Things had changed in Aeon, that much was certain. A thousand years’ time did tend to have that sort of effect on almost anything. And with an atmosphere charged so heavily with magic as the Aeonian realm, some of the changes were more or less irregular. Once upon a time, for instance, this particular stretch of land was a seasonal bog only; filling with water and life-sustaining sediment during the wetter seasons and drying out enough for passage in the dry. “‘Tanglevine Swamp,’” murmured a soft, low-pitched tone. The speaker was shockingly well-camouflaged in the vine-draped, flooded marsh, with a mane and tail that seemed to mimic said ropy plants, and a plain dun hide streaked with both darker and lighter shades. But even more cloaking than his hide or hairstyle was the twisting, gnarled mangrove tree that stretched a full four feet into the air over his withers. It threw dappled shadows upon his flanks, and would almost render him the disguise of a sixteen-hands-high boulder (decorated with a leafy green companion, of course) once he lowered his head.
This creature’s head, however, was far from lowered; the stallion known to the world as Hist was acutely watchful of the surrounding area. Ears pricked, moss-green eyes trawling for signs of movement, all six of his thickly-carved legs stood as solid as tree-trunks in spite of the knee-high murk that stretched throughout the swamp. Even as his other, more common senses piqued and probed for any signs of danger or company - let alone both - the omnipresent sense in the back of his mind wriggled, tickling him with a constant stream of information. It was a sensation that could only be constant in a place as green and plant-infested as this; only the complete absence of chlorophyll-sustained life would silence that familiar tingling. Having taken note of the Swamp’s description, Hist was pouring more and more attention into the tree-sense of his Druid heritage. Even for a Tree-speaker such as himself, Tanglevine was no laughing matter, and the insidious tendrils would have no problem hauling even his bulky frame under the muddy water for constriction, drowning, and slow digestion.
With nostrils flaring, he at last took a slow step forward. All seemed well, at least insofar as he could tell, and it would seem that none of the plant life nearby had any murderous intent. Again, he stepped, vaguely aware of a few new passengers that had suctioned themselves to his lower legs with sucker-like mouths and tiny rings of teeth. Leeches were an annoyance, of course, but how was he to deny them a meal when he came so willingly to their home? Turning the thought of their slick, swollen little bodies from his mind, the stallion moved a bit quicker. He’d seen enough of the area he’d once visited on a fairy regular basis for herbs and healing bark, and he could mark it off the mental list of old haunts to seek out. Hist began humming in a soft monotone to distract from the unpleasant, silty footing as well as the leeches’ niggling hold on his hide, head angling a bit lower to help from tripping on submerged stumps. “Off to th’ Coulee, ‘den. If’n it still be ‘dere.”
Even if faces, names, events, and his own history eluded the forgetful stallion’s mind, he still grasped a basic knowledge of Aeon’s more notable landmarks. South-Central Aeon had been his primary haunt of old, and a conversation with a helpful wandering mare - who was too busy gaping over his symbiotic mangrove to question his motives and origin - had confirmed his feeble memories of glen and glade to be true. Hopefully not too much had changed at the Feldspar Coulee, though, in that overwarm gulch so close to the Volcano. With a mind that remembered so little of the past, Hist could only wait and watch and hope that his few small recollections were valid. If not, then, what did he have?
status: complete words: 678. music:Journey OST - Austin Wintory tagged: Levana, closed. notes: oh gosh this should be fun! *^* as for his accent, it’s based upon Soupi’s idea that Aeon’s native dialect is something similar to Jamaican, so he likes to clip his t’s and shorten everything up. if he says something confusing feel free to ask! :3
The Bongo lingered in the shadows. Effusive to the seclusion they offered. They consistency of silence. Of obscurity. For that reason she felt no inclination to tread out of their plutonium overcast. All the could truly be seen from within the depths were two hazel iris, nearly incandescent against the ebony. Said apertures seemed to be stuck on the still, green waters. Idly staring at the motionless surface, perhaps hoping some form of excitement would ripple its features. Nothing did. Not fish nor fallen leaf. She had no truly expected anything to, as she had stood here for countless minutes without even the smallest detection of movement. She was alone. And rightfully so. Levana could think of nearly no reason that she was here, except for perhaps everywhere else seemed beautiful enough to suit lovers. Not a mare who drove an intentionally perilous life. This place suited her far better. At long last, her eyes rose and adjusted, blinking rapidly after a long moment of staring purposelessly. Daydreaming. It surprised her to realize how long her guard had been down.
