Vindico

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The petite lady had taken off as soon as she could. Everything happened so quickly it didn’t feel real. She didn’t know where to go all she knew was she had to hide. The only place she could think of was in the forests of the dead trees, back to the only home she did know. The place full of her nightmares. The pink pasteled white woman would curl into a ball in the back of her old den. Nothing had made this place their home since she abandoned it last. Her tail would be curled around her covering her nose.
She felt an unfamiliar pain in her chest, like her heart was breaking. How had everything turned out so very wrong?
One moment she was with a handsome white male, whom believed in her and wished to protect her. She had wanted to help him fulfill his dream to rule, she would be by his side even though his call had brought so many Madars to him. She had done her best to wear a brave face and support him, only to have him just vanish leaving her in danger. There was so many Madars, she had to run and hide.

Now here she was back in the place where her father ripped the wings from her back, back to the last place she saw her dear brother.
Valariea was lost and broken, not a clue where to go or what to do. Her violet eyes would gaze around the small den the nightmares of her past was splattered on every wall of the den. She could feel her body tremble in fear, her eyes would water blurring her vision. Everything seemed so hopeless. There was so many Madars out there, and she had nowhere to go. She was frightened so badly she dared not to move, even if she was surrounded by her terrors of her past. Her back would ache in the places where she once had wings.

The small lady would lay her head back down her ears flattened in a sad gesture, a small whimper would push its way out of her throat.
“Please, I don’t know what else to do, please let me be safe. Give me a sign, show me where to go.” Her soft voice would plead to nobody. The thoughts of her mother filled her head, what would she say to her? What would she have done?
Valariea would watch as the light would dim, night was fast approaching it was quickly shrouding her in darkness. Her eyes would respond to the darkness and glow just softly. Too weary from her worries the young maiden would slowly drift off into a sleep, her eyes still wet from her tears.
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Times were changing, Vindico was in a state of political upheaval as old leaders vanished and new ones called themselves to power. Packs formed just as soon as they dissolved, and yet Evike paid it no mind. These things did not concern her, though she had willingly submitted herself into Nekros' ranks (though the title of slave would remain). These tribes and clans were temporary things to her, and held no overarching importance to the mage's perception of the world at large. There were smaller, individual details that were far more important in the immediate sense as she'd only recently began to construct her world again after a long period of hermitage. Acquaintances, companions, enemies - each were points of light and knowledge, developing an increasingly complex web that helped to give the island form.

Lux was one such point, a powerful little flare of interest that had posed serious implications of responsibility and even genuine companionship to the otherwise aloof and self involved mage. It was slight, but even now Eve could intentify the familiar notion of attachment that had colored her world, tying her to the swell in her belly and the ruined runt she birthed. There were reasons enough to resist - Evike was in no position to offer her pupil any more than fleeting interaction during furtive expeditions from Quernus, though that did not stop her from jealously pursuing the idea that, just maybe, Lux was a second chance. An opportunity to undo all of her shortcomings and make up for the horrifically selfish way in which she treated everyone and anyone that ever came near her.

There was no accounting for how difficult bad habits were to break, or the immovable nature of one's personality and development, however. The irony of it all had been lost on her.

"How are you doing, little one?" Her voice came as a soft chirp, a trained eye remaining on the ealith as they navigated the dark corridors of the forest. Part of her expected the girl to bolt - she hadn't struck Evike as terrifically excited when the mage had announced the site of their next lesson, and how could she blame her? The woods were dark and full of horrors, though the exact nature of those terrors were left to be openly defined by those that entered this place.

As night fell, she called to her white specks of light, their glow illuminating their path ever so faintly, nestling in their coats, crowding in the air around them as minor motes. Oddly enough, however, Eve wasn't the only thing casting light. She'd spied the faint glow first at a distance and dismissed it as a figment of her imagination, but as they drew closer she realized that the glow was a real thing, illuminating the inside of an ancient looking den that she'd taken of before during her exploration of the woods, though never stopped to rest there. It was a dark place, marked with old gore and bad vibes, the kind that perfectly accented Mactibilis' own vile aura.

