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Old Far Far Away... (Sequel to OUAT and HEA)

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  #76  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:01 AM
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Liri Dazzlebeam Liri Dazzlebeam is offline
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Great post Glory! I loved them both!

Yes, Night and I talked about it a little, and were thinking that Najila's dad (Jalilah's husband) would disappear in front of everyone, very publicly. We were thinking he is not the first Estorianian to have disappeared, but that he is the first to vanish in front of a bunch of people. Others around the planet have disappeared, but maybe while no one was around (wife comes home to find her husband nowhere to be found, thinks he went missing, etc) or while only one person was watching (husband's wife disappears right before his eyes in their home, no one believes him, etc.). But with Najila's dad vanishing in front of the whole gathering at the Ball, everyone notices.

Then maybe the leaders withdraw to discuss the event, and over the next week(s) or so they start to ask around Estoriana to see if others have disappeared, and everyone in Estoriana starts to realize that something big is going on. They realize the other problems that are occurring as well, other signs that their world is fading.

Also, during that time, various people are starting to find clues and pieces of prophecy - sent to them by a mysterious unknown person (not on/from Estoriana). This is what will eventually lead them to send the youth on a quest to save them all. But Jack will find the first message, and he'll tell them who the mysterious person is, as he has a connection to them.

Those are the only really planned things, besides that somehow our villain kids have to meet up with our Varden kids for the quest, as they realize that all fairytale people - good and bad - are in danger and they will have to learn to get along enough to work together. No idea how they will all get on a quest together, but somehow we gotta get them there haha.


And of course, definitely always always love more ideas for everything!

I will try to post something soon, and I can have Najila's dad vanish then. Probably things at the ball will go back to "normal" for a bit before he disappears and everyone freaks out again haha.
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  #77  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:06 PM
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Great post, Glory!

Yup, Liri did a great job summarizing what we had planned! Of course, we're always open to other idea and suggestions if anyone has them. Looking forward to your post, Liri!

By the way, Kira and Alexa, were you planning to introduce your characters to anyone else at the ball? Just want to know, before we move too far ahead, that we're not leaving anyone behind!
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:11 AM
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Ava

The Day Of The Reunion Ball

I woke to the sound of the morning chimes. Today’s the day of the reunion ball! I can’t wait to meet all the other descendants and see Forest again! I stretched out my wings and began getting ready for the day. After opening my pod I flew to the dining hall for breakfast sitting next to mom.
“Morning Ava.” Quin said with a smile. She was sitting across from me on the other side of Mom.
“Morning Quin.” I returned her smile, then turned to face my mom. “Morning Mom. When are we leaving for the ball?”
“We won't leave till after you’ve had your spell casting lesson with Corinne.”

I held back a groan, Great, I won’t get out of most of my lessons. Don’t get me wrong, learning magic is great and all, it’s just that I have a habit of messing everything up all the time. Mom keeps telling me not to worry, that if I keep trying I’ll get it eventually. She still thinks I can be a great fairy one day - a fairy worthy of carrying the title of the Blue Fairy. Me, I’m not so sure. Well, I guess I’ll just have to get through my lessons, then I’ll get to enjoy an evening away from all the pressure and struggles of being the daughter of the head fairy.
“Ok Mom,” I replied with a smile, hiding my disappointment.
Quin clapped her hands together, “Oh, you must be so excited to be going to your first reunion ball!”
I let out a small laugh at Quin’s enthusiasm, “Yes, I can’t wait to finally meet some of the other Varden.” I spent the rest of breakfast talking with Quin about the ball and the Varden that would be there.

When breakfast was over I flew to my first, and most boring, lesson which was all about fairy godmother rules and protocol. Ironically this was also the one lesson where it was nearly impossible for my klutziness to mess things up. The morning flew by in a blur, until I finally got to spell casting, the final lesson before I could go to the ball. I greeted Corinne, as was customary, and we began our lesson. Today we were learning defensive spells that could be used to protect ourselves and the families we were bonded to.
“Focus Ava. You must be able to assess a situation and use the proper spells if you are to become a fairy godmother,” Corinne called after I messed up the spell for the tenth time. With a sigh, I clear my head. Come on Ava you can do it! With a look of determination, I lift my wand and try the spell again. Three tries later I finally got the spell down.

“Ava you can be done for today. Keep practicing and I will see you tomorrow,” Corinne said with a smile. “Have fun at the ball!”
“Thank you Corinne.” I called as I flew to my room to get ready for the ball. Once in my room, I put my ball gown on and set about fixing my hair.
“Are you ready Ava?” Mom called from the entrance of my room.
“Yes Mom,” I called back grabbing my wand and necklace, which contained a small amount of pixie dust for emergencies. After giving one last look in the mirror, I flew out of my room and joined Mom. Together we left Avalon behind and made our way to the ball.

My heart jumped with excitement as I looked down at the clearing the ball was in. There were already so many people at the ball! As we landed I scanned the crowd for Forest. Finally, I spotted Forest across the way with a man I could only assume was his father.
“Mom, is it alright if I go hang out with the other kids now?” I asked after she finished greeting another of the descendants.
She turned to me and let out a sigh, “Alright, but don’t leave the clearing. And be careful.” I started to turn and leave, when she called out, “Ava, remember your pixie dust is only for emergencies, not for showing off!”
“Yes Mom, I’ll remember.” I called back, making my way through the crowd. Mom didn’t know about my run in with Forest yesterday, because I wasn’t supposed to make any stops while I was in charge of the pixie dust. It just didn’t seem that important to tell her since nothing happened to the dust - and it was all an accident anyway.

I heard a cry and turned to see three girls flying through the air on ice and wind. They were laughing as they tore through the crowd, leaving a mess in their wake. Maybe after I catch up with Forest we can go say hi to them. Suddenly they were sent crashing to the ground by an icy blast. Before they could hit the ground, they were caught by three girls - one of which was a fairy - and set down in front of three women who looked furious. I winced, Well, if they’re not in to much trouble that is! I turned away from the scene and continued weaving my way through the crowd to meet up with Forest.

After fighting through the crowd I finally made my way to Forest and his father. “There you are! Geez, it’s hard to find people in this crowd.” I said while they both turn to face me. “Who knew there would be so many people at one gathering!”
“Hi Ava!” Forest waves then turns to his dad, “Father, this is Ava, the girl I bumped into yesterday.”
“Ah, it’s a pleasure to meet you Ava. I’ll leave you and Forest to hang out,” he replied with a smile. “Have fun you two!” with a wave he left to chat with some of the other descendents.



Lissa

The Day Of The Reunion Ball

“Lissa, time to wake up! We have a lot to do before we leave for the Reunion Ball,” Mom yells.
I let out a moan and slap my hand over my eyes. Great, today is the ball. I am not looking forward to a whole night surrounded by a bunch of royals and being forced to engage in small talk and formalities! Forcing my eyes open, I roll out of bed with a sigh. Let’s just get this over with. Besides if I don’t get up, Mom will just find some other “fun activity” to add to the day. I quickly got dressed and headed downstairs to find my dad getting ready to leave.
He turned to me with a smile. “Have fun with your mother today! I’ll be back before it’s time to leave for the ball.” After giving me and Mom quick hugs, Dad turned and went out the door.
Once Dad was gone, Mom turned to face me. “Hurry up and eat your breakfast! We need to pick up your dress, and that’s just the start…” I tuned her out as she began her long list of things to do. Honestly, all this talk of the ball was making me lose my appetite, but I forced myself to eat something. The second I was done, Mom began ushering me out the door and we made our way to the dress shop.

The rest of the day creeped past painfully slow, as Mom took us to this place and that to finish everything that needed to be done before the ball. How long will this day last? I wish I could be anywhere but here - and I wish I didn’t have to go to this stuped ball in the first place! Finally, Mom ended my torment and we headed home. Of course, that also meant it was almost time to leave for the ball.

Once we got home mom sent me straight to my room to get changed.
“Lissa, it’s time to leave! If we don’t get going we’ll be late!” Mom called as I finished putting my boots on. At least Mom had known better than to try and put me in any other type of shoe. With a sigh, I hurried downstairs and we left for the ball.

The ball was just as crowded as I imagined it would be. People were already engaging in small talk and there were a few people dancing. Great, it looks like this will be just as boring as I expected.
Dad turned to face me, “We won’t make you greet the other adults with us, but we do expect you to socialize with the other children at the ball.” With that they turned and disappeared into the crowd.
I leaned against a nearby pillar. Well there’s no way I’m going to be socializing with anyone here. Looking around I didn’t even see that many kids, much less anyone of interest. After all these were all descendents of kings and queens - or other big and important figures in our history. Even the ridiculous name they gave themselves was stuffy. Who even calls themselves “the Varden” anyways?

As I looked through the crowd with disinterest, I felt a cold wind coming from behind me. I turned to see three girls riding the wind, one of the girls was on a board made of ice and snow while the other two had nothing but wind holding them up. They looked like they were having so much fun as they whipped past. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy as their laughter followed behind them. Huh, I guess there are a few Varden that aren’t the prissy prim princesses that I imagined. Mom would be furious if I tried anything like that at the ball, but it sure beats standing here bored out of my mind!

