Me, I'm a Thief. I'm a Falling Star...

Khiraen was born into a time of turmoil. The Jurchen were marching inward on his family land, Europe was burning witches across the landscape, Osaka and Sakaii burned down to the ground and the world seems to be shifting further and further into the new world. This is the heritage of power: to rise from the ashes and become something more. But it was not easy, nor was it foretold at the time. All that Khiraen's parents knew was that moving was safety because their boy, their boy was strange. In his mother's arms he shifted, leaned toward softer eyes, and his body became that of a girl; in his father's touch, his mouth grimaced, his body becoming boy again. Staying, in a dying Ming dynasty, was not an option. Goodbye to Wanli and his petulant rebellions they said and hello to Ayutthaya.

A trader for a father and a wash woman as a mother, Khiraen's family made things an easy transition. But it was their need to keep going that really put the young witch unto the path of destiny. They never settled anywhere for long and Khiraen only knows this for the magic that has filled his veins. The paperwork is long gone and only one portrait exists but the memories, they stay where they were. The travels from Jiangxi to Lan Na, to Paris are all accounted for, a long and awkward life of a boy whose form was ever changing and whose will bothered the world around him. It has its stories, as all lives have their stories, but they were shells for the truth that came to Khiraen in Paris.

Marie Catherine De Lavaux. She was a bewitching woman from the start. Seducing Khiraen's father away from his duties, swaying Khiraen's mother to rage; secrets and stories that Khiraen never got to know until it was too late because even on him, she cast her spells. Under the pretense of protection, of guidance, she tried to teach the boy that his shifts were not shifts but power — real power. She guided him, groomed him, taught him how to exist between the lines of all things. By the time Khiraen met his own first death, he was already caught in a cycle that would last for centuries as the figure always at the grand queen's side.

Each life through the cycles has come at its own cost. Khiraen, lost to who he'd become, reborn into new skin, new hair, new form and slowly having to awaken. Each bloom brought new flavor and color, new visage that the world took witness to. Marie never lived without for long; she never died, never found herself reborn. But she made sure Khiraen did, each time. Made sure that death met the body and the spirit came back unto her time and time again. Worked like a web brought into the chest of the widow, Khiraen spread and tensed and brought back in again. They would empower the spirit, they would grow the strength of magic and refine things again and again. This is the lie that was sold and so, Khiraen, in each rebirth, believed it completely.

René de Louviers (1658 — 1696) was the first of the lives with Marie. She had lived in Bangkok with the young changling until nature ran its course and death seemed best; new life was necessary, was brilliant, and she brought a young French boy into her life as they traveled through Paris to make something of a life. The problem came in the color of her creed, the nature of her whole self. Magic was hard to settle in the land as the culture began its outlash and René, though wild and young and strong, was brought into the Vinai for safety with Marie's magic guiding safety and shelter around him. He lived, bold and brash and unlearned, until his death at the hands of a sacrifice to the gods that should have brought in great fortune. The course of it, a chaotic fight at the end of his lavish little attempts at living, is the first time Khiraen was lost to Marie for a short while; the lonely bachelor burned alive and came into life again through the womb of a woman in Cork.

Anne Bonny (1697 — 1726) was the first truth of history; a life so vivid and bright that it could only become fable and mythology even through texts. The spirit turned Anne into a wild, strong woman; though her magic was not well respected, or recognized, her spirit and fight was. She was still part of the Vinai and served as a ward of their battles, sailing the seas with a crew that became infamous with the name pirate while forging her own path. Marie was a far thought from Anne's mind, a memory of a woman too far away to care for, or bother to find. Instead, came destiny: the bright seas, the bold skies, the calling of treasure and celebration and truth. Life was about learning, moving, from Ireland to London to the Carolinas, to the Bahamas themselves. Anne never settled — never even took her husband's name before he died for crossing her — and that is as she liked it best. The thought of fading into the ether, of being so wild that she could live forever the way Marie had managed, was tried and true. But there were always other things to account for. Always struggles waiting.

Marie found Anne, in the Americas, and worked her ways. She married the Governor of Jamaica, had him hire enough ships to conquer the ship helmed by Calico Jack — a lover of Anne's, at that point — just to take Anne prisoner. For four years the beratements came — how dare she run! How dare she not abide by her own laws and rules! For four years, Anne rested in prison until finally, Marie gave her gracious forgiveness; the death was quick, and easy, lost to the sea as the tide moved back towards Europe and Marie finished her affairs in America.

