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Home » Search » Roster » Whitepages » Records » FAQ » Guidebook
if you and I can make it through the night
RP Wanted The Portal 
Currently championing:
You're not sure your impressions of that night will ever be anything but a jumble.

The low roar of the wind and the driving rain; bodies sleek and slick and soaked with it. Had it been daylight, you would've seen the blood pooling by their hooves, the rain running pink and red as it ran through their wounds. You smell the salt of their sweat, though, and the bold iron of their blood.

But you won't remember their words. You'll just remember the tension in their weary necks, the heaviness lacing every single thing they said—you've been under assault, for days. The rain and the storms have put out the fires, but the scent of burning flesh is deeply imprinted on your mind.

The sight, too, but you try not to think of it, an awkward boy on the outskirts of a war council. You're not fighter—you're a healer.

And that's why you're there, you suppose, because there's not a whole lot of you left. You blink, trying to see through the sheets of rain. None of them have asked for your help, and, weary to the bone, you haven't tried to impose it on them. It's clear, even to your untrained eye, that they want something else than you, on your knees, too exhausted to fly out again.

A messenger clatters by. You smell her particular brand of sweat and iron, too. You won't remember her words, either, or maybe you don't even catch them.

"Waker," they say, or maybe they just said healer, but this you'll remember, perhaps for forever. Your blue-rimmed ears clip forward. "The southern rampart is cut off." You go over the implications in your head. "They need relief. You're all we've got." And you, you're dog-tired already. Your head is aching. Your spirit is aching.

But war's war. And you do as you're told.

You hug your mother—she's old. She's part of the last line of defense, the most desperate measure. She's old but she's proud and she loves you, and you love her. She tells you to be safe. You say, "bye, Mama," because frankly, you don't know when—if—you'll see her again.

Could be, you're flying to your death.

Could be, she'll be the one to die.

You swallow your tears. You swallow your exhaustion. You spread your black wings to the black sky, and you fly into the storm's teeth.

You never reach the southern ramparts.

You're not quite sure when it happened—you're not even sure if you were awake when it did. Your existence the past few days has been reduced to rain and screams, and for a moment, you suspect you've actually fallen asleep while flying. That this is all a dream; a bad, bad dream that is so much worse than the reality you've left behind.

You're gliding, under a perfect, starry sky. Gone are the dark, dark clouds. Gone is the hail, the incessant rain, the constant, fickle downdrafts you've been battling on weary, weary wings.

The forest beneath you is unfamiliar. It looks wrong, it smells wrong, and you force your aching wings to turn you around. It doesn't make any sense, but you must've passed the southern rampart, somehow, only—

The stars are all wrong, too.

And your breath, it pools in white clouds. Frost covers your whiskers. The cold wind blows through your thin, rain-slick coat, and freezes at the tips of your feathers. It burns in your lungs, and the world tilts crazily—and that fuck-all wrong forest is reaching for you, and you're powerless to fight it.

Your descent into the snow is graceless. You clip some trees, earn some cuts, spill your blood on the foreign land as you land on shaking limbs that can't quite hold you. Your knees buckle and you stagger sideways, not stopping until you're suddenly leaning against a tree. Shivers, of exhaustion and of cold, rack your body. Dazed, you don't find it in you to do anything but stand there, shaking.


Healing: Can cause thunderclaps; the healing happens when the soundwaves from the rumble connect with a body.

Mutations: Fangs flank his incisor teeth.
Taivas the Hopebringer
Currently championing: Reszo
Finally, a clear night reveals the glittering sky Taivas had been missing since arriving in the Rift.

The patterns of those celestial bodies is rather unfamiliar in this new land, and she wonders just how far she had travelled from the Fields in the East.  The shaman had despaired briefly after coming to this place, broken and battered with a venom soaking the earth, but began to understand more and more the nature of the Rift simply by listening.  Listening is a skill the girl excelled at, never having been very skilled at conversation.

