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Beautifully drawn by Sid (Erasvita@DA)!
Current Novus date and time is
... currently in progress!

 Year || 503
 Season || Fall
 Temp || 35℉ (℃) - 69℉ (℃)
 Weather || The iron grip of Summer has slowly faded into the gentler Fall embrace. The morning dew frosts over in the early morning hours and melts by the time the sun hits high in the sky. Many of the trees have traded their lush, vivid green for a more suitable array of red and orange hues. But don't blink, for Winter's cold embrace is fast upon Fall's heels.


Character of the Season

Member of the Season

Thread of the Season
r.i.p. to my youth;

Pair of the Season
Atreus and Fiona

Quote of the Season
"Are there lines she's crossing? Should she toe them or touch them with a pole and stay away wholly? But to avoid such a storm he offers, such a taste of life; to withhold herself from the chance to taste starlight, to love satin and silk and swallow pomegranate seeds not yet offered... She should be stronger." — Moira in
Small as a wish in a well

see here for nominations


Private - small as a wish in a well;
Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 2,925
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 282 — Threads: 28
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 76
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)

He does not read the brittle bitterness in her smile, the dim hurt in her eyes - it is not something he can recognize, incomparable from his own memories of home, of family. His is not without its hurts (most all of them orbiting Talia like a sun, his twin and whatever is broken between them, something that shattered and pierced both their hearts like ice or like a blade).

But he understands the way she shifts the conversation away, for it is a tactic he is well accustomed to employing. Asterion wonders what pain it is she keeps from him, what it means that she does - he should have learned by now not to kiss a girl with secrets. He should have learned that sometimes you have to dig, to find the truth like roots beneath the soil, dirty and essential.

The king is still too shy for it, too boyish, too afraid he might dig too deep, might sever something vital. So he only smiles and follows her through the doorway, telling himself her words are nothing but snowflakes, lovely and frail, to melt on his skin and leave only the memory of their touch.

As she guides them through the hallways his gaze strays between their surroundings and the girl who leads them, bright as a flame in the dim even with her bandaged wing. He does not miss the way those she meets greet her, with smiles and nods and recognition, with gratitude and love. Oh, she is a phoenix indeed, a beacon - and he a fading star.

“It seems everybody is rather fond of you,” he says, and wonders if she can read in his eyes the way he wants to tuck an errant curl back behind her ear, the way he wants to say I am fond of you too. It is close enough through the final doorway that he brushes against her folded wings, cool and soft as snow.

The organized chaos of the kitchens is a comfort, the smells warm and homey. The king had not realized the tension in his shoulders until it eases away, nor his hunger until his stomach growls; he ducks his head sheepishly even as a mare bustles forward, greeting Moira. For the moment Asterion hangs back, only wearing his smile (one that broadens as the cook speaks) - until she says handsome and husband. Then his skin flushes, then all of the day’s chill melts away far more quickly than even the cook-fires should allow; his gaze on the phoenix-girl is wide. Ah, but it is not only embarrassment that warms his cheeks - it is the truth at the heart of it, his own secret the way the words make his heart leap, its beat quickening with something like hope.

He is grateful that the woman pulls them both along before he must say anything beyond Hello, grateful that she does not seem to expect more than that; he catches Moira’s smile and it dazzles him like dawn-light on dew. It is enough to make him take a seat beside her without complaint, without too much self-consciousness of all the stranger’s eyes on him (what must they thing, to see someone so lean and warn against this fiery, beloved girl?).

Asterion has not yet made it to his tea when she speaks, and that is well - for otherwise he might have coughed on the liquid, or at the least burned his tongue. He nods, smiling, even as he wonders if she means anything by it; he tries to quiet the beat of his heart, the hope and the want.

“She should know better to judge based on handsomeness alone,” he jests softly, his gaze not quite meeting hers. “Though it seems you are more than competent enough to make up for any suitor’s shortcomings.” His cheeks are still burning; when he takes a long drink of tea it does nothing for the heat that flushes him, but at least it gives him a moment to look down and away.

Oh, but he wants to ask - the memory of the festival is with him as strongly as though she has pressed a fresh kiss to his cheek; the ghost of it lingers there still. How to tell her how he feels without frightening her off? How to sort out his own tangle of feelings, that buoy of joy and wishing whenever she is near, the nerves that always make his words stumble and catch him before he reveals something he should not?

“Is the library your refuge, then,” he says lightly, his gaze at last meeting hers (and how similar it feels, and how far, from when they looked at each other from across a table of frosted sweets!), “From all the suitors who seek your hand?” He finds it is too easy to picture these strangers, each more handsome than the last, each better than he than making her smile, making her laugh, telling her she is lovely.

Asterion takes another sip of tea, and watches her from beneath dark lashes.


Moira — Night Court Emissary Signos: 1,325
▶ Played by e-cho [pm] Posts: 99 — Threads: 11
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 12
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)
Moira - -
what gentle stars light my way to-night ?

