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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 241 — Threads: 34
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Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 59 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#1


Never trust the story teller.
This place is his latest haunt, and he has spent much time exploring it and thinking about how it came to be. He does not understand walls, rules, and social subtleties. He cannot read and doesn't even realize that he has the power to move things with his mind. But he knows the earth. When he looks at the canyons he sees the ancient river that carved its path over hundreds of years. He sees how much water once flowed through here, and the time it took to cut through stone. But he does not know where the water went, why it is now just a trickle through parched, ancient land.

It is unlikely he will answer all of the questions he has, even if he spends the rest of his life in pursuit of the answers. It seems that for every question he answers, another three spring up, like the heads of a hydra.

But here he is, persistently chopping away at the monster.

He is somewhat surprised to see another standing before the canyons he's come to think of as his own,

(King of sand and stone-- is that-- is that pride that begins to swell your chest? You thought you were better than that, but you get tangled in your thoughts. Die ego die!- but only sometimes)

but as he approaches he instantly feels at ease with the other stallion. He has the sense that the man doesn't pretend to be something he's not. Eik could be wrong, of course. It doesn't really matter anyway.

"The best view is from above. Join me?" Before the answer is spoken he surges forward and begins to ascend. It looks imposing, but is not so bad once you start. He has been to the top a few times and knows a route that he believes to be fairly safe, so long as you are sure footed and move with confidence. He begins working his way diagonally as the rock becomes too steep to climb straight up.

The scarred grey is about a third of the way up before he looks back to the younger stallion. He offers a rare, encouraging smile as his sides swell with his deep breath. Fall is upon them and he is a man in motion. He is in high spirits today.

Only trust the story.
- E I K


sorry this is all over the place... I hope @Vadim isn't afraid of heights!





Time makes fools of us all
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#2

Vadim has been exploring.  It takes him to many places in the harsh land of Solterra and even beyond it's borders.  Some places remind him of home.  Others don't.  Today he watches the wind, captured between canyon walls, tumble sand and dirt along it's tempestuous path.  Fingers of air reach up to rub along his tress-less neck, tug playfully at the pale strands of his tail.  His thoughts today are not drawn down the path of the wind though.  Instead they circle in his mind like wild dogs, worrying the corpse of philosophy.  Worrying old questions, dead questions, replaying conversations with his feminine doppleganger in his mind.  And still the words do not connect.  It is if he seeks to build a puzzle with only a few pieces- not enough to even see what the picture might be.

The new arrival's voice startles him from his thoughts and his body is at once animated, hooves skittered on the edge of sand and stone, ears flicking up to alert attention.  His smile is easy but curious as his sky-colored eyes trace the larger stallion's path, looking up at the height he seeks to climb.  It seems less treacherous than the mountains that he lost himself in for a time over the summer.  The wind picks up, brushes along his cheek like the flirtations of a lover.  He follows it, picking his way daintily along the trail in the steps of this stranger (is he a stranger?  Perhaps he saw him at the meeting).  

It has been a long time since he has felt welcomed by someone within this court which is now his home.  He answers the encouraging smile with a smile of his own- it is good to see a truly friendly face.  He captures the moment in his mind, hanging it like a portrait.  A memory to go back to when he feels hemmed in by antagonistic people who barely tolerate each other.  Even if it is fleeting, he will take friendship where it is offered.  He has no trouble on the steep slope though he is not a creature of mountains.  But he is clever and he learns- he watches the path the grey takes and follows it though his own long limbs feel awkward here, as though he must take mincing steps to match the other's sure-footedness.  He saves his breath for the climb.  

When Vadim reaches the height that is their destination he stops- though the climb did not leave him breathless, the view nearly does.  His eyes squint half-closed as he turns his head into the breeze that courts them here, wide nostrils inhaling the scents it carries.  Privately he greets the wind- once, it did not feel so personal to him.  Now the wind is sometimes his sole company and he finds he misses it on still days in a way he misses little else.  "You were right- it's beautiful"

@Eik




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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 241 — Threads: 34
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Day Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 59 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#3


Never trust the story teller.
Perhaps they were mountain goats once, long ago-- or perhaps they will be. He does not spend much time pondering destiny, but thoughts like these come and go like scents in the breeze, the sort that are gone before you can identify them. Oh, but how they trigger particular feelings, the sort you don't have words for.

(But what are you without words? Are the canyons they stand on comprised of granite alone, or also the empty space that has been carved away?)