Whether by choice or some unconscious inhibition, the starkissed maiden had never been a social girl.  She rarely made friends in her homeland, for the lack of speech granted her a widely accepted label as "distant".  When she was growing, many of the foals thought her rude, and this led to Taivas retreating even further into herself.  Listening became her default setting, and thus her bond with the world around her grew strong.

A capable girl, she learned to seek the spirits for aid faster than her peers; while this brought pride to her parents, it only aided in the growing void between herself and the other children.  As a result, most of her companions back home were instructors.

Here, in an unfamiliar land, Taivas focused on learning of the land by listening to the pulse of the earth, the tastes on the wind, and the whispers of the water.  The natural heartbeat of the Rift was weak, suggesting some unseen (or rather all too visible) malady.  Because the disturbing feeling of illness seeping up from the earth, she spent most of her time flying or standing upon trees, waiting for something.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.


That is why, from her perch atop a tree on the outskirts of the Portal, she sees him falling from the sky - a silhouette on the pale face of the moon, careening toward the claws of the trees.  Her ear flickers, hearing the telltale crack of a branch as the he hits the canopy.  Alarmed that her eyes were not deceiving her, the girl lifts herself easily into the air and attempts to find the fallen pegasus.

Flying just above the treetops, she might look like a small silver lantern from below.  The glow of her coat is dim in comparison to the fair moon above, but from the position of the dreary shadows below, quite noticeable.

The hole within the branches glares out at Taivas, revealing a small patch of snow below and freshly snapped wood.  Carefully, the girl drops down below, feeling the hungry air of the Portal reach out and touch her skin.  Fortunately, it knows her already, so the ferocity of its hunger does not fall upon her.  The newcomer is likely not as lucky.

The crunch of icy snow accompanies a gush of air as her wings soften her landing.  Deep ocean eyes scan the surroundings, seeing the gleam of crimson on crushed snow.  Looking further, she sees the shape of a stallion balanced precariously against a tree - quivering.

The girl nods in welcome, walking slowly toward him as to not cause more panic.  Taivas recalls all too clearly her first few moments in the Rift.  The sensation of being watched and the disorienting lights of the Portal left the weight of a boulder in the pit of your stomach.  Her head motions in the direction of the blood painting the snow.  "Are you badly injured?" she asks, with a voice light and gentle.

It never occurs to her to introduce herself.

The focused and clear eyes of a physician peer out at his form, seeking the source of blood.  Surprisingly, he appears wet, as if moments ago drenched by a rainstorm.  Her surprise and confusion do not appear on her face, only a faint glimmer of concern reaches past the otherwise passive exterior.
So seize the day 'Cause you have come so far
Watched a million frowns turn into smiles
Lost all track of time Felt the energy of a million stars
You'll feel love again after the rain
Currently championing:
What is it you always say to those in shock, Waker? You've seen it so many times, you've felt it so many times when you've touched their tense necks. You say something like, breathe, everything will be alright, whether they're bleeding out on you or have just received devastating news. Breathe, you think to yourself, the rough bark painfully cold against your wet shoulder, what stupid fucking advice, Waker. Breathe!

You're breathing, alright. You don't think you ever stopped, not even when the cold punched you in the lungs. Your sides can't stop heaving, but it's not a powerful movement—more like they're just quivering, like the rest of you.

Rain tries to overlay your vision. Each time you blink, you hear the roar of thunder, feel it lash your back, but when your eyes flicker back open to a starlit winter night, it's gone.

Your mind's last, desperate attempt to stay sane.

It fails. You're insane now, aren't you? You're.. gods, you're not where you're supposed to be. You could, theoretically, pick the knowledge up, turn it over in your hands, scrutinize it and, perhaps, acknowledge it, but admitting that you're.. no. You can't. You just can't, your body can't.

You smell your own blood. You know it's tracking through your wet fur, leaving red stains, little drops falling to the snow and sealing your fate. You feel the bitter chill bite your exposed flesh.

Defeated, you just stand there, with no plan, as if you intend to stand there until the last bit of light and life flickers out within you.


