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  he saw my bones beneath; [relic hunt]
Posted by: Amaroq - 9 hours ago - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - No Replies


amaroq
in his own country
Death can be kind

O
h, Amaroq despises the feeling of being hunted. 

He knows, he knows, he is not the only thing in Novus’ waters with sharp teeth and sharper hunger. After he had Made the pegasus (a used pair of wings, she had said, a vessel for duty; he wonders if she knows differently now, if she marvels at her wolf’s teeth and lion’s instincts, she who had seemed so numb, half-dead) the kelpie had left the waters of the mainland. There he had waited out the winter and mourned the passing of the zenith of his powers, and there he had wondered whether he might be pursued.

But it is not the horses of Novus he is wary of now. From that first roiling of sea and earth, from that eruption of smoke and birds thick and fleeing and chaotic, the unicorn sensed the change. Something was different. Something was loose. Behemoth shapes slid long as structures in the dark far beneath the surface, and things with too many tentacles, and monsters that would dare to chase a kelpie back to the frothing shores of Denocte. 

Yet the pull of the magic is stronger still. 

It draws them all, a hum at the back of their throats, a buzzing in their blood, a new kind of need. It draws Amaroq, too - but not until night, and not until late, when the ivy is withered and all the pearls have been swept into the sea. Only then does he come, dark beneath the starless night, the seafoam color of his mane and tail like the path of the moon on the water as it sweeps over glistening black rock. When he arrives he keeps to himself; when he chances to meet another he listens only, long teeth hidden behind dark lips, nothing but another stranger in a crowd of them. There are many rumors, and none are of a kelpie who attacked a girl. They are far more interesting than that. 

He is not sure he believes in gods, of Novus or no. But he believes in magic, and that is a thick thing here, almost electric. And he believes in power, and that is what the Relic must be. And Amaroq believes in monsters, and oh, those are here too, he can smell their hot breath, hear their panting in the dark. 

The island is all strange - trees and plants that fruit and flower out of season, birthing things of metal and stone. Birds who sing too many notes in terrible patterns, too many eyes that shine out of the dark. But it is Amaroq who feels out of place here, with ice in his veins against the wet heat of the place, wandering inland from a sea that churns with creatures who have woken from a slumber of dread dreams. 

The unicorn picks his way through the forest in the dark, and ice melts in his footprints like the ring beneath a glass. No stars can cut through the canopy; the only light is the flicker of insects, the glow of mushrooms, the blue gleam that curls up the stalks of vines. He follows the sound of a stream (but nothing so commonplace as the laugh and chuckle of a brook - this water wails like a violin, it crescendos and fades like a symphony) until he finds the source of it. It cuts black, black, black across his path, and he can’t make out the bottom. 

The water laughs, and sings, and he wonders if it is singing in him, too, if it is a black thread to the heart of the island - 

Before he can drink, a figure separates from the tangle of foliage across the water. The way Amaroq lowers his horn then is both question and answer.
@open! |

rallidae

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  Charlie Log
Posted by: Charlotte - Yesterday, 06:20 PM - Forum: Logs - Replies (6)


THREADS


adventurers slash explorers with israfel ☆
there's a moon in me with seraphina ☆




REDEMPTIONS

Nothing to be redeemed



KEY
✓ complete
✕ inactive
☆ ongoing

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  tiger-lily, tiger-lily --
Posted by: Septimus - 06-23-2019, 07:15 PM - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - No Replies

WHEN I RISE UP, LET ME RISE JOYFUL, LIKE A BIRD--



There is a crowd on the beach.

Apparently, most of Novus’s population feels more comfortable on the shore than in the woods – he can’t blame them, though his reaction is mostly the opposite. Septimus does not feel uncomfortable anywhere on this island, which is too much like home to provoke him to anything more than well-deserved caution, but the wide-open expanse of the beach makes him uncomfortable. He feels far too exposed, out there; he is sure that there are dangers on the island, and they are perhaps more numerous in the forests, but, in the forest, there are places to hide. Out here, if something came barreling from the woods or creeping from the ocean, it would likely catch you – and there would be nowhere to go to escape it, save to run blindly into the danger of the woods.

But, he thinks, rather morbidly, as he examines the shoreline, there would be plenty of bodies for the beasts to go after, not necessarily his – and he did have wings, though he doesn’t trust whatever magic occupies this place to not ground him again, as it had on the bridge.

The shore doesn’t matter. He is searching for the relic, which means that he has to go inland – which means that the froth of mortals washed up like seafoam on the sand are not his concern.

