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Milo Reed Corner

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

0 · 675 views · located in The Isle

a character in “Bloodlines”, as played by Averagebear

Description

Milo Reed Corner
The Dragon-Born Bloodline


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At A Glance
Full Name: Milo Reed Corner
Age: 19
Birthdate: April 30th
Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Bloodline: The Evincal (Dragon-Born)

Personality
Likes: whistling, children, firm pillows, video games, sitting in trees, and giggle-snorts.
Dislikes: grape flavor, studying, mustaches (out of his envy for lack of one), his glasses, and work.
Fears: He can't swim, so he avoids large bodies of water (not an easy thing to do on the middle of an island). This is less of a phobia and more of something that makes him uncomfortable, though. He also isn't a big fan of fire, either, like some sort of cautious horse. Basically, bonfire beach parties are a no-go.
Goals: ... Milo doesn't really have any. Spare maybe to be happy, but lots of people would say that doesn't count. He takes things one day at a time.

Milo is one of those idiosyncratic folk with their head in the clouds and their worries gone with the wind. There isn't a more friendly, lackadaisical guy you could ever meet, the lad so trapped in his own world that the trials and tribulations of the modern man go flying right over his head. Even in times of dire urgency, he tends to go at his own, laxed pace- which can really be frustrating at times- but is generally a good energy to feed off of. Because of his "go with the flow" attitude, he's usually pretty excellent at calming others down- so mellow that it literally seeps off onto others.

The Milo way of life is a simple one. Someone was an asshole to him? "Man, that sucks. He must have had a bad day." and shrug. Girlfriend broke up with him? "Yeah, it's cool. You're going through a lot right now." and hope she finds someone to make her happy. Sudden death in the family? "Probably in a better place now anyway." and move on. He understands that nothing he does can affect the past, so he lets it go. Perhaps this is immature thinking but it sure as hell has worked for him so far. He's pretty damn content for a kid who's got every reason to be riddled with angst.

When people first meet him, they assume he's either completely stupid or extremely smart. Truthfully, he's neither. Or both. It's hard to tell. He'll be the first to tell you he's spectacularly average, though. He's always had really terrible ADHD, which explains why he's so damn distractable, and also accounts for why he has always gotten embarrassingly bad grades in school. He's very whimsical and even more distractable. His catchphrase is practically "I'm sorry... were you talking to me?"

There's just something a tad bit off about him; airy and agreeable, but he doesn't really... get... people (or, rather, incredibly uptight, anxious, or angry people) and while he's not bothered in the bit by the awkwardness this can cause, other people can be. Subtle jokes are lost on him, and he's extremely easy to fool- but even if he finds he's been lied to, he'll typically just laugh about it.

Milo doesn't do a lot of talking- it's uncomfirmed whether he does a lot of thinking either- but when he does speak up, the things that come out of his mouth are almost always shocking, and usually at least a tidbit funny. Sometimes the comedy comes in his over simplifications, and sometimes in his accidentally rude comments. He's the kind of guy who doesn't understand that he's insulted someone after commenting something like, "Have you gained weight?" Because he never gets angry or takes things personally, he sort of assumes that no one else does either.

Despite being so abnormal, he's quite sociable, in his own way. He has virtually no prejudices, nor any inhibition to keep him from talking with a stranger, and while it's usually it's sort of unnerving for him to walk up you, a stranger, and begin speaking as if you're friends, eventually, you just kind of warm up to him.

He's not the best friend to have, since he's forgetful and unreliable, but he means well, and it's the thought that counts, right?


Capabilities
Bloodline Gift: True Magic: Milo has the ability of Restoration, able to heal small wounds (and eventually more) with tedious and long encantments that he forgets all the time. He's pretty terrible right now, to be honest.
Bloodline Weakness: Distractability and lack of motivation and/or ambition are his greatest downfalls. Like every dragon-born, his weakness comes as a glaring personality trait but his is really detrimental to his powers.
Other Skills: Well, he was a pretty excellent baby sitter back in the olden days. He is also a champ at Mariokart. Other than that... he has only a long list of extremely useless talents. He is really great with a yoyo. Oh, and he can juggle. He was on the extreme frisbee team.


