Name: Mirage
Gender: Female
Age: Adult
Parents/Affinity: Red Sands
Special Stats: None
Circle: The Trinity Aligned
Adopted from Sionayra

The Tale of the Prince and the Thorn-Rose

He was watching her, with all the wonder of what she used to be. She sensed it easily, occupied as she was with the sight and scry. His eyes were so heavy for one so young. So searingly unaware.

She knew the danger in this way he watched her. And yet, she could not find it in her to pull away.

Perhaps these years of solitude had worn her defenses. Perhaps the desert had not been the forge she had thought it, but the scouring wind that ground her away–smooth, brittle as new glass. Thin now as the light, ragged edges of her wings. Thin as this new name she wore–made realer, in that she had given it to him.

“Mirage,” he said, roughly as a stallion and yet plaintive as a foal. “What’re you doing?”

Looking, she said. When he said nothing, she realized she had not spoken in his tongue. “Looking.”

It had taken him a moon’s cycle to ask her this, and she could feel how the simplicity of the answer teased at him. She smiled, where he could not see, smiled at how deeply she could know him. The deepest she had known anyone, in so, so long.

“Looking for what?”

Did the shallow pools show to him what they showed her? What must she look like to him, each evening, the sun low and red over the sand–what must she look like, so still in the heart of this cave, the stonewater glowing around her. Her eyes elsewhere and all-seeing. Allfather had left this gift to her, at least for a time. She must make use of it.

“My heart.” There was no word for her but that, none that she knew. And yet, perhaps it was the wrong one, for he made a noise like a wound.

“Should’ve known, someone like you–”

“The wind keeps your words here,” she said, in half-truth and haste. “Be careful of them.”

He shifted, his hooves scraping against the wayward sand–she saw him in her mind’s eye, as clearly as she saw the endless fields, the rushing sea, the great drifts of snow and the backbones of mountains. It was as it had been the first time–a flash of scarlet half-buried in sand, and she had pulled herself from the scry to go to him. Now she saw him as he was, head hung in some misplaced sorrow. Ever a distraction, and yet–

“Where I was, the heart is twofold.” His tongue had no words for this, but she would learn. “My heart and her heart were one. Shall I tell you the story of my falling?”

He was quiet for a time. Through her eyes came the jagged steppe, ruins of ruins, a nightswept dune climbing the sky. No pale blue, no ultraviolet, no lightning on the cloudrise. And in his eyes? Her–her, her, her. To see herself through him was too much like worship.

“Nah,” he said, as she knew he would. “Think I might already know.”