art by versias
home is where your heart is
Tehahviavehhl "Tev" S'ttv
is what people picture when they think of fairies: small, twiggy, childlike. Even for a fairy, Tev is tiny, barely brushing four foot five on a good day. Her limbs are skinny with small hands and feet that enhance the impression of "excitable child" that most get when they look at her. She has an open, round face, with a button nose that sits in the center of her face, barely a footnote next to the enormous eyes engulfed by verdant irises. She has just the slightest dusting of freckles across her nose and along her shoulders.
Tev's most noticeable feature is absolutely her thick, wavy red hair. Not that she really cares about it, or even knows how to care for it. If it looks like its held in place by some chemical and weeks worth of dirt, it is. It's never occurred to her to even try to cut it. Rather, she's made a game of keeping it out of her way. Over the years, Tev has devised and learned several spells for taking care of the mess growing on her head. Elaborate braids, strange up-dos, hairstyles too complicated to exist without magic, all are within her reach.
Tev has a frankly awful fashion sense, practically verging on lazy and offensive with neon-bright colors. Thankfully, she tends to wear her clothes to ruin and the colors fade with time. Her favorite type is a billowy one-piece with no shape of its own and two leg holes. Like a pair of shorts and a rectangle sown together, the top ties behind the neck, concealing a flat chest for nothing but other's senses of decency. She cinches them up with a ribbon or rope, whatever is handy.
Tev tends to conjure her wings in one of two stages: a half-called set that allow for simple fluttering or a powerful set twice the size of the first. Both sets are very similar. Plates of hard bone edge the tips of skin-covered wings. They are almost geometric, with sharp edges, like a child's etching of a butterfly's wings. Both have identical sets of projections, and another set below the first, identical in all but size (they are slightly smaller). Two extensions from the center of her back help steady her in the air and allow for precision flying, like the tail of a kite.
The natural marks common to the fairies sit on the back of her ankles, a single feather climbing up delicate muscle. The feather is a downy gray like that of a duckling not yet grown.
i couldn't see myself growing older > personality
PROBLEM SOVER [+]
Tev isn't one to let a sore fester, so to speak. If the problem exists in her range of sight, you can bet she'll take a crack at it. Tev is a take-charge sort of girl who likes to whip up something to do when it looks like nothing is getting done. There's always something to fix. In that vein, however, Tev doesn't stress about the things that can't be fixed. If her best shot didn't even faze it, then it's time to move on.
ODD [+/-] Tev is, above all else, an odd, odd person. There's something just so subtly off about her. Some little bit of reality that she's missing. Perhaps some childhood event that everyone else had but she's never heard of. She can seem very grounded at times, but in other instances, she appears to live on a completely different wavelength than anyone else.
CURIOUS [+/-] Sa raison d'être. Her inquisitive nature knows no bounds, whether intellectual, social, or (sadly) legal.
DARING [+/-] See brave, adventurous. See foolhardy. Tehahviavehhl can stick her head in the lion's mouth like it's nobody's business.
FORCEFUL [+/-] In an entirely kind way, of course. Tev has a nasty habit of thinking she knows what to do in every instance and knows exactly what other people need, even when she really, really doesn't. Tev is known for getting what she wants, usually through sheer force of will. She left home as a youngster and travelled most of the world after all. A girl like that's gotta have some drive.
FOCUSED [+/-] Like a sun ray through a lens. It allows her to focus on a problem for hours on end, to spend all her time tinkering with microcircuitry, to study for days on the same subject. But this tunnel vision tendency has some nasty backlash. No one would call Tev mean-spirited or self-centered, but, well, "focused" can be hissed through clenched teeth as well as the next word. She's often blinded to other's discomfort. She tends to lose the forest in the trees.
PROUD [+/-] Of her heritage. Not exactly a nationalist, as borders like those of nations don't mean much to her. But her language, her culture, her species, all are very important to her. She doesn't like anyone to forget that she comes from a rich, magical heritage. She likes to share her culture with others, and she loves to pal around with other fairies, discussing just how great fairies are.
ABSENTMINDED [-] It's not in any particularly noticeable way but, sometimes, someone will point out something that should have been obvious and Tev will be absolutely shocked. Flabbergasted. Like it had never occurred to her before that moment. Tev, more often than not, will do something in an incredibly roundabout way and then, at the end, discover that she could have done it much quicker some other way. Many a discarded invention performed admirably in an hour some pre-existing creation could do in a minute.
but then i went for a walk, when i came back i was so much taller > skills
is like breathing to fairies, and Tev is no exception. She was born with an affinity for air and written magic. Over the years, she's mostly developed her skills as a mage through the use of geometrics and math. It's a bastardized version of runes in a way that requires great attention to detail at least a little disregard for one's own wellbeing. [★★★☆]
inventor, or, at least, a tinkerer. Technology has fascinated Tev since she was small. Combine it with her interest in magic and you have a dangerous amalgam that produces various spells and devices, not all of which are entirely useful. [★★★★]
flying is something Tev has gotten a lot of practice in over the years. While she took other modes of transportation when she could, her "around the world in 80 days" phase was spent mostly winging it. [★★☆]
archery has saved Tev's life. It's more of a hobby than anything else, but it's a useful hobby to have.[★★]
memory it's not photographic, but it's the next best thing. She's got a head for long strings of numbers and complicated patterns. [★★★★]
hairstylist An accomplishment she's quite proud of, thank you very much. It's actually pretty important to her. She mentions it often with surprising dedication. [★★★]
synesthetic A skill it may not be, but the fact that each shape and each color have personalities and attributes clearly defined in her mind makes her shape magic a powerful force to be reckoned with.
