Full Version: you are fire, I am death
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The smell of stale mud and promises of rain blew in from the east, coloring the stillness of the forest not as a calm, but rather the precipice of change. Eve's ears twitched toward the cackling of the birds, all screaming their jealousy and biological imperatives, the thrill of insects filling in any empty space that the raucous songs might have left. The days were growing hotter, and even in the shade of Erro "cool" was an immensely relative term. Dark in color and not particularly eager to walk in the angry light of the sun, Evike had taken to sleeping away the noon hours and moving about in the twilight and dawn hours when things had begun to cool off. With the dusk slowly approaching, Evike set about preparing herself for the night's work.

She'd found the border stale and fading when searching the northern limit of the shady wood and unabashedly felt a stab of joy for it - she'd forewarned him of Nekros' failure and had been proven, almost immediately, to be correct. Some part of her wanted to seek out the big purple wolf and grill her on the subject, but it was that same part that reminded her that Lux was again lost to her - did her status as slave still bind her, or had it been dissolved along with the fell clan? 

Much of the day she'd been kept awake with these considerations, sleep failing to grace her. Concern gnawed at her in a way that was unusual, leaving her feeling vaguely lost in the world, cast adrift by her worries. As she moved from her nest in the waning daylight, they plagued her still, dampening her paranoia some, allowing her to wander without questioning every odd sound or shadow too deeply, distracting her enough that the forest appeared as a haze that she navigated, skirting trees and fallen logs, boulders and brush.

Illuminating wings were spread wide as the male stretched his aristocratic neck. Gorgeous sterling eyes blinked against the warmth of the day. He hadn’t yet met many that wandered this particular forest. It seemed the wolves of the world were congregating elsewhere. Never the less, he was content to frolic amongst the trees and enjoy a good flight. 

The rays of the sun had begun to set and the darkness of the forest was stretching just on the outskirts as the sun set her lovely self into her evening slumber. The hum of his feathers seemed to brighten the darkness that attempted to swallow his figure. His plumage was decorated with oranges and red, like a brilliant golden peacock, and his illuminating feathers brought light where only darkness settled. He tucked in his wings against his golden coat and sniffed the air around him. Someone had ventured into this forest and he wondered who they were. Where they gods serving wolves or unbelievers? Those that didn’t follow the ways of the gods were unfortunate creatures that he pitied.

He pranced on gentile paws. His movements were almost flamboyant in a way with his glee. The days were glorious as the summer months bloomed. He enjoyed the joys songs of the creatures around. His own song seemed to hum deep in his chest. His three tails intertwined with one another, folding on top of the other, and blending their aromas with his tail feathers. He had been in isolation for far too long and the idea of bumping into a stranger was quite exciting. Perhaps the gods had foreseen this meeting and who was he to ignore their ever subtle messages. 

In his travels the aroma he followed was becoming clearer. His sterling eyes did rove over the brilliance of a fellow Kaddain. His luscious lips curled into a brilliant smile to expose his brilliant ivory teeth. He took great care in ensuring his appearance was up to his high standards. She was a darker colored Kaddain. She lacked the grace and sophistication that most of the Kaddain species coat radiated. However, he had learned not to linger on outer appearances. Why would the gods bring forth a being more beautiful than him if they truly desired his attention? 

He disregarded the rather conceded thought and gently reprimanded himself for such things. Vanity wasn’t at all attractive and he was sure to keep such thoughts to himself. He was welcome to admire his own worth but to put others down for their lack of beauty was simply uncalled for.
Good evening.” He called in a soothing and soft monotone. His voice was as soft and luscious as the first honey of the summer. Its golden loveliness spoke of his kindness and feigned innocence. His trio of tail curled onto one another as he stood awaiting her respond. The edges of his golden wings hummed with their soft glow as they casted their light gently on the dark colored maiden.
At first, her mind interpreted hid voice as that of Odysseus, come to collect her. Her body steeled instinctively for conflict, her wings pushing out from . her body as she turned to find the source of the voice. Reaching out with magic, she formed a very temporary shield between them for lack of anything solid with which to clock him, the tell-tale glow blossoming from her chest, spider webbing out like tragic cracks in some delicate ceramic. What she found, however, couldn't be any less like the child king. Pale and lit by some ethereal light, he was <i>gorgeous</i>, if not typical of the kaddain species.