Out snapped a wing in a gesture of caution as Evike edged closer, her nose twitching to a distinctly feminine scent mixed with the strangely poignant scent of sadness. Her brows lifted as she turned back to Lux, as if asking the yearling how they should proceed, or maybe more likely wondering if anything about the huddled white shape struck her as familiar, fully prepared to defend the girl from whatever it was she was running from when she left these woods.
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<p><font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"I'd be better if we weren't here,"</b></font> Lux stepped carefully at her mentor's flank, her claws sheathed to ensure her silence - as if a single misstep would awaken the dangers that must surely lie in wait all around them. The young sorceress spoke under her breath, wary eyes flickering about as she kept her head swung low between her shoulders, dark ears pitched forward and pivoting towards every rustle and snap of twig.</p> <p>Even those living on the outskirts knew this place could drive a wolf mad - Lux had never witnessed such herself, of course, but it was always the reasoning behind any bizarre occurrence among the members of the pack she was born into. Nevertheless, the <i>stories</i> and the history she had here was enough for Lux to steer clear for the remainder of her days and be completely content... but her winged companion had other ideas.</p> <p>The forest began to darken all around them, and the yearling stuck close to the small lights that Eve produced, her own occasional sparks providing brief bluish illumination before vanishing like electric fireflies. If there was ever a time for this damned forest to get any worse, it was at <i>night</i>, and she could feel a noticeable tightening in her chest as it grew more and more difficult to see through the trees.</p> <p><font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"How far do we have to go?"</b></font> No sooner had the words left her mouth did a wing lash out to bar her path, leaving Lux to halt abruptly behind it and instinctively crouch halfway to conceal herself, peering through the gloom towards the bright shape that seemed so out of place. Who was that? A frown threatened the corners of her jaws as she glanced in Eve's direction and then back to the anomaly, swallowing before venturing a soft call to at least announce the shape to their presence. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"... Hello?"</b></font></p>
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The small beauty wouldn’t be asleep for long, she hadn’t even had a chance to fall into a dream of any variety. This probably was good; due to her condition she was likely to have nightmares. The maiden would stir at the sound of a voice breaking her silence. She would open one sad violet eye slowly not quite sure if she actually heard this voice or if she had imagined it somehow. At first she didn’t see anything different just the dark, however when her eye would focus her whole body would freeze, she would practically hold her breath. Before her were two wolves, both female. One was bright golden yellow with some darker red markings and a pair of horns on her head. She didn’t frighten her as much as the other however.

The one that was striking fear into her very core was darker in colour. Her black markings covered a coat of dark colours, what startled her so were the wings she had. Was she another Madar? Had they been tracking her down? Her eyes would widen as she lifted herself to her feet. She would look around almost desperately for an escape rout. There was no way past these strangers, if they were to kill her they had her cornered.
Valariea would back herself against the wall her ears flattened her tail drooped, she would bow submissively to the strangers before her. She may have been bred a lady, but now after everything had fallen apart she was a wreck. She would whimper softly almost as a plea of mercy. She could not look these wolves in the eye.

“Pl… please I beg of you. Have mercy.” She would whisper her voice close to breaking.
Her body would shake and tremble; she was well past panicked at this point. Questions would swirl through her head. ‘How will they kill me?’ ‘Why had I stopped here?’ ‘How did they find me?’ ‘Where is my brother?’ The questions would just make her quake ever more as she waited for them to approach her. She braced herself for any harsh words or a physical blow. Perhaps the Madars wouldn’t pause eager to end the Volfglanz family line. She was alone and vulnerable now would be the time for them to strike.

Her thoughts would continue with her mother. She had failed to accomplish her only wish; to mend the rift between the Volfglanz and the Madars. To form a peace and help burn the past memories of their mad kings.
“May the gods have mercy on me.” Valariea would whisper to herself as if to give herself one final prayer.
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Roused by Lux's greeting, Evike found herself grasping at the shadows that consumed this place, her vision clouding as darkness overrode the vibrant little thing that nestled in the dark den. Despite her temporary blindness, Eve's ears remained pricked, and her eyes fixated in the direction of the woman, prepared to defend her charge should the woman attack.