that's how you learn just who you are > history
Beverly S'ttv - mother . fairy . alive
Fyn S'ttv - mother . fairy . alive
Ferlikillon - adopted mother . wizard-fairy . unknown
Verrhh Kiit - adopted father . elf-fairy . alive
Tarvesck S'ttv - step-father . fairy . alive
Tehahviavehhl was born in a small town, wine-producing town, a town for which she is named. A town populated almost entirely by her impressively large family, as well as some workers. The whole family produced grapes, processed them, and bottled wine for sale. The family business. For much of her childhood, Tev lived in a house with two fathers and three mothers. The exact donors of genetic material for Tev are neither known nor particularly important. It takes a village, and all that. The S'ttv-Kiit family has an incredibly complex family history with some likely inbreeding (though not too much; if you know how closely you're related, it's too close for them).
Tehahviavehhl however never really cared much about all that. She crushed grapes and grew vines but the whole process was very boring to her. Tev would read and study instead. It was a good excuse as any, and she could imagine that she was studying to go somewhere grand. As she grew, Tev spent much of her time fantasizing about leaving. Sometimes, she imagined going to different towns. She imagined traveling to the capital, or to the outskirts. Sometimes she thought, why stop there? Why not keep going? She could go anywhere. The world was huge.
Tev left home when she was about 37, young by any fairy's standards. She could make a decent wage in most places as a repairperson, but she never stayed in one place too long. She travelled much of the globe, learning about magic and studying the environment. Tev, generally, was a wanderer for over thirty years. She flew with dragons. She explored caves. She got into trouble and got herself out of it. She can't count how many times she almost died on two hands. She can't count how many times she truly felt alive either.
After a while, one gets tired of traveling forever and needs a place to settle down. Never one for family, Tev didn't even consider finding any sort of companionship. She went straight into hard study. Tehahviavehhl settled on the Academy as a place where she could learn fantastic things and still experience that much needed adventure.
On arriving at Evercrest, Tev was accepted in to the Sorcerer class and bonded to Bahari. Their bond produced the 55th rune on Bahari's forehead, the Connection of Three that allows dragons and riders to share their thoughts, feelings, and magic.
Find where you belong, start to take control, show a little soul > application
As Tev had expected, the library was well stocked. Books, bound tomes, handwritten manuscripts that hadn’t quite been finished, scrolls covered in dust, notes scribbled in margins, and this was just the preliminary stuff! Cursory literature! The tripe they thought (who they were, Tev never really considered. The heads, maybe?) prospective students would be satisfied with!
Intrigued, perhaps. Appetite whetted, definitely. But satisfaction was a feeling Tev couldn’t associate with herself. Mountains soaring to the heavens, dragon song on the wind, crashing waves that reached the clouds! She needed everything. She needed all of it. She needed it like she needed blood in her veins and food in her belly and drink in her throat. Was there a better feeling than the crisp feel of old parchment?
She was always like this, though. Every new thing was the most fantastic. Every new thing was the most glorious. Absolutely nothing could top this and yet! Yet when she entered that room… (Tev glanced at the door through which other prospective students had disappeared. Disappeared being the operative word; had they come back and she had missed them, or had they vanished like smoke?) When she entered that room she’d feel the breath knock back into her throat and her heart would thud and her eyes grow wide.
And it would be the most glorious, the best, the absolute most fantastic.
It was something she loved about herself. She loved life, and she loved the forms it came in.
She loved every surprise and adventure more than the last. Sometimes she felt so full up she couldn’t stand it. She wanted to scream and cry and dance. She built things. She designed things. Her bag, full of paper and implements of every type, were covered with spell fragments and blueprints for some device she’d thought of, some spell that occurred to her, as she studied what they’d provided.
Imagine what she would do with access to everything.
A fragment of some thing floated through her mind. Some music, some lines, they twisted, they turned, she thought and thought and she drifted farther into her thoughts. Would that work? No, no, but this? Yes, yes YES! Her pen flew over the paper, tongue poking gently out between her teeth as she lost herself in some grand design.
But, no, no… Her pen stopped, she stopped.
It had been like this the whole week. Every idea went nowhere. She was overflowing with beginnings but her endings were few and far between. She’d already wasted half the papers in her notebook on half-thought ideas.
With a deep sigh, Tev replaced the pen on the table and slid into the chair.
There weren’t many other students around her. The library had been mostly empty save those few studious types. Most seemed to focus on the weights or the weapons. True, impressive physicality was necessary for dragon riding, but where was the ingenuity in punching a dummy?
