Sunday, 23 July 2017

Chapter 3.04 - Old Wives' Tales

Lyra stared at her surroundings, her eyes bewildered. The reeds rustled in the wind and in front of her, the Full Moon glistened ominously in the crystal water stretched out before her. The absence of the usual night sounds was almost obtrusive, but Lyra was only vaguely aware of it. All she knew for certain was that the lake in front of her was not the one she had been standing at before that flash of light had thrown her senses haywire.
"What," she asked bewilderedly, "just happened?"
The night remained silent, and the wind blowing through the reeds and treetops did nothing to answer her, so she turned to the presence she had heard beside her. A presence who turned out to be Charlotte, her oh so favourite being in the world.
"Hello? Charlotte? An answer please?"
The ghost looked up at Lyra's request. She too had large eyes as she regarded their surroundings.
"This is bad," she muttered anxiously. "This is very, very bad. We have to get back."
"No shit," Lyra agreed enthusiastically, "but where are we? And how did we get here?"
The ghost looked at Lyra with a slight scowl. The sight caused Lyra to start slightly. She had never seen the ghost scowl before.
"It's Full Moon," the ghost replied, her voice slightly irritated. "You know what it means, you've heard the stories before."
Lyra crossed her arms and scowled at Charlotte, not amused at all by the answer.
"What, you mean the stories about 'The Wilds'? You know just as well as I do they don't exist," she scoffed.
"Oh, they're real alright," Charlotte disagreed and turned around, looking anxiously around them and searching for who-knew-what. "And right now you don't have to worry about the Wilds because here, we are the Wilds."
The words sent ominous shivers down Lyra's spine.
"What the hell do you mean with that?" she asked again, but the ghost ignored her, her eyes still searching the reeds surrounding them. "Charlotte? Answer me, dammit!"
"Lyra, please," the ghost muttered impatiently, another first for Lyra, “can you just keep quiet for a bit? I'm trying to listen."
Lyra abruptly closed her mouth, swallowing her next question and strained her ears, trying to figure out what Charlotte was trying to listen to. An uneasy feeling ran down her spine when she noticed the absolute silence around them.
That wasn't right. They were in the middle of the wilderness, at night. There should've been the sound of wildlife around them.
A shrill cry sounded above them and the next moment something hit Lyra's back, causing her to tumble forward and onto the ground once again. It didn’t stop there, as her arms were suddenly pinned mercilessly to the ground. Charlotte cried her name out in concern, but a flying creature of some kind dove at her and she shielded her face. To Lyra's immense surprise, the creature actually managed to topple the ghost to the ground and keep her pinned there, providing Lyra with a clear view of the creature for the first time.
...It was a dragon. An honest-to-god, goddamn dragon. It was quite a lot smaller than the ones in legends, but there was no mistaking the features.
"You'd do well to listen to your ghostly friend's advice," a male voice announced gruffly from on top of her, providing her with the first clue of her attacker’s identity. "Sound travels far in the darkness. Now, who are you, and why are you here?”
Lyra swallowed heavily, having no idea how to answer the gruff stranger on her back, but Charlotte relieved her of that responsibility.
"We're travellers," the ghost proclaimed. "Please, we just want to go home."
The man made a disgusted sound at her revelation and his hold on Lyra's arms tightened.
"Wilds, you mean," he snarled, his tone heavy with disgust. "I should just kill you here and now. You guys just never learn, do you."
"Please," Charlotte pleaded, "I swear, we mean you no harm. We arrived here simply by accident. We just want to get home."
The man snorted, unamused.
"Do you take me for an imbecile, ghost?" he asked shortly. "Rifts don't open by accident. One of you opened that Rift, and somehow I doubt it's the human."
"Fine," Charlotte submitted. "Alright. Yes, I opened the Gate, but I swear, I do not mean to harm this World. I simply wanted to find my brother. My companion was brought along by accident. My name is Charlotte Ainsworth, and my companion is Lyra Marquel. I swear to you, it is the truth. We mean you no harm."
The man’s hold tightened even more, causing Lyra to clench her teeth together. His hold was physically causing her pain.
 “A likely story,” the man disagreed. “Give me one reason why I should believe you.”
Lyra tried to move her wrists, trying to lessen the pain of his hold, but the man didn’t even spare her glance, tightening his hold instead. She finally snapped from the pain and indignity of being ignored for so long.
