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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 - You lift me up and I am found
Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 5
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#1


The Night Court is bustling with activity. The mascaraed has started and it took some time for Katniss to want to attend. Things were done so differently here. Never had she been to a party as grand as this one. Never had such wordly goods ever been important to her. Tables with sweets and punches were something straight out of a fairy tale for Katniss. Horses dressed in cloaks and masks was something that seemed to stem from imagination. Surely such beauty cannot be real? But it is real. This is real and Katniss needs to face that things are different here. Instead of instinct fighting the changes, maybe she should just embrace them.

She steps into the Night Court Keep, her eyes dancing over the decorations and the people. She comes up to the first table and peers at the masks that are laid out before her. Many have always seen the mare as a fighter, a warrior who only knows battle and death. But many do not know the true mare behind the mask, and so, she opts for a mask adorned in peacock feathers. It embraces happiness and joy, something she hopes to one day find here in Novus.

Once her mask is on, she steps into the masquerade and listens as the music strums loudly in the background. She can see the performers and for a moment, her eyes are captivated and yet, something across the room catches her attention. She cannot help the way a smile crosses her lips, the way his presence seems to just alleviate any sort of worry. How he has this power over her is still a mystery.

Her steps are purposeful as she makes her way towards him, bypassing the tables of refreshments and others who seem like they want to chat with her tonight. Something else is on her mind and only he can ease it. She comes to stand alongside him, her eyes slowly turning to look at him. “Why did you not tell me you were a king?” She supposed in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter, but when she found out the secret he had simply failed to mention, she saw more of herself in him. He ruled his kingdom much like she had once done – as their equal (or at least that is what it appeared to be). She could admire him for that.

@Asterion



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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,015
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 241 — 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
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 



It is with the words of the stranger by the lake in his mind as Asterion steps into the keep, another fantastical world that Isra had crafted. For a long moment he only stands in the entryway, marveling at the light and laughter and bustling of activity, wondering at the queen who had made it and the nimble, beautiful magic she wrought.

It would be a waste, he thinks, not to enjoy it.

So he allows himself to be swept up by the color and the noise, allows a few giggling strangers to clothe him in dark gray gossamer like the light off the sea during an evening storm. He even chooses a mask - only enough to cover his eyes and brush the tops of his cheeks. It is silver as starlight, wrought with wandering patterns like willow-boughs and curling leaves. He is not sure it makes him look more like a king, or anything less like himself.

Last of all, before joining the throng and the winding, wailing music, he considers the row of punches, with the long table groaning beneath. At last he steps forward, takes a draught of one a deep and unnerving violet, and drinks deeply. It swells like starlight in his veins, warm as a hearth in midwinter. Maybe it is more of a mask than anything else - at any rate, it gives him the courage to step into the crowd, and be swept up by the night.

When Katniss steps alongside him Asterion is at the edge of the great room (turned into a gossamer ball-room, tonight), flushed with dance and with drink. He is smiling already when she catches his attention, but it widens to see her, and he ducks his chin in boyish greeting. Her question does nothing to dampen his expression, though it turns more wry. “It didn’t seem pertinent at the time,” he says, leaning toward her so that his voice is heard over the cacophony of the room. “And admittedly I was new at it, and taking to it poorly. I hope you won’t fault me for it.” The evening (the drink, perhaps, and the mask, and the air of celebration after so much sadness) has loosened him, has made him forget his normal reserve and his worries both. It frees his tongue, and the way his smile turns to something like a grin — ah, the court itself is not the only thing transformed by the magic of the night.





@Katniss




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Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 5
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#3


She has turned her attention away from Asterion before he can even turn to look her in the eye. Something has caught her attention in the crowd. Perhaps it is one of the jugglers or dancers that Isra has hired. Honestly, she’s never seen such activities. She should have to keep these things in mind the next time she is to throw a grand party. Already it seemed as if part of the attendees were drunk, another part losing themselves to the music, and another part like herself…just standing there watching.

