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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 - These here are my desires
Leto — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 0
▶ Played by Obsidian [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Starfire
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#1
stars hide your fires


-- -- --
 

The skull mask is pearl upon her face. Its teeth sharp as they curl about her slim nose (that emerges like a tongue from the mask’s bone maw). The skull is alabaster to her obsidian skin. All across its smooth surface painted and carved stars and moons gleam in gold and black. The mask is night, the mask is bone and its skull is fierce. Feathers plume like a spiked crown from its poll and beads hang to clack and clink with the rhythm of her steps. The sounds they make are the snap of jaws unseen.
 
Each step is slow, as Leto drinks in the court. There is nothing about this girl that belongs here. She is a creature of the fringes, one born to sleep with stars as her roof and trees as her walls. She makes her beds in swamps and upon mountains. She dances to the beat of animal skin drums and the music of stars. Chants are upon her tongue all the night long. The stars and the earth are her gods.
 
Leto is not made for the silk and glitter of a ball. All that adorns her is earth born and sky fallen. Pearls gleam within the twines of her ebony mane. Their light dances across gold painted leaves that lie like daggers against the soft of her throat. Across her skin is a ritual display of litanies and blessings. Each is drawn in gold by Ilati hand, they curl like shining serpents and silver stars scratch their fires into the very substance of her obsidian skin.
 
Leto is the shadow of the night, her black is the endless, falling spaces between stars. She is the black star, the darkness that pulls you in, in, in. And she stands upon the edges of the vibrant ballroom, both ancient and young. She is as endless as the stars, as old as the earth. She is knit together with stardust and ancient magic.
 
From the black orbits of her skull mask her eyes gleam, silver and bright. Those eyes are starfire burning, bright and fierce. Galaxies twist and turn within that gaze and nebulae gleam with light as old as time. Starfire roars in Leto’s ears and in her blood. Her heartbeat is a tattoo against the curve of her breastbone, beating ivory blood about her body harder and harder still.
 
The violin music tugs and begs and weaves like ribbons about her slender torso and just, just when she may succumb to this softer sound (softer than drums and the shattering of stars), Leto looks up, up, up. Feathers arch back with grace to touch along the curve of her spine. The tattoos weave up her throat, her jaw and on they go, endless and bright and savage. But none are as savage as her eyes that light the ceilings and watch the window that draws in Denocte’s night and stars.
 
Upon her lips is a chant, fearsome and wonderful, soft as song, terrible as supernovas. But suddenly she turns, pressing, weaving and dancing into the throng. Her limbs are the drums of the deep, her bones the rattle of percussion, her blood the keening of starfire. The violins will do, but for tonight alone, for above, so very high above, the stars are shifting.


@Asterion - finally! i get to write someone else with him - i think its always been Flora! (bc Raum would just be disgustingly mean to him lbh)
 




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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,435
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 328 — Threads: 34
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 87
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#2







 
Asterion drifts through the rooms of the castle, counting up dreams.

Wonder by wonder they lay before him, more numerous than the stars. There are ribbons and banners in colors he has no name for, tapestries whose threads glimmer and shine. In one room fish swim, suspended in crystal bowls, bright as flames in lamps; he wonders if they feel anything like their brethren at the lake to (he wonders if they are real at all). In another a solitary singer weaves a story with her voice as dancers in matching masks trail fire in sweeping arcs. But not all of the wonders he counts are so temporary or so strange - each grin he sees, each laugh he catches - these are all dreams, too.

The bay stallion still wears his mask, filagreed silver that hugs his cheekbones, presses cool around his eyes. The silks he wore are long gone, discarded in a heap somewhere after too much dancing, too much drink. Instead he wears lamplight across his shoulders, star-shine down his back. There is wine in his bloodstream, and joy, and the crowds wheel before him like a great murmuration.

