*Warning: Bad uncensored language.*
They were leaving the island.
Lyra quietly gazed over the ocean, watching the waves crash against the ferry in an unending cadence, the view reminding her of the hours and hours she’d spent watching and surfing the ocean back in Sunset Valley. It was only two and a half years ago, but it felt like a lifetime. She honestly couldn’t imagine going back and living there anymore. She still missed her mother and siblings so much, but this was her home now.
Or at least, the town they were going to was going to be her home. She was leaving the island to live with Blaise, and between the two of them, they were going to have to raise a child. What did she know about raising children?
Nothing, that’s what. She never wanted to have anything to do with children, but now she was going to have to take care of one. She wasn’t really sure what to think of that.
When they arrived at the mainland, the wind was blistery and a sleety rain pelted down on them. The other travellers on the ferry quickly made themselves scarce, and before long, only Blaise and Lyra remained, Reagan safely clutched in Lyra’s arms. Blaise was muttering irritably to himself, but Lyra couldn’t hear his words through the steady drumming of the rain on the roof.
Reagan stirred, his brow drawn into a little frown, and Lyra sighed, knowing what was about to come. Sure enough, the baby started to mewl. She pulled the little boy close to her chest, comfortingly bouncing him up and down and wondered what the next step of their journey was going to be. She just wanted it to be over already.
Eight hours of driving later, they pulled into Moonlight Falls, the town they were supposed to be living in for the next who-knew-how-long. It was already dark, and the streets were deserted, the people of the town having already retreated inwards for the evening. The town was quiet and empty, but the lights shining from the houses were warm and welcoming, reminding Lyra a little of her childhood home back in Sunset Valley.
They finally arrived at Blaise’s sister’s house, bringing an end to their multi-hour journey. Blaise’s sister came out personally to greet them, and Lyra was a little surprised by the warm way the woman greeted Blaise, and the fact that he actually returned her hug.
Blaise’s relationship with his family honestly confused Lyra. He didn’t get along with his mother, and Lyra had already realised he didn’t have the best relationship with his father either, and he had never talked about his family before, but he clearly had a good relationship with his sister. It was quite puzzling.
“It’s so good to see you again,” the woman enthused happily. “It’s horrible that it had to be under such circumstances, but I am glad to see you. It’s been far too long.”
“Yeah,” Blaise agreed gruffly, his mouth pulled into that familiar small smile. He pulled back from the hug and gave a step back, allowing his sister to turn her full attention to Lyra. “Raelene, Lyra,” Blaise introduced them with a bored tone. “Lyra, this is my sister, Raelene. She moved here with her husband, Felix, about five years ago. Their brat of a daughter should be running around here somewhere, too.”
“Hi,” Raelene greeted Lyra friendly, her smile and handshake warm and welcoming. “Nice to meet you. Please, come in.” She ushered them inside, chatting happily the whole time, and Lyra couldn’t help but marvel at both the similarities and the differences between the two siblings.
Raelene had a friendly, easy way of talking and she seemed to be able to instantly alter the flow of a conversation. She carried herself with a light yet firm confidence, leaving Lyra with no doubts that she too, had once been a fighter, like her brother. She was clearly the ruler of her household, and much like Lyra’s own mother had done, she completely dominated her family. She laughed easily and openly, and before Lyra realised, she too was taking part in the conversation like she had always belonged. Raelene’s husband, Felix, was an easy-going man with a great sense of humour, and their four-year-old daughter, Lilianne, was an adorable bundle of energy who was constantly smiling and somehow, never failed to get one of those rare little smiles from her uncle.
Once Reagan and Lilianne had been put to bed, the adults retreated to the living room where Raelene served them all hot drinks before settling on the couch, snuggling up to her husband.
“So,” the woman started, an uncharacteristically serious expression on her face, “what are your plans? Do you what you’re going to do, or do I need to ask around and see if somebody would be willing to give you jobs?”
Blaise sighed at the question.
“Don’t bother,” he rejected the offer. “I already have contacts at the Science Lab, and they’re willing to pay me for my research, so I’m set. Lyra…” He turned to her and quirked an eyebrow, indicating she should speak for herself. They had talked about it on the ferry, so Lyra already knew how to answer.
“I used to be a photographer,” she admitted. “A good one, even if I am saying it myself. I was thinking of trying again, of going freelance and perhaps offering my services at City Hall, or school. I’d like to try, at least. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll try getting a more conventional job.” Even as she said it, she desperately hoped she’d be able to return to her previous job. She’d die if she had to follow a standard, 40-hour-a-week job.
“It might work,” Raelene agreed easily. “Do you have somewhere to stay, or do you want to crash here until you find someplace? We can lend you some money, if you need any to get settled.”
