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Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 502
▶ Season || Summer
▶ Temp || 74℉ (℃) - 100℉ (℃)
▶ Weather || With the end of Spring comes Summer's warm embrace. While some flourish in the comfortable glow of the sun, others take shelter from its sweltering midday heat. Even so, it is now that the continent bustles with life, for it won't be long until a cool chill returns.

Spotlight

Character of the Season
Avdotya

Member of the Season
Jeanne

Thread of the Season
.. Cool your fever ..

Pair of the Season
Ipomoea and Messalina

Quote of the Season
Bexley gives him a cold, dark, beautiful smile. “Wanna see a trick?” she asks, eyes glowing with feral self-satisfaction. The bare of her teeth in a mock-grin is nothing less than terrifying. “I can make you see ghosts.” do the hungry ever sleep?

see here for nominations


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Experience Earning - hallelujah
Seraphina — Day Court Sovereign Signos: 2,000
▶ Played by Jeanne [PM] Posts: 166 — Threads: 30
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28
▶ 4 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#11
☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

try try your whole life to be righteous and to be good
wind up on your own floor, choking on blood


“I hope so.”

That too was strange to her – foreign words, accompanied by a smile that seems genuine. There’s something wrong in his tone, though; it is spoken too quickly, hints at a tension that she knows only too well. Neither of them are ignorant to the whims of their nations, although the whims of her nation are, to some extent, her own. She doesn’t pretend to have more control than she actually does, though. Not anymore. Not after the Davke. Seraphina doesn’t linger on his words, however, or the tension that lingers beneath his smile.

He gives a genuine grin at her next comment. “One of the first things you learn in the brotherhood, manners. Next to how to hold a sword properly, that is. It’d be bad manners to forget them now. My mentor might come back to swat me one last time.” A faint ghost of amusement curls at the corners of her lips. It isn’t exactly a smile, but it seems to hint at one. She watches him carefully, her gaze as quick and calculating as ever in spite of the rare, faint warmth that seems to linger in the depth of it; she notes the slight surprise in his posture when she makes no attempt to snap at him, and wonders, rather unhappily, just how bad their relationship has grown with Denocte that its citizens would immediately expect hostility from her, or her people. Seraphina tries to push that thought out of her mind as he continues to speak, however; there will be time enough to deal with her queenly troubles when she is outside of these caves, back in the warmth (or metaphorical chill) of her own palace.

“There is no harm at playing others at their own games.” A smirk. (A bit roguish, though still appropriately knightly, she thinks.) “Cannot say they are rather good thieves and vagabonds, if they have led you to their doors, though.”

“Their worst issue is simple cockiness - they hope to take advantage of the present situation in Solterra.” She doesn’t directly mention the burnt capitol, though, for a moment, her expression darkens. Underestimate the Solterrans if they dare - the Davke had not broken her, much less her people. If anything, the horror of the attack had been enough to momentarily sober the volatility and dissidence that polluted Solterran politics. In ruins, they found more common ground than they had in years. “In any case, I hope I’m not a disappointing alternative, to what you had hoped to find here.” A hint of amusement works its way into her tone. “Hardly. Just don’t tell the Solterran nobility that. I already try their patience.” She doesn’t want to know what they would think of her chatting amicably with a Denoctian.

“Seraphina. It suits you, your name, you know.”

“Reall- thank you.” She can’t keep the initial surprise out of her tone. Burning one, stolen from one of the many lands and languages that Viceroy had encountered in the past; but Seraphina was anything but burning, and he made her that way. Viceroy wanted her cold and sharp as a knife, not rebellious and impulsive, or wild as flame. “I’ve always thought that Viceroy chose it out of irony, personally.” Seraphina doesn’t really intend to mention her direct connection to Solterra’s previous warning, nor does she really intend to mention that her name is not her own, but, she supposes, it isn’t as though either are a secret. They could be now, with much of the library and its meticulous records sent up in smoke, but Seraphina is not a secretive creature by nature; she knows that what is willingly offered can rarely come back to bite you, so long as it is not a flaw. Her entire history may or may not remain on one of the remarkably unburnt shelves in the ruins of the library, or it might have turned to ashes with much of the rest of their people’s writings. (She feels a faint pang when she thinks of the library, her second home as Solterra’s Emissary. Seraphina does not regret burning it, though. Better her than one of the Davke. Better to burn yourself to the ground than give the enemy the satisfaction of doing it for you. A matter of morale, and power and control. What you have already taken cannot be taken from one of you; one of Viceroy’s central tenants.) Her life has always been public knowledge, but much of it, she thinks, is incomprehensible to anyone who did not live it.

Tonight, we’ll just be Seraphina and Renwick, then, and do whatever they wish to do. The Queen and Lord Commander can worry about their troubles another day.”

She steps forward, cautiously, and picks her way over towards his side. Starlight catches on the metallic silver of her coat as she moves in and out of the dappled light, coming to a halt a few feet away from him; even though instinct drives her to stay standing, to remain stiff and statuesque, reason reassures her that she has nothing to fear. Not from him; not tonight. The lantern clinks to the ground at her side, and, for a moment, she considers lighting it, but decides against it. The dusty blue of starlight is more than enough to see. “That suits me.” A simple statement. She considers, then, where to go with their conversation – it feels like it has been a very long time since she’s just spoken to someone. Seraphina always has a purpose, a drive. Her mind feels like it is constantly ticking towards some end goal. There is no end goal here. However, Seraphina is also a curious creature, by nature, constantly in search of new information, and all of Denocte is somewhat new to her. Most of her interactions with its people are icy, at best, and, even before the library burned, Solterra scarcely kept information on Denocte. She doesn’t want war with the realm of moon and stars, but she doesn’t understand them, either; without that understanding, conflict seems inevitable, with tensions and tempers so volatile. With that in mind, she ventures to ask, “You said that you were…a member of the Brotherhood? I gather that you are something of a…knightly order, but I’m afraid I know little of the various…groups in Denocte. Solterra does not keep much information on your people, beyond what we know of warfare – the monarchy did not have much of an interest in cultural studies, unfortunately.”  



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


tags | @Renwick
notes | <3




@


IN THE AFTERMATH WE ARE LEFT WITH A GIRL
who cannot lift her wings from the floodwater


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence





Reply
Renwick — Night Court Warrior Signos: 190
▶ Played by arahvir [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 0
▶ Male [he/him/his] Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10
▶ 6 [Year 496 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17 hh Bonded: N/A
#12

RENWICK




It is a pity, that their nations had continued their long standing animosity toward one another, or rather, revived it. Revived it with a vengeance, it seemed, like how a flame errupted at it's summoners command. Raven's come and go, each one with a report attached to their leg. One cannot account for the whims, choices and fancies of the other however, there are too many variables in the form of equines scattered across Novus. If one wanted to cause a fight, they wood, and it mattered little if they did or didn't wear a crown.

Renwick didn't put much stock on faith, and the Gods. They had long grown silent, if the stories were to be believed, less interested with Mortal affairs. But he cannot help but wonder if Calligo and Solis had sowed discord into their lands for each other, as they faced the opposite way, dooming them to continue to play a game they did not enjoy.

