an equine & cervidae rpg
Hello, Guest!
or Register

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful 5 years!
Novus closed 10/31/2022, after The Gentle Exodus
Inactive Character
Send Message


10 [Year 500 Winter]








Finnhorse X


13.3 hh







Last Visit:

01-05-2021, 11:31 PM




5 (Donate)

Total Posts:

49 (Find All Posts)

Total Threads:

12 (Find All Threads)



"I am a goddess and / this is all myth. How else could three children / just cease to exist? Why else would I be / in this kaleidoscopic cyst, if not to feel / the fracture of all I miss / fed back to me as glitter and hiss?"

“PROVIDED,” Ishak says, “that the stories are true-” His tone tells me that he has already decided whether or not the stories are true; it also tells me that he will not be telling me whether he believes them or not. (It does not matter to me. I already know the truth.) “-what did she make you out of, Ruth?”

If I weren’t speaking with Ishak, I might have demurred. If I were one of my siblings, I might have even done it coyly - with a flutter of long lashes and a secretive smile.

“Stone,” I say, flatly.

“Stone?” Ishak repeats, and I nod. I’m sure that he has heard the stories - the ones about shining golden sands and precious metals and dazzling gems. I will not say whether or not those stories are true of my siblings, but, if they are true of me, I will tell you that I was granted no such luxury.

If I were made of a valuable stone, like marble or alabaster, the offense might have been forgivable. I am not. I cannot say for sure, but I’ve always thought that I was made from the dull, rough stone that composes the cliffs that border the sea. If I were made of the Elatus, I would have been brighter, the soft yellows and harsh reds of sandstone. It would have been fitting, for an Ieshan.

I wasn’t even granted that. I don’t want to resent my mother for it; I don’t want to resent my siblings for it, either. (I’ve already seen too much of them resenting each other.) Some days I am certain that she put me together wrong, though I am trying to teach myself to forget about it. But - I look at my siblings, and I look at myself, and I cannot help but wonder why my mother made me at all.

I try to keep the feeling isolated, so it does not spread. I try to cut it out, like a patch of dead skin. I try most of all to forget about it entirely.

(But it finds me at night, and it sleeps in my bed.)

“Stone,” I confirm, without lifting my eyes from the seeds that I am grinding to a paste with a pestle. “Only stone.”

I don’t look up to see what kind of expression Ishak is making, but I can feel his stare on my back.


Should you compare me to most figures in a passing crowd, I suspect that you would find me perfectly average.

Unfortunately, in a family of rare beauties (some godlike; some agonizingly mortal), average may as well be abominable - or, worse yet, entirely forgettable. When Ishak tried to kill me, I was startled less by the danger of the situation than I was by the notion that anyone would want me dead at all. Of my siblings, I am the least important and the least striking. The idea that anyone would expend the effort to send an assassin was laughable at best and maddening at worst. What good would it do to kill me?

(“It was probably because it was you,” Ishak tells me, some time after he killed his former employer. He cleans the blood from his blade lazily, and I tighten the bandage that I am wrapping around his foreleg. “They thought that you were the easiest target - and they just wanted to hurt your house. They had no desire to pay the price I would have put on your siblings’ heads, I suspect.”

I tear the bandage with my teeth. “You couldn’t even succeed with me,” I observe, dryly.

“Bad luck,” Ishak says, rolling his shoulders. “It happens to the best of us.”)

I am, at a glance, Ieshan. It is hard to avoid the comparisons, if you have ever seen any of my siblings - we all possess similar features, and a similarly noble carriage. If I look at myself in the mirror, I see all the places where I overlap with my siblings almost before I see my own face. I am not sure if it is comforting or frustrating.

I am, at a glance, Ieshan - and not much else. My siblings have their own distinctions, certain quirks that distinguish them from each other; and I am distinct, but I am only distinct in the most ordinary ways.

Stone is a beast of burden. It is the foundation of buildings, the backbone of roads. You do not see stone displayed in art galleries; it is not worth carving, and it is too rough and hard to make it your own even if you tried.

My mother, if the stories are to be believed, tried.


“Why stone?”

