Waking : Fables : Legends of the Fawn Pt.4

Karas returned to the Circle building agitated and disappointed with himself. He desperately hoped he hadn’t left things badly somehow between Thalia and himself, but as always clung to his creed that he would not give up. He paced briefly and considered returning but with her warning of things being complicated with her father thought it would be better to let her visit with Hallax go uninterrupted.

“Back to work I guess.” He growled quietly to himself and made his way to the door that had remained firmly sealed since Frost had returned. He leaned back against it in frustration. “Presia?”

“If I let you in a moment will you promise not to be a nuisance?” Her voice came as almost a whisper through the wall as the door opened a crack. As he stepped inside cautiously Presia continued her conditional invitation. “Only for a moment, Karas. Lord Frost needs his rest.”

“He looks dead.” Karas covered his mouth after he let the thought slip out. Nei was unmoving and pale. He instantly regretted the words when he saw how the words hurt Presia. She would undoubtedly have struck him if it did not involve leaving Frost long enough to do it. “I’m so sorry.”

“He is better than before.” Presia gave him a scolding glance before brushing her fingers of her Master’s forehead. “I didn’t invite you inside for this. I’ve seen something troubling.”

“Do you ever see happy things?” Karas sighed and hung his head. He had been hoping for good news when she opened the door, but instead he was greeted with the sight of a corpse like Third and bad tidings. “What?”

“Keep your calm, Karas.” Presia warned. “My focus has been elsewhere, the vision was hazy, but something will soon test the unity of this Circle. In particular, it will test you.”

“Is he…” Karas came closer and hunkered down in front of them. “Are you sure he is gonna wake up?”

“Yes.” Presia nodded and waved him off. “Now go.”

“Good.” Karas grinned on his way out. “I need someone to make sense of your rambling.”


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Waking : Fables : Legends of the Fawn Pt.3

Hilda recovered and with Hallax at her side delivered a healthy baby girl that they both instantly fell in love with. She complimented their love for each other with a stunning blend of their features, a soft brown fur ran down much of her back to her deer-like tail, the same covered her much of her lower legs and forearms. Still spotted like a young doe and cooing in her mother’s arms the young Thalia was a small miracle that was already leading to celebration outside.

“What is wrong?” Hilda paused as she watched Hallax run his finger over a small white blemish in the fur on Thalia’s collar bone. He seemed to be stricken with terror over it, but he snapped out of his odd focus on it and smiled at her. “Are you okay?”

“She is beautiful, Hilda.” Hallax smiled so wide tears poured down his cheeks. He wished they were truly happy. He wished he could have this moment with his family untainted by the knowledge of what he had seen. The demon’s words had been weighing on his mind. Talon had told him he had already repaid him; that he would one day collect. Now he understood all too well. While saving Hilda, Talon had marked the child within her and claimed it as his own. Hallax leaned over his wife and child and hugged them tightly hoping he had not damned them all with his love.

“I am sorry.” Hallax started to weep as he remembered the day so clearly. They had all danced around it for so long, calling him savior and protector. Now it was time to deliver the grim news and give the one who would claim her a name. “After so long. I hoped perhaps he would just let it go…”

“Papa?” Thalia had known for almost her entire life that the moment was coming. Her father had spoken of it often enough. Claimed before her birth she would one day have to serve the savior that spared her mother. “Is that why everyone is so worked up?”

“You seem so calm.” Hallax insisted again sadly. It was heartbreaking to know he was denying his child the rest of her freedom. “I should be comforting you. I don’t even deserve your forgiveness for my selfishness.”

“Papa. You loved my mother and there is nothing selfish about love.” Thalia hugged her father tightly. Silently apologizing to Karas that she may never see him again as her heart slowly broke upon realizing he may not be the only one hurt by that fact. She still smiled and confidently wiped her father’s tears, she wouldn’t let him see her suffer and add to his grief. She felt a pang of guilt as she spoke as if she were lying to herself. She had known her whole life was meant for this moment and she was resolved to face it, but now there was doubt. The tiniest seed of rebellion in her. She wanted to run. It wasn’t fear that drove her the sudden change of heart, it was far more selfish. Thalia was falling in love and as she admitted it to herself tears ran down her face. “You’ve prepared me well for this. Don’t be upset.”