It's that knowledge, and the scars visible and invisible upon his skin, which caused him to tense. To stiffen before he relaxed. It is hard to beat it out, when it had been what kept you alive. This is his first conversation with a Solterran, in seasons. A real conversation, a real meeting, with the Queen no less.

His reply to her words, does not come as immediately as he liked. His moon colored gaze lingered on that darkened expression, and he briefly wondered what caused it. Renwick preferred it when a ghost of something had brightened those features, there is something luminous about it. The barest hint of what he thinks is amusement, a smile provoked to surface, not fully, but lurking. "The cocky ones are the most gratifying, when you knock their ass into the dirt." Renwick commented with a huffed laugh. "You've got that to look forward to." How many had he caught like that? Their cockiness eventually became their weakness. He's also no fool, anyone who tries to pick on a wounded nation is poking at a den of serpents. Renwick didn't dwell too far on who or what banners those individuals could fly, he's too caught up in the snort he emitted when she mentioned Solterran nobles. "Solterran Nobles, last I heard they were all far too concerned about their legs giving out underneath their girth. Have they finally gotten off of their piles of gold?" He wondered outloud humor dripped generously over every word.

The Knight cannot help but preen, ever so slightly, at the surprise he provoked out of the Queen at his compliment. Not so much that his words had an effect, no, he's more transfixed on the way her face changed in response, right down to the fine details of her cheekbones and the corner of her eyes.

I’ve always thought that Viceroy chose it out of irony, personally.

"There is power in owning a name. This Viceroy might have given you it, but he doesn't own it. A name can mean many things, depending on who hears it, or what they see from it's meaning or who it belongs to." He stated, his mother had named him Renwick. Raven's Nest. Calligo only knew why. He supposed she wished to invite fortune with the Raven's cunning and intelligence. To make up for what she had lost, considering that it had been Renwick's father who had left her wanting, her future an uncertain, tattered thing. Well, she had got that somewhat, she had a son who had done well — but she had not profited from it. He'd upped and left her to join the Brotherhood and that had been that. Briefly, his mind wandered to her, it had been some time since he'd seen her. Would she still have the same disappointed, but hopeful look in her eye?

He can worry about that another night.

That suits me.

"Perfect." It is much more comfortable like this, beneath the canopy of stars, whose faces glittered and glimmered on the mirror like lake. There is the sound of rushing water from a waterfall somewhere near, a constant rippling sigh. Strange, perfectly so, is this chance encounter. Here the Lord Commander and Solterran Queen tossed aside their cloak and crown, he should fear her. But he doesn't. Silver eyes remain on her, warm despite their cool color, drinking her in. She's as silver as the swords he's wielded, the swords who had bitten against his own. Touched by the fog of the mountain and the mists of the sea. The stars paint her in a luminous glow, and Renwick could almost believe the moon had gifted her, her silver strands. Or perhaps it is fire who gifted her the lustrous molten strands, white fire given by the sun.

At Seraphina's question, and explanation of the absence of information about Denocte, his features turned attentitive. Pensive. It would make sense, that not many know the infamous Court of Smoke and Stars, and Solterra even less. Lack of communication had nearly ruined them before, and trading history is not an evil. History lead to understanding, a common interest. "We're an ancient order." Renwick nodded, as he mulled over his words. "We were founded just before the Night Court elected it's first Sovereign. Our founder was a Noble born son, but he cast it all away so he could protect Denocte truly, and he hid that until he died. So to make sure the Nobles could not interfere. He understood that power was a fickle thing, an addicting thing. He didn't want our citizens to suffer, if the Nobles and King ever allowed it to go to their head. Rather than use his talents for ill, he used them for good, and founded us. They say he was loved by the commonfolk, and the highborn alike." He shifted a little, aware that his voice had turned soft, the kind of soft when someone recited their favorite story.

"When the truth came out about who he was, the Nobles tried to summon him back to Court. To advise the King, apparently he burned the letters and sent the ashes back in a box. The didn't ask after that. Then there was Paxtan, who by all accounts was a bit of a twat, and that's the Maester's words, not mine." The knight grinned, that part had always tickled him, if only the scholars had recorded the Nobles' reaction in ink, to Harlen's rather clipped response. "Then Alester the Bard, Nysah who was one of the two female Commander's of our order, Sanah was the other. Then there was Elrin, there's been a lot of Commander's but those ones stood the test of time. Each one has a statue in their likeness at our Fortress. Our last Commander was Alavin. They called him the Sun Bane, but he found it to be a rather silly title. He'd grouch about it whenever someone mentioned it..." He didn't mean to trail off, but. Well. Old friends no longer present always managed to hit a nerve. Slid the knife in such a way that it twisted just a little bit deeper. "...He died during the Solterra and Denocte War. He didn't want to march, but he understood duty, there wasn't much choice. So now there's me, Renwick Theron." Renwick added the last part with a smile, one arguably brighter than the sadness in his gaze, which drained as he shifted his focus onto Seraphina's land.

"So, what about Solterra?" The knight queried, the messy curls of his forelock slid over his face as his head tipped, forcing him to shake the ombre strands from vision. There's no masking the amusement, the burning look of interest in his gaze. "I don't know much about you and your culture either. What was it like? I doubt the Nobles really shat gold, like the rumors said they did."




TAG; @Seraphina
NOTES; let it begin!


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[Image: by_fintron_by_arcanums-dc78s94.png]
your contempt will always taste of grief
wolf boy, rose haired
☽ ➴ 




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Seraphina — Day Court Sovereign Signos: 2,000
▶ Played by Jeanne [PM] Posts: 166 — Threads: 30
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28
▶ 4 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#13
☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

try try your whole life to be righteous and to be good
wind up on your own floor, choking on blood


He’s still not quite comfortable – nor does she expect him to be. Even without the use of her title, Seraphina is the Queen of a kingdom that might tomorrow be his enemy, and she with it. It isn’t as though she is entirely relaxed, either, though she can’t tell if the tension that lines her frame is intentional or the result of years of training for diligence, to seek out danger wherever she looked. It takes him a moment to reply."The cocky ones are the most gratifying, when you knock their ass into the dirt." A faint laugh."You've got that to look forward to.” She doesn’t quite understand that, either. In spite of her violence, Seraphina dislikes fighting, and she tries to avoid it when she can. (Unfortunately, it seems that, all too often, she cannot.) She doesn’t think about that for long, though – her ears twitch forward as he responds to her comment on the nobility. "Solterran Nobles, last I heard they were all far too concerned about their legs giving out underneath their girth. Have they finally gotten off of their piles of gold?"

“If they didn’t, they’re long dead by now.” Something like disdain lingers in her voice. They were the first slaughtered when Solterra rebelled after Zolin’s death; for all their power, they had no fight in them. However, it was dangerous to underestimate the nobility – though most all of them gained their power by blood, the ones that rose to prominence were most always dangerous, if only secondhand.

