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Current Novus date and time is

▶ Year || 503
▶ Season || Spring
▶ Temp || 43℉ (8℃) - 70℉ (21℃)
▶ Weather || The weather radar really does seem to be off the charts lately...
I wonder what's going on? (#15-19)

Spotlight

Character of the Season
Pavetta

Member of the Season
Nestle

Thread of the Season
A land of absence
and root and stone


Pair of the Season
Bexley and Acton

Quote of the Season
"And all the while her mind, her blood, her fierce and fearless heart was singing, singing, singing." — Shrike in We're under attack!

see here for nominations


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Private - I had a dream,
Eik — Day Court Emissary Signos: 1,550
▶ Played by Rae [PM] Posts: 183 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 49
▶ 10 [Year 493 Spring] Active Magic: Telepathy
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#1

It was night when he walked through the desert. This was just like any other night, impossibly still and deliciously fragrant. The only difference was the snow underfoot and the lingering chill in the air.

The wild magic had been pounding all day inside of him, it was constantly demanding to be let loose. It wanted to skim through everyone's thoughts like scanning through the radio, until it found a channel it liked and diving deep into it. It could be a petulant thing and Eik had to pay near-constant attention to keeping it contained. The worst part of it all is that the magic was not really something separate from himself- its desires were merely a facet of his own curiosity. Still, it was an overwhelming thing for the stallion to release in the court, especially when he already knew--or thought he knew-- many of the creatures around him. In the wilds it was an easier thing to control, so as he wove through the canyons, he slowly lifted the veil and let his magic have its way.

At that hour most things were either sleeping or hunting. Their thoughts came to him like jellyfish riding a current. Each rode a different wave and they didn't always synchronize, but when they did it filled him with a sense of divine comfort.  It was like feeling the flow of the universe that we all drift along in. To this effect the dreams would align for slivers of a moment and it would seem all the desert was dreaming the same hazy dream.

Strangely, the desert often reminded him of the sea.

He gently withdrew his magic at the edge of the canyon, letting it regenerate for the voyage ahead.  Before them loomed the Arma Mountains, half-moon proudly slung over her shoulder. Eik stood there a moment, feeling his heartbeat quicken, and only when he felt the gentle tug of the universe did he continue to walk.

-

It had seemed like such a rush to get to Denocte, like he had no time at all to lose, yet once he stood behind the walls of the court all sense of urgency was gone. Eik let himself get lost in the twisting hallways, and in many ways it was like getting to know a stranger. He peeked behind doors that perhaps should have stayed closed, wandered down alleys he had no business wandering down, and kept trouble at bay with nothing more than a peaceful and purposeful countenance.

The day grew long and he did not simply stumble across those he had come here to see. The court was too large, and his companions no doubt busy with other things. So he began to ask around for the twilight king, and if the title brought an odd smile to his lips, nobody commented on it.

Eventually Eik finds the other stallion on a terrace with a view of the sea. He is occupied in conversation, which gives the grey a chance to look him over. Asterion looks well, but weary. Eik can only guess at the rest of what the man is feeling... they both have come so far since that first day. They are now the sovereign of one court and the emissary of another.

(he holds tightly to the hope that some things never change.)

"Asterion," he calls to the sovereign when his company departs, stepping forward with a smile to bump noses with the bay.

It feels like years have passed, but not in a bad way. Eik had not realized how the distance wore on him- it seems suddenly silly that all the people he cares for should live so far apart. He glances around, so full of things to say that he doesn't know what to spit out first. "I always wanted to come here with you." It was the last unknown land to Eik, although each has its own secrets yet for him-- even Solterra. "I'm sorry it's under these circumstances." The sea looks so tranquil now in the twilight, if he had not seen its mark along the alleys of the court (driftwood and shells and sea pebbles in places they shouldn't naturally be) he would have a hard time believing its fury had been so great. He can only imagine the damage done to Terrastella.

A sad moment sits between them, and then Eik reaches with his telepathy to his mane where he unties the one thing he carried with him from Solterra. "I brought you something. I found it in the canyons." He gives the fossil to Asterion with an invisible hand. It is a sand dollar fossilized in stone, found miles and miles from the ocean. It is the closest thing to an adventure that he could give, and the only mystery he's ever held.



my starboy @Asterion <3
Time makes fools of us all


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 260
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 215 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 61
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 



If he had thought (or hoped) that the bulk of his duties would have shed off slick as rain-water once he passed a refugee into someone else’s court, well, of course he was wrong.

