FOLKLORE


[ P ] At Night
#1


Merry Be
The Maiden




Isolde tucked her chin against her paws, gaze half-lidded. She watched as a small creek burbled by her nose. Its size was barely that of a few inches, its shores that of nettles, leaves, and single pebbles. A few feet away, the larger creek tumbled over sloped land and bare tree-roots. Erosion caused the Maiden's Tears to change frequently. Old cliffs often gave way to young valleys, for twisted trees could only support so much. Even now, the Fairfolk were the Maiden's cradled children. They were swaddled within her forests and hidden from view, kept safe so that they might speak for the stars and enact their will.

...

"Their will can be a bloody thing." Isolde's voice was a whisper as dark lashes veiled her gaze.

Luthien... that had been the man's name. His easy smile and goading eyes had become something more tormented as the Crone's ritual had reached its zenith. Whilst Isolde had grown up on choice sacrifices for the stars, she had never witnessed murder in the name of appeasement. Had this wolf been an unknown entity, she might have felt more distant from the brutality. Having met the man... having known him only to be rude and nothing more...

A soft sigh slipped free of her lips.

"The festivities should be dying down soon," the Maiden mused to herself. She had stayed as long as was appropriate for one of The Seven. Once the bloodied ritual had concluded, Isolde had quickly found seclusion. While she was often one for the company of others, she did not wish to whisper her thoughts aloud lest they be taken as treason. Her heart and soul were devoted to their faith... but she knew she harbored weakness.

"We are all young and naive still."

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#2


The Witch You See Is Me



The night was a cool relief to such a scorching day.

Caella had spent most of the day in slumber, secluded in the shadows of her den. Sinclair's scent had washed away; leaving only the dull ache of the wound she had received from him. It had been cleared and washed, plants chewed to stave away infection. All done in secrecy, by the will of The Crone. Such chaos her plans had brought, Caella feared for her safety if anyone ever found out about her carnal pleasures shared with Sinclair... but alas she found no sight of Oberon's putrid gaze or Galiene's wrath. Instead, all had been quiet. As if intended. Yet as the moon rose behind a blanket of thin, grey clouds; Caella waltzed with the shadows. Steps carving to their will and molding grass to her weight. Golden eyes burned molten, hot and fiery as the lava from the Volcano.

If pups were to be born of the union then she would have to find a suitor worth her blood... but those she knew were related. With a slight shake of her head; her maw uplifted to the skies as she prayed a silent prayer. Show me the way, for you brought me into sin. She would have to play her games carefully now, watch herself. Be less... reckless.

It sunk her heart at the thought.

"The festivities should be dying down soon," Ebon' ears that had been pinned to her skull soon perked at the sweet, melodic tones. Then a flash of gold; for a moment she thought it to be Guinevere. Perhaps the shadows were tormenting her; bringing her deceased Cousin back to life, but alas a pair of green eyes glistened in the pale moonlight. "Isolde El," Caella greeted the newly appointed Maiden with a sirens song of her own, words crackling and yet laced with honey. "What brings The Maiden to dance within the shadows?" A small smirk dared to touch her lips as she neared closer to her cousin. Isolde was similarly related to Caella as Percival; Second Cousin, if she remembered correctly.



"We are all young and naive still."

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@Isolde

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#3


Merry Be
The Maiden




The scent of medicine mingled with that of earth and water. A moment more and, from within the shadows, another appeared.

Golden eyes held the Crone's lantern high. Just as one could never discern the elder's truths, so too was Caella's gaze unreadable. Intensity always lurked within those molten orbs—but honesty? Such was a more rare commodity. As a child, her cousin had been one for mischief, always quick to spin riddles or tap one's shoulder and disappear. Since rising to the helm of the Crone, Caella had only receded further into her shawl of stars. She wrapped herself so thickly in the fabric that few could tell the wolf from the cultist—and perhaps Caella had lost that distinction just as well.

Or perhaps there had never been one?

"Isolde El." Seemingly mirthful her discovery, Caella sang the Maiden's name. To her credit, Isolde did not stiffen—much.

