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Aghavni
Day Court Emissary
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Age:

5 [Year 500 Fall]

Gender:

Female

Pronouns:

She/Her/Hers

Orientation:

Bisexual

Breed:

Marwari

Height:

14.1 hh

Health:

18

Attack:

22

Experience:

25
Offline

Last Visit:

10-11-2020, 09:43 PM

Joined:

11-05-2018
Signos: 45 (Donate)
Total Posts: 46 (Find All Posts)
Total Threads: 5 (Find All Threads)

reference

- ✦ -


S
he visits him on the eve of every new moon for a freshening.

Every visit, despite her glare and stubborn silence, the Weaver admires his creation. (So much of her is a lie. The Weaver keeps it so.)

When her father had first brought her to him, she had been so perfectly bland. Raven-black hair in perfect curls, dove-grey eyes in perfect almonds. A pretty little thing. Ten silver pieces bought you prettier ones from the streets.

Only the bones of the little princess’s face — he had not touched her structure as per her father’s request, even though he would not have anyways — whispered potential. Sharp and elvin, but most interestingly — hollow. A chalice waiting to be filled.

He began by leaching the black from her hair. She had cried — noisy, spoiled little brat, she’d been — having formed some odd attachment to her natural color (something to do with her dead mother, but he had not asked; her father’s eyes had not let him) but had settled into a glaring sulk when she realized he did not care.

Her hair became a striking, pearlescent cream. Fifty silver she was ought to be worth now, he’d thought. It was a rare color in the black-haired, golden-pelted masses of Solterra. (She has since sheared it short, tidying the rest of it into a row of knots strung by golden spikes along her neck. Modeled after her father’s, no doubt.)

Her coat, he had left alone. The splashes of white swirling over her stomach and legs and face had been interesting enough, and to his chagrin, the Hajakhan head had not wanted her too changed. A shame.

So he had moved on to her horn — straightened it out into a classic unicorn’s, instead of her father’s jagged crystal edges. Melded it with ivory, to shine as pearlescent as her hair. The princess had dried her tears at some point, seeming to realize how much better he was making her. She had always been quick of mind.

He’d left her eyes for last. Struck by a sudden musing, he’d leaned down and gazed into those wary, dove-grey depths. “What color would you like for your eyes, little princess?”

It had not taken her long to answer. “Green. Like emeralds, because mother had loved emeralds very much.” Her tongue had stumbled over the word ’had’. Her father’s eyes, red as embers, had darkened into coal.

The Weaver had thought the color delightful. The shade had been difficult to achieve, but he'd done it. Twenty gold pieces she was sure to fetch, for eyes as rare as emeralds. (They stare at him now, too large and too cunning. They make her look strangely starved.) The chalice was filling, filling, filling. Only one more change remained.

He had burned the sigil into her left eye without so much as a warning. She had screamed (a lovely sound), and her father’s brow had furrowed, but it had been his request. To burn a sun into her eye. To mark her as royal as any of Zolin’s.

(And as much the Weaver's as she was anyone's. For he had been the one to mark her.)

In recent visits, she has draped a scarf of emerald green embroidered with gold over her bony shoulder. She has always had a taste for the exquisite. The Weaver wonders where she got it from, but he never asks.

Just looking is enough.

- ✦ -


I
nside of her, there are two selves. There is Aghavni, and there is Sol. They do not meet.

Sol IV, the little princess of Sun. Spoiled and naive and curious and good. They had thought her foolish for laughing so much, at everything — even at Uncle Zolin. (He had not liked that, she remembers. Her mother had never left her alone with him.) Perhaps she had been nothing but a pretty little fool, but —

She had only ever wanted good for others. They had not wanted the same back.

But Sol IV died that day with her mother. Her story has already ended.

But Aghavni's story is still being written. Aghavni, princess of the White Scarab, is everything her father is. She is ambitious and quick-witted and calculating and capable. She excels in swordsmanship, in languages, in reading and weaving lies, and, above all, she is not good. Just like him. (She has discarded the childish delusion of believing fathers could only do “good” things years ago. Her father is not a good man, but when had goodness won any wars? When had goodness stopped her mother from being slaughtered by the rebels? Her father is not good, but he could do no wrong.)

If only he would see it, how similar they were! If only he would give her a chance.

But — it is not her father’s fault. She knows she is not yet ready. She knows that there are still — holes in her. Holes, left by Sol.

Because Sol had not stayed dead.

Aghavni knows that she lacks the stomach for violence, for hurting, no matter how many times she stabs and laughs and breaks what deserves to be broken. (She had pretended not to see a dealer funneling the night’s earnings into his pockets, because she knew his daughter was starving. She had convinced her father not to keep prostitutes in the Scarab, claiming that the extra mouths to feed would siphon away the gold, and besides — most came for the gambling. She has not broken what deserves to be broken - she has merely stolen them away.)

