Cascabel, Divale


Divale adds more regret to her already troubled mind after bringing Cascabel with her in her annual return to Lemos' remote forests…

OOC: Thank you once again to Cascabel-player for allowing me to use her characters in one of my vignettes! <3

Minor Angst


It is midmorning of the sixteenth day of the eighth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Somewhere in Lemos…

OOC Date 29 Nov 2018 05:00




A remote place deep within Lemos' forested regions. It has no name and there is no records of it existing, yet for those who know where to look, the charred ruins rest there among the shadow of canopy and overgrowth.

Never had she dared to dream that this day would come. Even after the world-shattering discovery of her long lost 'sister', the idea was not even so much as entertained and any glimpse of it was immediately and thoroughly buried to be locked away.

Yet here they are.

Divale kept her distance, lurking in the shadows cast by the thicker canopy of Lemos' most remote forests, but never let her gaze wander from the one she brought with her. Every Turn, around the peak of Summer, she would make the pilgrimage here. Sometimes merely for a day or two, sometimes longer if she felt she could risk it; free time, of late, was ever precious and not easily obtained.

She watched as her 'guest' quietly explored the ruins of their former home. Little remained now, as nature was quick to reclaim the charred bones of man's designs. Even the careful planning of her ancestors could not hold up against regrowth. Regretfully, they could not enter inside any of the remaining structures, even those built in the side of a gentle knoll. It was too dangerous — or so Divale led herself to believe. Instead she let Cascabel set the path of where they would wander. What few questions were asked, Divale answered as truthfully as she could.

The memories were the worst part.

They came swiftly and unbidden, reopening wounds big and small as Divale silently grit her teeth against them. Every movement, every step they took further into what was once a haven and home, she was plagued by the past in the same heartbeat.

Even as she led the way to the gardens, what little joy she took in Cascabel's reaction to the memorial was overshadowed by the crush of grief and loss. Divale was familiar with that darkness and no longer fought so hard against it; she kept her features schooled and neutral, all while they quietly ghosted among blooms and greenery.

She watched and observed her friend, her adopted sister, and her last connection to a family long gone to dust and ash. Marvelled in the way she seemed to exude as much light and warmth as the summer air and sunlight dappling through the leaves. A warmth that had become foreign and alien to Divale over the Turns and even now she felt nothing but a cold numbness in her hands and limbs.

It was under moonlight and nightfall that her resolve finally snapped.

Divale had brought them both to her hidden camp some distance away from those ruins and all the memories that haunt and echo in that place. She'd left Cascabel inside to browse what few items she'd so meticulously hoarded while combing through the debris in Turns past; a treasure trove of broken hopes and dreams and fragments of lives lost, unremembered and unknown save for the two of them.

She had been tending a small fire, ever cautious to keep the smoke to a minimum despite their utterly remote location. At some point, Cascabel had joined her, sitting beside her and now, still, Divale is uncertain what possessed her to start talking.

Together, gradually, they reminisce about similar nights like these. Where Divale had been the leader of their would-be pack of rebellious young girls, with her would-be love Ravannae ever at her side, and Cascabel the newest blood to be added to them. How they had secretly challenged the authority over them and had danced wildly under the moons and discussed things no young girls should.

How they thought themselves invincible! How Divale convinced them all that she had the cunning and strength to see them safely through her devious plans and to their joined freedom from her grandmother's corruption. That she would expose the poison in their family and turn everyone against Hellebore, so they could truly live as they were meant…

Instead they all paid the price. Divale with her loss and the destruction it rendered upon her heart and soul, and Cascabel's own path into her own hellish world.

Divale carried the heavy burden of regrets. It would stand to reason that on a night such as that, she would add more.

It took but a fleeting second and before she'd even realized what she'd done, the moment had passed.

Abruptly and with no warning, she had kissed Cascabel. In one heartbeat, they'd been talking and in the next she was drawing back, staring down at the other young woman's eyes. No warmth flooded her, no joyous realization or miraculous moment; idly, Divale bitterly wondered if some sliver of her had hoped for a storybook ending.

Instead, coldness gripped at her heart ever fiercer than before as she marked the other's pointed lack of enthusiasm. She hadn't been pushed away, but the atmosphere between them, while tense, was more so due to Divale herself. A brief moment of awkwardness passed, as she muttered some half-formed apology… and that is that.

Emotionally withdrawn, Divale cannot see what needs to be seen to bridge the distance between them, and the chance for both of them to heal from their trauma slips past and unacknowledged.

They spend a few more moments in a not wholly comfortable silence before Divale deems it time to return to Igen. Unhurried, she takes care of the fire and to wipe any traces of their presence here, leaving Cascabel alone to gather her things and have a moment to say her own personal farewell to this place alone.

She has no intentions of bringing her back here again.

On their return to Igen, Divale will see Cascabel safely returned and behaving no differently that she would be expected to. The darkness and regret stirred by their voyage home is left to lurk and fester beneath, untouched and unresolved.

She will seek the mercy of familiar routines and the distraction of her duties as a rider and within Parhelion.

Eventually, just like all her bad memories, they will fade enough to be ignored…

Until they rear up again and she is forced back into that maddening vicious circle that her dual life has trapped her within.

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