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Xylea Parihan

Being an airhead doesn't mean I'm not intelli... did you bake brownies?!

0 · 462 views · located in The Isle

a character in “Bloodlines”, as played by missjmiles

Description

Xylea Ev̱áero Parihan
The Navarene Bloodline


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At A Glance
Full Name: Xylea Ev̱áero Parihan
Age: 19
Birthdate: June 15
Gender: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Bloodline: Navarene (Spirit-Touched)

Personality
Likes:
~ Puppies
~ Bubble Gum
~ Music
~ Attention
~ Yoga
~ People in general
~ Vampire Weekend (the band)

Dislikes:
~ Being Considered "Stupid"
~ Emotional Pain
~ Bras/Any Clothing Really
~ Ukuleles
~ Mexican food

Fears:
~ Claustrophobic
~ Harming anyone with her power

Goals: She wants to write children's books and have them illustrated by the painting elephants in Thailand.

Xylea is outgoing, bubbly, intelligent and funny, but she is a complete airhead. She is extremely playful and doesn't pay attention to what people think about her carefree attitude. A walking contradiction, Xylea can change her mind at a moment's notice and usually does. She is very talkative so Xylea enjoys chatting with people and, being a naturally curious person, loves learning everything there is to know about them. She has a short attention span, being easily distracted by almost anything. Sometimes she comes across as shallow because she fits in to almost every crowd and flutters around quickly, but she cares deeply for the people around her. She is youthful in personality but has a razor-sharp wit and is actually quite intelligent. Her mind never turns off and she is constantly seeking new information. She knows something about almost everything so she's a very good conversationalist, able to maintain an interesting conversation with someone for as long as her attention span will let her. Unfortunately, that usually tends to be a rather short amount of time.

Never in a bad mood, Xylea leaves anyone she talks to feeling lighthearted and whimsical. She brings out the best in people and enjoys doing so. She loves being a true 'breath of fresh air' when she enters a room and has taken it upon herself to keep everyone in the school in good moods, even the Mori can't help but feel elated around her. Typically, she is just a genuinely friendly presence who loves to be the center of attention. She has been known to use her talent for practical jokes as well, even if only to call attention to herself. On the exceedingly rare occasion that Xylea has somehow been pushed to the point of anger she has been known to rage around, throwing a large tantrum which results in a tornado. It has only happened once since her Awakening and it had taken a few weeks to clean up the mess she left behind.

Appearance Notes:
~ When using her power Xylea's eyes become a bright silver blue.
~ She never wears anything on her hands or feet due to feeling too constricting.

Capabilities
Bloodline Gift: Elemental Fury: Air. Xylea has been studying Air for a few years now so she's grown rather powerful in her ability to control it. She can manipulate any already flowing air source, as well as creating air currents by clapping her hands together, the air creating itself in the space between her palms, she can then release and manipulate it from there. Recently she has begun the difficult training of transforming into air herself.
Bloodline Weakness: Elemental Affliction: Xylea is pretty far into her training. She has recently begun learning how to become air, and in doing so has lost a lot of her comprehension of some of the more depressing human emotions: pain, sadness, heartache, etc. She tries to understand them in earnest, but mostly finds herself at loss. This also causes her to have an extremely hard time keeping a straight face during serious conversations, unable to grasp the seriousness of them.
Other Skills:
~ Xylea is extremely multilingual, picking up languages easily. She is fluent in Greek, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Irish and Japanese. She is also beginning to learn a few others.*

Biography
Xylea was born to Hester and Maicah Parihan a sunny day in June on the island of Chrysi, Greece. Both Awakened Navarenes, they were well prepared for the oddities that came along with Hester's pregnancy. At work in her first two trimesters, she was able pass off the random wind blowing through her hair in the middle of a closed room or her papers suddenly flying away from her at her desk as nothing more than a gust from a door or the A/C, but as the third trimester began she had to take her maternity leave early because she would begin to float at random intervals, or small dust devils would suddenly appear in the room, picking up various trinkets and objects in its wake. While ecstatic about their obviously Navarene child, Xylea's parents thought it best to keep it under wraps for no one they knew were privy to the knowledge of their own powers, much less that they could create another human with those powers.