“Oh, my dearest child.” Hallax burst into tears. He embraced her and rocked her soothingly. He had hoped all his preaching would have saved her from the pain of heartache. “I know that pain all too well… My wish to save my own love will now deny you the chance at yours.”

“Don’t be silly father.” Thalia straightened herself out of his embrace and wiped her face. She refused to leave him with more guilt then he was already feeling. “I’m simply going to miss you. Now tell me the story again. This time don’t leave out the details. I need to know this demon.”

As her father retold the tale once more with the facts left in place Thalia went cold. She knew her father was still speaking but she could no longer hear him. She could hear nothing but a slow pounding in her ears as the room started spinning. She knew Talon had protected the glacial plains long before they were Drifa; despite everyone’s careful attempts to never mention his name, somewhere deep inside she must have locked away the thought that he was the savior. She started to distract herself with logic before her lightheadedness made a fool of her. If she had only a week, most of it was going to be spent walking. Tonight, she was going to take care of her father.

“Okay.” Thalia said finally and got to her feet. She took her father’s hand and pulled him up. “Tomorrow is the dawn of a new adventure, but tonight we celebrate. All will be well.”

“Thalia…” Hallax smiled at the strength he recognized in his daughter, her mother’s strength. “All will be well.”

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Waking : Fables : Legends of the Fawn Pt.2

“The last time I came here with you it wasn’t exactly well received.” Karas felt uncomfortable suddenly. He had plenty of dealing with Hallax and the other fawns over the years, but since the first visit with Thalia it was always on his own. “This may not go over well. I should probably let you take it from here.”

“They seem to be out doing themselves tonight.” Thalia was too concerned over something else to be worried about his reception. She noticed the fires burning bright for so late in the season of the midnight sun and the songs were unusually celebratory and bright. Still she had saved time thanks to his talents and didn’t want to drag him into anything unpleasant. She smiled and squeezed his hands as she stepped back to start off toward her familial home. “You may be right. Thanks again.”

 “See you when you get back?” Karas waved cheerfully, but felt like something was strange about her suddenly. She seemed distracted and worried upon arriving and he hoped he hadn’t over stepped and ruined things with her.

Thalia turned and smiled to see Karas off but continued her trek into the unscheduled celebration. Children were running about laughing, what seemed to be an endless feast was underway, there was singing and story-telling. As she searched the crowd for her father she caught bits of the latest gossip. Their savior had visited. Thalia sighed. A culture as old as theirs still held on to very strange ideas. She had grown up with the utmost respect for their ways, but with a healthy understanding that most of their ‘gods’ were in fact demons that now; and probably always, walked around just like they did. Not something worth bowing down to in Thalia’s opinion. An opinion largely instilled by her father who taught her from a very young age to be wary of demons. It was her father that had her attention now. “Where is he?”

Hallax was as much a head of their kind as there would ever be, yet he was absent from this celebration. Thalia grew more and more worried and found herself running to his home with her heart in her throat.

“Papa.” Thalia practically fell through the door and found her father quietly weeping by the fire. She rushed to his side and embraced him.  “What is wrong? Why aren’t you with the others?”

“He said I have a week.” Hallax looked up sadly at his daughter. “I just want time…”

“Papa?” Thalia shrugged. “What are you talking about?”

“Thalia, I have told you before…” Hallax sighed heavily. What did it matter now? The time for caution was over. “The story of your fate.”

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Waking : Fables : Legends of the Fawn Pt.1

“So, are we in a rush?” Karas smiled hopefully as Thalia leaned beside him. “Or can I convince you to spend some time with me?”

“With you?” Thalia stuck out her tongue and shook her head to mock the idea before nudging into him with her shoulder and laughing. “As long as you don’t mind saving me the long trip.”

“Of course not.” Karas was delighted to have more than just travel time to spend with her. Most of their outings were too brief as far as he was concerned. “Are you hungry?”

“How about snacks.” Thalia suggested quickly before it became another invite to dinner. It wasn’t that she didn’t think about it from time to time, but she had a life time of her father at her ear and there was no easy way around his beliefs. “Maybe go sit by the water.”

It wasn’t long before they were people watching and sharing Thalia’s snacks. A chill in the air made her shiver and Karas wrapped his right arms around her to keep her warm. The gesture made them both flush and as pulses raced they slid closer. The moment ended before it began however with the laughter of nearby children.

