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Novus closed 10/31/2022, after The Gentle Exodus
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12 [Year 498 Fall]








finnhorse x


15.2 hh







Last Visit:

08-10-2022, 11:09 PM




160 (Donate)

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There is a rumor that my mother created all of her children from sand—and though I deny it as gracefully as I must in public, in private I tire of such pretense. Really I think it terribly romantic: to be made rather than born. Some say it reeks of blasphemy, that creation is a privilege of the divine and the dead (how else to spend one’s eternal afterlife?)—

Yet Keturah molded us in the gods’ likeness: from their sand, their sky, their sun. So I ask: is that not the highest form of supplication?

My mother may have been the best of us all.

Pilate fancies himself the handsomest. I know, because I have seen it in the way he looks at me, when he thinks he is beneath my notice. My brother thinks so little of himself when he shouldn’t and so much of himself when he oughtn't.

In any case I am too self-aware to believe my looks are extraordinary enough to be advantageous. I am plain, a sun-bleached chrysós; rarer than the duns and buckskins of the common-born, perhaps, but next to Pilate’s jadeite scales and head of snakes comparison becomes rather futile. My head is shaped finely enough; my mother worried I looked too much like my sisters when they came along, but it is my opinion that my sisters look too much like me.

I am built tactfully, broad in the shoulders and narrow in the hips like the headless marble statues our family hoarded instead of gold. (There is your reason for why an Ieshan has never been minted into coin. As I recall there are three Azhades and at least seven Hajakhas.) I stand at an average height, and I am winged, though the Ieshans have never been purists and so wings are neither saintly nor vulgar. My hair spills pale from my neck, the tight curls of my youth lapsing into tamed waves near translucent in the sun. My tail is boned, like a lion’s—an interesting digression, and a weapon in a pinch.

The only vanity I am guilty of (physically, at least—of my other qualities I am as assured as I have right to be; it is unfilial otherwise, to deny what has been so relentlessly cultivated by one’s dead parents) is undue affection for the horn on my head, smooth as Excalibur, and the shards of gold pressed like glass below my eyes. They are the marks of the first-born, the first blessing: Adonai, Eminence of the Gods.

I was made with a crown snug against my brow.

But my eyes—no longer are they the cold silver of Pallas Athene.

When I stare into mirrors they are all I see. Pupils like holes, blown wide and narcotic; irises like blue bruises, wet and faintly luminous, the look of a thing resurrected.

When I stare into mirrors he is all I see.


* Due to continual exposure to poison, Adonai's health is all but destroyed. He has gained some strength back, but tires extremely easily. He is wracked by occasional fits of bloody coughs and talks at a low, muted volume (which he has again made into a hallmark rather than a weakness). Shadows line his eyes, though they are hard to notice beneath the gold.

yr. 504
Really, Pilate.

Had you done it to anyone but myself I would have gladly toasted to your genius. I know you think me guilty of hubris—I never did make a habit of praising you—but make not the mistake of thinking me parochial. Our parents did everything they could to raise me into that unattainable breed of prince: tolerant, wise, pious, shining. I like to think that I am, at least, generous with a job done well.

So hear me now, dear brother: you have truly pulled off a grand feat.

Were I able to speak you might note the lack of malice in my voice. You cannot imagine how long it took me to draw every drop of it out from my veins, like pulling sugar from water, until my quill no longer splintered when I pressed it to parchment. Treasure this letter, unsent as it is; I have laboured so many cruel nights over it.

Did you know—that you, not I, have always been the one made for learning? Astronomy, Sahvahn, theology, the nonsensical questions of antiquity—never have I felt any love for the scholar, only a vague sort of appreciation borne from duty and an unshakeable, frankly shameful, need to please. In the characteristic self-pity of youth I had barely endured the pillage of tutors and books and recitations that seemed to stretch from my birth to my inevitable death in one, unbroken line. Then when you came along, things became incomparably worse. Strapped always to Mother’s hip, a cooing bundle of joy with snakes for hair and jewels for eyes, my own luminescence cooled like a dying star.

The only advantage I held over you, to my own horrifying realization, was that I had been made first.

