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

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  #61  
Old 07-01-2019, 01:44 AM
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Hello, Kira! Congrats on having your own account! We look forward to seeing your upcoming posts.
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  #62  
Old 07-17-2019, 03:36 AM
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Forest

The Day Before The Reunion Ball


I sat alone in my favorite tree fiddling with my knife. It was a gift from my father and used to belong to my birth mother. I never really knew her because she died shortly after giving birth to me. All I had to remember her by was vague memories of a warm smile, soft voice, and the stories my father would tell me as we sat by the burning fire while staring up at the starry night sky. Sometimes I would see my dad sitting alone with a picture of her late at night after everyone else was asleep. I never asked him about that photograph because I figured there was a reason he only pulled it out at night. Besides, if he wanted to talk about it he would have long ago.

I would say it was hard growing up without a mother, but it’s not like I ever saw an example of the alternative because my father was the only person in his band of Merry Men to have a kid, and we mostly stuck to ourselves. Besides I always had John and everyone else to look after me when my father was busy. We spent most of our time hunting with our bows and arrows and aiding the poor through our thieving skills - although with the villains all locked up on their own planet there wasn’t much need for that. Still, even with all our adventures it was kinda lonely not having anyone my age to hang out with. But that would change tomorrow when we went to the reunion ball.

Even though my father and our ancestors had played little or no part in the Great Exile and the battle on Exillia, we had been invited to their reunion ball this year and I really didn’t know how I felt about that. Part of me was excited to get the chance to be with kids my age, but another part of me was dreading going because I would probably be one of the only people who didn’t know anyone. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see tomorrow.

As I sat lost in thought, I saw a ball of blue light off in the distance. The light was bobbing up and down and heading this way. As it came closer I was able to make out a figure in the ball of light, a fairy (Ava). The fairy was holding a pink bag that was nearly half her size and looked like it was pretty heavy for her by the way she was struggling. Her face was set in a determined look and she appeared to be muttering to herself. Suddenly she dipped low enough to catch her leg on a tree branch and was sent tumbling through the air. Grabbing one of my arrows, I quickly tied a rope to the end and shot my arrow into a nearby tree. Holding the end of the rope, I launched myself off my tree branch and caught the fairy before she could hit the ground, rolling out of my landing. I opened my hand, revealing a fairy with brown hair, blue eyes, and wings.

“Are you ok?” I asked, and noted that nothing appeared to be broken or anything - just a small scrape on her leg. She stood and brushed herself off.
“I think so,” she replied after giving herself a once over. “Wait!” she cried, looking frantically around before taking off and circling the area. Well I guess her wings were fine. Having found what she was looking for, she swooped down. I saw it was the pink bag she had been carrying before she fell.
“Thank goodness, it’s all still here!” she muttered to herself. She flew back over to me with her bag. “Sorry about that, it’s just that my mom would kill me if I lost the pixie dust in this bag, considering it’s important to all of fairy kind and all. I’m Ava by the way, thanks for catching me - sorry I’m talking too fast aren’t I? I’ll just be quiet now.” She looked down clearly embarrassed by her long outburst.

“That’s ok, I’m Forest of the Merry Men,” I respond with a smile. Ava’s face lit up with excitement.
“You’re the descendant of Robin Hood, aren't you! I heard you are supposed to be at the reunion ball tomorrow.” News sure does travel fast on Estoriana...
“Yeah, that’s right. I still don’t know how I feel about going though, it’s not like I really know any of the other descendants going,” I let out a small sigh.
“Well, you know one now! I’ll be there with my mom as the descendants of the Blue Fairy,” Ava clapped her hands together and lifted a few inches off the ground. The sky slowly begins to dim and Ava looks up. She turns back to me, “I have to go or I won’t be able to make it home before dark. It was nice meeting you!”
“It was nice meeting you too. See you tomorrow I guess.” I reply with a wave.
“Bye!” she waved back and took off into the air with her bag of pixie dust. Turning back towards camp, I began weaving my way through the trees.

When I made my way back I found the others around the campfire. I already felt so much better after hearing that Ava would be at the ball with me. At least I will have one friend to hang out with if no one else talks to me. With that, I pushed away my thoughts about tomorrow and sat next to my father, listening to John as he regaled everyone with his stories.


