Private Tales Dangerous Ground

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Sierra

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She felt it, the same thing she'd felt since meeting this strange fae male. Nothing but genuine care for a stranger. Then care for two more smaller strangers. She'd been entrenched in Vel Anir so long she started to believe people like him didn't exist anymore. Leave it to the humor of the gods to finally show her someone like this and he wasn't even human.

A small, quiet nod of understanding at his words. An acceptance of his empathy. A quiet gratitude.

She still didn't know if she'd be able to let go of the blame she held for Hal disappearing. But perhaps he was right. Perhaps with time...the wound wouldn't feel quite so raw or fresh.

"I probably don't want to know how old you are, do I?" A quiet joke followed by a quiet but serious question. "You mentioned people are destined to...do you believe in destiny?" He believed in wishes and making them come true for others, so she wouldn't be surprised.
 
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Cillian

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Cillian laughed low and deep at that question. His eyes took on a certain sparkle as he looked at her and his lips twisted into a grin that dimpled his cheeks.

"I stopped counting a' around the 2000 year mark, it were just depressing," he shrugged as though it were no big deal which, for a fae, it really wasn't. As for her other, more serious question.

"Aye I do," he glanced down to her then winked. "I'd be a pretty bad leprechaun if I dinnae believe in destiny and wishes now, wouldn't I?" He chuckled.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Sierra stared at him. Lips parted. A slow blink.

The wall of shock had nearly barreled her down until she felt like she was lying flat on her back and barely able to breath. And she wasn't sure what it was from. That he was over 2000 years old or that he admitted to being a goddamned leprechaun.

"what," a very small question when she finally found her voice. "That's not, they don't," head was shaking in the negative. "Hells, are you being serious? That's like me saying," she thought to find something that would sound incredulous to him. "I'm a sun goddess."
 
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Cillian

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It took a lot of effort to not throw his head back and laugh at the look on her face but he managed it and the kids slept on soundly. It wouldn't do for them to know the truth of what he was. He would no doubt be riddled with wishes from the pair of them and he needed his strength for the journey ahead, not conjuring swords or unicorns.

"Aye now, sun godesses are real, ye cannae say things like that," Cillian's voice was deadly serious and he glanced up at the sky and made a little gesture over his chest with a murmured apology. "Ye know... all myths and legends start somewhere. Just because ye humans dinnae know or cannae see us, doesn't mean we ain't there," he gave her a wink and an amused smiled.

"But ye wished to get your cargo to safety and that is what will 'appen now."
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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"Well, clearly you're here," she reached out and pinched his arm having no regrets about that action. A slightly mischievous spark was in her eyes. She had to move carefully so as not to wake Jacob. She knew if they heard or knew there would be an endless babble of questions and requests.

An mock-accusatory finger pointed and would jab lightly at his arm. That same arm she'd lightly pinched. "You tricked me. I never would've...," she frowned at herself. "All magic has a cost. What about the consequences of wishes?" Now there was genuine nervousness in her tone.
 
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Cillian

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"'ey, 'ow!" Cillian rubbed his arm even as a boyish grin split his face in two betraying just how little she had actually hurt him. "Now, tricked is a strong word Duchess, I just asked wha' ye would wish for... Ye were the one who thought I were a drunk jus' askin' ye weird questions. Who knows, maybe ye met another leprechaun once and he asked ye the same and ye threw 'im in the mud too," he sniffed indignantly. Her next question however gave him pause and a more sombre, serious expression crossed his face. Magic did have a price. For most it was energy. When it came to wish magic it was a lot harder to guess.

"I dinnae know lass," he sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, glancing over to the two sleeping kids with a hazy smile. "Usually it twists the wish bu' I dinnae often have people who wish for something.... selfless. Their prices are different. Like... maybe you lose something yerself - a memory usually."
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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"Well," she huffed and lowered her voice to an intimate whisper, a smile working it's way on her lips, "serves any leprechaun right if they just go flouncing about and offering wishes to strangers at night." She sighed and leaned back in the seat, idly brushing some of Jacob's hair out of his face. A soft and gentle touch.

Teeth gnawed on the inside of her cheek.

"So you're saying when we get you and the kids through that portal stone I might just suddenly lose a memory?" Her mouth went dry, worry flickering across her face. "What if it's about Rose?" Her mind naturally went to the worst thing possible.
 