“Thanks, but no thanks,” Blaise immediately refused, his jaw tense at the offer. “We’ll manage.”
Raelene gave a light shrug, clearly unconcerned by his swift refusal.
“Alright, if you say so,” she agreed lightly. She stood up and walked over to the desk, rummaging through the contents of the drawer as she looked for something. “If you are interested though, there’s a house not far from here that’s currently available to rent at quite a decent price. The house-market is quite tight at the moment, so it might be your best shot.” She pulled out a business card from the drawer and offered it to Blaise, her lips quirking with an amused smile. “I don’t think the place is quite your style, but it’s cheap and available. You should check it out. You don’t have to stay there forever.”
Blaise took the business card from her hand.
“Thanks Rae,” he offered, already studying the number on the card. “I’ll check it out.”
“Anytime,” she declared with a smile and a wink.
The next day was a busy one for Lyra and Blaise. Raelene had excused herself, stating she needed to go to work, but Felix was a stay-at-home dad and he generously offered to look after Reagan for the day, allowing the two adults to complete all the small and tedious arrangements involved in moving to a new town without interruption.
Blaise checked in at the science centre, confirming that yes, they were still interested in his research, and yes, they would still pay him for every article he published, before taking Lyra to the city hall to apply for her driver’s licence and register as a freelance photographer. The administration assured her they’d send any queries on to her, and suggested she offered her services to the school as well. They had no other photographers registered in the town, so the school would surely appreciate her services. She still didn’t have a decent camera, but with enough luck she’d be able to afford one soon. Until then, she’d have to settle with being paid less for her work.
After completing all the tedious paperwork and proving her driving skills, Lyra was once again legally allowed to drive on the road. By that time, it was already time to meet with the agent of the house Raelene had told them about, so they set off towards the address the agent had given them.
When they arrived at the address, Lyra couldn’t help but stare at the house with slight disbelief. It was a cute little cottage, complete with flower garden and white picket fence, but it was so not them. It was the type of house Sionann would’ve loved to live and raise her children in, but to Lyra, the house was just a little over-the-top.
She meant, white picket fence. Who still did that?
But the house was cosy, if a little small, and cheap enough to fit their budget. There was a kitchen and a bathroom, but none of the other rooms were furnished. They’d have to pay most of their next incoming money to buy furniture, but it was better than the alternative of freeloading at Raelene’s house, so they agreed to take the house. They managed to scrounge together enough money to buy a cheap bed that was surprisingly comfy, and after buying a cheap, DIY crib from the store and the cheapest bedcovers they could, they all had somewhere to sleep.
They moved in that very same day.
It was so damn bizarre. They didn’t even have chairs, and they were forced to eat dinner out of take-out containers while seated on the floor. They didn’t even have lights. They had to eat by candle-light. It would’ve been quite romantic even. All they needed was a picnic blanket and maybe some nectar, and they’d have the perfect setup for a date.
But there was no nectar and no picnic blanket, and they were both too tired by the events of the last couple of days to even think about romance.
“So, what happens now?” Lyra asked after dinner, watching the fire of the candle flicker in the hazy light and taking comfort from Blaise’s presence and proximity.
Blaise tiredly leaned back against the wall, the candlelight dancing over the features of his face.
“Now?” he repeated, his eyes far and distant. “Now we get some sleep, I suppose. And after that, we go on with our lives. That’s all there is to it.”
He sounded so tired, so unlike himself, that Lyra couldn’t stop herself. She pushed him back against the floor and gave him a long, lingering kiss, wordlessly reminding him that he was not alone, that she was still there. He responded in kind, and it was nothing like their previous wild and passionate kisses had been. It meant more, and it was so much more precious for it.
That night, she gave herself to him completely.
Their days fell into routine; not quite the 40-hour-a-week routine Lyra had always been dreading, but a routine nonetheless. The first couple of weeks in their new home was incredibly difficult, both from a financial view and from an emotional one. It was difficult to adjust to the absence of Sionann and Adrian, but as time went by and other problems started to occupy their time, it got easier to forget.
Money was incredibly scarce, so the first several weeks were spent working, trying to buy enough furniture for the house, but it was difficult. The science centre would only pay Blaise for published articles, which took a long time to complete, and there wasn’t a big enough demand for a photographer for Lyra to make more than a modest amount of money. To top it off, most of the money Lyra received for her work went to developing the photos.
It was a difficult time, but both of them were too stubborn to give up, and they tried their best to make it work.
