Hushed Willows namárië!
Private  November 10, 2019, 03:05 PM

@Kiki ♡

        The warble-soft words echo off the hunched and hallowed willows now damp and dusted with a lacing of lichen and moss, blue-green and softening of the edges. Evendim invites in soft emberglow and harvest dew through the yawning halls. It is quiet, but for the godless lament laden with promise of everlasting soul-shepherding; limned so sorrowful and greying; faithful and fervent at its heart.

        Faerie, lain at the foot of bone-melded grave;
        that quieted, croonful voice of mourn, undulating with the choke of spirits and tears laid waste to the crescent docility of her jaw; these hollowing words meaningless, for there was not another soul in all these Wilds who might know the tongue with which she’d been born with. Now, too, had one of the fairest and so-few souls who might have still understood her entire even now — benevolent bearer of first brood — perished all the same.

        Her song, what-ever it might be, wanes into half-listened hums and murmurings; and she unravels in the mem’ry of her first meet with the druid, now gone heady, despairing, and entirely unknowing how to ever properly present herself for yet another ghost watch. ... Tears do not come, though, for there have been too many as it is, and Andraste must be without.
November 10, 2019, 04:27 PM
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There and back again . . .

        Or so it would seem!  Though the lands from which he'd hailed had become broken and upturned, the landmarks were still enough to tell a seasoned scout (young as he was) that he was approaching home.  He could see the bough of the willows sway in the wind as he approached and it stirred something in his heart that he had not ever known himself to miss.

Eleuthera was gone.  His littermate, his soul-tie, his anam cara.  He couldn't remember how.  He knew he was at her side, and then his mind went cloudy when he tried to remember. Surely he must've fallen, for when he woke he was trapped beneath dirt and stone, and he couldn't remember going down.  When he woke he had tried to find her but no trace of her scent remained.  No matter how he probed at that misty spot, he could find no answer.  Perhaps they had separated before his fall, and that's why she was gone — she never would've left him injured and alone!  

It did him no good to dwell.  He'd had to keep moving, for winter was  close upon them. In his heart of hearts, though he missed her so terribly, he knew that a spitfire like his sister would be fine without him.  They would find each other again, so long as he could keep himself alive.  

Thus, the decision was made.  To make it through the frozen months and to cure his lonesome heart, he would return home.  Reuniting with his mothers and childhood friends would do him well!  As he came closer to  the willows his pace picked up; his tongue rolled out of his mouth as he broke into a sprint, grinning all the while.  He crossed the borders, and as soon as he did he knew something was wrong — Elysium had remained the sanctuary he knew, but the borders were gone.  He skid to a halt, sliding on a patch of ice, and tread more carefully to the heart of the territory.

Where was Mali, creeping close to the borders?  Where was Delight, hiding in the shadows?  Why had Lily not come to greet him?  Why did he not hear Ibis' laughter?  Why was it so quiet?

There — !

Cloaked in white with limbs like branches!  Mama! he cried, the tip of his tail wagging lightly as he broached the hill, and although heart might betray him his eyes could not.  Her back was bare where twisted knots bore sign of some otherwordly injury; fangs could not have created the patterns that traced down her spine.  His tentative smile fell in an instant as he cast his gaze to the ground and there she was,

Mama?  His voice caught in his throat as his eyes, usually soft and caramel-warm, snapped back to the woman — witch! — and back to his mother's frail body twisted on the ground.  Beneath her frail white limbs was his other mama, the one he hadn't gotten to know as well, though he'd loved her just the same.  They were too hard and frozen for the woman standing above them to have hurt them, and there was no blood left on the ground.

Whatever trace of anger had clouded his expression before fell and guilt clouded his face instead — for judging the innocent woman before him, for absconding on some childish dream to travel all the lands as his mothers passed without him.  Tears sprung forth, and his lip trembled as he struggled to address the woman before him.  Did you know them?  His tone was pleading, urgent, as he lowered his head and crept closer to what was left of his fallen family.
November 11, 2019, 04:08 PM

        She whelped my brood,”
        sore eyes crescenting beneath the glimmer of tears that refused to fall from the cusps of dark lashes; looking up up up to the Elysian who had come to anguish alongside.  That eve was ze last ...”  hitched breaths, low chords,  ze last time I had known her,”  gathering feathersoft paws beneath her breast to heave herself from the burial mound; to situate herself apart, so that this kith of the willow-warden might come nearer. Surely still she had no right in being here— at the fallen place of this impressive soul who—

        The boreal silver gave an imperceptible shiver of shorn crown, looking from the bones of his mother and instead upon the creamed yearling; looming, large. She longs to ask who he is, but perhaps that doesn’t matter at the present. The sorrowful sweetness in his previous plea seemed to be enough to rein her own laments into shallow breathings. 