He has never said anything to her, but Aghavni knows that her father thinks she is still too good.



Sometimes, when the night is quiet and the Scarab faded to murmurs, Aghavni slips from her bed to her door and slides a rusty bolt across a hinge. Then, prying away a loose floorboard, she takes out a box bursting with trinkets. Some are gifts from her father, but more are not. (She takes things from people, when they are not looking. She is never sorry about it). From the pile she plucks out an emerald circlet, and slowly, her breaths uneven, places it on her head.

She stares into the mirror at her unblinking reflection, and tries to see her mother staring back. (“You have your mother's face,” her father has always said. All Aghavni remembers of her mother is her silvery voice and her throat slit ear to ear.) She wonders what things could have been. Would have been. Should have been.

But most achingly, she wonders: how do you write a story when you do not even know who you are?

- ✦ -


P
rincess Sol IV was born in the midst of a war.

But that is not anything special. Many children are. What made her special, however, was that she had been born from the union of the Boy King’s sister and the unknown prince of an unknown kingdom.

Senna of the Empire of Scarab, and Zofia of the House of Hajakha. They had married for love: their first mistake. Even Zolin, the younger one, had not attended their wedding, though perhaps that had been a mercy.

Their second mistake was in staying when they should have run.

Aghavni does not remember her life before the Fall. She tries and tries, but she had been months old when it had happened, and all she remembers — it comes to her in echoes — is the cruel, high-pitched laugh of her uncle, and the low, nightingale croon of her mother.

But the day of the Fall —

Sol woke up to a world on fire.

She opened her mouth to scream but closed it again when her breaths were drowned in smoke. Her nursemaids were gone, her mother was gone, and her father — he had not returned. So she dragged herself from her bed, smoke blacking out her lungs, and ran to her father’s hall.

He wasn't there. And terrified little Sol was running out of air. There remained Uncle Zolin's hall, across the castle, but he was King, and he never moved, for anyone. So he must still be there. Wiping her tears away, Sol ran, and the castle trembled after her in silent mourning.

When she pushed open the golden doors and fell into the golden room, dizzy, airless, desperate, she remembered that Uncle Zolin was dead.

"Killed by one of his pets," Father had whispered to Mother, when Sol had pretended to be asleep. Sadly, she wondered why pets would kill their masters, before laying her heavy head on the brocade carpet and falling into the arms of sleep.

When she awoke, everything was wrong. It was too dark. There was no sun, and there was always sun. And, when she turned over, Mother was there, next to her! But there was blood on the carpet, blood on Mother, blood from Mother — Sol had no strength left to scream. So she placed her head besides her mother’s bloody body, and fell into sleep again.

She awoke to her father’s deep voice. There was still no sun, because he had taken her, he said, and fled to the Hajakha’s hidden estate far across the dunes of the Mors. He assured her that they would not find them here. Obediently, Sol nodded. She did not ask who 'they' were, nor why Mother had not come with them. Her mother was dead, she knew, and her head was still too heavy for grief.

The year after the Fall was spent in an illusion of peace. Sol stayed at the estate, but her father returned to the castle to "take back what had been stolen from them." He left her in the care of her many aunts, none of them fond of the little princess (but all of them too cunning to kill her), so she was left mostly alone, except for when her aunts needed her to smile and curtsy and dance for the guests who came for midnight dinners.

But one moonless, winter night, Sol IV was stolen. Three men snuck in through her balcony at midnight, silencing two guards and a chambermaid, before dragging the princess from her bed. All she could do before her head was muffled by pillows was cry silently for the voice of her father.

And then she awoke. She always awoke. But what struck her this time, when she opened her eyes, was not the dark of the room (she was used to it now, the lack of sun) nor the throbbing of her head, but the sight of her father sitting solemn by her bed. She had not seen him for months.

“Aghavni.” He called her that sometimes, a pet name — 'dove' in his native tongue. “From now on, you will go by Aghavni. You are no longer Sol. Sol — is dead.”

“We are in Denocte. In a place called the White Scarab. Do you recognize the name?” Obediently, she nodded. “Yes. The empire of Scarab, my birthplace.” Her father's eyes darkened. “The White Scarab is an establishment I started close to a year ago, to Charon’s — and most everyone’s — protests. Yet a year later, it is a success — we are earning in the positives already — but it is young, and needs someone to care for it.” And then he looked at her, really looked at her, for the first time since she'd awoken.

