Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Take your Serians here to chat or just roam their homeland.
The sun glitters above vast fields ringed by verdant forests to the north, mountains to the south and east, and wide rivers to the west.

Moderator: Tigress

User avatar

Posting Elemental
Posting Elemental

Posts: 2738

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:50 am

Location: Utah

Post Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Your call, she said thoughtfully, and tilted her head as she absorbed the new phrasing, trying to put it into the context of training. She trained with so many, and each one was so varied in how they taught her; her time with Caustic was extremely different to what she practiced with Eternal. Eternal was, of course, her favorite teacher, aside perhaps from her Bonded. Their lessons were still harsh, but there was something to them that focused more on how she thought, taught her how to look at the worlds she passed through.

A calling is-


A single word, far from a request, and yet it lacked the harsh pop of cruelty that some might expect. It was said almost absently.

And it worked, for all that it was an absent command. He stopped, watched her turn it over, and then blinked with surprise as she said You are so clever, smarter than I could be. There are ways to use your small spells, your reparations, to your advantage; why not focus on that, for the times you train?

She'd pieced it together, translated the new phrasing, and then leaped to applying it for a solution to their friend's uncertainty. Not her calling, nothing that she could claim as an affinity, but there were things that she could use in place of battle. Repairing a broken limb to use as a bridge, for instance, or simply seeing how the land had shifted from a lightning strike - how it wanted to be.

Of course OakHeart would take her unique perspective and think of it in terms of the terrain; he was ever enraptured by his element.

He also didn't answer when she spoke an offering to at least stabilize his knee, to keep it from worsening. His gaze swung to AuraSidra, his lesson finally learned; it would be her choice. He didn't look directly at her, though, didn't push with his gaze; instead his eyes dropped to the vines that still held his leg in a brace, avoiding her own gaze as she turned to him.

There was nothing sullen or defiant in the lines of him; no angry tension to his neck, no sulking tilt to his ears. He was leaving it to her, the choice of how far she wanted to carry his correction.

And you say you would have no gifts, AuraSidra said teasingly, her eyes bright and dancing as she looked up at her friend.

She is right, sweet beauty, OakHeart chimed, and offered a gentle smile as he said Small things, perhaps, little ways of repairing. To heal, to repair, is no small gift, and even little tricks can add up to something larger, something grand. Make no mistake; you yourself are a great gift, to have such an alignment. I see now why the blue imp holds such a fondness for you.

Blue imp? AuraSidra said, and shared a grin with him, previous crimes forgiven. The little brown-green beasts that tried to turn everything upside down?

You have your moods, he answered mildly, and felt his face stretch in a grin as he added Remember when you moved all of the Gypsy's trinkets around?

I was testing a theory, AuraSidra countered, but the laughter in her voice belied the notion. Everything was still there, I just traded hidey-holes.

Tribe had been less than pleased; rearranging each of her treasures to the correct places had taken no small amount of time. It had verified that it was more than tucking something away, though; each item belonged in a particular location, with a particular set of other little findings. It was more than hoarding, it was organized; even if it was hard for others to see the meaning behind it all.

You are not always so mischievous, so perhaps Imp is not quite the right word, OakHeart chuckled, I don't recall those little beasts having any other mentality. You are - varied.

She was young, is what she was. With youth came growth, change, a finding of self. She was slowly becoming who she would be once she was grown; but still, she was young. Sometimes she just wanted to mess around.

Right now I am simply glad that you can help his knee, AuraSidra said, and smiled at Astarte. There is no need to risk further damage; my point was made, she said, and gave OakHeart an arch look.

Yes, she was slowly becoming the mare she would grow into.

Finally able to see it, OakHeart felt a certain determination shift inside of him; his training would move up, reach the level of the others she learned under, to prepare her. She would need the skills to match that willpower she wore so naturally.

There was a brief pause, just enough time for the small healing that would stabilize his leg - and then broad-leaf vines shot out of the ground, sharpened into deadly blades that sought to impale her.

The session had begun.