Ava

The Day Before The Reunion Ball


One would think that pixie dust, even a ridiculously large amount, would be light and easy to carry, but nooo, that would make things too easy right? And of course in all the years the fairies have lived in Avalon, both before the villains took over and after the Great Banishment, the fairies and dwarves have never come up with a faster or easier way to get the dust from the Mines to Avalon, so a fairy still has to fly it down. That was how I found myself toting a heavy bag half my size of pixie dust to Avalon, with the pressure that came from knowing that if I lost the dust all of the fairies would be without magic until the dwarves were able to make more - which would most likely be a year.

I was so distracted by my thoughts that I nearly ran into a tree and had to swerve quickly to the right, barely missing it. That was too close! I better pay more attention to my flying. I flew this way and that to avoid trees and their branches.
The bag was heavy, making my flight clumsier than normal, so of course it was only a matter of time before I ran into something. I saw a branch in front of me and flew higher to avoid it, but the bag slipped in my hands making me drop low enough for my foot to hit the branch and sending me tumbling through the air. I flapped my wings desperately, trying to regain control and right myself, but it was useless.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I waited for the inevitable contact with either a tree or the ground - hopefully I wouldn’t injure myself too badly in the process. However, instead of the ground I felt hands close around me, stopping my fall. When they opened, I was able to see the boy who rescued me from another one of my many clumsy falls. He had dark brown hair, green eyes, and appeared to be one or two years older than me.

“Are you ok?” the boy asked looking concerned. I looked down at myself mentaly checking myself for any injuries.
“I think so.” I replied. This was probably the first accident I had that didn’t require me to fix a broken wing or anything else. “Wait!” I cried, after looking down at my hands and noticing that I didn’t have the bag of pixie dust. I frantically looked all around for the bag. How could I have lost it already? I have to find it or Mom will never trust me with this sort of thing ever again! Finally I saw the pixie dust bag nestled between two flowers on the ground.
“Thank goodness, it’s all still here!” I muttered to myself after examining the bag. That was too close!

Oops! In my search I had forgotten all about the boy. I looked up at him, “Sorry about that, it’s just that my mom would kill me if I lost the pixie dust in this bag, considering it’s important to all of fairy kind and all. I’m Ava by the way, thanks for catching me - sorry I’m talking too fast aren’t I? I’ll just be quiet now.” I looked down, embarrassed. Why am I always such a mess?

“That’s ok, I’m Forest of the Merry Men,” he responds with a smile.
My face lit up with excitement, “You’re the descendant of Robin Hood, aren't you! I heard you are supposed to be at the reunion ball tomorrow!”
“Yeah, that’s right. I still don’t know how I feel about going though, it’s not like I really know any of the other descendants going.” Forest let out a small sigh.
“Well, you know one now! I’ll be there with my mom as the descendants of the Blue Fairy,” I clap my hands together with excitement and lift off the ground. The sky slowly begins to dim and I look up to see the sun is setting. Oh no, I need to get going or I will be late for curfew and Mom will worry.
I turn back to Forest, “I have to go or I won’t be able to make it home before dark. It was nice meeting you!”
“It was nice meeting you too. See you tomorrow I guess.” He replies with a wave.
“Bye!” I wave back and take off into the air, racing back home with the bag of pixie dust.

I land at the pixie dust flower pod to find my mom waiting for me with Quin, one of the fairy godmothers who frequently helps mom run things at Avalon.
“There you are! I was just about to send Quin out looking for you!” Mom exclaims with worry all over her face.
“Sorry, I had a hard time carrying the pixie dust,” my face flushed with embarrassment. I probably would have had to do the whole thing over again if Mom had sent Quin to help me.
Mom let out a sigh, “Well come on, it’s time to put the dust away and then off to bed with you.” I followed her to the center of the flower where our pixie dust supply is kept and emptied the bag into it.

When it was empty, we all left the pixie dust pod. Mom took out her wand and closed the flower pod behind us, and we all flew to the main flower pod where all of the fairies sleep. Stemming from the main flower there are smaller flower pods that each house a fairy. I flew to mine and closed it behind me with my wand. Then, laying my head on my pillow I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
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  #63  
Old 07-28-2019, 08:22 PM
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Great post, Kira!

