might be a sinner and i might be a saint

  • here's some stuff for darya ^^

    ok so super quickly before i forget lol, i also ship darya with draco, and i was thinking that maybe there comes a point where all of her anger and pain comes to the surface and she reveals how much she wants the dryad queen dead, and she just completely loses it at some point and yeets herself off the deep end. maybe everyone's kind of freaked out because of how peaceful and sweet she usually is and draco's the one that finally talks some sense into her?? idk, just a thought hehe

    as for her past, darya grew up as a noble lady in lavaril, but her title only carried weight in the sea. from a young age, she learned to be guarded yet kind, and still acts this way. she is very sweet and polite, but lives her life in quiet rebellion. she doesn't really know how to react to her bloodlust for the queen, and is actually scared of herself in that way. darya's pretty motherly, and i think that she'd take a shine to thalia, wanting to protect her like she wishes she was. it's pretty difficult for her to trust and befriend others, but i think she'd also enjoy being around isobel because of their connection to the sea. she'd more than likely also develop a connection with ragnar if she ever found out about his past. i'm thinking my first post for her will likely involve her coming home after a long day's work and passing out after feeling really odd all day, then having the dream. she often leaves her roommate, a nyad, a note whenever she leaves, so she tells him she's going on a trip and heads out to start her journey.


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    thalia eirene speer//twenty//halfling

    Thalia Speer rode hard down the desdemonus path, leaning forward, her hands clutching the reins. Her stallion, Babi, picked up speed, going from a hard trot to a full on gallop. The trees on either side of her blended together into a dark green blur, her horse kicking up clumps of dirt and grass along the way. Looking up, she saw that the sun was beginning to lower, and the sky was darkening.

    After a while, the trees disappeared, and instead there were endless fields surrounding her, the grass blooming into bronze flowers. The canyon was off in the distance, ancient and dangerous. Up ahead was the town she called home, Gantrick; a simple human village, far from any other settlements. They had known peace for a long time, staying far away from politics of any sort.

    At last she reached her homestead. It was a simple cobblestone structure on the edge of town, with a flock of sheep that roamed the open fields, a couple of chickens, and a stable for her horse and their plowing donkey. Vines climbed the walls, stretching toward the roof, and pink and purple irises were in bloom in the flower garden. The wind chimes hanging outside moved in the breeze, the soft melody welcoming her home.

    As soon as she was close enough, Thalia dismounted her cream and white horse, and tied him up. She gave him a pat on the neck, silently promising to brush him later and give him apples. Then she was grabbing the satchel, and she was hurrying into her home. Inside was filled with potted plants and shelves lined with books, and her mother in her bed. Her forehead was covered in a sheen of sweat, her dark hair sticking to her face. Her eyes were closed, and for a moment she thought she was asleep, but then she spoke in a hoarse voice, "Thalia."

    "Mother," Thalia moved to kneel beside the bed, taking her mother's hand. "I went all the way to Abin, and the healer gave me some herbs that can help you get better."

    Thalia moved to open her satchel, but then she felt a hand on her shoulder. Glancing up, she saw her Uncle Louis, and the look in his eye told her he had given up hope. He shook his head, and told her, "It won't do any good now, child."

    Fighting back tears, Thalia turned back to her mother, gripping her hand tightly. Her uncle walked outside, giving them time alone. Once he was gone, Thalia placed a hand on her satchel and said, "I have something that can ease your pain, mom."

    "You were always such a sweet girl. My precious girl," her mother croaked out, reaching up to place a hand on her cheek. Thalia leaned into it, her entire body shaking, tears welling in her eyes. She bit at her lip to stop a cry from leaving her.

    "There's so much I need to tell you," her mother said in a hushed tone, as if afraid of anyone overhearing, even though it was just them and her uncle outside. Her mother looked to the other side of the room and lifted her hand, pointing at a chest in the corner that she had never seen before. "Open it."

    Furrowing her brow, Thalia stood slowly and made her way toward the chest. She unlatched it and lifted the top. Inside, nestled in the finest velvets, were three huge eggs. They were the most beautiful things she had ever seen, all patterned in such rich colors that they shined like jewels. She picked one up, expecting it to made of blown glass, but it was much heavier, like a stone, and took both hands to hold. As she turned it over in her fingers, the tiny scales shimmered like polished metal in the setting sun. One egg was a deep green, with bronze flecks that came and went depending on how Thalia moved it. Another was a pale cream streaked with gold. The last was black as a midnight sea, yet alive with scarlet ripples and swirls. She looked them each over, her gaze filled with wonder. Setting the egg back down in the chest, Thalia closed it and returned to her mother's side.

    "They're dragon eggs," her mother said, her voice wavering. "They belonged to your father. They're magic."

    "My father was crazy-"

    "He was a good man," her mother corrected her. "He believed in those."

    "Mom, you're not making any sense."

    Her mother smiled that knowing smile of hers, and it caused Thalia's heart to swell. She was glad to see her smiling, it had been so long since she had. For a moment she thought all would be well, but her false hope vanished when her mother gave one last shuddering breath, her hand dropping to her side.

    "No, mom, Don't leave me. Please, don't leave me," Thalia cried, the warm tears sliding down her cheeks. "No, mama. I'm not ready. Please."

    Her uncle found her there, clinging to her mother's body, crying into her nightgown. He had to pry her away by force while she wailed and tried to cling to her.

    "She's gone, child." He kept saying, and at last she calmed down enough to crumple up onto the floor. She laid there well into the night, while her uncle carried her mother away to be buried. underneath the fruit tree she liked so much. She'd always pick the apples for the horse, and the rest she'd make a pie with. It also gave her a good view of the sunset. She'd always loved that spot for that reason.

    When her uncle came back, she sat up, still weak with grief. "Uncle Louis."

    Her uncle grunted in response, wiping the dirt off his hands by rubbing them onto his trousers. He didn't look up at her, but she knew it was because he didn't want her to see him cry.

    Standing on wobbly legs, Thalia went back over to the chest, opening it. "Have you ever seen these before? Mom said they're dragon eggs."

    Her uncle looked over, wiping at his face. Suddenly his expression darkened. "I told her to bury those damn things after your father died."


    "Because they put him in an early grave. They caused his descent into madness," Louis said, clenching his fists. "He was never the same after he found them."

    Thalia's shoulders drooped, and she closed the chest. "Don't tell me you believe in magic."

    "I believe in evil," he barked out, shaking with fury. "Those things will bring you nothing but misery."

    He marched up to Thalia, grabbed her by the arm, and yanked her to her feet. He shook her a bit and told her, "Do yourself a favor and throw those things in the river."

    Thalia's eyes widened in terror as she looked up at her uncle, and she was too frozen in fear to move. Her uncle noticed this, his gaze falling to his hand on her arm, seeing the bruises already forming. He let her go and said, "I'm sorry."

    Then he was walking outside, into the night, and she thought she heard a muffled cry. She'd cry too, but she was too exhausted. So she climbed into the bed and buried herself under the covers. As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was taken over by sleep.

    In her dreams, she was wandering the forest with no destination in mind, her fingers trailing along the tree trunks, the soft breeze rustling the leaves. Then she felt something sticky on her hand, and she lifted it from the tree, looking it over. It was covered in blood, and the tree was pitch black, the leaves shriveled up. Looking around her, she saw that all the trees were the same, except for the one in the center, with his golden trunk and blood red leaves. It was the one from Galina, she knew. She moved toward it only to find the ground littered in corpses, vultures hanging low in the sky. A great roar of thunder caused her to jump, dark gray clouds now covering the sun. As she looked to the sky, to the flashes of lightning, she felt a hand grasp her ankle. Below her a little girl gasped in pain, her entrails laid out and crows picking at them. Thalia screamed and yanked her ankle away. She started to run toward the tree in the center, and as she reached it, she threw all of her weight into it and slammed her body into the tree, her hands catching her fall. And then she woke up.

    Thalia was quick to dress, wearing her most comfortable riding clothes and boots, with her hair twisted back into a braid, showing her slightly pointed ears. She packed herself some biscuits and jerky, enough to keep her well fed during her journey. She also packed a few other clothing garments, and brought along the giant chest with the eggs. She knew her uncle had told her they were evil, but she couldn't believe that. At the least, they could sell for a fair price.

    Before she left, Thalia visited her mother's grave, which was marked with colorful stones and pieces of cloth hanging from the apple tree. She knelt down beside it, and said, "I had a dream. Galina is calling to me. I must go. I'm taking both Babi and Bastet to help carry the eggs. I know you'll be watching over me from wherever you are."

    Standing, Thalia grabbed a few apples for the horse and donkey to eat, and a couple for herself. She then went to finish packing her belongings onto the donkey, feeding her an apple while she did so. Once she was finished securing her things, she tied her reins to Babi, and she mounted her horse. She looked back toward her simple homestead, wondering when she'd next return, if she ever did. She had left a note for her uncle, telling him of her dream and how Galina called to her. There was nothing else that kept her there. With one last glance in the direction of the fruit tree, Thalia spurred her horse into action and took off.

    //i'll post draco's pov shortly, but i want to eat some dinner first//


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

  • update: i'm gonna need to work my way up to draco's pov so i probably won't post it until tomorrow


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

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    draco cardan poraj//twenty five//demon prince

    Draco Poraj had been having strange visions since the night before last. They were only flashes of images, of monsters with furled horns and drooling fangs, of corpses staring up at him with their lifeless eyes, he saw a dark figure standing among the rubble, atop a pile of bones, raising his arms up in victory. It all stood for death, death by the masses, and a great evil.