None. There was none. That was the answer to that question.
Maybe some were trained assassins or powerful boxers or some such, but most were nothing special—couldn’t they see they needed something special? Doing what everyone else was doing was pointless.
A loud voice smashed her fractured thoughts to little bits.
“Stiv? Teh-Te-ha? Tehahavi—”
Poor dear. Couldn’t get his tongue around a Tatian name. Not everyone was graced with that ability, but, well, it didn’t hurt to educate.
Tehahviavehhl bounced to her feet and skipped past the man stumbling over her name. “It’s Teh-ahv-i-a-vehhl S’ttv! It means town on the river. Or cloud in a mountain. Or—well, go on, say it”
The man stared at her, a little shocked. “Tehaha—”
“No, no, Tehahviavehhl.”
After a few iterations of this, Tev decided to take pity on the poor man and let him get on with his life. She patted his elbow consolingly. “It’s alright, humans sometimes just don’t have the tongue for it. It’s nothing wrong with you, really.”
With that, Tev bounced her way through the door.
The room was filled with an almost oppressive sense of energy. Tev considered herself at least somewhat adept at magic, but the rank scent of a magic more powerful than any she could conjure pressed against her skin.
Undaunted, Tev flashed them a toothy grin, more imp than fairy.
She couldn’t imagine how she must look to them. A small, twiggy fairy of only sixty-six, wearing a pastel blue jumpsuit with orange polkadots and an open back.
A cascade of deep red hair fell down her back like a roaring waterfall. Her hair, far from the fluff it projected, was grimy from weeks of no washing. It always seemed to get bigger the less she cared for it. Half the mass was most certainly some sort of dirt.
It looked clean enough though, since she’d been sure to brush the visible bits.
She hadn’t neglected it merely because she was lazy (although, she couldn’t lie and say she wasn’t).
Tev raised her hands before her, much like a conductor about to begin his symphony. Few realized the diversity of language. Languages blended into each other. Written to spoken to signed, neither was entirely distinct.
Her own abilities centered on written magic. With a shorthand (ha!) signing language and some air writing, Tev could easily access her magic through these conductor-like movements. With small, concentrated movements, Tev’s fingers flew through a complex rhythm, a little dance all her own.
She felt her hair pull itself into segments, into braids as she moved.
She spoke as she did so.
“It’s an honor, really! I’m Tehahviavehhl S’ttv! Born and raised in Tatu, left home a wee lass to seek my own, you know, the usual. I’ve been,” she paused, cataloguing her various journeys quickly, “oh just about everywhere in the world a youngling can go, I suppose. As you can see, I’m no fighter. I’m magically inclined, most definitely I’ve got a hunger to learn. Just the small selection provided for the prospective students, wow, I can’t tell you!”
Her eyes drifted along the table. Every now and then, a shape would jump out at her. That circle, this pentagon. Blue, green, tasting tangy. She could see a certain music in their shimmering. She felt their magic. With the taste of a rhomboid on her tongue, Tev continued:
“I’m an inventor! Of spells, of tools, or, or, just everything! Everyth-”
“Oh, oh, oh!” Tev gasped suddenly. “I was gonna show you something really cool! I came up with it a year or so ago, and I forgot about it until, oh, yesterday? Then it all came back to me and I just had to try it.”
With a flourish of hands, Tev’s braided hair tied itself into a bow at the back of her head.
She lifted her hand to show them the braided leader bracelet, set with two small musimite spiked at either side of the wrist. She’d spent the entire day yesterday carving the tiny letters and symbols needed for the spell into each piece, then braiding them together. All in all, a process that very well did take most of the day.
Tev hadn’t slept for about three days.
It didn’t seem to bother her much.
She took a stance before the judges, extending her hand straight to her side, head facing towards it. A dummy, left by some agile assassin surely, lay defeated against the wall, stuffing spilling from his eviscerated belly. She brought a hand to chest level.
All in all, a standard archer’s pose. Slowly, she reached for the band, brushing her thumb and pinkie each against the musimite. The smallest magic can react well with musimite—a valuable material, worth every ounce of work—and just a brush set the reaction flowing. Through her spell, magic flowed by way of the musimite until it had fully encircled the bracelet. She felt it grow warm against her skin. When she drew back, like an archer pulling an arrow back, two lines of magic sprouted from the musimite tips to follow her hand.
At the same time, a branch on each side extended up and down, so by the time she’d pulled past her jaw, she had a perfect, shimmering bow in her hands. There was no arrow, she hadn’t figured that out yet, but she could substitute it. She focused her magic, trapping the air around her in the space between her fingers and her bow.
Then, with a breath, she released the missile. The magic snapped forward, sending the make-shift arrow flying. As it left her grip, she felt the magic loosen. Halfway through, it fell apart. But the air particles, still trapped in the vector she’d set them on, rocketed into the dummy, knocking it back into the wall. For that matter, the current, bouncing off the wall, knocked her back as well.
Not quite as far though.
Flat on her back, laughing breathlessly with delight, Tev punched a fist into the air. “It didn’t explode this time!”
Then you feel who you are > art