It is a wailing, rising song that drawls him into the next room. One of the greatest wonders of Novus, he thinks, is its music; never before had he heard strings or horns or something so simple as breath blown across a reed. Now he follows the sound of a solitary violin into a room like a galaxy, and falls into darkness and noise.

Here horses dance like planets, like comets, like stars. Here they each wear masks and move free. His eyes shine as he scans them, this symphony - and then his gaze catches on one figure alone.

None dance like she does. None have skins so black or hair so wild. But it is not just her dancing that snags him, but the markings that crawl up her shoulders and neck and throat like runes - for he recognizes them.

Oh, he has not seen Rhea since their first meeting in the swamp; he can only pray she has survived the storms. But he could never forget the letters and markings she wore, painted on the bridge of her nose and carved into the curls of her horns. He had not thought he would see them again, here in a room where chanting echoes off the walls, round and round, pulling him down, below the thin wail of the violin.

Of course he approaches. He must know for sure; it is too hard to watch with the way she whirls and weaves, moving across the room like moonlight on water. Asterion, too, must move like starlight to reach her, for all the room around them is a current fast-flowing. It is difficult to reach her, more difficult still to catch her eye, to find a moment when she is moving slowly enough to reach for her ear. Yet he catches the curl of it, above her mask of bone; he is not afraid of the teeth it wears, not tonight. “I did not expect any of the Ilati to venture here tonight,” he says at last, “but I am glad you have.”





@Leto

and hardly ever what we dream





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Leto — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 0
▶ Played by Obsidian [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Starfire
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#3
stars hide your fires


-- -- --
 

Above the stars are keening, their siren cries falling away beneath the thrum of drum music. The girl dances upon the earth that beats like a heart and the earth that echoes with revelry and wonder. She does not look up now, not since she saw the stars falling, not since her white blood began to warm - more sun than the star itself.
 
The king comes with stars upon his skin. He moves below streaming banners that pour out like the ichor of gods, bathing their worshippers in a thousand colours. Upon his face his mask is pooling, curling silver. Though Leto dances, she watches him come bearing the reflection of her white-bright eyes. Asterion arrives as stars might, resplendent and commanding, planet-struck and comet-bright. Beneath her gasping throat, her heaving sides, those painted sigils he watched shift like water and magic. They glitter as fresh snow beneath a newborn sun and how stark they are upon the black, black of her skin.
 
His gaze is a fingers touch upon them and she shivers for each is sacred, each has made her skin sacred and also nothing of worth compared to the value they hold with her god. Leto is a canvas to the art of her people and the space for stars to hide their fires. Stars fall to her, summoned like rain upon the desert and though she watches the Dusk king she listens to their starfires shift.
 
Her skull mask tilts, pearls and bone gleaming, illuminated in the sea of candles and nebulae light that makes up the grand room. Feathers atop her mask sway as rushes might, pointing like clock hands, counting down the seconds she holds him in her silver-fire gaze. Her smile curls eternal and delightful across her lips. It is as sharp comet tails and wicked with fierce promise. But it is gone like a clap of lightning and the girl, black as night arches her nape with pride.
 
“They shall not break us.” Leto means of the gods and of her home so recently sunk beneath water, rife with disease and only just recovering. Her starfire eyes are full of ghosts, of those Ilati who did not survive, of the multitudes of drowned Dusk citizens who now walk its moonstruck lands as trapped souls.
 
Leto smiles again, a black star swallowing light. Her sigils shine like splits in the very fabric of her skin. But oh how those runes bind her together with liturgy and religion. She does not tell him of her shed-star blood (though that is the reason she stands beneath the Night Court sky this eve), not when he asks of the Ilati.
 
The air is rich with alcohol, the hum of it is in his veins, in the glimmer of his eyes beneath his mask. Leto might ask of the joy in his blood, the taste of liquor upon his tongue, if not for the tide of revelry-filled dancers that push and pull at the king and his subject.
 
“What wonders have you seen tonight, Asterion?” Leto asks, betraying that she is a girl of the fringes who knows nothing of how to address kings when stars are upon her tongue and earth-magic in her soul.