I'll try to write something for this soon.
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  #64  
Old 07-31-2019, 01:39 AM
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Sorry I've been gone for so long!

Great post, Kira. I'm glad you have your own account now!
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  #65  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:53 PM
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Welcome back Glory! I can’t wait to see everyone’s posts! Almost ball time!
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  #66  
Old 08-18-2019, 03:07 AM
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Hey everyone! Working on a post currently, but wanted to ask you all something. Night and I were talking, and we thought it is getting kind of confusing knowing what to call our group, since both the villain kids and our whole line of characters are "descendants."

We were thinking maybe all of our Estorianian characters who chose Good - beginning with the original descendants who had returned to Estoriana and freed it from the dominion of the villains with the Great Banishment (Lillie, Astrid, Dove, Hunter, Ivory, Shang, Laurel, etc), those who were part of the Great Battle of Exilia (Calla, Mei, Saige, Jess, Maurelle, Jalilah, etc), extending to their children in the current generation (Ayla, Noelle, Yue, Soraya), and would add in the newcomers (Forest, Alissa, Ava, Kati) - would be called "the Varden."

Basically all our good characters and their families. The Varden can all have vowed to protect people and oppose evil, which is what our characters have done throughout OUAT/HEA/FFA.

Then, maybe there is a Council, composed of the people who are rulers or leaders in Estoriana. We thought maybe it could be called the Council of Light, but are definitely open to suggestions! (Trust me, Council of Light is waaaaaay better than some of the google suggestions that Astrid and Ivory found.... no one should let them name things... ever.)

Then, we thought the kids who go on the journey in to find the Author and save their world from fading into the realm of the forgotten could all be called "the Legacies," since they are the legacy of the good and evil people who have made up the storybook realm (Estoriana and Exilia).


How does all that sound to you? I was going to write it into my post but wanted to run it by you all.

Also, we should decide who all is in the Council. I was thinking maybe Ivory, Astrid, Captain Saige (Shang can have retired his position to her), and Jessamine - and Jack and Mei could be guest members when they are in Estoriana but they shouldn't be actual Council members as their home is Earth and they have duties there as Guardians. Hunter or Sparrow, Ana, Lillie, Marina, and Layla or Janelle should also potentially be in the Council but their authors are no longer here. We could probably still have them be in the Council and use them though, as their authors would want them to live on in Estoriana and our characters still interact with them. Newer characters who are rulers/leaders could also become part of the Council as we progress through the RP.

Thoughts?
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  #67  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:46 AM
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Ayla

Not long after we had spoken with the new girl in my home, we all met in the clearing where my family’s portal lay. I was dressed in a pale, silvery-blue gown, which floated around me in the hint of a breeze that always tended to playfully whirl near me and my father. Swirls of frost glittered on my dress and the deep teal cloak I wore - and in my snow colored hair, like always. I shared the same snowy, frost-speckled white hair and icy, pale blue eyes that my father had, marking me as an immortal winter sprite like him. My sister however matched our mother’s deep brown hair and brown eyes with flecks of gold in them. Today, she wore a gown of deep purple with a pastel overlay, and we both wore our special necklaces given to us by our parents when we were younger.

My best friend Noelle wore a long, flowing gown of deepest red, that darkened to black at the hem. Her wavy brown hair was pulled back into pigtails with red ribbons, and we smiled at each other with excitement, clasping hands. On her other side stood the girl we had rescued, Neva, her pale blonde hair curling near her face, wearing a gown borrowed from Yue. She looked nervous, and Noelle gave her an encouraging smile as she took the girl’s hand. I smiled at Neva as well, then clasped Yue’s hand in my free one.

“Ready?” My mom asked us all, excitement flashing in her eyes. I knew she was excited to see her childhood friends again, each member of the Varden that she had journeyed and grown with.

