[AW+] we all come back
Quote:Make an offering to your chosen deity. Remember, different gods expect different things from their followers.

The morning had been spent icily dealing with her husband. She had attempted to broach the subject of launching a search for their children, and the King had been more concerned with appearances in the realm. He argued that they were adults, that they had left long before the war – but Vodeva could not stand for his inaction and had lashed out at him with her claws.

Now as she prepared herself for her offering her hands trembled, the ache in her side a welcome distraction from the ache in her heart.

He was too proud to understand what it meant for her to have her children safe at home. Solas had abandoned their faith for a bottle and had disappeared silently as soon as he had come of age. He had always been independent and rash, but Vodeva had been certain that Nin would guide him and show him that the current which ran through him would bring him back to his family.

They all came and went with the tide. She was so certain that they would come back to her.

She splayed one hand against her belly and sighed.

Before her the Swordcoast roiled, each wave crashing into the pebbled shore with a roar. Vodeva had filled her pockets with small offerings from her walks; twigs and leaves that would act as offerings to the god who had watched out for her always. The womans throat filled with a hum and she shut her eyes as she came close enough for the trickling water to lap against her skirts.

”How long has it been?” She managed, eyes still closed, ”How long must I wait?”

The ocean roared back, a single tone that meant nothing.

When she cast the first stone she felt lighter somehow. The leaves she ground between her palms until thy were caught and carried by the breeze.

”We all come back.” She sighed, "Their time will come. Your tide will find them and pull them home."

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Vodeva is a dedicated member of Lorn and is making some offering to Nanin! If anyone is interested in learning about the Clans of old and their gods feel free to hop in! [332/1,000]
She was feeling a little bit more encouragement after her trip yesterday to see her mare. It was a trip she took out of frustration, and it didn't go smoothly. Inara chalked it up to the emotion that had fueled her own motion. This time she was going to be a bit more collected, and reasonable with herself. Her ribs suffered the most from the fall, but she knew she had to continue her breathing exercises. It would be the only way to continue making progress.

She figured the best way to continue her progress was to take a trip this afternoon for some fresh ocean air. Inara knew it would do her some good. It was a shorter trip than going to Rhovanion so she knew she could make it. Furthermore, if Inara still had the energy, she would go see Marlys again afterwards and this time she would have a more steady mind.

Inara measured her steps, taking her time. She was determined that if she did as Bellad said she would be dancing again. With each step she took a measured breath along with it. The pain in her ribs caused her to wince. It did not discourage her, though. Instead, Inara kept her focus and determination to get better. As she neared the waters, her eyes saw the figure. Still not feeling the desire to talk to anyone she merely smiled, her cane continuing to guide her to the sand.

Once her cane sunk into the grains of sand, she became more cautious. Her foot steadily placed before lifting the next foot. Her eyes looked up as she came nearer to the figure and it didn't take long for Inara to make out that it was Vodeva. The last time she really talked with the Queen was quite some time ago. Inara then made a dress that she gave to Iomair. It felt like ages ago.

The gypsy redacted her feelings on conversing. She cleared her throat in preparation to greet Vodeva.

"H-hello, Vodeva." Her brown eyes brighten despite them having a little trouble focusing.

wc: 350
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
The sea always called and she never seemed to stray too far from its siren song. It was not always within sight but the smell of salt on the wind was a frequent reminder of the fact it existed there, just beyond the line of trees or the crest of the next hill. It was unimaginable to think that there were places that were days and days from any lick of salty water, only tepid streams, flat lakes, and murky rivers to bring water and life. Fresh water kept one going, but the sea could bring a person to life.

Though she had no boat, Kaly always tended to end up strolling casually along the coasts whenever her mind wandered. She was more easily found near the shore and the waves rather than the rolling plains or shadowed forests. Wherever water was found, she likely wandered toward it. Tora would not often seek her out in such a place and it became an easy escape.

Vodeva cut a striking figure against the backsplash of grey sky and roiling water. Waves pushed against the consort's feet but she did not move from the chilling touch.

Kalypso watched her for a moment, seeing something disappear into the sea and another something disappear into the wind. The entire set of gestures left a lingering feeling of the occult, despite the seemingly mundane actions.

Her brows furrowed as Inara appeared, too, limping along after whatever ordeal she suffered through and the pain of recovery. Kaly weighed the choice of joining them or disappearing back the way she had come, but it was far too late to pretend she saw nothing. Resolved, she joined the two very different women.

"Hello, Your Majesty," she greeted respectfully. Vodeva was not ranked a Queen but the woman was the wife of the High King and just as regal as could be expected of a woman in such a position. It seemed obvious to greet her as such. "How are you doing, Inara?" she added, turning her attention to the woman that she dearly needed to find a moment for, even if it was a brief moment alone.
She stood in silence for so long that she felt as if she had become one with the sea. It lapped against her legs until they went numb, and she watched the leaves dance as they were caught against the sea foam. She often combined methods from both of her clans; though she was mostly of Lorn, her mother had originally been from Taur. At the time their marriage had seemed out of the ordinary, two clans united beneath one household – but it had afforded her an education that was not usual of the others in her caste.

As the others filtered in behind her, she allowed a sapphire eye to slide open to regard them.