    The prince was currently in his bed chambers, propped up against the headboard with a ton of velvet pillows, his back arched as he leaned over his drawing pad. He was sketching with charcoal, sketching what he saw in those visions. He wanted to remember them, to not just let them slip away. He needed to know that this was real, and that he wasn't just losing it. At one point the charcoal broke, and his trance was did as well.

    The door to his chambers opened, without a page announcing anyone to give him proper warning, and he was quick to hide the sketchbook behind him. His best friend since childhood closed the door behind him, but not all the way. They hadn't been close for a while, though. He used to see him as a brother, used to believe he'd die for him, but the distance between them had only grown ever since his engagement to Anne. He wasn't entirely sure why, but it had been the last thing on his mind.

    "Someone is here to see you," the man, Balderik, told him with a dark expression.

    "I told the guards not to let anyone in." Confused, the prince stood from his bed. Just then the door opened more to reveal Anne, wearing a raw silk dress, her hair braided behind her.

    "That's why Balderik helped me avoid them," she said, smiling.

    "If you won't tell me what's going on," Balerdik said evenly, "then maybe you'll tell her." Just before leaving, Balderik placed his large hand on Anne's dainty shoulder, and he added, "You owe me."

    When the door closed again, Anne moved to place herself in Draco's arms, her face pink with eagerness. She placed her hands on his chest, glancing him over.

    "You didn't need to check up on me," Draco said, moving her hair from her face.

    "Everyone is worried about you," Anne whispered, her gaze lowered. "You haven't been acting yourself, nor have you been seen around court. You have locked yourself up in your rooms."

    Shaking his head, Draco said, "I'm fine."

    "Then why have you locked yourself up in here?" Anne smiled, knowing she was winning. Her arms moved to wrap around his neck, and she gazed up at him lovingly.

    Draco avoided meeting her gaze. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

    Her heightened color subsided, and a frown graced her features, but even her anger was beautiful. She moved away from his arms and moved closer to her his bed, her fingers tracing the sketches he'd made. She smiled again upon seeing the monster he'd drawn. "Is this supposed to be me?"

    Draco moved to grab it, but Anne had picked it up first and was moving onto the bed. She stood up on it, holding the paper above her head, giggling. He couldn't help but smile as he climbed onto the bed and stood with her.

    "At least you got my cheekbones right," she giggled, holding the paper just out of his grasp. At last he was able to grab it from her, and now their faces were a breath apart. They were both smiling, and he almost forgot about the paper.

    "Can I ask you something crazy?"

    "You've already asked me to marry you."

    With a chuckle, he said, "You have to promise not to laugh."

    Suddenly serious, Anne nodded and placed her hands on his chest again, leaning into him. She looked up at him, waiting patiently.

    "Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and you don't know why?"

    Anne's brow furrowed, and she said, "Well, no. Not really."

    "Forget I asked." Draco moved away, and stood back on the floor. Anne followed suit. She grabbed his shirt to keep him from walking away further, and he turned instinctively. His arms wrapped around her waist, but his gaze was distant. She peppered his face and neck with kisses, but he couldn't seem to get in the mood.

    Gently pushing her away, Draco told her, "I'm not feeling it tonight."

    Without a word, Anne walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Draco sighed, rubbing his temples. He sat back down on his bed, and he looked over his sketches. Eventually he fell asleep, and at first his dream was normal, but then he was standing in his rooms again, and he was covered in blood. Anne was on the floor, bleeding out, holding the wound on her stomach, blood bubbling on her lips.

    "Anne," Draco gasped, and he fell to his knees by her side. His hand held her cheek, leaving more blood on her face.

    "Why?" Anne choked out, blood dripping down her chin.

    At first he was confused, but then Draco saw the blade in his hand, covered in her blood. Anne gasped for breath, and then she grew quiet, slumping onto the floor.

    Draco woke with a gasp, shaking, throwing the furs off of himself. He began to gather his belongings into a sack, and changed out of his night clothes into more suitable attire. He worked fast, grabbing only what he needed, and sneaking some fruit and salted meat from the kitchens. As he was entering the stables, he heard a twig snap. His hand reached for his sword, and his fangs were out when he turned around. Only it was Anne.

    "Stay back," he demanded, recalling the dream he'd had. She stopped in her tracks.

    "What are you doing out here?"

    "Galina has called to me. I must go to the temple to find answers," Draco told her plainly, not expecting her to understand, or to think him crazy. "I have been hearing her voice, she has been sending me visions. And tonight I had a dream. I tried to ignore it, but it won't let me."

    "Draco, you're not making any sense." Anne took a step forward, and Draco took a step back, holding out his hands.

    "It showed me a vision. Horrible visions of the future."

    "Like what?" She kept moving forward, he kept moving back.

    "That I'm going to kill you, Anne."

    "Kill me?"

    "I saw it." There was pain in his voice, etched in his features. "I stabbed you."

    The look on Anne's face was a mixture of terror and confusion, and it almost brought tears to his eyes. His hand flew to his forehead, and he told her, "I don't know what to think anymore."

    Anne reached out to comfort him, but he stepped back again. He looked to her with watery eyes. "I have to leave Rhysa. There's only one person who can help me, and that's the high priestess."

    Moving into action, Draco began to ready his saddle, cooing to his horse while trying to calm himself down. Anne stood off to the side, taking this all in. Just as he had finished, she grabbed him by the arm. He turned around to face her, and she placed a hand on his face. "You need to calm down."

    Both of his hands went to her face as he said, "I won't put you in danger. You need to stay as far away from me as possible."

    He moved to mount his horse, but she grabbed his arm again, and he drew his sword on her. A mixture of a scoff and a gasp left her rosy lips. He knew she wasn't going to let him leave, so he did what he had to. He hit her hard in the head with the hilt of his sword, and caught her as she fell. He placed her up against a stable, and he placed a small kiss on her forehead and whispered, "I'm sorry."

    Then he was mounting his horse again, and spurring them into action, all the while trying to talk himself out of turning back. He needed answers, and hopefully Anne would learn to forgive him. He couldn't resist Galina's call any longer.


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

  • whoo gosh. sorry that took so long. but i finally got my posts up!


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

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    Sunshine shined through the window and landed directly across Cyane's copper skin. She was sprawled amongst the silk sheets, her curves tangled in the arms of her lover. Well, her fiance to be exact. They had shared a bed chamber since their engagement and it was not frowned upon with their kind. She knew she was going to marry the man so she felt no need to deny their physical desire for one another. But for her, that was as far as it went. She cared for Viktor. And she loved him in her own way. But she did not love him in the way that he wished she did. She supposed it was selfish of her to go into this engagement, knowing she could never truly love him. But, she feared falling in love. Truly finding her one true love. It was almost a death sentence for her kind. Soulmates could not exist without the other among Kitsunes. They could die but if their soulmate was not Kitsune, they would not die. But if a Kitsune's true love died, they also died. She had always thought it was a little unfair. She could feel her soulmate, even know. Kitsunes were known to be more spiritually aware of the world and could tap into parts of their souls that other races only dreamed of. She felt the immense pain and turmoil her soulmate was in. And yet, she did not seek them out. She knew that one could have a soulmate but that did not mean that said soulmate was also bound to them in that way. She had seen it with her mother. Cyane's father had been her mother's soulmate but her father had chosen another woman, his true soulmate. It had nearly broken the family completely. But, her mother had found love with another man and thus, became happy again. Cyane had not seen her father since she was a child and she often wondered where pirating had taken him. She wondered if she could ever find it in her heart to forgive him. Cyane could never know for certain, not until she saw her father again. If she ever did. The young beauty hummed as she felt soft kips pepper her cheeks with tender kisses. She smiled softly at the sensation and she slowly began to stir. She slowly peeled open her eyes and her dark gaze landed on her fiance. His dark hair was a messy heap of curls and his smile was almost boyish. He stared at her with adoration, the morning light seeming to make an ethereal halo around his body. Cyane felt a tired smile curl onto her lips and Viktor leaned down and placed a slow, passionate kiss on her plump lips. She hummed against his lips and reveled in how his kiss could make her body sing. She was not in love with Viktor but she loved him. She supposed it was hard to explain to most people. Viktor pulled away and moved to climb out of bed. Cyane sat up, holding up the silk sheets to her curvy body to protect her modesty. Not that she needed to. They were already lovers. She watched him dress himself as her teeth found her bottom lip. She eyed him hungrily and Viktor chuckled when he noticed her gaze on his toned body.

