athanasius remembered everett. they remembered that the other had been around for a short while before disappearing. it had been a while ago since they'd seen the other though, and they'd ended up pushing his disappearance to the back of their mind since people came and went all the time; it was never guaranteed that they would stay. ana didn't think that he'd return though if they were allowed to be frank. not many bothered to return after they disappeared. they supposed everett was the exception, huh?

    "hey everett," the rosy eyed kitsune would greet as they came forth after spiritline and aphrodite. neither of them had been around ( they think ) when everett was around a few months ago. athanasius hadn't known that he had been sick though. should they know, they would probably be thoroughly peeved. it was ana's job to take care of the sick and injured, no matter how much of a " burden " they felt they were being. it just made their job all the more harder with people thinking selfish things like that. "welcome back,"

    the crusader would lower themselves onto their haunches, their five tails wrapping around themselves. they reached a paw upward to readjust the pink and cream scarf that had been given to them by aleksei, swallowing somewhat nervously. great god, social interaction always made them fidgety ...they'd never liked it, preferring the company of their books and herbs over living, breathing people any day. they turn their gaze onto everett again, not quite meeting his eyes, but glancing warily towards his face. "you've missed a lot."

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    athanasius had a history with flower crowns. it was the first thing his adoptive sister had taught them to do, and it had been their own bonding activity. nowadays it served as something to calm them down, an activity of which he had previously held close to their heart. now all it held was bad memories as they remembered essentially being abandoned.

    the flower crowns were hard to look at, but when they saw them it was even harder to look away. ana was usually solemn, their rose colored gaze holding an indistinguishable amount of sadness within them, perpetually misting with tears yet to be shed. athanasius stares down at the floral objects, their tails wavering lazily behind themselves before they drew themselves into a seat nearby, too tired to move away from the others.

    "they look nice." was their only comment, or compliment. they didn't ask for one, but they guessed they wouldn't mind getting one if bastet would even make one for them. they wouldn't blame her if she didn't. they were a rotten person anyways.

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    athanasius knew that with the development of conversation would likely lead to more people overhearing and coming over, which is what exactly happened not even minutes after spiritline had approached them. the thought of being watched, or being turned to for any sort of teaching that wasn't medicine put them on edge, as evidenced by the wary look they gave everyone as they sat before them expectantly. of course they minded that they were here - they had only wanted to pray and move along with the rest of their day, not turn it into some sort of lesson for all of hyperia to attend.

    they couldn't blame anyone but themselves though. perhaps if they'd been more careful, then spiritline and the others wouldn't have found them as quickly. now they had to reap what they sowed.

    they stare at the three for a moment before they give a sigh. "yeah, fine, sit down and make yourselves comfortable." perhaps there was a bit of dry sarcasm there, who knew with their monotonous voice, but athanasius clearly intended to share whatever knowledge they had of naleren. "naleren is the good spirit of agrelos. she is the one that brought all of the earthlings over when their own world was destroyed, and sealed away the evil dherog when he tried to kill them." athanasius themselves was agrelosian, having been born and raised on the planet. they were not sure of spiritline and the others, but ana knew of their roots. still, despite having been born in agrelos, they had known nothing of naleren or dherog growing up.

    "this belief in naleren is called " luxum. " and her place of holiness is the yawning grotto. many luxans make pilgrimage there to bring gifts to her. but don't make the mistake in thinking that naleren is omniscient or omnipotent; she has no control over what happens in agrelos." athanasius turned their gaze to the shrine they'd made for the goddess, continuing on, "there are several other tenets ...and i don't suppose you'd like to learn about those too?"

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    of course, their solitude would come to an end the moment they heard someone approach them. the vampire's eyes blinked open when they'd slipped close, flickering quietly over their shoulder towards the dark furred fox that lingered by them. they had to refrain from glowering as they did so, instead a slight frown shifting onto their features as they sit upright, their guard back up, their expression mostly unreadable; even so, there was a sliver of emotion to swim in the depths of those eyes of theirs, though they cleverly avoided looking spiritline in the eyes as they turned to look at the altar they'd made roughly two months ago.

    "well, i was praying." they mumble, readjusting their old cotton scarf around their throat. their four tails curl around their own body, and they exhale a sigh. the vapor swirled up into the air along with the fragrant smoke of the incense, and a moment passed before their ears flicked backwards a tick. "luxum is the religion of our tribe ...we accepted it as our own when the tribe of unbound skies merged with our clan."

