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Orestes
Day Court Sovereign
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Age:

4 [Year 500 Spring]

Gender:

Male

Pronouns:

he/his/him

Orientation:

Pansexual

Breed:

Camarague X Arabian

Height:

15.2 hh

Health:

12

Attack:

8

Experience:

15
Offline

Last Visit:

33 minutes ago

Joined:

09-15-2019
Signos: 100 (Donate)
Total Posts: 14 (Find All Posts)
Total Threads: 5 (Find All Threads)

Orestes was water, once. The ocean was his lover, and she gave him many shapes. His form was only solid as salt and even then, soluble. As water, he could become anything—the hippocampus, the shark, the orca, the dolphin, the fish, the crabs, the plankton, the octopus, the seal, the serpent, the eel, and then—gulls, too, or great and terrible sea-beasts, the kraken, the dragon, even the beasts of the land, if he wished, but always… always drawn back, to the water. Orestes was water, once, too.

Now, he is an equine. His shape is solid; a concept incomprehensible to him, the Prince of a Thousand Shapes, and it shows in his movements, leonine and predatory, as supple and smooth as a stalking cat, diving gull, leaping marlin, or striking shark. The solidity of him is betrayed by his fluidity, by his flawless elegance, by his predatory gestures. The sea has not let go of him, despite his curses; he cannot quite shed magical notion of shape-changer, of water-dancer, regardless of the confines his soul has been Bound to.

Oh, and what a curse, to surrender the ability to be anything.

But, perhaps, he can still transform--only this time, it is into a star.

Upon arriving in Novus and loosing his beloved magic, Orestes lost his sea-like colours of bluish grey and steel, with dark grey dapples. In this new solid shape, in his oneness, he is chocolate palomino with brilliant, star-like dapples. He has been kissed by the sun, and the light. His mane is platinum, and brilliant. What remains of his beloved sea is this and this alone: his eyes are a piercing, deep blue. Sometimes, they are light and tropical and there are other days in other lights when they are deep and dark and dangerous, like the ocean in a storm. He is a creature of extreme physicality and movement, with a natural athleticism reserved for the most instinctual of beasts. He has a relatively short neck accompanied by a deep chest, muscular shoulders and hindquarters, and medium back. He is sure-footed and elegant, with remarkable power for his size.

Aside from his coloring and natural grace, the only outstanding feature Orestes' possesses body is a number of metallic, silver tattoos. In certain light, they almost look like scars. The tattoos--or are they scars?--embrace his legs, bloom down his neck, mark his eyes. They are twining lions and suns bursting with light and fire; they are mountains and moons and raging waves and again and again and again the sun, the sun, the sun.

The sea is many things, and Orestes is all of them.

He is furious, senseless, a force beating itself again and again against the land—raging against injustices, against probability, a will that refuses to submit under any circumstances.

He is serene, with the wisdom and tranquility of thousands of years—ageless, godlike, a patience that does not simply become, but consumes.

But more, more than either of those things, he is a safe harbour. He is a cove. It was his people, you see, that took on the raging shapes—they were hurricanes and typhoons, glaciers and maelstroms, ship-breaking waves and raging torrents. They were dancing, laughing, changing shapes—and he was their home, their leader, their spiritual guider. He was the keeper of the songs, the charter of the courses, the whisperer of secrets and legends and prophesies.

And with that thought, how does a monster have any right to be so kind?

He is empathetic, thoughtful, and passionate in a way that is rare. Orestes lacks self-consciousness; he lives in an unadulterated fashion, unfettered but without lust. In many ways, he can be both extremely apathetic—to the suffering of others, to his own suffering—and extremely empathetic, because suffering is, in any way, unfortunate, and to bear any burden is to bear a terrible weight. These are things he knows. They are things he understands. And while the fawn falling to the teeth of the wolf is a simple fact of nature, that does not change the tragedy. He is sensitive to life in a unique way, one that does not make him weak, but appreciative and aware.

However, in this, Orestes is a natural enigma: he is a crocodile, with its crushing jaws full of its own children, carrying them safety to the water. He is a crocodile, with which those same jaws can rip apart the flesh of a living animal, and consume. More: Orestes is the sea, personified. He is life and beauty and shelter; he is death and severity and austerity. He is ageless and cruel; he is ageless and wise; he has had a heart that has loved a thousand times, and never lost its elasticity, despite heartbreak, despite rigour.