She comes like a bit of the moon itself descended from the sky, a silver light in a sickening forest—an angel, if you believed in such, but you don't. You might've, a week ago, but since then, you've seen too much blood and shit and guts and cruelty to think that there's any room for angels in your world. Weakly, your head tilts in her direction. She doesn't look like she's about to eat you, but you never know.

Those you've been fighting didn't look like they would, either, until they painted their faces with blood and earth dyes and came shrieking in the night, leaving a blazing trail of fire in their wake. You're still not sure why they did that. You're not sure if the war council ever figured it out, either. You were too busy listening to screams and moans to piece the situation together.

"Are you badly injured?" the angel asks you, and it forces something in your mind to function. While simply falling over and dying seems very appealing, or ignoring her until she goes away to let you die in peace, you're being addressed, and you've been raised to be a polite boy. "No," you manage to say through chattering teeth, surprised to find that you still have a voice. The cold keeps searing your lungs, frosting your rain-wet fur, and numbing your pain. You consider it a small blessing in disguise, though you're not stupid; if you don't find some way to get out of the cold, you very well might die.

It's just, the idea of moving at all makes you want to close your eyes and drift away into oblivion. You're spent.

You blink out of existence. Your knees buckle again, and you're jolted awake, struggling to right yourself until you're once again making a fairly plausible imitation of standing. You force your aching wings closer, trying to hug yourself, but they're wet and cold and frosty too. Then, one of those things just happen again; you're looking at her, and you try to say something, like, who are you?, or, where am I?, but what comes out of your mouth is this: "Help."
Taivas the Hopebringer
Currently championing: Reszo

A momentary relief touches her heart but, now, having noticed the slick pelt quickly freezing in the winter chill, the shaman has no time to relax.  From her hooves, a strange pulsing smoke begins to draw from the sleeping earth below.  The figure is a pallid blue, and ever so briefly a face forms in the smoke as it slips from the snow.  The smoke reaches out toward the dark body of the shivering stranger, swirling about and seeking the tear leaking blood onto the snow.

The spirit attempts to mend the torn bits of flesh, but it can do nothing about the chill rapidly filling his body.  The spirit slips back to the ground, returning to its deep slumber.

When he closes his eyes for a moment and seems to shudder, his knees buckle and he falls to the earth.  Panic grips the core of Taivas's body for a moment, though outwardly she remains like a statue.  A scramble of exhausted limbs brings him back to rest haphazardly against the trunk of the tree once more.  His tired eyes find their way to her, a single plea slipping from his frozen, quivering lips.  Help.

A smile, small but radiant, forms on Taivas's lips.  "Alright," she agrees, quickly sending herself into motion.

The gap between them is closed in a moment, her pale body moving in parallel to his own form wracked with chill and shivers and fatigue.  Steeling herself for the sudden shock of wet in the night air, Taivas takes a deep breath in. She tries to gently push her dry pelt against his own, wing bending to arc above and around him.  This is a desperate attempt for momentary warmth to the fading stranger.  In this moment, Taivas begins to understand why her mother preferred the Sun to the shimmering stars and night sky.  She, much like the stardust that was breathed into her, could provide little warmth and comfort, while the Sun was capable of heating the entire world.

Oh, well, she thinks to herself before setting her attention on solving the problem.  She could start a fire, but finding dry wood and rock for spark in the damp forest seemed unlikely; she suddenly envied Syksy and his gift of starfire.  In lieu of fire, they needed shelter from the wind and a place to insulate what heat she could provide.  Immediately, her mind thinks of the caves leading under the ocean but knows he would not make the journey.  Looking around, neon lights dance in the distance against dark trunks.  Her eye catches upon the crooked form of a felled tree, and an idea begins to take shape.

A hollowed out trunk, if she could locate one close enough, would be suitable until sunrise.

