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Beautifully drawn by Sid (Erasvita@DA)!
Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 503
▶ Season || Summer
▶ Temp || 74℉ (23℃) - 100℉ (37℃)
▶ Weather || The end of Spring brings about, once more, the warm embrace of Summer. 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
El Toro

Member of the Season
Griffin

Thread of the Season
Bring Me Thunder; Bring Me Steel

Pair of the Season
Eik and Isra

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

see here for nominations


DISCORD

Private - claw marks and clouds
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 30
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 61 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 4 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#1


heaven talks
but not to me



Amber, sea salt, cinnamon. Even post-disaster, life still thrives in Denocte’s dark. 

Lamps glimmer weakly from their sconces, wet silks drape the stalls. Coins flicker in and out of sight from wallets and gold shimmers like sunlight off strangers’ necks. A lonely kind of string-sound wails from somewhere down the street, beautifully silver and awfully sad, and Marisol slips through the dilapidated markets with all the grace of a rabbit in water: uncomfortably stiff, too unfriendly to be Terrastellan, too awkward to be a Night Court native. She wears the otherness like a second skin.

Those gray eyes watch the world carefully, distrustfully. Constantly she is watching Denocte’s dark corners for the wrong silhouette, for a stranger wearing blood. Rarely does she even think of looking out for her fellow Terrastellans, too distracted by her fears to be concerned with those she halfway-trusts, and so it almost shocks her to find a familiar face in the markets.

In the deep-dark, in the throng of people, in the softly-whispering crowd, Mari sees the shining of a star and almost turns away. Where a month ago she might have gone up to the sovereign with a smile, now she fights the urge to spit at his feet. The only thing that keeps her moving is the sense of duty that follows her as closely as disaster seems to follow Asterion, a concrete weight in her chest that she dreads for the way it drags her toward him, nagging, insistent.

Knitting her eyebrows in half a frown, she extends a wing in a little bow, as contained as it is sarcastic.

Asterion, she says coarsely. Even for the commander the tone seems a little sour. 

credits
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2










       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




He loathes the way he loves this place.

Once, Florentine had tried to describe to him what it had been about Denocte and its gypsy-thief king that had so stolen her heart – and oh, hadn’t some part of him (a part that had been captured by a girl with storm-blue eyes, with a constellation set into her skin) already understood? But he had only shaken his head at her, then, and gone out into the soft and golden fields of Terrastella, and down to the sea on a path that had already memorized the feel of his feet.

Now, though, he sees it in a way he hadn’t before. The City of Starlight is wild in a way that the Dusk Court can never be, so in love as it is with the idea of duty; each laugh, each ring of coin and scent of wares and wail of string tells him to let go, let go, let go. The night says he could be anybody, could change his name and change his life tonight – right now – if only he let himself.

The king (though nothing marks him as such; he wears only the small pale star on his brow, and what is a king who abandoned his court, anyway?) leans toward a table of maps bearing shapes of worlds he’s never heard of. Islands that have yet to be explored written in thick ink on paper that smells of a spice he’s never tasted and the sharp cedar of a new ship. Shadows dance like waves across empty expanses of sea and he could almost forget Novus entirely –

Asterion.

As he turns the guilt settles back in his belly like a familiar yoke. Such thoughts were not for him, not anymore, and he knows it as he turns toward Marisol with the quick smile of a boy caught shirking his duties by his governess.

“Commander,” he returns, and his heart pangs as she folds her wing once more. Even in the dim (and didn’t they always meet like this, beaches in silver fog and streets in cool moonlight?) he can read each sharp sketch of her muscles and line of her face, and her anger, her disappointment, is all the worse because he knows he deserves every measure of it.

He wonders if his distance from her lately has been intentional, a subconscious avoidance. Asterion keeps his expression smooth as he meets her eye, but it feels strangely like a sin to not be wet, or shivering, or wounded.

He wonders, too, if she will slip Vespera’s name into conversation as is her wont. Lately it feels more like a curse than a blessing.

“Are you letting yourself some enjoy time without drills, or doing reconnaissance?” He frames it like a joke, knowing she hated to be idle more, even, than himself – but already it feels like the wrong thing to say. Too frivolous, arrogantly light, not just for the moment but for the people they were.

Though with Marisol, in this moment, he thinks that anything would be the wrong thing.