There is, perhaps, even more to be discussed now, now that there is finally the time for talking. Before it had been all rush, all survival, no time for planning or consideration. Choose, choose, choose and every decision had an after-ripple, a recoil, where Asterion thought but if I am wrong-

Now he attends his many meetings without complaint, wearing his and Florentine’s and Marisol’s and everyone’s disappointment as heavy as a woven cloak.

But he cannot deny how nice it is, not to have to lift his voice over the constant drum-beat of the rain. Not to shiver and soak. He can feel his own magic pooling in him again, a spring once more fed, somewhere in the secret place that is neither stomach nor sinew nor soul. (Where does the magic come from? Where does it live? He wonders these things, sometimes, when he is alone).

Today he stands and talks of the status of Terrastella, of mud and remnants, of how the swamp has swollen beyond its borders and shows little sign of retreating, now the spring rains are on the way. It is difficult to keep his gaze from the horizon of the sea; it draws him like a magnet, like a hurt, like a dream. After a lifetime of it he still finds it so hard to ignore.

The air smells of it, at least, and the breeze is cool and wet, and when at last his scout turns to go he begins to turn toward it -

Asterion.

At that the water is forgotten.

When Eik reaches to meet his muzzle, the bay presses his forehead to the gray’s, an embrace like a brother’s. His heart sings with a joy so sharp it feels almost like sorrow, but there is nothing sad in the smile that his dark lips shape then. “Eik. How I have missed you.”

For only a moment as their breaths mingle he remembers the Summit - darkness and the deep smell of disturbed soil and dusty rock, the grating voice of the gods - and he wonders how everything could have been so different only a few seasons ago. One of his ears twitches at Eik’s words and his smile softens.

Almost he answers I am not, and he knows it wouldn’t even have been a lie - but he can’t, not with the weight of all that has happened, and the knowledge of those that were lost. “I never would have guessed it of Novus,” he says instead, and thinks of the other worlds between them (between all of them - Calliope, and Cyrene, and Florentine, and all the others with their stories and their scars). “But here we are.”

Only the wind between them, then, with its taste of salt and brine like something vital and ancient, and then Eik reaches for his gift. Asterion steps back, curious and watchful, until the thing is offered and he leans forward once more.

“Oh,” he says, and holds it tight in his mental grip even as he ghosts his lips across the surface. It is smooth-edged, cool, and smells a little of Eik, a little of wind and sand, a whiff of salt like a ghost of the sea. His dark eyes trace the shape of the star until he sees the pattern when he blinks. “It’s like a little piece of everything,” he says, half-wondering, and his smile grows warm again. “Thank you.” For now he ties it into his own mane, pale as a piece of bone against the silver-shot black; later he will find a better way to wear it.

And then his gaze turns to Eik’s again, questions held like constellations in its liquid dark. “Tell me how you are,” he says, and then steps toward the balcony with a gesture of his muzzle. “And then I have someone who wants to meet you.”  






@Eik <3




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Eik — Day Court Emissary Signos: 1,550
▶ Played by Rae [PM] Posts: 183 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 49
▶ 10 [Year 493 Spring] Active Magic: Telepathy
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#3

This citadel makes him feel at once big and small and the two feelings are constantly at war-- until Eik and Asterion meet forehead to forehead, as brothers would. Oh, how that touch reaches deep into the core of him. It fills him with a sense of calm, when he never realized he was anything but. What a wonder that Eik can feel at home even in a strange land, surrounded by more strangers he can count-- and one very dear friend. 

"I missed you too, friend. It's been too long."

They stand with their own thoughts and despite everything, the flood and fire and waves and snow, despite the chains of the past and the uncertainty of the future, if he reaches deep enough inside himself he finds a stubborn spark of gratitude. To be alive, and here, and now... for at least this moment, it feels like a gift.

Eik has never had anything to give before, so he carefully watches his friend's reaction as he looks at the fossil. The look on his face is reassuring-- this is Eik's first successful gift giving, and it fills him with a warm, pleased, buzzing feeling. "You're welcome." Has he ever said those words before? He cannot remember.

