needless to say, when he'd only barely made it through Michaela's fantatical story (which he appreciated but had a hard time actually focusing on - he couldn't pay attention to the words and more just kind of stared at the beautiful imagery) ended and Aaron's music began, he hadn't objected when Milo'd grabbed his hand and led him up to dance. Why would he? Aaron wanted him to, and he didn't particularly not want to. It seemed like fun. Which, naturally, meant that he currently looked like a damn fool. Of course, he wasn't bothered by the fact that he appeared to be imitating some type of dying worm every time he tried to bust a move. It wasn't like he was trying to impress anyone, after all. But he was well aware that he was doing more clomping and staggering than the beautiful swaying and twirling Aaron was capable of. I cannot say for certain whether his self awareness makes the hideous dancing less or more embarrassing, but the fact was that he was quite enjoying himself despite it. Half way through, he forgot to dance, too caught up in staring at Aaron with one of those, "Aw, right on!" kind of faces you might get when a buddy of yours parkours or something, but then he remembered again and did more of his... weird shufflings thing. Whatever, it didn't matter. He was still laughing among his friends, and this day had actually been a pretty spectacular one.

Since when did you get to sleep all day and party all night without repercussions? Apparently as soon as you "awaken" (said with as much emphasis as possible) and find out you're actually part dragon.

Another thing to note about Mr. Milo was that he was just about as opposite as athletic comes without obesity. He had string beans for arms and noodles for legs, and after a bit of the light hearted galloping and prancing among the fire, he'd found himself slightly out of breath. That's simply not something that he did, really, so he gently unslipped his hand from his best bud's and drew back a bit to watch. He spotted Xylea and approached her with a single, refreshed, "Whew," wiping his brow and grinning sloppily. "Who knew fun was so much work?" he asked innocently. He was completely unaware of how much she'd saved his little sleepy booty earlier, but he liked her all the same.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot
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Xylea was aware on the peripheral edges of her mind that someone other than Michaela had spoken to her, but she couldn't bring herself to respond. She was enraptured by Michaela's Glamour, allowing herself to be pulled in farther with every passing moment. A beautifully energetic smile bubbled to life on her face as the world around her faded away and all that remained were the bodies of students and guardians alike, seemingly orbiting in space. The stars all twinkling around her held her attention as she rolled onto her back and let her eyes un-focus on the universe. Letting her arms fall wide, she imagined an alien ship floating through orbit, pausing momentarily to take in the new developement in its domain: a floating gaggle of magical students. Laughing to herself, she reached out, trying to touch the stars above her and found she couldn't quite reach them causing her to frown. Then they started to shift, to change, to morph, and Xylea gasped in excitement, remembering Michaela and her speech she quickly flopped back onto her stomach, diligently watching the show.

She tried to pay attention to each of the quick histories Michaela mentioned, she really tried, but her eyes kept drawing back to a grouping of stars that whirled around itself near it's quartet. She couldn't help herself, it was just so wispy and pretty. She wanted to swirl, it beckoned, begged her to swirl with it. She giggled again, and waved to it with wiggly fingers, ecstatic because she somehow knew that it saw her too, and that it loved her. She had only vaguely listened to Michaela, so she wasn't entirely sure why the quartet made a show of respect to the students but she smiled at it in 'thanks'. Tilting her head to one side, she watched as all the pretty star patterns became more solid, more real, then disappeared. Startled out of her dream world, she looked to Michaela now, but had an increasingly hard time paying attention as her skin had begun zinging, pinging. She could feel all her tiny molecules bouncing about within her and she relished the feeling, closing her eyes. The only other time she'd felt this was when she'd gotten her hands and feet to dissipate into the air around her. Something told her it wouldn't have been appropriate at this moment, so Xylea bit her lip to hold in her joyful tinkle of laughter.