“Look.” One of the older boys laughed. “The Second is horny.”

“Very funny.” Karas sighed and waved them off. “Go home you little brats.”

“Karas…” Thalia felt terrible for him. He tried to brush it off like it had not hurt him but as he stood and offered her hand he was looking away rubbing at one of his horns. “They are just kids.”

“Yea.” Karas pulled Thalia to her feet. “Mind if we just take a long route up north? We can talk on the way.”

“I happen to like these.” Thalia reached past Karas’ face and ran her fingers back along the dark horns. “They make you unique.”

“Thank you for that.” Karas hugged her tightly and lifted her before he shifted away from public view. “And for not just shutting me down. I know I was pushing my luck.”

“It’s not you.” Thalia kissed his cheek before she politely struggled out of his embrace and took his hand. His patience over the years was admirable but her own was wearing thin. She just had no idea how to begin explaining her predicament. “Karas, Its very complicated. My Papa…”

“I was going to take you home anyway.” Karas was still reeling from the soft press of her lips on his face. He did not like the sound of defeat in her voice when she mentioned her father and it was easier to smile and shift the conversation away from things that made her uncomfortable. “We can catch up later.”

“Thank you Karas.” Thalia nodded and smiled sadly before she took his offered hand; a moment later hugging him for warmth in the snow filled breeze near the fawns’ home. It was strange to be feeling disappointed after refusing him for so long, but she had her reasons. She had accepted completely that her loneliness was inevitable; that her father’s tales were law and she was not free to fall in love or to even have the company of another soul to pass the time. It wasn’t until the persistent courting of this awkward demon that Thalia realized how profoundly lonely she actually was and when she saw her own sadness reflected in him she made a quiet decision to herself that she would try to reason with her father on this visit.

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Waking : Fables : (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.3

“Are you well, Presia?” Eidolon asked quietly.

 “Well enough, Falcon.” Presia sighed and turned to face him. She wished she could feign surprise over the guest at his side, but the woman’s likeness to Lucifer was unmistakable. “What has Lucifer called this one?”

 “Lilith.” The demoness grinned. “I’m told you once refused him.”

 “Mutual disinterest.” Presia shrugged. “Enjoy his favor, Lilith. I want no part of it.”

 “Is there anything you need?” Eidolon ignored the petty feminine tension and continued his task. “Lucifer regrets not coming on his own and gives his assurance you are not forgotten.”

 “Lucifer regrets nothing.” Presia smiled. “But thank you. If you can spare her, I would like company.”

 “Only if you tolerate my own.” Eidolon agreed reluctantly and set a table for the two of them before he took a place at the door to wait quietly aside.

 “Favored and protected, I see.” Presia sat and gestured across the table for Lilith to join her. “I don’t often entertain guests. Join me.”

 “I’m surprised my Lord Lucifer bothers to keep you alive.” Lilith sat and poured herself a cup of tea. “He is usually quick to rid himself of the useless.”

 “He found my talents useful enough.” Presia laughed softly. “Some of us remain useful when clothed.”

 “Some of us know our place.” Lilith glared at her.

 “I am well aware of my place, Lilith.” Presia smiled. “I am his creation. Not his whore.”

 “You aren’t even worthy to be that.” Lilith upended the table as she jumped to her feet enraged. Ribbons of chaos lashed around her limbs that tore through her seat and sent it to splinters on the floor. “Let’s test your worth, Esper.”

 “Enough, Lilith.” Eidolon scolded her. “I have trained you better than this.”

 “Lucifer has given you his temper.” Presia righted and repaired the furniture as Lilith calmed herself. “A habit of his it seems. In time, you’ll learn to control it.”

 “Don’t antagonize her further, Presia.” Eidolon shifted in front of her and looked down with aggravated intent. “I do not need to touch you to hurt you.”

 “There is no need for threats, Falcon.” Presia grinned. “I meant it as hopeful advice. I have no grudge against Lucifer’s favorites. I just know the cloud rage spreads in the mind well enough to wish others the strength to abolish it.”

 With well wishes toward Lucifer’s beloved Presia fell on her knees assaulted by another vision.

 “What is wrong with her?” Lilith approached and Eidolon caught her by her arm.