All she could think of, however, was that he must have been yet another Volfglanz child coming out of the woodwork, and tilted her head with curiosity. "Good evening," the mage ventured cautiously, lifting her head high as she peered up at him, lifting only her eyes, rather than tipping up her muzzle, ears coming forward. Should she recognize him as a child of the mad king? For all the horrible stories surrounding the family, the children seemed fairly well-adjusted and nice, though she could understand wanting to be more covert about one's lineage when your father was the most hated man in recent history for a grave many. Uncertainty clouded her mind as she studied him further, deciding to wait for the stranger to introduce himself, to see where his comfort range fell.

Her wings settled about her as a cape, feathers slicking about the curves of her flanks and hips like glossy black ink. She gestured with the left appendage, still somewhat conscious of the gnarled scar that dominated her shoulder, but no longer afraid of it. She had, and would continue to overcome the injury and what it meant. All it reminded her of now was Newt's suggestion she gather friends to her side - if this male was anything like the genteel twins, he would make a fine friend indeed. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Evike."

Distance, it was a respectful thing his family lineage had taught him. Though the ever romantic males would feel the need to seduce in close quarters he wasn’t the type. He admired the gestures of his father and the softness of his care. Respect went a long way as did personal space so as the angelic darkling women opened her wings in defense he allowed his wings to push him backwards in response to her reaction. His sterling eyes roved over the cracks that spiraled across her chest. He could sense the magic radiating over her. Her aura was glowing with her fear but the colors were still a bit dull for him. He was learning their different textures and hues with emotions but it was often straining on his mind. He closed his eyes for a moment at the soft ache that was pulsing at the edge of his eyes and refocused his attention on her. 
His golden orange wings fluttered by his side for a moment. The hum on their edges seemed to draw in the ever growing moonlight around them. He gently tucked them against his side as he waited for her to feel more at ease. His tail played with the soft glowing feathers that gently lay against them. Their glow sent small shimmers on the forest floor.  He watched as she collected her composure and assesses him in the same way he assesses her. He wondered what her initial thoughts were of him. His were of the gods and their intensions with drawing him to a stranger. They set the stage for him to walk on and whatever characters passed him by were either sent by their behalf or he was guided to them. 
Her gestures were neutral in her greeting. He hadn’t asserted himself over her and she hadn’t done the same. They were strangers and he wasn’t the type to boast him confidence in a rather rude manner. His dominance was subtle. In the way he carried himself and his smile. Her words would dance across his long ears and he would twitch them in response. She was looking for introductions naturally and he was content to give them. He listened as she introduced herself as Evike. He allowed the name to dance around inside his mind, reciting it, to ensure he remembered it. 
“It is indeed a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.” He said with a dip of his body. It was a curious gesture, not a submissive one, and he allowed his sterling eyes to meet hers. “I am Asher.” He offered in return. His tone was neutral but still welcoming. He allowed his hind quarters to pull towards the earthen floor. His front paws crossing in as a display of his elegance. It was an unconscious gesture. His humming glow seemed to envelope him as the darkness began to cascade around the duo.“So, Lady Evike, It has come to my attention that we were perhaps meant to meet. Do you by chance follow the gods, religiously?” he inquired. His smooth smile still beamed with his neutral friendliness. There was no hint of edge to his smile. No slight pull at the edges to suggest any malice intent. This was merely a meeting of chance and by the gods he hoped they had set up this encounter.
He held himself like a noble, conducting his behavior after the fashion of those that belonged in high society. The bow was not so much an alien gesture to her, as she'd seen Gryll perform as such multiple times in the presence of others as a manner of greeting, though she did not reply in kind. The striking kaddain's patience was not missed, but rather afforded him a careful smile and bob of her head, allowing him to meet and hold her gaze as he settled into a seated position, appearing more and more like a fallen star as the night settled over the land like a blanket. Introducing himself, he met her greeting graciously, stating that was, indeed, a pleasure. "Asher", however, was a decidedly <i>strange</i> name for a Volfglanz, leading Evike to doubt her initial conclusion. Without a last name being offered, however, his identity would continue to exist within the realm of uncertainty, The matter of lineage was not one that struck her as all that pressing, however, so she allowed the topic to rest and reveal itself naturally.

A beat passed before she mirrored him, dropping her haunches to the ground and tucking her tail up about her right hip. Soft round wings pulled around her and forward, some, framing her tiny body between the feathery appendages. Her forepaws settled close together, wrists touching as a subconscious effort to further emulate him, though her gaze remained locked on his face, attempting to decipher the peaceful expression that he wore like a mask. Neutrality was a particularly dangerous trait, one that colored his voice and made her doubt, but it was his words that caused her breath to hitch and her head to tilt, ears turning forward at attention. "What is it you know of the will of the Three?" A giddy excitement threatened to bubble up in her chest as she thought back to the incident on Rogo where she'd all but begged for the fell god of fire's assistance. This male certainly looked nothing like Phu'arne, but he glowed like a torch and wore the coloration of a wildfire proudly as if a mantel. It was a force of will that kept her gaze on his face, forcing her to maintain eye contact though she wanted to again look him over, perhaps seek out further clues that she <i>had</i> been heard, though she doubted he'd changed much in the few seconds that passed between them.

