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 Over the Hills and Far Away, [Aoife]
Cahira Murdock
 Posted: Mar 31 2018, 11:39 PM
Quote

Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Soul-Reading

Posts: 26
OOC: Fyra


Cahira rode to Onryx on the destrier she'd acquired by luck. A man had been using a horse that was of warhorse stock as a farm horse. She had never had a particular love for the palfrey's, lighter horses that most often women used. She needed a warrior's horse, a partner that she could fight with. But that was for a later date. There would be plenty of time to continue her mount's training to something more advanced. For now, a riding horse is what she had, with the lines and energy of a warhorse. It was a start.

She made her way slowly into Onryx, every movement cautious and respectful. The huts that lined the area were empty now, and the rumors of a god frequenting the area was always nerve wracking... but she couldn't leave Aver without visiting her sister. Quietly, she rode through the area, pulling her mount to a halt and tying him to a tree at the edge of the frozen pond that was their burial ground.

Her footsteps were silent as she stood at the edge for a long moment before striding with intent to where they had put her sister into the ice only a few years before. Ptolema was ethereally beautiful within it. Her porcelain skin was paler than ever with death, and her platinum hair, long where Cahira's was now short, was fanned around her head in careful array. A dress, built for the winter's cold encased her sister, where Cahira stood in armor that spoke of purpose, garbed with weapons that were clearly meant for more than just simple protection.

The young woman felt tears beginning in her eyes through they did not fall. Indeed, one would not assume that she was grieving, by looks. She stared down at her sister's face, finally slipping to her knees to allow her fingers to caress the surface of the ice, as if perhaps she could touch her sister's cheek again. Wind blew by her tossing her hair around her head, and quietly, she worked, building an intricate set of icy flowers into a bouquet.

Freshly budding roses, star lily's, and morning glory were all easy to pick out as they formed before she set the sculpture down atop the frozen pond. Like her, Ptolema was of the Ice bloodlines, but she had always loved the sight of spring flowers. For a long while Cahira sat, softly murmuring promises and words that would ever stay between her and her twin before rising once again. Her grief was silent, and hidden.
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Aoife Caomhánach
 Posted: Apr 3 2018, 08:44 AM
Quote

Ice
Age: 28
application
tracker
Group Icon
Historian
Psychometry

Posts: 25
OOC: Olly


• these hummingbirds are not made for winter •

Recently, duty had begun pulling Aoife in two different directions. Before, the young woman traveled freely between Onryx and Sirenia, remaining in whatever family estate required her attention at the time, and forever drifted between her studies and the insatiable need to practice her faith. Onryx was often the destination of her worship, as the Caomhánach family had played an integral role in the burial of the Ice Tribe’s ancestors for hundreds of years. In the light of her betrothal to Erik Lothar, however, Aoife found herself tethered to Sirenia more often than she would like in order to be available should he request her presence.

This past week, though, the young woman was able to break away at her own behest and make the journey back to her home village of Onryx. The Caomhánach estate lay deep in the mountainous terrain just beyond, its walls of stone and ice near invisible against the landscape, but her family’s property was not her destination. Today, Aoife skirted the perimeter of the frozen pools, her pale eyes locked on the faces she could see through the ice as she passed. It had been her childhood duty to ensure that the eternal peace of the pool’s residents had not been disturbed, and while that was no longer her civil duty, she performed the ritual out of habit whenever she could.

Before Aoife saw the woman kneeling upon the ice, she noticed the horse tethered to a nearby tree. The woman paused, eying the warhorse carefully, and then with a scan of her icy visage, noticed the armored figure not far away. Aoife herself stood clad in an elegant, complex silver dress, her pale arms bare despite the frigid temperatures, and the hem of her skirts swept against the snow as she turned and approached the stranger. Sympathy and sentimentality were not characteristics of Ice, but an offering of consolation through quiet company did not push the boundaries of their private, traditional world.

As Aoife neared, she noticed that this armored being was actually a young woman. Younger than herself, even. Her stride hesitated for but a fraction of a second, casting judgments momentarily aside, and she stopped several feet behind and to the side of this other young woman constructing flowers from the ice. “My condolences.” she uttered quietly, her hands clasped together in front of her, and Aoife lowered her head in respect. She did not know this girl or the individual she grieved for, but the loss of a fellow citizen and what that meant for the tightly knit ice community could still be felt.

