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 Where There's Free Air, tag: Aegon
Calliope Nevarene
 Posted: Mar 25 2015, 09:59 PM
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The unicorn was white, with hoofs of silver and graceful horn of pearl...The eyes, circled by this sad and beautiful darkness, were so sorrowful, lonely, gentle and nobly tragic, that they killed all other emotions except love.


The curtain in the window shifted back into place. He had stopped watching her and was soon to depart for a brief business trip to Mormont, possibly a visit to the 'family'. When the curtains stopped moving, she felt more safe and comfortable than when his eyes had been on her.

The unicorn tossed her head, her silvery mane glimmering and shining as it cascaded back down upon her long neck. Her crystalline blue eyes, ringed in black, turned to look into the nearby pool of water and see her reflection. The water rippled in the faint breeze, breaking up the reflection she found within.

Oh sure, she was alone. She was essentially trapped in the manor and garden complex, hidden behind walls and tall hedges, locked within the gates. She had no contact with the outside, no visitors to idle hours by with, and no loving, doting family members to enjoy the company of. Even with all of that, she still had her beauty, surely that had to count for something.

Still, it was lonely and a reflection could only take one so far. Birds chirped and sang and that was all they ever did reply. Oh, but who was she to judge? Even if she wanted to speak right now, all that might pass her lips were nickers, whinnies, and neighs. Indeed, Calliope was a unicorn and with the bright light of day she was liable to stay this way for a good many more hours. It was not out of the ordinary. In fact, that was as regular as it had been for the past 5 years, ever since that god-awful storm and the night the curse fell over the kingdom.

Her leonine tail flicked and she turned away from the pool, her cloven hooves daintily stepping on the flagstone path that weaved its way through the gardens. This was her world, unfortunately, and it was time to explore it... again.
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Aegon Ramsey
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 10:27 AM
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Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door Ya better not let him in Little old lady got mutilated late last night Werewolves of London again




Every now and then, Aegon liked to disappear from the world. Or at least the family that was always nipping at his heels. He had done a good thing taking in all that he could, and continuing to do so even as he grew. That was what he was meant to do. His family had been nothing more than a small grouping of children that pick pocketed to keep themselves and their adopted parents alive. Then they had been dumped in the middle of nowhere and expected to take care of themselves.

Now they were better off. They were still nothing better than a small band of pickpockets that likely would have to face the gallows at some point, but they were happier. They were working for themselves and that meant something to the lot of them. Aegon in particular was pleased with what he had built.

But even that family could become overwhelming very quickly. They were unruly and loud where he needed things to be quiet and peaceful so that he didn’t shift into a beast that could kill them all. When things got too bad, he would leave. That’s where he found himself now, traveling where he wanted to on the back of a brown horse that had seen better days. But she was kind and surefooted. Aegon didn’t feel like racing across fields today. He wanted to feel a little bit more calm than that.

Coming upon the house was a surprise, though he knew the horse well enough to know she was likely smelling something sweet, Aegon got off her back to let her graze. Wandering towards the hedge maze, he had a flash of anger at the kind of luxury these people lived in. A wrought iron gate was easy to find, his eyes lingering as his hands smoothed over the well worked metal.

“It isn’t right you live like this when the rest of us are struggling to survive.” He muttered, looking back at the house. “You didn’t work for it, you didn’t earn any of this. What right have you to have so much when we have so little?”

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Calliope Nevarene
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 12:41 PM
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The unicorn was white, with hoofs of silver and graceful horn of pearl...The eyes, circled by this sad and beautiful darkness, were so sorrowful, lonely, gentle and nobly tragic, that they killed all other emotions except love.


What was that?

She flicked a long ear and then turned it one way and then another. She had definitely heard a voice coming from somewhere. It wasn't from the manor. Nor was it from the front of the place where her father had already left in the coach, the larger gate shut promptly behind him and locked tight. No, this sound had come from the back end of the garden. Calliope nervously flared her nostrils and then snorted.

There was a small wrought-iron gate in the back, worked into the short wall that was now well overgrown by ivy and hedge brush. Even the gate itself was poorly kept. The gardeners were no longer permitted to enter into the gardens and it had not be oiled or even unlocked for even one day in the past five years. She knew where it was, occasionally gazing wistfully out from behind the bars and into the wide open wilderness beyond. She never saw anyone in the forests back there, just greenery and wildlife and darkness. Now she had heard something an even with the unease she felt, the curiosity was too much for her to bear.