“Listen, you ass,” she interrupted him angrily, ignoring Charlotte’s warning cry for her to stop,” what the hell do you want from us? You’re clearly not willing to listen to a word we say, so what do you want?! Seriously, just let us go already!”
“Like hell I will,” the man instantly retorted. “You’re dangerous. I’m not going to let another goddamn Wild ruin things even further.”
Lyra twitched beneath him, trying to turn around and get a clear view of her captor, but his hold on her back was too tight.
 “And what,” she replied waspishly, “do you expect – “
He clamped a hand across her mouth, instantly silencing her.
“Listen,” he hissed quietly. “I don’t care who you are or where you come from, or what your intentions are, but I will not let you endanger us. So shut up. As far as I’m concerned, all you damned Wilds should just go to hell.”
Bright light gathered around his hands, crackling ominously with power. Lyra flinched back from the sight, trying her best to renew her struggles, but his hold was unrelenting. Lyra clenched her eyes shut, knowing that whatever he was going to do to her was going to hurt hellishly, but a different, unknown voice barked out a sharp command and at the last moment, the light around her captor’s hand changed and instead of the harsh slam she had been expecting, her captor merely laid his hand against her forehead.
However, that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
The moment he laid his hand on her head, a massive headache exploded into her head. Her sight dimmed, and through the haze that suddenly seemed to engulf her, she vaguely heard an unfamiliar voice speak.
“Are you out of your mind?!”
Her eyes fluttered close and the world grew dark.
When she woke up again, the sight that met her was pretty dismal, and the ass that had knocked her out was nowhere to be seen.
 “Great,” she grumbled irritably, “just what I need.” Her words rang dully through the cell with no reply. On the other side of the room, Charlotte was curled up against the wall with a thunderous expression on her face.
“How the hell did they manage to capture you?” Lyra asked irritably. While she was glad not be alone, she did not want to be stuck here with Charlotte.
The question made the black look on the ghost’s face intensify. It was quite a novel sight, Lyra mused. Charlotte didn’t do the angry look. She just didn’t. No matter what the situation, the ghost always, always had that tranquil, I-know-everything look about her. So yeah, the scowl was quite a novel look on her.
 “They have a death dragon,” the ghost grumbled her reply. “What exactly am I supposed to do against a death dragon? I don’t want to go to the World of the Dead yet.”
The answer was intriguing enough that Lyra managed to put her dislike of the ghost to the side.
“A death dragon? So that thing really was a dragon?”
Charlotte gave a soft sigh before she nodded reluctantly.
“They’re native to magical worlds,” she imparted. “Which means we’ve landed on one. As a ghost, a magical being, that death dragon holds immense power over me.”
“And don’t you forget that,” the voice of their captor came from the direction of the bars separating them from the rest of the world.
Lyra jumped up from her position on the crummy bed she had been sitting on. For the first time, she could clearly see the face of her captor. She was surprised. He was younger than she had expected from his voice. He couldn’t be much older than her.
“Get up,” he ordered briskly. On his arm, a different dragon than before chirped at them. The sound caused Charlotte to scramble up as well, staring at the dragon with fear.
Huh, Lyra thought absently. So that’s the ‘death dragon’.
 “If it had been up to me, I would have killed you the moment I found you,” the man informed them gruffly. “But my orders are clear, and it seems you’re in luck today. Our leader wants to give you a chance. If you answer our questions.”
He tilted his head up, staring down at them with cold eyes.
“First question: What exactly are you doing in our world?” he demanded brusquely. “Why are you here? What do you hope to achieve?”
 “We came to this world to look for my brother,” Charlotte answered him timidly. “At least, I did. Lyra here was brought along by accident. I’ve been following his trail for a long time now, and I finally found the world it leads to -”
 “Spare me the sob-story,” the man interrupted her rudely. “What is the real reason?”
The ghost raised her hands in defence.
“I swear to you, it is the truth. I swear by the Keeper.”
The Keeper? Lyra wondered, brow creased in confusion. Just why does this damn ghost keep going on about old wives’ tales?