• still i don't mind the snow, and the cold could make them strong •
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Cahira Murdock
 Posted: Apr 4 2018, 07:52 PM
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Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
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Warrior
Soul-Reading

Posts: 26
OOC: Fyra



Cahira's fingers finished forming the last of a lily's leaf as she heard Aoife's voice. For a long moment the young woman stared at the ethereal form of her sister, locked forever in her early teens. Gathering her composure wasn't difficult. No tears had been shed, getting caught only in her eyelashes for brief moments. It took only a few seconds before Cahira rose to her feet fully and turned her pale gaze upon Aoife. She took in the sight of the other maiden. Unmistakably, Aoife was of the Ice blood. It was in everything from the way her hair was so light and her eyes so pale to the pale skin. But even more so, it was the cut of the dress, the fact that she was wearing a dress, despite the weather... And posture. It was the same rigid posture that Cahira knew she herself held so often. So perfectly poised that one only used a corset for form.

In greeting, Cahira offered the other woman a bow that was appropriate to the armor she wore, her voice steady and even. Only her eyes showed the grief that weighed heavy upon her, and the anger at the injustice of it. "Thank you. It has been years, but one never stops remembering a sibling." She ran a hand through her short hair, feeling self conscious for a moment as she looked at Aoife's long locks.

"I did not expect anyone to be out here... Usually it is only those who are setting someone to rest." She stepped across the ice carefully to join the other woman, keeping her distance close enough to be easy to speak, but not to touch accidentally. "Are you visiting someone as well?"
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Aoife Caomhánach
 Posted: Apr 6 2018, 08:37 AM
Quote

Ice
Age: 28
application
tracker
Group Icon
Historian
Psychometry

Posts: 25
OOC: Olly


• these hummingbirds are not made for winter •

Much had certainly changed since the Ice Tribe had lost its identity for the merged entity now known as Aver. Aoife had been young when the treaty came to pass; she had hardly experienced a world entirely without Water’s influence, but being raised here in Onryx had carved her with an austere, inflexible edge. Though civil, she was rarely friendly, and her crystalline eyes gazed upon this young woman coolly. Between the two of them, they had already come to an understanding and recognized each other’s place amongst their shared people. Despite the commonality, there was a clear dichotomy between their respective professions that created a natural rift from the very beginning. Aoife did not understand why a woman, and one so young at that, would take up armor and arms, but for now she kept her commentary to herself.

The other woman bowed before her, and Aoife responded in turn with a tip of her head and a hardly noticeable flutter of her skirts in an invisible curtsey. “Certainly. Family members ought never be forgotten.” she answered, her voice feather-light and almost ethereal. To an ignorant onlooker, Aoife might have appeared to be an apparition floating among the dead beneath the ice, spectral in her pale flesh and wardrobe with a lyrical far-offness to her tone.

When the other woman stepped nearer, Aoife remained where she stood. Automatically, her ice blue eyes scanned the flat plane of ice covering the frozen pools, and for a moment there seemed to be a fondness and reverence lingering in that gaze. “I do visit my ancestors when I come here,” she said lightly, nodding her head in the direction of the small, separated pond that the Caomhánachs called their resting ground, “but mostly habit brings me here. My family overseas the burials, and I have assisted in any way I can since I was a very young girl.” Sharing such information was not characteristic of Aoife in the company of a stranger, but in the presence of someone adhering to the same cultures and dogmas, the conversation felt natural enough. “Not many people visit the Pools anymore. I’m afraid that so many have fallen that the ancestors of old have no living relatives to seek their wisdom.”

• still i don't mind the snow, and the cold could make them strong •
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Cahira Murdock
 Posted: Apr 7 2018, 12:08 AM
Quote

Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Soul-Reading

Posts: 26
OOC: Fyra


Aoife was beautiful, Cahira decided. She was a representation of everything that Cahira and her sister should have grown up to be. Beautiful, ethereal. Cold. Instead, the only thing that the two of them seemed to share was their icy demeanor and judgmental nature. She could feel the judgement, even through the tight rein of control that Aoife held her emotions under. It was no less controlled than her father's, or her mother's. And even as Aoife made her judgments and kept them to herself, Cahira made her own. As the other woman spoke of her family being the ones that helped set others to rest, Cahira looked at her again, a little closer.

Then, she bowed again, this time lower and with more respect. "For your help in care taking our ancestors resting place, thank you. And for your family's help in setting my sister into her own place among our people." Despite her choice to take up arms and armor at her young age, she hadn't let her manners suffer. Her father wouldn't have allowed it, though her mother was more lenient.

She looked out over the pools for a moment and sighed. "Unfortunately, there are probably a great many here who no longer have descendants to come see them.... but so long as those of Ice blood remain... we will always come home to family." Cahira looked fora moment at the pool that held her own family. Her sister was one among many others, but she was the newest.