She jumped, up and sideways, a flap of her half-grown wings giving her a moment's extra altitude. She'd almost managed to fully escape, but a fairly decent gash scoured her flank. The grass wrapped around her legs as she landed, climbing over her chest, but she managed to pull her back hooves into the air before a good grip was obtained. A solid kick to his ribs was enough distraction to loosen the trap, allowing her to break free - and leave a nice bruise behind.

He would have to work on battling on two fronts, maintaining a physical presence even while working his elemental abilities. But he was not made for physical strength; his body was slender, just shy of effeminate. He was easy to bruise, and it was a weakness she knew to exploit.

Another flutter through the sky - the best sanctuary to be found, for while he could influence certain aspects that traveled through the air, it was beyond his abilities to alter the air itself. Water he could collect, calling forth a storm, just as he could summon the water in the ground - but the water moved through the sky, was not the air itself. He was not Caelum, who changed air pressures and distributed the various kinds of gas, increasing oxygen or shifting nitrogen to various effects.

He brought fog as she landed again, masking the ground beneath her - ground he had shifted into quicksand, ground that swallowed her down and down before she realized she was sinking.

AuraSidra had been taught how to think, more than anything else; struggling only made her sink faster, shifted the soft earth beneath her, and so she stopped trying to fight her way out and started intentionally sinking faster. She dove down until even the tips of her ears were covered in muck and marsh, and then kicked towards the edge of the pit he had made - an edge which moved away from her, grew longer to remain out of reach.

She pushed further, following the guiding edge, until it suddenly stopped moving away from her. Planting her front hooves on the firm ground, she twisted around and kicked upwards as hard as she could - and clipped him square in the jaw, distracting him long enough to scramble over the edge of the solid little island he had left for himself. She had chosen her direction carefully, moved towards his stronghold, and made a point to shake off the muck so that it landed on his back.

Her wings were a mess, but enough flapping had them cleaned - at least clean enough to function, to an extent. She rose higher, straining the efforts she had put into mastering this set of limbs, but the ground rose with her. A cliff formed beneath her, following her ascent, keeping her close; trees tilted as she ground ripped upwards, boulders tumbled, and still she climbed higher.

The grass reached, trying to close the last of the distance she had managed to maintain. The grass shifted to trees, which shifted to stone, which shifted to metal, which compressed into various gems at certain points of pressure; and he smiled, thinking she had underestimated him. His element was nature, all of nature - and metal was a natural occurrence, one he had recently mastered.

AuraSidra watched the strange tower reach up-up-up, surrounding her with the weave he had learned from Astarte's mane; stronger, stabler. She waited, timed it, and then, right as it was surrounding her head - she brought the lights.

Her auroras could flash brighter than any sun, and they did now - vibrant golds, reds, white shot through with pinks glared off the bright metal, blinded him. The tower had reached, strained for height - and while the ground was eaten up by the rapid growth and change, the base was not wide enough to withstand the distraction of being blinded. He snorted, tossed his head, and the lean tower tumbled through the air, strong enough through the weave that had made it to withstand the impact of landing around him; encaged in his own creation.

She landed next to him as the metal softened, dissolved to dust and stone, and laughed as the cliff eased back into the natural landscape; and faintly, his laughter rang from within the structure, echoing with the full-throated mirth of adrenaline.

Now that had been a training session!

In a proper battle, she would have had time to escape, to fly beyond his reach. She'd won this time, through nothing more than her brain and a small, natural touch of talent. He'd practiced his own talents, learned where to improve; bruises spotted his hide, and it was quite lucky that his knee had been stabilized, with the way he had stumbled and turned, struggling to keep track of her.

AuraSidra's mane was still an absolute mess, and mud crusted the cut on her flank, highlighted the bruising on her legs from where the plants had managed to grip her. She was bright eyed and grinning, just as he was, their hearts still pounding from their efforts, and turned to Astarte with true joy lighting her face.

He is the most fun to play with, she declared, and laughed again as he gave an exaggerated bow, ignoring his various aches.