As I am sure you are aware, the hatred I held for you then is nothing compared to now—before it had been childish, harmless, mere friendly, brotherly jealousy. I despised you because everything came so easily to you. To our poor sisters and little Corradh who thought I was the sun to Mother’s sky, you and you alone knew who she really loved most. When Keturah made me from pale desert sand she had been striving for a different ideal: a king she had wanted, a proper one, one that would have inspired loyalty in his men because he looked like them; talked like them; laughed with them; bled as red as they did, and died quietly with the plunge of an unjust sword. A mortal she had wanted; one of the best.

Yet you—second son, second wonder, bereft of title yet rich in magic and beauty and a natural instinct towards brilliance—she had placed her dreams in you.

You cannot know how much I envied you.

But I am losing my point. This letter had started with praise, and I intend to end with it. You cannot know—I have worked this expression to death but this one is really the kicker; when you read it aloud it should be duly emphasized: you cannot know—how much in your debt I am.

Because finally, Pilate, you have given me what I have always wanted most: a reason—pyrrhic and holy—to hate you.

Ships have been launched for lesser reasons.

I have known Adonai ever since he was a weak-kneed colt, gray-eyed and wary behind his mother’s legs. I am older than him by a year, of modest birth, but my father was a reputable musician and a stricter teacher. When he was offered a meager wage and a small yet beautiful cottage tucked at the edges of illustrious House Ieshan, I became one of the few children Lady Keturah let near her firstborn.

The first thing I would learn about Adonai (not even his name, for to me he was simply the Prince) was that he had an endless parade of tutors: prickly, short-tempered old codgers, wily as foxes. Despite this, only weeks after our arrival I became gravely convinced that my father had made himself a particular menace. I had been at the end of those tongue lashings before Adonai: my father meant well, but he had a peculiar way of showing it. Unable to approach the prince, shepherded as he was from one lesson to another, docile as a lamb, I remember hovering specter-like at the window of their lyre lessons, somehow thinking that my breath fogging up the glass might remind my father of things like restraint and cordiality. I had grown fond of our humble home. The Ieshan grounds were beautiful as myth, the food spare but plenty, the nights dreamlike. One wag of Adonai’s golden tongue, I knew, and we would be bidding our farewells by dawn.

Yet we never did. One evening late in the summer, as I lazed besides him on the cool banks of the Oasis, Adonai remarked to me that he was fond of my father. It was he who had discovered the First Prince’s talent for the arts—music, and later painting and sculpture—and it was he who had brought it to brilliant bloom. His mother, he said, was pleased with him. Sometimes she would even leave Miriam with a nursemaid and go to the terrace to hear him play.

I remember this Adonai often: owl eyed, sweetly polite, features fine as a girl’s; his lyre strapped to his back as he was escorted from closed rooms to billowing courtyards to the hard red arena sand. Even after the others came two by two in the night, some golden as he and some dark as silt, he visited their nursery and left them gifts—laurel crowns, wooden dolls, sometimes a feather plucked from his wings. The distance he would later pave between him and his siblings had not been done then, as a soft-lidded youth.

Yet as years passed like seasons his parents’ expectations wore at him like water over stone. Music lessons became extraneous, child's play, before literature, mathematics, worship, politiká. I continued my duties as best I could, sneaking him music sheets by day, laying awake listening to the haunting notes drift through my window by night. He mentioned none of his misery to me and as was expected of a prince’s companion I never asked. Instead I accompanied him on visitations (how he despised them, and how frighteningly well he hid it), entertained him with court gossip (kept as busy as he was he had never courted a girl, but their keen interest in him was met with a fascination he hid unsuccessfully behind dry smiles, which never failed to irritate me), and broached often, though with caution, the topic of Pilate.

By their adolescence the tension between the elder Ieshan brothers had become so palpable it shimmered like heat waves whenever one entered the orbit of another. If Adonai was charming, then Pilate was more so—they were spoiled in the same way and excelled at perfectly opposite things. I sometimes wonder if Lady Keturah had made them so repulsive to each other on purpose. From the little I know of noble families, rivalries seem a favoured form of entertainment.

Out of loyalty I avoided Pilate, yet even I found it difficult to resist the easy charm and easier smiles of the second prince. My own was marblesque and refined, kind in a democratic way, and endowed with a cold beauty that only served to remind you of how you would never have him. Loving him was like loving a god. Less—like loving the effigy of one.

