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Current

Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 502
▶ Season || Fall
▶ Temp || 35℉ (℃) - 69℉ (℃)
▶ Weather || The heat of the summer has begun to wane and cooler weather is spreading across Novus. Frost glistens in the morning light of some regions and the trees have shed their lush shades of green for those of red and orange. It is Fall now, but winter will soon be fast upon its heels.

Spotlight

Character of the Season
Eik

Member of the Season
Katherine

Thread of the Season
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Pair of the Season
Acton and Bexley

Quote of the Season
"If Reich had been the gunsmoke, Rhoswen was the gun - their youth swayed like washing in the wind, peaceful and unassuming, as though if they tried hard enough they might be able grab hold of it. Wasn't that the deceit of peaceful things? They drifted like butterflies just out of your reach." — Rhoswen in she was always meant to be a star

see here for nominations


DISCORD

Private - you belong among the wildflowers;
Asterion — Dusk Court Regent Signos: 400
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 14
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 35
▶ 5 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#1










A S T E R I O N

in sunshine and in shadow*




He isn’t sure what brings him back to the keep, not when the lanterns are still drifting from the cliff and the bonfires are still lit and the music rises like embers, gifts for the stars. Maybe he just sought somewhere quiet; there is drink (still a new thing to him) burning in his belly, spreading pleasantly through his veins and softening his mind. Everywhere he looks there is touch and laughter and friends and lovers.
 
But he is alone.
 
The bay isn’t sure where Florentine is – presumably with Reichenbach. He hasn’t seen Israfel, or Eik, or any of the handful of others he’s met; he feels like a stranger in his home court, and the wine makes him feel like a stranger in his skin.
 
Maybe he’ll watch from the parapets, he thinks. Just for a moment. It would be something, to see all those lanterns drifting like summer fireflies or unmoored stars out across the sea.
 
At first his brow creases in confusion to see two horses wander away, painted in like designs of blue and gold. It makes them look other, makes them look magic, and he steps more quickly until his hooves are echoing on the stones of the courtyard and he’s passed beneath the pale stone arch.
 
The court is no quieter than the rest of Terrastella tonight. There are groups of horses laughing, flinging paint; there are others, as alone as him, fierce concentration on their faces as they cover themselves with intricate whorls and designs. A group brushes past him, soft talk and bright eyes, and Asterion catches one. “What is it?” he asks. “A pledge,” she says with a smile, “to your court, your god, your love, your friends. It’s a statement of promise.” With a last smile she goes on; he does not watch her catch up to her friends.
 
Asterion falters. He has nothing to pledge, nothing to promise. He has never held true to anyone or any place before; the idea of saying he might now makes his heart stutter and quicken even as his lungs seem to tighten with longing. He thinks again of Florentine, of Aislinn – how rooted they seemed to be.
 
When he backs up a few steps, a bump startles him back into the present. “Oh,” he says, turning, and finds yet another stranger there. She is lovely, the color of the rich dark wine, eyes bright as the distant lanterns. “Forgive me, I – ” he finds no excuse that seems adequate; the bay’s expression turns sheepish. “Must’ve had too much to drink. Are you painting yourself?”
 
This question, asked of a perfect stranger, seems suddenly of great importance. 










@Cyrene hope this works!


Reply
Cyrene — Dusk Court Emissary Signos: 55
▶ Played by rallidae [PM] Posts: 55 — Threads: 7
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15
▶ 5 [Year 497 Fall] Active Magic: Panacea's Touch
▶ 16.0 hh Bonded: N/A
#2

CYRENE
the monarchs flew free;
yet they circled around her.

As the winter’s night proceeded to darken into a velvet swathe of twinkling onyx, the embers of Terrastella’s moonlit festival erupted into the merry, wine-fed flame it was destined to be—and Cyrene felt her blood thrum with its song. Lion eyes danced with wonder as she admired the groups of elegant, painted bodies flitting past her like butterflies, quicksilver and bright under the hazy glow of paper lanterns. How they shimmered like the stars in their gowns and silken finery. As for myself… She glanced down at the aurum constellations that coated her wings and withers in a twisted sort of opulence. A bitter smile cast a shadow across her visage, settling into the curves of the girl's elfin frame. How could she forget—for her beautiful golden scars shimmered just as bright.