With a toss of his antlered head (which makes the stones on his antlers gleam rather nicely in the mid-afternoon light), Septimus wades into the crowd, brushing shoulder and flank with tangled passerby. Somewhere, in the midst of it, he becomes vaguely aware of - someone - at his side, fiddling with the jewels. He tosses his head again, rather sharply, and extends his wings a hair, pushing the crowd back at his sides.

He slips out of them and into the woods, his strides extending gracefully the moment that he moves from sand to grass and dirt and fallen leaf; although he was in the forest only yesterday evening, it seems to have changed entirely. The trees are different. Their leaves – different. Deciduous, not coniferous. The trees are more evenly spaced, but the foliage on the ground is more dense – full of saplings, bushes, and weeds. This is of no consequence to Septimus. He strides forward with all the even certainty of a deer, marveling at the way the trees split the light into shafts – stripes of dark and light.

But he still feels eyes on his back – and, if he listens carefully, he thinks that he hears the soft crunch of hooves against leaves, somewhere behind him. Septimus stifles a snort; perhaps the thief (or so he assumes) from the beach had followed him out. If that were the case, well, then it was certainly his duty to catch them. Couldn’t just let one run around the island, stealing jewelry from unsuspecting passerby without any sort of consequence.

(Stealing from him, anyways.)

Septimus slows to a halt near the roots of an ancient, gnarled Ash tree, with branches wide enough to block out the sky in an extensive radius around the trunk. He might have sketched it, under different circumstances; he might still, once he’s dealt with his follower. For now, he steps across the roots and then, abruptly, lies down atop them. Once there, he closes his eyes, as though attempting to take a moment’s rest…

(A ridiculous notion, under the circumstances – Septimus could be rash, but he was no fool, and he knew well that there were forces at play that were far beyond his current capabilities.)

When he hears the sound of approaching hooves, drawing closer and closer still, he looks up, green eyes blinking open – at a figure. She is a little blonde slip, cream-coated and pale-haired with brilliant green eyes. The girl – for she is a girl, barely on the cusp of adulthood; he suspects that she will grow into something lovely, but, for now, a gangly hint of youthfulness still clings to her features, like a rob – is so small and lithe in frame that it almost makes Septimus smile; she is a bold creature, going after him, with his antlers and significantly larger frame. (Or perhaps she simply underestimates him because of his spectacles.) She must be about the age of some of his younger sisters, if they were mortal, and she certainly doesn’t look poor enough to need to steal. Her frame is not gaunt from hunger, and, in fact, she is rather adorned, with those spires in her hair. Septimus is tempted to gift her one of the green gemstones dangling from his antlers anyways, to reward her for her boldness.

He flashes her a sharp-toothed, cheerful smile – and he makes sure that she can see his canines. “I’d have thought that anyone brave enough to steal with a god about would be a better thief,” he observes blandly, meeting eyes that are as jewel-green as his own.




@Aghavni || <3

"Speech!" 





@

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  in the morning grace
Posted by: Septimus - 06-23-2019, 07:11 PM - Forum: Vitreus Lake - No Replies

NOW YOU'VE GONE, NOW YOU'VE GONE TO A DIFFERENT LIFE--



He’s been in Denocte for a few weeks, now, struggling to find his bearings in this strange new land.

Today, as dawn breaks over the edge of the horizon – a spill of pastel pinks and oranges cut jagged by the lunging sharpness of the mountains that he has been informed are called the Arma -, Septimus greets the day by stepping outside of the city walls for the first time since he arrived. When he entered the Night Kingdom, he thought that his magic would return in a matter of days; realm-hopping spells were always straining, particularly when they went wrong. When it became obvious that his fae-blood had been suppressed by some force that was not mere exhaustion, he’d fallen into a great and terrible despair, and he’d comforted himself by wandering the city streets, sketching the jewel-like pygmy dragons, and struggling to piece together bit by bit of information about this Novus from any passerby who seemed to be even somewhat interesting.

(The Scarab, at least, had proven good for that.)

However, tempting as it was to linger and linger until he lost his mind from the lingering, Septimus soon grew tired of sulking, and even more tired of city walls and cobblestone streets. He left before the sun could rise, and, though he suspected that he’d be back to gather supplies enough for the journey across the continent (to Delumine, which supposedly has a wonderful library which might contain some information of how to regain his magic), Septimus set to mind to enjoy the land outside of the Night Court as much as possible, for he did not know how long it would take him to return.