@Marisol


Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 30
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 61 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 4 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#3


heaven talks
but not to me





Above, clear starlight glimmers. It is wet, quicksilver gauze sloping down onto the both of them, and in it, for the first time, the Commander sees Asterion as night more than dusk: that one bright star against the darkness of his skin, the way he blends into the blackness, how the purple on his ribs is not the color of twilight but a shade of true night, like the sky overhead.

It makes her feel sick.

Denocte is too wild, too hard-edged, too strange. Mari cannot feel safe when every corner is sharp and every road is cobblestone, not dirt, and where not an inch of the air is not tainted by music, where there is no courtyard not pulsing with crowds and no alley not filled with conversations. Even when she stalks the borders in the early morning, so early the sun is still hidden by fog and soft darkness, there is no respite from the livelihood of the Night Court.

Even now her head spins with the noise and the light and the heat. She gazes at Asterion from under long, dark lashes, and perhaps the only real chink in her armor is the way she watches him, with far more obvious, heated ire than her usual demeanor would allow. When he speaks - too lighthearted, too casual - her frown deepens, blackens, grows stormy and awkward. 

Absolutely not, Marisol retorts sourly. If she at all recognizes the humor in his speech, it’s completely disregarded. Duty is not optional. She flicks him a watchful, obvious glance. Or shouldn’t be. 

Almost she feels bad for the way it comes out - bitter, harsh, baritone. After all, he is her king.

But only in Terrastella.

Are you alright? This time it is a little softer, a lot less cruel. Maybe they deserve it, anyway: a day without disaster, a skin not covered in mildew. But Marisol wouldn’t know how to take a day off if it was offered to her on a silver platter, and it never, ever has been.

credits
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#4










       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*




She is good at disguising her feelings, is the Commander; knowing how straightforward she is you wouldn’t expect it, that she could hide some things away so well.

But Asterion doesn’t need to see her frown bloom the way a smile does on some girls to know her disappointment in him. They are enough alike; he feels it for himself, too. (He does not, of course, suspect that she hates how he might belong here - but this is a feeling the young king also shares).

He is not surprised, then, by her retort. He even nods, and does not waver beneath the cold flash of her eyes.

“No,” he agrees softly, evenly, “it shouldn’t be.”

Her next words are less expected; one of his brows lifts, almost amused. It is not only that he is unused to Marisol asking him anything so pedestrian, it’s that the answer should be so obvious - Asterion doesn’t know of a single one of them that has been alright in weeks.

Right as rain, he thinks at first, and must fight back the mad grin that threatens. He has never given in to exhausted hysterics; if he must ever start he prays it will not be in front of the Commander. “As much as anyone,” he says instead, and any flicker of humor that might have been is wiped clean as his gaze scans the markets. Despite the flags and the fires, the wares and the music, there are too many wounded.

Denocte makes a beautiful illusion, but it is broken, too. He might not have noticed it, before, but Asterion has learned what to look for.

Marisol, though - he thinks as he looks back at her that she would never break. She wouldn’t know how. Not for the first time, he is envious of her strength, and grateful for it too.

“And you?” he says, his dark eyes holding hers, and then the bay gestures with a tilt of his chin down a star-silver street and begins to walk. He does not look back at the compasses and maps and promises of other worlds.  











@Marisol sorry it's so late <3


Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 30
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 61 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 4 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#5


heaven talks
but not to me






Her anger is a terrible thing. She does not like it - the way the heat flickers in her limbs, the way her stomach curls, and how she feels out of control, like a child again. Like she has been stripped of the three white slashes on her wing and is nothing more than an awkward girl waiting to be told what she can and cannot do. This is the first time Marisol has been angry in many months, and it hurts to burn so bright against the dark and the damp and the cold.

Anyway - anyway - she grits her teeth to hold back some embittered retort or another, and mostly it works. But her pulse slams in her shoulder like a wardrum and she can feel it clawing at her from the inside out. Shivering against the cold wet air and the white-hot burn of fire against her ribs, Marisol laments how she feels ripped in half, part duty and part animal, part girl and part growl - 

But what’s new.

There are places where the glamour of Denocte is not enough to cover the blood that simmers underneath it, or the grime coating the stone. Marisol finds those places where reality is patchy and unsettling easily, with a scrutinizing eye, with a watchful suspicion, and really they are all she can see, little bits of darkness and dirt ingrained too deeply to ever be washed away, and Asterion stepping over them as he starts to walk down the silver street away from her.

She steps after him.