He looks rather pleased with himself at her surprise. "There is power in owning a name. This Viceroy might have given you it, but he doesn't own it. A name can mean many things, depending on who hears it, or what they see from it's meaning or who it belongs to." This Viceroy, she thinks, at first. This Viceroy. This Viceroy might have somehow come out of the war and the rebellion as an enigma, barely a footnote to Zolin’s horrors, but he was a monster unlike any other that Seraphina has seen, and she has seen monsters. (Even the Child King himself, once. A little presentation, to prove that Viceroy’s plans were working.) It was Zolin’s Warden that came up with all of the mechanisms for the war, the child soldiers, their brutal training, the traps lain bare across the sands, their plans of attack – it was this Viceroy that was largely responsible for the horrors of the war with Denocte, and yet, he remained unnoticed, unknown, at least outside of Solterra.

“And what if it is given by stealing something else?” A faint, inquisitive arch of her brow. The name, as she sees it, is no more a gift than the collar around her throat – they have the same innate purpose of control and change, a way to overwrite who she was and would have grown into with who she was made to be. He is right, though. Viceroy is dead. The name – and everything that it has come to mean – is hers now.

He talks about the Brotherhood, then; his tone shifts to a gentle lilt, like a storyteller, and she listens eagerly, expression hinting at a curiosity that is almost childlike in its innocence. (The one upside of her time under Viceroy was the education that her parents would never have been able to afford for her; if ever there was proof of Viceroy’s sinister intentions, it was that he wanted an educated and mindlessly obedient group of soldiers beneath him.) An ancient order, from just before the Night Court – one that kept the peace between the nobility and the commonfolk of Denocte. She wonders if things might have turned out differently in Solterra if they had something like that, particularly headed by a Noble that was willing to give up his nobility.

As he speaks of past Commanders, and she finds herself thinking of how much her mother would love stories of these characters, night kingdom or no, and then – then he trails off, expression darkening. She looks momentarily concerned, before he continues. “"...He died during the Solterra and Denocte War. He didn't want to march, but he understood duty, there wasn't much choice. So now there's me, Renwick Theron." Alavin. A mentor, she can only assume, and another casualty of a thoughtless war waged by thoughtful people. He smiles as punctuation, but it isn’t really a smile.
“…I’m sorry.” Her voice is soft, surprisingly uncertain. Seraphina can see the pain in his eyes, though she can’t really understand it – she has lost her mother, but she barely remembers her. She has lost so many of her citizens, but none of them close. Even the grief, or something like it, that she felt at Maxence’s passing was closer to dull shock. It feels strange, sometimes, knowing that she should understand something, that it should be easy to understand something, but not truly understanding at all. Pain, though, she understands, and she can sympathize with that, at least to some extent. “He sounds like a good man, from what little you said of him.” And she means that. War, she knows, is awful and ugly, and it brings out the worst people have to offer – those that know the horrors and fight anyways, for some cause or duty that they believe in are brave in a way that she is not sure that she can understand, with her engineered sense of loyalty.

"So, what about Solterra?" He’s curious about them, too. She sees it in his eyes. “"I don't know much about you and your culture either. What was it like? I doubt the Nobles really shat gold, like the rumors said they did."

“Only in their dreams.” A hint of amusement. “Solterra is…well. A hundred years ago, there was no Day Court proper, only a collection of tribes. Now, only the Davke seem to remain, and, for a time, we thought that even they had faded away into the dunes.” At the mention of the Davke, her lips curl; she is quick to move on. “Our first Sovereign was Queen Sol of the Hajakha. At the time she rose to prominence, Solterra faced some foreign enemy – most of the records from that period were lost long ago, but we know that, whatever this enemy was, it has no correlation to the modern courts. Denocte would be the easiest guess, but…” She trails off, shaking her head. “…no. Whatever they faced, if you believe the legends, was something monstrous and vile that threatened all of Novus, not only Solterra. Some writings say that this mysterious…force…still slumbers somewhere beneath the sea; those are troubling, but likely fictional. Even if they are not, nothing that might help us to understand what happened now remains.” This is not just because most of the royal archives lie in ashes; no, all of their records of Queen Sol’s war have long been lost to the Solterrans. She exists as half-history and half-myth, suspended in a strange state of not-quite reality. “In any case, Queen Sol rallied the tribes against this great evil, and, with their combined forces, they drove the enemy from Solterra – we have no records of what happened to this enemy afterwards.” Save for the idea that they slumbered beneath the sea, anyways. It did not seem so strange that a desert-dwelling people would fear the ocean depths, although they bordered their nation on all sides.

“Queen Sol was vicious and bloodthirsty, and never known for her mercy, but she was good to her people; even when the threat dissipated, she remained in power. For a time, Solterran society was…different. The tribal leadership was generally hereditary, and so it was the same for the monarchy, but there was not so wide a gap between the nobles and the common folk – they often intermarried, and the most capable would always find a way to rise to the highest echelons of society.” Her expression darkens, and her eyes narrow as she continues. “Of course, they also kept slaves.” For a moment, her disgust is audible, but then she is on to the next comment. “Over the next twenty years or so, Solterra began to grow. The capitol was built, and, with it came a system of formal education and a flourishing marketplace that was said to have supplied anything you might ever desire.  This was not to last.” She pauses, as though considering, then: “You can trace Solterra’s decline directly to the reign of King Havieel the first. He eliminated our system of education, and, soon, knowledge became a resource hoarded by the wealthy and powerful. Solterran nobility and commoners had been growing distant for many years, but, with no system of education, they began to write in two different languages. The noble language is called Sahvahn, and the common language Eibet. Only Savahn was recognized under Solterran law, and the common people, who could not speak it, were considered illiterate – their legal rights were stripped from them completely.” A cunning, cunning plan, and likely the intention from the start. Solterra valued brute force above most all other things, but they did recognize the power of knowledge, as well. “I suspect you know how the story goes from there. The nobles became more powerful, and many fell into greed and gluttony, hoarding gold and jewels while their people starved in the streets. It was only so long before the nation’s anger reached a boiling point.”

“Zolin was that boiling point. He committed more atrocities than I can recount – I imagine that there are many that I do not even know of. He destroyed entire families, continued a war that we could not win, collected slaves and concubines to use as trophies, had many of his rivals executed publicly…” Her expression is cool. “His worst mistake was the Davke. Avdotya killed Zolin. His death sparked the kingdom to revolution. The capitol went up in flames, all of Zolin’s inner circle and much of his family were murdered, and Solterra succumbed to chaos and violence. The remaining nobles went into hiding, slaves broke free of their bonds, and enraged citizens ransacked the city.” For a moment, she can remember it – she can remember  bloody streets and flames, death all around her. For a moment, it is all that she can see, and she’s not sure if she is looking at the capitol in rebellion or the capitol under siege. In the back of her mind, she can hear Viceroy screaming. She doesn’t feel anything at all at the strangled, gurgling sound. (In her mind’s eye, she watches him as he chokes on his own blood, a smile that knows far, far too much still curled across his lips. “Don’t be ridiculous, apprentice. I cannot die.” More than a year later and he is still dead – not so immortal as he believed, or so it seems.)