He circles above rolling hills, looking down.

Snow covers the ground in a thin layer of crisp white, largely untouched but discolored here and there by muddy banks. From above, it seems exceptionally pristine and linear, and it sparkles in the newborn sun as though it is made of crushed diamonds instead of frozen water. It is early spring; the snow will not remain much longer, and he suspects that it is already melting in the morning heat, but, for now, the world is blanketed in soft white, occasionally interrupted by dark stubs of grass that have already broken the surface. Dark trees, still leafless and bony from winter, sprout sporadically across the fields, near-black from the distance. (And in the early dawn; the sun is only just beginning to rise on the horizon.)

Septimus does not swoop down, his dark wings curving to make for a comfortable, circling landing, until he reaches the massive lake nestled in the territory. From above, it is like a mirror, reflecting the sky; half is the bright rose of dawn, but half is still dark, so dark that he can still see the stars. He lands on the bank, hooves digging into the wet soil (half from the lake and half from the melting snow), and stares out across the water, at nothing.

It’s quiet – not even the birds are out yet, this early, and it isn’t late enough in spring for the bugs. Tucking his wings over his pack neatly, Septimus stares out across the water wistfully.

He longs, for a moment, for home.





@August || <3

"Speech!" 





@

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  the edge of paradoxes
Posted by: Antiope - 06-23-2019, 06:01 PM - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - No Replies

”Is there something behind it?”

Antiope grasps the handle of her axe a little harder, turning eyes as blue as the churning sea toward the girl who has come up behind her. There are no monsters swarming beneath the surface of her gaze, but it looks like there could be, looks like perhaps the lioness in her bones isn’t so far under her skin as she seems.

“No,” she replies, turning toward where her axe had struck the vines. Her blade, gifted by gods with a heat so bright and burning it could cut through most things, had made not a single mark on the wall of ivy. “My weapon has never failed me before. Whatever this is, it is magic—a strange, powerful magic.”

In a moment the glowing of her axe’s double-headed blades has dimmed down to nothing, making it appear once again as just a normal labrys, before she places it back in the sling about her chest and sides. She turns fully toward the other equine, and her eyes are like a wave as they rise up and over her newfound companion, scouring her form. She sported a pearlescent horn and golden spikes in her mane, as sharp as any weapon. As sharp as any tongue, too, Antiope thought.

“I don’t believe there is a way through, unless you have got any ideas,” Antiope takes a step away from the wall, putting less distance between her and this stranger, and she thinks that there are so many reasons she wants to go beyond the ivy. As many reasons, she assumes, as it has for keeping her out. But she’s not sure her reasons are strong enough to keep her standing here. To see if it eventually reveals its secrets.

There is something else about her, though, as she stands there backed by the bridge and the water and the sky. Something wild and untamed and otherworldly. Perhaps it is the depth of her eyes or the shadows of her stripes, or the blood red she wears so casually splashed across her throat, in her hair, around her eyes. “You’re the first I’ve seen since coming out here.” Where were the rest?


credits | @Aghavni

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  ' ' many & many a babbled note *
Posted by: Moira - 06-23-2019, 12:40 PM - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - No Replies





two we were, and the heart was one;
which now being dead, dead i must be
She moves like shaded silk, hidden and quiet and smooth. Dark feet press into damp earth as jungles to the girl of fire, the girl of light, open and unfold before her. Phoenix flame burns but does not hurt, heals but does not die. Everlasting, like the resilience of a storm, like the easy rolling of shoulders and tucking of wings.

There was a time once when the Tonnerre would have been frightened of her wings (she flinches still from time to time) and shied away from the wooded areas that could catch them and remind her of how different and wrong she had been within her family. The Estate was not a place for kindness, not a place for one to be different and stand out in the fashion that Moira Tonnerre had. She was a crime, a sin, a punishable being to be mocked and ridiculed. But now, all of that is in the past.

Estelle is a whisper on the wind that brings tears to her when the moon is dark and her tiger is the only one there to hold her. Only the jungle beast can see her weak, can see her crumble and fall. For the world, Moira is flame given breath and a beating heart in mortal skin.

Rendered piece by piece from the past and the future, she is the purring culmination of the skies on fire, of dreams unending, of something more, something wanting. How she wants then looking over large fronds that beg her to taste them, to kiss the dew from their palm. A rumble sounds nearby, and soon the brushing of fur cuts along her hip. From the shadows a tigress came, a mother and sister and lover and secret keeper finding home once more, and there she embraces her winged, strange cub.