Yes, Mari answers in a mutter. As always. For her there is no other choice.



credits
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#6










       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*





Asterion would smother her anger. He is no dry tinder, to spark and flare back at her, hot and hungry - he is soaked to the bone by weariness, by worry. He is the sea at low tide, still and quiet, the wet sand nothing but cold gray.

He might welcome her anger, if he could. His own - at Raymond, at the gods, at most of all himself - has been extinguished by driving rains and doubt.

Still he can feel it beside him, the fierce and almost physical presence of her displeasure. Like a flame he keeps his eyes from turning toward it, instead watching the life of Denocte flow by, a stream beneath the starlight. It reminds him of the night they walked together down the streets of their home - though they had been the only ones, then, haunting the cobblestones like ghosts, young and ignorant.

“I’m glad to hear it,” he answers her, as though her answer had not been dull and hard as a stone. When he glances back at her, her eyes glitter like mica. “Our work is far from over, when we go home.” Home - he had not said the word by accident, but now it hangs in the night, brighter than each bonfire they pass.

For a moment he says nothing, wondering if she will speak or if her anger will keep her mute as flint. Smoke drifts above them, twining like an archway, diffusing the sky into something hazy and dream-like. The bay still does not love fire (at least he is over his fear of it, wild-eyed and watchful) but tonight it is far better than rain. His gaze traces the arch of night above them.

“I miss the constellations from the parapet, the way they hung over the sea.” His voice is soft as ever, and musing - not a king’s voice at all. “I know they are the same here, but…”  He trails off, shrugging a dark shoulder. It is not the same; it is not home. Asterion might dream, but he will never forget it - his loyalty runs deep as a shipwreck.

Now he pauses a little off the path, looking back at his Commander once again. Beyond them there is a singer with a small crowd gathering around her; she wears silver like slips of smoke or frost, and her voice rises like an offering. Asterion does not look; he only watches Marisol.

What would you have done? it lies heavy on his tongue, presses against his teeth, weights each sturdy beat of his heart. But he still does not ask it.

Instead, his gaze goes to her wings, its touch light as the brush of a finger. “What is it like, flying?” Once, he had asked Florentine - but he expected Marisol’s answer would be much different. The same constellations from two disparate cities.










@Marisol <3


Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 30
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 61 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 4 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#7


heaven talks
but not to me







When she was a child death had seemed a disparate thing. As stupid and fantastical as the legend of the Ilati and their bone-weaving and their sharp fangs and the way everyone said that monsters crawled out of the swamp at night to kiss their feet. But now Marisol looks death in the eyes and wants for its caress, and she thinks about the Ilati and wants for their power, and the world is as much nightmare as it is fantasy. 

She follows Asterion down the street.

…the way they hung over the sea, he says of their stars, and she watches the dark sky through long, sooty lashes and says calmly, The infinite meadows of heaven. It feels good and soft in her mouth. It is a sentence stolen out of a book she read years ago, when she was still a young girl with nothing to lose, when she had time to waste poring over prose and poetry. She cannot remember what it feels like, to have that kind of time. Or heart.

When he looks over his shoulder at her, she thinks he might have a question for her and her heart stutters in her chest at the intensity in his large, dark eyes. What kind of question, then? She doesn’t want to think about it, but she does - what do you want, Marisol? - do you love me? - and she crushes the nervous stumbling of her heart deep deep down inside her chest and turns her eyes down to the glass reflection of rain on the cobblestone.

Painful, she answers, and her voice is a bell in the dark, rasping against her throat. She levels her gaze at Asterion and watches him with eyes both cool and mercurial, and finally, finally she stretches her stride to walk at his side, not trailing quite as far behind him. She unfurls a wing halfway to watch the feathers glisten in the light. Because nothing else ever feels as good. But you can’t fly forever. 


credits
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#8










       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*





The infinite meadows of heaven. There are a lot of things he likes about Marisol - her steadfastness, her duty that so reminds him to honor his own, her sense of humor dry as the Mors - but one of his favorite things is when she says something like this. It always surprises him, when she says a slip of a phrase like she’s revealing some secret, softer part of herself, and it makes him smile now. “Yes,” he agrees simply, and if she were nearer he would press the soft skin of his nose against the plane of her shoulder.

But she isn’t, not yet, and Asterion has never been the kind to push his presence on anyone. It is a marvel they find themselves together as often as they do, these two, so tied as they are to their own ideas of proper.