Just as abruptly as the prickling of her skin had begun though, it ended. Pouting, Xylea looked around to see if anyone else had noticed and was completely confused by how many people were standing. Looking back to where the guardians were, her eyebrows shot up, they were gone! All of them! Where had they gone? When had they gone? More importantly, could she go get some ice cream? Curiously she glanced at the Compound considering her options. Just as she'd come to the conclusion on exactly what flavor she wanted (blue bubblegum with chocolate sprinkles and marshmallow sauce) the music began and Xylea giggled, ice cream thoughts gone in an instant. She wiggled her shoulders as she lay on her back, a goofy, duck-lipped, playful scowl crossing her face. The very picture of youthful enjoyment, she threw her arms above her head and started wiggling all over: toes, fingers, nose. She didn't question the reason she'd suddenly been filled with happiness, she simply embraced it and let its warmth radiate through and around her as she wiggled on the ground. Raising her arms to the sky she closed her eyes yet again and hummed along to the rhythm happily.

"Up we go! Time to dance!" Xylea gave a tiny gasp of surprise as she felt strong hands grasp hers and a pleasant tingle shoot down her arms, warming her. Without opening her eyes she knew who it was and allowed Artemis to pull her up to standing. He was strong, and she was light, so not only did she come to stand in front of him, but she momentarily floated skyward, just past where her toes were on the ground. Smiling beautifully she enjoyed the slower-than-normal descent back to earth. She opened her eyes then and looked at Artemis, reflecting his bright smile with her own high-wattage grin. "Dancing's my favorite!" The words came out bubbly and light as she let him lead for a moment, gliding along with him. Had anyone been paying close attention, they would have noticed her feet had still not fully come back in contact with the ground as she flowed around. Xylea's focus stayed on Artemis longer than was normal under the circumstances for it wasn't one shiny thing pulling her attention but a plethora of interesting moments happening all around her. So she bopped along to the movement, enjoying the tiny static jolts that tingled along her palms when she touched his. Artemis lifted one of her hands above her head and, guiding her, began a spin. Obligingly, Xylea whirled about in a circle, letting the wind play with her hair. She luxuriated in the wind tickling through her tresses, and followed her new dance partner in a twirl away from Aaron.

Graceful and dexterous, her seemingly solo dance would have made Aaron proud. She felt the familiar rush of air as she tugged on the wind, pulling autumn leaves and dandelion sprigs toward her. The natural confetti she'd created floated around her and twirled with her, ebbing and flowing, a show involving her own type of constellation theatrics. As suddenly as she began, she let all of her natural visual effect drop the ground, her self included. As her toes hit the earth gracefully, she put a finger to her temple and scrunched her eyes in thought. Then, suddenly, she spoke, "Tanzen ist die Bitte um Aufhebung der Schwerkraft. German! Hmmm..." A few cross language translations and then, "That's it, Aaron!" She called out the Omarain laughingly, "'Dancing is a request for the recession of gravity!' You're a genius!"

Her attention broke again as the ground beneath her feet... flexed. Her eyes wide she looked down and spread her toes in the grass, watching as different shoots of green started growing closer together as though the very earth was tightening beneath her feet. Then she heard Renn's voice and looked up watching him with soft features. He reminded her of a clock, or the tide, or the moon, or a wall, or a good pair of high heels. Sturdy, dependable, always there for you and never-changing. She liked that about him. He didn't confuse her as often as other people did because he always stayed the same Renn. She waved at him gracefully.

Seph and Daniel wiggled into view and Xylea's focus shifted yet again. Amused, she watched the dancing, her skin a buzz with everyone's energy. She smiled warmly as Milo walked over, out of breath. She had the random thought of somehow forcing air into his lungs, then thought better of it for fear she might hurt him in some way. Shaking her head, she let him come to her, a warmth filling her and radiating outward the closer he got. "Whew! Who knew fun was so much work?" Immediately Xylea's smile dropped and the confusion set in. Her brow furrowed as she dissected what he'd said. Work wasn't supposed to be fun, from what she'd gathered from her parents. If anything, it was quite the opposite of fun. Fun was supposed to be enjoyable, something you wanted to do, and work was something no one ever wanted to do. Maybe Milo wasn't having fun then! Maybe he was working... but why? and on what? and how did he come to be out of breath then?"Fun shouldn't be work," her words held a deep concern for her friend, "That's why it's called 'fun'. Were you working! Oh Milo!" Xylea's lips turned downwards as a thought struck her, "Oh wait! Eísai kalá? Are you okay? You aren't sick are you?" Her hand drifted to his forehead as she mimicked a motion her mother had always done to her as a child when she'd thrown up or felt like she was on fire. She wasn't really sure what the purpose of the motion was, so she let the back of her hand just sit on his forehead, waiting for whatever was meant to happen, to happen. "Michaela said we were supposed to enjoy ourselves! You can't enjoy yourself if your sick! Or if you are working... Don't be working! That's it, Milo, my friend!" Leaving her right hand on his forehead, she snapped her fingers with her left and turned away from him as she'd seen that Sherlock guy do whenever he made a statement about what he'd discovered, "As mas apolamvánoun! Let's enjoy ourselves!"

