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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.

Spotlight

Character of the Season
Theodosia

Member of the Season
Nestle

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


DISCORD

Private - til the day you cast a shadow;
Abel — Day Court Citizen Signos: 265
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 12 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 2 [Year 500 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 14.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#1
A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



The worst of it had been the blood. 

All the dead Abel had seen, all those countless muddy bodies, had not been so visceral as this. The drowned might well have been sleeping, but for soaking hair and empty eyes, peaceful as Ophelia as she drifted between the banks. 

Not so the maze. 

That had been a butchering, a slaying by a lion’s jaws. The blood had been abundant on Raum and the dead man and on the unicorn queen, too, and in the work that had followed Abel had been spattered and streaked with it like new and savage art. 

It had taken so very long to wash off. 

Now he blinks against the low glare of the sun, and when he closes his eyes it still shines crimson through the butterfly-thin of his lids. It is strange to him that he can be so much further from the sun, here in the flat dead-desert heat of Solterra, and yet the heat here is simmering, far beyond the Arma’s autumn coolness. Already he misses the mountains, the way they framed everything, the way he never lost his sense of direction between their sharp rise and the gleam of the sea. 

Everything here looks the same. But it is not an easy, safe sameness; it grinds at him like sand beneath his eyelids, like the sand he licks now off of his teeth. Abel has been scouting, familiarizing himself with this hot and empty land, has been eavesdropping. But now he is weary, and his coat is slick with sweat and wind-flung sand, and he is thirsty. A few others are around, here on the outskirts of the city, but they all watch him like vipers, though they have no reason to suspect such a lean and dead-eyed boy of anything. 

Solterra had its orphans, too. 

Anyway, he does not blame them for their distrust, their jackal’s suspicion. Abel is a doubter, too. 

Still, when he sees a girl not far off from his own age he shifts his path to cut off her own, and stops her with a low nicker. For a moment he regards her, but he does not note the way her eyes are as dead-dull empty as his own. Light shifts through the clear faint blue of her horn but to him it is only something more to splinter the sunlight to pierce him. Abel does not like being drug out into the light. 

“Where can I find water?” he asks her, and for all his love of Denocte and her changing mountains and changing sea his expression far more recalls the Moors: flat and endless and devoid. 



x | x


Reply
Sabine — Vagabond Youth Signos: 20
▶ Played by Kezz [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 1 [Year 502 Spring] Active Magic: Medium
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#2


Sabine,


She wondered how she ever dreamt of anything before the desert. How the phantasmagorical wonderland she had created within the confines of her imagination paled in comparison to the opiate-realm that stretched like a map beneath her earthenware fingers. She had become a marionette: uprooted and pulled by strings that sang hymns full of dunes and beetles and moth-eaten palm leaves. Her organs swelled with sand, leaking the ancient grains into her arteries until they stopped the blood and choked her brain; but, I suppose, she didn't mind anymore - anything to settle the chemical agony hurtling through her ribs. 

The rumours. The stench of change on the eastern wind. The silence that screamed like a derailing train. 

Sabine had not believed them at first; as a girl with no home or origin it was easy for her to miss the rabbling whispers from the courts, but this was no ordinary scandal. Of course, by the time word reached the ears of a girl sentenced to the road, it was stained by exaggeration and legend and Sabi could not decide where to pluck the truth from the lie. Her loyalty, her love, told her to deny it all: her father would never commit such terrible crimes. But as the hours churned into days her full stops curved into question marks, and then there was no turning back. 

There was one tale, however, which had drowned her heart in tar so thick and black it could have lived in Satan's smile. One that she would revoke until Raum himself told her to be true, and when that dreadful day should come, something within her would fall and never rise again. 

For now, Sabine kept to the outskirts of the Mors; too saturated with dread to dare seek out the monster she loved. It was quiet here, and that was how she liked it, for how could she smile or speak or breathe in the company of others when her bones were turning mad and her tongue bled from the way she clamped upon it to stop the scream that would bring her father running -- no matter how many galaxies stretched between them. Today, however, her solitude seemed to pine for distraction from the host it lived beside, for there was something macabre about a child filled with enough grief to drown a thousand good men. So when the boy came quiet and slow Sabine did not know whether she was relieved or dismayed, but settled on the fact that perhaps it was a mixture of both. They stared at each other for a moment, and the girl wondered how he could ever see the light through eyes so implausibly dark. 

"I don't know." She says simply, and it is the truth, for she does not yet know how to lie. "I've been wondering that myself."


(sad birds still sing.)