 “Don’t touch her.” Eidolon sighed. “We’re leaving.”

An image of Lilith, her face wet with tears. Fading into darkness and starlight leaving the image of another. A young man that chilled Presia to her core even before he turned to reveal a smile wet with blood. She followed the droplet of crimson from his slender fingers into a river of blood and followed with her eyes until she could feel the heat of the swell around her feet.

 She stooped to touch the deep red and became the center of a shockwave that shifted her into the center of vision she had seen so often before. Only now she WAS the fire on the sands, looking up at stars now the color of freshly spilled blood.

 When the waves came and walls of ice surrounded the beast Presia reached up with clawed hands through snowflakes toward the bright eyes above her. For the first time the slender figure crouched at the edge of the cliff and reached down through the bitter winds toward the flames.

“So, Lucifer’s new toy will be the prism.” Presia lifted herself off of the floor. “And my destined starlight is drenched in ice and blood.”

 There would be plenty of time to interpret further and to become a master of patience. For now, Presia crawled onto her sheets and thought of the bright eyes she had seen so often and tried to imagine the face that could contain oceans so beautiful.

 Now those beautiful eyes were closed in what seemed like endless sleep and Presia wished for some of that patience from so long ago.

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Waking : Fables : (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.2

The demoness snapped from her trance with tears on her cheeks remembering the fairest blue of eyes looking down at her and the coat that whipped around a slender form like the dark wings of a dragon.

 She also awoke alone in a room with no exit. She felt weak and there was a sting at her neck. She sneered when she felt the thin chain that was causing it and cursed as she followed it to its abrupt end in the stone of her cell. The unfortunate thing of being born with necessary knowledge is that you are well aware of your place. She had been created by one of the strongest of the creators, the Watchers as they called themselves, and he was egotistical and prone to toying with his creations. He gave her knowledge, skill, and power. Then purpose that seemed almost cruel as it would mean sacrificing it all to become less than her potential nearly demanded of her. He also gave her a name; Presia. Though few would ever hear it.

 The one who had helped detain her was more subdued but no less frightening. The Falcon was renowned for being fierce and clever and his loyalty to the Dark Lord was unwavering. Lucifer could have managed on his own. His call for Eidolon had been a kindness. For all his mischievous cruelty, he had tried to spare his creation his wrath for the attack she visited upon him. It was after all a reflexive action he himself had instilled.

 “I supposed that collapse was a touch of the esper in you.” Lucifer perched on the headboard of the bed in Presia’s lavish cell. “A vision?”

 “More vague.” Presia scowled back at him. “A useless augury until I have learned to interpret such things. Though I imagine I will be spending enough time here to have adequate practice.”

 “I’m afraid that is the case.” Lucifer stepped onto the bed then hopped to the floor to approach her.as he gathered her hair flamed wings spread wide from her back and she sneered at him. “For precisely this reason. You are more extreme than I had anticipated. I can’t have you attacking the interested without warning purely because you catch their eye. Until you can discover your destined lover or can learn to control your temper, you’ll need to be protected. I won’t have my creations ruined.”

 “And how am I to find destiny with these four walls as my companions?” Presia pulled her hair away and turned to face him. “I know you are not a fool, this is just for your amusement.”

 “You put your visions to use for me.” Lucifer bartered as tugged the thin chain and pulled Presia closer. “I’ll see to it you remain untouched. I take care of my own, Presia. It will no doubt take time, but if there is starlight crossed with your own it will find its way. Until then there is no reason we can not be of benefit to one another.”

 “Remove this chain.” Presia grinned. “Then I’ll consider your offer.”

 “It stays.” Lucifer laughed. The thin length of chain that circled her neck and the tiny lock that closed it before it joined it with the ‘leash’ that kept her bound in the room was not just a physical restraint. It suppressed the gifts he had given her and made her more docile. The room was protected and sealed against her use of powerful magic as well. “I will see you soon, dear Presia.”

 “Don’t touch me again, Lucifer.” Presia glared at him as he started to vanish.

 “No one will touch you.” Lucifer left his words of comfort with his laugh to taunt her. “You have my word.”