The deaths of the Lord and Lady were received with the tight-jawed yet uncontested acceptance I, and the rest of the House, had, by then, come to expect of Adonai. Solemn and dry-eyed as a sepulchral statue he performed the rites over his parents' tombs, accepted the diadem and jewels that lay awaiting his claim. Rumors abounded about his cold, unfeeling demeanor. I defended him mercilessly: he had loved his parents, I said. Their deaths devastated him—and it had, I knew it had, yet I also knew that to Adonai an outward expression of grief—weakness, to him—was so unfathomable it faintly disgusted him. He disliked the rumors but did nothing to quell them. The soft-lidded youth was less than memory. All that was clear, to the Adonai standing unmoved in front of me, was that his duties afforded him no time for grief.

Of all the goddesses of my homeland, I know Fate to be the cruelest. On the morning before the incident I distinctly remember peering out my window and frowning when three crows sat upon the gates, hulking and hideous. Adonai had found my pagan superstitions entertaining enough to forgive (his piety astounded me, at times) and I had never stopped believing in them: three crows was the symbol of death. Filled with sudden apprehension I strode briskly to his room, where he answered the door before I could knock and greeted me with a yawning: "Mernatius."

I have known Adonai ever since he was a weak-kneed colt. So I speak not out of cruelty but intimacy when I say: Adonai would have preferred death over the existence it has left him to.

He looks at me now, his eyes a hollow bruising blue, and I fear that he no longer knows me. "Adonai?" I ask. "... Mernatius," he answers. It does not reassure me. Yesterday he knew me; today he does still. But what of tomorrow, and the day after that? His doctors say that he is recovering, but from what they never tell me. Pilate is never here when I am, but I hear of his newfound devotion. Perhaps, I think, not without a touch of admiration, he is trying to heal what has always been lost.

I place the lyre gently on Adonai's bed. His eyes track my every movement. Slowly, so slowly, the strings on the lyre begin to sing.
  1. Received a potion from Vercingtorix that appears to have returned to him his health. [x]
  2. Became Sovereign of Solterra in summer of yr. 506. [x]

Active & Parvus Magic

phoenix metamorphosis

“I was never surprised that they did not have a phoenix on display. There is only one phoenix at a time, of course, and while the Natural History Museum was filled with dead things, the phoenix is always alive.” — Neil Gaiman

“For what beast is more symbolic of the Sun God than the Phoenix? If the Sun is the root of all life, then the Phoenix is life itself. It is the only creature that is truly immortal; it is the only creature that subjects itself to the agony of immolation as payment for Death’s unsmiling pardon. From death it rises, and from death it runs. The Phoenix is the progenitor myth of our ritual of burning the dead. It is done to return them to life. It is done to return them to the Sun, from whence we came, and thus: to ourselves.”

[excerpt from a Solterran bestiary]

PARVUS: Adonai is fire-resistant—regular flames sit on top of him rather than burn him. (Magically-generated flames are another matter. Those he can be burned by.) Likewise, he emits more body heat than the average horse, and is more resistant to atmospheric heat.

DISCIPULI: The crux of Adonai’s magical limitation lies not so much in the metamorphosis to a phoenix form, but rather in his ability to manifest the powers of a phoenix. At the discipuli level, Adonai is a phoenix in appearance only. Though he boasts dazzling flame-gold feathers, a crown of scarlet plumage, and is approximately the size of a golden eagle, his feathers hold no living flame nor heat; he emits no light, controls no fire, and is of average health and strength. He will never obtain the phoenix’s infamous physical invulnerability—in fact, if wounded while in the phoenix form, Adonai will be forced back into his original form, and take twice the damage. Additionally, Adonai cannot maintain his phoenix form for more than an hour a day, and he can never maintain or shift into his phoenix form at night, when Solis sleeps.

❖VEXILLUM: At the vexillum level, Adonai’s phoenix feathers begin to generate living flame. To call the fire is a physically taxing process, however; as a result, Adonai may appear fully flaming from head to talon for only a few minutes a day. He is able to keep small licks of deep orange fire on the edges of his wings at all times—these flames are entirely harmless to others, and if touched, will feel about as hot as sun-warmed sand. His phoenix body emits a faint glowing light (similar to that of a firefly), and with it, a small amount of heat—stand close by him and he will provide pleasant warmth on a windy day. If wounded he will no longer be forced back into his original form, nor take additional damage. Adonai can maintain his phoenix form for half of a day.