Without a second thought to whether or not Milo could be ill, she looked to him expectantly, her hand still on his forehead. Her eyes were glowing with anticipation of whatever "fun" Milo could come up with for them.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Nori

So the show had been marvelous, he'd been completely and utterly captivated by the entire performance, obviously a great deal of effort and time had been placed into its birth, yet one nagging little thought had preoccupied Graham for much of the theatrics, even as darkness ebbed way to the courtyard once more.

Cloven feet, really? Dammit, of all the--of course his Great-great-great-something-grandfather would have had the stereotypical half-goat, half-man look, there had to be a cause for the stereotype in the first place, it made sense, but, dammmmmmit, how laaaaame! Real Magnificent Demon Lords that spawned such works as he himself ought have, well, hell if he knew, but certainly not cloven feet--rather claws or the like, that's far more acceptable of such dignified malice!...At least his ancestor's pride had been tangible and the creature quite attractive for a hellish abomination, even in the glamour born manifestation form that he was--'twas nice to know he'd managed to inherit something of value from his forbearer. Still, it was difficult to keep his mind from trailing, aghast, to his fuzzy boot donned feet, visualizing what horrors awaited him beneath the patches of fur should he ever fully transform--ughghghghg, partial transformation only, he decided in that moment, ever, no contention.

At the mention of revelry, his most favorite of past times and practically second nature to the hedonistic Graham, his mind's previous burden was wiped clear away, replaced only with a lingering curiosity for what would unfold. When was the last time he'd even seen a party begin? Fashionably late was the motto he lived by, the longer he waited, the less work he'd be forced into later--madness had a tendency of winning most party go-ers over loooong before he ever arrived and he quite liked it that way.

He was merely the catalyst for those last few sane attendees to release their inhibition--his, er, "skill" as a mixologist, if one could consider his concoctions drinks, was no doubt helpful in such ventures. Nothing spells party quite like everyone, but yourself, being drunk of their ass, after all~!

Alas, sadly, a quick glance around revealed none of the liquor he was like to abuse in his schemes, only a great deal of idly standing by figures and--what's this?--ah, Aaron, accompanied by an entourage of Seph, Milo, and a personal soundtrack for his antics summoned from thin air. He'd been wondering where the music he'd mindlessly been boobing his head too had come from, honestly he'd just pushed it off as a tune lodged in his subconscious, but Omarain Glamour certainly did explain away the whole, "physically audible" portion of it that his previous theory hadn't.

With far, far more amusement then he should have found in such, Graham watched the trio begin their little dance, eyeing the preposterous moves of Milo as he busted out a multitude of aged, archaic break dancer-esque moves and creations of his own designs that, well, the less said about their nature, probably the better. Seph wasn't nearly as atrocious a dancer, but her general mediocrity left her a great deal less fun to watch, so when it was that Milo's alleged dancing no longer amused him, his gaze trailed back to the, as always, fetching Aaron, sauntering his way 'bout the "stage" only the two of them were like to ever see.

Even in that ridiculous garb of his--pomp and frivolous as any proper prince ought to be, though most would never pull it off quite like he--Aaron looked positively scrumptious~ and that look he'd given him, bidding the lout of a boy dance in the most tempting of manners, provocative really, it was torture to resist, truly...So why do so, right? Adorable little Seph and Milo had been whisked away by Daniel and Xylea respectively, leaving the irresistble Prince unattended, completely open to even his more daring of advances--and Aaron had asked of him to join, who was he to deny him such? Rocking his knees back to meet his chest, he lunged from his previously lazed position to his feet with ease, immediately shifting into a half assed bow as he extended his hand in courtly entreaty, "My Liege, might I request of thee a dance?"

