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Thread: [M/IC] Under an Iron Moon (Midori and Naming)

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    Default [M/IC] Under an Iron Moon (Midori and Naming)

    Celia Tekiel Bowden made for an unusual sight as she fled the borders of her father’s estate.

    Dressed in a gown that was much too fine for a commoner, she might have seemed beautiful, once. Her flowing blonde hair, delicate features and petite figure had seen her become the envy of many other young women her age. The work of a professional stylist, alongside the liberal application of both jewellery and makeup, had left her with a public image that her parents and siblings had deemed ‘worthy of the family name’.

    At the present moment in time, however, Celia seemed a far cry from the stunning daughter that her family presented to the rest of the world. Her hair was dishevelled and messy, with a noticeable number of tangles. Her dress, once the latest in fashion, was now both dirty and torn along the hem. The vast majority of her jewellery had been discarded prior to her flight, and her makeup bore the distinctive ruined streaks that could only have been caused by tears. There were a considerable number of bruises hidden beneath the folds of her dress, too, but those were not quite as recent of an occurrence, and much less immediately noticeable.

    The distraught girl ran towards the outer limits of their family home as fast as she was able, eager to get away from the torment that lay within those walls.

    The part of her torment that was so easily escaped, at the very least.

    Only when she had pushed beyond, into the edges of the forest that bordered their estate, did the girl finally slow to a walk. Surrounded by the all-encompassing calm of the forest, she could finally feel something that vaguely resembled peace. A temporary respite from the abuse that flowed from the hands and mouths of her father, and her older siblings.

    She lost herself there, for a time. Wandering through the undergrowth, circling around the trunks of trees that had stood for countless years, Celia marvelled at the changing of seasons. The late evening sun sneaking through the canopy above, illuminating the leaves as they began the slow change from a healthy green to a fading orange. Autumn had the forest in her grip now, well and truly.

    Then, she caught sight of one.

    A flicker of movement, a brief glimpse of living shadows, just on the edges of her vision. So quick, so sudden, that any other person might have dismissed it as their imagination. Not Celia, however.

    For as long as she could remember, Celia had seen things. Things that other – ordinary – people couldn’t. Often they were vague and indistinct, like this one. Shadows that lingered on the very edges of her perception, fuzzing and fading away as soon as she tried to focus on them properly. Occasionally, she would see something a little more distinctive; a humanoid shape that lingered even under close scrutiny, or something more…unnatural. Animalistic, even.

    The rest of her family forbade her from talking about them. They swore that the visions weren’t real; just the fabrications of an unhinged mind. Hers. That the things she saw weren’t truly there, and that normal people weren’t able to see them.

    Fearful of the disgrace they would suffer if Celia’s affliction became known, they tried to suppress her visions through sheer force. Any time she mentioned one of them, or was caught staring at something that wasn’t really there, punishment was both swift and brutal. When she was younger, they had settled for things like confinement. Now, beatings and verbal degradation were simply a fact of life. All done in the name of helping Celia understand, pushing her towards becoming a ‘normal’ human being.

    Oh, how she hated them for it.

    This time, sequestered away in the depths of the forest as she was, Celia allowed herself to watch. Despite her family’s best efforts, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of curiosity towards the dancing shadows. As she watched them dance and play, Celia couldn’t help but wonder how something so pretty – so enticing – could be bad or wrong. Inwardly, she felt her resolve harden.

    She would find a way to prove if they were real or not. To herself, at least, if not everyone else.

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    The sun was falling closer to the horizon, turning the sky an array of vibrant colors that played off the shades of the changing leaves. Twilight, eventide, the magic hour...

    However, Rowan couldn't stop to find the beauty in it, as he might very soon be at death's door. He couldn't be sure if they were still after him, but he was not willing to wait and find out, trudging on through the forest and crossing over into the earthly realm. Eventually he would have to come to a stop, his wound starting to become too much for him to continue on. What had been a simple errand for his queen, quickly turned sour when he'd crossed onto Seelie territory. He had let himself become too distracted to notice the dire situation he was in before it was too late and he was easily overpowered by the enemy. And now he was paying for it...

    Rowan grunted as he pitched himself up against a thick tree trunk, panting softly as he took a moment to compose himself and gather his strength. He looked down at the arrow protruding from the armor on his chest, his vision faltering for a moment. Perhaps this would be how he met his end, he thought grimly. Though it couldn't be seen beneath his armor, he could feel the stickiness of his blood soaking into the cloth at his thigh now. Turning to lean back against the elder tree, Rowan slowly slumped down to the ground, seated on the winding roots that were exposed among the surrounding moss.

