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5 [Year 500 Spring]








Morgan X


14.2 hh







Last Visit:

06-10-2020, 11:58 AM


Signos: 55 (Donate)
Total Posts: 6 (Find All Posts)
Total Threads: 1 (Find All Threads)

"Forgiveness is the scent the rose leaves on the heel that crushes it.”

Katerina does not look damaged.

That is the way of all things savage and hardy: the ache in her heart and the pain in her head, the strange, gory visions that interrupt her sleep, the thing in her that erupts screaming—she does not convey any of it. She does not look damaged.

She looks beautiful. Upsettingly, dangerously beautiful. Her legs are slender, capped with neat copper hooves, her spine long. Her hips and shoulders are held high, strong, and even. Her neck is proudly curved, her head a little Roman. She is beautiful in the way of those things savage and hardy, in a way that warns you of what her elegance might mean. How quick she might run, if forced to.

Across the fine body, there is a deep silvery, bloody bay coat, patterned only with the faint stars of dapples—no white, no blemishes, not even the pretty spiderweb of a scar. Flawless. Unspoiled. Her face and spine and legs and are dark, dark, dark: dark like old blood, dark like winter cherries. A good-merlot kind of dark. It is the same color that dyes the thick velvet cloak so often hung around her shoulders and clasped with a silver buckle.

Then she turns, and what you thought was a strange pattern of dapples is, you realize, a tattoo. It resists even the brightest light: two perfect, wine-red roses blooming at the end of two thorny, near-black stems that wrap from the muscle of her right shoulder down to twine around her foreleg. If you ask about, she will only smile, that docile kind of grin that assures you it’s nothing to be worried about. And thanks to the way that smile moves across her face, your eyes will turn, and you will finally notice the cold, glinting shine of the steel ring punched through her nose. It is nothing compared to the glint of her teeth.

Her hair falls in unending waves of cream and ivory, faint curls past her ankles in both mane and tail, resistant to control in the form of hairbands, clips, or any other regalia. From underneath that white forelock spirals a thin, lengthy, pointed horn that matches the dusky red of the darkest points of her body, and painted or carved in incredible intricate designs from tip to base. She has never had to use it, isn’t even sure she’d know how to. But sometimes one wonders.

Upsettingly, dangerously beautiful: the clash of white against red and brown against both, the rust-red, metallic shine of her hooves, the twirling, delicate horn and ring.

Most of all the way she looks at you. As if she knows you. As if she knows everything. Her eyes are a bright, pale blue, and you cannot look away.

(Note: Katerina does not have the pictured hand tattoos, only the roses!)

Katerina does not know that she was once a revolutionary. She does not remember that once, the weight of all the world’s wisdom was on her shoulders, or that when she died it was not a gentle, peaceful thing. She only knows what she is like on this plane, in this iteration, and even then not why. Like most born-and-raised Deluminians, she is curious to a fault and unafraid to ask (or answer) questions: Katerina can often be found picking her way book by book through the library, her patience and her nosiness both infinite. She wants answers, more than anything. Answers that might reveal some inner truth she has not quite gotten to yet. Answers that might point her in the direction of a past life. Explanations for the frequent migraines, nightmares, and gut-wrenchingly strong bouts of deja vu. So far they have evaded any substantive theory, but there’s always tomorrow.
More than anything Katerina is tragic, though she cannot possibly know why: tragic in the way of an old-timey opera star, tragic in the way of red lipstick and dark, plaintive eyes, acting that isn’t quite acting. She is too kind, too soft, too warm. She has never had the kind of heart that was not worn on her sleeve or stiff-spined enough to turn someone away. Instead it is an easy break and has been patched up far too many times to count. Compassionate and charming, she is good at hiding her sadness, but sometimes it comes out in the curve of her smile or bat of her lashes. Though she is unwaveringly kind to strangers, Katerina gets prickly in serious matters of the heart, though she inevitably gives in anyway; she would like to be innocent, but isn’t quite; she would like to be loved, but is far too defensive.