The question gives me pause, however brief. “I don’t know.” I thought of asking Mother, before she passed - there was a part of me that always wanted to. (There was a part of me that never wanted to know the answer.)

I hear Ishak stand. He walks towards me, the press of his hooves to sandstone only just audible - only audible at all, I’m sure, because he wants to be heard. He brushes against me, winds around me, shoulder-to-shoulder, skin-to-skin; I can feel his breath on my neck. He has been like this for as long as I have known him. Effortlessly close. Carelessly, even. I almost envy him for it. “You don’t know?”

“I never asked.” I don’t think that any of us ever asked - and maybe we should have.

“Did you want to?”

I pause, but, as I stare down into the mortar, I think that I am grinding the seeds a bit more harshly. “No.” Ishak makes a humming sound, and I look up at him slowly; my mind unwraps from the handle of the pestle, and it clatters into the bowl harshly, sending up a small spray of pale gold dust.

What I say is : “I don’t think that Mother made me with an image in mind.”

What I mean is : something else entirely.


I am dark in coloration, and perhaps most similar in hue to Pilate (though I think that he would hate the comparison) - I would be his shadow, at best. My eyes are dull, gold-orange, almost sickly, lined with a black that reminds me of kohl; they are barely distinct from the splash of color that runs the length of my underbelly and throat, that spreads to cover much of my face. My muzzle is black as pitch, and a black star and strip mark my forehead, an abrupt darkness that is normally buried beneath the ink-black of my forelock. (The rest of my mane is dull brown - palest near the tips.) Much of what remains of me is dark, a collection of dusky greys that seep into tan.

Behind my shoulder, there is a black marking. I almost resent it. Whenever I look at it (and I try not to), I cannot help but think of a crack running through stone, a darkness that collapses in on itself.

It does not look lovingly-rendered. It looks like a mistake - a flaw in the materials that could not be covered up.


“I don’t think that’s true,” Ishak says.


Ishak has an inscrutable expression on his face - one of the few I can’t place, and one I’m sure that it would be useless to try to understand. “Have you ever watched a snake the moment before it bites, Ruth?”

I’ve never seen Pilate’s bite, though sometimes I look at them and think that they want to. I shake my head, and I do not ask why Ishak knows what a snake looks like in the moment before it strikes. His prior occupation does not bother me in the same way that it might bother someone who feels more than I do; still, I don’t want to know.

He pries my chin up, looking me dead in the eyes. “Of all the children born in that serpent’s nest,” he says, almost gently - almost fondly, like some inexplicable caress, “I think that you are the one who most resembles a snake.”

I nearly say ridiculous. Instead, I ask, “Why?”

“Solterrans,” Ishak says, his voice threaded with that particular note of disdain that tells me that he still does not consider himself one, “have a very particular idea of snakes. Your family, too. In fact - they might be the worst of them all.” I don’t bother asking him what he means. Ishak has learned that I won’t, so I know he’ll keep talking regardless. (I can never decide if the reprieve from silence is welcome or not; Ishak can never hold his tongue for long.) “They like the snake-as-metaphor - a fiction of a snake. They like the image of sharp teeth and a poisonous bite and dazzling scales. But snakes are not dazzling, because they are predators; it is more efficient to be simple and dull. Those sharp teeth are not malevolent, and neither is that poisonous bite. A snake does not even have the capacity for malevolence, Ruth.”

I think that I have a greater capacity for malevolence than Ishak would like to think. “I can be cruel.”

“I’m sure that it seems cruel, when the viper strikes the passer-by who threatens to trample them - or when the rattlesnake swallows the hare. But it is not cruel to the snake.” Ishak is still staring me right in the eyes; he is still propping up my chin. His lips tick up, faintly, near the edges, but, when he smiles, it is veiled. “He doesn’t even notice.”

You wouldn’t even notice.

He’s probably right.


"That long-drawn, wavering howl has, for all its fearful resonance, some inherent sadness in it, as if the beasts would love to be less beastly if only they knew how and never cease to mourn their own condition. There is a vast melancholy in the canticles of the wolves, melancholy infinite as the forest, endless as these long nights of winter and yet that ghastly sadness, that mourning for their own, irremediable appetites, can never move the heart for not one phrase in it hints at the possibility of redemption; grace could not come to the wolf from its own despair, only through some external mediator, so that, sometimes, the beast will look as if he half welcomes the knife that dispatches him."