Regardless of what was or will be, the clamor of hooves on stone is satisfying here and now. Eik is pleased by the company- no snark nor fire, just quiet companionship to the top. And at the top, he is pleased by the view and the breeze and the sweat on his hide. A very rare sense of contentment settles over him. He cannot remember the last time he felt this way.

"Beautiful, yes, but not so welcoming." But is that not part of the allure?

Looking down across the desert, he feels as if he both does and does not belong here. How different it is from the tundra of his homeland, and yet there are similarities. Most notably, they are both quite inhospitable, though their temperatures are at opposite extremes of the scale. At least in the tundra the plants don't try to stab you. (don't get us started on how he loathes cacti) "How did you come to be here... Solterra." He asks, thoughts drawn back to the man beside him. He suspects the man is a foreigner, as himself. Eik's otherness is inescapable, it reveals itself in the inflection in his speech, the way sentences end like questions and questions like statements. The way he says Sol-ter-a.

Only trust the story.
- E I K







Time makes fools of us all
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#4

The sunlit stallion keeps a step back from the very edge, enjoying the sweeping vistas viewed from the height.  The mountains loom close past the canyon, and on the other side the amber sea of the desert stretches away.  The larger stallion's words cause an ear to cock towards him, listening and considering.  Unwelcome?  He'd never thought of the desert that way.  He can see why the jagged walls of the canyon are perhaps less than hospitable but the vast plains of sand?  Harsh, certainly.  But... unwelcome?  

"I suppose..."  he ventures, unconvinced.  There is something about the whole of Solterra that he finds exciting, alluring.  Except, perhaps, the people.  The rest draws him in though, with it's vast spaces and the whispers of home.  Even the canyon seems like little more than a runway, with high walls to echo the sound of hoof-beats back and forth until a single horse could sound like a herd by himself.  He tosses his head.  No mane emphasizes the motion, leaving it seem unfinished.  His hooves dance and scrape along the rock, weight shifting as though he cannot stand to be still.  

Vadim hesitates at the question though.  To him the strange phrasing carries a weight of meaning that a 'where are you from' or 'what are you doing here' just don't quite have.  So he considers his answer carefully.  "There was no place for me with the people of my birth.  This place is a little like it, though the people are very different so when I got here I stayed.  Maybe I can make a place for myself here."  

The words are frank, simple.  It is the best summary he has of his small history.  Having heard what he has of the history of Solterra, his own seems puny and insignificant.  Though he doubts he will ever abandon the beliefs he was raised with completely, perhaps it is best to simply put history to bed.  To adopt the identity of Solterra as so many seem to do as a matter of survival.  

"What of you?"  His curiosity, ever questing, is piqued by the odd lilt of the other stallion's speech.  What kind of people speak so- what language truly matches the cadence with which he speaks?  

@Eik




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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 241 — Threads: 34
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Day Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 59 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#5


Never trust the story teller.
The lack of conviction in the man's voice pricks his interest. Eik looks at the other stallion with a small, curious smile. "Do you?" He cherishes words freely spoken and would encourage the other man to speak without conscience, were it in his nature to say so in so many words.

He nods his head gently as the man speaks his tale. His story is similar in some ways to Eik's own. There is nothing glamorous to them, nothing magical or particularly powerful. Is it merely chance that brings them together on this rock, or something more? One of them dances and the other moves barely at all.

The question is turned and Eik finds that his heart, the defiant thing, is beating ever slightly faster. "When I lost my family, this is where my legs brought me." It is the short of things, the long of it is saved for nightmares of smoke and ash. He doesn't speak much of his past, for there isn't much to say. Life endures, however cruelly, or it does not.

So they try to put history to bed. Not that he doesn't still ache for it. But pain doesn't bring anything but more pain.

He wonders if the other man has found what he seeks here, but does not want the question echoed back at him. Only because his answer is too complicated, and how could anyone understand? It is like a child chasing the waves at the ocean- though he does so without delight.

(A poor simile then, but we've never been good at cut and dry. We're full and full of words and words, though we try to speak so little. Only let the essential ones escape us.)

So he does not ask another question, not yet. "I'm Eik." Not a stranger, not a ghost.

