HELOVIA || The Way to the Sun
[O] Little fish, big pond - Printable Version

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Little fish, big pond - Nora - 04-24-2017

An oval bowl of brackish water melts into an open, tasteful spread of pebble, algae and mud. The late afternoon sun grants me an over-bright, unhindered view of the mountains beyond the gleaming blue/green/black surface. A stern, cold wind blows in from the west; offering a steady flume of reliable motion. It felt strong as it teases between primaries and ruffles the coverts. In all...a perfectly suited day for a feathered creature to ease into the sky. My lean, trying confidence boasts that, today is it! Pinions loosen, I crane backwards -- turning and studying the feathers for imperfections. Once my pre-flight check is complete (and the discarded feathers have been dealt with) I push both arms further apart. At first, the joints resist my urge into motion. Up, down. Rinse, repeat. Muscles twinge, resenting and acting wholly argumentative. I frown, but keep on.

Mini me watches from her shadowy habitat – offering encouragement in her own twisted way. This is a perfect place to refresh, she smiles, somehow looking both amused and approving within my figurative mind space…meanwhile an anxious lump rises into the folds of my throat. If we fall from the sky, the water will break it. However true that was...her comfort and 'logic' leave me feeling less comforted.

I square up, brows narrow....my heart thuds expectantly...lungs suck in a deep drag of that thin, mountain air.

Ears flick back. Now! My hindquarters explode, all four toes extend; shoving, digging hard into the mossy loam! Jaws clench as my wings unfurl and send those feathers streaking across the floor. Every muscle is dedicated, working and pumping fluidly – warmly even. The biting current strengthens, whisking against my neck, tangling my hair into a messy array. My tail lashes, striking the top of either hip as it sways. Panting, I push from the ground just as the soggy bank-side rises to meet me – gravity barks, pulling on these tender, underused joints. Toes curl inward, anticipating that inner warmth. But it isn’t enough! I thrash hard, harder! Every fiber is straining, reaching for the sky! Water drags the tips of my feet and snaps at the low thrum of either wingtip.

Just as I begin to rise, a sharp and sudden cramp floods in from my screaming pectoral muscles; it races and tingles up the joint. Cringing, receptive to that sudden ache, I wince and unintentionally slow the next down stroke. My hopes sink, while my little heart thrums into overdrive....that tiny adjustment proves fatal to my goal...it was all the mistake it took for the water below to become my unhelpful landing pad. That sickening feeling of falling is brief, I drop from the sky like a feathery rock and plummet straight into the icy pool.


Chilly water rushes in to consume every inch of hot, milky liver flesh. The sudden chill forces precious air to evaporate in the form of a gasp. Useless waterlogged feathers bobble, dunking as they struggle to hover upon the surface. At the point of impact, my legs had common sense to kick out…yet, my courage suffers a sour, terrified stroke of fear when nothing but murky emptiness meets me. Willpower snaps into motion; I paddle with these thin legs and send every ounce of energy into the next stroke. Water tickles upward, clinging to the hairs inside my nose -- some of it drains down the back of my throat. A tight, disgusting sneeze rivets through my entirety – followed by a fit of coughing. These lungs are moaning, burning! Eyelids pinch, shielding my core from the frigid torrent. The shore wasn’t far...but it felt like an eternity…seconds later the sandy, vine covered bottom appears just as my sudden influx of energy begins to panic.

OC: Open for any <3

RE: Little fish, big pond - Rikyn - 04-28-2017

Returning home from a run about the passes, the valley sprawls out and reveals the shore of the lake, towards which I’m meandering, with sweat slaked sides. The high sun adds a gloss to my dark cocoa pelt, I the only figure currently walking towards the lake at all; the rest of the herd was doing other things, and my companion, easily lured away by natural splendor, is some three to four miles down the trail, presumably still admiring the prettiness of a clearing I’d ploughed through with next to no concern.

Sure, it had been pretty, but this was Helovia. Even the things everyone called ugly weren’t so hard to look at, at the end of the day.

I’m wondering exactly what pivotal piece either of us lacks that creates this dissonance when I hear a clamorous splashing, my thoughts quickly hurled aside for the present. Not waiting to see who it is that needs saving (it could be a kid, and as I'm Lord, I suppose that also makes it my job, unfortunately, to save the idiots when they are drowning), I rush quickly towards the water, slowing down when I notice that it is the shy pegasus mare from the other day. Great, I think, recalling how easily startled she’d been, and how… volatile the man with her had been, when it came to her safety. Moving forward with less sureness than I might in the salvation of someone else, wary of her reaction, I unleash a nicker (the most feminine sound in my repertoire, and if it scares her, well, she’s just need to get tougher titties), and trot to close the distance between us.

