- 1.Finally Free
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Christmas has already come and gone so quickly like it’s never even been. With New Years just around the corner, the Celestial Castle was still in full swing of celebrations. including the partying,…Continue
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Desc TBC - at least one line of the border fucks up
People lived a better life in the city now opposed to before the renaissance period began, there was less poverty and most were more open minded than before. Giovanna Ricci was born to a noble family within the city and given everything she could ever want or need in life. As was the custom of many young women of her time she was taught the liberal arts more than business or the subjects most men excelled in. She however refused to settle for the lacks teaching which were given to her seeking more knowledge and learning what others deemed inappropriate for a young woman of her background.
One day Giovanna was riding her horse outside of the city gate as was customary for her to do from time to time in order to gather herbs and clear her mind. The herbs she always gathered with a purpose knowing exactly where in the countryside to find what she needed growing wild, it was how she maintained her small apothecary shop after all. Within the city she had a small window garden but there was much she couldn’t grow there and over time she found that the wild herbs made for better remedies. As she often did Giovanna lost track of time as she found a plant she hadn’t seen before and studied it before gathering some unsure of the properties it might possess. Time passed her faster than expected and soon the sun was setting despite her being an hour’s ride from home. Pulling the cloak around her she made peace with the fact she would be returning to the city late but her husband was away on business so no one was expecting her which was a small blessing in itself.
Halfway through her journey she was beginning to see the soft flicker of lanterns and torches which brought joy to her given the fact she was almost home. The thought had barely crossed her mind when out of the corner of her eye she saw something bright streak across the sky her eyes following it before it crashed not far from her. The horse she was upon became frightened as the earth beneath him trembled and Giovanna had to fight to keep from being thrown. Once she was able to calm her horse she slide from the saddle and hesitantly walked toward the area she had last seen the light disappear to. Most would be afraid and maybe she was but her sense of curiosity overpowered her fear.
Following the path of broken earth she stopped at the main center of impact a bright light causing her to look away. It took a few minutes for her eyes to adjust and by that time the light was beginning to fade giving her the clear view of a young woman curled into a ball with dirt and grass sticking to her. Giovanna had heard of stars falling to earth but that was just rock from the heavens and there was nothing special about it as far as she could tell. There were those who claimed the rock had magical properties but Giovanna had been seen it proven. What lay before her however was not rock and where the woman came from she didn’t know.
It took much persuasion for her horse to come near the impacted earth but he finally did so stomping his hooves in unease as Giovanna struggled to lift the young woman who was small but heavier than Giovanna was used to carrying. Finally the young woman was out of the hole but getting her upon the horse was a whole other struggle the creature wanting nothing to do with the woman. After what seemed like hours Giovanna had the young woman upon the horse and they were riding back to her home in the city.
Waking the stable boy Giovanna required his assistance in order to bring the young woman into her home. They placed her on one of the bed in a guest room which was never used and Giovanna dismissed the stable boy giving him no indication of who the woman was or any reasoning for taking her in. The woman’s heartbeat was strong so Giovanna put herself to bed, she would check on the strange woman in the morning.
Awaking earlier than usual she stepped into the guest room where the woman was still asleep on the bed not having moved an inch from the night before. Shaking the young woman gently there was no response to indicate waking but the woman was still breathing and her heartbeat was strong. Frowning Giovanna left the room and returned shortly with smelling salts hoping to raise the woman that way but there was no reaction or change. This was highly unusual, though a woman falling from the sky was highly unusual in itself and Giovanna wasn’t sure what to do in order to help.
After days of trying different remedies to try and wake the young redhead Giovanna began to believe she would either wake on her own or not at all. The same day her husband returned from his trip was the day Giovanna was woken to the sound to heart wrenching screams from the guest room. Given Giovanna hadn’t yet explained to her husband about their guest he was confused and caught off guard as another scream ripped through the home both rushing to the guest room where the young woman was not awake sitting up in bed. Sweat covered the young woman her bright eyes large and her mouth opened in silent scream this time as she fought to breath. Noticing the onset of a panic attack Giovanna sat beside the young woman telling her to breath in a soft and maternal voice as she took the redhead’s hand within her own for comfort.