PERITI: At this level, Adonai maintains a fully flaming form with ease. The trade-off is that his flames are no longer harmless; keep away when he is flaming, for his phoenix flames burn hotter than real fire, and may “flare” out of control if he experiences intense emotion. If his flames catch on something flammable, he is unable to put it out—and with the flames being of magical origin, they are a nuisance to dowse. (Thus he begins to hold the destructive force of the true phoenix.) Adonai also gains the ability to “wield” his flames offensively by ejecting long tongues of fire at a target or by hurling small fireballs—the flames die if more than 20 feet away from him. He now emits a fairly strong light, and most can only bear to look at him directly for upwards of 10 seconds. In winter, he is a heater; in summer—magnified if one is in the Mors—he is unbearable. Adonai can keep in his phoenix form for a full day.

DOMINUS: At dominus, the only thing distinguishing Adonai from a true phoenix is his lack of the creature’s physical invulnerability and regenerative power. While fully flaming, Adonai's fire runs so hot he can melt forged metal, and if he wishes he can set fields and forests ablaze by flying over them. He can send tongues of flame or hurl cannon-sized fireballs at targets within 50 feet, and if a small animal crosses his path, they will be incinerated. Radiating light and heat, he is a dazzling sight to behold—to look at him is to look at the sun. Curiously, he gains at this last level the phoenix’s ability to lift and carry great weights (upwards of a loaded trading caravan). As a final note, Adonai is unable to burst into ashes as that would mean dying, but he is completely fireproof while in the phoenix form, and unaffected by water.

Passive Magic

Bonded & Pets

cetus - hasn't yet acquired

Description of bonded here.

Armor, Outfit, and Accessories

  • small gold rings (5) worn on both ears and slipped over the horn
  • thin gold bangles (2) worn on left front cannon
  • a wooden lyre brushed and tipped with gold (visual) — sometimes worn on a leather strap slung over his shoulder

OUTFIT - visual
  • Ieshan crown jewels
    • bestowed upon the First Prince on the eve of his third birthday - he wears it seldomly, preferring to save the effect for occasions of particular importance
    • exquisite craftsmanship; made from braided gold chain no more than two cm thick, yet unable to be cut by even the sharpest sword; more than fifty raw sapphires dangle like tears from the chain, iridescent under moonlight; twists into a knot at the cheekbone, weighed down by two crushed velvet tassels
    • a thick gold chain keeps a blue glass orb tied to the tuft of his tail

Agora Items & Awards

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Played by:

rallidae (PM Player)


none    //   



Also Plays

Staff Log

Saved incentives/prizes: None

04/18/20 Character application approved, +20 signos for visual ref, Outfit approved upon acceptance -LAYLA
06/19/20 +3EXP for Rallidae's 2 year Novus anniversary -LAYLA
08/06/20 +3EXP for @rallidae's 1 year Novus anniversary -LAYLA
12/20/20 +1EXP for visiting on Dec. 20th of advent calendar. -LAYLA
12/26/20 +2EXP for visiting on Dec. 25th of advent calendar. -SID
01/14/21 +5EXP for promotion to Day Court Sovereign from Day Court Scholar, TID6013. -INKBONE
01/18/21 +3EXP for Rallidae's 3 year anniversary (11/07/2017). -INKBONE
01/18/21 +1EXP for gaining interactive agora item (Active Magic, Phoenix Metamorphosis), purchased: approved, added to records, Vexillum item replaced. Member writing own quest. -INKBONE
01/18/21 25EXP Milestone, added +8HLTH/+12ATK. -INKBONE
01/18/21 +2EXP for participating in IC Event (505 Winter Solterran Party TID5312) in TID5343. -INKBONE
02/01/21 +100 signos for winning 506 Summer Pair OTS with Vercingtorix. -INKBONE
09/03/21 -1 EXP for non-IC stepdown (forfeiting challenge TID6527) Rank changed from Day Court Sovereign to Citizen -LULLIVY
04/03/22 Moved to inactive from Day Court Citizen during EOY507 AC. -INKBONE