Xylea was a very happy child, giggling at practically everything and constantly bouncing around. She grew happily and quickly, it was as though the years flew by. Unfortunately, once she entered school her parents were approached by the teachers. They were concerned that, due to Xylea's extremely short attention span and lack of concentration in class, she wasn't learning. Worried, Hester and Maicah took Xylea to be tested by a professional psychiatrist to find that not only had she learned everything just fine, but more than fine. Her marks came back "Above Average" in every subject. Her teachers were flabbergasted, but could say no more, so she was allowed to continue in her classes.

Her mother Hester was constantly distraught over the child as Xylea's curiosities about the world began to take hold of her. One minute Hester would be walking with her through the market, having her ear chatted off, the next Xylea would be silent and wandering off and into the crowd. More than once Hester would have to wander around searching for her and would (more often than not) find her chatting with some random person she'd never met before about anything and everything. She would end the conversation just as quickly upon seeing her mother, aka her new distraction.

On her 9th birthday, Maicah decided to show Xylea about her bloodlines. His Elemental Fury being water, he took her to a little known beach and began explaining things to her. He was able to maintain her interest for only a couple moments at a time before she would find a starfish, a leaf, a pebble, etc. that caught her eye and drew her away from her Navarene lesson. Maicah grew frustrated as she wandered off yet again and finally pulled on the water, having it douse her. She was struck speechless and was so surprised (having been well out of the reach of any normal current on the beach) that she began to scream and cry. Immediately regretting his decision Maicah ran to her and scooped her up, attempting to sooth her, but she was so overwhelmed by her tiny rage that wind began kicking up, sand flew into the air and swirled around the two. Maicah, aware that she might be Awakening, he simply stood and held on to her crying and shaking form. As quickly as it had begun though, she hiccuped, looked up at him, smiled and gave him a hug. The sand fell and the wind immediately stopped. Unsure whether this was her Awakening or not, Maicah decided to simply take it as proof that the Navarene blood had been passed on to her for sure.

For a few years, and through a lot of patience and many days of frustration, Xylea's parents slowly but surely found that (even though she never seemed to be concentrating or listening) she was absorbing information they taught her. Since the day on the beach she hadn't shown any more signs of being able to control the wind, so they chalked it up to her emotions running rampant that day and never thought of it again, waiting for the day she'd truly awaken.

When she was 16 she found her first love. He was her moon and stars and they spent every waking minute together. As young girls do with their first true boyfriend, Xylea began to dream of the day they would marry and create a family. They were together for a year, and all seemed to be going well, until a rumor found it's way to Xylea that the boy had cheated on her. Trusting and loving she asked him about the situation, giving him the benefit of the doubt. He denied it, so she believed him and their relationship continued for a little while longer. Unfortunately, as many "first loves" do, it ended horribly: Xylea stumbled upon him with the other girl that he'd sworn didn't exist. Xylea fell into a rage, her eyes glowing. It began with her throwing things, but then objects around the room began to fly in the air of no accord. As her rage grew into passioned heartbreak her winds turned to gusts and eventually a tornado with Xylea at it's core raged about the room. The now ex-boyfriend and the other woman ended up in the hospital and Xylea was taken home by her parents, who promptly moved to the mainland of Greece. Here, Xylea was approached by a woman named Arietta Fife who claimed to have watched the debacle during her divining one evening. She sat the family down and offered to take Xylea to the isle with her. Hester and Maicah had both spent time on the island so they were more than happy to let her go, if she liked. Xylea accepted.