    "Don't you stare at me like that, dearest. I have a meeting to attend." Viktor laughed softly as he tossed a cotton tunic of his at her. Cyane giggled happily and slipped it on over her head. The tunic was mostly sheer and ran down to her upper thigh, barely covering her arse. She climbed out of bed and approached Viktor, walking on the tips of her toes. She pulled her messy dark hair from underneath the shirt as she approached him. She eyed him through the mirror as he readied himself for the day. She came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She peeked at him through the mirror from the side and he eyed her lovingly. "Come back to me shortly? My mother wishes to have a dinner together and I want you to be there." Cyane spoke gently, her Huntysrian accent thick on the words she spoke. Her voice was deeper than most females she knew but Viktor imagined her voice was like what firewood would sound like. Deep and smoky. She moved to help him with his tie and he chuckled to himself. He looked at her, gently brushing her dark hair from her face. She looked up at him, her eyes searching his. "I will be back before you know it, Lana." His voice was genuine as he used the nickname he adored so much. She smiled softly up at him. She only allowed Viktor to call her this and would instantly become angry when anyone else did. She adjusted his coat before kissing his cheek tenderly. He smiled softly down at her before he moved to exit their chambers. As soon as the door shut behind him, Cyane exhaled shortly. She felt her shoulders droop slightly and she moved to rub her temples. She had been plagued with these terrible visions and nightmares for the past several nights. She had no explanation for them but they shook her to her core. She turned her head as Cedric emerged from the other room. He stretched out his feline body with a soft squeak and Cyane smiled softly at her companion. She moved to kneel on the ground and Cedric approached her. He nuzzled into her body and she laughed softly, kissing his head as she tangled her fingers in his coarse fur. "It's good to see you too, Ric." She mused softly and he purred. She knew she had several hours before the dinner with her mother that night. She decided to do a few things around the castle while she waited. The Princess, a girl named Kindra, was expecting her first child in a few short months. She was barely sixteen and her husband was twice her age. It was an arranged marriage but Kindra seemed happy enough. The Midwife moved to stand and she approached her armoire, getting herself ready for the day. She picked out a pink gown and wore heels to match. She then brushed her hair and styled it how she wished, as well as adding a few pink roses into the braids. She then looked back at Cedric as she waited patiently for her to be ready. She sighed deeply and moved to exit her chambers. She spent most of her day checking up on the Princess, running a few random tests to check on the baby's health. She was also able to confirm the baby's gender, much to the young mother's delight. She was having a boy and Cyane left the parents to rejoice in the news. Cyane moved down the hall with Cedric at her side and she turned the corner to see Julius standing in the hall. He was leaning against the stone railing and staring out into the sunny courtyard. Cyane watched him silently for a few moments before approaching. Julius was the oldest of the King's children but he was a Bastard so he held no claim to the throne and no titles. Cyane had grown up with the boy, who was four years older than her and they had become inseparable. Many people would spread the rumors that they were lovers but they both knew that their relationship was strictly platonic. And Viktor knew it as well.

    "Penny for your thoughts?" Cyane asked curiously as she moved to stand beside her best friend. The Bastard slightly jumped at her sudden presence but seemed to melt almost immediately. They both stared out into the courtyard as they rested their arms against the stone railing. Leaves began to trickle down from the trees and danced down to the grass. Cyane watched the crisp leaves do their seasonal dance as Julius inhaled deeply. "Do you ever just feel like... your life is going nowhere? That you're afraid that your name will be lost in the history books?" Julius asked with a frown and Cyane looked over to him with a thoughtful sparkle in her eye. "Someone is being deeply philosophical today." Cyane teased with a soft laugh and Julius gave her a look. She hummed and looked back out to the courtyard. A warm breeze picked up and danced across her copper cheeks. She blinked slowly as she thought for a moment. "To answer your question, yes. Life does feel repetitive and meaningless sometimes. Like, I don't really have a place in the world." Cyane admitted with a soft frown and a distant look in her eyes. Julius nodded as he watched her with careful remembrance. As if he wanted to remember her face forever. He stood up straight before he clenched his jaw. "I'm leaving. Today. You should come with me." Julius moved to grab her hands gently in his as she moved to face him. She looked at him with a motherly concern and her eyes searched his. She was about to break his heart and she needed to prepare herself. She could not go with the Bastard Prince. The rumors would never cease if she ran away with him and her family deserved better than to be thrown into another scandal. She gently pulled her hands from his and Julius' expectant smile faltered. "Juli, I can't. You know what the scandal of my father leaving did to my family, especially my mother. I cannot bring more shame to my family name." Cyane spoke gently, hoping that he would not take offense and be mature about the truth she spoke. Julius had always understood exactly what she meant so she noticed the understanding in his eyes. He reached forward gently and held her face in one of his large hands. She felt tears sting her eyes as she gazed up at the man she called her best friend. She was going to lose him forever today and she did not know if she would ever see him again. She sighed shakily and grabbed his broad shoulders, pulling him in for a hug. She felt the hot tears run down her cheeks as they embraced. His arms wrapped around her small waist and he buried his face in her dark hair. She cried softly and her body shook. All Julius could do was gently caress her hair. Cyane sniffled as she pulled away from the embrace and she saw Julius cheeks were stained with tears as well. She laughed softly and wiped the tears from his cheeks with a sad motherly smile. Julius sniffled and she sighed. "Listen to me, you're going to go on and do great things. You will be remembered and you will find a purpose for your life. And I hope you meet the love of your life and have many beautiful babies with her." The best friends laughed softly before they pressed their foreheads together. Their hands gripped each other's biceps. This was the Kitsune way of saying farewell. "Méchri tin epómeni zoí mas." Cyane spoke in their native tongue as they locked eyes and Julius smiled softly. "Méchri tin epómeni zoí mas." He returned the greeting before he broke the embrace and headed down the hall. He didn't dare look back, lest he change his mind to stay with Cyane. The young beauty watched her best friend go with a trembling lip and watery eyes.

    Cyane shut her chamber door behind her with a heavy sigh. She looked down at Cedric as he mewled sadly. Julius had always been very affectionate toward the feline and the puma felt his loss just the same as Cyane did. The young beauty exhaled shakily and looked toward her bed. She felt the fatigue of that day suddenly hit her, as well as the nightmares that had been plaguing her sleep. She knew she had a little time before the dinner that night so she decided to take a small nap. She approached her bed and laid among the silk sheets delicately. She curled up under the sheets, still dressed but not seeming to care. She rested her head against the pillow while Cedric laid down on the floor beside her bed. Her eyes began to grow heavy and she was in a deep sleep in a matter of moments. She laid on her side but as she continued to sleep, she began to toss and turn. Cyane was thrown from a pleasant dream into a terrible nightmare. She was wearing the same gown as before though, now it was tattered and torn. Her dark hair was a mess and the sky darkened with black clouds. She found herself in a forest and she felt her bare feet press into the forest floor. She began to walk aimlessly through the woods, hearing sounds that made the hair on her neck stand. She heard chitters of wild animals but they sounded more panicked than usual. There was a deep rumbling in the sky and she looked up to see a storm forming in the coal-black clouds. The sky had a reddish tint to it rather than sky blue and she began to feel her heart thunder. She gently brushed her hand against a tree and felt her soft hands against the rough bark. She moved to slip through the trees and her body moved with fox-like agility. She came to an opening in the forest. There was a tree that reached higher than she could see and the trunk of the tree was wider than she had ever seen in a tree. She inhaled sharply at the sight and began to move toward the tree, feeling as if she was called to it. Her steps were careful, precise. She then halted when she felt a thick and sticky liquid consume her bare feet. The liquid began to consume her gown as well and it grew heavier on her body. She looked down as she smelt a coppery tinge to the liquid. Just as she suspected, the liquid was scarlet red and flowed like blood. She let out a panicked gasp and she lifted the skirts of her gown, hoping to move quicker through the liquid. She then locked her gaze on the figures that were a few feet from her. They were unmoving and face down into the liquid. The blood seemed to pool around their bodies as well and Cyane felt tears sting her eyes. She recognized one of the figures and she gasped out as she moved to trudge through the thick blood. The blood rose to her upper thighs but she kept fighting against the flow, as if she was battling a river. She threw herself down on the unmoving figure she recognized and turned the body over. She let out a suffocating sob as she saw it was her mother's lifeless body, her eyes and mouth bleeding. "Mitéra!" Cyane sobbed out, holding her mother's body close to her chest. She sobbed into her mother's dark curls and then turned her head. She was beginning to recognize all of the bodies around her. She noticed the blonde a few feet away from her and she knew it was her half-sister, Mavis. She let out a soft sob as the blood began to sink into her dress. Her hands were covered in her mother's blood and she struggled to stand. Her gown was growing heavier due to the blood and she searched the bodies for the person she feared would be among them. And just before she reached the tree, she saw him. Viktor. He was looking at her, nothing but fear for her safety in his eyes. She let out a relieved whimper and attempted to sprint to him. It proved difficult with her heavy blood-soaked gown. It felt as if time had slowed down. Viktor even smiled at Cyane as she ran to him but that joy faltered when a figure appeared behind Viktor. The figure was black, like a shadow and had no face. All that was distinct was the blade in the shadow's grasp. Once she realized what was happening, Cyane reached her arm out and screamed at the top of her lungs. Tears welled in her eyes and she knew, it was too late. The figure stabbed Viktor harshly in the back and her fiance went crumpling to the forest floor. Cyane let out a sob and she finally made it to her fiance just as the figure disappeared. She held Viktor in her bloody arms just as he took his last breath. Cyane wailed with loss and she let out a sky-piercing scream just as the river of blood consumed her body.