@tag | "speech" | notes:
rallidae
[Image: nd8_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivde.png] [Image: nd9_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivda.png] [Image: nd4_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivfq.png]


Reply
Abel — Day Court Citizen Signos: 265
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 12 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 2 [Year 500 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 14.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#3
A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



He thinks nothing of the grief in her eyes, the too-old pull of her mouth, the shadows like bruises given from too many sleepless nights. Abel has seen it all before, and has felt it too. All he knows is this: the time of suffering is not yet done. Not for her or for any of them. (He has wondered, in the night when the moon is a hangman’s grin and he is alone, if they are living in the end of days. Should he be glad, to be a part of such a thing?)

But he might feel differently if he knew she belonged to Raum.

Ah, did it make her any less an orphan, to have a father in the Ghost? What does it make of Abel, who craves his approval, who craves any parent at all? Who hungers for touch like a seed unfurled too soon desires even the winter sun?

The boy regards her, this dusky-rose girl with the piercing eyes so full and so empty, as blue and cutting as her twin horns. Her answer surprises him - she had not looked lost. (But neither had he - it had nothing to do with not having a home). He might have sighed, once, and turned away to continue his search.

But now he only swallows and his throat is dry and rough, as though the sand were not content to be in his eyes and nose and ears alone but now must invade his trachea and his lungs. Abel wonders how long it will take him until he is buried from the inside, and if he would be the first to die in this way. Perhaps it would be a blessing, for he knows Raum must have horrors in store yet for the desert kingdom.

Which takes him back to the girl.

“If you are not from here,” he says slowly, as though each word must be drawn up from a deep well, “then you should not linger.”

It is as close as he can come to saying run away, run away, there is nothing here for you but death.




x | x


Reply
Sabine — Vagabond Youth Signos: 20
▶ Played by Kezz [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 1 [Year 502 Spring] Active Magic: Medium
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#4



Sabine,


What god could write a tale as sad as this? How thick was the blackness in their heart to justify the horrors they composed? Were they unable to see their hands were dipped not in paint but blood? Sabine wanted to hate them, she wanted to hate them just as feverishly as she wanted to hate her father; but creatures like she had never been taught how to carry loathing in their girdle liked a loaded gun. Long cold nights she had spent staring into the darkness, lying in wait for an intensity that would never come. The dawn would rise once more like a body from the grave to laugh in the face of a girl unable to hate the wicked and the sin and the man who had once been a home. 

The truth was, there would never be any room for hatred to come knocking at her door, so full with pity was her heart. 

She felt his metal gaze running over her skin like dull torchlight, obscure to a fault, and her fine limbs shifted uncomfortably beneath the weight of it. His body was draped in a deep sable cloth marred by the sand that had been whipped up over his frame, burying itself into his eyes and hair and nose; Sabine knew instantly he was just as out of place here as she was. They choked on the sand that the rattlesnake loved and burned beneath the sun that the cacti lauded. But that did not mean they were dying; never underestimate that which endures beyond all else, and no doubt those two young mortals, that stood like galleries of ancient art, had endured.

His words were not a surprise - "you are not the first to tell me so," her voice is formless against the putridly hot air and she cannot tell if she should smile or not, "Mother always said I was a fool and here I am, proving her perpetually right." Instantly Sabine feels the mines stacked with dynamite imploding within her body, and regret twists like a python around her eyes, blinding her over and over again. Rhoswen. Mother. Rhoswen, or Mother? Her heart tackled the question to the ground, beating it to a pulp so that it could not be asked again. She cannot broach the thought of what that red roman might be doing now, thinking now, feeling now. The world was upside down and nobody was screaming. 

In eager distraction Sabine mulls the boy's statement over once more, and this time it strikes a chord. It had been a clear warning, of course, but from a child that was so obviously not Solterran, what did this mean? That he had emigrated here in recent days, or weeks? She blinks, and swallows, and feels the desert hold its breath in anticipation for the words that come spilling forth: "why, then, are you here?"



(sad birds still sing.)


@tag | "speech" | notes:
rallidae
[Image: nd8_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivde.png] [Image: nd9_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivda.png] [Image: nd4_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivfq.png]


Reply
Abel — Day Court Citizen Signos: 265
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 12 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 2 [Year 500 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 14.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#5
A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



Abel had learned early on there was little point to hating the gods.

What good would it do?- if your prayers at night weren’t praise at all but curses, the best that might happen is the gods would laugh. And the worst, oh the worst was a smiting, not just you (never so simple) but your mother, your father, your best friend of a year. They would turn your house to rubble and turn away with a shrug, forgetting it all in the next moment of their never-ending existence.

Easier, safer, wiser, to not think of them at all. To be as indifferent, as agnostic as they were.

He does not care for her gaze on him. Abel does not like any eyes on him, not now that there is no one left to look on him with pride but only with distrust and with pity and with irritation, as though it were the great wish of his heart to be a gutter-rat. The boy shifts under her gaze, which pricks at him like her horn might. He is coming not to care for unicorns.