The wood fairy’s steps were as light as autumn's whisper as she moved lithely through the cavorting crowd, and crimson petals drifted softly from a wreath of red poppies atop her curls. More flowers lay in a bundle between her wings—in her astonishment at the grand bouquets available in the middle of winter, she’d purchased far too many blooms to tuck into her windswept locks. (She had tried—and it hadn’t been very flattering, to her immense disappointment.)

Cyrene was on her way to the castle when a perfect solution to her flowery predicament arrived in the form of a bright-eyed, raven-haired youth. Feeling a tug on her feathers, she’d looked down in utter surprise at the little boy who refused to meet her amber gaze. "Miss, I—I… wanted to tell you that you’re very pretty. Your wings, they almost glow under the light!” A cherry-tinted flush climbed into the yearling’s cheeks, as hushed jostling sounded from behind a particularly tall patch of grass. Nonetheless, a demure smile remained steadfast upon his rosy lips. With a light chuckle, Cyrene stretched a wing to affectionately ruffle the boy’s head of dark curls.

"Thank you very much. I’m flattered.” With a knowing nod towards the swaying grass, she lowered herself to his height as she pressed a bundle of flowers into his small hands. "Here, take these back to your friends—and if they were only as brave as you, then they would’ve gotten a hug from a pretty lady as well,” and she wrapped her golden feathers around him in a tender embrace. Delighted, the boy ran back to his companions with his flowers, waving preciously to her until he’d faded into the darkness.

How adorable he was, and Cyrene’s heart flushed with warmth as a smile, bright and true, sighed back into its rightful place. Before she knew it, her hooves clicked against cobblestones as she stepped eagerly into the court’s grand keep. The crowds were especially thick inside, as noblewomen and stable boys alike walked in joviality among the variety of booths lining the lantern-lit walkways. Lion eyes skimmed through the stands until they landed on the one she sought—if her knowledge was correct, the heart of Terrastella was where one could paint blessings into their skin, sealing fateful bonds with ink and prayer.

So absorbed was she in examining the endless assortment of paints and designs, that she hadn’t noticed him at all until a light bump pulled her swiftly away from her pondering. The girl's startled gaze landed into depths of molten brown, overflowing with warmth—and just a splash of liquor’s dizzying hold.

"Ah, you are fine. Compared to the others, I consider your apology as quite a sober act,” she quipped in reply, eyes flashing with mirth. Her gaze skimmed across his handsome, dark features as the bay’s question elicited interest in her.

"Hm, not yet.” Absentmindedly, Cyrene blew back a strand of hair across her face as she turned back to the paints. "I was still browsing the immense selection they offer. How is one supposed to choose from amidst a sea of blessings?"

It must’ve been the sense of ease that radiated from him like a quiet revolution, for Cyrene’s lips could not help but quirk warmly towards him in jest.

"And what of you? Has your drink worn off enough for you to reach a solemn decision?”
@Asterion | eep this was long but had to set up the scene xD
rallidae
[Image: corruptedcorvid_cy.png]
☆ ☽
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.
---
please tag in posts, contact encouraged!


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Regent Signos: 400
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 14
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 35
▶ 5 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#3










A S T E R I O N

in sunshine and in shadow*




He counts himself at once as lucky; her reaction has him loosening even if he can’t forget his momentary lack of grace. The way she blows back a crimson lock and the poppies nestled in her hair remind him of his sister. It settles him enough to offer her a smile.

“Blessings?” he echoes, and casts his gaze again over the gathering, the range of emotions the revelers wear as wide as any he’d seen. Certainly, all those bearing ink looked as though it had changed more than the hue of their coats. At least in this moment, they are transformed. His brow furrows briefly in thought, but it has smoothed again when he turns back to her. “I suppose they are.” His smile is soft as the touch of night.

At her next question he breathes a laugh, even as he shakes his head in a spill of midnight and silver. “It’s not the drink that’s the problem...except for my coordination.” If anything, that earlier taste of wine has emboldened him – enough, at least, to consider her words and the activity around them more seriously. She made it seem like such an easy thing, pledging himself, asking for blessings.

