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Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 39 — Threads: 6
Signos: 290
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Umbrakinesis // Bonded:
#1

He woke as the cry of gulls broke for the jeering caws of chattering crows, no doubt scoffing the state of their misfortunate scavenging. A live one, they seem to chuckle amongst themselves, a sodden wet rat at that. But it is whispers that make the notion – those of speculation, heavily weighted in a hallucinogenic dream. As his eye opens to behold they are but crows and caws, albeit laughing still, but no more parroting of any intelligible conversation as the next pest. A moment longer they observed from a driftwood perch before taking flight, scattering the ground around him in sand and pearlescent black feathers. His brow furrowed, pain bubbling in his chest and threatening to rise – like a hundred hungry daggers, balled and gnarled and rolling angrily up his throat – he coughed and choked, the saltiness of seawater flooding his mouth again and stinging his tongue as he retched it from his lungs. They wheezed and sputtered, a tangle of thorns that pried and gutted him of any full breath, wrenching from their depths a seeming third of the ocean before he could draw the slightest rasping inhalation that didn't froth.

It was morning when he was spat upon Denocte's shores. He raised his head slowly, almost collapsing with the small motion itself as his muscles suddenly remembered their plight, and observed that the sun had just begun to fall from its peak – and his skin crawled with the realization. Half drowned, near starved, and sunburnt all but to a fried semblance of what he once was, he forced his body to rise. It was almost futile the first few attempts; and once, he even fell back hard against the ground and considered resting his eyes just a bit more. But he had already wasted enough time and he doubted the patience of those hungry crows would compete with the savagery of a few famished vultures, if something worse hadn't seen him before then. Shrugging against a boulder, he weakly rose to his feet and struggled another seawater breath – choking more of it from his lungs like a bitter poison.

For a brief second he thought he had caught a glimpse of the cloaked woman again, observing from afar. The sun beat down upon the sands of the beach, lit a fire to the shores that blinded him as he blinked frantically to reclaim sight. Blurs, shadows, striking lights all fell away to dreamstate, humming with the drone of the sea. A hundred blinks more and shapes took form – rocks, seaweed, caverns... and a colt that regarded him with a tense shoulder, seeming ready to bolt at any moment the man chose to so much as twitch. It remained however, still as the stone around it, frozen and wide-eyed in panic, or wonder, or perhaps some pity? Erasmus leaned back against the boulder, catching his breath and closing his eyes as they grew sore with transition. When he opened them again the colt had moved further away, unless he had mistaken his original placement, though was just as still now as he was before. Some manner of irritation slipped in between his exhaustion, his brows knitting with solemn vexation. what." he drawled venomously between gritted teeth, poised fang, eyes narrowed as the boy trembled beneath the burden of Erasmus's cruel, firm tone. A spindle of gold cobweb slipped from the colt's satchel, a golden crow skull plopping against the sand. The youth's eyes dropped in horror to the spilled stolen goods, then snapped back to the piercing gaze that beheld him like a cobra's heady glare.  

“Drop – it – now."


The satchel clicked and struck the ground with the weight of a luggage bag, clinking with the sounds of a many valuables that scorned the foul play. Pearls rolled from the gaping rawhide, a pocket watch snapped open and ticked erratically. “I-I-I thought you were... well, dead, mister.” the colt stammered, unmoving, allowing the trinkets to settle in the sand. Erasmus shrugged off the helpful boulder and tripped forward, aching muscles snatching him from another heavy fall and groaning in each sore step. In a quick whip of the breeze his twine was unraveled from the pack, the rattle of bones and claws clattering in an array of chiding pandemonium as they wove between his hairs, knotted along his neck and tangled in his tail. “Who says I'm not?" He rasped as he bore his gaze into the boy's timid eyes, his voice a shadow of the whiskey slick baritone the lull of his voice often offered, choked out by the salt-burnt grit of his throat. Satisfied by the lack of movement the fear garnered, he dropped his sights to the contents of the satchel, eyeing a slice of bread wrapped in mammoth basil. This too he snatched, a sharp look shot to the boy has he made some small but curbed cry of disapproval.  

He munched the dry slice of bread in shameless peace, though it hardly hit the spot his stomach begged to fill. It didn't take long for him to recognize his small mistake – it clumped in his mouth, caught at the awful edges that raked with seasalt – and he quickly dumped the rest of the satchel, littering the ground with all manner of what he assumed were more corpse belongings – parchments, gold coins, silver lacings, rusted trinkets... and yanked from their mess a small bladder of water that he drowned down gulp for gulp. The boy stood gaping in awe and mortification, his shoulders dropped in defeat as he observed the right mess that was made of his wasted goods. Erasmus threw the empty bladder back at the kid's hooves and took a deep breath, finally clear and arguably the most relieving drag of fresh air he had ever taken. “Well you just had to, didn't you-” the boy muttered, almost weepy, gathering the useless things back into the sack and yammering what else he thought beneath his breath – nothing he dared loud enough for this heathen bred of a jackal to hear. Erasmus couldn't have cared less. As the boy gathered the bulk of his goods, sputtering and stammering over his tongue in who knows what language he blubbered, Ras dashed half the goods back to the ground to reclaim attention – and was rewarded with such, a wetted and derisive eye that went vacant in the realization that he was captive to something much more foreboding than a dead man.

“Now, tell me... where am I?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dusk began to lay heavily upon the bazaar outside the gates – vast night, purpled and bruised on the western set of distant shores, the castle dimly lit in its silhouette. He marveled for some time just outside, watching the curtains flutter from the broad windows, caught in a northern wind that whipped them violently before letting them drift to the sills. Candlelight flickered within, music drifting eerily between the gales. The scatter of papers catch his ear and eye, snatching parchment as it flies past him like a hellish bat. He uncrumpled it, its corners whipping wildly in the wind before it died down. A Warning to the Court, he read – its penmanship regal, a deep and beautiful red, stained frantic and dirtied with the dust it collected as it tumbled through the markets. Skimming through, he focused on the writings while the markets bustled behind him, merchants drawing to their vendors to set up for the night. He honed in on the words, though felt lost in them for a while, his moralities finding it hard to empathize with the fear of a villain. He is after all, a cold being despite his warm ambiance, all smoke and mirrors and sharp edges beneath the wealth of glistening gold. A dragon, gluttonous and cruel, all consumed in self worth and ambition for the finest luxuries in life. Those luxuries however found themselves well in the clutch of war and infamy; and the word of villain scrawled fearfully across the paper appealed to his sense of chaos.