Raelene and Felix were a big help during those first couple of weeks. They invited the two of them over for dinner almost every day, which helped to keep the grocery bill low, and Felix was always more than willing to look over Reagan for a couple of hours whenever Lyra and Blaise both needed to be out of the house at the same time. It was also through Raelene that they managed to get out and meet some of the other people living in the town.
Suddenly released from the restrictions that forbade her to leave the house, Lyra tried to spend time out and about in the town as often as possible. Moonlight Falls was unlike either of the two places she’d lived in so far, but she had to admit, she rather liked the town. The temperature was much colder than Sunset Valley had been, but the constant snowfall reminded Lyra of all those cosy evenings spent with her family in their home by the lake, surrounded protectively by the mountains.
Here, the entire town was surrounded by mountains. It was nostalgic, and something Lyra would always associate with safety. But it did make her miss her family so much more.
She found herself thinking about them more and more lately. Have Arienne and Renard made up after she disappeared, or were they still feuding? Was her mother still healthy? She must’ve gotten quite old by now. Did Renard ever become a dad, like they’d discussed when they met at their dad’s grave during the anniversary? She didn’t know. She didn’t know if she’d ever know those answers.
It was during one of their shut-in evenings, snowed in by the latest blizzard, when Lyra finally asked Blaise about his family.
“You don’t really get along with your parents, do you?” she asked curiously. As expected, he immediately scowled at the mention of his parents.
“No,” he answered bluntly. “They’re damn hypocrites. Always forming rules and regulations and telling others what to do, but then it come to them they never obey the rules themselves. They claim to know what’s best for everyone, but refuse to do those same things. I’m sick and tired of their two-faced ways.”
“I take it you’re referring to something specific?” Lyra asked, lifting an eyebrow at his harsh tone.
“Pretty much,” he replied glumly, staring sullenly out of the window. “My sister and I…for all that Alison’s so adamant people should leave the island when a child is involved, she certainly never did it herself. Raelene and I both grew up on the Island. It wouldn’t even have been so bad if they were more involved, but they weren’t. We barely ever saw them, except when it was time for our lessons. Then they would push us until we gave nothing but perfection.” He gave a shrug. “Which isn’t that bad, I suppose. It helped a lot during the Hunt. But I can’t stand hypocrites, and Alison is the very definition of one.”
He shook his head in disgust.
“But enough of that,” he declared, changing the subject. “What about your parents? I’ve never heard you talk about your family either.”
She hummed noncommittally. “Well, it’s not like it matters anymore – I doubt I’m going to see them again. But my family…I guess it would be easiest to say they’re a bit... broken.” So she told him the whole sordid affair – how close they once were, the whole story behind her dad’s death and the way her sister tore the family apart.
He listened patiently to the whole story, only speaking to clarify something. It was incredibly liberating to talk about it, and for the first time Lyra realised just how heavy her baggage had been.
They talked until late at night, sharing tales of their childhood, and when Lyra went to sleep that night, she felt so much closer to him.
Time continued passing, Reagan continued growing, and before they realised, the little boy started crawling. He was an adorable toddler who looked so much like his parents. He’d inherited his father’s hair colour and his mother’s eye colour, but there was no sign of wings. He had clearly not inherited his mother’s magic.
He was a very curious boy and very easy to entertain, as he seemed to be delighted by absolutely everything. Lyra wasn’t sure if maybe that was a trait of all toddlers, but whenever his face lit up in delight, she couldn’t help but realise just how damn much she loved that little boy.
She’d never thought she’d ever feel that way over a child.
Now that Reagan was mobile, Lyra and Blaise’s time got even more limited, as the boy was always either looking for attention or getting into trouble. To Lyra’s amusement and Blaise’s exasperation, Reagan’s most common partner in crime was Blaise’s dragon, Ignis. Ignis had formed a connection of some kind to the boy, as he was always somewhere close by, following the boy or joining him in causing trouble. It drove Blaise nuts.
“He’s a dragon, not a damn toy or pet,” Blaise muttered irritably after he found the two of them curled up together, exhausted after hours of playing and horsing around. “He’s going to forget he’s a dragon if this continues.”
Even as he complained, he gently picked up the sleeping boy and carried him to his crib. Reagan didn’t stir even once during the process. Blaise was remarkably good at being a dad to Reagan.
It made Lyra wonder, sometimes, what he would be like with his own children. It made her wonder what it would be like to be the mother of his children. But she wasn’t going to mention it, as she did not want children, and even if she did, she didn’t know if he wanted any. She wasn’t going to ask.
But it did make her realise that once again, there was a status quo in her relationship that at some stage or another, was going to be challenged. There were no way things would be able to stay the same.
“Where are we going?” she asked one night while they were lying in bed. “I mean…this thing, relationship, whatever you want to call it, that’s between us…where is it going?”