Ah, but it would be so much easier just to slip away, back into the midwinter night. To dancing and wine and frivolous things. The coolness outside the courtyard beckons him even as he bends his head nearer to the stranger.

“I’m too afraid of breaking a promise to make one,” he confesses, and can’t quite keep the worry from creeping into his voice, the quiet little shame. His gaze studies her again and what he finds there reassures him: there is only kindness in her golden eyes, and the scattered gleaming on her wings makes him think of the summer fireflies he’d danced in months ago with Aislinn.

They are grounding thoughts, good ones, and it is enough to keep him honest. “I want to belong here, but I don’t know how.”










@Cyrene <3


Reply
Cyrene — Dusk Court Emissary Signos: 55
▶ Played by rallidae [PM] Posts: 55 — Threads: 7
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15
▶ 5 [Year 497 Fall] Active Magic: Panacea's Touch
▶ 16.0 hh Bonded: N/A
#4

CYRENE
the monarchs flew free;
yet they circled around her.

“Blessings?”

Are they not blessings? Cyrene frowned, blinking gaze skimming back over the plethora of pots and jars, swirls and emblems. 

“I suppose they are.” 

So they were. She hadn’t been wrong in her assumptions, hadn’t misled an inquiring stranger before she’d even known his name. A breath of relief puffed out of rosebud lips, hushed and tender.

Though Cyrene’s crimson skin itched to be marked with vows to tame her wild blood and bind her winged ankles to the earth—her arrival was still too fresh, too fleeting, to demand gentle Vespera’s gracious favor. Yet hope nestled like a little songbird close to her wavering heart; next winter, then. Next winter, she would paint her skin and dance under the stars with Vespera’s touch in her hair and another’s kiss upon her crown.

Crimson petals twirled delicate and fragrant through her bobbing curls, every turn of Cyrene’s head eliciting yet another round of floral revelry. She felt like a spring goddess—like Persephone, or Demeter. Thinking about her childhood goddesses brought a radiant smile to elfin lips, and leaping amber eyes zipped to settle back upon the tilted planes of the gentleman’s face. 

Yet those bright, dancing eyes were quick to puzzle, to brood, as his lightly worded confession seeped into her avian bones deep and poignant—stronger than the rum that colored his breath, darker than those endless pools of molten brown. 

A silent breath drew itself taut between them, where each studied the next with a fierce intensity. Probing, waiting, daring. Had they each found what they sought?

"To belong,” she began, amber gaze distant as the girl reached for something deep within her sealed memories. Fists closed tightly around a tale her mother had whispered to her, so long ago. "Utterly and completely—that cannot be done with a trembling constitution. You must seize it by the shoulders, shake it harshly until your conviction alone silences its taunting laughter.” Cyrene fixed steady, ageless eyes upon the caustic worries tramping along the man’s weary shoulders. She was speaking in metaphor, in rhymes; but that was the way Mamá had told it. That was the way her people had kept magic alive and pulsing through their ancient, crimson blood. 

"It is no easy task—some spend their entire lives wandering, their hearts never brave enough to settle.” And then, suddenly, she was talking about herself. "But when one does, I’ve heard… that they wish they had done so sooner.”

So why do you hesitate? she wanted to ask. Of herself, and of him. But another matter pushed at her tongue instead. "Why don’t you paint one? To feel the weight of it against your skin, to slip Terrastella’s crown over your eyes like a floral wreath.”

A grin spread itself magnificently over silken lips. "I'll gladly offer my help, if you do.”

@Asterion | much dialogue from cy :)
rallidae
[Image: corruptedcorvid_cy.png]
☆ ☽
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.
---
please tag in posts, contact encouraged!


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Regent Signos: 400
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 14
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 35
▶ 5 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#5










A S T E R I O N

in sunshine and in shadow*





It is remarkably easy to stand beside her and bear his feelings; Asterion is not sure if it is the drink or the night but he suspects it is something about the girl herself. The flowers nestled bright in her hair, the gleam of her eyes, the gold flecked across her feathers. He is charmed, and he hangs on every lilt of her voice.

“You have a way with words,” he says with a smile, an echo of what Eik had told him not long ago, beside the sea. He thinks that she is much more deserving.