As his eyes rose back to the castle, the parchment crumpled once more and rolled from the grasp of his mind, tumbling back through the wilds beyond. He saw them now – posters that fluttered idly in the breeze, tacked here and there in suffered array. Curious. Drawing forward, his gold-laden hooves clicked against the rich pavement and he rose to the cobblestone pathway to the gates, held in the study of two guards. They tensed as he arrived in their audience, and he felt he could not blame their regard – he was disheveled, much more than those earthly merchants in the streets, depraved of a good meal, a good bed, and perhaps even a good mind. Despite this, he allowed an amiable grin to cross his features. King deceit, fangs tucked softly in the nestle of his lips, he quite resembled a quaint businessman in his vigor, an arms dealer immersed in the charismatic throes of devilish youth.

State your business.” One broke the silence between them, a stern woman of stone whose lips churned sour with a skeptic glare. Perhaps his charms weren't well enough practiced for the might of shieldwomen, a young wolf who had no desire to shoulder the weight of sheepskin. “An audience with your Sovereign." "What for?" his brow twitched at the sudden engagement, but he persevered. “My services." The guard beside her grumbled what may have been a laugh, may have been a cough - "What services?" Their abrasiveness and reluctance caught him off guard, but he hardly wavered more than a few seconds of irritation. “That's to be decided with your Sovereign." "Well that's not answer a'tall now is it?" Erasmus knit his brow now, vexxed with the level of resistance he found so unlike what the colt had relayed to him. An open court, he yammered, Diverse, accepting - that is, that's what Isra wanted! He stared through the gates, watching shadows shift through the doorway. “I have..." he trailed, his mind drifting back to the posters that littered the yard. The male guard leaned forward, brow raised. “... information on Raum, the Crow." Quiet between them. And then, "Oh do you, now? I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing that information would ye? We're awfully curious." Caught. Erasmus felt himself slip through the floor a bit, but dared not falter in his expression. It was a voice that shot from behind the gates then that met him with softer lull, a woman with fine features. "Quit bothering him and let him in, already. He's half dead, by the looks of it." The guards stopped to behold the meek thing, turned an accusatory glance to the bristling youth before them, and yielded the demand. 

Erasmus followed the young girl through the gates, through the doorway of the castle, hardly hearing a word she spoke as he admired the beautiful walls, the nightly decor - the feeling of calm that overwhelmed him with welcome unspoken. All but "yeah, yeah, no, aha," that met her idly while his mind trailed elsewhere and his eyes drank in the scenery. She left him there in the breezeway and promised a more formal welcome by someone else. He dismissed her with a nod, though only vaguely caught what she said. There he waited, his eyes drifting all through the breadth of the castle room, surveying all manner of luxury he had never witnessed before. And despite its regality, all the soft sweetness of a nightly empire, something itched under his skin. Something wrong, something too good, too pure, too soft.

His skin crawled.



@Isra
(Takes place after Raum's attack on Isra, before her capture. And no, he doesn't really know anything about anyone.)





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#2


Isra and the wolf howl
"A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”
T
he tap on her door is timid, quiet in the chorus of rage twirling like a star in her belly. Tap, tap, tap. It takes her a moment to realize that it's not Acton, returned from the gravestone clang of her door when she shut it behind him. And when she rises from her pillows of chain-mail, she almost hopes it's a crow at the door. Her magic still remembers how to make blades from stone and wire from reams of silk. It still wants too.

This time she dissolves the door into glittering mesh. Another time she would have laughed to see the startled spark in the young mare's eyes. Tonight though she can't make her eyes anything but a cold, angry sea-blue. The words spark something in her that is bright, hot and hungry. Isra nods and chokes out a 'thank you' before brushing through that curtain of mesh. It turns to woven wire against her back when her magic starts to purr like a feral beast in her blood.

Sometimes she doesn't know if her magic is made to bring wonder to her court or destruction to the world.

Each of her steps is a drumbeat on the stone. Moonlight filters through the windows as she walks and the silver rays pool in her horn like blood in a needle. The chill does nothing to cool her fever, nothing to numb the sting of her teeth-mark crown. The beauty of her home is a blur tonight, trappings that the wild thing in her wants to shake off like snake-skin. She want's steel instead of silk, ore instead of marble. She want to hunt instead of walk through the hallways as a queen should.

It's the first time her duty has made her skin itch. Isra wants to run. She wants to howl at the moonlight like a wolf and let the world know that she's shifting like a skin-walker. Part of her wonders if she could change the moon to a pearl in the night-sky instead of a stone. But soon the door is opening before her and the guards are bowing out of the way. No one wants to stop their story-teller queen when she has violence in her gaze. There is no more time to wonder and think. She doesn't want to think anymore; she's had enough of being the scribe of stories.

Isra wants to be the hero now (even though she fears she's becoming the monster in the cave).

“You have information for me.” It should be a question but it's not. Each word is a sighing blade in the darkness, made of something as soft as gold but as sharp as glass. Isra speaks in the same tone in which she told stories of death and war, and blood and bone making maps in black dirt. It's all she has left now, memories of a time when there was fear in her belly instead of hate. All she has is hate and the love of a gray stallion with ghosts in his eyes.

Maybe they were both made to die.

In the soft firelight of the hearth her eyes look more like stones than eyes in the shadows pooling strangely in the sharpness of her face. And she hates that she can't help but watch him and think that he looks as almost dead as she feels. A night ago she would have offered to help him. A night ago she didn't have blood around her throat like a blood-diamond necklace.

Tonight she only has hard stone eyes, and no smile at all, for him.


