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 Year || 503
 Season || Winter
 Temp || -10℉ (-23℃) to 55℉ (12℃)
 Weather || Winter has left a blanket of pristine white snow in many parts of Novus. Only Solterra remains mostly untouched by the season's frosted hold, but even the desert may feel a cold breath of wind now and then. With Winter now settled across the continent, dreams of Spring dance in the minds of many.

Spotlight
Member: E-cho

Character: Seraphina

Pair: Moira & Asterion

Thread: Coloring outside the lines

Quote: "There is something to be said for how soothing habit could be, when one was trying to avoid words they shouldn’t say." Theodosia, Cinderblock gardens
see here for nominations


Trigger Warning - a small crime & i've got no excuse
Anzhelo — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 20
▶ Played by bruiser [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 7 [Year 496 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 13 hh Bonded: N/A
#1
trigger warning: discussions of trauma and suicidal thoughts

you shouldn't have to pay for your love
with your bones and your flesh

Around him, the court is awash in a frenzy of festivity, drowning in visitors and merchants alike -- he slips through the crowds like a shadow, wrapped in the softest silks that hide the tender underside of his bare throat and the short-cropped hair on his neck. He is drawn taut like a bowstring, deep bruises beneath his eyes from the dreams that constantly haunt him, and if asked at that moment, he never could have answered what he was looking for.

And yet -- he finds the tent amongst the many others, slips inside and settles himself on the soft cushions, as bruised eyes look upon the shed-star with exhaustion. “What am I still doing here,” He asks, his breast aching with everything he has endured, his mind echoing why am I still alive when he finds he can’t finish the question aloud. 

credits


@Official Night Account

you were only a boy,
when you were thrown into a war.


Reply
Official Night Account Signos: 3,925
▶ Played by Isra [pm] Posts: 29 — Threads: 19
▶ Agender [They/Them/Theirs] Hth:Atk:Exp:
▶ 3 [Year 500 Spring] Active Magic:
▶ 8 hh Bonded:
#2
A Reading,
Perhaps if the tent wasn't so dark the shed-star might has lifted up her own hollow checks into the candle light. Then she might have said that she too knows the horrors of exhaustion, of sleep, of nightmares.

Perhaps she would have looked at him and said, I know what darkness the stars can bring. Once she thought herself that darkness. Once she was young and stupid. Now she's only blind and old.

This time she doesn't shuffle the cards with a flourish. She shuffles them like a militant, quickly and plainly and the cards almost seem to cry ink tears for the harsh way she deals with them. For him she draws for and spreads them out, face up, so one is above and three are bellow. The top is the two of pentacles. Below there is the five of pentacles, the star and the father of swords.

Her voice sounds almost hollow and it's strange that her eyes blaze, grayish above the tense curl of her lips. “You are still here because change is still coming for you.” There is no doubt in her voice, only certainty. Her cards are truth.

“When it feels like nothing is left for you but sadness and worry change will come. And when that change finally comes you will either shed off your negativity like snake skin or you will never have anything to call your own but misery. Dare to want, dare to be something more than a horse with little life left in their heart.” A candle flickers at her side and the golden-glow catches on a patchwork of scars running across her neck.

“Leave my tent but not this world.” It's a command, but a gentle almost hopeful one.


@Anzhelo


Reply
Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 2,290
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 65 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 21
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: Finnick (Harpy Eagle)
#3


She has never been to the markets when there were actually souls filled in it. For hours, it seems, she meanders. This life is so different from what she is used to knowing. For so long, material things like this has never meant anything to her…nor does it now. She doesn’t care about the venders selling clothing and satchels. She doesn’t care about the tarot readers or the those simply begging for handouts. These things don’t matter to Katniss. It’s surprise enough that she even has a set of armor that was tailor made for her.