    The Midwife woke with a jolt, sitting upright in her bed. She was shaking and tears ran down her cheeks. It took her a few moments to come to reality but when she did, she exhaled slowly when she realized she was in her chambers once more, not that nightmarish forest. She moved to touch her hand to her throat, feeling as if she was still drowning in the river of blood. She felt tears roll down her cheeks effortlessly and she panted heavily, her chest rising and falling quickly. She looked to the ground as Cedric stood and looked at her with concern. She had this panicked look in her eye as she seemed deep in thought. This nightmare, it had to be more than just that. It was a vision. And she needed answers. She recognized the tree and she realized what she had to do. She clenched her jaw and threw herself out of bed. She made quick work of changing out of her gown and into riding clothes. Her riding clothes showed her wealth. She also grabbed a satchel and began to pack small things that she might need. She also packed her journals filled with her knowledge of herbs and a few herbs and potions as well. She moved to pick the roses from her hair and she brushed out her messy waves. She then began to style it to where it would be suitable for riding. She frowned softly as she thought of how her dream was so vivid. And how the blood that had drowned her, had been red. She had not seen red blood, she had only ever read about it in books. Humans had red blood. She inhaled sharply before she looked up at her reflection in her foggy mirror. She was abandoning all she had ever known out of fear of bringing death to the people she cared about. She needed answers and the only way she knew how to get them was to seek out the holy temple of Galina. The young beauty grabbed the staff her father had gifted her before he had left that she had named Finndred. She studied it for a moment before she held it deftly in her hands, as if at the ready. She slung her satchel over her shoulder and quickly made her way out of her chambers. Cedric padded after her and she jogged as silent as she could. She snuck through the shadows of the castle and she peeked around corners, making sure she wasn't seen and that no one was following her. She snuck into the kitchens and grabbed some food before shoving them into her satchel. She then made her way toward the stables. Cedric followed her all this while and seemed to understand the severity of what was going on. Cyane came into the stables and she began to prepare her stallion for travel. She loaded her satchel onto the back of her horse, as well as her staff. Cyane exhaled slowly before she led the stallion named Vigard, out of the stables. She then climbed onto the horse as Cedric came to her side. She sent the horse into a slight trot as she approached the front portcullis. One of the guards simply opened the gate, recognizing her as the Midwife to the Royal family. He simply assumed she was searching for supplies. There was a shout and and Cyane's head whirled around to face the shout. It was Viktor, staring down at her with a question in his gaze. Cyane felt the panic rising under her skin as she got flashes of her nightmare in her eyes. All she could see was Viktor dying before her eyes and her eyes welled with tears. She shook her head and turned her head back in front of her. She called out to her stallion as she kicked him into a gallop. Cedric raced beside her and Viktor shouted out before he moved to run down the stairs to chase after his fiance. But the gate was already being lowered. Cyane felt the tears sting at her eyes as she let out a shaky breath. The gate came down just before Viktor could reach it and he slammed his body into the gate without meaning to. He screamed out Cyane's name and she looked back at him, her sobs racking through her body. She saw the complete sorrow and betrayal in his eyes and she felt her body begin to shake. She turned her head and kicked the horse to run faster and she raced through the town. She disappeared from Viktor's sight in a matter of minutes and then she was racing through the forest at the edge of town. She sobbed, her sorrow carrying on the winds. Cedric raced beside her and his movements were agile. Cyane sniffled weaved her stallion through the forest and she exhaled slowly. She knew that as painful as it was to leave Viktor, the answers to the nightmares and visions she was having were more important.



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    Grey clouds littered the sky. There seemed to be a storm brewing that the other men in the castle seemed oblivious too. Ragnar stood in the midst of the training grounds, his chest rising and falling with each shallow breath. His steel sword felt heavy in his hands and sweat covered his pale skin. He seemed to glisten, even in the stormy weather. His golden cat-like eyes narrowed at the practice dummy. The dummies were mechanical and were made to give a good fight while training. Ragnar had set the difficulty to the highest level. His muscles ripped as he lifted his sword into an attacking position and was silently thankful that he had thought to remove his shirt. He twirled the sword in his hand by twisting his wrist and time seemed to slow. He reacted with god-like reflexes as the dummy lunged at him. He slightly turned to the side and he was able to see his eyes in the reflection of the sword. He eyed the dummy before he maneuvered around the sword, going to strike the dummy's chest. The mechanical machine moved to block his blow by colliding swords. The loud clash of their swords seemed to ripple through the still air and Ragnar let out a small snarl. He shoved against the dummy to try and release them from this sword lock. The dummy simply pushed back against him and caused their swords to slide and made a sharp 'zing' sound. Ragnar took a step back and his movements were fluid like a river. He was careful and calculated with how he moved, like he was a predator watching his prey. The dummy went for his thigh and Ragnar met him halfway and their swords collided. He threw the dummy's sword off and twirled just as the dummy attacked once again, aiming for his back. Ragnar held his sword against his back to block the blow and he grunted out as he shoved the dummy back. He slid toward the dummy and sliced at his leg. The dummy went to strike Ragnar by swinging his sword straight down and Ragnar slid out of the way just in time. While the dummy had his sword in the ground, Ragnar acted. He moved atop a rock nearby the dummy and launched at the dummy, sending his sword right through the dummy's chest. The dummy crumpled slightly before Ragnar extracted his sword and the dummy reset. Ragnar turned off the machine and exhaled, blowing his loose white tendrils from his face. He tossed his sword into the malleable dirt and went to grab the sweat rag from a nearby rock. He wiped the sweat from his face when he heard boots crunch the dirt a few feet away from him. "The dummy hardly stood a chance, my son. Then again, they never do." Ragnar's father, Lothrar spoke up and broke the silence as he approached. Ragnar sighed in a dismissive way as he threw his rag down on the rock once more. He sent a side-eye his father's way. "Couldn't sleep?" His father asked with a slight tilt of his head. Ragnar frowned and stood up straight, turning to face his father. He crossed his muscular arms over his chest and stared off at something just past his father's shoulder, almost seeming to zone out. "No, I'm still plagued by the same visions." Ragnar admitted before his hard gaze landed on his father once more. Lothrar was poised to be the next leader of the Sorcerers and so he had gained an aura of authority he didn't possess before. Ragnar watched his father closely as he inhaled, seeming to think on what he was going to say next.

    "Perhaps the visions are a personification of the things you fear?" Lothrar spoke, his brows furrowed into a thoughtful frown. Ragnar scoffed to himself which faded into a rumbling chuckle. He grabbed his sword from the dirt and he sheathed it into its holder on his hips. He looked up to his father and eyed him. "What could I possibly have to fear, Father? I already lost everything I have to live for." Ragnar hissed out and shoved against his father before walking past him. Lothrar turned to watch his son climb the stone steps and let out a soft sigh. Ragnar climbed the steps and came up to the main floor of the abandoned castle. This castle had once belonged to humans but when their numbers began to dwindle, the Sorcerers took possession of the castle and made it their home. Ragnar moved past the other Sorcerers, most of them making small talk. Vivalda warriors were not an uncommon sight at the castle but they weren't as populated as the regular Sorcerers. He clenched his jaw hard as he moved to climbed the stairs to his tower. He got a tower to himself, being the oldest Vivalda warrior living there. He had seniority. He pushed open his chamber doors and he looked up as he saw Claudette standing there. She was one of his lovers and she was a Sorceress that he had met a few years ago. They had been lovers since a year after he had lost his wife and they both knew exactly what their relationship was. Simply carnal pleasure for the both of them. She was standing there in a sheer red robe and a knowing smirk on her plump lips. Ragnar unbuckled his sheath and set it to the side, eyeing her with silent hunger. She untied her robe and let it drop from her body. Ragnar chuckled to himself before he moved to approach her. He eloped her in an embrace and she squealed with excitement as she jumped into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. They fell back against the bed and lost themselves in one another. After they both finished, Ragnar fell asleep with Claudette in his arms. He seemed to have good dreams for a short while, his breathing normal and stable. But the meadow he was dreaming of burned into the vision of a forest. He looked around the forest with a deep frown as he moved to maneuver through the trees. His boots crunched the twigs under his feet and he winced slightly at the sound. He was wearing his usual loose tunic and leather pants. He looked up toward the sky and noticed that it was red tinted and covered with black clouds. He noticed that it looked as if it might storm soon. He moved to approach an opening in the forest and that was when he saw a figure. She was ethereal and moved as if she was made of the wind. She was indescribably beautiful and otherworldly and she seemed to be flitting away from him. He jogged to try and catch up with her, amazed by her beauty. She seemed to be singing but it seemed distant, as if she was trapped underwater. Her white hair flowed around her like she was under water and her white gown flowed in the air the same way. Ragnar moved to step toward her once more when he felt something wrap around his ankle. He looked down and let out a horrified gasp, attempting to stagger away. The figure that had grabbed his ankle had been a corpse but not just any corpse. The corpse of his late wife. Her eyes were lifeless and clouded white. Her skin seemed to be falling off of her bones and she let out a guttural croak. Ragnar grunted and kicked the corpse from him and stumbled backwards. He grimaced as he watched the corpse of his late wife try to climb out from under the dirt. He felt another hand grip at his ankle and he jumped back on instinct. It was his daughter but in corpse form, just like her mother.