As I watched the trio of girls soar through the air, two women and an older girl caught my eye. The one in front was glaring at the trio, and her hands started glowing white. She raised her hand and sent an icy blast in the direction of the trio, knocking them towards the ground. The trio were caught in midair by a fairy and two flying girls, only to be set down in front of the women. It looks like they’re in for quite the scolding. I knew exactly how that felt. My mom was often scolding me for not being “ladylike” enough, or for adventuring in places she deemed “too dangerous.”

I watched the trio be scolded and then marched to the now disastrous refreshment table to clean their mess. Things could have been worse for the trio... but still, having to clean the entire refreshment area sucks. Perhaps I will go over there and help out. After all, Dad did say I had to socialize with the other kids… and he didn’t specify who or how... With that I began making my way through the crowd towards the trio.

Just as I made it over to the trio, the lights all went out and total darkness filled the Glade. Seconds later the lights returned, and the crowd erupted into panic and complete chaos - with the various leaders of Estoriona trying to calm everyone down. Eventually they succeeded and the ball resumed, but with a different and less joyful vibe. What was that? Was it really the villains trying to curse us as someone in the crowd claimed - or something entirely different? I guess whatever it was is over now, so there is no point worrying about it anymore.

I knelt down and scooped one of the fallen cupcakes off the ground, handing it to the nearest girl in the trio. “Here you go.” I said with a smile, “My name’s Alissa but I go by Lissa.” The girl took the cupcake and put it on top of the stack.



(I was hoping to add Lissa to the Ayla, Noelle, and Soraya group. Ava will probably just end up befriending all the kids because she is very social and out going. She will also help Forest meet everyone else.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lissa (Ball).jpg (56.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Ava (Ball).jpg (56.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Forest (Ball).jpg (49.3 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by Kira Waterdrop; 10-06-2019 at 07:40 PM.
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  #79  
Old 10-06-2019, 05:47 AM
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Liri Dazzlebeam Liri Dazzlebeam is offline
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Great post Kira! Alexa, please feel free to insert Kati at any point in everything that has happened so far at the ball! She is welcome to speak with Ayla or Yue for sure!

Sorry this is so long! Haha.


Mireya
The next day, the day after Neva had abandoned me, I walked towards the meeting which would continue the one that had been interrupted by the earthquake - alone. After what Saskia did, how could she do that to me?! She betrayed me. She left me here alone.

Alone.


I tried to mask my feelings like usual, but the betrayal was so fresh, the pain and fury so sharp.

"What's going on?" Scarlet asked me, startling me out of my thoughts. I didn’t answer her, but she continued, "It's Neva, isn't it? You know why nobody's seen her for over a day now, don't you?" She studied me closely, "What did she do to you?"
Despite the fury and betrayal I felt, I still said nothing.

"You're still loyal to her, despite everything?" Scarlet retorted, a slight edge of mocking in her voice. "You should have known better than to trust that girl. We both know that there are things she isn't telling us. A word of advice - you shouldn't try so hard to get close to people like that. The thing about love is - it's never enough, and will never last."
Scarlet then turned and strode into the meeting hall, leaving me standing outside. You should have known better. It will never last. Her words rang in my head. I felt more alone than ever before.

Fool, you really should have known better Mireya. No one can be relied on in this place, I told myself, the thoughts familiar. But deep inside there was a piece of me that still searched for love and light… the part of me that was feeling hurt the most right now, because it had put some trust in Neva. Trust no one, I told myself firmly, taking a deep breath and walking into the meeting hall.

Queen Imperia stood up to announce the start of the meeting. "As you may have expected, that was no ordinary earthquake." Her eyes gleamed with wrathful glee. "Not only did it shake the foundation of our world, it seems something has happened to Estoriana too."
"More specifically, it seems that Estoriana's magic has begun to weaken. It was only a little at a time, but a significant moment of weakness was detected just today," Father continued. "Something is happening, not just to our world, but all the other fairy tale realms as well. This may finally be the chance we've been waiting for - a weakness we can exploit."

The words didn’t lighten my mood at all. This may finally be it - the chance we've all been waiting for, or it could be a false call like always. After all, we had been waiting for the veil to thin enough to break through since before I was even born. Why should it weaken enough now?

But even through my feelings of skepticism and lingering betrayal, what Queen Imperia and Father had said began to sink in. What did they mean, something was affecting all the fairy tale realms? The very foundations of our world was shaken - that sounded ominous.
Would our magic begin to fade and weaken too?
What was going to happen to us all?


Yue
Surprise, surprise… Ayla and Noelle had gotten in trouble. I think trouble is attracted to them! But this time, they had dragged the new princess from Agrabah into their mischief, Princess Amani’s younger sister Soraya. Najila and I looked at each other, shook our heads, then began to laugh. We were used to the pair of them always getting into some trouble or another, and now they had the perfect trio with Soraya joining in. I loved my sister and Noelle dearly, and I loved having fun with them, but they couldn’t make it through one event without coating everything in frost and snow - and were causing Auntie Calla and Mom endless exasperation.
“There they go again!” Najila laughed, standing beside me as we watched the trio getting scolded.
“Aaaand… cue Auntie Ivy stepping in to help the girls out…” I continued, right in line with Ivory joining into the conversation - on Noelle, Ayla, and Soraya’s side as always!
“Aaaaaand… cue them getting told to clean up their mess.” Najila finished. It was always the same, with one of our aunts (Usually Ivory, Astrid, Lillie, or Saige) or Dad stepping in on the side of the trouble-making duet - now trio.

Najila and I laughed again, then turned back to talk to more of our friends. Then suddenly, a creeping chill began to spread through me, the temperature in the Grove plummeting. I straightened up in surprise, looking quickly towards my sister, father, and the Arendelle family to see if they were the source of the cold, but saw they were all just as confused as I was. My eyes widened when I noticed that the light had faded from the edges of the clearing. The sky was already fading to the midnight blue of nighttime - much earlier than it should be.

Then, it was like a huge shadow had abruptly flown over the clearing. The soft glow emanating from the trees was snuffed out, the light from the golden blades of grass faded, and all the magic and wonder seemed to have been drained out of the Grove completely.

It only lasted a few seconds. Before anyone could react, the light returned, and the clearing returned to being as wondrous and magical as ever. Outside of it, though, it was nearly as dark as midnight now.


Ayla
At first, there was only a stunned silence, then people began running around in a panic.
"It's the villains! They've returned to curse us!" a woman screamed.
"Please, stay calm!" Auntie Astrid flew above the crowd to get their attention, and the crowd calmed some.
"Don't panic. They wouldn't dare to attack us so openly, and the Varden will do everything in our power to ensure your safety," Auntie Saige added, further comforting the gathered people.

The Estorianian warriors began sweeping around the clearing, searching for threats. After several tense minutes, it was determined that nothing unusual was going on - no curses, hexes or jinxes. Though no one could figure out what exactly had happened, it seemed that the Grove was safe, its usual protective magic still in place. So the ball continued, and the guests gradually relaxed and went back to their mingling. A band gathered and began to play a soft, classical tune.
But the mood of the gathering wasn't quite as carefree and festive as before, with a slight feeling of unease mixed with all the festivity.

“That was weird….” Noelle said to me and Soraya.
“Yeah… definitely strange…” I replied, then we resumed cleaning. I turned around and came face-to-face with a new girl, who handed me a cupcake she had picked up.
“Here you go,” she said with a smile, “My name’s Alissa but I go by Lissa.”
“Hi,” I responded, taking the offered cupcake from her and putting it on top of the stack, resisting the urge to use my powers to do so. “I’m Ayla, that’s Noelle and Soraya,” I continued, pointing to my friends in turn. The new girl had dark blonde, wavy hair and blue-green eyes, and she wore a purple dress.

“Hi,” Noelle and Soraya chorused.
“Nice surfing trick you guys have,” The new girl - Lissa - added, smirking.
“Thanks! Ayla invented it!” Noelle replied.
“It’s so much fun!” Soraya added.
“I’d let you try it, but….” I trailed off, looking towards Mom and Calli-mommy watching us closely.
Lissa followed my gaze, “Right… wouldn’t want to get in even more trouble. Maybe another time?”
“Deal!” I replied with a grin.

“One question, what’s with the name “The Varden” anyways?” Lissa asked, as she helped us clean.
“Well….” Noelle began, and we took turns telling the origin story all over again, with Soraya laughing.


Yue
After the trio of trouble-makers - who I noticed had picked up another friend as well - finished cleaning up the mess they had made, Aunt Ivory got everyone’s attention from the center of the Grove.
“Estorianians, the Council welcomes you to the Reunion Ball!” She called out, as she was joined by the rest of the Council of Light.

The Council was currently made up of Auntie Astrid Pan, Auntie Saige - Commander of the Estorianian forces, King Shang and Queen Laurel of Corona (my grandparents), Aunt Ivory, Queen Jessamine of Agrabah (though she wasn’t at the ball today), Aunt Lillie, Hunter, Ana, Queen Marina and King Robert of Covetina, and Queen Layla and Everett of Adroria. My parents, Jack Frost and Mei, were also on the Council as guest advisors whenever they were in Estoriana.