To be perfectly honest, Lyra hadn’t thought about those tales for ages. They were bedtime stories, for crying out. She remembered sitting on her granddad’s lap as a toddler, eagerly listening to him as he told her about the supernatural being that collected souls after death, thereby keeping the balance of the universe (or something like that: she couldn’t exactly remember all the details). She remembered nights of lying in her bed, listening to her dad’s strong, familiar voice reading her the stories he had written – stories about magic, creatures, different worlds, and the way they were all connected. They were just that though – stories. Nothing else.
So why did Charlotte keep mentioning those old tales, and why was this ass acting like she was talking sense? What would it matter if Charlotte swore by the Keeper or not?
The man stared broodingly at them after that confession, his expression thoughtful as he seemingly mulled over the words.
"A ghost, swearing by the Keeper,” he mused, breaking the silence. “How unusual.”
“Please,” Charlotte begged again. “Please, just let us go. I need to get Lyra back home before the Full Moon ends.”
The man snorted unceremoniously. “Fat chance of that,” he declared flatly. “This is a Gateway World, ghost. The Rift is closed for this cycle. If you really want that Rift to open again, you’ll have to convince our leader to reopen it. With all these Wilds about, I doubt you’ll be successful,” he sneered contemptuously.
“Gateway World?” Charlotte questioned in a small voice, clearly stumped by the term.
“So what, you’re just going to keep us here, against our will?” Lyra interrupted crossly, angered by the ass’ demeaning attitude towards them. “We’ve done nothing wrong!”
 “I don’t have to explain myself to you,” he snapped at her. “I might be willing to give her a chance, but you’ve done nothing but antagonize me, so if I were you, I’d watch my step.”
Fire snapped in her eyes and she gave a step forward, eager to give that arrogant ass a piece of her mind, but the dragon on his shoulder flared its wings in warning, causing her to flinch back. There must’ve been a reason Charlotte was so afraid of the damn thing.
“And don’t stick your uppity little nose in matters you don’t understand, human,” he continued his lecture. “There are only a handful of people with the power to reopen a closed Rift, and none of them will do it without our leader’s say-so.”
“Gateway World?” Charlotte asked again in a louder voice, her voice apprehensive.
There were several moments of silence as the ass stared incredulously at the ghost.
“You opened the Rift, but you don’t even know what a Gateway World is?” he asked incredulously. “This the first time you jumped?”
Mutely, the ghost nodded, her eyes wide.
 “I’ve opened the Gate before, but I’ve never gone through,” she admitted. “I thought –“
“You didn’t,” the man growled at her before shaking his head. “Fuck this,” he muttered to himself. “Leneo can deal with this himself.”
Charlotte’s eyes went wide, and her mouth formed a round ‘o’ with surprise.
“…What did you say?”
The man shot her an annoyed glare.
“Nothing that concerns you,” he snapped before turning around to exit the room, but not before giving them one last warning.
 “If you put even one toe out of line, I will put you down,” the man growled at them. He shook his head in dislike before he walked away from them, his footsteps disappearing into the distance.
Lyra sighed tiredly and sank to the floor of the cell. Charlotte just stared mutely at the cell wall, her thoughts clearly very, very far away. Lyra had absolutely no desire to talk to her, so she flatly ignored the ghost, choosing instead to glance at the dismal cell surrounding them.
An indeterminate time later, their captor returned to their cell and with a noisy clank, he unlocked the door.
“Come with me,” he ordered them briskly, opening the door and leading them off into the corridor without a second glance at them, his footsteps silent. Lyra followed quietly, taking the opportunity to study the people she could feel looking suspiciously at her.
They weren’t like any people she’s seen before. There was a wary and dark air around them, as if any of them could kill her at any moment without spending any effort. More than that, they were different; some had skin that was just a shade too pale, others had eyes that were just a little too bright, and others…others had wings. Like fairies made human. It was utterly surreal.
Their captor – and honestly, how annoying was it to keep referring to him like that? Couldn’t he at least have given them his name? – led them to a corner across the room, where another man was standing, talking to a woman who gave of a feel of otherworldly beauty. In front of these people, Lyra felt like she was an insignificant bug that could be squashed with a simple wave.
Without question, Lyra knew that man was the ‘leader’ their captor had mentioned. 
 “Our ‘guests’,” their captor announced their presence the people in front of them. “One idiotic ghost and one just as idiotic human.”