@Asterion 
 




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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,435
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 328 — Threads: 34
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 87
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#4







 
It seems strange to see her dance beneath a roof, however lovingly adorned, however bespelled (if only for a night).

It is perhaps a testament to his time in Novus that, prior to this moment, Asterion had not thought it strange to stand in a ball-room and listen to music with a hundred strangers and friends. To wear silk or bone or anything at all. Only now does he see it as strange; when he is near enough to speak to her he closes his eyes and sees them not within a great walled castle but out beneath the sky with its river of starlight with the wind in their hair.

Oh, his thoughts are turning fanciful again, and for a moment he lets them.

This near to her he can smell Terrastella on his skin, and he does not expect the way it makes his stomach twist with homesickness and his heart tug with longing. There is the wild salt of the sea (so different from Denocte’s bustling port!), there is the thick rich scent of Tinea, there the sweet summer-grass of the fields that roll like carpet out from the city. No matter how wild she looks, no matter the strangeness of her skull mask and the ringing bells wound in her hair, she still smells of home, and Asterion’s heart beats bright against his ribcage.

When she speaks he is still caught in that rush of feeling, and so he knows at once what she means. “No,” he says, and in his voice is a vow. “They will not.” But as soon as he says it his gaze shifts to curiosity, for he is sure he does not know this girl, sure he has not even heard the ring of her voice even in a dream.

So when she names him he is doubly surprised, as though he has forgotten he is a king. Beneath his mask his dark eyes widen for a moment, and then he laughs like moonlight on the sea. “More than I can name,” he tells her, as the bodies turn around them, a push and pull like the tide. “And yet each moment brings another.” They are foolish words, those of a inexperienced prince and not a king tested, but his blood is wine and starlight and his eyes are full of a wild girl with magic writ across her skin. “I will tell you one in return for your name,” he says, and his dark mouth curls into a smile, bare inches from her cheek. The thought that he could simply ask (or order, if he was that kind of king) does not cross his mind at all. 




@Leto

and hardly ever what we dream





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Leto — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 0
▶ Played by Obsidian [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Starfire
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#5
stars hide your fires


-- -- --
 

Ah the call of Terrastella is deep in her heart. It is the thump of blood in her veins that commands the rhythm of her dance. Her eyes watch him, all moon bright and silver light. That gaze is as steady as the hanging moon, it holds him like his moon shadow might. Leto frames him in darkness and starlight, witchery and leaves.
 
She moves, the smallest of gestures, the twitch of a bird upon the branch, but her bells chime as though the world deserved to know. Yet the masquerade swallows their declaration in song and laughter and the bells chime on for his and her ears alone.
 
This hybrid girl of earth and sky is an anomaly here. Her eyes sway from Asterion and the departing of her gaze is clouds tracking across the moon. Does the world feel darker when she does not look upon it? Do shadows teem? She does not dwell to think (she is not vain enough to think), but she watches the silks that swirl, sees the ripple of gossamer and wonders at how different she is: Leto is bare bark in this forest of blossom.
 
And she does not care.
 
As her gaze returns, the moonlight of it no longer holds costume silks but the fan of her kings lashes instead. She studies each, pressed tight against his cheeks. When did Leto stop dancing? Was it when Asterion fell into his dream world and pulled her down too? Wherever he pulls her, it tugs the smile from his lips too and her head tilts wild and curious. The star girl’s skull mask is milk in the light, pouring across the grooves of her face.
 
She tips forward, lighting him, yet again, in moonlight and galaxies. She does not smell (as he does) the salt of the sea, or the earthy metal of Tinea. No, instead she smells the alcohol upon his breath, the sweat of dance, the richness of incense. Yet she leans forward still, as though, wherever he is, she might smell it too.
 