Her own eyes turned back to Aoife, and she offered her a bare smile. It wasn't a gesture that was uncommon anymore, an ice-blooded woman smiling. Unfortunately, she had not escaped the influence of water. So she smiled, though it did not reach her eyes, and was merely polite. "I am Cahira Murdock,by the way. I hope I haven't disrupted your day."
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Aoife Caomhánach
 Posted: Apr 9 2018, 10:13 PM
Quote

Ice
Age: 28
application
tracker
Group Icon
Historian
Psychometry

Posts: 25
OOC: Olly


• these hummingbirds are not made for winter •

Aoife took pride in many aspects of her life, but her close ties with these Frozen Pools was the one she had the most fulfillment in. Her family, centuries ago, had begun this ritual practice when Onryx was a simple outpost for the Ice Tribe, encasing their ancient relatives beneath the ice so they would forever be visible to the descendants that followed. The rest of the tribe had taken up the practice, but it was always her family that oversaw the burials and ensured that the finite depths of the Frozen Pools would have room for the newly deceased. Their numbers had been so thoroughly maimed by the constant battles and wars that simply maintaining the area and keeping it organized had been challenging enough.

With the young woman’s next bow, a thin but genuine smile crossed Aoife’s angular face, and she dipped her own head in response. “We will always help to honor the dedicated, the loyal, and the pure of heart.” she answered softly and let her eyes fall to the face beneath the ice – a young woman, even younger than the one she spoke to now. Too young to be deceased already, but life and its misfortunes could certainly be unforgiving and cruel.

When the name of her company came, a flicker of recognition came to Aoife’s pale face. It was not Cahira herself that she knew, but the name Murdock was not one easily forgotten amongst their people. Ulysses had rightfully and dutifully led the Ice Tribe’s interests beneath Nerissa when Aver formed and their original leader had stepped away. In some ways, she thought him too open-minded of a person, but it was nearly impossible to not be. “It’s a pleasure, Miss Murdock. I am Aoife Caomhánach, at your service. I was here more for, well, pleasure is not the correct word, but more that than duty, I suppose.” The faintness of her smile strengthened for a second and then thinned once more. "Would it please you to visit some of the forgotten with me? I try to see to those who I know for certain were the last of their surname when I can.” Again her eyes drifted down to the young girl beneath the ice and the ice-formed flower seated just above her. “If you are done with your grieving, of course.”

• still i don't mind the snow, and the cold could make them strong •
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Cahira Murdock
 Posted: Apr 12 2018, 01:31 PM
Quote

Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Soul-Reading

Posts: 26
OOC: Fyra


Recognition of her surname wasn't hard to see within the other woman. But the responding introduction brought recognition to Cahira's own eyes. The daughter of Ulysses, she had been schooled in all the major families, particularly those important to her Ice tribe blood. The Caomhanach family went back generations, always living in Onryx. They were the caretakers of the dead, those of the old blood that were considered closer to the gods for it.

Her light gaze followed Aoife's gaze back to her sister for a moment. She had been too young, and the fury that had plagued Cahira since her twin's death rose once again for a brief moment. Her journey would begin soon. "It would please me greatly, Lady Caomhanach. My visit was to be a short one." Her eyes lingered for only a moment longer upon the ice lily she had left as a gift to her sister's spirit before she shifted to fall in step beside the older woman.

Cahira gave Aoife the lead, not quite a full step behind but just a moment behind in her movements, following the trail she chose. She couldn't hide the curiosity from her voice as she asked a question that always had plagued her. "Is it always so... silent, here? As if frozen in time? When I was here for my sister I was too caught within myself to notice that the very air is still sometimes, as if breath is being held."
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Aoife Caomhánach
 Posted: Apr 17 2018, 11:18 AM
Quote

Ice
Age: 28
application
tracker
Group Icon
Historian
Psychometry

Posts: 25
OOC: Olly


• these hummingbirds are not made for winter •

A frail smile slipped onto Aoife’s lips at the affirmation that the younger woman would join her on her tributes to the dead, and with a swish of her white skirts, she began to turn in the direction she was originally headed. She waited patiently there, in that half turn, for Miss Murdock to cast her eyes one more time toward the resting spot of her sister, and then set out slowly across the icy field toward some of the greater pools where throngs of warriors were often buried after a battle. Those who could not be identified were buried deeper into the icy waters, but there were also faces, forgotten by most, still gazing up at the heavens for all eternity as if waiting for their descendants to come.

They walked together, with Cahira slightly behind her, and Aoife led them easily toward the first of the deceased she planned to visit. The young woman’s curiosity broke the silence, and Aoife tilted her delicate head slightly over her shoulder and hummed thoughtfully. “Is it silent here?” Her voice paused, letting the stillness slip over them for an entire minute, and then the faint smile she had worn slightly grew again. “I suppose it is. Having grown up here, the quiet seems normal to me. Sirenia, even in its current state, is so very loud.” Her family’s status and her recent betrothal to Erik Lothar had pulled her back toward the Averian capital more often than she truly liked – Onryx had always been her home. This was where her heart was lightest.