Though his expression had remained perfectly amiable, that predatory gaze of his and slight lascivious twinge beneath his jesting words most certainly spoke of much darker intentions than a simple twirl and whirl manner of dance. But it was Aaron, could anyone really blame the poor lecherous lad for having such thoughts? It wasn't as though he'd acted upon them!--yet, anyways. No, such fun as his darker whims entailed would have to come, at the very soonest, after he'd seduced the Omarain with dance...or tried to, things rarely went according to plan the few occassions on which he bothered with a plan--strange, that. Huh. Ah! And the liquor had arrived, this he could now see, though the announcement not moments later would have shown him as well, he supposed. What a promising night this was turning out to be.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Omar found himself laying at the bank of a small creek; the Mozarab had been enjoying sleeping near this creek for several months now. It’s bends and curves seemed to descend from a local hill, though Omar had yet to follow it to its source. The water chuckled at him, it seemed, as he slowly displayed a soft a caressing against the water’s edge. He refused to wake, to ruin the wonderful rest he had. This evening, however, he felt a slight tug of resentment.

The Sun had yet to accept its own fall, barely at the cusp of the horizon, and the faint purples of night danced across the sky like flamboyant feathers against the black blanket sky. The sunrises and sunsets of the isle were certainly gorgeous, though in Omar’s mind, second only to the sunrise and sunset of Toledo. Toledo had been the ancient capital of Iberia, not just for the sweat of her peoples’ brows, but also for the divine imagination that had been pressed upon it. Omar was not one to break his sacred bond to his home just because he had been taken to a quiet little island.

Omar had fallen asleep still in canine shape, as had been the rule for almost a year of his life now, though as he woke he realized his body was human, fleshy and weak. Naked by personal choice, Omar quite enjoyed trekking through the isle in both his lupine and human forms in his birthday suit. It was simply his own way of relishing his freedom. He was alone, and knew it. Without a pack, he had no idea what to do with his life, and being in the nude was certainly something that helped him forget that void.

Omar was a family man, through and through, and humored the dream of being an alpha with dozens of sons and daughters. That seemed like such a far off fantasy, however, because between the death (and murder) of his mother and his separation from his sisters, Omar had no family. And although it seemed that it was the way nature, or God, planned it, Omar couldn’t but help but be afraid to settle down with a woman. He was much more enamored with… well, Aaron the faery boy and Vendicare his fellow lycanthrope. Neither seemed to be interested in him, though they remained courteous and friendly.

Omar wasn’t about to open his mouth, make himself vulnerable and pursue any romantic advance with the two, however. Frivolity, invitation-only and complete invulnerability were the codes Omar lived by, and though it pained him so, he would never break those codes. They were his bond to his father, his one tie to manliness, and the one of the two bases of his entire identity.

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
 All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
 No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; 
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful. 
Of your Mother, Most High, she bears the likeness.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
 and serve him with great humility. Amen.

As daybreak erupted, Omar silently whispered his evening prayers, borrowed from St. Francis, a greeting to Doña Luna. The Mozarabs’ entire identity belied upon their faith. To be Mozarabic is to be Catholic, Spanish and brave. There are no exceptions. A boy who is born to Mozarabic parents but is not Catholic is simply another Spaniard, an orphan of sorts, and he would only return to good graces if he sought out the divine graces.

The truth was, that if Omar did not find love in the next few years, which could be Aaron, Vendicare or anyone, then he would devote his life to Christ and Church. It was not a simple decision, no, but something he had pondered over for many hours. It would provide for him everything he needed: a home, a great education, a purpose and a pack. Sacrifice? Indeed. The only trouble Omar had with this, however, was that he wanted needed a boyfriend, a husband, a life.

Shrugging all of this away, Omar left the bank of the river to the nearby tree, where his outfit for the night (and really everyday) lay. Linen was his fabric of choice, with black pants (drawstring, no belt) which fit just over his sandals and a long-sleeve guayabera, also black with a loose slit that reached just above the bottom of his pecs for a collar. He had long ago learned to live simple, with barely anything on his back; between traversing the Spanish countryside with hobos, wolves and gypsies, AND emulating his idol, St. Francis, Omar knew that simplicity was the key to finding himself. The ONLY semblance of clean he may have kept up was his head. His hair was always dressed with a black comb, and his face was always clean-shaven using an ivory straight-razor (chrome and steel, no iron).