Wading into the water, discovering a drop off and suddenly plunging a foot deeper than I’d expected, the cool feels as nice on my hot skin as it is shocking, and I unleash a small sound of surprise. Moving nearer, offering her support (if she’ll take it), I try to put my best hoof forward, and save her from drowning, even if it means, Noah, I think he was called, is gonna come thundering out of no where to knock me out for all my efforts.

"This probably isn’t the best spot to learn to swim," I remark, thinking about gesturing to a not far off bank that is an even slope of sand for about a twenty foot stretch along the shore, but refraining; its the best spot to safely get in an out, not this more rocky region, with uneven footing.

[ OOC: feel free to accept the help or kick him in the shin :'D ]

in every heart a hole
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RE: Little fish, big pond - Nora - 05-16-2017

Squishing, stumbling! A haphazard dance that has me wobbling/paddling gracelessly into the shallows. Despite my determination, the uneven terrain defies me; clenched jaws strangle a whiskered cry of shock as the mossy rocks antagonize the situation by sliding out from underfoot. My audible sensors are drowned in the upheaval; consumed by the racket of ivories grinding and chattering their way into the splashy chorus. That suppressed cackle brings these frantic, questioning irises upward…tendrils of hair flop over the curve of my nose. Noah? A hasty glance crosses out that assumption; this wasn't a man of milk and honey...but rather gold and granite. Armored and weaponized.

Oh no…

My momentarily lapse of concentration is all the excuse this mossy, razor-sharp spread needs to punish me for the foul placement of ill-experienced feet. Without warning, I lurch forward! Forefeet skidding, pivoting on the threshold of balance! These arms pummel that rippled, foamy surface -- uselessly correcting. A spinning mix of panic, fear and shame dribble into the framework of my expression. Cued by the notion of public ridicule, my subconscious ducks out of view…leaving my crumbled self-esteem to weather the damage alone.

Water sprays from these nostrils as another fit of coughing invades me. After thoroughly becoming a slobbery, wet mess (in my opinion)...I manage to regain my footing and straighten just in time for my unexpected companion to splash in alongside. These heavy, useless arms quiver and curl inward…habitually surrendering their space to the taller, coordinated male. Optics glimpse his open shoulder, the logical part of my brain pings that it was exposed for support. But as he nears, my entirety can’t help but tighten; the shivering becomes ever more violent. I shy aside, highlighting a fault that in every aspect, I'm unpracticed (and uneducated) in the socially acceptable art of casual touch. Though…had he just shoved his shoulder into me as a brace without hesitation...I wouldn't have been in a position to refuse it...

Gradually, the chilly surf dips below my throat, a few steps more and it rushes to abandon my frigid neckline. The weight of gravity has resumed by the time my chest and shoulders are revealed. That mild torrent runs arctic fingers over those damp, moist contours. I quiver, shivering...it felt as if needles are dribbling down my liver splashed coat. Relief and anxiety are subdued by the new reality of my frigid predicament. The stranger speaks and these vibrating ears pivot, sorting and absorbing the melody of his foreign words. There is familiarity in his voice (even if those words are lost to me)…but my lungs seemed unwilling to suck a deep enough breath amid the chattering to form a reply. I glance up, realization comes quickly. This is one of the men from weeks prior -- one who'd discovered our typhoon brewing trio ascending the face of a mountain.

Drenched...and dirty...the irony of our second impression burns the tips of my ears.

OC: Sorry for the wait!  

RE: Little fish, big pond - Rikyn - 05-18-2017


As I’d feared, my presence only seems to escalate the situation; with a groan, I wish that I could be Erebos for a little while, simply walking atop the water, so I could pull her out by force and drag her to the shore, rather than being left to awkwardly stand here, anxiously hovering, while she flops about in the water some more. Willing to dive into the deeper parts of the lake to try and keep her from drowning if need be, I otherwise just remain close. Surely, she’ll calm down at some point, and we can progress beyond this seemingly endless barrier of wariness which seems to raise high around her as the mountain does about us both.

Just as I’m starting to toy with the idea of grabbing hold of her with my magic, and dealing with whatever comes after I let her go, she catches her balance. Looking at her, dropping my willpower, which I’d slowly been bundling, I meet her embarrassed grimace with a forced smile.

I don’t approach her, not this time. Instead, I try words, doing my best to keep my voice gentle and even, though it may just come off as somewhat tense and brittle, I myself not the most socially adept, despite my mother’s endless attempts to teach me to be.

I hadn’t caught her name during the madness of their storm-drenched arrival, I realize, and it was likely she probably hadn’t heard mine, either, considering the state she’d been in. Taking a deep breath, trying my best to swallow down all my frustration with our hopeless social encounters for the sake of leadership, and a sense of duty to my people, I attempt to bridge the gap between us with words, rather than physical aid.