@Erasmus | "speaks" | notes: <3 please excuse this grumpy Isra
rallidae






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Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 39 — Threads: 6
Signos: 290
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Umbrakinesis // Bonded:
#3


The devil is a machination of menace and manner – the smoothness of his voice, the timbre of a rugged lover lost to the phantasm of a midnight's sigh. How the eye falls so easily to admire, to covet, such boyish expressions that bloom in their handsome youth, shadows cascading over ageless features. Even now – as moonlight falls against his depraved curves, the shallow pools of darkness webbed between his hips, a mere husk of the brutality that lay dormant in those veins – a cold sort of civility humbles the savagery bred into his severe austerity, the ambiguous way his eyes roam and conquer. His shadow is one of courtesy, of regal wine-stained chiffon filigree, tampered with gold fluttering wings of a king moth. A lion purring beneath the caress of twilight; dusk-eyes heavy with mercurial sights. Drink him in with the anticipation of a warm liqueur – as pressed to your lips, savor sweetness and whole-bodied pleasance; but the thought is tangled as the hot fire of whiskey-bourbon prickles along your tongue.


He is not so soft. He is not so malleable, so amiable, so domestic. It is a falsehood that falls along the lines of his existence – a cloak that smooths over the travesty beneath, cool and conserved. The mirror shifts slightly in moments, seconds, a light filtered through the window that catches a glint and exposes the skin beneath. It is a skill he learns, one he has far from perfected yet. Beneath is treachery, beneath is cruel, bitter bred resentment that stirs like a venom and crawls outward, onward. It tangles in his veins and sinew and heat and chill ; it whispers, it drones, what a wicked thing that resides there that scrapes its walls and bids its conjuring through subtle inflections of violence and woe. It is why his eyes swarm with centurial knowing, knowing, as if he was a boy that owed residence to an ancient poltergeist. And as hair settles in fine nuance of civility, his cheeks flush with the arrogance in naivety, and his anatomy is softened with bristling youth, strapping and bold – he is wolven, he is wild, godless, masterless. A heathen weighted with gilded pall.


Those shards of sharpened black mirrors quiver in the ambiance of chaos – in the deceit of their former delusions. At once, he could curse the thief-boy for having lied so far, so boldly, despite having collected a few choice items to barter for a pretty coin. For those quiet minutes that he waited in the entryway he had begun to daydream aloft the starlight of the night court, his mind drifted with the rhythm that flowed about him as half-lucid phantom symphony. Those anxious thralls of expectation, of what he was deluded to believe, even place his gambles in – this court of sanguine comforts, of ruddied orphans turned to priceless jade at the hand of a benevolent gentle-lady. Of diamond smiles and ever tones that rocked him in a maternal sea, glory and freedom in the reach of such a starless child as he. Yet as the distant footsteps grew nearer, their sharpness turned his sharpness to iron thorns, defiant and defensive, his shadows shuddered in recoil like a viper lain against its own in wait. He is no empath but he recognizes the fire and cracking thunder in a voice, in a look - in the way she moves, much predator to behold than lamb!! And he feels all but a dagger to his neck as she questions – no – demands the servitude he didn't quite promise.


Oh, silver forked tongued liar, how far from princedom you have come. Some small, clever twitch comes about her that draws him to the savagery of his own origins – a breath of war, a taste of fury. A lesser child would fall back in terror. He would tremble, he would stutter, perhaps he would chase his shadow back down the cobblestone path that brought him to his consequence – but here he stands. Turns his head like a heron to a murky pool, the gold along his shoulders glistening and grinning from beneath the tangled rivulets of sea-soaked crow locks. He drinks her in, all womanly scorn and dragon's flame, the hell of a queen and the vengeance of a warrior. She is gentle yes, in the way a mother is gentle discipline, the way a lioness rasps her tongue against her kill; perhaps beneath her rage this fragility the boy mentioned existed – far beyond the sights of her audience for her to dare, no. There was a villain to fear, and indeed Erasmus, though diabolic through trade, was not her villain. At least, not now.


He didn't waste her time in letting the silence linger between them for too long. A sigh fell from his lips, deep and forlorn, as his gaze dropped from hers and rolled along the marble floors. “I believe... your guards misheard me." His voice still held the salt-gravel harshness of the seawater rinse, though the dialect of the distant Wilds toned his chords with honey brass, exotic and firm. Here in their slight grate you can almost hear the semblance of what he is beneath such balmy chords – the hissing mamba pit of slithering tongues and gnarled barb-wire lungs, a heart that pounded with bat-wing ferocity. The veil almost slips, just almost, were her keen eye more daggers than stone may she witness how his veins are molten, how his eyes shift like ghosts along a sheet lake, how his body shivers, a furious cage for the lycanthrope thrall. But she sees through him, the weariness leaks through the way she beholds him so insignificant to her foremost desires – that Crow, that wretch whose name crept along the baseboards in festering chill. Is he no more than a messenger then, is this what he has become? A spartan boy, this witch's brood, redundant as the herald that beckons from the bustling markets?


The thought is bitter as bile on his tongue. His pride swallows it like a knot in his throat, and his eyes return to her own. Perhaps there is no need for softness, then. He is all hard angles and hot barbarity, the sharpness of his features line his expressions with a dark severity that reclaim their might – more than an orphaned bastard, more than pigeon scroll. He is gator grins, jagged mountain jaws, deep and lustrous forests long haunted with the ceaseless souls of his mystic ancestry, primal and hungry. And for what he is, he doesn't dare shy from this mount of angelic fury. He is at the steps of Hades, balled fist and grit teeth. “I came for purpose." I came for blood, but he does not speak this, only in his eyes and his lips and the violence that trembles just beneath the surface. Deep, dark within him, that vile spectre grins. I came for blood. I need it. I crave it. I will have it. “I saw the placards posted in your streets." But this motive, too, is a lie in itself – for what purpose he creates. He does not care about good, does not care about the wills of those who menace the crown. War. War is what has brought him here. He hears the drums, he knows their beat, for they are the very pulsings within him. His eyes shine with all the lustre of unravelling wilderness, unhinged savagery that sings from his bones, “I can fight for Denocte." but what does she see? A lone, half starved boy, hungry for violence and paletted pleasure? A liar, bold and reckless? A wolf, unfaithful and famished? A warrior lost in the wreckage of the void? He was all these things, all these things and so far beyond. 



@Isra





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#4


Isra who walks alone
"Even in penance is beauty; blessed are all the ocean’s drowned!”
D
“id they?” The queen says her eyes eyes turn bright like crystals in her face. They are all sharp edges and a heavy gavel swinging in the darkness pooling between the weak light streaming through the windows. She closes the distance between them and she tries to very hard not to focus on the youth in his form, the way his expression seems like a shadow of what it might become.

