Saniyya had no idea about what sort of audience she would receive at Mount Vigilum. She had barely convinced Zana’s Rose of the Vigilum to give her training in herbs during her first visit. Then, she had visited when able around her Versai training, which had really only been one to two times a month. And now…now she returned after months upon months. She had been stolen by Eleazar, kept within Ittudale, and had finally been released by Shine. She had returned to Amaravati, full of questions, to discuss with her Sisters and had seen the hurt visited upon Trinity for what had been done to Xerxes. She and Aurora both seemed so…broken. It made Sani question what she could even do to help. She held her Sisters in high esteem – Trinity for cleansing her, Aurora for being a mentorship figure – and had no idea how she was supposed to react to seeing them so broken before her. Both had heirs that could step up to take their places, but what would mean Sani becoming High Priestess.
Could she be High Priestess? She certainly had a vision of what she wanted to happen in the future to best aid her Sisters and the Versai in reclaiming their standing in Wild Equines. She did not agree with what had happened to Xerxes and had said as much to Xerxes himself. It was such a touchy subject around her Sisters that Sani truly wasn’t sure of what she could do to improve the situation. She knew the rest of the realm viewed them as murderers because of what had happened, but she also did not know what she could do to fix that. Ingratiate themselves with the Light Kingdom? That would be a start, but what did she truly want the Versai to do? Simply stand against the chaos of the Helkaer? That would be enough, but it felt like they needed to do more. Sani recalled what Aurora had told them of how the Versai used to be peacekeepers similar to the Vigilum, and had then become light extremists. Her definition of Light, however, had shifted and changed to encompass a value system of honesty and justice rather than whatever it currently was.
But how to do anything about that? How to enact change? It was these thoughts that guided her as she approached Mount Vigilum today. The Vigilum might not much like her, but she imagined they were able to be discreet and could potentially give some outside helpful advice. She didn’t intend to reveal anything about her Sisters to them, no, but she did intend to ask, truly, what could the Versai do? She felt as though she needed an outsider’s perspective, from a horse who couldn’t lie no less. Zana always seemed to have such strong opinions on the matter, so it was with this in mind that the young Versai sister approached, looking up the mountain in final trepidation before beginning her ascent. She shook her mane as she did so, silver mane parting to reveal the Versai brand on the right side of her neck. There was no point hiding what she was when on a mountain of honesty.
Zana? she called out, hesitation clear in her voice and in her silver eyes as she walked. It’s me…Luna. She wasn’t even sure if she liked that the Versai went by pseudonyms. If anything, she’d rather keep her name, Luna, the essence of her Versai self, to herself and share it among the Versai as a sign of their goals and affiliation. But it was what protocol was, and Sani was a loyal Versai no matter what she thought of her Sisters’ actions.
tagged// + ebonite + w/ Casi notes// Sani has no idea that Zana is no longer Vigilum. She is seeking her morality conversation ^__^
Post by + ebonite + on Nov 5, 2021 21:11:50 GMT -7
It had been a few days now since Cassian had officially joined their group. Things had changed. Zana was no longer a constant presence on the mountain, which was the most alien thing of all to Casi. He'd considered Cassian a member of the Vigilum for a long time before he'd gotten his brand and become a full member, so there wasn't as much of a change there, in his opinion. But Zana no longer being around was a huge adjustment. He reassured himself that she was happy where she was, that she wasn't in danger, and there was no need for him to worry. She was with Respira. Respira made her happy and the former Helkaer combined with Zana, the former gladiator champion, was plenty enough to deal with anyone who thought they were easy targets. And yet the worry remained. He was so used to checking in with her daily, seeing how she was doing, just talking to her. Not having that was difficult. He was sad. It would probably be temporary as he adjusted (and found out where Zana was staying so he could pester her) but it was still there. It was lucky that he was good at covering up his emotions with a facade of cheer. It's what he'd been doing his whole life, after all.
'Zana?' When he heard the call, the sadness pressed closer on him. 'It’s me... Luna.' Luna. The name wasn't familiar. Who was this? One of Zana's former clients, it seemed. Casi wondered what she wanted. Herb training perhaps? Or was there some sort of conflict to deal with? Casi hauled himself up from his herbs and made his way down the mountain trail. It was easing into winter and easing into it even faster on the mountain. The chill lay heavily across the territory and Casi wouldn't be surprised if it started snowing soon. He wasn't ready, but it wasn't up to him.
When he approached the mare, he tried to place her. She didn't look familiar and her name didn't ring any bells either. However, as he stepped closer, he recognized the marking on her neck. Versai. A chill went down his spine, though he continued to walk. What was a Versai doing here? And why was she calling for Zana? Casi immediately felt suspicious. He knew he shouldn't. Despite everything that the Versai had done, he was supposed to remain impartial. It was his job to do so. If Luna had an issue, it was his duty to address it, however much he might hate it. Though depending on what she wanted, he could reject it outright if he deemed it outside of the realm of justice. Knowing the Versai, it very well could be. He swallowed down his anger and discomfort and greeted the Versai mare with a nod. "Hello, Luna. I am Casimiro, one of the Vigilum," he introduced himself. "I'm afraid that Zana is no longer a member of our group. Is there something I can help you with?" As much as he didn't want to help a Versai mare (even though it was his job), he wanted to know what was going on here. Who was this Versai mare and what did she want with Zana?
