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Current

Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 503
▶ Season || Summer
▶ Temp || 74℉ (℃) - 100℉ (℃)
▶ Weather || The weather radar really does seem to be off the charts lately...
I wonder what's going on? (#23-26)

Spotlight

Character of the Season
El Toro

Member of the Season
Griffin

Thread of the Season
Bring Me Thunder; Bring Me Steel

Pair of the Season
Eik and Isra

Quote of the Season
"Her mother lives all in day, her father all in night, and Apolonia straddles the thin, dusky line halving her heart with not so much grace - startling awake in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn, trying to find some way to compromise." — Apolonia in
The Vine & The Rain & The Light

see here for nominations


DISCORD

Shrike
Day Court Soldier


The Character


Offline

▶ Age: 7 [Year 496 Summer]
▶ Gender: Female
▶ Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
▶ Orientation: Bisexual
▶ Breed: American Paint Horse
▶ Height: 15.3 hh
▶ Health: 9
▶ Attack: 11
▶ Experience: 16
▶ Signos: 225 (Donate)

▶ Joined: 04-30-2018
▶ Last Visit: 12-08-2018, 11:22 PM
▶ Total Posts: 24 (Find All Posts)
▶ Total Threads: 3 (Find All Threads)

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Shrike is not a pretty creature.

There is no delicacy in the curve of her muscles and the rope of her sinews. There is little grace in the way she moves, and what is there is a bear’s grace, compact and confident, but nothing elegant, nothing refined. There is power in her, and strength, but nothing soft and little feminine.

Shrike was named for the strange oxblood markings that blaze like blood across her eyes. It turned out to be a fitting name, for she too will kill to serve the needs of those beneath her care.

Her coat, when not brown or red with mud and dust, is pale a ghost’s save for the paint markings she bears. They are the red of old blood and touch several parts of her body, most notably her eyes and the medicine hat she wears. Once she would have washed those markings from her body, if she could have; now she wears them proudly, the same way she wears the scars that cross her skin.

There is little else remarkable about her. Her mane and tail are often tangled with wind and briars and her dark eyes are always watchful and rarely trustful. The world has earned such a look from her, again and again.


bitter/mistrustful/distant/bullheaded

doggedly loyal when earned/dry sense of humor/tireless for a cause she believes in/confident/competent/fearless/thoughtful

Shrike was raised under the law of tooth and claw and she is a product of that environment.

It is hard to say what she might have been, had she not been cast from her home as nothing more than a new-weaned filly and called a witch. It is hard to know what optimism she might have had, what kindness she might have nurtured if she had a different life.

But Shrike’s world made her cold. It made her hard, and it made her capable. To live was to work, whether through her body or her wits, and both were honed over the years to the sharpness of a blade. Once she used to be so lonely; now she is more weary than anything. But even resignation does not keep her from fighting for the things that she believes in.

Shrike believes in the freedom of will, and power in the hands of the people. She has stood all her life to protect the oppressed, to stand for the small and powerless. There is little so much she despises as unearned arrogance and cruel power (though she has had to make herself cruel, at times, to battle it).

Once won (and oh, it has been won before, thoroughly, a lifetime ago and a world away) her loyalty is a permanent thing. It can verge on vicious; she will fall on the sword to defend those she loves. Perhaps it is because she does not love easily, or perhaps it is because, at her base, Shrike is not a solitary creature: she is better at following, better at fighting shield-to-shield.

She has been cursed for her sense of justice, for her dogged pursuit of vengeance. But this is another thing she pays no heed to, for she knows it must be done.

Not all beasts can be brought to heel by heroes. Sometimes it takes another beast. It is a lesson that Shrike has learned again and again, and it is a weight she bears without regret.
Shrike’s birth was a difficult one for her dam.

There had been a storm, the night before, rare and fierce in the canyonlands they called home; it had washed through the arroyos, swept up everything in its path, devouring as surely as fire devours. Their herd had been forced to higher ground, bare ground with little scrubbrush for protection, and it was blue and hot when the child came. A foal born in midday was a bad omen, for their tribe, but the bad omens did not stop there.

It was clear at once the filly was a medicine hat. This alone was enough for suspicion, as they were a superstitious race, and to them such a thing meant one thing: witch. Shrike, her mother called her, for the markings over her eyes; but the rest of them called her bruja, and watched her darkly.

And perhaps they were not wrong, for their whispers, for once she was weaned, the first hint of her powers began. The ground would tremble beneath her feet, and lead her to water where none could be found. During the summer storms when lightning split the sky, she could always find a cave.

These things they might have tolerated, for they were useful for them all – but one night, as they passed beneath a copse of mesquite trees, a cougar leapt down. It raked its claws along the lead mare’s back, but missed its target; when it whirled, it found itself face-to-face with Shrike.

Only instead of a small filly, there stood a grizzly bear, grown and pale as a ghost.

It was enough to scare off the cougar; it was enough to break her people’s delicate trust in her. That night they drove her from the herd, turned her out into the desert alone.

But she survived, with the help of the earth that whispered to her and moved for her, and she grew.

The time between that and the world of Ravos is only stories and scars. She made it her task to defend those less lucky than her: other children, other innocents. She learned to be hard, to walk alone, to ask nothing and make the best of what she was given. Always she wandered, always alone.


Until Ravos. There Shrike met Calliope, a fellow shifter, a fellow warrior with vengeance written on her bones. At last Shrike was whole, fighting beside her shield-sister. Together they challenged the rule of tyrannical gods; together they carved out a space for themselves and those like them in a land of feral magic. And together, when the world began to die around them, they leapt into the hungry mouth of that wild, lawless magic and into a new one.

But this next world was not to be so kind to Shrike.

There were still monsters to hunt, beasts of chaos and men as cruel as the gods had been, and Calliope was still there beside her.

But one day a beast got the better of Shrike.

She does not remember what it was she tangled with, that day in the darkness below worlds. But it left her mangled, bleeding – dying.

The riftlands were a strange world, shifting lands that followed no reason. Shrike’s heart, like the earth power she’d had as a filly, led her beaten body down, down, down into a below-place. A space between lands.

And Calliope found her there, and freed her from her pain with a promise and a kiss and a merciful death.

Nothing lasted in that place between worlds, not even death. But it was not the riftlands Shrike woke to, whole once more, but without magic, and alone. It was Novus, and it was a desert, so like and so different from the one of her birth.

There was nothing, then, but to start over. She had done it before.
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The Player

▶ Player Name: griffin (Profile)
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▶ Other Accounts: griffin, Acton, Amaroq, Asterion, Egan, Elif, Lysander,
friend to many dogs


  


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