She has now been on the isle for a year and has excelled in her studies of air, even though she has taken some time staying on track. She has had friends come and go and has watched others surpass her in shorter amounts of time, but she doesn't mind. She enjoys learning new things about her Elemental Fury and recently has begun her studies on becoming air herself. To date, she's only ever been able to dematerialize her feet and hands. Since that day she never wears anything on her hands or feet because she feels as though she's being too constricted.





*As the author, I am not personally fluent in these languages so if I choose to have Xylea speak in them bare with me, I'll be using a translator. If you're fluent in any language other than English that I choose to use and I butcher it? I'm so very sorry and do not intend to offend.

Equipment

*

So begins...

Xylea Parihan's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

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

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

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

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

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





Harvey Mak Chinnen


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

Setting

Characters Present

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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


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

Once everything was settled down, he outright laughed at Aaron suddenly snatching up Seph and twirling away with her. He had to hand it to that Omarian, Aaron certainly knew how to lighten up a crowd. He then noticed out of the corner of his eye, Erin and more specifically her cat. Why is it rubbing up against Markus? He wondered before he saw Erin walking over to it. Oh...that sneaky little...no. Not going to happen. He could feel his anger rising, the taint in his blood just egging it on as the iris of his normally bright emerald eyes started to smolder with hints of ebon. The power of his Pit Lord ancestor burned strongly in him as glared at that damn cat and decided to speak with Erin who was walking nearby.

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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#, as written by Attie
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He caught the keys in one swift motion, nodding to Michaela as she left. The keys she'd provided only went to a few select things, things that Renn wasn't sure the charges needed on a night that they'd have to wake up in the morning - early no doubt, but it wasn't his call to make. In addition, Fleet would be staying as well, so he wouldn't be alone in helping maintain the peace between them and ensuring everyone had a pleasant, safe evening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will we even wake up tomorrow?

Setting

Characters Present

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Darcy Lilith Ratri Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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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: Soren Corosa Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot
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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?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elvis Johnson Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Vendicare Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Renn Elliot
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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: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Markus Wright Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Drusa Deszled
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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: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Graham Lennox Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Tally Roawn Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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Artemis enjoyed dancing with his partner; she was always bubbly and light, much like the air. Artemis had ensured he’d stayed in good shape from his youth and was not to be considered a weak young man, though never comparably to a Mori’s fierce daemon blood, and he easily lifted her light frame from the ground to meet him. Her hands were so soft and gentle, very much akin to the air she represented, but his hands were much different. She’d no doubt take notice beyond the smiling face and the chuckling laughter as they danced to feel the callous palms of his rough hands, though beyond that was the hardened skin on the top of his knuckles, a souvenir from his training. It was a physical reminder to them both of who he was, what had defined him over the years. But that the party was not the time for such thoughts and as he spun her in an outward laugh at her gracefulness he released and let her spin away like her spirit wanted, in a twisting display of elegance. His eyes followed her and brought his mind only to how lovely a creature she was when she danced. He blinked and the thought vanished, leaving the brilliant mind reeling as to where he had come up with that idea. It was true of course but why think that now?
-=-=-=-

Tally loved the vibe of the place which she felt she could sum up to Aaron. She watched in awe as he danced so easily, fluidly and yet so enchantingly, she had to respect him for his talent in dancing seeming her obvious lack of it. She giggled at Milo dance moves and had her attention stolen by Xylea’s little solo dance; it was truly mesmerizing. Tally couldn’t have taken the smile of her face right now if she wanted to. During the dancing and the music something inside Tally clicked; it didn’t matter if she refused to accept magic, she could accept these people, people who were human, just like her. The were fun, maybe some of them were a little different but she wanted to get to know them, be friends with them. While Tally was lost in her train of thought she didn’t see the movement coming towards her until the last moment. In her attempt to move out of the way though she stumbled over uneven ground and found herself being thrown towards the ground. Surprisingly though instead of finding herself on the ground she found herself on someone.