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes <33
Saniyya wondered how long she would have to wait. The longer the gap, the more anxious she became. She truly did want to make a good impression on the Vigilum above all else. They were impartial, and could not lie. It was…refreshing, to know there was no deception here. Not that Sani found a lot of deception among the Versai, either, but there was a certain tension given how they were currently treated around the realm. It was something that she dearly desired to change, but she felt too young and inexperienced to be able to do much of anything. But she could at least try, and her first step was the simplest – talk to others, and not just those in her Versai circle. Try to be the best Sister she could be by learning from mistakes of the past and working towards their collective, better future…whatever it ended up being.
She was so caught up in her thoughts that she almost did not realize when someone approached her. Sani expected it took a bit to not only hear the call, but carefully pick one’s way down the mountain – not that she had ever been up top, though given the surefootedness she had developed in Amaravati and that was characteristic of her breed, she would be willing to try should she ever be invited up there. As it was, only a sudden sound jerked her out of her thoughts, to see an unfamiliar stallion making his way towards her. He was bay, with distinctive lacing along his back and a draft build. Sani absolutely did not recognize him and her silver eyes examined him intently, searching for a Vigilum brand. She was not able to find it before he spoke, nodding as he introduced himself as Casimiro, a member of the Vigilum. That made sense. What he then said, about Zana no longer being a member of the group, did not make sense, but he could not lie, and Sani knew she had to believe him.
That didn’t stop the What? that escaped her lips, though, nor the embarrassment that clouded her gaze soon after. He must already think me a child.Sorry she apologized, uneasy. It had taken a lot of bravery to approach Zana in the first place, and she was the only Vigilum she had ever met with. They hadn’t been friends, but she at least been used to Zana. She didn’t know this Casimiro at all, and suddenly, the prospect of having the conversation that she wanted to have with him…was incredibly unappealing. Especially given its sensitive nature, at least to her. It was not something she would want her Sisters to know about, that was for sure. Would Casimiro be willing to have such a conversation with her? It was technically the Vigilum’s job to, but she expected nothing from anybody these days.
Casimiro was probably also wondering how in the world she knew Zana. I wanted to come and tell Zana that I hadn’t just abandoned our training – I came here to learn about herbs and healing after I became Versai she hastily explained, wondering if all her words were going to run into each other as she attempted to avoid losing her nerve. Unfortunately, I was stolen for a…while. I have only just returned, and wanted to talk to Zana about… Her throat closed suddenly, as though her old speech impediment which she had worked so hard to overcome was coming back in some physical way to haunt her. I wanted to talk to Zana about the Versai. About how I might be able to change things.That seems vague enough?But if she isn’t here… She half-wanted to attempt to just leave and pretend none of this ever happened, but she couldn’t just go now. That wouldn’t help the Versai’s reputation, or her own.
If I talked to you… she neighed slowly, silver eyes rising to meet Casimiro’s own. …would you keep our conversation confidential? The Vigilum could not lie, and that was her greatest concern with coming here in the first place. He would have to give a straight answer. There was also a chance he wouldn’t want to have this conversation with her, in which case, no one would be able to say that she hadn’t tried.
tagged// + ebonite + notes// Think lost, untrusting mare XD
Post by + ebonite + on Nov 15, 2021 21:32:04 GMT -7
Keeping his face neutral was the best that he could manage right now. So many memories were cropping up - of the Versai's official banishment, of the trial, of his mother's death. He was better at keeping it under control now, but being the presence of any Versai was enough to set him on edge. He didn't know if there'd ever be a time where he was comfortable around one of them. Even now, when he was trying his hardest to be impartial, his mind was screaming that she was here for something bad. She was going to lie to him or ask him for poison. These thoughts were ridiculous because he could refuse her and he could tell if she was lying. But his mind conjured them up anyway. He didn't let any of this turmoil show on his face as he waited for her to speak. Her reaction was shock, and a 'what?' escaped her immediately. She backtracked a bit at this with an immediate 'sorry.' He gave a shrug. It was no big deal. It was a shock. Zana had been on the mountain a long time. He was sure Luna wouldn't be the last one that he spoke to that was expecting Zana to arrive.
'I wanted to come and tell Zana that I hadn’t just abandoned our training – I came here to learn about herbs and healing after I became Versai,' Luna explained. Ah, so Zana was teaching her herb training. Casi's suspicions relaxed, though not entirely. He wondered how Zana felt about that. As a Vigilum, she could hardly refuse something like herb training, but Zana was hardly the Versai's biggest fan either after what Casi had told her. And after what they had done to Xerxes as well. It was a good sign that Luna wanted to learn herbs, though. It was one of Casi's goals for everyone to learn it that was able to. 'Unfortunately, I was stolen for a... while. I have only just returned, and wanted to talk to Zana about...' her voice trailed off. Casi's ears pricked, curious now. What did she want to talk to Zana about? Who had stolen her? Why had she been gone for so long? 'I wanted to talk to Zana about the Versai. About how I might be able to change things.' She paused. Casi's curiosity peaked even further. About how to change the Versai? There was no lie in her words. She was being genuine.
She continued on. 'But if she isn’t here...' her voice trailed off again. Had she already started this conversation with Zana? He wanted to go and fetch Zana for this chat just to see what her ideas were, but that wouldn't be proper, as much as he hated to admit it. Zana wasn't a Vigilum. She'd left them for a reason and he couldn't just waltz up and ask her to do something that was no longer her job. 'If I talked to you...' Luna started again, looking at him with silver eyes. '...would you keep our conversation confidential?' The question felt pointed. Casi immediately wanted to say yes, but he hesitated a bit, making sure that he was absolutely sure. It was tempting to want to share information about the Versai with others, but he was not fighting a war with them. The Versai had been banished and short of killing or imprisoning them, that was the best that could be done. Besides, if Luna truly wanted to change things in the Versai, it was well worth hearing her out.
