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CHAPTER I - EARLY YEARS
Beauxregard Valentin Carlisle Phacelia was born to Chrysanthemum Therese Marie Phacelia and Ambrose Christophe Phacelia 25 years ago in the country of Napedia, in the continent of Ishgar, on a planet called Earthland. He was preceded two years by his sister Hyacinth Sonya Roux Phacelia, or Sonya. The four came from a rather large family, like many families were in Napedia. Cousins extended several generations in either direction. Therese and her sister were close, so Beaux and Sonya grew up spending a lot more time with their cousin Louie than with the rest of their extended family. Louie is four years younger than Beaux, and he often roped Beaux into many dangerous and mischievous situations that got the two of them in trouble. Most of the time Beaux ended up taking the blame for his cousin out of guilt.
His home country of Napedia is on a mountainous island. Snowy peaks pierce the clouds while lush green valleys line the various rivers that run through it. Rocky but beautiful coastlines rim the landscape. In the summer, the hillsides are covered with beautiful wildflowers and lush grass. However, the country also suffers from harsh winters.
Originally Napedia was a colony of wealthy elites from another country, but nearly a century ago, the island declared its autonomy. This was during a time of high tension with the other country, but in current days the two countries have a close alliance. There are many similarities between the two to this day.
Napedia is a country of vast wealth and high class. The majority of people are rich, and those that aren’t work for the wealthy. The main industries are tourism, luxury retail, fashion, and gemstone mining, though there are many other smaller industries that the country’s elite dabbles in. From a young age, children are highly encouraged to participate in many different extracurriculars and do well in school. Arts and niche activities are available to all the wealthy children. Oftentimes, this is merely so that the family can show off to their rivals. The culture is very heavily focused on social appearances. Everything people do falls under the scrutinous and ruthless eye of their peers. Napedians, especially the upper class, tend to be very two-faced. This leads to a very judgmental and often toxic attitude among social circles.
Napedian culture is generally conservative. Some topics, especially those personal or skeptical in nature, are not spoken of for the risk of social ostracization. There is a mold in high society that most strive to fit into, and anyone outside of what a person is supposed to be is highly frowned upon. Napedia is fairly religious, which is a lot of what the conservative nature is based upon. Their religion is monotheistic and strict with clear guidelines of how one is supposed to live their life.
Beaux and Sonya felt the pressures of Napedian society from a young age. Between going to church and being taught in its strict ways to the things other children and parents said to them, they quickly learned what was and wasn’t okay socially. Be polite, don’t bring shame to the family, strive to be the best so others will like you. Whether these things were morally correct or not is up to interpretation.
Beaux had a pretty great life for his younger childhood. His parents were strict but loving and he was a mama’s boy through and through. Compared to a lot of the parents in their social circles, the Phacelias were seen as kind and attentive, something that was often mocked by others. As soon as they were able, he and Sonya were signed up for many different classes. Beaux found passion in piano, ice skating, interior decoration, and fencing. Sonya enjoyed more artistic things like baking, painting, magic studies, and ornithology, as she was very passionate about exotic birds. The two were fairly close over the years, but not without the usual sibling quarrels. Their grandmother Marigold was involved in their lives a lot, another warm presence against the chilly harshness of Napedian society. She baked them many types of cookies and listened to them even more than their parents did.
The siblings’ lives changed forever when their parents passed away unexpectedly in an explosion on a weekend away from home. Beaux and Sonya were being babysat by their grandmother when they received the news. While his sister was in violent denial, Beaux could only cry. For weeks, he didn’t speak a word, just crying on and off. The boy was always shy, but after losing his parents, he became even more reserved. Only Sonya was close enough to see the bright and vibrant side of him that only showed every once in a while.
After their parents’ death, the extended family swooped in and sorted out their estate without the siblings’ say. All they received out of it was a large wooden chest full of memorabilia and precious (not valuable) belongings of their parents. When the dust settled, the question arose in the family of who would take them in. Those who had been so eager to get a piece of the estate suddenly had many excuses, claiming they already had too many mouths to feed or that their butlers and maids took up all the extra room in the mansion. Their grandmother was too old at the time to care for two mourning teenagers properly. The only person who stepped up was one of their paternal aunts, Bernadette.
