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Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 38 — Threads: 5
Signos: 65
Day Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Perception Manipulation // Bonded: N/A

[Image: apolonia_by_erasvita_dcmlqry_by_beccazw-dcnhnsj.png]

Is this what it means to be alive? Apolonia stands at the edges of the crowd in the ballroom and watches its components swirl against each other like waves, like the frantic wingbeats of birds. The soft song of a flute warbles through the warm air. Overhead a chandelier sheds split light all over the marble floor, so many pieces of silver and opal, and O is an easy gold thing against the cobblestone walls, watching and watching and watching with those triumvirate eyes. Is that what it means to be alive, to stand outside and look in?

For her it might be. This is not bothersome. She thinks dancing might not be her thing, anyway. Either way the beauty of the room is overwhelming, and watching the people is nice, and to stand in the half-light wearing her mask made of opal and to be, for a moment, normal, is enough for her.

But still she feels her hurlbat sharp at her side, and still she feels that third eye burning in a hole in the center of her forehead, and still she cannot shake the gnawing in the pit of her stomach that says you do not belong here.

It is deep midnight outside now, and she knows she cannot leave. The trek back to Solterra is too long to make in this cold, and not worth it, anyway, considering she reached Denocte only a few hours ago. With gritted teeth Apolonia resigns herself to staying a little longer, and with a practiced narrowing of her shoulders she goes slinking through the crowd toward the open door leading into the next room, unsure what it holds.

In her ear the flute still wails.



Played by Offline rallidae [PM] Posts: 55 — Threads: 5
Signos: 105
Day Court Scholar
Male [He/Him/His] // 5 [Year 498 Summer] // 17 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 13 // Active Magic: Dream Illusion // Bonded: N/A

angling chandeliers cast fragments of light upon the masked faces of the guests. A crystal fountain bubbles gloriously in the center of the room, golden waters luminescent. Its strange glow seeps through the vast room like fog. Shadows fade into light. Light bleeds into shadow. The beauty of the ballroom is at once mesmerizing and nauseating. 

Caine had found the crowded ballroom by mere chance. One moment the boy had been milling absently through the perfumed hedgerows of the gardens, the silence a solace after the madness of the maze, and the next he had turned a corner to come face to face with the fluttering velvet of a curtained doorway.

Naturally, he had wandered through.  

The clamor of the festive crowd disorientates him. Already he laments the loss of the garden’s peaceful silence. Sighing, Caine tightens the ribbons of his raven mask, pulling it low over his cheekbones. He doubts it will happen — remaining unseen and unnamed has become more art than habit for him, over the years — but tonight he desires to keep his anonymity. 

Music streams loudly from a group of young performers gathered in an especially lively corner. The melody is foreign and grating to Caine’s ear. He has always preferred piano, violin if his mood is particularly dark. The high-pitched whine of the flute pierces terribly through his brain. 

Caine’s strides lengthen as he cuts straight for the glowing fountain.

Silks cascade like water from the backs of dancing girls, their smiles inviting and demure. Jewels drip from their slender limbs like dewdrops, though Caine thinks the effect rather lost on anything other than the petals of flowers. 

He does not look at the ones that look at him. 

At last he makes it to the fountain. The lack of cups puzzles him, but before he can wonder further, a crystal goblet floats lazily out of the haze of light. It passes deftly under the bubbling stream — champagne, Caine notes, when he smells the fruity tang — to come to a triumphant rest in front of him. 

"Thank you,” he murmurs, though he does not know who he is thanking. Hesitantly, he plucks the glass from the air. The liquor is as gold as nectar. Shrugging, Caine tilts the goblet to his lips and drinks. The champagne is aromatic and sweet, and he drains it dry with relish. Emptied, the glass pulls away and, before Caine can even blink, out floats another one. Brows quirking, he shakes his head (though reluctantly). The goblet retreats, slow and sulking.

Thirst thoroughly quenched, Caine walks languidly back the way he’d come. Dancing has never tempted him, despite enduring it almost nightly in Vectaeryn. (Though, loathe as he is to admit it, Caine remains far more comfortable in the halls of a lavish gala than he will ever be in the forsaken deserts of Solterra.) 

The wail of the music is beginning to give him a headache. How does this infernal whine, he thinks, looking disdainfully at the chortling guests, please them so? He does not see the girl entering until she is halfway through the curtains, strands of her dark hair sticking to the velvet fabric.

With a start, Caine halts just shy of brushing her golden shoulder. 

"Apologies,” he says, lips parting in surprise. He steps back to allow her to pass, wings folding neatly to his sides. He would’ve left it at that — continued on his way to the gardens, as unbothered as he is always is — were it not for the gleaming ax tucked casually at her side. 

A hurlbat, Caine recognizes, a gleam of interest sharpening his silver gaze. A rare weapon. He has never seen one in the steel.

The girl's boldness at wearing a throwing ax to a gala amuses Caine far too much for him to simply leave. So he lingers, turning back curiously just as she walks past. He stares at her retreating form for a moment, eyes narrowing beneath his mask. There is something else.

Something — familiar about her. 

"If you are going towards the ballroom,” he says, tone carefully casual, "the crystal fountain is rather enchanting.”

@Apolonia | "speech" | notes: -a century later-

but darkness was here yesterday

♠︎ ♤ ♠︎

Played by Offline RB [PM] Posts: 38 — Threads: 5
Signos: 65
Day Court Youth
Female [She/Her/Hers] // 2 [Year 502 Spring] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Perception Manipulation // Bonded: N/A

i'm a real dog
we all go to heaven

The chill and silence of the night drips away like water as O shoulders her way through the curtains. The touch of the velvet almost makes her shudder, foreign as it is; she is much more suited to the rough scrape of desert sand, the too-bright searing of the sun in the Mors. Everything here is too soft. Too easy. O’s jaw aches as she remembers the citadel and laments that she left it at all. 

Apologies. O starts. She hadn’t even realized he was there, and when he speaks wonders how that was possible. He towers over her, a night-black blot covering the light that streams down from the ceiling; two sets of thick, dark wings shudder against his sides; even in the dimness of the ballroom she is unnerved, just slightly, by the mercurial silver of his eyes twisting against the dark, sharp lines off his face. Her step slows, she floats mid-stride. 

He is recognizable, in the most awful way.

For a split moment O pauses to watch him. Her sharp head twists, and underneath the opal mask and the swath of dark hair lying over her cheek her third eye narrows, shifts, so watchful and so suspicious it seems to sear a hole against her forehead: she does not trust him, simple as that. Her blood hums loudly against her skin. The hurlbat at her hip sings a little song, gives her a little kiss, bright and warm against the gold of Apolonia’s sooty skin and the soft, easy curve of her ribs.

When he speaks again it stops her completely. O curls back toward him on long, stilted legs, turning the easiest circle she can to look at him fully: even face to face, standing tall as she can, he still towers over her like a goliath, all dark curves and sharp edges. She smiles a little at the way the edge of his mask fits seamlessly  against the black of his cheek, like there is no difference between the raven-feathers and the skin.

"Hm," she responds off-handedly. Her eyes glimmer like black ice against the ever-shifting colors of the opal mask, but they are not dangerous so much as intrigued, framed by a thick swash of black lashes that beat an easy tempo against the mask. The music dims, or seems to; for the first time she wonders if she really does know him, or if death has touched her so intimately it now feels like a memory. 

Not that it would matter, here: "Show me," O says, and it is half a question, half an offering. Past the smooth edge of the mask her lips curl into an offbeat smile, just small enough to be lost in the darkness and the noise and the dare.

@Caine | "speech" | notes: hehe
rallidae | art


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