    "i built this altar for naleren a while ago. no one really knows about it other than myself." and it seemed like they were the only one to pray at it as well. athanasius hadn't ever really made it known that they'd made an altar dedicated to naleren. it was their " safe - place, " though not anymore. they'd recollected themselves enough to chance a glance at spiritline, their stare steady. "do you know of naleren, spiritline?"

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    "that would be right," a third voice, low yet monotonous, would be added into the mix as a pale colored kitsune with tired, dusty rose red eyes seemingly appeared out of nowhere near their clanmates. athanasius blinks at the stranger, their expression set in a cool indifference that was only marked with the faintest of frowns that touched upon their lips.

    the vampire is accompanied by ocean, the little red eyed raptor that seemed to have gotten suddenly less energetic as the days got colder. it was a relief for the cleric, but athanasius knew that cold weather couldn't be good for the feathered creature. still, no matter how many times the cleric told ocean to stay in their shared cabin, she'd trail after them anyways. at some point ana had just given up, and so the raptor settled at athanasius' side too, pressing her body up against them for warmth.

    "well neonlights, what're you here for?" came athanasius' further inquiry, and they were just about as straightforward as ever, their voice a mix of honey and weary. perhaps their bluntness would be taken the wrong way, but they frankly failed to care much.

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    Athanasius probably didn't strike any of the other Hyperians as an religious sort of person. They wouldn't have blamed them either— they hadn't taken themselves for an religious person at least until they finally realized that the only way they could repent for the danger they had potentially brought to Hyperia could only be achieved through pleasing Naleren. Apologies never got anyone anywhere, and other people seldom believed apologies were ever really sincere when they were affronted. ( Ana themselves was far less the forgiving kind, as they never forgot, forever childish in the grudges they hold against other people— it seems like they'll never grow past it. )

    Another reason why their tribemates would have never known of their contributions to Naleren was probably because they've never bothered to bring it up in conversation. No one talked to them— at least beyond treating their wounds and their illnesses —but even then, no one had inquired them of their personal beliefs; no one had ever taken an interest, not that they wanted anyone to try and pry into their lives. Either way, they were pleased with themselves with their personal progress. Things have become ...easier to deal with. Athanasius knew that no one even suspected much of them anyhow, but little did they know their thoughts were ever racing, their mind restless, turning over constantly in turmoil. They were a mess.

    So they'd visited the place they'd decidedly put together a small and modest shrine for the goddess, Her Benevolence, their Mistress, and knelt before it. Their head was bowed slightly, dusty rose red gaze, tired, sad, fixed on the ground. And at their paws lay sticks of incense, their perfume the smell of clove. They burned, and the chilled winds of the Isles would carry their scent, drawing in anyone curious nearby. "My Queen," At length, they speak after several long moments of silence, their voice a quiet murmur among the breeze, "May we have an easy Winter this year, and that those who trouble us gives us none in a period of hardship."

    They don't expect company; of course they don't. As far as they know, there isn't another soul in Hyperia that follows the Luxum religion as they do. They are relatively unconcerned about anyone eavesdropping, or stumbling across them— for once they seemed relaxed, their expression soft yet still carrying the sobriety they'd always held to it.

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    Violent eyes stared back at them, a storm ever brewing, and they could practically sense the verbal lashing that coiled up like a venomous snake upon the maine coon's tongue. They were prepared for it, their shoulders sagging slightly as their sad gaze twinkled faintly in the light that filtered through the trees towering above them. However, it doesn't come - the retort or insult or whatever - and that in itself had surprised them so, though the feeling hadn't dared surface their apathetic features ( not unless you count the slight rising of brows as " surprised. "

    However, the other had spoken, the response nonetheless ill - tempered, and countered against their own with a comment that made them snort. It was a sound that came out almost instinctively, and one that they hadn't much control over. It was true, they weren't much better off - they never have been " alright, " just barely clinging onto whatever it was that was keeping them alive ( their immortality? Their duties to Hyperia? ). The doctor in them couldn't help but wonder what it was that troubled the stranger, and they wanted to find out; they doubted that anyone would want a stranger attempting to pry into their private lives, and so they held their tongue. "Well... You're not wrong." They would profess with a sigh.

    Whoever this was, it seemed like he wasn't in a hurry to get away from the border of the Isles, as told by how he sat and made himself comfortable. Was he willing to talk to someone as bland as themselves? Ana could have told him to leave or left the Exiler to his devices, as he didn't seem to want to explicitly harm anyone ( nor did he look the sort, if Athanasius was someone who judged people by their appearances ) and yet they hadn't... They stood in their spot, their four tails sweeping across the wavering blades of grass in a slow, leisurely manner.