"Yes, I can keep our conversation confidential so long as what you say does not mention harming another equine. That's something I cannot abide as a Vigilum," he said to her. "Zana decided to retire from Vigilum. She was my mentor and she is one of my closest friends," he continued on. Hopefully revealing that information would help Luna to relax some. "I'm more than willing to continue your herb training if you wish," he said, managing a smile this time. "And as such, I do not have a good past with the Versai, so I am very interested to hear your thoughts," he said again. He could not lie to her about his past and it was best to be upfront about it. Besides, him having a bad past with them meant he was more than willing to listen to her ideas and to try to implement them as well, if that's what she wanted.
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes <33
Saniyya honestly considered turning around and leaving as she waited to see if this unfamiliar Vigilum stallion would help her. The Vigilum were probably more friendly to even the Helkaer at the moment. What had happened to Xerxes had truly complicated things. Sani knew she likely would have seen things no differently if she hadn’t met and spoken with Xerxes himself. She had seen the experience from his eyes, felt what he had felt in those moments, and what he had felt after. She did not agree with the vengeance he was likely taking against her Sisters, but she could not interfere with that. She would abide by his request – speak with Javindhra – and that would be it. She could not offer him her soul. Then again, she could barely imagine offering her soul to anyone at this point. The Versai power of water likely came from Utopia, but did that mean they were automatically allied in that direction? She truly knew so little.
The silence between her pointed question and Casimiro’s answer was making her nerves scream. Her weight shifted, unease flickering across her gaze, right hind hoof pawing the ground almost unintentionally as she waited to hear what Casimiro would say. It was better than she had expected – he would keep the conversation confidential as long as it did not mention harming another equine. She nodded, indicating her acceptance, sensing he was not done as he continued to speak. Casimiro commented that Zana had decided to retire, but had been his mentor and one of his closest friends. His statement did not make her relax much, as Sani felt Zana had never truly liked her despite her attempts, but she nodded again to acknowledge that information. The bay managed a smile as he offered to continue her herb training, and then added that he did not have a good post with the Versai. Sani flinched despite herself, wondering what had happened to the horse before her to make him dislike the Versai as well. How many wrongs had been committed that she knew nothing of?
I’m sorry she neighed, dipping her head in what she hoped passed for both acknowledgement and regret. She probably hadn’t been part of the Versai when whatever had happened, happened, but she could still apologize. And I appreciate that you’re willing to continue my herb training despite that. The young mare was unsure of where to even begin. Should she just bring up the elephant in the room instead of letting it sit, unsaid but known, but between them? Might as well.I joined the Versai about a year ago, after being willingly cleansed by High Priestess Allocen she began, silver eyes flitting away despite herself. She didn’t like to think about her life pre-Versai, pre-purpose, even though it was that life she was using to draw better moral judgments at the moment. She recalled the heady idealism of her first few months with the Sisterhood. It had all transformed once she had met Xerxes and begun questioning what her Sisters had done.
I didn’t know much of what had happened to Xerxes. I only knew that the Versai needed a third Sister, and I was more than willing. Allocen and Eos accepted me with open hearts and were willing to look past…certain issues I had. She couldn’t even speak coherently back then, but didn’t particularly feel like sharing that. It was irrelevant, anyway. I met Xerxes. He personally showed me what happened to him. I felt everything that he felt. I saw it from his eyes. Her voice wavered slightly, reliving the emotions for a moment even though it had been him feeling them, not her. I learned it was wrong. Cleansings should only be performed willingly. I have committed to this. Aurora said she should stand by her principles, and Sani was going to heed her Sister’s words, even if it took her against her Sisters one day. I want the Versai to do good in the land, to be more than just the murderers of Xerxes. I want to change things. I just…don’t know how. Or how to learn how. There was more she could speak of, more to be said, but she decided to stop there and see how Casimiro reacted to all that she had said first. There's more I want to say...if you are still willing to listen. She decided to give him a way out, one final opportunity to say no. She wouldn't be surprised if he did, especially if he had a history with the Versai, job description as a Vigilum be damned.
tagged// + ebonite + notes// It was so strange to write 'Casimiro' instead of 'Casi' every line here, as they're not friends lol
Post by + ebonite + on Feb 20, 2022 11:40:16 GMT -7
Casi continued to be on edge, despite his best attempts not to be. It was just too hard. Even though he'd never seen this Versai mare before, just knowing she was a part of the group was enough. His body was instinctively reacting to a threat, even though she had done nothing to him. No matter how badly he wanted to flee and get away from this conversation, he was making himself stay put. The more he did this, the better it would be. This would not be the last time he had an encounter with the Versai and he needed to make sure he could handle it. It was a test. Luna flinched when he revealed to her that he did not have a good past with the Versai. He decided to take that as a good sign. If she had responded with defiance, he would have been concerned and less likely to speak to her. The flinch meant that she knew something bad had been done. Inch by inch, he was warming up to her.