    Was he really going to perish like this, we wondered. He was once the Unseelie Queen's favored knight, and now he was a disgrace... Pathetic. Feeling a last surge of self-preservation, Rowan gripped the shaft of the arrow, sucking in a breath, before he yanked as hard as he could manage. A howl of agony echoed through the trees. The arrow budged, but it was much too deep to manage himself. With a shaky breath, Rowan resigned himself to his fate. His deep amber eyes looked out to the sunset then, watching the light shift through the trees as the glowing red sun sank below the horizon finally. His auburn hair, disheveled from the skirmish, fell to frame his face as he hung his head. Closing his eyes, Rowan simply waited to see what fate would bring, still as the tree he sat beneath.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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    Celia's moment of self-reflection was brought to a sudden and abrupt end as a howl split the air, cutting through the forest's tranquil silence. The young woman practically jumped out of her skin at the unexpected noise, and quickly started to glance around, searching for the source. For a few brief moments she feared that the noise might have come from a wild animal, which could potentially prove dangerous. After a few seconds, however, she dismissed the notion - the sound had been much too human to come from any wild beast that she had ever heard of.

    Mustering up some small semblance of courage, Celia would slowly begin to creep forward. She moved through the forest as cautiously as she could manage, heading in the direction that she thought the sound had come from. She tried to move quietly, taking care as to where she placed her feet, but a healthy mix of undergrowth and fallen autumn leaves made total silence impossible. Regardless, she would continue to prowl towards the source of the sound, maintaining some semblance of stealth right up until she caught sight of them.

    Even from a distance, there was no denying that he was astonishingly handsome. Those fine angular features were enough to make Celia's breath catch in her throat, and she had spent a fair amount of time around the highborn sons of other families. The sight of him laying there against the tree, eyes closed, basking in the evening sunlight, was nothing less than enchanting. When her gaze drifted over his ears, though, she froze. No human she knew had ears like that. Was this simply another one of her visions - one of the more vivid ones, clear enough for her to truly mistake it for reality?

    "H-hello? Can you hear me?" she called out timidly, creeping forward a few more steps. If he truly was an apparition, then the girl fully intended to make good on her earlier promise to herself, and find a way to prove if he was real or not.

    At this point, she had no idea if the strange man was conscious or not. He certainly looked peaceful enough, laying there. For a moment she wondered if he might simply be sleeping...but then, what of the cry she had heard before? She wasn't quite close enough yet to notice the growing pool of scarlet that hinted at his injuries, even now.

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    Rowan could feel the cold seeping into him, to his core, and he welcomed it. It numbed him to the pain and at least he could go peacefully, he thought. Until the soft snap of branches brought him back to his senses. "Spoke too soon, it seems..." He breathed. They must have found him after all, he realized with a moment of dread. Perhaps he could muster just enough strength for a final strike... maybe take one of them down with him. He refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing the life leave him without making them pay for it. Warily, Rowan's hand moved to the hilt of his blade, hovering there. At least he still had the use of his good arm. However, as he listened more carefully, he could tell the foot falls were light and cautious, not what he'd expect of his pursuers.

    Whoever they were, they were getting closer. And then finally they stopped at a distance. At the sound of the woman's voice, Rowan finally opened his eyes, warm, glowing amber lifting to meet her gaze. She was obviously human, that much he could tell, and yet she was looking right at him. Had he'd grown so weak that he couldn't even hide himself from mortal eyes any longer? His golden eyes wandered slightly, taking in her disheveled appearance. Despite her tangled hair, puffy eyes, and tear stained cheeks, the girl was lovelier than any he'd ever seen. Perhaps it was because of her flaws, her fragility, her mortality, that he found her so beautiful. Rowan regarded her with a long moment of silence.

    "Have you come to put an end to my suffering?" He spoke finally, his voice like rich, dark molasses. His eyes seemed to constantly shift between shades of golden amber and dark cedar, almost glowing in the dimming light. The hand at his hilt relaxed, deeming this human to be harmless enough... unless she ran off to find others. Harmless, but maybe not useless.

    "If you do not intend to put me out of my misery, can you pull this arrow from me?" His asked then, his hand moving to rest just beside the thick arrow still sticking out from the chest of his armor, which had the texture as though it were made from the bark of a tree, though it was much harder than that. It seemed to have struck quite close to his heart. Rowan then held out his hand to beckon her closer. "Be quick... pull it out straight and true, with all your might." He said, watching to see if she would do as he asked, or simply leave him here to slowly die.
    Last edited by Midori-Hime; 08-13-2018 at 07:24 PM.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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    Despite her attempts to draw his attention, Celia was almost shocked when the stranger finally did speak. His voice seemed a perfect match for his appearance, drawing her in with a considerable amount of otherworldly charm. It would take a few seconds for the woman's mind to even comprehend exactly what the man had said, given the almost supernatural quality of his voice. When the words finally seemed to register in her brain, Celia's attention was finally drawn to the arrow itself, and for the first time she was struck with the severity of the strange man's situation. Giving a wordless cry of surprise, she would immediately rush towards him - all pretense of caution suddenly forgotten beneath the urge to help someone in need.