    An inquiry left their " guest, " a rather simple one at that. It stemmed from a flicker, a quick observation. They hummed in the back of their throat, dropping the leather - bound book they'd held onto the ground so that Yueliang could see its intricately decorated front. Divulging such information would be considered risky seeing as the two clans were enemies, but they reckoned that it wouldn't really matter in the end, would it? "Yeah," They say, "Are you in - training to be one?"

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    They despised socializing, even more so than some other things. They just weren't cut out for it, their books being more than enough company to keep them satisfied and to keep their mind from wandering... However, such a life is lonely, and even someone like themselves wouldn't mind talking to a living being every once in a while provided they weren't hungry.

    The vampire approaches quietly after their apprentice, Aphrodite, introduces herself, scrutinizing the newcomer with an inexpressive look. Their eyes half - lidded and tired, they shifted to Bastet's face. "Welcome to Hyperia," They'd start simply enough, the kitsune settling on the outer rings of the gathered tribespeople.

    "I'm Athanasius Against the World, but everyone calls me Athanasius. I don't like nicknames much but... I don't really care. I'm an medic here."

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    Upon being notified that Vale had returned to them, bleeding and stinking of the Sanguine Ruins, Athanasius had to withhold any ounce of irritation they'd had. They very rarely felt any sort of distaste for any group as a whole, preferring to judge an individual for their actions rather than the whole of a clan for one bad apple, but the aggressive actions of the anti - clan were proving to get on their nerves ( of which were already quite frazzled ).

    And so, with a nod, Athanasius rose to their paws and prepared what they could before going off with Gabriel in tow. They are silent as they arrive, and they already see Aphrodite giving Vale what she needed for pain. The woman was quiet, which initially alarmed them, but they could clearly see that she was awake and breathing. "You'll be fine." They tell her as they pull their own satchel around and bring out the contents of the weathered leather bag.

    Athanasius would make a horsetail poultice on the spot for the injured hybrid, and applied it as gingerly as they could to her open wounds. Since they were mere scratches and some mild lacerations, they reckoned they wouldn't need to use too much of what they had ( and for that, they were grateful, what with winter coming along and all ). Afterward, they stuck cobwebs to those wounds to prevent further bleeding and to keep the poultice from sliding off. "I have a cold compress for your lacerations at the infirmary; they should help with any swelling that'll come with those." They would say, leaning up to Vale's face to get a better look at them - to make sure they weren't infected or worse. They seemed fine, but Ana reckoned they'd have to double - check later.

    With a sigh, they'd turn to their apprentice, frowning slightly. "Aphrodite, can you prepare her nest for me?"

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    Athanasius is the second Hyperian representative to show, though they carried over their head the title of " Cleric. " They settle near Spiritline in silence, their gaze flickering towards the dark furred fox in silent greeting before they fluttered over the other faces that were present. A few were familiar, like that of Colere and Lucifer, but the others were lost on their memories. They have attended a couple of these meetings before, but when they became less frequently held, Athanasius had resigned themselves to staying in Hyperia for the month.

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    Those who thought mental and emotional scars could heal with time were fools. Wounds could heal, but not scars; the tissue that were engraved in the mind lasted forevermore, and there was nothing in existence that could erase them no matter how much the bearer of those scars wanted them gone. They could say that with plenty of confidence, because they not only bore those scars physically but they also held onto them tightly in the solitude they used to call " paradise. " Now, to them, it was more of a steel cage than a place to escape from the prying eyes of others.

    Athanasius was someone who would rather be left on their lonesome. The company of another was something that they never sought out despite their inner desire for something close. It frustrated them to see other people so close, and so happy while they sat under a perpetual storm cloud. Those who had friends, family, and more made them realize just how alone they were and they weren't sure if they were alright with it or if it was better for someone like them — defective, incomplete, broken — to remain as such. Troubling thoughts like these that ever so frequently plagued their mind is what made them want to escape the attention of others, as their stormy mood would be sure to raise brows since they rarely show even the thinnest strand of emotion.