“We are so glad to see faces both old and new,” Grandma Laurel continues.
“And we would like to officially welcome some leaders to the Council as well,” Grandpa Shang adds.
“Please welcome Queen Kida of Atlantis!” Auntie Astrid declares.
“We also welcome Isabella the Blue Fairy, leader of the fairies of Avalon!” added Aunt Lillie.
“And last, but not least, we welcome Walter, descendant of the Knave of Hearts, as the ambassador from Wonderland since there is currently no ruler in Wonderland.” Auntie Saige added. The three individuals named made their way into the center of the Grove to join the rest of the council members.
“Estorianians, we give you the Council of Light!” Finished Aunt Ivory, gesturing to her fellow council members, and everyone began to cheer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A couple hours later, I was standing with Tavia and Amani when panicked screams came from the crowd where people were dancing. One voice rang out above the others.
“Daddy!” The voice cried out, full of horror and desperation, and I recognized it as belonging Najila.
Najila! What happened?! I thought, running towards the sound of my friend. When I reached the crowd, I couldn’t get through to Najila.
“Ayla!” I called out, seeing her flying towards the crowd. She spotted me and swooped down, grabbing my outstretched hand to lift me into the air beside her. We flew over heads to reach the center of the crowd, landing inside. We quickly ran to Najila and I grabbed her shoulders, pulling her to face me.
“Najila! What happened?” I asked, searching her tear-streaked face for the answer.
“My dad… he just vanished! Right in front of me!” She sobbed, and I drew her into a hug, looking over her shoulder at my sister.

“What is going on?” Auntie Ivy asked, gliding into the center of the crowd, everyone clearing out of her way. Aunt Lillie and Auntie Astrid flew into the center moments later, and the rest of the Council and my parents entered through the path that was cleared.
“Kai! He just… vanished! He was right here dancing with me and Najila, and now… he’s gone!” Najla's mom, Jalilah, answered - grief and fear written on her face.
“What do you mean he’s gone?” My mom asked, putting a hand on Jalilah’s shoulder.
“He is gone! Vanished, disappeared, gone! One moment he was here, and now…” She broke off into a sob, and Mom pulled her into a hug. Mom met the eyes of the Council members, her own eyes filled with worry. Just then, Janelle ran into the cleared area and arrived at the side of her sister, taking Jalilah from Mom and beginning to comfort her. I saw Janelle mouth “go” to Mom, who nodded.

“People of Estoriana,” Grandma Laurel spoke, “I know this is frightening to everyone, but we will figure out what is going on together - like we always do. Together we are strong, and together we will get through this.”
“At this time, the Council will meet and figure out what to do in light of this occurrence. Please, stay with at least one other person until we can ensure no one else will disappear. Return to your homes and wait there until you hear from us. We will also increase Guard presence.” Auntie Saige continued, and the crowd murmured and shifted, drawing closer to each other.
“Remember, together we are strong. We will get through this!” Aunt Ivory finished.

The Council began to withdraw, but before leaving, Mom and Dad came over to Ayla and I.
“Go to Arendelle with Calla girls,” Mom instructed, “Stay will Calla and Nikolai until we come for you. Stay together, promise me.”
“We promise,” Ayla and I chorused, and our parents hugged us.
“Stay safe, my loves.” Mom said, as Calla and her family walked over to join us.

“Najila, do you want to come with us too?” I asked, knowing that her mom would be staying with Janelle for now. Najila nodded mutely, tears still running down her cheeks.
“Come on girls,” Calla said to all of us, and ushered us into their carriage.
“Wait! Where is Neva?” Noelle asked. We all looked around, and then I finally spotted her.
“Over there!” I pointed.
“Neva!” Noelle called out, catching the girl’s attention. “Come on!” Neva began running over to us.
“Thank goodness you are alright Neva,” Calla said with relief.
“I’m ok,” Neva answered, and then Nikolai ushered us all inside the carriage. Once inside, Ayla reached out for my hand and Noelle’s. Najila's dad disappearing had shaken us all, and I hugged Najila close to my other side. What is going on?



(Note: I put Hunter, Ana, Lillie, Marina and Robert, and Layla and Everett in the Council even though their creators are no longer active on PHF, because those characters have been core to Estoriana and it would be wrong not to have them in the Council. However, as their creators aren’t here to speak for them, we will not use them much - just have them there. This goes for all the characters in Estoriana/Exilia that don’t have active creators here. They are all part of Estoriana - and are family and friends for many of our characters - so we don’t want to not have them present, but keep using them to a minimum and always stay true to their character.)
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:44 AM
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Awesome posts, Kira and Liri! Noelle, Ayla and Soraya would love to add another member to their troublemaking group! And great job getting us started, Liri. Poor Najila!

Sorry for the length of this!



I knocked on the front door of the cute, red-bricked townhouse, my other hand worrying away at the strap of my backpack. I hoped that I hadn't just made a huge mistake.
The door opened, and a petite older woman with graying brown hair peered out at me. "Oh, hello dear. Can I help you?"
"Are you Mrs. Clarke? We spoke over the phone a few days ago. My name is Katerina Vasilevskiy." I was acutely aware of my distinctive Russian accent. Here in London, I stuck out like a sore thumb nearly every time I opened my mouth. I'd spoken English since I was nine - Mom had gone to school in England and insisted I learn - but I'd never spent so long being entirely surrounded by it before.
"Oh! So you are Marya's daughter. Please, come in! And call me Lydia." She opened the door wider, allowing me to step into a warm, cozy little living room with home-knit rugs, dark-wood furniture and a stone-lined fireplace.

Lydia Clarke was my mom's old best friend from school, and by all accounts, the last person to have seen her before she vanished.
"I know I've already said this to you, but I am so sorry about Marya," Lydia bustled around the kitchen, coming back with a tea kettle and plate of cookies. She gestured for me to sit down on one of the soft, beige-colored sofas.
"I know you're here looking for answers, and I really wish I could help more," she continued with a kind smile. "But I've already told everything I knew to the police, I'm afraid. Marya came to see me only once, and she told me nothing of what she was looking for, or why she had come to London. But she was acting strange... she seemed very excited about something, but also terribly nervous. When I tried to ask where she was going next, she brushed me off with a joke. 'A land of fairy tales,' she told me, laughing. 'I'm going to meet all the ghosts of my past, and prove that they're real.'"
I leaned forward in interest. "'A land of fairy tales'? Do you think that might be code for something?"
"I'm afraid I don't know," Lydia said, looking deeply regretful. "The police thought nothing of it, and it didn't seem to be a clue. She was probably just evading the question."
I nodded, disappointed. I knew already it was very likely that I wouldn't get anything helpful from Lydia. Both the police and my father had questioned her dozens of times, back when the search for my mother was still ongoing. But I had to start somewhere.
Was it foolish of me, to think that I could somehow find a trail that had gone cold over six years ago? To think that I might be able to find out the truth, when so many professionals and even my father had tried and failed?
Maybe. But I had to do something. I was tired of my stifling, lonely life, where every day went by as dully as the last. Where Father was never home, and my stepmother and stepsister pretended I was nothing more than a piece of furniture, unless they wanted to order me around.
I was going to start college next year. This was my last chance to try and do something, instead of just waiting around for changes to find me. And I was tired of waiting.

I thanked Lydia for the tea and her time, and stood up to leave.
"I'll show you to your room - you'll be staying in the guest bedroom. Do you need any help unpacking?" she asked kindly.
I smiled. "No, but thank you so much. There's a few other places I want to visit today, but I really appreciate all your hospitality."
"Oh! I almost forgot," she exclaimed, just as I reached for the doorknob. "There was one other thing she said."
I paused, my pulse quickening. "What? What is it?"
"Just before she left, Marya told me: 'If Katya ever asks, please, let her know - I did this so that she wouldn't have to. If I hadn't, then this would have ended up being her destiny. You can't run from such a powerful legacy. When she finds out the truth someday, I want her to know a world of magic and laughter, not darkness and strife.'"
A shiver went down my spine.
"Your father didn't tell you because he didn't want you to blame yourself for her disappearance. Neither of us could make sense of what she said, any of it." Lydia put a hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry that I couldn't be of more help."
I smiled at her. "No, you've been wonderful. Thank you so much for letting me stay with you."

Outside, I shivered slightly in the chilly autumn breeze. A few golden leaves drifted down from the branches to land softly by my feet. The air smelled crisp and earthy, with a faint tinge of smoke.
Was my mom crazy after all? Nothing she had said made any sense. Was it all an elaborate hoax? If so, where had she gone?
I felt a strange jostling sensation in my backpack. I slipped it off and stared. The bag was shaking from side to side, as if something alive was in there. I opened it.
It was my mother's wooden doll. Its eyes were open - and staring straight at me.
I had tried not to think of the night it had come alive and told me to come to London. To be honest, I'd convinced myself it was just a dream, or a hallucination brought on by my subconscious, trying to validate what I had wanted to do all along.
But here it was now - in broad daylight, in the middle of a London sidewalk, staring back at me. Then it opened its little wooden mouth - and spoke again.

Estoriana

"What?" I asked out loud. I had never even heard that word before.