Princess Louise Henriette de Bourbon (1726 — 1759) became the reward for time served. Born as Mademoiselle de Conti, Louise was a Princess of the Blood and direct descendent of Louis XIV. Life was terrible and strange in the palace, however, with an abusive father and a mother who faded into shadows. Louise's brothers were the only ones stuck in line with her, fearful of the magic that had caused a 'swelling' in their father's chest that killed him dead for raising a hand against his daughter. Then came the trouble all the same: forced to marry family, a second cousin, and bear three children who would all die ignorant and bereft of fortune. But the life was the first step toward a new truth, a path that would come to realize destiny itself.

Marie had often accounted for all things. For the troubles the young shifter would suffer, for the strangeness of affairs and abuse. But Orléans was theirs, was heritage and right, and it would sing its song louder than the future voodoo queen herself could really manage to fight back. The drums rolled as Louise died, hands held by the children who would go on to be buried near their mother all too soon after, and the spirit moved back across the tides and winds as if chilled through the core and pulled by Marie herself.

Melody May (1760 — 1788) was the bright middle daughter of a bright simple family trying to live their best through Virginia. War was life, however, and Melody, though simple, was thrust into it time and time again. Lovers who took up arms, her own brothers and father in constant battle, the best that they could do was travel along the way; and it was best to do, of course, as Marie made herself a neighbor presence. A kind woman, with gentle blue eyes to match the pretty sky eyes of Melody the young girl. The women were hard pressed, living in and out of tents, trying to fix and cater the soldiers and their wounds. Marie and Melody used their magic, of course, and did their best until it was Melody who'd had enough; she threw away the rules of the Vinai to do something more: rise up and take command.

The rise of women as the First Nurses of the war began in a battle in the middle of 1775; it was George Washington himself that Melody spoke to, fixing wounds along his leg. The women knew more than they were given credit for and with some pay, they would be more than willing to step up as well. It was risky, and strange, and the pay ended up less than it should have ever been but it worked. The First Nurses rose and worked their ways along the war path instead of waiting to watch their men all fall apart and die. It was Marie who hated this most of all, listening to the young spirit she was trying to groom, but she did what seemed right and best all the same. Melody never even knew it was the pull of Marie's gifts that brought death to her when a fever ran through her chest and tore her young life away.

Punishment came different the next time around. Tsunu’lahun’ski (1789 — 1820) was born into a tribe that belonged to the Peyar for ages, using their divine skills and shaman talents to try and find if the land and planet would ever give help on who might become Majestrix one day. Junaluska did as he ought to: grew into a brave man, conquering forests and woods, conquering life itself and language. He used his gifts as greatly as they were to try and make things simpler. Maybe, he thought, a new way of life would do well; maybe a new course of magic would teach him enough to let these cycles stop. It seemed to work, for a short time. Twenty seven years before Maried came by again like some carrion black bird herself. Some message of death and what is to come.

Junaluska, it turned out, for all his bravery and courage was hardly a strong enough candidate for new chief. The tribe would turn on him and this she showed him, in dreams and brews. Junaluska didn't want to believe in it, didn't want to think that even following the rules, new rules and order, was somehow not enough to fix the end. But the planet began to speak to him true and proper, began to give way to an understanding about the nature of Marie and these cycles. Before he could confront her, a wild bear took him from his family, destroyed the life that could and would have been.

Emilie Hammarskjöld (1821 — 1854) had it the easiest, perhaps, of all the lives that the spirit has lived. Even being born far back in Stockholm couldn't stop the nature of destiny, though. Emilie, born gifted, was raised itno music and singing, in performing and learning. By 1844, she was on her way to America with a husband and a career, performing a specifically beautiful concernt as a pianist in New Orleans, a land that thrummed with life and need and desire. The romance of Emilie's heart was called to it, staying near enough before her husband moved her to South Carolina instead, where Marie waited.

This time, Marie looked old, to Emilie. She was a kind neighbor, a gentle soft woman, and though Emilie did not live to an old age herself, Marie stayed by her side in promise and praise. She had done well, this time. She had lived by the rules and things would be different now, things would be better. But this, this became a lie, a confusing mess of a lie as Emilie felt her throat burn up and the spirit try desperately to leave toward something else.