Still his gaze holds on hers, and still he wonders why she will not meet it (he thinks it must be her disappointment in him, though he would not have expected her to hide it - Marisol has always seemed to him boldly forthright. Is it his kingship, still ill-fitting as new skin, that keeps her from voicing her thoughts?). At last the bay gives up, begins to look away - but then the Commander answers, a tolling word he does not expect. This time, when his eyes turn back to her, the slate of hers snare him.

Again her words catch him by surprise, though they are not the fanciful poetry of before. His expression is considering, as she matches her steps to his own, and they become near-twin shadows in the semi-dark. The bonfires and merchants are growing further away, now, the stones of the street more silver than gold.

For a long moment he is silent, because he is thinking of Aislinn, now, and her shredded wing, and the desperation in her voice as her numb shock gave way to realization. What a fool he was, for ever thinking that desperation was for him. It is so much more clear now, the thing she feared the most.

“But you can always fly again,” he says, and it is almost a question, and there is almost despair in his own voice and his own eyes when he looks at her.

Asterion has never worn wings, but he still knows what it is to be grounded, and he fears it the way free things always have.









@Marisol <3


Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 30
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 61 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 4 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#9


heaven talks
but not to me










She is thinking about the book now. The infinite meadows of heaven. It replays in her head again and again and she tilts her head upward to watch the blue of the sky, freckled with white stars, the infinite meadows of heaven, …blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels, and she hardly realizes she’s even talking, so engrossed is she by the music in her head, until she hears her own voice in the cool, damp air and blinks in furious embarrassment. Her heart swirls against her ribs.

It is a foolish love and always has been, her weakness for poetry. And it is for that reason that the shame that floods her then is so dark and so total. She feels it like ice against her dark skin, like acid in her blood, and turns those dark eyes as far away from Asterion as she feasibly can to watch the city swell around them instead. Towers glittering with warm yellow light, buildings bleeding through their stained glass onto the cobblestone. She sniffs and glances at the white dome of the citadel.

They walk side by side now and Marisol is too-conscious of the warmth that drifts from Asterion’s skin, how it hits her like a drug. The cobblestone is metallic with shed light, cut in places by their shadows, by pools of rain, her steps on the cobblestone.

Right, she says. It’s a mockery of casualty, the way her voice slips from her so easily. You can always fly again. Forests always grow back. Et cetera. Until they don’t. She coughs, a brackish sound, and folds her wings in tighter. 

Does it make sense? Well, who's to say - they're both right, she thinks, and not one righter than the other. But still she almost feels hurt by the way he says it so casually, that you can always fly again, because she knows, in her heart of hearts, she is as likely as not to lose that possibility in any one instant.

credits
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,010
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 240 — Threads: 23
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 69
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#10










       A S T E R I O N

                                   in sunshine and in shadow*





His heart is steadied by her silver words, the way they fall in patterns like spring rain, and it is bruised when she turns away from him.

Asterion is no more fooled by the easy tone of her voice than he had been before; he does not have to be a diviner to read the hurt in it, the dismissal of her cough. He has only to be her friend to know.

“But that is not yet,” he says quietly, firmly. The words are like the ghosts of others, poorly imposed on what she had told him that foggy day by the sea: not old yet. Asterion does not know if he means it more for her or for himself. Either way, he has long since forgotten the maps, the small treasures, the whiff of adventure like the salt of the sea. He is thinking only of home.

Home - and perhaps a warm bed. The bay had long preferred to bed down beneath willows and make his sheets of night-cool grasses, but this part of the king was changing, too. There was nothing so terrible, in new and chilly spring, about a fireplace and a few walls to keep out the chill.

But this is a secret of his own, far more egregious than his Commander’s bell-like recitations.  

“Escort me back to the keep?” he asks her, and his own gaze does not wander. It is steady on her, now, and there is something of a gleam in the well-dark of his eye. ”I promise not to tell anyone of your love of poetry, if you promise to share more of it with me.” Deliberately he steps into her, bumping his shoulder against hers, the down of her feathers making his heart toll and ache. Why, he thinks, must all soft things be hidden away and guarded? Why did safe from hurt so often mean hard?

But Asterion pushes these thoughts away, looking instead at the bright lines painted on her wings, the shorn nape of her neck. She is almost black, beneath the moonlight, save the moon-glow below her wings and the silver of her eyes. “Can’t ruin your image,” he adds then, turning, and his star-faint smile becomes a boyish grin.











@Marisol <3


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