She lets her words sink into Asterion’s ears, hoping that she had at least gotten his attention with her question. His answer had her smirking, a line she had used so many times before when she was queen. She hadn’t thought it important to draw attention to her title, so she supposed it did not bother her that Asterion had done the same.

However, it’s when his lips came closer to her ears that she turned them towards his voice, taking them in as if they might be his last. He further explains why he had not spoken of his title and Katniss knows what he must have been feeling. After all, she’s been there before. She understands what it feels like to gain a new title and be struggling to grasp it’s reality. She understands that all too well. “It gets better with time…you get used to the role…and it begins to grow on you.” Her eyes slowly turn back towards him, meeting his gaze for perhaps the first time of the evening. If he looks carefully, he might see understanding in those eyes, a subtle hint along with her words that she understood more of what he was feeling than she was letting on. Perhaps for the first time since arriving in Novus, someone might have a clue to her past life…that she was once a queen herself.

Her eyes hold his gaze for only a moment before it turns back towards the crowd. Someone brings along a tray carrying cups of the punch and she settles on the red punch – the one that matches the color of her eyes. She sips it slowly at first, feeling the burn of alcohol on the way down. Perhaps she needs to loosen up and enjoy herself tonight. After all, this was a party.

@Asterion



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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,015
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 241 — 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
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 



There is no room in his heart for sorrow tonight.

The drink is easing into his blood; it feels like starlight, like the first warm breath of spring. Even knowing how much loss there has been, how much sadness, he can feel nothing but gratefulness and pride. Each thing his eye touches it beautiful, and he knows what it cost to create.

Asterion has never been a lover of Novus’s parties, but this one only feels like hope.

A dark ear flicks at her words, and he studies her (or what he can see below the mask). She has not yet turned to him, allowing Asterion a moment to note the strength of her. Surely, he thinks, she was a mighty warrior - in comparison he is slender, almost slight.

So what she tells him (and the way her eyes at last find his) does not come as great a surprise as it might have.

“Spoken as if from experience,” he says, and the look in his eyes is knowing, too - but Katniss has already turned away.

Asterion is not the kind to pry, but he almost asks her then of the home she had left - whether she had been a ruler, there. Whether her leaving had been by choice, or whether fate had forced her hand. The bay had listened well to his sister’s stories of the rift; if he knew that was where Katniss had left, there would be much more he would both wonder and understand.

But he knows only what she has told him, and what can be guessed at in each rare glance. So he, too, passes his gaze across the room, touching on each little interaction, each smile and laugh. “You said you would stay and rebuild - and it seems that Denocte is near whole once again. What will you do now, Katniss?”




@Katniss




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Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 5
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#5


Katniss has seen many things in her ten years. She has seen war and destruction, some of it at her own hand. She has seen pain, pain far greater than anyone should ever have to bear witness to. And yet, the mare has also seen love and happiness. She things of Metaphor and wonders if the stallion ever knew that she loved him. Had she told him her feelings? Perhaps he might not have left or perhaps he would have fought harder to stay with her. She thinks of her daughters, the two that probably saw her as a cruel monster. Where were her daughters now? Were they alive and well? Or were they buried six feet beneath the earth. And last of all, she thinks of those that she had once called citizens of Beta Corvi and of Elysian. Where were they now? Were they safe? She hoped so.

She confesses to the Duck Court king that fitting his role would her better in time. She hopes he takes her words seriously, that she is offering him wise advice. She catches his words and offers a slight nod of her head, as her eyes peer around the others in the room. “Perhaps once or twice.” She leaves her words open for interpretation, but her voice holds a sense of truth, something about it is easy to trust and tells Asterion that she is telling the truth.

But even as she takes a sip of her punch, feeling the way it seems to temporarily drown out the sadness that her memories bring, she knows that she cannot bury her feelings. They will only fester and grow until she is unable to contain them. And so, she speaks softly, this time her words spoken with a sense of pain and longing. “The Rift has taken much from me.” Her home, her lover, her friends. But perhaps she needs to move on from these things. While the Rift had pulled her away, she should be thinking of it in the sense that, perhaps, The Rift had brought her towards something…something far greater than she truly understands in this moment.