Estoriana is the key

Then its eyes shut again, and it spoke no more. I stood there, staring at the doll for several minutes, but it remained still. Just an ordinary toy once again.
I glanced around. The sidewalk was empty - nobody had seen what just happened. Then I pinched myself, letting out a hiss of pain. No, I definitely wasn't dreaming this time.
Unsettled as I was, there was nothing I could do but keep moving forward.

I planned to visit all the places my mother had frequented when she had lived in London - the high school she'd gone to, her old apartment, college, her favorite cafes and shopping centers... I had nothing concrete to go on, and no idea what exactly I was looking for, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could feel a little closer to Mom by going to all the places she had spent the most time in.
On my way to her old high school, a glimpse into the window of a bookstore caught my eye. I paused to stare at the cover of a large book that was on display. It was a book of fairy tales, judging by the illustrations.
The title read Tales of Estoriana.
Estoriana... The doll's words echoed in my mind. Before I had time to think it through, I found myself standing at the checkout counter with a copy of the book in my hands.
The shop owner peered at the book as he rang me up. "Ah, Tales of Estoriana! I had no idea kids your age were still interested in this one."
I ducked my head. "Well... the cover caught my eye."
He laughed. "Good choice! This had been one of our treasured classics for nearly 40 years. It used to be quite the bestseller, too. Even came out with a sequel, about a whole new group of fairy tale descendants, on an all-new quest. People used to read these stories to their kids every night." He shook his head. "Unfortunately, people have been buying this one less and less. Kids these days just don't believe in fairy tales anymore, I suppose."
I tucked the book under my arm as I resumed walking. I half-wondered if the doll would talk to my again, but it still lay unmoving in my backpack. So, despite my unease, I continued onward to my next destination - Loredale Private Academy.

I felt a bit foolish as I walked around the grounds. It looked just like an ordinary school, with people walking to and from classes, crunching through autumn leaves. What had I even hoped to find? Mom had been out of high school for 25 years - I doubted anyone at Loredale even remembered her.
"Marya?"
I jumped at the sound of the name, and turned to see a woman who looked to be in her fifties staring right at me. She wore a blouse and gray skirt, and was holding a clipboard.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," the woman flushed slightly. "It's just, you're the splitting image of a student I once had. But that would have been over 20 years ago - "
"Marya Vasilevskiy?" I asked excitedly. "I'm her daughter, Katerina!"
"Oh, yes!" the woman beamed. "She was one of the brightest students of her year."
"Have you heard from her recently?" I asked urgently.
The woman frowned slightly. "No, not since she left Loredale. I'm Mrs. Ashton, by the way. It's a pleasure to meet you, Katerina. Are you a student here?"
I barely managed to hold back my sigh of disappointment. Another dead end. "No, I'm only... visiting." I don't elaborate, not wanting to explain why I had really come. I was tired of all the sympathy, and the pity. I just wanted to see my mom again.
I shifted the book that I was still carrying, and Mrs. Ashton's eyes drifted to it. "Oh!" she let out a startled laugh. "I haven't seen anyone read that one in so long. I suppose you've heard the stories?"
"What stories?" I asked, curious.
"It's the most mysterious thing..." Mrs. Ashton's eyes looked far away. "You see, over 40 years ago, when I was still a student at this school, there was a group of students - some freshmen, some juniors. It was the year where we hosted an exchange program with a school in California, in the United States. Right around this time of year, we held a schoolwide party - after which, these kids vanished without a trace. No one ever saw or heard from them again. Their parents withdrew them from the school, without a reason given. A few months later, out of nowhere, a new collection of fairy tales became a bestselling book - and we saw those kids again. Or at least, we saw a similar group of schoolkids, but in the book, they became kings and queens, knights and sorceresses, descendants of fairy tales who had returned to save their world from ruin. They looked exactly like the group of students that had disappeared from Loredale."
"Many people don't believe the story now," Mrs. Ashton said with a laugh. "Those kids - not only did they disappear, but all documents of their existence did too. All their health and student records. It's like they just disappeared off the face of this Earth. Most who hear the story just scoff at it - they think it's a Loredale Academy legend, or a tall tale. They don't believe those kids actually existed at all. But I still remember them..." Her eyes seemed to cloud over. "Or, at least, I'm fairly certain I do... they all shared an AP History class together. Caused such a ruckus during their time here. And then just... disappeared."

Disappeared... Just like Mom had.

The doll that came to life. My mom's last words to Lydia, and her letter to me. Those kids who had disappeared from Loredale Academy, over four decades ago - only to reappear in the pages of a book of fairy tales.
A possibility was growing in my mind, gaining traction, unbelievable though it was.
Magic.



It was like a huge shadow had abruptly flown over the clearing. The soft glow emanating from the trees was snuffed out, the light from the golden blades of grass faded, and all the magic and wonder seemed to have been drained out of the Grove completely.
It only lasted a few seconds. Before anyone could react, the light returned, and the clearing returned to being as wondrous and magical as ever. Outside of it, though, it was nearly as dark as midnight now.
At first, there was only a stunned silence, then people began running around in a panic.
"It's the villains! They've returned to curse us!" a woman screamed.
"Please, stay calm!" Astrid flew above the crowd to get their attention.
"Don't panic. They wouldn't dare to attack us so openly, and the Varden will do everything in our power to ensure your safety," Saige added, further comforting the gathered people.

The Estorianian warriors began sweeping around the clearing, searching for threats. After several tense minutes, it was determined that nothing unusual was going on - no curses, hexes or jinxes. Though no one could figure out what exactly had happened, it seemed that the Grove was safe, its usual protective magic still in place. So the ball continued, and the guests gradually relaxed and went back to their mingling. A band gathered and began to play a soft, classical tune.
But the mood of the gathering wasn't quite as carefree and festive as before, with a slight feeling of unease mixed with all the festivity.

“That was weird….” I said to Ayla and Soraya.
“Yeah… definitely strange…” Ayla replied, before we resumed cleaning. Ayla turned around and came face-to-face with a new girl, who handed her a cupcake she had picked up.
“Here you go,” she said with a smile, “My name’s Alissa but I go by Lissa.”
“Hi,” Ayla responded, taking the offered cupcake from her and putting it on top of the stack, visibly resisting the urge to use her powers. “I’m Ayla, that’s Noelle and Soraya,” she continued, pointing to each of us in turn. This new girl had dark blonde, wavy hair and blue-green eyes, and she wore a purple dress.
“Hi,” Soraya and I chorused.
“Nice surfing trick you guys have,” The new girl - Lissa - added, smirking.
“Thanks! Ayla invented it!” I replied. Excitement bubbled up in me - that grin on her face spoke of nothing but trouble. Maybe Soraya wouldn't be the only new friend we'd run into today.
“It’s so much fun!” Soraya added.
“I’d let you try it, but….” Ayla trailed off, looking towards Mom and Mei, who were watching us closely.
Lissa followed her gaze, “Right… wouldn’t want to get in even more trouble. Maybe another time?”
“Deal!” Ayla replied with a grin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Skipping over a few things because this post is already insanely long as it is! )

A couple hours later, Ayla, Soraya, Lissa and I were trying to outdo each other on coming up with the most ridiculous dance moves, when a chorus of piercing screams split the air. We all nearly jumped out of our skins.
Ayla was the first to react, immediately flying in the direction of the horrible sound. Mom pushed her way through the crowd until she found me, trailed by Dad holding onto Tavia, Embeth and Juliette. My sisters all wore the same expression of confusion and panic. We all crowded around the source of the screams.
A cold knot of horror grew in the pit of my stomach as I realized what had happened. Najila's father just... vanished? What - how - what was happening?

“He is gone! Vanished, disappeared, gone! One moment he was here, and now…” Najila's mom, Jalilah, broke off into a sob, and Mei pulled her into a hug. She met the eyes of the Council members, her own eyes filled with worry. Just then, Janelle ran into the cleared area and arrived at the side of her sister, taking Jalilah into her own arms and beginning to comfort her. I saw her mouth “go” to Mei, who nodded.

“People of Estoriana,” Queen Laurel of Corona, Ayla's grandmother, spoke up, “I know this is frightening to everyone, but we will figure out what is going on together - like we always do. Together we are strong, and together we will get through this.”
“At this time, the Council will meet and figure out what to do in light of this occurrence. Please, stay with at least one other person until we can ensure no one else will disappear. Return to your homes and wait there until you hear from us. We will also increase Guard presence.” Saige continued, and the crowd murmured and shifted, drawing closer to each other.
“Remember, together we are strong. We will get through this!” Ivory finished.

