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Novus closed 10/31/2022, after The Gentle Exodus

Interactive Quest  - l'appel du vide

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Played by Offline Staff [PM] Posts: 309 — Threads: 165
Signos: 989,640
Official Novus Account

into the fire

It’s high noon when it first starts; a little flame on a patch of dirt. It is dwarfed by the cliffs, whose shadows contour each angular plane of its face in the severity of the midday sun. The water below stretches with no end and with a glaring reflection of the sky so bright it could blind. No one notices the rising fire.

No one, save a single winged mare in the heart of Terrastella.

Fire runs in her veins——her every step, her every word roars with its passion and mettle. Its manipulation is a power she has possessed before, and wields again. It is no coincidence she is the one that it calls upon. It had been her end.

And now, it will be her rebirth. All she must do is find it.

Should @Israfel choose to seek out the fire that wordlessly calls her, she will come upon a path of embers floating in the air, each a step nearer to their source than the last. The darker the sky, the easier they are to see, and the brighter and higher the final flame burns. The fire grows in time with the sun’s descent: slowly, as if it were a vehicle of animation, rather than destruction; a single column of heat and light at the Praistigia Cliff’s edge.

Even before Israfel can see the fiery pillar, she will hear its crackle and roar. It is faint at first——could be written off as a figment of her imagination. The closer she gets; however, the more certain she will become that something is burning.

As twilight draws nearer, the sky begins to glow a crimson red. The sunset bleeds into the ocean, and the fire stretches into the sky. There is no distinction between the three, only color. When it reaches its full height, the flame throws up ashes to dance upon the breeze; black stars in a red night.

A fire at the edge of the world surely marks the end of something, one is bound to think. Indeed, “Come,” it seems to command, (and not simply to come to, but) “come through”——through, and over the edge of a cliff. And yet, the flame seeks not to harm, but to bestow a gift upon the embodiment of fire itself. It will take both faith and bravery to step into the pillar of flame—the very thing that killed Israfel,—for if the fire scorches her feathered wings, the only way out will be down.

Should @Israfel choose to follow the ember path, she will find herself at the edge of the Praistigia Cliffs in front of a column of fire not dissimilar from the one that killed her previously. When she steps into the fire, she will feel a fierce sensation of heat in her gold markings and wings akin to the intensity but painlessness of warm water on cold skin. Once the feeling fades, the pillar of flame will disappear back into the dirt from which it came, leaving Israfel in the black of night. 

She may or may not be aware of her new immortality.

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If you want Israfel to begin aging again: contact staff. If she becomes mortal again, you won't be able to re-instate her immortality without purchasing it again through the Agora.

enjoy! -aim

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Played by Offline Sparrow [PM] Posts: 137 — Threads: 30
Signos: 1,020
Night Court Sovereign
Female [She/Her/Hers]  |  Immortal [Year 496 Summer]  |  16.1 hh  |  Hth: 32 — Atk: 28 — Exp: 85  |    Active Magic: Pyromancy  |    Bonded: Solaris (Phoenix)

A set of eyes had pinned him
Became his version of a kingdom
She's everything the devil can't be
When she's singing to me, "Glory"

There were two sides of Novus.

One was very transparent. It was very obvious. Novus was made up of four solar courts dedicated to their patron deities. Worship of the assigned ideology within those said courts was not mandatory, but encouraged. Within Terrastella, the general consensus was that Vespera was a bitch. Apparently everyone else liked to rub elbows with their patrons. Every court had a ruling sovereign. Beneath them, a regime and council. Days of peace were followed by nights of tension. Dawn would come, and the cycle would repeat. This was all very factual, very ‘by-the-books’. Very obvious.

The other was far more mysterious. Magic crawled through the world of Novus, although it was not near as prominent or obvious as it had been within Helovia. It slid through the soil, lucrative and cunning, waiting for the right person to gift or curse with its abilities. Creatures bonded their souls to worthy, and sometimes unworthy equines. Israfel had already been touched, either by birthright or arcane design, she didn’t know.

All she knew was that while Novus had two sides, the one that called to her now was very much the latter.

’You’ll go?’ Solaris questioned, gliding lazily through the air as Israfel sashayed across the familiar crags and stone slabs. Every step was done so with confidence. This treacherous terrain did not daunt her, not when she had patrolled these very cliffs since her arrival into Novus. Vermilion eyes glanced upwards towards the placid ivory Phoenix, taking in her tame colors. There was no missing the look of concern within Solaris’ lavender eyes, however.