    "I'm not particularly strong, but I'll do what I can to help" Celia offered as soon as she had managed to find her voice. Planting both of her feet best as she was able, the human would bend down over her new friend, wrapping both of her hands around the protruding arrow's shaft. Meeting the man's eyes, Celia gave him a simple nod indicating that she was ready, before she would finally begin.

    Muscles straining, Celia would practically throw her weight backwards as she tugged on the arrow, trying her hardest to pull it free. For a few moments nothing happened, and it almost seemed that her efforts would be in vain. Just as she felt her grip was about to slip, however, something would finally give. With a sickening squelch, the arrow finally came free. Celia would stumble backwards as it suddenly came free, and only barely managed to keep her feet. Once she had recovered, Celia would drop the arrow shaft without a second thought, stepping forward and dropping to her knees alongside Rowan.

    "Need to stop the bleeding" Celia muttered softly, speaking to herself just as much as the stranger now. She glanced around quickly for a moment, before her gaze settled on the hem of her dress, and the sword at Rowan's side. Moving quickly, she reached out and grabbed the weapon's hilt without bothering to ask, tugging on it just enough to expose an inch of the blade. With its aid, Celia would cut a few strips of cloth from the hem of her dress, before immediately pressing them against the open wound that remained. Her makeshift bandages were a poor substitute for the real thing, but they had to be better than nothing, surely.

    "I can't get proper pressure on it with this...plate in the way" Celia would note as she worked. She was, of course, referring to the strange breastplate that the man wore. Its rigid strength made it virtually impossible for her to press down on the wound properly, much to her frustration.

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    Rowan's eyes widened for just a moment, taken aback by the woman's sudden willingness to help him despite the fact that he was a strange being she had only just happened upon. She hadn't even given him an answer before she rushed to his aid. It seemed all wariness and fear was gone, replaced only by her desire to help.

    His gaze shifted to her delicate hands as they wrapped around the arrow and Rowan quickly braced himself. He responded to her gesture with a curt nod himself before closing his eyes. However, once the human began to pull, his brows furrowed in an intense grimace. Rowan dropped his head, his teeth clenched tight as a low growl of pain escaped him. And then just as the arrow was finally pulled free, the fae let out a short cry. Slowly his golden eyes opened again, falling on the maiden's face as he panted softly. Strands of auburn hair clung to his brow and neck with a fine sheen of sweat. But the arrow was out and he had a chance.

    As the woman mentioned his bleeding, he was suddenly aware of the fresh gush of warm blood running down his chest. However, she caught him by surprise once again when she reached for his sword. His first impulse was defensive, reaching to stop her from drawing his blade, even though he knew there was no sense in pulling the arrow from him if she intended to harm him. His hand froze, watching her curiously as he cut her gown into strips of cloth. It seemed she was quite resourceful for a human and he actually found her rather intriguing.

    A soft hiss left his lips as she pressed the cloth to his wound, but hearing her complaint, Rowan shifted to sit up a little straighter. "Here..." He muttered, as his hand moved underneath the shoulder plates, loosening some ties so that the breast plate would fall away. The tunic underneath was soaked down the front with blood, clinging to the skin underneath with the wetness of it. Rowan slumped back to rest against the tree once again, his amber eyes watching her closely as she worked, flickering between her hands and the expression on her face. "What do they call you?" He asked quietly with his low voice.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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    Rowan's breastplate coming loose was met with the same sort of eagerness that Celia had shown throughout the rest of his treatment, such as it was. She would abandon her attempts to stifle the bleeding, just momentarily, pulling away both her hands and the makeshift bandages they contained. Once the armour had been hastily and unceremoniously dumped to the side she would examine the shirt briefly, a small frown creasing her lips. The woman briefly considered removing it, to avoid the cloth sticking to the wound as much as possible. Such a step seemed redundant when she was about to fervently press several strips of her own dress into it, though.

    With much the same decisive speed that she had displayed before, Celia would lean over the fallen stranger and press the makeshift bandages to his chest with both hands. Pressing them down over the wound forcefully, the human woman would make full use of her weight, using it to help her apply enough pressure to stem the bleeding. Such an action was bound to cause Rowan some measure of discomfort, but it would probably be rather small compared to what he had already endured that day. That was what Celia told herself, at the very least.

    "Ah...I'm Celia" she offered when the man finally requested her name, speaking in a soft tone again - one that was somewhat more timid, now that she wasn't merely speaking to herself. She knew better than to give out her full name to a stranger in the woods, at the very least, despite how harmless he seemed at the present moment in time.