    Held firm in their jaws a book on herbology they'd recently bought themselves from the Trade Center for the simple price of a couple of quail. Ana supposed that not many saw the true worth that lied within books, but they weren't complaining of the rather low price. It was essentially free knowledge, something that Athanasius was rather invested in collecting. They've spent a good amount of their time reading fictional books in their childhood, and they couldn't help but feel that back then, it was time wasted... Fiction and fantasies supplied nothing but pointless daydreams and reinforced their hidden want for the " happy ending " they knew they'll never get. They wanted to find a quiet place to read, and had thought about taking their boat down to the mainland to find such a place... however, that would prove a bit difficult now as they see someone unfamiliar standing upon their borders, perhaps contemplating whether or not to walk over the scent line that separated their home from loner's lands.

    The pale kitsune comes to a stop nearby, their head tilted towards Yueliang, and their tired rose - tinted gaze dull and lacking that lively glint present in most others. Their lips were turned downwards into the slightest of frowns, their expression ever forlorn, speaking of sadness long felt. The smell of the Exiles was prominent, but Athanasius found themselves uncaring. They were not scared of the Exiles and they did not hate the canyon - dwelling clan either. Ana was politically grey, and didn't care much for the relationships their clan had with the others... All that mattered, selfishly one might add, was their personal preferences.

    So they speak around the book they held in their jaws instead of acting uncivilly or with disgust or anger, their four tails flicking lazily behind their small frame, and their voice monotonous yet soft. "Are you alright?"

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    Athanasius hid their scars because they were self - conscious. They weren't anything to marvel at, with their average and, admittedly, rather plain appearance, but they would rather not be judged for the marks that marred their fur. The prying, expectant eyes of another always managed to make dread swirl in the pits of their gut, a bitter taste burning in the back of their throat while their skin flushed with embarrassment. Unfortunately, they couldn't do anything about the ugly, blaring red scars that found purchase upon their left shoulder or the evidence of an spider - webbing burn across their flank that has since been healed with time...

    They flicker their gaze briefly up towards Cosmicshadow as she approached, their tail flicking slightly in an silent greeting towards the metal - pawed Crusader. Their gaze instinctively pulled themselves towards where she had burned herself previously, a habit they've formed themselves over the year, and found that it has since healed up. They didn't dislike Cosmicshadow, but they refused to let go of the grudge they've had for the way she'd treated them when they'd offered their assistance. It was a immature, childish sort of thing, one that they've yet to grow out of. Such evidence of a grudge, however, doesn't breach the surface of their blank face, as they wordlessly shift their attention onto Aphrodite.

    Her words are confusing. She missed them? "Impossible." Comes the immediate refusal, their lips pursing slightly. They don't know how to respond to that, never knew how to what with their emotional immaturity, and so they only stiffly return, "...Thank you for taking over while I was sick." It seemed like no one was going to be joining them for a while, and that was fine with Athanasius. It just meant less eyes on them.

    So they start with bringing the basket they'd prepared around in front of themselves, pushing it forward ever so slightly to reveal what they've put in there. "First aid kits are used for emergencies, such as when someone like myself or my apprentices are unavailable or if you're by yourself and you get injured. It is always good to keep one on you and to familiarize yourself with it, even if you aren't medically inclined." Athanasius looks up to the two participators, their four tails wrapping quietly around themselves, their lips pressed into a thin line. They were sure both of them probably knew as much as they were telling them, as it were common sense, but it never hurt to give a careful reminder as to the first aid kit's purpose.

    "Do either of you already know any of the essentials that go into a first aid kit?"

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    i feel like they could have some interesting interactions later down the line, so i'm definitely down and excited for that sort of aspect of things for the both of them! and yeah, that sounds really good to me

    maybe somewhere along the way, yue can restart ana's interest in medicine, since they've sort of become dispassionate about it? they think more of their position as a medic as a way of paying off a debt to hyperia for putting up with them for so long rather than a want to help people and that sort of thing.

    athanasius didn't know michael, and they didn't care to get to know him either. all they knew was that he was apparently related to their stubborn leader, gabriel, and that was enough to make them wary of the winged lion. perhaps it was unfair of them to judge the other based on their relation to the seraphinus family, but ana's experience with the family had never been the greatest. they'd have to forgive them for their coldness.

    occasionally they would check up on michael, making sure that gabriel wasn't bothering the injured man and, in general, re-dressing and replacing bandages and salves. their relationship went no further beyond doctor and patient, and athanasius was alright with allowing it to be that way. admittedly, they had been curious of the other, however. after all, michael seemed to have more than a familial relationship in the isles.