Asterion's eyes are filled with questions then, and Eik imagines his must look the same-- except less like constellations and more like dark water. The bay goes first, as kings should, and Eik smiles to himself privately at the thought. How is he? "Well, erm," He immediately realizes he isn't quite sure, he hasn't stopped to think about it for a while.

"Confused..." He seems uncertain that is the right word. "Tired. Solterra is managing, but it's been tough." He says this with more confidence, and then circles back to the first point. The edge of his lips twitch as though unable to decide what emotion to express. "I've started to... hear things. That others are thinking. Or sometimes I'll see what they're imagining. Sometimes it's just... thoughts without words. Feelings." He hasn't had the chance to explain all this to anyone yet. It sounds like madness to say it out loud, which is not a great surprise because for a time he thought it was madness. Once he realized the voices were not all his own, he slowly began to develop some semblance of control. Some small semblance-- the magic is a willful thing.

He looks for more words to describe it but ah, but he's tired of speaking. Eik has always been a man of action, in his quiet way. "I could show you, if you'd like." His smile now is a little shy-- the open use of magic is both a wonderfully and terribly personal thing, even moreso among friends.

When talk of magic and feelings are over, he follows his friend toward the balcony, head tilted in curiosity. "Who is it?" If he were with anyone else, he would suspect this was a setup for a trick, but with Asterion the thought does not even come to mind.



@Asterion they are the cutest <3
Time makes fools of us all


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 260
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 215 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 61
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#4
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 




When Eik first begins to answer his question, a slip of a smile crosses the bay’s face. Oh, how he recognizes that uncertainty, the way there is no easy response, not anymore. Too much has happened, is happening still, and there has been no time to sift himself for answers. Feelings had been pushed aside for needs - for sleep, for food, for medicine, for just a little bit of faith.

Maybe it is a luxury, to be able to stand somewhere safe and ask how are you, and answer truthfully. Maybe it means they will be alright.

But his smile is gone again as Eik speaks of Solterra. He ought to have written, he thinks, but he had been so caught up in the survival of his own people, and the clouds were too heavy and dark to see what was happening over the desert.

There is no time to say anything, no time to offer sympathies that could be nothing more than words - when Eik speaks of himself, Asterion’s focus sharpens, his muzzle dropping as he listens. Not once does he imagine his friend is mad, much like Eik does not suspect a trick of himself; he thinks instead of the gods. Of the changes in himself, a magic returned.

“I have wondered,” he says, each word careful as though he is just trying out the idea, “with the return of the gods, if they brought magic with them.” It sounds foolish when he says it, but he does not feel abashed in front of Eik as he might have with Marisol, or Israfel. All he knows is his own magic appeared after Vespera did, as though the gods’ coming left room for something else to slip through, too.

These thoughts scatter like light on water at the gray’s offer, and Asterion meets his gaze again, unable to help the way his own smile is at once shy and eager as a boy’s. “I would like that.” There is no world, no spate of disasters, no evil or danger or gods that could change the way he feels about magic - a wonder that verges on awe, even at his own. It is a miracle and a gift and a mystery and he thinks all these things, and wonders if his friend can catch any of them (and what they might look like if he can, if thoughts and feelings look like color or smoke or the sea).


When Eik asks Who is it? - naturally enough, as they are standing now at the edge of a balcony that overlooks the sea and the crumbling stone beneath - the king only grins. “A friend,” he says, and thinks Cirrus, come meet Eik. Perhaps the gray can see her already, in Asterion’s mind, the big gull with her dark head, her beak vivid against the black.

They don’t have to wait long, either way; she has been close, drifting along the slate cliffs and leaping spray, indistinguishable from the other sea-birds. But now she sweeps toward them, angular wings wide, laughing her throaty gull’s laugh as she passes close enough overhead for the gust of her movement to stir their hair in the salt-smelling breeze.

“This is Cirrus,” Asterion says, grinning like a boy even as his heart tightens with nerves (oh, he is silly, wanting them to like one another like anyone introducing two people they love.) By now she has landed on the bay’s back, and she turns a dark eye, gleaming like a smooth wet pebble on the beach, to the gray stallion and thinks Hello.