Shaking minuscule flies, nipping at her hide like vampires, from her nape, the striped mare began to walk. Her purpose was unknown, but her blackened legs made a point to evade the spindly grasp of pitiless, deleterious foliage. Occasionally her brow bone would narrow down over her gaze, as though daring a Tanglevine to do something. None of them did. Or perhaps her Druid sense of herbery had merely failed her, and none of these were Tanglevine at all. She had never been here, as it was, merely heard stories as she past through the world. Like a ghost. Hidden, faded into the background. Ethereal and intangible by eye or muzzle alike. Evading company aside to watch over safety. Yet, in spite of her mental arguments and persisting denial, her heart felt the unfamiliar, instinctual yearning for companionship. Her species screamed herd animal, her mind shrieked rogue. As a disbeliever in misery loves company, she doubted her species unconditionally.
With a sudden jerk of movement, the mare came to a halt. Her harks stood high upon an ebony locked crown, and the smallest noise was detected. Not just some petty ambiance, either. But a voice. Her foreleg rose as she stood point, her muzzle lifted high in the air. No sooner had she considered seeking them out for perhaps watching and learning purposes did they emerge. The stallion's presence confused her immensely at first, for she felt as though what her eyes beheld was a tree. Walking and chatting tirelessly with itself, perhaps. After a moment, however, tawny lamps found themselves happening on the burly facade that could only belong to a horse. Her face betrayed nearly none of her surprise over his appearance, though the slightest shock had flashed across before she had composed herself.
Staring, The Bongo momentarily considered remaining silent. Pretending she lead the life of a deaf-mute, unable to hear nor speak. Perhaps that would be better? However, she decided against it. He seemed to be alone, and while a somewhat sexist part of her encouraged her to spit upon him and leave, she recalled her self-vow. This was not a pleasant place, particularly not for a wanderer. But then, she reminded herself, none had come to hold her hand through the swamp. Levana snorted loudly, no doubt encouraging the stallion she had stumbled upon to think her a fool, fixating him with a glare without even speaking first hand.
Begrudgingly her foreleg sank to the ground, her thickly built nape tucking into an elegant bow. Once her head lifted, her eyes bore into his. She had no interest in the beautiful tree sprouting from his back, nor the leeches clinging to his leg. She only cared to see what of his character she could discern by merely watching. Ill intent was not a tangible thing, but that did not discourage her from analyzing him with the ideals that it was. After a long silence - a long moment of staring - the striped mare parted her black lips and spoke to him eloquently. Perhaps too eloquently. With the chivalry that would likely indicate her mannerisms were rehearsed. Practiced for the moment she would be forced to talk to someone.
Tagged Koosh w/ Hist Listening to Blackmill - Love at Heart | Please don't say you love me - Gabrielle Aplin Notes Yes it should! Also, I'm loving the Jamaican accent. It suits the Druid part of him, and the tree, in my opinion. <3 || Also sorry if there's any typos or weird sentences, gotta run and don't have time to proof read! When I get back I will. (: Word Count 717
Manipulation by Levana. Horse from venomxbaby@deviantart. Background from Solanaceae85@deviantart.