It was rare to see the warrior wander, to see her meander without any real purpose. She was relatively new to Novus, new to the culture and all those who dwell within it. Perhaps she is simply studying, simply learning about those that she has been tasked to protect. Perhaps it takes her mind off what has really been eating at her soul. Perhaps, even, it is her way of simply avoiding thinking about the things she fears most in life: being rejected.

It is hard to come here as a queen and now nothing but a common whore. It was hard to find her role in this new place when all her heart wanted to do was lead. She needed to right her wrongs and being a simple warrior would not accomplish any of those things. But it was a step.

Something draws her to a halt alongside the fortune teller’s tent. She does not hear most of what has been said, but she does here the female tell the other to leave her tent but not this world. It was good advice to live by. So many times she had wanted to end her life. But then again, she had found peace trying to make up for her wrongs. “She is right, you know…come…let’s talk.” It has always been in her nature to help those that needed helping. When she had been scared and alone, there had been no one to talk to. Now she knows that she needs to be that person for someone else, even if she does not even know his name.

@Anzhelo



Reply
Anzhelo — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 20
▶ Played by bruiser [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 7 [Year 496 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 13 hh Bonded: N/A
#4
you shouldn't have to pay for your love
with your bones and your flesh

He breathes in the incense and breathes out uncertainty, sea-glass eyes fixated upon the woman cloaked in shadows. There are answers here, to the endless questions that circle around his mind, to the constant weight it seems his narrow shoulders must bear. “You are still here because change is still coming for you.” The soothsayer reads as if spotting an omen, her movements sharp and quick, and he is equally as fascinated by her quick movements as he is her surety in his future -- that there was a future for him at all.

There is change coming for him, and he is equally terrified and excited -- change has never been a good thing, has always led to strife and worry, to the God’s laughter and his own overwhelming sense of hopelessness. “Leave my tent but not this world.” She tells him, in a tone of voice that would tolerate no disobedience, and it is all he can do to gather himself and dip his head in farewell with thanks murmured under his breath.

When he stumbles from the tent, buried beneath the sheer silks that make up his outfit, he finds himself running into the draft mare just outside. There is no anger at her eavesdropping, only a quiet sense of relief that maybe this is a sign -- maybe he doesn’t have to keep bearing the weight of all of his secrets that are not his to keep, of all the trauma he has endured.

“It’s a long story,” He warns, softly -- but even as he does, he falls in step with the mare, tipping his head back so that he can look up towards her, the candlelight catching the scars across the bridge of his nose.

credits


@Katniss

you were only a boy,
when you were thrown into a war.


Reply
Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 2,290
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 65 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 21
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: Finnick (Harpy Eagle)
#5


Katniss has never been one to eavesdrop, to insert herself in conversations that are not meant for her. And yet, she cannot help the way she is drawn to this fellow. Perhaps she knows what it is like to feel suck out on the ledge. She knows what’s it’s like to wonder what would happen should she take one more step forward. It was a dark time in her life that she regrets, a time that she had shared with only one person. But everyone needs some way to vent their anger and frustrations. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on and someone to hear their story. Perhaps she is here for him. Perhaps, even, she has been sent here to hear his story.

His warning only makes her smile at him softly, nodding her head towards his direction. “I have all the time in the world to give to you.” She has no pressing appointments, nothing that needs her attention right this very moment. He has her full attention. And as he falls into step with her, she brings herself closer to him.

As he looks up to her, she sees the scars along the bridge of his nose. They do not scare her or cause her distress. After all, the grey draft is riddled with scars of her own. Many are obvious from her years of battle, but there were also many that were unseen. It was these invisible scars of her heart and mind that were most troubling. These scars were perhaps more painful than the ones that littered her coat. But she does not say anything about his scars. He would answer when he was ready.

Silence envelops them as they walk along the path. Both are silent and it is only the chirping of crickets that they hear. She looks to him, her voice calm and soothing. “How about we start with introductions. I am Katniss.” She offers him a tender smile, one that is soothing and welcoming. Perhaps if he knew who he was talking to, it might make his story easier to tell.