She fails.

Watching him she thinks of a unicorn with ice running up an ivory and teeth in his smile. She remembers the way he seemed like a hundred different things in a single second. At the thought Fable stirs from his slumber on the roof. He remembers the way the stallion looked at him, as if the seas belonged to unicorns instead of to dragons. The young dragon launches himself into the air, trying to locate which window is closest to his unicorn. (he's still afraid she's going to be taken away from him)

Her eyes snag on the gold smiling across his shoulders in tracks of brightness through the black. Unbidden the stone around her hooves turns to black coal that cracks a little under the weight of her and all her fury. When he finally looks back at her she smiles to see the steel in his gaze. Once it would have made her think of monsters, once she would have turned and ran to see the hardness is a look like his.

Isra is starting to develop a taste for monsters.

Now she only shivers with something besides panic. She thinks again of how young she really is and she knows that there is nothing left for her to fear in this world, certainly not a boy drenched in salt and brine. “What makes you think this is a fight for all of Denocte?”Because the longer she's been thinking about Raum the more she is starting to believe that this battle should be for her and her alone. Isra is not willing to risk a single citizen of her shining city on the hill. All she wants to risk is herself. She buries that thought from her dragon that is awake and so very close.

Fable lands outside the window and he taps his nose against the glass because he's young and he still likes to be noticed as all children do. Isra cannot help the way her smile gentles when she hears the sound, and it makes her ashamed of the way she's been all fury and nothing of kindness.

Isra blinks. “You're young. Do you want nothing other than fighting for your life?” A hundred years live in her gaze with the dark, deep blue of the sea. There is tragedy, love and suffering in the look she gives him. It fills the silence like words.

@Erasmus | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 39 — Threads: 6
Signos: 290
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Umbrakinesis // Bonded:
#5



As she moves like a knife to his throat, all the shade moves with her – interchangeable, intangible, a lusting gape of peering moons that harbor a disastrous taste for sweeter things, bitter things, all at once chastising their own softer nature in favor of the sharpest. Inside him, the viper pit writhes. It seethes, it withdraws into endless night and bares its fangs in eerie derision; and with a whisper, beckons that sharpened glint it sees in her eyes with a familiarity that seems all the more consoling than it should. While the iron walls around her raise and surround the two, edged with barbed wire and dripping venom, and while her words chase his lies to a corner and loom like the sword of damocles – in some world apart from his own, perhaps he should shrink in the shadow of such a Sovereign. Perhaps, he should tell the truth. Perhaps, he should bleed the viscosity of his crimes and find penance in such an intense stare, bright and so full of wonder and equal graven parts. But he can't – the broken crown sits (though it doesn't exist, truly) atop the smooth roll slope of his skull and refuses to budge, not for any man, woman or god. His pride isn't humbled even in the face of death. All this, and he knows still that he is no threat to her. A dark thing, a jagged thing born of thorns and serpents and the mourning spirits of the river styx, his menace is lost to his ragged appearance. How the brine clings to his coat, disheveling its former shine. How his mane ties in knots beneath the shadow, and how the coral has scraped and cut his willowy form that sadly boasts its former glory in small, miserable flexes of moonlight and golden gleam. A month ago, he was more than this. He was fire and bloodied shoulders, ruddy gutting knives embedded in gilded ribs, so bold and steady, that titan Erasmus. But today he feels nameless. And this incites an emptiness that eats and eats and eats and –


The regal stone beneath her shifts, cracks, buckling coal that glistens as it - moves? an exhausted huff of black dust flings from the gulch and peppers a small plot that is imprinted in the weight of her hooves. His brow furrows to witness, and he wonders to just what extent his unrest has let him slip into insanity; first it was the offhand shadows that slipped from the corners of his eye when he traipsed the dusk-fallen markets, small twirling semblances to smoke that seemed to vanish from his flesh the moment he looked. This was no different, surely? While more intense a hallucination. He moved his gaze back to her own as she spoke, peering into his face as if she strove to drink him in like a spider lost in a glass of deep, red wine. Oh, she questions his audacity. A timid, well-mannered thing would assume that he had been too bold, should he apologize? But the thought does not cross his mind. Surely she did not seek to terrify her citizens, to rile them up in arms, if only to expect their flight in the presence of an enemy? His tongue slithers behind sharp teeth, but slips in between the cracks and rushes against the hardness of his gums. The shadows tangled in his heart scrape against his throat and demand an audience - because I want blood, because I am hungry, I want fed! I care nothing for your own enemies. But he swallows instead, his deep gaze a hundred sharp, golden arrowheads that stir from their quiver, unmoving from her own. The words are bit back as if each is a reluctant pebble that catch on each ridge until finding the bottom of a pond. It leaves a bitter taste on the back of his tongue, grating and acidic. His lips part again to speak, and in his smirk he forgets how his fangs were sheathed, how much more like a gentleman he once resembled in their absence –

tap - taptap


The sudden sound in the midst of the tense ambiance quivers him slightly, enough to jolt his attention to the closest window. In the dark, a form is silhouetted, though he is quick to see the – beak? Nose? Tree limb? - that taps against the glass. Narrowing his eyes, he follows the trace of moonlight that highlights the ridges and scales and – he retracts his curious nose, the elegant curve of his neck arching under his heavy head. While he forgets his brooding, festering rage, he notices the overall feeling of an obscure doom slowly dissipates at this drake's arrival, though in truth a sliver of wonder escapes the pit of his gut at his first sighting of a true dragon. And this mad queen, how she softens like the dying breaths of a passing storm, to warm her sights on the thing like it were her own child! The shards of her darkened features tremble and fall away to reveal a maternal sweetness, those expressions that, while they should have comforted far more than her former actions, only unsettled him at once. Her eyes regard him now in a different light and he wonders what has changed about him – subconsciously he peers back on himself and sees nothing eased about his demeanor; he is still as he is in nature: that underlying sense of ruggedness, intensity, that wolfish stature that picks and pries along the edges with plated wrought iron. The words that meet him are cloying grace, almost a plead that reaches for him with geniality, a genuine kindness he does not recognize. She appeals to his youth and drive for life, she searches those darkened edges for the likeness of a simple boy who dreams of sunshine and books and smiles and a nurtured warmth. For a moment he lets the silence linger there, almost expecting her to delve even deeper, to try even harder, to thumb through the pages of his morality and taste the virile pulsings of his wicked heart. For surely there is softness there, surely there must be more than this bloodied, dirtied child that stands before her, speaking like death and war and pain is all he knows.