And yes, there, closer than she should dare, she smells the swamp and the sea, upon his star-lit skin. They are just echoes upon him and whispers upon her tongue. Her king’s eyes open and Leto recoils, a star flung wide from a deity’s palm. Her ears are crumpled towers in the ebony vines of her hair.
 
Asterion agrees and a part of her slips loose, unwinding like a serpent from a tree. It falls away, limp as rope and vanishes like water through fingers. Leto smiles small and subtle, but it roars like Icarus’ blazing sun. Her chin lifts, as though reverent to the skies but so full, too, of savage pride for their drowned court. Terrastella would rise like the leviathan from the deep.
 
His laughter is music upon water, the chime of gold leaves in winter-claimed trees. Still she watches him warily for she was not made to bow to kings or queens. He leans in and, in perfect, mirroring dance, Leto sways away, but his lips are still close, his breath a fine liquor across her cheek.
 
Her king’s compliment washes over her painted skin and she does not recognize it as she should. Instead she looks up, up at the stars that blink down through open windows, she looks around at the throngs of bodies, the flashes of silk garments… This masquerade is a feast of colour and dance. But, Leto knows, “There are better wonders than here.” And then it is she who is lost, whose mind is full of clashing stars, of emerald swamps made beautiful and haunting with mist and splendor.
 
He asks for her name in exchange. She does not hesitate or deny him, she does not even think to. Her name, “Leto,” the song of it is a sigil she paints upon his skin.  She tilts and sways to the laughter of bells that chink on her bone mask. “Tell me what you saw when you closed your eyes.” The starfire girl demands, holding him ransom in her moonlight gaze. “For that seemed far more precious to you than anything here.”
 
Leto thinks she might already know his answer, but she wants to hear him say it, to hear the passion, loyalty and love that a king should have for his land.


@Asterion 
 




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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,435
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 328 — Threads: 34
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 87
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#6







 
He senses her nearness before he sees it, the wind of her breath stirring the soft hairs of his cheek, the dark tousles of his forelock. Everything is close and warm in this summer hall but she is close enough to be his shadow, close enough his skin prickles, each cell alive and aware.

Maybe he smiles when his eyes open and she flinches away as though startled or struck; maybe he is a little sorry.

But neither of these things are evident when she speaks, for he must strain to catch her words, even so close. Now it is his turn to lean in, to tilt toward her the curve of his ear. When hear he does his gaze flicks to hers, to catch moonlight as in his palms; but Asterion is too slow to ask her to tell him, to show him, to take him to these wonders. Ah, but he can smell them on her skin anyway, and see them in the shadows of the bone of her mask.

Leto, she names herself, as the music changes key and the bodies sway around them, as the drums beat fiercer still. Asterion takes those syllables and tucks them in his heart, where they echo like the ripples of a pebble on a lake, away and away until he knows he will remember them forever. Leto, Leto, like a ringing bell; this close he can see each line of the sigils on her skin but he is no nearer to knowing what they mean.

Her question surprises him again (though by this time in the night he should be used to the feeling). It is not the kind of thing he is used to a stranger demanding and his gaze does not shy from hers. Instead it captures it, it holds it, the way the darkness holds the moon, the way the stars hang suspended in the blackness between. “Have you been watching me, Leto, to know what is precious to me?” he asks, but there is no threat in it, only a slyness that is almost shy, only words sweet and wicked as mead. The king pays no attention to the bodies that bump into him, though he wonders that they never seem to jostle her; as the strings pick up again around them he sighs and the look in his eyes softens to sea-foam.

“I saw home,” he says simply. “I heard the birds singing in the swamp and I felt the sea-grass against my legs along the cliffside and I smelled the summer sun on the wheat as I walked into the city.” There is longing in his voice, there is sorrow and there is pride - but when he looks at her again it is something like fear that creases his eyes. His heartbeat is still quick with drink and his skin still slick with sweat from dancing but it is neither of those things he thinks of when he asks her, “Have you been there? How bad is it?”