They were quite possibly insane...
User avatar


Posts: 577

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:00 pm

Location: USA

Post Wed May 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Their conversation shifted, easy as the moon or the well-oiled turn of clock gears—what had gone before was noted, accepted, integrated. The natural affinity of those raised together would always be somewhat fascinating to her, her upbringing so steeped in singularity. These two were, perhaps, the closest in her orbit to kin—and she studied, as she did her bondherd and blood, the intricacies of their arrangement. How OakHeart left her offer at AuraSidra’s beck, and felt no shame in that. A good choice, then, that she’d given the question to the both of them.

And together, they wove a net of assurance in their words, in the small, smiling gestures and how easily they opened their unique intimacy to her. Cleverness, beauty. Not that her dear ones had never praised her so, it was just—different. Different when it wasn’t expected, different when it was from—well, souls such as these. Luckily it seemed she was adapting—if that was the word. The blush burned less, at least.

“It’s never been the focus of my sparring, I suppose.” If she thought about it, whatever small training she’d received was more for exercise than preparation—Avi meant to keep her from the Wilds he wandered, gave her just enough for the Fields, and just to flee, really, at that. “I’ll have to step it up, then. Make use of what I have, as you so cleverly do yourself.”

Yes, made use of that will, that natural command—tempered by fondness, mercy, even. Astarte was starting to get a glimpse, perhaps, of how it might be to share a Circle with such beautiful strangeness. Two-part, the healing, spell layered upon spell—first calling her hands, laying their invisible touch against the delicate breaks, then channeling the restorative essence through them. She’d not yet mastered conveying them through her own touch, and probably for the best, as the thought of coming that close to the stallion was—again, the codification escaped her.

But she would not have to linger upon it for long, as the training began.

What she’d seen was often physical—the sparring of Warriors, of bodies. And while her dayi were incredible for the power caged inside them—Dayi Brittle’s impossible strength, Dayi Id’s unnatural grace—it had always been grounded, in a sense. Nothing like this.

The land warped; the sky burned. She drew back and observed something like a ragnarok.

She should, perhaps, be more awestruck. Some part of her was, a secret, thrumming corner of her heart that wondered, wide-eyed as a foal. But, in essence, she was a curious sort—and AuraSidra allowed her to be. Made it easy, for ever since the beach, she knew her friend had
potential. Pride enough to know herself, grace enough to ask for help if need be. She trusted that whatever OakHeart threw at her would be overcome; she was eager, to watch just how.

The cliff towered suddenly, a thousand years of shifting earth condensed into the span of minutes. A shiver ran through her—so, this was an Elemental. She’d never really seen Confetti make use of his abilities; even after their beach exchange, his interest in her was passing. She wasn’t sure, after seeing this, if that was a boon or not.

A brief stutter in her chest, as the metal tower dashed against the ground where its creator stood—eased, just as quickly, by the thin ringing of laughter from within. AuraSidra landed before her, caked in mud and triumphant. What souls, murmured that small voice. What souls, indeed.

“Amazing,” she said, simply, reaching out with her healing hand to trace the small cut, the bruises banding the legs. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Much less—done anything like that.”

There was a bare flicker of hesitation, before she felt bold enough to extend her touch to the dark marks blooming against the stallion’s green hide. Silly, perhaps. No, definitely. There was no reason to be shy about offering a balm, not when it was so needed. By the both of them.

“I rather think my own definition of training is tame compared to yours.” Words were good; words were simple. “Is this—routine, for you? These kind of lessons?"

She could probably guess the answer, but she was still a bit curious as to the why.
User avatar

Posting Elemental
Posting Elemental

Posts: 2738

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:50 am

Location: Utah

Post Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:25 am

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

A soft sigh, the flexing of limbs, little indications of the appreciation for her effort to ease their pains. Normally, they would ache for weeks afterwards; for AuraSidra, it made no difference. Aching or not, her training would commence. If it was next with Caustic then it would be all the more vicious for it.

