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

 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
Character of the Season
Seraphina

Member of the Season
E-cho

Thread of the Season
Coloring outside the lines

Pair of the Season
Moira Asterion

Quote of the Season
"There is something to be said for how soothing habit could be, when one was trying to avoid words they shouldn’t say." — Theodosia in
Cinderblock gardens

see here for nominations


Private - head full of fantasies, dying like a martyr
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 105
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 96 — Threads: 12
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 5 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#1





WITH SWORD AND SALT -
Marisol does not wear a mask, other than the look of complacency always turning down her lips. It is an irreparable wrong, she thinks, to lie like that -  to put one face over the next - never mind that she does it on a daily basis to protect herself, her cadets, her king.

There is a difference in lying for fun and lying for necessity. There has to be. Right?

She tries not to pay too much attention to the part of her that says no, and under that, even smaller, even darker, the part of her that looks for Isra in the sea of tens like a drowning sailor seeks a shore. The look in her eyes is forlorn, almost desperate. The crowd and the lights and the masquerade itself is insufferable to Marisol and yet she stays. 

There is a little voice in her that waits patiently for the Night queen to emerge, a little part that begs to stay just a minute longer, look just a degree closer: she has to be here, she has to, or what is the point?

A soft song plays through the air and Marisol twitches in response. It is the same shudder that hits her when she spends too long alone, when she meets Asterion’s eyes in any kind of darkness, when she stands in the solitude of Dusk’s library and casts her eyes on the glowing spines of hundreds and thousands of books.  It gnaws at her stomach and prickles at the spaces between the vertebrae in her spine. It burns and burns and burns against her skin.

Her wings spread a little and the feathers flutter against her skin in a nervous tic; it would take a keen eye to see it, though, or the way her slate-gray eyes watch the room like she’s looking for a god.



<3
aimless | kokovi
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Isra — Night Court Sovereign Signos: 410
▶ Played by nestle [PM] Posts: 246 — Threads: 32
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 66
▶ 6 [Year 497 Winter] Active Magic: Transformation
▶ 15.1 hh Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#2
Isra who holds her breath

"seal all the windows, because I've gone to war"



Isra, as she stands shrouded in gold silk and silver webbing, feels (as she almost always does) uneasy in her own skin. Her bones feel like bars of metal and her skin nothing more than a lovely shadow to cover up a gilded cage. And not for the last time, Isra thins that she's a lie, a lie of a queen, a lie of a unicorn.

Tonight she still can feel the rage simmering low in her chest each time she lifts head to smile and her throat starts to ache.

A harp wails and a flute starts to whisper and Isra blinks and tries to forget how everything seems broken and strange now. She's watching the crowds from above and watching Fable cavort aimlessly above them all. Careful She warns with a smile, as the young dragon dives low enough that his tail might hang only a few inches above the heads of dancers.  

I am always careful. Fable replies and Isra's laughter rings out over the crowds like a bell chime. He's never careful, young enough that he cannot see the similarities between himself and the stories that Isra always tells him (at night with the moon rises) about how dangerous it can be to be a dragon in this world.

Just as Fable rises back toward the ceiling Isra catches a glimpse of dark feathers and flashes of white then those feathers ruffle as the sides of-- Marisol. All her laughter dies in her throat, swallowed by the clatter of her heart in her chest.

Then she's rushing down the stairs, a ghost of gold and silver fabric. She could be a shooting star for how wild she seems rushing through the crowds with Fable swooping behind her like a comet's tail. Isra runs because the last time all her frantic running brought Marisol to her.

And when she finally reaches Marisol her lungs heave a little harder than they should and her smile seems paler than it should (shrouded in so much silk). “I hope you've come to see me.” Isra says honestly, because words she knows, are the only true thing she has left to give.

She ignores the way most of the crowd turns to watch the queen who has finally stopped running and the dragon who settles across her back.


@Marisol



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Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 105
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 96 — Threads: 12
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 5 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#3





WITH SWORD AND SALT -


For all her anxiety, even someone standing right next to her would be hard-pressed to recognize how much effort it is taking to act normal. It is not the kind of nervous that makes her muscles twitch or her head shake, not the kind of nervous that swishes her tail against her hind legs - Mari has been trained better than that. And so though her mind moves a million miles an hour and her heart thrashes against her ribs like it wants to scream, it is impossible to know that the shine in her eyes is not merely the intense glare of duty. It is impossible to know that the way she stands straight-backed and square-legged is not just a display of power. It is impossible to know that the stony lines of her face are not merely the mask of a well-broken commander.