“Eventually, Solterra fell into something of a…calm. Maxence was the first to attempt to bring order back to the kingdom. In some regards he succeeded – he is the reason why the Day Court exists again. In some regards…he was a foreigner, and he did not have all the knowledge that would have been required to lead the court.” Those days seem far away from her now, the memory of the man who had set her on this path too distant and too faraway for such a short time. “At the moment, we are going through a period of…considerable change. Slavery has been outlawed, and we are attempting to fight the black market that provided them. We are also attempting to reinstate a system of education, but that is…difficult, with the capitol all but in ashes.” She sighs, softly. “The nobility, of course, have not taken kindly to power in the hands of a commoner, much less a child soldier, and the common folk…do not trust those in power. The situation remains volatile.” At this, she looks up, something akin to thorough determination spreading across her features – and when she speaks, her voice is relentless. Mismatched eyes meet chips of moonstone with a cool defiance - she knows how her people’s history sounds, and she knows how the world would like to paint them. “Nevertheless, we are a hardy people – we survive in a desert full of teryrs and sandwyrms, and struggle each and every day just to find food and water. We can do far better than what we allowed ourselves to become.”



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tags | @Renwick
notes | whoops I skipped a day. hope the loredump (ft. some info from fables & folk tales I'm working on) makes up for it?




@


IN THE AFTERMATH WE ARE LEFT WITH A GIRL
who cannot lift her wings from the floodwater


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence





Reply
Renwick — Night Court Warrior Signos: 190
▶ Played by arahvir [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 0
▶ Male [he/him/his] Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10
▶ 6 [Year 496 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17 hh Bonded: N/A
#14

RENWICK


There are some things which are ingrained deep, they become part of who you were. They persisted, unconciously, even when one tried to do anything but. It is not a slight against Seraphina, the subtle lines of his frame poised for action. Try as he might, Renwick was a soldier. A Knight, before he was anything else. If fate had been kinder, or at least more considerate, he might have been something that was allowed to rest in the presence of the Sun Queen. But, then the Sun Queen to, was like him, in that regard.

If they didn’t, they’re long dead by now.

The disdain in her voice coaxed his head to tilt, silver eyes reflect a note of curiosity before the pieces slid into place. Ah, they were the first to fall then. It made sense, the ones who pulled the chains the hardest, who profited from them the most were the first to find blades pointed at their throats. "I see." Is his only response, caught somewhere in the long stretch between amusement and acknowledgement of a move well played. Denocte had always painted their Solterran counterparts as heavy upon their own greed. The mental image of their swollen frames slipping and sliding off of their chaise's and piles of gold, their blood splattered on glinting surfaces, had permeated the high and low circles — when news had finally reached them of Zolin's demise. "Cannot really fault those who felt the whip the most, for seizing the whip and making them pay ten fold." Renwick murmured after a beat of silence.

And what if it is given by stealing something else?

Renwick doesn't know this Viceroy, not intimately at least. He's a ghost, a target. Someone who inevitably died, and while he cannot say he opposes his fate. He wished it had come sooner. It does not take a Sage to understand that this stallion is the cause of much grief, and for a moment he pondered why he did not know more about him. Though, the War had been critically acclaimed as Zolin's War. Not his advisors, not his shadowy generals and their schemes. Zolin's. Renwick had been a soldier, told to charge into the thick of battle and hinder the Solterran advance. Harass them, cripple their routes, send them back where they came from dead or alive. Names had been for those who rubbed shoulders with the Night Sovereign.

Brows pulled together as he mulled over his answer. But when he spoke, there is no hesitation, or careful words placed within it. It is as strong as sure as the spear he wielded, the bow and arrow often strapped at his side. "Then you must forge it into something that is yours. Reforge it, thrice fold if you have to. It is an unfair trade, but you can forge what was given into something that is worth more than what was taken. Make this Viceroy rue the day he gave you the name Seraphina. Make him regret ever giving you the tools to be great, burn him from the history books in the magnificence that is you and you alone."  

He could go on and on about the commanders, each and every one, if he was allowed. Renwick tried to at least spare her that, his mouth could run and run and run as the wolves did. The Knight could of described their crypts beneath the stonehold of Direstone, their likeness carved into the stone, silent sentinels to all those who called it home. One would think they would spring out of the stone at a moments notice, if their carved ears so much heard a ghosting of a threat. He didn't expect the soft sorry from her, but the sadness in his eyes shifted to one of warmth, appreciation. "He was a good man, I may miss him terribly, but I honor his sacrifice. I only hope I live up to the expectations he set forward, and the legacy he left behind." And he prayed, that he would not live to see a rekindled War. A true War, where banners were called. They had all seen enough of it, they had all paid for it.

There's no time to linger on that, not that he wanted to. Seraphina regaled him with the history of the Realm of Sun and Sand and Renwick happily, eagerly settled into attentive silence. Her words weave an image in his mind of rolling desert dunes and equines scattered across them, each tribe dressed in different colors beneath Solis' gaze. Even if his mind painted him a vision of the dawn of the Day Court, his moon colored eyes drank in the vision of the Queen as words guided the images in his head to play out each and every scene. It's not every day one received a history lesson from the Sovereign of the Sun, and he wagered it was not every day they got to see her like this.

Could there ever have been a more lovelier sight?

He doesn't want to interrupt her, so the questions which bubbled and burned in the back of his throat were swallowed down. In turn they were answered in the next breath, Solterra hadn't been such separated community. Once upon a time, the highest interacted with the low, there were no mountains of gold lifted up on the backs of slaves, greed hadn't turned their gaze green and their minds hungry. A shame, is the singular thought which permeated that part of the story, that they had fallen so far. It's hard to keep the frown and the twist of his maw, down and down until it's like that of a wolfs. Somewhere caught between a snarl and a sneer.

It was downright barbaric, what happened. How alienated the common people must of felt. How many were born with the feeling of resentment and shame in their breast? All for the sake of the Highest Echelons to feel superior. How many sold their children just to make ends meet? How many perfectly capable equines felt like their home was not their home? simply for the caste they were born to?

"I know, in Denocte's own terms. About Zolin's ascension, and his father." Renwick admitted, though he was reluctant to interrupt her. Suddenly he's aware how close he had leaned as the Sovereign had spoken, and he drew back with a feigned casual note. The spell is still not completely broken however, her words have left an impression in him. A hoof print that will not so easily be washed away by the tide or the passage of time. "Though I imagine what we were told doesn't hold a candle to the reality of what happened. I cannot blame them for them striking off their chains and taking their payment in blood." Renwick had never gazed at Solterra's Capitol. But he imagined it to be a grand place made of old stone and the sweat of those who had once loved it. To imagine it smoking and soot stained, it's streets littered with those whose chains clattered against the cobbled stones and lay tossed across walls. He imagined, in it's waking days it was much more beautiful, if a city built by the fierce and determined could be called beautiful.

Once more, he allowed silence to come easily to him as she detailed the modern day standings of the Day Court. After Zolin and his treacherous Court. Maxence, he had heard of here and there, but the Brotherhood had been too far removed from the Day and Night situations, better focused on aiding the people who lived outside of the walls of the Night Court's capitol.