It was decided that Ayla, Yue, Neva and Najila would come to Arendelle with my family, where they could be protected until the Council figured out what was going on. All the way through that long, dark carriage ride, Ayla, Yue, Najila and I held hands and huddled close, all of us shaking with shock and terror. And deep down, a sense of foreboding. I couldn't shake off the sense that, whatever horror had just been revealed, it was only the beginning.
Neva stared at the opposite wall of the carriage, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. A few times I wanted to speak to her, or invite her to join us, but I still didn't entirely know how to treat this strange new girl.
My family rode in the carriage behind ours, and every once in a while, I looked out the window, needing to reassure myself that they were still there.
There was no sound in the carriage besides the clatter of hoofbeats and Najila's broken sobs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We spent all of the next day in the Arendelle royal palace, unusually subdued. Ayla and I didn’t engage in any of our usual mischief. Instead we mostly hung around the throne room and Ivory’s meeting halls, listening for any news.
Najila, though clearly still shaken, had pulled herself together. “I’ll be okay,” she told us, a steely glint in her eyes. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to find out what happened to my dad, and get him back.”
Yue gave her hand a tight, comforting squeeze.
Just then, there was a commotion at the front doors. A man burst into the entrance hall of the palace, his face a mask of twisted anguish. “Please! I must speak to the Queen!” He was followed by a sobbing woman holding the hand of a little boy, a young farmer, and several more people.
Several guards rushed in behind him just as Ivory swept out of her council room, where she had having an urgent meeting with several of her advisers. She paused on the steps when she saw the scene before her.
“Our apologies, Your Majesty! We tried to stop them,” one of the guards said as he tried to usher the man outside.
“Please, Your Majesty,” the man begged. “What happened to the man at the Reunion last night – I believe it’s happened to my daughter as well!”
Ivory stopped short in horror. “Your daughter, sir?”
“She’s been missing for nearly four weeks. We’ve looked everywhere, but it’s like she went to bed one night and disappeared from her own bed the next day! Her sheets still looked slept in, and there was no sign of a kidnapping.”
“And my son!” the woman behind him wailed. The little boy she was holding onto was sobbing too. “I saw my brother disappear in front of me! Everyone told me I was imagining it, but he really was gone,” the boy said through his tears.
“Same with my wife!” Another man cried out. “Two weeks ago, we were working in the fields. I turned around to speak to her, and she simply wasn’t there!”
I put a hand to my mouth in horror. Yue let out a choked sob, and Ayla gripped both of our hands.
“Why haven’t we heard about all of this?” Mom gasped.
“We thought we were imagining it, that they had simply gone, or been kidnapped,” a young woman said in a broken voice. “We thought they were separate events. And most of us refused to believe it was possible – that people could just vanish into thin air like that. It wasn’t until we heard about what happened last night, in front of all those people, that we put two and two together. And when we all came here to ask after our loved ones, we realized just how many of the missing there are…”
Ivory stepped forward. “I am so, so sorry to hear about all of your losses.” Her voice shook with emotion. “As your queen, I’ve failed to protect my people. But rest assured, all of us on the Council are working tirelessly to get to the bottom of this. We will find out what happened to your loved ones – and we will do anything it takes to bring them back.”
Though fear and heartbreak still showed on their faces, the crowd relaxed visibly at the fierceness in their queen’s voice.

Immediately after seeing all the Arendelle citizens who had lost loved ones, a grim-faced Ivory sent out snowbird messengers to all the different kingdoms in Estoriana. We had to figure out how many had already been lost, and whether there was any pattern to this horrifying phenomenon. Najila had started shaking again after seeing the others who had lost loved ones, and Yue put a hand on her shoulder, about to lead her upstairs. But Najila shook her off gently.
“No,” she said. “They’ve all lost someone, just like me.”
So she and Yue walked among the people of Arendelle, offering what comfort she could and easing a bit of their fear and pain. I saw her embrace several of them, and they cried and held each other, linked through their shared horror and despair. Yue stood by, always there when someone was about to break down and be overwhelmed by grief. She was like a pillar of strength and compassion, and the people clung to her like a beacon of light.
“Yue is stronger than she knows,” I murmur to Ayla as we watch on. “Najila, too.”
“They always have been,” she agreed, pulling me close. I could feel the desperation in her grip, knowing she was doing the same thing I was – trying to keep each other from slipping away. As if you could hold on tightly enough to could keep someone beside you always, and anchor them to the world beneath our feet.
Mom came up beside us and hugged us close. “Don’t worry,” she whispered to both of us. “You’re going to be just fine. We’ll protect you, always. The Council is scheduled to meet in one week’s time to discuss any information we’ve all gathered since then. Everyone who was at the Reunion is invited to come. We’ve got the most incredible people in all Estoriana on our side – we’ve overcome the impossible before, and we can do it again.”
“Would it… be alright if I come too?” a small, hesitant voice spoke up. I turned to see Neva staring shyly at the floor, looking uncomfortable.
“I know I’m not part of the Varden or the Council, so I understand if I’m not wanted,” Neva continued. “But… I’m really scared too, after what just happened. I promise I won’t tell anyone anything you don’t want me to!” she added quickly, with a nervous chuckle. “I mean, you don’t have to worry about that, I don’t have anyone to tell anyways.”
Mom reached over to give her a comforting hug. “Oh, Neva, there’s no need to be so nervous! Of course you’re welcome to join us.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~

One week later…

When we arrived at the Council’s great meeting hall, Najila immediately went to join her mom, and I saw the two share a tearful embrace, holding each other tightly.
I spotted Soraya and Lissa sitting together at the ornate table, and my heart leapt at seeing them both alive and well. Despite Mom’s reassurances, the tight knot of fear twisting in my chest had never gone away. I checked on my parents, sisters, Ayla, Yue, Najila and Neva constantly, always afraid that any one of them might disappear if I took my eyes off of them for too long.
They had saved us a seat. I smiled gratefully as we slipped in beside them.
“How are things in your kingdoms?” I asked cautiously.
“There’s been quite a few disappearances, but so far, no one I know,” Lissa replied, looking as nervous as I felt.
“Same with us, plus Agrabah’s been having some drought issues, and Mom and Amani are really worried,” Soraya added.
“I hope the Council figures out what is going on soon,” Neva bit her lip. “This is really scaring me.”
I put a reassuring hand on her arm. The new girl was still skittish and nervous most of the time, her gaze often darting nervously from side to side. I supposed she wasn’t used to being around so many people, after being the villains’ prisoner for so long. She seemed to be adjusting to life in Arendelle well though, marveling at the beauty of our kingdom and opening up more to our people.
“Attention, please!” Ivory called out, and the soft murmur of conversation in the room immediately died down. “Thank you all for coming to this emergency gathering of the Council of Light. As you all know, we’re here to discuss the chain of disappearances of Estorianians that have been occurring throughout all our lands.” Her voice caught at this last sentence.
King Shang took up the speech. “We’ve been keep track of this horrifying phenomenon, and… we believe there’s some thing the vanished all have in common.”
The room waited with baited breath. “The only people who have disappeared so far… are those who have not been a part of the Tales of Estoriana,” Jessamine, Soraya’s mother, addressed the room. “And the fairies of Never Land think they know why.”

Astrid addressed the room now, and I had never seen Pan look so grim before. “The Never fairies are born from the first laugh of human babies. As a result, in the past, whenever a child stopped believing, a Never fairy would die. But that hasn’t happened for decades now. Because they live on through the stories people on Earth tell, about the magical worlds. And because children believed in fairy tales, we could live on. But it’s not just Never Land that’s like that - it’s all of Estoriana.”
“It’s the belief of the people of Earth who sustain us. They tell our stories, spread our legends, believe in us, and our magic lives on. But lately… the people are beginning to lose their belief in fairy tales. We see it everywhere whenever we visit Earth. And what we’re seeing is the effects of that. Estoriana, the rest of the magical lands, and all their people… are fading away.”
“And that’s why those who have a story in Tales of Estoriana, or at least have an ancestor who does, have so far been immune to this fading,” Laurel added softly. “More people tell their stories, so they can survive for longer. But… it’s only a matter of time until we all feel the effects of this.”

For the first time in over a week, the knot of terror in my chest eased a bit. My family, and Ayla's, and Soraya and Lissa - we all featured heavily in the Tales, and we were all descended from well-known characters whose stories had been told for centuries. The knowledge that none of us were going to disappear - at least, not in the immediate future - washed over me like a cool breeze after a burning hot summer day.
Then I immediately felt guilty, as I thought of Najila's father and many others that hadn't been so lucky. What would become of them, then? Was there even a way to bring them back? How did you undo something like this?
The enormity of what we faced threatened to overwhelm me. Did we have to restore the belief in fairy tales to everyone on Earth? How would we even go about doing that?

Absently, I began flipping through a copy of Tales of Estoriana that lay open on the table. Who would have thought this this book was the only thing ensuring our survival? I’d always dreamed of appearing in it, but I’d never thought it could actually be this important.
Who had written this thing, anyway? And was still writing it, since, as we all know, the book could magically add more pages and stories whenever something significant happened in Estoriana. I peered at the cover, but below the title, it simply read, “The Author”.
Before I realized it, I’d flipped to the pages detailing our parents’ triumph against the villains on Exilia. I stopped. Something seemed strange…
“Ayla, look!” I tugged on my best friend’s arm. She stared, wide-eyed, at the words on the page. It was the exact part detailing when Mei had saved Jack’s life, and the two fell in love and created a new life together on Earth. Before our eyes, some of the letters and illustrations on the page began to change…
“Someone’s writing us a message!” I whispered excitedly. “But… what does it mean?” I couldn’t make head or tails of what this mysterious person controlling the book was trying to tell us.
“Well… this part of the story is all about my parents, right? Maybe we should ask them,” Ayla mused.
“Yeah! Maybe it’s not a message for us – but for them!” I couldn’t help it, my voice rose slightly in my excitement.
“Hey, what are you two troublemakers looking at?” Jack asked teasingly. His face changed when he saw what lay open before us.
“What is it?” I asked, my curiosity fully piqued now.
But Jack was looking only at the Tales of Estoriana book. Mei gently put a hand on her husband’s shoulder. Then she turned to me. “Noelle, sweetie, I’m sorry, but could you give us a minute?”
I scowled. “Okay, fine.” I felt a bit mutinous, not liking being left out of the loop. But I could tell this meant something significant to Jack, and so I turned to join Soraya, Lissa and Neva, leaving the Frost family alone to have their moment.
Well, if it’s something really good, I’m sure Ayla will fill me in later.