There would be no violence, however, as a simple greeting had apparently reduced the woman to a frightened and tearful mess, pleading as she lowered her head in submission. Pleas for mercy caused Evike to dispel the shadows back to their original places, the world coming back into view suddenly. Puzzled, her ears pitched back, head raising to look down on the cowering woman before tucking her wing so it no longer blocked Lux, but instead hovered protectively over her back. While the white woman was quite a bit smaller than Evike and smaller still than Lux, the mage wasn't convinced that it was size that had reduced her to terror. Glancing over at her student, she made a small motion for the yearling to step to the side before shuffling out of the mouth of the den.

"There's no need for that." Evike's wings rose and fell in response to the frantic prayer, ears peaking in the first open show of piety she'd experienced since coming out of hiding. "Neither of us mean you harm. You can go, if you like. Or stay. We were merely passing through." Even Eve wasn't so cruel as to corner the woman only to satisfy her own curiosity... Though it certainly crossed her mind.
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<p>Well, Lux certainly wasn't prepared for <i>that</i> sort of reaction. She was vaguely aware of Eve preparing her shadows for a defensive assault, her own ears flattening against the slope of her head as she watched the small woman dissolve into a helpless ball of fear and prayer. She gritted her teeth slightly, pained for the stranger's plight, but steppw over and out of the way as her mentor set to insisting that neither of them meant her any harm at all. </p> <p><font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"It's true, we won't hurt you,"</b></font> The young girl spoke in turn, though she resisted approaching closer for fear of how the bright white wolf may react. Why was she out here all alone? This was hardly the place to seek shelter, and especially not as the sun went down. Perhaps she was lost? So many questions turned in the head of the sorceress, but she refrained; whoever this was, she was clearly overwhelmed enough as it was.</p>
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The small lady would look back up as the strangers would speak to her once more. They hadn’t sounded like they wanted to harm her. They reassured her they weren’t here to harm her. Her violet eyes would look at the bright yellow female only for a second before her eyes would be drawn back to the winged darker female. Perhaps she jumped to conclusions, but it was hard to not have when the only winged or feathered wolves she remembered seeing were Madars. So this woman had to be one as well shouldn’t she be?

She would keep to the back of the den her body continued to tremble; she wasn’t sure if this was going to be some cruel joke or if what they said rang true. She wouldn’t make to move towards them wanting desperately to just disappear. Maybe they hadn’t wanted to kill her. Maybe they wanted to make her their slave? She supposed that idea was far better than death. She would shake her head slightly, no the Madars hated her family almost more than anything. She was convinced they would rather her dead than alive.

“..How do I know I can trust the words of a Madar?... You are a Madar aren’t you?” Her small broken voice would ask them. “If you are here to kill me, just do it quick.”
Her eyes would lower and she would stare at the ground before her waiting and praying silently for her brother to save her. Although doubtful he would just appear out of the blue and come to her rescue. She couldn’t be sure that he was alive himself.
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A sigh of exasperation threatened to leave her as the white woman seemed to shrink even further into the den, shaking all the harder. They had given her room to escape and made their vows of meaning no harm, what was it with this wolf? With difficulty, Evike maintained an even, unaffected expression, her ears pitching forward at the whimpered accusation of a treasonous tongue and something finally <I>useful</I>. She accused her of being a Madar, of all things, her mind immediately bringing to the forefront several key experiences associated with the illustrious name. As a slave, she'd studied Vindico's history along with its mythos, having come to understand the fundamental, yet irrelevant threads that made up it history. Her captors had never had dealings with the Madars or their enemies during her time among them, but the political nature of their existence had made them a recurrent topic.

Patiently, she sifted through her thoughts in silence, allowing the cowering and broken thing before her to plead and carry on as she revisited her lessons. Small, gorgeous, predominantly light in color... The girl only lacked wings, that would make her a perfect match for a "... Volfglanz?" The irony of finding a ghost with such a horrific history in this miserable place was not lost on her, nor was the meek and cowardly way about her any less misleading - Evike's guess had been a wild one, she wasn't positive if it would hold any water. Her ears drew back against her skull as she settled back on her haunches, turning to Lux.