"Other than being in the lake, presently, you are quite safe here, miss. I’m Rikyn," my rich tenor voice begins, forgetting I’m supposed to be Lord, too, because I’m too busy wondering if she’s mute, or deaf, because all she’s seemed to do is gasp and shout shapeless sounds. I gesture towards myself with my nose, just in case. I look back over my shoulder, towards the shore where it is safe to clamber out of the water, and roughly point with my horn, before looking back to her, and slowly wading that way, knowing the slowly changing banks of the still, mountain pool well enough to pick out a pretty safe path, if she’ll follow me. Pointing with my dark muzzle ahead of me as I pass her, I try and keep a comfortable distance between our figures, having figured by now that she’s one of those personal space issues people. "Come on. It’s safe to get out over there."

[ OOC: <33333 ]
in every heart a hole
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RE: Little fish, big pond - Nora - 06-11-2017

His words rebound from the barrier, same as the icy water while it slithers down my trembling coat. “J-je ne comprend-ds pas,” frustration welps from stuttered lips and ascends my reply into the frigid space between us. While those vocals are useless...his gesture is received. Though half frozen and unsettled by our situation, my stare remains alert, watchful – perceiving his jolt of chin and forward momentum as leadership. He…is trying to coax me onward; off to the side, rather than straight ahead. Ingrain obedience has me turning to follow. He (wisely) chooses to maintain the balance of distance apart from my stumbling, haphazard gait. Toes edge forward, testing the durability beneath us. Prattling teeth click in the back of my mouth. Slowly, the frothy lips of water adjure, relinquishing their hold upon jittery flesh.

The gravel dissolves, sharp rocks and unpredictable dips are traded for a softer, agreeable substrate. Aquatic weeds brush sneakily against the sides/backs of these narrow legs. Arms shiver aloof; allowing contained moisture to drizzle clear. Relief spurts hotly into my blood as the muddy bank-side envelopes these lead-like toes. Sucking, deluging. When at last I’m pulled free of water’s edge (with not even a tendril of thatch lingering) these dithering legs sidestep from the male (in an effort to spare him.) Weak, numbing arms withdraw from my girth. I brace against solid ground and shake…flinging minuscule darts at random.

Purging and drying would take time…luckily…the sun is unhindered. Warm fingers brush themselves over these moist contours; taking a fraction of the sting from the northern air. Optics swivel, aiming for him...the stag who’d plunged into icy water. An explanation forms in the pit of my chest, “f-fly,” shuddering remorse breaks my voice, “f-fall-l.” The compulsion to share my misfortune does nothing to spare me the shame of failing…”W-who, y-you?” I whisper, pinions remain arched, dripping all the while.

OC: [Hover over text for a translation!]


RE: Little fish, big pond - Rikyn - 06-13-2017

Some sort of more comprehensible gibberish makes its way forth; it sounds like words, but ones I don’t know. Like Dothraki, when Mordecai speaks it too fast, or uses words which are not at all like ones we’ve used before. Suddenly silent and looking at her with a gong rebounding its noise through my head, because obviously that’s what’s up with her, get your shit together, brother…

Really though, what language is that? Glumly trying to gesture towards the shore now, filled with the grim knowledge that I’m in for a pantomiming each time I meet with this new arrival, if her Noah is not present. Thankfully, she’s smart; her gaze moves towards the intended shore, and with a newfound purpose, she makes her way there, ungainly in the water.

Don’t parents teach their kids to swim? I wonder. Sure, it wasn’t easy, especially not compared to a hound’s capability in water, but it was a common thing in the summer here, to see foals leaping into the blue lake, lips bubbling with laughter. Mother had encouraged it to build strength.

She had almost always discouraged fun. That had a time and a place, she liked to say; I’d just wanted to tell her to take her lessons and shove it.

As she gladly makes her way to the shore, I rise out of the water with her, both of us parting a casual distance to shake the water away; the knotted mass of my mane makes its usual riot of noise against my neck before it again settles into still silence. Looking at her as she speaks, I take in that she had tried to fly, and had not succeeded. Figuring its good the lake broke her fall then, I try to smile the sort of smile I think I should to help ease her wounded pride.

"I'm sure you'll fly soon," I tell her, and add a joke, making gestures to the objects which best define what I'm talking about, to hopefully link my common words to the physical things which they represent (it's how I've been learning Dothraki, after all, aside from practice), "the lake will catch you until then."

Can’t feel good, to be a bird that cannot reach their preferred places, after all. Not that I’d know, really. I try to not let myself think about what it would be like to be able to fly all that much, because it makes me think about Aelin, Aithniel, and Mordecai, and the fact that they are, in that way (some of them in many more), as unattainable as clouds, stars, or wind.

"Lord Rikyn," I answer from where I stand, letting her close the distance between us if she wants. I say my name slowly, before I ask (having not learned it during our first, uh, encounter), "who are you?"

in every heart a hole
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