OakHeart fluttered his wings, attempting to relieve the last of the excitement that always lingered afterwards. Nothing happened. Scowling, he fluttered again, bringing forth a sharp buzz as they vibrated from effort; and again, nothing happened.

You can no longer fly? AuraSidra asked, and she sounded truly shocked. Were his wings damaged when the sheer metal tower toppled?

No, but I am not injured, he reassured her, and flexed his wings with a kind of sadness. I must have grown too large. It only worked before because my proportions allowed me to mimic the methods of bees.

They traded a look, a silent acknowledgement of the relentless growth that continued within as well as without, and then turned back to Astarte as one as she asked if such events were routine. Things change. Acknowledge the change and release it; it was that simple.

Another look as they considered the best way to answer, another acknowledgement. Routine was, perhaps, not quite the right word. It was normal, yes, but it was not routine in the manner of constant repetition. There were some who could learn that way - lunge, duck, dodge, repeat. It was not their way, however.

It was not abnormal for my training, AuraSidra confirmed, and smiled brightly as she added You can always practice with us, however. New additions are welcome, and Lady Eternal is always reminding me that she changes what we do so often because adaptability is essential.

So is ingenuity, OakHeart added, and a shadow crossed his features as he said If the Princess is to hold her own against someone like Caustic or Plasma - both of whom could turn her crispy with a simple thought - she has to have more than a big mouth in order to survive refusing to allow them to control her.

The expression cleared as he added You have ingenuity in abundance, Astarte. However beautiful you are becoming, it is the outlook you are developing that is truly captivating.
I swear if you start to harass my friend- AuraSidra started, but OakHeart paid her no mind as he said How is it that you realized you could place layers upon individual tasks to achieve a greater result? If I could learn similarly, I might control the entirety of a forest at once, rather than focusing solely upon the trees and disregarding the earth.

That is so not fair! AuraSidra cried, but she didn't fool him; she was already smiling at the potential challenge. Oh! I could make some wonderful illusions if I were able to layer my lights differently!

She was nearly bouncing with excitement at the idea. Beaming, she rushed forward to plant a kiss on Astarte's cheek and gushed Oh you are brilliant, I have so many ideas on what to do!

And with that, she craned her neck upwards and began testing theories, trying to master the fluctuations of color that she brought to ribbon through the dusky sky. First one for the base, then a second to shadow... No, it was too obvious that way, it had to shimmer in almost together to appear as if it had only just flown close enough to bring into focus.

OakHeart chuckled and shifted closer to Astarte, eager to compare thoughts as he said Had you begun with seeking out tasks your original spell could accomplish? Or had you found something you wished to do and discovered you could do so with your invisible touch?
User avatar


Posts: 577

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:00 pm

Location: USA

Post Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

In their softening, she could see the healing set and work—as it had been meant to. That was all well, then, with a small starburst of relief. She he had formula, true, but magic was ever a testy thing. She could never quite predict how well her intent might fasten to the spellframe, even those she’d practiced long and hard.

You can no longer fly?

For a moment, the same flicker of fear that jolted AuraSidra’s voice sparked in her own chest, and eased just as quickly with OakHeart’s solemn explanation. Comforting, in some odd way, that even they had their own wrestling to do with sudden alterations in form, the march of time. Her stumbles were small then, compared to losing the sky.

That curiosity, that urge to fix—she could very well say that kindled the boldness to come a little closer, to take-in the unique construction of the stallion’s wings. Just that, for now. Anything else might come close to derailing her altogether.

Wood, or something like it, branching on a slender, tenuous connection to blades of the shoulder. The membrane split into four, two sections each on the posterior and anterior of the remigium—patterned like leaves, stained glass. He had once borrowed a bee’s method of flying, and she could see the intention of that locomotive pattern in the elaborations of his design. A touch like Dayi Avalir’s—though she had never seen him fly at all, especially with the perforations from the rings—but there was
potential here.