“Sorry... My bad.” Tally said lightly, while laughing slightly, hoping the person she had fallen wasn’t an angry person by nature.
-=-=-=-

Artemis didn’t really have time to think more on the why as at that moment he noticed another beautiful creature moving gracefully toward him. Tally was newer to the island and Artemis had only gotten to know her a few times during lessons, but he’d have never thought of her as clumsy. But apparently at times everyone falls and as he turned toward her she slipped her footing and fell toward him. As she fell Artemis knew there was no reason to dodge her, that would be rude, so he let his own fitting slip and fell with her, reaching up to grip her softly and as his back landed hard on the ground and slightly knocked the wind from him he was cautious to not lose focus and used his arms like shocks for her fall. Lowering her at a much slower rate and releasing her at the right moment to ensure that their heads would not clash. He was unable to suppress the slight grimace at his falling flat on his back, but it was momentary as he shifted that gritted teeth moment into a giggling smile.

“Well hello there.” He commented still not worried about who he had caught, he wasn’t too concerned about having a guy laying on top of him at that moment, no guy was that light or smelled so… intoxicating? Once again he had to curse his mind for wandering into unknown places as he blinked and looked to find Tally still lying across him, his face showed apparent shock as he blinked but again his smile shown through, “Oh! It’s you! What a pleasant surprise…” through some happenstance, he was unsure how, his hands had ended up coming to rest at her waist. That realization had yet to dawn on him though.
-=-=-=-

Tally found herself looking at Artemis and smiled brightly at him although a little bit flushed, she swore she wasn’t usually clumsy and falling over people. He smiled at her but the way he had landed on his back must have hurt, meanwhile she wasn’t hurt at all thanks to him. “Yep it’s me...” Tally replied to him. Though trailing of at the end when she realized the rather awkward situation they had landed in with Artemis’ hands resting on her waist. She blushed slightly and looked away, feeling uncomfortable. She was not a girl to make a big deal out of what she saw to be a small thing though. She rolled off of Artemis, careful not to inflict any more damage on the poor boy before jumping up to her feet. She momentarily felt reluctant to leave her position on the ground but dismissed the though quickly feeling stupid that it had appeared in her head. Laughing lightly she extended her hand to help Artemis up. “Pleasant isn’t really the right word, it think it may have been nicer if we were standing up.” Tally said down to him. She was happy to have bumped into him though, she just wished it was like all other normal people, you know, standing up. “Thank you so much though, I am very sorry you’re not hurt are you?” She decided to tack on the end sincerely.
-=-=-=-

As they had landed Artemis was inches from her face as she was from his and in that moment several thoughts raced through his mind. Things that this time he was sure weren’t really his own thoughts. But he put those aside and released her as she rolled off of him. One thought that slunk through reaches of his brain screamed at him not to let her up, to remain close as they were but he stifled it. That was [b[definitely[/b] not him. The more he thought on these urges the more they came with a slight rust to his mind like a small stinging buzz in his ear. He finally knew what was up and glanced at the fae nearby, “Aaron really needs to thinks before using that sometimes…” he commented lightly about this point Tally was thanking him and he came out of his distracted mind and glanced up at her. “Oh, don’t worry so much; I’m a bit tougher than that, Tally.” He might have realized he had been rude to drift off during her apology, or maybe that he should probably stop lying around to talk to her, but he was a Navarene and these nuances of tact were few and far between for him.

Though after a few no doubt awkward moments he did swiftly stand up with a blush, “Sorry, my mind is all over the place tonight… for example… would you like to dance?”
-=-=-=-