She thinks that Isra might be the only one in the world who could tell otherwise. It scares her a little.

Kind of a hush settles over the crowd, and Mari raises her chin to look over the sea of bodies, and lo and behold there she comes, Isra dressed in silver and gold and rushing down the staircase like water rushes over rocks. Relief blooms in her throat, coupled with apprehension. The feeling is so overwhelming, so bright-white and sparkling, that it takes her a moment to realize it’s not just Isra coming down the steps. A dragon winds serpentine around her spine, dressed in shades of green and blue like moss-covered rocks at the bottom of a lake; she should be scared of it, maybe, but instead she looks at him with guarded affection, recognizing that he is still a child, as much as any monster can be.

The thought of that tugs at her a little bit, at the closed space of her throat, but she pushes it down with ease. As Isra closes the space between them she feels the pressure in her chest ease like a stone has been lifted from her lungs, and an almost-smile breaks over her lips. For all Isra’s glamour, her mask, her robes, Marisol still sees nothing brighter than the blue of her eyes or more attention-grabbing than the sharp spiral of her horn.

Of course, she says, and the smile cracks open deeper and wider. I wouldn’t travel all this way for anything else.

<3
aimless | kokovi
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Isra — Night Court Sovereign Signos: 410
▶ Played by nestle [PM] Posts: 246 — Threads: 32
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 66
▶ 6 [Year 497 Winter] Active Magic: Transformation
▶ 15.1 hh Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#4
Isra of the forgotten herd

"If we knew everything we would only be disappointed that there was not one more secret to uncover.”



There is nothing else in this place that reminds her of home more than Marisol does.

Isra looks at all the feathers and muscles honed for war and she cannot help be recall all the nights she slept, curled around all the others mares. Their tear-stained cheeks pressed tightly together and their lips trembled with stories and hope and things that they only dared to whisper when the night was at it's darkest. In that place their skin had been only a weakness and it was the hearts beneath that bones that held on their secret souls.

Sometimes she still wonders where she keeps all her secrets in this world, if she even has them anymore. And if there are any left they surely must be blazing like sun-glare in her ocean eyes when she looks are Marisol.

Fable, who can feel the  riot of things clamoring in Isra's mind, watches the Commander with a sharp, hot gaze that is friendly for all its intensity. All Isra's dreams of fangs, steel and blood have taught him early on the difference between the fires of fear and the fires of something else. As for what the else is, that he's still too young to understand.

“I'm glad.” she whispers and means it down to the very core of her that misses all the desert nights of her old brutal world. Suddenly she wonders what Marisol would think of her old skin, gold and sunshine and bones made for breaking. She wonders if the Commander would have come for her then.

Isra's smile makes all her silver and golden silk seem pale, it feels as if she has swallowed the sun. Her lips sting and she reaches up to brush them against Marisol's cheek just to ease the ache of them. Tonight if feels wrong to think they are still strangers, knowing nothing more about each other the pattern in which the other breathes.

She could count the spaces between Marisol's inhales and exhales, she could write poetry to beat of them.

“I never asked you what you think of my home.” She turns to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Marisol, close enough that the heat pouring off them feels like something sentient in the tiny gap between them. “Do you think that you'll miss it, even just a little bit?” Isra asks in something almost softer than a whisper. But what she really wants to say is...

Will you miss me?



@Marisol



Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 105
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 96 — Threads: 12
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 5 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#5





WITH SWORD AND SALT -
When Isra brushes her lips across Marisol’s cheek, it is a kiss filthy as dirt and sweet as cherries and it makes her heart constrict in her chest like it is trying to contain the fist she’s put it in. Military as ever, she hides her smile fully. But something deep inside her trembles and twists, and she’s not quite gathered enough to keep a little shudder from riding partway up her spine. (She’s not sure she even cares now.)

Isra’s smile is fleeting and gorgeous and it makes Marisol think (too quickly) of how it feels to fly. The white sparkle of the stars, clouds swirling against the true-blue of the sky, and the way cool air rushes like water into the tiny spaces between her feathers and lifts her wings so high - it is ridiculously familiar. She thinks then of Asterion, and how he asked her what it was to fly, and almost feels foolish for not saying it feels like this.