“I wonder,” she murmured. “The mass is changed, obviously, but does your Elemental control extend to air? Could there be a method to manipulate the lift vortices to accommodate the weight—or, no, the imbalance in the system might be too much, destabilize and there would be so much
force—” The jewel, the lightning, the wild magic flashed in her mind, and she shook her head. “No, never mind me, it was a silly thought.”

But if what OakHeart spoke was true—and she had her doubts, as perhaps she always would—then maybe it would be her role to posit the impossible things. Ingenuity. She’d never quite thought of it as all that, only a putting of things together, an easing of the way, a quieting of the tiny cries and longings that lived in things that should not. It cut both ways, though. She had thought it harmless, gentle—until the blade, until the beach. Now she knew to what purposes an unchecked innovation might be bent to. Maybe it was for this that Circlemates, that friends were needed.

She blushed as AuraSidra pressed to her cheek, suffused with the warmth that had been building from her companion’s easy praise—not harassment, really, but some overwhelming feeling, or something that could become it. Regardless, certain phrases skipped through the static.
Turn her crispy with a thought. Survive refusing to allow them to control her. Coupled with the not-routine training, it painted a—well—different kind of forge in which her friend might be molded and fired. No wonder she was so molten, incandescent in the stuff of her soul.

Astarte could probably not protect her there, and perhaps it would be beyond her place to try. But if she could give her something, anything to help her prove herself—

“I learned from my Bonded, well, Bonded-to-be,” she explained, looking up towards AuraSidra’s experimentations. OakHeart was warm, warmer the closer he moved—she imagined she could almost measure, in tense precision, the slow increments climbing on her skin. “At least, at first. Sive has small talents, so she has to work through craft. She can’t, hm, make it work the way Elementals or Rogues or fae-creatures can.”

“You don’t really need to do it this way, Astarte,” she’d told her, her arms already heavy with books and scrolls. “Magic lives in you, like a heartbeat. Your gift—”

“But I want to know.” And she’d been bolder in her smaller years—here, at least, in the heart of the Tower, with the strange girl her mother called Bond. “If that’s how you do it, I mean. If you do it, it can’t be bad.”

And Sive had smiled, then, and seemed surprised at herself for doing so. So they sat, in the library, in a narrow patch of sun, and there she learned to read.

“It’s been books, mostly,” she said, chancing a glance over at the stallion—the inanity of the answer might be disappointing, and she wished herself again some more fascinating creature. “And—well, what I
want to do, I guess. I learned the hands so I could work with fixing things, and they’re a conduit already so you can map onto them without much reinvention. When AuraSidra—when she got hurt, I knew I had to do more, so I read about healing, found a few spells that could integrate with the original coda. It was trial and error from there, but Sive helped in the testier notations—I figured it might be better to do the channel through another spell, since healing doesn’t seem to be my natural gift.” She felt she was rambling, but she couldn’t quite train her tongue to stop, for some reason. “I mean, unless you count fixing inanimate objects as ‘healing’, which I do, I guess, but not everyone does. Or should. Maybe.”

It was becoming apparent to her that she and Khala Eve might need to have a talk for which she was long overdue. A lengthy talk, possibly with diagrams and practice exercises, so maybe next time she wouldn’t be such a mess.
User avatar

Posting Elemental
Posting Elemental

Posts: 2738

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:50 am

Location: Utah

Post Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:34 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Conduits. Of Course, he should have seen it sooner!

He gave a flutter of his wings, bringing forth a harsh buzz, and for a moment the bright Eureka expression on his face was overshadowed with confusion, then sadness. This would take some getting used to.

It was gone an instant later, however, as he all but pranced between Astarte and AuraSidra. If he'd been able to he would have picked Astarte up and spun her about in his joy; instead, he summoned desert flowers around her and called up a cherry blossom tree to rain petals over her back. Once upon a time such extreme alterations of terrain - the shifting of field to desert, or desert to forest - had been a true strain. Now he simply shifted what was there without quite realizing the extremities he achieved; an old trick he had learned long ago and no longer considered interesting.