He propped himself onto his elbows, staring at her with his brows lowered over his eyes in a puzzled frown.
“You mean like…”
“I mean, are we heading towards the whole marriage and kids and white picket fence thing?” It was terribly ironic, she knew, to say that when they were already living in a house with a white picket fence, but she knew he’d understand what she was trying to say.
He shrugged, unconcerned. “Does it matter?” he asked, bored. “To be honest, I don’t care either way. Is putting a ring on your finger really going to make that big a difference?”
She was flabbergasted by his answer. Wasn’t that what all relationships headed towards?
He sighed, a little impatient. “Look, Lyra,” he said. “I care for you. But if, say, we decide in ten years we aren’t compatible after all, will a ring really make you stay? Or is it going to tie you down and make you miserable?”
She loved him. Plumbob, she loved him. How was it possible that he could understand her so well?
“And children?” she asked, struggling to believe it could be that easy. “Do you want any?”
He sighed and let his head lean back. “Don’t care,” he declared. “I don’t have the big drive to reproduce so my genes can carry on, but if it does happen, I won’t mind either. If you care about these things, we can look at it. If you don’t, then that’s fine too.”
“I don’t,” she admitted with a big smile, absolutely relieved. “I don’t care. I absolutely don’t. What we have right now is more than enough for me.”
What would come would come. There was no rush. Things were perfect as they were.
She was dreaming. She knew she was dreaming. But even though she knew she was only dreaming, she couldn’t tear her eyes away. It had been so long since she last saw her family.
Her mom had gotten old – older than her age dictated. She could see it in the tired slant of her mom’s eyes, and the slight tremble in her hands. It was a relief seeing Arienne there – even though she and her sister had never really seen eye to eye, they both loved their mom equally as much.
Renard was also there, and so was Ingrid, his wife. There was a little girl playing by her feet, with Renard’s eyes and hair colour. Arienne was alone, and she was very carefully avoiding looking at the little girl, but she wasn’t avoiding Renard and she was talking to him without any of that resentment that used to colour their relationship.
The scene shifted. A house burned, flames shooting high up into the sky, and people walked by without paying it any attention, even though screams were coming from the inside. It wasn’t right, and even through the dream Lyra could feel that familiar sense of wrongness.
Someone stood behind her. It was a familiar presence; one Lyra had known her entire life. It had always been there, watching her. She knew that, even though she’d never met whoever it was before. She turned around and finally knew the identity of her silent watcher.
“You’re the Keeper,” she stated calmly, somehow not surprised at all. As familiar as it was, it was still incredibly frightening to stand in its presence, and for the first time Lyra understood why everybody always swore by the Keeper. She’d probably start doing it herself.
“This world’s Balance is in danger,” the being declared in lieu of answering her statement, its voice deep and dark. “Direct intervention is required. The decay has been temporarily slowed with the removal of the Anomaly, but it’s not enough. This world will Fall unless all external influences are removed.” It turned directly to her and raised its hand to her chin, skeletal fingers brushing her skin. “In Howell Island, my agent awaits. When the Moon rises, go to her. A dragon will take you. Fail this, and your kin will bear the consequences. Balance must be kept.”
She abruptly woke up. Blaise was deeply asleep beside her, and the glare of the almost-Full Moon shone through the window, casting the room in light. Tomorrow it would be Full Moon – five years since she arrived in this world. That dream could not have been a coincidence.
Blaise was in full agreement the next morning when she told him about it.
“There’s no question about it,” he declared firmly. “If you say you met the Keeper, then you met the Keeper. It’s not a meeting that can be forgotten. Go to Alison tonight. If a dragon doesn’t appear like the Keeper promised, take Ignis with you. He’ll keep you safe.”
But a dragon did appear. The moment the Moon rose in the sky, a purple dragon burst out of nothing, chirping happily at Ignis and making a massive racket. It settled on Lyra’s shoulder and gave her a look, and in her mind, Lyra vaguely got the feel of a question. Without question, Lyra knew the dragon was waiting on her to decide whether they would be going or not. She nodded at the dragon, and with a flash of light, the dragon transported them to the base on Howell Island. The place was a hive of activity as everyone prepared for the Hunt, but Lyra didn’t have time to do more than gain her bearings before Alison appeared by her side.
“Quickly now, we don’t have much time,” the woman murmured urgently. “We only have until Moonset to do this. Do you know what you have to do?”
“No,” Lyra replied emphatically. “I’ve only been told to come here. And something about the Balance being in danger on the world I grew up in.”
Alison pursed her lips in displeasure over the fact that she had to waste time by explaining.