After some time the redhead began to calm leaning against Giovanna for strength taking in the woman’s warmth and strength. Telling the young woman to relax Giovanna went about gathering water to bath the poor young woman who was still lightly covered in dirt since Giovanna didn’t want to bath the young woman while she was unconscious. The young was very out of it as Giovanna cleaned the dirt from her skin revealing a strange mark upon the redhead’s lower back, the woman’s husband sitting in the kitchen attempting to figure out what had lead to this but unable to think of anything.
Once the young redhead was clean Giovanna helped her to get dressed while asking gentle questions which went unanswered as the young woman just studied everything around her listening to the sounds of the city outside of the door. After feeding the young woman Giovanna took her husband aside and didn’t know how to explain to him the events which lead to the young woman being in their home. Given the man’s skeptical nature Giovanna was sure that he wouldn’t believe the tale she had to tell.
The couple decided to take the young woman in since she seemed to have no one. They did try to find anyone within the city who knew the young but it was very obvious that those who claimed to know her were lying. This lead to Giovanna beginning to teach the woman herbs and remedies which the girl enjoyed slowly beginning to open up and finding comfort in the couple who took her in learning things she didn’t know. Every once in awhile there seemed to be some familiarity to things that burned in the back of her mind but she couldn’t grasp on to what it was.
While working in the shop one day a few weeks after she had been found a small vial dropped from her hands as she whispered, “Willow Braelynd.” Giovanna and Willow celebrated the fact that the young had managed to remember something about herself both hoping that more memories and knowledge would come but it never did. Instead Willow found new knowledge in the books in Giovanna’s home and in the lessons the woman would give her.
Willow could often be found in the stable helping with the horses the creature liking her when they weren’t faced with her fall to earth. The horses seemed to understand her in a way that no human could, they never asked questions which she didn’t know the answer to and were always happy to see her. When Giovanna couldn’t find Willow with the horses there was a good chance she had figured out a way upon the roof finding solace in sitting up there and watching the stars at night.
The years slowly passed and Giovanna began to groom Willow to take over the business but her husband was weary of that not wanting to put the young woman into the eye of the public. The natural glow of her skin tended to draw people in like a moth to a flame but that was not the only gift the young woman was blessed with and the man didn’t want the girl he’d grown to think of as his daughter to be taken from them. Giovanna understood her husband’s fear but she believed Willow was a gift which should be shared with the world, not hidden away due to fear.
Willow however never took over the shop, shortly before she was meant to do so Giovanna and her husband took a trip by boat to Africa, the woman wishing to bring back rare herbs to grow in Italy but they never made it back. The ship sunk at sea and both were presumed to be dead, Willow was heartbroken at the loss of those she held dear. As if to throw salt on her wounds, upon hearing of their death the city of Florence seized the shop since technically the family line had ended with Giovanna and her husband. With nothing left to her name the young redhead chose to leave Florence behind the city holding too many bittersweet memories which she didn’t want to be faced with everyday.
Taking one of the horses from the stable Willow took only what she could carry knowing she was leaving whatever life she had before behind. No longer was she assumed a Noble and with the death of her adopted parents she lost all of her wealth as well. Her flight from the city was make under the cover of night the horse whinnying and galloping onward neither having a destination in mind.
Willow didn’t stop until the horse was too tired to continue on stopping on the border of Italy and France. Renting a room she was able to board her horse as well, the French language was new to her but she easily caught on and was able to get a job at a bakery cleaning early in the morning. She wanted more from life but she came from nothing and was unable to figure out exactly where she fit in the world feeling as if something was missing. Those of the small village showed her kindness being drawn in but her kind and intelligent nature.