“Thank you, Blaise,” the ‘leader’ addressed their captor, the tone of his voice carrying a slight reprimand.
Ah, Lyra thought, the ass finally has a name.
Beside her, Charlotte gave a startled gasp.
“No way,” she breathed in disbelief. “Leneo?”
 The leader wordlessly raised his eyebrow at her, just a little, staring at the ghost for several long moments before recognition lit his face.
 “Charlotte,” he reciprocated. “What a surprise.”
 “You’re still alive,” Charlotte stated, her voice filled with wonder. “After all these years. I thought, that night – “
 “ – that I died?” Leneo wryly completed her sentence. “Not quite. But that was centuries ago, so it doesn’t really matter in the here and now. What matters is that my son tells me you want to reopen the Rift to Sunset Valley.”
The indifferent way he treated Charlotte must’ve taken her off-guard, as she was visibly surprised by the change of subject.
“I…yes,” she agreed hesitantly. “The Gate…it wasn’t supposed to be used, but Lyra surprised me into opening it fully. I never meant to go through, and I definitely never meant for Lyra to come with. Her family and her entire life is in Sunset Valley, and I’m very close friends with her mother. I have to get her back.”
Lyra crossed her arms and glanced away, slightly disturbed by Charlotte’s words. Her entire life was in Sunset Valley? Not quite. The only thing she had left in that godforsaken place was her family.
Leneo turned his gaze to Lyra, studying her with inquisitive eyes, but his words were directed at Charlotte.
“You’re friends with her mother?”
“Yes,” Charlotte agreed. “I’ve known her since she was a very young girl, and I’ve known her children their entire lives. Chantia – that’s Lyra’s mother – was born on Full Moon, so she’s always been able to –“
Charlotte was still talking, but Lyra could clearly see that Leneo was only paying attention with half an ear. Instead, the majority of his attention was fixed on Lyra herself.
 “You don’t feel you belong there, do you,” he addressed Lyra, interrupting Charlotte’s explanation. His words were a question, but his tone anything but.
Lyra stared mutely at him. How could he know that? Was it just a lucky guess?
“Why would you say that?” she asked defensively, deflecting the question.
His eerily glowing eyes continued staring at her, and there was some emotion in them that filled Lyra with dread. His question hadn’t been a lucky guess. He knew. Somehow, he knew that she had never felt like she belonged.
…But what would it matter anyway? She had to go home, whether she felt like she belonged or not. She had things she couldn’t abandon. Her family would be looking for her. She had photoshoots she had to complete. She had a myriad amount of arrangements she had to make before she could finally leave that godforsaken town. She still had to –
“I cannot allow the Rift to be reopened.”
Her thoughts came to a crashing halt at those words. By her side, Charlotte immediately began to protest, but Leneo resolutely held his hand up to stop her.
 “She’s an Anomaly, Charlotte,” he declared sharply. “Allowing her to return to return to a world she does not belong to will only disrupt the Balance around that world even further. I cannot allow that. The Sunset Valley Balance is very, very close to being irreparably disrupted, and I will not allow that to continue. Above all else, I serve the Keeper, and the Balance. I will not let the Rift be reopened.”
Lyra stared mutely at him, horrified by his words. What the hell?! How could he refuse her to go back? It was her home! Yeah, sure, she didn’t exactly like it, or even felt like she really belonged, but why would that give him reason to keep them here? It wasn’t right!
A subtle rustle of cloth drew her attention as the woman who had so far been standing silently and motionlessly turned to her. Once again, Lyra was struck by the otherworldly sense of beauty the woman radiated. From a completely conventional point of view the woman wasn’t even that pretty, but something about her made Lyra feel utterly mediocre in comparison.
In front of this woman, she was utterly unable to move or even think, simply staring at her in wonder, even as the woman delicately placed two fingers under her chin and forced her to look her in the eye. Images from an almost-forgotten dream from a night long, long ago flashed through her mind, swirling around and around, the images just as vivid as she remembered them, and voices from that same dream echoed off the walls of her mind, echoing again and again and again.
Anomaly. Not Right. Balance cannot be kept.
 “The Keeper’s touch is upon you,” the voice of the woman sounded as if from far away, intruding into her thoughts. “He has identified you many, many years ago, as one the Balance cannot deal with. You are not here by accident.”