    Ragnar panted softly and he watched the corpse of his daughter. Her eyes were white and clouded as well and her skin seemed to be falling apart. She looked monstrous, both of them. It was enough to make Ragnar sick. He moved to walk backwards and he felt his body collide with someone else. He swirled around to face the figure and he was met with another corpse. The corpse of his mother. Her golden blonde locks seemed to be falling effortlessly from her scalp and her eyes were as dead as the others. She seemed to stare right into Ragnar's soul and he let out a shuddering gasp. "Blood shall be spilled and unless the Heroes stop him, he will never stop fighting for power." His mother croaked out and Ragnar grimaced at the sound but looked at his mother, pleading for answers to her cryptic message. "What do you mean, Mother?" Ragnar pleaded and she gripped his shoulders. He shook, his eyes stinging with tears. "On the moonrise, rises the bringer of death. Protect her from his poison." His mother spoke before a deafening scream broke through the skies. Ragnar's hands flew to his ears to cover the sound and with that, his mother vanished. He exhaled shakily and looked a few feet in front of him. He saw a figure standing over the girl from before, the ethereal girl in white. The girl seemed to gargling on something based on the choking sound she was letting out and Ragnar approached. The shadow figure let out a hiss as he lifted his face from her neck. Shimmering pink blood covered the ground as well as the shadow figure's lips and Ragnar let out a protective growl. He launched at the figure and it dissaperated before he had the opportunity to attack. He then looked down at the dying girl as her white glow seemed to slowly fade. He crouched down beside her and pulled her into his lap. He held her as she choked on her own blood and he softly brushed her white locks from her face. He softly cooed to her, hoping to calm her nerves. Just as she took her last breath, he felt as if the air had left his lungs. She was gone. He set her down gently and he felt a great sorrow consume him. He wasn't quite sure why but he frowned deeply at the heaviness in his chest. Suddenly, he felt the dirt begin to collapse from underneath him and it caved it. He let out a grunt as he went falling down into a deep hole. He cried out in surprise and tried desperately to grab onto some kind of root to keep him from falling. But he kept falling into the darkness and he let out a deep scream, feeling as if this falling and helpless feeling would never end. He woke with a sharp jolt and he panted heavily. He had a silent panic in his eyes and he kept hearing the girl from his dreams. Her scream. He could still see her but somehow, he couldn't remember her face. He frowned at this. He moved to sit up, untangling himself from Claudette's embrace. He ran a hand through his messy white hair and moved to sit on the edge of his bed. He clenched his jaw and a conflict shimmered in his cat-like eyes. What could his mother have possibly meant? He wanted to write it off as another meaningless nightmare but he couldn't shake this feeling. He had to save the girl with white hair. His mother had tasked him with doing so. Grunting as if he had made up his mind, he moved to stand. He began to dress himself and he brushed his long hair from his face. He tied his hair up in his usual style, a half pony tail. He jumped into his trousers and began to tie his trousers. That was when Claudette began to stir and when she noticed him dressing himself, she sat up with a frown.

    Her golden hair danced around her shoulders in loose curls and she looked just as beautiful as she did the first day he had met her. Ragnar approached his bed, boots in hand. He sat down on the edge of his bed and began to slip on his boots. Claudette watched him with careful eyes before she decided to pick up. "What troubles you, Ragnar?" She wondered aloud as she watched him with concern in her eyes. The warrior inhaled deeply as he slipped on his second boot. He adjusted his foot in the boot before he glanced toward her. "I have to go... I can't explain why. But I need answers." Ragnar's voice seemed more fragile than usual. He looked to her with a deep frown, hoping she would understand. She smiled softly at her lover before she moved to gently hold his face in her hand. She leaned in and gave him a tender kiss on his cheek which he slightly leaned into. They both knew they could never love one another but they certainly did care for one another. She was unlike any Sorceress he had ever met. She looked at him kindly as she pulled away. "You do not need to explain yourself to me. Just come back alive." Claudette spoke gently and Ragnar smiled small. He glanced toward her and nodded once. She stood and grabbed her gown she had come in and slipped it on. She then shuffled toward the door and looked back toward Ragnar one last time, seeming to want to remember every feature of his. "Goodbye, Ragnar." She whispered before leaving the room and thus, leaving his life. Ragnar inhaled deeply, staring at the place on his bed where she had just been moments ago. He blinked slowly before he finished lacing up his boots. The man looked toward the corner of his room as his companion, a baby bear named Udolf emerged from his soft bed. Ragnar couldn't help the small smile that graced his features at the sight of the small creature. The baby bear yawned and stretched out his body before padding over to Ragnar. The warrior lifted the animal into his arms and he set him on the bed beside him. He stood and began to pack small things into his riding bags, knowing he didn't have many things he needed to take with him anyway. He mostly just packed food for himself and Udolf as well as Udolf's bed. He packed a few changes of clothes and then sheathed his sword. He then eyed his battle axe in the corner before approaching it. He picked up the heavy weapon with ease and tested it in his hands by spinning it. He shrugged and moved to place it onto the holster on his back. He then looked to Udolf as the animal titled its head curiously. Ragnar chuckled. "Come on, little one. We're going on a trip." Ragnar's accent was thick on the words he spoke but the bear seemed to understand exactly what he meant. The baby animal jumped from the bed and followed after Ragnar as he left his chambers. Ragnar made his way directly to the stables and he made sure to make sure he wasn't seen. He didn't want to deal with his father's questioning. He began to load his mare, Fringilla, for the trip ahead. He loaded his bags onto her saddle and then he made sure to give her plenty of food. He then looked to Udolf, unsure of what to do with him. He looked to the side and grabbed a long scarf instinctively. He began to maneuver the scarf to form a makeshift holder for his pet. He then placed the baby bear into the holder and snickered to himself when the bear snuggled into his chest. He climbed atop his mare and exited the stables undetected.

    The white-haired man led his horse to trot toward the castle gates. He nodded toward the guard as he moved to lift the gate. Ragnar looked back toward the castle with a hard frown. He had grown up here, in the harshest of climates. His skin was used to the harsh winds and he had become used to the frost. He felt as if he would feel out of place if he ever traveled anywhere else but he had no choice. The girl from his dreams had taken that choice from him. He blinked and looked forward just as the gates opened fully. Ragnar kicked his mare into a gallop and he raced down the mountainside. He was determined to find the answers as to why he was having these dreams. And that started with the holy temple of Galina.




    A loud thump startled Darya from her concentrated state on the stool, making her force the small drops of water back into her hand as she whipped her face upward with a light cough. She'd been working on a necklace for a naiad client, which had pulled her far away from the real world, distracting her from the frustrated soldiers who had just walked into the tavern.

    "Are you deaf, stupid girl?" one of the men growled, his partner chuckling cruelly beside him. "We want mead, and if there ain't any, we'll take you instead." Darya gave the men a tight smile, one which barely lifted her cheeks, and hopped off her bar stool.

    "Of course gentlemen," she responded, walking as slowly as she could toward the Black Boar's alcohol supply. As she entered the back room, she wiped the fake smile off her face and gagged in disgust before filling two large glasses with the brownish liquid that would plague her senses for days. Darya took a deep breath and plastered on the same grin from before, picking up the drinks and bringing them out to the men. They didn't even bother to say thank you.

    The Boar was awfully busy today, and she pleaded that the owner, a naiad named Lillin, would let her go on time. She didn't, and Darya was late to her next job in the stables.

    "Lachlan," she called to her coworker and close friend. "I'm so sorry I'm late. Lillin was being quite the hag today."

    Lachlan laughed, his dark tresses lightly shading his eyes. "Don't worry, Dar, I've covered for you."

    They worked together for hours, taking a single break for the sole purpose of Darya showing the young man the trinket she was in the process of creating. By the time they were done, the sun was already beginning to set, meaning that the streets of the slums were beginning to come to life. The soldiers typically retired to their lodges in the early evenings, which meant that the nymphs could roam and speak freely.

    "Are you up for stew tonight?" Lachlan inquired, jostling the knob to their front door aggressively until it opened. Darya and Lachlan had lived in this small hut since they were children, she only a few months older than the boy. After Darya was taken from her home, Lachlan's grandmother took her in. The woman passed years ago, but there was no way that the nereid would forget her compassion.

    "I think I'll be turning in early tonight," Darya yawned. "Save me some for tomorrow, though, you pig."

    "Oh, please, I was only being nice. I'm heading over to Sage's this evening."

    Darya scoffed in mock offense and swatted at the brunette as he ran inside, boyish giggles leaving his lips. She rolled her eyes fondly before making her way to her room.

    "Don't stay out too late!" she commanded lightheartedly. "And clean yourself up this time!" She smirked, satisfied, when she heard him sputter from his room down the hall. She soon retreated to her own bedroom and greeted her kingfisher, Spoon, before opening the door to his cage. The young bird climbed to the top of the cage before inching his way along the door and onto his perch beside Darya's bed. She gave him a few small scratches behind his neck before falling into her worn and much-too-small bed. Before she could even bid the bird or Lachlan goodnight, she was overtaken by sleep

    There was a girl, young and decorated in pearls and clothed in tendrils of green. Darya couldn't make sense of it, but she seemed familiar to her. They had the same blonde hair, naturally forming delicate spirals that reached toward the ground. The dagger attached at Darya's own hip was also fastened at the young one's waist. She wanted to know who this girl was, laughing and running joyfully toward the waves, so she took a step forward. Her dress, worn and dirty, dragged through the sand as her mind willed her legs to pick up their pace. But the girl was gone, leaving Darya to spin in frantic circles searching for her. She tried to call out, but a great dark surge surrounded her and the waves consumed her. She tried to remember how to breathe, her hands reaching and grasping at grains of beige that ultimately slipped through her paling fingers. Soon, the blackened waters were stained with red, and her face was jerked up toward the sky. Above her, the shadows of war could be seen on the cliffs and on the beach. Then, Lachlan's voice reached her ears clear as day, and as Darya tried to find him, his scream sent a chill through her soul. Her eyes caught him just as his bloodied form hit the sand, a monster of a man above him with his sword raised. She tried her hardest to fight the waves which were tugging her further into the depths, but with one more mighty tug, the world around her disappeared.