@Anzhelo



Reply
Anzhelo — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 20
▶ Played by bruiser [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 7 [Year 496 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 13 hh Bonded: N/A
#6
you shouldn't have to pay for your love
with your bones and your flesh

There have been few people in his life willing to extend their time to him, never one who has almost been a stranger, and there is something stirring in his breast that he is too cautious to label as hope. He thinks, maybe, she knows what it was like -- to be surrounded by darkness and unable to find the light, to believe there was nothing left to live for.

“Anzhelo,” He murmurs, and he thinks that his name might be the best place to begin his story -- for after all, it was where everything had started, wasn’t it? “My mother named me… at least, that’s what Father always told me. I never knew her -- I killed her, when I was being born. She bled too much.” His words are in the hushed tones of a confession, of a guilt that he’s worn since he was old enough to understand that his birth had been the death of his mother, that he’d been born something wrong.

“It’s funny, really,” and his smile is the wrong kind of smile, full of grief that says there is nothing truly funny about the words coming from his mouth. “My daughter -- she nearly killed me, when she was born. The gods must have found it funny -- gave me the ability to carry her, but not to birth her, the same way they once promised I would be able to meet my mother if I just completed one more quest, and instead sent my father to find me again after he'd tried to kill me.” His laughter is bitter, ears pinning themselves back against his skull at the thought of the Gods he’s met, how every single one of them has been nothing but trouble and trauma. How many of his scars had been from their meddling -- the neat lines from the dragon’s spiked tail, the wicked scar across his abdomen as the midwife had struggled to save both dam and child, the teeth marks around his ankle in the shape of a dire wolf’s mouth?

“I guess I must just be some sort of cosmic playtoy.”

credits


@Katniss

you were only a boy,
when you were thrown into a war.


Reply
Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 2,290
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 65 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 21
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: Finnick (Harpy Eagle)
#7


Little does he know, but she was in the very same place not too long ago. Her history was not a pretty one, especially before she met Metaphor. The stallion that been the one person who appreciated her for her, not simply because of her skill in battle. Metaphor saw her true self and he helped to bring her mind out of the darkness. But when she had thought she lost him, there was a time that she too had thought about meeting her end just so she could be with him again. But there was something that told her to keep living, and she was so very grateful when Metaphor walked back into her life.

She tries to direct the conversation onto whatever was on his chest. It weighed so heavily on him and even though she might not know the details just yet, she can see the way it burdens him. Was this what she looked like when she thought she had lost Metaphor forever? Was this what she looked like when she thought of her daughters?

Anzhelo is what he calls himself and Katniss is quick to lock away the name with the face. She’s trying her best to get to know the others who call Denocte home. After all, it was her job as soldier to protect them all. How could she protect them if she doesn’t -know- them?

And then he’s beginning his story and Katniss listens with an open and sincere heart. He speaks about his birth and claims that he killed his mother from simply being born. It softened the maternal side of Katniss, the side that also made her wonder if her daughters resented her. She leaned towards him, brushing against his shoulder to let him know that she felt for him. “You did not kill your mother, Anzhelo. Birth is hard, challenging, and is not kind to every mother or child.” She knew of other mothers who died in childbirth as well as babies born not breathing. She thought back to her own chance at motherhood and knew that it was certainly challenging and trying.

But before she could say anything further, he continues with his story and Katniss is a captive audience. She listens to him, knowing that based on his non-verbal body language, his story is nothing funny, but more than likely serious and sad. She quiet as he talks of his daughter and her delivery, of his father, and of the gods she’s always been cautious around.

His body language says that he is angry, the way his ears flatten against his skull. She’s felt the same - after her daughters were born. It took her a very long time to be okay with the Gods, to even worship them. But it is his last words that has her softening towards him.  “If you are, then so am I.” Her voice is soft, comforting even. She tries to offer a touch to his shoulder, to let him know that she’s being genuine.