Znaniya stood in the blood-stained sand, in the pit of that thing they called justice but was really cruelty, and she watched, and she was not afraid. There was nothing to be done about it, and anyway she had always been a girl of practicality; she had seen enough trials to know how this one would go, and the screaming never made a difference. She had not cried since hearing the screams of the very first criminal. The worst sound in the universe: gut-wrenching, sickening, enough that tears streamed down her face and she’d had to muffle the urge to gag, and even that had not swayed Muzhestvo or the monster with the rainbow eyes, and so she had promised herself she would not grant the Priests the honor of hearing her cry, not this time. And she did not. Even when the gate opened. Even when the sands started to shift as if rocked by an earthquake. Even when she smelled the beast, its sweat and saliva and the scent of old old blood: even when she thought of her own companion, and who might’ve unlocked the cage this morning. Even when she stared at Pravda and he could not meet her eyes.
She had not been happy when they picked her, and her parents had chastised her for it. This is an honor, Znaniya. Don’t you dare be a brat, Znaniya, you have no idea what this means, my girl. Even then she was ruthlessly headstrong, and when the Priest looked down at her with ancient eyes and said this one will succeed me, it had taken everything in her to nod rather than argue. Accepting against her wishes felt like swallowing a sword. Which she was not practiced in. Around them the crowd was in an uproar, families vying to be blessed, children squirming in impatience; the sun beat down ceaselessly on Znaniya’s golden spine, sweat building on her brow, weightlessness crashing over her like a wave, and she only just managed to gasp out a yes before she fainted into her parents’ embrace, unknowingly for the last time.
When she woke up it was with a start. And a shiver—wherever she was, it was cold and damp and dark, unbroken by even a faint pane of light, and the air smelled wet, faintly metallic. Cracked, molding books lined the walls, but even their titles were impossible to make out.. There was the noise of her heart, fast and loud, unduly stubborn. There was the noise of the wind, whooshing through the barred window overhead. There was the noise of breathing. Not hers. Low, rumbling breath interspersed with gnashing teeth; hot breath flowing in and out; the smell of partially digested meat, half sweet and half acrid. Body-heat flooding the wet cell. A gargantuan pulse banging against the walls. Znaniya’s whole body froze. Her heart stopped. Ice-cold, all-numbing fear slammed through her like a wave, like an earthquake, pulled her down to drown like so many iron chains. And then the hissing. And the eye that opened: huge, opalescent-clear, slashed with a narrow black pupil that trembled as it saw her, like it knew something she didn’t. And Znaniya remembered which Priest it was she was meant to succeed, and said “Oh,” and locked eyes with the serpent of Wisdom for the first time.
Pravda was standing next to her when she went to the first trial. They had not talked yet, not really, and Znaniya only knew him by his name, his title, and the strange sharpness of his coat, clashing so harshly with the bright gold of her own. He exuded heat; the space between them was filled with it. But of course that was nothing to focus on. This was a Trial, something the Priests undertook with inane seriousness, and anyway Smireniye was standing right there and Znaniya wouldn’t have said anything to him even if she wanted to. The man in the pit looked… small. Of course he had other traits (for one, Znaniya noticed that, unlike the rest of them, he wasn’t wearing a cloak), but all his features were overshadowed by how unnaturally small he looked down there in the sand with his sorrowful eyes and high voice. He could have been a cripple. Or a child. The distance was too large to really tell. Her heart hurt a little bit. Even before the gate was opened, or the verdict delivered, Znaniya found herself glancing at Pravda sideways and wondering, for the first time, what gave him the right to that kind of power.
"The point is to turn your grief into love. The roses are helping you find grace."