Each step was tender and light, treading lightly along the winding path. She passed by butterfly garden plantings, herb plantings, rose and lilac bushes, and various pools and ponds. Her ears were attentive, listening forward, twisting to behind warily and turning back to the front. The gate loomed into view and she was not entirely in sight of it when she stopped and went stock still.

A... a man!

She rose her head in silent alarm, every muscle in her body tense and ready to spring at the slightest movement. Her nostrils flared as she breathed in the strange scent of the man. Her eyes were wide and looked him over, trying to obtain every detail possible without moving or batting an eyelash. Her tail slowly came to a rest, the long silvery hairs catching the light and glinting as they fell still on the ground off to the right of her. There had never been anyone at the gate before and this man was not any she had ever seen in her memory prior to the curse. He was a stranger and he was on the other side of the gate. He was breathing free air.

How unfair.

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Aegon Ramsey
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 01:31 PM
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Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door Ya better not let him in Little old lady got mutilated late last night Werewolves of London again




“Bah.” His hand came down hard on the wrought iron fence, the metal groaning underneath the strike. He wanted nothing to do with nobles or their ridiculous ideas. He had worked for them once, the only respectable job that he had ever held before, and because of that he knew exactly how he felt about them. As a guard, he had been nothing more than disposable life there to make certain that their non-disposable life remained intact. By the time he had to put his own neck on the line for a spoiled little brat, Aegon was done. It was time to return to the forests where his family was waiting for him. He would find another way to bring back money.

A movement from within the garden caught his attention, and Aegon looked up to see the white creature walking towards him. He’d heard of such things before. Apparently the Midnight Kingdom had once been a place where many more magical creatures had walked. But never before had he seen a unicorn. Like many animals, he appreciated the value and the beauty of the creature. It wasn’t often that he saw an animal that he thought was attractive. Most were hard working and showed the wear and tear of that. But like the nobles he had once protected, there was nary a scratch on this creature.

He whistled low while keeping his eye on the unicorn, his own horse meandering her way towards them to nudge at his shoulder. In the saddle pack were a few apples he always tended to bring with him, Aegon liked to have snacks that both he and the horse could eat. Using his hands, he snapped the apple in half and handed one to his horse for following directions.

The other he held out through the wrought iron gate. “Come on now beauty, let me see a little more of you.”

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Calliope Nevarene
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 06:35 PM
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The unicorn was white, with hoofs of silver and graceful horn of pearl...The eyes, circled by this sad and beautiful darkness, were so sorrowful, lonely, gentle and nobly tragic, that they killed all other emotions except love.




Was that a whistle?

Her tenseness subsided and her head tilted at the sound. That was one that most definitely came from the man who was peering in at the gate. But why the whistle? She lowered her head and took a small step closer. Her animal instincts told her to be careful and not get to close. Her human self wanted nothing more than to get closer and get a better look at the fellow. Calliope flicked hair tail, rising the long tendrils of hair off the ground and letting waver and shimmer in the air.

Hmm...

There was a horse out there too, she could tell even without really seeing it. The sound and the smell of the mare reached her heightened animal senses and told her as much. If the horse liked the man, then he must not be all bad, after all animals were more likely to stay around a person with a soft hand. Even then, she could not think why any one might mean her any harm.

Beauty? Well, it's nice to be recognized. Calliope lifted her head high again and struck a pose, her long tail swishing and again settling down. With a toss of her head, she whinnied softly and then took another couple of steps closer to the gate, all of herself fully in view now. She knew he could see her this way, but perhaps not as well. Calliope turned a little and gave him a side view of herself, There, how do I look to you now, sir? Am I not gorgeous?

The apple he held out to her from through the gate received little attention until now.

She hadn't noticed that she was a bit hungry. Water cress and peppermint and basil was flavorful and delightful, but she ate that every day. Apples she could only eat at night and by then all she craved was meat and bread. Apples played second and third fiddle to everything else and the apple tree in their garden was by far and away long since eaten of all of its fruit. The reachable fruit, really, the others were too high and yet to fall. Now there was one in the hand of the man. Even if there wasn't supposed to be anyone there and he might be a stranger, he had an apple and was offering part of it to her. Her steps took her closer and closer to the gate, the outstretched arm, and the half of apple.

I should not think it wrong to accept so generous an offer.

Her nostrils sniffed at the sweet scent of the apple, her neck outstretched but still a couple of inches away. The warmth of her breath wafted on his fingers. Calliope shook her head, making the long forelock switch from hanging over the right side of her head to the left. Ears twitched and swiveled around, checking the sounds around them before taking one more step and letting her lips move forward to wiggle and pull the apple closer to take a dainty bite out of it.