'I’m sorry,' she said to him in response. He resisted the urge to quirk a brow and instead remained neutral, simply nodding in acknowledgement. 'And I appreciate that you’re willing to continue my herb training despite that,' she continued. Well, he wouldn't be able to call himself a Vigilum if he didn't train anyone and everyone in herbs, now could he? But he digressed. He was glad she was acknowledging the difficulties nonetheless. 'I joined the Versai about a year ago, after being willingly cleansed by High Priestess Allocen,' she explained to him. Now it was Casi's turn to flinch, though he managed to blend the movement into a shift of his weight, hopefully disguising it. Despite Luna saying she had been cleansed willingly - and his lie detection not saying she was lying - he still felt he couldn't trust it. Had she been willingly or had she been brainwashed into thinking that? How did she know she hadn't been dragged by Allocen, kicking and screaming, and then told after the process was done that she had wanted it? If she believed the lie, then it wasn't a lie. It left a bitter, horrible taste in his mouth.
'I didn’t know much of what had happened to Xerxes. I only knew that the Versai needed a third Sister, and I was more than willing. Allocen and Eos accepted me with open hearts and were willing to look past…certain issues I had,' she continued on. It was so ironic, that this had all come down to the murder of a Dark King. Casi had only met Xerxes once, to ask him about his involvement in the war between the Helkaer and the Neutral Kingdom. He had not gotten much of an answer out of him. However, Gidge was very fond of him. 'I met Xerxes. He personally showed me what happened to him. I felt everything that he felt. I saw it from his eyes,' her voice wavered as she spoke and Casi could not help the surprise and mirrored horror that he felt listening. How unfortunate for the Versai that their victim had become the King of demons. And yet he had helped Luna - a new member - understand what had happened. Very curious indeed. And Luna was truly horrified. There were no lies in her words and she looked haunted. 'I learned it was wrong. Cleansings should only be performed willingly. I have committed to this,' she said. No lies. Casi stood still, a well of emotion threatening to wash him away. That was how it should have always been. Willing. His mother... 'I want the Versai to do good in the land, to be more than just the murderers of Xerxes. I want to change things. I just…don’t know how. Or how to learn how,' she continued on. He was feeling so many things at once he didn't know what to say. He felt anger and incredible sadness at the fact that this change was coming too late for his mother and countless other victims. But he also felt hope that there was someone standing here that wanted to change things. 'There's more I want to say...if you are still willing to listen,' she said. Then, there was silence.
Casi took a few moments to ponder things over, wondering what he could say. Eventually, he decided that since she had been truthful, that she should be too. He had a personal stake in the Versai changing their ways as well as a professional one. His gaze drifted downward as he scuffed one of his hooves into the dirt, stirring up the grass. "My mother was forcibly converted by the Versai," he started out, first addressing the grass before he brought his gaze up to Luna, meeting her eyes. "She served them for years, thinking that it had been her purpose. Somehow, some way, she broke through the conditioning and managed to escape from them," he continued on, knowing that this would probably devastate Luna even further. In fact, he was kind of wishing that it would. It would further force her to commit to her plans. "She was murdered by a Versai supporter when she tried to protect another horse who would have been forcibly converted," he said. The words came so easily, despite the devastating effects. He was simplifying the story a lot, but Luna did not need to know every detail. Just that his mother had been converted and then murdered for trying to save someone else from the same fate. That was the legacy that she was trying to change. "I have both a personal and a professional stake in seeing the Versai reformed and made into what they should be - horses who guide others into the light so long as that is what they want. No matter their alliance. Darks do not deserve a death sentence for being Darks," he said, his eyes flashing. That very sentiment was something he had struggled with personally after being raised in a Light extremist environment. "You have told no lies here and I believe that you are committed to this. I will listen to whatever else you need to say," he finished. He could not tell her how to reform the Versai. That was a question he didn't know how to answer either. It had been like this for a long time and change was going to be hard. If Luna was truly committed, she had her work cut out for her.
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes casi: -makes her turmoil worse-
Should she have been watching Casimiro as she talked? Her gaze had flitted away in discomfort when she mentioned the cleansing she had undergone, but did that make her seem less trustworthy? Wouldn’t a horse who was forthright and telling the truth look him straight in the face as she spoke? Idiot. He will know if you lie, anyway. He’s Vigilum she reminded herself, barely restraining an irritated shake of her head as she continued to speak. He would be able to take her words and judge them appropriately, and she needed to stop worrying about how she looked and focus on speaking truthfully. So that’s what she did as she continued talking, saying she had experienced what had happened to Xerxes through his eyes and then finally pausing, giving Casimiro a chance to back out and tell her to leave if he wanted to. She had barely paid attention to him and his reactions while she spoke, and now was the time to see how he had taken it.
Her silver eyes anxiously watched as the Vigilum scuffed the ground beneath his hooves, looking downward. Was he uncomfortable with her? She felt even more uneasy, almost startled when he finally began to speak. He said his mother was forcibly converted, had tried to break away, then was murdered by a Versai supporter when she tried to protect another from being forcibly converted. She swallowed. No wonder he hadn’t been able to look at her. He probably despised the Versai. Should she ask him? Was coming here too much? What Versai had been involved in his mother’s forceful conversion? Sani couldn’t imagine that Aurora and Trinity hadn’t been involved…but how could she reconcile her Sisters as she knew and respected them now with who they used to be? Couldn’t horses changed? And hadn’t they suffered enough? She had so many questions.
As she was reeling from what he had said, Casimiro continued to speak, saying he had a stake in seeing the Versai reformed. He stated they should seek to guide others into Light as long as they wanted to be Light, to which she responded with a very firm nod. She believed the same. He also mentioned that Darks did not deserve to die just for being Dark. She inclined her head, thinking. They certainly didn’t deserve to die, but shouldn’t they be watched, for they were more likely to cause chaos? Or perhaps she was inflating her perception of them. Once again, Casimiro continued to speak while Saniyya pondered his words, acknowledging that she had not lied and he would listen to whatever else she had to say. What was it that she had even wanted to say? She felt thoroughly distracted by what he had told her.