If that was her thought, then she was partially correct.


There was more than the roughness hewn in his flesh or the viciousness in his eyes, or the glaring heat in his voice that spoke with a hardness no child should know. There was more than death, war, and pain. There was a hunger for knowledge, a curiosity for witchery, and the consuming want to create – how often he has admired the workmanship of weapons, armor, how he's longed to learn their trades. He knew how to read, to write, how to pick nightshade from between the brush and dry a fragrant rose between the pages of heavy books. Softer things existed yes, small things that were woven between darker appetites, ones that spoke of romance and civility and a boyish curiosity. He was not the blindly faithful servant to an unsullied army – he was not the mindless drone in the ranks of hardened, cold warriors who thought only of blood and the glint of their weapons. However, there was violence in his blood. It screamed out to him with such veneration that the most impassioned lover could never comprehend, it swelled like marrow in his bones and churned his gut with a feeling like glory, but something darker. There was an insatiable hunger that he couldn't name or swallow, one that wrapped those softer things in a skeleton of thorn and shadow, that dismissed naivety for fire and temptation. And as his contemplations dove and wove between all these things, he recognized the same hungers in the reflections of her gaze. There was duality there. She was smooth, jeweled pools of amaranthine waters – a refreshing gulf, pleasant and coolly flowed in each lilting timbre of her balanced breath. He was sharp, raking currents that tore the earth and scoured their beds, that cracked the mud with embedded poison and fanged gold. Both knew the face of their darkness, while in unequal parts.


Whether her search for the youthful happiness in him was desperate or short-lived, she would find no relief to discover such a nature. His god was pain. His tastes, dissonance. The bones that ached beneath his flesh teemed with passion of another nature, another realm of monstrosities deeper than the fairytale grim that scared children into their beds. It was not a choice. It was who he was. He stares back into the leagues that clash in her eyes – he wades through their tides, and drinks in their suffering. He does not question the myriad eons that exist her gaze, those lamentations and blisses that pinprick the oceanic turf like starlight. Even more now, he wonders what she sees. “No," His voice slices the air, drops like a pebble into the bottom of a well. His eyes are starlight now, pure and unadulterated brightness that shines like beacons against the darkness of his face. In his expression there is only shade, as if he could disappear into the far corners of the court, fade into the night that would swallow him up with greedy gulps. “I want satisfaction. And that is where I find it." The boldness of his words do not soften for her maternal croon – they are just as clouded in heat and shadow as they were before, just as intense and grating, and still slightly choked with the seasalt that scrapes his chords. He beholds her for a minute in quiet, before his muscles quiver a slight bit and he takes a small step forward, heavy feathered hoof clicking an echo through the cold room. The weight of his head swings, craning to the side, as if if he changed his perception he may see deeper into those shifting leagues of a dubious sea. The moonlight falls over his features – iberian pride, hard, handsome edges that seem gaunt now in the shadow of their former bravado. Small glimmers of scars catch the shallow beams, quick cuts that reside just beneath the scruff, long faded now except to a keen eye. “And what is your satisfaction?" he does not question Isra, Sovereign of Denocte. He questions Isra's shadow, Isra's monster, that quiet gleaming grin that matches his own from the darkest reaches of her hazy gaze. 



@Isra





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#6


Isra choking on a pearl
"if a goldfish could but leap over this waterfall, she would become a dragon.”
S
he wishes she could read all the things dancing in and out of his golden, sharp gaze. Each thing dances briefly across his eyes and through the weighted space between them. Isra wishes she has a name for it, any name at all but mystery. In him she can see nothing but youth and darkness, and a hundred small cracks of gold covering things she knows nothing about. She doesn't know war yet, but she's learning.

Oh she's learning!

“A pity.” Her voice is still a softly tolling bell, a church-bell, a stone bell, a death toll. Part of her wants to move closer to him, to taste the brine and salt and whisper to him that there is more than violence in the sea. She wants to ask him if he sees the dark deep when he closes his eyes to sleep. Or does he see blood, gore and battle? Isra wants to know what it's like to be black cut through with gold, like a stone. Small rivulets of gold start to run across the floor, like snakes.

She wonders too if he will see the warning there. The way her magic reaches for him and promises, turn your satisfaction towards my city and I will drown you in a sea of molten gold. There is nothing left she would not do for her shining city under the moon. No night she would not tame, no ghost she would not burn on a pyre.

Softness does not protect a city, this she has already learned. Softness does nothing but drape necks in necklaces of teeth and blood.

Isra doesn't answer his question not right away. The truth sits like a black pearl behind her teeth that she could choke on. So she only says, “follow me”, and turns back towards the door. At the window her dragon pulls away and takes the sky. All the light pours in without his body blocking and and everything seems brighter. The gold shines like a polished blade on the blackness of the magic made ore.

The floor is still changing at her hooves as she walks. First it's marble her hooves sing against, then pearl, then glass. And when she reaches the great entry doors there is nothing but plain, gray stone at her hooves. Isra presses her nose against the door and it becomes strings upon strings of silk ivy with berries made of ruby hanging from the roots.

It almost feels like a caress she when walks through the jungle doorway. She thinks of Eik and it's still in her smile when she looks back at the boy who finds his pleasure in war. It's a strange smile, tight as a noose between her lips. “ I used to find my satisfaction in hope.” There are no other words that she wants to share to this boy, or with anyone. She doesn't want them all to know that she's turning away from stories and softness.

Fable lands on the steps. He reaches his nose towards the stallion like a small puppy looking for a gentle touch. Each of his wings are spread wide and they cast mighty shadows across the stone. The dragon waits and a throaty sounds trembles in his throat.

Isra watches the interaction like the test that it is.