Bernadette Phacelia was a large, strict, and intimidating woman. She cared less about her appearance than was standard for Napedians, so her rough skin and wrinkles stood out, especially to the children. As a baby, Beaux would cry at the sight of her, much to his parents’ embarrassment. When he and Sonya moved into her mansion, he still found her scary, even though he was a young teen.
Aunt Bernadette kept an iron-clad household with a strict schedule. Wake up at 6 and get dressed for school. Breakfast at 6:30 sharp, or you didn’t get to eat at all. The butler leaves for school at 6:50. If you didn’t make it to the car and missed school, you got the belt and were assigned to write out religious verses for the whole day at home. Straight home post after-school activities. Dinner at 6. No elbows on the table. Extreme etiquette. No dating, no smoking, no drinking, no heathenous activities, books, or acts. Any wrong step and Aunt Bernadette was there to correct it.
Sonya rebelled at any turn she could, defying their aunt over even the smallest things. She hated how controlled their life had become, and as a teen she naturally wanted her freedom. Beaux was more complacent, mostly out of fear. However, he began to rebel in his own secret ways. Untucking his shirt as soon as he left the house, getting fantasy books from other kids at school, and having “heathen” thoughts. At first he felt a lot of guilt about it - how could one not when they had been told it was wrong their whole life? He prayed to just be normal, but of course that didn’t work, so he embraced it little by little.
Another boy in his ice skating class had become close with Beaux. The two found they had a lot in common and became fast friends, always picking each other to team up with in class and making inside jokes. Beaux found himself shyly beginning to fall for the boy, his young, hormone-fueled self yearning for that forbidden romantic connection.
[Excerpt from a thread in which Beaux has vivid memories of his past] He was back in Napedia, in his room in the mansion that belonged to his aunt. This wasn’t the mother of his cousin Louie, but an aunt on his mother’s side. After his parents had passed away, Beaux and his sister had been sent to live with this aunt. She was to take care of them until they were grown.
Beaux was looking down at his feet. He was a young teen in this instance, dressed in the school uniform he had been wearing throughout the day. Perfectly polished shoes tapped together nervously. The voice of his aunt faded in, loud and authoritative. The angel was all too familiar with this memory.
“I can’t believe you! Enfant insolent! I heard from Monsieur Daniau what you’ve done. Disgrâce! Holding hands with a boy? What do you have to say for yourself?!” his aunt shouted. Young Beaux glanced up at her with fearful blue eyes. Her face was red with anger and brow was furrowed over a furious gaze. The woman was tall, large, and intimidating.
“I-I… je suis désolé,” Beaux heard himself respond quietly. His voice was much higher than it was in the current day. Though it was a memory, the emotions of that day were beginning to resurface. His heart felt as if it were in his throat. Anxiety had twisted his gut into a knot so tight he feared he may never unravel it.
“You bring shame upon our family, Beauxregard. The neighbors will surely talk about this. If it gets out to the public, we will be shunned! Our family name will lose its place in Napedian society! Homosexuality is wrong and a bane on our society. You are un déshonneur, garçon.” The disgust was clear in her voice as she glared at the boy. Young Beaux tucked his chin to his chest, his ears turning red in shame. He began to sniffle as tears leaked down his face. The boy had gladly held hands with another of his gender. It felt right in a way that physical contact with girls did not. Young Beaux had wanted romantic contact with another male for a long time. However, between finding another boy who would be willing and trying to do it away from prying eyes, it had been a challenging task.
The fact that he had finally accomplished the innocent act set the boy’s heart alight. The entire day he had been walking on sunshine, head in the clouds. His mind and body had screamed at him that this was right. To be romantic with males was how things should be. It was against Napedian law and society, but it was right for Beaux. He knew that with every fiber of his being.
His uplifted mood was killed swiftly when he had returned home from studies and found his aunt waiting for him in his room. The glare with which she had pierced him made his stomach drop. Though he often got in trouble for minor things, this was different. This was not like being late to class or forgetting which fork was meant for salad. Her expression was different, her tone was deadly. Beaux knew at once that she knew.