    Awakening with a gasp, Darya ripped off her sheets, her mind hardly able to catch up with her actions as she went about throwing travel items into a bag. When she was done, she took a few deep breaths, gathered a somewhat flustered Spoon from his perch and into her arms, and made for the door. She cringed as she stepped onto an old floorboard, making it groan.

    "Darya?" a voice called from behind her, groggy with sleep. She turned to find Lachlan dressed in his nightclothes and squinting at her through the dark, a calloused hand rubbing against his eyes. "Is everything alright?"

    "Yes, Lachlan, everything's fine," Darya whispered, allowing her feathered companion to sit on her shoulder and nestle into her hair as she approached him. "I just-Lachlan, I must go. I can't explain it, but Galina's called to me. I'll be back as soon as I figure it out, alright?."

    The young man was speechless, but he knew that nothing he could say would stop the nereid. Instead, her wrapped his arms around her and made her swear she would return safely. Darya squeezed her eyes shut so tightly she feared that they would never open again and nodded fervently against his shoulder. When they parted, she placed both hands firmly on his arms and nodded her head one last time before leaving the ramshackle hut and taking the first step toward the temple.


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    thalia eirene speer//twenty//halfling

    Somewhere in the deep woods outside of the temple, a wolf howled. Thalia Speer looked up from her books and shivered, though the library was snug and warm. Something about the howling of a wolf took a person right out of here and now and left them in a dark forest of the mind, running naked before the pack.

    When the wolf howled again, Thalia shut the heavy leather-bound cover on the book she was reading, a hundred-year-old discourse on the changing of the seasons by a long-dead priestess. She covered a yawn with the back of her hand. Her reading lamp was flickering, its oil all but gone, as dawn light leaked through the high windows. She had been at it all night, but that was nothing new. Thalia Speer was not much a one for sleeping, especially with the constant nightmares that plagued her.

    The halfling had arrived at the temple the day before, ragged and dirty, trying her best not to fall from her horse. She'd never traveled so far from her home before, had never left No Man's Land. Most of the journey she had been too afraid to light any fires, or stay in any place for too long. Now she was in the center of the continent, the holiest place in all the realms, where all people were welcome.

    Her entire life all she had known were humans, and for a short time her father who was an elf, but when she arrived at the temple, she had been received by an angel and a kitsune. They wore white silken robes and paint on their faces, and they spoke only a few words to her. Neither of them had asked her why she was there, or who she was. They had simply shown her to the guest room she would be staying in, and then told her High Priestess Astraea would meet with her soon. They answered no questions of hers, and since then only servants had come to tend to her. She hadn't seen anyone else.

    There were no guards at her door, there were no guards anywhere. It was a place without strife, and no weapons were allowed. They had taken her bow and arrows as soon as she had stepped through the door. Though since no one had told her she couldn't leave her room, she decided to explore the hallway she was staying in, though risked no further. She didn't want to offend the high priestess. It didn't take her long to find the library, and that was where she had spent her night, reading and trying not to fall asleep, lest the nightmares return.

    Her legs were stiff and sore as she rose off the bench. She massaged some life back into them and leaned onto the table where the master was snoring softly, his head pillowed on an open book in front of him. Thalia glanced at the title. A Life of the Grand Master Bhaltair, no wonder. Deciding not to wake him, Thalia began to place her pile of books back where they belonged. It was raining hard outside, she could hear it pelting against the stain-glass windows. It reminded her of the dreams she'd been having, of the raging storm and gray clouds covering the sun.

    The door to the library opened and a woman greeted her. Her eyes were pale green, and she had a chin of iron determination. "I am Mistress Inerys. I will be escorting you to the dining hall."

    Thalia followed the woman down the twisting hallways, her arms crossed over her chest. She was wearing some of the clothes she had brought with her, with tall leather boots, and her white hair mostly let down in loose curls. The jewel which hung from her throat had been given to her by her father: a moonstone which sometimes reflected the blue brilliance of the sky and sea; but in the fog, today, even the jewel looked shadowed.

    The dining hall was not as packed as she imagined it to be. Only a few others lingered by the long table, scattered among the large room. There was a nymph, if she had to guess, with blonde ringlets and eyes that were similar to her moonstone. Her genuine beauty was quite alarming, and she found herself staring for a moment too long. There was a demon leaning against the wall, she could tell by the way he dressed. He looked tough, lean, and sinewy, and yet she could tell he wasn't someone she'd ever want to mess with. Standing nearby was a kitsune with alluring features, most notably her wealth of dark hair. She was well modeled and feminine, and she had a look of loving to pamper herself. Farthest from her was a man whose race she could not place, but he had pale white hair and golden eyes that sent a shiver down her spine. His tall, black-clad figure stiffened at her entrance, and it only made her more curious.

    There were others, though they seemed less interested by her arrival. An angel with patrician features and loose tendrils of hair tied at the nape of her neck, that didn't even glance in her direction. A siren who had her back turned to the door, but she turned to the side for a moment to fill up a glass of water, and Thalia glanced her pretty grecian nose and pale eyes. There was a shapeshifter that didn't look up from his food, just tearing into a chunk of meat like he was an animal. He was tall, even sitting down, and there was something wild and untamed about him. A hobbit was on the other side of the room, seemingly asleep, his entire form laid out on the bench. And lastly there was a man who appeared human to her, which gave her a familiar sense of home, but then he stood from the table and she saw just how giant he was. He stood taller than anyone she had ever met, and his massive shoulders filled the coat he wore. His long dark hair was pulled back from his face, and there was a bottle of ale in his clenched fist, even though it was early in the morning. She had no doubt that this man had giant's blood in him.

    Mistress Inerys announced to the room that the high priestess would see them shortly, and then she took her leave. Thalia gave a small wave, but no one returned it. Biting her bottom lip, she made her way toward the table. There was strawberries and cream, a bowl of grilled nuts, buttered toast that was still warm, crispy bacon, roasted venison, and a bowl of limes and oranges. There was also wine and ale, along with peppermint tea and water with lemon.

    Seating herself at the bench, Thalia took a plate and began to fill it up. She grabbed some of the toast and bacon, as well as some of the grilled nuts. She then filled herself a cup of peppermint tea, which helped in waking her up.

    The halfling sat across from the sleeping hobbit and a bit down from the shapeshifter. When he caught her looking at him, he growled and she jumped a bit in her seat. She began to scoot down a bit farther, keeping her head down. She began to wonder what these people were all doing here, and then she thought again of her dragon eggs, wondering if they'd be safe here.


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

    The post was edited 1 time, last by -ghost- ().

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    draco cardan poraj//twenty five//demon prince

    The summons came in the hour before the dawn, when the world was still and grey. A master had come to invite him to break fast, and informed him that the high priestess would see him after. Draco thanked him and sent him on his way. A soft groan had left his lips after he'd closed the door, and he ran a rough hand through his messy curls. He had arrived two days prior, and had yet to be able to sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Anne laying on his bedroom floor, and her black blood on his hands.

    Instead, Draco had spent his nights at a desk in his guest room, attempting to write a letter to Anne. He didn't even know what he wanted to say to her, but he felt as if he had to at least send something to let her know he was alright. He knew that Anne would have told her grandfather as soon as she had woken, and the king would have sent his men to search the countryside for him by now, most likely led by his uncles. They would search for him for as long as it took to find him, they wouldn't give up so easily.

    Draco glanced toward his desk, toward the multiple failed letters he had tried to write, crumpled up into balls on the floor. With a frown, he moved toward one of the high windows, glancing out into the gardens. It was beginning to rain, and the sky cast a dark shadow over the world. He could see the temple gardens from his room, could see the statues, cracked and overgrown with moss, and the water fountains surrounded by trimmed shrubs and colorful flowers.

    The temple wasn't what he had expected. It was beautiful and ancient, made up of marble and stone, the air thick with the scent of incense. It was almost as large as his own castle, manned by masters and mistresses in their silk robes and painted faces, along with the temple maidens. And yet he had imagined it to be more... magical. This place didn't make him feel like he was standing on holy ground. These people didn't seem like they could converse with the great mother, that they were able to channel her power.

    Still, he couldn't leave now. Not when he was so close to getting answers. Surely the high priestess would know why he was having these terrible night terrors and what they meant, and why he was seeing himself murder his fiancee. Or rather, ex-fiancee. He was fairly certain their engagement was over after what had happened. He didn't know how she could forgive him for leaving the way he did, without even a real explanation. But once he knew why he was plagued by visions, he would leave and return to Rhysa, where he would resume his life in the castle and try to explain everything to her. Life could go back to normal.

    Unless these visions meant he was supposed to become a master, to which he'd never be able to leave the temple again. He would be expected to denounce all claims to the throne and ties to his kingdom, and to dedicate the rest of his life to tending to Galina and learning its ways. He hoped that wasn't the case. He couldn't see himself leaving his family and friends behind, and spending the rest of his life studying a tree.