Only trust the story.
- E I K


@Vadim





Time makes fools of us all
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#6

An odd pair they make, this warrior of many thoughts and few words and the sage who would be a bard if the sands of time allowed.  Whatever magic Vadim possesses lies in words and the power he believes they hold- or at least, it will be once he learns to wield them well.  And what quiet magic does the listener have?  The power to draw truth from silence, to bring comfort when no words can give it.  For the golden stallion is at some loss for what to say in response to this not-so-strange stranger's words of loss.  What pretty turn of phrase is appropriate in the face of such tragedy even spoken of in such simple words.  Instead he falls still and silent for a moment, as though the gravity of such a thing roots him to the ground.  He has never known such loss.  He knows that his parents live, or at least they did when he left.  He is relatively untouched by tragedy.

The moment does not last long though and thoughts of home are quick to bring his attention back to the desert around them and the question of it's welcome.  "I grew up in a desert not so different from this.  Golden dunes stretched out like a slow-moving sea, shifted only by time and wind.  So I suppose I can't think of it as unwelcoming because it will always be where I wish to be."  He speaks with confidence, as though it will always be true.  Perhaps it will.  Perhaps he is simply still too young to understand the vast changes that life may bring.  

"The mountains there are imposing, but they are the walls of the Night Court so perhaps it is not Solterra with is unwelcoming."  There are spoken with a sense of humor, a lightness that suggests they not be taken seriously.  Though he has not met many from other courts, he has danced in the sea with the Night King and he does not think the court is so unwelcoming.  Perhaps there is tension between them but as of yet there seems to be nothing to keep him from enjoying the beauty and theater promised by the Night Court.  He will go there eventually- there is just so much to learn of his own court first.

"I am Vadim- it's funny, isn't it, how many of us aren't native?  The lost and exiled, wanderers and outcasts.  What a funny lot we are."  His pale gaze roves away from Eik, the words tumbling from his lips as long held thoughts escape, musing freely on the breeze that plays around them.

@Eik




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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 241 — Threads: 34
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Day Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 59 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#7


Never trust the story teller.
Vadim shares his history and Eik nods- it makes sense then. Raised by the desert, and loyal to it. Don't we all have that attachment to the place we were born and raised? If not from true affection then surely misplaced nostalgia. Why else would Eik cherish his homeland-- a place just as harsh and unforgiving as Solterra, if not moreso.

"I understand."" He thinks about why he chose this kingdom to live in-- he almost forgets what his reasoning was. The reasons were never very important, and time has only further worn them down. He is simply a boat without an anchor, and this is where the tide has pushed him.

His gaze moves to the mountains of the night court, and the lightness of Vadim's words draws a soft snort of amusement from the scarred grey. "Ah, the scary night court." His words are solemn but bone dry. He cracks a smile, and his moment of humor passes. "Have you been there?" His interest is piqued- he is forever curious about new places, and his encounter with the night court prisoner had only intrigued him more. "I woud like to see it for my self." There is a lively glimmer in his eyes and for a moment he seems a much younger man. Mischevious, even.

Vadim. He commits the name to memory. "Well met Vadim." When he thinks about Solterra, about Novus, and how it is a land of immigrants, he does not see what is funny about them, and a single ear flickers in hesitation. It all seems a bit sad, really.

(but you think about the words that make you up, and how each word can bloom into ten others, and you think of those ten blooming into a hundred and before you know it your thoughts are spiraling and you are a thousand sunflowers- or something more serious. Roses, perhaps. Perhaps you are roses)

(and the feeling is nice and you don't laugh (it aint that funny) but you smile, half elsewhere.)

Beyond the sadness, maybe it is a little funny. He sees it now, on the other side of the roses. They are like some odd circus. He wonders what it is that draws them here. And before he can get lost in his thoughts again, lost thinking about the drive and ambitions of all the lost (lost lost lost; do you have a thesaurus) souls here, he speaks.

"Funny how our paths converge." Not just Eik and Vadim, but the rest of the pilgrims and wanderers. "Sometimes, I have the sense that there is meaning to it all, some divine path we all walk, but it comes and goes..." His gaze drifts across the sand and to the day court, which seems so small and insignificant from here. You might even think it was made of sand. "And then sometimes I think why does it matter anyway? We all turn to dust."

Only trust the story.
- E I K


@Vadim yeesh <3





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#8

"Not yet."  He grins, unadultered excitement in his expression.  "They're going to be holding some kind of festival though, later in the year.  I've heard so much of their theater and performance that I can only hope a fraction of the stories are true."  And perhaps a part of him both hopes and is terrified of the opportunity to do a little storytelling himself.  He feels rusty- he as only practiced in the lonesome desert, his only audience the sun and wind.  In addition, the stories he knows are likely of little interest to most people here in Novus.  