“Now, Einstein says, ‘Any fool can know. The point is to understand.’” With a wink she danced back from him, and there was laughter in her mouth; she wielded a grin, molded around a voice that mocked a man from another world. Around them the world was bright green, shot through with sunlight that glinted on the marble columns of the garden like so much liquid gold. And he followed her down the path wearing the same shy smile he always wore, the one she teased him about for the way it was without fail so badly hidden. That was when she wore her hair in braids, when her shoes were made of gold, and when the unrest she felt was still easily hidden in the way she always managed to look at him with mischief or wear the right kind of smile for the Priests. It bothered her the most when she was alone, that acrid uneasiness, so the simple fix was never to be alone. That was easy enough. She dragged Pravda from his duties, took him to the gardens to pick fruit and recite Whitman, bothered Mudrost for extra duties, hastily snuck out at night to mingle with the commoners on the streets inlaid with ruby. And all of that worked, for a while. For a while she could still remember (or was it pretending?) to be happy. For a while things still made sense. For a while, when the moon rose, she snuck to Pravda’s room, and no matter what, she always managed to sleep while she was there with him, even if her heart hurt, even if her tongue was stinging, even if all the lies made her want to vomit. For a while the warmth of him and the heat and the meditation of working out the knots in his hair was enough. And then came the night she could not sleep.
In the darkness the eye was always the same. Bright, all-knowing. With every visit the frenzy in it faded a little. That night when she slipped away to go visit, she was not surprised to see it waiting for her, curled up in a perfect Gaussian shell, tongue swiping and gaze unwavering. Znaniya slumped down, and the wall was cold and wet against her skin. Suddenly the room was too claustrophobic. Still no light had entered. For the first time the snake came up to rest its head against her chest. In the darkness the eye was always the same. Bright, all-knowing. With every visit the frenzy in it faded a little. That night when she slipped away to go visit, she was not surprised to see it waiting for her, curled up in a perfect Gaussian shell, tongue swiping and gaze unwavering. Znaniya slumped down, and the wall was cold and wet against her skin. Suddenly the room was too claustrophobic. Still no light had entered. For the first time the snake came up to rest its head against her chest.
“Your priests know nothing!” A roar went up from the crowd, mostly supportive, a little afraid. “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house!” Znaniya howled, and heat poured from her skin, and foam formed at her mouth. There was the sound of footsteps, there was fear in people’s eyes, time was running out. Her heart banged against her teeth like an animal. “You do not live in a utopia, you live under tyranny! Demand your fair trials, demand your free will—see what your Priests of Truth and Justice do you to your children, your brothers and your sisters, see how they sic their beasts on the disobedient crowds, see how Dobrodetel’Nyy suffers at the hands of the men and women who pretend to love you because you refuse to seize your rights!” Her voice was hoarse; blood poured from her lips. Now the cavalry was rounding the corner, and from the slick podium she could see the glint of Priest Zaschita’s eyes under the suit of armor and how they glinted with just-contained fury. “What little freedoms they have left you with are vanishing,” snarled the apprentice, and the crowd was starting to brace for impact. Spears and swords and shields clattering against each other in the parallel street. “A man from a next-door world said, ’If we are to violate their rights, will the people submit to our unauthorized acts? Sir, they ought not to submit—“ The clattering grew louder, “—they would deserve the chains that these measures are forging for them, the country will swarm with—“ The first body was pushed by a shield, “—swarm with informers, spies, delators and all the odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of a despotic power—“ Znaniya went down.
She had promised herself she would not grant the Priests the honor of hearing her cry, not this time. And she did not. Instead she smiled. Pravda would see it, even if he pretended not to. Foam and blood and salt built in her teeth. The sands were shifting. They were shifting in more ways than one, the dictators must understand that now, surely. She did not cry when the sentence was given or when the gates opened or when the humid breath caressed her back. She did not cry when the first tooth made contact or when the first drop of blood was spilled. She only cried when she was born again, a child named Katerina in a place called Delumine, and could not speak as the memories faded out of her one by one.

Active & Parvus Magic

Passive Magic


Armor, Outfit, and Accessories

OUTFIT: A thick, richly colored dark red velvet cloak, long enough to wrap around her neck and across her spine. As accessories, Katerina is often seen wearing an assortment of rose blooms and vines in her long hair.

Agora Items & Awards

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Played by:

RB (PM Player)


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