The people group known as “the Varden” began with the original descendants who had returned to Estoriana and freed it from the dominion of the villains with the Great Banishment, then added in those who were part of the Great Battle of Exilia, and finally extended to their children - my generation. It encompassed everyone who was of the line of original descendants and everyone who had joined through choosing Good during the Great Banishment and the Great Battle of Exilia, separating us slightly from the Estorianians who had never been exiled by the villains in the first place and those who had returned since but hadn’t become part of the core group that had formed. The Varden had all vowed to protect people and oppose evil, forever and always. I was proud to be one of the Varden, even though I lived on Earth most of the time. My parents were both Guardians and Varden, and they took both duties very seriously. I didn’t know if the Man in the Moon would ever ask me or Yue to be one of the Guardians, but I vowed I would continue to be Varden as long as I lived.

“Ready!” Yue, Noelle, and I chorused, grinning back at Mom. Mom turned to face the elegant snowflake engraved in the stone in front of us all and closed her eyes, lifting her hands to reach towards it. I never tired of watching someone open the portal! Within seconds, the snowflake began to glow and floated off the stone to hover in front of us all. It floated there for a second, then in an explosion of light it became a swirling portal in front of us.

Noelle and I grinned at each other, then stepped through the portal together, tugging Yue and Neva along with us. I felt the familiar pull, deep in my belly, as something seemed to shake loose, and the world spun off its kilter, and then we were in the meadow where the Great Banishment had occurred all those years ago.


Yue

“Girls!” A familiar voice called out in greeting, and Ayla flung herself across the gap between us and into the speaker’s arms.
“Auntie Astrid!” She exclaimed, thrilled to see our aunt again, and Noelle and I weren’t far behind her as we joined the hug.
“And who’s this?” Astrid asked, looking to Neva who stood where we left her, gazing around herself in stunned amazement. Noelle tugged us all back over to Neva so she could introduce her.

“This is Neva, Neva this is our aunt, Astrid Pan of Neverland.” Noelle said. Neva’s eyes widened a bit more at that, and she stared for a moment before shaking Astrid’s outstretched hand.
“Hello,” Neva responded, still looking a bit awe-struck. I wasn’t surprised, Neva had told us she had been kidnapped and brought to Exilia when she was very young, and that she didn’t remember Estoriana. She was probably in complete awe of the vibrant green land filled with more flowers and plants than she could have imagined, especially based off what I remembered Mom telling us about what Exilia was like when she had been there - it was a barren wasteland there. Plus, she has probably only heard stories of the great heroes of Estoriana, like my family members. She probably never expected to meet the great Pan in person just now!

“Yue! Ayla! Noelle!” A voice called out, and I turned to find Noelle’s sisters Embeth, Juliette, and Tavia running our way.
“Hi!” I exclaimed, running over to hug them, Ayla and Noelle dragging Neva along behind them. We all talked excitedly with each other, introducing Neva then getting caught up on life and exclaiming over each other’s ball gowns. A few minutes later, Princess Amani walked over with another girl trailing behind her.
“Hello Amani!” I greeted warmly, hugging the older princess. My sister and the other girls chorused their greetings to her as well, and then we all looked curiously to the new girl. “Is this your sister Amani?” I asked.
“Yes it is. Girls, this is Soraya. Soraya, meet Yue, Ayla, Noelle, Tavia, Embeth, and Juliette.”
“And this is Neva,” Noelle introduced the pale girl to the royals of Agrabah.
“Hello!” Soraya replied with a smile.


Ayla

Noelle and I were showing off our windsurfing trick to our friends - old and new - when a tall girl with auburn hair in braids that tumbled around her face walked up to join us.
“Najila!” I exclaimed in greeting, floating down to give her a hug.
“Hello everyone!” Najila said with a laugh after I released her from my hug. Introductions went around again, and then Noelle and I resumed windsurfing.

“Can I try it?” the new girl from Agrabah, Soraya, asked.
“It’s pretty difficult,” I began, crossing my arms and raising an eyebrow at the girl, “You might fall off.”
“No way,” Soraya retorted matter-of-factly, “haven’t you seen my magic carpet? I ride on that standing up all the time. I won’t fall.”
“Hmm…” I mused, then looked to Noelle.
She shrugged, “You or I could catch her even if she did fall.”
“True.” I replied. “All right, come on.” I held out one hand to Soraya and pulled her into the air beside me and set her on my snow surfboard. I showed her how to position her body, then flew off the board to face her and shot out a huge blast of wind that carried her upwards, then down in a circular motion, causing her to ride an invisible wave of winter wind.