Lyra stared at the woman with tears in her eyes. Her mind was a fractured mess of vivid images, and she couldn’t focus on a single clear thought. Like snowflakes in a blizzard they swirled around and around, keeping her from forming a single lucid thought. She felt suspended, stuck in a snippet of time that would never move again. Everything around her, every sight, sound, texture, smell, everything, faded into the distance, and the only thing that kept her from drifting off into the infinity of the abyss was the vivid green eyes staring into her soul, and the light, gentle touch of two fingers placed beneath her chin.
 “Sleep, child,” the silver voice told her. “Tomorrow things will make more sense.”
The fractured vivid images in her mind blackened, and she allowed darkness to pull her under.
Tomorrow things will make more sense.
Lyra woke slowly and heavily, her eyes feeling gritty and her bones and muscles feeling leaden with fatigue. She had slept the sleep of the dead, but she didn’t feel rested in the least. She had a vicious headache splitting her brain right above her eyes and with a groan she buried her head in the soft pillow, attempting her best to drown out the pain and remember what the hell she had done the previous night.
Her eyes shot open as she remembered everything – Charlotte, that arrogant ass, Leneo, that beautiful woman, fractured images that were breaking her mind
She gasped and shot up, trying her best to drive those images out of her mind, her heart racing. The images stubbornly lingered, twisting and mixing into one senseless picture, but to her relief, the images no longer felt like they were going to break her mind. They still gave her one heck of a headache though.
She glanced around at her surroundings, anything to drive those images away.
Well, at least the room was an upgrade from her dismal lodgings of the previous day.
A knock on the door startled her, causing her to jerk her head and stare at the closed door in apprehension. Charlotte was nowhere in sight, and for the first time Lyra realised she was completely alone.
Alone, and somehow stuck in a place with no way to get home. And yes, she was so utterly aware that she could not go home. Amongst all the senseless, vivid pain and imagery, she came out of it with only one lucid thought:
I mustn’t go back. I won’t ever belong there.
The knock on her door repeated, insistently. Plumbob, that was annoying. The sound drilled into her mind, poking and prodding at her blinding headache.
Annoyed, Lyra stalked across the room and jerked the door open.
What is it?” she snapped irritably.
The woman at her door simply lifted an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed with Lyra’s snappish behaviour. She chewed on a piece of gum, blowing a bubble and popping it with a loud snap.
“Alison wants to talk to you,” she informed Lyra, her entire bearing filled with boredom. “She told me to fetch you, so I’m fetching you.”
“So what, are you a goddamn dog to play fetch like an obedient little puppy?” Lyra snapped at her.
“Ooh, testy, aren’t we?” the woman responded, not intimidated in the least. “I’m a wolf, love, not a dog. And if you don’t want to meet with the most powerful person on this island, then that’s not my problem.” She gave Lyra a sweet smile. “If you do care though, I’ll be waiting outside this room for five minutes. If you’re not here after that, I’ll assume you don’t care about the consequences and I’ll inform her promptly that you don’t give a shit.” She raised her eyebrows at Lyra challengingly. “So what’s it gonna be, love? Should I wait here like an obedient little puppy?”
Lyra ground her teeth together in anger. She was stuck in a completely foreign place, with absolutely no way to get back home, and as much as she would like to send this harpy to hell, she was her only ticket to finding answers.
“Fine,” she bit out. “I’ll be here.” With that she slammed the door shut, trying her best to forget the smug smile that was on the harpy’s face.
Five minutes later, she was back in the self-proclaimed wolf’s company, trailing sullenly behind her as she was led through the strange corridors of the place. There weren’t a lot of people around, but the ones who were around carried that same air of wariness and danger from the previous night.
“What is this place anyway?” Lyra asked absently, feeling unsettled from the stares directed at the two of them.
“Our base,” her escort answered with that same lazily bored tone she had initially greeted Lyra with. “Every Full Moon we gather here for the hunt, and in between to discuss it. If you wanna know more, you’ll have to ask Alison.” With that she gestured lazily at a table where two women were already sitting – one of them being the woman she had talked to the previous night.