Biography
Well, Milo actually had a pretty strained background. There was nothing too traumatizing, but enough to make his friends at school cringe when they came over to his apartment. There was a lot of yelling, a lot of clutter, a lot of soiled dreams festering in one household. Milo's older brother, Michael, was always the more rambuctious of the two of them, so he was able to slip by his parent's angry gaze a lot and avoid a lot of nagging. Compared to Michael, the younger boy (younger by 6 years) was a fuckin' saint. When Milo was seven, his parents got a divorce and they lived with their mom.

When he was thirteen, his mom decided that if her two children were going to "act grown" that they'd have to be grown, too, and she moved up to Alaska to be with her boyfriend, thus leaving Michael and Milo alone to more or less fend for themselves. It wasn't too bad- just a case of runaway parents who acted more like children than adults. Michael was angry. He was always, always, always so angry. And understandably so! He was left to raise a kid he never had- 19 and stuck with his kid brother. He wasn't a very good caretaker, out all night leaving Milo alone, the fridge always empty, Milo's stomach always empty along with it. Milo would sometimes, in his preadolesence, get very angry at his older brother for all the things he didn't do. Looking back, he pities the other boy. He was as much of a child as Milo was, only forced to take care of some whiny brat on top of it.

Milo would act out - stealing and vandalizing, all that jazz- when he was in his rowdy stage and whenever he would, he'd get his ass handed to him. It didn't really feel like "abuse" because, come on, it was his bro and siblings were expected to get into fights like that. Still, if he were to look back and really analyze, it was more than that. His entire high school career was spent sporting bruises and busted lips, all of them a seemingly justified punishment for every time he fucked up. His friends were always concerned but Milo would wave it away with his easy going smile. Honestly, what Milo went through was no less than neglect and abuse, in its own deceptive way.

One day, Michael and him got into a huge, explosive fight over something dumb- he really doesn't remember anymore. As a passive aggressive jab, Mike refused to buy food for a couple days. On the third day without food, Milo stole from his brother's wallet to get something from the grocery store. When he got back, Michael was waiting for him in the living room and he knew he was in some hot shit. He gulped and tried to scramble up to his room, but Mike caught onto his ankle. In a flash, he had fallen down the stairs, broke his nose, lost a tooth, and sprained a wrist. Michael, filled with a guilty conscious, defended his actions (saying he deserved it) and flew off to his bedroom to mope some more like the angsty teen he was.

Milo dragged himself up, blood gushing from his nose, and simply left the house to cool off steam in privacy. It was when he was alone and slumped in a nearby alley way by their apartment that the damage really set it. Cursing himself for being so stupid, he curled up and willed the pain away. And just like that, it began to work. The blood that had already stained his pants and shirt stopped, and the scraped on his palms vanished. And, like that, he had "awakened" only barely. He still had to go to the hospital and rack up a mighty fine bill (much to Mike's disapproval) He'd techincally spent the next three years with the potential to do great restoration, but without the rituals or the knowledge, he hadn't done much of anything except.

Three months ago, he was finally contacted by, Arietta, or as Milo refers to her, his guardian angel. She'd asked him if he wanted to go to a place where he could be among those like him and learn about his magical gifts. Milo was enamored by the entire idea of him possessing something special about him (he never had before) and seized the opportunity with a smile. It sounded pretty chill to him, so he went along without asking many questions at all. Anything was better than what he had, even if he was surrounded by friends. Milo only came back to tell Michael that he was going away. It made sense that he was leaving because he was about the age that kids decide to spread their wings and fly, so it wasn't suspicious in the least. The other boy apologized, giving a very touching heart to heart, before saying goodbye. Milo guesses he was pretty excited to have the responsibilities of a parent lifted off his shoulders.

He got here and... hasn't done much of anything, truthfully. He's a slow learner and really, really, really hates having to do so much studying, which annoys Arietta a lot. He apologizes for his pace when he realizes that he's testing her limits (not often) but he still has yet to make a ton of progress. It's not surprising when you take into consideration that he'd failed the majority of classes in school. When he does unlock his full potential, he'll be able to heal as well as any good surgeon, but for now, he can only really reduce swelling, soothe itches, and take away bruises.

Regardless, he's happy now- happier than he's ever been, and that's saying something.

So begins...

Milo Reed Corner's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Nila Loriette Pearce Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Ferne Baumiller Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Tabitha Ezerath
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#, as written by throne
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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.”