“YOU KNOW, RUTH,” Ishak says, as he lounges idly in front of the fire, “I almost thought you were an angel, at first.” If I were one of my siblings, I might have thought, of course, though I think that they would prefer to think of themselves as gods, not mere, minor angels – but I am not one of my siblings.

I don’t bother to ask when the illusion crumbled.

I ignore him. “Give me the yarrow.” If it were anyone but Ishak, I might have bothered with formalities; I might have punctuated with a please and tried to rearrange my lips into a smile, even though it is a bother. With Ishak, such a gesture would be useless. He would know that I don’t mean it.

He doesn’t give me the yarrow. “An angel, maybe. Wasn’t sure what kind of sheltered rich girl would save someone sent to kill her – couldn’t wrap my head around it at all.”

“The yarrow, Ishak.”

He offers me the yarrow, and I take it without looking up from my work. “Hey. Do you remember what you said to me, when I came to?”

“No.” I remember what I had to do to save him – every single stitch required to put him back together in all the places where he was broken. It was the most difficult procedure that I had ever performed, at the time.

“You told me that it didn’t matter if I lived or died. Either way, I’d be useful.”

I look up at him, slowly. “I wasn’t wrong.”

“No,” Ishak agrees, “I don’t suppose you were.”


It occurs to me often that there is something deeply wrong with me.

I mean that in the most clinical sense. As in : I have isolated symptoms and given careful consideration to environmental factors. (Compared to my siblings, I think that I am barely troubled, and that is another strike against me.) I don’t feel the way that my observations of others suggest that I should - not with the vigor and ferocity that controls my siblings, not with the quiet intensity that spurs Ishak, and not with the agony that grasps my more sickly patients by the throats. That is not to say that I don’t feel anything. I do, though there are some things that I’ve never felt no matter how hard I’ve tried to, some things that I know that I should feel.

I don’t want to be a bad person. Given the choice between being a bad person and a good person, I think that I would always want to be a good one.

I am not sure that I know how to be a good person.

I have never empathized with another person in my life. I can look at them, and I can listen to them, and I can sometimes - but not always - understand what they are feeling, but I cannot relate to them at all. I have never felt guilty for any of my actions, regardless of whether or not they hurt people, and I have never felt anything like remorse; it makes it difficult to change my behavior.

If I think about it too much, it makes me sick to my stomach. I am not sure if that is all the guilt I don’t feel properly manifesting in some other form - or if it is just my profound selfishness, my desire to be normal and whole. I have spent my entire life feeling lacking, half-starved for some sense of completion that I have never been able to attain.

There is, most likely, something deeply wrong with me. I don’t think that I can fix it.


I lean over the bloodied body lying on the table and check the stitches for the third time in the past hour. They are holding, so far; I was not sure that they would, though, to my eye, they look neat. I have always had a steady touch. Put differently, I have never been affected by the pain of my patients or the character of their wounds and illnesses; I possess a particularly strong stomach.

At some point between now and the last time I checked on him, he woke up. This is not the first time - he has been variably delirious, all the others, but now he is silent. The haze has cleared from his eyes; I think that he is nearly alert.

I should be troubled by it, I know.


For a fraction of a second, I think that the man will kill me. His blade is centimeters - fractions of a centimeter - from the soft curve of my throat. I am not scared, although I should be, and, in a few moments, I will feel a jitter, and my teeth will gnash up against each other; but not until it is all over, and it is too late to mean a thing.

(I knew from the start that Ishak was not, to tell the truth, cut out for his line of work. I do not doubt that he was good at it (Ishak is good at most things that he sets his mind to); I don’t think about it, but if I did think about it, I am sure that I could trace him back to numerous successful assassinations of prominent Solterran nobles. I know his methods, even if he would rather I didn’t.

Being good at it, however, does not mean that he was well-suited for it.)

He won’t look me in the eyes. I won’t look him in the eyes, either - but that is mostly because I see the figure behind him, and I know that he is about to be impaled before he does.

His blood stains my veils. I don’t even flinch.


