Friday, July 26, 2013

2.3 - My World

Bellegere and Amaya let the strangers in, but not without some hesitation. In the harsh living room lights, they can see that their visitors are anything but normal. The blind woman, they already know, is different in her own way - but something is off with the man and blue haired girl as well.

It isn't exactly a comforting thought that these people are in their home, but Bellegere is desperate enough to listen to what they have to say. At the very least.

"Maybe we should start with introductions." The girl smiles with a toothy grin at the skeptical Amaya. Her fangs glint faintly off the light. "I'm Adamaris. An old... friend of your family, you might say."

"You can't be much older than seventeen." Amaya counters.

Adamaris shares an amused look with the two sitting beside her before showing off her fangs more clearly, even going so far as to push the pad of her thumb against one of them to draw blood. "I'm a vampire." She says matter-of-factly. "And I've been around long enough to have met some of your long past ancestors."

Amaya feels like she's the butt of a joke right now. "You expect us to believe that?"

"I don't expect anything from you, but you know I'm telling the truth." Adamaris purses her lips. "Is it really unbelievable that other supernaturals exist when you yourself are considered one? You both have the gift. You wouldn't be here now, if you didn't."

Sensing another argument on the horizon, the blind woman cuts into the conversation. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm Talya. And this is Elhart." She says, gesturing to the man beside her. "Adamaris and myself are apart of the Council and Elhart here is the lead instructor at the local School of Magi."

"School of Magi?" Bellegere's brows furrow in confusion. "What the hell kind of town is this?"

Elhart smiles. "Not a town. A haven. Moonlight Falls is a commune, one of many, specifically for supernaturals and the descendants of supernaturals. It was made for the protection and preservation of our kind."

"Protection?" Bellegere may need to get some sleep and soon. As ridiculous as their stories sound, she can't help but believe their sincerity.

"Moonlight Falls was created just after the end of the Secret War between the vampire clans. When the existence of not only vampires, but the rest of us, was in jeopardy of being exposed to the 'normals,' the varying leaders of our kinds rallied together and created the Unified Council we know today. Communes, like our little home, were founded and supernaturals were advised to move to these locations or run the risk of breaking the new laws that were enacted. It's important that we remain isolated, but you'll learn all about that later."

"Cryptic." Amaya frowns.

"For now. You'll know all eventually." Talya spares a knowing glance at Amaya who refuses to meet her blank gaze. "The history of Moonlight Falls is not why we're here though. You want to know about yourselves, no?"

Bellegere nods reluctantly. Amaya scoffs, but doesn't say anything to the contrary.

"I can help with that." Talya smiles. "Amaya, you're a seer. Very rare among our kind and something to be cherished. Bellegere, you're a mage. And from what I've seen, a very powerful one. At the request of Elhart, I will not reveal what your focus is. He believes that discovering that part of your power is the most exciting part of being a mage."

Elhart laughs. "It is. Trust me. And when you find out, you'll feel as if you've finally filled a long suffered void."

"Wait." Amaya interrupts. "I'm a seer? That's the big revelation? I can see things. Wow. Never knew that."

Bellegere smiles warily as she gently tries to convince Amaya not to yell at the only people willing to help them. "Amaya..."

"No. This is bullshit. We haven't been able to sleep in days. We go traipsing around this boring ass town looking for some help and all we get is... this." She gestures in front of her with a glare. "Thanks for the help, guys - but I think we've got it from here."

"No we don't." Bellegere is on the end of her rope and Amaya is only making things worse. She rubs her temples when another wave of pain rocks through her. "We don't have everything under control, Amaya. We never did." She takes a deep breath, waiting for the pain to subside before opening her eyes again. "Can one of you please tell me why this hurts so bad? I don't know if I can take much more of it."

Amaya grabs Bellegere's hand and holds tightly when Elhart steps forward. "May I?" He gestures to Belle's brow and, not entirely sure what he is about to do, she cautiously consents. A heavy green-blue haze emanates from his hands before he gently touches her forehead. His hands are cold, but Bellegere feels instantly calmed as the pain slowly subsides. "You need to let your magic out every once in a while, or else it builds up and causes complications."

"I don't know how to do that." Bellegere frowns.

"You will. Starting as soon as tomorrow, if you wish."

"Okay -" Bellegere turns her attention to a somewhat less skeptical Amaya, "- but I'll only do this if you do it with me."

"Your training will be with me, Amaya." Talya adds. "And yours will be significantly more difficult than hers. Our kind are not trained so easily."