“Alright,” she accepted. “Do you remember the first time we met, I explained to you how vital it is that the Balance never gets disrupted? And that the Balance will automatically try to correct itself unless the distortion is so bad, it’s not possible?”
Lyra crossed her arms, a little annoyed by the reminder. Of course she remembered. It was the reason she had to stay in this world, after all.
“Yes,” she confirmed simply, waiting for Alison to continue.
“And do you also remember what I said about that potion your aunt created, the one that enabled your father to see ghosts?” Alison continued.
“Vaguely,” Lyra admitted. She remembered the gist of the conversation, but not all the details. It had been five years, after all.
“The point is, that potion is the reason the Sunset Valley Balance is disrupted,” Alison declared. “For as long as there are people affected by that potion, the Balance will be distorted. The only thing that’ll enable the Balance to be corrected again is if those people are removed from that world.”
“But the only people who ever drank that potion was my aunt and dad,” Lyra pointed out sceptically. “Two people, of which one is already dead. Are you seriously telling me that two people can have such a big effect on the world?”
“But it’s not just two people, child,” Alison declared firmly. “The effects of the potion are inheritable. Your aunt’s children and their children would also be under the effects. Your siblings and any children they might have will also be affected. With any additional children born the effects increase, and the Balance is distorted further.”
Lyra felt the blood drain from her face as the implications hit her. The Keeper had also mentioned the influences had to be removed. What, exactly did they mean by that?
“So what the hell do you mean when you say they have to be removed?” she demanded vehemently. “Is this some messed up way of saying you’re gonna kill them?”
“If needs be, yes,” Alison confirmed callously, “but the Keeper isn’t without mercy. He’ll be content if they simply leave that world. You came to this world out of your own free will, so the Keeper considers you one of his. Yes, we made you stay, but you accepted it. You embraced living in this world. Given the chance, would you return to your world?”
No, she wouldn’t. Sunset Valley had never really been her home. She’d never felt like she belonged there – not the way she belonged in Moonlight Falls. She didn’t even have to answer Alison’s question, because she knew Alison knew her answer.
“Because of that,” Alison continued, “the Keeper is willing to give you a chance. He is busy clearing out the influences, but if you can convince your family to leave before he reaches them, he will spare them.”
“But where will they go?” Lyra asked. “This is a Magical World, right? None of them are magical. They won’t be able to stay here.”
Alison smiled amusedly at her.
“Normally, you would be right,” Alison agreed easily, “but this isn’t a Magical world. It’s a Mixed World. The forces here are in perfect balance, which means that both Energetic and Magical creatures can live here. There’s no reason your family can’t stay.”
“So that’s it?” Lyra asked. “I just have to convince my family to leave? That’s all? They’ll be safe?”
“Yes,” Alison confirmed. “Bring them here, and I promise, they will be safe. Now, go. There’s no time to waste. You have until Moonset. When you’re ready to come back, simply focus your magic and think of coming here. I’ll do the rest.”
She clicked her fingers, and a Rift tore open in front of her.
No time to waste.
Lyra took a deep breath and for the first time in five years, returned to the world of her birth.
A/N: Deus Ex Machina? Perhaps, but I don’t care. I want Renard and Arienne in my town. XD
So, town explanations. I struggled quite a bit to decide on which town to move them to, but in the end Moonlight Falls won. I’ve only played a little with MF, but I think it fits the feel of this legacy the best, so I’m hoping I’ll grow to love it as much as I love SV or DV. I’ve deleted all the premade townies and filled the town with some of my own families and some families from other Random Legacies. I love playing with genetics and watching the genetics change through the generations, so I’ll be running a closed town, but I might add other families into the fold in the future. The families I’ve included in the town are the following ones:
- Matthews (Belle, Ashton, Melody, Nathaniel)
- Diffy (CB, Emily)
- Mattell (Shaena, Winter, Kaity)
- Sixkiller (Cyrus, Phedra)
- Sleitinn (Odin, Lucrecia)
- Kahekili (Colin)
- Sabo (Raindrop)
- Bee (Zenith, Solaris)
- Love (Alexis)
- 5 families from my own games
If your sim is on the list, thanks so much for making them available for download! I’ve changed the hair colour of one or two sims just to add a little bit more diversity, and I’ve changed the occults of some of them, but since I play with a mod that makes all occults (except vamps – can’t get that one to work) live the same length of time as humans, it’s just to add another dimension to the genetics. :)
So far, it’s been quite an interesting mash-up. Winter is the Gigolo, Solaris the Nerd, Colin the Magnate, Raindrop the Casanova, and Melody the Loon. The other Personalities are filled by my own sims.