Conduits! he crowed, and buzzed his wings again as everything within sight became greener, fresher, riper in response to him. Aura! Conduits!

The young filly finally glanced away from her lights to shoot him a death glare, her ears pinned in irritation. She hated having her name shortened. Luckily for OakHeart's continued health, he babbled on and distracted her from her aggravation before she could attempt to squish him.

You look at the colors separately, just like I see each individual piece that makes up the land, he chattered, and the grass shimmered as if in confirmation, each individual blade rippling around them in an ocean of green. What we're missing is that each is a conduit into the next. Don't see each color, look at how they tie together!

He could do the same for his forest excursions; control the earth by shifting the roots, at first, use each piece as a means of connecting to the next. The desired result they both sought - unity of nature, unity of illusion - was comparable to Astarte's end desire to transfer her healing spell to another. She just used something she already knew how to do in order to achieve it, had specifically looked for something that would be compatible with her invisible touch.

He had managed to expand beyond individual leaves to the whole tree, and from that to all the trees, but attempting to hold a million different pieces on an individual basis had been a puzzle he had spent unknown ages trying to figure out. And now she comes along and hands him the solution; rather than a million individual aspects held seperately, a million links that cascaded together.

Wait, like this? AuraSidra asked, and with a flick of her ear pulled forth an image of OakHeart; green swirled into browns and blues, then sparked to gold, the colors bleeding together at first before the shapes refined themselves and crisped into a perfect likeness. She had focused on each tone, trying to tie them together, but if she approached it as having them bleed one into the next - yes, that vagueness was the perfect answer to creating the deception of approaching from a distance.

The OakHeart on the ground grinned up at the version of himself in the sky that reared and spun, leafy wings all but invisible; he could almost hear the hum as the colors bled out once more and dissipated, appearing to retreat.

Oh, I like you, he said to Astarte, and AuraSidra snorted at his enthusiasm. I really like you. We should definitely keep you around more often.

What he failed to answer, AuraSidra added with a scolding flick of her ear in his direction, in his usual mannerless enthusiasm, is that the sky is not a part of his elemental arsenal. If it grows, if it thrives on or in the ground, he can influence it; stone, water, earth, plant. The only limitation is air fluctuations. The closest he has come to that accomplishment is to shove water through the air to create a storm. Luckily for him, there is almost always some amount of condensation for him to manipulate.

Whoops. He had completely missed that part.

Looking rather abashed, OakHeart gave one last prance of glee before extending a deep bow and decrying How many times will I bring myself to apologize for my follies? Gracious, my mother would be appalled. I had not intended to trounce your question, fair maiden, yet I found myself caught in the excitement of your insight. Pray, forgive my lapse.

I like this idea of learning from Books, AuraSidra commented, and gave her head a curious tilt as she considered the possibilities. Her mentors showed and explained things to her, but to be told of certain Lessons through these books held the potential to learn from creatures she had never had chance to meet. We have some at home, although Books are still pretty new. I shall have to tell our Bonded of this use for them.

She knows already, OakHeart countered, and offered a sympathetic smile to ease the sensation of having burst her bubble. The Lover heard her speaking to the Soldier about some things that other creatures recorded on the Book leaves regarding his troubles. The Lover says that Death claimed it all to be a waste, as each struggle was individual to the one trying to get himself straightened out, and the same words repeated could not be made to suit the individual.

It had also been said that this was the point of having countless Books over the same topic, but that was also deemed a waste. In the end, it was agreed that while it was useful for leaving something to tell others they were not alone with their experiences, it was not a valid means of conveying the Lesson required.

Still, he continued, flicking his wings in consideration, There are still some Lessons which are not taught on an individual basis. You should ask to see the Books that have been created so far; perhaps some may prove of use.

Perhaps some might help give her one more little means of keeping her strong-willed self alive.
User avatar


Posts: 577

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:00 pm

Location: USA

Post Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:03 pm

Re: Experiments {Silv/Astarte}

Around her the earth exploded in color and scent—not in violence, but the apparent joy was riotous enough. Infectious, even, had she not been so startled by the easy display of raw power, or distracted by blooms she had not seen since she was a child.