Soraya laughed with glee, and called out for me to do more. I laughed in response, then Noelle and I both floated in the air in front of her. We glanced at each other, eyes sparkling with mischief, then simultaneously shot forward in the sky with wind blasting behind us. The trailing wind carried Soraya behind us as we whipped through the glade together, dodging past the various Estorianians that were all gathered in the glade for the ball. People cried out in surprise when we whooshed past them, knocking some off balance and causing others to spin around. Soraya, Noelle, and I were laughing and grinning as we flew, Soraya remaining expertly balanced on the snow-board.

Suddenly, a different blast of wind and snow knocked us all off balance ourselves, and we tumbled towards the ground, too surprised to catch ourselves with our powers. Auntie Astrid and Aunt Lillie swooped up to catch Soraya and me out of the sky, and Maurelle the Lost Girl caught Noelle. The three of them landed and put the three of us down, and we looked up to see my mom, Calla, and Princess Amani standing with their hands on their hips - Calla’s hands still sparkling with her frosty powers. Uh oh…. I thought.
“Hi…. Mom... Cali-mommy..., ” I began, then fell silent when Calla turned her disapproving look on me. Uh oh… not good. She is really upset this time…





(I hope everyone is ok with how I used their characters and how I went ahead with the Varden name. Glory, I tried to bring Soraya into the Ayla-and-Noelle group, hope I used her accurately! Ayla and Noelle are always causing some slight chaos, so thought Soraya would have fun with them too. Everyone else's new characters can feel free to introduce themselves or get introduced by someone else - my post was getting really long or else I would have tried to get everyone in.

Let me know if anything needs changing! And feel free to add more in throughout of course!)
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  #68  
Old 08-25-2019, 04:24 AM
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Sorry for replying so late. It's been pretty busy here on the Mainland and, unfortunately, it's only going to get busier.

Great chapter, Liri!
I love all the name ideas!
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  #69  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:32 PM
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Hellooooo? Anybody around? I know everyone is probably really busy, I know I am, but I hope we can keep this RP alive! I miss writing with everyone!
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:27 AM
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Great post, Liri! I'm glad you incorporated our name ideas.

I've missed all of you too! I hope we can get things going again! Sorry I was gone for pretty much the entire summer, I was on an internship. It was my very first time working, so it's been kind of a stressful experience.



The ball had barely started, with guests still trickling into the enchanted grove from all sides. And already, I was having a blast. Ayla and I were gleefully showing off our new wind-surfing trick, to exclamations of delight and admiration from all our friends. But then a new voice chimed in.
“Can I try it?” It was the new girl from Agrabah, Soraya, Princess Amani's sister. It was the first time any of us had ever seen her at one of these gatherings.
“It’s pretty difficult,” Ayla eyed her shrewdly, crossing her arms and raising an eyebrow at the new girl, “You might fall off.”
“No way,” Soraya retorted matter-of-factly, “haven’t you seen my magic carpet? I ride on that standing up all the time. I won’t fall.”
“Hmm…” My best friend mused, then looked to me.
I shrugged, “You or I could catch her even if she did fall.” In truth, it was the mention of a magic carpet that convinced me to let her join in. I'd never been on one before - Amani was far too poised and proper to give out free rides for fun - and I was already pondering if I could convince this new girl to give us a go.
True.” Ayla agreed. “All right, come on.”She held out one hand to Soraya and pulled her into the air beside us on the snow surfboard. Ayla showed her how to position her body, then flew off the board to face her and shot out a huge blast of wind that carried her upwards, then down in a circular motion, causing her to ride an invisible wave of winter wind.
Soraya laughed with glee, and called out for Ayla to do more. She laughed in response, then both of us floated in the air in front of her. We all glanced at each other, eyes sparkling with mischief, then simultaneously shot forward in the sky with wind blasting behind us. The trailing wind carried Soraya behind us as we whipped through the glade together, dodging past the various Estorianians that were all gathered in the glade for the ball. People cried out in surprise when we whooshed past them, knocking some off balance and causing others to spin around. Soraya, Ayla, and I were laughing and grinning as we flew, Soraya remaining expertly balanced on the snow-board.
I had to admit, I was impressed. She was a natural. It had taken Ayla and I nearly an entire afternoon to learn to maintain such perfect balance. It would appear she wasn't bluffing about her carpet-riding skills.