”My ladies,” She murred, adjusting her hands so that they faces the horizon, ”To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

The Caledonians that lived here were not devout like the men and women of old. They were new babes brought into the world unadorned by the dogma of her clans. They knew not to bless the river valley nor how to whisper to freshly fallen snow. She eyed them warily, before gesturing for them to step closer – her eyes falling to frigid half-moons as she hummed softly.

New Caledonians were new.

Her heart suddenly ached and she reached again into her pockets.

”Do either of you know of Nin?”

There was a river goddess; one whispered about by the Krokaran. Nin was deeper, darker – she controlled the eb and flow of all living things.
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Inara hadn't noticed Kalypso's approach. Her peripheral vision was bad, then the sounds of the sea roaring around them. Her skin crawled with fear but she kept herself as calm as possible before looking over to Kalypso and smiling, "I'm holding up...and keeping Percival and Bellad on their toes." Humor twinkling in her eyes.

Her attention went back to the Queen as she addressed them. "I was in need of fresh air, and I couldn't help but pass up the opportunity to be around our Queen." Her tail gave a light but genuine wag. "It isn't everyday we get to say hi and get to have a conversation."

Inara had to think a little, Athras had her schooled mainly in etiquette. Thankfully, she would no longer had to be so rigid. She did continue to practice etiquette here and there if she felt it was necessary, otherwise, she would be herself. The gods of Caledonia, Inara only understood the very basics of. Inara understood the River Goddess the most, but even then it was hard for her to wrap her mind around all these religious figures. She barely understood her root heritage from the gypsies. Religion and practices were never Inara's forte.

"I'm sorry, your Majesty, I only understand that he or she is a god of Caledonia. I don't know much more beyond that." Her head went down in both shame and apology. Inara knew from her interactions with Athras that her words and actions could come off offensive to Caledonians but she had hoped Vodeva would not be offended by her lack of knowledge in the subject. Inara hadn't gotten many opportunities to talk or spend time with Iomair's mate, and the small amount of times she did get to interact with the Queen was at events and sometimes when Vodeva was obviously not feeling social. Today was different and Inara wanted to interaction to be positive.
[Image: inara-derp2.png]
*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
Vodeva had the air of a mystic about her that made Kalypso somewhat more wary. There was a faint tickling in her memory that reminded her of the shamans and hedgewitches of the islands with their tinkling bones and spices. Vodeva felt colder than them to her but it was still similar enough that she could feel the connection. Vodeva was likely more religious or faithful, especially having come from Old Caledonia. That was Kaly's understanding of their lot, though. Their faiths had been more ingrained in them than those of the new, the young, the rising.

Still, she sought to understand and did know a bit from Willow and the scant gleanings from Athras.

"Nin is your goddess of the deep," she replied after Inara failed to produce the correct response. It didn't shock her that the dog woman had less of an understanding of the obscure deities of Caledonia. Kaly herself barely had an understanding of them beyond the shallow surface waters of their divinity. She had been raised in a different belief, even if it had been shaken so thoroughly that she avoided thinking about her failing faith.

"Willow told me that she commands the seas and water. Something to do with the dead, as well." She shrugged as she realized she had reached the end of her understanding of the goddess.

Part of her liked the idea of it, for certain. The other part of her had heard of one of their newer gods and felt connection to it there, too. She wondered why there were so many gods and goddesses to connect to. How did one pick? At least with her faith, there had only ever been one god.

"Are you doing a rite or ceremony?" she asked, gaze shifting to the sea disappearing beyond the horizon.
Vodeva smiled softly at Kalypso’s words and allowed a subtle nod of her head. ”Nin is the current that runs through our veins. The tide which carries life and death.” Vodeva allowed her eyes to slide to Inara, the pale woman admitting that she knew little of the reed whisperers teachings. New Caledonia did not follow the covenants of old, but Vodeva was prepared to share some small part of her belief with the woman who stood before her now.

”I come here often to unburden myself.” She took a deep breath and made to step out of the frigid water, ”Casting small items into the water is one way to convene with her. She accepts these gifts with grace and sometimes returns them to the shore.”

Her mother had said the tiny offerings cast upon the beach had meant something, but Vodeva never found this to be true.

Mavana had collected twisting sticks as her token of choice – bending and weaving them into shapes that were reminiscent of the rivers that had cut through their territory. The Ocean had not been something any of them had ever seen before, not until they had fled east. Her mother would never have guessed that out in the great beyond lay a powerful representation of their goddess’ power.

The first time Vodeva had seen the ocean she had felt her breath be torn away by its roiling waves. The Queen came often to pray, nestling herself amongst the smoothed stones and wishing that everything could be different with every fiber of her aching body.

She had asked for the return of her children so many times that she had lost count. She had prayed for her husband to abandon the Heartward, to fall back into their bed… She had prayed until her pockets had grown heavy with offerings; with stones and twigs and shells. There had been so much of herself imbued in the prayers she had provided to the reed-whisperer that for a time she had forgotten the hidden parts of herself.

She had grown cold and pious. Unrelenting like one of Nins torrential rivers.

She took some leaves from her pocket and offered them to Kalypso and Inara gently.

”Here.” She attempted a stiff smile, ”You can each make an offering too.”

Vodeva took her leaves and pressed them to the centre of her palm.

”The goal is to imbue the token with your prayers.” She closed her eyes, focusing deeply on her breathing and the words that trickled through her fingers. ”And then…”

A breeze swept by, plucking the leaf and tossing it into the waves.

”You set it free.”

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