[ P ] Matter of Pride

She could not rest.

Having spent the day tossing and turning. Careful of her stomach, Caella finally gave up once the shadows creeped over the luscious, grassy lands of Maiden's Tears. The sun began to set; blanketing the skies in a glorious deep, hazy orange. Streaks of pink and red marred the clouds that would soon vanish and birth witness to the stars. It was then and only then, would she emerge from her den.

By this point, there was no denying what was wrong with her. All this time, Caella had thought herself to be growing sick; but no longer. A swelling had formed within her belly. Contorting and kicking. Had the Crone blessed her with life? Or was this going to be the punishment for the night she spent with Sinclair...

Caella took it as a sign, it lay upon her shoulders to produce pups worthy of the Fairfolk name. But as she tried to ponder the existence of children within her life; The blazing gaze of The Mother caused her jaw to clench. She must find a suitor to act as the Father... or perhaps, not mention it at all.

Either way, she had got herself into a predicament. But one she could get out of. A huff flared through her nostrils as she sat by the stream. Watching the waters ripple and dance in the moonlight.

"Guide me in my time of need, may your lantern light show me the path."


Table & Manipulation By Raven, Background by DarkBeforeDawn23



Her cousin’s scent had changed.

At first, the aroma had struck Isolde as familiar but strange. The Fairfolk had been devoid of pups for so long that she had nearly forgotten the telltale signs of pregnancy. Beyond the obvious signs—a swelling of the stomach or a recent marriage—Isolde would have remained ignorant for quite some time. It had never been her desire to linger near Caella for, deep down, the wolf unnerved her. How could one find such fascination with the shadows? With the whispers and the lies? Isolde preferred to live within a sunlit realm, one that was not hidden. She lived honestly—or at least she tried to. At times, trials and obstacles made such things hard.

Had she not been reflecting on Galiene and Guinevere, Isolde might not have paused. She would not have lowered her head and caught the scent of her cousin on a fallen leaf. She would not have followed after her cousin. And, most certainly, she would not have remembered just what that scent meant. But she did and she had.

And now…

“Caella?” Isolde spoke softly, green eyes soft and anxious as she peered out from beneath a nettle-laden branch. “Cousin, are you—” Her tongue poised upon the word, a small “p” syllable forming within her mouth. “—alright?”

"Merry be the Maiden."

table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven

c a e l l a

She could no longer hide it. The bloom of her belly was the ultimate betrayal of the copious lie she tried to weave. Denial had clutched her for a moon now, but as her belly grew; so did the fear. Molten yellow eyes burned with a furious intensity as The Crone glared at the rippling waters that danced under the moon's pale light. Who could she deign the Father? Who would be worthy of the life that she would bring? Anyone but Sinclair. Galiene must not know... Oberon.

“caella?" Soft, melodic notes took away her inner turmoil. Slowly, did her dark head turn to find soft, veiled evergreens anxiously peering at her.
“Isolde of El.”
The formal greeting spewed from the Crone in a breathless whisper, as another, nauseating churn of her stomach caused her to clench dark jaws. Yet, she pushed passed the feeling and resumed to examine The Maiden's soft features. Evergreen eyes flashed with worry, ah... what it must be like- so tiresome it would be to feel as deeply as Isolde did. To care and worry, to be innocence personified. The thought made her want to sneer. She would never understand the allure of walking within the day, when the shadows could meld to one's very will.

“cousin, are you—” Words formed, yet were held back. Caella fought the urge to roll her eyes. Was there any point in delaying the inevitable? Irritation laced her thoughts and dragged away the dance Caella liked to play. “—alright?”. Sweet, sweet Isolde.

“Yes, to answer your unasked question, sweet Maiden. I am blessed with life that blooms within my womb...”
To hear it out loud now set her situation in stone. Dark ears flickered.
“Why look so anxious, dearest Cousin? For we should rejoice! I bring new life. New blood to our Pantheon...they will be the first in over a year."
Her voice tried to drip luscious honey. Yet she could not help but fill it with the void she felt within. A sigh flared through dark nostrils; turning her attention to the dancing waters once more.

“I am speaking”
table made by soar. art by ashon.


Formality was more of a dance than a necessity to Caella. The woman donned whichever affect she most preferred in any given moment. She could be impishly informal or nauseatingly stuffy. No matter which she chose, however, her eyes would glitter with mischief. Caella's wisdom went far beyond her years, but her morality was an infantile thing. Isolde had long been unable to truly connect with her cousin and this moment was no exception. Her heart both swelled and sank with the knowledge that Caella was with child. It would mean that the pack would be blessed with life. It would also mean that the Crone would be stepping backwards and easing into her duality as the Mother. How would Caella fair?

Isolde nodded stiffly as Caella purred, her words dripping like honey into the Maiden's fur.

"Praise be," she muttered weakly before canting her head to the side. Green eyes glossed over Caella's face and, despite her misgivings, she attempted to inch forward. Rarely was she companionable with the witch but, at this moment, she felt like it was necessary to try. Pregnancy was scary. Still, she recalled the trials that Galiene had endured in order to bring Guinevere into the fold. The road ahead of Caella was long and... it would not do for her to be alone.

That did not stop Isolde from being anxious, however.

"Who have you taken as your mate? Does he know?" Of course, one could not really copulate without expecting pups. Nonetheless, Isolde felt compelled to ask.

"Merry be the Maiden."

table ▶▶claerie. manip ▶▶ raven

c a e l l a

Oh, those veiled eyes sparkled with sorrow. How hard it must be to allow emotion to rule... Caella had never been an empathetic soul, for she was destined to walk the Crone's sweet, inky trail. Emotion caused weakness. Weakness in judgement and could sever the ties to the games she would play. She was a detached soul, only homed to the omens that whispered to her-Caella was a dark and powerful Seer, not a young girl cherished for her innocence.

"praise be," Whispered righteous words. The Crone feigned a glimmer of a smile. One that was fake. Oh, she could see the pain Isolde felt, reveled within it. So, she would stoke that fire and bring her closer and as if on perfect que, Isolde crept closer to the Spider's den: Unknowing of its trap. “Praise be.” Caella echoed the words back, slowly dipping her head.

"who have you taken as your mate? does he know?" Oh... how to go on! Which mask should she place upon that poker face? Sadness? That the one to be up and left her? Defenseless and alone? Or anger? That he did not want anything to do with the life that festered within her womb? Caella paused, allowing a look of indifference-placing that wall up high so Isolde could not read her true intentions. “No.” She began to spin her tale of woe. Dark ears pinned to her dark crown. Mustering the fear she kept hidden, deep, deep down. Isolde had the intuition of the Maiden-she could easily sniff out a lie... if not played to perfection.“He... does not know, as of yet.” Her tone had lost its usual purr and instead, broke in pitch-adding to the fake fear that rolled upon her dark features.

Would Isolde dare to delve deeper? Would she dare to look within the Lion's jaws? Oh upon the inside, The Crone giggled with glee.

How they did not know.

How they would never know.

“I am speaking”
table made by soar. art by ashon.



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