The bakery was a meaningless job, it paid but nearly enough since despite the kindness around her she felt the need to move on but didn’t know why. Leaving the bakery job behind she was asked to take over at a small book shop which piqued her interest. Many came to the bookstore just to see and talk to her but she was always able to refer them to a good book which seemed to fit exactly what they needed. When the shop wasn’t busy she could be found curled up in one of the large chairs reading and filling her mind with as much knowledge as possible.
For years her life was easy and she continued to run the shop allowing it become her life thinking maybe this was what she was missing but as the years went on the emptiness inside her continued to grow. Each day it seemed to get worse and so she came to decision, gathering only things she needed she wrote a note leaving the shop to a local man who came in nearly every day and loved the shop as must as she did. Taking a horse she left the small village in the dead of night something seeming to be drawing her elsewhere and so she followed the call.
Stopping at a town in Germany she felt something new this time, something in the town called to her. Outside of a small restaurant she literally ran into a man who seemed to be her age, they both fell to the ground in a mess of limbs but as she looked into his face he seemed so familiar. The natural glow which radiated from his skin was the same as what came from hers. The two exchanged a look of confusion as they tried to piece a puzzle together. Deciding to share lunch they fell into easy conversation the male seeming to know more than she did about what she was. As he introduced himself as Elias Braelynd her brow rose in surprise as she told him that was also her last name.
Elias explained to Willow the myths he had heard of race which fell from the sky, stars which the heavens sent to earth. He didn’t know a lot of what they were but he knew that many sought the powers which they possessed explaining to Willow that they weren’t safe and never would be as long as people knew they existed. As he spoke the redhead wanted to know how he knew all of this but the sorrow in his eyes spoke volumes and so she didn’t push the subject.
The two quickly became close sharing a bond that neither knew existed in the world. They understood one another better than they understood themselves sometimes. Neither necessarily wanted to stay in Germany but neither had the funding to leave. Elias being the sly one of the two he was able to easily con many into giving them money telling them that he and his sister had been separated from their family and just needed enough to get home. It stunned Willow how easily Elias was able to play on the emotions of others and make them see things his way.
The two made their way through Europe easily with Elias’ gift of persuasion which Willow didn’t agree with but he often told her it wasn’t hurting anyone and he did have a point. Those who gave them money and food could say no, Elias never asked for more than a person could give and it just seemed as if most wanted to help him.
By 1837 a new Era was being ushered in and London was the place to be, so the siblings made their way to the city. It was marvelous and rich with life, Willow fell in love with the city immediately. The architecture, culture and history just seemed to call to her, it was a time of peace in the country and a time of peace in her life. Willow became a governess for a high born family enjoying being able to interact and teach the children. Elias on the other hand needed a job in order to keep his hands busy and so he began to train under a cabinet maker. For the first time in a long time the two were happy Willow finding enjoyment in her job.
For years they were able to enjoy this life but as the children Willow watched began to age they wondered why she didn’t. At first Willow was able to play it off as looking young ran in the family since Elias maintained his youth as well. Things came to an end the more questions which were asked, Willow and Elias leaving the city. The young redhead wasn’t ready to leave yet believing they still had a few years but her brother insisted telling her they were out of time and by the fear in her eyes she knew something was wrong and so they flead in the dark of night.
Finding a small village far enough outside of London to be safe the two worked on starting a new life but Willow knew they may never be safe again now that people knew about them. It was there the siblings met a woman named Ophelia Dreyvalian, one of their species and someone who was incredibly important, Willow could feel that much. The woman offered them a safer life if they followed her, no more running, no more hiding. To Willow it sounded good but Elias didn’t like to feel trapped or enclosed and so he rejected Ophelia’s offer. It was the first time Willow ever felt conflicted over something, she wanted to go with Ophelia but she wouldn’t leave without her brother. Elias spoke of the lives they had lead so far and that if they went with Ophelia they would all be over and Willow knew that was true.
The siblings told Ophelia that one day they would find the wayfinder again but for now they needed to be on their own. Ophelia understood and told the siblings should they ever need her they would know where to find her even if either knew what that meant. When Ophelia left the two were able to buy passage to America so they could start their lives over.