The Pegasus cannot frown, not when her companion (so concerned with that frown, with a half snarl and bared fangs upon dark and pale lips) came so far. "Neerja," the phoenix breathes. In that moment, she is not a flame, not stars falling, not breaking dreams being rebuilt. She is merely Moira and the tiger is merely Neerja. A girl and beast, but which is which, Moira does not know. "Denocte…?" She asks, brows furrow to match the grim line of the jungle cat. 'Fine,' rumbles the cat, annoyance wrapped with a bow in a single word. 'I didn't eat anyone. You're welcome.'

And the girl laughs, a grin breaking like the dawn so few hours ago at last.
"You must have run all night."
'For you, I would go further.'
"Let's look now then, shall we?"


empluvie | echo | @Asterion | "speech"

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  a rose by any other name
Posted by: Ipomoea - 06-23-2019, 12:38 PM - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - Replies (1)

rose-colored boy



The steller’s jay was a brilliant flash of blue amongst all the green, appearing and disappearing from the shadows in rapid succession. His song was bright, almost as bright as his feathers - echoing off the long, flat leaves surrounding them, making its way back to his bonded like a beacon guiding him through the forest.

It was a forest unlike any Ipomoea had seen before, a forest that was awash in so many shades of green and viridescent. Occasionally he passed a flower, with petals long and draping and bright enough to burn his eyes amidst their monotonous background. He stopped at each one, dipping his head low enough to smell -

- Only once did he regret it, when it was not the fragrant scent of roses rising up to greet him, but the fetid smell of something rotting and decaying, like a slab of meat left out all day in the sun. Its smell had betrayed its beauty - for it truly had been one of the most remarkable blooms he had ever seen, with layer after layer after layer of corollas radiating out from the center, overlapping one another in an intricate, seemingly purposeful design. It had had a waxy layer over each petal, so thick and translucent and shiny that it was as if the entire flower had been encased in glass, and the light reflecting off of that coating had only made its orange appear all the more fiery, like a setting sun. “A flower from another world indeed,” he had murmured, as he held his breath and edged away.

It was funny, how each flower was so unique. There was no rhyme nor reason to the plants here, no sameness uniting them together as a species. Their colors, although similarly vibrant, never matched; their scents varied from rose-like to putrid to everything in between, including scents he had never dreamed of before. They varied both in the shape of their petals, and their number: one had a scant two petals adorning its seeds, but others seemed to have nearly a hundred times that amount. Even the vines dangling from the canopy overhead seemed to change every so many steps, whether it was in color or texture or some other trivial aspect.

And yet, Ipomoea noticed. He noticed everything about this strange new world, seeing and taking it all in with a mixture of wonder and apprehension that left a foreign taste in the back of his throat. He wanted to be amazed - Ipomoea wanted to see something wonderful, something hopeful, something beautiful - and this island, surely, could do just that. He just had to force down the questions that continuously reared their ugly heads in the pit of his stomach, quiet the doubts that they spoke.

He walked slowly amongst the trees - for if he rushed, he may have missed something, and that simply would not do. This land was foreign to him - or maybe he was foreign to it - and if the flowers weren’t enough to clue him in, the rest of the island surely was. He would need to tread carefully here, for even when the island was inviting him in, calling him sweetly, gently forward, he knew better. Just like the flower with the beautiful arrangement yet foul smell, surely not everything was as it seemed here. It was too perfect, yet it reeked of magic and mischief, like Tempus had made himself a dream retirement home that had never been meant for mortals to walk.

Everything about it begged the mortals of Novus forward, promising them that it had somehow been made for them. The volcano exploding, the island recovering seemingly overnight, the bridge that connected one land to the other - it all attested to that.

“Don’t wander too far,” Ipomoea cautioned the steller’s jay aloud, yet his voice felt strangely muted by the foliage, as if the density of the forest were pressing in against him. As if the forest is swallowing us alive, he thinks grimly, sidestepping a vine that seemed to creep across the ground before his very eyes, reaching its prickly fingers towards him. His wings shuffled uneasily, wrapping themselves about his fetlocks like a worried embrace. A soft trill was the only response from his bonded, as his blue feathers disappeared once again into the shadows. It took only a minute for his song to fade away, for the whisper of his wings to silence, for the wind stirred to life by his feathers fall still once more.