Artemis got up off the ground a little bit after her and asked Tally to dance, she didn’t have to think about it for even a moment. She did take a few minutes to stomp on the fluttery feeling she felt in her stomach though. “Of course” Tally responded with a smile, grabbing his hand and moving back into the dancing. After a few beats she looked up at Artemis, he seemed to be having fun. Tally’s thoughts probably stayed on him too long, she probably should have been concentrating on the dancing. When she realized that he probably thought she was socially awkward for staring at him she looked away and tried to play it off with a laugh. Her gaze caught the bonfire that some of the other charges had built that was now alight. The flames dancing were bright in contrast to the night sky. She felt the feeling people often talked about, you know, the one about it drawing you in but if you get too close you’ll get burned. She tried not to, but subconsciously she was applying the analogy to her dance partner. She did attempt reminding herself that she wouldn’t be staying in touch with any of these people once she left though. After a few beats she turned vision back to Artemis with cheerful smile. “So other than the whole awkward, falling over thing, have you been enjoying yourself?”
-=-=-=-

Artemis was certainly enjoying his company, he had been fighting against himself for strange thoughts of desire in a manic inner struggle of mal content with his own mind yet having noticed the subtle evidence of a Glamour his relaxed more. The Glamour was not hard to break, probably because it wasn’t directed at him, and so Artemis just had to keep a small part of his mind dedicated to remembering that little desire was being forced upon him and he could resist. Of course this glamour, no matter how little power was to be put into it, was still going to be difficult for him as rather than create a new feeling within him he knew it did little more than bring his own inner want to the surface. “So other than the whole awkward, falling over thing, have you been enjoying yourself?” tally’s light voice broke his concentration and he felt the desire growing again as he looked into her eyes. But he swiftly regained his mental footing and pushed it away.

“Of course, great company makes for a great time.” He stopped dancing a moved to the edge of the plot again, sitting down with a smile while looking at her still, “If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that while you should keep a wary eye on the future you can only live in the present.” He breathed out a bit and rubbed his neck, which was stiff from the day but wouldn’t bring down his smile. “This night is for us to have fun, and even though Michaela said tomorrow would be hard you shouldn’t worry about it, because we’ll have nothing but aches from tomorrow, but tonight we’ll have memories... and those can keep you going in the worst of times.”

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Character Portrait: Milo Reed Corner Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan
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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.

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Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan
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Daniel just wandered around the party, trying to find something now to do. He'd effectively banished the calling of his blood after having so much fun in this short while. He idly wondered if he'd ever be able to command his blood in the future, to wield his full power as his own, and not some extension of his ancestor. I really should start mastering my powers...I don't want to be a danger to my friends here if I ever lose control... He nodded to himself before watching the crowd of people once more. Daniel felt happy to be a part of such a large gathering, as his fellow Mori seemed split on.

As he searched among the sea of faces, he saw a myriad of different things happening. Elvis and Vendicare were at the drinks, with Seph standing there oddly enough. He'd have to watch out for her in the near future. Aaron was grinding against his partner, a fellow Mori, and the faint haze of arousal hit his mind as the Omarian's Allure hit him. Shaking it off he continued to look around, and idly noted that Milo had disappeared. To where, he didn't know, but that was quickly overriden by the sudden shout of his shortened name and the impact of a blonde latching onto him with a strength that had him chuckling.

He should have expected Xy's excitement whenever he was nearby. Not that Daniel minded of course, he loved the time they spent together as she was a breath of fresh air in his world, but the girl sometimes took it to a whole new level. It was refreshing. The impact, however, nearly took the breath out of him as he staggered backwards and wrapped his arms around her waist to hold her up. His smile though, was just as bright as her own once he stabilized himself. "Hey there Xy! Good to see you again." Once her rapidfire questions were asked, he responded in kind.

"My night's been pretty good Xy, so I can't exactly complain. Danced some with Seph, said hi to Erin, watched everyone have fun. It's been nice, nicer that I've had in a while." He just grinned to her as he spun the two of them around getting lost in her happy demeanor and smile. He remembered when the two of them met when they first came to the Isle around the same time. She hadn't changed a bit, and the pair had become the best of friends in that time. "Oranges huh? I'm more keen on pears myself. Why don't I find you some sometime?" He asked her and lightly bonked her forehead with his own in a playful manner. He was very much used to her hyper tendencies.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Silver Alier Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Daniel Sanderson Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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Xy leaned back as Dan's hands came around her torso. She had let go of her grip on his neck, so (had she been a child or not light as air) would have been very hard to hold up in this position. As it were, she leaned back on his arms as they spoke, her legs still wrapped around his waist, holding her in place. "Hey there Xy! Good to see you again." She laughed at his words, a playful, giddy laugh. It was silly to her for him to say it as though they hadn't seen each other in a long time, they'd just seen each other yesterday! Either way, she found joy in the idea that he'd missed her for the time they'd been apart, however short.