Like the wisp of a ghost, a bird high up and far off in an old mangrove piped an alarm even as Hist sloshed his way slowly along. The druid stilled, one foot left poised over the murky, algae-laden water as his ears perked and muzzle turned toward the sound. In the back of his mind that omnipresent sense of the area’s flora twitched, and he found himself locking in on a length of thick vine that casually slid from an overreaching limb into the water. With a faint grunt and the barest hint of a smirk, Hist shook his head and went to walk on. As his lifted hoof slipped into the dark depths of the marsh, though, there was a peculiar squelching noise; a surprising amount of suction seemed to have taken hold of his appendage, like a sinkhole hidden below. Hist snorted, ears flicking back in the most outright display of displeasure he was able to muster. For a single panicked heartbeat his mind latched onto the thought of quicksand, but it was far too waterlogged hereabouts for such a formation to occur.
With what seemed like all of the Marsh watching, waiting with bated breath, the six-legged stallion wriggled the stuck appendage carefully. Pulling too hard might cause... undesirable consequences, and there was obviously no way he could just stand here, waiting for an ever-helpful Tanglevine to come slithering along. He sighed. Emphatically. There was the thought in his head of possibly using the second hoof on that side to try and widen the pitfall that had so effectively trapped the other hoof, but then his thoughts were interrupted by a snort that was clearly not his.
Immediately, the stallion’s head and neck snapped around, eyes and ears both latching onto the unfamiliar face materializing out of the pervasive gloom. This was a feminine creature, that much he thought at first, with a more delicate face and neck carriage than his own. Beyond her forehand, though, the equine’s frame took on a more masculine character; thickly-built legs paired with solid haunches gave him reason to pause, to question and re-question the exact gender of his unexpected companion. In any case, their hide appeared as a deep wine hue in the shade of the trees, with white markings traced vertically from spine to belly and a coal-black mane falling along neck and withers to match the tail trailing behind. It was the stranger’s eyes, though, that gave Hist reason to pause. On any other’s face, the eye color might have been called hazel, the hazy midline between green and brown, but with the current mulish set to lips and brow, the irises snapped with a spark of sullen anger, or perhaps a challenge.
Hist’s face immediately took on an apologetic, almost sheepish mask. Here he was, looking the fool in the middle of a sprawling, nigh-uninhabited swamp in front of this stony-faced stranger. Even as his mind began cobbling together a greeting, the other horse was moving, forequarters shifting downward in a gesture that startled Hist enough to suddenly withdraw his stuck hoof from the silty pitfall with a horrid squeamish sort of noise. “Blessed be.”
[/b] The voice came, and with it a surge of relief from the stallion, for the tone was light and of high enough pitch for him to be more reasonably sure that the other was a female, rather than some androgynous hybrid. Still, the relief came tempered with a measure of discomfort. Why bow? He was just a wanderer, and even less than that, for he had neither destination nor certain origin. He was adrift, unworthy of her self-demeaning gesture.
“Breathe easy, sistah,” he began, framing each word slowly as she stood before him in the swampy water. “‘dere be no need fo’ bowin’, nah.” Long dreadlocks shivered along Hist’s neck as he shook his head, eyes meeting and matching the primitively-marked female gaze for gaze. Where her look was one of near-hostility, he wore an easy air of casual nicety, as if they’d happened upon each other in some picturesque wood rather than the dank swamp. “‘m not’in but a drifter, ‘nah. Can’ even ‘call who I was ‘fore a few days gone. Name’s Hist, tho’, I be knowin’ ‘dat much.” As keenly aware as ever that it wasn’t every day the typical Aeonian saw a six-legged tree-wearing equine, he sidled closer by three slow, careful steps. Not for a moment did he break eye contact with the white-striped mare, though his ears twitched in a relaxed way as his neck lowered in a nonthreatening gesture. “What ken’ I be a-callin’ you, ‘den? Got a name to yeh bones?”
status: complete words: 793. music:TA.TA.RI.GA.MI - Princess Mononoke OST (Joe Hisaishi) tagged: Levana, closed. notes: eek, I love writing his accent ughhh <3