Nevertheless, we are a hardy people – we survive in a desert full of teryrs and sandwyrms, and struggle each and ever day just to find food and water. We can do far better than what we allowed ourselves to become.

"With you as their Queen, I can believe that. You are everything that the people need, and the very thing the Nobles fear." The Knight smiled then, sincere and easily. "The Nobles do not want to consider a future without slaves and chains, where gold speaks. It would make them obsolete, make them wrong. It would mean that equines would not have to learn to love their chains, and the ones who pulled them. It would make them equals, and they have no place in that world, where equines can think and speak for themselves. The Solterra you want to build does not sound like such a bad place." Renwick stated. The history books would not paint her as a lavish thing, with her gilded crown woven in the shape of leaves, and slaves at her feet. Instead, he can imagine them painting her in all her raw glory, the collar upon her neck a symbol of something different. An ownership of oneself, not the slavery she was thrust into, not the games of cruelty envisioned by another. The flames of the sun were not Solis' but her own, with the trust and loyalty of the people. No slaves. No Nobles. No venomous advisors depicted as serpents around her throat.

The silver queen, painted in the shades of mountain fog and sea mist. The precious veins of the earth kissed upon her skin.

Truly, again, Could there ever have been a more lovelier sight? The God's were playing their games again, a gilded arrow aimed at a Wolf.

"The Capital may be in ashes now, but I do not think it will stay that way for long. Solterra won't know what hit them, with you as their Sovereign. The ground will even out beneath your hooves, in time, change is a drastic thing even for those who have benefited from it the most. The nobles will either change, or perish. After all...what does not bend..." He trailed off with a grin.






TAG; @Seraphina
NOTES; <3


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[Image: by_fintron_by_arcanums-dc78s94.png]
your contempt will always taste of grief
wolf boy, rose haired
☽ ➴ 




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Seraphina — Day Court Sovereign Signos: 2,000
▶ Played by Jeanne [PM] Posts: 166 — Threads: 30
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28
▶ 4 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#15
☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

try try your whole life to be righteous and to be good
wind up on your own floor, choking on blood


She watches his expression as she speaks, and she takes note of the curiosity as she speaks of the fate of the nobles; the implication seems to sink in quickly, though. “I see.” She’s not entirely sure what to make of his tone. "Cannot really fault those who felt the whip the most, for seizing the whip and making them pay ten fold.” Barely more than a mutter, but enough to be audible.

“No, not at all.” She agrees, with a slight nod of her head. “I was in the Capitol, at the time of the revolt. All our sins were lain bare – I had seen war before, but never…never anything so horrifying as that, back then. Much of it was deserved, but…no one walked away unscathed.” She grimaces, expression darkening momentarily. War was a controlled chaos – the flames in the capitol burnt out of control, destroying anything and everything in their way. The revolts, on the other hand, were nothing but chaos, uncontrolled and purposeless violence bred by years of hatred and disconnection. Could she blame them for their rage? No. It was probably necessary, if the court was ever to recover from the violence of the nobility that brought it so close to its doom. If it had not ended in flames, it might have died a quieter death, but it would have died nevertheless, little more than another empire brought to its slow, creeping end by greed and luxury. Burning had given it a chance to be made anew.

He seems to consider his answer to her question of Viceroy, brows creasing, but finally offers, “Then you must reforge it into something that is yours. Reforge it, thrice fold if you have to. It is an unfair trade, but you can forge what was given into something that is worth more than what was taken. Make this Viceroy rue the day he gave you the name Seraphina. Make him regret ever giving you the tools to be great, burn him from the history books in the magnificence that is you and you alone.” Flattery, she thinks, with a hint of amusement – but she also thinks that he’s being sincere.

“I often wonder what of me was not made by Viceroy.” A hint of quiet bitterness enters her tone, but it is quick to recede as she continues to speak. “But you are right. There is little use to be found in lingering on what is already done, only what is yet to be.” Her physique and form crafted by his violence; her personality warped and ripped to shreds by his touch; her name; her posture; her every waking thought and dream; the collar around her throat. In all of that, where is she? Seraphina still isn’t sure – she isn’t sure where Viceroy ends and where she begins. Now, Viceroy is dead. Whatever control he had over her was gone with him, and now, wherever or whatever she is, she moves forward alone. The truth of the matter is, had she never met Viceroy, she would be dead. What he did to her was monstrous, and it was painful, even though she spent many years trying to tell herself that it was not; however, it is also Viceroy’s influence that brought her to where she now stands. Like it or not, Renwick is right. She is who she is because of Viceroy. However, he has no control over who she will yet be.

His expression warms at her condolences, and she’s a bit surprised – it isn’t as though the subject is pleasant. “He was a good man, I may miss him terribly, but I honor his sacrifice. I only hope I live up to the expectations he set forward, and the legacy he left behind." She fixes him with a thoughtful expression.

“You sound so genuine when you speak of your order that I cannot imagine that you could fail to do so.” There is no uncertainty in her tone. He is something of a hero, or so she thinks from her preliminary observations – the sort of man she expected to walk from a fable, not to live and breathe in front of her. He is something of a hero, she thinks, or at least he has the demeanor of one – the sort of man who looked at chivalrous beliefs and morals and believed in them. “They are lucky to have you.” She means that, too; any group beloved by their leader was more fortunate than they might know. And, she thinks, from what little she knows of Renwick, he too is a good man.

As she tells her stories, she notices him leaning in closer and closer with a hint of something that feels like fond amusement. It’s a bit, she thinks, like a child sitting around a campfire, listening to tales told by the scholars and elders in the capitol – there’s a certain eagerness to the gesture. (She imagines that she was much the same when he was talking about Denocte, though.) As she finishes her explanation of the history, he seems to notice how close he has gotten, and draws back. "I know, in Denocte's own terms. About Zolin's ascension, and his father." She nods, slightly. "Though I imagine what we were told doesn't hold a candle to the reality of what happened. I cannot blame them for them striking off their chains and taking their payment in blood."

“No. It was necessary.” Seraphina rarely says that of violence, but, once something had grown so twisted as the capitol she had seen in her youth, she knew that it must be broken to piece itself together again. In a city, or a nation, she sees it like a scar. Sometimes, they were necessary, and, quite often, they meant something. Solterra had made its mistakes, and it had paid its crimes; now came the troubled, painful process of healing. “I have heard some of the rumors. Some true, some exaggerated…and some far too light for the ugly truth that lies beneath.” Solterra has become something of a fable for most of Novus, a desert land full of monsters where, for many years, few but criminals had entered or left. The desert nation had crumbled in upon itself, receded into a tight little ball and closed out the rest of the world – the nobility, in their palaces, and all the others sweltering in the suffocating heat of the sun god above. “It is difficult for many in Solterra to even understand the magnitude of what occurred. By virtue of my…positions, I have met people of every rank in Solterran society. Nobles that have seen their families destroyed and still think nothing of their own crimes, and nobles – younger ones, especially – horrified by the crimes of their forbearers, and yet still so sheltered…slaves with their wings ripped off and their horns sliced away, kept in cages as entertainment…common men and women who are still half-starved because they cannot recover from the prolonged emaciation. And, of course, there are those who are…like me. We have lived in vastly different worlds.” So many stories had gone unwritten. So many people had been forgotten, so much potential left to waste away in a society that had become so constrictive that it had no room for anyone to so much as breathe. When the world became so small, full of people who could see no further than themselves, for one reason or another, it ceased to be a world at all. That was what Solterra had felt like to her when she was younger – impossibly vast and claustrophobic all at once. Now, when she walks through the city streets, the weight of a gaping history left in tatters bearing down on her shoulders, she wonders what Solterra feels like to her. “Reconciling them…will be difficult, but I do not think that it is impossible.”