I’m not troubled by it.

He watches me work; his head tilts, barely, and, when he speaks, his voice is an ugly, dry-mouthed rasp. “What are you planning to do with me?” I dab crusting pus and blood from the edges of his wounds and ignore him. His skin is so swollen in places that I can barely see the stitches - it was easier to deal with before he woke up, because now he can feel it, and now he flinches when I touch him. I hit a particularly sore spot, and he makes a strangled sound of pain, and then, chest heaving, gasps out a series of curses.

If I had ice, this would be easier. For now, I will have to numb him again and make do with the herbs I have left.

His stare is suspicious - nearly reproachful. “You planning to answer the question, princess?” I meet his eyes, though only for a moment, and turn away to make the solution.

As soon as my back is to him, I hear him lurch up - somehow - and I find my own scalpel pressed up against my jaw, hard enough to draw blood. It’s trembling; I risk a glance over my shoulder and find him shaking, struggling to keep his head raised, sweat beading on his brow. “That isn’t sanitary,” I observe.

“No,” he gasps out, half a snarl, “but it’s sharp enough to kill.”

“You’ll die, too, if you kill me.” I don’t bother to remind him that I’m the only reason he’s alive, and not only because I was the one who treated him. An assassin caught in the act won’t last long, for one reason or another - not on his own.

“There are worse things than death,” he says, “and you’re a Solterran noble - I’m sure you know about them.” He’s right, on both counts.

If I were one of my siblings, I’m sure that there would be hell to pay for an assassination attempt. Torture, at least, to find out who employed him - maybe worse. For me, he was nothing more than useful practice, and, if he had died, a good cadaver. “I don’t care enough to do that to you.” He looks at me, wild-eyed, the whites of his eyes rolling, and I can feel the scalpel dig a little deeper into my skin and the ooze of blood that follows. I should be scared. I should be shaking, high on an adrenaline rush, teeth gnashing-

But I don’t. Not yet. The fear won’t sink in until I’m out of the room, washing the blood off my scalpel; it will quiver, slightly, as I hold it under the water, and that will be the only sign that I ever give that, for a moment, I thought I might die.

The scalpel clatters on the floor. Behind me, I hear him sigh weakly, then fall back against the table with a heavy thud. I’m sure that it was painful; the choked noises that he emits suggest as much. “ must...ugh, you must want something,” he manages, through wet gasps. I hope that he hasn’t reopened any of his stitches.

I turn, slowly, grasping the solution. “I would appreciate it,” I say, “if you would remain still.”


I love my siblings, but I do not love them warmly. I have thought, on more than one occasion, that I would like them better if we weren’t siblings at all. I don’t love anything warmly, but sometimes I barely love them at all - the consequences, I suppose, of knowing each other a little bit too much for comfort.

And - siblings always invite comparison.

I am the least special member of my family. Perhaps that is why I have never wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Medicine suits me more than it should. I chose it with two things in mind: I thought it was a distinction, something that my parents and siblings did not do, and I thought, at the time, that it was a kind occupation. If I spent my time caring for others, then surely, surely I would learn to feel those things that I had never felt before. Surely, if I studied enough, I would learn how to make myself whole.

It was a vain hope, of course. There are certain conditions that cannot be fixed. I learned how to act like I felt things, how to rearrange my face to fall in line with social cues; I hoped, at first, that if I pretended for long enough, I would start to feel the way that I knew I should. Of course, nothing happened - but I discovered that there were certain conveniences that came with playing at normalcy, so I kept up the ruse regardless.

And - I discovered that I had a talent for medicine. In the hospital, I am always the one assigned to the emergency cases. Like I have said, I have a steady touch (with a scalpel) and precise eyes, and I do not care what I have to do to help a patient.

I do not care about helping the patient, either. Those cases are emergency cases because their life hangs in the balance, and most medics panic under the pressure. I don’t. I know that I should - that I should care, at least, even if I don’t panic.

I just can’t do it. Trying is like grasping for water in an empty bowl.


Ishak rests his jaw on my shoulder in a gesture that is probably meant to be comforting. I don’t need comfort, but I also don’t bother shaking him off. “I thought you’d be more upset,” he observes, and I shrug in a way that I know he can feel.