She paused, after a while, seemingly from no indicators at all. She turned, then tipped her icy eyes down to the young man in the ice beneath them. “Daniel Everest.” she murmured his name and then knelt down, resting a palm on the sheet of ice that separated them. “A warrior of our Tribe during the Great War. He was the only child of his parents, and soon to be married to his wife, but an arrow took him away before he could yield any offspring.” His blue eyes, perpetually open in death, seemed to shimmer, and Aoife gazed upon him gently, almost lovingly, before breaking her eyes away and turning them toward Cahira. “You are a fellow warrior, a sister in arms, yes?” She could only guess given the young woman’s attire, but it provided a sense of solidarity between her company and the fallen soldier despite the lack of the Everest surname among the living.

• still i don't mind the snow, and the cold could make them strong •
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Cahira Murdock
 Posted: Apr 22 2018, 08:51 PM
Quote

Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
Group Icon
Warrior
Soul-Reading

Posts: 26
OOC: Fyra


With Aoife's answer, Cahira nodded. Sirenia was certainly loud. She had grown up in the Frozen woods, deep in the mountains, where her mother had retreated to wait the war out. Now that the war was over and done, her father had returned to society but her mother refused to go near it still. And the woods were often silent. Frozen, and beautiful in their stasis of ice. But here, the silence held a sort of weight to it. It was heavy, as if they waded through the very souls of the dead. But she didn't know how to explain this to one who had grown up among it. Of course to Aoife it would feel normal.

She followed quietly then until they reached a spot that Aoife paused, slipping to her knees at a young man within the ice. His name came then, and she explained who he was. Everest. A name that sounded familiar, but only because Ulysses had made it a point to make sure that she was learned in those of the old blood.

Aoife looked at her and asked her a question then, and Cahira's light eyes landed upon her for a moment before she nodded in reply."Aye." Sympathy flooded her for the unknown man at the thought of being killed before he could even marry. After came the question of whether he loved his betrothed or was it arranged? Had he even gotten to know her properly?

The woman pulled ice to her hands, and they formed a small bouquet of flowers. Uncommon on the mountains but plants still grew even in the harshest environments. The flowers in her hand formed in gentle, four-petaled art, a full bunch of them. Gently they twined in vines around a small blade of ice that she slid to one knee to place by his shoulder. "Purpose gives a warrior strength, but it is love that keeps us fighting to keep our home safe. His sacrifice won't be forgotten." Her words were barely a murmur, a tone much more appropriate to a maiden than the clothing that she wore.
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Aoife Caomhánach
 Posted: Apr 26 2018, 09:06 PM
Quote

Ice
Age: 28
application
tracker
Group Icon
Historian
Psychometry

Posts: 25
OOC: Olly


• these hummingbirds are not made for winter •

Visiting the dead was not a necessity but an action steeped in tradition. Aoife had never known the Everests or the families that had intertwined with them, but any individual who had stood for the noble Ice tribe deserved recognition as long as their gaze remained pointed toward the heavens. She was not an empathetic person by any sense of the word, but she recognized the importance of their ancestors and acknowledged the respect they deserved. The young woman felt no sadness, per-say, as she knelt above them and placed her palm against the ice, but she did feel a deep sense of what was almost reverence for these long-passed strangers.

For Daniel Everest, Cahira Murdock crafted him a bouquet of ice flowers and placed them near his shoulder. She murmured words that sounded something of a prayer, and Aoife’s icy gaze fell back to the corpse beneath the fine layer of ice and scattered snowflakes. “He will not be forgotten.” she agreed with a courteous nod and gracefully righted herself back up to a stand.

She traveled this way, across the ice, pausing every so often at a different warrior that had fallen in battle. The wraith-like woman always uttered their names, their families when she could, and the sacrifice they had made for their people by giving their lives for their collective safety. Eventually, however, Aoife drifted in the direction of a small, adjacent pool. This one was different from the large sheet of ice they traversed before – beneath their feet lay only children. Some were toddlers, others gangly-limbed adolescents, but there were also those that were clearly infants still. Orphaned children, almost all of them. They did not even have names for the woman to utter, but she lowered herself to her knees all the same, as she had for each of the warriors.

“The lost children of Ice.” She spoke again, her gaze trailing over the expanse of youthful faces, perpetually locked in their frozen tomb. “Lost at birth or to sickness or fate. These are the souls who never reached their full potential, but will be remembered all the same.” Again, methodically, she reached out and placed her palms above the ice. This time when she did, unlike so many times before over the years, she felt a twinge of sadness catch her heart for the loss of these babes. Perhaps it was her recent betrothal and considerations of motherhood in the future, or perhaps it was the company that softened her, but she took the ache in her heart and smothered it, her distant gaze hardening behind their quiet, meditative state.

• still i don't mind the snow, and the cold could make them strong •
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