She wonders, sometimes, if she isn’t being too optimistic. Seraphina has seen evil, after all. She has seen people so amoral and incomprehensible that she wonders how they could have sprung from the same soil and bled the same red as people like Eik and Florentine and Cyrene and Renwick, and she wonders, sometimes, if that evil does not outweigh the good. With the capitol in ashes and her path forward engulfed in a hungry, hungry darkness, it has been easy to fall into stretches of hopelessness, with nothing but necessity to drag her forward, nothing but responsibility. However, if nothing else, the silver has always been determined. She has never been entirely convinced of her own direction, but she has never had anything but forward momentum, and, sometimes, she wonders if it’s a little like hope. The path was dark, but she hasn’t lost her way just yet – she tells herself that this is just a misstep. (But then she remembers the bodies the Davke had left littering her streets. How could she ever forgive herself for all that blood?) She aches for her people. She aches for what they have lost, and she fears for what they more they might still lose if she makes a mistake. A part of her wants to turn tail and run into the deserts from which she came, bury herself so deep in the sands that no one will ever find her again. However, a part of her needs the responsibility. A part of her wants the chance to change, if not people, if not her nation, herself.

Seraphina refuses to believe that there is anything that is broken beyond repair.

She slips back into her explanation, and he slips back into silence. When she finally reaches her conclusion, he speaks again, an easy, genuine smile slipping across his lips – she isn’t accustomed to smiles, she thinks, much less ones that seem real. "With you as their Queen, I can believe that. You are everything that the people need, and the very thing the Nobles fear." Seraphina straightens, as though startled. "The Nobles do not want to consider a future without slaves and chains, where gold speaks. It would make them obsolete, make them wrong. It would mean that equines would not have to learn to love their chains, and the ones who pulled them. It would make them equals, and they have no place in that world, where equines can think and speak for themselves. The Solterra you want to build does not sound like such a bad place." Ears twitch directly up, a look of surprise stretching across her charcoal features. In the wake of the Davke attack, and even before it, Seraphina never felt like she was right for Solterra. She didn’t have Avdotya’s viciousness or her flame, nor Viceroy’s cold indifference, nor Maxence’s reactivity and pride. Where they burned, she remained cold, or something like it – but every day she felt a little bit warmer. "The Capital may be in ashes now, but I do not think it will stay that way for long. Solterra won't know what hit them, with you as their Sovereign. The ground will even out beneath your hooves, in time, change is a drastic thing even for those who have benefited from it the most. The nobles will either change, or perish. After all...what does not bend..." She felt so constantly like she was running out of time, and even more often that she had failed her people. After all, she is not the sun god’s chosen. She isn’t highbred, and she isn’t a great warrior. She is a simple soldier, another body thrown to the war effort, a queen who had ended up in power only through the whim of chance. However, as Renwick spoke, she finds herself thinking of the Eiks and the Bexleys and the Arihels and the Nariahs and even the Rhoswens; she finds herself thinking of those that still remains, of what is left of her nation rather than what has been lost. She would keep trying. For them.

“…will break,” She finishes, though there is an almost hazy quality to her tone. For a moment, she watches him, expression undiscernible; however, her gaze, fire and ice as it might be, holds within it a rare warm. “…thank you, Renwick,” Her voice is soft, even gentle – it lilts over each syllable, thick accent dragging out his name. Thank you. There is that ghost of a smile again, the faintest curve of her charcoal lips.

An idea comes to mind, then, and her expression turns thoughtful.

“You know, if you would ever like to see the court for yourself…” Spoken almost hesitantly. “Consider this an invitation to visit, if you ever feel so inclined.” Although Seraphina had no personal quarrel with Denocte, it seemed to her that a good deal of the realm of stars and smoke thought that they had a personal quarrel with her – she recalls Acton, and Bexley Briar, and the crack of Aislinn’s wing against her jaw. With so much open animosity between their kingdoms, Seraphina is not sure how pleasant she should be towards one of Calligo’s children. However…she can’t deny that she enjoys his company. He’s strangely optimistic, she thinks, and genuinely kind, and both of those things are in short supply in her harsh desert kingdom. If there’s any way to bridge the gap between their nations, wide as it seems to be growing each and every day, it’s with people who are still able to see the good in others.

Well, she thinks, that and she does have a few more stories that he might like to hear.

(And, admittedly, she could do with a bit more pleasant in her life.)



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


tags | @Renwick
notes | hi my name is jeanne and this post goes on forever

anyways I love renwick




@


IN THE AFTERMATH WE ARE LEFT WITH A GIRL
who cannot lift her wings from the floodwater


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence





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Renwick — Night Court Warrior Signos: 190
▶ Played by arahvir [PM] Posts: 13 — Threads: 0
▶ Male [he/him/his] Hth: 9 — Atk: 11 — Exp: 10
▶ 6 [Year 496 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17 hh Bonded: N/A
#16

RENWICK


I was in the Capitol, at the time of the revolt. All our sins were lain bare – I had seen war before, but never…never anything so horrifying as that, back then. Much of it was deserved, but…no one walked away unscathed.

Surprise swirled in those moonstone eyes of his, as he learned she had been in the Capitol the day the news slipped that Zolin had breathed his last. Renwick is not immune to such stories, he's weathered days by the Port before, listened to grizzled sailors recount tales of their homeland. Some spoke of Slave Revolts, some were former slaves themselves, feed upon chance and opportunity. He thought of them now, and a painted ear buried itself momentarily within his plush locks. "There was years there, in the pain they inflicted on everyone in that revolt." Renwick mused thoughtfully, head cocked a fraction to the left and he shifted in place to better sprawl his legs. "All bottled up and suddenly it was allowed to be free, freer than they ever had been. War is War, it's a dance. Regardless of the moves or the tactics, there is always a beat which it dances to. Revolts? Chaos. There is no predictability in it, no sense of honor and justice within it's fires. There is no controlling it, as you can a field of battle, you can only hope the flames are kinder than an inferno, and burn out quickly."

Renwick had never had it in him to be cruel, at least where flattery is concerned, the tender places of life bloom largely absent of malice. He has long learned to keep war separate from life, after all, he has tasted enough blood and ash on his tongue to know better. Seraphina, as time lingered between them languidly, free of their titles and the paths they had chosen (and forced) to take, deserves better than it. She is captivating, with all the exquisiteness of a masterfully crafted blade by a equine with an eye for art.