Drayton Roye (1854 — 1884) was far from that freedom. Though a free slave born into the land that is known now as Liberia, Drayton was anything but the liberation the soul was yearning for. Drayton did serve for the tool that would become it, however; the magic of Marie wavered in a place full of such belief, of growing mysticism. And the women of the land, they taught Drayton an odd truth: the govi were not houses for magic but trouble, trouble through and through. Spirits could come back to Earth, everyone did know that, but they did not come from the will of self or the need of another. No, souls got caught in Govi and used. They could bring more strength to a witch, bring real magic into power. To remember, to know the past, to know every life lived, it was a kind of curse. A fault, of the zombi; meant to drive them to insanity and keep them needing their salvation in whomever held their Govi.

And Marie, she had herself a whole slew of them, every time the soul met her.

So, Drayton learned, or tried to. The power was there, rich and wild and free. The knowledge was not. The women of the island helped him, tried to give him learning that Marie had hidden for centuries already. But one lifetime is not nearly enough for anything but a way back to the real, to the true. And so Drayton made himself that, a sacrifice of self again, so that the truth could come revealed.

And, so came Khiraen again, the flesh and form most common. The truth, waiting to be understood.

I'm a photograph taken from where you are.

Khiraen was reborn in New Orleans, Louisiana for the last time that death would ever have to visit. His father was a diplomat from Thailand and his mother, a clotheswoman running a laundry in the city center. Together, they were comfortable enough to have only ever wanted for a child: and Khiraen became their blessing and their curse. The world had turned, by then, and though their son was born a magic mess of shifting self with a book that came flying into the hospital room, they loved him. Which was a good, good thing, as it gave Khiraen shelter and safety enough to keep Marie at bay while his own new Book began to teach him from a young age.

Life was simple, enough. Growing up wealthy in 1885 New Orleans came with strength and power that magic only refined. Khiraen never had much to worry about, to care for. It wasn't until an old familiar name came with new tones to it that he even had fear in his young heart: Marie Catherine Laveau was growing as a source of rich power herself, and Khiraen knew that meant she was watching after him. Voices rang through, govi and zombis all through his head, and Khiraen tried to figure out how to stop and fight it. It wasn't easy, wasn't even a task to take on hard, but as he grew and learned, so did his magic. And that, in the city he called home, was not as simple a thing as it should have been.

Bloodlines bled into one another and culture thrived. Even Khiraen's own best friend was an odd mix of old and new blood, and so the magic changed in Khiraen. His form stopped its constant shift for a while, made him a whole, young boy, and his book began to grow with spells and knowledge he should have held onto through his lives already. Khiraen became a magic source for others, for spells that protected, or grew love, or sheltered from harm. A Queen of New Orleans in his own right, named Ten for the inconquerable awe of his magic and the way he easily came to overwhelm those without understanding how or why, until he was 18 years old and one of the elite fifteen: the men and women who curated all the magic into shelves, into books, into senses and sound and made the newest form of magic the world had known yet.

New Orleans Voodoo was always meant to be a launching pad. It was the start of things, the basics of so many different foundations that it would follow it sown rules. At least, that was the plan as Khiraen had always understood it, even going out of his way to be kind to Marie when he could manage. It wasn't until much later in life that things began to fall apart. The Queens began to die off and rumors spread about other versions of them. 97 different Marie Laveaus; 43 different Khiraen Fongs; each of the Queens born again and again and again. Khiraen began to understand then what was happening, what the truth of all their occult had been. But defeating Marie, freeing the souls in her countless collections of jars and ceramics, was an almost impossible task to imagine taking on.

Until Johnathan died.

The curse that ran Jonathan's blood was a difficult thing to take witness to, but it rattled something deeper than courage or fear inside of Khiraen. Blood magic was old and death was a hardship but it woke something in him: the psychopomp of his nature overrode all else and Khiraen watched Johnathan's blood twist into the curse and spindle outward. The friend of his came to him reborn without the course of a mother or father returned; instead, he was an infant in Khiraen's arms and the future made sense. The curse would return and Johnathan would have to face it, until it was defeated.