Perhaps funny was the wrong word for their little ragtag group (not so little anymore).  But it was queer and odd and funny was the best word he could think of.  Nor did he really noticed Eik's hesitation.  His restless eyes instead drink in the landscape and perhaps see beyond to something that is truly only in his head, imaginings and philosophy that at once comforts and disconcerts.  To be to comfortable is to be complacent- he would rather be on uncertain footing with infinite futures than on certain ground with no way to move forward.  In the grand scheme of the world he is not yet so old that he knows without a doubt where he stands.  Some people never do.  His view of the world is an ever-evolving thing, shaped by the words he hears and the things he sees.

His attention is drawn back to Eik and something in Vadim's smile echoes an air of mischief- and also a fleeting touch of sadness.  He settles there for a moment, one hind hoof cocked in easy relaxation as he shifts his weight to the other three limbs.  His tail flicks, salt white against brilliant gold as it lashes across his hip.  He chooses his words carefully, like a blind man groping in the dark.  There is something here, something important.  Perhaps not to Eik but in the core of Vadim's being he begins to put words to this feeling he has not before described.  

"I don't believe in fate."  There, that is easy enough.  The rest comes with more hesitation, though not because he lacks confidence in the idea.  Only because he is trying to find the right words to speak accurately, clearly.  "Why do we need a divine purpose to give our life meaning?  It means something to us, as we stand here speaking.  It means something to those who know us, who might mourn- or celebrate- our passing."  

Again a pause, and this time his eyes drift thoughtfully towards the sky, narrowing against the brilliance of the sun.  "The choices we make give our life meaning.  For the likes of you and I, our choices may only affect our lifetime.  For those like Maxence, his choices will echo through history for generations."  Abruptly he shakes his head with a huff of laughter.  "I suppose I just mean to say that I think life has the meaning we give it.  For me, at least, that's enough."

@Eik 
Sorry about the delay!  Vadim is waxing philosophical.




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Played by Offline Rae [PM] Posts: 241 — Threads: 34
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Day Court Outcast
Male [He/Him/His] // 11 [Year 493 Spring] // 15.3 hh // Hth: 27 — Atk: 33 — Exp: 59 // Active Magic: Telepathy // Bonded: N/A
#9


Never trust the story teller.
Eik knows little of the characteristics of the courts of Novus. He had no idea that theater and performance were skills of the Night Court, and learning this makes him feel mixed feelings. He is a man of stories plainly told and does not much see the value in the embellishment of words. But the thought of a people that does, that intrigues him. It is not like anything he's ever known.

(Made of stories, can you blame his intrigue?)

"I would like to see that..." He muses, thoughts drifting with the wind, and for a moment he is elsewhere.

And then he returns. He has not thought specifically about his beliefs in some time. They are the framework through which he looks at the world, but he doesn't often analyze them. It is a good thing to do, on occasion. He is often surprised by the way they have changed without his notice, like some part of himself is going in one direction while the rest of him is veering another way.

It is easy to get lost in the structure beneath the structure, in asking yourself why why why you think a certain way. It is easy to become obsessive and to then drive yourself mad with the questioning. So he doesn't think of it much, but it is nice to hear the thoughts of another, especially one so young. Well- Vadim isn't so young as much as Eik feels so old. Eik finds himself nodding silently as the other man speaks, a small smile spreading at the conviction in his voice.

"I used to feel the same." He pauses, carefully considering his next words. With age comes certainty in a good number of things, but in some cases... my, how the rug is pulled out from under you. Time wears everything down. "I often still do." But there is something he doesn't understand, just beyond his senses. It is just this thing that washes over him from time to time, this eerie feeling that he is looking at everything through a veil. He wants to reach forward and push the veil aside but never can.

Divinity and reality and the strings on which the world vibrates. It makes him uncomfortable to think about, and he shifts his weight as though trying to settle himself once again.

"I think regardless of what you believe in, it is important to stand by your convictions." He hesitates again, instantly thinking of many atrocious acts committed in the name of conviction. But at the end of the day, everyone lives their own life, and all that matters is the way you judge yourself.

The man's laugh is a relaxing sound, and it eases Eik's uncertainty. "You don't believe in the gods, then?" He asks plainly, no hint of judgement in his voice. Just curiosity and the tumble of water over river pebbles.

Only trust the story.
- E I K


@Vadim no worries!





Time makes fools of us all
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