I often wonder what of me was not made by Viceroy.

He heard the bitterness laced within her words, and in turn his mouth pulled into a frown to match the way his brows had knitted. It's momentary, when she moved on. Acknowledged that looking back was not the answer. Paths continously opened, one lead to another, a gate opened and a door closed. There is no going back, but now there is a chance for freedom, the choice to choose where to go for her. Renwick hoped, for her sake that the roads which bore the crown were kinder than those that held the collar. "You will make a better future for yourself, I have every confidence." The knight offered with a smile, eyes bright as he regarded her.

His smile soon turned to a grin, as she remarked on how it seemed impossible for him to fail. That he would uphold the legacy and in time, perhaps, add to it. It was already written, that his face would be carved into the pillars within Direstone. He will join Alavin, Harlan, the fair Nysah and even the rebellious Paxtan immortalized and ever vigilant. But his saga was not yet inked, the stone was only half of the story — it was the ink and the sword which would do the rest. "Thank you." Renwick stated softly, sweetly. He is used to flattery and kindness of other natures, but this is a different kind. Softer and warmer, a different tune than the smirks and glinting gazes which usually accompanied words. "I'm sure Jaeren and the other members might disagree that they are lucky to have me, they'd also tell you that you will make my ego dangerously large with such compliments." The knight laughed in good nature.

Perhaps it's a quirk, Denocte was a realm built upon stories, upon stories, upon stories. The very stones have witnessed ages spoken, there are souls which dance upon the lake who have witnessed stories being born. Every one of them who flew beneath those starlit banners were drawn, like moths to the flame to a story. He is no different, maybe he was afflicted worse. For he has the wolf's curiosity, the raven's thirst to know. There is that boy still in there somewhere, who would huddle close to a fire when the gnarled and crooked mares and stallions coughed to alert everyone to the impending story. Seraphina is the keeper to a World he had never really witnessed. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in her lilted voice, glimpse into something he could never truly know, and get lost in the images within his head.

Renwick listened, attentive as she recalled each and every rank in Solterra she has encountered. From the highborn to the low, their ignorance's and plight. He cannot help the cold that crept into his blood, icicles hanging off of his bones at the idea of those who still deny the horrors caused. That there are those with ribs showing and stomachs empty. It is a momentous task, to cure all that ails Solterra. It is not just the hunger, the aftermath of souls freed of their chains, the accursed nobles and their greed, to restore the balance. It is allowing those who could not mourn to mourn, to clear the rubble brick by brick, to console age old grievances with powers who were just as strong, if not stronger. It is to begin again, but better. The knight said nothing, he stayed silent and let her speak until she uttered that one optimistic sentence. She believes that she can do it. That alone will be enough, he thought, if she thinks she can do it. The first step was always the hardest, but one must always have faith. Faith was needed to take the first step, and the second, and the third.

"If anyone can do it, you can. You have seen every aspect of Solterra, you have walked among them, you have fought for them." While she may not have fought for them out of want, and at the expense of a childhood she would never know. She is a champion of Solterra, in her own right, a survivor of the War of Night and Day. She has proved that she will bleed for the people. That itself inspired hope and faith in the poor and meek. The collar around her throat marks her as different from the nobles who had oppressed them, she is one of them in a way. It is a beacon in the dark, a fire for which they can huddle around and glean warmth and safety. If she believed in herself too, if she wanted to change Solterra for the better, then she could. She can be the Queen Solterra has long been starved of, one not bedecked in gold, rubies and emeralds — not one whose cloak is dyed in the blood of broken slaves, whose gold they sit upon is accumulated in the suffering of innocents. Seraphina is a Queen of silver, a Queen whose hooves have stayed against stone and sand and her eyes cast forward rather than up.

Inspiring. Hope bloomed for Solterra in Renwick's breast, and for her.

…thank you, Renwick.

He can only offer her a genuine smile, soft and sincere at it's edges. Moonstone eyes reflect a similar warmth, and in turn find comfort in the warmth which glimmered in the sapphire's of Seraphina's own eyes. "You do not have to thank me, I should be thanking you." For this, he doesn't say. For this moment, for a chance for them to connect outside of their roles. For allowing him to see her as she truly is, than what he had imagined when he had spied that collar around her neck. For giving him hope that they may see an end to the strife that continues to swirl between their Courts.

You know, if you would ever like to see the court for yourself…Consider this an invitation to visit, if you ever feel so inclined.

Silence enveloped him, but not the unpleasant kind. It is a silence which knows that Seraphina has given him a gift that should not be taken lightly. It is a key to a path that he has long determined unknowable by him. It's answers hidden behind stories and snippets he gleans from the Inns of Last Light. There is a selfish part of him too, which fluttered and coiled at the idea of seeing Seraphina again. More than the knowledge that it could also be used as a tool to patch the holes in the bridges between their Kingdoms. He has grown fond of the Silver Queen and her sapphire eyes, the warmth within her that is measured in it's burning. He had begrudginly been content to allow this to be the one time he could see her like this, and wait for the chance encounter where they might meet again — as Sovereign and Lord Commander.

But it didn't have to be that way.

"I would like that...very much." He replied finally, a grin ghosting on his dark lips. "It'd be nice to see Solterra without the banners of War above my head, and hear more stories about it's people and history." Then he paused, his mind is already going over the dates. When can he send word to her that he would be arriving, where they might go, what should he bring? He cannot turn up to the Sun Kingdom without some token of appreciation for it's Silver haired Queen. More than that, he realizes there is another opportunity. Well, Renwick had never been the sort to never jump. "Then, perhaps, after my visit in Solterra. You could come see Direstone? It is not as grand as the Night Palace, nor the Day Palace but—" He shrugged then with a laugh, having realized the start of his own rambled excuses to get her to say yes, and cutting them off before they became anymore embarrassing.





TAG; @Seraphina
NOTES; <3


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[Image: by_fintron_by_arcanums-dc78s94.png]
your contempt will always taste of grief
wolf boy, rose haired
☽ ➴ 




Reply
Seraphina — Day Court Sovereign Signos: 2,000
▶ Played by Jeanne [PM] Posts: 166 — Threads: 30
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 17 — Atk: 23 — Exp: 28
▶ 4 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#17
☼ s e r a p h i n a ☼

try try your whole life to be righteous and to be good
wind up on your own floor, choking on blood


He looks startled. Why shouldn’t he be? It is only coincidence that she happened to have experienced the revolts firsthand; it seems that her life is a mess of coincidences, a mess of firsthand experiences. It seems that she has a certain attraction to trouble, or trouble to her – how else would one explain her tendency to stand in the way of history? "There was years there, in the pain they inflicted on everyone in that revolt." Oh, yes. Generations. Children were born into pain; the stories told ‘round fires, built for light rather than heat, were stories of pain and of long-lost glory until all those who remembered the glory days of Solterra died, and then there was nothing left at all. History became something for the books, most of which now lie in ashes. "All bottled up and suddenly it was allowed to be free, freer than they ever had been. War is War, it's a dance. Regardless of the moves or the tactics, there is always a beat which it dances to. Revolts? Chaos. There is no predictability in it, no sense of honor and justice within its fires. There is no controlling it, as you can a field of battle, you can only hope the flames are kinder than an inferno, and burn out quickly." But it seems to her that Solterra is always burning. The desert breeds fire and flame, and, in the heat, it spreads wildfires out of all control. She wonders, sometimes, if they will ever truly find peace.