And in his absence, the young regent felt strangely alone and vulnerable, as the trees leaned in around him.





yesterday i
was clever,
so i wanted
to change
the world

today i am wise
so i am changing

myself




@Ipomoea ! relic hunting
”here am i!“

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  Anandi
Posted by: Anandi - 06-23-2019, 12:24 AM - Forum: Accepted - Replies (1)

Character Application

Player: Rae
Referred By: n/a
Characters: @Eik @Mateo
Are all characters active? yep!
When was your last character approved? Definitely more than 2 weeks!
Have you filled out the "OOC Account ID" Field? yes

Name: Anandi
Age: 3
Birth season: Winter
Court: Dusk
Rank: Commoner

Health: 7
Attack: 14

Items: n/a
Restricted Item Redemption Post: n/a
Incentives: n/a
Other: Thank you! <3


~~~

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  teeth of many martyrs;
Posted by: Seraphina - 06-23-2019, 12:21 AM - Forum: Bridge to Nowhere - Replies (1)



MAYBE THERE ARE NO BEGINNINGS.
maybe nothing is an elegy, in the way rain from indoors is neither a beginning nor an end.



At first, she thinks that it is a trick of the light.

The morning is foggy, after all, but the sun has risen; she was still on the beach when dawn broke. It must be nearing the afternoon, by now, but she can’t tell for the fog. She hadn’t seen it, when she’d walked into the woods soon after waking on the shoreline. (She doubted that it is any safer on the beach than in the forest, but it is clearer, and she is accustomed to sand, so she is sure that she is more difficult to trick on the shoreline.) The forest is silent, save for the snap of her hooves against fallen branches and pine needles, and, with the fog so thick and pale, likely reflecting the sunlight, it feels otherworldly. Anything more than ten or fifteen feet away from her is obscured, taking the form of a dark, light-slashed silhouette, rather than an actual being. The air is almost painfully still, and it is thick from the humidity; sweat beads on her skin and drips dark trails down her silver flanks, collects under the hood of her scarf, mats in her hair. The rich greens and deep browns of the trees are reduced to murky charcoal in the fog, desaturating them until they are as grey as she is; they stand, eerily still and silent, and no part of them seems to be exempt from the fog, which must extend above the canopy.

So, at first, when Seraphina sees a strange shape, half-obscured by the trunk of the great tree, though something in the all-too familiar shape of the silhouette gives her a moment’s pause, she dismisses it as a trick of the light. It is gone when she moves closer, and, if she hears a branch snap and the rustle of movement when it disappears, like something is passing through the leaves…

It could be anywhere. The air is thick enough to muffle sound and confuse its direction.

Ereshkigal’s talons dig into her armor, and she can feel the press of them against her shoulder. She does not send her away to scout, this time; the vulture is a comforting, if not necessarily warm, presence, and another set of eyes. Seraphina almost wishes that she were speaking, because, something about that silhouette…

A branch snaps under the weight of her hoof, and she nearly flinches, then chides herself inwardly. She’s being ridiculous.

But then comes the feeling of eyes.

They bear into her back, making her skin crawl; she tells herself that it is just her paranoia. Gods know, she’s gotten paranoid. So sure that the world is out to hurt her, so sure that it is a twisty, untrustworthy thing, that it will betray her the moment that it is given the chance. Even if there is something out there with her, it could easily be another horse, or one of those wildcats. Even birds could seem far larger than they were in such a disorienting and all-encompassing silence, in such an unnatural place.

But, in spite of her insistence, Seraphina looks back over her shoulder and freezes.

There is that silhouette again, distinctly equine – she can just make out the shape of wings on its back, tucked in neatly at its side. Long, matted hair drips from the side of its neck, trailing the ground. But it is those horns that give Seraphina pause, unnatural and draconian; they curve out and inward, to sharp points, as though something spherical could rest between them. (And it did, sometimes, with magic.) She doesn’t move. For a moment, she can’t move.

It can’t be him, she tells herself, staring at that shadow. It stares back. It can’t be him because he is dead – she watched him die. She watched him burn alive.

(There is a pain in the back of her skull, dull and throbbing, that reminds her of what he cut from her. She can imagine his eyes on the shadow – gold, then black mirrors, too dark to reflect light.)

The shadow turns, and then it is gone again, disappearing into the fog. For a moment, Seraphina simply stands, choking on her tongue; her legs tremble, and then they straighten. She forces herself to look in the other direction, and then to walk, even though her limbs feel liquid. She does not believe in ghosts, but she is in the realm of the god of time – who is to say he couldn’t have pulled him back from another time and put him in the woods?