He is a creature capable of both extreme tenderness, and extreme violence. His compassion for his people is boundless, all-consuming—yet they are gone, and this compassion has found itself voided but unable to become true bitterness, true resentment, because it is not in his nature. There is always a way to survive, or so Orestes believes; and he is doing his very best, to live a life of a Bound Soul—to live the life as a true equine. He has accepted Novus as a new home and embraced it with a distinct purpose: this is where he is meant to be, and because of that, Solterra's people are his people.

Nevertheless, the weight he bears is utterly unbearable. Orestes has killed his people, and his wisdom to him seems less sincere. As such, he shares it guardedly, quietly, and without his old conviction. Furthermore, much of his violence has left him—as a Khashran, he had been brutal, the sea in a rage. Now, it takes great emotion to excite him to a state of violence. He has made mistakes he will never make again. He was once too in love with the idea of being mortal; but he was always meant to be a prince, a king, something both more and less than a normal man. Orestes believes himself a bearer of burdens, a holder of truths, responsible not for his wellbeing but the wellbeing of the masses.

Ever-adaptable, Orestes is the epitome of nature that refuses to die. He has come to embrace the values of Solterra with a wholehearted passion, with the desperation of a drowning man. A unique transformation is taking place in him as we speak. He is transforming from the sea, into a star: a creature as austere, as proud, as unforgiving as the desert. The longer he is in Novus, the more he will forget of his old world and life. This is both a tragedy, and a blessing. Having been bestowed new, transformative magic, Orestes is doing all he can to do things right this time.

“He was old, not in the way of the Greeks or Egyptians, but in the way of the shark—a primordial beast, transcendent of eons, existing cooly in a state of perpetual continuation.”

You find yourself walking through the impressive library of the city of Oresziah, made of stone and oak. The building is massive, the sort of thing that blots the sun from any conceivable direction—yet it streaks through the strained glass, almost religious, and the air is of books and paper and ink, whispering. Something pulls you, however—a call, as soft as a calm sea at daybreak, going shush, shush, shush—

To the back, you venture. And there is a dark, eager-eyed stallion working busily in the farthest corner of the library, beneath a spray of divine golden light as it seeps through the windows, the books, the dusted air. Everything bleeds it. The stallion does not look up to bother with your presence; and so you watch, almost lingering, hesitant to break his feverish concentration as he hastens to-and-fro, one book to the next, ink spilling across pages in runic words. He moves so freely, so busily, it would be easy for you to forget the chains about his ankles even as they chime like bells. There is something hard—but transient—in his face that, like a shadow, shifts from one moment to the next. He seems old but does not look old. He seems violent, but studies peacefully.

“The journal is there for you.” And you start. The stallion has not glanced at you—the book of which he speaks is laid out on the nearest table, newly bound, crisply kept. In harsh black script the leather face reads The Khashran Prince. You swallow; it feels as though you have disturbed something sacred, something secretive.

You reach for it with your telekinesis, hesitantly—and then quickly, all at once. You are certain, now, that you’ve disturbed something. The stallion fixes you with a harsh gaze, and you realise he is silver with age, and his eyes stare with piercing blindness. As you retreat, you bump a book-shelf, and it rattles. Leaving, now with haste, all you can hear is the chiming of the chains. You know, if you had glimpsed the old stallion’s teeth, they’d be rowed like a sharks and just as sharp.

The journal—yes, the journal. You swallow again. All of the events were so new, so fresh—the general’s daughter, the prince of the sea, sent to their deaths wrapped in chains of iron. Mere months ago, mere days ago. It is only a few hours later that you drop the book into a fireplace and wait to light it… but for some reason, despite your orders and the threat of treason… you cannot resist.

There is a sound in your ears, a sound like the sea, a provocative siren’s song, mysterious, alluring, a dark ocean at dusk, the shifting of tides, the whisper of shush, shush, shush—

You open the journal, and begin to read.