What happened to your mother…I would never let that happen. I chose to be Light and Versai freely and willingly. I would want others to choose the same. I’m… she trailed off, sensing she didn’t have the right word to truly express the extent of her sorrow. “Sorry” didn’t seem to cut it. ”Sorry” doesn’t seem to cut it she remarked, figuring she might as well express that sentiment. My actions will stand in for my words. Hadn’t they always, especially when she hadn’t been able to even speak in a coherent way? Were…were Allocen and Eos involved in what happened to your mother? Despite the fact that she knew it wouldn’t truly help her, she just had to ask, to reconcile her Sisters with who they had been and who they might be in the future.
Frankly, as far as she could tell, no horse wanted to associate themselves with the Versai’s past. She would have to lead them into a new future. Saniyya felt a resolve for that grow within her. Could she be High Priestess? Yes, if it meant saving the Versai. Xerxes asked me to speak with a former Versai Sister…Javhindra. She hates me, hates the Versai, and I imagine many others feel the same. I do not know how to change others’ perception of us. I am not even of the old Versai, and I am still hated and mistrusted on sight. I am still trying to figure out what Light stands for, to me, and what that means for my role as a Versai. She paused, wondering if she was permitted to ask Casimiro yet another question. He likely didn’t want to spend too much time speaking with her. What is your opinion on the Helkaer? she asked. She imagined the Versai to be a counter-balance to their chaos…but was that how other horses saw them, too?
tagged// + ebonite + notes// Sani: -writes in more pain-
Post by + ebonite + on Jun 12, 2022 9:43:13 GMT -7
Casi watched for Luna's reactions as he spoke, wondering if she knew anything about what had happened to Lanathia. She looked appropriately saddened and horrified. He hoped that by telling her his story, she would get a better picture of what she was facing when she spoke of goals to reform the Versai. He didn't know how much she knew about the Versai's crimes. She was a new member and there was a lot of history to sort through. When he was finished, she was silent for only a few moments before speaking again. 'What happened to your mother…I would never let that happen. I chose to be Light and Versai freely and willingly. I would want others to choose the same. I’m…' Luna said, trailing off. '“Sorry” doesn’t seem to cut it' Casi nodded gravely. It didn't, but that was usually the only thing others had to offer. What else could they do? The crime had already been done and there was no taking it back. Though Luna was in the unique position where she could do something about it happening in the future. 'My actions will stand in for my words,' she said and Casi took it as a vow. Do it. Prevent it from happening again, the words echoed in his head. 'Were…were Allocen and Eos involved in what happened to your mother?' She asked him then. He shifted his weight a bit, trying to think back to what Elsa had told him. Honestly, he had never put much thought into the specific Versai who had done the cleansing. To him, it didn't matter. The group as a whole was responsible and rotten to the core. However, he did know that his mother had lived in Rosemonde. He believed that was Eos' land. It didn't necessarily mean that Eos was responsible for the cleansing, though. Both her and Allocen had been a part of the Versai back then. Luna could make of that what she would. "I don't know who specificially was responsible. However, I do know that my mother lived in Rosemonde. Both Eos and Allocen were Versai at the time," he answered her. If she wanted to prod further into it, she was free to do so. In fact, it would be wise to do so. The two of them were still Versai now, Luna's partners and superiors.
'Xerxes asked me to speak with a former Versai Sister…Javindhra,' A former Versai sister? Casi couldn't help quirking a brow in curiosity. 'She hates me, hates the Versai, and I imagine many others feel the same. I do not know how to change others’ perception of us. I am not even of the old Versai, and I am still hated and mistrusted on sight. I am still trying to figure out what Light stands for, to me, and what that means for my role as a Versai,' she said to him. He pushed down the immediate sarcastic reaction he had. She was not the enemy here - not so far, anyway. She was trying to fix the Versai, trying to change them. And yes, that would be difficult if you were mistrusted on sight and never given the opportunity to do so. The least Casi could do was give her a chance. Listen to her. Tell her what he knew. If he could help her do it, he had to take that chance. "It will take a lot of work to earn back trust," he said, acknowledging the struggle, "but if you want to save the Versai, it's a burden you'll have to bear." If she was serious about this, then she would do it. It would be a struggle, but if she succeeded at it? The world would improve. 'What is your opinion on the Helkaer?' She asked him then and the question took him aback a bit. As a Vigilum, his opinions didn't really matter all that much. His job was to remain as unbiased as possible when dealing with any situation, even if it involved the Versai or the Helkaer, two of the more maligned groups in Wild Equines. His personal opinion was that the Helkaer were agents of chaos that needed to be watched and they were anathema to the Vigilum's mission of peace. He had not met very many of them. Respira was the most prominent and in all of the situations they'd been in together, they'd been on the same side - Zana's side. It was probably just chance that they had never ended up on opposing sides. He suspected he would likely have to deal with the Helkaer at some point in his career as a Vigilum. "As a Vigilum, it is part of my job not to let my personal opinions interfere with my work," he said to her. "The Helkaer have expressed their dedication to chaos and their past history of burning down Kingdoms means they are at odds with the Vigilum's mission of peace. However, I must help everyone who seeks the Vigilum for help, regardless of their affiliations or past history." Case in point: the fact that he was helping Luna at this very moment. If he were not a Vigilum, it was less likely he would be speaking to a Versai right now.