    It was raining harder now, and he could hear the thunder rumbling above him - rageful, restless. Turning back from the window, Draco searched through his belongings until he found suitable clothes to wear. If he was going to meet the high priestess, he wanted to look presentable. Part of him wanted to adorn himself with a crown, in order to show his rank and nobility, but they had never been his style and he didn't want to come off as arrogant.

    There was another knock at his door, and he answered it, expecting the master from before. Only this time is was a mistress, with a quiet oval face that was dark and rather delicate, except for her chin. She introduced herself as Mistrees Inerys, and told him she would accompany him to the dining hall. He began to wonder if she was doing so to be polite, or because they were keeping a close eye on him. They had taken his sword at the door, and though he knew they would, he still felt naked and vulnerable without it.

    As they made their way down the narrow halls, Draco glanced at the murals lining the halls, and the chandeliers hanging above him. One of his favorite murals was on the ceiling. It was simple, a blue sky with soft-looking clouds. It almost looked real, and he imagined the artist must have been well renowned. If he stared for too long, he began to feel like he was floating up there to meet them.

    Upon reaching the dining hall, Draco was met by stares from a few others. One of them was a hobbit who was swirling a wine glass, his eyelids drooping. The other was a shapeshifter who was ripping off a haunch of venison and beginning to tear into it, but snarling when he noticed Draco. He was tempted to hiss back at him, but he knew better than to start a brawl in the temple. There was a siren on the opposite end; she looked him up and down before turning her back to him. And there was an angel picking at her food, giving him a look before returning to her meal.

    Draco wasn't hungry, so he simply stood off to the side of the room, trying to ignore the tension in the air. He wasn't sure what these people were doing there, surely they weren't going to be masters or mistresses. They didn't exactly seem like the overly religious kind. Each of them looked like fighters, the type to start fights and end them. He began to wonder if they had dreams too, but that notion only gave him more unanswered questions.

    As the morning went on, more and more people entered the dining hall. There was a man who appeared human, except for the fact he was twice as tall as he was, and he knew one swing of his fist could break his neck. The man with giant's blood went straight for a bottle of ale and began to guzzle it down. Next to appear was a kitsune who moved with the grace of a dancer, and his gaze landed on the living moistness of her full red mouth, and her unblemished tan skin. Next was another man he wouldn't want to be caught in a fight with, and he could only guess by looking at him that he was a sorcerer. The very way he stood there told you he had made it.

    And then a nymph entered the room, and Draco was caught off guard by her beauty. Her complexion was white and illusive pink, and there was a slight blush to her cheeks. Her generously curved parted lips were faintly rosy, her mouth tempting a smile. Her lashes swept down across her cheekbones, and his heart skipped a beat. A part of him wanted to approach her, but the other decided against it. Surely a woman like that was already spoken for.

    After some time had passed, Draco had figured that no one else would be entering the dining hall. Until the door opened again, and a young woman entered the room. Her white hair and pointed ears gave her away as an elf, but her dusty rose cheeks showed she had human blood coursing through her veins. She was quite beautiful, but just one look at her told him just how naive she was. She even waved, and everyone ignored her. She then sat at the bench, close to the shapeshifter, which he knew was not wise, but it wasn't his job to save her from the brute.

    Pushing himself off the wall, Draco made his way toward the long table, deciding he might as well have something to eat. He filled a plate with roasted almonds and an orange. It wasn't much, but it would do. He sat across from the pretty nymph girl, tossing a few almonds into his mouth and watching her. She caught him staring, but he caught her staring back.


    「 tell me princess ———— ・゚✧ 」

    ❝now when did you last let your heart decide?

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    It had been a few days since she came to the temple. She sought answers and she was determined to get them, even if it meant losing Viktor as her fiance in the process. These nightmares had been plaguing her for weeks but as soon as the nightmares told of Viktor's death, she had scrambled away. She was fearful that she would be the cause of his death so in order to save the both of them, she had ran. She rode her steed for what seemed like weeks. She would only take short breaks on her journey, allowing her horse and Cedric to rest for a few hours before they were back on the trail. She remembered racing through the trees and forestry and imagining what it felt like to fly. She had always had a deep connection to the earth and her spirituality. And for some reason, she felt as if she needed to care for animals and plants when they couldn't protect themselves. She had always been a very nurturing person and it was why she had decided to become a healer and a midwife. She was wild in some ways and that made her unattainable to most men. She felt that she belonged in the trees, to run across the branches and befriend the creatures of the world. She felt more at home in the woods with bare feet and a smile than she ever would in gowns or castles. She felt much more free being away from her home, as if she could finally breathe. It was almost as if the earth itself was telling her that this is where she belonged. She had spent most of her days in the gardens of the temple, learning about the various plants they had and their purpose. She was especially fond of the flowers and one in particular. It was a deep purple and navy blue, like the night sky on a unclouded night. It's purpose, she thought was rather grim but the flower was grim nevertheless. The flower's nectar, when mixed with spring water, made a concoction meant for a woman to rid herself of a child. It was an odd thing to keep in the temple gardens but she supposed they must have kept it there for the beauty of the flower itself. She would climb the trees in the garden, wild and graceful as ever. She would read about the old statues and who they had been as well as the history of the land as well. It was all so fascinating. And oddly enough, this temple felt more like home to her than the castle ever had. She may not have ever been a royal but she was trapped as so many royals often had been. She had no doubt that Viktor was searching for her with an army of men. She wondered how she would ever explained what had happened. She knew that what she had done was insane to any person who had not been plagued by the nightmares she had. But her decisions were her own and she needed answers. She felt as if this temple held so much more in store for her than she had previously thought and she imagined her life was about to change completely.

    The young Kitsune sat in her room, her dark brown hair cascading down her back in loose ringlets. The baby hairs on her face seemed to kiss at her cheeks and forehead, making her look that much more vulnerable. She wore a loose white robe, not planning on getting dressed anytime soon. She had not slept the night before, afraid of what visions her nightmares had in store for her. She had one leg pulled up to her chest and the other folded, curling into her other ankle. She seemed to be zoned out, not focusing on her surroundings at this given moment. Her fingers moved with delicate grace, bouncing a small ball of electricity between her fingers. Every Kitsune had an affinity toward some kind of elemental power. Oddly enough, Cyane had two. Fire and Lightning. She had always found it odd but to not seem like more of a freak, she kept her lightning powers hidden. She did not need more attention on herself. She had raised herself to blend in, to not make a scene and keep her head low. Her family name had been shamed when her father chose another woman over her mother and left to become a pirate. The shame had dissipated over the years and especially after her mother remarried. But Cyane felt pressured by the weight of her last name, her father's name. Back home, people seemed to hold their breath, waiting for her to make a mistake and become like her father. She blinked slowly, bringing herself back to reality. Her dark green eyes looked to the tattoos on her hands and she turned her wrist, allowing the ball of lightning to rest in her palm. She eyed the small ball, her eyes seeming to shimmer with its light. She was plagued by the demons of her past and the fear of never being happy again. She could not remember the last time she had been happy for more than an hour. She frowned deeply at the thought and closed her hand into a fist, extinguishing the light as a sizzle filled the air and smoke escaped her knuckles. She opened her hand once more and stretched out her fingers, examining her hand as if she was trying to solve a puzzle without all of the pieces. She heard a sharp rap on her chamber doors and Cedric instantly stood from his sleeping position at her bedside. The large feline snarled out and his ears shot back, his eyes slits as he looked toward the chamber door. Cyane was not sure who the person was but she knew that she was safe in the temple. It was just a trusting feeling in the pit of her stomach. She stood with feline-like agility as she climbed out of the bed. She adjusted the robe to cover her modesty which proved difficult since the robe was so incredibly short. "Yes?" She called out, a thick accent on her beautiful voice. A figure walked into the room and Cedric stood right by his person, his fur brushing up against her shaven legs. A woman approached, introducing herself as Mistress Inerys. And then the woman spoke of how she would be escorting Cyane to the dining hall. The young beauty frowned in confusion but agreed nevertheless, softly caressing the puma beside her to calm him.

    Soft heels clicked against the stone floors as the two women walked in time with one another. Cedric prowled beside Cyane, his eyes peeled for any signs of danger with a slight curl to his maw. The young Lady was adorned in a beautiful gown that showed she was from nobility but not quite royal. Kitsunes were known for showing skin but not nearly as much as demons. She frowned at the mere thought of demons. The one and only time she had ever encountered a demon, he had been like a rabid dog. Snarling and biting at any that tried to subdue him. He had gone mad in a matter of moments and had ripped a whore's throat out before escaping to the streets. In her home, any crime against a woman was punishable by death, no matter what species the victim or attack were. She remembered being barely more than a girl, watching from the crowd with fearful eyes the size of the moon. And then, the rabid demon had noticed her and launched for her, resulting in the three deep claw marks across her back. She cringed at the mere memory, remembering how much agonizing pain she had been in when her flesh had been torn open by his cruel claws. She was still unsure why the demon man had gone rabid but she had fell unconscious before anything more could be done. She simply remembered waking up in an infirmary the next day and being told the man had been killed for his crimes. She shook away her thoughts just as the dining hall doors swung open and she stepped inside. Her eyes wandered the room and she could tell just by their scent, who was what race. She saw a hobbit in the corner of the room, seeming to not wish to be there. An angel and siren kept to the shadows and a wild shapeshifter man ate like a savage. She grimaced at the sight. Her gaze then fell on a man with dark hair and sun-kissed skin. She frowned deeply when she inhaled his scent. Demon. Cedric snarled at the mere presence of the man so she decided she would steer clear of that man. She moved off toward the side with a natural elegance, her eyes seeming to scan the room. Her dark green eyes landed on a inhumanly tall man with gaunt features and deep, tortured eyes. She felt nearly breathless at the sight of him. While most saw a brute, she saw a beautiful soul and felt drawn to him. She even took a step forward. The door opened once more and she caught herself, frowning to herself. She scolded herself, reminding herself that she was engaged and the man likely wouldn't even be interested in her. Still, she couldn't help but steal glances toward the man every now and then.