@Erasmus | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 39 — Threads: 6
Signos: 290
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Umbrakinesis // Bonded:
#7


Her voice is sing-song, paramount to the lulls of faerie bones – her voice rings out to him like a chime, and his blood rises to meet it. Heat flushes against the smooth lines of his rippling flesh, tenderly bolted with youthful musculature that professes its scattered scars out-gleamed by the brilliant gold. He is more a wolf than a boy. Was she the shepherd? And so while his childish features engross themselves in the shadow of her whims, something darker rests there, deep and ancient chiding that whispers in his veins. The viper pit nestled in his core shifts at the single utterance that passes as a breeze from her lips, and it mars his ears like hollow bells. Pity. That thing lurches, and spit hits the back of his teeth with the force of a tidal wave. He is uncertain whether its aim was for her face or her feet, but it rose still – hot, thick, and with all the acrimony of acidic venom, as if it willed itself the burning persistence to speckle her flesh and whip the word from her skin. He suffers it back, swallowing it down along with his arrogance, pride, but not for her sake. There was more for him in the Night Court than pity from a stranger, this he believed. Why else was he brought here? Though the thought itself was wound tight with a hope more than belief, a godless boy, a lost boy, the loveless not-prince offered to Denocte's shores. Was it by Caligo, then? He yearns, in that tender moment of bruised ego, to command the recognition. To scream out to her, louder and fiercer than her soft word, that he was here for purpose.

He did not want her pity. And perhaps, he did not even deserve it. 

But oh, how the menace lingered between those glacial eyes, how peril clung to her lips and kneaded between each syllable, smugly lounged in the nuance of threat. He craved it each time it was offered, hardly heeding her warnings, but bidding them all the same. Her maternal croons carried the glint of a knife. Double edged, silvery sharp. He wondered how long he could tip-toe the blade before it cut him, and he wondered deeply how it would taste – would it taste of the sea? Of dragon scales? Would it taste of his own blood, the cold ichor of titans and shamans? Would his blood rise from it like smoke, like the coal dust that rose from her feet in the forewarning of destruction? What then was she capable of, if these things were not a matter of his deprived mind? Was it truly gold that was spun beneath her hooves, veining boas of precious stone that bared their fangs to him as if she did not recognize that he, too, was a serpent? A snake of kerosene-slicked coils, fine filigree of golden veins, and fangs that tread the soft line of his lips. Erasmus was a child yet, but the shade within him knew the hazard, chuckled at each mark that glared warily at his existence.

It wondered if it would have suited her better to kill him, instead.

Could she?

He is but a boy with small aspirations yet, some lost thing dredged to the edges of their world and struggled to all but envy their strife. He did not lust for a crown or tragedy yet, it was beyond him at this time, and so the magic that reached out to him was all spectacle to naivety. But his blood knew. It pulsed in his ears and his teeth, his spine hot and raked with needle-pricked hackles that roared from skull to tail. He did not know to want the luxury of sovereignty, the pleasance of aristocracy they once tried to strangle him with by means of culture and couture. He knew survival, he knew the metallic savor of blood, the way bones crackled and fractured with the weight of a battering ram. Part of him did not care to explain himself to someone who could only pity.

Erasmus did not ask for parlor tricks and pities. And even now, as his pride slid down his throat prickling like a ball of barbed wire, he sighed deeply with a drag on the tense air that surrounded them, breathed it in as if the freshest breeze. Waiting, desiring only that shade that dared match his own, hidden far beneath the layers of her patience that stood sentry. She was softness, sweetness, a maternal brooding that cultured itself with womanly prowess – power, that of a lioness. But he was not so naive to mistake the trace of shadows that slid across her expressions, that clung to her in waves and whistled through each clamor. His own chased the hard edges of his delineation, wisping softly against the heat of his frame as they danced against the gold and grinned from the nooks and crags of his mane, his eyes. They steady heavily upon her own, as if he had never been taught not to look a monarch so directly, so forwardly. Where the traces of his handsome features had once feigned the warmth of cunning and pride, they now hung with a haunt of what was to come, an omen of colder, darker things that slept in his bones. He is severe, calculative, and dissects her every tremor that creeps along her elegance. How he craves her darkness all the more she shines brightly. How he strives to goad that monstrosity that rests deep in her, and aches to know the depth of her sins. 

Follow me. But he does not at first, as if rooted to the spot, instead watches her as she turns to descend the halls of the Court, starlight at her heels. Each hoof-fall is a glimmer of alchemy, one of richness and protruding wealth that kisses the ground she steps as if the floor itself worshiped her every tender tread. It is curiosity that prods him forward at last, and he trails her transformed path as a wolf that hunts the scent of uncertainty, weary and starving. He contemplated his question to her again, that nature of her satisfaction, no, not hers by damn, but that creeping threat of darkness that rose in her like blood to wound. What satisfied that hunger? What could she possibly show him that relented the truth, vital honesty, and what did she have that could possibly amuse his delights? It was loathed to think that it was another attempt to reach his softer engagements, to despair the loss of youth and cry out to a never-was. That bruised, beloved foal gathered in a weeping mother's arms, who at once learned the price of mercy and the downfall of benevolence, weakness. It came to him in faint, distant memories now, that time when things were simpler. And it wasn't long before even those fleeting glimpses of innocence were washed away.

Isra's magic veins through the stone door and it shifts to unfurling wisps of ruby-strung curtain, leafed in silk tresses that snapped and swayed in the breeze. It is confirmed to him, the existence of something beyond depravity of the mind – and he is at once entangled in many things consumed by awe and relief, and he wonders to what extent her magic reaches (still far too arrogant to listen to the childish voice that asked if she could turn his bones to pearls and his flesh to marble) that all she touched turned to wealth. Could they also turn to thorns? To steel? Could she ask the stars to turn to studded diamonds that rained and cut and belted the ground like indestructible hail? But she was bidding him in now with a smile that dripped of such honeyed goodness that at his double-take made him sick. But there was something else that he couldn't touch, and as his brow furrowed and shadow fell again over his golden eyes, chasing away the wonder. He had missed the spectre that passed flatly across the balcony steps like an eclipse. Her answer came, but it was no answer – and he was disappointed again, his ears spun back as he raised his chin. He did not care for her evasion, and he choked on his awe as he was robbed once more of his satisfaction to learn just what ticked inside her mind.