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Cillian

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"No! Gods no lass," Cillian looked at her startled and seeing the look on her face he pulled the wagon over to a stop. He shifted carefully around Jacob so that his body was turned towards her and then gently cupped his cheek. A rough thumb rubbed over her cheekbone in an attempt to smooth out the worry and pain etched into her face.

"Tae wishes work on purity of the wish. Tae less o' a painful price ye pay if it is done out o' kindness, love, tha' sorta thing. The price is paid as soon as the wish is spoken so if you can remember Rose still now, it won' be 'er you've forgotten. Some small thing like... a bee stingin' ye when you were lil or... or your teddy bears name. Somethin' like that. When it's a selfish wish now tha'... tha's when you really pay a price. Tae make ye think about wha' it is ye really wished for."

He searched her eyes for a while longer. They reminded him of the frozen lakes up in the Blightlands in the midday sun. When the light it the ice just so it sparkled and revealed the depths of the blue water below. You could almost forget it was frozen.

"I'm sorry I scared ye, Sierra..."
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Before the fear could burrow deep and settle into her bones he was there. She felt like she could fall into those golden eyes and drown in the sea of sunsets and sunrises they provided. A part of her was surprised she didn't jerk away at his touch and that she found it...comforting. She was still, could barely breath as she keyed into his words.

It wouldn't be Rose.

She let his reassurance wash over her, soaking it in, tempering the worry away. She took a steadying breath, eyes closed for a moment as her hand lifted, fingers enclosing around the wrist of the hand that caressed her cheek. Her thumb brushed along his skin up his wrist and into circles along the outside of his hand.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Pale eyes slid open. "It's okay. I shouldn't have doubted you-been worried." A timid smile, slowly curving along lips that had been tight a moment ago. "I'm not used to leprechauns." Brow crinkled for a moment in mock-offense. "Wait a minute. Do I look like someone who owned a teddy bear?"
 
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Cillian

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Whatever Cillian might have said, whatever he might have done when she gave him a smile that made his heart ache in a way it hadn't for a millennia, was forgotten with her teasing words. His hand dropped from her cheek to her shoulder as his body began to shake with his laughter.

"Aye ye do, I can just imagine yer hair in little bunches. I be' it was a rabbit called flopsy," he winked then finally withdrew from her personal space and back to the reins. With a click and a gentle whip FrauFrau was off. Despite the set back in the morning they were making good time.

"Ain't nuffin' tae be ashamed off Duchess, I had a teddy myself when I were a lad," he winked.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Sierra had been conditioned to forget those four or so years before she'd been serviced to Vel Anir's Academy. She couldn't remember much. There was an indignant jut of her chin and a slight shake of her head. But her expression was far from serious.

"You are laughing about this far too much," she mock-scolded. "I am a powerful, scary dreadlord and we absolutely did not own any stuffed animals growing up. What was your teddy's name? Mister smart a--," Jacob stirred against her and cracked an eye open, yawning loudly.

"What's so funny?" He mumbled, rubbing away some of the sleep lingering in his eyes. Sierra let out a sheepish laughing huff and gave Jacob a small squeeze.

"Cillian was telling me about a teddy bear he had growing up."

Kristine gave a sleepy smile. "Was it a nice teddy?"

Jacob squirmed in his seat. "When're we going to make camp? I have to pee," he added with no amount of remorse. Sierra ruffled Kristine's hair, her smile only widening.
 
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Cillian

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Her words only served to turn his chuckle into a roaring laugh. He couldn't help it; the image of her in pigtails carrying a little fluffy rabbit and saying she was frightening was simply too much. When the kids woke he was wiping tears from his eyes.

"Aye Princess, it was tae best teddy. His name was Patch on account of his eye patch o' course," which he had attached to the base after his brother had yanked out the glass eye. Before that he had just been Bear but Patch was much better. He wiped his eyes again and took a calming breath before pulling the wagon off the dirt road and through a cluster of trees. After a little while of ducking it opened into clearing. Strange trees stood around the glade and once they passed under their branches the air suddenly turned warm. Gone was the ivy pinch of winter and in its place the heat of early summer. Pleasant but not blistering. The grass was a lush green and long, flowers swayed in a gentle breeze and a small pond sat in the middle that looked inviting and clear.