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes fun fact: casi actually met javindhra before but he met her as evangeline because she was versai at the time LOL
Sani felt grateful that Casimiro hadn’t chased her out yet, given his history with the Versai. Trust her luck to inadvertently come across probably the one Vigilum member with a personal history with the Versai. Perhaps that would actually make him the best horse to speak with, though, as he’d have the most full idea of precisely what she was up against in terms of reform. She eyed him carefully regardless, wary as she always was of outsiders when speaking of her beliefs. He was Vigilum and could not lie, and she couldn’t imagine him causing her harm when he was oathed to neutrality as well, but she just didn’t know how what she would say would be interpreted. She was still so young, and there was no substitute for the lessons of experience. She was absolutely nothing compared to Trinity and Aurora, though she had to ask, had to know if they had been involved in this heinous crime in addition to what had happened to Xerxes.
Her silver eyes tracked him, noting his body language with the ease of long practice in interpreting it. It had been one of her only vehicles of communication in the early stages of her life, after all. She watched his weight shift – was that uncertainty? Maybe he didn’t know? She waited for him to speak, and couldn’t help closing her eyes for a long moment and stifling the sigh that wanted to break free as he confirmed that he indeed did not know, but that his mother had lived in Rosemonde – Rosemonde, Aurora’s land, her mentor’s land – and that both Trinity and Aurora had been Versai at the time. Thank you for telling me she neighed, managing to ungrit her teeth enough to get the sentence out. She would get to the bottom of this, too. She had talked with Aurora once about Xerxes and about the future of the Versai. Perhaps when she next ran into her, she would bring this up as well. It didn’t seem right to let the past to, not when it was full of issues like this. Far better to confront it, to face the mistakes and rectify them however possible, even if it was just with commitments for the future.
She began to tell him then about the old Versai, about her current struggles. He commented it would take a lot of work, but it would have to be up to her. Tell me something I don’t know. He didn’t seem keen to offer more than that – maybe he would be less helpful than she thought? That led to her question about the Helkaer, as it was a natural part of the counterbalance. He said he couldn’t let his personal opinions interfere with his work, but that the Helkaer’s professed mission of chaos put them at odds with the Vigilum’s mission of peace. She nodded – he had said pretty much what she had expected. I’d like for the Versai to balance their chaos she neighed. I know the Vigilum strive for peace through neutrality…I think the Versai will promote Light as peace, and far less neutrally. I don’t think Darks by nature of their very alliance should not exist…their actions should speak for them more than anything else. But I’d rather convert Darks to Light via persuasion, not through forced cleansing. A cleansing should never be forced. If there was one takeaway she wanted Casimiro to get from this conversation, it was that.
How can I be a leader, a High Priestess, even though I am younger than both of my Sisters and lived outside of the Highlands for most of my life? she asked, deciding to abandon talks of alliances and principles and delve into the larger issue. How could she be a leader? Certainly Casimiro would have some helpful advice for that?
tagged// + ebonite + notes// LOL that is a fun fact. Sani wouldn't know Jav as Evangeline, so that connection's never going to be made haha
Post by + ebonite + on Sept 25, 2022 10:25:45 GMT -7
So far, so good. Casi felt far more relaxed and comfortable with this conversation than he had at the beginning. Despite his misgivings about any of the Versai, Luna seemed willing to listen and determined to change the Versai for the better. Whether she would succeed or not... Well he couldn't say, now could he? The Versai were a long-standing group and only they knew how far back the crimes went. Who knew how many other horses like Lanathia had gone through forced cleansings, brainwashed or even dead because of the Versai's twisted morals and extremism. It was something that he didn't like to think about because doing so drove him to rage. He wondered if there were other horses out there who had tried to warn others about the Versai but who were ignored because of the Versai's reputation as "good." That thought also drove him to rage if he dwelled on it for too long. Which is why he couldn't, dismissing it from his mind. It was too late for all of that anyhow. The crimes had been committed.
'Thank you for telling me,' she said to him and he nodded in response. He did wish that there was more information to tell her, but that was all he knew. It could have been Eos or Allocen or it could have been someone who left the group long ago. Only his mother would know with absolute certainty and there was no getting answers from her. All of these years and he'd never been contacted by her from the Afterlife. It was a possibility that she could turn up someday, but he was not going to hold out for it. Sometimes someone never went to the Afterlife for whatever reason. That part of Wild Equines was largely a mystery to Casi still. 'I’d like for the Versai to balance their chaos,' she said in response to his comments about the Helkaer. He nodded. From what he understood, that had been the primary intention of the Versai. He didn't know where they had lost their way in that mission. Or perhaps the mission had been corrupt from the start. 'I know the Vigilum strive for peace through neutrality…I think the Versai will promote Light as peace, and far less neutrally,' he wanted to chuckle a bit and ask if she was trying to put him out of the job. However, after the initial amusement came some concern. By promoting the Light alliance as the alliance of peace, what did that mean for the other alliances? For the Neutrals and the Darks? If they were not the alliances of peace, did that mean it was okay to destroy them? Though that did go against the whole "peace" thing now didn't it? 'I don’t think Darks by nature of their very alliance should not exist…their actions should speak for them more than anything else. But I’d rather convert Darks to Light via persuasion, not through forced cleansing. A cleansing should never be forced,' he eyed her carefully, wondering what exactly she meant by "persuasion." It was not a word to be used lightly. In fact, one could argue that an aspect of a cleansing was persuasion - persuasion through torture and starvation and whatever torment the Versai saw fit. His mother had lost an eye during the cleansing process. Casi did not think that this is what Luna meant by the word, but she needed to be careful.