She waits a moment, hoping that her words will get his attention and sustain it. When she’s sure she has his attention, she begins a story of her own, hopefully one that would give him courage and hope. “When I was young, I was innocent in the ways of romance. A young, golden stallion stole my heart, or so I believed. I believed his sweet nothings, allowed him to make me bend at the knees. But then, the Gods played a cruel, sick joke on me.” She paused, looking at him with a softened gaze. “After he left me alone after our lust-driven coupling, within minutes I began to swell with child. Twenty minutes was all it took from conception until the start of labor. I was young, scared, and left alone. I didn’t know what was happening to me. In fact, I didn’t understand what was happening.” She paused again, reliving the memories that she had tried so hard to forget. But she was hoping that through her pain, he might find comfort. “Twenty minutes was all it took for two precious daughters to lay on the earth side-by-side.” She closed her eyes softly, only briefly before they fluttered open so she could see where she was walking. “I couldn’t grasp what had just happened. I left them there, returning to my home and never looking back.” The two precious, innocent foals had been left to die.

She paused her footsteps as she looked him deep into the eyes. A single tear had formed in the corner and she felt the weight of her guilt all over again. “I don’t even know if they are alive, but I think about them everyday, wondering what would have happened if I had been the mother they needed. They are probably dead, died just days after their birth. I regret that day, and blame myself every day sense.” She sighed softly, heavily. “That was nearly seven years ago. I’ve grown since then, matured into something my mother would have been proud of. But that decision I made will haunt me forever. But if I let those memories bring me down, I cannot be the warrior I was meant to be. When I finally stopped torturing myself, I found something quite special - someone named Metaphor. He is the only one, aside from you, that knows my darkest secret.” She pauses as her eyes are brought to his. He would be able to see the regret she carries and yet, there is hope there for the future.

Slowly she begins to walk on, leading him further down the path to his own recovery. “I have hope now, that I might right my wrongs. Something good will come of your past, you just have to be open to it. And when it finds you, you will be the happiest you’ve ever been.” She had that with Metaphor. Despite all that she had been through, he was still along her side, right where he was meant to be.

@Anzhelo



Reply
Anzhelo — Night Court Entertainer Signos: 20
▶ Played by bruiser [PM] Posts: 24 — Threads: 4
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 7 [Year 496 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 13 hh Bonded: N/A
#8
you shouldn't have to pay for your love
with your bones and your flesh

She seems to understand the weight he’s worn on his shoulders since he was a small child -- the guilt and the loneliness, the constant grief for a woman he had never met and an action he’s barely known that he had committed. Birth was hard, yes, but -- he had never even been wanted in the first place, according to his Father.  “Father… he would tell me that I should have been the one to die.” He breathes out, thinking of how serious his father had looked, every time he had said those words -- through anger and sorrow, his father had always meant them, and perhaps that was how they had weighed so heavily upon his mind even years later.

He leans into the brush against his shoulder, the skin-to-skin contact something that comforts a craving he’s always ignored -- a hunger for contact he never seemed to satisfy, and his muzzle brushes against her neck in a wordless gesture of appreciation for the support she offers. She doesn’t seem to judge him, for all of his mistakes (gods, there’s been so many mistakes in his life, so many of them before he had ever truly gotten the chance to live). It brings him some sort of hard-won peace, to drag his skeletons into the light and lay them bare, to face them instead of constantly burying the past and locking it away.

When she speaks, he offers her the same undivided attention that she has given him, his heart aching for her own tragedies. What sort of gods might allow this, what sort of world could take advantage of its youth so easily? They had both been so young, so full of promise -- and yet, when he looks at them both, standing there side-by-side, he starts to realize that maybe there was a purpose behind everything that has happened after all. 