That is, until the spectre passed again and clutched to the balcony staircase. 

Glistening seaweed scales, kelpie shadow, a mass of steely plates that glinted and clenched together as the massive thing knelt forward, great wings outstretched farther than anything he had witnessed before. Erasmus was rightfully caught off guard and it would be a cruel disfavor to truth to say anything otherwise, as well as an insult to the marvel that it was. The brushlands he had survived could have been decimated by the presence of a dragon, were one hungry enough to prey upon them, and so their only existence was marked in lore and frightful night tales that threatened the unruly children not to explore far beyond the horizon of The Wilds. They spoke of grating teeth and breath like fire, fire unlike anything mortals could achieve – one heat that made of flesh molten and bones to smoking coals. As the thing's weight quivered the stone from beneath their feet, adrenaline poured to the surface and riled along the lacings of his dark skin, held his bones still as steel. A boy may have run. And maybe that is what he should have done – and in hindsight could see himself to have done, to bolt back through the shadow-studded halls, clamber over the bounty of wealth that slowly stirred from the tile floors, tear through the streets of the market and find that shore he was spat upon. Perhaps he should have shrieked and shrunk back, cowering and begging for his life. A child would have cried.

He stood, a ward to his own spirit, breathing steadily and freely as the dragon craned its skull to where Erasmus could smell the brine in his lungs. The drake did not smell of ash and cinder as one would think, and it's a peculiar thing that may have been what held him to the spot enough to contemplate. Long enough he did not run or cry or scream in panic, shrunk into the shadow of the sea queen who looked on in question. For a moment he only stood and reclined back against his own thoughts, observing in a manner of inhibition that one could mistake him for a gargoyle perched before the curiosities of a young dragon – teeming with hundreds of questions that may never be answered. Of all things, the drake's wingspan amazed him the most, and he found himself warily eyeing from one tip to the next, before trailing back to its face. It was unlike what he had imagined, but he was far from disappointed. After a brief moment of threaded musings, he stretched the curve of his neck, his feet firmly planted still, offering himself a closer look and a deeper inhale that smelled so strongly of the sea that he could almost wonder if the dragon was, itself, an extension of the miraculous leagues of the unknown. Nose to nose with something that could indefinitely kill him, the thought was left to the back of his discarded concerns (left to the same small voice that once questioned if Isra could turn him to stone, now fretted how sharp the beast's teeth were).

Reclaiming the slope of his skull to tilt just slightly, it cast shadows over the thick lines of his neck that were plated in sea-knotted fibers of mane and gold thread, a misting of perspiration lain over him in a sheen that faintly reflected the dusk. His eyes, deep and fretted with more questions than any of them could care to answer even if he bothered to ask, returned to Isra's, and for a while he was uncertain of what words even belonged in the state of time. Far from a dumbed down brute of a soldier, his eccentricity and eloquence struggled to find a place for intimating anything that persisted as the loud drone of adrenaline thundered wildly in his pulse. Was this her answer? Once hope, and now.... she brings him to the fantastical beast, were it another strike of menace or the cryptic answer to his question. Was the dragon a pawn to her whims, or was it an act of motherhood she sought in befriending such a mythical wonder of terror? He found himself with more questions than he had even arrived with, and it troubled him deeper than anything before. And as these things ran rampant in his mind, there was only one word that could leave his lips, though he wasn't sure how many questions it asked in itself - “How?" almost hushed, but just above a whisper, its raspy tone held with it the weight of all things she had incited. And just as loosely as she left her answers to be interpreted, he left it for her to answer – were it a question of how she turned the tile to glass or the stone to ivy, how she summoned a dragon to her hearth, or how she sought the beast as either an instrument or aid. How did she expect him to react to this thing of nightmares and folklore? How did he come to be brought here, this place of dreams made real?



@Isra





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Played by Offline nestle [PM] Posts: 315 — Threads: 34
Signos: 4,030
Night Court Sovereign
Female [she/her/hers] // 6 [Year 497 Winter] // 15.1 hh // Hth: 50 — Atk: 50 — Exp: 90 // Active Magic: Transformation // Bonded: Fable (Sea Dragon)
#8


Isra with the broken pieces
“One cannot shape the world without being reshaped in the process.”
P
erhaps it says something about her citizens that not a single one flinches around Fable, who is pretending to be so much bigger than his youth. Isra knows that they have every reason to hate dragons whenever they look out over the city boundaries to the mountains protecting them. Once she even looked at that trembling dragon egg on the sands and thought about turning back towards her bed and leaving the creature to die. Isra was more afraid of dragons than any of them.

But now, when she looks at Fable she can only see her heart torn from her flesh and made massive. She can only see all her dreams sprouting wings until even the distant night sky seems no further away than the end of her shadow at high-noon. Each night she sleeps better, knowing that her city's protected more than it was the day before. Even though the sea is quickly being thinned of fish in the places close to shore, Isra would not surrender her dragon for anything.

Fable brushes his nose against the stallion's. Isra tries not to smile for the way Erasmus seems made more of stone than gold, hard and unbending. She thinks that he might very well be made for war and all the dark things in the world. But she still wishes it wasn't so, she's hard enough for the whole city now.

She would rather they were all dreamers, and artists, and souls that colored all the black in the world and made it brighter.

The dragon pulls away and starts to make his way towards the markets. There is a fish merchant that always has a treat or two for young Fable and his belly is roaring with hunger. Isra closes the distance between her and the stallion looking for war. She smiles, but something in it shines both brighter and deeper than happiness. It shines like a caught moon, pitted and full of wishes that will never fall across the night sky. “Because I found by satisfaction in something other than violence.” The stone around her hooves turns to quartz, pale white and shining with mica.

The steps shine like stars in the sunlight (caught stars, trapped stars, fallen stars). The horn upon her brow, the only crown she'll ever wear, swings like a swords as she gestures a guard to join them. “Please show him to training grounds.” Something in her heart hurts to say the worlds, to take a young heart and send it off to war because it has asked it of her.

Isra keeps all that hurt from her eyes when she turns back to Erasmus. There is only something hot like challenge, and something deep like the sea to meet him. “Someday, when you grow tired of war, I will tell you how.” Her smile fades when the warrior gestures towards the waiting barracks. Later tonight, she will worry about him, when he's not standing still as stone on her stairs and asking for violence.