Internally, her mind wheeled. There was an overwhelming lot going on, and those same concerns that had driven her to wander aimlessly returned now, only this time she maneuvered them like a jigsaw, attempting to plug this <i>Asher</i> in to every one, to prove that he was, indeed, the answer to that which ailed her. Distracted, her voice came a soft whisper, the words clear and precise, but spoken haltingly, as if she were picking out the correct strokes that would render the image she needed to show him perfectly. "More than a year past, I was a priestess," which did a helpful lot in answering his question, neither lying nor exactly answering - one did not need to be religious in order to interpret the gods for those that could not hear, could not see. "When I experienced... <i>troubles</i>, a season ago, I sought Phu'arne's assistance." She continued to watch his face, searching for any flicker of emotion, or really any expression at all behind that smile. "I thought maybe he hadn't heard me." Her wings motioned in a shrug as her gaze dropped to his elegantly crossed paws, ears tucking back in abash as her chin touched her left shoulder, as if truly penitent of ever having doubted the fell god's scope of hearing.

Of course he wasn't a messenger of the gods - not in her eyes - but for one to bring it up immediately... surely he felt that there was some power in faith. Surely he felt that he existed for some divine will. Evike could provide that, she could groom those concepts, shape and mold them if it meant a cure to her disease. Lies and manipulation were currencies the mage could dabble in if it justified the end.

He watched her, every move she made and every reaction, as he waited for conformation that she was indeed a devoted servant of the glorious three. He watched as her attention seemed to swell with his mention of the goods having setup this little meeting. He related most to Constintina, however, he was devoted to all three gods, each with their own unique ways of ruling the world and influencing their followers, he was eager to serve them all as needed. 
Her question made his ears twitch and a soft and somewhat shy smile crossed his lips and he looked towards the grounds for a moment. “I am their humble servant. My family was devoted to serving the gods as the gods desired. Each trial and tribulation they place before us is a test to see how worthy we are to serve them.” His voice was filled with his deep appreciation. “My father was a priest and he trained me to be a sort of knight for the gods and our family.” His head was held high in regards to his father. He ruffled his feathers a bit, puffing out his chest, and shifting them back into place. The soft crème and deeper oranges seemed to burn within his coat. One would assume he was a fire wielder but the male could feel the coldness of ice deep within his core. It had yet to manifest but he was certain someday it would awaken.
Her words were so soft, so uncertain, and he tilted his head with his concern. Did she feel he was portraying a feigned excitement for his devotion? Perhaps something had happened to have made her weary of strangers. He knew not all were kind and giving. Some were cruel and did unforgivable things and those who did such things needed to be punished. The wicked could rot in the pits of the underworld and be shunned by the very gods that created them. There was special place for the none believers and demons of the world. Though he was certain some could be saved or had done some deed worthy of the god’s admiration to dismiss their ideals. Everyone had a purpose, if only they would listen.
She had said she had asked for the darker gods help. He wondered what repercussions she had received by calling out for his assistance. Though he was the darker of the gods, he was still neutral in a sense, and perhaps it had indeed been his will to bring the duo together. Perhaps she needed a night to assist her in whatever goal the gods had placed for her purpose. His face had remained impassive and welcoming as she spoke of her plight. The gods were the gods, good or bad; they were all to be worshiped. His initial moral compass was lawful good but that didn’t mean the arrow of truth didn’t dance from grey area to grey area. 
“Perhaps he has indeed heard your plight. I believe the gods hear all their children’s voices.” He said thoughtfully, “However, there are so many of us to hear. It is only natural that the answer you seek isn’t always presented to you in the way you expect.” He said with his bright smile. Faith was indeed a strange thing. It delivered its message in many ways. Perhaps it was the way the flowers bloomed and filled the world with their lovely aroma or how the birds sang songs of the golden ages. Its signs were not always clear but their divinity was always shinning on them. 
“What was it you prayed for?” he questioned, though he hoped he wasn’t being too forward. Prayers were sacred and not always something you shared with others. Some were silent and said in the mind but others were important and said allowed. He was a fan of speaking to the gods allowed though he was certain no matter what way he spoke to them, they heard him.