"What brings the Maiden to dance with the shadows?" A honeyed voice slid along the breeze, dripping as though blood down a stone. Blue paws carried the she-wolf closer.

"I do not cease to exist once the sun goes down, Caella." While her voice was demure, a hint of dry humor filled her tone. Slowly, Isolde rose from her belly and found her paws. She was far too antsy around the Crone to be vulnerable. Once able-bodied, the nagging sense of dread began to dissipate.

Logically, Caella would never hurt her. Nonetheless, Isolde had lost touch with her cousin. The Crone had succumbed to whispers and immersed herself in darker arts. Isolde was naturally wary of such occult practices, and her taciturn behavior at the festival had proven as much.

"I was only wishing for the Crone's guidance. Guinevere has been gone for some time," Isolde remarked. The child's pilgrimage had been a tragedy for them all. "Why are you here?"

"We are all young and naive still."

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#4


The Witch You See Is Me



As a child, Isolde had always been easy prey. Those bright, green eyes were so full of innocence. Full of beauty, the gold that blessed her pelt in the form of stars shone so bright... much like how Guinevere's did. Kindness overruled the speculation and caution she needed to avoid Caella's seemingly harmless schemes and tricks in their youth.

Yet as Caella met that evergreen gaze now she saw resilience. Strength. Had this newfound shield formed int the wake of their cousins death? Or perhaps the trials had ascended Isolde into a stronger vessel for the Maiden to speak from? Either way, this was intriguing, oh so intriguing. "I do not cease to exist once the sun goes down, Caella." The moonlight that kissed her spine now shone upon the canines that peaked through her uplifted, dark maw. Her smile grew wider. Of course not. Head slightly dipped as swirling, molten gold orbs swirled with mischief. But you should pay attention as to what lurks within the shadows. The shadow's game was not for the faint of heart.

The fair maiden rose onto earthen paws, slender curves now glinted within the kiss of the moon and a beautiful feminine face to match. If Caella cared, perhaps she would even be jealous of Isolde's striking appearance. "I was only wishing for the Crone's guidance. Guinevere has been gone for some time," Lips pursed as brows rose to widen golden eyes; slowly her attention turned towards the stars. Though her words spun with sincerity, Caella's tone always had a way of sounding chaotically false. Why are you here?" She regarded her Cousin's words with a flick of ebon' ears; her eyes still trained upon the swirling mass of darkness that was the night sky. Ah, yes... such a tragedy.


Our dearest Guinevere is among our ancestors now. The Mother confirmed it herself...Inquisitive, her voice seemed softer, lighter. Ready and waiting. Poised to deliver words that would slice through that golden heart of hers. A heavy sigh heaved through her chest; yet her head was turned so she could watch Isolde's reaction from the side of her golden gaze that narrowed with wicked intent.

"We are all young and naive still."

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@Isolde

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#5


Merry Be
The Maiden




Was Caella's warning a whisper of wisdom or an ill-concealed threat? Or, was it said only to inspire a sense of awe and mystery? Isolde's cousin had always had a penchant for the metaphysical, often swathing herself in shadow and speaking in riddles merely because it beguiled the laymen. For one so eccentric, Caella seemed one to play in the shadows for it granted her a cloak and cape with which to hide. There, she could play with the lives of others, playing tricks upon the wayward—albeit ones more cruel and cold compared to the traps set during her childhood.

Though one with more morbid tastes than most, Caella had the grace to appear pensive at the mention of Guinevere's passing. Golden eyes flitted to the stars as if the child might be found among them. Isolde couldn't help but follow suite. But of course Guin would not be there, for she was—

Dead?

Emerald eyes widened, a soft whine leaving her throat as she searched Caella's face. This was no cruel jest, yes?

"Do not lie to me, cousin." Brown ears folded back against her skull, tail absently curling between her legs.

"We are all young and naive still."

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#6


The Witch You See Is Me



Ah yes, there it was.