“I’m not,” I say, curtly, and I’m too tired to try to be. I am tired of expending effort on something I know will be useless - and I’m tired of caring about all the ways that I don’t care.

Ishak makes a soft, humming noise, one that tells me he isn’t sure what to say; it’s the sound he makes when he’s trying to pry more out of me, and I learned some time ago that it’s useless to try to hide anything from Ishak. I swallow, hard. “I know that I’m supposed to be.”

“I don’t blame you,” Ishak says, “for what it’s worth.”

I don’t tell him all the ways that the little twinges of grief I feel are self-centered. I don’t tell him that I am more angry that I am not grieving than I am mournful, now that the shock and apathy have worn away to recognition.

I have been bitter for so long. As long as I can remember - and that is why it is hard to forget. And now, while I am supposed to be mourning (though I am sure that I am not capable of it), it has come seeping in all of the places that are supposed to be tender and weeping, like a bruise.

It is toothless, for now. I wonder how long I can keep it that way.


"Everyone I loved was alive. Sometimes, / I felt those eyes pressing into the back / of my neck, following me as I / weeded the yard. Then one day / I woke up and it was on the ceiling, / hind legs hooked into the canopy / above the bed. Poised, perfectly still. / Forelimbs held in that chronic gesture / of supplication. It looked down at me, / head cocked to the side, a cool expression -- / clean and pitiless -- on its face."

Middle children get the worst of everything. In my family we have more than one; with eight siblings it would be unavoidable. But I am the middlest of the middle. The plainest of the plain. My mother did not make me out of the fine, glittering sand that she used for Adonai, Pilate, and my younger sisters; she did not press jewels into my brow for eyes, or dress me in satin.

I am solid stone, all the way through.


When I asked my mother for medical training - a young thing, barely even a year old - she did not even look at me when she agreed to it.

Ishak came back with me when I was three. My mother did look up, that time; first, a look of faint surprise across her serpentine features, then something that seemed to me more akin to bored annoyance. I was covered in blood, though I’m sure I looked more stained than wounded, and the city guards behind me were carrying - carefully, as I had instructed - a man on the verge of death. She did not ask about the circumstances. (I think that Mother could guess, but, even if she couldn’t, I am not sure that she cared.) When I asked to keep him with me, she just told me to take care not to stain the rugs. They were expensive.

Mother didn’t raise a fuss over me. I think, sometimes, that she made me specifically because she hoped I wouldn’t be fussy - and, as a consequence, she never much fussed over anything I did.

I had prepared a convincing argument, when I asked Mother if I could keep Ishak as a personal guard. It was primarily the argument he’d used on me; I’d nearly been assassinated, coming and going between the house and the hospital, and I was no good in a fight, and, unlike some of my siblings, I disliked travelling with an entourage. Besides, I’m hardly conspicuous. One trusted guard should be more than enough to keep me safe.

(I did not trust him. I did not trust him at all. I trust him now, more than I sometimes think that I should - but I did not at the time. Still, I saw the use in the arrangement.)

I did not have to give the argument, of course. Mother acquiesced as soon as the request was out of my mouth; and, as I glanced over at Ishak, I saw his jaw set in an expression that would soon become very familiar to me.

He didn't say anything, even when we left the room. Still. I knew what he was thinking - it's what everyone thinks, when they get a good look at us.


Recently I’ve been teaching myself how not to be bitter. I was—very—and for a long time. Bitter about my parents’ deaths; bitter about my status as the most overlooked child; bitter that all my brothers do is fight, even when one of them is on the verge of breathing his last; especially bitter that I am bitter at all, and that the feeling follows me around like a stray dog begging for food.

And there are things about my life I still don’t love, and things about myself I don’t think I ever will. Miriam is the most bitter of all of us—understandable, considering how much time she spends looking over the rest of us, all the way down to the girl who once was Miriam the Younger. She’s only a few years older than I am, and locks herself up in her room most of the time. We used to be close. But something happened to her, something deep-dark that pushed her resentment out of the realm of the understandable and into the territory of genuinely murderous.