His ears twitched, his nose panged to the shift of the wind. The others were about, a fire was being built, and shouts were shared. They seemed to have been congregating, and so with the slide of his sandal, Omar rushed to join them all. He had hoped that whatever reason they were congregating was a good reason, and he hoped nobody questioned his tardiness. As the young Balaren stole a seat near the back of the congregation, he made it just in time to realize the fae-lady AND them were on some stellar presentation – literally. Omar, however, felt rather unimpressed, even with appearance of the astral wolf just before them. That is not to say he was unimpressed by the actual presentation – Omar was awestruck indeed, and had gazed at many stars and never seen such beauty – but rather, he was unimpressed by the story to be told. It was heretical, it was pagan… and it was boring. The young lycanthrope, although a religious and somewhat superstitious boy, was also somewhat skeptical and cynical. Faith was a struggle, superstition was a product of culture, but magic? Magic was the imaginary plaything of the gypsies.

Needless to say, as Aaron, el Rey del Corazon instructed the various other charges to dance and play and whatever, Omar stole his chance to once again steal away. Alcohol, dancing, orgy, whatever of the night was intended, Omar had no desire to fulfill it. Now, the boy was no stickler or temperance wife – by God, he WAS Catholic afterall – but socialization was certainly not a sport he was inclined to play in unless he had a very, very, very, close group of intimate friends to back him up. Shy? Maybe. Stoic? Definitely.

Just past the entrance to the compound, completely irreverent of any other soul, Omar Maria Media dropped his lonesome tuchus against an equally lonely tree, and waited. For what? Hell if he knew. But he waited nonetheless.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore
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#, as written by throne

We always have the rhythm here, in our blood and in our souls.

It was an uncomplicated song. Nothing in it called for elaboration, and so the faerie prince needed not do anything more than give in to it. In terms of blazing, his grin rivaled the bonfire as he cavorted with his friends, more and more of them as each bar of catchy, synthesized music went by. He was silly. Even faerie princes could afford to be silly, from time to time. His hips swung to bump up against Milo; releasing him, he lifted his arm and Seph’s up over head and led her through an unrehearsed walk around one another, every footfall conforming to the beat, the beat, the beat, the beat. That brought him near enough to Tally. He’s spotted her running off, and welcomed her back by shimmying towards her, his spine arching backward more and more with each tiny step until he was nearly doubled over. He looped himself underneath his and Seph’s arms before springing upright once more, only to find that his wolf-born dance partner was being stolen away. He didn’t mind at all, not so long as it meant another dancing body, another soul given over to the rhythm.

He busted some moves. That was really the only way to describe it. He was dancing with anyone and everyone within range, now, or really, more likely, not really dancing with anyone at all. For a while, he did the running man, knees coming up high, legs forming right angles, arms pushing out and then pulling in. Then it was The Twist, his feet pivoting back and forth as his arms swung at his side. He grape-vined his way past Milo when the boy wandered off, a smile of jubilous encouragement bowing his lips, rolling his arms in truly ABBA fashion as he went. There was some cabbage patch, some shuffling. Xylea’s encouragement nearly had him blushing (it was hard to tell, since his blood was pumping hard as a matter of course), and he slowed, never quite stopping, watching as she summoned a flurry of leaves about her and exalted in dance. He spun his way around Tally, hands in the air, and then brought them down again in order to vogue with Artemis and Xylea for a span before he was off again…

Seph was returned to him, and he embraced her in a hug, likely surprising her as he lifted her clear off the ground and twirled twice around before setting her on the ground again, just in time for the first song of the evening to abruptly end. He’d gotten so lost in the music that he’d hardly spared a thought toward choosing the next one.

The faerie prince was gleaming by firelight. The roaring fire warming the air and physical exertion conspired to soak his shirt and skin in sweat. With a flourish, he reached up to wipe his brow and catch his breath, sending a volley of glistening droplets off to splash against the earth.