Sun poppy. Red peaflower. Star creosote, darkling heath and river rose. She’d only learned such names from Khala Eve—she’d known them before, by sight, by heart. Her purples, her reds, her sunset golds. She bent her head to them, and even through the dizzying flush she noted the change in the land: the firm, rich topsoil giving to the crumble of sand, the loose shift that the spun thin roots needed to spread and net, the sudden, dry rush as the moisture fled. How much was intentional, how much was simply an innate, unconscious extension of will? For there was not all desert, no—a cherry blossom like one of Khala Rosegold’s, touching its soft drift along her spine.

"Conduit! Aura! Conduits!"

What she had thought so simple had fit, somehow, but that should not have been such a surprise—she who’d seen systems come to life or shudder to stillness with the placement of one tiny gear, one small key. It should have occurred to her, but perhaps when every application of her gift relied on connection and integration, it would not be so obvious. Just as they might think nothing of this—the power to change the earth, the sky.

She raised her head to catch what AuraSidra’s own realization might render, tossing her mane slightly to clear the cascade of petals. Through the cream and blush, she saw ‘OakHeart’ form as crisp and clean as the one still standing ever so near—how he fluttered, danced, perhaps, as he’d once been able to. Amma’s eyes were ever watchful, even when she’d found herself caught in her musings and explorations. The small things caught and catalogued themselves away: the small sadness that had shadowed the excited flutter of wings, the pinned ears with the shortening of a name and the flick to summon some form of forgiveness, perhaps. She would have to know these things, to fit within their system, their Circle—to make of herself the most use to them.

“Oh, I like you. I really like you.”

And it all ground to a sudden halt. It shouldn’t, really, with AuraSidra so open with her affections in her words and gestures, but it was—different, with a stallion. With
this stallion. But how could she know? She hadn’t been around that many, at least none her own age, and—

“Oh, well,” she managed, her tongue as graceful as ever, and she wished vaguely that the drift of blossoms might bury her. “I’m—glad? Of that? I—like you, too, both of you. Very much.” The truth of it settled her, a bit, calmed the sudden heat in her nerves, and she was able to look to them without flinching. “I haven’t made many friends here, so each is precious to me.”

Precious—AuraSidra’s mercurial insight, at once fiercely vibrant and deeply knowing, something aged in her youthful cast, and now OakHeart, in his graceful eccentricities, the flights between formality and mad enthusiasm. She shook her head at his bowing, sending more petals raining down. “I don’t mind, it was just a silly question—I thought it might help, but, well, another means, perhaps.”

Some part of her still mulled over it: how to open again the sky? Dayi Confetti warped wind, both of his Altar and when his seasonal affinity called for it—the bitter rages of winter, the storms of summer. Could she offer something in exchange for some lesson, some power, some—but no, Dayi Confetti did not control his magic, or at least claimed otherwise. He let it run free—raw, wild, terrible. No, she would not subject OakHeart to this, not as she had done with AuraSidra, that foolish folly on the beach. She would find another way.

The greater part of her, though, listened to AuraSidra’s musing, traced the arc of her musing. She intoned ‘books’ with a capitalization, a gravity that OakHeart lent to the titles of souls Astarte did not know: Lover, Soldier, Death. They put her in mind of the tarot Sive sometimes used—more often, now, as if she no longer trusted herself without a channel. Another thing broken on the back of her Circle, and she flicked her ear, trying to rid herself of the thought.

“I could show you the Tower library, if you wish,” she offered, easily, as OakHeart brought up seeking ‘Books’. “There are plenty there—on magic theory, implementation, probably a fair number of spellbooks. I don’t know if it will help with your Lessons—” and she tried to emphasize it as they did, though she wasn’t sure of the reason for it. “—but it’s the least I can do.”

Return to The Fields of Sionayra

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.