“I am sorry for bringing you here that way, little dove. But the world needs to think you dead,” he said softly, his eyes gentle (they were so rarely gentle, that she was immediately comforted) before he swept up and began pacing the room. “The conditions are not good, in Solterra. The people are furious. The War was a fool’s endeavor, your — uncle — worse than a plague. Anyone related to him will be killed without hesitation, if they know you are still alive. So you must hide, Aghavni, where they will never think to look. It is... not ideal. I cannot — I am sorry.” She swallowed, and rose from the bed. “I understand, Father."

He nodded, but did not smile. “There is a new king now. Maxence. He is an interesting man, but he is not fit to rule. Soon enough he will fall. What matters, however, is that he is a foreigner, with none of the prejudices of the old nobility. Which is why I must return to the castle.” “You — you are leaving me again?" This time she could not swallow the shock. Her grey eyes burned, bright with tears, dark brows knitting in fury.

But then her father touched his nose to her forehead, and Sol's — Aghavni's — fury faded. How could she hate him? He was all she had left. “You must learn, daughter, that tears will never serve you well. Dry them." She was always obedient. It did not even hurt, much, when she obeyed and wet the hem of her gown. “I will not be gone long. And you will not be alone. There is a boy, August, who will look after you. Charon will, as well, as much as he will protest." He bit back a smile, though she knew it was private and pretended not to have seen.

She watched the lump in his throat as it rose and fell when he swallowed. “You must have patience, daughter. The time is not yet right. But one day, my dove, it will.”



She grows up in the halls of the White Scarab, where it is always night. August, a Denoctian war orphan her father had taken in months before she'd arrived, is assigned the role of her protector. He teaches her swordplay, and bickers with her. When she is not being infuriated by him, she studies languages and war and history. She reads every book in the Den’s meager library, and sneaks to the markets to buy (take) more. She watches them, the patrons, and is delighted the day Charon finally lets her work on the Floor. She practices her shuffling, and her sleight-of-hand, and her lie-telling, on August and sometimes Minya.

She waits for her father’s visits. And when he does not come, as he is more and more apt to do, she stems her disappointment with a shot of liquor stolen from the Lounge and drags August after her to the sea.

She sits on the rocky cliffs, sea spray in her hair, a conch shell in her lap, and thinks —

One day, he said. When Father said 'one day,' what he really meant was "someday, before you die."

Active & Parvus Magic

plant compulsion
Aghavni does not fully understand her magic; nor does she appreciate it, until much later. It seems to be a variant of her father's blood compulsion magic, if hers is a cousin three times removed.

Described in the barest of words, she makes plants do things. Whatever she wants, in fact; the only constraint being that she cannot make plants do ridiculous things, like talk (for they lack a brain), or turn into, say, a Siberian tiger. Her orders have to heed the particular plant species' natural, or potential, biology; meaning that she can persuade a rose to steep poison into its perfume, or a vine to whip about and twine around the ankles of an enemy, or even for a tree to uproot itself and walk laboriously across the forest floor, twisting its bark into haunting impressions of faces—but an acorn cannot become a radish, and a sunflower cannot sprout from a dead stump like a fungi.

A curious party: So how, exactly, do you make that flower over there obey you?
Her: I ask it nicely. Flatter it a bit.

She asks. Which means wrapping her will around them like a wrathful vine until they obey. Plants do not speak to her, nor she to them. She isn't an empath. Her orders to plants are carried out through the medium of thought, mostly, save for the especially stubborn specimens that require a measure of vocal persuasion.
the specifics
  • PARVUS: Unless she consciously controls them not to, plants "act up" in her presence, in varying ways. Vines tangle in her hair, flowers stretch towards her, leaves become a shade brighter.

  • DISCIPULI: At the weakest stage of her magic, Aghavni can order tulips to unfurl their petals at night (or to never close them at all), for vines to tangle slyly around ankles, for branches to whip rudely at ducked heads. Movement is the simplest thing for her to command. Small plants with shorter lifespans are much more docile and accepting of her control, while larger and older plants, like trees, only move parts of themselves when prompted and sap ferociously away at her energy. Tasks like compelling growth or manipulating a plant's core components, however, are extremely taxing and oftentimes impossible for her to accomplish. She is able to magick small, unusual things, like cultivating a violently violet rose or nourishing a particularly toxic strand of nightshade with an appetite for pink champagne—but these "spells" (as she has taken to calling them) take time, as she's unable to speed up natural processes.

  • ❖ VEXILLUM: She has become ambitious in developing her control over growth. With proper focus, and a significant amount of her daily magical quota, she can take an apple seed from sprout to sapling to bonsai-sized fruit bearing in a matter of minutes. (Reversing is a trickier process, with failure almost guaranteed. She often grows faint from attempting it.) She can coax cherry trees to bloom in winter, or compel a rosebush to grow thorns as big as daggers. With adequate stubbornness, she can even make possible the impossible: force water-loving plants to grow in sand (stunted, but growing nonetheless), or make mandrakes rip their roots from their beds and shuffle ten yards to the left, before digging back down into the dirt.