(I figured since Tales of Estoriana is magical (and this RP takes place in an alternate version of our world anyway!), it could appear on Earth as an ordinary book of fairy tales that this generation of kids can grow up on. Just thought that might be fun! And I thought, since this RP is all about people's belief in fairy tales, those who refuse to will lose their memories of knowing our characters when they lived on Earth.

As always, let me know if I didn’t control your characters right! And Liri, is how I wrote things at the end of my post okay? I’d be happy to change it if you want Jack’s message to go differently!

I wanted to post for Neva too, but this post is getting wayyyy too long!)
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Last edited by Night Wish; 10-10-2019 at 03:46 AM.
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  #81  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Aaah!!! That was all perfect Night!! I love that there are still legends about the kids who disappeared from Loredale, and that at least one person there still vaguely remembers them! Haha. And that Tales of Estoriana is there too! Great to hear some more from Katya!

And I love love love what you did with Yue and Najila. You did that perfectly!!

And fantastic job bringing in how others have vanished and what Astrid and the fairies had figured out! And I love that the message to Jack came through the book! Seems exactly like what She would do to try to tell him something - to tell them all something!

I loved it all so much! I will try to post again soon!
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:57 AM
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Thank you so much, Liri! I was a bit apprehensive, since I ended up controlling your characters so much, but I'm glad you liked what I did with them!

Haha yes, I wanted to take a little trip back to where our characters started off. I'm looking forward to seeing what Her message to Jack will be!
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:57 AM
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Oh wow! Awesome posts, you guys.

Kira, Soraya would be happy to add Lissa to the group! Feel free to talk to my characters whenever you want.
Liri, I love your ideas! What a dramatic ending to the ball (we are getting quite a streak of very bad things happening at these reunions, our poor characters).
Night, that was awesome! I love how you tied it all back to the very beginning.

I can't wait to see who this mysterious "she" is, and her message to Jack. I'll post again soon!
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:05 AM
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Hey everyone! Sorry to have been quiet here for a bit, I have had my next post written and ready for a while now but I wanted to give Alexa a chance to get caught up before we go too far without her. I will try not to let things go quiet for too long though! Hopefully we will hear from Alexa soon

You will all get to know who She is soon! Haha
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  #85  
Old 10-30-2019, 03:33 AM
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I totally understand, Liri! I also wanted to wait to hear from Alexa before posting again. I'm looking forward to yours!

New character! Now Forest won’t be the only guy around.

Name: Aspen
Gender: Male
Age: 13
Daughter/Son of : Amaryllis and Ren
Descendant of : the Wicked Witch of the West
Where are you? : Oz, the Enchanted Forest, Estoriana
Appearance : Curly raven-black hair that falls over his forehead and green eyes
Personality : Quiet, thoughtful, a bit shy and withdrawn, but a lot more open and outgoing with people he’s close to. Usually caring and gentle, but also fiercely protective, and can be surprisingly scary when angered.
Other : Has a twin sister named Tamsin. When the two of them were born, Rhyllis was told by a prophet that one of her children would grow up to be a hero who helps save Estoriana, while the other would be lost to the same dark path she herself abandoned so many years ago. Horrified by this, Rhyllis refused to believe it could be true and never told anyone about it. However, she was never able to fully put it out of her mind, and thus refused to teach either of her children magic, and kept them fairly sheltered their whole lives.





Tamsin flopped face-first onto my bed with a huge sigh. “It’s no use! Mom and Dad still won’t tell me anything about what happened at the Ball. They’ve been having meetings all day with the other Council members, and I can tell they know something.
I looked over at her, putting down my book. “Maybe it’s top-secret Varden business that they can’t talk about.”
My twin scowled. “Well, it’s not like Mom was that much older than us when she first joined the Varden. Of course, they weren’t called that back then…”
“Tamsin… you don’t… you don’t think we could disappear too, do you?” My voice came out small. It was what I’d been afraid of, constantly, ever since we got back from the Ball six days ago. Mom had assured us over and over that the Varden had an idea about what had probably caused it, and that we weren’t going to vanish like that man had. But still, I couldn’t help the fear that churned through me at the thought that something like that was even possible.
My sister turned onto her back to grin up at me. “Don’t worry, little brother. I’ll protect you!”
I scowled at her. “You’re only older by three minutes.”
“But still, that does make me the oldest.” Tamsin smirked, and stretched out on the bed. “It would have a pretty great Ball, if it hadn’t been for that. Those girls made quite the scene, didn’t they? Imagine the look on Mom’s face if we had tried to pull off something like that!”
“Well, it’s a moot point, since neither of us know ice magic… or any magic at all, really,” I pointed out.
“Don’t remind me,” she grumbled. “We’re already 13, and Mom refuses to teach us even a single spell! Do you ever wonder sometimes, if there’s something she’s not telling us?”
Of course I did. Mom always got super cagey and evasive whenever Tamsin brought up wanting to learn magic… or about anything having to do with her past. I knew she’d done things she wasn’t proud of, back when she’d worked for the villains. But that had been so long ago, and surely, she’d done enough good in all her time with the Varden that it’d make up for those things. But no, I had a feeling this wasn’t about that. There was something about Tamsin and me in particular that made Mom scared to teach us magic. We just didn’t know what.
Of course, that wasn’t what was important at the moment.

“Don’t you wonder about that man, Tamsin? And all the other people who’ve disappeared? His wife and daughter looked so horrified… all of them must have left loved ones behind.” Just the very thought of it chilled me. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if it were Tamsin, or Mom or Dad.
“Of course.” The grin slipped off Tamsin’s face. “But there’s nothing we can do for them, at least not right now. Maybe if Mom didn’t always insist on keeping us in the dark!” Her face changed, as an all-too familiar expression lit up her green eyes.
I eyed her warily. “Oh, no. What are you planning this time?”
“Don’t look at me like that,” she protested. “Come on, I know you want to find out what’s going on as much as I do. Tomorrow there’s going to be a huge meeting with everyone in the Council of Light and the Varden, to discuss what happened and what do next. Mom refuses to take us, of course, saying it’s not something we should be worrying about, and that we’re too young. But… I think I might know a secret way into the Council’s meeting rooms.”

I groaned. “Tansy, Mom will kill us if she finds out.”
“Come on, Aspen!” she pleaded. “You want to help that man at the Ball, and all the others, right? Just sitting at home worrying all day long isn’t going to solve anything. It’s not like going to a meeting is some sort of elicit, illegal activity. Besides, if the Council knows something, don’t all of us have a right to know? This is going to affect everyone! Do you want to stand by and do nothing, knowing that someone we know could be next?”
I sighed, feeling my resolve crumble. As usual, my sister knew exactly what to say to get me to follow along on one of her schemes.

___________________________________________

The next day

I squirmed, feeling cramped and uncomfortable in the tiny crawl space. We were squeezed into a tiny alcove, below the floorboards of the attic, only a few ceiling tiles separating us from the council room. From the cracks in between the tiles, we could see the enormous gathering of descendants from all generations below.
“Keep still, they’ll hear us moving,” Tamsin hissed.
“I’m trying! There isn’t enough space for one of us in here, let alone both.”
“Attention, please!” Ivory called out, and the soft murmur of conversation in the room immediately died down. “Thank you all for coming to this emergency gathering of the Council of Light. As you all know, we’re here to discuss the chain of disappearances of Estorianians that have been occurring throughout all our lands.” Her voice caught at this last sentence.
King Shang took up the speech. “We’ve been keep track of this horrifying phenomenon, and… we believe there’s some thing the vanished all have in common.”
The room waited with baited breath. “The only people who have disappeared so far… are those who have not been a part of the Tales of Estoriana,” Jessamine, princess of Agrabah, addressed the room. “And the fairies of Never Land think they know why.”

Astrid faced the room now, looking grim and nothing like the laughing, fun-loving Pan I’d always seen at gatherings before. “The Never fairies are born from the first laugh of human babies. As a result, in the past, whenever a child stopped believing, a Never fairy would die. But that hasn’t happened for decades now. Because they live on through the stories people on Earth tell, about the magical worlds. And because children believed in fairy tales, we could live on. But it’s not just Never Land that’s like that - it’s all of Estoriana.”
“It’s the belief of the people of Earth who sustain us. They tell our stories, spread our legends, believe in us, and our magic lives on. But lately… the people are beginning to lose their belief in fairy tales. We see it everywhere whenever we visit Earth. And what we’re seeing is the effects of that. Estoriana, the rest of the magical lands, and all their people… are fading away.”
“And that’s why those who have a story in Tales of Estoriana, or at least have an ancestor who does, have so far been immune to this fading,” Laurel added softly. “More people tell their stories, so they can survive for longer. But… it’s only a matter of time until we all feel the effects of this.”