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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.

Setting

Characters Present

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



THE PRINCE UNCROWNED

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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#, as written by Nori
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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 anywhere...it'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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Nila Loriette Pearce Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Omar Maria Media Character Portrait: Wynston Watson Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Tabitha Ezerath Character Portrait: Something Seraphine
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#, as written by throne
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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.



* * *



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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Hazel Ebony Highlynn Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen
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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.

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Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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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.

Setting

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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#, as written by throne
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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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Seph couldn't help but laugh a little at Milo. Any traces of self consciousness she had at her own dancing were wiped far away once she was dancing alongside Milo. Of course, Seph was no expert critic of dancing technique, but she couldn't help but feel that Milo lacked to a much more severe degree than her the required grace needed for dancing of any kind. Whereas Aaron's dancing could take her breath away, Milo's seemed to just make her smile broadly and feel better about herself.

Maybe that was the point? She'd never thought about it that way.

Daniel came in for a dance, and Seph was smoothly transitioned from partner to partner. He was no Aaron, of course, but that wasn't entirely a bad thing. Trying to keep up with the Omarain boy was pretty taxing, to tell the truth, and Seph was glad for a dance with Daniel, as she hadn't seen him yet today. Or rather, hadn't talked with him. She was quite certain Daniel was keeping an eye on her whenever he could. Because of his desire to look out for her, of course. Daniel was so kind like that. And while she hoped that soon enough she wouldn't need the Mori watching out for her, Seph understood that there were still a great deal of things she didn't understand, and a great deal of ways she could unknowingly get herself into trouble. So he was her safety net, she supposed. Always there to catch her if she tripped.

"My day... was wonderful!" she said in between breaths. "For the most part. I did... accidentally make Sinry fall down a flight of stairs, but she was alright! And... I guess I helped her find something, so it worked out!" Thinking of Sinry, Seph tried to get a few looks at the people who hadn't joined in on the dancing, for reasons she couldn't fathom. She did not see Sinry among them, but she could have missed her or something. But then, Sinry didn't seem as comfortable around other people as she did Seph, so maybe it made sense that she didn't want to dance with all of them.

As the dance just about ended, Seph stopped rather suddenly at hearing Renn's voice. She didn't really understand what he meant, about setting the tone tonight, for tomorrow. For one, she didn't think she grasped the phrase as well as she should have. Setting the tone... and she had thought tonight wouldn't have affected tomorrow. They were going to have fun tonight, and work tomorrow. They were two totally separate things, as far as she knew. Unless they kept dancing all they way into tomorrow, but Seph didn't think she could dance for that long.

But there were drinks over there, that Renn and Elvis and Vendicare had brought out. That was worth checking out, as all the dancing had made her somewhat thirsty. Maybe she would go get something soon.

Their dance ended, Daniel led Seph back over to Aaron. She heard him say something about her having fun before Aaron swooped in on her. She gasped in surprise as he lifted her small form into the air in a hug, feeling that same little flutter in her stomach as he spun her in two complete circles before letting her feet touch the ground again. Her stay with Aaron this time was short-lived, however, as Graham had come forward and requested a dance of him.

"Go for it," Seph said, wiping away a bit of sweat from her brow, "I think I'll get something to drink." As Aaron began his dance with Graham, Seph took her temporary leave of the impromptu dance floor, taking a moment admire the beauty of Xylea's dance with a smile before heading off towards the drinks that had been brought forward.

Reaching the drinks that Renn and the other guys had brought out, Seph found that she didn't recognize even a few of the names. Tequila. Whiskey. Wine. She'd had some wine a few times at Sonja's place in Anchorage, but it hadn't tasted all that great to her. Maybe these were other kinds? There sure seemed to be a big variety of them. One thing was certain... there was no water.

She looked up towards Renn, who would probably see the uncertainty on her face. The two of them were on pretty good terms now, especially since Renn had stopped asking about her being a wolf so much. She found him to be very kind once she'd gotten to know him a little better. Maybe he was a little awkward at times, but hey, so was she.

"So... which one is the best?" she asked, shifting her weight onto one foot, her eyes passing back and forth over the display of drinks. "If there is a best, I mean. Is there something you prefer?"