Bellegere gives her a pleading look. Amaya squeezes her cousins hand again with a small smile of resignation. "Fine." She relents. "But I still think this is bullshit."

"No you don't." Adamaris raises her hand to stall Amaya's next outburst. "I know this is a lot to process and you both still have questions, but you have plenty of time to get the answers you are seeking in the days to come. You will need a good nights rest for tomorrow's training. I assume you two will come by here to start their lessons?" Talya and Elhart both nod mutely. "Good. Then we should let them sleep."

Amaya and Bellegere exchange a confused look. "We can't sleep though." Bellegere sounds pitiful, but she doesn't care. All she wants is to be able to sleep one full night. Just one.

Elhart and Talya, already on their way out, grin sympathetically. "I think you'll find that tonight you can."

Not entirely convinced by Elhart's assurance, the girls both get into Bellegere's bed in preparation for a long, tumultuous night. Once they get settled, however, they find themselves almost immediately shutting their eyes.

"Amaya?" Bellegere yawns.


"We forgot to ask the most important question."

"What's that?"

"We should have asked Talya what her age reversal secret is, so we can exploit it and make bank. She looks good."

"Heh." Amaya chuckles, stifling her own yawn. "I'll have to remember that one for tomorrow."

It's not long after that both girls fall into a deep, and thankfully dreamless, slumber.

Song For Chapter: Transmissions - My World

If anyone is naturally wondering why Amaya and Bellegere didn't notice the weirdness of the citizens in Moonlight Falls prior to now, well... I'm chalking it up to a lack of sleep.  Bellegere had only lived in the town for a couple of weeks before Amaya's visit and mostly spent the brunt of that time in her house or at work - so she wasn't really exposed to anyone outside of those two places. Amaya is naturally suspicious of everyone, so she likely had a few instances where her "strange meter" went off, but figured it was just her being, well... her.

And because a friend of mine brought this question up: Amaya cannot control her ability, at all. She gets glimpses briefly, mostly while asleep, and they are completely random. So the likelihood of foreseeing any of the things in MF (with exception to the old gyspy), is minimal. With training though, she'll be able to hopefully manage and use her power at will. I'm not entirely sure if that's the direction I want to take the story in, but for now that seems possible.

The Downloads page has been updated. :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

2.2 - Crazy Town

Amaya awakes suddenly drenched in sweat and wishing she could get a full nights sleep for once. Her dreams have gotten more detailed since the run-in with the blind woman, and more terrible.

She involuntarily shudders as she recounts her foray: she was pointing a sharp knife in the direction of a faceless man, her hands slick on the handle with sweat. What was more disturbing, however, was that Amaya knew she was looking through someone else's eyes. It was a stranger's hand clutching that knife, a stranger's hulking form lunging forward violently with the weapon and taking the victim by the throat.

"No!" The man chokes. "Please, stop this!"

The killer doesn't let the man plead for long, plunging the knife quickly into his chest and letting the hot blood spill from the wound. "It will never stop." He mutters. "Not until you're all dead."

Back in the present, Amaya curses under her breath and punches her knee in frustration. The crazy woman's gibbering has messed with her head somehow. What she's seeing isn't real. It's just her mind's fucked up manifestation of... something. The lie she tells herself grows more unconvincing as the days go on.

A muffled scream from Bellegere's room distracts Amaya from pursuing that train of thought. Not surprisingly, she finds her cousin in much the same predicament as she was just moments before. Over the past week, it has become routine for one of them to come slinking into the other's room for comfort.

"You okay, Belle?"

Bellegere shakes her head feebly, wiping away a few stray tears.  She turns her back on Amaya in embarrassment, cradling her aching head and wishing the dull throbbing would just stop already.

Amaya sits down gingerly on the edge of the bed and gently traces circles on Belle's back. She may be having bad dreams that were keeping her up at night, but Bellegere was experiencing bouts of either physical pain or severe discomfort. Out of the two, she supposes Belle is getting the worse deal. "Maybe that old coot really did put a curse on us."

Bellegere grimaces, trying her hardest to suppress whatever it is that is pushing its way painfully to the surface. She had always had this underlying feeling, of something inside her trying to get out, but now it is a raw pulsing energy sending electric volts through her veins. "I think she was warning us."

"Of what?"

"I don't know." Bellegere admits. "But I think I think it has something to do with Moonlight Falls. I've just gotten worse since moving here."

"So let's pack our things and take the next train out of here. We'll go back to the way things used to be and everything will be fine."