I felt Tamsin release a deep breath of relief beside me. “Oh, thank goodness. Everyone’s heard of our family,” she whispered. It was exactly what I’d been thinking – Mom and Dad, Tamsin and I, we were safe, at least for the moment. The relief flooded over me, and I relaxed for what felt like the first time all week.
Then I immediately felt guilty, as I thought of that man at the Ball and the many others that hadn't been so lucky. What would become of them, then? Was there even a way to bring them back? How did you undo something like this?
The enormity of what we faced threatened to overwhelm me. Did we have to restore the belief in fairy tales to everyone on Earth? How would we even go about doing that?
There was still so much that we didn’t know.
“Move over, I want to get a better look,” Tamsin whispered, nudging me to the side. I felt an ominous creak.
“Wait, no – “

The ceiling tile beneath us shifted suddenly before swinging open with a screech. We both tumbled off the ceiling beam where we’d been perched and landed with a crash right on top of the table around which the Council had been meeting.
Mom was on her feet in a flash. “Tamsin! Aspen!”
We both scrambled backwards, off the table and to our feet, but it was too late. Everyone in the room was staring at us now. My side throbbed with pain, but it was nothing compared to the burning embarrassment of facing all the most important people in Estoriana like this.
“S-sorry!” I stammered. “We didn’t mean any harm… it’s just… “ My voice trailed off as I felt all the eyes in the room on us. I wanted to sink through the floorboards – again.
“It was my idea.” Tamsin took a step forward. “Mom – “
“Yes, I’d already guessed that,” Mom narrowed her eyes at us. “And what exactly were you thinking, young lady, interrupting such an important Council meeting like this? And dragging your brother into it too, as usual. Don’t you understand how serious all of this is?”
“Yes!” my sister exclaimed. “We understand exactly, which is why we had to come! We were at the Ball that night too, Mom. We have a right to know what’s going on!”
“You’re too young – “
“Some of the members of the Varden were our age when they first set out to fight the villains,” Tamsin argued. “Look, we didn’t mean to make a scene – and we wouldn’t have had to if you’d just let us come along!” she jutted out her chin defiantly. I winced, refusing to meet the gaze of anyone in the room. I hated being the center of attention like this, especially in front of strangers.

“They have a point, Amaryllis,” Queen Ivory said with a grin.
Mom sighed. “Still, this was not the way to go about making it.”
“Come on, Rhyllis,” Jess gestured for the two of us to take a seat. “They’re here now, so let them hear what we have to say. We can’t blame them for being worried and wanting to know what’s happening.”
Tamsin smiled triumphantly and immediately sat down with the other Varden kids, many of which I recognized from Reunion Balls in the past. I’d always intended to introduce myself someday but had been too shy to. I wasn’t good with new people. Tamsin skipped Balls more often than she went to them, being the kind of person who hated dressing up and getting fancy. Whenever she didn’t come with me, I’d just hang out by the decorations table, observing all the vibrant, colorful people the frequented places like this.
One of those descendants turned now to smile at me as I took a seat next to my sister. I gave a small, awkward smile in return, then quickly ducked my head, picking up a nearby book to bury my face in.
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File Type: jpg Aspen and Tamsin.jpg (238.2 KB, 6 views)
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  #86  
Old 10-30-2019, 05:30 AM
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Yay! Another character!! Great character and great post Glory!!
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:54 AM
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Great post, Glory! Glad to have another new character.

Happy Halloween everyone!
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:54 AM
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Master Timeline of Estorianian History

Hello everyone! I had a bit of fun and wrote up a master timeline of Estorianian history from the beginning of OUAT! I didn't put tons of details in, but put in some key events and when everyone was born. I went through all of the RPs to put everything in order how we wrote them in.

I thought the Estorianians might have marked a new era beginning with the time when the lost descendants returned to their homeland and overthrew the reign of the villains, labeling it as "Post-Banishment" or "P.B." (like how we have B.C. and A.D.). So I put the Great Banishment as the beginning of the era, marking it as Year 0 P.B., and then counting years up from then.

Without further ado, I present the master timeline!


Master Timeline for Estoriana:

OUAT:
  • The Meeting at the Park in London - September 24th (all the descendants and villain kids)
  • The Welcome Dance at Loredale Academy (London) - September 26th
  • The descendants are first brought to Estoriana (by the villain kids) - September 27th early in the morning (kidnapped at the dance)

****Great Banishment - Begins time P.B. (Post Banishment) (Beginning on October 1st in Earth Time) (Year 0 P.B.)
  • Ivory becomes Queen of Arendelle
  • Layla becomes Queen of Adroria, eventually marries Everet
  • Marina becomes Queen of Covetina and a Princess of Atlantica, eventually marries Robert
  • Laurel becomes Crown Princess of Corona (Her parents are the King and Queen)
  • Shang becomes Commander of the Estorianian Army
  • Astrid becomes Pan of Neverland and Captain of the Lost Boys
  • Lillie becomes Second-in-Command of the Lost Boys, Leader of Neverland Fairies
  • Annalise becomes Princess of Arendelle
  • eventually marries Colin ÓFloinn (son of Prince Hans)
  • Dove and Hunter get engaged
  • “Drizella” becomes Kathryn again, joining Ana

Year 3 P.B.
  • Births: Kris
Year 4 P.B.
  • Births: Avia, Jalilah, Amaryllis, Danton, Maurelle, Genevieve
Year 5 P.B.
  • Hunter and Dove’s Wedding
  • Calla is created by Ivory from snow and magic
  • Births: Janelle, Gwyneira, Jessamine
Year 6 P.B.
  • Shang and Laurel’s Wedding; Shang becomes Crown Prince of Corona (still Commander of the Estorianian army as well)
  • Births: Sparrow and Phoenix, Abrienne, Annabeth
Year 7 P.B.
  • Births: Mei and Saige, Sirena
Year 9 P.B.
  • Births: Julianna, Lilac (adopted)


HEA:
Grand Anniversary Ball - Year 20 P.B., month of October : Celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the Great Banishment
*****Great Battle of Exilia - Year 20 P.B., month of November
  • Estoriana’s great loss, the beginning of the Neverland Spirit - Guide for the Lost
  • Jalilah is adopted by Layla, Everett, and Janelle; eventually meets Kai
  • Saige becomes a Captain in the Estorianian Army with her own troops to lead
  • Maurelle becomes the first Lost Girl in Neverland
  • Calla becomes a professional dancer, eventually marries Nikolai
  • Jessamine becomes Crown Princess of Agrabah
  • Eclipse, Rowan, and Amaryllis are in Estoriana together
  • Phoenix, Genevieve, Gwyneira, and Danton are also in Estoriana
  • A few weeks after the Battle: Jack Frost brings Mei to meet the Guardians on Earth, they get engaged and she becomes an Immortal Guardian as well


They implement twice annual reunions:
  • One is the Annual Reunion Ball (on anniversary of the Great Battle of Exilia)
  • The other is the Annual Spring Ceremony (six months apart from the Reunion Ball)


Year 21 P.B.
  • First Annual Spring Ceremony (The first May after the Great Battle)
  • First Annual Reunion Ball (The anniversary of the Great Battle of Exilia)

Year 22 P.B.
  • The Immortal Wedding of Mei and Jack Frost

Year 23 P.B.
  • Jessamine becomes a journalist for Destination Estoriana
  • Jalilah marries Kai


FFA:
Year 24 P.B.
  • Births: Amani
Year 25 P.B.
  • Births: Tavia
Year 26 P.B.
  • Mireya’s parents were banished to Exilia (Esme was pregnant)
  • Births: Mireya, Najila, Katya, Scarlet, Forest, Odilia
  • 5th Annual Spring Ceremony
  • 5th Annual Reunion Ball
Year 27 P.B.
  • Births: Ayla, Embeth and Juliette, Neva, Soraya, Alissa, Kati, Alexis
  • 6th Annual Reunion Ball
Year 28 P.B.
  • Births: Noelle, Yue, Ava
Year 30 P.B.
  • Mireya’s mom dies of an illness in Exilia, her father grows dark again
  • Births: Aspen and Tamsin
Year 31 P.B.
  • 10th Annual Reunion Ball
  • Ayla’s first visit to Estoriana (4 years old)
Year 32 P.B.
  • Yue’s first visit to Estoriana (Yue is almost 4, Ayla is 5)
  • 11th Annual Reunion Ball
  • Ayla (5) and Noelle (4) become best friends, forever inseparable
  • Shang and Laurel are crowned King and Queen of Corona (her parents step down)
  • Saige becomes Commander of the Estorianian Army (Shang steps down)

Year 33 P.B.
  • 12th Annual Reunion Ball
  • “The Varden” is created
  • “The Council of Light” is formed:
  • Queen Ivory of Arendelle
  • Astrid Pan of Neverland
  • Queen Laurel and King Shang of Corona
  • Commander Saige of the Estorianian forces
  • Crown Princess Jessamine of Agrabah
  • Mei and Jack Frost, Guardians of Earth (as guest advisors when in Estoriana)
  • Lillie of Neverland
  • Hunter
  • Ana
  • Queen Marina and King Robert of Covetina
  • Queen Layla and King Everet of Adroria
Year 35 P.B.
  • Jessamine is crowned Queen of Agrabah

Year 43 P.B.