Israfel had awoken with the call. It was a familiar summons, the invisible, intimate pull that tugged upon her very being with such coercion and persuasion that even she, strong and defiant and stalwart, had been powerless to refuse. It sunk below her skin, piercing her muscle and bone, wrapping around with a merciless grasp and pulling as though the puppeteer, and she, the show.

’Come,’ it seemed to say, an ethereal whisper echoing in her ear and wrapping itself around her brain, ’Come, Sun Daughter. Prove your worth.’ Oh, but she would.

“Are you surprised?” Israfel questioned after a moment of deliberation, a vermilion stare glancing briefly to the gliding Phoenix above her head before refocusing on the path in front of them. “I have to. This… I know this. I know what this is.” Or so she thought. This was not the first time that she had felt this mystical summons. The last time had resulted in her death, swallowed whole and burnt alive by the very element that flowed through her veins, her birthright. The treachery against her own bloodline stung to that very day, respect sullied by resentment and confusion, but she was not a coward. If this was, indeed, the same magic that had called to her, lured to her, sung promises and sweet nothings in Helovia that had resulted in her premature death, then Israfel would not turn away from it.

Strength filled her body, determination igniting a flame that nothing could douse. Impenetrable and impregnable, her strength would not fail her. Not today.

“I will not fail.” A promise, a vow.

The first guiding fire was spotted shortly after, dancing about in the darkening sky as though placed upon an invisible torch. The flames twisted and curled, calling to her like luring fingers, and Israfel passed it by with a flick of the tail. A second flaming beacon twisted and curled not too far off, and she passed it by as well with a sidelong glance. A third emerged, floating curiously in the air, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth… Like beacons they guided her path, pulling her along, that feeling within her breast growing with every confident step she took. Every step guided her closer to the edgeline of the cliffs, but her eyes, stalwart, dauntless pearls of fierce vermilion, were locked upon the twisting, roiling shape in the distance placed against a backdrop of colors from the sunset lowering behind it.

Recognition bloomed within her heart in the manner of a second. The Sun Daughter’s ears tipped back, lips parting to form a savage snarl with teeth bared, and her eyes narrowed into pinpricks of judgement. She could hear it, the sounds of popping and crackling as though encountering the world’s largest bonfire. In a way, she supposed she had. A large, all consuming pillar of flame and destruction ascended towards the heavens only paces ahead, just off the edge of the cliffs. The spiraling wall twisted and turned, glowing a vibrant orange and illuminating past the growing darkness of the oncoming night. It was a magnificent sight, awe inspiring and terrifying, and the Warden of Terrastella understood well what might happen here.

Even from this distance she could feel the heat, the power, the waves of unseen heat buffeting her frame and toying with the strands of her hair as though a dry summer breeze. It pressed against her almost intimately like a long-lost lover, both adored and hated, and the Daughter of the Sun God took a determined step forward. “Not this time,” she whispered. To herself, to this pillar of flame, to her father, she didn’t know, but the words escaped rose-kissed lips before she could think to stop them. Not this time. Never again.

Piercing the veil that ensnared her was Solaris, the avian’s fearful words echoing in the back of her head. ’Don’t do this, child. I was sworn to keep you safe, not to stand by and permit you to kill yourself.’ Israfel straightened her shoulders, a confident action of rolling them back almost elegantly and letting her wings lift from their lax position tucked against her sides and fan out. The gilded markings across the entirety of her body seemed to sing and hum with a visceral, feral sort of need, and when her eyes met the concerned, fearful lavender gaze of Solaris, her vermilion stare seemed to glow.

“I have to do this… Stay here.” The order was given, and Solaris understood. The Phoenix’s heart thumped rapidly in her chest, watching her bond-mate straighten herself, prepare in whatever way was possible, and launch herself into the sky with a sweep of her glowing wings.

Israfel took to the skies, kicking off of the earth with a sweep of powerful wings and strong legs. The hot winds rushed her by, but her eyes were locked on the dancing flames rising into the sky. Red, red, red, it was all she saw. There was no sky, there was no ocean; it was all fire. Churning, dangerous, powerful, beautiful fire. ’Come’ it said to her, pulling, yanking, beckoning once more, a sweet caress to the most tender of places, ’Come through’.