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Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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the fool

Milo watched as Xylea's cheer transformed into wild confusion, and his own brow twitched downward as if to match her. "Whassa matter? Do I got somethin' on my face?" he wondered idly. The girl went on to explain to him the mechanics of fun, and an amused albeit still befuddled smile found its way onto his face. "Hahaha, no, no!" he began, trying to wave away her worries. "You aren't sick are you?" she continued, one of her smooth hands reaching up to brush against his forehead. The quietest of snickers, held in by him biting his knuckle, trickled from his mouth at the silly gesture, but a warmness had begun to bubble in the pit of his stomach at the gesture as well. Really, who didn't like to be doted on- cared for?

He didn't get a chance to explain to her that he was, in fact, not ill at all because he was quickly distracted by her suggestion to enjoy themselves. Peculiarly, her hand just... stayed there. He wasn't particularly weirded out by the gesture personally. Her hands were really soft, actually.

"Hmmmm, okay." he agreed, a suddenly serious face coming about as he wracked his brain for things that could be fun. What did he find fun...? He liked video games. His eyes flashed upwards to Xylea. "No, no, too simple. Have a little imagination, Milo." he thought to himself, dismissing the idea entirely. Napping? He was a sucker for a good nap. That was fun, right? He squinted as he stared into the depths of her blue eyes while he contemplated. The exchange must have looked intense from an outsiders point of view, like something very grave was being discussed between the two of them, what with his scrutiny and her concern.

"Ah... I have... some cheetos in my room. I can go get 'em and be right back." he finally offered, the entire build up brough down gracefully by his casual suggestion. This... this was Milo's definition of fun. "I mean, I could bring a frisbee, too, if you're up for it... A couple of yo-yos...?" he added as an after thought. Was it safe to play frisbee at night? Hmmmm...

Milo was completely oblivious to any speak of alcohol or similar debauchery, completely enthralled in the excessively oblivious exchange going on between the two of them.




THE PRINCE UNCROWNED

Vendicare's stoicism had broken under the pretension of semi-tolerable company, a smirk winding up on his face, and the younger Omarain found that simple fact quite conciliatory. A sense of satisfaction settled down into his gut, curling up there and snuggling into his chest. The only evidence that spoke for this feeling was a dim twinkle that appeared in his eye, but no more could attest to how bloody great he was starting to feel. "Piacere, Elvis."he'd said, and Elvis wondered to himself whether that accent would ever be anything other than incredibly endearing. So, Vendicare thought the ceremony was "interesting", and hesitantly so. He denied himself the pleasure of prodding Vendicare's brain, resisting the urge to dive in and figure out what, precisely, interesting implied. There was time later. As tempting as it was to race to the good stuff, you had to ease into those sort of things or they'd never end up happening at all, he'd learned.

"You are planning, non?" Vendi had said and, to this, Elvis quirked his head to the side. "When am I not?" he'd barely had the chance to slyly reply before, strangely enough, Renn had approached them. Elvis let his eyes roam over the other inspectingly, curious as to why he'd come to them of all people. Surely, the man had better friends. Not to say that either of the two weren't fond of him, but he seemed popular enough to not ask mere acquaintances for help. Perhaps, again, such abandon was the key to this aforementioned popularity.

Regardless, Elvis wasn't upset in the slightest when Renn, key bearer of sorts, led them to the house and through the incredibly dark kitchen. Unlike his counterparts, Elvis wasn't part wolf, nor atuned to nature's oh-so bountiful gloriousness, so he was completely fucking blind in the black veil nighttime had cast over them. Thankfully, light soon poured in and illuminated what might have been the most beautiful thing Elvis had ever seen- rows and rows of all kinds of alcohol lined up, just waiting to be taken. He might've cried if he weren't such an emotionless, robotic bastard.

Elvis carried a fair amount over, though admittedly not as much as either of the others. Certainly not as much as Vendi- dear god, was it even healthy to be able to lift that much? He digressed, and trailed his way back to the party behind them.

Overall, the trip to the wine cellar had proven to be a somewhat awkward, completely silent, and testosterone filled encounter that Elvis looked back on fondly if not for the comedic value of the situation. A wolf, a rock, and a fairy walk into a bar and... Ren's speech was short lived and to the point, which was respectable enough.