22nd Annual Reunion Ball - (Where FFA begins)
  • Kai vanishes in front of everyone (Jalilah’s husband, Najila's dad)
  • New additions to the Council of Light:
  • Queen Kida of Atlantis
  • Isabella the Blue Fairy, leader of the Avalon Fairies
  • Walter (descendant of the Knave of Hearts), ambassador of Wonderland in lieu of ruler
  • People are disappearing and their world is struggling

Last edited by Liri Dazzlebeam; 11-04-2019 at 05:08 AM.
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  #89  
Old 11-05-2019, 02:45 AM
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Awesome job on the timeline, Liri! I love seeing all that our characters have been through, and how far they've come. Thanks for putting this together!

I really like that you added the Spring Ceremony! Our characters definitely need to get together more than once a year.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:42 AM
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On the day of the Reunion Ball, I relieved any stress I felt over it by training with my Atlantean spear for several hours. I wanted to take a swim at Blue Moon Cove afterward but by then, it was already time to prepare for the ball.
I don't often dress formal so I felt out of my element as soon as I put on the outfit that had been specially made for this occasion. After I had gotten ready, I went to meet my mother out in the courtyard before we departed. As usual, I'm ready before my mother and now have to stand outside waiting for her while resisting any temptation to leave and train more. I was itching to feel my hands on my spear again. However, it didn't take too long before mother finally came outside with a few of her guards in tow. She looked me up and down and with a small smile said, "You look beautiful. Like a true princess of Atlantis."
I gave her a small smile back, "Thank you, mother. You look beautiful as well." My eyes fell to her neck as I saw that, unsurprisingly, she was wearing the Heart of Atlantis necklace. A twinge of guilt and of jealousy befell me. Everyone and everything is connected to the Heart of Atlantis. Its power permeates through every Atlantean and enhances our technology. It is what makes Atlantis… Atlantis. Yet, I still remain unconnected to it. I feel like I've let my mother down because of that. My mother… and all of Atlantis.
'I wonder if the reason we've grown apart is because of my lack of a connection to the Heart. She's probably so disappointed in me.'
"Are you ready to go?" I heard my mother's voice interrupt my thoughts.
"Y-yes, of course." I replied.
We were led to our personal Aktiraks and then proceeded to fly off to the place where we'd open the portal to Estoriana.

During the ride, mother decided to try to have a conversation with me. "Are you excited to go to this ball?" She yelled as we soared over the ocean, the wind hitting our ear making it very difficult to hear anyone speak.
"I suppose so." I yelled back
"What?!"
"I said 'I SUPPOSE SO'!"
"OH!" Mother remained silent for a few seconds, "Are you nervous?"
"Nervous about what?"
"Um, meeting the Varden, I guess…" She trailed off, seeming unsure of herself
"I don't know. Maybe a little bit." I replied, not wanting to answer with complete honesty. You see, I was nervous. Scratch that, I was terrified. I'd heard about these people before but never in my life did I imagine I'd meet them in person. Atlantis stayed pretty neutral in the past and didn't get involved in any of the Varden's quests. We were fighting our own war and couldn't afford to send any help. 'I wonder if anyone is upset because of that.' I wonder.

I didn’t have to wonder for too long, though. We soon arrived at the empty island where we’d open the portal to Estoriana. Once my mother, the guards, and I made our way to the center of the island, Mother took out her necklace and chanted something under her breath. The next thing I know, this huge, multicolor portal opens up in front of us. I’m in awe, unable to move. Mother nudged me, “Are you ready to go?”
“Uh… yeah. I-I think I am.” I said, trying to recover from the shock I felt.
Mother hesitated before taking my hand. We stepped forward, getting closer to the portal. With a nervous gulp, we entered the portal. There was a bright flash of white that went away almost as soon as it appeared. The next thing I know, mother and I are standing in a dark forest with our guards. There was a cold feeling in the air, and not just from the wind. Something felt sinister. I doubted this is what the party was supposed to look and feel like. We could hear the sound of panicked people in the distance. I looked over at my mother to see her taking out her spear. The guards followed suit. I took out my Atlantean dagger and followed my mother as she moved forward.
“Stay close to me.” She said in a hushed tone.
As we got closer and closer to the sound of the people, the feeling of the world around us changed. The woods got brighter, the cold was gone, and any sense of evil seemed to vanish. We came upon a clearing which turned out to be the entrance to the Reunion Ball. The large crowd that we had heard earlier was less panicked now but still confused.
“I wonder what all that was.” I said, putting my dagger away
“I don’t know. Everything seems to be alright now, though.” Mother said, with a hint of uncertainty in her voice. “We should go introduce ourselves now.”

Mother and I walked in with our guards staying close behind. I saw there were other kids my age here but they were all busy playing and talking with one another. I decided to stay by my mother’s side and introduce myself to all the older Varden and Council members.

After a while, the Council of Light gathered together to make an announcement. They welcomed everyone to the ball and introduced the new council members, my mother being one of them. Later on during the ball, the festivities were interrupted by several shrill screams. One of the fathers attending the ball disappeared right in front of his family. After this, everyone was quickly evacuated from the site of the ball. Mother decided to stay behind with some of the other Council of Light members and had me leave with our guards. I told her how much I wanted to stay and help but she was adamant that I leave “for my own safety”.
I don’t know what the Council did that night and I don’t think I’ll ever find out. Mother was very tight-lipped about it.
About a week later, we had to attend a meeting held by the Council. They told us that there have been numerous other disappearances happening all over the world and they told us what they think is the reason for these disappearances. In the middle of the meeting, two kids fell into the room from the ceiling. The Council let them stay, despite the interruption. After the meeting was over, Mother once again stayed behind to talk with the Council and, once again, I couldn’t be there with her. Down the hall, I saw a few other kids from the Reunion Ball talking to each other. I felt awkward just standing outside of the meeting room door so I decided to introduce myself to them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Odilia

Ancient earth and eternal skies, reveal to me where Exilia resides.” I chanted, throwing two, small bones and a coal colored feather into a bowl. I had been working on this spell for a while yet I was never able to get it to work the way I needed it to. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.’
I could feel the anger simmering inside of me. My patience was wearing thin. Very thin. Not only was I getting frustrated with my own abilities but I knew that Rothar would be upset. For what seemed like my whole life, Rothar had been teaching me magic and how to use and control my “gifts”. A simple revealing spell like I was trying to accomplish would be hard for an amateur. It shouldn’t be so difficult for someone like me. I am better than this. Rothar knows I’m better than this.
‘So why can’t I do it?!’ My anger was now boiling. I was past the point of calming myself down. I threw the bowl I was using across the room. Turning, I came to face myself in the mirror. My breathing was becoming more ragged the angrier I got. I was still looking in the mirror when my eyes turned blood red.
I can barely recall what happened next. I just remember sounds. The sound of my own yelling and various items breaking and shattering. Once I came back to my senses and my rage had subsided, I was surrounded by pure carnage in my room. I looked back to my mirror to see that it had become countless glass shards on the floor and I could see my eyes were back to their normal color now.
I took a deep breath before dusting off my clothes, trying to compose myself. ‘I need to clean this up before Rothar-‘

Suddenly, I heard the sound of a door close. He’s here.
There was no time to clean up now. I could hear Rothar make his way up the stairs to my room.
‘I guess there’s only one thing I can do.’ I thought to myself. With one more deep breath, I quickly cast an illusion spell with ease. To Rothar, my room would look completely normal. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be able to tell that it was all a facade. He had been able to see through so many of my spells before. I was rarely able to fool him but it doesn’t hurt to try. It'll work at some point. Hopefully that “point” is now.

When Rothar finally arrived and opened my door, he looked around. I think he could tell something was off but for some reason he said nothing except, “Good morning, Odilia.”
“Good morning, Uncle.” I said. He isn’t my real uncle. I don’t even know if I have a real uncle. But for as long as I could remember, Rothar had insisted I refer to him as “uncle”.
“You started practicing your spells early today.” He said. I immediately tensed up. ‘He knows.’
He then gestured to the floor where my bowl from earlier would have been before I wrecked my room. ‘He must be seeing the illusion.’ I hid my excitement over my spell working as best as I could, “Well, yes. How am I ever going to get as good as you without practice.” I teased Rothar, though deep down I genuinely hoped to surpass him in both magical power and skill someday.
“Good luck with that, my little swan.” He said, “I shan't disturb you any longer. Proceed with your spell practice. I will start on breakfast.”
“Thank you, Uncle.” I said, sweetly as he shut the door.

‘Thank goodness he’s gone.’ I said to myself, ‘Now how do I clean this mess up?’
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