"My night's been pretty good Xy, so I can't exactly complain. Danced some with Seph, said hi to Erin, watched everyone have fun." Xylea's eyes grew wide. Seph! She hadn't seen her yet, or at least, she didn't think she had. Her wolfy friend had to be somewh-- she audibly gasped at Erin's name and looked around. She knew Erin was always somehow watching whenever Dan and Xy were talking/playing/doing anything. Xy didn't really understand why or what it meant, but she was extremely curious as to whether or not the blonde mori was watching at this moment too. It was like she had some sort of homing beam on their friendship that sent off alarms whenever the two were near each other. "Oh how cool would that be!" Xy exclaimed, making "pew pew" homing noises as Dan continued. "It's been nice, nicer that I've had in a while."

Xy's confusion took form in a small frown on her face. She was about to ask him what, exactly, he'd had that could be nicer than the chocolate cake they'd had for dessert, but was immediately defeated by a fit of excited giggles as Dan began spinning them around. She threw her hands up and her head back, enjoying the soothing feeling of the wind intertwining with her fingers and pushing through her hair. She could feel every follicle dance on her scalp as her light blonde tresses whipped in the wind and it brought a titillated flush to her cheeks. As he slowed to a stop, her heart rate continued to flutter with the excitement and she just hugged him again. "Dan! You're the best!" The loving statement rang with honesty, she'd known Dan longer than anyone else at the Compound and her trust in him and friendship with him was definitely the strongest. He wouldn't let her get away with her wandering thoughts though, being very used to the way she would flit from one subject to the next, Dan reeled her back in, "Oranges huh? I'm more keen on pears myself. Why don't I find you some sometime?"

Xy allowed her forehead to be tapped with his as an airy, light chuckle escaped her lips. All limbs, she scrambled from his arms and stood in front of him, patting him on the head as though he were a small child, "Of course you'd rather have a pair of them! Two are always better than one!" She laughed again at her silly friend, playfully and bubbly. She skipped around him in circles, enjoying the bouncing movement immensely, then startled herself with a thought as she came to stand in front of him again. Wide eyed, she turned to look him in the eye. All playfulness gone, her new-found seriousness creating a dire feeling, "What if we had a bunch of oranges? A whole box! There would be a pair for..." she looked around and started counting everyone near the bonfire. She had gotten all the way to 5 when she noticed Seph dumping the contents of a red solo cup all over Harvey and shift quickly into her native form, running off into the woods. Xy gasped audibly. She'd never seen her friend turn into a wolf before and it was quite a different experience than she'd expected, to see the bones breaking and re-forming, the fur growing, to feel the vibrations of the air around her as matter moved from surrounding a human shape to holding a dog-like form.

Xylea stood there awkwardly for a moment, unsure of what to do. She'd seen what Seph had done in movies before, and usually with some thick pink or brown liquid in a 1950s diner.... They always look so cute with their skarves! I have to get me one of those poo-dull skirts some day... Wait! Focus! Those situations had usually been... bad, right? Whenever someone was splashed in the face by someone else it was usually because something had gone terribly wrong... Or they'd had the wrong answer on one of those crazy Nickelodeon shows. Xylea chuckled in spite of herself as she remembered the orange or green ooze shows. Then she made up her mind in a split second decision: oranges. Without a second glance or goodbye to Dan she ran towards the Compound.