The shattering of the innocent heart. The delightful break of a happy mood. The horror within evergreen eyes that Caella watched unfold with a nonchalant expression, meanwhile inside she greedily lapped it up. Enjoyed the look and savored every moment. The darkness inside swirled with a thirsty need for chaos and it was all written upon the newly appointed Maiden's soft and sad expression. The whine that accompanied the change in mood was music to The Crone's perked ebon' ears.

"Do not lie to me, cousin." Words pleaded a mercy and her golden gaze grew intense, wide and mimicking shock."I would never, dearest Isolde." Words dripped from her jaws in an outstretched hand-a soothing balm towards the earthen girl that cowered in her wake. Oh so precious... oh so joyous... "No matter what darkness you think I have, I would never disrespect the dead. Nor jest in their wake." A sigh that was theatrical, along with the slight shake of her head as she played the "kind" game with Isolde... At least this time, the words Caella spun were true.

"Galiene did not confirm how, when or why." Now her tone lowered, more concerned as the shadows of grief crept along her spine. "Simply that our dearest Guinevere is no longer with us." Now her gaze tore away from the heart-brake of her Cousin and up to the ebon' skies. "But she guides us-you from her seat in the stars, that much is true." Oh, Caella would enjoy this. Savor every waking moment.

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@Isolde

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#7


Merry Be
The Maiden




Guinevere… dead… Nausea roiled within Isolde’s stomach. It threatened to crawl up her throat and bleed onto her tongue. She forced it back and shook her head, eyes squeezing shut. Though she wished to be so altruistic as to think of Galiene, her first thought was for herself. A shiver wound through her and her heart echoed the hammer that knocked each nail into Guinevere’s coffin. With the prodigal child dead, the position of maiden would be hers til maggots claimed her flesh. She would remain inprisoned in the limelight of the Fairchildren, bound by the chains of scrutiny. It was not that she would ever commit treason, but… there was responsibility when one was part of the Seven. Responsibility that felt far too large for her slender shoulders.



“Galiene,” Isolde breathed at last. Her heart pounded within her chest and her stomach ptiched as she thought of her cousin. “Oh how she must feel,” the maiden whined.

Forcing her eyes open, Isolde gazed at Caella weakly. No matter the bond they shared as kin, the witchy woman was not who she wished to be with in this time of sorrow. She did not wholly dislike her cousin but the Crone offered no comfort. No, if anything, she seemed to be enjoying the torment with theatric joy.

“I must go,” the maiden mumbled before dipping her head.

With tears welling in her eyes, she turned and carefully picked her away through the foliage and undergrowth. If she was to cry, there was only one shoulder she sought.

[ Exit Isolde ]

"We are all young and naive still."

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#8


The Witch You See Is Me



So exhausting it must be, to have so much heartache.

So taxing. So dull.

But not dull to watch. “Galiene,” Breathed the shattered voice. Caella could pratically feel the tender heart of Isolde splinter in those moments. Now, now it must ache with emotion. Thump with strain. How awful. How... adorable. “Oh how she must feel,” Now, Caella put on a perfect mask of sympathy. Orange eyes burned wide as a slow dip of her skull inclined to the fallen memory of their Cousin. "Quite. Our sacred Mother must have time to mourn." Indeed, Caella cared for Galiene's wellfare more than Isolde's. Currently, The Mother was the only wolf that seemed to tolerate Caella's presence. Vouched for her when Oberon's scornful gaze glared her way.

“I must go, It was a hurried apology. But not an excuse. Dare the look Isolde gave Caella spoke it all. So traumatized by simple words. The Crone said nothing as the younger female rushed off into the shadows. She watched until the golden stars upon her back faded from view. "True to the Maiden, indeed." Caella took one last glance up towards the heavens. "You may rest, after all, Guinevere." For she was sure that Isolde would make a perfect Maiden indeed.

With a soft sigh; she moved into the opposite direction. Allowing the silence of Guinevere's death to cling to the Summer night's air.

-Exit Caella, end thread.-



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@Isolde

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