Suddenly, a different blast of wind and snow knocked us all off balance ourselves, and we tumbled towards the ground, too surprised to catch ourselves with our powers. Our aunts, Astrid and Lillie swooped up to catch Soraya and Ayla out of the sky, and Maurelle the Lost Girl caught me. The three of them landed and put the three of us down, and we looked up to see my mom, Mei, and Princess Amani standing with their hands on their hips - Mom’s hands still sparkling with her frosty powers. Uh oh…. I thought.
“Hi…. Mom... Cali-mommy..., ” Ayla began, then fell silent when Mom turned her disapproving look on her. My heart sank. Uh oh… not good.

"What do you think you were doing, the three of you?" Mom demanded, gesturing to the path of destruction we'd left behind. Snowflakes and swirls of frost glittered the tables chairs, and floral arrangements in our wake. A bowl of punch had been knocked over, and much of the food had been blown haphazardly to one side, ruining the neat table arrangements.
"Sorry, Mom," I muttered, unable to keep the mutinous undertone out of my voice. "We'll clean up. But look!" I added, gesturing to some of the floral arrangements. "I think we might have made some improvements! I mean, frost covered flowers always look lovely - "
"That's enough." Mom cut me off with a glare. "I can't believe you would try to defend your actions like this. You understand how important this celebration is, to all of the Varden. We only gather like this, all of us together, a few times a year, and this occasion especially is meant to honor two of the most important events in the history of Estoriana. You're old enough now to be part of the official delegation of Arendelle, and I expect you to conduct yourself as such, young lady."

"You too, Ayla," Mei added sternly to her own daughter. "There's a time and a place for you and Noelle behave like this, and in the middle of the Reunion Ball isn't it. And now you've dragged Soraya into it too! I'm sorry," she added ruefully to Amani. "I'm sure this isn't what you imagined when you brought your sister to her first ball."
"Oh no, Soraya knew what she was getting into," Amani was also glaring daggers at her sister. "I also warned her about this type of behavior."
"Aww, look at you, Calla, using such big words," a familiar teasing voice appeared from the crowd. Ivory came up from behind us and slung her arms around both Mom and Mei. "I remember when both of you used to be so shy. Remember the first Reunion Ball you came to? Back when you insisted on calling me 'Your Majesty', and Saige made such a scene by getting into a sword duel with Sparrow? It was the first time we all met your mom, too," she added to Soraya and Amani. "I'd just brought her here from Earth! Remember, Calla, when you slid down a muddy riverbank in your fancy gown just to show some Lost Boys that princesses could have fun, too?"
Mom folded her arms and rolled her eyes. Ayla and I, however, leaned forward, hanging on Ivory's every word.
"Did Mom really do that?" I giggled, trying to imagine it.
"Who won that sword fight?" Ayla asked excitedly.
"Really, Ivory," Mom chided, straightening up to appear more dignified. "You need to stop encouraging her behavior, especially at an event as important as this."
"Anyway, the point is - after that, your Aunt Saige and Sparrow became the best of friends," Ivory continued, winking at us. "And they ended up helping to lead and army and captain a ship respectively, standing up against the forces of darkness to save us all. So as far as I'm concerned, this could very well be the start of a new legend of your own..." With one last wink, she was swept back up into the throng of people, waving at someone we couldn't see.
Mei sighed. "Regardless, you have to clean up the mess you made. No returning to join the celebration until you're done."
"And without using magic," Mom added sternly.
The three of us let out a chorus of groans and sighs. Nevertheless, we had to get to work.