Their hearts never brave enough to settle. This more than anything strikes him, and he looks away, his smile drifting, too. He has never considered it this way, has always thought himself brave for his wandering – like a knight, like a hero. Is it not more cowardly to stay than to go?

He closes his eyes, tight tight tight against the sounds of the evening, and thinks of the lion-hearted unicorn, of her conviction. He thinks of the water-god No and his quiet suggestion that Asterion consider belonging.

He has never realized how many kinds of courage there are, how different they might look. How some kinds aren’t found in stories, but are no less heroic.

Asterion thinks that it is time he stops being a boy and becomes something better, something more. He pulls in a breath perfumed with smoke, with paint, with flowers and wine, and he opens his eyes to find her grin.

“Will you?” he asks her, his dark eyes full as the sea. Maybe he still has a piece of his water-magic; there are tides pulling him, but they are pulling him home. “Will you help paint me in Verspera’s colors?” It is the first time the goddess’s name has crossed his lips and it surprises him, how natural it sounds.

Asterion does not know if he believes in the gods of this place (he is used to gods he can see, gods who perform wonders and speak like men) but as he looks from her to the laughing foals, flecked bright with a dozen colors of paint, he thinks that he can believe in this. It is enough; it is home.









@Cyrene this post is poop but yaaaaay! they'll get to names eventually xD


Reply
Cyrene — Dusk Court Emissary Signos: 55
▶ Played by rallidae [PM] Posts: 55 — Threads: 7
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15
▶ 5 [Year 497 Fall] Active Magic: Panacea's Touch
▶ 16.0 hh Bonded: N/A
#6

CYRENE
the monarchs flew free;
yet they circled around her.


“Mamá, where do the birds go every winter? They always leave, always, and only return when the sun shines bright again.”

“The birds call many places home, Cyrene. Their wings do not let them settle for long. Gaia shaped them from the wind, and gave them the fate of wanderers.”

“We have wings, too. Are we wanderers, then?”

“So many questions! But no, dear. Our ancestors long ago shed that fate; and though we are farther now from the heavens, our hooves are tethered firmly to the earth. For to wander for eternity is a tragic fate indeed.”


---

A soft breath escaped her lips as Cyrene watched the hazy memory flutter away on wanderer’s wings. They always chose to visit when she least expected it, when they were certain their knives would slip past her battered heart’s weary armor. Though this time, she did not mind. Her mother’s words had imprinted themselves like a glowing brand upon the walls of her mind, and Cyrene felt her resolve strengthen like a tightly drawn bow as she turned back towards the dark-haired man. 

“Will you help paint me in Vespera’s colors?”

"I shall.” Yet my help alone will not be enough, I suspect. In the space between her words and his own pensive reply, the keen girl’s ever-flickering eyes had settled—though hazily—upon a head of raven curls dancing and laughing through the cavorting crowd. A trail of crimson petals fluttered cheerily in his wake, as telling a sign as any; and Cyrene’s smile glowed as bright as the lanterns above as a plan weaved itself effortlessly into motion.

"But first, allow me a moment as I gather some… supplies!” As swift as a lark’s shadow, wine-red feathers vanished into the raucous crowd without a second’s delay—his reply, if he uttered any, would be met by nothing but empty air. Deftly did she twist and turn through the crowd, sable curls bobbing with heightened focus as the girl swiftly ducked swishing silks and stumbling legs. Blazing lion’s eyes held only one color in reverence: red, red, red. Like breadcrumbs, Cyrene followed the singing crimson petals as they led her faithfully to her target.

"Boy of flowers!” And there he was: the little boy from before. Fate was not finished with them yet. At his widened gaze of recognition, she gestured affectionately at the blooms that were knotted just like her own through his tumbling mane. "I have a task especially for you—gather your friends and follow me, if you dare!” At her spritely jest, they flitted like bumbling bees to her flowers—three, four, five laughing youngsters pushed and jostled their way after her. It was not possible for her to smile ever wider—the girl could not remember the last time she had felt so light, so joyous, as she did among the zealous children. 