"Do you honestly believe that?" Bellegere snaps, immediately feeling guilty for yelling. "Sorry. It's just, I think the old woman was right. We're supposed to be here. Don't you want to find out what makes us this way? Haven't you ever been curious?"

"No." Amaya answers honestly. "Not before now, anyway. When I think of all the little things that I predicted - your first kiss with Frankie, how I met my last boyfriend, my mother bringing home that kitten after Tabs ran away - those were all so easy to hand-wave as simple coincidence. But then there's the bigger things, like when I saw my father's death just days before or knew you were going to have a run-in with that gypsy."

Bellegere turns to face Amaya with surprise. "You saw the blind woman in your dreams?"

"I didn't see her clearly and she was much younger, but I do remember that tattoo on her forehead. That's a detail difficult to forget. I thought it was just me being overly paranoid about you being on your own, but I had this persistent resolve that I needed to be here with you and make sure you were okay. And then when I actually saw her..." Amaya frowns, "I still tried to rationalize it instead of coming to terms with whatever the hell I am and what I'm apparently capable of."

Bellegere joins her cousin on the edge of the bed. The dark circles under Amaya's eyes are harsh in the lamp light, and she feels a deep pang of guilt for moving here and getting her cousin into this mess. "We need to find the old woman." She says, resolutely.

Amaya laughs hollowly. "How? She moved from her site days ago and we haven't seen her since."

"We'll ask around. Go into town and look her up, I don't know."

"I don't think she'll be so easy to find, Belle." Amaya lays her head tiredly on Bellegere's shoulder, unable to stay awake much longer but also frightened to go to sleep. "If this is what you want to do, then I'll help."

Moonlight Falls transforms into an Autumn paradise seemingly overnight.  Normally, Bellegere would be celebrating her favorite time of the year, but her focus is occupied with finding the only person she knows of that can hopefully help them.

She and Amaya make an early day of their investigating. Amaya, a former Police Academy student, puts her investigative skills to use; albeit at a severely less effective state given her lack of sleep.

Their first stop is the library archives, which disappointingly, are limited and read like a local gossip newspaper featuring mythical creatures. A whole section is dedicated to werewolves, vampires, and faeries that supposedly lived and have descendants in Moonlight Falls.

"I think I've moved to crazy town." Bellegere looks quizzically at yet another story about some zombie infestation that purportedly happened years ago due to a failed magical experiment.

"Took the words right out of my mouth." Amaya grimaces.

They continue on their search, visiting the town center park and the surrounding areas hoping to spot the familiar caravan. Finding nothing, they decide to call it quits - but unwilling to give up completely, Bellegere insists they walk home to cover more ground.

The chilly air and stars momentarily perk both girls up, until they reach their front yard again and realize they didn't make any meaningful progress in their search.

"Do you remember what she said to us when we left that night?" Bellegere asks, dissecting the words in her head.

"Yeah. It was pretty straightforward. 'When you're ready, we will come.' How 'ready' do we have to fucking be? I mean, look at us!"

Bellegere is so tired that the absurdity of the whole situation makes her laugh.

"Yes. Look at you." A foreign voice snaps both girls to attention. They were so immersed in their walk, that they didn't notice the strangers waiting on their front porch.

The blue haired girl smiles when they stop in their tracks. "You've managed to see most of Moonlight Falls in a matter of hours, I'm impressed."

Amaya is about to retort when Bellegere draws her attention to the very familiar woman sporting a triangle tattoo on her forehead. She smiles crookedly at their apparent recognition. "May we come in?"

I was asked by a couple of people if Bellegere is available for download. She will be - eventually - but for right now, I want to get her story/character established before sharing her. I'll be sure to give an update as soon as she is though. ; )

I had some weird photoshop issues while editing these pictures, so some look considerably more sharpened than others (in case anyone is truly bothered by it). I clearly wasn't enough to go back and re-edit. :P

I had originally planned to drag this out for another two chapters, but I want to get moving with Bellegere's generation and get the story going so everything has been compacted into this one chapter. I'm impatient.