But the raising of the boy to meet his destiny had a small time to wait. Left with Khiraen's aging parents for just a short, short time, Khiraen took his newfound shifting nature to face down his own curse and fear. The very entrance into Marie's home with such intent rattled the mansion whole and every govi filled with Khiraen's past shattered in an instant; the spirits swam into his heart and Khiraen swallowed them whole as hundreds of others rattled and cried from the underground. Death was his agent now, Death was his cause.

And Death became him, as Marie drove a dagger through his chest to try and take back what was hers. It was too late for salvation, however, as Khiraen drifted from mortal to More and the Baron Samedi was born. He stood before her, dagger and green blood oozing from his chest, as he stared down and let the flesh of him burn in forest and sky before the skeleton remained and touched along her face. "You played too long, Mary Mary." Khiraen still remembers the rattle of her howl as his hand dug into her chest and the book of his became a dagger itself, driven into her skull. Every spirit, centuries worth of reincarnations, of forced rebirth, of death and life alike, all came spilling from her and her magic. New Orleans shook to the core, and the course of destiny changed. It made trouble, sure, but when thousands of lives came flying out from her home and moved on, it seemed worth it.

Only some remained, wanting to stay with Khiraen, wanting to work for right now until they were let go. And they, with his book, helped the boy learn truth now. Learn what magic was supposed to be all along, learn to respect it the way it needed. Johnathan would have to suffer without govi to guide him himself but.. Khiraen began to understand how sometimes the most difficult choice was the right one, too.

Which is why Marie has been kept alive. Her power was enough for her own immortality but not much more; she's earned her name in records as the greatest of all of them, but that is all. No growth into new god, no inheritance toward the Majestrix or magic itself. These days, she makes her way in different names and forms through New Orleans, bound to the city and stuck forever with only the most basic of magic under her hand. Powerful, sure, but only as far as she can throw a chair; she would be a threat to no one ever again, least of all Khiraen.

So, he lived as himself, immortal and endless and changing. The curse of his gift was only for those weaker than himself: to never see the true boy again, only visages, parts that comforted them. Too much of a reaper, of a god of death itself, he became dozens of entities at once. A whole family of barons and guards, of death loas and iwas that scattered through the pantheons of the world. And Khiraen, he lived as he ever had to. A woman here, a man there; nurse in World War 2, Matron in various states. And it was Marie's estate that eventually became the core of all the new liberties that he'd earned.

The Navil became the name of the spirits, the forms, the sanctuary of Khiraen's spirit. Magic free of sacrifice or enterprise, magic that was for the sake of self and the world instead of trying to conquer and rule and control. Over the years, Eclipse Academy has become a center for all natures of the world, all forms of creature and magic alike. And they have all become members of the Navil since, free from people like Marie or those who had helped her to carve life from people like Khiraen for too long. A new truth, kept.

Verity of Witchcraft though vastly powerful, khi's magic influence weakens the further from himself he is trying to cast a spell. that is, if he tries to curse someone in another country, it's almost impossible without items of theirs. typically, he works best in line-of-sight, though his influence ranges in a rough five hundred mile radius. khi has existed as both vinai and peyar in the world at large and, at the end of it all, has come to realize the best foundation for his future existed only in creating his own path. the struggle was well worth it to extend independence to others. the new clan, navil, therefore exists to propegate an independence from either side of servitude. They act only in what feels right, what responds to both land and sky but, most importantly, the nature of their hearts and spirits. The Navil are neutral territory: no side by start problems on land owned and operated by them. khi's book is incredibly active despite no longer needing it to learn magic. new things are still best taken from book's pages and it helps him to educate others now as well. khi adores cooking and so does it for most of the school, most of the time. he makes up the daily specials and menus but usually goes off menu when requested. the kitchen is enchanted to feed and provide anything those standing inside of it want or require but students, and faculty, are still encouraged to cook. though he does not flaunt it often, khi is a masterful hand to hand combatant, focusing on flow-action combat like tai chi and wing chun. he prefers ranged weaponry, for this. while khi is not a total vegan, he does not accept any form of animal sacrifice in return for boons given. he understands the nature of them and their use but... he avoids what he can. because of the nature of his time as mamman brigette, and the women he's lived as otherwise, khiraen has femininity flowing through his spirit that impacts him through a softer body, sensitive mammaries and occasional hormone shifts.

the family honors

vodouisants + auspices

old flames & nights