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 in the light of dawn, the stars fade away, late first maiden | event
ASHARA DAYNE
 direct link • Nov 04 2016, 12:31 pm
Quote
The Dark Queen
n/a
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
DEAD
35 years
Laurysa • she/her • 325 posts
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Six days had passed since Eustace had rescued Ashara from the dungeons of the Gates of the Moon, and six days had passed as a fever burned through the queen, the heavens showing no sign of relenting their downpour. The last two days, the Lord Commander and the Queen had found refuge from the rains inside a cave, which Eustace used as an opportunity to try and stabilize the Queen. While he had been able to persuade Ashara to try some water, she had largely remained unresponsive—and, Eustace feared, she was growing worse.

It was too dangerous to light a fire; the smoke could be seen even through the rain, and besides, all of the wood was soaked through. Eustace had tied his horse to a stone pillar inside, sheltering the beast from the rain, while he himself sat on the cave floor, back against the stone wall, with Ashara’s head pulled into his lap. She shivered in his arms, but he could not determine whether it was from the cold or the fever. He looked down to her face to find her purple irises hidden, asleep and plagued by dreams only fevers could produce. It had been four days since she had spoken more than a word or two at a time, often muttered under her breath.

-----------------------------------

With her eyes closed, Ashara was set free of the tangible pains of reality. Instead, she floated through the Water Gardens, young again, with all of those she loved most in the world with her, despite the differences in ages never allowing it in truth. Arthur and Edric and Elia and Allyria and Ryon and Arabella and sometimes even Doran, all there, all smiling, all laughing. The cool water felt nice against her skin, and the bright sun above her did not burn. She smiled and danced underneath the golden orb in the sky.

Often times her mind would wander to scenes that had never even been remotely close to happening in reality. She danced with Oberyn in the courtyard of Starfall, the pair of them the only ones around. They were adults, but there was no animosity in the air between them. There was a cool, crisp breeze, and Ashara could smell the sweet scent of flowers that grew in the garden nearby, reminding her of the night they had danced at Harrenhal. Then as now, he spun her around with grace, an easy smile on his lips. The words he spoke to her that night danced in the air above them. ‘Tell me when, tell me where, and we will go—even if it’s only back home.’ As if he could hear them too, Oberyn smiled, “I told you I don’t make promises I won’t keep, Ashara,” her told her, his eyes alit with mischief as they paused in their movements, letting the song play on. He pulled her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles gently. The warmth of his lips was a welcome sensation to the chill of the air. As the song began to play its ending notes, Ashara wished with all of her hear that the song did not have to be over.

Sometimes her dream brought her to the future, where Ashara had gotten the chance to grow old. Once, her greatest fear had been finding wrinkles on her face and silver in her hair, but as Ashara walked on the beach on the island that held Starfall, arm in arm with Ryon, she could think of no greater privilege that growing old with someone you loved. When she looked up from the sand, she saw a girl on the cusp of womanhood running through the surf, and Ashara knew it was her granddaughter.

Other times her dream would bring her to what the present could have been, in another life. Ashara saw Caelia and Daeron chasing each other through the blood orange trees of Dorne, but they are not alone. In this life, she had not suffered through so many failed pregnancies, and she followed the paths of four other children as they chased after Daeron and Caelia, trying to keep up. Everytime she looked at them, they seemed to change as the truth was Ashara had never met any of them, had never been given the chance to hold them, to even name them. In her arms, she held the two youngest, Jaclyn and Allyria. Ashara was not alone with her family; her eyes could see Allyria and Edric, both with families of their own. Her family was whole, together, happy. She opened her mouth to speak to them, but no words came out.

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Dawn was beginning to make its presence known in the Vale, a pale, wan glow breaking through the gloom of night, when Ashara stirred, her lips opening as if she were trying to speak. When her eyelids fluttered open a moment later, Eustace felt a spark of hope in his chest. “Ashara?” he murmured, gently placing the back of his head against the Queen’s forehead, hoping to feel that the fever had broken. He was disappointed to find it had not.

Her violet eyes found Eustace’s, and she clutched his arm with her hand. Ashara’s face was pale, the skin around her eyes sunken and dark. Even still, there was something hauntingly beautiful about her, and he found himself unable to tear his gaze away. Her breathing was ragged, the breaths small and labored. ‘She is going to die,’ he realized, pressing down the despair that threatened to engulf him.

“I have to…tell them,” she rasped hoarsely, her hold on his sleeve becoming tighter. Eustace used his free hand to gently her black hair, the only comforting motion he knew to do. “That I…I…,” she murmured, pausing to turn her head and cough, the exertion causing her body to convulse violently. Eustace could feel the sting of bitter tears, but he held back. “They know, Ashara. They know,” he told her quietly, and at his answer, something seemed to find peace in her violet depths before her eyes closed.

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The dream that brought her the most happiness was when she was simply with Ryon on the cliff that overlooked Starfall. In her dream, it was far past sunset, yet the meadow was lit with an otherworldly glow from the stars above. In truth, the last time she was in that place, she had been overwhelmed with sadness, overwhelmed with grief, but in her dream, she only felt happiness as she rested her head against Ryon’s shoulder, feeling warm and comfortable and safe with his arm wrapped around her.

He was her anchor, her shield, her soulmate, her everything. Even in the darkest moments of her life, he had been the light that had allowed her to continue on. “I have to tell them that I love them,” Ashara told Ryon, turning to look at him. He smiled at her in response, picking a flower from the meadow between then and placing it in her hair, “They know, Ashara. They know.” She smiled back at him, wondering how on earth she had not kissed him here when she had had the chance. But she had the chance now, and so she did.

When they broke apart, she looked to him, letting the palm of her hand rest against his cheek. “Where do we go, Ryon? After?” Ashara asked him quietly, searching his eyes for an answer. In response, he took her hand and wrapped it in his, his gaze focused on their intertwined fingers before looking back to her. Ryon’s answer to her from so long ago resurfaced, brought from the recesses of her memory by the haze of the fever that gripped her in reality, “I don't know if we necessarily go somewhere. Really, I think we stay right where we belong, here with the people we mattered to.”

“Ashara,” said an all too familiar voice that Ashara had not heard in many decades, and when she looked up, Elia stood in the meadow, extending a hand to her old friend. Ashara took it and stood, following Elia for a few steps before pausing and turning to look back at Ryon. “I don’t want to leave you,” she murmured, but Ryon smiled and simply replied, “You won’t.”

“Come, Ashara.” Ashara turned again to find the face of her sister standing beside Elia, smiling at her warmly. Her face seemed lighter, happier, less weighed down by the responsibilities and circumstances she had had in life. Ashara looked back to Ryon once more before taking Allyria’s hand and following them into where somewhere might lead.

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Moments passed as Eustace waited and prayed that he would hear Ashara’s voice once more. With no one around to witness his sorrow, unspent tears finally and silently began to fall down his face. Ashara’s grip on his arm lessened, and at last, her chest finally ceased to rise and fall. As the sun rose, so too did the star of the Vale fall.

TAG: No one | NOTES: im sorry riku | Outfit



ASHLEY
 direct link • Dec 03 2016, 02:41 am
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ACTA STAFF
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CO-ADMIN
STAFF
28 years
ASHLEY • she/her • 1820 posts
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