”My Liege, might I request of thee a dance?”

Was it true or calculated, the way he seemed to have forgotten that Graham was there at all? He whirled to face him, grinning like sin with lips. He could hardly blame the demon prince for botching the style… My Prince or even Your Grace would have been preferable, but being his liege for the span of the next song would suit well enough. He half-bowed in courtly fashion as the slower intro proceeded, letting that be his reply. He slowly extended a hand toward Graham, letting it rise… but just as the beat picked up and the Mori reached for him, he snatched it away, smirking impudently and clasping his hands at the small of his back. Rising to the balls of his feet, he danced forward, using the four bars of energetic beats to circle around poor Graham twice, rising up nearly on point to pirouette perfectly, his right leg kicking out, on every down beat. He came to an abrupt stop directly in front of him, very close, facing him, and then took a single sliding step backwards as the vocals came in.

In what followed, Graham would be less a partner than a prop. The Mori was transformed into the anonymous “you” that the song spoke of, but in truth, Aaron would have been served equally well had his friend been born a sturdy pole on a raised stage instead of infernal royalty. This display was a far cry from his earlier enjoyment. Aaron’s eyes were half-lidded, his mouth a sultry curl. Every movement was enticing or enticed, as if lust itself had been clad in sweat-kissed flesh and set to prance about.

You cast a spell on me, spell on me
His hands came up as his knees bent and unbent to the beat, fingers splayed and dancing on their own as he wove his arms quickly in front of his fellow prince’s face. He grabbed hold of Graham’s hands, drawing his arms to full extension.

You hit me like the sky fell on me, fell on me
On each fell on me, he released alternating hands, right and then left, and dropped down until his rear nearly brushed the ground before springing back up, looking up at Graham all the while, with desire joining firelight to dance in his eyes.

And I decided you look well on me, well on me
He’d come to stand again, still holding Graham’s right hand with his left, and twirled with it above his head, backing up until Graham could feel Aaron’s warmth against his chest. The first well on me accompanied him bringing the captured hand to cross his own chest and alight on his left hip, and the second did the same in mirrored fashion, left on right.

So let’s go somewhere nowhere else can see, you and me
He slid down Graham’s body, never breaking contact, and on the word see, tilted his head back quickly, staring up at the Mori yet again. He disengaged and rose on the following words, pivoting about to face him once more.

Turn the lights down now, now I’ll take you by the hand
He started to sing as he danced, maintaining eye-contact all the while. His right leg swung out for a side kick before he drew it back in, dragging his heel along the ground and splaying his arms to either side.

Hand you another drink, drink it if you can
His arms came back in, dragging down his own chest to finally rest, provocatively, just inside either of his hips.

Can you spare a little time, time is slipping away
He snapped his hands away from his groin, forming fists, which he splayed open mere centimeters from Graham’s eyes, which had no doubt been turned downward until then, and then slipped off to the left, shuffling on the word away and letting his head and body curve in that direction.

Away from us so stay, stay with me I can make, make you glad you came
He kept putting on distance, then pivoted again and all-but-marched back to the beat, arriving on the first instance of the word make. He twirled again, and by the word came, his bum was very snuggly pressed into Graham’s crotch, regardless of the state it was currently in.

He twined their arms around himself, cutting out his singing as the chorus began. For its duration of, he was doing little more than swaying and grinding against his counterpart, eyes closed serenely but his lips still set in sexy bit of pout. His form undulated, sinuously rubbing against the taller boy’s. This Glamour was… different. Probably more uncomfortable to experience than the bubbly cheer he’d been strewing about before. It might not have made the other charges want him (though it certainly could), but it would very definitely make them feel the acute sting of want. Flushed and still sweating, he let himself be enfolded in Graham’s arms, forced them to enfold him, luxuriated in the almost obscene heat of their bodies pressed together, back to front, not a stone’s throw from the bonfire.

He’d somehow turned them around in the process, though, so that they were facing the cadre of hold-outs and booze-fetchers. His eyes snapped open, and a devious grin took his lips. Expressive as always, Aaron’s features communicated something very clearly: there’s still half a song left; give in to it, or you’ll leave me no choice.