They have been forged in the molten cores of a world who would cast away souls like theirs -- they have picked their bones up off the floor and rebuilt their bodies in the image of themselves, shattered and rebuilt themselves into what could be called survivors, and yet they could still lend a shoulder for each other, could still listen to the tales others told of their own woe. They have learned empathy through sorrow, he thinks, and maybe that might not be such a terrible thing, because they have learned how to shed light even through the darkest of nights.

For the first time since he was a very young child, his shoulders straighten and his head lifts just that little bit higher, so that he could wipe away the tears in her eyes. “I think your daughters would understand,” He says softly, thinking of Theodosia and her fierce devotion, how brightly his daughter shone. “Perhaps it might not be this life that you are reunited, but I think you will meet them again, and I believe they would be proud of the person you have become.”

When he turns his gaze back towards the path in front of them, he can see what he thinks might be a light in the darkness -- and when he thinks of the future, he thinks of his daughter’s bright eyes, of a horned man’s cocky smile, of the night markets and a little home that he could make for himself here amongst the people of Denocte. 

credits


@Katniss

you were only a boy,
when you were thrown into a war.


Reply
Katniss — Night Court Soldier Signos: 2,290
▶ Played by Zombie [PM] Posts: 65 — Threads: 9
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 21
▶ 11 [Year 492 Summer] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 17.2 hh Bonded: Finnick (Harpy Eagle)
#9



Katniss wished she could tell him that his father only said those words because he was hurting and angry, that he probably didn’t really mean them. But nothing she said would make him listen. He would have to work through those demons on his own. She had walked down a similar path and she was never able to come to terms with the abandonment of her daughters until she was emotionally ready. He might not be ready to forgive himself today, tomorrow, days, weeks, months, or years from now. But he would find peace when he was most ready for it, and not a moment sooner.

Katniss proceeds to tell him about her daughters, a story that only one other has heard before. While she has come to terms with the events of that day, she still regrets them. She’s not entirely certain that she will every recover from them completely, not until she has answers. She needs to know whether or not her daughters or alive…or where they are buried. However, those sort of answers only come from omniscient gods - something she has yet to discover. So until that day comes, if it ever comes, she will continue to hold onto her regret as use it as a learning tool. If she was ever given the chance at motherhood again, she would not waste it.

Even as the tears collect in the corner of her eyes, she tries so hard not to shed them. She is a warrior - a leader of battle. Warriors did not cry. They did not show weakness. And here she was, opening her heart to another so plainly. Normally she was quite reserved about this particular topic, so who really knows just why she was sharing this information.

She does not miss the way he stands a little taller, perhaps with new instilled confidence, perhaps just to wipe away the years that beg to fall. But his words, though she knows they are meant to comforting, only offer a sting of things she doesn’t necessarily want to feel. “There is no excuse for a mother to abandon her daughters as I did.” He speaks again and her eyes settle on his. She smiles softly at him, at his genuine attempt to make her feel a little better. “I can only hope that when I see them again, in this life or in another, that they will forgive him for wronging them.” She doesn’t need them to be proud of the woman she has become, she just wants to know that they forgive her. She has seen the wrong she has done to them and beats herself every day because of it. Perhaps they will see that in their hearts and welcome their mother back into their lives.

Eyes slowly turn back towards the path. She feels vulnerable and exposed. She feels as though she wants to lean on Metaphor for comfort. It’s only him that can bring her such peace. He would be proud of her, she thinks, for being so open in order to help another. The wound was being cleaned and bandaged, a process that needed to happen over and over again for proper healing. She was healing, a little bit at a time. She could only hope that this was healing for Anzhelo too.

She continues down the path in relative silence, before she can start to see the fires of Denocte lighting the way home. She looks to Anzhelo and offers him a tender smile. “You will find many friends here in Denocte. Friends to talk to or shoulders to cry own. You are always welcome to my small, humble home or anything.” It is an open invitation. He is always welcome to her doormat if he needs a meal or a talk. She will always be there for him, even if he has not realized it yet. @Anzhelo




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