Being faster than most humans, thanks to her light body and long legs, she sprinted across the yard and past Harvey and Artemis quickly. Just as she left the area they stood in, she clapped and waved her hand toward the boys on an after thought. Wind flowing from her to whip around them suddenly. She paused as she got to the door of the Compound, looking back at the boys to manipulate the pocket of air that engulfed them. Artemis would mostly just be caught in the wind, an innocent bystander , but Harvey would be taken up in the flurry. Xylea wasn't doing anything to harm, though, simply to dry. Her eyes grew silver-blue as the small gusts flew through Harvey's hair, across his face and neck, moved through the microscopic holes in the weave of the fabric of his shirt. It was a gentle but non-stop force until the Fae stood where he had been, completely dry if somewhat disheveled and smelling of hops. Artemis, on the other hand, would probably be a mess of static.

Then Xy thought of her friend, the she-wolf she'd grown close to must have been feeling bad to have slimed Harvey in the first place. Ever so gently, she pulled the wind and sent it after Seph. She used the softer patches of air that spelled movement to trace where the Balaren had been. Finding her tail, Xy sent the small gust to play in Seph's fur, tugging lightly at the scruff just behind her ears. She didn't need to say anything or for Seph to stop running to let her friend know she was there for her. Seph would know that it was Xy's way of saying that she'd be right next to her in a heartbeat if she wanted.

Smiling to herself, she let the gust drop and charged inside. She found the kitchen with ease and, after a little snooping and a quick cookie (or 4), she snagged a large box of oranges. Returning triumphantly to where everyone seemed to be gathering around the alcohol, she set the box of fruit down and proclaimed, "I brought one for everyone!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seph Winterfoot Character Portrait: Aaron Highmore Character Portrait: Xylea Parihan Character Portrait: Something Seraphine Character Portrait: Harvey Mak Chinnen Character Portrait: Artemis Hulston
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Something Seraphine: The Avant-Garde

Something was still all nervous and jittery from the ”experience”, knees all wobbly as she leaned heavily upon the drinks table. But she was trying to hide it. She was fragile and her emotions felt potentially explosive, but she concealed it all with a optimistic smile. Harvey had followed her, expressing his concern in his own Harvey-ish way. "Here. Calm down." He had offered as he poured her a shot, taking two of his own. "And please for the love of god, quit apologizing."

See? He did care. It was all just a misunderstanding. “Oh yes, sorry about that,” she apologized for her apologetic nature, eyes darting downward, though she already felt herself cooling down. As far as she was concerned, it had never happened. The memory of everything would remain, but any emotional ties to the event would dissolve quickly into the back of her mind. It didn’t REALLY matter.

“Hmm,” she sighed as she delicately sipped from her teacup. Unlike most girls her age, she was quite well-adjusted to the taste of hard alcohol. She had started drinking very young, and not wanting to appear like what was commonly known as a “wuss”, would always take her shots without chasers, which would receive cheers and claps on the back from her friends. If you were cheered and clapped on the back, the best description of positive reinforcement from peer pressures there really was, wouldn’t whiskey taste less bitter to you too? The alcohol ended up being one of the sweetest tasting beverages around, drenched in the feelings of warmth and good memories.

It wasn’t that difficult for her now. The whiskey, unlike beer, made its presence known as it slid quickly down her throat. Yet, she still absent-mindedly sipped it. Luckily, it was chilled, so the burn was significantly reduced. In a placebo effect, she felt calmer already. Harvey had taken three shots at this point, not uncommon for the group she used to hang out with, her old friends, her old memories. So she grinned up at him. A man only drinks that much when he wants to kiss a girl or kill a man. Which is it?" she had lowered her voice, attempting to match the inflection of one of her favorite characters from one of her favorite films of all time that had come out just this summer, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. “Unless…you want to kill the woman you want to kiss…” she mused, suddenly alarmed, brow furrowing as she slurped more liquidly quite loudly.