Oh, so crunchy! She rejoiced at the texture of the apple and the flavors that washed over her tongue. She swallowed and then soon lamented as she reached to take another little nibble of the apple, And you must have so many more out there on the other side of the wall and hedge. Yet here I am locked inside and you are there, outside, in the open spaces where there are no walls and rules. Calliope took a third bite and raised her head. As she ate she decidedly said, You should help me. I do not wish to be here any longer on my own, it is so lonely and there is no one to realize my beauty or praise me!

It didn't matter what she said anyway. He would never understand her and she could put great effort into it and still fail in the endeavor. Nothing would come of it but stamping hooves, swishing tails, shaken heads, and all manner of animal noises.

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Aegon Ramsey
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 09:48 PM
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Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door Ya better not let him in Little old lady got mutilated late last night Werewolves of London again




He was surprised that she came over to him. Most creatures were naturally wary, and something that had so obviously been contained it's entire life should be uneasy around someone new. Yet this creature wandered closer to him and ate out of his hand as though it was bestowing him some grand gesture. In a way perhaps she was. Aegon doubted that there were many men or even women that would see such a thing in their life. A unicorn. Now he was half concerned that he had fallen and hit his head.

"There you are." He said quietly, holding still so as not to startle her. "Being trapped in there isn't so easy, is it beauty." His voice was low and murmuring. Aegon had long ago learned that animals reacted best when there was a soft sound around them. It was how he had tamed his dog that had been mistreated by a heavy hand its entire life. It was how he managed to calm children that came to him hoping for a better life when they had been beaten. Aegon was a calm man, a quiet one. At least until the curse hit.

A grumpy whinny from behind him had Aegon retracting his hand and turning. The old brown horse that had seen better days bobbed her head up and down, obviously jealous from the attention that the other was getting. "Oh, you know you'll always be my lady darling." He laughed when the horse pushed against his shoulder hard. "You are just as beautiful my love. The scars and bald spots only prove how hard working you have been."

He turned back towards the unicorn though, a lingering glimmer in his eye. "But this is an opportunity I can't pass up. Nobles shouldn't keep something locked up all to themselves. Why not let the rest of us enjoy it, yes?" The horse bobbed its head. "And you? How about we let you out of this gilded cage?"
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Calliope Nevarene
 Posted: Mar 26 2015, 10:00 PM
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The unicorn was white, with hoofs of silver and graceful horn of pearl...The eyes, circled by this sad and beautiful darkness, were so sorrowful, lonely, gentle and nobly tragic, that they killed all other emotions except love.




There was no apple left after she took dainty bite after dainty bite. Most horses might have inhaled that half an apple, but Calliope wasn't a horse. She was not even a unicorn. She was a lady and ladies ate in small, polite bites that kept them clean and did not reveal how hungry they might actually be. Other animals might lick the hand that fed them, too, but Calliope would never do such a thing. The moment the hand was empty, she retracted from the hand and the gate and further back into the gardens.

Oh, good sir, you have not the slightest knowledge of my pain! She replied to him. Again recalling that he had called her a 'beauty', she arched her long neck and blinked her big, bright blue eyes at the man. Oh yes, I am beautiful, am I not?

The whinny from the other horse startled her. She pranced a little and peered through the gate in an offended manner. How dare that nag interrupt their little conversation! It was hardly two-way, but she at least was responding back to the man even though he might never hear a word she said to him. It was all the more unpleasant when she caught sight of the horse herself and heard his description. She turned her back on him and then looked over her back to him. A stomp of her foot and a snort later and Calliope no longer looked his way. Why, she was of half a mind to just go right back into the garden and leave the gate behind, forget about the stranger on the other side who was breathing the free air and able to go where ever he might like. That last thought was what kept her from walking off in defiance.

Pardon? Calliope turned to look back at him, the silvery hairs of her forelock hanging over her eye. She tossed her head, the pearlescent horn shimmering, and then nickered to him as she turned back about to face him. Whatever is that supposed to mean? I will have you know that I am myself a noble, sir. She stomped a foot and snorted at him. She was not sure what he had been meaning to say, but she felt the strong initial pull to take offense to it. He was dangling the proverbial delectable apple in front of her again, however. She shook her head at him and stomped another foot, Are you asking what I want?

She edged her way closer to the gate again. Her steps as light and as quiet as before, still just as tentative and careful. Calliope regarded the man carefully from her side of the gate. Her ears twisted and flicked and she weighed the voice of the stranger. There was a big part of the animal in her that warned her about the dangers on the other side of the gate. Her senses told her that he could hurt her, harm her, destroy her and ruin her. Those fears didn't register as much, to her more true and human self. Calliope only heard that he was willing to let her go.