Yesterday she crossed my mind; and I felt brave enough to go upstairs and knock on her door, thinking she would be the same as she had before, my sister. And she looked... gaunt. Ghostly, almost—like she was about to follow Adonai to the underworld. Something about her seemed prey-frantic. Wide eyes flashing everywhere, her mouth in a hard scowl, breathing hard even though she had only just gotten out of bed.

I have to teach myself how not to be bitter. I love Miriam enough that I do not want to become her.


I did well in my lessons, even before I began to study medicine. I was not interested in being the best of us, because I knew that I never would be - or rather, I was interested, but it seemed useless to try, if not dangerous. (I had no desire to be wrapped up in the constant conflicts that embroiled my brothers.) Still. I have always been a bit more clever than I try to let on.

The doctor that I was shadowing watched with wide-eyed shock - or horror - when I cauterized my first wound. The man was bleeding out, and he was still awake, and the doctor had hesitated, but I didn’t. He would die without intervention. I did not care if he lived or died, but I knew that I should, and I knew that he would be useless to me dead.

I took the torch. Even if he died, I would learn something from the exercise.

The man screamed and screamed, and I hushed him, to try and stay his twitching. The scent of blood and burning flesh was nearly overwhelming; it did not bother me. The doctor was frozen stiff, and Ishak watched on from the side of the tent, his nose furrowed, but he did not look away.

I saved the man, for what it is worth.

The doctor praised me for it, but he praised me in the clinical, skeptical way that told me that he thought that something was wrong with me. When we left, Ishak told me that I’d probably scared the poor doctor out of his wits; I asked him if it would have been better to have let the man die on the operating table.

He said no, of course not, but it might have been more comfortable if I had.

They transferred me between the emergency room and the hospice ward - all the places that no one else would want to be. I am still there, most of the time, though I deal with other cases when it is necessary. I know that I should ache for my patients. I know that they should follow me around like a heavy burden, like they do my coworkers, that I should weep for the agony of spending my days in the company of the dead and the dying.

I don’t, though. If anything - I feel a little thrill at being useful, for once, at being valuable in a way that I have never been valuable as an Ieshan.

It’s horrible, I know, and self-serving in the worst way. Ishak agrees, but he tells me that, at the very least, I am doing something useful with my time.


Most of my siblings are volatile. Miriam has her resentment, which she keeps close to her chest like a shield, and sometimes bubbles over like boiling water. Pilate has been known from the start to be unpredictable, though he is less angry than hedonistic; for him pleasure is not a suggestion but an unavoidable impulse. Corradh is a predator for more than just his teeth. Even Adonai, our Cleric of Virtue, has an insurmountable, buried-deep rage that I have only ever seen in the way someone can “see” the sun—omnipresent in the corner of your eye, blinding if you look at it directly.

I am not like the rest of them.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. A piece my mother forgot to put in. I don’t think I feel anything; or if I do, those feelings have been muted into darkness, made muddy and distant like treasure at the bottom of a pool. They are inconsequential. Unlike the vast majority of the living, they don’t rule me. And I know there are things I have never felt, and might never at all, that I was supposed to have experienced years and years ago; remorse, guilt, a sense of empathy for the hurting or generosity toward the poor.

I see it in the eyes of all my siblings, these feelings I can’t quite comprehend. And I try to forget what nausea that first realization brought up in me. I try to forget. I must forget.


I love my siblings.

I love my siblings - and I don’t like them very much at all. Miriam is my favorite, and, lately, I don’t even want to look at her. It is like staring at a horrible, twisted mirror and seeing some image of a future I would rather avoid. I think that I liked them more when I was younger, before I knew them so well.

Given the choice between being a good person and a bad one, I think that I would rather be good. But it is very hard for me to be good, and, somehow, I feel like I’m a worse person whenever my siblings are around. (Sometimes, I wonder if that isn’t the case for all of us - that we are somehow inherently bad for each other.)

