Equinox - Holiday Chaos
Morana wasn’t quite sure what to expect as she made her way through Espeor. The road that led to the gates of Queensbreak was rather quiet considering the Equinox was nearly upon them.
A laugh had both her and her familiar, Shade, looking around, but neither spotted anything immediately. So with a bit more caution, they continued on their way.
The streets were busy, but not as busy as Morana had witnessed on previous occasions, and certainly not on the eve of an Equinox. Her eyes narrowed in suspicion, but it was quickly forgotten when a bright voice called out her name.
She turned to see Sidra making her way toward her, and Morana couldn’t help but be baffled each time she saw the mare.
How strange, how things had changed. Thoughts of Candentia, of spending time with Minuet and bothering Sonnet swirled before Morana’s gaze refocused on Sidra. How close she had felt… well to Minuet at least - Sonnet had avoided her like the plague for most of their foalhood. But now, her friendship with Sidra, the missing piece of a prophecy, was stronger than her foalhood bonds had felt.
Sidra’s cat weaved between Morana’s legs in greeting as the mare tossed herself at her, surprising Morana with a hug.
“It’s been too long!” Sidra said, and Morana didn’t quite feel it appropriate to point out it had only been a few moons. “What brings you to Espeor?”
“Shouldn’t I be asking you the same?” Morana pointed out with a gentle smile. “Don’t you have a land to rule?”
Sidra snorted. “There isn’t a formal structure like there is here. Lin and Lothair are perfectly fine handling things in my absence. It’s basically a glorified daycare at this point,” Sidra replied, rolling her eyes. “I came to check up on Ma.”
“Check up on her?” Morana asked, concerned.
“She has been rather quiet and out of it after answering the deity’s call. I suppose finding a whole new realm is startling, but she hasn’t been to see her daughters, or really anything. I think Sirona is hosting this year's alliance Spring Equinox party, hence why it’s so quiet.”
Morana frowned. She knew it was the Equinox coming up, and she had come to ask for Khaalida’s assistance. What better time to work with magic than when it was strongest?
“I hope she is okay,” Morana replied with a sigh. “I came here because I needed help with some stuff. Magic stuff.”
Sidra grinned. “Oh? Tell me more!”
Morana filled Sidra in on the newest development as they made their way to the manor house. Morana had ascended to demigod status, but she had yet to make a pact with any of the deities to learn under them. She hadn’t even visited the Astral Realm yet, nor tested the new magic that flowed within her veins. Something about it all made her want to be around other powerful Quirlicorns, ones that could stop disaster if something went wrong. Despite her best attempts, Morana was concerned that her magic would go awry, since it felt so different from anything she had used before.
The pair found Khaalida in the library, pouring over books. The scene was a bit shocking to both, who fell silent as they looked on at the mess that had come. Books were strewn all over the area, and Khaalida seemed more a mess than either had seen her in a while.
“Ma?” Sidra called, as they moved forward into the room. “What is going on?”
Khaalida seemed wired with excitement, and Morana sniffed the air before sighing. Energy drinks, to no one's surprise. She should have never told Khaalida about them.
Even her black cat familiar seemed hopped up on them.
“Oh, Sidra, Morana! How nice to see you both!” Khaalida said, her words a bit jumbled and jumpy.
“Are you… all right?” Sidra asked, skeptical.
“Energy drinks,” Morana muttered, and Sidra sighed.
“Ma, you can’t live off energy drinks! Come on, let’s take a break,” Sidra urged, and Khaalida looked around at the books before sighing.
“Fine, fine,” Khaalida replied, and allowed the two younger mares to lead her from the library.
“What were you looking for?” Morana asked, as they settled into a cozy sitting room.
“Answers,” Khaalida said simply. “If there is another Realm out there besides the two we knew of, what’s to say there aren’t more, and more deities? What’s to say that all the Realms we never thought of aren’t just other Quirlicorn worlds? What if there are Quirlicorns, just like you and I, living out parallel lives in another Realm? What if the ones reborn as Quirlicorns are actually Quirlicorns in a different form before they take on our looks? What if we could create our own?”
Morana blinked in surprise, not expecting where Khaalida had been going with that. It was an interesting thought, but was it really worth this much… obsession?
“Ma, it’s the Equinox tomorrow,” Sidra pointed out.
“Oh, already?” Khaalida mused, sipping some calming tea that Sidra had set out.