'How can I be a leader, a High Priestess, even though I am younger than both of my Sisters and lived outside of the Highlands for most of my life?' she asked him then. He felt another wash of amusement come over him. The idea of someone asking him about leadership seemed absurd, but then again, he was now the longest standing member of the Vigilum as well as the leader of a Light land. The Vigilum did not have a leader - they were all equals - but as the longest standing member, he was naturally the one that the others would come to for advice and history lessons. It seemed so silly since sometimes he still felt like the awkward two year old who had just joined the Vigilum, but that had been four years ago now, and he was burdened with knowledge. So what advice could he offer her? "Groups will always benefit from fresh perspectives," he said to her, "it's how they don't become stagnant and stuck in their ways, oblivious to changes that could benefit them." This was far more serious in the Versai's case, given their "ways" consisted of torturing and murdering others. "Right now, I think you're doing exactly what a future leader should do. You're learning," he gave her a small smile, "you're getting other perspectives, finding out what you can, challenging your worldviews." It seemed like the bare minimum, but given she was here and the other Versai were not, that spoke volumes. The idea of Eos or Allocen coming to Mount Vigilum... He wondered if he could handle that. He wondered if they knew what had happened to Lanathia. Had Underoath told them? Had anyone else? And what would their reaction have been? Sadness, anger, satisfaction? Casi gave himself a shake to dislodge these thoughts before they took root. "But as far as making the Light alliance the alliance of peace... What does that mean for the other alliances?" he pointed the question to her and immediately followed it up with another, "And how would you go about persuading a Dark to become a Light?"
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes a mystery to be solved at a later date lmao
Saniyya felt as though she was probably being too open with Casimiro. She was asking and expressing things to him that she had not expressed to any other horse, mainly because they were not things she could express to her Sisters, and there was no one else she could trust with these things. She didn’t have any true friendships, still too early into her time as a Versai. It would probably be a good idea to develop some outside friendships, come to think of it, but she was judged too harshly for being Versai and hadn’t managed it yet. And that was besides the point…she was Versai for a reason. It wasn’t to promote her own happiness – right now, it was to try and save the Versai’s reputation, and be her own Versai. As it was, Sani was only somewhat conscious of Casimiro’s reactions as she tried to explain and ask things. He seemed to be nodding in response to her, his face neutral…that had to be a good sign, right? Sani finally paused, asking him about leadership. Casimiro had more to say on that.
What he had to say was…interesting. Sani nodded, listening as Casimiro described how groups benefit from fresh perspectives, as it helped them avoid becoming stagnant. Yes. That was what she wanted – to make the Versai develop into something new, with her leading the way as the newest face and the new generation. He then gave her some affirmation, saying what she was doing was exactly what she should – getting other perspectives, finding out what she could, challenging her worldview. She nodded, but cautiously, assuming there would be some “but” at the end of that statement. She would continue trying to do better, but did Casimiro have anything to say other than to continue what she was currently doing. He asked her then about what she meant, making the Light alliance the alliance of peace and how to go about persuading Darks to become Light. Those were good questions, and she thought through them carefully before responding.
I think being Light is being better…but if others don’t wish to be, then that is their choice she neighed, thinking it through even as she responded. I chose. I wouldn’t want that choice to be taken away from others. But if someone is hurting someone else…it doesn’t matter their alliance. I would oppose that. I don’t think the Versai would necessarily get involved…that’s not my decision…I don’t know she admitted, a bit sheepish. I’m still figuring it out myself. And in terms of persuading a Dark to become Light…I would try to show that Light ideals and ways of life are better. But if they didn’t agree…once again, that is their choice. Maybe I need to understand the Dark alliance more she offered, her silver gaze tracking past Casimiro to stare thoughtfully into the foliage. I used to be unallianced…at one point, I turned to violence, and realized that was Dark. That was when I came to Allocen, and chose to become Light. She wasn’t going to give more details than that – she was being open enough already. Maybe I would best understand what I mean…if I was friends with someone who is Dark? That was…a risky proposition. But Saniyya couldn’t think of any other way to better understand where she stood, versus where the Darks stood.
tagged// + ebonite + notes// Kind of love the idea of her being friends with a Dark tbh haha
Post by + ebonite + on Dec 8, 2022 18:56:39 GMT -7
The two questions he had posed to Sani were pivotal. How she answered them would tell Casi a lot about her thought process and where she intended for the Versai to go. He had to take care to listen to her and make sure that he was hearing the words she actually had to say, instead of inserting his own biases into it. Be impartial. It would be easy for him to make a snap judgment and put words in her mouth. No, she had come here for advice and guidance and even though it made him feel mildly ill to be doing such a thing for the group that had murdered his mother it was also his opportunity to try to make them better. Luna had sought him out. She had made the choice to come here and he had to make the choice to listen. 'I think being Light is being better…but if others don’t wish to be, then that is their choice,' she said to him. He quirked a brow at the word "better." Putting a quantifier on an alliance was dangerous. If Lights were better, then that was an easy key for them to declare superiority. For if they were better, then the other alliances were worse. He tucked these thoughts away as she continued to speak.