Later she will lay down her head and wish the world wasn't so cold.

But for now she only turns away, to follow her dragon into the lively press of her city. She does not look back to watch the boy led away. Isra is broken enough for one day.



@Erasmus | "speaks" | notes: <3
rallidae






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Played by Offline Raeym. [PM] Posts: 39 — Threads: 6
Signos: 290
Night Court Soldier
Male [he/him/his] // 3 [Year 500 Winter] // 16.3 hh // Hth: 8 — Atk: 12 — Exp: 10 // Active Magic: Umbrakinesis // Bonded:
#9


Erasmus is not a thing of heart. Indeed – it flourishes in his chest, a muscle of vitreous properties that shudders and groans with the weight of its might – paper white and floundering in confectious delights. But it does little but to whim his woes like a greedy thing of teeth and claws and a withering depravity that founds itself by appetite. It sentries steadily as the war drum it is – palpable, a creature on its own that acts of its accord; it exists. By ticking hours lost to millennia, a festering wound that eats and eats, this piteous ode to greek gods' tenement. But beyond things that revolve in its quarters that call to an age of bloodshed and primitive tastes, it is little to be said of for compassion. Even as he admires that great beast perched at the rail, or marvels in his mind the wealth at the heels of an oceanic ambassador, it does not move to coddle either but persist with curiosities. Things that scrape his skull and reach for their being, but shrink back for the thought of words to paw at the air with tactless child wonder. his bones ache, they wonder if they may be reduced to wood. Or pearl. Or bright clouded quartz. he wonders, he wonders. Endless mind that whispered through corridor breaths, syllables that crawl up his throat and slide back down like creeping spiders.

Yet she seeks it. Can she hear it, beneath the folds of cast iron and muscle, entangled in webs of gold and slick venomous tendrils of pulsing vein? She does not hunger for it as a lioness, as the ocean, as a dragon. And so he does not relent, for these things are the few of the things he knows – he does not know her softness but for all things maternal, things that slip back in the deep of his skull and itch a prying company that chases itself out of sight. It is beyond his reach, but he does not waste the struggle reach for it. The sweetness, the calmness, the succor of yearning that makes of itself every measure for pity and sorrow. He sees it in her eyes but he does not know what it is or what it is for. But it is for the boy that stands before her (and if he did see he may also pity her for the pity she gave him) that she cries out to what is but a husk and mask, a smiling thing of plasticized youth and and pretentious revival, something fresh and bright and simple and everything but; something that existed by some small moment, suspended like a stamp on time.

How deep did she look? How deep in the dark did she pry, dig her fingers in, like sifting through rich sod and cinder and dust and kerosene? Would she pull her hands back out from the ruin in blackened despair, the horror? Was it disgust that hid somewhere in the smoke behind her glassy eyes, their sheen dampened with doubt? With sadness? With derision?

Her words broke between them, a frothing crest of a wave that washed over their tense silence. He searches them for insult, for something condescending, impulsive. Wings whip behind him, fading, caught in growing distance until they hissed on the clouds like wind. But he isn't a mind for the dragon now. He sees the moon in her smile and listens, not unlike a child awaiting lullabies. Unladen with circumstance, with something darker, something he craves – her teeth glisten like stars unveiled from the tapestry of night, each one plucked with purpose. An ear slides forward, and every syllable sighs with a fantastical nuance of hope. She is brilliance in that moment, framed in glimmering tiles that spark and sheen beneath her, twinkling gleams in fortunous stone. Erasmus remains, unequal to this vulgar display of valiant goodness, he simply is. A festering cloud of twitching smoke, hovering shadow that leans and shivers, cracked with grinning starlight. He does not move to question her meanings, as most her words kept to them multiple insinuations, words within words within words that he crept between curious to their natures. He dreamed for a moment that she was not soft – that these were treacherous words, perilous threats, as if she willed him from stone to something tender with a diplomatic rage that screamed out to him from a whisper. His blood boiled. His skin crawled. But he remained.

Finally she moves to gesture a passing guard closer, and there are words that he can grasp tightly, something tangible that cropped up from a sea of ambiguity. He did not mistake the way it tomed like a weary death bell. There was something sad there, as if she sent him to the guillotine. Doubt crept between the spaces she left, doubt that anything she wielded could be harsher than the turmoil he had already succeeded. The pit. He did not have training grounds, he did not know the formalities of civilization – the softness, the softness still, it existed even in her nuance of war. It wrapped itself around his ears, his cheeks, it caressed across his neck like silk and stroked a fire to rise – but he remains silent, observant. If all things she suspected of him had failed her test, one was certain: he was stone. A harsh, polished surface that gleamed with promise and perseverance, cultivated by the waning erosion of a listless river course.

Had she desired him anything less? He feared so, as he chased the darkness in her eyes still, grasping desperately for the shadows he watched loom and retreat into the arms of gentle things. The more she beheld him as a pleasant child and not the thing that he was, the more he craved to tempt those unholy shades, the more he desired she were a lioness, hungry and bleating victory. And as she receded back against the ivy she unspun from the doorway, he found himself drawn to follow and watch, stopped only by the twitch of a heaving shoulder beside him.

She dreams a dream never told; one of innocence and diligence, of a boy and a wooden sword that shirks his thirst for the lap of fortune. And it is then that he knows what she wants, though he knew all along – as he pursued her darkness, she searched hungrily for the light. There they found their vicious cycle in wanting, a nightmare more than hope. For a moment frustration tiptoes the rough of his spine, dancing along the precarious edge with an awful disappointment. But then a grin slides across his features – gaunt, a shadow of cleverness and handsomeness that speaks leagues beyond youth. The shade grins with him, and webs through him a curse of curses that laughs at her feat. He thinks for a second that he may eventually know what she knows, that she may one day tell him – one day when he is old and tired, weary and battleworn. 

But we, the dark, we know better. 

And so erasmus stays quiet besides the unsound chuckle that follows her form as it fades against the shadow of a dragon. As she turns away from him, he feels the magic of their encounter torn away with her, and the aftertaste of its engagement is bitter, a loss. He turns to follow the guard to the training grounds, and he too refuses to look back again.




@Isra finite, thank you for this excellence <3




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