She settles for a simple, “You’re right.” There aren’t any words that will put thoughts of the revolution at peace. She knows that, now, but sometimes she still wishes that she could find some poetic meaning in the slaughter, some sort of rationale that would explain everything, or make it a part of a larger narrative. Viceroy was like her mother, in that he always told stories. Everything was always a means to an end, a cycle towards something larger. She’d come to realize that some horrible, horrible things would never have a meaning, and they would never be a part of some higher purpose. They would only ever be ugly and horrible.

His expression darkens, then, when she speaks of Viceroy. The subject of her mentor is not one that she actively avoids, but she rarely seeks it out, either. He had died years ago, now, but he still felt like a fresh bruise; he was a monster and a teacher, the closest thing that she had to a family and the architect of all her horrors. She owed – owes – him most everything, but, for his horrors, she isn’t obligated to him at all. She had never asked for his tutelage.

"You will make a better future for yourself, I have every confidence." His expression is warm again, and his eyes bright – the optimism is refreshing, and it sits well on him. Certainty is something that Seraphina has never really possessed. It seems to her that, all too often, her life spins and contorts out of her control. She is picturesque, statuesque restraint, a girl raised up to be a weapon. Her control has never extended further than herself, however, regardless of how she tries to convince herself otherwise; lately, even that seems to slip out of her reach. Her emotions seem to ebb and flow like the tide, propelled by forces outside of her control.

“It’s already better,” She offers, somewhat reassuringly. She would be hard-pressed to end up worse than how she had started, after all. Seraphina has the feeling that she is growing into something that Viceroy would dislike, something softer than what he had molded, something quieter than what the desert and the sun above demand, but she isn’t sure that she minds. She has always worn defiance well.

Fortunately, they don’t linger on the subject of her for long; when she speaks of his leadership, his smile stretches into a grin.

“Thank you,” He says, of her comments. "I'm sure Jaeren and the other members might disagree that they are lucky to have me, they'd also tell you that you will make my ego dangerously large with such compliments." Well. Arrogance wouldn’t be quite so charming as…whatever strange, optimistic charisma he seemed to radiate like some brilliant star that travelers might use as a light in the night, but she also didn’t dislike the grin that he was wearing, so she wasn’t sure that she minded feeding his ego a bit. She watched him thoughtfully, a hint of amusement coloring her oh-so often dry features.

To her optimism, he tells her, "If anyone can do it, you can. You have seen every aspect of Solterra, you have walked among them, you have fought for them." His confidence is endearing, really – and refreshing. When you are surrounded by fire and blood, it is all too easy to forego idealism and hope for the future; she remembers the Davke attack. In the days – weeks - that followed, she had ached - ached - too much to look at anything but what was behind her. It followed her like a suffocating, strangling darkness. For a time, she had thought that she could simply fall back into who she was, but that was a remnant life she was no longer living, and a world that she no longer occupied. How could she run from change?

If she could not heal her homeland now, she would make herself anew into someone who could.

Her ears twitch up, and she thinks back to his response when she offered her sincere compliments. “I believe I should be telling you not to feed my ego,” She says, with a (not unpleasant) quirk of her brow. Seraphina isn’t any less thankful for the reassurance, though; she has spent weeks attempting to reassure herself that the world is not crumbling to pieces beneath her hooves.

A warm, genuine smile to her thanks. His, she thinks, is a smile she doesn’t mind – when it means something, at least, and she knows that this one does. "You do not have to thank me, I should be thanking you." She’s taken aback, slightly. What did he have to thank her for?

“You needn’t thank me for anything,” She murmurs, her tone surprisingly gentle. She realizes that he doesn’t have a clue – that he doesn’t know what it means that anyone has faith in her, in the wake of failure, even knowing what she is. Seraphina is accustomed to being regarded as something inextricably damaged, a discarded, broken thing that happened into a position of influence and power. They didn’t expect her to do anything with it. Not really. The court never expected her to be anything. They see the wreckage she will return to when she finishes her trek through the Abigo Caves as proof enough of that. In truth, she has never thought them wrong. It isn’t though she isn’t aware of what she is, or that she isn’t aware that there is something deeply, deeply abnormal about her. However…

She doesn’t believe that is the end of it. It can’t, she reasons, be so simple – not so long as she is still trying.

She has to keep herself from fidgeting as she awaits his response with something akin to smothered, nervous anticipation. She wants him to say yes, she realizes abruptly, and she’s not sure that she likes the realization. "I would like that...very much." A ghost of a grin. "It'd be nice to see Solterra without the banners of War above my head, and hear more stories about its people and history." Seraphina is always eager to share that - already, her mind is rolling over places to take him, things to show him. She likes to think that she might have been something of a scholar, if things had been different. As they were…

“Then, whenever you wish…” She trails off, adding, “I cannot guarantee that we are in our…most appealing state, at the moment, but perhaps you will see us more clearly that way.” The capitol is still in shambles, but in the scorch marks and the rubble, she thinks that you can find the clearest image of Solterra that has been available in years. After all, in the aftermath of such destruction, her people have worked together to rebuild and regrow; a common enemy to rally against, a force that wished for the destruction of them all was just what they needed to begin to heal the gaping divide between the classes. Oppressor and oppressed, for the first time in a very long time, were forced to work together for the common good. It isn’t beautiful. It’s hours of hard work beneath a relentless and uncaring (she thinks, somewhat bitterly) sun. Nevertheless, it is healing. No people in Novus are so resilient, so utterly relentless – opposition only fed their flames.

"Then, perhaps, after my visit in Solterra. You could come see Direstone? It is not as grand as the Night Palace, nor the Day Palace but—" He cuts himself off. She has a feeling that he’s trying to convince her to go. He doesn’t need to.

She considers, briefly; she didn’t anticipate the invitation (though she doubts that he anticipated hers, either). Thoughts of seeing more of Denocte than was offered to her during the war hadn’t crossed her mind, even with her change in status, – her relationship with the Night Kingdom was hardly friendly – and she least of all anticipated seeing the base of what was, from her understanding, their standing army. That didn’t mean she wasn’t immediately inclined to accept the offer. “I…would like that.” She doesn’t want things often, but she has the feeling that she wants this - Seraphina has always liked travelling. (And, though she pushes the thought to the back of her mind, she doesn’t think that it hurts that it would be another opportunity to meet Renwick. That thought is quickly hushed and pushed aside, though.) “I can’t say I’m sure of what Denocte’s Regime would think of my presence in their borders, but, if you’d have me…” Another one of those hints of a smile, a faint curling at the corners of her lips.



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tags | @Renwick
notes | <3




@


IN THE AFTERMATH WE ARE LEFT WITH A GIRL
who cannot lift her wings from the floodwater


please tag Sera! contact is encouraged, short of violence





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