        She wonders if, in this moment, he longs for solidarity and warmth in the same impossible measures that half of her does. She supplies nothing to the aching chorus of questions he might have, though, and eventually returns halfsight to the entwined wives beneath them.
November 15, 2019, 10:06 PM
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"She whelped my brood,"
the woman speaks in a voice so soft and featherlight that the wind itself could have carried it off before it ever reached his ears, which fell back.  She did know his mothers, and it was both a comfort and a curse.  

His eyes fell upon the wounds on her face — had Olive and Seabreeze taken care of those, too?  If they hadn't, would their tender care and knowledge had saved her from such disfigurement?  It would have been rude to wonder out loud, but the boy knew that of all the places in the world that were safe, his own thoughts must be the safest.

Though he towered over her, his tail was tucked slightly and his body was crouched to her level as he drew close, ignoring common sense and personal boundaries to embrace the woman in a sorrow-filled hug.  Their memory lives in the life of you, and of your children.  He might've held his tongue on the comment had he known her history, but for now he had no reason to believe that any mother-and-child relationship would be different than the one he shared — had shared — with his own.
November 15, 2019, 11:13 PM

                So, you see?—
        Mute masterpiece made in Medusan arms; 
        the fée did not deserve to be soothed so any more than she did not deserve those who still wished to follow her founding of some paltry-seeming figment. To let her sorrowing sink down down down and be bathed in the bliss of another's benevolence would be to immerse herself further in shame, would it not? Porcelain, setting; a suffocation! but
        her stilted figure remained rattled within the ambrosian's embrace. Very well might he away from her; and yet still did her slit lips part weakly, witheringly:  I have gone from them,  without a breath,  and I must stay upon ze path that has been struck upon me.”  Lest her remaining by her daughter's side and straying from her son's further damn her to they she had laboured, still loved. Stay, or nay: Andraste had been convinced with catastrophe of either.
                —you are not the vorst sort of mother.

        She must be.

        There were now no arms that the fairylight was meant to be cloistered within; even as the words wisped from waxen throat did she part from that which the yearling had offered, halfsight altogether staid and solemn. If he so wished to lie upon her a sentence of his own  (as that sealover had, as that spirequeen had), then the nightingale would not turn shorn cheek from him. If he so wished to shadow her beneath some raised, clawed gavel ... she would not resist. 

        Reforged she may be;
        but Andraste was nothing before another's anguish.
November 30, 2019, 10:00 AM
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Despite what the woman might have thought, Sam could find no fault in Andraste for leaving her children behind.  It was true that he did not know the whole story; perhaps then his opinion might have changed.  Perhaps not.  Still, he offered: I left my mommas, too, and leaned further against the stiffened body of the smaller woman, resting his chin upon her.

Is that such a crime?
November 30, 2019, 12:09 PM

        Was it not anything but a crime? Nevermind the love amongst each that had become so forever fragile? The foundations of faith, of trust that had become so thoroughly fractured?  You are a son, she wished to argue into the down of Séamus' ruff.  Sons are meant to leave their mothers.  She wished, even, to let her lips part so that she might breathe of her dragon's tale, her shrike's endeavors  —  but she was Aurëwen, the mother no more.

        And it was not her tale to tell.

        So, instead, the fée surrenders to the great, fawndyed heft of the yearling that is, for now, an anchor.  "My Court,"  weak murmurings, now,  "lies not so far from here,"  the words a bit dumb and muted and lisping as she is half-fallen from herself. Shorn brow pressed into the stout shoulder — or, what she can reach of it — as her tongue struggles to spin forth better meaning.  "Away with me."

        And perhaps that was all there was needed to say, really; lips numb and heavy with old, spent sorrows.
November 30, 2019, 01:55 PM
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The woman before him remained stiff, and at her response (or lack thereof) he stilled as well.  There was an air about her that enchanted and frightened him; she was so distinguished like Olive had been, but the way she spoke was almost over his head.  She spoke of her court, asked him to away with her.  It took him a second to digest the words she said and translate them into something roughly like something he could understand.  

Home.  She was offering him a home.  To come to the lands of his mothers and be offered such — he pulled himself from her and took a step towards the mouth of the willows, ready to follow.  Thank you.