  • PERITI: Reversal of growth is now possible; she can order a field of corn to shed their husks and shrink into kernels, for example. She is able to command "armies" of mutated plants, cultivated over weeks or months, wreaking havoc by swamping a street in twisting vines, or strangling a building with multiplying banyans, or—her most deadly ability—infecting a living host with virus-like spores that grow within them, bursting out of nostrils and mouths and eye sockets in a few sleepless nights. Commanding plant movement is as easy as breathing. She no longer needs weapons, as a vine whip strewn with venomous thorns, or the fury of a battering oak tree (bark twisted into horrendous impressions of faces) are weapons enough. It is worth mentioning some limitations to her magic: never will she be able to control any plants she cannot see; her influence over them ends when she is out of range, unless she feeds them "spells" to cultivate novel, non-natural creations, like a pot of songbird-swallowing venus flytraps. (In this case, she cannot speed up growth. She can only control the growth rate of a naturally occuring plant, like a standard red rose; never one of her own manipulated ones.)

  • DOMINUS: At the peak of her power, Aghavni demonstrates full control over the plant kingdom. She can force their movement, cultivate strange new species, and weaponize them. Wherever she goes, if she steps on organic material (like dirt or sand) a copse of greenery grows in her prints, shriveling into detritus once she is a kilometer or so away. Some more clarifications on her magical limitations: as it is still compulsion, she can only manipulate living plants. Never plant material, like cotton fabric or paper, or dead plants. She cannot revive dead plants, though she can "kill" them by accelerating their growth, or infecting them with a parasitic species. She cannot communicate with plants, nor does she receive any sort of extra sensory ability through them. She cannot grow plants out of non-organic material. Aquatic plants lay largely outside her influence, and she will never be able to control them very well.




Passive Magic





Bonded & Pets





Armor, Outfit, and Accessories

outfit & accessories
  • golden spikes connected on a golden chain thread through her hair, keeping her knots in place.
  • a pearl earring shines in her right ear.
  • an emerald green scarf, spun of the finest silk and embroidered with real gold, ties loosely around her torso. sewn within its folds are multiple "pockets" just the size for holding trinkets small enough to be stolen and rarely missed.
  • the emblem of the White Scarab is tattooed on her lower left flank.
  • an elegantly crafted red silk fan cast in lacquered ebony wood that looks like — well, just a fan. but it is not just a fan. beneath its skin of silk is reinforced steel, strong enough to deflect arrows and parry blades. if thrown by a skilled hand, the fan can cut through flesh like a spinning blade, which it essentially is.
  • Aghavni is still learning how to wield her fan, as her skill lies in swinging swords — but its discreteness attracts her, and she is determined to master it; the metaphor of a pretty exterior concealing a deadly secret is not lost on her, either.



Agora Items & Awards



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Miscellaneous



past director of the white scarab, present solterran emissary, and your future solterran queen

Played by:

rallidae (PM Player)

DeviantArt:

minthee    //   

Discord:

none

Staff Log



12/09/18 +200 signos for member appreciation bonus, sent to Caine. -SID
03/16/19 Username changed from Rhys to "Aghavni", per member request. -SID
03/28/19 Character application accepted; +20 signos for visual reference. -SID
03/28/19 2 incentives redeemed: weapon (incentivized court, Night), & outfit (incentivized rank, Entertainer). Both approved and added to the Records. -SID
04/16/19 +150 Signos for "Each one a Treasure," TID3397. -SPARROW
06/04/19 +100 signos for participating in SWP thread, "a pilgrimage made strange" TID3612. -SID
06/17/19 +40 signos for participating in SWP act III, "how reality collapses," TID 3659. -SID
. 10/13/19 Active Magic Approved. Sent Discipuli Item. - NESTLE
10/30/19 Rank changed to Day Court Emissary (from Night Court Entertainer); +5 EXP for gaining a Regime rank. -SID
12/02/19 +100 signos for winning Yr504 Fall Thread of the season with "Pestilence & Penance" TID4085. -INKBONE
06/19/20 +3EXP for Rallidae's 2 year Novus anniversary -LAYLA
06/19/20 +3EXP for participating in a SWP (Island), TIDs 3546, 3612, 3659 & 3979 -LAYLA
06/19/20 +1EXP for gaining an interactive agora item (Active Magic) -LAYLA
08/06/20 +3EXP for @rallidae's 1 year Novus anniversary -LAYLA
08/06/20 +9HTH/+11ATK for 25EXP milestone -LAYLA