He is the breathless rush of wonder in her lungs as she peeks over the rim of her teacup, large doe-eyes moving quickly over every inch of him. From sweeping cheeks to deep-set eyes coated in hope and sorrow and something more she's yet to taste to the smile and bitterness that settles at last like that first cup of coffee in the morning as his last words rush out to greet her. Oh! How they sting, how blood empties from her cheeks and she folds herself prettily into the woodwork beneath them.

So bold she is in her work, fearless despite the consequences that come to take her patients away. How confident she is then, with a sewing needle and simple thread to stitch lives back together and mend broken hearts. Patience drips off of her as a summer rain when she brews up tea to calm the nerves, a tonic to settle the belly, an ointment to ease cramps and pregnancy pains. That face is a far cry from the doctor that sits beside him now; merely a bashful woman untrained in the art of flesh and flirtation, unable to meet those eyes that seek hers out, unable to rise to the occasion as her voice catches in her throat. Should he accuse her of hiding then when it is exactly what she does in that secluded, lovely library of hers? But reasons, his reasons, they're all wrong!

At last a nervous laugh flits out between starlit lips, smoky words as enticing as the stew boiling just behind them on the stovetop for at least a hundred head that night. She shakes her head, curls bouncing, and at last puts the cup back on the saucer to turn to her faithful companion. "A physician's responsibility is the lives around them, I would hope they could trust me to perform my duty as best I may. I am glad that Denocte has welcomed me so fully into their fold, secretive and mysterious as us mountain dwellers may be." Winking, Moira pauses to think on his last words. They've yet to be addressed, but it's so vital that she does.

Pale are her cheeks, though the hint of something darker, something far lonelier and distant than even the three mountains in the distance crowned in stars that seem impossible to climb, rests on the corner of her carmine mouth. Honeyed gaze drifts into the pattern of leaves at the bottom of her cup. "You flatter me far too much with your kind words," but a whisper of breath, a soft exhalation her first response. Oh, but the silence between them grows larger as caverns below, her heartbeat an ever-present thrum within her ears, and her stomach in her throat. Moira Tonnerre is not one to choke on words as she does now. "What suitors, Asterion? None wish to love a recluse, a woman married to her work and the people she's claimed - what kind of home and hearth could she offer?" What can I offer? her eyes seem to plead when they meet his at last. There, in that she reveals her vulnerability, her insecurities lain bare upon the wooden table they sup at this eve. "It is a place of learning and contemplation. Denocte has given much to me, I can only hope to return its kindness in full. But what of you - how many pretty girls do you get to walk along the seaside with at night? The water must be as heavenly as their moonlit songs. My cousin loved being in love and being loved, but it was all a game to her. I don't think I could juggle so many hands grabbing for my plate." Reassuring, at last she reaches out to carefully press her lips to his shoulder. An apology, perhaps, for how cold she seems on the subject.

The thought of another after her hand makes her balk, makes her want to laugh were it not for the solemnity upon his brow. Were it not for the threat to her isolation that keeps her heart so whole and intact.

credits @Asterion <3

Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 2,925
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 282 — Threads: 28
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 76
▶ 6 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)

How strange it is, to listen to her speak and feel jealous of the injured who experienced her tender and attentive care. Asterion should know better, and oh, he does! - especially after all that has happened in fires and in floods, in monsters and callous gods. How many has he seen suffer, and how many give in? And yet he cannot stop it, this feeling inside him like a river of green and silver, sweet and bitter and most of all wanting.

“They are lucky to have you,” he says, and no matter the sincerity of it it is only a pale shadow to the things he wants to say - that he wishes he were wounded only to have her hands on him, her voice in his ear; that he wishes he could steal her away to Terrastella under the guise of sharing her skills with the healers there. They are not wants a king should voice, belonging not to the people but to the boy he is still, whenever he is around her.

This time when her gaze darts away, shy as a swallow, his does not do the same. Asterion’s eyes on her are intent, brimming with questions that aren’t his right to ask, with wants he cannot ask her to satisfy; he ought to be grateful she is looking away but he is desperate for her to see what he cannot say.

He blows out a breath when she speaks of flattery, frustrated with the both of them at how well they play their demure parts. Even when his chest loosens to hear her say what suitors he still shakes his head, rebuking the way she lowers herself. “My love does not concern itself with home or hearth,” he says before he can stop himself, and cannot regret the admission. Neither can he be grateful when she continues to speak, not when his heart has shown itself, not when it waits for rebuke.