I am Orestesiahzrah’Zanrekiah’reta’Mournansuin. Your people cannot pronounce that name. So they call me Prince of the Thousand Tides, Prince of the Crooked People, Prince of the Water Chasers, the Shape Changers, the Sharks, the Fish. I am Prince of Everything and Nothing. I am Prince to Your Enemy, the Khashran. I am the one who has fought you for hundreds of years, since you settled here in your colony of land-bound grass-eaters, farmers, builders. The Khashran do not build, do not farm, do not settle, and live on diets of blood and bone. We are the rain and the sea and the shape of whatever creature we choose, but you Bound us to the sea when you took our islands, and cast us to the storms.

That made our appetite flesh; the sacrifices you left your gods evoked the rage of ours, and ours is a bitter goddess. That is the story I was told when I was young; but I am not sure what life was the first one I lived where I knew it. I am the son of a son of a son of a son, the daughter of a daughter of a daughter of a daughter, I am the shark of the sea and the sea-turtle, the orca, the manatee; I am the marlin and the tuna; I am the coral reef, the shift of reeds and song of whales, the kelp, the anemone—

And I digress, again, trying to describe what you Bound people cannot understand. You, Bound to one shape. You, Bound to one life. The pity of it. Our goddess has given us many lives and many shapes, and that is why you must kill us—you do not understand the enormity of it, when you bind us to iron, when you drown us in our beloved sea, when you trap our Souls.

My story is the story of my people, of whom I am the last.

——

And so the chronicle begins, of the systematic destruction, the genocide, of an entire race. Their language was the primitive, evocative song of whales, the click and cluck of dolphins, the soundless brush of a shark. They spoke in whispers and guttural calls, the screams of gulls, and the language without written word. Savages. The water-people whom the settlers of Oresziah fought vicious battles to win the islands of Oresziah long ago. Before those settlers, their islands were unnamed, and the Khashran were free to roam, in shapes of land horses and whatever else they chose. But the Oresziah bound them to the sea with a gift from their own gods—iron. And the Khashran were to never reemerge—they caught them with nets and magic traps, with the bindings of coal and metals of the earth that burnt like acid. Their resurrection was ended by some cruel trick of forged metal; their Souls were trapped, and sent to drown at sea. That is how the Khashran have died off, slowly and surely, one by one, in the very thing they love more than life itself.

Orestes was the leader of a stronghold, one of the last; he was the son of a son of a son of great and powerful Khashran, blessed by the goddess. But he was brought to heel by Bondike, whom he would later call Copperhead, and another that he could not name—Vercingteroix. Young, Hot-headed, arrogant. And yet those horses were the brilliant minds of a new and changing world, one that Orestes had no part in—and yet every part in. Their fates were irrevocably bound.

——

I am telling you of my first days during my last days; and that is a terrible irony I cannot escape. My prison sentence, my death, it hangs over me like a shroud—and I wonder, and cannot help but wonder, if I am the last of the last. If I, Orestesiahzrah’Zanrekiah’reta’Mournansuin, am the last of the Khashran.

But today I will not discuss that. Today, I will tell you of the girl who has been imprisoned with me. She defeated me, once. You know that. And on Oresziah, which is both small and large, we are Bound in the same prison, separated only by iron links.

She is not the same fierce thing that defeated me; in fact, then, I thought she were a stallion, disguised with some dark, pagan magic. It took me many days to decide she was, in fact, the same one—and many more to learn her story, bit by bit, piece by piece, and how she reflected aspects of my soul. I had always feared being Bound, because I was born Free—but she, this copper-headed girl, she was born Bound, and stayed Bound, and the sea sang in her in the way it only does to the chosen. She Bound me. And I hate her for that; but how I can I hate a thing also Bound? A thing that has existed in iron for a lifetime?

I have told her my whole name; she is the only Oresziahian I have ever met that has been able to pronounce it. I wonder if, perhaps, she has the blood of the water-horse within her, the changelings.

The writing is difficult to read; the ink, water-smeared—as though with tears. Or something else? It smells of the sterility of salt, not paper. There is something sacred about the emotions laid bare; something sacred about the blatant truths, the short entries, the capitalisations. How, you wonder, did he even know how to write, the Prince of a Thousand Tides? But you do not stop.

She asked me why I am a Prince; a Priest; a Lord; a General. She asked me, why me? Of all the remaining Khashran; why me? You are young, she says. You are not the largest, the strongest, the fastest, she says; and I tell her the true secret.