@Eik <3




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Eik — Day Court Emissary Signos: 1,550
▶ Played by Rae [PM] Posts: 183 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 18 — Atk: 22 — Exp: 49
▶ 10 [Year 493 Spring] Active Magic: Telepathy
▶ 15.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#5
When Asterion speaks it does not sound foolish at all to Eik. (It is no wonder they like each other so much! Are they two fools or two wise men? Surely it doesn't matter anyway.) " I wonder the same, " and also, if the magic will leave with them. Anyone else might have considered this magic a gift, but for Eik it is a conflicting thing. It is not just a trick or a show or even a tool to be used objectively-- it is a door to the world that lies behind closed eyes. Learning to live with it has been an uncomfortable experience at best. It is an uncanny thing to eavesdrop on another's thoughts and feelings, to realize just how deep those rivers run, and then to realize there are rivers in you too, changing with the seasons as all wild things do. It was easier, to live life the way he did before his magic, and yet-- he would miss it terribly if it were taken away.

"They did say there would be change." There is something mournful in his voice, and it almost borders on bitterness. Surely death could have been avoided and damage mitigated, if the gods had thought to provide even the barest of specifics. "Do you think the worst of it is behind us?"

Even with the future ahead of them, unknown and quite possibly unfortunate, Eik feels at ease. It feels so natural, standing here next to the bay. He can't quite wrap his mind around it, the way everything is, objectively, different. The way everything is, definitely, exactly the same. Maybe it's just the sound of the ocean in the background now, blurring his first memory of Asterion with their present circumstance. And so, being who they are, magic enters the conversation the way weather does between strangers.

"Well, sometimes it's just like this," his mind-voice is everywhere and nowhere at once. It is a little intimate and a lot off to hear a sound with no source. Just a voice, a whisper in both ears. "Sometimes it is like this," Eik opens himself a little wider so Asterion is hit with wave after gentle wave of Eik's mind. First is pleasure of time spent with an old friend, then wonder at the beauty of this place (this wave an inexplicably lighter shade of blue, something like turquoise kissed by moonlight) then curiosity at who it is that wants to meet him. As each wave withdraws there is the tug of a deeper current - anxiety, fear, uncertainty - and it promises deeper waters, but we don't need to go swimming now. Eik withdraws carefully, to his magic's silent protest, before he gets carried away and starts to splash in Asterion's waters instead of his own. He doesn't like to spend too long in the mind of a friend, out of fear of his few positive relations becoming unbalanced but he picks up a few of Asterion's thoughts and to his surprise senses magic.

But now is time for new friends. Cirrus flies past in a manner that could take Eik's breath away, if he were a touch more dramatic by nature. Instead he just watches carefully and cheerfully, and when she lands on his back and they both look at him with different expressions... Well he wishes suddenly that he could paint as Moira Tonnerre does, and remember for the rest of his life the way they look right now.

"Hi." He says aloud quietly, and he realizes all too late that Asterion knows very well what his mind-magic is like. He knows how another being is a complex  web of choice and circumstance with a shade of destiny-- and countless other things too wonderful and nuanced to put into words. Eik reaches out with utmost politeness and skims the top of Cirrus' mind. When he speaks it is a private thing between them. "You take good care of him, don't you?" This is not really a thing that needs be said, even in the silent way of speaking, but Eik thinks he ought to anyway

"Thank you. He's special." His gaze meets Asterion's with a pleased look, and then his attention rests on the sea for some time, where he imagines sensing it as Cirrus might. And then he turns to the king with a little mischief in his eyes. "I showed you my magic, friend... or should I call you king?" He bows in the grand way he's seen others do to Seraphina, hiding a grin beneath his tucked head. "Now, will you show me yours?"

Ooc:@Asterion apologies for any typos! My kindle has the worst autocorrect (to my bafflement it changes Eik to Rio. Every. Time. (Which is a cute name, but still))
Time makes fools of us all


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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 260
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 215 — Threads: 22
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 61
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#6
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 




“I don’t see how it can get much worse,” he says dryly, but oh! he knows there is always worse. Eik does, too, and the knowledge of it lies dark as a pool in Asterion’s gaze when it goes to his friend’s. What is one more obliteration, to a god? Still, his mouth lifts into a faint smile, a cloud-shadow on the sea. “So yes, I think it is.” Perhaps hope would have been a better word than think, for the two are a fair amount different - but Asterion is tired of only hoping, and the way it never seems to be enough.