 “Come, take a seat,” the woman greeted Lyra with a friendly smile, gesturing at the empty chair. In the bright light of the room, she looked just like a normal, ordinary person. She was still beautiful, but Lyra no longer felt like the woman had that earth-shattering beauty that had captivated her and kept her in complete thrall the previous night.
“We have not been introduced properly,” she smiled at Lyra. “I am Alison Everhart, and this -” she gestured at the other woman sitting by the table, “- is Sionann Bernier, who you’ll be seeing quite a bit of in the next five years, fate willing. I understand your name is Lyra?”
Lyra nodded hesitantly and took the seat presented to her.
 “Lyra Marquel, yes,” she agreed. “What’s going on? What happened last night? And where is Charlotte?” She was desperate for a familiar face, even if that face belonged to someone she wasn’t exactly fond of.
Alison hummed and took a sip from the cup in front of her.
“All difficult questions,” she remarked, glancing at Lyra over her glasses. “I believe Charlotte has moved on, after her conversation with my partner last night. She’s been…made aware of her actions, and I believe she’s come to an agreement with the Keeper. Whatever that agreement is, I do not have the privilege of knowing. As to what happened last night, to you in particular,” she paused, taking another sip of tea, “is a bit more complicated. Tell me, child: what do you know of the Balance?”
…And again it was with the old wives’ tales. Why was everybody lately fixating on old bedtime stories?
“I know it’s a fairy tale,” Lyra answered flatly. Honestly, she wasn’t a child. “Something that’s been made up to entertain little children while they’re trying to go to sleep. Why are you bringing this up?”
Beside her, the fairy burst out laughing, her laughter ringing across the room in peals. Even Alison was smiling, like Lyra had told them a particularly funny joke. Well, whatever the joke was, she didn’t get it. There was nothing even remotely funny about the situation she found herself in.
“The Balance is not a fairy tale,” Alison informed her indulgently, her mouth still quirking up in amusement. “It is the truth of everything, the one thing that remains true in every single world out there. It is the one thing that governs the worlds, and the one thing that determines whether a world thrives, or dies. It is the one thing around which every single thing revolves. It is also,” she pointed out, “the reason why you cannot return home.”
Lyra felt her eye twitch at that reminder. This was ridiculous. She just wanted to go home, but the knowledge that she couldn’t, that she mustn’t, was so deeply ingrained on her mind that she simply couldn’t dismiss it. She wanted answers, not some goddamn story.
The smile on Alison’s face softened, and a gentle look appeared in her eyes.
“I see I lost you,” she remarked gently. “Calm down, child, and listen. Let me explain to you why the Balance is not a fairy tale, and I promise, things will make more sense. Not only just the events from last night, but also things you didn’t even know didn’t make sense. I promise.”
There wasn’t even a hint of doubt in her voice. Lyra took a deep breath to try and calm down. She wanted answers. Bedtime story or not, if the answers really lied in a fairy tale, she’d listen. Alison had told her that things would make more sense, so things had better make sense.
She sat up straight in her chair, and listened.
A/N: I’ve recently realised that I’d done an absolutely terrible job in explaining the lore of the Marquel universe, so I’ve created a new page that explains it. Generation 3 is not going to make sense at all if you don’t have the lore, and the majority of Chantia’s part of the story in Generation 2 is lore-based (but slightly buried in between Sam’s drama), so I suggest reading it. Alison will explain the majority of the lore in the next chapter, but the lore page explains it in shorter and simpler terms, so feel free to take a glance. ;)
Also, how satisfying was it to see Lyra get a taste of her own medicine? XD I enjoyed writing it way too much. The sassy lovely wolf-lady is Melody Matthews, from FutureCarrie?’s blog.
Some random stuff about the newly introduced sims:
Sionann Bernier - Sionann’s name is pronounced as Shaun-nahn. She is the 2nd generation heir of my wishacy, and the daughter of Sean Kelly from Dragon Valley. She’s quite pretty for the daughter of a townie sim, isn’t she?
Leneo Ainsworth – Leneo is the 2nd generation heir of my play-for-fun RL. Charlotte is a spare from that same generation. So yes, Leneo was the brother she’s been looking for the whole time. ;)
Alison Everhart – My original play-for-fun RL save went glitchy after I installed IP, so I plucked Leneo out and made him the founder of my next attempt. Alison was his co-founder.
Blaise Ainsworth/Everhart) – The son of Leneo and Alison, thus making him the 2nd generation spare for my second attempt at a play-for-fun RL.