Friday, July 19, 2013

2.1 - We Will Come

~After trying for hours to get my old saves to work once they were transferred to my new PC, I've decided to once again do a time skip.  I'm really bummed about it as I love Ari and would have liked to expand on her story, but the only options I had left were either to: 1.) try to recreate everything that I had done up until then, 2.) rewrite Ari's generation from the start, or 3.) do another generation skip and move forward with her daughter.  Option three ended up being the most reasonable since I would have to start from scratch anyway.  So without further ado, here is the introduction to generation two and the restart of the Dean Legacy.  I hope everyone likes it. :)

"...Vivika needed to leave this place, but she couldn't bring herself to. She had told herself that this retched town was a haven, a home.  The truth was she was too much of a coward to move away. If she did, she would be willingly severing her last connection to him. She would have to admit defeat, she would have to finally give him up. That was something she could never do.

With a sigh of resignation, she turned off her lamp and lay on her bed hoping that a deep sleep would give her reprieve from her loneliness. She knew that effort would be in vain. He filled her dreams just as much as he filled her waking hours and there was nothing she could do but simply give in.

The soft knock at the front door woke her just a few hours later. It was a subtle knocking; as if the person visiting her at this late hour was not entirely sure they wanted her to answer the door.  She was about to give the visitor that satisfaction and go back to sleep, when the sound of a familiar voice coming from outside startled her. Was this a dream?

Vivika walked slowly to the door and peered through the adjacent window. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest when she saw his dimly lit features under the porch lantern. Ryan. He was here.  He had told her he never wanted to see her again and had avoided her for months now, but he was here. She had almost grown comfortable in her misery when he wouldn't acknowledge her existence if they happened across each other in town because that meant she never had to hear how much he hated her again.

Her hand hesitated near the doorknob. She could ignore him. Go back to sleep and prevent herself further agony, but it was him and he was here and she had to see him; even if it meant facing his disgust of her again. So she opened the door..."

"This book is so damn stupid!" Amaya exclaims, falling on to the floor in a dramatic heap of pink and red.

Bellegere closes the book with an exasperated sigh. This is the third unsuccessful attempt to entertain her impatient cousin.

"I'm bored."

Bellegere stretches her tense limbs, still aching from her stressful first week at the local restaurant, and joins Amaya. The floorboards are cool enough to make her stifling living room somewhat bearable. "We can go to the festival."

"Yeah, but then I have to get up." Amaya smirks when Bellegere grunts loudly in frustration.

"Why am I letting you stay here again?"

"Because you love me."

Bellegere smiles. "Yeah, I guess I do."

"It's seriously an oven in here." Amaya groans, getting up and prodding Bellegere to do the same. "Take me to this festival.  Anything is better than cooking alive in here."

Against Bellegere's better judgement, Amaya manages to convince her to enter a water balloon contest. Amaya has always been the more athletic of the two and it is never more obvious than when she is dodging all of Bellegere's weak throws.

"All right! You win!" Bellegere scowls. "Now we do something that's more up my alley."

Bellegere's "alley" is food, both cooking and eating. Her parents used to joke that her stomach was a fathomless black hole and she intends to put that to use, if only to rub her victory in her cousin's face.

"And that's how it's done!" Bellegere cheers loudly, earning grimaces from her opponents.

Amaya smirks. "Probably not something to brag about Belle."

A hollow victory.

The face painting tent calls to both girls.

"Holy shit! You look... beautiful." Bellegere snickers.

Amaya frowns, the heavy pink paint on her lips only making her look garish instead of disappointed. "You're going to take pictures of this, aren't you?"

"Well, memories do need to be preserved."

Bellegere drags a reluctant Amaya to the nearest photo booth.  "I promise I'll keep the pictures in a hidden spot."

"No you won't." Amaya counters with a sly smile. "You'll frame it and put it in the living room."

"I'm prepared to fight you on this."

Amaya shrugs. "It's pointless. You will find a way to hang it somewhere publicly whether I fight against it or not."

"True. Let's do this then!"

They spent the rest of the festival attempting to not die on the skating rink, of which Bellegere was certain she was close to doing a few times.

On the way home, the girls spot a new addition to their block - specifically, right across from their house.

"A travelling con artist." Amaya scoffs. "Welcome to the neighborhood!"

"Quiet!" Bellegere places her hand over her cousin's mouth with a deep frown. "Don't be so loud when you're being rude. Whoever lives here might hear you."

"And do what? Put a spooky curse on us?"

"Or I could tell your fortune." Bellegere and Amaya jump at the sudden appearance of the old lady. Amusement is evident in the old lady's intense stare.

"Not interested." Amaya grabs for Bellegere's arm, clearly on a mission to get away from the strange woman.

"It's free." The old woman raises her brow, accentuating the tattoo on her forehead, with a wide grin.