At once he wants to regret the asking, but he can not quite bring himself to. He has been in contact with some who stayed - with Israfel - but he would hear this truth from Leto’s lips, this fearless bold girl who reminded him so what Terrastella meant.


@Leto

and hardly ever what we dream





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Leto — Dusk Court Citizen Signos: 0
▶ Played by Obsidian [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 2
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 10 — Atk: 10 — Exp: 10
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Starfire
▶ 16 hh Bonded: N/A
#7
stars hide your fires


-- -- --
 

What irony is it that they are both caught in the wonders of their memories? Of a land that was once, but is no longer beautiful. They yearn together, each leaning in, pulled together as if by a tide of memories that drifts them on and on in Terrastella’s story of woe.
 
Her love for the Ilati swamp is something instinctive, it thrums with the beat of her heart, it sings with the sound of leaves rustling in her ears and strokes away her anxiety with the brush of the wind… Her love is something intangible and yet felt, so deeply, so completely.
 
Leto stands before Asterion, a girl torn, split between stars and terra firma. It is a bitter irony that she does not have wings to fly, that the pull of earth was enough to overcome the lift of the stars. So she looks up, as she always has, the Ilati girl with a flyaway mind. The creature with stars in her eyes and stardust in her soul. Her sigils glow, as if lit by the sun, glittering in idle candlelight like the stars twinkling in midnight’s lull.
 
He stands close and like a tree in the wind, she bows away but all about her is a changing cage of bodies. She is a star – used to a thousand legions between her and any other being. But here she cannot be that lone star. So she stands with muscles held taught beneath her skin, her slender neck a graceful, subtle, polite curve away from his, even as he watches her and thinks of home, even as she too sees him and dreams of what her home was and what it might never be again.
 
Have you been watching me, Leto, to know what is precious to me?
 
How quickly her gaze returns to his – enough to set her bells chiming and they are clanging cymbals in her surprised ears. Light sends shadows pooling in the orbits of her mask and from within their sunken depths her dark eyes glitter like embers catching light.
 
“Yes.” Leto confesses, though to her it is no confession at all. She watched him indeed. She watched as his lashes fell to fan across his cheek . She watched as joy smoothed the lines of pain etched upon his face. “I watched you enough to hope…” The girl then adds, momentarily doubtful, uncharacteristically so. Her gaze sweeps like moonlight to the tiled floor beneath them.
 
The bodies about them jostle and the music is still a drumbeat, so close to tribal that her heart begins to beg, that her body aches to dance – but this hall will not do! Not when the stars of Denocte and the trees of Terrastella call to her like sirens.
 
Her heart begins to ache and she begins to feel anew the uncomfortable press of bodies, the majesty and ostentatiousness of Denocte’s Grand Hall in this night of celebration. Leto was not made for palaces or grand events and so, when her king finally speaks of what he saw (when his eyes closed), it is both a balm and salt upon the wound of her discontent.
 
Then Leto stands, as still as the moon looks within the sky; so still but moving fast, fast, faster than one could ever begin to comprehend. She gazes at him as wild and silver as the light the sun casts upon its sister moon. Within that light she seizes him as though he were a saving rock in the sea-foam of his own gaze; she was not made for oceans either. (Leto was not made for many, many things).
 
Her eyes do not close as he speaks, but within the dark of those skull orbits she sees all he speaks of. It is a memory for her too and it traps her breath within her lungs, setting her heart pounding in the slim cage of her chest. Yet still she does not move (even while she spins and spins and spins).
 
Leto hangs upon the longing of Asterion’s voice and arches her nape at the fear creeping into his gaze. He asks of their home and silently Leto drinks in her Terrastellan King (his skin of earth and night and the stars that scatter across his torso and hair). He is as any shed-star would be yet there is water in her eyes and it is a terrible, terrible whisper into her soul, an omen in her ears that she does not understand. Leto does not recoil and instead says as bold as sunlight shattering night, “It is time you came home, Asterion.”
 
