Flightless Bird

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Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:49 pm

Rúna sat in the shade of one of the elms in the courtyard, trying to shut out the incessant chatter of the birds above and around her. It didn't seem like a very useful ability, when 99% of what she heard was variations on "Food! Food! Food!", "Get off my tree!" and "Hey, beautiful! Come be my mate!"

She sighed and looked at the sketchbook on her knees, then added a few lines to one of the faces taking shape there. A charcoal pencil couldn't do the proper justice to Brynja's woad paint or Arnbjörg's bright eyes. It seemed like months since she'd seen them last, glimpsed over her shoulder as she ran through the woods of what she'd been told was Asgard, but the people here called Arcadia. Would her friends find her here? Would Odin and Brynhild punish them for trying to follow her?

Tears came to her eyes, and she wiped them away absently, leaving a black smear across her cheek. Sighing again, she leaned back against the elm and winced as her shoulder blades twinged. She hadn't yet mustered the courage to talk to Ellie about getting those wounds taken care of. Maybe she should before too much longer. Arnbjörg had done what she could, but it was only so much.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:39 pm

September was about the latest in the year Zaïren enjoyed. Well, okay, Halloween was plenty of fun, but otherwise October was starting to get too cold. And given laurels were evergreens the fact he had so much trouble with cold was frustrating. But, tea helped keep him warm, and he liked it anyway.

He did enjoy the way he could feel the plants around him begin to settle in for winter, though. There was a sort of drowsy contentment as leaves changed and hibernation began to kick in. Even the evergreens were beginning to settle down, though not nearly so far. It made him want to curl up under a tree with a blanket and a book to go with his tea.

He paused at the sight of someone wiping their face and redirected his steps. "Hello there."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:46 pm

Rúna looked up at the voice that greeted her, and gave the stranger a slightly confused smile. What sort of bird was he, with those bright green wings? "Oh, hallo."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:50 pm

"Mind if I join you?" She looked like she'd either really like company, or really dislike it at the moment.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:51 pm

"No, feel free." She shifted to give him a little more room to sit, if he wished. "I'm Rúna."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:56 pm

"I'm Zaïren." He settled next to her, taking a few moments to settle his wings without smacking her or the tree. Tears of pain were not conducive to introductions.

He glanced at her sketchbook thoughtfully and gestured with his free hand. "That's pretty good."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:59 pm

"Thank you." She looked back at the page herself, turning her pencil end over end between her fingers. "Those are my best friends. I think next time I'll draw them with color."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:03 pm

"I wish I'd had the patience to learn to draw. I'm still at about stick-figure levels, and that's not likely to change any time soon."

He grinned at her. "So, you're new. Got any questions or did you get a pretty solid briefing? Not that a briefing is going to tell you much about this place."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:09 pm

She laughed softly. "I have so many questions it would take years to answer them all. But most of them aren't even about this place. I've been learning as I go, but it's hard to keep things straight. At least I know other bird-people when I see them. What sort are you? Your wings are beautiful."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:13 pm

Zaïren tapped the black markings around his eyes and grinned. "I'm a swan. I know, bright green doesn't match up, but I'm only half bird. My mother was a laurel hamadryad. Instead of manifesting as part plant myself, I just ended up with some natural green that makes me look more parrot."

He tilted his head thoughtfully. "Other bird-people. I see wings in your sketch. Know quite a few do you?"
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:19 pm

Rúna smiled as he spoke, but at his last words her throat tightened. "Some, yes. And I am one -- a swan. So are my friends. We came from the same place, they said, but none of them could tell me my name. They were the ones who called me Rúna. It's the only name I've known for over eight hundred years."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:33 pm

He pulled a face. "Lost your name? That's awful. Sounds like a very powerful Fair One trick."

He glanced at her, and looked away. "I didn't mean to bring up bad memories. I could go if I'm upsetting you."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:37 pm

Rúna nodded, her eyes half-closing. She wasn't quite sure what Loki and Odin and Brynhild and the rest had been, for all that they styled themselves gods and goddesses. But from what she'd learned of the Fair Ones so far, it seemed an accurate assumption.