(She forces herself to think. More realistically, it’s some kind of mimic. Each snapped branch makes her wonder if it is following her; some kind of creature from the woods, taking the form of something that it doesn’t want to see. Or maybe it is merely another horse who happens to look like him from a distance, who happens to share his features. Or she could be mistaken. It could be some strange deer, or-)

Ereshkigal forces her from her thoughts. “Do you think that it’s following us?” For once, she is grateful for the vulture’s obvious desire to irritate her; it breaks the silence.

“No,” she responds sharply. She doesn’t feel those eyes on her back anymore, but she can hear branches snapping in the distance, as though something is approaching – but keeping its distance.

She has the distinct feeling that she is being toyed with.

“Let’s keep going,” she says, instead of responding, with a shake of her head; Ereshkigal gives a sharp, verbal laugh, but she doesn’t stop her, and is even charitable enough to pretend not to notice when the silver mare quickens her strides.

As she descends further into the woods, however, Seraphina can’t shake the feeling that the fog is growing thicker; it should have subsided with time, but, instead, her visibility continues to decrease, until she can only see five or six feet around her. She keeps walking. If she keeps walking – and pretends that nothing is off – it might ignore her.

But she can’t shake the feeling of eyes.




@ || another open, just because...island. || "orbit," victoria chang; title is from "in the pines" by alice notley

"Speech!" || "Ereshkigal!"





@

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  kill the lights
Posted by: Blyse - 06-22-2019, 11:27 PM - Forum: The Night Court - No Replies


one sword out of many.
Time had a way of moving that defied the mind’s conception; sometimes so slowly that each day we ache with anticipation of the future.  Other times, even the most monumental of moments seem to slip away before we can grasp the gravity of them.  Even the sun and moon are held hostage by this phenomenon and seemingly unaware all the while.  It was when Blyse found himself wedged between those two dissident movements of time that he became truly convinced of them.  Because from the time he first unfurled his wings to leap from the dirt of his homeland for the very last time to the moment where he stood before a castle of stone that begged him to come nearer, there was just a blur.  But now, time stood almost so still that he thought he was the only thing in motion.  And oh how he ached with anticipation.  So much, that his steps quickened the nearer he got to her gates and even more so when he crossed her threshold. 

He knew that now was the time to banish the thought of a homeland other than Denocte.  He started growing in to a sense of belonging once he had discovered the ability of illusion in him that only his time in Denocte had brought out.  At first, he had denied it just as he denied coming to Denocte the first time he had the chance.  He didn’t know half of the things about Novus back then than he knew now.  And he still knew very little by comparison to its lifelong citizens.  To only himself would he admit that he was regretful for not following the delicate beast that first invited him to Denocte.  What is the saying?  Better late than never?  That, too, was a monumental moment that whisked by in the blink of an eye.  He hadn’t wanted a home yet.  He hadn’t wanted for much, in fact.

Now he wanted nothing more than to control his illusions as he controlled all other things in his life.  As he passed between the keep’s sentinels, he remembered where he first learned to take control: in the ranks of steel-minded militants.  Blyse believed discipline and grit would take his illusions where he desired them to go.  That is what he came for.  The keep beckoned him deeper in to her walls with promises of the future he wanted.  He eagerly obeyed.

In her walls, he found he was not the only thing moving after all.  Night brought the castle to life, so much so that in some parts the citizens brushed shoulders as they went about their business.  He didn’t care for the bustle or the noise, truth be told, but a thriving city gave promise to his purpose.  How dare he complain?  He studied faces, studied wings, studied carvings in the stone and the colors on the banners.  Time was creeping after all.  That made it feel like there was more of it to spare.  Blyse took it all in—the sights, the smells, and the sounds.  Faint whispers and loud cries and…the rattling of chains.

His eyes snapped in the direction of that familiar sound and through thinly-parted iron gates he saw only a silhouette.  He didn’t hesitate.  Blyse slipped between hurrying bodies and pushed passed the gate, which groaned in an angry protest.  He briefly wondered if sound could be masked with an illusion.  If it could, he would learn to do it.  What he saw beyond the gate was a garden, thick with dark green foliage and blooms of indiscernible colors.  This was no longer something strange as everything in Denocte thrived without light.   In its midst, caped in chains and wielding her dagger, an acquaintance that had been all too brief.

“Isra.” He said simply, his focused gaze bidding hers to come meet it.
 
@Isra 

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