And then, they were free to do as they wished. Elvis still found himself at Vendicare's side, and he snatched up the tequila he'd carried, unscrewing it, lifting the mouth of the bottle up in the air as if giving a toast, and downing enough to loosen up his thoughts a bit- get himself more comfortable in his own mind. He'd always thought he functinoed a good deal better when he was a bit less sober. His tactics seemed more natural and his insufferable self loathing died down a tad. Of course, these assessments could be inaccurate, due to the fact that they were made while he was, indeed, inebriated. He liked to think he knew better than that, though.

He passed the bottle over to Vendi without even thinking to ask if he partaked in the sport of underaged drinking. He was Italian, right? That's just what they did. The entire concept of abstinence- of any sort- was one that Elvis often forgot all about.

"So, Vendi, I was wondering... are you allergic to chocolate? You know, with the whole... dog-wolf thing in mind." he inquired, actually curious yet still managing to spice up sincerity with a bit of snark.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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Daniel noticed Erin leaving with Markus, and he frowned, his power unintentionally heating up the general area around him as his skin temperature rose. Once he realized what was happening, the young man clamped down tightly on his blood once more, feeling the protesting screams of his ancestor as he was unsuccessful in taking control once more. Oh why did he have to have the creator of the Mori Bloodline as his direct descentant? Why did he have to inherit that demon's power over Hellfire? It was a constant source of problems in his life, and he hated his blood for it.

The young Mori sat down on the ground, unknowingly next to Drusa as he contemplated his life till now. Daniel knew the dangers of his blood, however powerful it was. While Hellfire could burn anything, leaving no defense unscarred, it came at a terrible price to his body. Due to his powerful link to the creator of the Mori Bloodline, the Pit Lord was constantly trying to seduce him with power. Trying to torture his mind to give in, to just let go and find peace in oblivion. However, Daniel knew the risks. Pit Lords were and still are physical manifestations of hatred and rage, and promoted all kinds of warfare and destruction in order to create it.

Daniel didn't even realize that Drusa was there until she spoke to him. Looking up, he realized that he was leaning against her, laying on her shoulder as he had been so lost in thought. Quickly apologizing for it, he got up and studied the young woman that had become like a sister to him. She always stunned with the beauty she expressed, and her skill in alchemy was nothing to scoff at either. It was actually what drew Daniel to her to begin with. Being a graduate in Chemistry, he spotted her practicing her art and tried to help. Being quickly pushed away that time, he just remained persistant, wanting to know about the person with such a skill. As time went on, the pair formed a sibling bond, and Daniel enjoyed the time they shared.

Time to fulfill the job of the annoying brother...again. He grinned to himself as he stood and glanced at the group of dancers before reaching down and taking her hands in his own and pulling her up carefully. "Come on Drusa." He smiled to her before pulling her into the group of dancers, the pair immediately caught up in the dance that surrounded them. "How have you been lately? I haven't seen you around in a while Sis." He whispered just loud enough for only her to hear. That name was something that he adopted after a while into their unique friendship. It just seemed to fit, and he enjoyed saying it. The young man had never had a sibling before, so it was exciting, and he reveled in the feeling of someone (however unrelated) being family to him. Daniel honestly missed it quite a lot.

As they continued to dance, he looked around once or twice. The first time he caught Xy's eye. Smiling to her, he mouthed that "We'll talk later" to her before being swept up again. The second time, he noticed both Markus and Erin totally absent. That was something that disturbed him, and his blood loved it. He didn't like that Markus had such a hold on the young woman that had grown so dear to him. Markus, to his mind, had taken the easy path. The path where he just gave in to his blood, and not taken his blood's power for himself. He was weak in that regard, and had no way of knowing true power. Once that second dance ended, he gave Drusa a hug before smiling to her. "Thanks." Speaking softly in his rich baritone voice, the young man patted her hands before moving to rest against a nearby tree. He noted Xy eyeballing him for a brief minute, and idly wondered if she was going to give him one of her customary tackle/hug greetings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner
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"Ah... I have... some cheetos in my room. I can go get 'em and be right back." Milo offered half-heartedly as Xylea waited patiently for an idea of something 'fun' to do. At the mention of the food Xylea's mind went into overdrive, Cheetos are orange... Oranges are fruit! And fruit is good for you! And before she could think any farther she blurted out "Cheetos are good for you, because they're orange!" with a wide smile and excitement buzzing off her body. Milo continued unblinkingly, most likely because he was used to the way her mind would hop ideas even as she spoke.