“What do you mean, already? I’ve been mentioning I was visiting for it for months! What about the trip you had planned to come to Valisthea? To see your daughters?”
Morana suddenly felt like she was in the middle of a family drama she didn’t want to be in. But she needed help.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I came here on the eve of the Equinox for help,” Morana admitted.
Khaalida’s gaze turned toward her, and Morana blinked at the intensity of it. “I have ascended to demi-god status,” Morana revealed, “But I do not know the nature of the magic I gained. I wished to practice it with you, when magic is strongest, in case something goes wrong.”
Khaalida thought it over, and nodded. “That is certainly something we can do. Especially with Sidra here; both of us using our magic combined could certainly help kickstart yours, and prevent it from going awry. It’s not the first time I have worked with a powerful Quirlicorn.”
Before they could continue their conversation, Morana heard the same laugh she heard on her way in to Queensbreak.
Suddenly a tiny Quirlicorn who wasn’t… all there? Popped into existence. His body parts floated, he looked spotted like a cow, and Morana was super confused until Khaalida spoke up.
“Asani! I didn’t expect a visit from you,” Khaalida said.
So this was the tiny deity of the Entropy Region. How interesting!
“I took over the Equinox! Gave Frysil a break,” Asani said with a grin.
“And I come with a task!”
Khaalida looked at Sidra and Morana, before looking back to Asani.
“We were going to take it easy this Equinox….”
But before Khaalida could continue, Asani was shaking his head.
“No can do! We are celebrating every holiday! I missed out on them all while sleeping, I gotta catch up!”
Sidra and Morana shared a glance, already knowing what was coming.
“Best prepare, I expect a big party tomorrow!”
Khaalida was pacing, and Sidra and Morana just watched.
“An Equinox party? Half of the city is in Torre! I can’t just drop everything for a party,” Khaalida complained.
“From what I’ve seen, Ma, you need a break anyway,” Sidra said. “Plus, it’s a good excuse to test out Morana’s magic. A party can’t be that bad, can it?”
Khaalida sighed. “I suppose if we get a good enough party together I might be able to get some answers out of Asani,” she admitted. “Ask him about Realms and what he knows. From what I understand he's older than our current deities so he might know more.”
“Sure, think of it that way,” Sidra said with a sigh. “We best get some rest.”
The morning of the Equinox dawned, and Morana found herself wandering to the great hall. Shade was still half asleep on her back, enjoying the mild weathered morning.
A complete riot greeted Morana as she entered the hall, however, startling her familiar back to wakefulness.
Decorations were everywhere, creating chaos. Khaalida did seem to be going all out.
Sidra gave a bleary-eyed wave, before rolling her eyes and going back to sorting through boxes.
Every holiday was on display, and Morana was debating slinking back out of the hall but her window of opportunity had passed.
“Oh, good, you are awake!” Khaalida called, with a grin. “Time to work on magic.”
It became clear as they worked that Morana’s Astral Magic was the same as Sidra and Khaalida’s. Chaotic Influence.
The combination of their three magics made decorating a breeze, warping the reality of the world and creating a chaotic mashup of all the holidays. Glitter seemed to hang in the air, as tinsel hung by floating eggs, chimes drifting between trees decorated with hearts and candies.
Somehow Sidra and Khaalida’s cat familiars ended up shoved into costumes, Sidra’s looking much like an elf, and Khaalida’s in some weird turkey outfit.
Shade thankfully avoided all that by flying up to perch on one of the wooden beams that was wrapped with fake cobwebs.
The remaining citizens of Espeor poured into the hall that night to find absolute chaos, but the guest Khaalida had been waiting for was delighted.
Asani watched as the citizens (who had thankfully been on board for it being a costume party on top of everything) enjoyed themselves, a riot of color.
Yule music blended with spooky themes for Samhain, with the occasional ballad thrown in. While Morana could admit it was pure chaos, there was something fun about celebrating it all at once, especially since she found her magic.
“This is great!” Asani said, “I’m glad to have enjoyed it! Off to see the other parties!” he exclaimed, before disappearing with a pop.
Khaalida huffed. “I never got a chance to ask him any questions!” she grumbled.
“Calm down, Ma, it’s a party! Let’s enjoy it!” Sidra suggested, and Khaalida sighed and grinned, looking a bit more like herself.
“Indeed. Party on!”
Morana grinned to herself, before she became swept up in the festivities once again.