“Come back to me, my Lord.” Presia held Frost closer and hummed sweetly. He had been entirely unresponsive at first, but her songs seemed to be getting through and at times he seemed to be dreaming. She had trickled her blood between his lips to keep him fed and at least visibly his wounds had seemed to heal. It was just taking longer than she had hoped and she scolded herself for the impatience.

Presia spent most of her days alone honing skills that Lucifer kept tight watch over. She was clever and talented and while he wanted her docile, Lucifer never discouraged her growth only ensured that it was kept in check.

 Her varied skills served him well. Even from her comfortable solitude Presia had a gift for finding knowledge; seeing what could be in visions and hearing the world in her dreams. With Lucifer as her most frequent guest, she shared the auguries and with his help learned to interpret them with a frightening accuracy.

 Eventually, as she knew it would, the world began to change. Lucifer’s visits became less frequent. The location of her lavish cell changed. His interest in his esper had not waned, so much as his love of the unknown grew. Lucifer had a need to be amused and knowing what was on the last page spoiled his fun.

 Lucifer would still stop by on occasion to affirm his promise to find her destiny. When his games were complicating his schedule, he would send messengers in his place. Presia enjoyed none of their company, but she had a vision recently that made her dread the coming visit.

Lucifer grinned into his reflection. His gaze selfish and arrogant as he placed his hands against the mirror and the skin between his ribs split as if sliced by a ghostly blade. His smile grew wider as chaos, not blood, poured from the wound and traveled along his arms toward his fingers splayed along the reflective glass. As magic touched the mirror the reflection bled and tears streamed down its face. Lucifer’s fingers broke the surface of the glass like water and took the hands of the changing form to pull it through…

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Waking : Fables :Frozen Flame (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.1

Presia sat holding her dear Master and pouring her every thought into his well being. She had every bit of faith that he would return to her. Her dear Lord Frost. She could no longer imagine life without him, but she could remember what it was before.

“Just lovely, my Lord.” Eidolon wiped the blood from his cheek. “After the effort to rid us the insanity of the fairer gender I fail to see why you would create one with such strength.”

 “I find her amusing.” Lucifer smiled over the demoness that clawed at his ankle as he pressed harder into her throat. “Besides her strength has a flaw.”

 “Aside from the mistake of using it against us?” Eidolon rested the edge of his sword against her face and had to admire the courage in the smile she offered in return.

 “The strength is meant to be given.” Lucifer stooped and tapped away the Falcon’s blade. “But I left her the choice.”

 “Seems ill advised.” Eidolon claimed the chaos of his sword and shrugged. “It also seems to have failed you.”

 “It was only an experiment.” Lucifer laughed. “I never wanted her for myself.”

 “Then you should have never touched me.” The demoness snapped at him. “I will belong to only one.”

 “Yes, yes.” Lucifer grabbed her wrist as she moved to claw at him and pushed her hair from her face. “And who was it that gave you such impeccable morals?”

 “Take your hands off of me.” The demoness screamed and engulfed her own limbs in flames to make herself clear. “My thoughts like my body are my own until I decide otherwise. I owe you no gratitude.”

 “That’s no small manipulation of chaos, my Lord.” Eidolon watched Lucifer grin as he endured the flames as if it were no more than a warm breeze. “What have you created?”

 “A very beautiful woman.” Lucifer sent a rushing torrent of water over her and laughed. His love of meddling made him indulge in a number of risks with this experiment. So many elements, so many souls folded perfectly together to create one magnificent creature. “A dangerous one until she finds her place.”

 “It will most certainly not be with you.” The demoness growled through clenched teeth before her body seized a moment and she was taken in by a vision.

A large fire crackled in the dusty sands of some abandoned desert. whispering of its loneliness to the silent night air. Sparks danced upwards as if reaching for the stars above and hoping for any one of them to reach back and touch the lonely flames.

 Then there was a roaring, the thundering sound of rushing water and the flames danced to life in the form of a great horned beast that spread its claws and waited for the oncoming torrent.

 As the storming waves raced toward the growing flames they slowed and circled the fire, taunting the beast as the surface of the waves frothed and crested with a great beast moving beneath the surface. As the great dragon burst from the waves it howled and turned its ethereal sea into walls of ice that encircled the flames and trapped the beast within.

 She reached up as the dragon changed form on the icy cliff, the form of a man obscured in the flickering shadows of flame and the cold wind that sent icy flakes into the beast’s eyes.

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