  1. Oh poor Lyra, not being able to go home and even just tell her family she's safe(ish?) For 5 years! Given her situation, for once her snark was completely justified, if ill advised.

    Whoa, so Leneo was alive this whole time? He doesn't seem too surprised or happy to see his sister, even if it has been centuries...

    1. Yeah, it's a pretty bad situation for both Lyra and the rest of her family. And is she safe? Guess time will tell. ;)

      And yup, Leneo was alive this whole time. :) He's a bit indifferent to Charlotte as it has been centuries since he's seen her, and he had bigger things to worry about. For Charlotte everything had been about him, so the encounter meant different things to the two of them.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Melody and the other is Belle right (your Lyra)? If I'm wrong about Lyra then sorry, just curious as she looks an awful lot like her and I've been catching up of FutureCarrie's page. I gotta catch up on your blog but the story's great so far. And who knew a townie could have such lovely sim-babies?

    1. :( Lyra was born fair and square in my own game. She looks absolutely nothing like Belle. I love Belle to bits, but I wouldn't use another persons's sim as the heir to my own legacy. I'm glad you're enjoying my story though. I'm surprised you managed to follow this chapter without knowing the rest of the story. :) I hope you enjoy the rest of the story too!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. Aww, pardon me then! No offense intended and she's really pretty. Is it a french heritage thing (I'm obviously ignorant of your blog as I'm just reading it now and apparently reading it backwards)? But I swear it's like Charlotte Dubois over in France too. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the dark hair pale skin look though.

      Anyways my first sim in Gen 1 I created and loved his look until I put a certain pair of glasses on him and realized I created freakin Emit Relevart with slightly better hair, I still love him but I can't unsee it lol.

    3. ;) No worries. It could be a french heritage thing, but I doubt that, as Lyra's looks comes mainly from her decidedly not french dad, although her eyes are scarily similar to Charlotte Dubois'. Odd. It probably is just the dark hair pale skin thing going on.

      And lol! You might be better off starting at the beginning rather than reading backwards. The story might get a bit confusing if you read it backwards, as I tend to refer to past events quite a bit.

  3. ... I can't really see Belle in Lyra. I think the only similarities I can see are dark hair and pale skin combo (but that's nothing) and at a push, maybe the cheekbones kinda (that could be because they're both French (or at least descendants) and I feel like Belle's dad has some connection to Chantia's dad? Idk I can't remember Belle was made sooooooo long ago, actually I think I may have altered her cheekbones myself when she was a teenager? Yeah I think I did so that's kinda a moot-point now) ? But nah. Lyra and Belle don't look alike I don't think (I'm glad you love her though ^-^)

    AAAHHHHH MELODY! <3 Ah it's so nice seeing her not dead ^-^

    That must be heartbreaking for Charlotte. She was so worried about her brother all this time, and if I'm remembering correctly, wasn't that the reason why she couldn't move on? She was searching for her brother? And to be treated that way, poor Charlotte :c

    Jeez, not being able to see her family for five years? Oh I'm worried now because so much can change in that amount of time. Will it be considered her going missing? Maybe it might bring her siblings closer, realising that they have less time with each other than anticipated *shrugs* I think I'm being optimistic with that, Renard and Arienne seem pretty set in their ways still.