There is nothing he can say to her words, her Mother always said. Talk is a game he has fallen out of practice of. And so Abel only smiles tightly as if to say yes, I remember Mothers, too, and I agree with yours.

(Only a beat later does the question rise up to tap on the back of his teeth, to sit like a hot stone on his tongue, is your Mother here? is she alive? If so you should wish her away, and quickly!)

It is so dry here. Soon Abel will have to fight to swallow. But for now he only stares at her and snaps his tail against the buzzing flies. He wonders how she doesn’t know, doesn’t guess - can’t she see he’s marked with sin? He is darker than his own shadow and he has come to be made blacker still. At first there had been a why of it but now he isn’t even sure of that. He wants to lie to her and he wants to tell her he is here to do the work of a new god, or maybe an old devil. “Because I have to be,” he says, a disappointment for both of them. And then he tilts his head, just a little, and there is something in his eyes more than smooth cold stones. “If you are told so much then why don’t you listen?”

If he had listened to his Mother more, would she be alive? Or would he be dead?


x | x


Reply
Sabine — Vagabond Youth Signos: 20
▶ Played by Kezz [PM] Posts: 16 — Threads: 4
▶ Female [She/Her/Hers] Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 13
▶ 1 [Year 502 Spring] Active Magic: Medium
▶ 15.2 hh Bonded: N/A
#6


Sabine,


The boy's voice is gravel and grit and everything she might have once feared; for he was a chasm and chasms were never as empty as they seemed. Her father had taught her that with a hard stare and eyes that changed in the mist: blue to red to black to white, and on into shades she had never before seen. Sabine knows what empty things look like, and she knows that this dark little coyote too has learned well the value of emptiness and sin. She can see that his blood has turned grey like soot and dust, she can see it snaking through his veins with a listlessness that makes her skin itch and her heart shrink. What sky had he lived beneath? What did the earth feel like to him? Sabine wanted to reach out and touch the ribbons of stone that rode the rise of his shoulders, if only to see whether her lips would turn to lead. Of course, she did not.

"Because I have to be."

Sabi frowned the way a robin might at the sun, turning her small body away from him now so that she might once again scour the horizon for life. You could never be too careful in a place that sang and stank of death. For a moment she wants to say do you? Who told you that? Why? But the moment passes; it was not wise to pry -- not here, not now. Whilst her gaze remains fixed on the deluge of brittle gold, she replies softly, "Because I have to be here too..." she swallows, and closes her eyes as though in fear of hallucinating the sight of a man dressed in a ghost's gown, "perhaps you can help me? Hell might not seem so terrible with a guide."


(sad birds still sing.)


@Abel | "speech" | notes: <3
rallidae
[Image: nd8_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivde.png] [Image: nd9_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivda.png] [Image: nd4_by_outofthefurnace-dbnivfq.png]


Reply
Abel — Day Court Citizen Signos: 265
▶ Played by griffin [pm] Posts: 12 — Threads: 2
▶ Male [He/Him/His] Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10
▶ 2 [Year 500 Winter] Active Magic: N/A
▶ 14.3 hh Bonded: N/A
#7
A b e l
I WILL OFFER UP A BRICK
TO THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD, BOY



He had lived beneath the same sky as she and the earth then had felt like springtime, a new promise with each step. The air had smelled of pine and sea-salt and he had been taught by his parents to see little treasures everywhere, even if they were only stones with a silver bolt of quartz cutting through, or a shell so small and soft-pink it was like a perfect autumn morning.

Sometimes he still sees such little treasures, but he understands now they are only there to be taken away.

For what is life but losing? Each breath one less, each heartbeat a tick of a clock winding down and down. Yet they must still be precious to him, somehow, for the way he struggles to prolong them.

When she turns her blue-blue eyes back out to the horizon line Abel does not take his own from her; he observes her, the little frown, the horns like perfect icicles. He wonders if they might shatter like glass if they struck bone, or melt when sunken into hot blood; he does not wonder why it is he can only look at a beautiful thing now and only guess how it might kill or die.

Abel opens his mouth and is surprised when a laugh falls out, rare and heavy as a lump of gold. He hadn’t thought he could still make the sound. And then he shakes his head at her and says “And which of us is the guide? Perhaps we will both die of thirst.” When he at last looks out it is to see black vultures wheeling, their black shadows beneath, and the endless sweep of sand and the distant red walls of the canyon. 

He sighs as he shifts closer to her, turning back to the capital, where at least he knows there is a well. “Come on, then,” he says, his voice caught between gruff and too young, “hell is waiting.”


x | x


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