    Just when she thought everyone had come into the dining hall, the doors swung open again. In stepped a beautiful young girl with hair as white as snow. She looked Elvish but the blush in her cheeks told Cyane otherwise. A halfling perhaps? A rare combination, indeed. She eyed the naive girl with motherly eyes and watched as she waved. She seemed nervous and rightfully so. Everyone in this room looked more dangerous than the last, a renegade team of heroes. Mistress Inerys announced to the group that the high priestess would be with them soon and it made Cyane hum in response. She watched as the young girl approached a table, sitting across from the sleeping hobbit and beside the savage shapeshifter. She seemed frightened and a feeling of needing to protect the girl overwhelmed the Midwife. She moved gracefully to sit beside the halfling girl, wedging herself between the shapeshifter man and the beautiful girl. Cedric sent a warning growl to the shapeshifter, daring him to make a move against his person. The dark-haired beauty turned her warm gaze toward the halfling girl, tucking some loose tendrils of her hair behind her ear. She smiled kindly at the girl. "My name is Cyane. This big softie is Cedric." The woman spoke, her voice thick like honey and comforting like a mother's would be. She seemed to naturally have a motherly aura to her. She ruffled her feline's fur at the mention of him and the puma huffed in response, causing Cyane to smile. She was sitting on the bench backward, her curvy body turned to face the halfling and was obliviously unaware of the men staring at her womanly curves. Her beauty was palpable, which was to be expected of a Kitsune. Men of different races sought out Kitsune wives due to their effortless beauty. Cyane would much rather marry a man or woman that could make her feel loved and laugh with them but, to each their own. Cyane tilted her head with a question in her eyes before she vocalized it. "What is your name?" She asked simply, her voice sweet and almost alluring and sultry.



    Thoughts clouded his cat-like eyes. His hands gently clutched the locket in his fist, shallow breaths leaving his lips. Inside the locket was the only painting that remained of his late wife and his daughter. They were smiling, Emilia's dark curls pulled into a effortlessly beautiful bun. She wore a scarlet red gown that seemed to bring life to her milky skin. Her dark eyes seemed vibrant, even in the painting. She was a beauty to behold. His daughter, Nayella sat on her mother's lap and was smiling so big he was sure it had hurt her cheeks at the time. Her dark hair, which she had inherited from her mother, ran down her shoulders and onto her back. She had wildflowers intertwined in her locks and she looked almost as if she was a fairy. She wore a deep purple gown and the puffy sleeves obviously gave her discomfort. His wife had been human, a woman he had rescued from a foul monster. She had been attacked by a ghoul while she was helping the injured on a battlefield. Ragnar had appeared seemingly out of nowhere and had killed the ghoul and rushed the woman to safety. He had begun to fall for her beauty and then, her charm and wit. He began to spend more time with her and even helped her with nursing wounded soldiers. They became close quickly and soon, were talking as if they had known each other for years. He found himself staring at her more often than not and one night, they got drunk together. Ragnar laughed and joked with Emilia, finally admitting his feelings for her. They kissed and had shared a passionate night together. The next morning, Ragnar proposed to her and they were married a few days later. Ragnar would never usually rush into things like marriage but he felt that Emilia was the one for him. Nothing could change his mind on that, he was just a twenty year old man after all. His father had disapproved of their relationship since the beginning but had held his tongue, sticking to the shadows. Emilia was with child shortly after they were married and Ragnar remembered holding his daughter in his arms for the first time. And how it had been the happiest day of his life.

    A tear fell down his cheek and the warrior then woke from his thoughts. "Damn it." He murmured and snapped the locket closed with a deep sigh. He sniffled, wiping any stray tears from his face. He set the locket down on his bedside table and groaned to himself. He shoved his face in his hands and shook his head. Emilia and Nayella haunted his every waking moment and even his dreams. He felt their ghosts with him everytime he breathed and it was beginning to weigh on the man. He had lost who he was when he lost his wife and child. They had been his reason to live and fight but without him, he felt as if he was just a shell of a man. He felt nothing most days and he wondered if the reason he had started fighting that much more, was because the only time he felt anything was when he was in pain. As if the pain took him away from his loss, even for a moment. He sighed deeply and pulled his hands from his face. He ran a hand through his messy white hair and looked over to the side. Udolf was sleeping soundly in his plush bed and Ragnar felt the ghost of a smile sneak onto his lips. He moved to stand and he made sure to do so quietly. He stripped himself of his nightly clothes and moved to get dressed for the day. He had been at the temple for a few days, no longer than a week. He had spent most of his time alone, not interacting with anyone else besides Udolf. He had visited the library a few times as well as the gardens but the place that drew him the most, was the cemetery. He would walk among the headstones and would scan his eyes over the names, wondering who they had been and what they meant to people. He wondered to himself if he would ever be remembered. And not just because he was a Vivalda warrior. But because he had done something more than himself. He wanted to prove himself to the world and to his father. He knew he would likely never impress his father enough to make a difference but he could dream. He blinked away his thoughts and began to tie his trousers, knowing that he needed to get out of this room. Just as he finished getting dressed, there was a sharp knock on his door. Udolf stirred and Ragnar frowned in thought. Who could this person be?

    Ragnar approached his bedchamber door and pulled it open, a questioning frown on his features. A woman stood in the doorway, introducing herself as Mistress Inerys and Ragnar eyed her curiously with his cat eyes. She spoke of how she would escort him to the dining hall and he let out a gruff hum before nodding. He opened the door a bit wider as Udolf pranced over. He watched the bear walk out of the room first and Ragnar followed, shutting the door behind him. He walked down the hall, a few paces behind his escort. He had a natural power to his step and just by looking at him, one would have to be a complete fool to pick a fight with him. He towered over most men, standing at 6'7. Being abnormally tall was not uncommon in Vivalda warriors but he was an exception, most not being taller than 6'4. He had his hair tied back in its usual style, a half ponytail. It kept his hair out of his hair just in case he came across a fight. He doubted he would in this temple but one could never be too cautious. Which was why he understood that they had taken his weapons at the door. He felt odd without his weapons but he also knew if need be, his fists were still a powerful weapon. He looked down as Udolf walked in pace with the tall sorcerer. He smiled to himself just before they entered the dining hall. All expression fell from his face once those doors swung open and he saw eyes turn to him. He instantly recognized a few of the creatures just based on their scent. An angel, a siren, a hobbit. He looked to the side, seeing a shapeshifter that seemed more animal than human. He hummed at the sight, keeping his opinions to himself. Sorcerers and Sorceresses were raised to have a certain level of... poise. They were supposed to aid Kings and Queens in changing the world, after all. He walked into the room, moving to stand off to the side. Udolf sat at his feet and looked up at the warrior expectantly. Ragnar had a feeling that more people would be coming. He glanced around the room as he waited. A demon stood off to the side as well as a Kitsune woman. She was effortlessly stunning and silently, he wondered which of these men would be foolish to try and flirt with her. He had come across many Kitsune women that were their own type of... crazy, he supposed was the best word for it. He had learned to never joke about certain things with a Kitsune woman. If you weren't careful, they'd stab out your eyes and cut out your tongue for merely insulting them.

    It was then that the doors opened once more. A woman stepped in beside the escort, well more like a girl. She seemed so skittish and afraid, like a mouse who had become surrounded by predators. Which, wasn't too far off the truth. He noticed her slightly pointed ears but there was a red blush to her cheeks. A halfling? He frowned. He had not met a halfling in quite some time and his own daughter had been a halfling. He imagined that the girl grew up around humans, based on her nervous mannerisms. It was then that he noticed her snow-white hair and a sense of dread struck him like a punch. He nearly stumbled backward. White hair was a rarity, no matter what race you were. Could she be the ethereal girl with white hair from his nightmares? His mother had tasked him with saving this girl and it filled him with a sense of foreboding. The man grunted, feeling his stomach churn at the simple thought. He grabbed a bottle of ale from the table and moved to sit in the corner of the room. He packed a plate full of food and decided that distracting himself was his best option for now. He would sneak glances toward the woman every now and then, however. He was drawn in by her beauty, just as he had been when he first saw Emilia. The feeling made him sick. He tossed a scrap of bacon toward the baby bear and watched him eat it quickly. Ragnar then sipped on his ale as the escort, Mistress Inerys came into the hall and announced the high priestess would be with them shortly. They had to all be here for a reason. Perhaps they had the same nightmares and visions? He frowned. He then noticed the Kitsune woman approach the halfling girl and began to converse with her, with an odd tone of motherly warmth that wasn't found often in a Kitsune. At least, in his opinion. He watched them for a few moments before he turned his head back toward his plate, eating his food, trying to ignore the dread seeping into his bones.