Not all of us, I said, have a thousand lives. Only a few of us; and we carry with us all of our people’s Souls. I am all of them; and none of them. Before your people Bound our goddess, many lives ago, I had walked beside her. In another life, I was given the wisdom to lead and the weight of that leadership and the curse—or blessing—of reincarnation. I am of a different breed; not solely of horse, but made of the sea, the sand, the salt. There were only so many of us. Twenty, perhaps—now—fewer—now, just me. The immortals who protected my people have been defeated, one by one, and I was the last.

“What do you mean, you were the last? Aren’t you still the last?”

“Copperhead. You Bound me to this shape; I am already gone.”

This, she did not understand. The guilt bubbled in her like poison. How could I say, it was not her fault? And yet—it was, in her mind. She had Bound me with her peoples’ magics and metals. She had confined my Soul to one small piece of me. And this she knew, but for some reason, this vibrant fire-girl, I could not let her take the entire blame of her people—the blame of hundreds of years, confounded into a moment, into an individual.

“It was not your fault, Copperhead. A tiger will always be a tiger. It is in your nature to conquer; it is what you were born for. And it is in my nature to be the sea; and the sea will never be tamed, or gone. Even if I cannot be reanimated, I will exist in the salt, the sand, the fish, the reefs.” The blood. The storms. The trenches. The deep. The dark.

And, also, the light.

You find, the more you read, the less sense it makes—and the more sense it makes. The Khashran, to you, had never been anything aside grotesquely beastly. Uncivilised; they changed shapes due to wanton lack of discipline, control, order. They were wicked, cruel, slippery—eels and sea serpents, cold-blooded sharks, salt-water crocodiles, barracudas, squids, tuna, mackerel, marlin, orcas—and plethora of creatures designed for death, sinking, drowning.

They did not have Souls; they were carnal, warmongering, delighting in death. Savage, and in need of reform. You thought, now, of the Khashran slave at your housing—a mare red as the sunset, red as blood, bounded in metal charms and the shape of an equine. She never spoke, now; she never fought, now. But her eyes remained primordial, patient, waiting, despite obedience.

And you wondered if, perhaps, she was simply waiting for another life. To return to the sea. To wreck you in a storm one day in the far, far future.

The journal continues to sing to you. It sings and it sings, and the chronicle becomes shorter and shorter, sadder and sadder.

The last entry strikes a cord in you:

I love her in the way the sea loves the shore. We are not the same, but we cannot exist without each other. Without her, I would only be water, water, water. Without me, she would be desolate. I think she knows this. I think it is why she leans against the bars of our prison and does not flinch at the chill wetness of my skin.

I sing at night, low and deep, and the sea answers me. I can hear the remaining Khashran, so few in number, and I sing to them my sentence; how we will die.

I try to sing them my love of her. I try to tell them, she is a Bound thing meant to be Free. I am a Free thing now Bound, and I cannot be saved.

Those are our fates.

That was always my fate.

They will take us tomorrow. They will take us and stone us in the street. I can feel her sorrow; she knows her fate. She knows she is alone in this world, besides me, the very creature she cursed. It makes no sense that I care for her as I do. It makes no sense, that I want to save her; maybe it is because I can save nothing else. My people are already gone.

- - -

You close the journal. You stop reading. You don’t now why, but you feel compelled… you remove it from your quarters and walk unhurriedly toward the docks where the Oresziah are building a navy to conquer the world.

You walk past busy, silent ships. The moon is out, and it is bright. There are two sleepy guards at the end of the docks, but they see the bright rank insignias on the collar of your cloak and they do not stop you. You walk past them, to the very end—the very end.

You stare into the sea.

And you think… you think… you hear it whispering something back.

You drop the journal in the water. For a moment, it floats—lingering. And then the small, lapping waves pull it under. You watch the leather-bound cover sink. You stare for a very long time after it has disappeared, and after what seems like eons, you think you catch a glint beneath the surface, just a glint, as though something were moving very quickly… a flash of light, like a fish, but you know, you know, there is only darkness from the sea.

Prince Orestesiahzrah’Zanrekiah’reta’Mournansuin, the last Prince of the Khashran, was sentenced to death by an unseaworthy vessel, bound in iron.

He has not been seen since.

Active & Parvus Magic

Parvus Magic -

Orestes' body gives off the faintest, golden glow. It is as though there is a small sun shining out of him, and it serves to illuminate him in darkness. This glow is largely affected by his emotions, and it increases when he is either extremely happy or extremely angry. Additionally, the glow has a tendency to "pool" at his tattoos, and is much more vibrant when he uses any aspect of his magic.