    "And what of yourself, good sir?" she questioned in return. Glancing away from the bandages now that she was content with their position, Celia would meet the man's gaze good and proper. Once he had responded, she would speak up yet again, giving voice to another question that had been building "Dare I ask how you ended up in this situation to begin with? I do hope that we don't need to worry about whoever did this to you tracking us down and...trying to finish the job" she would offer, resisting the urge to glance about and check their surroundings for any sign of another person approaching

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    Rowan watched her inspect the wound now that she could see it more clearly. For a moment he thought if he should remove his shirt, but that shoulder was already quite stiff and to move it would likely aggravate his wound further, causing even more bleeding. However, the girl seemed to abandon that notion as well as her hands then pressed firmly against his wound without warning. Rowan turned his head away sharply, unable to stifle a low groan. He grit his teeth, taking a few shallow breaths before he was able to bare it. She was stronger than he'd given her credit for.

    Hearing her name, his eyes returned to her face. It seemed to suit her, he thought, even if it was a foreign name to him. As she turned her gaze to meet his, he stared deeply into the crystalline blue eyes, as if he could see through them into her very being. "Rowan..." He said simply, his voice low and soft. Though her next question pulled at the corner of his lips, forming a ghost of a smile that faded once he spoke. "It was nothing but a random encounter. I was careless in the territory of my enemies and I am paying for it now." He muttered, almost bitterly. His eyes parted from hers only for a moment to glance around their surroundings. "I would not worry. I doubt they would still be in pursuit, especially not in this realm. Or they likely would have found me by now."

    "Since I have answered your question, it seems only fair that I can ask one of my own..." He said after a moment of silence. "What brings a woman such as yourself into the forest at nightfall?" He asked. "How did you end up in this situation?" He repeated her question, his hand tentatively raising to her cheek to brush his thumb just below her eye. Though just as quickly, he dropped his hand, looking at the smudged makeup now on his thumb curiously. Absently he rubbed it against his other finger, his gaze returning to her face as he waited for her answer.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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    This…realm?

    In a strange twist on her original intentions, Rowan’s answer seemed to raise more questions then it answered. Just who were the enemies that had attacked him, and why was this considered a part of their territory? She had never heard of any gangs out here…especially ones that still resorted to wearing armour, or using a traditional bow and arrow. As for the comment about their realm, such a thing defies all logic, but….well, she had already decided that there was something otherworldly about the man. Unfortunately, the opportunity to question him further passed quickly, though, as he posed a question of his own.

    Celia’s simple explanation came to an abrupt end as Rowan reached out to brush his thumb against her cheek. She would flinch slightly, shying away just a fraction – as if fearing some sort of physical reprimand. The action was borne more from reflex than fear of intent, and wasn’t enough to actually stop him, but she felt herself blushing all the same. When she did finally speak, her voice had resumed the same soft, almost timid tone that she had adopted before.

    “My family…are not kind people” she offered by the way of explanation, a wry smile flickering across her features. “I came out here searching for some peace and quiet. A chance to get away and relax, just for a little while. Instead I heard a soft yell, and found you” she answered simply. In that instant, she felt the urge to open herself up to this man. If he was one of the strange creatures from her visions, then he would understand, right? She would finally have some sort of validation. But…no. Perhaps that was a little too eager for a first meeting, given the circumstances.

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    Rowan listened with a slight tilt of his head, his eyes still fixed on her soft face. He noticed the faint smile, wondering the reasoning behind it. "I can understand that..." He replied quietly, though he didn't exactly go into further detail what he meant by that. A small smile pulled at his lips then. "I apologize for disturbing your peace." He said, looking down to where her hands pressed to his wound. The blood was no longer soaking through so quickly. He recognized the fact that if this human hadn't come across him when she did, he very likely wouldn't have lasted the night. "You have my sincerest gratitude, Celia." His golden eyes shifted back to hers once again.

    He seemed to be mulling over a thought when finally he spoke up. "In return, I will offer you one favor. You need only call my name once you've decided." Even though he sounded sincere, there was still a wary edge to his voice. It could be dangerous to gift a mortal with such an open-ended favor. Most humans easily wasted thier gifts on foolish, poorly worded or petty favors. However, Rowan felt that he should not underestimate a woman like Celia. Yet she had very well saved his life, so it seemed like a fair exchange. He only hoped he would not come to regret it when she finally decided to call in her favor.

    As he watched her, Rowan only grew more curious about this human. He couldn't yet tell if she had The Sight, but he had his suspicions. And yet she didn't seem to know what he was. Perhaps he would not have to worry so much if she didn't truly know the Fae, let alone what it meant to have their favor.

    "If you could only see the beast you've made of me
    I held it in but now it seems you've set it running free
    Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart
    Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart



    My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
    You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl"


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