Now he stood twiddling the edge of his shirt, chin on his chest and looking at the floor. Tears soaked his vision, blurring his sight. What he had felt was so right deep in his heart was wrong to Napeidans. His aunt found him disgusting now because of what he had done. How could something that felt so pure and true in his heart be so wrong? Shame and fear coursed through his body, and he began to shake. His aunt noticed and scoffed. “Quit your crying, enfant,” she snarled at him, but that only made young Beaux cry harder. She approached, her steps a thunderous, looming threat. The boy looked up in time to see her raise her hand and draw it back. He braced himself for impact.
After his aunt discovered his sexuality and punished him for several days, Beaux cracked and told Sonya what was going on when she asked about a bruise on his shoulder. She was mortified and furious that their aunt was treating him that way. Giving him a hug, she said she would be right back. The ensuing argument between Sonya and Aunt Bernadette was more furious than anything he had ever heard. While the two yelled, swore, and broke things, Beaux curled up in his bed and wept.
The next day, when Aunt Bernadette was out of the house, Sonya told Beaux to pack his things. She had found a place for them to stay temporarily until she could get an apartment and a job. Grandma Marigold was the first person she called, and of course the old woman offered shelter for a few days. She had never liked Bernadette. When Beaux asked why she took them in, his grandmother gave him a sad look. She told him that she didn’t agree with his sexuality, but she couldn’t see her grandkids out on the streets.
The numbness after the ordeal with his aunt lasted in Beaux for a long time. He and Sonya grew close as she provided for them and took care of him. He remained quiet in school, keeping to himself and his books. After being caught with that boy, he never saw him again. He was scared to socialize.
That was when he met the guy that would change his life forever. Hieronymus Stratton, nicknamed Hades, was the son of a doctor who was a family friend to the Phacelias and about four years older than Beaux. In the past, he had babysat Louie and Beaux when Louie’s parents were out of town. Oftentimes they invited Beaux over to keep him company while they were gone. Hades was an aspiring doctor himself, finding acute interest in medical tools, sutures, and stitching.
Beaux had abandoned ice skating for a while after moving out from his aunt’s house. There were just too many bittersweet memories associated with it and the boy he had fallen for. However, now that he and Sonya had settled on their own, she pushed him to try it again. Out of all his interests, she knew that it had been his most passionate. So, reluctantly, he slowly delved back into ice skating under the instruction of Hades.
It seemed to be a coincidence that ice skating always lead to Beaux falling in love. He began to crush on his instructor, swooning in his head over the tall, muscular man. As a fourteen year old, he was convinced it could never amount to anything since Hades was eighteen, but that didn’t stop him from having feelings. It wasn’t entirely the fault of Beaux’s teenage emotions. Hades was particularly attentive to him, praising him and giving him gifts. He was always more honed in on Beaux than anyone had ever been. Beaux, not knowing any better, basked in the attention. Hades made him feel special, like he was worth something, like was attractive to other men.
Eventually things escalated and the two began dating in secret. Beaux would go to “skating class” every day, but truly was spending time in private with Hades. He had the vague feeling that it was wrong, but was so head over heels for Hades that he couldn’t convince himself that it was. Yet still, he hid it from everyone in his life for a year and a half, even Sonya. His sister didn’t think anything of their closeness for a while, she was just glad that Beaux was coming out of his shell again. However, her bond with Beaux was beginning to weaken. He was short with her, avoidant of questions, and distant. He was away from home so much she rarely got to see him anymore.
After a particularly afflicting argument with Sonya, Beaux ran to his lover's home for comfort. Hades always knew what to say, giving him advice in a honeyed voice. After calming down, things got physical. An evening that started with relaxing music and tangled legs quickly spiraled out of control. In the middle of getting frisky, Hades went berserk. He tied Beaux down with an unhinged look in his eyes, like a predator succumbing to bloodlust. Over the course of several hours, Hades used all sort of medical instruments to cut Beaux to pieces. When things had calmed down, Hades sat there watching Beaux bleed out. He admitted he was an incubus, a male demon that lured people in only to steal something from their bodies, whether it be blood, soul, or organs.