Magic — Solar Transformation

This is the ability of solar manipulation and manifestation. Orestes draws largely on hydrogen and helium in the air and, through magic, is capable of ionising those elements both externally and internally to transform. By default, this involves the manipulation of plasma This is the ability to manipulate and replicate on a small scale the properties of our sun, to include solar flares, stellar winds, a miniature gravitational pull, and extreme heat and light. Unfortunately, this ability is naturally chaotic and difficult to control. Even at its most advanced form, the potential for damage to both self and others is extreme.

Tier 1: Discipuli —

At this stage, Orestes magic is both extremely taxing and difficult to control. It is largely influenced by his emotions, and manifests as the following: increased gravitational pull toward his body (this affects only small stones, bugs, sand, and nothing larger than a song-bird) and the ability to mimic traits of the sun so long as the sun is present. He is able to increase the temperature surrounding his body, radiate light and heat, and has the beginning of understanding how to manipulate plasma. When using his powers, he experiences increased nausea and fatigue. In extreme cases, overuse of his powers will result in unconsciousness or vomiting. He feels fatigue after only a few seconds of use.

Tier 2: Vexillum —

Now, Orestes is capable of mimicking attributes of the sun with much more proficiency. He is still limited to doing so only during daylight hours and, preferably, when in direct sunlight. When at his most rested, for short periods of times Orestes is able to radiate heat and light at a much greater distance, to the point standing within a three foot radius or touching his skin directly will result in minor burns. When utilising this aspect of his power, he is too bright to look at comfortably. Orestes is capable of directing this “heat and light” that manifests from his body in the early form of small "solar flares", although this takes a significant amount of his energy and they are limited to five feet from him. Additionally, they are not strong enough to cause major damage, only burns and small fires. He is now able to manipulate different forms of plasma more readily, and can create small lights such as neon. Using his abilities remains very taxing, and they are susceptible to his emotions. He feels fatigue after a few minutes of use.

Tier 3: Periti —

The presence of the sun no longer controls Orestes’ powers, although they will always be stronger during the day and in bright sunlight. However, Orestes is now able to “transform into a star.” He can radiate heat and light up to six feet from his body. His magic has become transformative in the sense that it alters his physical make-up. He is able to draw upon existing helium and hydrogen in order to ionise the gases and create extremely dense plasma. When utilising this power, it is nearly impossible to look at him directly without risking extreme damage to the eyes. Utilising his powers to this extent result in fires he has no control over, light and heat radiation, and a dramatically increased gravitational pull that affects objects and animals smaller than 50 lbs. Larger items may feel the stress of his gravitational pull but are easily able to combat it. He is now able to create solar flares in this state that reach up to ten feet away. At this stage, he has the ability to manipulate one or more aspects of his power independently or simultaneously. He has no control over the fact utilising his powers in a forested region or grass results in a singed environment, as though an extremely destructive fire was present. Additionally, Orestes can now control the the radius of his powers, although doing so taxes him greatly. His powers remain affected by his most extreme emotions, and are taxing only if used for longer than ten minutes consecutively or if attempting to restrain the radius of his abilities.

Tier 4: Dominus —

At the “master” level, Orestes’ looses his physical form and becomes a star. He looses his physical “body”, radiates heat and light up to twelve feet from his center, and is composed of extremely dense plasma. In this form, he creates a gravitational pull up to twenty feet from his body, and objects and creatures up to 100 pounds may be pulled into it. Objects and creatures larger than 100 pounds may feel the affects, but can actively combat them. He is able to control the “radius” of his powers at will, decreasing them to nothing or heightening them no more than the aforementioned distances. Looking directly at him in this form will cause damage to the eyes or blindness, and being as close as twelve feet will result in severe burns. If standing at a radius farther than that, one may feel uncomfortably hot, as though standing near a very large, bright fire. He is capable of controlling solar flares and extending his powers, pointedly, up to twenty feet from him in blasts of extreme heat and light. Despite reaching the “master” level, using his powers extensively continues to result in fatigue and, quite often, unconsciousness. Even at his most "controlled" form, his powers are naturally quite destructive and Orestes cannot completely control them.



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