Bellegere pulls away from Amaya's grip. She has an uneasy feeling about the whole situation, but she also feels strangely compelled to take the woman up on her offer. "Free is always good." She smiles nervously, motioning for Amaya to come with her. Amaya, to her credit, doesn't fight Bellegere's weird compulsion and follows.

"Have a seat, have a seat." The old lady motions to the two empty chairs surrounding her small table.  The globe in the middle is just large enough to dwarf the small woman before Bellegere and it emanates an energy that is two parts comforting, and one part utterly foreign.

"What is your name, child?"


"Beatrice!" Amaya interrupts. "Her name is Beatrice."

The old woman laughs quietly, her shrunken shoulders shaking with her small chuckles. "No it is not, but if you prefer Beatrice then that is what I will call you." Without skipping a beat, she whispers a few words that are unintelligible to her companions and the orb begins to glow.

Bellegere is momentarily mesmerized by the floating orb and symbols, unable to contain her amusement of the whole spectacle.  Amaya, however, is obviously unnerved.

"It is clear that you both are new in town." The old woman says, breaking the silence.

"I'd be surprised if you didn't gather at least that much, seeing as you live across the street from us." Amaya points in the direction of their house with a mocking smile. "Travelling con artist, just as I said."

Bellegere is about to scold her cousin when the woman continues on, apparently undisturbed by Amaya's comments. "Moonlight Falls called to you, didn't it Beatrice?"

"No." She answers slowly.

"Oh? I see here that you were offered jobs in more populated cities, where your cooking talents would be duly appreciated, but you chose to move here. Something about this place seemed... comfortable, inviting, necessary. Do you still deny it?"

"H-how do you know that?"

"You belong here, just as your cousin does."

"Have you been rummaging through our mail or something, you old bat?" Amaya interrupts. "You didn't do your research very well. I don't live here, I'm just visiting."

"You will live here though. You know that as well as I."

 A tingle travels down Amaya's spine at the woman's certainty. "No I don't. What exactly are you getting at?"

"That you see things too. Things that come to pass and you are scared to your very core of it."

"Excuse me?!" Amaya stands suddenly, knocking the chair over in her anger.

However, yet again, the woman ignores Amaya's outburst and casually turns her attention back to Bellegere. "And you, child. You also have a gift that frightens you. A contained power that you are constantly afraid will loose itself when you're the least ready. That could happen, Bellegere. That is why you need training. You both do."

Bellegere wrinkles her nose in concentration, trying to voice the many questions she has; but nothing comes out except a small gasp.  Amaya takes the opportunity to grab her cousin's arm and drag her away. "Let's go." She pleads. "This woman is plainly insane."

"When you're ready, we will come." Amaya and Bellegere both hear the blind woman's words as they walk briskly back to their home; the weight of the statement causing nothing but silence between them until they reach the safety of their front yard.

Bellegere softly disentangles her arm from Amaya's strong and shaking grasp. "You can let go now." She says quietly.

"Oh. Right. Sorry." Amaya lets her limp hand fall to her side. "It's raining. We should go inside."

"Amaya... maybe we should -"

"I don't want to talk about it." The redhead interrupts. "I just want to go inside."

"You go ahead." Bellegere leans on her porch banister with a weak smile. "I'll be in shortly."

Amaya nods curtly, an expression of worry hidden beneath her cool gaze. "Suit yourself."

Bellegere lets the raindrops pelt her skin as they fall, not even noticing when her clothes begin to soak through. Instead, she focuses on the unassuming caravan across the street. The old woman is nowhere to be seen, but her presence is still felt just as strongly as her parting words.

"When you're ready, we will come."

Uneventful chapter, for the most part.  I just purchased about four expansions at once, so I'm still slowly discovering all the goodies they have - hence the incredibly long chapter of a seasons festival. Also, what is going on with Bellegere/Amaya's parents will be explained later in the story. In case it isn't obvious, Amaya is Niles' and Cosette's only daughter and Bellegere is Ari's (and a yet to be revealed father's) daughter.

I stole Bellegere's name from a minor character the A Song of Ice and Fire series. To be entirely honest, I'm not sure what the official pronouncement is - but I've always assumed it sounded like Bell-eh-jeer.

Side Note: The beginning of this chapter is a story that I wrote long ago. It was a pathetic attempt to write romance/drama that I gave up on. It was interesting going through and editing that piece of crap and now you all get to read and share in my embarrassment. *shrug*

Anyways, I'm glad to be back! Thanks to everyone for being so supportive and generally awesome. You all are the reason why I love and remain within the sims community. <3