"So this is your first time coming to one of the Varden's gatherings?" I asked Soraya with intrigue as we straightened a tower of cupcakes and dusted off the snowflakes from a row of tiny, glittering fairy lights. "How come you've never been to one before.
She made a face. "I figured that it would be some boring, stuffy gathering when we all had to curtsy a lot and sit around politely drinking tea or twirling about the dance floor. And... I figured stuff like what we just did wouldn't be welcome." She turned and grinned at the two of us. "But I'm glad I met the two of you!"
"That's the best part of coming to these - meeting new people!" Ayla did a twirl in the air, snowflakes fluttering around her shimmering, frost-speckled white hair. "And talking to friends that we hardly ever get to see! Don't worry, once the adults start discussing their Very Serious Topics, they'll leave us alone to do pretty much anything we want," she added, mischief twinkling in her ice-blue eyes.
I grinned at my best friend, and the new girl I was growing to like more and more. "I'm glad to have met you too, and Neva - hey, where'd she go?" I asked, looking around.
None of us could spot her anywhere in the crowd. After a few moments of scanning, we gave up.
"Anyway, not all members of the Varden are as strict as Mom is," I added, returning to our conversation. "Some of them are actually pretty fun! Like Ayla's dad, and Auntie Saige, Queen Ivory, Pan, Lillie, the Lost Boys, Sparrow..."
Soraya laughed. "I'll take your word for it! I guess it's just the name 'Varden' that sounds so lofty and grandiose, so I always imagined them as being all stuffy and obsessed with rules."
"Hey!" I exclaimed, with an air of mock offence. "I'll have you know, Ayla and I helped come up with that!"
Soraya stared back at me, wide-eyed. "Seriously?"
I laughed. It had been ten years ago, but I still remembered it well. "It was at a gathering, just like this one, actually..."

Ten years ago...

It was the time of year that people on Earth would call "Christmas" - at midwinter, when snow lay in a thick layer upon the ground, the wind howled and frost made swirls over all the tree trunks. Arendelle was at its most beautiful, this time of year, and so was the magical clearing where the descendants always met.
Normally, Ayla and I would still be leaping and bounding around the grove, like most of the other descendants' children around our age were. But we had worn ourselves out by having the world's most epic snowball fight - if I do say so myself - and now we were content to rest for a while beside the fire, listing to our parents' conversations. Yue sat beside her mother, quiet and demure as ever. Even though we were the same age, I'd always been more drawn to Ayla, and we were close as sisters in our rambunctious games and exuberant conversations.