The girl closes her eyes, letting her own breathing slow.  She ignores the malicious eyes staring and gawking in the dark.  She tunes out the shivers and shaking of her company.  She listens to the earth under her hooves.  She silently calls  to the spirits, and, though they are quieter here in the Rift, they answer her.  Her head turns toward the south, and a feeling of reassurance begins to grow in her heart - what others might refer to as a hunch.  Opening her eyes, looking up toward the canopy, she sees what looks like the skeletal remains of a great tree not far from them.  The stark whitewashed bark gleams in the moonlight.

"Lean on me," she requests of him.  "You will have to walk."  She does not ask if he can.  Whether or not he believes he can is irrelevant, for he must if he wants to escape the callous grip of winter.

Slowly, step by step, she begins to turn toward the south - small, patient steps, but confident all the same.

Disappearing into the tree line and brush, a crooked pathway is illuminated by the mild glow of her coat.  Shortly down the path, a yawning maw from an old dead tree begins shine back at her in the dark.  Its trunk has decayed enough to form a small cavern at the base, a temporary shelter. "There."  The wing not embracing the soaked boy points toward the tree's carcass.  Underneath, while still cold, the earth is at least dry.  The air, while still cold, is still instead of biting.  The floor is strewn with the refuse of autumn, dried leaves and twigs.
So seize the day 'Cause you have come so far
Watched a million frowns turn into smiles
Lost all track of time Felt the energy of a million stars
You'll feel love again after the rain

[ ooc - tried my best not to assume too much, but if you want me to edit anything let me know.  <3 ]
Currently championing:
You always thought you had an open mind, in both matters of the heart, and matters of the world. You've not been known to judge anyone for their choices, unless those choices brought harm to others, nor have you been known to not believe what you're seeing. But, between the foreign land you've found yourself in and its impossibly foreign sky, you've been pushed to your limits.

So at first, you do not want to believe it when a spirit, smoky and pallid, slips from the frozen crust of the earth. You want to write it off as another figment of your exhausted mind's imagination, a piece of this all-too-real dream, and for a moment, you're imagining the conversation with your mother: how you'll both be laughing at the bizarre experience, and the comic disbelief on her face when you tell her that you hallucinated a spirit-caller, of all things. No! she'll say, aghast, then laugh. Silly Waker, with his head always in the clouds...

But you don't feel like laughing when the smoke wraps around your body, slipping like the devil itself across your frigid skin and stiff, numb muscles; you try to lean away, a white band of terror around your irises. Not an angel, after all, but curiously, the spirit recedes without having done anything to you—you're too tired to notice that it has patched your split skin back together, too numb to have felt your flesh close.

She hadn't moved, much. She hadn't changed, much. Desperate, you decide that she didn't see the spirit, that it wasn't her fault it came, that she had nothing to do with it. Either it was the land, or your mind, or anything, but not her, because you need her to save you. You force yourself into delusional practicality, and it all melts away when she smiles, anyway. It's like you just gave her meaning in her life, like she needed your permission to save you, because once you've asked for it, she's not wasting any time. Quickly, she's by your side, her body so unrealistically warm once the winter fur compresses between you, but you barely feel it. The wing stretched over your back hits awfully close to home, and while you've not been taught to hide your tears from your Mama, she cautioned you to not cry in front of strangers—and besides, you're not too keen on letting your body waste energy on that kind of thing right now.

"Lean on me," she says, and you're about to, but you realize you already are. You've anticipated what comes next, an order to march, so you've already shifted your weight to brace against her instead of the tree. You swallow. You weren't a soldier, but you've learned something of their bullheaded hardiness. Besides, it's not like you have a choice, so step by halting step, you let her move you.

She could've walked you for a lifetime, and you would not have noticed—or ten seconds, and it would've felt just as long. Your awareness is on the back-burner, because that's the only way you can keep putting one foot forward. But, she wants your attention again, so you oblige, and—agonizingly slow—slot back into your own consciousness. She's led you to a hollowed-out tree, a massive thing that must've died a long time ago. The bark is bleached to white, ominously sharp in the light of the moon and the stars and your rescuer. The snow hasn't blown into it much, and only by deciding that it is light-years away do you keep yourself from collapsing in relief. Just a little further, Waker, you tell yourself, and stumble forward.