Miriam has always had too much to carry. I am not sure what the weight is turning her into, and I don’t think that I want to know. (I worry that, one day, I will look at her and no longer be able to recognize her as Miriam.) I have never been close to Adonai - there is something about him that has always been out of my reach - but I know that he possesses the same bitterness that has most of the rest of us in a chokehold. I wonder, sometimes, if his current condition, neurological decay included, has brought it to the surface, like it seems to have done to Miriam. (I am not sure that I am brave enough to look.) If anything were to ever convince Pilate that he isn’t the most special of us all, I feel like he would collapse in on himself like a dying star. (The results would be similarly destructive.) Hagar is not all the sweet rose and honey that she appears to be, even though I am sure that she wishes that she were. Corradh’s violence is self-demonstrating; it requires no analysis to be visible. There is something to Delilah that puts my teeth on edge, something that I don’t quite trust, and our youngest sister, or our sister who would have been youngest - I think that she might be more than she seems.

I love my siblings. I spend most of my time trying to escape them.


Our parents had a lavish funeral. But the caskets were closed, and we did not invite anyone outside the Ieshan household: the Hajakhas and Sevettas were made to leave their condolence gifts and perfumed letters outside our door. We went out at noon, when the sun was highest. I stood in between Miriam and Hagar as the priestess lit their bodies into torches with holy fire.

When Miriam pressed her head into my shoulder, I could feel her drool and tears seeping into my skin, her body shaking with quiet sobs, my older sister, my paragon, reduced to a pathetic pile of ruined heartstrings.

Hagar asked me in amazement why I wasn’t crying. I hadn’t noticed.


My brother is dying, and they haven’t asked me to do anything about it.

“I don’t understand.” I don’t understand, and I am this close to breaking something over it. The ferocity of the emotion is enough to surprise me; my siblings are prone to childish outbursts, but I am certainly not.

I am pacing back and forth in my room; I am not normally frustrated enough for that, but this, this is frustrating. Ishak watches me in silence, and, unfortunately, I know what he is thinking. (He knows a bit too much about my family for comfort - a bit too much about Solterra, too. Of course, my siblings don’t tend to pay enough attention to the servants to notice.) I know what he has been thinking since Adonai fell sick, and sometimes, even though I don’t want to, I think it too. It is a consequence of my lukewarm affections; if they burnt hotter, warmer, I’m sure that I could overlook my family’s dysfunctional behavior, that I could patiently disregard all the individual and unique ways that my siblings are terrible. (All the ways that I am terrible; all the ways that I would rather forget.) “I think you do understand,” he says, almost gently, and I grit my jaw in a line, shaking my head. “And I think you know why I’d advise you to stay out of this.”

I stop. Tilt my head. Stare. “I know.”

“Do you ever think of leaving, Ruth?” I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t considered it, but I am a little bit too self-aware of how ugly and dangerous the world is to actually go through with it. There are too many privileges that come with wealth (and the Ieshan name) to give them up so easily.

I think I’d be happier, sometimes. I think I’d be happier - but far less comfortable.

I don’t answer Ishak, just look at him, and his lips twist into a wry grin; I’m sure that I have no expression on my face, but he seems to know what I am thinking regardless. He looks at every gilded corner of my room, and, with a dry chuckle, I hear him say, “No - of course you couldn’t.”


Active & Parvus Magic

Passive Magic

Bonded & Pets

Armor, Outfit, and Accessories

Agora Items & Awards

(View All Items)


pinterest || spotify

designed by rhiaan
avatar by seadraz

Appearance Quote :: “mother darling goes to the casino,” alexa doran
Personality Quote :: From The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter
History Quote :: "praying mantis," danusha lameris

I'm 21, located in the USA, and perpetually rusty. Queen of writing excessively long posts because her characters won't shut up in their internal monologues.

Played by:

Jeanne (PM Player)


Minty-Mouse    //   



Staff Log

Saved incentives/prizes: INCENTIVE-0012

08/03/20 Character application accepted, Day Court Medic. -INKBONE
08/03/20 +9EXP for Jeanne being a member for 3rys. -INKBONE
10/10/20 +100 signos for winning 505 Winter spotlight nomination: Pair, with Ishak. -INKBONE
11/01/20 +20 signos for visual ref being added to bio -LAYLA
11/01/20 +80 signos for completing TIDs 5333, 5382, 5453 & 5402 -LAYLA
04/17/22 Moved to inactive from Day Court Medic during EOY507 AC. -INKBONE