"We'll camp 'ere lad. Tis a faerie grove so only fae and friends can enter. We will be safe 'ere."
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Safe.

Sierra forgot about what that word even meant. It had been so long that she could even allow herself to feel that way anywhere. With anyone.

Kristine and Jacob were nothing but wide-eyed at the glade. As soon as the cart stopped Jacob practically threw off his coat, socks, and boots, running on the soft, lush grass toward a line of bushes.

"Don't go too far!" She called. Cillian had said it was safe and she trusted him but she couldn't exactly turn off her protective instincts. With a slight shake of her head at the boy's retreating form, Sierra helped Kristine down and then shrugged off her own coat. Kristine went immediately to FrauFrau to hold up some freshly plucked grass in offering.

"Constantly full of surprises," Sierra said, looking over at Cillian as she went to help unpack some of the gear. She couldn't help but pause and hold her arms out, head tipped back to the sun and eyes closed, soaking up the warmth. Waves of auburn hair tipped behind her, catching those golden, rosy, orange, and red glints. And the fearsome dreadlord allowed herself to smile.
 
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Cillian

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Cillian let the others enjoy the spot of summer whilst he unloaded the wagon. He had been the same when he had discovered the faerie groves as a young lad. The splices of summer were perfect all year round, designed to make a long journey easier on weary travellers. They were not just for fae either, humans used them if they knew where to look, but once they were occupied they vanished from view to give the occupants the upmost privacy.

"O' I 'ave many more surprises up me sleeve Duchess, maybe when ye are a teacher a' yer new fancy school I'll swing by and show yer a few," he smirked and then dumped the tentpoles on the floor. It didn't take him long to get Sierra's one up and then he started on his own.

"Why don't you go, take a soak? I'll ge' dinner ready," he nodded to the pool where Jacob had already stripped himself down to his smallclothes and was in the warm water and Kristine was paddling on the edge.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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"Perhaps," she didn't see any of what he said happening, about the school. About him stopping by. Unless a revolution happened in Vel Anir sooner rather than later, she knew her days were numbered. It would only be a matter of time before her actions with the Underground were discovered. And she'd die to make sure Rose got out before her own execution.

A school seemed like another impossible wish.

And him stopping by?

Well. She wondered if she looked like a child to him, considering his experience and their age difference. She seriously doubted she'd see him again after he went through that portal stone with the kids. Besides, by that time? His part of the bargain would be over and he'd be free to keep going on his way to do...whatever it was leprechauns did.

"Buying a girl dinner already, hm?" A slow smile curled on her lips with a small shrug rippling through her shoulders. "If you insist." Turning, she'd head toward the pond, carefully taking off her boots and socks and laying them neatly by the edge of the water. Then she began shrugging off her outer layers of clothing until she was down to her bottom layer.

Jacob was already whooping and jumping into the pond, making ripples and huge splashes. Sierra cast Cillian one last glance over her mostly bare shoulder to make sure he didn't need any help before taking Kristine's hand in her own to wade in with the small. Kristine didn't know how to swim so Sierra helped her along, teaching the girl how to float and even how to do a basic paddle until she too, was smiling and would allow Sierra to let go for a few moments before swimming back into her arms.

They swam and chatted about mermaids and sea princesses and water kings until the skin on their fingers turned pruny.
 
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Cillian

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He watched her go quietly, his chores half forgotten in his arms as he did so. It was mostly to ensure she actually went and relaxed a little but it was also so that he could appreciate a fine example of a woman - what? He was only male. Being a leprechaun didn't change that, if anything it made him even pickier. After a click of the tongue he went back to his duties.

Tents up, fire on, it wasn't long before the smells of food began to waft over the clearing. Back in the city he had brought fresh meat and stashed it in the ice spelled box. It would keep another day but better safe than sorry. Whilst the seasoned joint of pork roasted he cut potatoes and boiled them till they were soft then took them out and set them in the flames to crisp. Into the boiling water went other veg and thickening agents to make a broth.

Cillian had long ago fallen out of love with tasteless camp food.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Jacob shook his hair out like a dog and bounded from the pond, still half-dressed. Kristine followed in a skip, leaving little wet foot-prints and indents in the summer grass. When the kids were close enough to Cillian and the camp, Sierra allowed herself one last leisurely dunk beneath those warm, clear waters.