At last, the two of you pass beneath the lip of the tree's hollow, and you still have enough energy to think the unwelcome thought that maybe it's not a tree, but a predator disguising itself as a tree, and you're both going to die.

But as you haltingly make it to the far wall, nothing has devoured you, and with pathetic gratitude and relief you gracelessly fall to the floor. You've somehow managed to buckle your knees, and thrown your wing out to avoid breaking it, but there you are, suddenly reduced to a pile of Waker on the crisp leaf floor. You blink in the silvery light of the stranger, but your shallow breath and shallow pulse doesn't let you speak just yet.

[ Apparently, Waker has been raised to be afraid of spirits?? Dx I'm sorry. Also this is vaguely reminiscent of when Moth had a heatstroke in Helovia, when Onni found him up in the Heavenly Fields. :c ]
Taivas the Hopebringer
Currently championing: Reszo
Impossibly, his legs stir and move.  He walks - jagged, broken steps - but he manages to cover the distance required to meet the hollowed out tree in the forest.  Taivas offers no words of encouragement, no reinforcement for his efforts, just quiet companionship and warm flesh as they travel down the path toward his temporary refuge.

The boy does not speak either, likely exhausted from his flight from... well, somewhere wet, on top of the massive undertaking to push frozen limbs and muscles through the winter chill.  His awareness slips, but his body keeps moving, so Taivas makes no attempt to pull him back into reality until they have arrived.

His return to the world is slow, life seeping back into his face one small portion at a time, with attention pooling in his eyes gradually.  Then, the bright glimmer of recognition dawns on them, and he stumbles forward.  Suddenly, the rush and hurry is pushing his form into action, and the shaman knows all too well the struggle he has now.  Relief is so close with shelter before his eyes, and this leg of the trip will be the most difficult to overcome but also the most satisfying.

When he collapses to the floor, Taivas becomes aware of herself once more.  The exhaustion of summoning spirits in this unforgiving realm blindsides her for a moment, never before feeling tired after calling upon them to heal the wounded.  The wet of the boy which had covered her side is now painfully sharp as her body heat escapes into the ravenous air of the Rift.  For a moment, she stands beside the quiet pile of flesh and feather on the floor, watching his breathing carefully in the dim light of her pelt, catching her breath.  He seems to cease shivering, but whether this is due to being too cold or finally warming up she cannot tell.

She has never been an optimist, so she leans on the side of hypothermia.

There is no time to be tired yet, so her dark eyes sweep the floor.  Carefully, she begins to drag small rocks toward the entrance of the great trunk, forming a barrier between the dried refuse on the ground and the wet snow outside; she makes a circle to house fire, if she can manage it.  Quickly, she gathers twigs - comically like a dog within her mouth, and sets them within their containment.

Pausing, her eyes close, and the girl tries to remember the knowledge imparted from the Elders on fire.  Fire was an important resource in her home, and few were ever granted companionship with the element.  Her mother and brother were a few lucky wielders, but others had to rely upon the earth to provide such a significant source of warmth and purity.  While fire could be harmful and violent, it could clear water; it could renew the soul; it could give life.

Look for something akin to dull obsidian, child.  When brought together with enough speed and force, they form sparks.

Eyes open and return to their search of the cavern, seeking out the rocks piled among the leaves, the twigs, the dirt.  Flecked and pale stones seem to be common, but not what she needs.  Then, finally, her eyes settle on a darker, smooth stone.  Relief touches her face lightly as she picks it up in her mouth, walking it back over to the small pit before dropping it unceremoniously onto the barrier rocks below.

Nothing happens.

Sheepishly, she glances toward the boy on the floor, still wet.  Still cold.  Still slowly slipping away.

Picking back up the stone, she tosses it with more force downward.

Still nothing.