She watches the Night queen with dark, dark eyes, shining like moons from the soft blackness of her face. Marisol’s gaze is always bright - scintillating and flickering in the light with all the rapidity of liquid quicksilver - but this is something different. something watchful and intensive. It’s beautiful, she says, and that in itself is not a lie. But what she doesn’t say - that it could never be hers. no matter how hard she tried - is much, much truer.

Honest she is, but for all her honesty the Commander is not so foolish - or so cruel - as to inflict pain where not strictly necessary. So she swallows her qualms and looks around the room, trying to fall into the magic of the night and the lights and the music and not into the black hole swirling against her ribs.

Maybe, she answers, and a mischievous smile twists at the corner of her lips. (On Marisol it is almost as good as a laugh.) Will you miss us, when we leave? And she gestures sort of sheepishly to the emblem of a setting sun marked on her flank in red paint, so bright and so bold it could not be mistaken for anything but a sign of loyalty.

But- and she thinks about this often - the paint itself is fragile - only her willpower, but a gossamer thread, now, keeps her from washing it off.

<3
aimless | kokovi
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Isra — Night Court Sovereign Signos: 410
▶ Played by nestle [PM] Posts: 246 — Threads: 32
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 66
▶ 6 [Year 497 Winter] Active Magic: Transformation
▶ 15.1 hh Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#6
Isra who wants what she cannot have

"today the sun rose from the west and I doubt we will see it set."



There is already a tangle of words spooling out like thread between all the stitches holding together all her broken pieces. Some of the words brush kisses along the concave curve of her ribs, tender as feathers tipped in downy white. Others twine around her veins like smoke dancing around a pillar of words. But one word, Marisol, sparks and smolders like coal and kindling in the hollow bottom of her heart.

Isra knows, that years from now when all her scales have turned brittle and dull, she will smile and tell the world of a pegasus who held all the courage of an entire world in her chest. There is bravery she knows  in every bone of Marisol's body, bravery and coldness, fire and broken bits. It's why Isra's heart wrenches in her body when she looks down to their tangled shadows swaying in the fire-lit orbs above their heads. It's why she begs this night to go on and on and on.

Fable, feeling the story and the sorrow, brushes his wings across Isra's ribs like a cool blanket. There is  moment between one touch of his wings and the next that he vibrates with words and stories. Between them he says, I will be here and you will not be alone. And Isra almost wants to reply (as she thinks of Eik and Asterion and Marisol, there are more types of love than there stars in the night sky. But that would break the dragon's young heart and so she only curls her neck and brushes her nose to his in a kiss.

There is something of heart-break and sorrow and whimsy when she looks back at Marisol. Isra thinks that the Commander's eyes are brighter than the moon tonight. More words brush and flutter at her bones, tales of constellations and war and blood that was sweeter and more fermented than wine. Each word from her lips is duller than a bell and they feel to her as brittle and sharp as the bits of her heart. “I already miss you.” Her eyes flash too, bright with the magic that spools out between them and changes the stone at their hooves to rotten wood strewn with insects made of pearl. “All of you.” This she adds so that she can lie to herself about how much the words sting and burn and hurt against her lips.

Each word feels like salt in a wound.

“But tonight you are here.” She says so quietly that is almost sounds like, tonight you are mine. Every inch of her skin quivers as it remembers love and pain and suffering and it all combines into trembles and recklessness. “Will you dance with me?” Isra blinks and looks away, already preparing her heart for all the moments that will come when the sun starts to crest above the horizon.

Somewhere in the crush of the crowd a pale mare starts to sing of bittersweet things and a harp cries in the heavy pause between the lines of her poetry.




@Marisol



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Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 105
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 96 — Threads: 12
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 5 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#7





WITH SWORD AND SALT -
I already miss you - 

Easy as it is unfitting, the Commander smiles. She cannot know that in the low, gloaming light, the white of her teeth could be the same white of a shark’s. Or that the gray of her eyes, here, in the near-dark, are not smooth like water but cratered like the moon, dip-nosed, pockmarked. 

And the smile, sheepish, both sad and celebratory, sticks to her lips like water to silk: Marisol blinks then, soft, sure, and feels the want of a response bubbling up in her like spring but does not quite have the courage to heed it. She bites her lip and bites down the urge. Anything she could think to say, she could think to somehow ruin. And the magic of the night - the heat in her veins, the sparkle of something strange in Isra’s eyes - is too strange and too occult to spoil with something so simple as words.

Overhead the lights shimmer and twist. Underneath their refractory gaze, Isra’s scales, and her dragon’s, seem to turn from sea to sky to blooming flower and back again in beautiful uncertainty. The rust of the chain snaked around her leg is gold, then copper, then blackness. Marisol lifts her head a degree. The  dark sable of her open throat seems to say yes. Yes. I trust you. 