When Eik first pushes his words into Asterion’s mind, at first gentle as dandelion wisps on a June breeze and later more insistent, the bay look to his friend with surprise, with wonder. Quickly, though, he closes his eyes, lets those waves of thoughts (for they are something like words, something like the gray’s familiar voice, but unformed, or maybe that is just the way things are said when there is no wind to blow them away and no forms for them to echo off of) wash over him.

His heart beats harder, kicking up a rhythm like a man running down a hill, but it is not fear and it is not anxiousness - it is something else, some reaching, nearly-there memory. A familiarity that he at first thinks is the gods (had they sometimes spoken this way, in Ravos? he thinks they had) but then realizes with the certainty of a sunrise is his twin. No wind, only warmth, all sounds muffled but the slow current of their mother’s blood and the steady waves of their mother’s breathing and a vague sense of the world beyond. A place he shared with someone he hardly knew and yet loved.

And as with all his thoughts of Talia, now, sorrow and loss colors this memory - and that too extends to Eik, for Solterra is so distant, all the world too big and strange and sometimes a specific kind of lonely that the gray man eases.

Asterion pushes the thought away. It is foolish, he thinks, to miss his friend as they stand together, only just reunited.

’Thank you for sharing with me,’ he thinks, imaging the words blown toward Eik with a breath, a boat borne on a current flowing - where? His lashes flutter against his cheek as he opens his eyes.

Maybe it is good that Cirrus interrupts, for the bay’s dreaming, adventure-hungry mind is stirring, woken by the knowing that there are more worlds to explore than the one they stand in. The way he and the gull share one another’s thoughts is different from Eik’s newborn magic; they are so different, horse and bird, and despite the distance their words can carry the only waters they splash in are shallow enough to still be sun-warmed.

He stands, watching Eik watch Cirrus and feeling her webbed feet on his back, the little pin-pricks of her nails, the shadow-light weight of her.  

As for her -

he doesn’t make it easy, she thinks in response, wondering if this other horse can hear - though his words had reached her well enough to make her ruffle her feathers, tilt her head. Cirrus is not sure she cares for the intrusion of yet another alien voice, but she is a curious thing, too, almost as much as the king she stands on. At Eik’s next thought she turns her dark eye back on him, would smile if a bird could smile, thinks only yes. And then she tugs at a strand of silver in Asterion’s mane and flutters to the railing, where she closes her eyes against the cold breeze off the water.

Asterion is still grinning, though it fades into something far quieter at the word king. When he curls his chin to his chest there is something almost sheepish about it, though a matching mischief is in his eyes as they meet Eik’s, and he laughs outright as the man bows. “I prefer friend,” he says, “and you look as ridiculous as I feel, when you do that.” As the gray straightens again, the bay reaches over and nudges his shoulder like a shove between boys.

But he sobers at the mention of his magic. Now it is his turn to look out to sea, as the breeze pulls at their hair, tasting of salt and coming spring. When he does glance at Eik, it is to raise a brow, an offering to his thoughts, but only if the man wishes to hear.

I can draw back the water from the shore until the length of it is bare to the sun, he thinks, and pictures it as he does. I can make a wall of it high enough that we wouldn’t be looking down on it at all. I can call up a storm of driving rain. But Denocte has suffered those things too recently for me to bring them again, however harmlessly. Yet-

At first they look like nothing more than sea-foam, the white crest of a roll of waves; but slowly they begin to take shape, a group of creatures that rise like naiads from the shore. Spray becomes wings, foam becomes feathers, the gleam of water the gleam of an eye. A flock of terns that rise from the water and cast no shadow over it, that dart and dive and weave among themselves, a dance as graceful and swift as a current. There is no sound; even the true birds fall quiet, cowed or awed by the strangeness of it.

And when at last they dissolve back into the sea, Asterion’s face is wet with salt and water, sea-spray or tears, and even he cannot say which.


@Eik hi yes I'm genuinely sorry for the length of this but I can't restrain myself with you, apparently




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