"I mean, I could bring a frisbee, too, if you're up for it... A couple of yo-yos...?" He looked at her, and she let her face grow serious as it occured to her that they were in a "deep" conversation. Or at least, she thought they were. Isn't that what conversations like this were considered? There was so much concentration involved, and she was really doing her best to not wander away. And not that she could really tell for certain, but Milo looked as though he was concentrating just as hard, so it had to be a serious topic they were discussing. Having come to this decision, Xylea finally removed her hand from Milo's forehead and put one finger to her temple as she scowled, adopting her "thinker" face.

She stood there a moment, with Milo watching her, and began to think over her two plans of attack. Frisbee. Flying disk made of plastic. Floaty, floaty, floats in the wind. WIND! I like the wind. She smiled lovingly to herself as she wrapped her arms around her torso. I love the wind and the wind loves me and I am the wind and... "Frisbee." The one word came out of her mouth with decisiveness and knowledge. If anyone had been listening, she would have sounded as though she were a judge stating a sentence. Having completely forgotten that there was even a mention of yo-yos at all, Xylea's large smile lit up the area around her with the glow of her self-indulged success. Then she looked at Milo, putting her hands on his shoulders as though she was about to tell him the most dire of secrets.

Taking in a deep breath, she looked from left to right, then deep into Milo's eyes and stated in a very excitable non-confidential voice, "I won't even cheat! Because I can you know? There was this one time when I was seventee--" Movement caught her eye and her hands dropped from Milo's shoulders as she turned toward the group of gyrating bodies. Her eyes widened as somewhere in the back of her mind something pricked about some movie she'd watched some time with ... some people... Then Daniel looked right at her and she smiled. It was her big "helloooo!" smiles that always went along with her pointer finger doing a bounce as if it were waving hello as well. He mouthed something about talking later, so she unceremoniously sat down were she stood. She watched as he danced for a little bit, waiting for him to come over. Waiting... waiting. Her fingers started tracing along the grass and her eyes grew wide. It was so prickly! Looking down she began to poke the tips of the spades wither her fingers, losing herself in the feel of the points as they pushed against her skin.

Then she noticed the little ants wandering around in the grass and she giggled with pure joy as it occurred to her they must be dancing too! They could hear the music after all, so why not? She watched them for a little while, enjoying their bug ball, then looked up to see if perhaps their dance steps matched those of her friends. Humming along to herself and swaying side to side as though she were still dancing, she caught sight of Dan again and frowned. Didn't he... say something to me...? She knew she'd seen him just a moment ago mouthing words in her direction... wasn't he? She couldn't quite remember at that moment, her mind having been so set on the cute little ants in their ant prom. Her grin turned goofy as, with the thought, she began imagining little ant bow-ties and tiaras. In her head she began a whole line of ant clothing, parading it out on little ant runways and selling it in miniature ant boutiques. Her eyes focused on Dan, but with her mind on ants, she stood. Determination set in her stance: It was time to create Ant Armani. She wasn't sure how but she would do it! Dropping one fist into the palm of her other hand she turned to go, and stepped right on the pile of ants.

She felt them faster than she could see them due to the skin of her foot being so intensely sensitive. Some squished, others scurried, but the worst were the ones that turned around and charged. She yipped and jumped back, a mixture of terror and heartbreak running through her. "I'm so sorry!! I"m so so sorry! I can send tiny ant-flowers to their funerals I promise!!" Wiping the tiny ticklers off her feet as she gracefully twirled away, she finally got them all off, flipped the hair that had fallen in her face back behind her and looked up. She was standing right in front of Dan now.

She laughed, the designer ant line and killer ant army pushed from her mind as one of her oldest and dearest friends smiled at her, "DAN!!!" She didn't quite have room to back up, but that didn't matter. She bent her knees, waited a millisecond, then jumped into the air. Pulling on the slight current of wind behind her to push her towards him, she hit him in the tackle/hug she'd always reserved for him. Even though he was only a foot from her, the force of her push had her body hitting his as hard as if she'd had the running start she usually had and she wrapped her legs and arms around him "Hi!!! How's you're night going!? I think oranges are my favorite fruit!" She beamed as she held him in a tight hug.