But when Asterion speaks, she turns her head to look at him, her eyes catching his even as one of her peacock feathers within her mask floats in front of her eyes. She listens to him, nodding in agreement. She did say she would stay and rebuild. She knew that Denocte was nearly rebuilt and yet, Katniss doesn’t feel ready to leave, as if something is keeping her here. She is not sure what it is, but the pulling to stay is buried deep within her. “I go where I am needed. Something tells me to stay, but I am unsure of why.” Perhaps it is the gods telling her that her time has not ended, that something better is planned for the dapple grey mare. “What of your own court? Does it need help rebuilding? I can certainly help you.” She had the height and strength that not many others had. She could help and perhaps she would be far more useful helping versus waiting for something else to happen.

@Asterion



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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,015
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 241 — 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
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 



Perhaps once or twice, she confirms, and Asterion says nothing but he does dip his chin, his airy smile turning to something more solemn. In truth, before Novus he had had no experience with kingship; he had been a wanderer for his time in Ravos, and had thought he would be a wanderer still.

But oh, he has learned since then. The starlit bay has seen what the crown cost Florentine, and what it cost Reichenbach (though the memory of the man is still bitter as gall). He can only wonder what it will cost him. Asterion has met many, many horses since he arrived in Novus, but none of them were a happy once-king.

In a way, then, it is well that she mentions the Rift - for it tears his thoughts away from the crown he bears. At once he straightens, forgetting the drink, forgetting the dance, forgetting the night entire. Now he looks at her fully, and thinks of the sorrow in her words, and feels almost shameful for the excitement that stirs in his own heart. It is the same excitement he’d felt when Florentine first mentioned the Rift, that of a boy who dreamed himself a knight, a boy not ready to let go of adventure.

Clearly, that has not been Katniss’s experience.

“The Rift?” he asks, unable to keep back his questions, even if he holds in his eagerness. “I have heard many stories of it. That is where my sister, Florentine, came from, and some others…” He trails off, and thinks of what the silver mare had told them on their first meeting. “Perhaps the friend you search for came through, too,” he says, voice going soft as the silks that drape the room.

Perhaps he should not have said it; now he remembers the feeling of loss, of waking up one fine morning and finding the one you loved simply gone. It sobers him, even in this place where there is so much color and laughter and music.

When she speaks again the king once more nods, still unsmiling, more thoughtful than he had been with his careless words before. “Then you should listen to that,” he says, though Asterion believes neither in fate nor, of late, the gods. Oh, the gods of Novus are real enough, but he thinks them neither careful nor kind.

She asks of his own court, and he smiles again beneath his silver mask, though it is wry and sad and does not entirely reach his eyes. “To tell you the truth,” he says, voice soft and low, “I am not sure. I have not been back enough, but when we left it was nothing but frozen mud and floodwater. That was winter, though, and now it is summer…” he trails off again (an uncommon trait, for him) as something like guilt grips him. Over the sturdy pounding of a drum, the trill of a harp, he looks at her almost sheepishly. “Now you must think me a terrible king, taking whoever would come with me and running away from my court.” There had been no food, there had been no hope - but this he does not say.

Asterion long ago decided he has earned whatever judgement comes his way.



@Katniss




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Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 5
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 25 — Threads: 3
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#7


Katniss listens to Asterion and she can see the way his eyes light up at the mention of The Rift. Unfortunately, when one is wearing a mask, the only feature able to be seen is the eyes and they will not hide one’s secrets. She can see the excitement that lingers in them, even if he is trying to hold them back. She wonders, briefly, if he is from The Rift. But before she can ask, he admits that he has heard of the place, that it is where his sister is from. Florentine. Katniss remembers the name, she remembers the child that that had stumbled into Elysian so long ago – at least it felt like long ago. Time on The Rift worked in funny ways. “I met Florentine…when she was just an innocent foal. How is she now?” She wishes she knew more about who might be here. She has only met strangers.