I want to be free of my father. She wickered to him, once more close to the gate. I want to go to parties again. I want to see others and be seen by them. Let me out of here, please.

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Aegon Ramsey
 Posted: Mar 30 2015, 09:53 AM
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Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door Ya better not let him in Little old lady got mutilated late last night Werewolves of London again




Aegon patted his own horse’s neck, looking at the beautiful creature that was locked up in the gardens of a noble. He was so tired of their foolishness. They were constantly thinking that they were better than the rest of them. They lived in safer homes. They ate better food. They didn’t even dress themselves without having someone else do it. Aegon had seen all of this and more, and he would love to see a noble get what they have coming to them. At least just this once.

So he looked at the unicorn and slowly nodded, walking towards the gate with a confident gait. “Alright then beauty. If your nobleman sees me doing this I’m likely to get hanged.” His hands landed on the wrought iron fence, strong palms wrapping fingers around the rusted edges. This wouldn’t be easy to remove, but it would be simple enough in the end. He tested the strength for a moment, his weight pulling at the aged metal. Hinges creaked as he lifted the entire door upwards, trying to break the rust that locked it in place

Once he had figured out the right angle, he sent a cocky grin in the direction of the unicorn. “Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time someone wanted my head. Always seems like a shame to not have a bounty on me.” He shrugged, and then lifted in a jolt. The metal groaned but remained. He did it a few more times, throwing his shoulder into the metal until he felt the give. Like a ribcage, the door lifted from its hinges and he eased it onto the ground.

Dusting off his hands, he placed them heavily onto his hips and considered it a job well done. “Off you go then. Do whatever it is your kind does.”

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Calliope Nevarene
 Posted: Mar 30 2015, 06:51 PM
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The unicorn was white, with hoofs of silver and graceful horn of pearl...The eyes, circled by this sad and beautiful darkness, were so sorrowful, lonely, gentle and nobly tragic, that they killed all other emotions except love.


He had offered to open up the gates and free her from the walls that contained her. He seemed so willing to pry them open. Why hadn't he done anything but pat his old nag and offer her up half an apple? Calliope tilted her head as she looked back at him and then righted it, stamping out her obvious impatience. She turned about in dancing fashion and lashed her tail this way and that before she caught him more closely investigating the old iron gate.

Hardly just hanged. Calliope shook her head at him. Why I believe my father might flay you alive and then have you hanged.

It was not a pretty picture to envision, but she was certain that her father would do just that. On more than one occasion she had overheard him mumbling about her worth. Was she priceless because she was his daughter? Was she worth more as a virgin woman, a wealthy merchant's daughter, or a lady of the Thorns? How much might she fetch as a unicorn, real or no? If she was slain as a unicorn, would the curse remain and keep her parts as the animal and thus call high prices for the harder to find pieces? Calliope have never been so frightened and sickened by anything in her entire life, so much so that she half believed she had made it up after a long read of a thrilling horror novel. When she overheard his mutterings again, however, and then a third time in all varying degrees Calliope could not deny what she had heard with her own ears or seen with her own eyes. Her father was a merchant to the core of his being and the curse he faced doubled with the solitary life he now took up made him a grim figure.

Sir, imagine what he might do to me! And I, his daughter, his own flesh and blood he once rose up on high and adored more than any mountain of gold! She spoke to him, nervously moving about from side to side, unable to stay still.

By now the stranger was working on the gate. The creaks and screams of the metal sounded so loud to her ears, but who else might hear it? One of the few servants left to mind her doll-like mother and the manor? All were forbidden for the garden and none would dare to leave the safety of the manor to seek the sounds outside the walls. Calliope wickered to him encouragingly as see watched him throw his weight yet again against the aged gate and with that burst of strength, so too did the gate burst open. It was lowered more quietly to the ground in the capable hands of the stranger. Now there was no more gate to lock her in.

Lovely! Calliope rejoiced in a miniature rear and a whinny. Now I can come and go as I please so long as no one is aware!

She peeked through the gateway and took a couple of tentative steps through it. She sniffed and peered along lone side of the wall and back the other way. There was so much more space! The smells were a little more varied, the trees were larger, and the brush more wild. Calliope had not seen such things closer than through a window in so long. Even so, she did not try to to actually step outside immediately. She had never gone outside of her home without a proper escort, usually her mother or an older handmaid, and that strange man could not possibly count when she did not even know his name.

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