    athanasius is looking for michael when they find him... with spiritline. the four-tailed kitsune pauses near, rose - tinted eyes flickering over the couple. it seemed like they'd just began talking, but the vulpine cared naught for whatever they was speaking of... if they were speaking. and so, without a care in the world, the pale cleric would begin to approach them with that familiar blank look upon their face. they don't offer a greeting to the black fox, and instead tilted their head up towards the massive winged lion. "i was looking for you," ana murmured, feeling a flare of exasperation rise hot against their skin. they didn't mind the fact that michael was moving around; they wanted michael to stretch his legs instead of remaining cooped up in the infirmary, but they'd wished they or their apprentices had been informed before he went off.

    with a quiet sigh, the pallid luxian would look over the other's bandaged frame with a practiced and steady gaze. "are you feeling alright?" of course, they meant this in relation to the bruises and cuts and the broken wing the lion sported, but they supposed michael could take it any way he desired it to.

    athanasius has a tendency to interact with people who are considered enemies of hyperia isles since they only really judge individuals of a clan and not the whole bunch - and they never really learned their lesson when they were attacked / captured by the exiles on two separate occasions [ one of said captures ending with ana becoming friends with one of the former exiles leaders ]. romance would be a considerable jump from just loosely befriending an enemy, so i think that'd be just great and i also just love slow burn type things, so ofc i'm taking a peek in this with ana since i think this sort of romance could go swell with what i have for their personality.

    long story made short, i'm interested with athanasius! <3

    i have information on athanasius in their tags here if you'd like to read up on them!

    athansius limped forward to sit among the rest of the high positions, a slight wince making it past their lips as they leaned back onto their haunches. the vampire lifted their rose - tinted gaze up towards cosmicshadow, blinking slowly at her words. that raid... they'd remembered it briefly. the sanguine ruins resident attack dog had managed to break into a few homes to break them and injure their non - combatants. the desert - dwelling clan were full of cowards, people who have only so far picked off medics who could hardly fight on their own. they'd quiver at the thought of their own capture, how one of their own had tried to make a mess of them by weaseling themselves into their private mind, violating them, bringing forth memories they'd thought they'd buried and forgotten... damn her.

    they let out a sigh. they didn't have anything to say in regards to the first two points their co - worker had brought up. the last one made ana's head tilt slightly to the side, the scarfed kitsune frowning only slightly. "we shouldn't rely on the thunderlands too much," they'd advise in an even voice, their four tails flicking wearily behind their frame. "there is no doubt that they're handling their own troubles with the sanguine ruins, especially after assisting us in that raid. we should keep in mind that we shouldn't ask too much of them while we're both recovering..." they have to pause for a moment to catch their breath, but they refused to show any sort of weakness in front of their tribesmates. they sit taller, stubbornly, ears shoving themselves forward on their head.

    "we should keep in contact with all of our allies, not just the thunderlands. but, ah, yes... perhaps we should put something together to show them our appreciation of them for their assistance in these last couple of raids." athanasius remarked with a soft nod of their head. speaking of allies, their gaze flickered across those present. "on the topic of allies and such, i suggest we reorganize the ambassador's system. i'm not sure if everyone been visiting their selected clans and groups, but i've seen we haven't been interacting much with our allies in terms of events at all. if we wish to keep our alliances, we need to try h- harder..."

    It'd been weeks since Athanasius had returned from the Sanguine Ruins, and in those weeks the Cleric hadn't been seen. They laid in their own home, refusing to see anyone and treating themselves. Even after such a long period of rest, their body still ached and their wounds were still healing. Still, even though they ought to remain in their home until everything healed up and fatigue no longer plagued their bones, they knew they couldn't just do nothing while the weather got colder and herbs became scarcer. Hyperia was relying on them, and they didn't quite trust neither of their apprentices to carry the clan ( and themselves ) through the whole of winter. It'd be too much to ask, much too soon.

    So Athanasius forced themselves to stand. Wrapping their scarf around their throat, hiding the ugly scars that scored across their throat, the tired vampire hobbled into camp for the first time in a while. They did not talk to anyone as they made a beeline for the infirmary, flicking their gaze about the place as they gathered what they needed into a medium sized basket. Afterwards they would turn, wincing slightly as pain flamed up across their side that they ignored with persistence.

    They'd settle within camp, ears falling flat against their cranium as tired rose tinted eyes briefly fluttered to the basket they'd placed before themselves before sweeping their gaze around camp. "Come learn how to make your own first aid kit." Athanasius would call, wrapping their four tails around their slight frame.