So of course she says yes when Isra asks her to dance, though it is with some unkempt measure of embarrassment, followed by half a grin and a disclaimer: I don’t know how, she says, But yes. Of course. She ducks her head, and the sharp line of cut mane on her neck bristles a little, gold and dark in the light. And then, easy as anything, she brushes her lips against the soft slope of Isra’s shoulder and steps past her, closer to the milling of hundreds.


<3
aimless | kokovi
"a burnt child loves a fire."


Reply
Isra — Night Court Sovereign Signos: 410
▶ Played by nestle [PM] Posts: 246 — Threads: 32
▶ Female [she/her/hers] Hth: 30 — Atk: 30 — Exp: 66
▶ 6 [Year 497 Winter] Active Magic: Transformation
▶ 15.1 hh Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#8
Isra who is star-crossed

“And I thought, rolling my head to and fro between my hands in anguish, oh if only it could have worked somehow for us two.”



Nothing in the room catches her in quite the same way as Marisol's smile does. Isra feels like a moth, like a unicorn flying too close to the sun. She feels like a million things that exist in that gray place between life and between the fire. Her own look falters and waivers like a field beneath a storm.

Isra's doesn't see shark teeth and she doesn't see gray pits on the surface of the moon. In Marisol's eyes she can see a smoke cloud that hasn't yet chosen the shape in which it wants to climb the night-sky. She doesn't see teeth but stars, each a map that points in the direction of some new wonder Isra hasn't yet learned of. She knows of wishes and dreams but nothing of flying and less of fierceness.

And oh she wants to learn!

So she rises up her throat to Marisol like an offering, and she wonders what secrets the Commander will divine from the places where the satin slips back to reveal a necklace of teeth marks. She wonders too what she makes of the way Fable leaves them to wind through the crowd like a shadow made of cool-water and brine instead of blackness.  The music rushes over her like a wave and then she's not wondering but taking.

Isra decides to take the night, to make it her own. That brush of Marisol's lips (the ones that hide maps made of stars) is all the permission she needs tonight. She follows. Her own nose traces the curl of the pegasus's hip, then a wing, then that neck that is so much bolder than her own, delicate unicorn neck. “It's ok.” Their shoulders touch and Isra almost sighs for the way feathers sing against her skin.

Maybe she knows what it feels like to fly after-all.

“I will teach you.” She whispers just loud enough that her voice might sound like a song under that crying harp-string. Isra says nothing more and thinks only of Marisol as she leads her away into the crowd so that they might dissolve into the music (and become something more than two mares from different words).

The dawn is soon enough for thinking and she'll worry about the rest of the world then. Tonight there is only Marisol.

(and that thought that if she met her sooner the world would have been a little different).




@Marisol



Reply
Marisol — Dusk Court Soldier Signos: 105
▶ Played by RB [pm] Posts: 96 — Threads: 12
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 19
▶ 5 [Year 498 Fall] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#9





WITH SWORD AND SALT -
She notices the teeth marks on Isra’s throat and almost opens her mouth to ask, almost, almost - but this is not supposed to be a night for sorrow, and so she clenches the hinge of her jaw instead and turns away, almost shyly. 

She does not want to ruin the night, oppressively warm and possibly dangerous though it is. This may very well be the last night she gets off for months, for years, for the rest of her life, and oh, for all her commitment to duty she is not quite stone enough to let her happiness go this early. Instead she smiles, a little sheepishly, and watches the dragon slink away and disappear into the dark. (Marisol wonders why he would trust her.)

Music swells over the bustling crowd and rings in the Commander’s ears.  But even that is not enough to distract her from the shock and spark that climbs over her skin when Isra touches her. She shivers, almost flinches. Heat races across the path that the Night Queen traces with her lips and sets Marisol’s heart aches, croons in her chest; she stumbles a little on the floor, though nothing blocks her path; she trembles and sighs and tries to forget the way a kiss feels against her hip.

I’ll teach you. 

Ah. Teach me everything, she wants to say, clever as it is too-obvious, unsure of her boldness as she is desperate to use it. 

But the Halycon has beat caution into her, and what can she do but be silent and smile, following Isra into the crowd with the sweet bump of a shoulder against hers. 

She does not think of duty, nor of love.

<3
aimless | kokovi
"a burnt child loves a fire."


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