Resurfacing, she filled her lungs with air and slowly waded out. Gathering her own neatly folded and set aside clothing and boots, she also piled the children's on top, following in their footsteps. Setting the clothing and smaller boots near the prospective tents, she came over to the fire, knowing it would dry her underclothes quickly. Fingers squeezed through waves of hair as her mouth watered at that smell.

"That smells SO AMAZING AND I'M STARVING." Jacob explained dramatically, opening his arms of as wide as they would go and falling onto the grass around the cooking area with a giant grin on his face. Kristine gave a quiet giggle, stopping to pick up some of the wild dandelions for a bouquet.

"Gods. Is there anything you can't do?" Sierra asked, hand falling lightly to her hips as she surveyed his work. "Need any help?"
 
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Cillian

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"I've 'ad a few years tae practise," Cillian chuckled as he slowly took the meat off the spit and began to carve it up. He'd set up four bowls on a nearby log and began to dish out the dinner evenly. There was plenty of meat left over which he set to the side; it would go nicely with the loaf of bread in his bag for sandwiches tomorrow, he thought to himself. "It were a stroke o' luck t'at tae butcher only 'ad tae large joint left," he threw Sierra a wink. Luck magic worked in mysterious ways, sometimes even he didn't know why things had happened until much later on when he discovered the people who needed his help.

"There we go kids," he passed out the roast dinners in the thick gravy then handed one to Sierra before sitting down on the ground with his own. "'ow's tae water?" he said around a mouthful of food.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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Harumph.

There he went with his luck again. Knowing what he was, she couldn't really blame him. And those winks of his with that mug. She could understand why all the sprites and smaller fae wanted to get a look at him back at the other camp even if it made her want to pull her hair out.

Taking the bowl, she settled in between the two kids.

"Thank you," she brought the bowl up, just to let the smell waft up to her nose. At least they'd be protected for one night. Safe. A word Sierra hoped she could rest in. Taking a mouthful of the stew, her eyes shifted back to the leprechaun.

Yup, she was in trouble.

She swallowed.

"It pulled up a memory I'd forgotten. When I was small and before I was brought to the Academy, I grew up on the Cortosi coast in a moderate seaside village. It reminded me of one summer day where the ocean had been as warm, inviting, and clear." A small smile, another bite of stew, and another swallow.


"You should try it after. The kids and I can clean up." Jacob slurped at his spoon. Sierra's gaze flickered to the trees they'd entered this place from. "Will we need a watch tonight?" Even if he said no, she'd probably stay up for awhile on habit.
 
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Cillian

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Another stroke of luck, perhaps, that he had brought them here then, he thought as she described the memory. He said no more other than that usual crooked smile cast in her direction and took another few spoonfuls of food.

"No," Cillian shook his head and then finished up the last of his potatoes, veg and meat by drinking it from the bowl. He chuckled when he noticed Jacob watch then copy the movement. It probably wasn't the best habit for the boy to pick up but road manners were always different to how to act in the home. "We'll be safe in 'ere until we leave," there was utter confidence in the way the magic that governed the grove worked. It was magic millennias old and only a few fae even knew how to conjure such magic anymore.

"I think I will take ye up on tae offer though," he stood and stretched. The frozen river the night before had not been pleasant. Without another word he kicked off his boots and began to head towards the pond.
 
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Sierra

#edgelord
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"But I wanna go swimming again," Sierra laughed as Jacob threw himself on the grass with a protest. She forced a stern expression to cross her face. "Maybe before we leave again tomorrow morning. Now come on, bring me your plate. Kristine's too." He peeled himself off the grass after a second dramatic sigh and began helping Sierra clean up.

She looked over her shoulder one time.

When she was sure Cillian wasn't watching.

When the kids were occupied with getting read for bed.

And then she was surprised at herself for looking because she didn't think she'd be ready to...or want to look at someone else for a very long time. For the smallest of moments, she allowed herself to do so. To admire. And then she focused her attention back on the camp and getting the kids to settle down as night settled along their small enchanted clearing.

Teeth and hair were brushed. Comfy clothes on and they sat around the fire, staring into the golden-orange crackling flames.

"Can you tell us a story?" Kristine looked up from her perch in Sierra's lap. "Maybe one story and then it's off to bed with you two."

Jacob straightened. "But can it be a story of pirates?"

"No, a story of princesses!" Kristine tugged on her arm.