Sonya had calmed down from the argument herself after getting out her frustrations. She decided to go to Hades’ house and apologize to Beaux to try to make amends. When nobody answered the door, she let herself in. The sight that greeted her was horrifying. Hades, sitting over her brother’s marred and bleeding body. Beaux had blacked out before she arrived and was barely clinging on to life. She went into a frenzy, doing anything she could to fight Hades away. After a gnarly stab with a scalpel, Hades decided to make a break for it. Sonya let him go, rushing to Beaux’s side.
From the shadows of the night came another demon, one who felt Sonya’s rage and sorrow. Taking advantage of the vulnerable young woman and the tragic situation at hand, the demon offered to merge souls with Sonya in exchange for saving her brother’s life. Without hesitation, she agreed. After the deal was made, the demon casually mentioned a catch in the contract. Sonya would never be allowed to be around Beaux again, as the magic that was infused with her and the magic that had saved him were the same. If they came close, the magic would start to fuse and steal his life force away.
Furious that she had been duped, Sonya could do nothing but leave with a heavy heart. Her brother was alive, that was the silver lining she desperately clung to as she left her precious brother and everything she had known behind.
Beaux awoke in a meadow under the warm light of a sunset. Wildflowers rustled gently in the breeze around him, and mountains pierced the sky in the distance. Memories of the trauma Hades had put him through remained, but not the knowledge of the sacrifice his sister had made. Strange scars laced his chest, cuts of all sizes in varying directions. Despite the state his skin was in, Beaux was alive. All he knew of the current situation was that he was alone in an unfamiliar place and his beloved sister wasn’t there to help him.
Beaux wandered across the land for two years in search of his sister or anything familiar. It was like he was in a dream state, just numb and dizzy all the time. He soon realized that a strange sickness was slowly starting to overtake him. Physically he became weaker and weaker. Tendrils of black began to consume the skin of his left leg, inching up his body towards his heart. Fits of long coughing caused him to throw up black liquid and blood. The sickness continued to weaken him until one day he collapsed in another field of wildflowers, unable to go on.
At that point, Beaux had been depressed for a while. Being a wanderer wasn’t fun for a guy who had been surrounded by people his whole life. Besides, there wasn’t much silver lining to the slowly impending death that crawled towards him. What was the point of a life this tortured? He knew he would die, he felt it in his soul. He had given up long ago and was just waiting for it all to end.
As he lay on his back in the meadow, watching the clouds go by and waiting for death to take him away, he wondered where his sister was and if she would ever know he had passed. All his travelling had yielded no sign of her, nor of home. He wondered wistfully what it would be like to be a bird, able to soar through the air and leave pain and worries behind. To be free like that was a heaven he believed he’d never feel. The weak, broken boy closed his eyes, but was roused back to the waking world moments later by the sound of feathers rustling. At first he thought a bird was descending, but to his complete surprise, a person with large white wings stood above him. An angel had come to bring him to heaven - at least that’s what Beaux first thought.
[Excerpt from other basic history write-up cause I’m lazy] “Rise,” the being had commanded, and suddenly Beaux was filled with an ounce of strength as he sat up. “I, too, am dying. There is a corrupt being on my trail and I don't have much time left. The only way we can both survive is to become one. I know who you are, Beaux, and you aren't destined to leave this life just yet.” Beaux, his energy once again dwindling, panicked and took the deal without second thought. The angel extended a hand, and as the boy took it, the two were surrounded by a blinding white light. When things dimmed back to normal, Beaux was left blinking newly blue eyes while large white wings extending from his back. His once brown hair was now a striking silver, the color of moonlight on fresh snowfall. A large pool of magic energy could be sensed within him, and his sickness had been healed. However, the angel was too weak to heal the bone and muscles in his left leg completely, leaving Beaux crippled with a permanent limp. Unbeknownst to him, Beaux was now frozen physically at eighteen years of age.
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