    1. IKR? I don't think they much look alike either. And of course I love Belle! I've always loved her. <3 I love Melody almost as much as I do Belle, and considering I've used her here that should say a lot!

      You broke my heart when you killed her off, so I had to give her another chance. ;)

      Yup, Leneo was the reason Charlotte couldn't move on. She felt guilty for letting him disappear. Leneo is just indifferent to her because to him it is all ancient history. I imagine they had a good and proper airing out of dirty laundry in the off-screen conversation they had while Lyra was in la-la-land.

      Yeah, five years is a long time. Of course, there's no guarantee she'll go back. ;) And it probably is long enough that people will think she either went missing or died, not that either option will be good for the ones left behind. Who knows? Maybe it'll be the kick Arienne needs to get over her issues with Renard. Then again, maybe not.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Ah I didn't know the lore page was new, I read it before this chapter and was proud to recognize so many terms haha

    I laughed out loud at the "Listen, you ass" line at the beginning, that was so unexpected XD All that intense, mysterious build-up, a very dangerous and scary situation, you'd expect them to freeze in fear or something like that... and Lyra is just like "okay, listen here you little shit" hahaha
    Oh man, she must be really fearless to act like that even though she can clearly feel how powerful her captors are. I'm surprised she remains so sceptical of the "fairy tales" after all that happened and all that she has seen.

    Maybe a silly question but since Lyra can't return and she's your heir... Does that mean your legacy will continue in this world instead of Sunset Valley?

    1. Well, that means I did an at least passable job at explaining the lore on that page, right? XD Seriously though, I'm not sure how much sense the story would've made with the patchy explanation I've been doing throughout the story, so I'm glad you found it helpful!

      Yep, that's Lyra. ;) She doesn't take sh*t from anyone, not even when she's at a disadvantage. The whole sceptical thing is also part of her personality. Even when presented with evidence, if she made her mind up about something, she won't change it, simply because it'll mean she's doing what other people want her to do. She's a bit stubborn like that. XD

      Oh yeah, you weren't around yet when I mentioned that on the forums. My official legacy save file got corrupted, and the only back-up I had was my poser-save, where a lot of against the rules things happened. So, I decided to move my family to a new town and nix their money back to 20k (they had over 200k at that stage), giving them a blank slate, so to speak. So no, the legacy won't continue in SV, but it won't be in this world either. I'm just using it for story-telling right now.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I feel like Charlotte was abused a lot this chapter, I just feel bad for her. The shock of seeing her brother! And we don't even know exactly what happened to her; Alison's answer to that was pretty cryptic. I think something bad may have happened.

    Hmm, since Lyra didn't really fit in Sunset Valley, I hope she will find a new place here, or wherever they put her. And it was so cool seeing Melody again! Glad you resurrected her.

    1. Yeah, I guess she was a little abused. Don't worry, nothing bad happened to her. It happened off-screen, so I should've explained it better, but Charlotte had a nice long chat with Leneo when Lyra was sleeping. Talking to him and knowing he's alright allowed her to move on to the afterlife. The part about the Keeper was just a reference that we might see her again in the future, as she's now working for the Keeper. Reading back on it now, I realise it wasn't quite as clear. Whoops!

      It's difficult if you always feel like you don't belong somewhere, so it'll be nice if Lyra finds her 'home'. :) And Melody <3. I had just started to really like Melody when Carrie killed her off, so I was shattered. Now she'll have a nice, long and exciting life in my game. XD

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. Oh, thanks for the explanation about Charlotte! I'm glad she could move on!

  6. The death dragon is so cute! =^.^=

    Well I'm glad I read the lore page before catching up with you legacy! I love this chapter. It's a good mix of unsettling, dream-like, and enthralling. I really can't wait to learn more about everyone, especially Blaise! :D

    1. I really love the dragons, so I couldn't not include them. ;)

      I'm glad you liked the chapter! I was going for an unsettling and other-wordly feel, so I'm really glad it came across that way.

      Thanks for reading!