Unlike before, the curious crowd parted of their own accord for Cyrene and her band of little bees; and quite late in coming, she wondered what he would think. Surprised, for sure; amber eyes glowed with amusement as she mused at the expression that would skim across his fine features. 

And there he was. "I hope you are not too startled, but I brought along some company.” Lowering her head to smile fondly at the children who gathered behind her, Cyrene addressed them all in a hushed tone of conspiracy—drawing them closer, beckoning them to join in on her preciously wrapped secret. "This man over here wishes to be painted with Vespera’s colors, and the task is much too daunting for me alone. Would you help me, little ones?" At their shy, shifting gazes, she whispered one final line: "I shall spoil you all with treats after!” 

Cheers erupted from their flushed lips at that; and as the older boys and girls raced for the pots and brushes, she bent down to peer softly into the meek gaze of the youngest one, a chestnut-feathered little filly. "And what is your name?” "Elaheh," came her dainty whisper. "Well, Elaheh—will you be my personal helper?” The girl’s sapphire eyes widened in excitement as they finally met Cyrene's own, and her heart lurched in bittersweet sorrow. Cygnus would have loved her.

As she righted herself again, she felt her winged hooves softly, tentatively, skim across the surface of the earth. Perhaps… it was at last time to shed her own restless, empyrean feathers.

@Asterion | phew this was a doozy! but I'm so excited to see this adooorable plot unfold <3
rallidae
[Image: corruptedcorvid_cy.png]
☆ ☽
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.
---
please tag in posts, contact encouraged!


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Regent Signos: 400
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 14
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 35
▶ 5 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#7










A S T E R I O N

in sunshine and in shadow*





He is too caught up in his own thoughts to see the memory flicker across her face, take her gaze far away for just a moment. If he’d seen (and if he knew her well enough for prying), he may have asked what she was thinking of – and then, at just the taste of a story, begged her to continue until he had his fill of tales.

But Asterion is swept up in his own story, and for once it is enough.

I shall, she says, and the bay smiles, and then the girl (strange, to think, she is still a stranger; much like meeting Eik, he already feels beyond exchanging names) is gone in a flurry of color.

She is easy to watch as she winds through the crowd, and Asterion keeps his gaze on her bobbing flower-crown, steeling himself against the waves of nerves that wash up against him. Long has he been aimless, but that does not mean he is one to go back on decisions once they are made.

So he waits, flicking an ear at the flurry of attention around him, drawing in deep breaths thick with woodsmoke. He is briefly startled to see her skirting back through the crowd with a band of children around her, but he goes to meet them gamely.

“Oh, hello,” he says loud enough to be heard over the lively courtyard, and drops his muzzle to greet each of them. “Thank you for helping. I’m Asterion.” His gaze flicks to her when she promises treats, and a conspiratorial grin edges out the shy smile he had been wearing. The youths likewise turn more bold, and he laughs as they dash off, jostling one another as they collect their brushes and paints. They put him in mind of a school of fish, quick and colorful between the legs of adults.

By the time they return all the worry has run out of him; why was he ever afraid? He takes in all the colors, the soft blues and deeply pigmented pinks, the silvers and lilacs. All the hues of dusk, some of which are already present in his coat. Around him they stand, a little flock that waits to make the first move, and over their heads Asterion meets the chestnut’s gaze.

“Okay,” he tells them. “You should begin – before I decide I am too ticklish.” There are a few grins exchanged, and then they set to their task. It does tickle; Asterion laughs as a black filly with a thick white blaze paints whorls along his neck, and tries to keep his skin from twitching and hooves from stamping as the feather-soft brushes kiss color along his coat.

“You are good helpers, and good artists too,” he says as they continue their work. “Thank you all, very much.” At this last his eyes find the lion-eyed girl again, his gaze full of gratitude. “You were right. I feel braver already.”










@Cyrene ahh I admire your world-building, I need to stretch my using-NPC-muscles


Reply
Cyrene — Dusk Court Emissary Signos: 55
▶ Played by rallidae [PM] Posts: 55 — Threads: 7
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 15
▶ 5 [Year 497 Fall] Active Magic: Panacea's Touch
▶ 16.0 hh Bonded: N/A
#8

CYRENE
the monarchs flew free;
yet they circled around her.