"Madar is an old family name of a particularly successful warlord in Vindico. I've met one of the sons only recently, I cannot say that I'd peg him as the conquering sort." Cardinal had seemed harmless, if not a tad bit obsessive to the mage. Certainly not worth this sort of terror... Which must have meant that his beloved family could be significantly worse. "The Volfglanz were a family said to be blessed by the gods, though were brought low in the end by their pride. This, if I'm not misguided, is someone who should not exist." She turned toward the glowing wolf again, her eyes narrowing briefly upon Valariea, as if she were a strange plant specimen that existed only to fly in the face with her understanding of the natural world. If the mad king's progeny yet lived, did that mean yet more chaos on Vindico's horizon?

Shuffling her wings about her shoulders like a cape, Evike prepared herself before again attempting to combat the girl's hysterical claims and accusations. "Volfglanz or not, neither my student nor I have any interest in your death. You can quit your grovelling whenever you're ready." Not that Evike would wait - having made small progress only to be pushed back by this stranger's stubborn terror made her impatient and decisive. She would talk while she cried, and maybe help to stop the poor little thing from dying of fright where she stood. "I am Evike Alkot, first of my name. The Madars you fear roost in the mountains under a unified banner as far as I know, far enough away from this place and, presumably, not searching for <I>you</I>." Despite her frustration, Evike made every effort to maintain a gentle tone, waiting for that moment in which her words might sink in and dawn on the woman <I>they meant her no harm</I>.
In the darkness and fog of the burned forest there was a glowing sovereign that wandered the land like a lost spirit lingering with a purpose; a grievous desire to find someone from the past. There was no luck found elsewhere and in his journey he had exercised forbearance but it had lead him to his torn home, his patience now dwindling down to a mere nothing. Others speak of tales that the gods cursed his home, the forest put into a state of death after what happens when a fire rages through something. <i>Immolation.</i> A realization came to him that perhaps it was cursed. From his lungs and through his weary head there was a light breath emitted into the cool air of night. The woods crept over him in their ruin and he was swallowed in their encroaching blackness yet the man would remain in an unaffected trance, guided by his own light and a meager use of his power: a small flame of blue.

In the sovereign's path laid remains of what the forest once was, a sign of familiarity. He was approaching even closer to his home and soon he would no doubt come upon of what was his family's den. White talons raked against the tree until they simply obliterated the charred bark, then he would carry on towards where a lone den set surrounded by darkness. Scents of feminine nature flowed into his nostrils, summoning slight curiosity. Were there strangers wandering through? Although they seemed so close. From the den even. He made sure to extinguish his fire before he caught the figures gathered at the entrance of the den. "My, it seems there are guests at my door." With the statement brilliant wings lifted from the sides they covered in greeting to the two strange women, one yellow in color and the other dark with gem-like iridescent. Both he would deem mostly unimpressive in appearance before a smirk curled his lips.
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<p>What would they have to do to prove to this woman that there were <i>far</i> more dangerous things lurking in this forest than they? Echoing Eve's mounting frustration silently through narrowed eyes, the unfamiliar name spoken by the bright wolf elicited confusion quickly quelled by her studious mentor, leaving Lux only to tilt her head as she leveled her gaze more intently on the stranger, making a mental note of her appearance. <i>Volfglanz.</i> </p> <p><font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"What do you mean, she shouldn't exist?"</b></font> Had this family gone extinct? The sorceress was young and unknowledgeable of Vindico's history, and the downward turn of the corners of her mouth and sidelong glance towards her winged companion suggested as much. If they were going to push onward with introductions, however, she assumed she should do the same. <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"Lux Daisia,"</b></font> A beat of silence as she considered, <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"First of my name,"</b></font> At about that moment, however, <i>another</i> voice filled her ears, and in surprise they shot straight up on Lux's head, tiny sparks ringing her skull as she turned rigidly to face the male, her pale yellow gaze rounding out in surprise at the sheer <i>similarity</i>; why, the only obvious difference was the wings he expanded out before them! <font style="color: #7fc2c8; font-variant: small-caps;"><b>"Sorry for intruding,"</b></font> She ventured before she could stop herself, still enthralled with the realization that they may very well have stumbled upon a set of twins.</p>
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