"You know, I was thinking," Mom was saying, half-jokingly. "Maybe it's time we came up with a proper name for ourselves? 'The descendants' applies to too many groups of Estorianians these days, and besides, not all of us were descended from one of the old legends in the Tales of Estoriana anyway."
Ivory let out a gasp of mock horror. "Oh no, are we becoming... commonplace? Anything but that!"
Astrid chimed in alongside her sister."Neverland forbid! Commonplace! Perish the thought!"
Mom rolled her eyes in equal parts affection and exasperation. "Guys! This is serious!"
Mei, my other mommy, did a wonderful job of putting on a straight face. "Yes, very serious. Come on Iv, Astrid, this is a Very Serious Discussion!"
Iv put on her favorite Very Serious face, the one that never failed to crack me up. "Of course. How silly of us. Come on everyone, gather round, time for a Very Serious Discussion."
"Indeed. What shall we be called now?" Astrid asked Very Seriously.
"The Estorianian Guardians!" Shang, Ayla's grandfather, pipped up.
Jack Frost turned on him with an expression of mock outrage. "Hey! You can't be the Guardians! That name's already taken."
"Oh, right. Um. The Estorianian Council!" Shang said brightly. It was a slight jab at the fact that, indeed, the gathering of all the leaders of the various kingdoms of Estoriana was simply referred to as "the Council". It wasn't exactly the most original of names, but nobody had bothered to come up with a better one in the time since the Second Banishment.
Astrid pretended to consider this suggestion with the utmost seriousness. "Hmm. That does sound sufficiently stuffy and aloof. But wouldn't it be more accurate to say 'The Pristine Ancients?'"
"Astrid!" Mom scolded, though she was stifling a laugh.
"I only suggest it with the Utmost Seriousness," Astrid said innocently.
"We are pretty ancient..." Ivory pointed out with a wry twist to her mouth.
"Though, not sure how pristine we are some days..." Mei mused, grinning.
Iv gasped, clasping a hand to her chest in shock. "Mei! How could you even think we aren't pristine! Everything about us is The Most pristine! The common folk fall over themselves to get even a glimpse of the ground under our pristine feet!"
"Indeed. Very pristine," Auntie Saige agreed dryly. "In any case, how about 'the Hog Riders!'" She suggested without the hint of irony in her voice.
Lillie considered this with the Utmost Seriousness. "Hmm. That would be fitting for you and the army, riding hogs into battle is quite intimidating."
At this point, Ayla and I could no longer hold back our giggling.
"Ooh ooh ooh! I know! "The Silly Squids!" I exclaimed, not about to be left out.
Mom turned to me, exasperated. "Noelle!"
"Noo! I know! "The Worthless Hooligans!" Ayla exclaimed, not about to be outdone.
"Very nice dears! Keep up the good work!" Aunt Astrid smiled approvingly at the two of us.
Mom groaned. "Don't encourage them, Astrid! They are getting almost as bad as you, Lillie, and Iv!"
"That is the point, dear Calla!" Lillie smirked.
"Is no one around here capable of taking anything seriously?!" Mom exclaimed despairingly.
Mei wore her most Very Serious face. "Oh, of course we are. We are taking this Very Very Seriously, Calla!"
Mom threw up her hands in exasperation, giving up. Then a small, shy voice chimed in.
"What about The Varden for all of us from the Great Banishment and the Great Battle of Exilia? Those who first came back home from Earth to Estoriana, and those who became part of our greater family through everything that happened on Exilia? The Varden protect people and oppose evil, like what we do." Yue had been silent throughout the entire ridiculous exchange, but she spoke up now, her quiet voice wavering a little.
There was a pause as everyone considered what the young girl had suggested.
Mei was genuinely serious now when she smiled at her younger daughter. "That is actually very fitting. Good idea, sweetling!" She put an arm around Yue proudly.
"I love it!" Mom agreed.
All around the gathered descendants were murmurs of agreement.
Yue, encouraged, continued. "And, all the important leaders and rulers of Estoriana could be the Council of Light."
"Perfect!" Mom reached out to stroke Yue's hair, smiling gently.


Soraya laughed as Ayla and I recounted the whole story. "I had no idea that was how the Varden and Council of Light got their names!"
I grinned. "Despite how they look, our moms aren't always so uptight. They just have to 'set a good example' for us." I drew air quotes around those words. Despite the fact that, on many an occasion, I felt like an alien around my own family, I felt a warm rush of affection. Mom meant well, I knew that, even if we constantly disagreed on what counted as a good example.
One day, Ayla and I would have a grand adventure of our own, I just knew it. And maybe we'd bring Soraya along with us too, and her magic carpet! Then Mom would definitely see that there was no point in trying to make me abide by all these rules.
After all, the legacy left behind by those immortalized in the Tales of Estoriana was all about taking risks, defying fate, and taking your story into your own hands! And that was exactly what I was going to do.


(Credit for the glorious conversation about how to choose the name for our group of characters goes entirely to Liri! When she came up with that exchange of dialogue, I knew it was just too good not to be made official. Fun fact, names like "the Silly Squids", "Worthless Hooligans", and "the Hog Riders" are literally what came up when we googled "good squad names"!

I can't wait to kick off the "real" story! By the way, Katya won't be arriving to the ball and will instead catch up with everyone later.)
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Last edited by Night Wish; 09-15-2019 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:19 PM
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Fantastic post as usual Night! I love how you incorporated the joke about how they got their name! I had a lot of fun writing it, and it still makes me laugh a ton hahaha. And Ayla thanks Iv for rescuing them from worse punishment! Haha.

I can’t wait to get things going! These kids are ready to go on their own adventure!
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:09 PM
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Thanks Liri! Glad you liked the way I included that. Oh yes, it cracks me up every time, which is why I just had to make it "canon"!

Ivory says Ayla is very welcome to cause even more trouble. Isn't it wonderful that she, Astrid and Lillie are such "great" influences, both in the past and present day?
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Old Yesterday, 02:33 AM
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Awesome posts, Liri and Night! I'm sorry I haven't been around! I'm working on my post for BiotB right now, that should be up tomorrow and then I'll post for this.

Thank you for including Soraya in your posts.
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