Harvey seemed antsy, and Something yearned to help, yet she felt trapped in her unseemly body. He admitted to needing a light while his hand slipped seamlessly to the small of her back. At this point, after their raunchy dance, she was familiar with his touch. She did not shy from it or really react in any sort of way. Eager to please, she quickly muttered in her high little voice, “Oh yes, of course, anything,” while she flicked her thumb against her forefinger, producing a small flame.

But Harvey stepped away from her toward Seph. Their conversations seemed…very involved. There seemed to be… a lot of history between them. Something stood there with the little ball of flame; it wavered and threatened to go out as she puckered her lips, unsure of what to do. She protected it with her other hand from the wind, and it glowed.

But before she could get too upset about her inability to make a decision as to what to do (which would have inevitably happened), a warm presence distracted her. “Artemis!” she chimed, repeating his name, her eyes crinkling as she smiled, using her flame to light her own cigarette before allowing it to go out. “It’s Something,” extending her hand and half bowing to one knee. Was she about to be knighted? Possibly. She had only met him briefly, but he was someone she liked. He possessed a relaxed, mature, and familiar kind of aura. She felt just about anyone could feel comfortable and at home around him. “I remember you.”

“Sandwich? Dinner and a show right” as he offered her a finger sandwich, she immediately just about clawed them from the plate, grabbing several, and stuffed in her mouth. “Always!” she cried out, lids drooping in the simple ecstasy of eating. The ones she was unable to currently fit in her mouth, she loaded into the bottom of her tshirt, using it as a make shift basket. It was like feeding a velociraptor in Jurassic Park. Nothing remained, and the plate was lucky to get out alive from her ravenous appetite. “I’m not quite sure what to do about them,” she continued, motioning towards what could have been a lover’s quarrel. “I feel like I should do something…but… I’m not quite su-“

And just as she was confessing this deep need to Artemis, Persephone threw a drink into Harvey’s face and threatened to bite his dick off. After a quick snort and the near death experience of having food hit the back wall of your throat, Something’s jaw dropped, revealing the partially chewed contents of her mouth. She had slowly began chewing again, almost as if the food were a way to soothe the uncertainty of the situation, when Artemis lightened the mood. “If she finds it…” Again, Something took something the wrong way. Her reaction was to empathetic towards Harvey, so she misinterpreted Artemis’ insult. She grinned at him, eyes sparkling mischievously beneath the veneer of tsk-tsking she gave. “I’m sure she’d find it eventually! I mean, buttons are hard sometimes to work with…” She had thought he meant to make fun of Seph’s clumsiness about human customs…she was…potentially an idiot.

Something moved toward Harvey, shoving the last of the sandwiches in her mouth to free up the hand that wasn’t busy with her teacup. The teacup he had found for her. She sure owed him a lot, obviously. So she would give him all of her sympathies to the best of her ability. Her hand found his back as she stood beside him, facing the direction that Seph ran off in wolf form, and patted him gently a few times. “I wouldn’t-“ she began, unknowing of what to say, “worry too much about that…” She handed her lit cigarette to Harvey, figuring he’d need it now more than ever.

Both Artemis and Aaron offered their light teasing, though she was sure it was only in attempts to lighten the mood rather than thinly disguised passive aggressive jabs. I mean…who could hate Harvey. He was the coolest of cool. The coolest cat. So Something laughed at their jokes, eyes bright as she looked to Harvey’s expression for reassurance that he was ok. That everything was ok.

Xylea pretty much removed all traces of the disaster when she gusted him dry. Something’s hair stirred floated up, stick straight out again. Exactly the bed head she had patted down beforehand in desperate attempts to seem presentable in public. But she wouldn’t notice what a ragamuffin she now appeared. Xylea had darting away on a mission. Something yearned to run after her, but Something wasn’t much of an extrovert. So instead, she smiled after her wistfully. “See?” Something smiled at the small crowd of people, “It’s like it never happened!” She finished to contents of her teacup loudly.