She needs more power.

Calmly, though inwardly growing more frustrated with each passing moment, she picks up the stone carefully.  Walking out of the cavern, stone in tow, Taivas lifts into the air, hovering outside the entrance (hooves possibly visible from within the great trunk), before forcibly tossing the stone toward the pit as hard as she can manage.


Quickly landing on the snow, she steps over the small pit and gently fans the small tongue of flame with her wing.  Gently, she coos and encourages the darling little fire to grow, picking up more twigs and dried leaves to pile atop it.  Pride swells in the girls chest, and shyly she looks over at the boy on the floor.

"I did it," she breathes out to him, tones of wonderment and disbelief in her voice.  "I made fire."  A smile, once again small, forms on her lips and barely touches her eyes.  Inwardly, she is swirling with joy and relief, but outwardly she can only manage this.

She begins to notice how rapidly her heart had been pounding.  How fast her breath had been.  The urgency with which she acted to start the fire.  Then, it slows; the weariness returns.  The sensation of fatigue fills her muscles.  Walking quietly back toward her companion, she lowers her body close to the wall in front of the soaked pegasus, first to her knees before gracefully folding her wings about her to lay down fully.

Her eyes are dark and serious now, able to scan his figure better in the orange light of the fire than she had in the light from her own luminous coat.  His wounds are healed, which she notes with satisfaction.  Now, he just needs to dry and warm by the fire.  Taivas turns her attention toward the happily dancing flame.  How strange the element looks, so warm and joyous, amid the eerie and haunted feeling of the rest of the forest.  Within this hollowed out tree, she almost feels like she is back home.
So seize the day 'Cause you have come so far
Watched a million frowns turn into smiles
Lost all track of time Felt the energy of a million stars
You'll feel love again after the rain

[ ooc - I was  thinking that!  My characters always seem to be saving yours from something.  xD ]
Rift Presence
Currently championing:
the Rift
Beneath your feet, the snow begins to smoke. It creeps up your legs like a thick milky fog, reaching and churning until it reaches the tips of your wings where it begins to dissipate out away from the center of your body. The world is oddly quiet and after a few moments, the smoke begins to recede, disappearing into the cold, dark night.


Healing: Can create thunderclaps whose soundwaves heal a body, but when used causes Waker’s body to glow.

The mutation is fine.
» Presence of the Rift «

Currently championing:
You struggle to stay awake—or, perhaps, you think, stay conscious is a better choice of words. The darkness lurking on the edges of your awareness doesn't feel like sleep. It seems much too thick and empty for that, a place of no dreams, just infinite blackness. You doubt it is death, but you cannot be sure, so you struggle to keep your distance. It is difficult, much harder than you had thought; every time your focus slips, you find yourself halfway into it, like a heavy thing on a cliff's edge, slowly being pulled over by gravity.

You busy yourself by listening to the sound of your heart. It is fast and fleeting, but it sounds so slow, like something is pulling the seconds apart, stretching them to their limits—the sound booms in your skull, counting out time, but it doesn't seem real. Through half-lidded eyes you watch the girl move about. She's not slow. She's moving at a pace that you think seems normal, though you admit you're not a good judge of anything right now. It's kind of uncomfortable. You feel that your heart is fast, but it sounds slow, and she looks normal-paced.

Internally, you grimace. Best stop listening to your heart. It only serves to make you unnerved. Watching the girl seems a better idea, for not only does she move enough to keep your attention, but it also serves to calm you. You have no idea what she's up to, but that doesn't matter. You're content just to watch, oblivious to the smoke ghosting across your body. In the back of your mind, you register the shift in your soul, but even if you had turned the full force of your attention to it, it's doubtful you'd have been able to just figure out what had changed.

You'll notice, though. Soon enough. Likely not tonight, probably not tomorrow, but at some point.

