Leon
Played by Esmera Magenta // 1 Posts Last Active Mar 28, 2018, 10:24 PM
In the world of the ilim, there is no real such thing as "noble" or "royal." This was a concept that Leon, born as Vaenos, had to come to understand over time, for in his small village, nestled in the high peaks of the Lumiya Mountains of Shuya, was quite far removed from such ideas. Each member of the village was treated as any other; all were expected to pull their weight, but unlike many other, similar villages, Leon's village loved one another quite deeply, and should one of their own falter, the rest were there to pull them back up. Leon, at one time, had a sibling, a younger sister his parents had named Aeva. Aeva was a precocious thing, often getting into more trouble than she should, without thinking, fearless as any full-grown scrappy human capable of taking care of themselves. But Aeva was not a full-grown scrappy human; she was a small, barely two foot tall young ilim, and could hardly carry a bucket of water by herself, if the bucket was too full.

Leon, feeling responsible for the girl, knew his parents couldn't watch her all the time, and carefully took over the charge of doing just that. The girl would run off, and Leon would drag her back, sometimes kicking and screaming, her wolf-like ears pinned back in annoyance, a scowl on her face. It was for her own good, Leon always told her. There are other things in these mountains, things that are bigger and meaner than you, he said. Aeva insisted she knew, but always threw her little fit, anyway, and Leon was never sure whether she really did know, or if she just took joy in giving him a hard time. It was hard to say then. It is even harder to say now.

So, Leon spent his days watching his sister. He learned from her, and she learned from him. It was never enough; there were always more things to learn, more dangers to be afraid of, more sounds to jump and hide at. Still, Aeva never learned to be afraid of anything. Despite Leon's warnings, despite their parents reiterating what he said time and time again, despite the stories of ilim from their village that went out for water and never came back, tales of hunting parties that were never heard from again, Aeva never learned fear.

In hindsight, Leon theorises perhaps the girl was legitimately incapable of processing fear. Her life was not hard, and only hardship taught some of the most important life-lessons. The tales were too vague. The stories were too removed. Aeva never learned fear, and it cost her, in the end, when one day, she and Leon were getting water from a nearby mountain stream. A bear came by, and Leon froze, starting to back away slowly, and Aeva, for no seeming reason, charged at it, instead. He tried to grab her, make her hold still, force her to back away with him, but he just missed her tiny hand, and she was gone forever. The bear swiped a paw at her, slammed her into a rock, and broke every bone in her body. By the time Leon managed to get the bear to walk away, it was too late. Aeva was gone.

Their parents were never the same. In retrospect, neither was Leon. While his parents never did blame him for the incident, and even made sure he was aware, many times over, that they didn't blame him for it, for anything that happened that evening, Leon always did. Leon always blamed himself. If he'd just reached for her faster. If he'd just thought to grab her hand before he backed away. If he'd just- if he'd just- but no amount of if he'd just would ever bring Aeva back, would it?

Their small village was quiet, for a long time. Aeva was, precocious as she might've been, one of the brightest lights in every dreary day, and without her exuberant spirit, the village became quieter, more subdued. Some of their life had gone with her, and Leon was never sure if it'd ever come back, if their parents would ever truly be joyous again. If he would ever truly be joyous again. Without her, Leon was lost in ways their parents, and the rest of the village, were not, because Aeva had been his life, and he'd been with her every day for years by then. He constantly caught himself thinking he'd better see where she was, panicking for that split second when he couldn't find her, and then remembering, with a sharp, painful stab, that of course she wasn't there. He'd watched them burn her body and send her ashes to the wind gods, as they did for all of their village that went to where the sea met the sky.

For a while, Leon wondered if maybe he ought to follow her. And he tried, being fair about it. Yet, try as he might, his survival instincts were too strong. In the end, he may have come back a bit roughed up, his parents fretting over him for days after, but he always came back. At the end of it all, he had five near-misses and a sixth accidental kill on his hands, and he gave up. Maybe it was a sign. Maybe it was Aeva's spirit telling him to live because she couldn't. One day, at the top of a peak, foraging for what little fruit-bearing plants could be found in such frigid temperatures, Leon stopped, and stared across the vast range that was the Lumiya Mountains. Home for since before he could remember, but something was missing. It wasn't home anymore. He wondered when that had changed. He wondered if he'd recognise when it had changed, if he thought back far enough, if he'd notice the tell-tale signs in his memories.

He didn't go back to his little village nestled in the mountains.

By chance, mostly by virtue of needing to, Leon discovered a love of food and cooking while trekking across the range. He heard, sometimes, his parents telepathically calling for him, those in his village that could doing the same, but Leon couldn't answer yet. He made his way across the range, toward Efrea, or where he remembered it being in relation to Shuya, learned the mountains better, improved his cooking skills. When he did finally make it to Efrea, probably weeks later, he sent a letter to his parents, and then went looking for work. Ilim aren't particularly common sights in Efrea, and as the political tensions between Efrea and Uclain continued to worsen, those in Efrea started to trust him a little less. Ilim are, of course, often allied with Uclain, because the vast majority of them live there in the dense forests. But Leon is not, nor had ever been, Uclainian. He was Shuyan, and he loved to cook.

Were it not for one Suyis Lucain speaking up for him, he might've opened a restaurant, there in the Estijian Markets. He had an arrangement with several other merchants that had set up shop there, where he cooked for them, and they supplied other things he needed, but his resources were dwindling, as people started to question him. Ultimately, the ilim decided to join the Har'zaref's crew as its chef; probably for the best, as Suyis is not really someone Leon would trust in a kitchen.

And now, he wanders. Always chasing the place the sea meets the sky, and someday, as all do, he'll finally go there.
- Leon is actually somewhat tall for an Ilim, a bit over 4'.
- He is northern Ilim coloured. Logical, right?
- His ears and tail are wolf-like, like his sister's.
- For an idea of what he looks like, like this.
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Date Registered: Mar 10, 2018, 04:22 AM
Local Time: Aug 18, 2018, 05:32 PM
Last Active: Mar 28, 2018, 10:24 PM