She looked at him just as he looked away. "You can stay. Let's just talk about something else. What about you? Have you been here long?"
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:49 am

"I grew up in Lakeshore. Pretty good place, really. I probably spent some time out in Arcadia proper," he flicked his fingers in a vague, non-specific direction, "but I came here very young. I've got a few adopted brothers, other birds who needed a home for whatever reason. You'll definitely hear about Neylen. Everyone gets to know who he is pretty quickly."

Zaïren grinned.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:57 am

Rúna nodded. "He's the hawk with red hair and wings, right? I've heard his name around the place." She looked closer at him, then gave another shudder. "You were in Arcadia? Why? How?" She couldn't imagine anyone going there willingly, except those who were native to it like the Fair Ones. Maybe that was the reason.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:03 am

"My mother was the dryad, and they're not especially common outside Arcadia. It was home." He shrugged again. "There are plenty of nice people out there. Yeah, some of them are awful, but you run into that on Earth anyway. They're just a bit scarier with the powers out there."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:10 am

Rúna nodded, shuddering again. "More than a bit, I'd say." She sighed and slowly uncurled, wincing a bit as her back muscles moved. "I would ask that we not talk about them, but I think that'll be hard in this place."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:40 am

"Kinda impossible, since a fair number of the staff and students of the school are Fae themselves. It's sort of a catch-all for magical nonhumans, among other things." Zaïren shrugged. "Just people, with the lines we always draw to separate ourselves for whatever reasons we have."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:18 am

She nodded again. "I hope the ones here are more friendly than the ones I met out there. I'm not sure if I've met many yet." It could be hard to tell who was what, with so many people blended together in one place.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:44 pm

Zaïren snickered. "Not sure if the Headmaster counts as friendly, but I guess she is among the better ones. She does seem to honestly want what's best for us. You've probably met quite a few, especially as we technically count. Me more than you, but still."

He shrugged again. "Most people here are going to be part Fae at least. Especially in the school, though we have our fair share of mortals just wanting to learn magic. And everyone in town is nice. Well, nice in the 'not likely to hurt you' sort of way, anyway. There's always those grumps who complain about kids these days and demand we get off their lawn."
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:03 pm

She nodded, trying to hide her discomfort at that fact. But being like the Fair Ones she'd known didn't mean she had to act like them. So maybe it wasn't so bad.

"How old are you?" she asked after a moment. He looked only a bit younger than she did, but that didn't really count for anything when she was actually hundreds of years old.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Aye Goyan on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:45 pm

Anguis slithered through the grass, searching for a patch of sun in which to curl up where he wasn't likely to be trampled by passers by. Every time he felt the vibrations of approaching footsteps, the little black snake would veer in the opposite direction. His winding path eventually saw him edging towards the elms where the two swans conversed.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:50 pm

Rúna didn't mean to scream, but the sight of the black snake poking its head out of the grass in front of her brought on a visceral terror. She tried to scramble up and backward, only to hit her head against the elm and stumble away. A string of curses in Norwegian escaped her lips as she raised a hand to her head.
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Zaïren on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:53 pm

Zaïren flinched away from the cry in his ear, clapping a hand over it to try to drown out the ringing. It didn't work. He looked around to find what had frightened Rúna and smiled. He moved slowly toward the snake and held a hand out. "Hello there. Does Aye know you're out here? Or do you just not care?"
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Re: Flightless Bird

Post by Rúna on Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:59 pm

Rúna shut her eyes against the throbbing in her head, frozen where she'd dropped to a crouch behind the elm. After a moment she opened her eyes again, stared at Zaïren in bafflement as he crouched down to talk to the snake, then wondered if she could grab her sketchbook and pencil and head back inside without getting much closer to the latter. Now she definitely wanted to see Ellie.
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