Asterion… so that is his name. Cyrene grinned a silken smile as she realized with amusement that their introductions had been lost in a rush of swirling lavender paints and fleeting silver destinies. 

Yet, they hadn't needed them. There had been an instant connection between the girl of summer-sweet wine and the boy with galaxies in his gaze. Names were transient things, a springtime butterfly on gossamer wings. Echoes upon a roving wind. 

Fate, then, was a different matter entirely. It was ancient as the skies, as vast as the ocean. And in the hundreds, thousands, of futures it wove like a silk-spun web, somewhere, their threads had crossed.

“My, it is a good thing I recruited the help of all of you! I could never paint so beautifully even if I tried,” Cyrene exclaimed, amber eyes bright with delight as they traced the rich, pigmented paints that twirled like cotton candy clouds over the sides of Asterion’s mahogany pelt. As the children chattered away like little songbirds, gleefully admiring their handiwork, she turned away for just a moment to find his twinkling gaze already on hers. 

“I have enjoyed myself tremendously. I think I needed this just as much as you,” she mused, looking back towards the laughing children with fondness. Yet as swift as a lark she addressed him again, amber gaze turned suddenly pensive. “Now, you have someone you need to find tonight, don’t you? Hurry and go, while the paint is still fresh.” Cyrene said to him, a knowing light flickering in her too-keen eyes. She had known since the beginning. The way his eyes had looked away, as if in search for the echo of a laugh among the cavorting crowd, the trace of a smile. There was someone he had wanted to belong for, someone who had finally instilled a sense of home in his vast, wanderer’s heart. 

“As for me, I shall have to honor my promise of buying treats for them all,” she chuckled, nodding towards the children who had tucked the paints and pots back to their rightful places in bumbling obedience, their rosy gazes bright as they looked to her in expectation. The sapphire-eyed filly, Elaheh, stepped bravely away from the group, a proud and radiant smile along her sweet face as she softly nuzzled Cyrene’s sides. “They wanted me to tell you that the cinnamon twists over there smell really delicious,” she whispered, dark lashes fluttering as she looked back over towards the group of fumbling colts. 

“Then what are we waiting for?” Cyrene replied with a smile, ruffling Elaheh’s soft curls affectionately. “To the cinnamon twists we go!”

And to Asterion, she flashed him one last bright, full-lipped smile. “We will meet again, Asterion.”

It was written in the stars.

@Asterion | aaand that's a wrap! absolutely loved this thread <3 (and the next time they meet they'll both be in the regime! xD)
rallidae
[Image: corruptedcorvid_cy.png]
☆ ☽
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.
---
please tag in posts, contact encouraged!


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Regent Signos: 400
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 135 — Threads: 14
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 20 — Atk: 20 — Exp: 35
▶ 5 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#9










A S T E R I O N

in sunshine and in shadow*





He marvels at how easy she is with the children, how clearly comfortable she is among the jumble of long-legged colts and curly-maned fillies. Other than his twin, Asterion has never been around any so young. The worlds he’d wandered had been strange, sometimes cruel, populated by few enough adults and no children.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that he enjoys their presence, unsurprising that he wears an echoing smile for each of their own.

And then there is the stranger (thought she doesn’t feel like a stranger at all). He is grinning still when she meets his eye, though it fades into something more soft and secret as she continues. You have someone you need to find tonight, don’t you?

“Yes,” he answers her with a nod. He does not ask how she knows; already he’s seen how perceptive she is, though he is clueless to how clearly his wants are written across his face. And then he laughs, soft as starlight, when she gestures toward the children. “Yes, you wouldn’t want such a talented bunch on your bad side.”

A breeze touches the cold, still-damp paint on his sides and he shivers, not unpleasantly, as the blue-eyed girl whispers to his companion. His smile turns almost wistful, watching them, though his feelings are too much a mix (like the paint that marks him now) for him to untangle just why.

The bay nods again at the girl with the poppies in her hair and the amber in her eyes, his smile whole and true. “I’m glad I bumped in to you,” he says, and before he can add anything else the children are gone, a flock of sparrows, and the stranger with them.

And Asterion, weighty with belonging, light with happiness, sets out into the evening.










that's a wrap! <3 can't wait til they meet again


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