Come through.

The Sun Maiden’s ears flattened amidst strings of ivory and gold, pale, nimble legs stretching out as her wings steered her towards the task ahead of her. Come through, the voice had said, and she would. Wind buffeted her, hot as embers and coals, and the wind caused her eyes to tear up. Her expression was twisted in a determined grimace, a dangerous snarl of determination and stalwart ambition, and the flames began.

Upon her horn, the gilded pattern of etchings upon the ivory surface and the down of her wings, the golden markings woven intimately upon her body, the flames erupted. Familiar, soothing, and hers to control. This would not stop her. Not this time. Her life was hers to keep, to live, to breathe, to experience the world in its entirety and nothing would stop her.

Like a flaming comet, Israfel collided with the roiling side of the pillar. It buffted her, fighting, wild and unpredictable heat enveloping her whole and for a moment she panicked. For a brief moment, the fear of pain, of agony, and death set itself alight within her chest… But then the pillar seemed to bend, the white-hot wall of it seeming to give way beneath her courage and determination, and she passed into it. Inside the pillar, her hair flying about her face from heat and rising wind, Israfel laughed.

It was not a soft laugh. It was wild, triumphant, and feral. The sound itself was swallowed by the sheer volume of the wildfire spinning around her, rising up, up, up. This was her birthright. This was why she had been born. This fire, it was hers. Where one might expect pain, she felt nothing. Oh, she could feel the flames and the sheer amount of heat that they gave off, cloaking her body in sweat and perspiration. They licked, caressed, and kissed against supple ivory flesh, but it did not burn. It did not maim, or char, or inflict any sort of pain. Instead, it did the opposite; it gave life.

New power seemed to flow into her very being, resonating and echoing within the deepest part of her core. It sang to her, flowing through her veins, pushing and pulling in time with the beat of her heart and the path of the blood in her veins. A strength filled her, youthful and eternal, and somehow, she knew.

Vermilion eyes gazed upwards towards the yawning mouth of the spiraling pillar, her hair whipping around her face by the sheer force of it all, and slowly then did her eyes close. The laughter died on her lips, replaced by an odd sense of peace, of belonging, of understanding, and even a tender touch of apology.


With the thought, everything stopped. The flaming pillar gave one mighty display of power and might, twisting and pulling itself up from the soil of the cliffs to disappear forevermore in the evening sky above. The red was replaced with the encroaching darkness of night, the all consuming, sweltering heat giving way beneath the expected kiss of autumn chill. Israfel’s hair fell back about her neck, her body covered in sweat and steam began to rise from her quivering frame. Somehow, her golden, cloven hooves had found purchase on the edge of the cliffs, her eyes facing the last dredges of the dying sun.

Breathless, she gulped in large swallows of cold air. The tears still stung at her eyes from soot, heat, and ash, and somehow, they began to fall, rivulets staining her sweat-soaked cheeks. Perhaps they were the tears that she had never allowed to fall for her homeland, from her previous experiences and the shock of death and revival, too proud and headstrong to give in to her tears… Perhaps they were from the overwhelming sense of emotion, the depths and spirals that had swallowed her in the leftover wake of adrenaline and victory.

Once more, laughter wracked her frame, but it was not the manic snap that had happened while in the heart of the tornado. No. This was a weak, tear-filled laughter of someone who had gone to hell and back, who had experienced loss and pain and agony, who knew darkness and light and the lingering stain of self-doubt. Israfel was trying. She was trying, and, and…

Lifting her jaw, the Sun Daughter let the tears fall like gemstones to the soil below. Unashamed. Each tear caught the dying sunlight, and fell to the ground beneath her hooves, but she could not tear her eyes away from the lingering remnants of the sun. Vaguely Israfel was aware of Solaris hesitantly arriving at her side, but the Phoenix was notably cautious, sensing her bond-mate’s inner turmoil and confusion. For now, Solaris would allow the Warden time to process and grieve.

Israfel knew. Oh, did she know. There was so much she could say, and in the end she said nothing, save a simple elegy that could never be said in person. It was far too late for that.

”Goodnight, Papa. Goodbye.”

And the tears fell.


@ - Thank you so, so much for this thread.


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