The boat trip was a long one and neither sibling felt at ease on the water. Being tossed about on the current gave neither a feeling of control and they gained strength from one another. When they reached New York those of the city weren’t exactly hospitable since those who had lived their longer didn’t like immigrants which made it hard for either sibling to find a job.
An Irish family of immigrants took pity on the siblings, they were able to get Elias a job in factory and Willow found a job cleaning at the local hospital. It wasn’t a job she enjoyed, often times it broke her heart to see the sick and she found herself becoming ill more often than she ever had in her life. A man from the same factory Elias worked it had gotten his hand caught in one of the machines and was in the hospital for awhile, he was always kind and wanted to talk to Willow since most of those working at the hospital lacked bedside manner.
One day the man’s brother came to visit him, he was around the age Willow appeared to be his eyes bright and warm. He introduced himself as Brant Schafer and one evening as her shift ended he invited her for coffee. That was the beginning of romance which she had never expected in her life. Times were rough in New York and Brant did everything possible to make sure he brought a smile to her face at least once a day. Sometimes he would bring her flowers and other small tokens of affections and other times it was just words of adoration which would leave his lips.
Willow was beyond smitten with the man and Elias didn’t like him but he wanted his sister to be happy and Brant treated her well. The couple had been together a year before Willow considered telling him the truth, it was something she discussed with her brother and he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. People had hunted their kind for so long that giving trust to anyone was dangerous. The two agreed that Willow would keep their secret, however that all changed when Brant surprised the young redhead by proposing to her.
Fear began to creep in, Willow loved Brant with all her heart however he was human and she was immortal. Could she live with only having Brant for one lifetime? It wouldn’t even be one lifetime either since Brant would age while she remained the same. There were other immortal species though and some had the ability to make other immortal and if Brant truly loved her then maybe they could share eternity together. Wedding plans were being made as Willow tried to figure out the best course of action of telling Brant and making sure they would always be together.
One evening while leaving a dress shop she felt a sizzling pain before everything went black. Waking, Willow tried to comprehend what was going on and where she was. The room was dark around her, bars surrounding her as she realized she was in a cage her brother in the cage beside her. Whispering her brother’s name she reached through the bars of her own cage to hold him hand needing his strength. Neither knew where they were but there was many of their species locked away with them. As the days wore on she realized there was no escape and no help coming. It was incredibly unfair, right now she should be happily planning her wedding and each night be wrapped in the arms of the man she loved, not here locked away like some dangerous, rabid animal.
As the days stretched into months, which stretched into years to hatred within her heart began to grow. Her life had been stolen from her by Ailwards and their Guards and now all she had was her brother. That was until the Guard decided it would be best to separate the two siblings moving them too far from one another to even been seen or called to. The young redhead began to retreat within herself slowly losing everything she had once been. Soon she wasn’t talking and barely eating the Celestials around her badgering her until she would eat a little of what was left for her.
The guards would sometimes try and speak to her but she couldn’t even hear them anymore. Willow’s once bright eyes were now glossed over and empty having nearly given up. How many years she lived in that state she didn’t know but her wake up call came the day Ophelia returned Celestial magic raining down on the Isle as they were released. Most began to run for the closest exit but Willow gave no indication of knowing what was even happening.
Warmth was what she remembered first, it was like a fire which ignited the one inside of her once more. Hearing someone calling her name she was slowly drawn back to reality as she stare into her brother’s eyes as he told her they had to go and he needed her help. With an arm wrapped around Elias’ shoulders she tried her best to get her feet to move but it was no easy task as he basically carried her off the Isle.
It took weeks for Willow to recover and gain back the weight she lost from malnourishment. Elias wanted to leave once more and continue being on their own but Willow reminded him of exactly where that had gotten them the last time and the two decided to follow Ophelia Willow wanting nothing more than to get revenge on those who had thoughtlessly and heartlessly stolen her life from her.