For she will not tell him, not when he has eyes to look. Leto moves past him, already they were close as shadows and, like night, the black of her compliments the stars of his skin. Her body curves a graceful arc around his, close enough to feel the heat of their skin, close enough to imagine what it might be to touch and yet far enough to never touch at all. “The imagining is always worse than the seeing.” The starfire girl offers as she steps past Asterion and it is an invitation – as if the whole night was, as if her presence at the ball was only to invite him home.
 
Then she moves on, weaving through the crowds like a dance of planets. Bodies shift close, but of course, they are never near enough to touch - for Leto is grace and she slips as quick as water from where they might have met. Then, she pauses, her bone mask tilting to cast a look at him, to see if he might follow.

@Asterion 
 




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Asterion — Dusk Court Sovereign Signos: 1,435
▶ Played by Griffin [PM] Posts: 328 — Threads: 34
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 42 — Atk: 38 — Exp: 87
▶ 7 [Year 496 Winter] Active Magic: Water Manipulation
▶ 16 hh Bonded: Cirrus (Pallas's Gull)
#8







 
To look at her is to remember the creature he once was - all starfire and spark, curiosity eating up the edges of his soul the way flame licked up bark. Once, recalls the toss of her hair, you did not know what walls were, and oh! how his heart aches for such days! (It is easy, watching Leto, to forget about the burrs tangled in his hair, the winter-leanness and mud in his coat, the need to be always aware).

He wonders what adventures they might have, what stories she could tell him, if only he were not a king -

But it is only the wine in his blood, only the music and the bells caught fast in her hair and the way all of it works together to urge him to wildness. Perhaps it is a blessing, that they stand beneath a ceiling (however bespelled it is tonight), for if he were below the vast swath of stars he might try to catch one, and name it for her.

It has always been so easy for him, to be swept away.

Yes, she admits, and his heard bounds to imagine what she might know of him. His gaze on her is intent, but it softens when she casts her own to the floor, her eyes lost behind the tilting angle of her stark bone mask. The king does not understand what emotion changes her then, cannot imagine it as shyness. When she trails off his ears prick, wanting badly to hear what might come next.

But nothing does. Music interferes, dancers intervene, the moment moves on and is lost like a dropped grace note or a rhythm abandoned. Asterion tries not to be sorry.

And he isn’t, not when they speak of Terrastella, not when she looks at him again with the glint of something bright (like a fraction of star, a sliver of moon) in the dark of her skull’s shadowed eyes. Somehow he does not guess that it might be tears. Then it is easy to once more forget the room around them, and when he nods it is solemn and wanting. “Yes,” he says, “it is.”

Soon, he knows, they will return. Soon, when the festival was over and Denocte had been rebuilt as best it could be, he and Isra would part with their kingdoms friends. The knowledge of it is not enough for Asterion tonight, not when Leto's words ring wise in his ears.

His eyes follow her as she curves past him, smooth as water; her skin is so dark he can see no shadows upon it and he wonders if it feels like velvet or like satin. The bells in her hair are calling him still and dutifully he follows, only glancing at the other dancers enough so that he does not collide with them. They are near the doorway when she pauses - on the other side a hundred worlds wait.

If he stepped beyond that threshold, he thinks, where would he go? Would he follow the starlight of wine in his veins, or only follow her? How tempting it is, to have her lead him home - but it is too far to reach tonight. He is not a boy able to follow whimsy any longer, not a man who will again let himself be led away by a beautiful, wild girl without a thought, even if he is not running away but running home.

Duty keeps him grounded, as behind him the dancers spin and bow and the drum-song begins to give way to strings. From the hallway music drifts in from a dozen rooms, a tangled hymn of passion and sadness and longing and joy. The silver of his mask is cold against his cheeks when he gives his head the barest shake, and turns away from her for the first time since seeing her.

Yet his thoughts follow her, wherever it is she goes then, and they stay with her well past the sunrise.


@Leto oh he got dramatic there at the end

and hardly ever what we dream





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