'I chose. I wouldn’t want that choice to be taken away from others. But if someone is hurting someone else…it doesn’t matter their alliance. I would oppose that. I don’t think the Versai would necessarily get involved…that’s not my decision…I don’t know,' she said to him. He smiled a bit. No, getting involved is my job, he thought to himself, though he did not say it outloud just yet. 'I’m still figuring it out myself. And in terms of persuading a Dark to become Light…I would try to show that Light ideals and ways of life are better. But if they didn’t agree…once again, that is their choice. Maybe I need to understand the Dark alliance more.' Again, she used that word, "better". That would get her into trouble. That was following the old ways of the Versai, who considered Lights better than all others. She needed to change that line of thinking. He did agree that she needed to understand the Dark alliance more. She needed to see what they were like, not mysterious bloodthirsty creatures, but horses just like herself and Casi. In fact, Casi could use more exposure to the Dark alliance himself. 'I used to be unallianced…at one point, I turned to violence, and realized that was Dark. That was when I came to Allocen, and chose to become Light. Maybe I would best understand what I mean…if I was friends with someone who is Dark?' He listened to her, nodding. Why did she think that violence was Dark? Who had told her that? Had it been Allocen?
Now that she was finished with her own thoughts, Casi could provide his own. "Twice you mentioned the Light alliance as being 'better'," he said, keeping his tone neutral, a mere observation. "This is a dangerous line of thinking. Those who think their alliance is better than the rest devalues the others, and that's what leads to extremism like the Versai," he warned her. She had to rethink why she wanted others to convert to the Light alliance. Not for a "better" way of life, but for a different one. And for that, she needed to examine what exactly made someone a Light in the first place. What did the Light alliance stand for? "What makes a Light? And what makes a Dark? I think it would be a very good idea to get to know those of the Dark alliance. Their paths in life are different than those of us Lights, but that does not make them better or worse than us. It just makes them different," he gave her another smile, hoping that he was giving her plenty of food for thought - and food for thought that she would take to heart. "As a Vigilum and as an individual, I do not condone violence, but where negotiation does not work, sometimes violence is the only way to protect someone," he said to her. He had protected Zana from Abysm and he had again protected her from the demon. "Does that make violence always Dark?" And with that, he posed another question for her to think about.
tagSunfrost timeline a few days after cassian's vigilum ceremony notes i'm rusty af but here you are
Saniyya found herself gradually relaxing in the presence of Casimiro as they talked. At first she had faced this conversation with trepidation, worry, an unfamiliar face, but Casimiro was living up to what he was supposed to be doing – a Vigilum, an unbiased ear, someone who could speak to her without getting in her face or refusing to acknowledge her. He was providing exactly the conversation that she needed as she moved along her journey as a Versai. She just hoped she wouldn’t say something wrong that would cause him to back off and ignore her, or tell her to leave. Sani truly wanted to build the Versai to be better than what a single wrong action against Xerxes had made them out to be. They were capable of so much. And the crux of what they would be hinged on opposing the Helkaer. She was settling more into that line of thinking, for surely nothing could excuse the cruelty of that group. But what else should they stand against? She would have to think further.
The young Versai was so lost in thought that she didn’t look at Casimiro until she was done speaking – or perhaps she had been too nervous to read his reactions upon his face. Casimiro was Vigilum. He could not lie. Did that mean he was able to hide any of his emotional reactions upon his visage, or was he forced to express them, for hiding them would be a lie? She didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to lose her nerve. He began to speak now, and Saniyya nervously listened, her silver eyes focused lightly on his and occasionally breaking away to contemplate something he said. She didn’t want to stare directly at him the whole time. That could be interpreted as her challenging him or something, and she didn’t want that.
Casimiro pointed out that she had repeatedly called the Light alliance ‘better’ and that this was a dangerous line of thinking, as it devalued the other alliances and that was what led to extremism. But of course Sani thought, confused despite herself. Lights were better. The Versai were Light extremists. It was part of their identity. She continued listening, hoping Casimiro would expand upon his thoughts, and he did not disappoint. What makes a Light? What makes a Dark?How we live Sani thought at once. The Helkaer sought chaos and thought themselves above all; the Versai stood in opposition and sought peace. Casimiro approved of her idea to get to know some members of the Dark alliance, but to come at it from the perspective of them being different, not worse. That was interesting. Her silver eyes strayed over to the landscape, pondering, cocking a hoof unintentionally and frowning slightly as she thought. What made each of them their alliance? It wasn’t as though some horse verified their membership in either – they just declared it.
Interestingly, Casimiro then said violence was sometimes necessary even though he didn’t condone it as a Vigilum and as a horse himself. Does that make violence always Dark? Sani flinched despite herself at that, vividly recalling the words of former Dark Queen Sephora egging her on to defend herself against the horse who had been taunting her. She had almost done it…and then felt disgusted, and run away to be cleansed. Within days of her cleansing, she was made Versai. Her thinking had changed a lot since then, and she hadn’t revisited the topic of violence much since then. But the Versai trained in battle every day. They were prepared to use violence. Was it wrong to defend oneself? Was it wrong to protect another? The motivation is what matters she mused, arriving at an unsteady conclusion, silver eyes refocusing on Casimiro. It isn’t right to be violent for the sake of violence. But if violence is to protect another…or to protect oneself…it has to be right. Right? This…was making her see the way she had reacted, back when she still had her speech impediment, in a whole new light. And for the first time, Sani found herself wondering if coming to be cleansed was an overreaction. Maybe it hadn’t been necessary.
But if she hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have become Versai.
tagged// + ebonite + notes// This thread produces muse <3