Bohren wiped his brow. The desert sun had finally started its slow descent beyond the horizon. Time to cool off. He lowered himself on the sandstone bricks and dipped his feet into the river water. Its curling eddies swept away the ache of standing in the blistering heat all day. When he first signed up for the King’s Guard, he thought he would take part in endless action and receive nationwide honor. It really meant standing around waiting rooms all day, listening to his employer go over bank rolls.
He wiggled his toes, teasing a catfish that had just woken to search for its breakfast. It swam away after realizing Bohren’s foot was twice it size. Living this far south meant the dark came swiftly, like throwing a glittering blanket over the world, but he found that he had no need for torches or mage-lights. The dry, cloudless air let the moon light his path, gifting him with a breathtaking view of the stars every night.
One star, though, seemed to be getting closer, larger as it approached him. He narrowed his eyes, wiping away the last bits of mirage heat. No, it was a woman, carrying a torch. She made her way to the center of one of the many wood footbridges that spanned the river and paused, her back turned towards him.
Bohren watched as she lowered her veiled face to look into the water. The warm light in her raised hand brought forth the red in her dress. The silk swirled around her knees, echoing the desert wind. The gold hem sparkled, resonating the stars above. She removed an emerald vial from her violet sash, sending a bright jingle through the copper coins sewn into it. With one hand, she uncorked it and dropped its contents over her arms.
The flame leaped from the torch to her sleeve, igniting the trail of oil and covering her chest in glittering flame.
Bohren jumped out of the water. His wet, bare feet stuck to the ground as he ran. Each step kicked up more sand that grated their. Every footfall, the flame grew larger, but she still held the torch high in her shaking hand.
He paused as he stood in front of her. The perfume of smoldering silk filled his nose. He met her eyes, two cool pools of pale green piercing the halo of fire around her.
He threw himself forward, cracking the bridge railing and hurtling them both into the water.
Bohren was never a particularly good swimmer. The women kicked as the flames died around them. He held on to her as she flailed, dodging her limbs as he tried to drive his through the water. By the time he had righted himself and dragged them both to shore, she had fainted with her head against his shoulder.
He lifted the veil, and a mass of smoldering hair fell into the water. A wig. It revealed an angelic but sickly face underneath. Her skin and hair, though delicate and porcelain, seemed as if their color had been boiled out by the sun until only their ashen husks remained. Holding her this close, he could feel her chest move as she breathed. There was a strange flat, heaviness to her body.
Bohren stifled a gasp. This was a man.
. - 066/100 Themes.
I’ve been waiting so long to introduce this character! He’s originally from a different story I made up in high school, but I folded him into this once since I liked his concept so much.Toriayne
is the favorite wife of Belsamel, the Akhari emperor, much loved for her light hair and green eyes. However, ‘she’ is really a ‘he.’ In his youth, the penniless, naive, tailor’s unique design sensibilities got him and opportunity to dress a visiting foreign prince. They fell in love, and he went back to Belsamel’s home country as his wife. Every day, he spends hours using his tailoring and makeup artistry to maintain a female appearance. It seems to work until Belsamel begins to desire an heir - meaning a second wife - that can carry on his magical ability of fire generation. As the pressure increases, Tori starts to want a break-up. When he hears this, Belsamel increases his gaslighting, and Tori finds himself in a psychologically abusive relationship because, despite his appearance, he identifies strongly as a gay man with an occupational passion and talent in clothing design.
So I guess, pronoun-wise, you can refer to him as a ‘he’Other Works Featuring These Characters:
Toriayne and Bohren Tabirian belongs to Grace Fong,