When she starts throwing a rock at the other rocks she's gathered, you force yourself to blink a few times. Your dry eyes sting. Nothing changes. She's still throwing a rock. Again, you've been raised to be respectful, so who are you to judge what she's doing..? But as you lay on what could've been your deathbed, you have the urge to laugh. Not at her, precisely, but at how bizarre the whole situation is. There you are, who knows where, with a girl who is .. throwing rocks.

You're just in the moment. You can't think ahead. You can't fathom what she's trying to achieve, so you just watch, glassy-eyed and death-still, though your spirit shakes within. Your detached mind just can't stop laughing, but your body doesn't even ripple.

Then she disappears, and you wonder if maybe she had sensed your delirious bemusement, and instantly, you regret it—as much as you are capable of regretting anything when you're more dead than alive. Your skin itches. You wish she hadn't gone. It's so much darker and colder without her.

It scares you.

Come back!

The pebble comes hurtling back in, striking the gathered rocks with a sharp sound and a sharp smell, like something igniting. It wafts across your memories. Your eyes hone in on the flash of light, the tendril of smoke, and the shadow of the girl as she comes back inside. She coaxes the flame into life, feeds it debris, her face bright in the unholy light, her eyes intense.

You know what she'll smell like if she burns. You think of their wailing cries in the night as they poured from the slopes, carrying the flaming death with them. Your folk hadn't had much contact with fire before that. Wildfires had raged on occasion, and there had been a bonfire in the Circle of Ancients—still burning the last time you visited the central war camp it had become—but your tribe had never used it for harm. Only the oldest had remembered other wars, other raids, when it had been used to kill.

When the flame is no longer a baby, but flickering brightly, spitting waves of warmth across your slowly-steaming body, she turns to you. Slowly, you drag your gaze from the bright fire to her face. Spirits and fire, but she smiles again, that small little thing, and her eyes reflect some of the amazement of her hushed tones. It is charming. Endearing. You feel your lips tug into the slightest, briefest of smiles, and like an older brother, you want to pat her on the head with the tip of a wing and tell her you did with pride, but nothing makes it past your lips.

You decide that frustration will not help you, so you remain motionless and sort of afloat. She moves over, closer to you, and folds down on the ground. It was far more graceful than your own flopping-down, but in your defense, you shouldn't have had the strength to stand in the first place.

It is amazing how cold sapped your strength. It is amazing how long, arduous service in a war you have no desire to fight wears on your spirit. It is amazing how fire is both a life-taker and a life-giver. The annoying itchiness is spreading across your skin, the frost and water turned to vapors, but you know it'll be a long, long time before you skin dries. This is just the beginning.

You roll a honey-colored eye in her direction, searching for something to say, but everything collides and you find the urge to talk about burning bodies and death upon your tongue, so you save your breath, and just watch her in the flickering orange light.

I guess I just like throwing them into difficult situations... x)
Taivas the Hopebringer
Currently championing: Reszo
The glassy eyes of the dying return her glance from the dark pile of feathers and wet fur on the floor, and the joy touching Taivas's heart is only increased.  He would live.  He would live because she arrived to save him in a desperate hour of his life.  He would live because she tried her best to save him.

Never before had the feeling of accomplishment felt so great, so light and miraculous.  The shaman had always excelled in her studies, surpassed her begrudging peers, but this made all her former efforts diminutive.  That tired, half-alive stare from the boy on the ground meant more to her than every praise given from her mentors.  She swayed gently in the wave of happiness filling her heart and soul for a moment.  The thrill and excitement hardly visible from the outside, escaping in tiny changes of her expression and the outward glow engulfed in the orange light of the fire.

He does not speak, but he does not really need to.  The small smile, smaller than even her own, that he briefly wears across her lips is enough.

Once back upon the earth, the weariness of her bones weighs her down.  Her eyelids feel heavy and her breathing slows.  Taivas cannot sleep, though; the weak stallion at her side is currently in her charge.  He remains helpless, even with the heat from the fire breathing life back into the wintry air around them, and she, though tired and ill-trained, is still more capable of defending them both should a malevolent creature find its way here to them.