But it is his statement about the friend that might have come through as well that has her eyes softening, sadness illuminating in them. Metaphor was not here. She could not feel him in her heart as she once did. She misses him, but she knows that he is not here. She must give up on him now…to allow herself to move on and grow. Katniss had never been one to be held back by a lover. Now was not the time to begin. “I cannot feel his presence here.” She speaks of him fondly, as if he is more than a simple friend. She wished she had the courage to tell him of her feelings before they were separated again. Now she regrets not telling him. But that is a story for another day.

She asks of his own court, if it needed rebuilding as the Night Court had needed. His words have brought a soft smile to her lips. She does not blame him for not returning back. How can she blame him for something she knows nothing of? “I have no grounds to judge. Surely you have your reasons.” She knows that eventually, he will return to see if his court is still frozen mud and floodwater. If the water has receded and the mud turned to soil, perhaps he would need some help. “When you do return, if you find your court needs aid, I will help you.” He had helped rebuild her own court so it was only fitting that she return the favor.

For a moment she allows her eyes to scan the party. Everyone is drinking the spiked punched and dancing. The music is playing and most of it is beautiful. Katniss is just not used to such material things. “Does all of Novus have such fancy things? Parties and houses and books to read?” There is bewilderment in her statement, as if she cannot believe these things exist. “I have only known the earth and the stars…this is all so foreign to me.” Perhaps she would get used to it some day.

@Asterion



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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,015
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 241 — 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
Asterion
in sunshine and in shadow*
 



Florentine is not the only horse he knows, to have come from the rift-lands. There is Lysander, the strange stallion who Asterion can not bring himself to trust, and of course Calliope and Raymond, and he knows, too, that Karou had gone there after Ravos. (Sometimes he wonders why the feral magic in Ravos had chosen the way it did, putting some of them in an even wilder place, but leaving him behind).

Yet for that, he does not expect what Katniss says next.

“You know her?” he asks, and is genuinely surprised for what feels like the first time since Vespera had vanished from their court with a horde of gophers. This time, at least, it carries an undercurrent of joy with it, even as his mouth turns more grim at her question. “She’s injured from an accident some months ago. She’s had a difficult time, of late - but then I guess we all have.” He pauses before considering just how sour his words sound, in this room of laughter and magic, and he adds, “but she’s still herself. Amazing and…talkative.” The bay does not mention that she is the reason he is king - that it was because of her injury and loss of memory that he took her place. It is already past.

But he wonders (and does not ask) who else she knows - if she knew his father, too. Certainly she must have, to know Florentine. But it is something like fear that keeps him from asking after Gabriel.

He listens as she again says she cannot feel the presence of her friend. This time, unlike the afternoon spent rebuilding, he picks up on the subtleties of her meaning. Asterion says nothing - what could he say? - but when his gaze meets hers, he tries to convey his understanding. Perhaps, if he had Eik’s abilities, he would convey to her that he knows what it is to lose the ones you love, too.

Though he hadn’t expected her judgement, something still loosens in him when she smiles. As she goes on to offer her help he echoes her expression, knowing she means it. When he responds, he is equally sincere. “Thank you, Katniss. I will.”

It is almost easy to forget they stand in the midst of a party, with their conversation taking the turns it has. At her words he, too, turns back to the revelry around them. For a moment he considers it the way she must - the way he had, in the beginning. It is not difficult to recall the mixture of awe and unease he’d felt, first seeing Terrastella. “The cities all do, at least. I was so bewildered when I first arrived, and I still prefer to sleep outdoors. But the books, and the music…” Asterion trails off, momentarily lost in his memories; his smile fades and is replaced by a softly furrowed brow. “There are some wondrous things, here. But I worry it makes us soft.”




@Katniss




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