It’s only when she turns the question on him that his expression shifts into something more distant, and his gaze at last looks away - watching the others go about their lives in the warm hall, and seeing them not at all. “I have never thought love is a game. It is a cruel player who sees it so.” When she leans over, when she presses a kiss to his shoulder, the skin there shivers beneath her mouth and his own lips part, though he does not speak - all his words have fled him. Instinctively he turns his face toward her, captures her mouth with his own before she can withdraw. She tastes of all the sweetness of honey and none of the bitter-green of nettle; he would pass on all the teas in Denocte’s harbor in favor of the taste of her.

Ah, but now it is his turn to blush - too rash by far, he is sure, but as he lets her go he swallows the apology that rises so quickly to his tongue.

Neither does he look away, though he should feel abashed - he wants instead to watch her reaction, to watch her golden eyes and the line of her dark mouth, to read there what she will not say.

But before either of them can say anything there is a tap on his shoulder, and Asterion turns half-reluctant and half-relieved to find a Terrastellan page there, looking both mortified and far too interested. At once the bay straightens, reminds himself he is a king, remembers they are in a public hall - oh! what that must have done for her careful reputation.

“Your Majesty,” the boy begins, and Asterion wishes as never before that they might just use his name. “I apologize at the - er - interruption but your presence is requested in the courtyard. A question from her Highness Isra about the festival…” the boy’s eyes travel, curious, over the king and the phoenix-bright woman beside him before casting down, though he cannot so easily hide the beginnings of his smirk.

“Of course,” he says, rising, but his gaze lingers on Moira. “Miss Tonnerre, I -" here he falters, uncertain; I am sorry? - oh, but he is not sorry, not in the least. I love you? Perhaps it is true (perhaps his heart has known it for some time) but he cannot say it here, not with an audience, not when he may have driven her away with his sudden brashness. “Thank you for the tea,” he says instead, and wishes at once he could evaporate like the steam that curls above their cups.

Leaving is the next best thing, and so he follows the page out, their hooves echoing too loudly, his skin flushed hot enough to melt the remainder of the winter snow outside.

Yet he cannot help his smile, which does not fade until well after he has stepped back into the soft storm outside.

@Moira  | I did not expect him to make a move

Moira — Night Court Emissary Signos: 1,325
▶ Played by e-cho [pm] Posts: 99 — Threads: 11
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 12
▶ 5 [Year 498 Spring] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)
Moira - -
pulling petals one by one - he loves me, he loves me not

Love. The statement barely has time to bounce around in her head before his lips are upon her, like a wolf too long starved of flesh, taking what he wishes and showing the cards in his heart without any confirmation from the winged woman. Oh ! Hasn't she asked for this with every coy glance, every shy smile, every timid touch and brush of skin against skin when snow falls or wine runs quick from cups?

Isn't this what her body has begged for even when her mind does protest, screaming and yelling until...until...

Eyes shutter, gloriously golden, molten eyes turn cold, close off, seem to darken as the girl's wings fall to her sides, mouth is limp. Before him, she is nothing but a doll, an unresponsive plaything that is numb to his touch, numb to her heart that pounds furiously beneath her flesh. Flesh that is so hot to the touch it is a wonder she does not ignite, burn the palace to the ground. If she could, she would wonder if this is what it was to be in shock from something other than so much pain that all one can do is turn off, off, off! But she cannot, no.

There is barely any response as he pulls back, as he looks at her for the heartbeat of a moment with such intensity even Persephone would be jealous, even Hades could not compare in his love and adoration, as though she has hung the stars and the moon and set the sun aflame.

Moira does not reciprocate.

The boy stutters behind them, gaping, and still she sits as though a statue. Asterion rises, a phantom, a man with a new take on life, a god among mere mortals such as her. He wields his heart as a weapon, aiming carefully for her own and striking true. So many words stick on his tongue, and at last she seems to come to life. Moira stands abruptly, the bench falling to the floor behind her, biting her tongue and cheeks so hard they might bleed. "Safe travels," she says automatically, a hollowness, an emptiness, building within each breath, exhaled with each word. She does not wait to see the confidence in his step. Only when the ringing of his footfalls is no longer echoing in the kitchen that stares and stares and stares as though she were an alien thing, a circus freak to be gawked at, an abomination in their midst, only then does she erupt.

The cups shatter against the wall, tea spills quick and hot down into the entryway where he left. Rage and confusion eat her stomach until it is acid, it is lava, it is a churning mass of poison that she can't get away from. Gold eyes sizzle when they land on each of her friends, her family, and she feels nothing when she hisses at last: "Never utter his name again." With her words still darkening the staff's morning, she sweeps from the room, fleeing to her chambers where she collapses.

On her bed she falls, into blankets and pillows and scarves and paintbrushes. Into charcoal and dreams and nightmares and blood. Into sweat. But at last, she falls into a devastated heap of tears that are as unending as the oceans that Asterion loves so dearly, letting it swell and swell and swell until her sobbing is the only music she thinks she will ever know until she dies. And what a sad, broken song it is in the first light of the morning when her throat is raw and eyes are far more red than gold.

credits @Asterion


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