So, the painted girl remains awake and attentive, watching the tongues of flame dance pleasantly in their little cage of rocks.  The element looks cheerful and bright, in contrast to the snow and dark shadows outside their little world within the hollowed out tree.  After the initial high of saving another wears off, Taivas remains content and peaceful.

Then, she feels it.

A weak tug upon her face, but not a physical pull.  This is the sensation of being watched.  Her dark, starry eyes turn to look down at the floor, where her companion remains splayed awkwardly and unmoving amongst the dried leaves and autumn debris.  His warm colored eye stares at her below thick lashes and exhaustion.  She expects him to speak, as others normally are want to do when catching your attention, but he does not.

Others may have felt abashed to have another stare at the silently for so long, but if she were embarrassed in the slightest, she certainly does not appear so.

Taivas herself had never been much of a conversation starter, so she remains silent, watching him watching her in the cozy light of the fire.  He looks larger than she remembers now, though she had already studied his figure several times to ascertain his physical status.  Somehow, he looks even larger than she, and the girl wonders how she managed to shoulder his weight all the way here.  Adrenaline must have provided her the extra strength, the lack of care for his size, and the motivation to keep pushing forward in an impossible situation.

She had been thinking of him as little more than a young foal, but now it becomes apparent he is older - perhaps around her own age.  For the first time, she notices the touches of blue across his body and the horns set into his face.  Details that were unimportant moments before, practically invisible to the eyes of a caring physician, are now blatant and prominent to the young mare.

After several moments, perhaps minutes, of just watching the stallion steadily breathe in and exhale air, she realizes that she has no idea what his name is.  Only then does it occur to her that she should introduce herself.

"I am Taivas," she offers to him, hoping he will exchange his own name.
So seize the day 'Cause you have come so far
Watched a million frowns turn into smiles
Lost all track of time Felt the energy of a million stars
You'll feel love again after the rain
Currently championing:
She notices.

Were you less exhausted, you might've been embarrassed at being caught watching; though, were you less exhausted, it is doubtful you would've stared in the first place. While curious, you're not known to be rude, or pushy. You're prepared write it off as simply being so tired you're incapable of moving the focus of your gaze—but you're not the kind to make excuses, either. The truth of it is, you're watching her. The whys and the hows doesn't really matter. You find peace in the flicker of light across her face. That's enough, for now.

You are somewhat embarrassed to be watched in return, though. Perhaps because you are so gracelessly laid out on your side, a useless, cold piece of flesh—darkly, you realize that even if you had reached the southern rampart, you wouldn't have been able to help them much. Perhaps less a shock-freeze you would've been in better shape, but not by much. The guilt stings. You were all they had—the only pitiful relief they could send their beleaguered warriors.

And you couldn't even make it.

You try not to imagine what fate has befallen them. You try to not lose hope, to think that all is lost anyway, your friends, your Mama, slain by the wailers, but in a dark, foreign world, it is difficult to hold on to hope.

"I am Taivas," the girl says, and one of your ears point weakly in her direction. Taivas? You let the name sink in for a moment, rolling it around your mind. It isn't like any name you've ever heard before, but you think it suits her. It's soft and mysterious—just like her. You feel like you could float away in her eyes.

"Waker," you manage weakly. Your lungs ache, though you're pretty sure it's a phantom pain, a memory of how the cold air had seared them. You draw a deeper breath. It tastes of fire and memory and smoke, but the only blood and sweat you're smelling is drying. There's no danger here. Desperately, you hope it's true. "I'm Waker," you say as you exhale, a bit more firmly this time.

Good. You decide that you'll live. Frankly, you weren't sure before now—partially because of your state, and partially because you're stranded in a foreign world. You're not sure you want to deal with that. The idea of coming to terms with it is daunting.

You debate asking where you are, but you decide against it. The bliss of not knowing, of not existing beyond the flickering firelight upon her face, is fading, stolen by the life-giving warmth lapping against your skin. Desperately, you wish for it to return, but it doesn't.